Monday, April 29, 2013

Now That's an Interesting Name... With Wendi Zwaduk

A lot of the time people will ask me about my name. Wendi. "Now that's an odd name." I don't think it is, but then it's mine and I've had it for over 30 years, so I would be used to it. The question I get the most is, "How did you get that name?"

Part of me wants to answer, the same way you did. My folks gave it to me. But I refrain. I'm honestly not sure how they came to that particular spelling or that name. I just know my name is Wendi.

I like to say it came from Peter Pan. They never said no, so that's a good start. And the name Wendy is mentioned in Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run". Who wouldn't want their name mentioned by the Boss? I know I would. So that works, too.

But this post really wasn't supposed to be about MY name. Nope. I had a moment. Yep, THAT moment. The moment when I said, "now that's a neat name" to someone else. Thankfully he didn't laugh at me or roll his eyes, although he could've/should've. Wasn't really my business to comment on his name.

But I did.

So you're probably wondering, what exactly were the circumstances in this situation...oh and what was his name? I was at the home store getting paint. He worked the paint counter. Nice looking guy, too. Would serve well as one of my heroes. Anyway, I noticed his name tag. Krieg. Hmm. Neat. So I said, that's a cool name. (Actually I think I used the word neat... being cool under pressure is SOOO not my strong point).

He smiled and said, "What, Kreig? It's nothing." (Pronounced Craig - like Daniel Craig)

"It's unique. I like it." (Again, I am NOT smooth under pressure.)

He smiled again and blushed, then handed me my incredibly boring pale blue paint.

I left the store and wrote down his name. Not to make a connection with him. Nope. Because I wanted to use his name for a character and I knew just which one. Turns out he's wolf shifter. Grin. Megan's going to have so much fun with him.

Have you ever met anyone with a unique name? What was it? How did you react? Or do YOU have a unique name? I'd love to know. :-)

~~


Want to know more about Wendi Zwaduk? Here you go:

I always dreamt of writing the stories in my head. Tall, dark, and handsome heroes are my favorites, as long as he has an independent woman keeping him in line. I earned a BA in education at Kent State University and currently hold a Masters in Education with Nova Southeastern University.

I love NASCAR, romance, books in general, Ohio farmland, dirt racing, and my menagerie of animals. I also write under the pen name of Megan Slayer. I’m published with Total-E-Bound, Changeling Press, Liquid Silver Books, Turquoise Morning Press, Decadent Publishing and The Wild Rose Press. Come join me for this fantastic journey!

If you like my work, tell your friends and email me. I love hearing from readers!
~


Now here's a little bit more about my take on The Phantom of the OperaThe Phantom of the Opera
Gaston Leroux and Wendi Zwaduk
Total-E-Bound
Novel
historical
m/f, bdsm, spanking, multiple partners
Available here!


The Classics Exposed…

A chance sighting at the Opera, fated love, and three lives in turmoil.


One man pledges to own her, while another wants her heart. The Opera sets the stage for romance and intrigue. In the catacombs below the building lives a man rife with sorrow and passion. The Phantom. But he’s not content to live alone. He wants to possess the one woman who can set him free.

His Christine.

Viscount Raoul de Chagny doesn’t believe the rumours of a Ghost living below the Opera. He only has eyes for Christine, his childhood friend and first love. Together they embark on a sensual journey of discovery and fiery desire.

But she can only have one man. Will love raise her up or tear their world apart?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ghosts: Have YOU ever seen one?

Hello everyone! I've been thinking a lot about ghosts recently. I'm not sure why. It's not as if we're even close to Halloween.

Mostly, I've been wondering what ghosts look like. Have you ever seen one? Do you even believe in them?

I've seen one ghost in my life. I was laying on my bed, doing homework. My mom's cat, Endora was laying beside me. Then, all of a sudden, another cat ran into my room and under the bed. Both Endora and I jumped off the bed to look underneath. Nothing was there.

Now, we did have two other cats at the time. But, I swear, the cat that ran into my room was neither of them. It was very freaky, and an experience I will never forget.

Based on television and movies, there are all kinds of shapes that ghosts can take. But, I want to know what YOU think. Have you every seen a ghost? What did it look like?

I leave you with two scenes from a classic ghost movie:







Bio:

Jessica Subject is the author of contemporary and science fiction romance, ranging from sweet to erotica. In her stories, you could meet clones, or a sexy alien or two. You may even be transported to another planet for a romantic rendezvous.

When Jessica isn't reading, writing, or doing dreaded housework, she likes to get out and walk. Fast. But she just may slow down if there is a waterfall nearby.

Jessica lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two energetic children. And she loves to hear from her readers. You can find her at jessicasubject.com and on twitter @jsubject.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A stone by any other name...

I'm in the middle of a writing a paranormal romance packed with magical artefacts, witches and dragons...so naturally the research is interesting.

I love reference books. I collect them on mass and stack them mostly here so in the hunt for an artefact to protect my heroine, I was skimming a symbols book and found a hag stone.

A hag stone is a stone with a natural hole formed in it. The body of the stone is said to represent the material world, the hole forming a window into the faery or spirit world.

I love the idea of a hag stone. Its name and symbolism are a plot-bunny in the making.

Oh and my heroine? She ended up with protective iron rings. :)


-----------------
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, Entangled Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, Cleis Press and others.


DARK DEALINGS...out now from Carina Press "Ava is riveting...Knox keeps the pace moving and the plot thickening even as the potential romance between these two balances on the thinnest of knives." 4 stars ~ RT reviews

Friday, April 26, 2013

Hello Paranormal Romantics!!

Hi! *waving* And Happy Friday! I'm so excited to be here, sharing my Friday with you - fellow paranormal romance lovers. :) Bring on the weekend...

Since it's my first time blogging, I thought I'd tell you a wee bit about myself... and my writing style.

Have you heard the term ‘method’ actor? These are the actors that don’t break character, even between takes. Daniel Day Lewis and Dustin Hoffman are two such actors. Dustin Hoffman didn’t sleep for days to prep for a scene in Marathon Man. Daniel Day Lewis maintained his John Proctor façade the entire time he was shooting The Crucible and as Abraham Lincoln – even while texting Sally Field (Mrs. Lincoln).
I think I’m a method writer. That’s not to say I sit around wrapped in linen robes, using oil lamps for light, and speak with a more formal vocabulary when I'm working on my Loves of Olympus series. I couldn’t get away with it – my husband and kids are supportive, but… I admit, it does sound divine.
BUT when I’m working on my Loves of Olympus series, the feel (the way I imagine that time/place to be) takes over. Food, scents, textures, sounds, and the rhythm of life changes a little. Research helps, I’ll admit. From historical costuming books, map books, various ‘Life in the…’ books, and numerous mythology tombs – I am easily (and eagerly) transported.


