The first and foremost distraction I must guard against is dresses. I'm a dress aficionado and have been since I could crawl into my baptismal gown--a lovely little white number with crocheted rosettes. I adore dresses, and when I'm writing and need a break, guess what I do? Yep, I go dress shopping online. I rarely ever actually buy a dress, but I can sit and stare at the pretty sparkles and posh fabrics for hours. Today I was searching for something on Yahoo that was completely unrelated to dresses, and an article popped up about Princess Diana's spare dress. What? A spare dress, you say? Why, I wonder what that looks like?
So I clicked on the link to find out.
I read the article, which I found fascinating and which you can read by clicking here, and before I could stop myself, I'd clicked on a link to a slide show of royal wedding dresses through the years, which is here if you want to see it. I could go on all day about these dresses, and that's the problem. You could stand a naked man with a million dollars in one hand and a diamond ring in the other in front of me, but if I hear the crinkle of the folding of taffeta seven miles away in a bridal shop, he's gonna have to stand in line for my attention.
Speaking of needing attention, my second sure-fire distraction is my cats. They climb all over me when I'm typing, and most of the time at least one of them is sitting in front of my computer monitor or nibbling my fingers as I type. Sometimes they tag team me, with one sitting in front of the monitor while the other dances on my keyboard. The most fun is when they sneeze on the monitor or do the butt-dancing thing where they lift their rears to get a good back scratch and their little butts rub across my computer screen. I can't tell you how interesting that's turned out to be in the past. It's all good, though, because I just blame my little leaky-butted, emotionally needy felines for all the typos you see in my blog posts.
Which leads me to my last sure-fire distraction--blogging. I love it, and even when I'm supposed to be doing other things, like bathing, exercising, fixing dinner, doing laundry, typing around my cats, dress shopping online, etc., I'm always thinking about my blog posts. I post on about 4-5 blogs, so I've always got ideas clattering around in my head. As a matter of fact, I think that anymore I even think in blog posts, at least when I'm not daydreaming about, well, er, never you mind what I daydream about. You get the idea.
So there you have it. Three things that you didn't know would sure-firedly distract Cameo. What about you? Do share!
"Nicole North’s Laird of Darkness is a historical, highland, fae romance. Yes, all three wrapped into one tantalizing tale. Sexy and seductive, Duncan MacDougall is such a compelling character that I found myself hoping from the beginning that he was a “good guy” after all. I wish there would’ve been more in the book about his fae background but really the “fae” part of his character plays a very small part. There were several background characters, but Duncan and Alana dominate the story in such a way that the rest of the world disappears. Their love story is filled with sweet emotion and steamy sex you can’t help but want them together forever. Fast-paced and sensual, the only thing that could make it better was if it was longer. I’m not sure if there is going to be a follow up to Laird of Darkness, but I would be first in line to read more from this story.
Laird Duncan MacDougall is haunted by nightmares that leave him marred with bites and scratches from creatures he is helpless to stop without the magical bow & arrows that his half-brother, Kinnon MacClaren possesses.
Unfortunately Kinnon is also Duncan’s enemy, cursed by their mother to never be able to set foot upon each other’s lands, obtaining the bow has been a near impossible feat. When Duncan kidnaps Kinnon’s intended bride, Lady Alana Forbes, Duncan believes he has the one thing that will finally get the magical bow into his hands. Holding Lady Alana as hostage, he offers a trade to his half-brother: the bow in exchange for Kinnon’s beautiful bride to be.
What Duncan didn’t plan for was his feelings for Alana. Duncan finds himself helpless against the draw of Alana’s beauty and challenging personality. If only she wasn’t promised to his half-brother, he would keep her for himself, for her inner peace and “light” could be the saving grace that he needs. She’s never met her intended husband, Kinnon MacClaren and can only hope that he is not only handsome, but a generous lover. While not proper for her to be experienced, she is no virgin and desires a man that can satisfy her needs in the bedchamber. On the way to Claren Castle, Alana is kidnapped and taken hostage by a seductive and sexy man with magical abilities. Finding out the man is half-fae and also the half-brother of her future husband does nothing to keep her from wanting him. While she knows her body wants him, is he truly what her heart desires? Can Alana become more than a pawn in the middle of a battle between brothers? Or will the brothers’ hatred of each other take the decision out of her hands?" --Rhonda Valverde http://www.vampireromancebooks.com/
"Another fine read from Carina Press. Duncan MacDougall is a Highland Laird with a kick, he is half Fae, and while that gives him some other worldly powers, he is also cursed to be haunted and attacked by Otherworld creatures during the dark of night. What a total bummer. Doesn't seem to interfere with his extreme prowess in bed however, luckily for the heroine.
Lady Alana Forbes is on her way to marry a man she has never met, common back in medieval times. On her way there, she has the misfortune (or turns out, fortune) to come across Duncan MacDougall. As soon as he finds out she is going to marry Kinnon MacClaren, his half-brother and mortal enemy, Duncan hatches a cunning plan. For Duncan desires and desperately needs Kinnon's magical bow and quiver, the only thing that will keep the Otherworld creatures at bay.
Stopping by a loch, Alana hopes her unseen husband is handsome and kind, and good in bed. Almost as if she conjured up such a man, Duncan appears, and promptly saves her life from some wayward kelpies by using his fae magic. Alana is very impressed by the physical specimen in front of her, and she gets an eyeful. As soon as Duncan ascertains who she is and where she is heading, he abducts her and takes her back to his castle. As filled with fury as Alana is to be bartered for the quiver and bow, she cannot deny Duncan is very appealing, seeing he is nude a lot of the time in order to shift into invisibility. And Duncan certainly cannot hide his interest. Torn between scratching his eyes out or jumping his bones, Alana finds it difficult to keep her hands to herself. A few innocent touches explodes into passion, and the two are soon tumbling in Duncan's bed.
