Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fated Mates!



I've always wanted to ask this question to my heroes: you have a fated mate, but are you happy with yours?

Why? I look at it this way, there is a whole world or universe even, of partners out there. How does it feel to know that even though there are so many out there, only one is for you? So I asked my hero from Fire Woman, Zac Frost. Here's what he had to say.


Fated mates. (Sighs) I knew when I was a kid there was only one person for me. I say person because at the time, I didn't know if my counterpart - the elemental term we use for a mate - was a guy or a girl, another elemental or a human. I kind of figured my person was a female because I'm straight, but the Goddess does throw curve balls. I also figured, being an water elemental with my powers focused on ice, my counterpart had better be able to stand the chill. I happen to have found her and I'm glad, but here's my thoughts on the whole fated business.

In some cultures, once the mate shows up there is no chance for another person to step in. That's fine. Where I have an issue is that just because you're mates, or counterparts like Atria and me, doesn't mean you have to fall in love in an instant. I question that instant connection. I know there is love at first sight. I'm pretty sure I fell head over heels for Atria the moment I laid eyes on her, but I always knew there was a chance she wouldn't return my affections. I guess that's the risk we run when there's a fated mate involved--not being loved in return. It's rather like humans. Just because you fall for someone doesn't mean they will fall for you, too.

So while I don't like the idea that two supers will fall into forever love in a moment just because they are mates, I can see where it would happen. I like the risk of things falling apart. That makes me think that there's a little more to the connection. It's stronger.

But I could be wrong. What do you think?

I didn't have a thought either way. I've always wanted to ask a super and now I have. But, readers, what are your thoughts? Zac and I would love to know.

She's everything he needs... if he can withstand the burn.

Atria Moline isn't your average photographer. She controls fire. Sounds fun, being able to scorch whenever you like? Think again. She's lonely and desperate for the touch of the man who can dance in her flame--if she doesn't immolate him first.

Zac "Iceman" Frost controls the stage with his band Glow. He's not about to back down from Atria's challenge. He'd got secrets of his own and his sights set on her.

Contains some hot sex between a fire elemental and a sexy water elemental.


Amazon, BN, ARe, and Changeling Press

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

More time is coming!

As an author, and a parent, I am always looking for more time. It all seems to fly by so quick, and at the end of the day, I'm wondering what the heck I did. I always have a list of things I need to get done, and a date book where I write every commitment I have in terms of writing and promotion. But lately, I seem to be completely overwhelmed. And by the time I hit my pillow at night, I'm zonked. I go straight to sleep. Is it because the kids are home on summer holidays? Maybe. Have I taken on too much? Maybe.

But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. School starts next week. I'm hoping to have more time to write. 'Cause right now I'm lucky to get in a couple of hours a week. And I'm looking forward to having family time where I'm not thinking about writing. (Okay, that's a maybe.) I want to exercise more, and work on reading the ever increasing pile of books on my e-reader.

I'll have to see if any of that happens. Knowing me, I'll just take on more. LOL

So, if you had more time, what would you do with it?


Jessica E. Subject, author of Science Fiction Romance and more
Because everyone in the universe deserves a happily ever after…

Connect with Jessica here:

Releases September 7, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Castles, axes and swords...oh my!




I'm just back from a short holiday and thought I'd share my pics of Warwick Castle, mainly as it's a castle, there are kick-ass giant machines there and knights in armour thwack other knights with lances and take chunks out of each other with swords and great big axes. What's not to love about that? ;-)


A knight always goes into the melee miked up :D

This is the working trebuchet - it stands about 80 metres and lobs rocks across the forest in the morning. In the afternoon, it lobs fire. They also have a ballista, but this is static as it's aimed at the houses just outside the castle walls. I don't think they'd appreciate having a boulder the size of an car tyre smash through a roof... ;-)

And last, but not least, the raptor display...


Credit goes to my other half for the photos :D

Kim

-----------------
Kim Knox brews sex, magic, darkness and technology in a little corner of North West England. She writes erotic science fiction and fantasy romance for Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, Cleis Press and others.

SYNTHETIC DREAMS and BITTER HARVEST are available now from Carina Press. 
AT THE SORCERER'S COMMAND and DARK DEALINGS coming soon




Saturday, August 25, 2012

Watch out for "Watch Me"!

Some of you may know I'm a writer. *cough*
Well, after the howling success of "Howl", you now get to watch out for "Watch Me", the second of the Pack Justice series.
It wasn't intended as a series, but when I submitted Tiffy's story...my publisher insisted I create a series title.
So... Pack Justice it is.
I was going to talk about something else today, but then I thought well...we're soooo close to the release, I may as well give a bit of a headsup.





Here we go.
I can't give you a direct link, as it's not released yet. (Roll on, 3rd September!)
You can preorder it on the Nook, but the Kindle version isn't up until the 3rd.

So what is "Watch Me" about?
Well, any of you who have read "Howl" will have met Tiffy.
She was the troublemaker kid Zalin was trying to find after she ran away.
Now some time has passed and Tiffy has grown up some. She's still a troublemaker and craves nothing more than independence.
Then she claps eyes on Keric, and independence slides down the list in favor of bagging herself a hottie. Keric isn't terribly impressed. He has other things on his mind and those "things" take a turn for the worst when Tiffy enters the picture.
Not to mention, Keric comes with secrets to complement Tiffy's baggage. Little do they know that there are events in their past which could destroy their future.

Did I whet your appetite a little? I hope so.
I really enjoyed writing Tiffy and Keric's story, and revisiting Zalin and Lucia made it twice the fun. Yes, you will meet those two again.
There are no spoilers in the book, and I won't put any here either. You don't have to read Howl to enjoy Watch Me, both are standalone.

