Thursday, September 30, 2010

Drafting in the Fast Lane

Not only am I a pantser, I'm also someone who fast drafts. Unfamiliar with 'fast drafting'? It's actually relatively simple. You, the computer (or a spiral notebook sometimes in my case), file of choice, a word count goal for the day and no distractions (yes, that means no television, no internet, no Facebook, no Twitter--though I do plug into music). You're allowed to make grammatical errors, you're allowed to make spelling mistakes, you DO NOT revise and you're even allowed to not get hung up on things that "stick" you (my personal fav is using brackets as a placeholder).

I just write.

It's just me and the creative process--which I love.

It's also something that I've learned over time. Four years ago, I stated, very clearly that I would never be able to write over 2K words a day and I couldn't. It was a struggle for me to get that much even over a week. This past Saturday, I wrote 8K words in an afternoon--big evolution. Is this always my output--no. I don't expect myself to because it seems like an unrealistic goal for me personally. I do like to get around 2K words a day, but that doesn't always happen either.

A lot of fast drafting, for me, is simply getting my thoughts out on 'paper'. It clears the way for more information that I can get down on the same book, especially since I typically write shorter stories (my shortest published work to date is just a bit under 50K words).

I like to call it dumping my brain. LOL

Anyone have any other methods they swear by that they care to share?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reader fatigue

My husband and I took a trip to Borders on Monday night because he had a coupon which essentially boiled down to buy one book, get one free.

A free book! Imagine the possibilities! Would I pick out a historical, a mystery, a paranormal romance? Well, at that moment the world was my oyster. He went to the sci-fi section while I browsed the shelves of romance offerings.

And I promptly became bored, screeching to a halt, I've so already read that bored.

All the rows of compellingly beautiful cover art on the paranormals, while some reeled me in, as soon as I read the blurbs I realized I’d read all those twists and turns before and oh lord do I have the stomach for yet another vampire book? Same thing with the historical romances. Gorgeous, half-dressed men, but every guy is titled, there’s an issue with the girl and oh look they get together and live happily ever after. Blah, blah, blah. Forlorn, I headed over to my beloved mystery section, hoping against hope there was something different.

There wasn’t.

All the heroes are cops or former cops, all the heroines are nosy busy bodies who don’t really want to get involved but solve the cozy mystery anyway.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure all of these books are perfectly lovely and some writer took the time to finish the book and had the guts to send it out to agents and editors. We know the drill. However, this is my complaint: for the love of God, do something different!

I’ll be the first to admit, coming up with original takes on plots is tough. It’s hard work and sometimes a writer will fall back on the tried and true because it’s easy and familiar. Who hasn’t done this a time or two? But as a reader—heck as a writer—I’m getting real tired of seeing twenty books that are essentially the same.

Maybe it’s a fatal flaw in the New York model. They scream they want different—yet not that different because they might not be able to market it. They yell they want to take chance on new talent—yet not someone real new because they might have out-of-the-box ideas they might not know what to do with. They clamor for new plots—yet not too “out there” because the reader might have to think too much.

I don’t know about you but I’ve never followed the herd or have done what everyone else is doing because it’s comfortable or cozy. I don’t intend to start now.

I want NEW. I want DIFFERENT. I want to finish a book and say wow, that was great or you just don’t see that anymore.

As a reader, I want to be engaged, so wrapped up in a fresh new plot twist or new take on the norm that as a writer, I’ll be jealous I didn’t think of it first. Dazzle me. Dangle that proverbial carrot in front of me that will make me absolutely need to buy your next book.

As a writer, I’m constantly striving to write original things and put such a different spin on things that a reader will say it’s a unique and welcome take. The result? Sometimes I’m a difficult-to-place author LOL The payoff? Huge because the content isn’t the same as a lot of writers. Readers say hmm, I wonder what else she can do.

What did I end up getting at Borders as my free book? A historical romance featuring pirates (I already have 3 just like it in paperback form and 4 more on my e-reader) Yup, I know but I’m hoping from the blurb it’ll be different… If not chances are this book will end up on Paperback Swap.

Pretty bad, huh?

So, the question of the day is this: what plot line/character mixes are you tired of seeing out there? What is something you’d be interested in reading about in future books?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I went back and forth

I went back and forth about what I wanted to write about on here. I very rarely put truly personal things on the Paranormal Romantics blog. If I want to open up about life, I tend to do it on my own personal blog or on Twitter or Facebook. Paranormal Romantics has been, for me, a place to talk about what the blog title suggests: the Paranormal or Romance or writing in general.

I'm not a very good blogger. I tend to think in spurts and stops when I'm not writing fiction and I can have a hard time forming a coherent thought that starts and ends the blogs I write. Oh well. I hope I haven't been too terrible! :>

So, before I tell you about the sheer joy I have reading books in the series I'm addicted to, I want to take a moment and tell you all about my amazing sister-in-law who doesn't have my issues starting and stopping a blog. Just recently, she's opened up her life to the public and began blogging about what it is to be a mother of an autistic child. You can find her blog here: Its called Life on the Fringe. Jennifer is an amazing mother and I give her a ton of credit for doing this to help others. I love my nephew very deeply!

Okay, so to get back to the Paranormal, I just wanted to tell everyone that I jumped around like a child recently when I got to read the new Sherrilyn Kenyon novel "No Mercy." I am addicted to her world and I still get as excited to read those books as I did in the beginning.

What was the book that hooked you on the Paranormal?


Monday, September 27, 2010

Transylvanian Treats- Guest blog by Marie Treanor

Transylvania… Doesn’t the very name send delicious shivers rippling up and down your spine? It conjures pictures of dark, threatening forests and ancient, ruined castles looming out of the mountain mist – the perfect setting for a good vampire story.