Another essential tool that helps me get lost in my pages: music. I am always on the lookout for new songs to add to my YouTube playlists. I have specific lists for each book, but there are a few songs that I’ve listed on each list. Some sound very authentic to me, while others impart the mood I’m hoping to write. One song that’s made it onto all my playlists is listed below.
So what do you think? If you're a writer, are you method? If you're a reader - do you think I'm crazy? LOL!
Look forward to chatting with you again on May 27th! Have a great weekend, full of great books!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

When truth is better than fiction...

Every once in a while I see something on the news, something so strange that I turn to my hubby and say "If I wrote that, I'd be unable to sell it - it's just unbelievable. No one's going to believe people can act like that, that things can happen like that".

This last week has been full of unbelievable.

Unbelievable people doing unbelievable things far beyond what we can possibly write about, stories of bravery and of friendship and of heroism and of duty which, if put down on paper, would be a feeble attempt to share a reality that has to be experienced.

I give you Jeff Bauman, Jr.

During the initial reporting I received a photo via Twitter, a horrific photo that had me cringing even though I've worked in a hospital and seen Bad Things. It haunted me, this picture of the young man being rushed away in a wheelchair with a man beside him doing something about his legs, a man with a cowboy hat.

You know which image that is. I saw the unedited one, the one showing below Bauman's... well, knees.

When Bauman woke up in the hospital on the worst day of his life he gave a description of the man who dropped a backpack at his feet and turned away.

When I read that I was gobsmacked. Here's a young man in possibly the worst situation one can imagine and his first thought is for others. (There's also a Facebook page for those looking for updates on his condition.)

If I wrote that I'm willing to bet I'd be criticized for making this character unbelievable. After all, WHO could do that sort of thing?

Other than a hero.

And all those other heroes. The wonderful people of Boston who continue to recover and survive and thrive, BostonStrong? The first responders and all those people who ran TO the victims instead of AWAY from the disaster scene. The police who went the distance to track down and apprehend the bombers, taking more casualties in the process.

The first responders in West, Texas who raced to a fire and met their deaths doing their jobs. All of the police and first responders who take the same risks every day without any reward other than getting to go home every night and maybe collect a paycheck.

People will surprise you. People are way more intricate than anything I can possibly put down in words. People are a constant study in insanity and bravery, something as an author I weep at ever being able to describe accurately enough to convey all of the humanity inside.

And you know what?

That's great. That's terrific.

That's so... human.

I love writing about heroes but I'm always so proud when I see something that can't be put into words. Call it the human factor.

We are an amazing species, we is.

And that's hard to put into words.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mermaids off the coast of Duluth

by Stephanie Beck

Whenever I sit down to write paranormal, I have to think about what kind of world I want it in. Lately, I've found that I don't mind a word that defies gravity a little, but sometimes it's hard to get through the logistics, especially if it is a shorter story. Setting a whole new world is fun, but time consuming--and word consuming.

A few friends and I are putting together short paranormal stories for a collaboration and I'm hitting bricks on just how wild I can be in 10,000 words (that's a short story). I know, for sure, I need to be careful not to set too wild of a setting or too heavy of a backstory--that would eat at words I want to use to develop a  new story.

But at the same time, how can I skimp on describing mermaids and the beautiful coast along Lake Superior in Duluth (they are Duluthie Mermaids)? It's going to be a balance--but I am so excited to start...and finish!



What is your favorite part about paranormal stories? I have always loved when the authors do big world building--like Kresley Cole--I love how hers are familiar, but sooo cool. And I dig when the characters do very human things, even when they don't have to.

All the best,
Stephanie Beck
www.stephaniebeck.net
www.facebook.com/StephanieBeckAuthor
www.twitter.com/StephBeck123
www.pinterest.com/StephanieBeckpins

Friday, April 19, 2013

Adventures in Cooking


Adventures in Cooking
By Selena Illyria

For the last few weeks, with my computer on the fritz which is why I've been absent from blogging. During that time I've been doing a lot of reading other than that I've started to cook a bit more. For years all I've done is watch Food Network and Cooking Channel with very few experiments in the way of cooking. Watching chefs cooking food has helped me get over some of my food phobia (I'm an admitted picky eater), maybe not necessary in eating but not minding it so much visually. As of late, however, I've started to cook a bit. Mostly baking using a ready made mix but I'm proud that I made the effort.

I decided to take a risk and try to make whipped cream from scratch. At first it was frustrating as the heavy cream wasn't thickening but after mixing for awhile and then leaving it for a minute it two voila whipped cream. I tasted it and it tasted like RediWhip, but that didn't matter. I'd made whipped cream from scratch and it was so easy to do, with only a few ingredients  I wanted to hug everyone! Cooking from scratch, even it was just making whipped cream, wasn't that difficult.

One of the other things I've made from scratch is griddle cakes. Basically pancakes and if you ask anyone who knows me, they'll tell you IHOP is my fav restaurant and pancakes are a blessing from the gods. I got the recipe from my friend Cynnara Tregarth. After a hankering for pancakes and not feeling up to going out I decided to try and make them. Couldn't be difficult right? So I dove right in and made them. So easy! Although, the pancakes were more crepes than pancakes-- I forgot to add the baking powder-- but still, I made them myself, no help, no ordering out or over indulging in IHOP goodness.

My next project was country fried steak using a recipe from Paula Deen. The prep was simple. I decided to just do the steaks rather than the gravy and biscuits. It didn't take long and the outcome was delish! But even though it was a success I began thinking of ways I could pick up the spices and flavor for next time. I wanted to make the dish again and maybe even do the gravy.

My next projects include a chocolate pound cake and Yorkshire Pudding. All this plotting and planning of course gave me a plot bunny but more importantly it gave me confidence in the kitchen, a place I'd been avoiding. Like plotting and writing cooking entails prep work (whether it research or just writing out the plot points) and then just diving in.

Even though my computer problems were frustrating in the end I not only learned something about myself but also a little bit about writing, even if I'm more a panster than plotter.

So, here's a challenge for you, I want you cook something, anything from scratch. Take a recipe that you've always wanted to cook and go for it, then let me know how it goes. If you're a member of my Offerings Yahoo Group we love to hear about cooking, getting new recipes and such, let us know what recipe you used and how it turned out and if you can find some way to improve it.

Go on, it can be scary but it can also make you feel so good and confident about food and cooking.

Here's a recipe you can try from Cynnara Tregarth:
Roasted tomato onion soup

5 plum tomatoes, cut in half and deseeded
1 onion, peeled and quartered
Olive oil and salt

Coat tomatoes and onions in olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Place them
in baking dish. Cook in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. Halfway
through, turn pieces over. When done remove from oven and place in
food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add 2 tsp basil, 1 tsp granulated
garlic, 1 tsp thyme, 1 tsp worcestershire sauce. Process another 30
seconds. If prefer thicker add 2 tbsp flour(regular or rice flour),
then process another 20 seconds. Pour into large saucepan. Heat on
medium low heat. Add 1 cup of half & half for creamy texture.

Serves 6


Here's a peek at my latest release: Draven's Crossing: Hidden Diversions OUT NOW!

Blurb:
With so many distractions, can they catch a killer before someone else dies?