Keep your eyes open for some giveaways, too!
I will announce them on my Facebook page, so make sure you check. :)


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Join us for a special edition of BACHELORETTE!

Welcome today to my special guest, Piper Denna, whose characters from her recent menage release, Victoria's Secret Wish will be battling it out for Victoria's heart today. Let's get to know our bachelors:


Bachelor #1 (not really a bachelor) BRETT (36-year-old Brett Grant is married to Victoria West and co-owns Fantasies, Inc, which focuses on fulfilling adult fantasies, both at their Wyoming resort and the cruise ship they’re launching tomorrow. Brett is wearing pressed black slacks, an emerald dress shirt, and black silk tie. His dark hair is smooth and neat, and he sits perfectly still, one leg crossed over the other, patiently waiting. When he receives a text, he reads it, smirks, and replies, then loosens his tie a bit.)



Bachelor #2: DAVID (23-year old David won gold in last summer’s Olympics in 3 swimming events. He’s wearing a snug white t-shirt with the Nike logo, blue basketball shorts, and a pair of new neon-green Nikes. His dark blond hair is mussed and gelled, his blue eyes scan the room as he fidgets, and finally takes out his iPhone to play a game while he waits.)


VICTORIA: What is your idea of a romantic evening?

BRETT: Dinner in, prepared together (I keep trying to convince Vic to wear her apron with nothing under—her hair down), couples massage, and a funny movie in bed.

DAVID: I don’t get to date much, since I’m usually busy training—6 hours a day in the pool, 2-3 hours on weights, and at least 9 hours of sleep doesn’t leave a lot of time for socializing. The last time I dated much was my early high school years. But I’d come up with some surprise…a picnic or drive where we could watch the sunset maybe.


VICTORIA: What would make the perfect date?

BRETT: Erm. The romantic evening described above? Or anything Vic would like, so long as she leaves her hair down.

DAVID: A fun evening spent with somebody who wanted to be with David Roman the person, not David Roman the gold medalist.


VICTORIA: You're stranded on an island, what three things would you wish you had?

BRETT: Assuming we’ve plenty of food and water? Victoria, buckets of sunscreen, and a nice blanket.

DAVID:
Unlimited food, and unlimited fresh drinking water, and a snorkel set. **grins, showing great teeth**


VICTORIA: If you could have three wishes, what would they be?

BRETT: World peace, feed the starving children, and—oh, wait. That’s an answer I saw on a recent beauty pageant, right?
So, let’s see:
1.    To see Vic’s wildest fantasy fulfilled (she won’t allow me to reveal what it is, but at least she’s finally confessed it to me)
2.    For our businesses to run themselves so we’d have more time together, alone
3.    For Vic to never, ever put her hair up again.

DAVID:
1.    I’d take back getting caught out drinking last year at the Olympics.
2.    An instant college degree, without having to give up swimming.
3.    Somebody to come home to.


VICTORIA: If I was having a bad day, what would you do to cheer me up?

BRETT: Vic did get a rather hearty laugh the time I attempted a strip-tease…

DAVID: I can impersonate any character from The Big Bang Theory…


VICTORIA: You need to cancel your weekend plans because of rain, what do you do instead?

BRETT: Thank Christ. We’d probably intended to go for a horseback ride, and now I’ve a good excuse to avoid it. (Vic’s horse is a bloody menace!) Now we can stay in, maybe watch a movie, or try out one of the new sets we’ve yet to try at the resort.

DAVID: ** scratches head ** That’s a toughie. Guess I’ve never had my plans cancelled because of rain, since my plans are mostly inside, with a pool. I’m on the road so much for competition and miss most of the blockbuster movies. So I’d probably hit the nearest theater and take in a movie.


VICTORIA: On my list for the perfect man is loyalty. What do you look for in a woman?

BRETT: Endless legs, fair skin, that incorrigible auburn hair (left down, please!), emerald eyes, cool exterior, flaming core… my Victoria. No substitutions, please.

DAVID: Body confidence. Discretion. And nice feet.


VICTORIA: How do you impress a date's parents or friends?

BRETT: I’ve not been allowed to meet Vic’s family yet, but her friends are mine as well. Still, I’d say the best way to impress anyone who loves a woman would be to treat her like gold.

DAVID: Date? Do other guys have time for those? Cheap way out would be to bring my gold medals…


VICTORIA: What have you always wanted to do but haven't yet?

BRETT: Erm. That would be Vic’s fantasy, I suppose…she made sure to fulfill mine prior to our marriage, actually.

DAVID: Be stranded on a desert island. **grins again** Chillax. Just take some time and unwind. Hoping this upcoming cruise will be the ticket.


VICTORIA:  Describe the worst/weirdest date you have ever been on.

BRETT: We did have a rather weird date last year when that bugger Rafe Wyndham seemed to think he was still dating Vic, and crashed a dinner party we attended. Before that? Back in my University days, I had a flat one night while out on a date. No spare whatsoever. We had to call her flatmate for a ride. I felt a complete ass for it.

DAVID: Once in high school I took my new girlfriend out to the local steak house. Her parents were seated at the next table…and she wasn’t allowed to be dating yet. Awkward!


Victoria, what do you think of your bachelors?

VICTORIA:

God, Brett has such a one-track mind. He’s got a total hair fetish and no shame about discussing it. Leave it to him—perv!—to make my fantasy his first of three wishes. He has no idea the participation my wish would require of him. But hey. I love him more than…anything. He’s mine, he’s sexy, and he knows all the right buttons to push at all the right times. Definitely a keeper.

And David? Talk about a big hunk of hesitant burnin’ love! The guy has no idea how hot he is (Hello, shoulders! Nice to see you again, Gold Medal Glutes.) or how appealing all that fresh-faced honesty can be. Even though he’s trying hard to project the traditional, good-boy image, my professional instinct tells me he’s dying to take a walk on the wild-side. And who better to be his tour guides than Brett and me? After all, we’ve watched enough fantasies unfold, we should be able to figure this out…right?



