Monday, January 31, 2011
Bold and Bad Heros
That's the name of my most favorite character of my long list of favorite characters.
Who is this man? Well, first off, he's not a man but a dark elf, a drow. I'm doing a little happy dance in my chair because as I researched a picture of him, I found out R.A. Salvatore released a new book with him in it! *happy dancing some more*
These books aren't in the romance genre but I loved the worlds created by this author and though I don't write fantasy RA Salvatore has influenced some of my writing.
I've been accused of always routing for the bad guy. Guilty as charged. LOL
Which has lead me to my own character:
(the one on the right)
It's hard chosing from my cast of characters but Tane has a special place in my heart. As I wrote BAIT a secondary character came to life and I loved him so much, I made him one of the heros in CATCH. Tane is a Nosferatu vampire and I wrote him the way I truly see a vampire acting. He doesn't care what others think or hurting someone's feelings. With all the time in the world available to him, he can devise complicated schemes and see them through, yet somehow stay innocent of all crimes. He a charming asshole with a vice for power, martinis, and interesting people.
*clears throat* Notice both my choices are bald. LOL What can I say?
I'm off to download the new Jarlaxle book onto my Nook!!
Sunday, January 30, 2011
The Characters I Love.....
A favourite character...oh that’s hard. I love all my characters for all different reasons. But I will share one character with you all that was just a blast to write. Her name is Bryanna and she’s the heroine in Whatnots & Doodads – A Strange Hollow story, which will be released sometime in April.
When I began to write this story I wasn’t quite sure where I was going with it, but Bryanna quickly settled into herself and I was instantly captivated. Quickly, she began to shape up to be one of the most amusing characters I’ve ever written. Her snappy personality, quirky sense of humour, unmanageable magic, and all the funny things that came out of her mouth had me enjoying every minute of her story.
But there was more to her than just laughter, she is a very deep and real character. A little bit tormented and in desperate need accepting herself, regardless that her magic is a bit flawed.
In regards to other authors, my all time favourite heroine is Aisling Grey from Katie MacAlister’s Dragon series. No character has ever made me laugh so hard. I love everything about her and when the series came to end I was sad to let her go. It’s not just her sass, but it’s her sweet heart. I found her to be a very real character and she is so funny! It’s not often that a book...or books I should say make me laugh out loud, but I found myself laughing all the way through each book. Plus, the romance she shares with Drake is...um...fantastic!!
Saturday, January 29, 2011
"It was a dark and stormy night."
And here's one of the best by Ray Bradbury: "The seller of lightning rods arrived just ahead of the storm. He came along the street of Green Town, Illinois, in the late cloudy October day, sneaking glances over his shoulder. Somewhere not so far back, vast lightnings stomped the earth. Somewhere, a storm like a great beast with terrible teeth could not be denied."
Weather can affect all our senses, from ozone in the air left after lightning strikes, to raindrops kissing naked flesh. As a writer, I feel it is one of the best ways to engage a reader and draw them into my story. I love to use the weather in my stories. It gives me the opportunity to flex my artistic muscle and see if I can immerse you in my world. Bits and pieces, hints of what the world is doing, can be found scattered around my text.
Here are a few excerpts. Some are from WIPs, others from published novels.
“I’m going in there to take what we need. We can’t help being hungry,” he said
“Sit with me and stay warm. I’ll be fine.” She reached up and grabbed his hand.
“No.” He pulled away. “Stay here, out of sight.”
“Don’t go in there. Something doesn’t feel right.” That wasn’t a lie. Whatever triggered the unease gnawed at the corners of her consciousness. It was there, flashing danger alerts through her brain, waiting for an opportunity to strike and the last person she wanted to be a target, wouldn’t listen to her.
“I’ll be okay. I’m only going to nick some food and credit. Small stuff.” Nate tucked a loose strand of her hair into her hood. “I'll be right back. Nobody’s going to get hurt.” He turned. His boots crunched on the snow as he walked away, stringing her nerves tighter.
Jocelyn leaned against the brick. Idiot. What did he think he’d accomplish? He’d get her one meal and lose his soul over it. Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn. Why wouldn’t he listen? She’d be okay. She’d come out of worse situations than this.
Bells jangled from across the street as he entered the store. Jocelyn’s stomach twisted into knots. Heat blew up from the grate where she sat on her heels, but it didn’t help the foreboding chill that blanketed her body. She raised her wrist to her mouth and chewed on her jacket’s frozen cuff.
“Be safe. Be safe. Be safe.” She rocked and focused. Nothing. Only that feeling as it grew stronger. “Get out, Nate,” she whispered, mentally reaching for him. No contact.
Nate, listen to me.
The wind whistled between the buildings, but nothing else.
Hear No Evil (WIP): Shit. Not good. Not only did that not seem to bother them, they hadn’t left. She’d seen enough horror shows to know the blonde caught alone in the office at the hour she’d been caught, always became worm fodder because of some guy with a big knife, or axe, or machete. Oh please not a machete. With the war display down the hall, they could take their pick of any number of fun and exciting ways to gut her. She closed her eyes and visualized the inventory. No, the machete wasn’t so bad.
