Reviewed by Diana Troldahl
"Terry Spear has penned a paranormal romance with all the elements needed for a decent escapist read: a misty yet modern Highland castle complete with secret tunnels and a ghost, an ancient enemy, plenty of hunky men in kilts fighting with broadswords (if only during the filming of the battle scenes), and a solid love story. HEART OF THE HIGHLAND WOLF is book seven in her Werewolf Series."
To Tempt the Wolf
By Terry Spear
"This novel was LOADED with tons of action and eye brow waggling scenes! The storyline was amazing and truly filled to the brim with action and alpha males galore. *sigh* What a great read!" Dee of Shameless Romance Reviews!
Nice morning wake up!! Okay, I'm working on The Highlander's Nymph of the Woods, and Heart of the Jaguar, and got the newsletter off, need to do 2 more blogs, pull weeds, get a cup of mandarin orange green tea, and read more on the 2 books I'm reading for the contests, and watch the National Geographic Jaguar video...and...
Hmm,...finish this blog so I can get to all the rest!!!
What about you? Have any plans for today? We're supposed to have bad storms tomorrow....so I've got to get everything I need to do on the Internet done today!!!
Have a super Saturday, and enjoy the next segment of Allure of the Wolf if you're signed up for my newsletter!
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."
Our special guest today is Julia Knight. First, let me say Happy Birthday, Julia!!
Julia Knight lives in Sussex, UK, with her ever patient husband, two eccentric kids and the world’s daftest dog. When not writing, which isn’t often, she likes motorbikes (men in leather), watching the wrestling (men in not very much apart from muscles, sweat and baby oil) and exploring new ways to get a giggle out of life.
Welcome, Julia! Please tell us about your new release from Carina Press.
Ten Ruby Trick is a piratical fantasy centring on Van Gast, a racketeer who lives for thrills; his lover, the unpredictable Josie, and the mage-bonded slave set to catch them, Holden. Van Gast and Josie delight in pretending they loathe each other, using that to further their scams. Sadly, when Van Gast steals the wrong ship, Holden is ordered to use the racketeer’s “worst enemy” to help flush him out. Things go from bad to worse when Holden discovers that “enemy” is Josie, his own former lover…
Sounds fun and fascinating! What inspired this story?
Lawks, all sorts of things. I was a bit obsessed with pirates at the time—my pirate period!—having just finished an historical erotic novella about them, inspired by a trip to Portsmouth Naval Museum. Then these two scallywags turned up in my head, Van Gast and Josie. She was trying to scam someone by pretending she hated Van Gast, so I wanted to know who they were scamming and why, and it all sort of spiralled from there, especially once I had a certain song in my head—The Unforgiven III by Metallica. Yes, I know it sounds a bit odd, but once I have a song for a book, it really takes off, and that one suits both Van Gast and Holden, and the theme of the book, so well.
I know what you mean. Having a song that fits the story is so inspiring and truly helps me write it. Please tell us about an interesting or unusual quirk one of your characters has.
Well they all have their quirks! Van Gast will always pick the stupid-but-exciting over the sensible-but-dull (and I’m sure we all wish we could do that more often). Josie is capricious and unpredictable, just a blast to write about, and probably my favourite. But the most unusual quirk is probably Holden’s. He’s mage-bound, that is he’s under the control of a mage who directs even his thoughts. He struggles through the whole book between doing what he’s supposed to, and what he wants to, and the best way to keep his mind in order is to look for patterns in everything. He finds order soothing.
Those are great quirks. How do you choose names for your characters?
It depends. Josie and Holden just sort of came with names attached. Van Gast, well I couldn’t think of a good name. Luckily my husband is used to questions such as ‘I need a pirate name. Now!’. Then it stuck, although a friend of mine, after seeing the cover, insists on calling him Van Gasp.
LOL! I agree. Awesome cover! Did you choose the intriguing title of your book and if so how did you do it?
I did, in fact it was almost the first thing I knew about the book, which is unusual for me. It’s the name of a con that Van Gast and Josie used to run, and that now resurfaces in a more menacing manner.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
I can’t say I have one—there are so many places to love! However, I suspect you can spot my love for Marrakech in one of the cities in this book. I have a soft spot for the Norwegian fjords too.
What was the most important thing you learned (the thing that made all the difference) just before you made your first sale?
Just because it’s fantasy doesn’t mean it should be a doorstopper! My first book was, and I blush to admit this, 225 000 words long. More than twice your average book. Once I discovered that a debut book this length was such a hard sell, I trimmed it down to 110 000, and discovered that it became a much better book in the process. So I suppose what I learnt was to take out what wasn’t important to the story.
What’s next for you?
Well, I’m waiting on betas to finish ripping apart, er, critiquing a Viking historical romance and I’m just finishing up a rather dark fantasy noir—no romance, just for a change. After that, I’m going back to Van Gast’s world for a new con trick: Find the Lady.
These sound wonderful! Would you like to ask readers a question?
Staying with the piratical theme—who is your favourite fictional pirate?
Please visit Julia on the web...
Ten Ruby Trick is available at Carina Press and Amazon.
Thanks for being our guest today, Julia! I hope your birthday is wonderful!
