Saskia Walker gets Reckless

I'm thrilled that Saskia Walker is here today to talk about her scorching hot new novel Reckless! Stick around and you might win something. :-)

Award winning British author Saskia Walker first dreamed of writing her own stories when she discovered a handful of romance novels stashed away in her school library. An avid reader, she lapped up the fun, the adventures, and the life-affirming emotion of these stories, but always felt dismay when the bedroom door closed the reader out. She vowed that if she ever had the chance to pursue her dream, all the passion would be right there on the page.

Saskia finally began writing seriously in the late 1990s. By that time she'd traveled the world, got herself a BA in Art History, a Masters in Literature and the Visual Arts, and she'd worked in all manner of diverse careers—but the stories in her head simply had to be written. Her first erotic short story was signed in '97 and since then she has had several single title novel publications. Her work has also appeared in over fifty anthologies including Best Women's Erotica, The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, the Red Sage Secrets series, and the Black lace Wicked Words series. Her first novel, DOUBLE DARE, received the Passionate Plume award for the Best Contemporary Erotic Romance of 2006. Saskia now writes erotic fiction across genres, but always with the passion right there on the page!

Saskia lives in the north of England—close to the beautiful, windswept landscape of the Yorkshire moors—with her real life hero, Mark. Mark supports her work through all its ups and downs, and somehow manages to keep her sane and grounded when fiction threatens to take over.

Nicole: Welcome, Saskia! I'm glad you're here to tell us about your stories and your writing life! (And I'm jealous that you live so darn close to Scotland.) :-)

Saskia: Thank you so much to the Fierce Romance writers for inviting me here today!

Nicole: Please tell us about Reckless. (I'm still drooling over this cover!)

Saskia: RECKLESS is my most recent novel, a contemporary erotic romance set in the Catalan region of Spain. The heroine is called in to evaluate an art collection, and she encounters two brothers who seduce her in different ways. She enjoys the thrill the situation brings, but she soon realizes that they have dubious reasons for their actions. She has to decide what their motives are, and who she should trust. When she gets emotionally entangled with one brother, she also has to decide whether she can trust her own judgment, when her heart and her
libido are involved.

Nicole: Sounds fantastic and sexy! Who is your favorite character in this story and why?

Saskia: That is so hard! Katrina, the heroine, was a dream to write because she discovers so much about life, love, and herself, throughout the story. She revels in her sensual liberation, and she also gets to solve the mystery. I loved giving her that adventure! Both brothers were fascinating in their own way. Nicolas, the more mysterious brother, was a favorite to write. There's also a secondary character, a housekeeper called Raimunda, who I enjoyed writing about immensely. She's stoic and loyal, grumpy and funny, too. I loved her. I wanted her to be real :)

Nicole: How cool! I love it when characters come to life that way. What element of story creation is your favorite and what is your writing process like?

Saskia: Another hard one! I don't think there is any part of the process that I dislike. Maybe proof reading.:) I enjoy all the stages, from the moment the idea sparks, to brain storming the tiniest plot details, even synopsis writing. I particularly enjoy the organic nature of the writing once you get into a big story, the way a novel will give you back ideas as you're writing it and you can weave them into the tale. The only part of being writer I truly dislike is the business side.

My process: I brainstorm a bunch of ideas when the urge takes me and then I do a synopsis/ road map for the ones that won't let me forget them. :) When I'm working on a novel, I need 3-4 months. I get very bound up with it, it's running back and forth in my head constantly -- when I shop, cook, when I go to asleep, as I wake up -- it's there, bits of it playing out. I try to write about 2,000 words a day; sometimes it's less, sometimes more. I'm always surrounded by scraps of paper with notes of things to remember to add.

Nicole: You like synopsis writing?? I want whatever you're taking. :-) What inspires and motivates you?

Saskia: Oh, so many things! Places inspire me immensely. I've visited Spain many times and when I started writing I knew I would have to set a story there. RECKLESS is that story. One of the biggest personal motivations I have is learning. Writing is all about learning to me. Both the research, and the joy of discovery inherent in creating a story. Every story and every character teaches me something new about writing and about life. That is some major motivation right there.

Nicole: You inspire me! Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?

Saskia: Never give up, and enjoy what you do! You have to have a big personal investment in the act of writing itself, in order to weather the ups and downs of the publishing industry. On a daily basis, it's going to be you and the blank page. That never changes, so you have to enjoy that. It can be a lonely job, but I truly believe that writing is one of the healthiest things a person can do. Exploring and expanding the imagination, learning through research, setting yourself goals, being self-motivated, gaining mental focus -- what could be better? Also keep in mind that it shows when you are having a good time with your work, if you have fun with it your readers will experience all of that fun and pleasure too!