Someone threw their weight against the door. Paxton yipped. Okay, get the hell out of the office, dipshit. What are you waiting for? She bit her lip and crawled across the floor to a window behind her desk, scrambling as fast as she could on her hands and knees. Worm fodder, worm fodder, worm fodder.
The bolt would hold. The glass was shatter resistant, but that door… She’d been the idiot to request the hand-carved replica of an antique temple door. Balsa was an easy wood to carve or so she’d been told and it was glued to a hollow core cheapie. Nice secure choice, i-d-i-o-t.
She bit her lip, grabbed her purse and pulled the window open. Paxton kicked off her heels and stuck her head out. The street sat five stories below. Snow floated down so heavy it made it impossible to see the building across the way. Slick, windy, stupid, mustn’t forget the stupid part. “Oh God.” What had she gotten herself into?
Two windows over and she’d be in the kitchen. Maybe she need only ask what they want? Why risk her neck? “Can I help you?” she called.
The entire door shook and Paxton swallowed. Okay, that would be a no. She stuck her head back out. Fifteen feet, perhaps? From the kitchen she could exit into another hallway and take the fire escape to the ground floor where the security officer was stationed and hopefully alive. The door banged again as someone slammed into it. But then again, in the movies the psycho always got the guard first.
She climbed onto the brownstone sill and pressed her bottom against the stone blocks. This was crazy. She was crazy. The snow and rough surface would destroy her favorite silk suit. The door rattled again, vibrating the contents of her office. Who the fuck cared?
Don’t look down. Focus. You can do this. Step and slide. Step and slide. She shuffled sideways, pushing the snow along the ledge like a plow, refusing to even take a peek at the street below. She’d lose her courage and now was not the time or place for that.
In one hand she held her purse the other her sling-backs hooked on a finger. The designer heels had cost her a fortune and she wasn’t about to leave them behind. A silly thing to worry about when one was shuffling along a ledge, but there were needs and wants and the shoes were a definite need.
Whoever was trying to break in had to have seen the light and thought that she might have the combination to the vault? Surely a thief, not someone that watched as Dr. Moore speculated. She had to believe that, anything else was too scary to contemplate.
Step and slide. Step and slide. She continued to move along the sill until the window was behind her. She pushed it open and crawled through. Not so bad. They couldn’t know she was in the kitchen, but she shouldn’t stick around for them to find out.
Hear No Evil (excerpt 2): Nate down shifted and pulled onto an exit. “I don’t like who I am, or what I’ve become.” The border sat one hundred miles ahead. Since the United States merged with their neighbors to the north and south, the borders were unmanned. Anyone standing on the continent was a citizen of the UR, United Regions. Enter at your own risk.
“You’re not Ian Saefa.”
“Then who am I? Because I’m not Nate Miller anymore either.”
Waves of heat warped the air in front of them. It wasn’t even noon and the blacktop from the old highway already smoked. It was dangerous to be out at this time of day, in the open in a vehicle like the glider. The small population that resided in the middle of the United Regions lived underground and only came out at night to man the power stations and the condensers that generated water for the residents. Not much was known about them. They kept to themselves and very rarely did an Enforcer enter their territory to dispense justice.
With the holes in the ozone, very few traveled south anymore. The middle of the U.R., at one time, had been Texas, Arizona, New Mexico Oklahoma and Nevada. It had become a wasteland, good for little but collecting dust, solar power and hiding from the law. Radiant energy plants that generated power for much of the Southwest dotted the horizon but little else occupied the space.
Which generated another question.
Why were there three gliders behind them? Nathanial eyed the mirror. “Don’t look now but we’ve picked up some friends.”
Paxton tightened her hold. “How many?”
“Three.” Nate glanced into the mirror again. They were closing in. In the last few seconds they’d gained a hundred yards. “We’re going to have to get off the highway and try to lose them in the desert. Hold on.” He cranked hard to the left and swung the back end of the glider around. They shot down the embankment and across a rock covered field. Paxton twisted behind him.
“You might want to go faster. They’re following.”
“You might want to grab hold of my belt.” Nate accelerated, leaving a sand tsunami rolling behind them and billowing into a thick cloud. “Hold on tight,” he yelled and ducked down close to the bars. Paxton tightened her hold and pressed her body against his shoulders.
He flipped a switch and pressed a button, igniting the glider’s boosters. They rocketed forward and the world blurred by. He’d half a charge and the last place he wanted to run out of energy would be in this wasteland. Using the boosters would drain their power. They’d have to lose them quick and find a place to rest in the shade while the glider recharged.
He glanced in the mirror to see they still pursued. He’d been crazy to leave the road. The people behind him were crazier to follow. How far would they go before they gave them up for buzzard bait? Something told him they weren’t the giving up type and he might have to change his tactics.
