Happy Halloween

Sorry I'm a day late and I don't have men in kilts like Nicole or eye candy like Shawna - just a lowly pirate..or two..or three.

I'm sure I'll see lots of pirates tonight trick-or-treating and vampires and ghosts and ghouls and princesses and witches. I haven't dressed up for Halloween in a very long time. I think the last time I dressed up, I was a saloon girl with a big petticoat and fishnet stockings. I never did get too creative with my Halloween costumes. My kids are past the age where they want to buy a costume and be a Power Ranger or Batman. This year my younger son is going to be a "bloody In-N-Out worker." For those of you outside of Calif. In-N-Out is a very popular fast-food hamburger chain. Anyway, he's wearing a paper In-N-Out hat, a t-shirt with their logo, and he's going to bloody-up his face. My older son has decided he's going to be Michael Phelps. He wants to go out in a Speedo and eight (Judo) medals hanging around his neck. My husband and I plan to veto that costume...

In addition to trick-or-treating, we'll head over to a neighborhood haunted house. This haunted house is no walk in the park with a little wet spaghetti either. These folks put together an amazing and very scary haunted house, using their covered driveway and garage. One year they had an insane asylum, one year it was a haunted pirate ship, and last year it was a creepy circus, which is the worst for me because I hate clowns! They have live people jumping out at you around corners. Some of my boys' friends refuse to go inside.

So now that I have kids, Halloween is pretty much all about them. Our traditions center around carving pumpkins - we let the boys do their own this year with some interesting results, (my older son had his jack-o-lantern vomiting his insides - he's 12, enough said), going to our town's "Halloween Frolic" with games, costume contest, jumpers, food, and another haunted house, and then trick-or-treating at night.

What are your Halloween traditions? Have they changed over the years? Hmm, maybe I can get my husband to start a Halloween tradition of wearing pirate underwear...

Halloween Candy

Halloween MySpace Comments and Graphics

Though I'm a chocolate lover, with Halloween approaching I'm in the mood for more than a bit of eye candy. You know, the kind of sexylicious sweets without calories that turn up the heat in any room.

To satisfy the craving, here's an assortment of fantasy candy.

Profile Tools, free Myspace layouts, free Myspace comment codes, images, Myspace Layouts

Sexy Myspace Comments

Sexy Myspace Comments

Sexy Myspace Comments

Wishing you all a happy, hunk-filled Halloween,

Shawna Moore
TORMENTED -- Available now at Ellora's Cave
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora's Cave Exotika
HELLE IN HEELS -- Ellora's Cave Exotika

Shawna's Myspace
Helle's Myspace
Last week in one of my favorite TV shows, HBO’s True Blood, Sookie finally has sex with the vampire, Bill, and allows him to bite her neck. While she’s giddily telling Lafayette, the cook at the bar where she works, about her experience, she mentions that when Bill first bit her neck it did hurt, but then she felt euphoric. Lafayette remarks that he’s all for great sex, but when there’s blood involved that’s “crossing the line.”

We all know erotic romance has been pushing the envelope (straining the condom?) more and more each year. Different publishers have guidelines about what is and is not acceptable in the sexual arena. But are those lists of guidelines getting shorter and shorter?

Bondage – OK. Golden showers – not OK. Sex with a werewolf – OK. Sex with an animal – not OK. Ménage a trois – OK. Gang bang – not OK. Are these fine lines, or does the “ick” factor rule the day? Of course, one person’s “ick” might be another’s “mmm.” Although, I do believe there are universal “icks”—deviant behavior, behavior harmful to non-consenting people, illegal behavior, etc. I think those will always remain off-limits to publishers of erotic romance (although perhaps not to publishers of erotica).

At the end of the scene between Sookie and Lafayette (who’s gay, by the way and earns extra cash by starring in his own homemade porn videos), Lafayette gushes to Sookie that if you don’t cross lines in life, you’re not truly living. But then when Sookie walks away, he mutters, “Skank.” LOL – I guess for Lafayette, Sookie crossed that line.

Do you have a "no-crossing line" for erotic romance?

What Is Sexual Tension and How Do You Write It?