The love scenes are sizzling hot, and both find they are feeling more than desire. Especially when Duncan reveals his past, and the creatures that haunt him. Alana is none to pleased to find out her husband to be is also half-fae. But regardless for her concerns over the fae blood, Duncan has touched her heart. Kinnon hears from his escaped men that Alana is indeed a beauty, be damned if he will let Duncan have her. Things move at a brisk pace to the conclusion, the narrative moving along to the end with a few surprising twists and turns along the way. Duncan was a wonderful hero. Tender, loving and passionate, and ultimately honorable. Sexy as all get out. A lot of the story is from his POV, which I loved. Is Kinnon quite the villain Duncan believes him to be and vise versa? If you love a little magical fantasy mixed in with your Highlander romantic/erotic adventure, this very good and highly readable novella is right up your alley."
~Karyn at The Romanorum
1. Hulu.com – I don’t have cable and I think we only have one or two basic channels so I’ve never been a big television watcher. However, since discovering hulu.com I’m a bit of a junkie at times. I get to watch shows like Human Target and Bones when I choose! Watching Mark Valley and David Boreanaz are good for research though…or at least that’s what I tell myself.
2. My Kindle – Part of writing means socializing on online networks etc. which means I’m introduced to more books now than before I was a writer. And ever since I got the Kindle for Christmas it’s been so much easier to feed my addiction to books. Now I get my books delivered instantly. The only bad thing is my TBR pile has grown crazy big and I never seem to put a dent in it.
3. My husband – His work schedule isn’t always typical so when he’s home during my regular work hours, he likes to distract me. And not always intentionally. If I can’t concentrate on a scene or feel like slacking off, having him there is the perfect excuse to not work. I’ll drag him to see a movie or for a stroll downtown to a deli I’m obsessed with. I can’t claim any of this is for research but it’s usually a nice break.
4. The Sun – I work from home and my office is attached to our back deck which means I get lots of wonderful natural sunlight streaming through the sliding glass doors. In the summer months around noon I start to get antsy seeing all that brilliant light and just can’t help myself. So I’ll usually take a half hour mental break listening to my iPod and soaking up those rays.
These are my four sure-fire distractions. Luckily I don’t get distracted that often or I’d never get anything done!
What are your favorite distractions? Since Nicole has been cool enough to let me blog here today I’m offering a digital copy of Dangerous Secrets to one commenter who answers my question. I’ll choose the winner from a random number generator after 12 (noon) Eastern tomorrow and announce it in the comments section.
~ ~ ~
Dangerous Secrets by Katie Reus is now available from Carina Press.
Isabelle Ballantine has been fighting for independence since she was old enough to walk. Now that she's finally out from under her father's shadow, she won't let anyone stand in her way. It's tough living on her own, working in a bar and keeping her true identity a secret, but things start to look up when a sexy new stranger walks into her life. After working side by side for weeks, Izzy can't figure out why he won't make a move.
To cinch the deal of a lifetime, Adam Marcellus agrees to help Izzy's eccentric father convince his daughter to move home. He'd assumed Izzy would be another spoiled rich princess, but he's surprised to discover his feelings for her are stronger than anything he's ever experienced. When a deranged stalker targets her, Adam finds himself fighting not only an unknown threat—but an unexpected attraction to the one woman he can't have.
Katie Reus has been reading romance since she was a kid and the addiction stayed with her into adulthood. She writes sexy paranormal romance and fast-paced romantic suspense. Dangerous Secrets released from Carina Press last month and in February 2012, her first book in a paranormal trilogy will release from Signet Eclipse (NAL/Penguin). If you’d like to learn more about her please visit her website, blog, or find her on twitter @katiereus.
I did find one thing which helps me to be not quite so distracted by the internet. No. I don't turn it off. No. I don't have a computer without wireless access. Are you crazy?? LOL But I did find Focus Booster. It's a little timer you download to your computer. It counts down 25 minutes of productive time. Then gives you a 5 minute break. I've found that by knowing those 5 minutes are coming, I can concentrate completely on my writing for those 25 minutes. (And I'm always amazed how fast those 25 minutes go!) Then I can hop on my e-mail, or twitter, or whatever for those 5 minutes, before I go back to another 25 minute writing stint.
And speaking of Twitter... While I've never figured out how to manuever around Facebook very well, I've been having fun with Twitter. I can find lots of things to say in less than 140 characters. And I'm able to follow other people's tweets within a short block of time (say, 5 minutes) as well. It can be a distraction, but as long as I have my Focus Booster up, it's not too bad. In fact, I'd love more followers. (No! I don't consider them a distraction!) I'm natashamoore on Twitter, if you want to look me up :)
I could go on about the distraction of television, but I honestly don't have too many shows that pull me away from the computer. I am an American Idol junkie. I DVR Bones and The Mentalist because I love the characters. But AI is the only show I stop writing for. And it's only on from January to May, so it's not toooo bad.
And I can't forget eye candy. Now, this is not a distraction I mind having, but searching for the perfect eye candy to inspire my writing and to share with my beloved Fierce Romance readers can sometimes be considered a distraction. One I'm certainly not willing to give up.
I guess I'll stop there because I don't want to get too depressed. My family and house need to have their time as well, but I can't really call them distractions. Reading has its place too, necessary in the scheme of things. They're part of life.
Luckily, even with all these distractions, I manage to get my pages done every day. And I've found the more I write, the more I have invested in my characters and their story, the less there is to distract me. The story matters more.
Entertainment – Well, I grew up without a TV. That's my claim to fame. Lol. The interesting thing is that, to this day, I don't watch TV. I simply don't think of doing it. My sisters don't watch TV. My brothers watch sports, but not much else.
I do have gaps in my cultural knowledge and, as a schoolgirl, I sometimes felt deprived because I didn't know the shows the other kids did. But, on the whole, I'm glad I never got addicted. Occasionally, I hear about things that I think I would have enjoyed watching, but I get over it pretty quickly. The other negative is that I don't have much patience for movies. So I still have gaps in my cultural knowledge!