“They’re still gaining,” Paxton yelled.
“Where the hell did they get boosted rides? There’s no other way to catch this glider.”
“Same place you did.” Paxton’s voice fought against the roaring air and engine.
“I installed the system myself. Since reapers don’t use gliders, my guess is whoever’s behind us can’t teleport and they’re not from the DSLE.”
“Then who the hell are they?” Paxton said.
“Good question. They get any closer and you can ask them.” Nate studied the area ahead. Remnants of the King ranch, a spread that once covered more acreage than any other ranch in Texas. Now it was barren, dried up in the great drought of 2021, and a forgotten scar on Earth’s surface. Dead, desolate and unlivable--life, long since moved on to greener pastures.
A windmill’s skeletal frame stood against the turquoise sky. Its tin pinwheel spun and squawked above a dusty tank and extinct water source. Ahead a broken barbwire fence that once kept enormous herds of Herefords from wandering, now lay strung across the desert like broken string. Only the old wooden posts stood sentinel and they did little to keep anything in or out.
“I have an idea. Brace yourself. This might get rough.”
From frozen city streets to scorching wastelands, the weather can bring so much to a story. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed the weather.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Hot and Cold...
It was a question he’d asked himself often over the years. Losing his footing, he fell down face first in the snow. Icy fingers gripped the back of his neck and pulled him up.
The man pressed him against a nearby tree, his voice low and ragged. “Why do you?”
His skin warmed immediately under the touch of his lover, and considering how cool Cray was, that always amazed Rad. There was no chance to answer before hard lips smashed into his and stole his breath away. Cray’s tongue shoved roughly into his mouth, and Rad savored the cool, fresh taste that followed.
Hands were everywhere on his body, sending his temperature sky high. Frozen fingertips forged through the opening of the coat and under his sweater where they became hot as they moved up his stomach to his nipples. The man rolled the hard nubs between his thumbs and fingers, wrenching a moan from deep in Rad’s gut that shattered the silent night. Cray’s sweet mouth continued to smother his with kisses.
Thick, stiff cocks bumped together, and his ached for release. Pulling away, frozen vapor drifted into the air surrounding each breathless word. “I come for you.”
Thursday, January 27, 2011
When in Rains, It Pours
Take for instance The Perfect Storm. Without the storm, it would have never taken place. It was necessary to the action, the storyline and is even a character in the book (yes, it was a book before it was a movie). It's a perfect example of how weather can be used in a story.
On the other hand, there are some scenes that could have done without the weather element. Take Spiderman for instance, the kissing scene in the alleyway. Was it necessary for it to rain? Well, not really, from what I remember. It wasn't a key component of the storyline. It was more for effect. So in that vein, it could have been necessary simply to set the tone.
Writers use weather to set the tone of scenes all the time. In the instance of the Weather Warden series from Rachel Caine (a series that just concluded I might add *weep*) weather is vital as the characters control it. Jo can control and manipulate the elements and save humanity.
How about an example from my work personally? The scene that immediately comes to mind for me is out of Blood Fever, the second of the Rebirth series books. The characters, Quinn and Evande, are standing out in front of Quinn's home and it's pouring. I mean it's raining cats, dogs, rats and frogs. Thunders crashing. Lighting is popping like a firework display on the Forth of July. It's a highly emotional scene for both characters and the weather reflects their emotion. More importantly...the reader learned something and they didn't even know it.
What? You'll just have to wait until this summer to find out when Forged in Fire releases. ;^)
Frustration tightened Quinn's eyes and the corners of his mouth pulled down into a deep frown. “You still don't get it, do you kid?” he shouted over the crack of lightning a few miles away and the thunder that followed. The storm rolled overhead, grumbling in annoyance. It seemed to be offended because we were ignoring it.
“Get what?” I asked him, aggravated because I knew full well what he was talking about, but was still refusing to admit. I couldn't do that to either of us, it just wouldn't be fair. It wouldn't be fair to anyone else either, most especially to Logan and Gina. They were caught up in this too even if neither of them realized it.
“I told you I accepted you years and years ago. No matter how much I swear, it's never going to matter, is it?” Rage edged into his voice.
I wiped my hand over my face as I tried to get the raindrops out of my eyes. “You accept me with conditions, Quinn. It shouldn't be that way.” This was an old song and dance for us.
He reached out and wrapped his hand around my forearm to pull me closer to him. Lighting exploded overhead and backlit his shape. “You know why I do, but you don't want to admit it or listen. To yourself or to me.”
