I actually slept in this morning for the first time in my 1 1/2 weeks of vacation. (Yes, sleeping in until 8 am is sleeping in for me!) So I feel awake and ready to take on the day. I hope to get a lot of writing done on my current project. I'd hoped to have it done by tomorrow but...it may not be quite there. There were a few more holiday get togethers this past week than I'd planned (and I loved every one of them!) so I may not get it done, but it'll be close. This little bit of vacation has given me a taste of what 2013 has in store when I leave my day job to write full time and I have to admit I can't wait!
In order to get ready for my new full time career, I know I need to make a plan. Organize my projects and plan promotions - but that's the subject for another blog post.
I'm going to finish out the year the way I expect the next one to continue, writing sexy emotional stories for readers to enjoy. Breathing life into characters for readers to fall in love with. And with only 8 more days at the day job, I'll be able to write more stories!
Bring on 2013!!
Oh, and I'm thrilled to see that Silken Canvas is on the best sellers list on the Samhain site! Not a bad way to finish out 2012! :)
Happy New Year to everyone. I hope 2013 brings amazing things to you all!
Silken Canvas - available now
Whichever way you spend it, the week between Christmas and New Year, for me, at least, always seems to pass very slowly. Time crawls. Which is good. We all tend to rush through our days, anxious to get everything done, but like my yoga teacher says, the only moment you are alive is THIS moment. The past is past, and the future hasn’t happened yet. The only moment is NOW. Right now. So stop. Enjoy it. Live in the moment. Appreciate right now. Time is big when you think of it like that!
So, I'm being proactive, given that my next post will be in 2013--can you believe it?--and wishing everyone a happy and safe New Year's. Where did 2012 go? I mean, it seems like just yesterday that I was doing my last blog post of 2011, and here we are with 2013 looming. Is the earth spinning faster or something? Yeeeikes!
For me, 2012 has been a hectic, crazy, and challenging year, and I'm not sad to see it go. However, even for all the hard stuff I've had to overcome this year, there have been some real bright spots, some real accomplishments or good things that helped offset some of the difficult times. For example...
1. I finally found underwear that fit really, really well. I'd lost some weight, and my undies got baggy. I never thought much about it until I saw the wrinkles showing through my jeans one day. When I moved, it looked like my bottom had a mind of it's own and was doing some kind of hula dance with a snake. To find underwear that actually fits, because of my odd size, is a major accomplishment that makes for a little less worrisome morning when I'm trying to get ready for work.
2. I maintained my weight after losing about almost twenty pounds, although I'm not sure if I'm happy about that or not right now. I feared that I'd gain my weight back, so it's good that I didn't, but I also wanted to lose just five more pounds. I actually had a going away party for those stubborn last few pounds of flab, but since food and drink were served, it sort of defeated the purpose.
3. I got to write a little more, but also I've found new homes for some of my older books. They'll be coming out in 2013, in hopefully new and improved versions, along with some brand new stuff. The process to get it done has been a real learning experience, and I've discovered you can teach an old dog new tricks. Woof!
4. This hasn't happened yet, but my DH is 100% supportive of creating sort of a home office for me, which will include my new computer (once I get the blasted thing set up) and a nice workspace in case I want to do a craft of some sort. We're negotiating, and I've had to use my feminine wiles to convince him to give up his computer chair. That and other kinds of "negotiations" like it have really been the true highlights of 2012 for me. :)
What about you? What great things happened for you in 2012? Or, what do you look forward to in 2013? Please do share. It's gonna be a great year!
My daughter, her hubby, and the new little guy are coming over early on Christmas morning to open gifts and have a some coffee and a little breakfast before they rush home and get ready for hubby's side of the family to descend about 2 o'clock. Son's girlfriend will be over a little later in the morning. Then we'll all spend most of the day over at daughter's house, eating and drinking and exchanging gifts and love and laughter. Who has time to think about a new release?
I've been promoting pre-order for Silken Canvas, hoping readers would like the idea of a gift for themselves appearing on their reader or computer Christmas morning. I love pre-order and am often pleasantly surprised when a book appears on my Kindle that I'd kinda forgotten about.
I also love gift cards. And after tomorrow, I'll be reminding readers of Silken Canvas's release and hope they might want to include it when they are deciding what to purchase with their gift cards.
I think I speak for most writers when I say I don't like having to worry about promoting. To have to keep pushing my books. Reminding readers about them. Hoping word of mouth and the occasional ad and tweet and Facebook update and blog post will peak their interest without turning them off.