Here is a little excerpt from my workshop, Turn Up the Heat, which I'll be teaching in November.

Sexual tension is the “want it but can’t have it” factor. The intense attraction and awareness of another person. The excitement, the anticipation. Chemistry. When two people feel a mutual, unfulfilled desire. In most cases, the longer they wait to fulfill that desire, the more the sexual tension increases… until it is almost unbearable.

Sexual tension is a sort of magical ingredient in romance novels, just as it is in real life. Think back to a time when you’ve felt sexual tension between yourself and someone else. Maybe someone you just met and WHAM! attraction hits you when your eyes meet. You don’t know why, it just IS. Chemistry, magnetism. It is so subtle on the outside, no one else may notice it, but inside your heart rate increases, you feel flushed and giddy. You garble your words or knock over something. And you wonder what’s going on?? This person has taken away your equilibrium momentarily and you may want to get away ASAP, especially if you are already in a relationship or have reason to steer clear of this person. Same with your characters. Sexual tension isn’t cerebral or rational. You can’t THINK about it too much. It’s more something you FEEL with your emotions and viscerally, in your heart (pounding), stomach (knotting), gut (wrenching), lungs (shortness of breath), etc...

Workshop: Turn up the Heat! Heightening Sexual Tension and Sensuality in Your Manuscript

Presenter: Nicole North

Date: November 1 - 30, 2008

Description: Editors want to buy spicy-hot romance stories now more than ever before. How do you do it? In this class we will discuss all aspects of sexual tension and sensuality and how they relate to the developing romance in your story. You'll learn tips for successfully building sexual tension over the course of the hero and heroine's relationship from first glance, through climax, to happily ever after. Several examples will be used to illustrate different nuances of hot romantic chemistry and how to employ them in your own story. Learn how to avoid clichés and use sexiness in fresh new ways. Strengthening sexual tension will take your story from ho-hum to so hot and delicious your reader can't put it down. We'll do exercises for hands-on learning. (Please be aware this course contains explicit and frank discussions of sexuality.)

**Topics covered**
Using the five senses more effectively
Sexy talk
Word choice
First kiss
First love scene
How to rebuild sexual tension after sex
Why point of view is important
Hot characters
Combining physical attraction and emotion
Body language
Differences between romance and erotic romance
Revising to make a sensual romance manuscript spicy or erotic

Fun Extras
Visual inspiration
Multimedia examples and exercises

About the presenter: Nicole North writes sensual and erotic romance novels and novellas. She is the author of paranormal erotic romance novellas Devil in a Kilt, Red Sage Secrets Volume 27, July 2009, and Beast in a Kilt, Red Sage Secrets Volume 29. She has finaled in over a dozen writing competitions and won several awards. She admits sexual tension and delicious love scenes are her favorite elements of romance and sprinkles them liberally through her stories. What others have said about her works: "This author handles sexual tension very well. Her characters are completely drawn to each other..." and "Wow! Talk about sexual chemistry. This story has it in spades. You're a natural in the romantic chemistry department." She has a BA degree in psychology. Please visit her website to learn more and read past student testimonials: http://www.nicolenorth.com/

Cost: $20 non-members / $10 IRWA members

To register please visit: http://www.indianarwa.com/workshop_112008.htm

Thank you!


Beneath the Surface

Water Reflections MySpace Comments and Graphics

While searching for web and Myspace graphics recently, I came across this hauntingly beautiful picture. For some time I pondered the story that sprang from this scene. Raindrops pelted and rippled the water. A hero gazed at the obsidian surface. His beloved mermaid swam somewhere beneath. In a place where he could never exist. How delightful the way her lips puckered into a smile. Her blue eyes flashed like the finest sapphires. He'd kiss her full mouth and tangle his fingers in her wet hair. Her soft moans would fill the night air. Although circumstances currently separated them, the hero's heartbeats quickened at recalling how he'd discovered a way his ladylove might have a chance at survival in his world. He reached over the rowboat’s side and swished his hand in the cool water. Someday. Someway. They would be together.

When you see this picture, what images come to your mind? Share your thoughts with me, readers. Make the picture come alive with your creativity.