Also, spring is when I can start really exercising and getting ready for summer and my bikini. Yeah, I know what you're thinking--Cameo in bikini? But, oh yes, I do wear one. Or two. Actually, I have about three that I alternate between. I even wear them to do water aerobics. Most of the other women wear one pieces, which would be fine, but these one pieces usually have turtle necks and sleeves. Me? I show up to work out in my bikini--how else am I going to get any sun on my tummy?--and my aerobics mates look at me like I'm insane. Maybe I am, but I just can't stand to be trussed up in a piece of spandex that, when I try to get it off after it gets wet, clings to my skin and wraps itself around my torso like a jealous boyfriend.
So spring inspires me to continue to work out, which is good because this is also the same month that the local ice cream shop opens up. I just had a banana split tonight, and it was fabulous! Talk about inspiration...oh my! Don't you just love it when restaurants that have been closed all winter start to open up and offer their delectable treats again? Is there any better way to shout, "Hey, summer's almost here!"?
I hope you're enjoying this wonderful time of year as well. Happy Reading!
A faerie with a hat made of human skin and dripped with human blood?
So the research on Redcaps commenced. It didn’t take me long after that to stumble across Robin Redcap and the tale of Hermitage Castle. To say I was fascinated would be putting it mildly. Who wouldn’t be drawn into an evil lord with his faithful familiar?
So the idea of Robin’s Cap started forming in this whacked out imagination of mine. A few weeks later, I had my first (and to this day, only) romantic horror about a couple on the rocks who go on a trip to Scotland in an attempt to save their relationship—or Graham is trying to save their relationship, Kat’s just trying to get through the week. LOL.
The story was accepted into the anthology and released in March 2008 with a group of other talented writers and their faerie tales.
Fast forward three years later, contract expires, rights revert and I’m left with a previously published story sitting on my hard drive. I can’t have that. So Robin’s Cap got a spanking new cover and I uploaded it onto Smashswords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Are. Here the cover:
It took me awhile to find the pictures I wanted to use. Any other authors out there spend hours looking through pictures for covers? It’s a time suck, I tell ya.
But here is the blurb:
Tales of ancient evil surround Hermitage Castle. What happens when legend becomes reality?
Graham Parish and Kat Davis are about to find out.
What started as an attempt to save a relationship turns into a frantic fight to save their lives. Can love be rekindled when faced with certain death?
And a quick excerpt:
Kat wrapped her arms around her body. Dear Lord, it’d really happened. Some psycho had them trapped. They were going to die. Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger was hiding in the shadowy corners somewhere, or worse, some Scottish version of Michael Myers with his horrible white mask and crazy synthetic hair.
Would that be the last thing she ever saw? A grotesque mask and the reflective surface of a knife as it plunged towards her?
Fear twisted her stomach. Her gaze ran over the uneven walls, looking for a possible hiding place for their soon-to-be killer. “Graham, what are we going to do?”
The shuffling of his feet answered her. She felt the heat of his body against her back before his strong arms embraced her. He pulled her to him. Turning, she rested her cheek on his chest, hugging him tightly in need of his comfort.
“I’m not sure,” he answered, “but we’ll find a way out. I promise.” His hold loosened as he stepped back. “Why don’t you sit down while I take a look around?”
She shook her head. Sit down? Was he crazy? “Uh-uh. You’re not getting away from me!”
His lips twitched at the corners, but his features remained serious. “I meant look around the room. I’m not letting you out of my sight, Kat.”
Her first instinct was to refuse his request, but her knees still quaked from her near-death experience. And there was the added horror of the threatening laughter. She shivered as she remembered the horrifying sound. Maybe a seat wouldn’t be a bad idea. One in a nice cozy corner where a masked murderer couldn’t come up behind her and slit her throat. It would give her an opportunity to gather her scattered emotions and prepare for escape.
Finding the perfect spot, she settled on the chilly floor, then pressed her back against the rough wall. The aged-worn corners of the stone chaffed her bare shoulders, but she was too exhausted to care. Leaning her head back, she closed her eyes.
A scurrying noise caught her ear, as if a rat frolicked on the landing above her. She snapped her head up, gaze drawn overhead. Every muscle in her body stiffened. She listened for the noise to repeat.
Moments passed. Nothing. Not even a rustle. With a sigh, she relaxed.
Don’t build things up in your head, Kat. All you’re doing is asking to leave this place with a head full of gray hair.
The thought hadn’t even left her mind when the scurrying issued again, only this time lower and louder.
Okay, a corner doesn’t feel too safe right now.
She jumped to her feet and whirled around, examining the wall. Directly above her, a face peered out of the shadows.
She screamed and stumbled backward. In her haste, her foot caught the seams of the stone floor. Her legs flew out from underneath her. Flailing her arms, she tried to catch her balance but failed. Her palms slapped against rock. Her backside contacted with the hard ground. A stabbing pain shot through her wrist. She hissed. Her ass felt as if her tailbone had been shoved to the top of her spine. Groaning, she rolled to her side.
Too dazed to respond, she opted to lie on the ground. In seconds, Graham was by her side. His arms slipped beneath her shoulder. He helped her sit up.
“Are you okay? What the hell happened?”
“Eyes...red, evil eyes.”
I'd like to give away a couple of copies. So leave a comment and I'll throw your name into the pot.