Victoria's Secret Wish


Book 2 of Fantasies, Inc: Victoria’s Secret Wish

Maybe three isn't always a crowd.

“Erotica’s Sweethearts”, Brett and Victoria Grant, are launching the Fantasies, Inc. Aphrodite--a cruiseliner dedicated to carnal pleasures. Since the voyage is all about fantasies coming true, Brett is determined to see Victoria realize her own wildest dream: being pleasured by two men at once.

Victoria can hardly keep her eyes--or hands--off gold medal swimmer David Roman when he boards the Aphrodite. And when Brett propositions David, she can’t say no. But Brett doesn’t know the extent of her fantasy. She wants him as into her other guy as she is. Will his adventurous spirit stretch that far?

David knows it’s a bad idea to get in the middle of the Grants’ marriage. He doesn’t have a kinky bone in his body--or so he thought before this trip--but the romps keep getting wilder and he keeps imagining more. And he really likes them both...as much in bed as out. If the paparazzi discover he’s involved with such a high-profile couple, his career is over. Is he willing to risk everything to continue?

WARNING: Adult sensuality and language, ménage a la two men bent on arousing their woman beyond all control, voyeurism, foot and hair fetish scenes, same sex situations, betrayal, and industrial espionage.

 
EXCERPT:

“Why are you nervous? Is it because you’re seeing me, or because you’re seeing a therapist?”

“Therapist.” As Britt had pointed out, seeing Serena Weiss would be less intimidating than any other therapist. After all, they’d watched from the AV room as Serena’s fantasy had been recorded. Having seen a woman go wild like that made her quite easy to approach. Aside from the therapist issue, anyway.

Serena leaned forward and took Victoria’s hands in her own. “If I might make a suggestion?”

“Mmm?”

“While you’re on this break from trying to conceive, give yourself a hall pass. Do some wild, sexy stuff. Nothing can kill the fun of sex like making it a means to a baby. Besides, one day you’ll be prego, and then a mom. And let me tell ya, that living-in-the-moment business doesn’t happen much for us mommies.”

Wild, sexy stuff. Like what? Britt’s idea of sharing her with another man on the cruise? Now she was probably blushing. “Um. Yeah. Even though I arrange all those fantasies, I’m pretty straightlaced.”

“Something tells me there’s a vixen inside you, just waiting to get out. Give her a spin. Trust me, your man will love it.”


BIO:

Romance is sexy. And often funny, and sometimes tangled up with suspense. Let’s face it: all sorts of things get mixed up with romance in real life.

Piper Denna’s stories are not cut-and-dried romance. She wants her characters to deal with issues female readers can relate to: independence and trust, empowerment, inhibitions, an unfaithful partner, motherhood. Sometimes her characters make mistakes and often her “bad guys” are not 100% bad. Mostly she wants to take the reader on an emotional journey to a happy ending…with a few enviable sexual encounters along the way.

When she’s not writing, she edits, raises two teens along with her husband, and has an evil day job.
She enjoys books--or movies--with a comedic twist and hopefully a love story with lots of tension, too.
Sexiest parts of a man in Piper’s opinion? The hands and eyes. Shoulders are nice too, and of course, great pecs are never amiss…

LPI page link:  http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=authors&authors_id=18

Amazon page link:
http://www.amazon.com/PiperDenna/e/B002BO81WC/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1343956757&sr=1-2-ent

Website: http://www.piperdenna.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Piper-Denna/55194578493

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PiperDenna

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Setting a tone


Speaking Wolf—Setting a tone
by Stephanie Beck



When you’re playing with things paranormal, you set yourself up for a lot of option. Depending on which theory you buy into most and which fits your need, you can find yourself playing with werewolves and vampires who have seen many, many years. And if that does occur, deciding how they speak can be a defining moment.



I prefer my paranormal creatures in the here and now—with the exception of vampires and a few others sprinkled in paranormal characters. That leads to werewolves, one of my favorite creatures to write, sounding like any other human—yet, they aren’t.



Where does the difference come in for a character who has a human life span and passes as human? I like to throw them in with the details. My wolves don’t need medical care, so tossing one in a clinic shakes up their world. Need a prescription? Yeah, a werewolf is simply not going to know the process. Or if they do, they know it second hand from watching others or from television.



I think part of the mystique for paranormal readers comes from watching creatures who are strong, faster and exotic walk in a world that the reader walks in every day. I adore when a paranormal character is tripped up by a very basic human thing. Like ordering at the deli counter or painstakingly reading the back of a baby medication bottle and having to search engine half the words to find out how they pertain to a certain situation.



Why do those sorts of things sprinkled in draw me deeper to a character and a story? Because I like a badass, super strong, awesomely capable character to also be…human. Even if it’s just a little bit.



All the best,

Stephanie Beck



And check out my latest paranormal funness!!

Bunnies on Ice
Book 3 of the F*ck Like Bunnies Series


Hoping to escape his legal troubles and make a new start in Russia, Ivan packs up his vodka and flies to Moscow. His mysterious contact leaves much to be desired but Ivan is quickly consoled by a bevy of blonde beauties claiming to be “bunnies”. It’s hard to focus on business with the girl-on-girl action, orgies and other distractions.
Ivan has heard the dangers of dealing with a woman scorned, but nothing could prepare him for what happens when werebunnies and their friends get revenge.

Buy Now!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Please allow me to introduce myself...

...I'm a man of wealth and taste.