On the plus side, I learned the pleasure of reading. (Of course, one can have both.) In my childhood, the one thing my parents allowed us to buy without restriction was books. We got those Scholastic book orders in school about four times a year, and I can think of few things that thrilled me more. I could buy as many books as I wanted! That was riches. And when the books arrived - An even bigger thrill!
A Skill I Wish I had – Cooking. I just don't have a big interest in food. I can eat the same few things over and over (unfortunately, not all of them healthy, lol). I try to tell myself this is a good trait. In primitive times, every tribe needed someone who wasn't interested in experimenting. That person would be the one to avoid group poisoning from some new plant they'd foraged (though she might die of starvation).
But in this century, I do love to entertain, and it's a handicap when you're not a good cook. I'm adequate. People accept my invitations, but I wish I were better. Still, I know I never will be because it's not an undertaking that interests me enough. I have one daughter who loves to cook. I watch her zip around the kitchen, forage in the grocery story for new products, print thousands of pages of recipes off the internet (and I'm not exaggerating), buy gadgets and pans of all shapes and on and on. It just enthralls her. I don't know where she came from.
But what makes it feel real that you have a new release really coming out is when it's finally listed on Amazon!!!
There's no gorgeous hunky cover yet. No description yet even. But it's up there now for preorders. :)
I've been checking for a while. But nothing. Then when I got home, a Google alert! Dreaming of the Wolf on Amazon!
Jake Silver doesn't believe in fate or dream mating, despite the fact his brother and other family members have been afflicted with this strange notion. But when dreams begin to plague him about a woman so seductive, he wakes up in a sweat and he's losing way too much sleep over it, he seeks to learn the truth. Can dream mating be a reality? Is the woman real?
Alicia Greiston doesn't dream. Not ever. So when a man visits her in the first dream she's ever had, she's startled, pleased, then alarmed. He's not going away, and the dreams take a sinister turn. He's in trouble, and if the dreams are a foreshadowing of the future, she has to save him.
For something different--I've always loved I Dream of Genie, Aladdin's Lamp, and the numerous genie stories I've read or watched as I grew up. So I had to write my own version! Who says that only the owner of the lamp gets a wish? The poor genie is the one who needs them, confined to the lamp as he is!
The Genie's WishEbook By Terry Spear
Published: Mar. 19, 2011
Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Words: 18139 (approximate)
Lizzie Mason just wanted to buy a birthday present for her older brother who loves antiques. What she doesn't expect is to end up in a world far from her own with a mission to save a man's life before it's too late.
Genies are only fairy tales. At least that's what Lizzie Mason thinks until she manages to summon one from an antique vase. Now she's in real trouble as she vows to save the man imprisoned in the bottle from a fate worse than death and ends up in his world, hoping to change fate without getting herself killed.
The genie must right the wrongs of the past before the curse placed on him can be broken. But will the woman who has freed him be able to manage in a world where deceit and death await them?
Also, Huntress for Hire is up! :) Hope you love it! I have the sequel started if I didn't lose it in the tons of crashes I've had!!!
He’s a hunter turned vampire, she’s a huntress of vampires—he’s needs her cooperation to free his family; she’s trained to kill his kind.
Rebel vampire huntress Rachael Bremerton wants revenge against Piaras, one of the most ruthless vampires in Dallas , for the murder of her parents. But when she’s lured by another vampire, Adonis, into the darkness—the same darkness she’s feared since she was a child—she’s torn between her huntress sensibilities and some strange desire to be with the creature she’s meant to despise and destroy.
Adonis, a hunter turned vampire, has been ordered by Piaras to bring Rachel to him untouched. In return, Piaras will release Adonis’s family unharmed. But when Adonis first sees Rachael, his hunter desire to have a huntress mate kicks in, or is it the dark heart of the vampire that makes him crave her so?
Turning Rachel over to Piaras becomes less of an option. But can he find a way to free his family, claim Rachael for his own, and keep her family from discovering he is a hunter turned vampire—a creature they will all feel obligated to hunt down and kill?
I had a lot of fun writing this story! What would you do if you were a huntress and the most intriguing vampire ever caught your eye???
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."
Instructor: Nicole North
Date: April 1 - 30
The romance genre is primarily character driven and those characters need to feel as real as you or I. How do you create characters the reader will fall in love with? If characters don't magically pop into your head fully-formed and three-dimensional, how do you help them come to life without forcing them to be someone they're not? We'll use several tools and methods to develop characters instinctively including:
How to use GMC (goals, motivation and conflict) to create active characters
Discovering and using our character’s backstory
How do you make characters empathetic and likable?
What is a great (real life) personality test to use for character development?
How do you use archetypes?
What is a fatal flaw?
Characters and conflict
Characters and deep POV
What makes a hero sexy and a heroine strong?
Describing and naming characters
This is an interactive online workshop with exercises and critique/ feedback from the instructor. It is a private workshop held in a yahoo group. The lessons will come to your email inbox on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
To learn more or register please visit the Instinctive Characterization page on my website.
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 Secrets Volume 30. Though she has a degree in psychology, writing romance is her first love. Please visit her website to learn more about her books or see what past students have said about her workshops. Website: http://www.nicolenorth.com
I’m pretty much an open book. So anything that I share here may have been read somewhere else or, heck, even here. LOL.
Let’s see… let’s start with the personal life.
My husband and I separated a little over a year ago. During that year, my sister separated from her husband. She and her son moved in with me in my tiny 900 square foot apartment. That was a crazy, crazy few months, but we helped each other out, and I’m so glad she was there. If she hadn’t been, I don’t know what I would have done that month I was bedridden and could do nothing more than hobble to the bathroom. God, that month sucked.
A few months after my sister moved in, my best friend also separated from her husband. So the three of us were struggling to figure out how to make ends meet, I was recovering from surgery, my sister was looking for a job after being laid off, and my best friend had this huge house she wouldn’t be able to pay the mortgage on alone. There was only one possible solution to all of our problems.