It’s all Bram Stoker’s fault, of course, but I’m happy to go with it. In fact, many years ago, when I was a student, a couple of other Dracula fans and I spent a summer holiday following the route of Dracula’s Jonathan Harker through Transylvania. It was fun, and the countryside more than rewardingly beautiful. We found friendly people, picturesque towns and, when we got farther into the hills, a rural life not so very unlike the one which existed in Stoker’s day: men and women in traditional peasant garb, driving horses and carts and scratching a living from the land.

This was in the days of communism, of course, and in the hill village we stayed in, there was some sort of major construction work going on to provide a bizarre contrast – JCBs and ugly mounds of concrete and earth without obvious purpose! However, we could ignore the unsightly bits in the dark when we went walking under the full moon, soaking up the atmosphere. There were plenty creatures of the night to enchant us, including whizzing insects and bats, and the not-so-distant howl of a wolf…

Or it may have been a dog. We chose to believe it was a wolf J.

And come Saturday night, we had to defend ourselves from another predator. Lots of young people came to our hotel from all the surrounding villages for the weekly dance – and when the music began, the lights in our bedroom went out. And when we went downstairs to investigate, I suddenly found myself bent almost double in the arms of a male predator, while my friend hung on to my hand for dear life and tried to tug me free…

It would have made a fantastic story. But the lights were nothing more sinister than electrical failings, and I confess the predator was merely our friendly waiter with a little too much to drink. Although he was remarkably persistent (I remember a conversation where we all had to assure him there would be no “tiki-tiki” that night – don’t ask), he was also funny and since he was being told off by his friends at the same time, he wasn’t exactly threatening either. In fact it was a fun night and I was sorry to leave.

One day I’m going back. Until then, I’ll keep reading, and writing. You may have noticed that my new book, Blood on Silk, begins in Transylvania, and my vampire hero, Saloman, awakened after three centuries by a drop of my heroine’s blood, arises out of a ruined crypt in the dead of night and then….

Well, see for yourself J

By Marie Treanor
Out Now from NAL Signet Eclipse.

Order now from Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Scottish academic Elizabeth Silk is spending the summer in Romania researching historical superstitions for her PhD. While she is tracing local folktales, one subject in particular sparks her imagination. His name is Saloman, legend's most powerful vampire, a seductive prince staked centuries ago. Now, in the ruins of a castle crypt, Elizabeth discovers the legends are real. Her blood has awakened him. Her innocence has aroused him. But Elizabeth unleashes more than Saloman's hunger.

An army of vampire hunters has amassed to send Saloman back to hell. Sworn to help - yet fearing Saloman's deadly blood lust - Elizabeth seeks to entrap him, offering her body as bait. But something stronger than dread, more powerful than revenge, is uniting Elizabeth to her prey. Caught between desire and rage, Elizabeth must decide where her loyalties lie...and what the limits are to a yearning she can no longer control.


There was nowhere to go but backward, until the wall ground into her shoulder blades and buttocks, and still he kept coming. Tall and broad-shouldered, his very size threatened her. Most of his handsome face was in shadow, hiding any expression. She could only make out his eyes, blacker than the surrounding darkness, yet glistening with some deep, wild hunger it hurt to look at.

He lifted his hand once more to the wound in her throat. His fingertip was cold, yet seemed to burn her skin. She gasped, quivering, and when he bent his head toward her again, gazing at her bleeding injury, she began to fight, crashing her fists into his chest, pushing uselessly against his shoulders.

He smelled of earth and cold stone, gave off no sense of human warmth. So why did her body begin to weaken its resistance? Her fists, her struggles, made no impression on him. He continued to lower his head to her wounded neck. At least she could no longer see those terrible eyes…

At the first touch of his lips, she gave up. Because she could do nothing against him. And because some dark, perverse part of her remembered the unique, agonizing thrill of his first bite.

But he didn’t bite. He surrounded the wound with his lips and licked it once. She shuddered, helpless in the grip of fear and something she couldn’t – or wouldn’t – name. Then he lifted his head and she stared at him, speechless, because the pain had gone.

The hunger hadn’t left his eyes, but in the glimmer of torchlight, she thought it was overlaid with mockery. The bastard was laughing at her.

“I’m saving the rest for later,” he explained.

Her eyes widened. He was letting her live after all? At least for another minute. “L-later?” she stammered.

His fingers trailed across her throat, butterfly light, making her gasp. “Later. Your blood is strong and heady. I’m taking time to absorb it.” He bent nearer her, inhaling, almost sniffing the air around her head and throat. The skin of his face looked so smooth she had an insane urge to reach up and touch it. His sculpted lips moved faintly, as if a smile almost danced across them, never quite forming before it faded.

“Interesting,” he observed, and his voice was different now, quiet, almost whispering, with just a hint of hoarseness. “I have to thank you for waking me…What is your name?”

She swallowed. “Elizabeth. Elizabeth Silk.”

The almost-smile tugged at his lips and vanished. His cheek brushed against hers, barely touching and yet her stomach seemed to plunge. “Silk. How apt,” he murmured. “Like your hair…And your skin, so soft and warm…”

His fingertips caressed her face, slid down over her chin to her throat and she gasped, jerking in panic. But the movement only brought her into contact with his body. Hard, solid, and surely that stiff ridge against her stomach was his erection… Vampires had erections? Unless that part of him was still made of stone?

Oh Jesus Christ and fuck!

She shrank, pressing her back into the wall once more. Shocked, she could feel wetness between her legs. It’s just fear, not lust, it can’t be…

“And you are English,” he said, changing to that language without warning.

“Scottish,” she returned mechanically. What the hell does that matter?

He inclined his head, clearly humoring her. His body touched hers at breast and hips, hardening her nipples into aching peaks. Perhaps he felt them, for he said, “Do you know how long it has been since I have had a meal or a woman?”

Her stomach seemed to melt into her womb. Sweat had broken out on her palms, was trickling down between her breasts. But somehow she managed to do the math. “Three hundred and twelve years?”

His gaze dropped to her lips. “Don’t ask me. After the first couple of centuries, those decades just fly by.” He lifted his hand from her neck, tracing one tapered fingertip along her lower lip. She was afraid to move.