Their passion may be the death of them… 

Werewolf Chief of Police, Torger, is running into walls while tracking the Draven’s Crossing serial killer. No matter what he tries to do, he can’t find the clues needed to stop the terror that stalks the streets of his city. Things aren’t helped by his attraction to dragon shifter, Draven City News Reporter, Isadora Jones. With political pressure and bodies mounting, can he get through all these distractions to the truth before it’s too late?

Reporter, Isadora Jones wants to help with the investigation into the serial killer but Torger refuses to let her. She decides to do it on her own, but her world goes upside down when the killer sets his sights on her. Under Torger’s protection, they start to put the pieces together but will it be too late for them?

Things go from bad to worse when another killer appears. Draven’s Crossing just got a whole lot more dangerous

Buy links:
Publisher:

http://purplesword.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=130&zenid=numkviqa0h5fkk6o4i6cqo6m06

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Diversions-Dravens-Crossing-ebook/dp/B00ANAI9EG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364664151&sr=8-1&keywords=Hidden+Diversions

ARe:

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hiddendiversions-1018638-139.html


Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hidden-diversions-selena-illyria/1113959166

Bookstrand:


http://www.bookstrand.com/hidden-diversions

Kobo:

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Tempestusous-Crossings-I-Dravens-Crossing/book-5b-BEvQw4kOJaSg189taEg/page1.html?s=b8WwKQ2LN06NkGyJQQPVVQ&r=1

Excerpt:

Torger hung up the phone feeling a bit better about their prospects of finding out more information, at least on one case.
“Bro? We don’t have anything else to eat, besides steak. Can I order pizza?” Urban continued to type one handed and didn’t look up. “Thanks, I’ll just use your credit card.”
Torger stood up. “Whoa, whoa, didn’t you just eat an hour ago, and why the hell are you using my card? What’s wrong with your plastic?”
“’Cause you’re the host. ‘Sides I think I found something.” Urban left the room without telling him anything.
Torger gritted his teeth and resisted the urge to go after his brother and beat the crap out of him. Despite the conversation with Isy he still didn’t feel too sure that they would find any leads. With deep breaths, he gained control over his temper and followed Urban out to the kitchen where his brother continued to type one handed while holding a phone with the other.
He seemed to be only ordering food for him. “Yeah, three large pizzas, the meat lovers. Extra pepperoni and sausage, sure throw in breadsticks and some of that dessert. Uh huh, fifteen minutes? Awesome. Thanks.” Urban hung up and beamed at Torger. “Don’t worry. I didn’t forget about you.”
Torger rolled his eyes. “Wonderful. Okay what did you find?”
“I called in a favor with a friend—we won’t talk about it—but anyway, some of these victims were lured here. They won a contest; hotel, airfare or gas or train fare was paid for, and they were given five thousand dollars in prize money. The ones that you found when Jackal came to town weren’t contest winners, but came of their own freewill. Muffy Evanson is the only deviation. I don’t have all the details, but this sheds some light on the case, right? The killer lured his or her victims here via the contest. I still have to find out if the latest victim is connected to the contest but we have a lead. And I’m still tracking the money on how everything was paid. Isn’t that great, bro?”
Torger’s head hurt. He couldn’t wrap his mind around what Urban was telling him. “So, this really is a conspiracy. Great. I have a headache.”
“Could be. We need more pieces to this puzzle. Check with Jagger, maybe that’s why he hasn’t heard anything. The contest wouldn’t look fishy to anyone. Cities hold them all the time to lure in vacationers. Now, all we have to do is check into the websites that they used to enter the contests and find out who’s behind them, as well as who paid out and follow the money.” Urban turned to his laptop and began to type away.
Torger tried to understand why anyone would want to do what was suggested. First Urban, and now Isy, were telling him that this could be a setup of some kind? In all his years as Police Chief everything had made sense. They’d never had a lot of crime to begin with and now this. He sank down into a chair. “And where does that leave the theory about Draven and possible assassinations?”
Urban shrugged. “Well, there are lots of VIPs in this town to begin with, starting with Draven, you and several others. We have to consider all options. It could be a heavily plotted, deeply intricate plan that involves many players.” His brother drained his coffee and held up his mug. “More. Please.”
Torger got up to make more java. “Why can’t things be simple? I’ll contact Jagger to put him on this line of thought. Maybe this time he’ll have more luck.” Torger’s phone rang.
“Torger.” He prayed that this wouldn’t be another body or more bad news.
“It’s Jagger. You got a minute. I have an idea,” the vampire said.
Speak of the devil. “Sure, just me and my brother. Come on over. We’re talking the case.”
Jagger hung up and Torger resisted the urge to swear. The vampire never said good-bye or anything. Just as the timer on the coffeemaker dinged, the doorbell sounded. “Son of a bitch.” Torger went to the front door and opened it. Jagger stood before him looking like the Prince of Darkness in leather and pale skin. Without bothering to ask for entrance, Jagger just brushed past him and headed into the kitchen. Torger resisted the urge to growl at him. “Well, come on in. Make yourself at home. Have some coffee.”
He followed Jagger into the kitchen to find the vampire doing just that.
“Already did that.” He sipped the brew slowly and looked at Torger.
“Son of a bitch.” Torger shook his head and grabbed another mug, poured him and Urban more java and sat down. Jagger continued to stand near the counter drinking his coffee and looking over both men. “You gonna stand there or join us?”
“Do you have anything to eat?” Jagger didn’t smile or answer the question. He just went over to the fridge and pulled it open. “Jesus, don’t you have anything besides meat?”
“Please, make yourself at home, look in my fridge, eat my brother.” Torger gestured toward Urban.
“Hey!” the other werewolf protested.
“That’s disgusting. I’m not a cannibal.” He withdrew a loaf of bread and last night’s baked ham. “Besides, he’s probably too stringy. All that lean muscle.”
“Hey! I can hear you, you know?” Urban uttered.
Torger stifled a laugh.
“So what are we doing besides forming a knitting circle? I can crochet a mean scarf, and I heard Draven can make some mittens,” Jagger said as he sliced the ham.
Torger tried to picture that and couldn’t. “Sorry, I don’t have any blood on hand for you,” he said instead.
“Already fed tonight. Let’s talk about the case. So what do you have for me?” Jagger put away the rest of the ham and bread and cleaned off the cutting board and knife before sitting down next to Torger.
Urban filled him in while he typed away on the keyboard. “I have to say, it’s a pretty pickle you got here. I don’t have all the pieces but at least we have a start. The question is what’s he or she doing with the blood? Clothing can be for trophies but blood?”
Jagger shook his head. “It doesn’t make sense. It does give credence to the whole vampire angle but I’m wondering about these contests. What if they’re legit but someone running them isn’t? What do you know about these contests? They’re a pretty sweet deal, too sweet if you ask me.”
Torger had a thought, although he was hesitant to say it aloud. It sounded insane. Even to his tired brain, he didn’t think it was possible but he said it anyway. “What if it is a vampire? And what if he or she is doing the contests to get a blood supply for themselves?”
He looked over at Jagger and Urban who turned to him, puzzlement on his face.
“Poor Tor, he’s going insane.” Jagger clapped him on the back. “Why would a vampire imitate its race when there is an abundance of people willing to offer up a vein for us and blood banks open twenty-four seven for us to pop in and get something to help keep us going?”
Torger decided to take a shot in the dark. “Because maybe there’s something wrong with them?”
Urban rubbed his eyes. “Okay, so there’s something wrong with them. Why the clothing change, the death, the clean up and dump? Wanna explain that, Yoda?”
Torger smacked Urban on the back of the head. “Don’t mock Star Wars. Anyway, maybe shame? They take too much, they panic and don’t want to be arrested or put to death. Newbies don’t have the control that older vampires have.”
“True.” Jagger nodded. “But, then this person is going overboard. No, doesn’t jive with what we have. It’s just too complex for a newbie to carry out. I barely remember my first few years when I was turned and I was crazed. It was eat, sleep, survive, nothing about trying to hide the bodies of victims that I’d drained of life.”
“Yes, but what if we’re not dealing with a newbie?” Torger threw out the question. It had to be said.
Jagger shook his head. “Okay, I’m going to need more coffee and food. Anyone want to order out for burgers or pizza?”
Urban’s stomach growled. “First you already ate, and we already ordered food. It’s close to the full moon and my metabolism has increased. Maybe we should order burgers as well?”
Jagger ordered some food while Torger headed out to the garage. The information about the victims was bothering him and he needed to see things on the big screen. He got a white wash board and hauled it into the kitchen.
“Urban, can you do a chart of all the victims both past and present, all the information that we know. Let’s start again.” Torger knew that he’d get groans and moans but if they had to start at the beginning to stop whoever it was, they would.
“Fine, fine and what do you want the blood sucker to do?” Urban focused on the laptop screen and tapped away at the keyboard.
“The blood sucker is going to visit the night ME and see if he has something new for me. I’ll be back. Shouldn’t take too long. It’s his smoke break.” Jagger left before either of them could say anything.
Urban threw his hands up in the air. “Okay, let’s follow our threads. We know that the first set of victims won a contest with everything paid for. The contests would have to be approved by the Tourist Board. The board is very selective about what contests are allowed to use our town name.”
Something poked at Torger’s thoughts. It took a moment before he realized what had been bothering him. “Muffy Evanson was part of the Tourist Board. So there’s a connection to the first bodies.” He wrote all of that on the board.
Urban typed away on the keyboard. “Okay, added into my notes. As for the second set of bodies when Jackal came to town?”
Torger reminisced on the time that Jackal had helped him out. “The victims from that case had been tortured. A total deviation from the MO.”
The doorbell rang. Torger answered it while Urban shouted to answer him. “Since there’s divergence, I’ll posit that the second set was from another possible killer. Someone who took advantage of what was happening at the time and built on the mythos.”
He carried the food into the kitchen and placed it on the table. The brothers grabbed napkins and ate out of the box. Urban switched his coffee for soda. Torger grabbed a beer before taking a seat. He nodded. “So now we can see that there are two sets of killers, I suppose. One that’s thought this out carefully and the second who’s using the details of the case to cover-up their crimes. Although, no evidence of sexual violence to speak of, which is interesting. There’s always something sexual about these cases.”