Nicole: What great advice! What's next for you?

Saskia: I'm currently working on a novel entitled RAMPANT. This one is an erotic paranormal set in Scotland. My Real Life Hero and I had a romantic break in a fisherman's cottage on the east coast a couple of years ago, and as soon as I got there I just knew I had to set a story
there. The area was steeped in history about witchcraft. Eerie and beautiful, it echoes in my memory every day. RAMPANT is that story, and it will appear on Harlequin Spice line in 2010. After that one is done, (December) I'll be working on INESCAPABLE, a contemporary set in
London and Wales. Meanwhile, my next publication comes out tomorrow! STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT is the second in a series of Spice Briefs. I had far too much fun writing those three naughty short stories!

Nicole: Wow!! That's a lot of stories. Congratulations! I can't wait to read them! Would you like to ask blog readers a question?

Saskia: Yes indeed. When you're reading an erotic romance, do you have a favorite sub genre? As a writer (and as a reader) I dip in all over the place from contemporary to fantasy, but I'd love to hear what you all think works best for a sexy story – a contemporary setting, historical, paranormal? Or does a good mix of all appeal to you? Leave us your answers and we'll choose one at random for a copy of RECKLESS! And if anyone wants to ask me a question based on what I've said, or anything about writing, please do!

Nicole: Yes, please leave your comments and questions. You know you want to win this deliciously hot book! Also please visit Saskia's sites:
Thanks again, Saskia, for visiting with us!!

Let's Talk about Tension

Happy Fall, everyone!

My favorite season is over, but I'm looking forward to a lot of cooler weather activities. After all, summer isn't the only season when love is in the air.

Last week I posed a question as to the type of excerpt that would most whet a reader's appetite. Carol and Vonda accurately guessed my selection for my upcoming novel, TORMENTED. That particular excerpt will debut along with TORMENTED on October 8.

Sexual tension is the element that keeps fictional and a real-life romances alive. Coaxes the flame higher on a love match. Provides a pivot of sorts for a couple and their passion.

Today it's my pleasure sharing an excerpt from another of my erotic romances, ANDANTE. Mara and her Italian lover/tutor, Armand, immerse themselves in a world where romance, music and fine food are abundant.

ANDANTE from Torrid Teasers Volume 24

Armand lifted the breakfast tray from her lap. She plucked the final gooey bit of his Venetian version of French toast from the olive-green plate and popped it into her mouth. A linen napkin absorbed the excess syrup from her fingers.

“No one has ever made me breakfast in bed.” Another deep breath brought the warming aroma of cinnamon sugar.

“I promise to deliver you the same at least once a week when we’re married.” He set the tray on the mahogany dresser’s lacy doily and lay down on the bed.

She and several decorator pillows bounced at his impact. “And lots of kisses with my first shot of morning espresso?”

“More than you can ever count.”

“But your homeland means so much to you.”

“For the joy and blessing of becoming your husband, I’ll leave it all behind and move to New York.” He yanked the sage-green ribbon free and removed one of the flowers from the white tissue paper bundle beside her on the bed. “Catch them.” Armand straddled her and rained rose petals from her face to her belly.

Before the last one met with her cheek, she pinched it between her fingers. “What a beautiful way to spend our morning.”

“But you still haven’t proven you can play our duet andante.”

No matter how hard he tried, his smile broke through the frown’s facade.

She closed her eyes and blotted out the golden glow of the suite’s chandelier. A few more petals floated onto her eyelids and whispered on settling. Hot breath swirled across her left cheek, and the pillow shifted underneath her head. The petal over her left eye lifted and she peeked.

The same ruby petal now lay plastered against his lips, and he appeared as jovial as Pagliacchi. He puffed and sent the velvety petal aloft. When it landed over her left nipple, his reflexes proved superior. His teeth snagged the delicate and fragrant floral sheath, and it disappeared into his mouth. Hot lashes of his tongue came where the petal had rested.

I'll leave the rest of this erotic encounter to your imagination.

Always remember --

Live each day to the fullest
Laugh often
Open your heart and mind to love's and its possibilities
Kiss your special someone until you are breathless
Dare to dream and make your dreams become reality

Wishing you all many happy reading moments,

Shawna Moore
TORMENTED -- Coming October 8 to Ellora's Cave
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora's Cave Exotika
HELLE IN HEELS -- Ellora's Cave Exotika
Shawna's Myspace
Helle's Myspace

Come back Tuesday for a chance to win!

Hi everyone, come back Tuesday, September 30, to read Saskia Walker's interview and have a chance to win a copy of her new book, Reckless, out now from Berkley Heat!