“Do they really?” she managed.

“No. But they let me work up some heady appetites.”

“For what?” She sounded more suspicious than terrified. Was that good? Perhaps. The almost-smile reappeared and vanished as his face leaned nearer hers.

“For dinner,” he answered. “And dalliance.”

His finger slid to the corner of her lips, pushing gently until she gasped, and when her mouth opened he took it with his.

Heat consumed her, drowning her in some strange, welcome weakness. His cool lips moved across hers, sampling, parting them. He should have tasted of dust and death and corruption. At the very least he hadn’t brushed his teeth in three hundred and twelve years. Yet what she inhaled in panic was something overwhelmingly seductive, an earthy sweetness, powerful and masculine, and God help her, she wanted it. She wanted to give herself to his mouth, feel his kiss deepen and dominate while he pressed that large, hard body closer into her. She wanted to push herself against the hardness nudging her abdomen. She wanted it between her legs, pushing into her, because she’d never known a kiss as arousing as this, and the sex would be so…

Oh God!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Release of The Devil's Kiss - The Magical Sword Book Three & Contest

With the third release of The Magical Sword Series, The Devil’s Kiss coming out on Monday at 8 p.m. EST, I thought I’d share the song that was the inspiration for the these novels.

Run by Leona Lewis, played an important role with all of the novels in the series, but especially with The Devil’s Kiss. The story is intense, emotional and powerful. To make sure I nailed the emotion down in my writing, I always listened to this song before I wrote the scene to get me in the mind set of deep emotion. There's just something about Ms. Lewis' voice that reaches down into your soul and plays at your heart strings.

So, onto the fun stuff, let's have a contest. Well, not really a contest, just leave a comment with your email address, and on Tuesday morning I will draw a winner!!

What’s the prize? Either, The Willow or The Wicked to get you started on the series or A Deadly Whisper if you’ve already followed Nexi’s journeys.
The Magical Sword Series ~ Book Three

A nasty bite starts a whirlwind of doom―one soul turns toward the darkness while one heart battles to deny destiny.

Nexi Jones can never catch a break. With only just returning from a much needed vacation—a deadly Werewolf attack takes place in Plymouth, Minnesota. In pursuit for answers, Nexi finds herself face-to-face with someone she desperately wanted to avoid, Magnus, the Lord of the Underworld. He hasn’t forgotten her and will stop at nothing to use her magical abilities for his personal gain.

Soon, Nexi will be in a battle far worse than conjuring Magic against those of the Underworld. The fiercest battle rages within her as her soul combats against her heart to decide Nexi’s fate. Will all that matters—will everyone she loves—be lost forever?

Website -
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RT Book Reviews
“…Kennedy has created a world that readers will want to visit again and again!” Dawn Crowne
Bitten by Paranormal Romance
“Do you love magic, dominant men, adventure, humor, evil villains and a talking cat? Well here is an excellent book for you to try.” Laurie

Saturday, September 25, 2010

When Souls Collide Chapter 13, part 1

Happy Saturday, all.

Have to share a fantastic review for Slipping the Past

Stop by and check it out.

Okay, on to lucky chapter 13. :)

All rights are the intellectual property of the author. No part may be copied or reproduced without the permission of the author.

***Warning. The following story contains erotic elements, explicit language and violence. Read at your own risk.***

Tesza climbed onto the barge. Short box-shaped sails caught the wind to drive the craft forward. Their escort consisted of ten other barges, carrying crews of one hundred.

The shallow bottom boats navigated the mangroves with ease. They moved left or right, guided by a paddle in the back and poles at the bow of the boat. A figure head of a carved beast, called a garver, sat to the front of Jarod’s barge. The very same creature in the design tattooed onto his face.

Garvers weren’t fictional creatures, but fierce and real. Swimming under the barges, following their flight out to sea. All the while, waiting for opportunity to drop into the swamp. Many a Kalos child had been snatched off the banks or warrior gobbled whole, when they’d fallen into the water.

Nasty beasts with double rowed teeth that shed and regrew many times a year and a fatal first bite. They weighed twice the weight of a barge, ran anywhere from the same length, to three times that. Long and skinny like a serpent, they had a spiny dorsal fin that ran the extent of their entire backbone and only broke the water’s surface prior to a strike.

They were a good reason to be off the water before star-fall and the biggest reason Jarod positioned his fleet here.

Jarod was a garver, much like the beast that lurked below, waiting for opportunity.

He was armed, but the weapons he had couldn’t stop a Kori charge. The Kori had mechanized, one and two man hovers, that flew over the mangroves with ease and lazr’ weapons that could blast his soldiers to dust.

But mechanization came at a cost. Noisy, they drew the attention of the garvers, who hunted at night. Jarod had used stolen hovers to train the garvers, feeding them raw meat, dumping it behind the crafts as they skimmed across the mangroves. The sound of the hovers drew the garvers, the engines were a dinner bell and Jarod knew it. He’d trained them that way.

Not meant to stop on the water, the hovers tipped easy when they did, making them a dangerous mode of transportation for the mangroves and the garver knew that a simple strike of the tail and the craft could be flipped and snack obtained.

Tesza paced back and forth along the rail, pulling the cape Jarod gave her tighter over her shoulders. Star-fall was fast approaching. She shifted her gaze to Jarod, who stood watch at the stern. He’d said Ursus would return in force to kill them. He seemed certain of it.

He turned to catch her watching him. They’ll come. His eyes said it all.

Had Ursus used her? The answer lay across the mangroves. If they attacked, she could be certain.

Her nerves were strung tight. Had she been a fool to trust the enemy soldier, give him the cure?

She shivered when she thought about what waited. If Ursus came, he deserved what Jarod planned. He’d tricked her, told her he loved her, and needed her. Had it been a lie?

She watched as the final pieces of the trap were set. Nets were strung across the inlet and would be triggered by a simple poke of the poles they used to navigate. Above in the canopy, heavy weights with ropes would drop, raising the nets before and after the attackers, leaving the Kori trapped in a swamp full of hungry garvers, and unable to move. Sitting targets, ready to be plucked.