Urban ran a hand through his hair. “That you can see. Remember, if we’re dealing with a vampire, they can heal any evidence of torture. That makes things more difficult. One of the things that remains the same is the lack of blood and the puncture marks.”
Torger agreed and took a bite out of his pizza before he gave an answer. “True, so all we have is the contest, redressing the victims, lack of blood and the wounds. Nothing else. Okay, what’s new? What did we learn?”
“The connection between the Tourist Board, Muffy Evanson, and the first victims. Looks like we may have a reason why Muffy was killed. She may have stumbled onto information about the killer or the unapproved contests.” Urban took a sip of soda and reached for another slice.
They were already halfway through one pie. If Jagger didn’t move his ass, he’d miss out. Torger grinned in satisfaction. He refocused on the case. “Yes, we have a possible motive for her death. I suppose we can take her out of the victims of the killer category. This is a start. I can tell Draven we’re actually making progress, even though the Council won’t care.”
Urban looked up at his brother. “Who gives a fuck what the Council thinks? Let Draven deal with them. We concern ourselves with the cases. Now, as for the victims that Jackal found, they were tortured and then dressed up like the serial killer’s first bodies. Any information on that end?” He grabbed two slices, sandwiched them together, and ate them in a few bites.
Torger shook his head. “Nope, nothing. The guy we caught isn’t talking, which pisses me off.”
Urban tilted his head to the side. “Maybe there is nothing to get from him because he was just a pawn. But we can rule out those killings as connected to the serial killer. Now we only have four victims.”
Torger felt better about the case now that they had eliminated some things but there was still something that bothered him. Muffy Evanson was possibly killed because of what she discovered. This meant that the killer could be connected to the Tourist Board or worse, Evanson. Draven wasn’t going to be happy about either likely scenario, not in the least. He thought back to his conversation with Isy. She’d mentioned that her interview with Evanson had bothered her. He wanted to see exactly what the Representative had to say and what Isy was talking about, and then talk it over with Jagger and Urban.
“I’m going to go watch Isy’s latest interview. Maybe that will help.” Torger ignored the snort that came from Urban’s direction and headed to the privacy of his room. As he shut the door, Torger hoped he’d spot something in there that could help them. There was a slight throb in the back of his head that he wanted to make stop, but anything he’d take wouldn’t last for long. Instead, he decided to ignore it. The stress was back now that he was alone. He could sense that they were on the right track, but the pressure only increased now that they had a track to follow. He wanted to banish the frustration so he could focus. The only possible release he could have, he didn’t want to do. At least not like this.
Without turning on the light, he used the pale glow from the window as a guide to his armchair and sank down into the plush cushions. Patting around, he found the remote control and turned on the television. He brought up the DVR menu and selected Isadora’s Interview segment and settled in. Normally, he’d have a beer and a sandwich while watching her show but this time he wanted nothing to distract him. If something was off with Representative Evanson, he’d figure it out. Isadora riled him up and yet centered him. He couldn’t figure out why, but she had an effect on him that no other person had.
The opening of the show set his nerves at ease. The strain on his mind began to clear. His muscles relaxed as his body sank into the cushions. Her introduction of the segment continued the process until he was mindless and able to watch the show without being engaged. His thoughts floated as the interview with Representative Evanson progressed. Torger’s eyes took in the scenes without really understanding or processing what it was he was watching. It wasn’t until after it was all over that he understood what had happened. His instincts were screaming that something wasn’t right. The Representative had been too evasive and the questions had been too softball. Isy looked angry and uncomfortable. Her gaze was too hard, and her lips would thin after a particularly light answer. The Representative was hiding something, especially when it came to the murders and Draven’s handling of things. Anger boiled in the pit of his stomach.
There was also something else going on. It was as if the Representative wasn’t his usual calm, effervescent self. There was no calm, no tact. He was off center and irritable. Despite the smiles, he didn’t seem to be listening. The questions had already been run by him, and he was just on autopilot. Torger compared the Representative he’d met and interacted with versus the one during that interview. It was almost as if he wasn’t the same person. That puzzled Torger. Evanson had never acted that way. In fact, he was always a pain in the ass but took pains to be pleasant to everyone. Was he having a Hyde moment? He strode into the kitchen with the wheels of his brain turning over and over. “There’s something wrong here. Evanson is acting out of character, Muffy gets murdered, and we get a new body around the same time. Is there a connection?”
Urban looked up. “Talking to yourself, bro? That’s the first sign of insanity, you know? What are the little voices telling you this time? Gotta jerk off again?”
Torger resisted the urge to smack his brother on the back of the head. “Shut it. Anyway, I just watched Isadora Jones’ interview with Representative Evanson. Something was just off with him. He wasn’t acting like himself, like he wasn’t all there. I’m not sure if it has anything to do with what’s going on but still, something to file away. He’s not getting the same pressure that Drav does. I wonder what Jagger’s got, if anything. Have you found anything about the contests?”
Urban sat back and took a sip of soda before answering him. “Nothing concrete, but I’m thinking that these contests weren’t authorized by the Tourist Board. No one I’ve contacted knows anything about these contests. At least not on the record. Looks like you’ll need to pull some people out of bed.”
Torger groaned. He could feel another headache coming on. “The Tourist Board is running around putting things in place for the upcoming Ball and making sure that they are in line with the PR department. I’d have to look at the roster and see who I can talk to. I’ll have to move fast though.”
The stress ramped up inside of him. A dull throb started at the front of his head. He let out a sigh. His stomach grumbled as hunger pangs began. “Too bad I can’t stay and wait to see if Jagger brings back the burgers.”
“So all this new info will make a difference.” Urban’s stomach grumbled as well. It seemed like both siblings were suffering from Full Moon hunger pangs.
Torger shrugged. “Yeah, where the hell is that vampire? Did he eat the damn ME.? Anyway, I’ve been treading on a thin line since the first murders. Nothing will be different. We have to figure out what she found out and why she was killed, but also what the connection is between each of the victims, if there was any besides these contests. The vics have to have the same something to attract the killer.”
Urban opened his mouth to answer when the front door opened and slammed shut. Jagger appeared within a few seconds. “Sorry for the delay. Had to get the food.” He held up the bags of burgers and fries.
Urban’s stomach growled again. “Took you long enough. You missed the pizza.” He put the pizza boxes into the oven and ignored the last remaining full pie at the bottom of the pile. He doubted Jagger would care. The food was passed around before everyone settled at the table.
“So what have you found?” Torger asked before taking a bite into his bacon cheeseburger. He prayed that Jagger found something, anything to help them along the trail.
“Well, the ME looked over Muffy Evanson’s body and, well, you’ll love this—her throat was slit and the healing was sloppy. So we’re not dealing with a vampire. I don’t know how the hell he got the clout to get the official report changed, but she was killed. We have to keep it quiet it though.” Jagger shook his head and ate his meal.
Torger swore. His fingers itched to call Isy and Draven. “Do you think Draven knows about the cover-up?”
Jagger was quiet for far too long. It made Torger uncomfortable. Anger surged, red hot and scorching, spreading up through his chest to his throat where it came out in a growl. “Motherfucking politicians.” He slipped out his phone and speed dialed Isy. Torger didn’t care what kind of shit storm he caused. He refused to be part of a cover-up. This could endanger more lives and embolden the real serial killer.
She answered on the first ring. He ignored Jagger and Urban’s protests. “Isy, I have a scoop for you. Can you swing by my cabin?” The words came in a rush before he could get his thoughts clear.
Shit! He wanted to take back the invitation immediately. She would be meeting his brother and he’d never hear the end of it from Jagger.
“I’d love to! I have to convince Bill to let me invade the Evanson compound. I can’t wait to see what’s really going on in there.” She practically purred the words. Her excitement came through the phone loud and clear. His wolf sat up, tail wagging, eagerness showing in its eyes. Thoughts of handcuffs and spankings filled his head as blood surged to his cock. The shaft filled with liquid life as it tented his fly, pressing against the metal and denim with the need to break free. Isy hung up before he could say anything. All his words were choked in his throat as arousal took over his body.
“Why the fuck did you do that?” Jagger demanded as he threw away his trash.