Wishing you all many happy reading moments,

Shawna Moore
TORMENTED -- Available now at Ellora's Cave
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora's Cave Exotika
HELLE IN HEELS -- Ellora's Cave Exotika

Shawna's Myspace
Helle's Myspace

Back from Maui

This time last week, I was strolling on Front Street in Lahaina, a warm island breeze stirring the hem of my skirt and the sound of rolling waves soothing my nerves. What a difference one week makes! I definitely had to hit the ground running when I got back to L.A. The boys each had a soccer game on Saturday, another one on Sunday, and a fall baseball game on Sunday. Then they had to make up the assignments they missed in school. If that weren't enough, I have to finish up a very sexy menage story this week (OK, so that's actually fun), and I just got my final proof for my Feb. '09 Intrigue. Umm, Maui is getting more and more distant with each passing minute.

We did have a fantastic time though, enjoying beautiful sunsets and snorkeling in crystal clear warm water. We went on a wonderful hike where the boys got to jump into three different swimming holes and even swing from a rope into one of them. That's us to the left perched on some rocks above a pool minutes before I jumped in (what was I thinking?). My husband and I even got to kiss beneath a waterfall.

The boys went surfing with some very cool (and pretty hot, although they didn't notice that) surfing instructors from the Royal Hawaiian Surf Academy. The boys had surfed with them a few years ago, but that was before they were featured on the MTV show, Livin' Lahaina.

I'm also inspired to pick up on the Intrigue that I started, which is set in Maui. It's a great place for romance and a little danger. I already set part of my upcoming story from Red Sage Presents, THE GEE SPOT, in Maui. I wonder why more romances aren't set in Hawaii. Maybe it's just too much of a no-brainer.

Anyway, I'm back to the "real" world now. In fact, it almost feels as if I never left. I'll have to organize the rest of my pictures and maybe drink a mai tai...

Winner of Seasonal Surprise

TORMENTED --  medium size

Many thanks to all who posted comments and shared their thoughts on my most recent Fierce Romance blogs. From all who posted,I've drawn a winner.

Congratulations, Bookworm!

Please contact me at shawnamoore96@yahoo.com with your name and address, and I'll mail your prize.

Hope everyone is having a terrific week!

Wishing you all many happy reading moments

Shawna Moore
TORMENTED -- Available now at Ellora's Cave
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora's Cave Exotika
HELLE IN HEELS -- Ellora's Cave Exotika

Shawna's Myspace
Helle's Myspace

Oh No! Not More LOLcats from Tess!!

Hello Fierce Friends!

Forgive me for not being here lately, but once again duty calls. First I had my rewrites for my new book, HIGHLAND REBEL (out next March) and now I have my copyedits for the same book. I would love to explain what that means, but I am too tired. :)) So instead of entertaining you with my pithy wit today, I will fall back upon my tried and true LOLcats to do it for me. I hope you all have a wonderful day and when I come back again, perhaps I can share something about my new book with all of you. Have a great day and Keep Writing! And Laughing!

hugs, Tess

sentit Pictures, Images and Photos

meawww Pictures, Images and Photos

Chik Magnet Pictures, Images and Photos

lolcats Pictures, Images and Photos

raaaar! Pictures, Images and Photos

lalalala cat Pictures, Images and Photos

lolcats Pictures, Images and Photos

lolcats Pictures, Images and Photos

WUV...we has it Pictures, Images and Photos


Photos of Autumn

Yesterday, we went to a nearby park for a fall picnic. This is the French Broad River in NC. As you can see, some of the leaves have changed to brilliant colors and others haven't.

This is one of my favorite annual flowering vines, Moonflower. The blooms are huge, white and amazing. They unfurl at dusk and close at dawn. I grow the plants from seeds I sow indoors in March or April. In June, I put the seedlings in the ground. This year, the vines were more enthusiastic than usual, overwhelming and weighting down the small trellis. Each flower is as large as my hand. With frost near, I must soon say good-bye to these beauties.

Have You Ever Been Tormented?

Today I'm celebrating the release of my latest erotic historical romance novel, TORMENTED.