We now share my best friend’s 3,600 square foot house. Between the three of us, we have six kids. We have a total Brady Bunch/Full House vibe going on in this place, lol. Luckily, there is only one night a week that all of us are here together. Can you believe that? We were very lucky our schedules with the kids and work schedules worked out the way it did.
Is this a permanent living situation? No. But for right now it is perfect for us. My kids have their own room and a huge yard to play in. However, I’m pretty sure they will miss the pool from the apartment this summer.
The non-Esmerelda job life.
During the day, I keep my nephew while my sister works. I was writing articles to make my monthly income before she went back to work. But to be honest, I hated every second of it. I’m a fiction writer, not an article writer. Their rules went against everything we are taught as fiction writers. AND it affected my real writing. By the time I’d written the articles I needed for the day, I was all written out and the thought of pulling out the WIP didn’t appeal to me. So I resented the “day job” even more. Then sis landed an awesome job and needed someone to watch her son. Since he is autistic, a daycare center was out of the question because he has special school twice a week, therapy etc, that he had to go to. So I jumped at the opportunity. I’m glad I did. I love the time I spend with him. I’m his GeeGee.
Three nights a week I work at a glow-in-the-dark mini golf place. It gets me out of the house, which I need desperately at times, and it’s the easiest job ever. I long-hand write or, gasp, read (I used to never have time to read) during my shifts. It is uber-slow during the week. Saturday’s is a completely different story. We are slammed, you don’t get to sit down for more than 5 minutes the entire shift. Still easy, except for the occasional obnoxious teenager that strolls in. And boy can some of those kids be real snot-noses.
I’m addicted to Jersey Shore. I know. I know. But I can’t help it. Jersey Shore is my train wreck that I can’t help but rubberneck at. The show is like a soap opera. I’m all up in Snooki’s business. I’m all about Snooki and Vinnie getting together. I love watching the Ron and Sammy chaos. JWow kicks ass. And The Situation cracks me up. The only ones I’m not huge on are Deena and PaulyD. I look forward each week to some mindless entertainment.
So that is three things about the non-writer me:)
One of the first erotic novels I ever read was Entertaining Mr. Stone by Portia Da Costa. I loved it! It was so fresh and different from what I had been reading – and hot?? OMG! I have to admit that the first fan letter I ever wrote to an author was to Portia after I finished that book. I’m so pleased to now be able to call her a friend of mine and to invite her to talk with us at Fierce Romance.
Portia, please tell us a little about yourself.
Hi! Very nice to be here at Fierce Romance. I'm Portia Da Costa and I've been writing romance, erotic romance and erotica for around 25 years now, 20 of those years as a published author. I've had about 30 books and novellas published for a variety of publishers and under quite a few different pseudonyms, as well as over a hundred short stories in magazines and anthologies. I'm best known, I think, for the books I wrote for Virgin Black Lace, but I'm now loving being an author for Samhain Publishing, Spice Briefs, and in 2012, Harlequin Spice. I've mainly written contemporary set stories, but I've also written a few with paranormal themes, and now I'm writing historicals too.
When I'm not writing, I love to watch television - lots of television! - and naturally, I'm a voracious reader too. I live in West Yorkshire, in the UK, with my long-suffering husband and my adored and adorable cats.
Speaking of television, I know you and I are both huge Simon Baker fans! I’m excited that we now write for the same publisher. Tell us about your latest book.
FAR FROM PERFECT is my first title for Samhain Publishing and I'm absolutely thrilled to be published by them. It's a lightish and fairly sensual contemporary romance, that's category length, and "category" in tone and storyline. I've been working on FAR FROM PERFECT on and off for quite a few years actually, but the moment's never been right to publish it, because I've always been so busy with my more erotic writing, and my commitments to various publishers. I never felt I had the time to do the book real justice. But recently, it *did* feel like the right time to complete it and hone it and polish it to the best of my ability, and the work paid off when I submitted it to Samhain and they accepted it.
FAR FROM PERFECT is a blend of several of my most loved romance themes. The hero and heroine have known each other since Anna, the heroine's, childhood, so that makes it a kind of "friends to lovers" story. The twists of the plot means that they've shared passion once already, but even though the experience was blissful, the aftermath was an emotional disaster, and the two have been estranged for several years as the book opens. However, Nick, the glamorous Italian hero, has a scheme that involves them getting together again, in an "engagement of convenience". He's the first to admit that his motivations are complex, and even though on the face of it the engagement is a ruse to lift the spirits of his seriously ill father, underneath, Nick realizes he's only been waiting for an excuse to court and be close to Anna again. Anna, for her part, is both wary and initially reluctant, but she quickly follows her sense of duty and doing the right thing. Plus, there's no way she can deny that she's still fierily attracted to Nick. These two are both incredibly strong willed and passionate characters, so their passage through the story is chock full of emotional fireworks, wild desire and furious conflict. But of course they do get happily together in the end after this crazy, bumpy ride.
I loved FAR FROM PEREFCT. Great sexual tension and characterization. But then I’m not surprised at all. What would your readers be surprised to know about you?
I'm not sure, really. Perhaps some readers might not realize how long I've been an author, and also, only the other day, I encountered someone who was surprised to learn that I'm British. Some readers might also be surprised by the fact that even though I'm best known for writing erotica, I have had a couple of sweeter romances published under the pseudonym MEGAN PAUL - NO SWEETER CONFLICT and FORBIDDEN.
See, now I never knew about your Megan Paul persona. Do you have any rituals you follow when writing?
No particular rituals, but I do like to get some of the day's "admin" type chores out of the way before I settle down to writing fiction, as well as do a little bit of exercise to stop me turning into a potato. Although those might just be classed as a form of procrastination. :)
I should do more of that exercise procrastination! Most people think a writer’s life is really glamorous. What’s the least glamorous thing you’ve done in the past week?
Oh, emptying the kitty litter tray, most certainly. Ewwww!