“His cock was doing the thinking; so was his anger.” Urban chuckled and brought out more beers. He offered one to Jagger who took it with a nod.
Both men shook their heads while Torger got his body under control, or at least some semblance of command.
“I can smell his need; feel it on my skin. I might need to do a midnight run tonight to burn off my own arousal.” Urban’s husky voice came from a distance, and guilt threw cold water on Torger’s simmering need.
Torger swallowed, feeling like an idiot. “Sorry, bro. Really, I just got so caught up in…”
Jagger held up a hand. “No need to explain. I don’t like it either. Trust me. But Draven felt that it would be better to make everyone think that it was the killer. He hoped to lure the bastard out and end things once and for all. I can’t say I blame him. But what can you do when you’re running into walls, well, until now.”
Torger sank down into a chair. “He should have given us some time. Now, we’re really under the gun. Let me check in with Detective Santa Rosa. Hopefully she’ll have found something to go on.” He dialed the Detective’s number. It went straight to voice mail. After leaving a message, he checked in at the police station. The reporters were camped out waiting for news. He gave instructions on what to tell them and organized a press conference for around noon the next day. As much as he hated to, he had to tell the press something.
Once all the calls were done, he turned to his brother and friend. “Okay, boys what do I tell them?”
The doorbell rang and a pang echoed through his heart; it sped up and his palms became sweaty. “Shit.” Torger got up and answered the door but felt as if he was going to his doom. Isy wouldn’t give away the game but still, she was part of the problem, wasn’t she? For all the trust he had in her, she had to give her readers and viewers some information. When he opened the door, there was a sparkle in her eye he didn’t trust. Her excitement jumped from her to him; it was infectious. She didn’t bother asking for an invitation and brushed past him. Her hair was a bright neon pink that almost blinded him. Instead of commenting, he followed her and found she’d made a beeline to the kitchen where she helped herself to a mug of coffee. Her stomach rumbled.
“Don’t worry, brought my own food.” Isy made herself even more at home by pulling out a baggie of pizza slices and grabbing a plate from the drain board. She put the food on the platter and slid it into the microwave, then sat down. She held out her hand to Urban first. “Hi. Isadora Jones.”
Urban had a shit eating grin on his face as he shook her hand. “Urban, Tor’s brother. Nice to meet you, Isy.”
She blinked but didn’t comment. Isy turned to Jagger and nodded but said nothing. He returned the gesture and settled against the back of his chair. Tor grabbed a seat from the living room and settled down between Urban and Isy. He recounted what’d they’d found out and waited for her to blow a gasket. Instead, she grabbed her food when it was done re-heating and settled down, coffee close at hand. “Figured as much. The Council is shitting bricks and Muffy’s murder doesn’t help matters. I had to pull a lot of strings, but Bill’s letting me interview Evanson in his home.” This time it was her turn to have a shit eating grin on her face. “We’ll do it after your press conference to give him time to respond. It is an election year after all.”
Speech left Torger. In a matter of hours, she’d managed to setup a way to get into the house and investigate without much hassle. She continued talking. “Now that I’ve met your brother, I figure he can pose as a sound tech—ours is on maternity leave—and snoop around for the perfect room for the interview. Maybe snoop around the room that Muffy was killed in? I’m sure it’s been scrubbed spotless but still, they could be sloppy.”
She shrugged and began eating while the men stared at her. Isy’d pushed them further than they’d been yet. Torger turned his attention toward Isy, about to ask her opinion on the contests. She spoke. “As to the contests, I have to say I’ve heard of shady competitions to lure in tourists but this is new. I’ll talk to my sources in the Tourist Board to get the dirt, but I doubt they know anything about it. Which means it’s not official or from them.”
“So you think someone is…what? Forging official’s signatures and holding illegal contests to enable the killer?” Jagger sounded skeptical.
“That could happen, but not to feed the murderer’s need. It’s a byproduct. They invite tourists and the killer gets new victims. One doesn’t necessarily lead to two in this case; it just happens. Let’s be honest. If the killer is a local and he or she killed locals, everyone would know it. But if they killed vacationers, who’d identify them?”
Urban ran a hand over his face. Torger could feel the beginnings of another headache. “So what if the killer is a local and killed a local, everyone would know it? How?”
“Um, you do realize you live in the biggest gossip hub in the whole United States? No one’s business is secure for long. How do you think everyone found out about Rose and Draven after only a few hours? Gossips. I knew about them within a half an hour of her leaving his office after their first meeting. We all knew. It’s what makes this town so wonderful for info. Someone has to have seen something. The problem is if the vics are vacationers, locals don’t care. They’re more interested in what goes on with the people who actually live here. Besides, out-of-towners are too loud, get drunk and throw up everywhere, and act like star struck groupies when they meet real, live monsters of myth.” She made a face.
Torger could understand that. “Okay, which explains why no one comes forward. They’re so disgusted with all the tourists that they just don’t watch out for them when they’re here, even now.”
“Why should they?” Urban asked. “The tourists are only here for a week at the most. Unless they’re moving here, Dravenites don’t care. I can see the point. The tourists are the police’s concern.”
Torger became annoyed at that statement. “Why us?”
Jagger snorted. “’Cause you keep the peace and the newbies are raising hell, so yeah, it’s on you guys to handle them if they get too out of hand. We need a section of the Tourist Board to help show the tourists how to act. I’ve been suggesting that for years but no one cares, so I just don’t say it anymore.” He took a sip of beer.
Torger began to see the full picture. “So that’s why they’re so pissed and pressed for information. We’re supposed to handle the out-of-towners. Okay, I can see that, but what do we do about the problem now? The killer is still out there.”
“Yeah, but now you know.” Isy scooted her chair closer to the table. Her leg brushed his, sending a warm tendril up his thigh, straight to his groin.
His thoughts scattered and he ignored the sensation. Now now, later I’ll deal with my attraction to her, he told himself. Aloud he refocused his thoughts to their discussion and said, “How does this change things? Do we have to orchestrate the buddy system?” He saw that instituting this line of action would cause some issues but in the long run, it would help.
“The residents would be pissed off, having their lives disrupted, by having to find a buddy and make sure they are all on schedule. It would especially freak out the parents. Plus, the Council would find it both amusing and a show of Draven’s inability to handle the situation, which would put more pressure on him. And I really don’t need him to ride my ass any harder than he already is.”
Jagger snorted. “Let me check with my contacts in the underground about these contests. I have to check in with the old man anyway.” He rose and left without saying good-bye.
“Yeah,” Urban yawned. “I’ve got some snooping to do and then I’ll hit the hay. Nice meeting you, Isy.” He grabbed his laptop, the food, and left the kitchen.
Now it was only Torger and Isy. He wasn’t sure what to say. She hadn’t said she needed to leave. Instead, she’d finished off her pizza and had risen to refill her coffee cup. Silence fell between them. It wasn’t uncomfortable in the least. Seconds ticked by but neither said anything. He finished eating and she sipped her coffee. Torger resisted the urge to ask what she was thinking. It just seemed so stupid.
“Wanna walk me to my car?” She drank the rest of her coffee and stood up.
Caught off guard, all he could do was stutter. “S-s-sure.” He got out of his chair and walked her to the door. Opening it, the chill night wind blew against him. The soothing scents of pine, oak and night blooming flowers brushed against his face, mellowing him out and taking his arousal down a few pegs. The nearly full moon hung in the sky, silvering the forest. In the distance, an owl hooted. Torger smiled. His wolf wanted to run.
“Goddess, it’s gorgeous here. I love the woods. I have a cabin nearby, closer to the mountains.” Her lips were curled in a small grin. “Peaceful, well until my family stops by.”
Torger chuckled. “I can relate.”
“I’m sure you can.” She grabbed his hand and dragged him to the car. “You’re supposed to be a gentleman and walk me to the car.”
He didn’t argue and strode with her toward her vehicle parked close to the end of the drive. In the darkness, his protective wards were glowing even brighter than the moonlight. “Couldn’t wait until I’d brought down the wards, could you?”
She laughed, a musical, tinkling sound that caused sensation to shimmer through him, like castoffs from a sparkler showering his insides with warmth. She released his hand but the burn remained. “And what fun would that be?” Isy stood up on tiptoe and gave him a kiss on the lips. It was small peck that sent liquid heat straight to his cock and balls. “Until next time, sheriff.”
She gave a strand of his hair a bit of tug, unlocked her door and got into her car. With a wave, she gunned the engine and took off, leaving a spray of dust in her wake. All Torger could do was stand there and stare, wishing she’d stayed and given him more of a kiss.