Okay, not really, but it has come to my attention that I've blogged here three times and, as of yet, still haven't really introduced myself. I've talked about the Steam Punk World's Fair, I've talked about graduation day and the class of 2012, and I've talked about the vagaries of sudden illness and family crises, but I haven't said 'Hey there, I'm Robert! How goes it?'

So.

Hey there. I'm Robert C Roman. As you might guess from me showing up as a guest at the Steam Punk World's Fair, I write Steam Punk. Specifically, I write a Diesel Punk series called Iron Angel. I'm also the author of the Artifice series, which wavers like a drunken sailor between Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy, although lately it seems to be stumbling more toward the latter than the former. I also write Science Fiction, both Space Opera (Blank) and Superheroes (Blue Bloods). Both of those will be showing up in September on Juke Pop Serials.

My post in June kinda let the cat out of the bag about me being a teacher. Specifically, I teach Biological Sciences at WWHS down in lovely Camden, NJ. I used to do tech support, I used to do project management, I used to do a lot of things that made more money, but I could never explain my job with three simple words like "I'm a teacher."

I'm married to the Ur-Goth, a woman who grew up idolizing Emma Peel, Catwoman and Morticia Addams. We've been together eighteen years this September, and I'm still as enthralled with her today as I was the first time I saw her in the icy rain on the tarmac of the Philadelphia International Airport. We've got two little boys who keep us busy.

So that's me. What I write, what I do, who I am. Good to meet you!

Monday, August 20, 2012

What have you learned today?

I believe that to keep your mind young, you need to feed it often. Learning helps us to use parts of the brain we may have neglected during the daily grind of routine life. For many, our daily jobs become mindless, something we’ve done so often, we are not challenged to put much thought into them as we go about doing what we do every day. But there are little details you will not miss with a brain in learning mode. Things that will give you different perspectives you never had before. By challenging our minds to learn something new, we force stimulation on a lax brain. And this is the one of many reasons I’ve started learning another language.

One of the things I’ve learned from my Chinese lessons so far is that the language is almost musical in sound. That when talking, the tones, the highs and lows, are like singing. Before I started learning Mandarin, I did not hear this when I’d come upon two people conversing in it. This observation has affected my writing, and the way I not only see our world, but the way I see other worlds, the ones I create. How do people who communicate telepathically sound to someone? Do they speak in pictures. Do their words have sounds in our heads? What do we sound like to them, since our speech is more verbal than visual? So where am I going with this? Humanity’s view of language can be very narrow, when communication as a whole is very broad. As writers, our job is harness communication.

When compared to other tongues, the English language can be very flat indeed, but even so, there are different tones to our language throughout the country that keep it from being drone. The South has a slow drawl, and we often hear people describe it as honey. And it’s not a surprise to many of you when I say that. But did you know the East Coast tends to lose their r’s and that the speech is often clipped and rushed, much like the pace of the bigger cities. Out West, everything slows down, including the language. In the middle of our country, vowels are drawn out, extending the time it takes for the person to say the word, and though you do see this in the South, it’s much slower in the Midwest. Another observation I’ve made, it can drive an Easterner nuts. Many Easterners will finish a sentence for a person who speaks slower than they are accustomed to. Bad manners? Maybe, or perhaps the trigger is a geographical impatience, the same one you hear in the language.

This brings my thoughts back to a wonderful art teacher and a particular class I had in high school. I remember walking downtown with my art class, talking about observing, seeing with our left brains. Now, as many of you know, the left side of the human brain is what many refer to as our creative side. When we write, paint, draw or partake in any exercise that demands creative thinking, this is the side of the brain that is most active. There are exercises you can do that will fire up this side of your brain and there are books out there that will help you with this. Learning Chinese, I have discovered, is one of those exercises. Don’t laugh. I’m 100% serious.

Back to my art class. We were doing an exercise on left brain thinking that day. As we stopped in front of a large glass window of a store front that displayed mannequins dressed in various garments in different poses, my art teacher pointed at it and asked, “What do you see?”

“I see a woman in a red dress, a man in jeans and a tee shirt,” one student piped up. Several more comments followed describing the display. What came next, I will never forget. A quiet girl spoke up from the back. I see cars moving behind us. The clouds in the sky, curious faces peering back. That girl saw a different world than what was before her. It was for me, a creative epiphany, and it has had a huge impact on my writing, as well as my art ever since.

You always hear the advice, engage all the senses in your writing. But this doesn’t always mean using them in every paragraph as you write. It means opening up your mind and really seeing, experiencing what your characters see and feel. Much like looking in the window. Ask yourself, what do they really see and feel, smell or hear?
While learning a new language, I had another illuminating experience. I realized that there is song in language. Yes, I’ve been told this, but I don’t really think it sank in until that moment while learning to speak Chinese, what they really meant. Merely writing a story is one thing, singing it another. We’re often told by our editors to listen for tones, to change sentences with the same structure, to vary. Don’t repeat words, they echo (Unless the point is to emphasize them.)And Sally selling sea shells by the sea shore, might twist up a brain, as well as a tongue. This is why you often hear advice to read your story out loud as you edit. You, my fellow authors, are listening for the song, not just the mistakes.

Okay, let’s review. What I’ve learned so far—Basic Mandarin. What I’ve really learned—the ability to hear the song in the words. So that leaves me to ask you. What have you learned today?
Keep learning, you never know what you’ll discover.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Geeking Out!

Geeking Out!

There are several things I geek out about; Dr. Who updates, Once Upon a Time spoilers, new comic book movies, Sherlock (PBS TV Series) speculation, book updates and sneak peeks from my favorite authors. So many things to get excited over. When I have news or spoilers or updates or just want to speculate I normally go to my fav people; Chris Marie Green (aka Crystal Green, aka Christine Cody), Cynnara Tregarth, Dawn Montgomery and Qwillia Rain to name a few. It’s always fun to share something with people who get it and won’t act like you’ve gone insane because you’re so excited about casting news or a little tidbit that’s been put out via an interview. Even Facebook games get the treatment. Dorky I know.