Whew!! What a hot, beautiful cover!!!

A Rose by Any Other Name...

I'm enjoying the new HBO show, TrueBlood, based on the Charlaine Harris books, which I haven't read, by the way. The name of the main character, Sookie Stackhouse, got me thinking about names. Because of the southern accents of the characters, a lot of them pronounce Sookie, "Sucky." It cracks my husband up all the time and every time we watch the show, he drives me nuts by saying, "Sucky, Sucky, Sucky" every five minutes. Of course, we realized the play on names for a heroine in a vampire series to be called "Sucky." Sookie actually makes her own name observation in the first episode when she discovers the vampire's name is Bill. When he tells her his name, she laughs and says she didn't expect a vampire named Bill.

It got me thinking about the names I choose for my characters: Justin, for a hero who stands up for justice; Lila, for a sweet, earth-mother type; Anna for a prim and proper librarian; Vivica for a tough, strong-willed business owner; and Ryder, Rafe, and Rod for a trio of cowboy brothers. My editor actually asked me to change the name of one of the brothers from Ridge to something else, and I chose Rod. She thought Ridge was just too weird. So Ridge is now the hero of my current erotic romance work in progress! I don't know, Ridge just really works for an erotic romance hero - makes me think of hard and rigid things.

What are some of your favorite character names and why? Rhett and Scarlett are perfect for those characters. I liked Will Turner in the Pirate movies too because he "turns" into a pirate, something he never wanted to do. But I can't figure out Jack Sparrow - a Sparrow seems too delicate, but maybe it represents his freedom. In Dirty Dancing, I found the name Baby annoying, and who could forget that awful line! "Nobody puts Baby in the corner." LOL Couldn't get into the name Dean as a football player in Natural Born Charmer. None of these names make or break the story for me, but they do lend another layer of interest, whether I realize it or not.

I think I'll have to blog again about TrueBlood because the show is really good (and this from someone who doesn't typically read paranormal). Of course, my very favorite show, Dexter, is coming back to Showtime next week, so TrueBlood may have to take a back seat.

The Six-Gun Syndrome

Hey Fierce Friends!
Sorry I missed you last week, but I was still recuperating from doing the rewrites for HIGHLAND REBEL (out in March 2009). I pulled a marathon writing schedule to get them done in a WEEK! A record even for me! :) For those of you who were pulling for me and sent emails encouraging me, I really appreciate it!

So today I thought I'd share something personal about my experience as a writer. Back in the day, when I dreamed of being a published author and wrote, wrote, wrote, every extra minute I could squeeze out of the day, in between raising three kids and all that goes with that, I also used to love to watch old reruns of the Dick Van Dyke show. There was one episode in particular that was one of my favorites. In it, Rob Petrie had decided he was going to finish the novel he'd been writing on and off for years and years. So he secluded himself in a cabin owned by his boss, Alan Brady, so he could have complete peace and quiet to work. But instead of writing on his novel, Rob ended up finding every reason in the world NOT to write! His chair was too low, the table was too high, he didn't have a wastebasket (so he built one) , he was lonely, and the best one of all -- he had to play with a pair of sixguns Alan had left hanging on the wall! Rob strapped on the holster and put on a cowboy hat and practiced his quick draw!

As my husband and I watched thw show, he laughed and said, "From now on, if I see you procrastinating, I'm going to tell you to quit playing with your sixguns!" I laughed too, but I couldn't imagine wasting any precious moment of time that I had to write by simply messing around!! I used to sit up all night just to have writing time.

The years passed and unlike Rob Petrie I did finish my novel, and wonders of wonders, sold it!
I did pretty good avoiding the Six-Gun Syndrome until I had written my fourth book, Highland Dream, while going through radiation therapy for breast cancer. After that, I admit, things changed for me as a writer. Life suddenly didn't seem to be the same endless road ahead of me, but one that could be cut short, and I had to reevaluated things. It was then that I began to - gasp - procrastinate in my writing. Instead of grabbing every minute I could to write, I would find myself cruising through the HGTV shows I had Tivo'd. Instead of jotting down character ideas, I would go online to play Bomberman with Player 23143. Instead of working on a new proposal, I made a teeny tiny cake out of foam for my granddaughter's dollhouse.

I wish I could say that I eventually made a new resolution to stop wasting time, but the truth is, gentle reader, that I haven't and I don't consider it time wasted. You see, Life has drifted in on little cat feet, or maybe big ol' lion paws, and I don't think I'll ever be the same. I don't have the same single-mindedness that I once had, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, because life is short and I don't want to miss precious moments with my granddaughter or my children or my husband. My oldest son is working nights and sleeps all day, so on his day off we often sit up late at night and watch TV together. I should be writing, but in another few months he'll be moving out and having his own life, and how I will miss him! These wonderful moments of laughter and joy will never come again, just as the times with my three-year-old granddaughter will soon disappear, never to return.