A woman is thrust into and left unaccompanied in a world far different from that to which she's accustomed. A hero is dealt two tasks -- cure a malady that current medical science cannot and gain the trust of a woman who's been repeatedly wronged by the man in whom she once placed the utmost faith

TORMENTED...the truth will be revealed

Available now at Ellora's Cave

Click here for more information and an excerpt


Speaking of blue, for the month of October I’m one of the authors featured at TRS-Blue.

Find out what inspired me to write TORMENTED, and also read the fantastic interview featuring another of my author friends, P. G. Forte.

Click here to check out Shawna's and PG's interview

Cyber Party at Realms of Love

For those readers who enjoy chatting about historical romance, please join Jane Choate and me at Realms of Love on Monday, October 13, from 9-10 p.m. EST. Friend and erotic-romance author Lizzie Leaf is hosting us for an hour where we’ll discuss our latest fiction releases and divulge what’s happening in our writing worlds.

Wishing you all many happy reading moments,

Shawna Moore http://www.grant-moore.com
TORMENTED – Available now at Ellora’s Cave
ROUGHRIDER – Ellora’s Cave Exotika
HELLE IN HEELS – Ellora’s Cave Exotika
Shawna's Myspace
Helle's Myspace

Tormented by Shawna Moore

Our very own Shawna Moore has a hot new book release this week from Ellora's Cave, Tormented. Woohoo!!!

Since childhood, Shawna Moore has enjoyed creating fantasy worlds and fictional characters. She has completed over 40 manuscripts and has had multiple novels, short stories and novellas published. At present she delights in writing erotica and erotic romance for Ellora's Cave. When she's not writing, editing and researching, Shawna enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, listening to the music of the Beatles, shopping for shoes and visiting the interesting destinations on her must-see list.

Nicole North: Congratulations on your new release, Shawna! What a wonderful and dramatic cover! Please tell us about Tormented.

Shawna Moore: Eve Morneau is a Boston socialite plagued by different demons--those within her and those without. She appears a chaste and genial woman, but she is far more complex. A woman with many unfulfilled desires--foremost among them finding love with a proper gentleman. For some time she's gained great satisfaction from teaching others--her pupils in Boston and those she's encountered during travels with her father. And Eve always puts the needs of others before her own. Charles Galletiére is an interesting combination of recluse and wanderer. He's a genius who shuns society and the medical approaches of his peers. All the same he's assumed the role of caretaker many times in his life. Despite the seeming impossibility of Eve's medical case, he vows to go to the greatest lengths to save the woman he loves from death and from her past.

Nicole: Sounds wonderful! What sparked this story idea?

Shawna: While walking in New Orleans' Garden District near dusk several years ago, the mansions, towering oaks and crape myrtles inspired me. One particular Greek Revival mansion sparked the story idea of a proper woman falling for a mysterious man. A man who had the ability to heal her wound, save her life and bring her the kind of love her heart desired. When traveling I carry a tote bag and always tuck a writing tablet, a couple pens and a tape recorder inside. There are so many architectural details and so much culture to absorb in New Orleans, and I don't want to miss anything. For five days I explored most of The Garden District, The French Quarter and various cemeteries in order to capture the details I'd include in TORMENTED.

Nicole: What fascinating research! Your description of it put me right there. What is your writing process?

Shawna: Most of the time, I start with a premise. And sometimes a story's theme is apparent, sometimes not. Fish Out of Water, Second Chance at Love, Cinderella tales, You Can Go Home Again, and Redemption are among those I've explored. While I'm plotting the major turning points, first meeting, crisis, black moment and HEA, I begin mulling/creating a hero, heroine, villain(s) and secondary characters. What type of heroine would be the best challenge and love interest for the hero I've decided upon and vice versa. My process morphs a bit with each manuscript written, but I prefer having a rough plot in place before writing a book's first sentence. As well, I delight in "living" with my characters a bit before bringing their tale to the fictional page. Unraveling their moral threads. Tapping into their souls and keenest fears. Studying the facets of their personalities. Figuring out what means the most to them and what they'll do to achieve their goals. When I'm at the writing desk, I don't allow for interruptions, except for family emergencies. Once the first draft of a story is completed, I set the project aside for a while before editing. Most of my work goes through three drafts, sometimes more, before submission to publishers. I've a file drawer in which I keep notes for future fiction works. One of the most blessed things about being a writer is visiting the treasure trove contained in that drawer. There is always something there to ponder once the current project(s) is/are completed. If one idea doesn't launch a creative fictional journey another one will.