 All these things can inspire me and my writing, pushing me to be more creative, but in the end it’s all just fun. Now the reason for this blog post: Godzilla.

 You’re probably reading this and thinking, what? Well, it all stems from an article that was posted on E! Online and EW about another Godzilla remake. My first reaction was to remember the Matthew Broderick movie (that my dad loved but I wasn’t too fond of). The only thing that movie had in common with Godzilla was Japan and the name, that’s it. The King of the Monsters that I grew up with was nowhere in sight. No baby Godzilla who could only blow smoke rings and if you really wanted him to defend himself with his father’s infamous nuclear breath you had to step on is tail, no Rodan, no Mothra with those creepy twins that liked to sing. No Anguirus, no other monsters that I grew up watching. Can another Godzilla movie erase the blockbuster that flopped? And okay, all those cheesy movies like Godzilla vs the Smog Monster?

 The skeptic in me says hell no, you guys already screwed up this movie up once. I’ll stick with the classic. The optimist is on the fence. There was comfy cheesiness factor in Godzilla movies, from being able to see where the head of the suit connects with the rest of the costume to the horribleness that was the outfit for King Kong in the King Kong vs Godzilla movie. You had great storylines that could be fun and funny. It was perfect escapism for a kid and for adults who loved the King of the Monsters.

 What more can Hollywood do to Godzilla? How can they redeem or make us forget that “Blockbuster” that went bust where our favorite monster was all but unrecognizable? I don’t know, but I’ll keep watch and hope that this time they get it right. A new generation should fall in love with Godzilla like I did.

 What do you think can Godzilla’s reputation as King of the Monsters be reclaimed for a new generation or are they just gearing us up for another flop?

Selena Illyria bio: 
Coming Soon From Etopia Press!
Dear Reader,
 Unmask Your Desires, Satiate Your Hungers. 
 Author, part vampire, part pixie, Selena Illyria was born with a need to write and enable. Her imagination takes her into the paranormal, sci-fi and fantasy genres and all sorts of mischief. When not writing she enjoys catching up on her TBR pile, watching some of her favorite programs and listening to her favorite music as well as teasing people with posts on decadent food and plot bunnies.

To connect with you her can either go to: 

Her Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Selena-Illyria/100175079107?ref=nf 

Her Twitter: www.twitter.com/Selena_Illyria 

Her Amazon Central Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0075NG31K 

Her Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/selenaillyriasofferings/ 

Her publishers are: Etopia Press, Loose-Id, Purple Sword Publications, Liquid Silver Books, Changeling Press, Tease Publishing

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Making Time to Do What You Love

Unfortunately, there is no fool-proof method to writing. I'm of the "when I can" variety. Simply meaning I take advantage of little windows when I get them in between my other responsibilities (aka my desk job, daughter's competition schedule, husband's golf games, etc). For instance, I'm standing up writing this post in my kitchen while breakfast is in the oven (I found a new recipe earlier in the week for bacon, egg and toast cups that I've been wanting to try). Nearly every day during my lunch break at work, you're likely to see me with paper and pen in hand scribbling away on whatever WIP I'm working at the time. This usually results in many, many scraps of paper littering a notebook or a folder and I'm left to piece everything together when I have a moment to sit down at the computer and start transferring longhand to the computer.

Why do I do this?

The answers easy: See, I learned a while ago that if I wanted to do something, it wasn't that I didn't have the time, it was that I had to MAKE the time. Instead of sitting in front of the television at night mindlessly watching sitcoms, I could transfer anything I'd written on paper during the day. I could eat my lunch while staring at my cubicle wall or have a pen and paper handy to write ideas and thoughts down. I've installed an app on my phone and my computer and seamlessly syncs together so something I jot down in my phone will appear on my computer the next time I power it up (fantastic time-saver!)

The technique has been a wonderful lifesaver for me as most of my books wouldn't have gotten written without it. So, authors/writers: how do you make time to do something you really want to do? Readers: how do you make the time to read the books & stories that you love?

Friday, August 17, 2012

In Your Face Motivation



I sooooo needs this motivation right now. With school starting and other personal things going on in my life, I have NOT been in the mood to write.

Some writers can shut everything out BUT their writing when they're upset or they feel bad. I can't. The last thing I want to do is sit down and pour out my feelings on a blank page. All I want to do is bundle up under a warm blanket (who cares if it's 100 degrees outside) and watch re-runs on television. Something that will make me laugh and laugh and forget. I so need that right now.



I got online and found this in-your-face-motivation so it would pep me up enough to write. Even if I can only get 500 words down on paper...at least it will be something. And if that isn't enough....what about this lovely cover already sitting on my zip drive waiting for it's story to be finished?



What about you? When you're feeling down in the dumps, what do you use for motivation? What makes you sit down at the computer and write?

Have a great weekend!
Peace, love and sex!

Lyric
@authorlyric

Disclaimer: All images are used with permission by Debbie Ridpath Ohi at Will Write for Chocolate. Check her out. She has some really cool writing comics on her website!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

What's in your town library? ~ Deena Remiel


One never knows, does one? Some libraries have been around a very, very long time. Oh, the stories they could probably tell, and that still lie nestled in the insulation of the walls. I've always had an affinity towards libraries. I started by being a librarian at my elementary school when I was in 6th grade, and in college, I worked in the cartography department (maps) and then the Periodicals. I loved it. 
For one of my college history classes, I need to use primary sources, so I took the train into NY City and went to the NY Public Library. WHAT A PLACE! It just oozes history! It was thrilling to be in one of the side rooms filled with ancient books and even more ancient stories. The cornerstone of the library was laid in 1902. In 1911, when it officially opened, over 1 million books were set in place.  So one can only imagine all the fascinating people that have walked through its doors  and/or worked in the stacks since then. The architecture alone has been in many a movie, most notably, Ghostbusters.