But it's a part of the business.
So once again let me remind you that Silken Canvas releases tomorrow, December 25th. The book got 4 stars from RT magazine. "Moore has given readers of erotica something to enjoy. With sizzling characters and an actual plot she has crafted a story that both entertains and thrills."
You can still pre-order today:
Barnes & Noble
And tomorrow it will be available for purchase!
Here's wishing all our readers and their families a wonderful holiday! May 2013 bring amazing things to you all.
Silken Canvas - coming Dec 25th
What does today mean for all of us? Well, I like to think of days like today as giving me a fresh, clean start for a new beginning. The first day of Winter brings with it the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere, which translates into us also having the longest night. For the next three days, the sun will stand still at its lowest point in the southern sky. Culturally, socially and astrologically, the Winter Solstice holds quite a bit of significance. But for us in here in the Northern Hemisphere, we mainly hold a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays and gatherings.
Christmas is just around the corner, then it's on to New Year's. I, for one, will be closing a major chapter in my life with the end of the 2012 and starting a brand new one with the beginning of 2013. Onward and upward, I say. My wish is for the brightest and happiest of times in the coming new year, and that is a wish I hold for all of us.
Peace and light, my friends, to us all.
1. One of the most romantic things my DH does is something he's not even aware of. We have date nights, and when we get ready to go out, he leaves the bedroom light on for when we return. He's a stickler for turning off lights in every room to save money and energy, but for some reason, he leaves our bedroom light on and it's so romantic to me to have it beckoning to us when we return from a nice evening out. Most of the time we just come home and snuggle up and go to sleep, and that light is a reminder that we've built a home together, a place where we can get cozy after a night of fun. So sweetly romantic!
2. Another romantic thing is that my DH seems to really enjoy Christmas shopping for me. He seems to look forward to it, to getting me something he thinks I'll like or that will surprise me, and that makes me feel cherished. I try to do the same, and even if we don't get each other much, it truly is the thought that counts.
3. We cook together, and that goes double for the holiday season. I love cooking and so does my DH, and when I get a day off, we get creative in the kitchen. It's real teamwork, and there's nothing more romantic than sharing an activity that you love with someone who loves it as much as you do. Plus, we make a pretty good team, and that just adds to the contentment.
4. My DH gets excited when I get time off from work for the holidays and tells me so. I don't get much--maybe a couple of days--but those days are precious, and we get to wake up together. Special moments like these are ones that I cherish even more than the date nights, well, except for the bedroom light being on. :)
So what about you? What little things keep the romance alive in your relationship? Please do share!
Tomorrow we are going to walk through McAdenville, which is known as Christmas Town USA. There is a reason for that. It's an entire little town that every house puts up these spectacular lights. The town of McAdenville actually waves the power bill for December so everyone can participate, which I think is pretty awesome. People come from all over to drive or walk through the lights. I've done both, but I prefer to walk. It's a completely difference atmosphere. More magical. The kids love it, heck I love it. It wouldn't be Christmas without McAdenville.
In the last few days, we've put the tree up, had hot chocolate, watched Christmas movies and listened to Christmas music. My favorite part of all that is hot chocolate. Yeah, I know I can get it all year round, but it's not the same. Something about being snuggled up on the couch, sipping on cocoa while the Christmas tree twinkles in the background, yeah...it wouldn't be Christmas if I didn't take a moment to enjoy the tree and a hellava good cup of cocoa.
I'm plotting what craft I'm going to have the kids make for the pawpaw and nana. I'm starting to stress as I watch the time slip by. I have no clues this year. None. Searched the web for pretty unique awesome ideas..nada. It wouldn't be Christmas if I didn't sprout a few more gray hairs.
Then this weekend, it's off to my mom and dads. Do you know that I am 35 years old and I have always woke up in my childhood home for Christmas morning? I've never missed a year. Not even after I got married, or after I had my own kids. I have always woke up in my parent's home on Christmas morning.
It just wouldn't be Christmas if I didn't.
So what's your "It wouldn't be Christmas?"
The first countdown I'm keeping track of is for the release of Silken Canvas, my sexy romance about Brendan the erotic artist and his muse, Ashley - only 8 days until its release on December 25th. It's available for pre-order now, which I think is great this busy time of year. You can order it now and have it show up automatically on Christmas morning. How great is that?
This also means it is 8 days until Christmas Day. The tree is up. The cards are signed and addressed and will go in the mail tomorrow. The gifts I have so far are wrapped but... Have you all finished your Christmas shopping? I'd planned to finish this past weekend but unfortunately, I still have a few more presents to buy.