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Weather Thou Goest
Case in point:
A rumbling growl overhead diverted his gaze, if not his thoughts, from the trim lawns and tidy houses lining the block where his latest mark had resided. Above him, a roiling blanket of clouds stretched across the horizon. He stumbled over level ground as he experienced the same instant of vertigo as always when faced with a view of their darkened underbellies rather than their luminous crowns. (Wicked Kin)
Wind whipped at my skin as it drove solid pellets of rain in stinging slaps on my neck and face. Thunder crashed as lightning brushed veined fingers across the sky. The dim glow of light called to me from a few hundred yards ahead. I ran, slipping and sliding over ground undecided whether it wanted to refreeze or melt. (Everlong)
I can't help it. (Yes, I know I use that excuse a lot.) I’m fascinated by the workings of something greater than humanity and wildly out of our control. I picture weather as a sentient creature. If you’ve ever seen a tornado, ever survived one, then you know what I mean. Some people say a tornado sounds like a train. I can see that. My argument is this—a train is a hunk of metal hurling down its own track. You get in its way, and it runs you over. Tornadoes don’t give you that luxury. They hunt you down. And you know what? They get pissed off when you’ve hidden well enough they can’t find you.
March is coming on fast. Sirens lay dormant, for now. Let the beast come, I’ll be ready.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
As Assault of Weather!
A burst of cold wind hit me in the face and I gasped, finding the sensation all consuming. I’d never been outside of the maintained weather environment of the habitats, which were kept at a constant eighty degrees, the coolest they could make it considering how far down we were in the earth.
I fell to my knees, closing my eyes. Okay, I told myself over and over. I could deal with this. Not one Warrior had ever perished from a cold breeze…that I knew of. For a minute, I could do nothing but feel the thin, frigid air hit me square in the face even as I huddled on the ground. I opened my eyes, hoping the wind had died down a little bit and saw in front of me a pair of very large legs obstructing my view. I jumped up as I forgot about the wind and grabbed the stake from my leg holster on my way up.
How about all of you? How much does weather play a part in your writing?
Monday, January 24, 2011
A Storm is Brewing
For a quick example, I just read Shadowfae, which I mentioned last week. LOL It's erotic, steamy, and sensual. The author set this story during a heat wave in the summer. Trickling sweat, little dresses and thin t-shirts sticking to the skin, and the subliminal message is HOT HOT HOT. Excellent use of weather.
I used a Chicago winter at the beginning of The Alpha to set the tone of the heroine's emotional state. Freezing, she's hunched into her jacket, her hands hidden, and her thread bare clothes and running shoes give little protection. Vulnerable was what I aimed at.
In a future project, a murder mystery, will be set during a typical Vermont snowstorm. I'm hoping it will increase the tension with not being able to see properly or move/drive fast. Things hidden in the snow and the heavy clothes make it hard to find or identify anything. *rubs hands* Can't wait to write this one.
Don't forget to comment to be entered to win a book from Hailey Edwards.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
The winter blues...
Saturday, January 22, 2011
What's on the Nook?
*Sighs.* “A little help here. Has anyone seen a group of paranormal writers? Anyone? Hello? Demon looking for paranormal writers.”
*Grabs long hair and begins to pull it through door. Hair pulls back.* “Fred! Let go.” *Braces foot on door jamb.* “Listen you over grown lizard, let go before I sell you to KFC, they roll you in eleven herbs and spices, and stuff your ass in a bucket.” *Wig slips off head and disappears through door.*
“Can you believe it? That wig is gonna cost me. They’re not cheap. Fred will eat anything. No, really. I’ve been having a hard time getting my mail lately. The mail carriers keep disappearing. It’s a good thing he’s not into ‘fine dining’.”
“Then there was Mrs. Sneider’s Bichon Frise, he burped up hairballs for a week. She called the animal control officer on me. Have you ever tried to explain how your twenty- foot dragon got out of the yard and ate fluffy? And of course, she accused Fred of leaving the yard muffins all over her front lawn too. Something about flaming piles of...” *Snort* “I told her it was fluffy. Fred uses her rose garden in the back yard. Besides, I really don’t know how that gate got open.” *Shrugs.*
“Flipping dragons! You can’t live with them and they make too large a meal for one. Well, I can see I’m a little overdressed. You could have told me we weren’t doing the whole role-playing thing. And to think I went out of my way to do the Mid-Evil wench thingie. See this corset. Do you have any idea how tight you have to yank the stays to get the pumpkins up to your chin? Never mind.” *Snaps fingers and changes to stilettos, and three-piece suit. Sits on desk and crosses legs.* “That’s better. From the look of it, it was going to be hard to find someone here that would climb up my hair and rescue me anyway.”
“Hi, my name is Bunny. I’m a demon.” *Holds finger up in the air.* “Wait, I know.” *Claps hands and massive tome drops on desk. Flips it open.* “Dwarfish, no. Goblin...ish? Draculainian? Isn't that like--Slavic or something? *Glances up.* Hmmm. Maybe. Fairy? I know, I know. It’s not fffffairy. It’s Sidhe, or Fae. Pixies. Whatever. A fairy is a fairy and they all have attitudes. Little bastards. Have you ever seen Tinkerbell when she has PMS? TinkerHell is more like it.”