Nicole: I think I need a drawer like that. What do you wish you'd known before becoming published?

Shawna: That a writer usually cannot keep pace with the ideas springing to mind. At one point I thought it wouldn't be any challenge writing stories as new ideas emerged. It didn't take long to learn that even my typing speed cannot keep pace with the creative thoughts tumbling about in my brain.

Something else I've learned is any writer who wants a solid chance at becoming published must learn how to defeat the self-doubt demon. Without fail, he pokes his wicked way past the best defenses, but we must always devise new methods for keeping him in his place--which is deep down in the dark kingdom where he belongs. Perseverance and passion are two of the keys we must hold near and dear and never surrender.

Nicole: I couldn't agree more. You have wonderful insight. What do you love best about historicals or historical settings?

Shawna: Historical romances have always been my favorite--for reading and for writing. Journeying to those bygone eras brings such a profound joy. Bringing those worlds of yesteryear alive for today's reader is the ultimate writing pleasure for me. Being able to tap into the mindsets and moral codes of my historical characters is immense fun. Living the story events vicariously, especially when the settings are historical, keeps me yearning to write as many romance tales as possible.

Nicole: I love those historical settings too. Would you like to ask blog readers a question? Those who comment will have their names in a drawing for chance to win a seasonal surprise from Shawna!

Shawna: If you could read any romance story set in any fictional world, what would you choose and why?

Nicole: Excellent question. Thanks for the great interview, Shawna, and for offering our readers a surprise!!
Everyone please visit Shawna's website

Sharing My Racy Thoughts

As I sat plotting a new erotic romance, I mulled many prototypes for the story's hero. Needless to say, this pondering gradually trended toward images of pecs and attention-grabbing men. Sometimes a girl's gotta let her imagination run wild--especially when writing fiction.

All of the mental pictures I conjured presented numerous heroic possibilities. Today's blog is all about sharing my intimate thoughts with you. Thoughts that didn't necessarily further my plotting but ones that proved pleasurable nonetheless.

A Hollywood hero showing his softer side...

Have a Sexy Day MySpace Comments and Graphics

Ready for a walk on the wild side...

Sexy Guys MySpace Comments and Graphics

What's not to enjoy with a hunk like this around?

Sexy Guys MySpace Comments and Graphics

More than three cheers for a handsome man in uniform...

Sexy Guys MySpace Comments and Graphics

The sexy truth when it comes to men..

Sexy Guys MySpace Comments and Graphics

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

Gone to Maui

I'm here, I'm here! OK, I’m finally off to Maui this weekend on the vacation we rescheduled from August. It won’t be quite as relaxing as the one we planned in August because we’re pulling the kids out of school for a week, and they’ll have homework to complete during their vacation. BUT – I still plan to enjoy myself and relax – pool, beach, pool, beach, beach, pool. You get the picture. Actually we have a pretty active family, so we are sticking a hike in there and a snorkeling trip to Molokini – a little island crescent off the coast of Maui, and the kids will do lots of surfing and boogie boarding, and I’ll probably join in at some point.

I may even do a little research for an Intrigue. I actually started an Intrigue set in Maui with the heroine as a nature guide and some bad guys using her to guide them into Maui’s interior for some evil purposes. However, I’m not sure if a Maui setting will fly for an Intrigue.

I haven’t read too many romances set in Hawaii (although I know someone who’s currently working on a book set there – hello, Beppie!). I remember reading a romance in the 70’s set in Hawaii during Victorian times. I believe the hero’s name was Jared (a name that stuck with me for years). The hero and heroine were married, and for some reason she believed he had plans to stick her on the leper colony at Molokai. He didn’t, of course, but I can’t remember the rest of the story, and I can’t remember the name of the book or the author. Has been driving me nuts for years.

What are some of your favorite exotic settings for books? Do you prefer exotic locales, or do you like stories set on the good old mainland?