The things we’ll do for our kitties! If you could be one of your characters for a day, who would it be & why?
That's a very tough one. I'm a very different person to my characters as a rule, although I do share their values and general outlook on life. Most of them are considerably younger than me, so I doubt if I'd have the energy these days to get up to all the high jinks some of them enjoy. Having said that, it might be fun to be Anna from FAR FROM PERFECT. Despite the emotional baggage she carries with her from her run in with Nick in the past, she's a sensible and optimistic young woman who throws herself full throttle into life. She has a loving father, friends and relations. She runs a business of her own that she's making a success of through hard work, and she lives in London, a city that I love. And then, of course, as domineering and difficult as he is, the most gorgeous and sexy man she's ever met walks back into her life. Yes, I wouldn't mind being Anna for day. Or perhaps a night? ;)
If you had to choose one of your books to turn into a movie, what would it be and why?
LOL! Most of my books would be a bit difficult to make into mainstream movies because a lot of them have a high percentage of wild, kinky sex in them. They'd probably have to be art house, with a limited release. I think FAR FROM PERFECT might make a fun "chick flick" though, possibly even a "rom-com" to a certain extent, because I've tried to instill a degree of wry humour into it that the right director could probably bring out. Plus, it has wonderful London as it's setting, as well as a brief trip to Italy, complete with a stay at a gorgeous villa.
My forthcoming Spice novel, IN THE FLESH, would make a good movie too, with it's lush Victorian setting and scope for amazing period costumes. It's also got a fairly filmic storyline, with elements in common with "Indecent Proposal" and even a tiny bit of "Wuthering Heights" and perhaps a hint of "Upstairs Downstairs". I think with some careful handling of the sex scenes, it would make a grand but quite fun emotion driven costume drama along the lines of "An Ideal Husband" or "The Importance of Being Earnest".
I’d love to watch those movies! What do you think is the most difficult thing about being an author?
I think there are lots of fairly difficult things about being an author, but, *because* they are difficult, that's exactly what makes the job so very rewarding. Ultimately, there's a real sense of achievement in completing a piece of work, and a genuine elation when you receive feedback from readers and discover that your creation has provided them with enjoyment.
Being an author is sometimes tough because it involves long hours, and you never really turn off. Plots and characters play through your mind most of the time, and knotty problems absorb your thoughts and sometimes cut you off from reality and the simple pleasure of relaxation. There's also, often, a sense of frustration with your own limitations. We all strive and strive to improve our work, and when we get to one level, there's always a new, higher level of accomplishment to struggle towards. But, having said that, there's huge joy in writing and I don't think I'd ever want to do anything else!
I so agree! What element of story creation is your favorite? (Characters, settings, plots, etc.?) And why?
Oh, characters, characters, characters. I just love creating and getting to know my story people. I love that special moment when they seem to become real and take on a mind and a life all of their own. It's especially fantastic when they surprise you with ideas and character traits that are completely outside of what you'd originally envisaged for them. That just feels like magic.
I can’t wait for more Portia Da Costa stories! What’s next for you?
My next publication is another from Samhain Publishing, a light paranormal erotic novella called A TOUCH OF HEAVEN, that's due for release in July. It's the story of Miranda, a middle aged woman, living alone, who becomes involved with the beautiful and mysterious younger man who moves in next door to house-sit. Gorgeous Patrick has a fondness for sunbathing naked, and his angelic touch with therapeutic massage is so delicious that one thing inevitably leads to another.
I've also got another Spice Brief coming out a bit later in the year, in September. This one's called ANOTHER CHANCE, and it's a naughty but quite poignant BDSM story that's loosely linked to my first ever Spice Brief, CHANCE OF A LIFETIME.
I also have short stories in a few anthologies this year, including FIRE AND ICE in The Mammoth Book of Hot Romance, and CONCUBINE in Obsessed.
I'm looking forward to these! Where can our readers find out more about you?
My web site - http://www.portiadacosta.com - has information about all my current and forthcoming titles, plus a wide selection of my backlist. There are excerpts available there for almost all the books listed, so lots of opportunity to sample my writing. I also have a blog - http://wendyportia.blogspot.com - although I'd be the first to admit that I'm not a regular blogger. There are some "pages" there that might be interesting though, including a list of all my Kindle titles, a list of my forthcoming titles and projects, and a page all about my lovely cats! I also hang out on Twitter a lot and my username is @PortiaDaCosta. I tend to tweet about life, the universe and everything there, with a bit of publication news every now and again. I'm also on Facebook and Goodreads, although I'm not particularly active on the former. Twitter is your best bet for keeping up with what's happening with me.
I admit to hanging out on Twitter with you quite often. While you’re here at Fierce Romance, is there a question you’d like to ask our readers?
Yes, I wonder what the general feeling amongst readers is about authors who switch to writing in different genres, or write in multiple genres? This is inspired by my own situation, of course. Even though I've written romance under another nom de plum, when writing as Portia Da Costa, I'm best known for my women's erotica and erotic romance - first for Black Lace, and now for Spice Briefs. But FAR FROM PERFECT *isn't* erotica. It's very sensual, but it's not graphic and there's none of the full on eroticism or kink that's part of my best known work. What I'd like to ask is whether readers who've enjoyed my erotic writing would be prepared to try something with a slightly lower heat level from me, because they like my voice and my writing style? I'd also extend the question to cover writers in general, not just me. For myself, I've no intention of giving up writing erotic/kinky stories/novellas/books, but I would like to write in a wider range of heats and styles, and I hope that my readers will enjoy *all* my writing not just the super hot stuff. :)
Many, many thanks for inviting me to visit Fierce Romance. Answering the questions has been a lot of fun!
Historians believe that Eilean Donan (Island of Donan) where the castle sits at the meeting point of Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh is named after a saint, Bishop Donan, who traveled from Ireland to Scotland around 580 and may have had a settlement here.