*Flips page.* “Wait, wait, wait. Here it is...” *Clears throat.* “Work with me, okay. I am multi-lingual, but Elvish isn’t one of my languages. I’m fluent in Southern Sucubi. It’s the same as Northern, just less suck.” *Glances around silent room.* “That was a joke. I wasn’t serious. Lighten up, would you?”
“Mellon en amin!” *Smiles.* “Amin Irma quen.”
“Hello. Anyone out there speak Forest Elf?”
*Raises brow.* “No? You’ve got to be kidding. There isn’t a single person in this group that can? You people are an interesting bunch. Fantasy writers, paranormal writers?” *Snort.* “Can’t even speak Elvish.
Okay, let’s keep this in plain English then.” *Raises brow.* “You do know English?”
“Hey, put that dagger down. Yes, you in the back. Put it down, or Fred’s going to have an early lunch. He enjoys take-out now and again. Yeah, I know. Fast food is bad for you, clogs the arteries, but…,” *leans closer,* “you don’t look all that fast. Still a little sluggish from Nano, I’ll bet. Mmmm, McWriter. A little sweet and sour sauce and...”
“Oh, where was I?”
“Yes. As I was saying. I’m Bunny and I’m a demon. Don’t say it, your really don’t want too. I’ll stick you with my pitchfork and roast you till crispy. Just because I look all cute, uh sexy with this tail and horns, doesn’t mean I can’t do damage. I’m the original Femme Fatale. I'm not overly fond of carrots either. Chocolate will do. I adore cookies, Devil's food cake... Sorry, I start thinking about chocolate and it's all over.”
*Yawns and stretches.* “Such a long night. I had this date with a hot Hell Lord. Met him at one of those internet dating sites. You can never trust those internet-dating services. I did specifically ask for an Axe Murderer.” *Rolls eyes.* “Instead, I got matched with this lame-ass demon that sat on my couch, drank all my beer, and forgot to put the toilet seat down when he snuck out in the early morning hours.”
“Anyway, we went out on this date. A pool party. My neighbor has a lava pool. It’s all the rage. We mingled, drank cocktails and every now and then, we’d shove a telemarketer, banker or politician in. Don’t look at me like that. *Puts hands on hips.* I’m a demon, not an angel. You should try it sometime. Very liberating. I haven’t had that much fun since the Dark Ages.
*Glances at watch.* Damn. I’m late. I have a fitting for a wedding dress. *Claps hands together.* I can’t wait to see his face. Please don’t say anything if you see him. It’s a surprise and I really don’t want to have to hunt him down if he catches on early. It’s such a pain. Tracking them from work, following them out and harassing anybody they see. Do you know what I mean? It’s so much easier to blindside them before they know what you’re up to. Still, being late, it is the fashionable thing to do and believe me, I'm all about fashion. So I'll sit and chat for a minute if you don't mind."
“I’ve been thinking a lot lately.” *Waves hand.* “I know, I know, idle minds are the devil’s playground, or is it the hands? Never mind. Trust me; the devil’s playground isn’t your hands or your mind. It’s the DMV. That’s right you heard me.” *Leans closer.* “The Department of Motor Vehicles. I have to tell you, my license is up for renewal soon and I just cringe at the thought of going in there. First, you have to wait for hours, usually next to someone who sweats profusely and doesn’t know the purpose of deodorant. Then the ladies room is out of order and if you get out of line to use it, someone steals your place.”
“Anyway, the woman that sits behind the counter and takes your picture... She’s EVIL and believe me; I know evil when I see it. Seriously—as in spawn of Satan—Minion of Beelzebub—Henchwoman of Lucifer. A true sadist. I spent a good four hours on my hair and make-up. The outfit I wore was brand new and there isn’t a garment around that looks bad on me. *Snort.* It’s true, what do you expect, I’m a demon, I’m the epitome of sin, sex and everything that’s bad for you. I’m supposed to look hot. Sue me. We own all the lawyers anyway.”
“Oh where was I...Oh yes, this outfit. A toad couldn’t make it look bad.” *Tosses hair.* “But that woman, that woman at the DMV snapped my picture for my new driver’s license and I looked hideous. Then to make matters worse, she wouldn’t take another. This time it better be different.” *Shakes pitchfork* “Bunny’s got your number.” *Digs in purse.* “No really, I’ve got it right here. It was a bitch getting it, but oh boy is it going to be worth it when she opens her Facebook and sees it plastered all over the internet. *Grins.* “We own the telemarketers too. Who’d you think they worked for?” *Eyes glow red.*
“First off I have to tell you First Grave on the Right has the three F’s I look for in a romance novel.”
“Fun—the humor is top notch.”
“Fresh—not your mamma’s paranormal smut.”
“And lots of f…fulfilling romance.” *Buffs nails on skirt* “Seriously, you didn’t think that kind of language comes out of my mouth? I might be a demon, but I do have standards. Do you have any idea how much this smile cost me? Fangs are not easy to get ground down and still look natural. But I digress. I’m here to talk about the book, not moi.”