Thanks for letting me share!!
www.esmereldabishop.com (I apologize for the state of my website. I'm remodeling:)
You can find the short story at the following locations:
A: Phantoms & Photographs is a 20,000 word free read in my Gaslight Chronicles series for Carina Press. The world combines steampunk, fantasy, and of course, romance.
Q: Free read! Yay! Needless to say, I've already downloaded my copy. I loved your Steam & Sorcery so I can't wait to read this story, too. Why do you write romance?
A: Because I LIKE romance. It makes me smile, and for me, that’s the whole point of reading fiction. I like the ability to escape mundane reality for a while in the pages of a book. I do write a wide variety of subgenres, for the same reason. It makes me happy and keeps me from getting bored with my work.
Q: I can totally relate. How did your story’s setting impact your plot or characters?
A: Because steampunk is an alternate history, the women in my Gaslight books aren’t confined exclusively to the traditional feminine roles in Victorian society, though most of them still follow those ways. I’ve also opened university up to women in this world before they really were, so my heroines can be more educated and independent that was often true of women in the Victorian era. Adding magic also makes my heroes even tougher and stronger, as well as my heroines spunkier, in some cases.
Q: Why did you choose your setting and why was it perfect for your book?
A: Characters, easily. I love figuring out what makes them tick.
Q: Which element of this story was the hardest for you?
A: Keeping it to 20,000 words!
Q: LOL I can imagine! What is your writing process or method?
A: It varies horribly from book to book. I write often and quickly, but other than that, there’s no real method to my madness.
Q: Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?
A: Keep writing, keep submitting. One regret I have is not being aggressive enough in getting my stuff out there. I could have been doing this much, much sooner. And don’t let the rejections stop you. Just submit it “one more time,” and meanwhile, write another great book, and submit that one too.
Q: Great advice! What’s next for you?
A: I have an Ellora’s Cave novella coming out sometime soon called Midsummer Dreams, that’s the fourth of my Holiday Hearts series, and the third Urban Arcana book, Motor City Werewolf, from Carina Press releases in August. I just turned in a Christmas steampunk story, and am working on the outline for the fourth Urban Arcana book. Other than that? Who knows? Sometimes I surprise myself.
In honor of Steampunk week, there is a contest for a piece of steampunk jewelry, running all week at the Carina paranormal authors’ blog, Here be Magic. Thanks so much for inviting me today. Everyone have a great spring, and Happy Reading!
Wow, you are busy! Congratulations on all the new releases! Thanks for being our special guest today, Cindy!
Everyone, please visit Cindy's websites and be sure to download your FREE copy of Phantoms & Photographs at Carina Press. Or click here to read an excerpt.
Cindy's website: http://www.cindyspencerpape.com/
Newsletter group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cspapenewsgroup/
But there are elements of spring that I truly enjoy. The first night of the year when I don't have to turn on my electric mattress pad. The first day when I can open the windows and finally get some fresh air in the house. The daffodils which are now just starting to bloom under the front window. The buds forming on the tree branches. In a few more weeks the flowering trees in my back yard will be a beautiful mix of pink and white.
Spring signifies renewal. The earth coming back to life after the winter. That in itself is inspiring. But the walk I took with a friend around the neighborhood this weekend was truly inspiring.
For the first time this year, it was warm enough to walk without a jacket. People were out and about everywhere, walking and jogging (with dogs and without) or picking up the yard or working on their houses. It's a time to reconnect with neighbors after a long period of hibernation. Walking always seems to stimulate my brain as well as my body, the creative juices always flow a little stronger after a walk outdoors.
But none of those things was the real reason I was inspired this weekend when I walked in the spring sunshine with my friend. See, she just got some scary health news a couple days ago. And after crying with fear and ranting at fate, she called me and said, "Let's walk." We talked as we walked, about what she knows for sure and what she fears and what she hopes. We laughed a lot too. And we hugged each other tight.
Whatever the year has in store as spring coaxes the world back to life, bringing color back to the gray and dreary world around us, I hope I can be as strong as she is. See, it's scary for me too. I don't even know if I'll know the right things to say to her, the best things to do for her. All I can do is be there for her. She's mad now at this cancer that's invaded her body and ready to fight like hell.
It doesn't get more inspiring than that.
Last Monday was the annual running of the Boston Marathon. It was a cool, sunny day, perfect running weather. And the race goes straight through the center of my town. So we go most every year. My husband likes to see the top runners. I like to see the runners who dress up in wacky costumes. Though my favorite runners are the Navy runners I've seen in the past. Yum!
There are some unique facts about this marathon.
• Boston has the world’s oldest marathon, begun in 1897.
• Boston also holds the record for the all time highest number of participants in a marathon- 38,708 entrants in 1996.
• This week, a world record for running a marathon was set by Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya with a time of 2:03:02. Congratulations to him! Alas, though his time is a record, it won't be an acknowledged record because the Boston course is a "net downhill" which means, basically that it's too much downhill (ending, as the course does, virtually at sea level). Though I can see the fairness of this rule, it does mean that no world record can ever be set in Boston, which seems harsh. Hopefully, this won't discourage elite runners from entering this race.
It’s a state holiday in Mass., though not because of the Marathon. It’s Patriots’ Day, and not because of the football team either!
No, this holiday is unique because it commemorates the start of the American Revolution when the British marched from Boston to Concord and Lexington, and hostilities were opened on the Lexington Green. The famous ride of Paul Revere was taken at this time to warn the colonists of the approach of the British.