The countdown to early retirement, when I will leave the stressful day job and write full-time, is 3 weeks and 4 days. It's coming up quickly and I have to admit it doesn't seem real yet. It probably won't sink in until a couple weeks after, when it will no longer feel like just a vacation. I can't wait until I can get up in the morning (without the alarm clock!) and write while my eyes and brain are fresh.
Finally, the countdown to my son's wedding is 9 months, 3 weeks and 3 days. It sounds far away right now, but I know the time will go quickly. Hmmm, I wonder how much time I should plan to find the perfect mother-of-the-groom dress?
Here's a quick little excerpt from Silken Canvas, coming Dec 25th from Samhain:
Brendan kept losing his focus as he shot pictures of the snakes slithering around Ashley’s body. He knew he should be seeing the whole picture. The lighting. The composition. The images he wanted to capture. The art he was creating.
Instead, he kept seeing the woman.
It could have had something to do with his tight jeans. He was so hard, it was damned uncomfortable to crouch down and get a good shot of the greedy snake trying for her center. He’d like to have his tongue there right now. He shifted to try to ease the pressure. Didn’t work.
He rose to his feet and zoomed in on her luscious lips. He swallowed, his mouth dry. He should be able to turn off his attraction to Ashley. Hell, he’d been attracted to most of his models. He’d even had sex with some of them despite what he’d told her. But when he had the camera in his hands, it had always been all about the art. The models ceased to be women and became his canvas.
So why did he find himself focusing on the pulse point at the base of Ashley’s pale throat? All he could think about was the way he’d pressed his lips there in the past and felt her pulse leap in response. He’d eagerly licked that tender spot, right there, where the green and gold snake appeared to slide over her body. He zoomed in on her throat, capturing the way the snake collared her.
“Lift your hair up. That’s right, stretch your arms high but keep your elbows back so I can get a clear shot of your throat. Can you feel the snake wrapped around your neck? Is his skin smooth or rough? Does his body ripple as he slithers along your throat? Does he nibble on your ear while he whispers those words of temptation you don’t want to hear?”
No, he didn’t want to hear her musical voice, the one he still heard in his sleep. “Shhh. I’ll be done soon. You can drop your arms. Clasp your hands behind your back.” He could tell she was tiring. He’d worked her hard and she’d complained very little. But he had to shake off this unsettling lack of concentration and finish the shoot.
Silken Canvas - coming Dec 25th
Jenna Ives has the typical problem that affects a lot of modern authors — multiple personality disorder. She writes for several publishers under a variety of names, but mostly the reason is to keep her poor sainted mother (who used to read sweet Barbara Cartland romances) from having a heart attack over how sexy modern romances have become! And Jenna certainly DOES write sexy… Visit her at: www.jennaives.com
I know this has happened to you at some point in your life. You get a song stuck in your head and can't get it out and it drives you a little bonkers until it finally goes away. Usually, it's a jingle that gets caught in my mental machinery, but that wasn't the case this time. Mainly what annoyed me was not the song--I do really like it--but I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get it off my mind. What is it about this song that won't let me let it go?
As a matter of fact, what is it about the movie, Skyfall, that sort of haunts me? It's a James Bond movie, for Pete's sake, an action adventure where the super sexy secret agent is supposed to save the world, get the girl, and do it with witty aplomb that makes Cary Grant look like a fumbling school boy. It wasn't Pan's Labyrinth or Atonement or some other very literary piece of cinema...or was it?
Yeah, I just wrote that. It just might be possible that Skyfall, the latest in the Bond franchise meant to entertain and delight not through story but through babes and bullets, possesses a literary element that is oddly, refreshingly captivating. I've had to think about this. I love the Bond movies but until this one I never saw the symbolism or even the metaphor (watch the movie and then think about the words in the theme and you'll see what I mean). What in the world is going on with me that this movie enthralled me so? That the relationships between Bond and the other characters seemed so meaningful?
I think I found the answer in my past. I grew up the child of a single mother, and being a single mother back then was, just as it is now, terribly difficult. Being single in general wasn't easy, but being a divorcee with a child held its own brand of misery because of gender stereotypes. A doctor once told my mother she wasn't physically sick (she was), she was just depressed because she was single with a child to raise. Men often thought divorcees were easy marks because they had been married before and were desperate to marry again to have someone provide for them and therefore would be more likely to do anything to keep a man. My mother faced this as gracefully as she could, but sometimes she needed an escape, and that escape was the movies, particularly the Bond movies.