“As I said, the hero was someone I could appreciate. Reyes is hot, of the supernatural variety and I thought I’d met him before…then realized he wasn’t the same. My bad. But you can understand my mistake; I mean the guys down in hell are pretty hot. Again, it’s that whole temptation thingie.”
*Taps nails on desk.* “Hmmm what else?”
I also have quite a few of Jayne Ann Krentz’s novels. The Burning Lamp trilogy is what I’m currently into. Love curses—love them, and her heroes are hot. Oh speaking of hot…”
*Glances at wristwatch.* “A wedding dress awaits. Lovely chatting with you, but I really need to go. I’ll stop by again and visit someday.”
*Vanishes in a puff of smoke.*
Friday, January 21, 2011
Look what crossed my path...
What would I like to see more of on shelves--something I don't know if I could be good at doing. Multi-author stories. Not anthos. Books that one author writes the first story, another author writes their story with different characters, and sometimes you even get to meet those from the first book. There is usually a common thread like, they all "live" in the same neighborhood, galaxy, or wherever.
I'm going to tell you about two I just read from the town of Draven's Crossing. Selena Illyria and Diana DeRicci are building a wonderful world around vampires, werewolves, dragons, and more! To use their words: It's a decadent paranormal series of erotic novellas... and, boy, have they started off with a bang!! Both novellas are available now: Purple Sword Publications.
Tempestuous Crossings by Selena Illyria:
Vampire Mayor Draven desires mortal Rose. Her rebuffs excite him. When she finally gives in to his advances, their coming together is explosive, and their passion is more than he could’ve anticipated.
But a serial killer divides his attention. Can he keep his town safe from this mysterious menace and convince Rose that they belong together despite her reservations?
As a new resident of Draven’s Crossing, all Rose wants to do is her job. Draven could be a distraction she can’t afford, but she can’t ignore him or her arousal.
In the first book, I met Draven and Rose. The suspense alone would have kept me turning the pages. I was sucked in immediately by the town, it's machinations, the inhabitants and, in particular, the romantic involvement of the hero and heroine. The scenes between them are full of fire and passion. By the time they came together, I was so enthralled with them, and their world, I had to have the next book because--I'd fallen in love with [Draven]'s Crossing. I felt involved in their lives! Didn't hurt any that Draven, a vampire, is strong, intelligent, and sexy as hell.
Mind Games by Diana DeRicci:
From out of the darkness, a voice calls, luring one man into a battle of the unknown.
Jackal has lived a well-guarded secret his entire life. A being of immense power, he understands and accepts the loss and emptiness of never finding a soul to love, yet endures because it is his only path. Eternal life means none who walk the earth could comfort him for long.
The only one who could understand his plight has lived for just as long: a vampire. Taken by surprise and tortured, Kristof’s agony pulls Jackal to him in the dream realm, forging a bond that is unexpected and unexplained.
But now that they’ve connected, will the darkness that hunts all para-kind in Draven’s Crossing destroy them?
Jackal and Kristof...yummy! I felt their pain, their loneliness, their love, and when they did come together, I felt their joy. Jackal was totally unexpected! *big grin* Two very different beings, yet they find in each other something that pulls them together, and I enjoyed the whirlwind-ride along with them. Each page drew me further into their world, into Draven's Crossing, and the lives of everyone there.
There's one character I'm not going to talk about, *ahem* hot, mysterious, tough, hot, furry, hot...did I say hot...
In both I found romance, suspense, wonderful dialogue, and an awesome story with all the eroticism I crave. Two authors, two great voices, and I'm looking for more of this to put on my cyber shelf. I'm dying for the next book already. I don't know which of them is writing it, but my eyes will be peeled at Purple Sword Publications... waiting... waiting...
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Sitting on My Coffee Table in Wait
Yes, I've been eagerly anticipating this one, and the close of the series *cough* for a while. Ever since the previous book ended on a HAC (huge ass cliffhanger). Mostly because there are a lot of questions still dangling that need to be answered. Hope we finally get them. Shhh, don't spoil me.
As for what would I like to see on the shelves, but would probably never write myself? How about a smash up of Pennywise (from Stephen King's IT) takes on Bob (from Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files books)? Psycho clown freak bested by talking skull. See? NYT Bestseller written all over it. ;^)
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Kindle loves Kelley
They’re darker than some tastes run, but so vibrant and lush and just—sort of perfect.
Okay, enough gushing about Erica (for now). I did that enough here, here, and here.
Next up on my new-to-me author list is Kelley Armstrong. I picked up her book, Bitten, and it floored me. It wasn’t a new take on werewolves or a “high concept” idea, but it was solid writing, a fresh perspective, unique plot twists, and believable wolf behavior. I loved it.
It’s one of the few books I’ve re-read just to hold onto that sense of awe I find so rarely when an author has impressed me. I read (by accident) a later book in the series, and I’ve decided Jeremy should be mine. Seriously, he is like no alpha you’ve ever read about, and he’s just hot.