Brutal, cold.

“Get in the cabin, Tesza.” Jarod walked up behind her and tucked the cape tighter over her shoulders, pushing her towards his quarters. “I hear them approaching.”

She cocked her head and listened. Her eyes widened and her heart sank. A buzzing sound like angry wasps filled the mangroves. Inside, she wanted to believe Ursus innocent.

Tesza strained to see the source, hoping what she heard wasn’t real. The humming grew louder.

Pain filled her chest. He was coming, to kill them all.

Jarod signaled to the escorts both on the starboard and port sides of the royal barge. All lanterns blinked out, leaving the swamps in utter darkness.

“You’ve been betrayed. He never loved you.” He grabbed her shoulders and pulled her into him, kissing her as though he’d never taste her again. “I’ve never stopped.”

Tesza’s stomach flip-flopped. Memories of his touch, his soft words. It all came raging back with that kiss.

“Get inside now.” He stepped back, gave her one more push and she found herself at the door to his cabin.

She opened her mouth and shut it. This is where she belonged, this was right. Tesza bit her lip and fisted her cape, pulling it around her, trying to stop shivering. So why did she feel the pull of the other?

She scanned the darkness, but all she could see was Jarod’s long pale braid as he retreated to the stern.

Her heart pounded in her throat. It was a different pull and different love than the way she’d felt about Ursus. But it was there.

Regardless that she didn’t want too, she couldn’t stop loving him, needing him.

Jarod’s strength was intoxicating. She knew how it felt when he held her, touched her. A throbbing ache started between her thighs and Tesza silently chastised herself for thinking such things. Now was not the time. The one she’d thought loved her was coming to kill her, and the one who truly did, she’d betrayed.

She watched him walk away; a part of her craved him. How could she have feelings for both, need both? She didn’t want him. Jolts shot through her body. Lust. She didn’t want him, didn’t need him. He’d cast her out. Ursus cast her away. She didn’t need or want either of them. Both could bake in the barren plains for all she cared.

“Gods,” she snarled. “I don’t want you.”

He spun. Her heart leapt. Across the darkness she could see his eyes, and even in the blackness she swore she saw a smile. The ache increased. Tesza growled and flung the cabin door open and slammed it shut after her. Damned men!

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's Friday...

I got another tattoo last weekend and I LOVE it. Voodoo Charlie is the MAN!!! It's healing nicely and I can't wait to show it off.

Otherwise, today, I'm flying by the seat of my pants! No particular topic--I'm going to let whatever falls on the page stay on the page. *laughing*

I'm fresh back from Authors After Dark (AAD) where I had a great time meeting and talking with so many new people. Had some very interesting conversations, to say the least. Is it because, as writers, we tend to spend a lot of time 'holed-up' (dang, is that right? well, you know what I mean! *grins*) with ourselves and our characters that when we do get together--we maximize every minute of the time we have with others. Hmm, I'd never given that much thought before. I know when I go out with my friends, we talk and talk...and talk more...about everything!

With every conference, I try to meet and talk with authors I don't run into very often in my travels around the net. This time was no different. I spent time, uhh, having a flaming cocktail--really, it was on fire--with the effervescent TC Blue ( on one side and, the always fun, Judi Fennell ( on the other side. They were both egging me on because I would never...oh hell, who am I fooling--yes I would have done it anyway! and the man shoving it at me from the other side of the bar was so damn cute--he could have sold me ice at the North Pole.

I bought far too many books, but I wanted each and everyone of them, and that was good enough reason for me.

So, that's it for me today. Hope you all have a great weekend.

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

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Selection of Words

I know we're behind an 18+ banner here at PR, but I still want to preface this post that there is a bit of language some people may find objectionable/offensive/etc etc etc.

About a year and half ago, I had a conversation with a few online friends about writing. Or more accurately, certain words in erotic romance. Particularly, what we did/didn't like to see. At the time, there was one certain word that was my hang-up--cunt. I don't mind it in occasional use in erotic books I read, most of the time it's expected. But at the time I'd recently read a mainstream paranormal sci-fi erotic romance and the use of this word in particular was heavy. As in, so heavy that I stopped reading at one point in order to count the number of times it was used on one page (6 on one standard page, 2 of which were in the same short paragraph). To me, even now, it seems excessive.

Do I find it an offensive word? No. I've never discounted its use as something other than "shock value". My personal stance is simple, I haven't written a character yet that I thought it would be appropriate dropping out of their mouth.

Well. I just have this to say: There's a reason I never say never. LOL

Saturday, I was working while away for a dance competition for my daughter (there are very, very long stretches on those days when there is absolutely nothing going on--I hole up in a quiet corner by myself with my daughter isn't actually dancing). For some reason, I found myself inclined to open a file for a work-in-progress that I hadn't opened since June. A bit later, my husband came over, asked me if I needed anything and basically broke me out of my little zone I'd gotten into. To get back into the swing of things, I scrolled back up a few pages to read over what I'd been working on. Imagine my utter surprise when I came across "cunt".

Actually had to stop and scratch my head a little and read the line a few times to make sure I'd read it correctly. I do not remember typing it at all. Which, isn't unusual for me when I've slipped into that zone.

Will it stay? I haven't decided yet. For the moment, it's still there. I'm still learning about this particular character. He's new to me and I haven't gotten his whole story yet. But I do know enough at this point to know it's appropriate with him to use it. Especially in the situation in which it's used in this instance.

So, are there any words that you find you hang up on? Or were there words that once startled you that don't any longer or do you have a "freeforall" attitude?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Launch party for Hunter's Moon Magic!

Today is extra special in that I’m inviting you all to be a part of the book launch for my latest book, Hunter’s Moon Magic, available now with Liquid Silver books It’s a sexy, emotional, historical piece about a woman who is essentially murdered and her tale of love that spans three centuries.