Which brings me to my posit of the day... What if the spirits of former patrons and workers still lingered within the hallowed walls of the library? This very question is what led me to creating two ghostly characters for my newest paranormal series, The Book Waitress. They don't say a word, and they don't take form, but they do make their presence known in their own special way.

Question for you... If a spirit from a book could walk the halls of your library, whose spirit would you like it to be?

I would love to go to my library and see the spirit of Willy Wonka floating through the stacks. 




Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hubby Does Good


A co-worker, who is just out of diapers, at my hubby's job told him about a swimming hole.

Now, if you read this blog, you know I live in Vermont but I'm not a native. I'm a city slicker, or as Vermonters would call it, a flat lander. Vermont is our compromise. Hubby wants to live off the land like the settlers did and I want civilization.

Can you say 'opposites attract'?

Anyways, my mother-in-law was visiting and he plans a day trip for all of us.  First stop alpine sliding. Umm...I don't pay to throw myself off the sides of mountains nor would I allow my crazy already-broke-a-bone-this-year 7 year old do it. The two of us stayed on realitivly flat ground doing an obstacle course while the others paid to risk their skin.

So far, hubby's plan = 0

Lunch was at a small Mexican restaurant where I ate Cuban food. Go figure. It was good so I gave him a point.

Hubby = 1

Then came the swimming hole. Do city slickers jump into swimming holes? Not unless a manhole cover was left open and we fell in. I was not excited about this.

Vermont is not known for advertising anything. You have to know someone who knows someone to find anything in this state. I had to plug in coordinates in my GPS so I could find the SPOT ON THE ROAD where to park so we could HIKE into the WILD FOREST to find this hole.

Yeah, this adventure has Annie written all over it.

In my flip flops, cause I'm a hiker, right?, we walked maybe five minutes before seeing this...











Places like this actually exist outside magazines???

This was a three tier'd waterfall with a swim hole at each level. The boys standing on the rocks are jumping into a deep recess. All sandy bottom and cool, crystal clear water. Not a tourist for miles. These are all local folks.

We swam for two hours and I had to drag the kids out because we had a 2 hour drive home. So worth it and I plan on returning next year!

Hubby = a zillion points

I should be more open minded but he loves me anyways.


Available Now

To defend and protect, at any cost.



Sam is Sigma of his pack, defender of the innocent and frail. Too bad the one time it mattered most, though the urge to guard the weak runs strong in his shifter blood, he failed to protect his best friend from an attack. Just when his self-confidence can't go any lower, he becomes entangled in a vampire skirmish and is left with an injured female in his arms.



Vampire accountant for Pal Robi, Inc., Clementine can't believe her master would ask her to commit corporate espionage. She’s shot when discovered, but a shifter comes to her rescue. It's as if he's made of her fantasies, and in the few hours with him she lives more than the decades she's spent among her clan.



Hiding with him on the streets of Chicago, in the midst of fighting together to stay alive, can a petite vampire break through her hero’s jaded heart?



WARNING: Hot dominating sex, an action packed evening, and a first date gone all to hell.


Annie Nicholas
www.annienicholas.com

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Summer Break...ing Point


This summer break has been nuts. Nuts, I say! I've always found it difficult to stay focused and on task due to working/writing at home. The dirty dishes, dusty floors, cat toys everywhere...and a tween and teenager to pick up after and cook for. Not to even mention Mount Ironing. But come summer break when the kids are at home 24/7, things get really tough! My brain can't handle a multitude of stimulus all at once. I'm getting old, don't ya know?
With what seemed like a ton of releases to balance with family life, I don't know how I've managed to keep up with it all and still say I have more releases coming out for 2012.
I've had to gaffer-tape my plot bunnies mouth's up, use headphones to keep bickering kids silenced, and used timed writing/editing session to keep on top of it all. My white board is immaculate because I'm constantly changing and updating progress and goals. They are right there in front of my writing desk -- in bold red letters. it really helps me stay on track. When I do find time to sit at my desk that is.
What I really need is an extra pair of hands.
And on top of all that, i've been on a baking binge! Who'd have thought it? Me? Miss Burn-A-Lot! But I have successfully mastered the art of the Victorian Sponge Cake, Butterfly Cakes, and Coffee Cake. Hey, it keeps the family quiet for half an hour. The lengths we have to go to as writers to get a bit of piece.
I ask ya!
No, really. I ask you.
What lengths have you gone to for a bit of peace and quiet at home so you can get to your desk and focus on clicking that keyboard?

OH, and I have release news! BITTERSWEET SYMPHONY just released. Can I have a pom pom swish?

BLURB

The Bone Cruncher hasn’t visited in a while, and Estella thinks it’s something she did. Misery loves company, but she loves food more. Putting on a smile, she musters up an erotic story. But can she make it to the end of the tale without comfort eating?

To onlookers, Seren lived the high life in London with her orchestra conductor of a husband. She had a major case of unrequited love for her best friend, though, so their relationship was doomed from the beginning. Divorce papers served, it’s time for her to go back to her home town on the England-Wales border and face the music.
Owen, now a postman of their little market town, is thrilled to see Seren when he shows up at her doorstep with mail. It’s not long before they’re releasing their pent up lust and love for each other. Within that mail, though, are letters addressed to Seren’s parents. They’re from her ex and hold a truth Seren is too fearful to face. Even with Owen by her side.