So should I quit writing because I also want to live Life? Well, the problem is, writing is Life too. True, I don't have the same fervent focus I once had, but that doesn't mean I don't still love to create stories and plots and characters and weave them together, challenging myself anew with each new book. So, it's a balance, and right now, I admit, the balance is a little skewed. Life (besides writing) is tilting the scale right now, but eventually things will even out and I'll start a new book and lose myself for awhile in that magical world that has been and probably always will be part of what makes me the person I am, and makes up an important part of Life As I Know It.

But now I know that there will always be six-guns hanging on the wall, and from time to time, I'll take them down and strap them on and I won't feel guilty in the least. : )

KEEP WRITING! (but don't forget your six-guns!)

Scarlet and the Sheriff by Carly Carson

Today I've invited fellow Red Sage author Carly Carson to tell us about her first published book Scarlet and the Sheriff.

Nicole North: Welcome, Carly! I'm so glad you're here with us! Please tell us about yourself.

Carly Carson: Like most writers, I’ve always wanted to write. I have an MBA in Finance, which may not be the most expected detour along the way, but it helped to pay the rent. Now, my husband travels the globe while I take care of our three perfect, well-behaved…uh, hellions…(they are lovable!) and sit at my computer. He cannot fathom how I can spend all day in the house, lol, but he is a fabulous cheerleader.

Nicole: Please tell us about your latest release, Scarlet and the Sheriff. (By the way, what a beautiful cover!!)

Fleeing a cheating fiancĂ©, Scarlet breaks down on the Fourth of July in a sultry Southern town where the Sheriff is even hotter than the firecrackers. With no car and no money, she finds teasing the Sheriff a fun way to pass the time. Unfortunately, the Sheriff holds all the cards when he receives the warrants for her arrest issued by her vengeful ex. Now Scarlet has to dance to his tune – and the only song he wants to sing is about hot sex.

Nicole: Oooh sounds hot!!! Is this your first book? Can you tell us how this sale came about?

Carly: This is my first finished book and was sold as a result of my first query. Sounds easy? Not. I spent years studying the craft and writing stories, etc. until I felt I had something worth submitting. And still, the sale was an exciting surprise.

Nicole: Absolutely! What was your favorite element in this story?

Carly: Definitely the heroine – her ability to bounce back after every setback - and her naughty sexuality.

Nicole: And which element did you find most difficult?

Carly: The ending is always hard for me because I don’t want to leave my characters – and this is probably why I have a long novella.

Nicole: I know what you mean. Leaving those characters is hard. Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?

Carly: Study the craft of writing and then practice your writing with a purpose. Practice everything you learn. It’s not just telling a story, but crafting a story.
Nicole: So true! What’s next for you?

Carly: I’ve almost finished a full-length novel which I intend to submit to agents and I have a futuristic under consideration with Red Sage.
Nicole: I wish you the best of luck with those projects! Would you like to ask blog readers a question?

Carly: What is your favorite type of hero? Historical (Regency, Highlander, American Western)? Contemporary (Military/cop, Tycoon, Family man)? Otherworldly (Vampire, Wizard, Elves)?

Nicole: Excellent question! To learn more about Carly's book, to read a sexy excerpt or buy a copy: Scarlet and the Sheriff


Earlier this morning, my editor sent me an email letting me know the final line edits for TORMENTED are on the way. She also mentioned I should select an excerpt from this erotic historical romance for inclusion on Ellora’s Cave’s website.

I’ve since scanned the story from beginning to end and chosen several passages for further consideration. And to think finding the perfect shade of “red” lipstick for one’s skin tone or heel height for a party outfit can prove difficult. The excerpts I’m pondering run the gamut. One speaks to the sexual tension between Eve and Charles. Another puts them in a perilous situation and ratchets up the suspense with a cliffhanger ending. Yet another is one pairing them in a heart-stopping romantic encounter.

As an avid reader of romance for many years, I would enjoy each of these tones in a featured excerpt. Drama and suspense keep folks turning the pages. Amorous moments find us eager to vicariously live the fictional moment captured. Sexual tension piques a person’s interest in finding out what happens next in the characters’ romantic journey. So many possibilities. So many reading rewards. ROMEO AND JULIET. WHEN HARRY MET SALLY. REBECCA. SEX AND THE CITY. Different situations and different tones. These examples and so many others are why romance makes any story a better reading experience.

Romance readers, which of the above types of excerpt passages would you prefer and why? In next week’s blog, I’ll reveal my choice.