Do you believe in ghosts? This is a question that I see bandied about the ‘net occasionally. For me, I’d have to say yes, I do. The ones that have sailed through my life have been of the friendly variety that whisper in the darkness or brush past me with barely a touch. I haven’t had cause to encounter an annoying ghost (unless you want to count the whole fire alarm debacle about a year about, but we won’t talk about that).

In fact, the spectral inhabitants among us fascinate me so much, I’m beginning to see a pattern of putting ghosts into a lot of my books—The Haunting of Amelia Pritchart, The Art of Fang Shui, Vegetarian at Midnight, just to name a few.

Now, before you go and call the Ghostbusters, stop and consider that maybe these realm travelers need to teach you something before they can move on.

Here are the book launch party details. I have a packet of book swag and a cute little writing pen shaped like a witch’s broom (with actual bristles) up for grabs. All you need to do is leave a comment (with email address) And I hope you’ll go pick up a copy of Hunter’s Moon Magic.

Blurb: Judith Goode, wrongly accused of witchcraft during the trials in 1600 Massachusetts, casts a spell on the black velvet dress she intended to wear for her lover’s return. If she can’t realize true love then she wants to ensure that any woman who wears the dress will but fate has other plans.

Even though Judith is now in ghost form, her quest to unite her soul with her lover’s burns strong. The enchanted dress has survived for two hundred years and is now in the hands of Carolina Cox who wears it to a masquerade where she meets Paul Brown. Love blooms and is realized yet life’s problems prevent a perfect match.

Disheartened through the years, Judith gives the attempt one last time in modern day Indianapolis by putting the dress in the hands of Jacob Howson, one of her last living ancestors. He’s a computer programmer looking for love and finds it by literally running into Lexy Brown at a dry cleaner.

Sometimes the love worth waiting for can be found under the light of a Hunter’s Moon.

Excerpt from Chapter One

October 29, 1692 Ipswich, Massachusetts

Brilliant moonlight streamed through the window, competing with the weak glow from the candle on the worktable. Judith Goode snipped off the last thread and placed the scissors into a basket near her elbow.


Standing, she shook out the length of black velvet pleased with how the dress had turned out. A round full skirt fell to the floor in elegant waves with faint glimmers of silver thread gleamed in the folds. The bodice was a masterpiece of scooped neck trimmed with runic symbols in the same silver thread, designed to catch an admiring gaze.

Needlework perfection.

Black satin ribbons crisscrossing under the neckline would lend the dress structure and matched the tiny stain bows on the tops of the fluttered, capped sleeves.
The ideal gown to wear for a romantic tryst, especially since the fabric had been given to her from her lover when he had returned to port from his last trip.

Unfortunately, she would never be allowed to wear the dress--unless they hanged her in it.

Hearing an angry assortment of voices just outside her modest cottage, Judith folded the gown and placed it into a reed basket. The tinkle of breaking glass sounded, followed by a scuffle and several loud shouts for the ‘Devil’s Follower. They’d branded her a witch, and she didn’t correct them.

It wouldn’t have mattered.

She was different from the others in the village. A healer, and not disposed to spending hours on her knees in the church, Judith was automatically dubbed a follower of the occult.

The gray streak down the middle of her black hair didn’t help matters. Nor did her affinity for bathing naked at the shore on the nights of the full moon for no other reason than she admired the silvery light.

To these people, if you looked and talked differently from them, you must be evil--bad--not worthy of redemption and no amount of explanation would change their narrow minds. She’d tried twice before to plead her case. Now luck had abandoned her.
Judith wanted no part of the religious bigotry, their interpretation of salvation for the sake of public cleansing and a way to gain land and property.

Their way was not the only way to live a life.

Outside, shouts from men and women alike drew closer. Her breath quickening, Judith opened a carved trinket box on her worktable and withdrew a small sachet of cloth. A secret smile curved her lips. If she couldn’t wear the gown, at least she could ensure the women who did would have a happy life. Tucking the sachet between the folds of the dress, Judith nodded in satisfaction. The herbs were good and would not fail.

A few sprigs of basil for love, a couple dried fruits of the cayenne pepper plant for the fire of the spirit, chamomile flower heads for relaxation and protection, and cinnamon sticks to lure a male; Judith knew the basic ingredients for a love spell would have far reaching implications as much as the words she muttered over the fabric.

“May the women who wear this dress find their true love. May desire overcome them in such a way they cannot deny its call. May the women whose lives touch this dress be happy throughout all eternity with the men of their dreams, the mates of their hearts, and the keeper of their souls.”

After she recited her spell, Judith’s attention wandered to her absent lover. He’d been away, along with her brother, on a fishing ship for months and this time when he returned, she and Percy planned to be married. After three years of courtship and clandestine meetings, he’d offhandedly asked for her hand one evening over dinner. Judith agreed and the small, private ceremony was planned. Now, a few days shy of their reunion, the elders of the village were hell bent on ferreting out witches.
Not that they would even know a real witch if they bumped into one at the market. Hysteria reined in the small towns and anyone they couldn’t understand was immediately suspect.

Above everything else, Judith vowed never to reveal Percy’s name to the elders for fear an appointment with the gallows would await him, too. The only reason she embraced her destiny with calm was she knew Percy would live to tell her tale. A twinge of regret tickled her stomach. They’d talked at length of this very occurrence. It was always a risk, but she wished she could see him one last time.

With a sigh, she gave the plush velvet one last loving stroke then scattered a few red clover flowers for good luck and two dried hibiscus flowers for attracting love on the top. A folded quilt completed the contents of the basket and hid the gown from view.

It was all she could do.

A prayer that the frock would find its way into good hands escaped her lips shortly before an insistent pounding rained on her front door. With a gasp, Judith scooped up the basket and padded across the simple wooden planks of the floor to her kitchen window. Releasing the catch, she swung the casement out. “Hide it well, Jenny. Make certain my brother receives it and cares for it. Someday, somehow, Percy and I will be reunited, even if it takes two lifetimes to accomplish.”