On a side note, consider the importance of names. Everyone knows the famous opening of Longfellow’s poem: “Listen my children and you will hear- Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere-”
William Dawes rode with Revere. But what rhymes with Dawes? So how many people know he was part of the duo? ♥
But can you imagine finding pictures of a jaguar eating Easter eggs?
So here's as close to it as I could get. :) Just squeeze your eyes tighter, click your heels twice and repeat after me, the stripes on this tiger are spots on a jaguar, and the rock he is inspecting is one huge Easter egg.
There. And if we concentrated hard enough...we'd have it!
The one already ate the whopping big Easter egg, didn't share with the other, and he's ticked off.
And that's my story and I'm sticking to it! But wait, everyone can see something different in a story. What do you see???
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."
Granted, there are things that can go wrong that are out of our control. Your kid forgot the homework project he'd been working on all week, and mom!! It's due today. Can you pleeeease bring it to me? Or your husband's at work and he's locked his keys in the car. Or your mom needs to be taken to the store. All those little things can wreak havoc in a writer's life.
But say the day is a normal one. Husband goes off to work with no issues, kids are now off to school (for the next few weeks anyway. Summer, well summertime in a writer's life can be pretty interesting...) and you start your day. What do you do?
Let me tell you about my day.
Times are never really set for me, so I'll leave the clock out of this. I'm a VERY lucky writer in terms that I get to do this full time. I don't have an EDJ (evil day job) to work around, and understand that my kids are older and very much self-sufficient. That being said:
Hubby strokes my hip to wake me and tell me he's leaving. That's somewhere a little before 7 every morning (that's the only time I'll throw in, because that's the only time that's set!). He kisses me good-bye, and depending on the night's sleep, I either roll over and check my iPhone for email and whatnot, or I roll over and go back to sleep. Being somewhat of an insomniac can be a real pain in the ass :)
After that, it's out of bed for me. First things first, of course. Coffee. Oh, and feeding the dog. Little guy hounds me like, well, a dog, if I don't feed him right away. Then it's me, sitting at my kitchen table, sipping my coffee and flipping through the Chicago Sun-Times while the pupper is outside doing his thing. That's typically the only news I get for the day, other than what pops up on my homescreen when I bring up the internet.
The day can go one of two ways after this. Either down into the basement with me on the treadmill (which I started up again this week after all the heart tests I had earlier this year. Don't worry, everything is fine :)), or upstairs in my new office to get the day started. Either way I go, I end up in my office.
I check my email, blogs, facebook, twitter, etc. Some may think it's strange that I do all that, sometimes I may even write a little (either on my WIP or like today, this blog) before I hop in the shower. But, it's become routine for me to do it that way. After the shower, I'm really ready to get my day started. Back into my office I go, and if my muse is kind and liking me that day, I write. And write. And write. If that's not the case, I research, promo, just something related to my writing.
Lunch is at my desk, which is usually another chance to check email, blogs, facebook and twitter again. Then, hopefully, it's right back into the current WIP. I can go like that until 5 or 6, depending on how things are flowing. Then it's time for the big decision of the day: What to have for dinner! Nighttime is spent with my family (as are most weekends), and away from the book I'm working on. After that, it's bedtime, only to get up and start all over again the next day.
So that's it. Exciting, isn't it? Actually, for me it is. To a lot of people, sitting in front of a computer typing away all day sounds like a boring life. But for me, it's like going into another world -- one where I get to have the say of what happens. My stories take me away and more than anything else, I love going along with that.
So, that's my work routine. I'd love to hear about yours, how it differs or how it's the same. I'm always up for some inspiration on how to make things flow better and I'm not opposed to implementing new ideas!
Have a great holiday weekend! Hoppy Easter, everyone!
I wanted to share my experience with you, especially over the last five days. You see, this is the first novel length I’ve ever edited. I have a whole new respect for authors that write larger works. I thought editing novella’s were a challenge. Boy, I’ve never been more mistaken. Don’t get me wrong, all edits are challenging, but when you are dealing with double the word count, one major revision causes a large ripple effect throughout the rest of the manuscript. That is a lot of pages to make sure now flow before you send it back to your editor. I had what I considered small change. That one small change actually connected to other paragraphs 50 pages from where it originated. It could be a phrase, passage of internals, a piece of dialogue or even one dang word. But it no longer fit. It was like an Easter egg hunt as I searched for every reference to what I just cut.
It was hard--very hard. I got to the point (I get to this point during edits every time, but it was way worse this time, lol) where every change I make is ruining the story and my editor is going to think I suck. There were points over the last few days I just wanted to rock in a corner and stare into space. I’d ruined my book, my baby, and time was running out for me to fix it.
This is where I wanted to give a huge shout-out to Christina and Tina for being there and keeping me from going over the edge. They jumped in and made me see that yes that the changes made sense and weren’t a pile of complete doo. No, I wasn’t ruining my story and I wasn’t rambling like a madman.
So I ask for all the writers out there to take a few minutes to raise a glass to critique partners. I have no idea where I’d be without mine. No, I do know—rocking in a corner.
Thanks Christina and Tina!!!
It comes out on April 25th, and I am so excited because I LOVE these characters.
And I do have some early reviews from Netgalley useres. My favorite is from Joyfully Reviewed.