Wishing you many happy reading moments,

Shawna Moore
TORMENTED -- Coming October 8 to Ellora's Cave
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora's Cave Exotika
HELLE IN HEELS -- Ellora's Cave Exotika
Shawna's Myspace
Helle's Myspace

Not Here Really

Have to run to work and my mother is still in the hospital, so between working, or trying to, and calling down to the hospital to get an update on her status, I'm really not here or anywhere. argh. *sigh*. But in the meantime, I'm working on The Accidental Highland Hero. What's wrong with this picture? He's got the bare chest right. But somehow the socks and shoes make it look a little too dressy when he has no shirt. Not that I mind that he's shirtless. Just the opposite. But I'm thinking bare legs and bare feet, more of a rough and tumble kind of guy would even be better. But, hmm, the chest is very nice.
Okay, off to the real world....
Terry Spear
Winning the Highlander's Heart, The Accidental Highland Hero

Romance Takes a Hit

Earlier this year I read in our local newspaper about an assembly at the middle school that featured writers. Of course, my son, who goes to the middle school, didn’t mention the assembly to me, so I asked him about it. He said there were several writers and he couldn’t remember what they talked about. That’s about all I got out of him.

At the time I read the article, I wondered who set up the assembly and why I wasn’t invited. After all, I do have a son at the middle school (even though he doesn’t like to read and thought the assembly was boring). I can’t recall the writers who spoke at this assembly except for one who writes for our little local paper – which consists of mostly real estate ads, articles about the high school football team, and pictures of kids at the local Easter egg hunt.

I didn’t think about it again until this past weekend when I was sitting with a bunch of other parents watching a fall ball game (that’s off-season Little League baseball). I don’t remember how my friend and I got onto the subject of that assembly, but I groused about not being invited to speak when a small-town newspaper journalist was invited. My friend, who volunteers a lot at the school, told me that she lobbied to get me invited to the assembly, but the woman who was organizing it responded, “She writes romance. The middle school kids wouldn’t be interested in that.”


Our middle school comprises 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, which puts the range of ages for the kids at about 11 -14 years old. Does she really believe that 12, 13, or 14-year old girls aren’t interested in reading romance? While I don’t write Young Adult, I know those girls are reading it. Has this woman ever heard of Stephanie Meyer? I started reading Victoria Holt’s books at about the age of 13, and those stories inspired me to write.

Even if the kids don’t read romance, which I imagine almost none of the boys do, I wouldn’t have attended the assembly as a “romance” writer (and definitely not as Mia Varano), but rather as an author. I would’ve talked about the joy of reading – anything – and how reading makes you a better writer. I would’ve given them all kinds of examples of different word choices and how one word can change the tone or meaning of a sentence. I would’ve explored their imaginations with them and the stories that they have in their own hearts. I would’ve talked about the revision process, the editing process, the cover process, and the millions of other processes writers go through to reach a finished product.

Was she afraid I was going to talk about SEX? Does she think I’m stupid? I’m a parent! Was this yet another slight against romance writers and our genre? My friend assured me that this woman is completely out of touch and doesn’t know what she’s doing.

I think because of this woman’s bias or ignorance, the kids missed out. I’m also a former English teacher, so I have all kinds of tricks up my sleeves for keeping kids interested in the subject matter. I also think the kids would’ve enjoyed listening to someone that many of them know because they know my son.

I don’t know if the school plans on another writing assembly this school year, or if this same woman will be involved again, but maybe it’s a good thing I wasn’t invited. My son informed me that if I had been speaking at that assembly, he would’ve gone to the bathroom and not come out until it was over...snort.

Photos: Flowers, Wildlife, Landscape

I love taking photos of almost anything, especially flowers, wildlife and landscapes. Recently, two of my flower photos were chosen by a local hospital to have enlarged, framed and displayed in waiting rooms or corridors. Here are a few of my favorite flower, wildlife and landscape photos I took recently on vacation at the Outer Banks.
Blanket flower growing on the back side of a sand dune on the beach.

Sea oats hold the dunes in place.

Cattails in a marsh.

Marsh near Manteo on Roanoke Island.

This tiny crab is about the size of a nickel. They were all over the beach.

Strike a pose!

Fall...Not Only for Leaves and Housecleaning

When there's a chill in the air, take advantage of every opportunity and activity that makes fond memories for you and the guy you adore. Here are some ways to make the most out of spare moments. Make time for your mate and reap the endless rewards this fall and beyond.

1. Purchase a new blend of tea or coffee and brew up for some sensual sipping with your significant other.

2. Colder weather means paying extra attention to moisturizing our skin. Purchase a yummy body cream in a scent you and your special someone find appealing and let the massaging games begin.