“Yes, ma’am.”The melodious whisper of her apprentice seeped in from the darkness beyond. “You needn’t worry. I will take care of it. Godspeed”

Another round of hammering on the door brought Judith’s attention to matters at hand. She wiped her sweaty palms on her humble white apron.

Her heart raced in time to the blows.

She swung the window closed and pulled the curtains.

Then, with a deep breath, she tied the strings of her bonnet beneath her chin, crossed to the door, and unlatched the locks.

Time to usher in her fate. Judith straightened her spine. She would not meet death with tears.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vampires in Paradise

Aloha everyone!  I'm so happy to be joining Paranormal Romantics for today!  A big mahalo (thank you) to Rebecca Royce for inviting me!!

My name is Rebecca Leigh and I write erotic romance.

Let me make one think clear right up front -- I'm a vamp girl.  Always have been, always will be.

So it came quite easy for my first novel to be about a very hot, sexy vampire named Julian.  Actually, "Have Stake, Will Travel" is really about Orion Masters the vampire slayer.  Orion's not your ordinary slayer -- she kills the undead for cold, hard cash.  After all, a girl's gotta make a living.  Orion works for the Corporation, an entity run by witches.  Her life takes a dramatic u-turn when the Corporation sends her to a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to take out a particularly heinous family of vampires.

On the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora, Orion meets Julian Hunter.  Julian is not your average vampire.  Tall, dark, and inhumanly handsome, Orion is unable to resist Julian.  Julian's on Bora Bora for his own quest -- one that will entwine his life with Orion's and allow him to break down the wall she's built around herself.  

WARNING:  Orion and Juliet have a lot of hot, steamy sex!  But sexual gratification isn't the only thing Orion discovers.  She also finds love.


He's tall and dark. His midnight hair, all one length, hangs as straight as a board down to his shoulders and sweeps across his face. He is powerfully built, his muscles rippling beneath his faux, dark blue turtleneck. The black jeans hug his legs and leave little to the imagination. I try not to stare at the bulge between his thighs. 
He's a vamp, I remind myself. This is the first time I can ever remember having to do that.

He strolls to the bar and orders a drink. His eyes scan the room, and then lock on me. Yeah, this is what you're here for, bloodsucker; come and get me. I'm ready for a fight.

Kinau notices I'm no longer dancing and I'm staring at the new arrival. "Orion, are you all right?" His gaze darts from me to the stranger then back again.

"Sure, Kinau. Why don't you go wait by the car?" My voice sounds harsh, ordering him out like that, especially after I invited him to come in with me. But just because the Corporation pays his tab doesn't mean he's been told why I'm here. That kind of information is strictly on a need to know basis, and Kinau does not need to know.

"Yes, Ms. Masters." From the slightly sarcastic tone of his voice, it's obvious I've offended him. Well, I guess that's life.

The vamp waits until Kinau leaves the club, then strolls, sinuously, to my side.

"Hello." His voice is unexpectedly warm, drifting across the short distance between us and settling like fire on my skin. The warmth creates a sensation I've never felt before, at least not for the undead. Passion. No fucking kidding. A craving washes over me, a need to feel his breath skate over every inch of my body.

What the fuck is going on? I take a step back, then another, trying to get a grip on my senses. The pain in my chest subsides. Instead of ice pulsing in my veins, heat rolls down my spine and nestles between my thighs.

I look past his breathlessly handsome features and I can see his aura. But the light surrounding him is not red like the aura of other vamps. Instead, he's draped in a light blue veil. Almost like a star, shining in the night. The light pulses in short, rhythmic bursts that create an irresistible tempo of lust.

I'm sure my dhampir powers have gone haywire. But if my senses are somehow broken, it's never happened to me before.

His smoldering gray eyes catch mine, hold them, and fill me with darkness. I try to look away, but I can't. I take another step back. Why am I trying to escape? I should be running toward him, ready to attack. He grabs my arm.

"Don't be afraid; I won't hurt you."

He's kidding, right? I need to get a hold of myself. I need to remember who I am, why I'm here. I try to reply, but my breath catches in my throat as his fingertips move gently up my right arm. He grabs the strap of my blouse, situating it back on my shoulder. His hand lingers.

His mouth twitches, twisting his luscious lips into a smirk. When his mouth opens, slightly, I hear a low, seductive laugh. What's so funny? I realize I'm shaking and my teeth are chattering. But the tremors aren't because I'm cold. I think my body is quivering because I might be in shock.

He pulls me roughly to him and my breasts crush against his stone chest. The fire is an inferno now, eating me from the inside out. I'm having a hard time thinking straight. All I can do is yield to his advance. This is not like me at all.

"You're shaking. Let me warm you up."

His hands move down my sides and over my hips. Even through the leather, the flames ignite and burn mercilessly. There's an area of exposed skin near my navel and he rests his hands there, slowly stroking my skin with his fingertips. The flames smolder in my stomach with scalding heat.

He grips my hips and moves them toward his swiveling pelvis, our two bodies together in rhythm with the native beat. The vibrations of the song travel from the floor of the club up my legs and tickle my pussy, mixing with the hunger growing there for the fucking vamp. This dance is much different than the one I shared with Kinau. The moves are erotic, too erotic, given the undead status of my dance partner.

His cock throbs, pulsing against my pelvis. My sex tingles in anticipation, building to a feverous pitch. I'm on the verge of exploding.

All the while, his breath drifts across my neck, my cheek, my ear. I can't remember the last time I was close enough to a vampire to feel its breath on my skin. Surely his breath isn't supposed to be so hot. Or smell so sweet.

His lips brush over my temple in a long, flaming line.

This must be what it's like to be the victim. This is how a vamp enthralls, seduces its victim before biting. The calm before the storm. This is something I've saved others from, but never experienced myself. Not in twelve years of slaying.

I've never been dazzled by a damn bloodsucker.

I've never felt so aroused. He's a vamp, I tell myself again. But my feeble attempts at rationalization don't matter. My body has a mind of its own—ignoring truth, seeking fantasy.