Awesome! Congratulations! (By the way, I love your cover!) What inspired this story?
Gosh, I wish I knew, lol! It almost never really happens for me like that. It’s always the characters that come first. I’m usually just sitting around and a character comes to mind. The plots just sort of fill themselves in as I write. Secondary characters (Bacon, Gilly and Devlin-the Loony Duke of Leister) came to me first. Then Stormy’s voice rang in my head. She’s so funny and sharp and dry. Once I knew her, the story kind of flowed around her.
What is your writing process like?
I’m a total pantster, so my process is…well, I don’t have a process. I just have characters that start to sort of nag me, usually at inopportune moments, lol. Then I just start writing and it comes out. One time, my husband did say something to me that directly resulted in a book. It was an Ellora’s Cave release (by my erotic romance alter-ego Chloe Cole) called Naughty Godmother. Hubby and I were sitting around talking plots (because that’s what people who love writers have to do in their spare time, lol) and I told him I wanted to write about a fairy godmother who sort of helped nerdy guys get in touch with their cooler, sexy side etc. And he said “Ooh, cool. She can be a Naughty Godmother. Maybe she used to be in teeth.” And I was like “Wait, what?” and he said, “You know, she just got promoted. She used to be a Tooth Fairy and this is the next step up.” That’s all I needed. I got out my laptop and wrote it. It was a lot of fun. And I guess I’ll give him double the credit because the sequel, Tempting Trent is coming out on the 22nd.
Oh that sounds like fun! Congratulations on your other new releases! How do you choose names for your characters?
I love naming characters. It’s like my most favorite thing! I truly believe you can almost tell a story in a name. You can almost know a character just by reading a really well constructed name. I am a huge fan of Charles Dickens, and he is positively lethal at it. For instance, take Ebenezer Scrooge. What a great name, right? Without reading another word, you can almost visualize him. I am certainly no Dickens, but I try not to just slap a name on for the sake of it. I think of who my characters really are. So in this book, Stormy Gale is an adventurer, she’s unpredictable and sort of shakes things up wherever she goes. Her brother Bacon is lovable and simple and without guile. In Naughty Godmother I have a fairy named Holly Tucket. She’s clumsy and funny and cute at a button and it just fit.
I love the title of your book! Did you choose it and if so how did you do it?
I did! And I knew I wanted it to have Stormy’s name in the title. I had gotten as far as The ____ Tale of Stormy Gale, and during and impromptu brain storming session, my husband said “Twisted!” It was PERFECT, because there are a lot of nods to L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in this book, so I loved the play on the words twisted and twister (tornado). I was ecstatic that Carina Press loved it too.
Which element of story creation is your favorite?
Ooh, good question! I actually think plots are highly overrated. At the core of it, there isn’t a story that hasn’t been told a thousand times. A plot is secondary, maybe even tertiary (because I think voice is more important than plot too), when it comes to entertaining people. The story is in the characters.
Take the movie, The Matrix. A conceptually ambitious story about…err, I don’t know, whatever it was about. The fact is, I couldn’t care less. Why? Because Keanu Reeves was like a walking mannequin; totally lifeless and unappealing to me. I didn’t care whether they unplugged him or plugged him in, or whether he was The One, or Not The One or whether he saved humanity. They could have set him on fire and I would have been like, “Where’s the marshmallows?”
Then, take Ellie, the wife in the Pixar animated film Up. She’s in the movie for all of ten minutes and I wept when she found out she couldn’t have children and sobbed when she died. Because she was so full of life, so real, so nuanced and quirky. A CARTOON CHARACTER.
Don't get me wrong, you need a good hook. But it's your CHARACTERS that will keep them hooked. If your readers love them, they'll follow them anywhere. Or nowhere. I’ll meander along for seventeen books of Stephanie Plum doing the same stuff, book in and book out, because I love her. I love that she eats olives and peanut butter. I love that she blows up cars and eats more than one donut in a sitting. Do I remember what the plot of the last book was? Not really, because it was pretty much the same as the previous five. But do I care? Not really. Because when I’m reading, Stephanie Plum feels like an old friend and I’m just happy to enjoy the couple of hours we get to spend together. So, to my mind, it’s IMPERTATIVE that your audience can connect your characters. Because if not, who cares if they find the Wizard and get back to Kansas? Who cares if their ship sinks and there aren’t enough lifeboats? Not me.
I definitely agree with you on that. Can you share with us “the call” story?
My call story is actually kind of funny! Rather than recreate the wheel, I’ll just copy and paste my blog post from that day. Mainly because I think you can *hear* my excitement and lunacy just from reading it!
“They want to publish my steampunk romance novella, The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale! My whole body is shaking right now. They want it, Angela James just called me. From Carina Press. On the telephone. And she said it was her and I said “No it's not.” And she said yes it was. Then she laughed. Then I said, "Wait, you don't call with bad news do you?" and she said that no, she didn't. And then she told me that they want to publish my book. At which point I burst into tears. I wish I was kidding about that part, but I'm not. And then I babbled on and on about how I almost emailed her to get it back because of all the goofy dialogue tags and stupid adverbs and how I am taking her editing workshop. I came across very cool, suave, you know? Anyway, it's scheduled for release spring 2010. And I am STILL freaking out!!!”
LOL! I read that sometimes and laugh because I remember just how I felt at that moment. It was probably one of the top ten moments in my life.