3. Showers aren’t really meant to be hot. Turn down the temperature of the water gushing from the showerhead while turning on your shower mate with a sinfully seductive body wash or gel. My recommendations – any Philosophy product (there are so many wonderful scents from which to choose). My favorites? Chocolate, vanilla and lemon.

4. Get in touch with your partner. Contact sports such as touch football provide endless possibilities for tackling playful romantic situations.

5. Feed your appetites and find romance. Adam and Eve indulged in apples, and these fruits are far from forbidden on your healthy-foods and snack list this fall. Add some chocolate (savor the taste and the bonus antioxidants) fondue to the mix and dip into an afternoon or evening guaranteed to please more than your palate and his.

6. Crisp is meant for corn flakes and apples. When it comes to your bed linens, choose soft and luxurious. Whether you and he prefer cotton, satin or flannel, add a plush comforter and snuggle with your mate as much as you desire.

Above all, live each day to the fullest. Dare to let your wildest and fondest dreams become reality. Don’t let self-doubt or previous rejection daunt you or drive you off the path to success!

Sexy Myspace Comments

Wishing you all many happy reading moments,

Shawna Moore
TORMENTED -- Coming October 8 from Ellora's Cave
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora's Cave Exotika
HELLE IN HEELS -- Ellora's Cave Exotika
Shawna's Myspace
Helle's Myspace

Sinfully Sexy Saturday Ahead of Incoming Ike

I just finished Deadly Liaisons edits for the new vampire romantic suspense and am in the middle of finishing up The Accidental Highland Hero in a couple of weeks. This guy could be James when he's out of his kilt and taking a dip in the loch. And then it's off to another werewolf adventure.

Hoping Ike won't hit us too bad. The winds have already picked up considerably this morning. Torrential downpours are expected. And I expect that we'll lose our satellite, maybe our electricity as any little storm can do it.

I'm off to work in a little bit. Hope that won't be a disaster. Grocery stores were crowded and the gas pump lines were insane last night. People were stocking up on bottled water--we've made additional ice to help keep our food referigerated. Hopefully, it won't be anything like what Houston has experienced.

Hope everyone has a Sexy Saturday and stays safe in the path of the storm!

Terry Spear
Heart of the Wolf, Don't Cry Wolf, The Vampire...In My Dreams, Winning the Highlander's Heart

Creating a Cover

I got some good news this week from my publisher, Red Sage. I sold another e-book titled, The Gee Spot. Here's the blurb:

What happens when a former high school geek crosses paths with the prom queen? Plenty when the geek is now a gorgeous billionaire and the prom queen owns a sex toy company, The Gee Spot. But the prom queen has trouble with her own G spot and the geek exploits her problem—and her—to exact a satisfying revenge...for both of them.

I'm not sure yet when The Gee Spot will be available, probably some time in the middle of '09, but I already received the cover information sheet. This is my opportunity to give some input into the cover of my book. I've been very lucky with the covers of my two other e-books for Red Sage, Sex and the Single Pearl and Aphrodite's Fire. In fact, all of the covers for the Red Sage Presents e-books have been fabulous, and if you need any proof check them out at

As I went through the cover information sheet, I had to think about what I like and don't like in an erotic romance cover. I definitely like a muscular, bare, male chest or back, and I'd rather have a faceless hero on the cover so I can conjure up my own features for this fantasy man. However, the cover for Sex and the Single Pearl more prominently features a woman than the two men, and I think this cover is sensual and evocative and perfect for the story. I think it also stands out among other erotic romance covers.

I've seen some pretty sexy covers for erotic romance, but so far nothing that's over the edge - at least not for me. I don't prefer unrealistic, cartoon characters on covers, and I do like an artistic touch.

I'm not very artistic myself, so I'm always excited to get my covers for the first time and see how the cover artist has interpreted my words and suggestions. Like many un-artistic people, I can't create art, but I know what I like. For The Gee Spot cover, I have a strong image of a man in formal clothes, but half-undressed - bowtie undone, white shirt open at the chest, sleeves folded back - sort of like James Bond grabbing a quickie before he shoots the bad guy. I'll have to wait and see how strongly I conveyed that preference.

So what kinds of covers do you prefer for your erotic romance? The hotter the better or sensual romanticism? Limbs splayed on a bed or silk sheets falling from a shoulder?

The REwriting life

Hi Fierce Friends!
Today I thought maybe I'd share with my fellow writers and readers the process of what happens after you turn a finished book into your editor, if you are, well, me.