"Who are you?" My words are almost breathless. I need to know the name of the fucker that has captivated me.

"Julian Hunter." He whispers his name into my ear and the tingle in my sex shoots straight up my spine. "Who are you?"

"Orion Masters." I say my name, but I want to also tell him I am a vampire slayer. I want to tell him I know what he is. My mind screams, but the commands do not reach my lips.

If they did, I wouldn't be kissing his chin. What the fuck?

"Orion." The word spills erotically past his lips. Wow. I never thought my name could sound so passionate. "What a unique name. Where are you from, Orion."

Please, I think. Please, say my name again.

"Not here." A short, vague answer. A slight feeling of relief washes over me. Maybe part of me is not so paralyzed after all. I'm starting to regain some of my control. Thank god.

"Hmm. Me neither."

Not from here either? I wonder if he's one of the vamps the witches sent me here to dust. Then I wonder why the fuck it matters whether he is or not. I should dust him regardless. He's a vamp; I'm a slayer.

But, I don't want to kill him. I want to do something else. Something much more dangerous than fighting, more perilous than staking. Something naughty. I want to fuck him. I want his thick shaft plunging deep inside my pussy, thrusting and driving until I see the fucking stars.
*               *               *

To learn more about my writing, please visit my website or my blog.
"Have Stake, Will Travel" is available through Noble Romance Publishing and is also available on kindle.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I Want More

It’s the start of the work week again. Blah.
                  At the beginning of September I usually reset my goals for the next year and I post them to remind myself where I want to go. This year my mind has wandered from being published to who am I being published by.
                  It can be a touchy subject and I may get smacked for bringing this up.  That’s okay, smack me, I’ll even bend over if you say, “Please.”
                  Let’s start at the beginning, when I was a reader only. Never dreamed of writing a book and read books like my life depended on it.  I never cared who published my favorite authors’ books as long as I could buy them easily.
                  I am open about my career. I have no secrets to keep, at least writing wise. When I started to submit my books to publishers, I did as most authors do and started at what is considered the top of e-pubs and worked my way down the list.  This resulted in my having three publishers: a well known one, another who is middle of the road but growing, and a brand spanking new one.  I wish I could say I did this on purpose so I could see the differences but I didn’t.
                  We know that the new accessibility to e-readers and e-books has changed the publishing industry. Print publishers, including NY trades, have started to acknowledge the industry’s growth and have started selling their own e-books. What I want to address is how in the last year it has affected the e-publishers. Most of the founding e-pubs are from the time when e-books were mostly available from their website and not third party venues. Now with Kindles and Nooks everywhere people are buying it from their preferred sites and like me, before being a writer, don’t care who publishes the books. They just want good stories.
                  I think this has shuffled sales around in the e-pub industry and as writers we don’t know it yet.  I wanted to strive this year with a new goal to have a MS accepted by one of the bigger names of e-publishing but now I’m wondering, “Am I doing the right thing for my career?” Do I want prestige or do I want a decent royalty check? They don’t always go hand-in-hand. You’d think they would.
                  What do you think?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Black Cat Beauty
Author: Savanna Kougar
Genre: Erotic Romance
ISBN: 978-1-59578-507-7
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
eBook: $4.75
Buy Link -


Paranormal romance, science-fiction, erotica—all mixed in together in one story! This fast paced HOT story will leave in a little pout, “It’s over already?”

Sable is a very naughty kitty indeed. More than that, she’s a compelling character that I just couldn’t get enough of. And Devon, well―let’s just leave it at, drool dripped from my mouth onto the page. The passion between them is immediate and doesn’t stop the entire way through. But passion isn’t all you’ll find between the pages of this book―it’s a wild ride of adventure with totally awesome paranormal elements.

Now, the first couple chapters did leave me a little lost. I had to re-read them to get a full understanding of what these creatures were and the rules that governed their world. Even then, I’m not quite sure I have a complete understanding of this “kitty” world.

Regardless, I loved this story!! It’s witty―with quirky lines only a kitty would say, sexy and just overall a fantastic read!!


A private Halloween party in a gothic mansion hidden in the Hollywood Hills. Add one party crasher, Sable Kiki, a naughty black cat with a sexy, wild, human side. Her covert assignment from her devious, always cunning father: Use her seductive wiles to find out the truth from Devon Zant, a movie star on the rise to super stardom.

Posing as the superhero actor, Devon Zant, D’Torr has arrived on Earth seeking revenge for the capture of his younger brother and to assist in stopping a powerful enemy. The leviathan warfleet of the Altirrux wants to rule all intergalactic trade routes to Earth, endangering the survival of D’Torr’s race and all the inhabitants of the rare blue jewel, Earth.

A LINE THAT HAD ME DROOLING WITH WORD ENVY ― But wishes were for lay-around, canned tuna-eating cats. Not for her. No, never for her. Seeking the feel of him, her body swayed toward him, her desire coiling deep for him.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

When Souls Collide Chapter 11, part 2

I guess I should probably explain something before I get to the next chapter. We're at chapter 11 now and you're not going to see 12. Sorry 12 is bad ju ju. Everytime I put it in a draft, something happens to the chapter, or the story, or my computer. Seriously--it's cursed. So like broken mirrors and walking under ladders, I simply avoid having a chapter 12 until I send it off to my editor or for someone to read.

Which begs me to ask, anybody out there having any routines or odd quirks when they write???

All rights are the intellectual property of the author. No part may be copied or reproduced without the permission of the author.

***Warning. The following story contains erotic elements, explicit language and violence. Read at your own risk.***

At first she felt the hand on her shoulder as someone slid under the blanket next to her. Tesza scooted into his warmth. Ursus had already dressed. She sniffed and inhaled the savory scents of breakfast.

Hard to believe he was a cold-blooded killer, the way he cared for her. His hand slid around her waist and lower, touching her thigh and sliding between her legs, slipping inside her. Tesza moaned and pushed into his probing fingers, savoring the touch.