The first castle was built on the tiny island in the 1200s because it’s in a great defensive spot at the convergence of the lochs where galleys or boats would’ve traveled. During medieval times the castle was probably much larger than it is now. After that, it was reduced in size. Not much is known about the history of the original castle. It is clear that Eilean Donan was used during the Jacobite rebellions of the 1600-1700s. In 1719, a garrison of Spanish soldiers—Jacobite supporters—were protecting 343 barrels of gunpowder in the castle and waiting for cannons and ammunition from Spain. When the English (British) Government heard about this, they sent three armed frigates to stop them. The ships bombarded Eilean Donan castle with canon fire for three days but because the walls were so thick, around 14 feet, they were having a difficult time penetrating them and destroying the castle. Finally, government forces invaded the castle and captured or killed the Spanish soldiers. Once the government troops found the many barrels of gunpowder hidden inside, they lit it and blew up the castle. The sad ruins were all that remained for two hundred years.
In 1911, Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap bought the island and dedicated twenty years of his life to rebuilding Eilean Donan and returning it to what he believed was its original state, based on the remaining footprint of the castle, minus the 14 feet thick curtain walls apparently. He also added the beautiful bridge for access. So, thank you, Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap for reconstructing an incredible Scottish icon for all the world to enjoy.
Today is the release day for Laird of Darkness! And I just received a new review from Tanya at Among The Muses! Thanks so much, Tanya, for the awesome review and for allowing me to quote you here!
"The Laird of Darkness is a creatively fun, heart-warming, pulse racing, crafted story of a sexy, misunderstood highland hero and one heroine who is more than what she seems.
Lady Alana Forbes is on her way to meet her betrothed when she is surprised by a devilishly handsome stranger; dark, mysterious, and oh-so-naked. After learning who she is and where she's headed, Laird Duncan MacDougall can't pass up the opportunity to use the light-haired beauty to his advantage. He decides to take Alana and her traveling party hostage to use as a bargaining chip.
Half-Fae Duncan, has been seeking a way to gain the magical bow and arrows from his half-brother Laird Kinnon MacClaren, who's also half-Fae. For the magical arrows are the only thing that can save Duncan from a lifetime of perilous dreams of Underworld creatures who's nighttime attacks are more real than fiction. However, there's something much more tempting standing in his path of the perfect revenge and attaining his goal of freedom from the otherworldly creatures.
Lady Alana Forbes is beyond tempting to Duncan, and despite his reputation as the Laird of Darkness, Duncan is more compassionate than what he's been made out to be. Not to mention, he's quite enticing to Alana as well.
The non-virgin heroine tries just as hard as the Laird of Darkness to not give into temptation, but passion is what they both seek -- and almost need. The pleasure they find in one another causes them both to question their duty and original goals and plans.
Nicole North brings a great, fast paced, uniquely crafted, highly sensual story in a matter of just over one-hundred pages. She's brought a uniqueness to the Highlander table in the creation of the Laird of Darkness. Half-Fae brothers who are lifelong enemies, each possessing different supernatural powers, is only one aspect of Ms. North weaving paranormal elements into an erotic historical highland story. Lady Alana Forbes is also more than what she seems.
While it's often hard to get a true sense of the characters in short novellas, Ms. North is able to move them pretty fast, I personally feel, from the fact that Lady Alana is not a virgin. She's the one that initiates the sexual interaction between her and Duncan (which is a great turn of events from most highland/historical stories). She's bold in her actions and her sensuality causing the 'action' to move forward quickly. And, the well developed sexual tension and erotic scenes are what really bring this couple together.
My "wish list" items for this novella are first off, I would have loved for it to have been longer; the world and the relationships a little more explored!! While the relationship between Alana and Duncan is wrapped up, it contained so many unique supernatural elements that I would loved to have known more about them, the clans people and their knowledge of the two supernatural Lairds, and the back story of the two Lairds mother and the dynamic family structure. Next, I would have loved to know more about Alana and her uniqueness! She also possesses something (I'm excluding what due to not giving away spoilers) that I want to know more about. I would have also loved to see the outcome between the two Lairds after the climax of the story.
What readers can expect to find between the covers is a handsome, dark, misunderstood, vulnerable hero who finds passion and a sense of peace in the arms of his light-haired heroine, uniquely crafted Lairds who possess diverse powers and a deep hatred for one another, and of course, highly sensual characters who heat up the pages in some very erotic scenes!
Nicole North has created a well written, fast paced, erotic, heart warming, pulse-racing, creatively fun, novella addition for the Highlander sub-genre. Her love and knowledge of Scotland comes through in details, and her fun spin on characters makes Laird of Darkness a very quick, engaging read. I would really love to see this world and characters revisited to find out more to my left over questions!" ~Tanya at Among the Muses.
Thanks again, Tanya! And I want to add here that I'm working on the next story in this series which features Kinnon, the half-brother of Duncan, so we'll get to see whether the brothers will continue to hate each other, or whether they can come to some sort of truce.
Tanya was also wonderful to interview me! Please visit Among the Muses on March 22 for this feature.
I write paranormal romance--with mystery, intrigue, adventure, conflict and humor. But what if I wrote about the mundane--
Weeding the garden.
Scrubbing the toilets.
Mopping the floors.
Oh, the drudgery. And who wants to read about it?
But put a fun spin on it and it can still be a part of a story. Can you remember instances when I did this in a story?
In one book, the wolves did the laundry--or at least planned to--remember which story?
Here is a hint:
"As soon as he pulled into the garage and shut the door, they both shed the rest of their wet clothes. Then together, they gathered them up and dumped them in her dryer where she put the load on high heat for an hour."
Now, this would be boring if I stopped there...but I didn't...doing laundry would never be the same...
In most books, I have them cooking meals. Which can be the usual old thing--but I try to make them fun and important in a wolfish way. Can you think of instances that still stick in your mind?
I even have vacuuming, or at least the mention of it, in an upcoming book.
Did any of you watch She-Devil? Where Meryl Streep stole another woman's husband? She was a romance writer and doing well with her best selling books until she began to write about love in the laundry room, but not as in sex in the laundry room...just the love of home-making.