Wow, that is wonderfully emotional! Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?
Probably nothing earth shattering that hasn’t been said, but these are a few of the things I think can’t be said enough:
Get a copy of On Writing by Stephen King
Find a crit group or at least two CP’s who are at the same level as you are as a writer.
Be willing to listen to constructive criticism.
Did I say don’t quit? DON’T QUIT!
Wonderful advice! What’s next for you?
Let’s see, well, I have Tempting Trent coming out on April 22nd with Ellora’s Cave. I also have an anthology project I am working on with three amazing authors that will come out in June on Amazon. And, as always, I’m writing my head off! I’m working on novellas for two of my e-publishers, and I’m also writing my first paranormal single title that I hope to pitch at RWA Nationals in July.
Would you like to ask readers a question?
Absolutely! Are you like me, where the characters make you come back for more? Or is it flowing prose, or maybe intricate world-building that sucks you in? What makes you all fall in love with a book?
This volume contains these 4 stories:
Alice Gaines: Cox Club - At the urging of her best friend, Andi Crawford visits an exclusive club in order to find some sexual satisfaction after her divorce. The last person she expects to find at a place like Club Cox is her overbearing ex-husband, Blake. But, he’s there and as tempting as ever. Can she maintain her independence, or will she surrender to the intense physical pleasure only he can give her?
Maree Anderson: Kat on a Hot Tin Roof - Workaholic architect, Jace Burton, inadvertently flashes Kat Meyer, who later turns up at a crucial meeting… and seduces him in the bathroom. She’s one of the designers vying to impress him. And boy, is he impressed when he discovers her prowling his house — naked. Kat has no clue what’s causing her nocturnal wanderings. And when Jace discovers she’s the victim of a zodiac curse, will he fight to keep her, or run for the hills?
Anne Kane: Kellen's Conquest - As an Alph-Elite warrior, Kellen is used to getting what he wants, and what he wants is the sexy data thief, Mia. Problem is she won’t admit she wants him or that someone is trying to kill her. It takes all of Kellen’s mutant strength and Mia’s streetwise smarts to keep her alive long enough to unravel a vicious plot for revenge.
Nicole North: Scoundrel in a Kilt - Brodie, Chieftain of Clan McCain, is a dark, sensual Scottish scoundrel, who likes nothing more than being a selkie shape-shifter, even if he has been cursed by a witch of the dark arts. Stunning, modern day supermodel, Erin Schultz, blazes into his 1621 world like a falling star. Though he’s certain she will shatter life as he knows it by breaking his curse, he can’t resist her tantalizing seduction.
Whether indoor or outdoors, I celebrate life and do my best to accept its harsh realities knowing full well I've happened upon ways to recharge my creativity and rejuvenate my body and mind.
While some of these favorite energy and mood boosters are tailor-made for spring, some of them are savored the whole year 'round:
1. Embracing the man I love while the sun shines down upon us.
2. A latte, espresso or mocha sipped while sitting at an outdoor cafe.
3. Visits to the local ice cream shop to indulge in a hot fudge brownie sundae. Many of my hometown's residents eagerly await the seasonal opening of this favorite spot.
4. Nature walks.
5. Weekend mountain retreats.
6. Fishing at the lake.
7. Reclining in my favorite patio lounger while reading a good book.
8. Attending Major League and local baseball games.
9. Taking long walks around the neighborhood.
10. Making sun tea, especially when it's flavored with fresh mint from my garden.
11. Grilling and chilling
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
It's fun! This morning, I was working on a cover for KILLING THE BLOODLUST, which should be up on B&N and Amazon and Smashwords by tomorrow.
It was one of the first books I wrote about vampires... and my Rebel Romance Writer critique group said it was my niche--what I needed to write. And so that was only the beginning. However, it was my werewolf stories that really took off, although DEADLY LIAISONS, one of my vampire romantic suspenses has done really well.
But before vampires were an every day commodity, I had written my first. And it was published by a now defunct Triskelion.
I've revised it a number of times, and now I'm happily making it available for sale, along with others like HUNTRESS FOR HIRE, the start of a series, and FORBIDDEN LOVE. One day, I'll finish the sequel to DEADLY LIAISONS--DANGEROUS LIAISONS.
So the vampire world is well and alive and thriving. :)
Why self publish? I have the freedom to make my own covers or have them made. The cover was awful the first time around. The moon showed through the woman's beak of a nose. I asked for the picture to be altered a little, and now that I know how to do a little in that respect, find it really easy.
It's like a cover I have for a current release for a publisher where I sell barely anything--it's an awful cover--and I asked for the title and my name to be larger so it could be read more easily--no. Then they put the wrong name up on Amazon...and changed it so it was another wrong name. So, control. I like having a little more control over my books when I can.
In Killing the Bloodlust, the publisher asked for a synopsis. Not a book cover blurb. The synopsis is supposed to give away the important stuff for a book. The book cover blurb is supposed to lend mystery. So they gave away the gist of the story and I desperately pleaded with them to remove the synopsis and I'd send them a book cover blurb. They didn't want to do it. Said it sounded fine like it was. They finally gave in.
So definitely it's nice to have a say in your work. You've spent months writing it after all!
And money! I made nothing on the first release. Distribution sucked...thought I'd throw in a nice vampire-like term there. But truly...it wasn't worth publishing for the amount of sales or the teeny weeny percentage authors received.