To win a copy of the book all you have to do is comment. If I get more than five comments I'll give away 2 copies.

To learn more about me go to my website at: www.selenaillyria.com

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Better Research = Better Author (ADULT CONTENT)

This post today is of a highly sexual nature with explicit and crude language (really cause there's no other way to discuss this), so consider yourself warned.

~*~

"Give them lube!"

I actually shouted those words once to my ereader. No joke. Reading along in a really fabulous m/m novel and the two guys were getting all hot and bothered for each other big time. The one dude flips the other over and BAM rams right into his ass.

Um...OW!

I winced, flipped the page and kept reading. Next sex scene...same thing. Needless to say, I couldn't finish the book. I know books are about fantasy and sometimes we're supposed to suspend our disbelief, but there are times where I just can't. And this is one of them because I write stories where anal sex does happen.

Lemme give a little advice here, lean closer and I'll whisper it in your ear in case you're the shy type. Ready? "The anus is not a naturally lubricating orifice. It doesn't work like the vagina. This is true for both sexes - male and female. Seriously. Even the most experienced person is going to need some lube back there regardless of the genre. Got it? Okay."

Mostly this post is about doing thorough research. Now, I'm not saying that you should traipse off and have anal sex if that's not your thing. You can successfully write about it and never actually DO it. But you do need to do some research if you're going to write about something like this. And really, if you're writing something in that great of detail, you shouldn't be squeamish about the research, IMHO.

Knowing the basics is going to translate better on the page for a reader, and better research makes for a better author.

Sara
www.sarabrookes.com


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Things Out of the Corner of My Eye



I believe in ghosts.
For as long as I can remember I think I’ve been able to see them. I’m not like some who can have conversations. They are more like visual flashes with emotional imprint. Basically, I can tell when one is around and what they are feeling. That’s it.
That being said, I have no desire to commune with them. Why? They scare the %*&%* out of me. I think this stems from being a kid and being startled by strangers that would vanish or other people didn’t see. Add in mainstream horror movies and voila, I’m scarred. My old home in Canada held a lot of ghosts and I discovered my oldest son saw them too. I hate to admit it but it was one of the reasons why we moved.
Since moving to Vermont and even though my house is older than the one in Canada, I haven’t had any serious encounters. I’m a nurse and I’ve worked many hospitals across the country. Ghosts do hangout there. I’ll catch a glimpse here or there and keep it to myself. I usually worked in trauma ICU so there were  a lot of deaths on those units. It only made sense to see a few. The last six years I worked in the recovery room. The area was just built, brand spanking new and no deaths to my knowledge. I hadn’t seem a glimpse of a ghost.
Until now…
I’ve seen her twice. She’s appears in her twenties with a white sweater. I’ve caught glimpses of her out of the corner of my eye. I don’t sense any emotions from her except waiting.
So now, I’m waiting to…

 


Prima releasing April 22nd!
Sixth book of The Vanguard series

Annie Nicholas
www.annienicholas.com
www.annienicholas.blogspot.com

Monday, April 15, 2013

WORLDWIDE COVER REVEAL of BURNING SAGE by DEENA REMIEL




Although short, TEASE stories pack a punch in a few words.
Heartwarming, action-packed, and romance-filled, a TEASE will leave readers craving more.




**New Paranormal Novella**
 RELEASING MAY 22nd

Sage Wilcot, an accomplished scientist, has set her sights on her lifelong obsession, studying the volcanoes of the island of Santorini. Once there, though, she gets more than she bargained for. The dormant volcano is waking and shaking things up in the process.

An enigmatic stranger—from a mythical ancient city—comes to her rescue and challenges her to believe in the unbelievable. Will she take the huge leap of faith for love’s sake or stay cloistered in her fortress of certainty and solitude?


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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Altered History

Even though I've been on a HUGE deadline (which is killing me a bit LOL) it hasn't stopped the plot bunnies from attacking.

Like balls of fluffy, plotty goodness they've been bombarding me and one of the ideas has been something of an altered history.

I haven't read much altered history. I've read Steampunk and watched A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but I was really intrigued by the premise of Altered History.

So what I want to know from you, Dear Readers and Writers alike, what do you think of altered history fiction.

Is it a yeah or a nay?

I also wouldn't mind some book recommendations if you got them! ;)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mash-Ups Don't Work and No One Will Want to Read It

So a couple of years ago, when I wrote Marshal of Hel Dorado, I was told repeatedly that mashing up genres doesn't work. Readers, you see, will be confused if they can't pigeonhole the book. Western romance, paranormal romance, western historical romance, cowboys, shapeshifters, firestarters, and other mutant abilities don't belong in the same book.

Vampires Are Dead, too

I've been hearing for years that vampires were on their way out. Werewolves, too. Don't bother to write witches. Angels are the hot thing. No wait, angels are dead. Superheroes are too comic book. Oh my God, superheroes are hot. Westerns are dead. Well, okay maybe they aren't dead. Trends, you see, they rule and everyone is always hoping to jump ahead and land ahead of that curling wave and ride it all the way to success.

But none of that helped me when I decided I wanted to write a paranormal set in a world with no technology. Where else would be better than the Old West, when the speediest mail was the Pony Express and the telegraph didn't stretch across the country, heck, the transcontinental rail wasn't complete yet.

X-Men Meets Young Guns

A lot of my early beta readers liked it because it was so different, mutants in the Old West, but not mutants because they were born that way--but because they survived a virus that killed nearly everyone infected with it. Those who survived were changed, on a genetic level. Granted, we didn't have genetic studies in 1851, but a person can't generate real fire or shape shift into a wolf without something going on.

First round publishers who checked it out loved the writing, but didn't feel it would sell because like the post title says, mash-ups don't work.

Fevered Hearts

Determined to see my boys out in the world, I went the self-published route and four books later, I am thrilled to say that mash-ups do work, readers do respond and they seem to love my boys as much as I do. Today is release day for Book 4: A Fistful of Dreams. It's Buck's story, and continues the family saga for the Kanes and Morning Stars.

What do you think? Are mash-ups dead?




All Romance eBooks

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords


When the spirit fever struck a town, a village or an outpost, it left few if any survivors. The white man blamed the Indian saying they used their mojo on them. The Indians blamed the white man for angering the spirits. The survivors knew it didn’t matter. The Fevered were forever changed.


Rebuilding Dorado is only the first challenge…


Surviving a vicious attack by their enemies and an outbreak of the Fever has left Dorado in ruins and the Flying K under siege, now all their resources are devoted to rebuilding their town and protecting the newborn Fevered in their midst. Buck Morning Star and his siblings divide their time between training their new family members and avoiding the threat of detection the arrival of soldiers constructing a new fort pose, but the spirit walker's dreams are haunted by Delilah. But when Jason Kane threatens to come between them, Buck's obsession may drive him to madness.


Her secrets could destroy them all…

Rescued from a whore house in Fort Courage, Delilah Rinaldi never expected to find a sanctuary populated by Fevered and their allies. Silent since her arrival at the ranch, she longs to believe in Buck and the passionate dreams they share. But she keeps dangerous knowledge of the enemy hunting them all close to her heart—information Jason may reveal and cost her the only home and man she loves.


Primitive, primal and provocative, their struggle is intensely personal…

Close contact arouses a soul-stirring passion and love. But it may not be enough to sustain a relationship forbidden by their power and the tempest it can unleash.


His dream. Her words. Their destiny.


Learn more about Fevered Hearts.

Monday, April 8, 2013

On the Small Screen


In January, I had a lot of reading time—it was the beginning of the semester, so my graduate classes didn’t have much homework yet, and my teaching job was still feeling pretty light after the holiday break. So I read almost 30 books in 30 days, and still had time to write.

February and March, though, not so much. Due dates have arrived. The teaching job has gotten more intense as we get closer to mid-year assessments. Not as much reading time. Or any, really. But I have been able to carve out some television time. That, I can turn on while I’m doing homework or lesson planning.