We'd go see them together, of course, bonding over Bond, and I think she liked him not because he was single, sexy, and suave, but because he represented what so many single women like my mother wanted in a man--someone who could and would protect them and make them feel like a beautiful woman without being a complete jerk. Plus, there were all those foreign locations and it seemed so metropolitan and exciting. Needless to say, when I think of Bond, I think of my mother. I remember how we faced the world together, just us two, back then, and taking a stand is sort of theme in the movie. A lyric from Adele's song says it all:
Besides that, there is a distinctly maternal vibe coursing through the movie as well. I will say no more because I don't want to spoil it, so I recommend you see it for yourself if you're into spy movies. Maybe it's just me because the Bond movies were a part of my growing up years, but perhaps there is something deeper there, something with as much intrigue as the spy life itself. Hmm...
So do you have a movie that you can't stop thinking about? A song that won't leave you alone? Please do share!
Luckily, the girl only has a really bad sinus infection. I'll take that over the flu. But it did mean she got a sick day home. So we've cuddled in bed for most of the morning. It's been really nice. She is feeling better now though. She's bored, lol. So it's back to school tomorrow.
I've had a pretty decent writing week. After a nerve-wracking episode of writer's block, I finally figured out how to fix my issues and the words are starting to flow. I was able to write 2,500 words on Monday and 3,500 yesterday. I was on a roll yesterday and didn't want to stop, but mommy duties called. I have the weekend off, so I'm looking forward to spending two straight days writing. I'm hoping to knock out 10k in those two days. I'm so far behind on this story and I've really got to catch up. Christmas break is right around the corner and then I won't get any writing done. :)
Happy Writing Everyone!
Ok, so I had a little problem with that at first. Silken Canvas does have a BDSM thread running through it, but don’t even people who love the pleasure/pain of nipple clamps and spankings, avoid emotional pain at all costs? I know I do. How can someone want to feel sad? How can someone seek out those feelings?
As I was pondering this, the song "Tomorrow" by Chris Young came up on my iPod. I love this song. I can listen to it over and over. It’s heart breaking. It’s gut wrenching. Every time I listen to it, my stomach clenches and I get that sweet little ache behind my breastbone. And I hit replay.
And then I got it.
Sad songs. Sad movies. Dark moments in my favorite romance novels. Though I would never want it in my real life, I love feeling that anguish in my books, my songs, my movies. I’m sure psychologists can explain it with words like catharsis and vicarious and release. I don’t really need to know the explanation. I just need to know that we can hug that powerful emotion close, and even though it’s not really ours, we can empathize and experience that exquisite sadness.
I finally understood how my heroine would feel and why she might actually crave the pain, and with that understanding, this is how her realization came out on the page:
She turned around to see him standing in the doorway, looking her over with his heated gaze. He was dressed casually today, in a white T-shirt and jeans that were ragged at the hem. His feet were bare, his hair once again a wild mass of curls. Damn, but she wanted to tangle her fingers in the silky strands. She backed away from temptation, but found herself up against the balcony railing. His lips lifted in a slow smile. She shivered.
A delicious ache spread through her as she looked at Brendan.
She’d told herself it was curiosity that had her packing her bag and driving here this morning. She told herself it was the money she’d make. But it wasn’t either of those things. It was the promise of this sweet pain that had her agreeing to spend the weekend with a man who was no good for her. It was the knowledge that it was going to hurt even more when she left.
And she would leave. She was strong enough. Even while she was crazy enough to crave the pain her time with him would bring.
If you’ve never heard Tomorrow by Chris Young, you can experience it here.
And if you want to pre-order Silken Canvas, you can do it here.
Silken Canvas - coming Dec 25th
I'm working on the third book of the series right now, which I'll admit is slow going. I mean sloooow. I'm going to have to pick up the pace, but I've been dealing with some writers block.
Some? Ha. I wish.
Let me retract that one. A LOT of writers block. I've dug out my hand-dandy notebook and pen and have started brainstorming, trying to get around the problem I've created.
I think I'm trying to make it too big. But for the life of me I can't seem to simplify it. When I try another issue pops up that makes it complicated again. I guess somewhere in my jotting I'll finally find the solution to my problems. But I hate when this happens. It stresses me out.
I know. It's part of being a writer. But it still sucks :)
Anyway, keep a look out! I'll hopefully be sharing a blurb and cover soon!!