Tales from the Coffin series, in order

Strange and Beautiful - out now
All the Pretty Faces - out now
Bittersweet Symphony - out now
Treacle and Treason - out October 26th 2012


eBook signings here!
 FOR MORE ABOUT TALES FROM THE COFFIN VISIT:http://talesfromthecoffin.blogspot.com


Also watch out for Threesome Sweetness, coming soon – Irish Kisses book3.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ancient Egypt and Mars



Even though it’s scientific, not paranormal, I’m very excited about the Mars Rover Curiosity and its successful landing on Mars last week! Yay, NASA/JPL!!!

So I was thinking for this month’s blog  over here on Paranormal Romantics, I might talk about what the Ancient Egyptians believed about the planet Mars. (My paranormal stories are set in 1500 BC Egypt, in case you are wondering why I’m always referring back to that time frame LOL.) I usually start my research on any topic with a Google search, just to see what’s out there and suggest further avenues for me to explore.

Uh huh, according to the various search results I got, the Ancient Egyptians traded with the people of Mars, received instruction on building pyramids from the people of Mars, left artifacts on the surface of Mars and maybe even were from Mars. OK, can we say “Star Gate” ? This topic would be a whole other blog, also an entirely different series from the one I’m writing LOL. So I tore myself away from those fascinating search results…

The Egyptians were excellent astronomers, using the celestial mechanics to pinpoint the timing of the all important Nile inundations, and possibly orienting many of their pyramids and temples to align with astronomically significant points. Star maps and constellations were often painted on the ceilings of tombs. The Egyptians had their own set of constellations in the night sky, based on their complex mythology. Their name for Mars was Har decher, the “Red One.”

Admiring the tomb paintings of constellations got me lost in researching the theories about the Egyptian zodiac – this kind of thing happens to you a LOT when you’re a writer – one snippet leads to another thread and then something else and before you know it, you’re eons away from the original topic. Astronomy led me to astrology (with a short trip through Indiana Jones nostalgia - remember all the terrific Egyptian stuff in Raiders of the lost Ark?). Turns out we don’t know much about the Egyptian zodiac. There are two primary theories and dozens of other ideas (see “Egyptians on Mars” LOL). Under the so-called Traditional theory, my sign would be Bastet, the Cat goddess, which gives me love and music, charm and sensitivity.  So far so good…uh oh, the related color for this Sign is gray. So not me, purple please!

On to the next theory, entitled the Pharaoh’s Zodiac! Here, my birthday falls into the domain of the god Horus the Falcon. I like him – he’s a warrior and since he rules the sky, sometimes his eyes are the sun and a diamond moon respectively. He appears quite often in my stories.  People born under his sign are said to be courageous risk-takers, self-motivated, stubborn and sometimes impractical. Oh WOW, is that ever me!  Especially the stubborn and impractical part LOL.

But Horus doesn’t really have to do with Mars. See me reluctantly circling back to my original topic? I wish I could have found more relevant and fun facts to share…

Thanks for going on the somewhat meandering blog journey with me today! I’m giving away two autographed copies of  PRIESTESS OF THE NILE*, from the  literacy signing at the recent Romance Writers of America conference. Leave a comment to enter and I’ll randomly select two commenters (will need your e mail address to get your snailmail address) by midnight  on Wednesday ...what’s your favorite science fiction movie or TV show that touches on Ancient Egypt, or Mars, or both???

*comes on a cd with both the pdf and ePUB versions of the book

Sunday, August 12, 2012

You want it when?!?!

I think one of the hardest challenges as a writer is to work a steamy love scene into a high suspense novella.  When your hero and heroine are in constant danger sex should be the last thing on their mind or it would be for the average person.
Sometimes a sunset on a remote beach isn't available...
Sometimes a little humor can be used to slip it in as in the movie Serenity. Two secondary characters are facing death as the Reavers attack. Simon turns to Kaylee and says his one regret is that he didn’t get to know her better.  She asks as in sex. He replies yes. To which she declares she’s going to live.
In my novella, Taking a Risk, for the Dangerous Men/Dangerous Places Anthology, I have my hero and heroine hiking through the Amazon jungle trying to escape a killer. Not exactly the most romantic set-up. So how did I work in a little romance and a couple steamy love scenes? Like the movie Serenity, I used humor.  I didn’t insult the reader by trying to make them believe Leigh found Nick so hot, she had to have him regardless of the looming danger.  Instead Leigh figures she’s going to die so what the hell… she’ll be sexual satisfied.  She even tells herself this way there will be no awkward moments of trying to decide where this relationship is going – it’s not – she’s going to die.
As in my daily life as a writer, I like to find ways to color outside the lines. Find ways to add a little unexpected into my stories. So what are some of the best ‘unexpected’ things you’ve read?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Distractions. If It's Not One Thing, It's Another.


The only sunny morning we had this week, I sat on the edge of my deck brainstorming plot ideas. I couldn't help but notice the grass, which was in desperate need of being mowed. Far from a perfect lawn like those found in the suburbs, my Vermont yard is made up of dozens of different types of grasses and weeds. A clump of grass near my left bare foot was a fuzzy variety and the dew stuck to it like a hundred tiny diamonds, glistening in the sun.

Of course, as I stared, the dew evaporated. The sunshine, the very thing that lit up the drops of dew and made the grass so beautiful, also destroyed the miniature artwork. There has to be a story in there somewhere.

The grass reminds me of burnout. I struggled a bit in July, having took on too much--even though it was all stuff I loved. Really, it was just life playing its tricks. I had an end-of-the-month deadline, and only had to cram because I had whooping cough for most of the month of June. I worked through the illness, but afterward, I wasn't happy with the quality of that work. So, July became utter madness. It all turned out okay, though. I submitted that book and while I wait for the edits to come back, I’m working on the edits of a different book. Round and round we go!