Since I found Kelley in 2010, I plan to spend 2011 picking my way through her backlist.
So, I give you Bitten…a book with a permanent place on my Kindle.
Hmm. As far as what I would like to see on bookshelves...is there any chance that Jim Butcher and J.R. Ward could have a love child who writes PNR/UF?
I’d also like to add a general “Hi there” for the folks who don’t know me. This is my first post on this side of the Paranormal Romantics blog, and I’m excited to be here.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Burning up my Kindle
The most damaged heart can fly with the right pair of wings.
Madelyn’s life is far from fairytale perfect. She is second in line for the throne of a corrupt, brutal monarchy. Or at least she was until her dark guardian sacrificed his life to hide her safely in a realm of infinite possibilities.
For years she’s lived among a colony of escaped slaves as her guardian’s widow. Even in this simple life, though, nothing is as it seems. Her hero kept a secret—a younger brother named Clayton Delaney. Warrior, winged demon…and the man who now wants to lay claim to her heart.
No longer cast in his brother’s shadow, Clayton meets all obstacles head on, including one named Maddie. His infatuation with her reaches the breaking point when she undergoes a royal rite of passage, going into heat and pushing them both over the edge.
Just as Maddie learns that some risks are worth taking, she discovers that her guardian may be alive. And she’s forced to make a choice between the man she’d thought she loved, and the demon willing to lend her his wings.
This book contains virginal angst, a hero who’s too nice for his own good, wings, claws, and convenient use of glamour. It contains heartbreaking loss, conversation with a woodland creature, and sweet, sweet demon loving.
Monday, January 17, 2011
What's On My Nook
Sunday, January 16, 2011
What's on my bookshelf...
Saturday, January 15, 2011
These are a few of my favorite scenes...
For me it's the action and world-building that flip my switch. The more creative I can be, the better I like it.
I love action, shoot-outs and explosions. I absolutely adore chase scenes and fist fights. In every one of my novels you will have one or more of these scenes. The wilder--the better.
In Slipping the Past, I have a fight scene on top of a skyscraper between two reapers, resulting in a free fall from 150 stories for two of the characters.
In Last Flight of the Ark, Kaleb is attacked by one of his passengers, bitten and mutated, bringing about the beginning of the end for an enemy bent on harvesting his crew for food.
In Blown Away, MacKay and Boomer face off with seawasps and a bomb in a G-class freighter's holding tank. In the second novella in the same book, Happy Trails, There's a HALO (high altitude, low observation) jump from the stratosphere that kicks off a chase scene on an alien world where the pair barely escape drowning in rapids.
Now, what do I like writing the least...
Sex. Yeah, I know, it kind of goes hand-in-hand with erotic romance, but it's hard to keep it fresh and not have the same old throbbing encounters. There are only so many words an author can use for Mr. Willy. Seriously...
I refuse to resort to purple prose. No purple-helmeted, love warriors here.
*Looks behind her to find nosey husband sneaking a peek.* Mention penis and men appear. I swear it's like one of those silent dog whistles. They just know you're writing sex and it lures them like a siren's song.
I digress. Where was I?
*Sighs louder* You can go away now, man of mine. I'm not writing anything pornographic. I promise.
When I first started writing erotic romance, I used to want to run and hide under the bed when I handed it over to the Betas to read. I've since gotten over that, but it's still not easy. Erotic romance requires a certain amount of finesse in the love scenes and when they go wrong, they can go horribly wrong.
Thankfully I haven't had any of those horribly wrong moments yet.
Well, that about does it. What I like writing and what I don't like writing so much.
Thanks for coming by,
Friday, January 14, 2011
Did you feel that?
I’ve been in love. Or have I? I thought I was--a few times. Is there a difference between thinking you’re in love, and being in love? Damn, maybe I’ve only been in love in my mind! What is the real indicator that you are in love? What defines it? A touch, a smell, a word, or a look? See where I’m going with this.
Writing about being in love is the most difficult part of writing for me!
I’ve written ménages, male/male, male/female...oh, one of those ménages started off as a female/female/male ménage. When I wrote that, no one wanted it--I still don’t know why. It was about love. Sometimes I wonder if I conveyed that well enough in the story.
When my men are together, do readers feel the love they have for their partner? Do they get the feeling I know what I’m talking about when I have my heroes or heroine fall in love? I’m not talking about physical love--that’s sex. *grin* (I like writing that!) I’m talking about the real feeling of, I-love-you-and-I-will-always-love-you-even-after-hell-freezes-over kind of I love you. I’m single, so it’s evident I haven’t felt this yet!
After all my years in this world, I can’t tell you what that kind of love is like, or what it feels like. I can tell you what I felt the first moment I thought I was in love, I can tell you what I thought at that moment. I can tell you the joy in my heart when I looked at that person. I can tell you how I glowed and got all mushy inside when that person touched me, looked at me, or complimented me.