Stirling Castle, Scotland, Part 4: Prince's Tower, Elphinstone Tower & The Battle of Stirling Bridge
|Prince's Tower attached to the Palace and Prince's Walk above the Queen Anne Garden.|
|The fireplace inside the Prince's Tower|
“Scratched into a window recess in the Prince’s Tower is what seems to be royal graffiti. James VI had the tower refitted for his son Henry, who may have scrawled: ‘God made Man and [Wom]an God made Man James 6’.
Originally, this tower was just as tall as the Prince's Tower shown at the top, but now only the cellars remain. I must admit is it a slightly creepy place but I love visiting and exploring incredible old rooms.
When we emerged from the cellars of the tower, this is the magnificent view we had. It looks out over the area where The Battle of Stirling Bridge took place in 1297.
|Click on the above photo to enlarge.|
|Another view from the Grand Battery.|
|The Wallace Monument. It sits on Abbey Craig, the forested cliff area where the Scots rushed down and attacked the English on the bridge.|
|Photo by Brenda B Taylor. Click to enlarge the photo.|
|Click on the above photo to enlarge it so you can read it.|
|Click on the above photo to enlarge it.|
|Cannons on the Grand Battery poised to blast anyone who dares attack.|
|Click on the above photo to enlarge it.|
|Stirling Old Bridge|
Lady Isobel MacKenzie is a beautiful young widow betrothed to yet another Highland chief by her brother's order. But when her future brother-in-law accosts her and threatens to kill her, she is forced to flee into a Highland snowstorm. When she runs into a rugged and imposing man she thought dead, she wonders if he will turn her over to her enemy or take her to safety.
Dirk remembers the enchanting, dark-eyed Isobel from when he was a lad, but now she is bound to another man by legal contract—an important detail she would prefer to forget. She wishes to choose her own husband and has her sights set on Dirk. But he would never steal another man's bride… would he? The tantalizing lady fires up his passions, testing his willpower and honor at every turn, even as some of his own treacherous clansmen plot his downfall.
Scotland, November 1618
Dirk MacKay urged his horse into a gallop along the narrow, muddy road that led from Draughon Castle toward Perth. Praying he wouldn't be too late to see his father alive one last time, he squinted against the cool, misty rain stinging his eyes.
The meager light of dawn hidden behind thick, leaden clouds provided little illumination. Greenish-brown hills dotted with grazing sheep and rolling beige grain fields sped by on either side of the road. Tulloch carried him closer to the thatched-roof stone crofters' cottages situated before a small wood of bare-limbed trees. A faint white mist hung over the massive River Tay, hidden amongst the bushes in the distance.
Dirk hoped he'd slipped away before his two friends knew what he was about. They would insist on going with him and he couldn't allow them to make such a sacrifice.
Lachlan was recently married and a newly titled earl and chief. He would be daft to accompany Dirk on a dangerous trek through the snowy Highlands to the edge of the earth, leaving his wife and clan to fend for themselves.
Although Robert "Rebbie" MacInnis, Earl of Rebbinglen, was a Highlander with naught to tie him down, Dirk wouldn't put his life in danger, either.
It wasn't simply the severe cold weather of the north that made Dirk worry over his friends' safety. A murderer lurked amongst his clansmen… a murderer who wanted Dirk dead, and wouldn't bat an eye at killing one of his friends, as well. He shook his head. Nay, he'd done the right thing by not asking Lachlan or Rebbie to risk their lives by traveling with him to Durness.
The three of them had been near inseparable for the past few years, but Dirk needed to handle this on his own. He'd been living in limbo for twelve years, and now it was time to return to his real life… to follow his destiny.
Behind him, quick, rhythmic hoof-beats pounded the road and spattered through puddles. A sharp whistle pierced the chill, wet air. Dirk glanced back to find a dark-haired, black-cloaked man following him.
"Damnation." How had he known? Dirk slowed his horse, then halted and turned to face his approaching friend. Tulloch, snorting at the interruption to his gleeful run, danced about beneath him. "Whoa, lad," Dirk said, trying to calm the horse.
When Rebbie drew up and stopped beside him, Dirk asked, "Where are you going?"
"A better question is where are you going? You left without a word. Luckily, I heard the floorboards creaking as you slipped past my chamber this morn. Does it have aught to do with that missive you received last evening?"
"I'm in no need of help," Dirk said, skirting the disconcerting question.
Rebbie's black brows lowered. "Even if you did need help, you're likely too proud to ask for it. What's happened to cause you to slip away..."