“Forget him, Tesza. You’re mine now. I’ve waited a long time to consummate our marriage.”

Tesza gasped, her eyes snapped open and she tried to pull away from the man that held her, nuzzling her neck.

Shit. Where had Jarod come from? He was within his rights to claim her. All her life she’d waited for her moment with him, now it seemed diminished, not what she’d really sought.

“Get off me, Jarod.”

“You’re my wife. The people demanded I give you to him in hopes you would seduce away his life and that of our enemies. It’s sat like acid in my gut for days. I haven’t slept, I haven’t eaten. I can’t make the pain of my decision go away. I want to erase his touch from your skin, his image from your eyes. I need to make you forget him. I will make you forget him.” Pain carried on his voice. His hand withdrew.


He pulled on her, ripping her soul down the middle. Gods she loved him too. Needed him.

But she’d betrayed him, her people, by giving the cure to Ursus. The tone of his words made it clear. He loved her, wanted her, and he hurt for sharing her with Ursus. He pulled back and rolled her over, gazing in her eyes. “I can wait for you to come to me. But I won’t wait forever. Forget him. He’s dead, and soon all his kind will be.”


“You’ve infected him.” He stroked her cheek, touching her softly. “You’ve saved us.”

“I can’t be responsible for killing all those people.” Should she tell him she’d betrayed him? No.

“I can’t give him the cure.”

“The fruit nuts are all around us. You’re not evil, Jarod. Surely you wouldn’t let children and women die from this.”

“I have to, Tesza.” Jarod shook his head. He ran his thumb along the pink welt on her face that had started to heal.

“Gods, no.”

“You are queen of the Kalos, Tesza; you’d do well to remember that.” He slid his hand down her shoulder and cupped her breast. Tesza took a deep breath and closed her eyes. His hands were gentle, but they still felt wrong.

“I’ve had you followed, protected every step of the way. You must know this killed me inside, forcing you out. I had no choice. That man you were with murdered six brutally before you returned to camp that night. The clan would not sympathize, not after that. They wanted you dead. I could spare you that, but you couldn’t stay. It was the law, I was bound by it.”

“That Red-Clan woman?”

“She gave her life to save you. She knew they were about to find you and intercepted. Don’t dishonor her sacrifice or your people by loving an enemy soldier. Let him go Tesza. I will honor you and give you the world. He can give you nothing but pain and a life on the run. They will never accept you, even if you save them.”

“Do you know what you ask?”

“We will live because of you. Our people will continue forever.”

“And another will become extinct.”

“They brought it upon themselves. Forget him. He would’ve had you executed anyway. With him you would’ve died. With me, you’ll live, be free. You’ll be happy. I love you, Tesza. I’ve always loved you.”

“Then don’t do this. Save the innocents and I will stay with you.”

“I am saving the innocents, Tesza. I am.” He kissed her sliding his tongue into her mouth. She didn’t fight him, but she didn’t give him anything back either. He thought she’d followed through, when she’d betrayed him, trading the lives of her people for another’s.

“You’ll love me back someday. This is part of life. Survival.”

“I loved you once.” She still loved him, but she was also angry with him and wouldn’t reward him with the truth.

“You will again.”

He got up. “Dress, eat and come outside. We can’t delay travel further or we’ll be caught in the floods.” Jarod stopped and glanced over his shoulder. “He will return with a force. Watch Tesza and see. He’ll come to kill us all. He tortured men for the same information he wanted from you. He only used you to find our clans. To find me.”

"How can I believe you, after everything that's happened?"
Jarod placed his hand over his heart. “My soul could never lie to you. You will see.”


Ursus opened his eyes. Pain stabbed through his brain. His mouth felt dry. He reached up and touched his nose, flinching. Dried blood crusted around it. Certainly broken.

He stared at the sky and the faces of children who stood over him. They peered back with curiosity.


Jarod had dumped him in a community location. He let his gaze sweep the area. The square.

Shit. A very public location.

The sound of boots tramping towards him and he turned his head to stare at a squad of his men who approached.

“Sir.” One man addressed him. Ursus blinked, pushing away the blinding light and sharp pains from behind his eyes. Something wasn’t right. Had the cure worked? He could feel the fever settling in. Every joint in his body ached.

The bastard had dumped him in a public square with children. Ursus ground down on his teeth. Next time they met, he wouldn’t be as kind. He’d beat Jarod to a fraction from extinction, then crush his bones to dust under his heel.

Gods, he hated that bastard.

“Sir, are you okay?”

Fuck no. “Yes,” he groaned and forced himself to sit. His vision warbled before him. He was going to hurt that bastard.

Ursus rubbed his forehead. She hadn’t said how long. Days? Weeks? Months? Was he infected? Did the cure work? If not, how long before he succumbed to the plague? How long before his people contracted it?

He’d no intention of bringing this back to them, but more than likely, he did. No, what she'd given him--he couldn’t be cured. Not with this fever.

His first priority was to alert Colonel Pilot of the danger. There was a good chance Pilot would execute him for what he’d done, but to keep it from them would be worse.

His squad leader offered him a hand. Ursus stared at it, debating the consequences and then slapped his hand into the soldier’s. Whatever damage was done, was done. There was nothing left to do but move forward.

Ursus cringed as the man tugged him to his feet. Aches, a burning in his muscles and joints. Gods, this illness acted quickly. He put his hand to his forehead and steadied himself.

“I need to see Colonel Pilot.” Explaining this wouldn’t be easy. Pilot could execute him on the spot. He’d broken half a dozen military laws, as well as temple laws.

“He’s been looking for you.”

Ursus nodded.

“What happened, sir?”

“Nothing a lazr’-whipping won’t remedy.” Ursus rubbed one of his temples. “I can make it from here. Finish your patrol.” Had he infected them? Could it spread that fast? The soldiers nodded and returned to their squad, marching from the square. Around him, still life. Civilians stopped and stared. Children, women, men...