And--no waiting for months and months and months for a release date.
Sure, I LOVE my publishers that I'm published with, but publishing some of my shorter works or works that have been previously sold, or works that can't be sold because:
I need an agent.
Vampires are not selling. The market is now glutted. The market will die out soon. (Yes, I've heard this for years, and you know what? I've loved Dracula ever since I was a teen! Way, way, way before vampires could be the good guys in a dark sort of way.)
Historicals are not selling.
Fantasy is not selling.
Well, you get the picture. None of it is selling....but since I'm finding that's not true at all, I'm happily self publishing!!!
Have a super day! I'm off to work at the regular day job...and then? It's bear making and back to jaguars! The sexy shifter kind. :)
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."
Sounds fascinating! Do you have a review you could share with us?
“Pick up this book for an entertaining lighthearted look at several of the legends that abound in the mysterious land of Scotland mixed with a plucky heroine determined to solve her cases no matter what the risk. This is an enjoyable debut novel with enough interesting loose ends to make one hope for other chapters in Allegra Fairweather’s life.” 4 stars Night Owl Paranormal Reviews.
Wonderful review! Scottish legends always draw me in. Why do you write paranormal mysteries?
I’ve always enjoyed reading the mystery genre, but I seem unable to write any genre without a hint of the paranormal creeping in. I’ve given up fighting it and these days just allow the ghosts and witches and goblins to play.
What do you enjoy most about writing paranormal mysteries?
I love using my imagination to create things beyond the normal. I also love writing in Allegra’s kind of snarky voice, which allows me to say things I could never say in real life.
How did your story’s setting impact your plot or characters?
For the Allegra books, the setting always comes first. It impacts enormously on the story. So far, I’ve used a different country for each book and often use the mythology of that country, when creating the paranormal characters.
I love unique settings. Did you choose the title of your book and if so how did you do it?
I did choose the title, although it wasn’t my first choice. I planned to call it “The Secret of the Loch”, but that didn’t seem to capture the essence of the book, so I decided to go with “Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator”.
Interesting! I love the title. Also, the cover is gorgeous. Where is your favorite place in the world?
Right where I live in Sydney, Australia. Okay, the traffic sucks, but the climate is lovely, and I live near a semi-rural pocket of the city so a short drive will take me into “the bush”.
I would love to visit Austrailia at some point. Please tell us about your favorite character in the book.
I love Allegra. She’s kind of like me plus wish fulfillment. She’s way taller than I am, stronger, a better fighter, braver.
What was the most important thing you learned (the thing that made all the difference) just before you made your first sale?
After years of submitting to agents, I faced the fact that I’d probably never become a professional author. I made peace with that, realizing I had a good life, even if I never got published. As I had several completed manuscripts in my bottom drawer, I figured I might as well send them off to publishers. I didn’t have an agent so that meant choosing publishers, who were happy with unagented submissions. Luckily, Carina Press liked my book. I became one of their launch authors.
That's fantastic! What do you wish you’d known before becoming published?
That the freedom of e-publishing is ideal for me.
Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?
Keep writing, learning and submitting. Be polite and co-operative. Be careful what you post on the internet.
What’s next for you?
The second Allegra Fairweather book, “South of Salem”, will be released 30th May 2011. I’m currently working on the third book in the series.
Congratulations on your upcoming release! I love the title. Very intriguing. Would you like to ask readers a question?
Lady Alana Forbes has never met her intended, but she hopes he is handsome-and a good lover, for Alana is no innocent virgin. On her way to Castle Claren, Alana and her escorts are intercepted, and she is kidnapped by a man with extraordinary abilities-and every attribute she longs for in a mate.
Duncan didn't expect the woman he thought of as a mere pawn would be so beautiful, and so arousing. Alana is drawn to him as well-but Duncan still needs the bow, and Alana is betrothed to another. How far will Alana go to save the life of the man she's come to love?
Chapter One excerpt
Available from Carina Press and other online book retailers.
"Laird of Darkness is a sinfully erotic tale, taking place in the Scottish highlands, that I just couldn’t get enough of!
Duncan is a half fae Scottish laird whose mother died while giving birth to him before she could gift him with protection from the creatures of the Otherworld. So every night that he allows himself to fall asleep they attack him in his nightmares, leaving painful claw and bite marks on him upon waking. Duncan needs a magical bow from his half brother to keep the monsters at bay and when he comes across the beautiful Lady Alana he finally gets the leverage he needs. Holding her hostage he offers a trade, but will he get more in returned then he ever imagined possible?
I was a bit skeptical starting this novella, but I loved every minute of it. Laird of Darkness was a fast and incredibly sexy read, with the perfect balance of plot and eroticism.
I was drawn in immediately to the main characters, Duncan and Alana, and riveted by their story. Duncan is a dark, super-sexy laird in a kilt (who doesn’t just drool over that?) and Alana made a sweet and spunky heroine. As expected in a novella, their relationship moved forward at a quick pace but with the authors writing it flowed naturally and was believable. There was suspense, action, sexual tension and gratification. A fabulous read!" 4 1/2 ~Crystal at Reading Between the Wines
Through the eyes of desire…
These days, Lydia is feeling increasingly restless, and tired of being invisible. No one at work notices the nose-to-the-grindstone colleague dressed in business drab. Her neighbors don’t even know her name.