I turned my new book, HIGHLAND REBEL, due out next March 2009, to my editor on June 1, after some agonizing days of trying to make my deadline. You see, even writers have lives, contrary to popular opinion, and my life, over the last year, has been fairly chaotic. I mean, when you tell your editor how long it will take you to write your book, how do you factor in things like having bronchitis twice, the whole family coming down with flu, your daughter moving back home with her daughter (love 'em), your 19-year-old cat dying, your granddaughter having explosive diarrhea, and just an overall bad case of the BLUES?

So I had to ask for a couple of extensions --- NAUGHTY, NAUGHTY!! Asking for extensions is a bad, bad thing. Luckily I have an understanding editor, but it was still NOT A GOOD THING! Still, I worked hard and got my book done in time to meet my second deadline and not ask for a third.

Now in my life, it is just a given that all stressful and important things must happen at the same time. I can't count the number of times when we have moved, had the flu, had a relative in the hospital, lost a job, and had a book deadline, all at the same time. What can I say? I attract chaos. So -- with that in mind, it makes perfect sense when I tell you that after waiting for my rewrites on the book (this is when your editor sends you an email listing everything that's wrong with your book and gives you, usually two weeks to fix them ) they arrived at the worst possible time. If you're me.

Out of the blue, I had been given the opportunity to make some extra money (and believe me, when you're a writer waiting for that next installment of your advance, extra money isn't extra - it's necessary!). A friend of mine who owns a restaurant in our town, asked me to help her set up a coffee house next to her restaurant. I had just really gotten into the whole project, when my granddaughter got very sick with a stomach virus/flu. She's almost three and was very miserable. My daughter and I had to be very hands on for two days, but I was proud of myself, I continued to work on my coffee project! Then - voila! - here came my rewrites! Gee, the universe hates me. God loves me, but the freaking universe hates me.

Usually rewrites are not that daunting to me. I like to rewrite. It's getting the initial story down that's challenging. So I wasn't too upset. I figured I could handle doing the rewrites and still continue with the work on the coffee house (opening Oct.1). But then I talked to my editor and - SURPRISE - this time, instead of having two weeks to fix my goofs, I only get ONE week. My fault entirely, you see, because I was a bad, bad writer and turned the book in late, so now I've put my editor and the entire publishing company behind. One thing as a writer you do NOT want to do, is make your editor look bad. And she's a sweetheart anyway, so I don't want to do anything to hurt her in any way.

So yesterday I'm off to the printer to have my entire book printed out again, because I need to work with a hard copy first and then transfer what I've figured out to the computer, and of course, my printer is on the blink. I'm just thanking God that I got my laptop (which crashed and burned a month ago) back from the Geeks at Best Buy the day before my editor called. At the printer's, I leave my thumbdrive and go to the grocery store, only to discover, once I return, that for some reason my file won't print, and I'll have to pick it up in the morning.

SO, like the naughty, naughty writer I am, I used this excuse to watch Fringe last night, feeling like the prisoner on Death Row eating his last meal. Today, my friends, is R-Day, the day the rewrites begin, or else. But I took the time to stop and write my BLOG!! Because that's another instance where I have been a NAUGHTY writer and missed you all last week because of this black hole in my life that sucks every spare minute of the day down into its dark and dirty depths!

Is the writing life as tragic as I've painted it? Probably not for most people, and golly gee, as soon as I finish these major rewrites in a week, I won't see this book again until the publisher is ready to send me the copy edits, which I will have a week to do, and then a couple of weeks later, I'll get the galleys to correct. If it's like last year, I'll have lots of free time to do them, because they'll arrive right in time for Christmas holidays! :))

The writing life is so much fun, y'all.

: )) Next week: How to remove bamboo shoots from under your fingernails.

KEEP WRITING! And as my dad used to say -- Don't let the bastards wear you down! Not that editors are bastards. Not at all. They are awesome people. Okay, I'm stopping now. See you next week! I'll let you know how the rewrites are going.

Outer Banks: Bodie Island Lighthouse

Later the same day, after we visited Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, we visited the Bodie Island Lighthouse. It is incredibly beautiful, not only the lighthouse but its setting. Visitors aren't allowed to go inside the lighthouse, but it's free to visit.Bodie Island Lighthouse Facts:
Height: 156 feet
Height of Stripes: 22 feet
Stairs: 214
Light Pattern: 2.5 seconds on, 2.5 off, 2.5 on, 22.5 off
Beam Range: 19 miles
Ownership: transferred from US Coast Guard to the National Park Service in 2000
This is the 3rd Bodie Island Lighthouse. Before the first was built, it was said of the Bodie Island off shore area: “more vessels are lost there than on any other part of our coast.” So they needed a lighthouse. The first, started in 1847 began to lean 2 years after completion. It was abandoned in 1859. The second lighthouse was started nearby the same year. Unfortunately this one was a victim of the Civil War. Retreating Confederate troops feared the Union would use the lighthouse to their advantage, so the Confederate soldiers blew it up in 1861. Construction on the current lighthouse began in 1871. It was completed and first lit in 1872. Keeping a lighthouse is an incredibly isolated job, especially in the early days when hardly anyone lived on the island. The light was electrified in 1932 which eliminated the need for a full time Keeper. The salt marsh behind the lighthouse is home to birds and other wildlife.