And her agent was ready to fire her.
Even so, we can take the mundane, which everyone can relate to, and make it something different, special, and fun as it relates to our stories.
Or we can add a pet to the equation--I had cats and dogs...and they did make doing the chores more of a fun challenge. Though these are not my cats--they represent just what my cats would do--curl up on my freshly washed laundry, or even before it was washed. Tackle the mop as I tried to sweep it across the floor. Dig up my newly planted flowers or bulbs and roll in them.
This one looks just like the cat I took home as a kitten who had been rescued from near a dumpster in NJ.
My dogs and one cat would lie in the grass and watch me on my riding mower, not bothered by the noise, but wanting to get close enough to me while I mowed. :)
Hmm, so maybe doing the chores isn't always so mundane after all. Throw in a wolf, and it's definitely not the usual kind of thing!
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."
Okay, I admit it—I love a strong, take-charge guy as much as the next girl. Especially when he’s fictional. Alpha males, fictional or not, fulfill that evolutionary desire for a mate that will protect and provide. You know, that desire modern women aren’t supposed to admit to having. Shhh…it’s our little secret and one reason that type of man is so popular in romance novels.
I mean, when they aren’t our men, they’re sexy as hell. They swoop in to rescue the girl. They’re crazy good in bed. More often than not, they’re rich (or at least have a decent job). They probably even want kids (you know to keep those amazing genes of theirs going into the next generation). Who cares if they’re gruff, sometimes violent without cause, and likely to have periods where they try to brush off the heroine because it wouldn’t be manly to want her as much as she wants him.
Now, like I said, this isn’t really a dissing of alpha heroes because I do love them. I use them in some of my work. However, not every world needs an alpha hero, and certainly not every heroine wants one.
A recent review of Badlands commented on the fact that Spencer isn’t an alpha hero and that the reviewer found it refreshing. I mean, poor Spencer starts out in debt and struggling to just get by. But he’s a good guy and a great leader…just not a physical one. He’s the type who doesn’t go looking for a fight, but he knows how to use weapons if he’s forced to.
In short, he’s the only kind of man who could win the heart of an alpha heroine. Badlands is a lot about role reversal. Ever is a warrior woman with no time or tolerance for love. Sex sure, but love? Uh uh. She comes from a land ruled by women where a good portion of the men are criminals (or rehabilitated criminals). She’d rather fight than talk, and doesn’t put a lot of stock in girly things.
Put an alpha male with her and sure, sparks might fly, but they aren’t going to start a fire. It’d be like banging two rocks together with nothing to hold the flame. So, for that story in that world…an alpha hero would have been all fighting and sex with no room for romance.
That isn’t to say there will never be alpha heroes for any of the women in the Badlands, just not for Ever. And to me, that’s a better reflection of reality. Strong women and strong men are well suited for each other, but they don’t need to be strong in the same ways. Considering the next heroine in line uses her brain more than her brawn, she’s in for one hell of a time when she meets her man.
I’m curious, what do you think? Is the alpha hero the only way to go? Is he becoming a genre cliché? Or is there room in romance for all kinds of heroes?
Seleste deLaney is a writer of speculative romance. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.
What better day to talk about luck than St. Patrick's Day?
Today's post will be short and sweet because all I'm going to do is list the things that make me feel lucky. Here we go:
1. I have my health.
2. My husband still says he loves me every day and still holds my hand without prompting.
3. I can write, and not just books and such. I can communicate with friends and family and others in general with the written word.
4. I can read. Not everyone can, and it's a blessing as well as a key tool to living day-to-day.
5. I live in a time when, even though some feel technology has gotten out of hand, it has become possible to stay connected with loved ones in a way never before possible.
What about you? What makes you feel lucky on this wonderful traditional day? Please do share in the comments section. Until then, Happy St. Patrick's Day! May the luck o' the Irish be with ye.
Review for Laird of Darkness by Nicole North
Steamy Highland Romp!
"I LOVE Scottish heroes. And making this one half-Fae and having him look like the guy on the cover may have made me a little biased, but this was a really fun one for me. Of course our hero, Duncan, is dead sexy. But Alana, our heroine, is compelling as well. She's no wilting little miss. She wants a man who can fulfill her needs (yep, those kind of needs) and isn't afraid to fight for him. Without giving too much away, she was a breath of fresh air and a welcome departure from many of the more typical historical heroines I've read in the past. Plus, you've got action (the good kind and the really good kind), paranormal elements and a bit of a love triangle. I breezed through it in a single sitting and was thoroughly entertained. I look forward to more from Nicole North!" ~Christine Bell author of The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale
"When I first saw Laird of Darkness for review in Carina Press, I couldn’t help but think of my childhood hero, Highlander. The picture on the book definitely reminds me of that.
But this story is not about Highlander, but it’s some sort of an adult fairy tales, involving fight and betrayal between brothers, forbidden love as well as fiery passion.
If you’re a fantasy book lover, you would not want to miss Laird of Darkness. It does not dissapoint me and I’m sure it won’t disappoint you either.
It’s very well written and very inspiring. The passion in this story is almost devastatingly real." ~ Cleffairy
Devlin’s Destiny is a story about a woman who is transported into her favorite romance novel and takes the place of the story’s heroine. So it only felt natural for me to name MY novella off the fictional book in the story.
BTW--got my first review from Sizzling Hot Books Reviews. I’m verra (as Devlin would say) pleased. Here are a couple of snippets:
Are parallel worlds/universes possible? If so, who’s to say if ours it the true one? Or is the fiction world true as well? When Gabby gets pulled into her favorite book, Devlin’s Destiny , she doesn’t know what to think. Except that she isn’t going to be the quiet, weak heroine that was originally written!
Devlin’s Destiny is a cool concept! Who among us doesn’t what to change something or someone in books we read from time to time?