No one knows she burns off her frustration by dancing to her favorite music, alone in her apartment. No one knows her closet is a wardrobe divided: monochrome and flats by day, silk and stilettos by night. No one knows her secret ritual has slowly evolved into private stripping…then dancing naked on her tiny balcony, daring someone—anyone—to notice.
Then, at the apartment across the way, the curtains move.
Wes can’t believe what he’s been missing by working the night shift. He is drawn to the amazing woman whose every sensual move makes his body ache. And when she catches him watching, the evening explodes into an erotic fantasy. Afterward, though, she confesses she’s not all she seems. No way is this fiery siren as boring and unlovable as she claims.
And no way is he going to let her go without convincing her she is brave, beautiful…and the face he wants to see every morning.
I just want to be noticed. To be accepted for who I am and what I can do. I just want someone to...see me.
Intrigued? You should be. Those are the feelings of Lydia in Natasha Moore's book, See Me. Now, this is a short little book, but that doesn't mean its not packed with excitement--both erotic and plot excitement. Although this book is told in first person and not my favorite means of storytelling, it works for what Lydia has to say. The writing flows, like having a converation with a friend, albeit a hinky conversation.
Lydia is like any woman. She feels invisible unless she's in her zone. Who can't relate to that? We all have days where it seems like we're just moving in a little space and completely invisible to the world around us. I liked she was so realistic. Another thing I liked was the depth in her character. This wasn't a run-of-the-mill heat story. She's wanting more than a roll in the hay. She wants love and understanding. Again, who can't relate to that?
And then there's Wes...the man is sex on legs. If I were in Lydia's shoes--and yeah, she's got lots of funky shoes, so many I was jealous--I wouldn't be able to turn Wes down either. I loved the fact that they were so compatible. Sure there were moments when I wasn't sure how the story would end, but that's the fun of reading this book. Get yourself a copy. You'll see what I mean.
If you want a book with brains and heart, then you need to read See Me. I give it 4 cherries.
Reviewed by Tiger Lily - Whipped Cream Erotic Reviews
Thanks, Tiger Lily!
Okay, so I wasn't exactly thinking jaguar this morning...although I'm working on the story....jaguars do not use hair dryers, and they don't get all fuzzy.
But did you know they absolutely love the water?
Here's a jaguar shifter before.
Here's one after.
Wish I was here...well, at the beach with the shifter...although they say mud baths are good for the skin. Wonder how they'd be for the fur???
Would you like to join this shifter???
But if you can't wait for the jaguar to give you pleasure...there be vampires--
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???
Forbidden LoveTerry Spear
Category: Fiction » Literature » Fantasy (paranormal)
B & N
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 & Amazon.
Vampiric CallingEbook By Terry Spear
Published: Mar. 05, 2011
Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
A vampire targets a huntress for his own, and she's torn between wanting him and knowing she should terminate him. But in the dark of night, who will win the battle?
Samantha Ramsay’s always been different, a huntress born with the gene that makes her kind take up the sword to terminate rogue vampires, yet something isn’t right. They’ve never targeted her before tonight, and now she realizes she can’t kill the sexiest vampire she’s ever encountered, who claims her for his own.
Ralston Vaccarra has waited all the huntress’s life to have her and no one, vampires or hunters alike, will have the woman he claimed for his own the day she was born, only will a huntress be able to accept him and his kind for what they are?
Seducing the HuntressEbook By Terry Spear
Published: Feb. 12, 2011
Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
When the vampire takes on a dare to seduce the huntress, little does he know he’s on her terminal list already!Set in an island paradise, neither the huntress nor her prey really knows who the real rogue is and who is being made to take the fall, but will she succumb to the ancient vampire’s will before it is too late?
The vampire Sarzoven and his sister are bored with life so a death-defying game of seducing the huntress is an attempt at eliminating boredom. But Miranda isn’t about to be seduced by the vampire no matter how sexy he is, not when he’s on her terminal list. Sarzoven soon realizes she’s a dark huntress, who doesn’t eliminate a rogue vampire until she’s sure he or she is truly a renegade.
So why is he on her list? Now he must convince her to remove him from her elimination schedule before she decides he really is a rogue. Miranda knows she can’t permit the vampire from swaying her from her mission, but soon she finds she’s on someone else’s list. But who’s behind this twisted game that’s bound to stir up vampire and hunter hatred alike? And can the huntress and vampire overcome their age old distrust of one another before it’s too late?
The Siren's LureEbook By Terry Spear
Published: Feb. 25, 2011
Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
A vampire wishes upon a falling star and ends up with more than he bargained for. When he attempts to rescue a woman in distress, he soon learns she's not quite human and not a huntress--or at least like any he's ever known. That's when the seduction begins--but who is seducing whom?
Tristina isn't a huntress in the normal sense. Before meeting the vampire who would rescue her from danger, she never thought anyone could love her for herself. Now, just maybe she's found the right man for her.
Sardis wants nothing more than a vacation from his ponderous role as prince of the New York vampire clans, but ends up having anything but a peaceful time while staying at a beach resort when he meets the most enticing siren. Trouble doesn’t even begin to describe the new world he finds himself in as he tries to seduce her, and he falls under her siren's spell instead.
Have a super Saturday!!!
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."