So what have I been watching?

Game of Thrones (season one rewatch)
Dresden Files (the entire single season)
Lost Girl (mid-way through the second season)

(Okay, I’ve also been watching White Collar, Suits, Criminal Minds, and Justified but those don’t seem quite as blog-appropriate.)

I’ve discovered that I really love twisty anti-heroes and characters with conflicted loyalties. I also love complex character arcs, layered plots, and unresolved sexual tension.

I’ve also discovered that unfinished and forgotten plot threads drive me batty. I end up going to sleep at night, stewing about those forgotten threads, telling stories in my head to resolve them.

...which is probably why Anah and I have a “to be written” story idea file 15 pages long...

About Us
Anah Crow and Dianne Fox write sci-fi, paranormal, and contemporary queer romance for Carina Press, Samhain Publishing, and Amber Allure. They’ve been writing together for more than 10 years. You can find them on the web at anahcrowdiannefox.com and on Twitter at  @anahcrow and @diannefox.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

News Flash: This Blog is Over


So I recently heard paranormal romance was on its way out.

I remember when I was working on a vampire novel about 15 years ago and I learned that vampire novels were on their way out. I was seriously depressed and put my very unique vampire novel away. I still loved to read them, but apparently too many people had written them and the world had reached its vampire novel quota, and no one was allowed to write one ever again.

Silly me. A good seven years later, Twilight was born. But, see, now there have been too many vampire novels. Now we’re not allowed to write them anymore. They’re “over.” And some people will tell you it’s even Stephenie Meyer’s fault that vampire novels are over. She ruined them by writing a very unique vampire novel and that’s just not done.

So, giving up on my vampire dreams, a few years ago, I wrote a series about angels and demons. At the time, I’d never seen a fantasy novel about angels and demons so I thought this was pretty unique, but apparently, around the time I was shopping my series in 2010, angels and demons were already overdone. Imagine my chagrin when I realized I’d stupidly written something that was already passé before it had even become popular enough for me to have heard of. Good thing nobody told me angels and demons were overdone and I wasn’t allowed to write about them until I was already through or I’d have put that series aside, too. (Book 3 will be out in June of this year.)

So skip to 2013 and I’m working on my first paranormal novel that I’m actually intending from the get-go to be a romance. (My other books just sort of went there without my knowing about it until it was too late. Books often do things like that when you’re not looking.) I’m really enjoying this book and excited about getting it ready to submit. But hold the phone—haven’t you heard? Paranormal romance is OVER. So step away from the computer, all you writers who are doing what you love, and put those ereaders down, all you readers who love the paranormal, because we’ve apparently glutted the market and no one is allowed to do this anymore. (Not to mention that paranormal romance apparently ruined urban fantasy—or urban fantasy by girls ruined urban fantasy by boys—or urban fantasy ruined epic fantasy. Or something.)

But of course, books themselves are over, too. People don’t read anymore. Publishing is dying. Paper books are a thing of the past and nobody reads ebooks, because they’re not real. Tl;dr. (And never use a semicolon, because Kurt Vonnegut said they were “transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing.” Shows what he knew. Hermaphrodites can't be transvestites; they'd have nothing to wear.)

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Door's Open!

Okay, me and the cats just can't stand being closed in anymore...not another minute. The heat has been turned off, the door thrown wide open and the fur balls have escaped! Thank goodness I innoculated them last week. Hmmm, if there was only something for me to squirt on back of my neck to keep off the tiny creatures that jump from them to me. *sigh* I have a steady prescription for Doxy. LOL
OOPS! WRONG DOORWAY!!

Off this weekend and hoping to get some outside work started so I can see my little flower patch and I hope to see the neighbor working on his vegetable garden. It's where I shop for tomato and zucchini for my summer salads. YUM! I know - Spring has hardly sprung and I've moved ahead to Summer. What can I say?

Meanwhile, am working on story for doorway above and I've started to edit Quench. It's moving along ever so slowly, but it will be done.

Now go, enjoy your weekend and the beginning of Spring! *smile*

Growl and roar-it's okay to let the beast out.-J. Hali Steele

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Moving On

I have lived at my current house, my husband and my starter house, for the last ten years. Wow. They went by in a blink. It's unreal to think our little girl was three when we signed those papers and she turns thirteen Friday. *sniffle*

Last Thursday we signed another set of papers, this on a house we hope to never leave. It's a beautiful gem of a place, an older house on a little more than two acres. The best part? Our rear property line is lakefront.

I've spent this past week painting and wallpapering, and OMG am I exhausted. But I sit on the back porch on my swing...



(Yes, those are cupholders.)


(Funny story. My friend Steve called the hole Mickey Van Gogh.)


...and I soak in the view from our new back porch... 



...and I begin to make peace with this stage in my life.

For those who don't know, I lost my father to brain cancer back in December. My husband and I had already decided we wanted Mom to stay with us, so we also made the decision to upgrade our house and give everyone more room.

It's strange, but I can feel Dad at the new house. I like to think it's his approval. I hope he's resting easier now, knowing that we're taking care of Mom as well as we can, and that she will have the peace and solitude she craves at our new home.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Coming Soon---Tease





Please join me in welcoming Lea Ann Finley here today. For those of you who don't know her, she is a Senior Editor at Decadent Publishing and I've had the pleasure of working with her many times.  She is going to tell us about a new line of books she has co-created called The Tease line.  My feeling is that this is going to be really interesting to a lot of you, especially the authors out there!

--Rebecca Royce


Coming soon…
An alluring taste…
A captivating glimpse…
An enticing experience…

A Tease.

Like a burlesque dancer, a true Tease tempts and flirts, plays and dips, and basically stays in the mind long after she’s gone. Although relatively short, Tease stories create that same edge-of-your-seat, breath-stealing, can’t-wait-to-see-what’s-next feeling.

Decadent Publishing proudly presents a new experience in temptation from authors like Cate Masters, Cassandra Dean, Deena Remiel, Alexa Bourne, Kathleen Gallagher and many more to come.

The inviting tales are divided into three main romantic sub-genres. Tease paranormal stories allure readers with the unknown and unforeseeable, historicals captivate with the glory, grit, and grace of the past, while contemporary romances entice readers to swap their daily routines for a brief adventure.

Most women have busy lives that keep them running—work, family, friends, home and a million other things can weigh down the day until it is difficult to unwind. Few people today have time to sit down with a full length novel unless they’re on vacation. This fact was one of the greatest motivators for starting the Tease line. Meredith Cole and I wanted to offer readers engaging short reads that would ease the stress of hectic schedules, and we feel we have done just that. The initial authors have met and exceeded our hopes, and those in the editorial stage continue to do so. We believe audiences will fall in love with and embrace Tease; the depth of emotion rings true no matter the word count.

Be sure to stop by the website http://decadenttease.com/ or follow the Tease blog http://decadenttease.blogspot.com/ to stay abreast of the latest news. See full details here if you’re interested in writing for Tease.