Devlin’s Destiny may be short, but is very good and well done. I loved that Gabby’s mental image of Devlin and how he really looked were not the same. None of us ‘see’ things the same in our heads or describe the same picture the same way, and I thought this was a great technique for Gabby to realize that she was not dreaming.
Devlin’s Destiny is a fast read of a clever idea. Most of us have wanted to change part of a book/story at one time or another. But the idea may not be as easy as it first sounds. Being trapped in a story where the other characters have to act out their set roles until you change the script would challenge anyone. Esmerelda Bishop not only made this idea work, she even got me involved/concerned in Gabby’s struggle. And Devlin’s Destiny ends up being well worth our time as well as entertaining.
You can read the entire review here:
You can purchase Devlin's Destiny at:
Barnes and Noble
All Romance Ebooks
I’d also like to giveaway a copy of Devlin’s Destiny. All you have to do it leave a comment and I’ll draw a winner.
Drawn to the handsome doctor who promises her heal her sexually and physically.
Can he purge the poison from her body and her soul?
Here is an excerpt from my historical erotica romance, TORMENTED.
Click on this link for more information
At her nod he slipped another spoonful between her lips, and some of the custard dripped down her chin. His warm finger swiped it away. Charles’ soft sucking filled her ears before the silence between them resumed.
He’d licked his finger clean. The fire spread higher and claimed her breasts.
Her next swallow freed a giggle.
Charles patted her hands. “Still more?”
Wishing you 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
So without further adieu, if you need some more bite to your life--this one starting in the Highlands--here 'tis!!!
FORBIDDEN LOVE is now available!
This isn't the same clan as in DEADLY LIAISONS. In that one, they live in Oregon. In FORBIDDEN LOVE, they live in Maryland where I used to live. It's a story of reincarnation, beginning in the Highlands, of a love so strong, the hero and heroine might be star crossed lovers forever because of a curse placed on the heroine by her kin. Will anything ever break the curse?
B & N
Also coming to Amazon soon!
Forbidden LoveEbook By Terry Spear
$2.9Published: Mar. 10, 2011
Category: Fiction » Literature » Fantasy (paranormal)
Words: 88151 (approximate)
Huntress Alena MacLeod is given a mission: work undercover to discover a rogue vampire’s secretive work, then terminate him.
Ephraim MacNeill, aka Sutton Bastrop, knows Alena is his Elizabeth MacLeod from an earlier time, and he’s determined to return to the past and right all the wrongs to end the curse placed on the love of his life before it’s too late—again.
Together, they must risk all to stop a war between a newly formed Brotherhood of rogue vampires, tired of the status quo, and the League of Hunters, who have ruled for centuries over the vampires—both changed during the Black Death—some of the survivors becoming vampires, and others hunters of the same.
And also available now on B & N :
Like with my wolf series, I wanted to show a world where some demons were the good guys, fighting evil to ensure the human population would survive. Instead of focusing on adults, though, I wrote about teens and their struggle to make a difference in their world. But Alana Fainot isn't just a lesser half demon pitted against the stronger demons slipping into the world. She's also a witch, if she can just learn some spells in time to help her newly found demon friends. But it has adult themes.
The Trouble with DemonsEbook By Terry Spear
$2.99 Published: Mar. 10, 2011
Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
Words: 65352 (approximate)
Witches and warlocks hide their true identities from the rest of the human population, while three teens with demon heritage living with human families, become unlikely companions in a race against time to deal with a demon threat to humankind in their own quirky way.
Alana Fainot, a witch and half Kubiteron demon, witnesses a Matusa murder his summoner, and she knows he’ll target her next. Raised by her mother, she has no idea who her demon father is. But when she’s pulled to a demon portal, she meets Hunter Ross, half Matusa, half human, who returns demons to their world, but who’s been poisoned by a Matusa and is more dead than alive. His human mother gave him up for adoption, and he doesn’t know who either of his birth parents are. His friend Jared Kensington, full blooded Elantus demon, less powerful than the Kubiteron, is a whiz at electronics and helps Hunter track demons in the city, but was abandoned by his parents on Earth world for reasons unknown. He’s determined to find help to save Hunter. Alana knows aiding any Matusa is a mistake, but when she learns Hunter is half human, she makes a deal—he protects her against the Matusa who will come for her, and she helps find his dad in the demon world to save Hunter’s life.... (Read more) Alana Fainot, a witch and half Kubiteron demon, witnesses a Matusa murder his summoner, and she knows he’ll target her next. Raised by her mother, she has no idea who her demon father is. But when she’s pulled to a demon portal, she meets Hunter Ross, half Matusa, half human, who returns demons to their world, but who’s been poisoned by a Matusa and is more dead than alive. His human mother gave him up for adoption, and he doesn’t know who either of his birth parents are. His friend Jared Kensington, full blooded Elantus demon, less powerful than the Kubiteron, is a whiz at electronics and helps Hunter track demons in the city, but was abandoned by his parents on Earth world for reasons unknown. He’s determined to find help to save Hunter. Alana knows aiding any Matusa is a mistake, but when she learns Hunter is half human, she makes a deal—he protects her against the Matusa who will come for her, and she helps find his dad in the demon world to save Hunter’s life.
Often at odds, the three teens work together to stop the plans of a group of Matusa to take over the human race before it’s too late.
Do you ever feel you're fighting demons all week long?
Have any fun plans for the weekend?
Mine is already overbooked! :)
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."
Marcus had been dying to do this for so long, to hold her in his arms and kiss the hell out of her. Kiss her with his lips, his tongue, God, with his entire body. And he couldn’t believe she was letting him, let alone keeping pace and kissing him back with a passion that simply screamed Lia.
He recognized the hunger along her curious tongue, nearly growled at the subtle roll of her hips beneath his hands. Was she ready now? Ready for him, ready for the truth? Would she let him have her, like he should’ve had her years ago—if only he hadn’t gone and f**ked everything up?
Sigh. Poor, troubled Marcus... :)
Have a great weekend, everyone!