Tribute to Cowboys

Many of my favorite romance and mainstream novels feature a certain special hero – The Cowboy. Today’s blog is a tribute to those hard-working, hard-loving men. Whether they’re wrangling, riding, ranching or romancing, cowboys are bound to keep us wondering as to what extremes they’ll go when protecting those they love and cherish. When the dust settles, we know with a bit of patience on the heroine’s part, those guys will make time and set aside the rough ropes and hard saddles for something softer.

Mulling a difficult day…

With a Texas smile wider than his hat brim…

While hanging out in the lower paddock…

Always flexing those sexy muscles…

MySpace Comments - Cowboys and Cowgirls

And my favorite cowboy hero, Jack Dodson in:

Roughrider Medium cover

Rabid curiosity clashes with criminal minds and escalates the drama in a small Texas town where love and loyalties are harder won than any rodeo trophy.

Click here for more information and an excerpt

Click here for another excerpt, reviews and book videos

Wishing you all many happy reading moments,

Shawna Moore
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora's Cave Exotika
HELLE IN HEELS -- Ellora's Cave Exotika
TORMENTED -- Coming October 8 to Ellora's Cave
Shawna's Myspace
Helle's Myspace

I've Been Shipwrecked!

Hmm, I feel I've been in a shipwreck and I'm trying to find what's left of the pieces. :)

I've moved, closed on the house, have a library talk to give this morning, and can't find anything. :)

But otherwise, it's a great Saturday! I woke at 4 am, couldn't sleep and so have been working again on Allure of the Wolf edits. Should be done soon, hopefully this weekend. Just got word that Betrayal of the Wolf is going into edits...AND, it will be a FALL release after Don't Cry Wolf's spring release in 2009!!! Woohoo, no waiting 11 months from one book to the next. So I'm really excited about that.

Allure of the Wolf should be a Spring 2010 release, and have to get to work on the next couple of books. I'm working on Deadly Liaisons edits also--a great vampire romantic suspense, and have to finish The Accidental Highland Hero.

What's really great about writing, is the wonderful fan mail we receive from time to time. I got a letter from a lady who has an incurable illness and is stuck at home, and has read Winning the Highlander's Heart three times, plus bought copies for her friends. It's letters like these that make me love writing so much, despite all the trials in getting the works published. And another, from a thirteen year old girl who loved The Vampire...In My Dreams, couldn't put it down, and is dying for a sequel. Then I had a note from a lady who watched the book trailer for The Vampire...In My Dreams and loved it. This, after I found someone had given it a one star rating.

With all my heart, I thank my readers, for encouraging me to continue sharing my stories.

Right now, I'm off to search for the magazines I have stories in to use in my talk today....if I can find them in the shipwreck. :) Will anyone be at the talk? I envision seven people...the other authors who are speaking, the librarian, and my mother. :) The good thing is we have chocolate kisses to hand out. Chocolate is always a good thing to help cope with adversity.

What do you do to cope when you've been shipwrecked in life???

Outer Banks: Roanoke

One day during our vacation to the Outer Banks, we visited Festival Park on Roanoke Island. Here we went aboard Elizabeth II, a replica (technically a composite representation) ship modeled after the Elizabeth which first arrived in Roanoke in 1585. The design is a 16th century merchant ship. (I borrowed the above picture to show you what the ship looks like sailing. We didn't get to sail.)

Since I write scenes set in the 1600s aboard ships similar to this, I considered this research.

The captain's table complete with all his instruments, food and a rat.

Between decks. The food was cooked here. You can see the pot near the center of the picture. Also most passengers would've stayed here.

The Silver Chalice is Elizabeth II's boat. This small boat would've been used to carry passengers and cargo from the big ship to shore because back then most large ships couldn't get close to shore. Read more about the Silver Chalice here
And here you can learn more about Elizabeth II

Festival Park has many areas to visit including The Settlement, which is a replica settlement similar to the ones the English lived in here in the late 1500s when they first arrived. Below is the smithy or blacksmith shop. The park employs actors to reenact what it might have been like, complete with Elizabethan English accents. Very cool!
Tents in the Settlement.

Festival Park also has many squirrels which are almost tame. They love peanuts. This guy followed us around a while.