But none of it matters, not if I can’t get that feeling, that thought, written, and written in a way everyone who reads it…
Feels like they’re in love.
…And you know I got pictures of couples who could be in love, well, it could be the other thing, you decide.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
The Ones That Make You Grrrrr
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The Scene I Love to Hate
Annie’s was transitions. Rebecca’s was sex scenes. Both valid points. I don’t have issues with either of those, though. I love writing love scenes. They're different for each book depending on the characters and mood of the story. Transition scenes are more difficult but necessary and I do like them too :-) The type of scene I don’t like to write are the ownership scenes that come directly after a love scene.
Yeah, those. They're kinda sorta like a transition scene but with more at stake.
When I write a sex scene, it takes a lot of energy out of me. When it comes to writing that “afterglow” moment, I just want to gloss over it. I don’t care for them, because I hate to read the mushy, mushy scenes so many romance writers do. Sometimes, when two people have sex, the change in their relationship isn’t immediate and in no way do the players have a change of heart ASAP.
Yes, characters can have that “aha” moment when they know things will be different, but a writer needs to understand it’s a process and the characters need to progress naturally into the “I think I love you” stage.
That makes it tricky. A writer can make or break a book in these scenes.
Give me a fight scene, a sex scene, an action sequence any day, as long as I can avoid the “aftermath”. Sure, they’re a necessary part of the book, but they make me shiver. But, because writing is a job and a writer's responsibility is to learn every aspect of the craft, I buckle down and write them. Will I ever make peace with them? Probably. Will I love doing them? Probably not.
Have a great day.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The Hardest Part
Monday, January 10, 2011
I Hate the Stuff in Between
One of my favorite kinds of scenes to write is THE BLACK MOMENT. The main character has struggled through every conflict I’ve thrown at them. Battled for love and life to obtain their happily ever after, then it happens, they hit rock bottom where “The only way to go is up.” I never start a story without mapping the black moment. Delving into a deep point of view so I can do my best to draw the reader on this path.
Just when I thought I hit rock bottom, someone handed me a shovel.
I snorted then bit into my supper.
She set her half-eaten pastry on the plate. “I don’t understand. You are aware of the bond you share with him?”
“You don’t like him.”
“Why did you agree to the bond?”
Sunday, January 9, 2011
World-building causes a migraine or two!
Saturday, January 8, 2011
I have goals. Goals I set when I start a project. As I go I check to see how I'm doing, adjust my course and keep going. I have goals for everything. Work, physical health, my art...writing.
Since this is a writing blog, I'll talk about that.
My writing goals look something like this.
Get a novel published--check.
Get a novel published in print--check.
Get an agent--working on that one.
Get into a large publishing house like St. Martins or Penguin Press.
The ultimate goal--get on a bestseller's list.
Though lofty, they give me focus, help me to keep my eyes on the ultimate prize. I recently realized I've passed my halfway mark and I'm still in shock. Four years ago I wouldn't have believed I could get a novel published, much less the three novels and five short stories I have published today. I plan to continue with two of my series. Slipping the Past and Blown Away. For these two series, I have three novels going at the moment that are 3/4 way finished.
I believe in babysteps. Four years ago I started from the other end of my list, sending out query letters to agents with a story that wasn't ready, bombing time after time. Discouraged, I almost gave up. But a chat with a friend convinced me to change tactics and start small. I wasn't ready and I'd tried to bypass some of the important stuff in my impatience. I've learned to slow down and take baby steps. Thank God for friends who aren't afraid to give you a kick in the ass when you need it. I'll aways be thankful for mine.
2011 brings challenges, the biggest for me will be the next step. The story I plan to send out is almost done. I've been writing it for four years, coddling it, tweaking and playing with it. Though not the same story I tried to sell before (I've hidden that one under the bed), it's one I started the day I changed my tactics. So as I get ready to take my next step, I smile. Maybe this year will be my year, maybe not, but at least I'm moving forward and that alone gives me reason to celebrate.
Here's wishing everyone the best for the new year. May we all achieve our goals and heart's desires.
D L Jackson
Friday, January 7, 2011
I'm not one for resolutions at any time of year, and I don't do well with setting goals. Things I'd resolved to do, goals I had set, almost always changed. Life gets in the way of both. Resolutions, I can't think of a single one I made--and kept. Is that a bad thing? I don't think so. For me the bad thing was making it, and breaking it. That made me feel bad, so I stopped making resolutions. And that's that.
I celebrate the beginning of a new year when trees bloom, when tulips pop up in my yard, and when birds sing a new song. For me the year begins when Spring arrives. I don't resolve to work in my garden, I don't plan to plant a new flower, I don't have to--it happens. It happens because I simply love springtime!!
Everyone has a time that they feel new, refreshed, and alive. Use that time to grow and flourish, resolve only to use that time to do what you want to do!
And in finishing, I found some pics of plants, after all--it's Friday! *grin*