Distractions. If it's not one thing, it's another. One month it's whooping cough, another month it's a great new idea for book, but you have a deadline for something different. Some days I have to mow the lawn. Some days I spend with family or friends. Distractions come in all forms, good and bad, big and small. Good thing I’m a Libra—I’m good at finding balance.

Balance is key, not that you haven’t heard that before. For me, it’s very important that no matter how hard I work at my writing career and how busy I get, I don’t neglect my family and friends. It’s so easy to do. But, if my best friend wants to go out for lunch, and I have a deadline… I go out for lunch. I wouldn't have it any other way, and it all works out. 

What distractions, good or bad, have you faced recently?

Friday, August 10, 2012

My love of the north!

I'm so in love with the north. Mostly northern Canada. I have roots there. I'd rather go on an Alaska cruise as opposed to a Caribbean one and yes I know Alaska is US, but I really, really want to see it.

He didn't want to go somewhere cold for our honeymoon (as we were married in the fall).

I've been setting most of my recent books in northern Canada. Under my A.C. Ruttan name, Incarnate was set in Northwest Territories.

Under Amy Ruttan, my bear shifter, Gordon Thomas was set up in Dawson City in the Yukon.

And the sequel I'm writing is set in Winnipeg and have another planned that's set in Jasper, Alberta!
















Now, my recent sale to Ellora's Cave Hex Appeal WARRIOR UNBOUND, which is coming out in October 2012 is set in one of my most favourite places, North Bay, Ontario. I spent a lot of my childhood summers along the shores of Lake Nipissing.

Here's the unofficial blurb:


Hattie isn’t the best medicine woman in her Order, but when an ancient evil threatens to escape she’s the only one around to perform the spell to summon the great stone Warrior from his slumber. Problem is she’s not sure if she really believes in it, especially since the one key component to the spell is her soul shattering orgasm.

When the Warrior is summoned once again he is pleasantly surprised by the medicine woman who has called him and he has no problems giving her the pleasure she needs to complete the banishment spell, but something goes wrong. He still remains in the mortal realm instead of returning to his slumber in the stone and to make matters worse he remembers nothing, except the taste of the medicine woman on his lips.

Hattie takes the Warrior back home and fulfills all his needs, but there's a cost to save the world and that cost may render her stone Warrior into dust.

Here's a royalty free image of Lake Nipissing by Robert Morton I purchased as most of my pics of Lake Nipissing are on 35mm films:



I eventually plan to write something set here:


Which is Lake Superior. It's a picture I took this summer on my 10,000 km road trip. Yeah, 10,000 km.

We were far north. North of 60 in fact and I finally got to experience midnight sun ...okay it wasn't technically midnight, but the sun didn't fully set until 11 p.m. It was amazing and I kind of miss it.

Here's some pics of Jasper National Park in Alberta. If you ever get the chance to drive the Icefields Parkway between Jasper & Banff DO IT. I also say the same for driving through Montana ...which we also did.



I also tend to read a lot of romances set in different locales or ones set in the north. My first real romance being Connie Mason's Ice & Rapture ...that I read when I was 14.

Authors are there places you tend to write a lot about? Readers, are their settings you prefer to read about?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Live from AAD New Orleans, What Do You Like to Read?


Good morning! I'm blogging to you live from Authors After Dark in New Orleans. I had so much fun when I came to New Orleans last March, walked the streets, saw the sights, and tasted the food. It was both hot and cold, exciting and exhausting, but unendingly ripe with stories and storytelling. I loved it. So now, back here again, it's hot, muggy, historic and yes—filled with rich storytelling.  The best thing about going to a conference is reaching out and meeting your readers—including those who are just being introduced to my work. What's more, I get to meet other authors—some familiar, some new.

As exhausting as a week at conference can be, I always go home energized and ready to write. I am totally psyched for getting things done and this week will be no different. So if you were at AAD with me and ran into me somewhere, you might notice the black ribbon hanging off my badge and peer (sometimes as inconspicuously as possible, sometimes with a narrow-eyed squint if you're like me and can't read the fine print).

You might ask, "what do you write?"

And I would reply, "I write a little bit of everything. What do you like to read?"

I've been pretty good this visit, I've given out trading cards when I've met folks. I've also got some bookmarks I'll be carrying around today. As soon as you tell me what you like to read, well I'll tell you about my books. We may chat about them for a few, then we can talk about you, what do you do? Do you blog? 
Do you read to escape?

I met a reader last night that really just discovered her passion for books in the last two years. How cool is that? Can you imagine just how many books are out there for her to read? It's astounding! I wanted to ask her who she read and what genres, but the noise and press made conversation hard. Trust me, I plan to find her sometime this week and ask her again!

I met another reader who just started blogging six months ago. She's excited to meet authors, new and familiar, because she loves to write about what she reads. She likes to share the new authors she finds like a coupon cutter likes to share a fantastic new deal. See, I'm already feeling the energy here.

To top that off, I got to meet face to face, the people I've only ever met on Twitter and Facebook. These real, flesh-and-blood wonders, who have passions, likes, dislikes, and quirky personalities so totally suited to my own. They laugh, they chat, they joke, and yes—I had more than one giddy little "squee" moment as I "saw" them for the first time.

But do you know what the best part of going to a reader conference is for an author? Okay, for me?
It's all those little moments—seeing someone for the first time, chatting with them, the squeal of delight at winning a prize, the harried exhaustion at trying to squeeze in sight seeing while hitting the panels, the bawdy jokes, the reunions of authors and readers who may not see each other but once a year…and the number one best thing:

Putting a face to a name, a personality to a voice, a smile to a friend—I'm having a great time at Authors After dark and I've already discovered at least three new book ideas.
Not bad, eh?

So if you're not here this week, let me introduce myself. I'm Heather Long. I write books. What do you like to read?