Saturday, April 25, 2015

Revisiting Old Friends. . .

by Nancy Gideon

There’s nothing like an old friend. No matter how much time has passed since the last time you saw them, the minute you reconnect it’s like it was just yesterday. This April, I’ve enjoyed two reunions – one in Arizona and one on my laptop.

I just got back from a much needed vacay in Tucson (it’s a dry heat!) with critique partner Elizabeth Fortin Hinds (who also writes awesome Egyptian mythology based adventure romance as Elizabeth Alsobrooks) sightseeing to get back in the mood for reissuing my Dana Ransom western series and soaking up the sun – only to return to snow in Michigan! I never knew a week could go by so fast – especially when you spend so much of it in four airports!

I also started proofreading the scans of the first book in my “Midnight” vampire romance series from back in the ‘90s, MIDNIGHT KISS, which will be reissued by BelleBooks’ ImaJinn imprint in July. How I loved that story! That whole series! I remembered how much when I began reading the first page. Just like yesterday. Here’s a taste to sink your teeth into:

Arabella heard the front door open. With a soft cry of relief, she tossed aside the book she’d been pretending to read for the past two hours and scrambled from the bed. Thin white nightgown fluttering about her, she ran out into the hall to the top of the stairs.


The first floor was dark. A strange phosphorescent light spilled in from the open door, and with it, a thick, roiling mist. A wintery chill seeped up through the house until her quick breaths plumed visibly. She hugged herself as a tremor of alarm swept through her along with that prickling cold. She was about to turn and call for Takeo when the mist began to churn and change, yielding up the shape of a man.

“Bella, my love.”

His words tingled within her. Truly afraid, yet compelled by his voice to move forward, Arabella eased down two of the steps.


He was standing at the foot of the stairs, face uplifted. His features were bathed in an odd blue-silver light that was not quite moonlight, not quite natural. It etched his cheekbones with bold, sharp strokes and his mouth with delicate sensual lines. And from out of that eerie, ethereal light, his eyes glowed hot and golden.

“Louis, I was so worried . . .” She clung to the railing for balance. Something about his stare dragged upon her consciousness with an insistent sleepiness. Her limbs were unresponsive, heavy, tired. But beneath that seeping weariness, panic flickered like a resistant flame.

“I told you not to worry, Bella. I told you I would never leave you.”

There was something in the quality of his voice—it was bigger, echoing, coming from all around and within her.

He started up the stairs, the mist rising with him, cloaking his feet so it seemed that he moved them not at all, but merely rose without effort. Confused by this trick of light, Arabella retreated, backing up the steps to the landing. Her heart pounded with an unexplained fright. Her eyes told her it was her husband coming up to her, but her senses decried it, warning with every frantic pulse that she was in dreadful danger.

He stood at the landing before her, his stillness mesmerizing. He was so—beautiful. She stared and lost herself in the looking. His magnetism surrounded and seduced her. His eyes were so deep they went on forever. Then he took a step and she took one away, her breath coming in soft little gasps.

“Don’t be afraid,” came that smooth, glassy voice, and terror surged within her only to be blanketed by his warm, stifling will. She couldn’t move, could barely breathe as he closed the distance between them. His hand reached out to her and she shrank back but couldn’t avoid it.

His fingers slid caressingly along her cheek and the solidity of that touch broke Arabella’s fearful trance. She exhaled in a rush.

“Oh, Louis, it is you!”

His neck was quickly circled by her arms and his curled lightly about her, drawing her up against him. She hugged him while desperate shivers drove out the last of her tension. She stroked her hand through his hair and kissed his neck, his cheek, and finally his mouth with a reassuring urgency. Then she simply clung.

“I did not mean to frighten you,” he whispered without inflection.

She gave a nervous little laugh. “It was silly—I don’t know what came over me. You seemed so strange, and I—it doesn’t matter now. You’re here, and that’s all that matters. Are you all right?”

“I am full of the night’s chill. I need your warmth to sustain me.”
I can’t wait to get to the next two books which have also been long out of print. ImaJinn is rereleasing the entire nine book series, one per month, all with new covers, beginning with MIDNIGHT KISS, MIDNIGHT TEMPTATION and MIDNIGHT SURRENDER (finally resurrected!) in July, August and September. I can’t WAIT to see the new packaging.

What kind of covers do you like on your vampire romances? Manscaped male torso? The clenching couple? Moody broody atmospheric? I need to get my art sheet done and would love some suggestions.

In the meantime, get back together with your old friends and enjoy the rediscovery!

Nancy Gideon on the Web

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

22 Day Break

by Stephanie Beck

You know what's nearly impossible to pull off? Take 22 days off of work. I know what you might be thinking--22 days off as a writer? didn't write for 22 days? But really, that's not the case. We undertook the task of remodeling our kitchen--such a mess. I thought we'd be fine and work relatively well around it, but our whole schedule and routine was blasted out of the water in deference to the kitchen. What. A. Mess.

Last night we returned the appliances to their places and all I can see is the project after project that came up since doing the kitchen. Every room touching the kitchen now needs paint, there's dust every where, and my shiny new kitchen needs the rest of the kitchen paraphernalia put in place. Ahhh. Projects.

And to top it all off, I have been writing. I have! I'm almost done with a novel I've been working on since November. What I haven't done is any sort of promotion or friend perking or visiting with readers. Bad Steph. I almost forgot to blog here. Why? Because I was able to put cookies in my oven.

I know. I'll move my computer to the kitchen. It is my happy place at the moment.

Happy Wednesday, all!! I hope you can take a break from real life, but yours involves more reading and less dust!

All the best,
Stephanie Beck

Monday, April 13, 2015

World Building: Who's In Charge?

I’m continuing my thoughts on building the world your characters inhabit. Although this blogsite is geared toward paranormal romance, which includes science fiction romance, all of our stories are set in a certain world. Whether your story takes place in the past, the present, or the future, you will build a world. If your story is set in the Regency time period, you’ll need to consider the politics and customs of the time. Same with a story set in a post-apocalyptic era. Who is governing? Is anyone in charge?

I am a plantser—a combo pantser and plotter. Mostly I write by the seat of my pants, but I do (eventually) have to plot. Since I just plunge in and start writing, I don’t even think about government. But, like plotting, eventually I have to. While writing my Outer Rim series, I had to consider who maintains the peace on out the Frontier. My stories take place far from the “civilized” planets. Some things I had to consider are: is there a sheriff in the settlements? A mayor? Or does chaos reign? Is it survival of the toughest? Or has the central government sent out security forces to maintain law and order? If so, why?

Usually, we start out thinking about the microcosm surrounding our characters. If the bad guys beat up the hero, is there a recourse or does he have to resort to revenge? Are there authorities he can go to who will arrest the baddies? Are the authorities reliable or corrupt? Are there laws in place to protect the innocent? Who made the laws? All things we take for granted in the present day. Considering the stories in the news, we have much to think about that could influence our stories.

In science fiction, we tend to think broader than just the outpost, village, or city where our characters live. What type of government exists on the planet? Or is it like Earth today with multiple governing bodies of differing types? Is the government a representative type, a monarchy, a dictatorship, a confederation? Think the United Federation of Planets (Star Trek) or the Empire (Star Wars). How does that world impact our stories?

Just like with the background of the characters, you need to know everything about your world. The reader doesn’t. If you’re writing a series or a group of stories loosely connected, that world may evolve. In the majority of the Star Trek television shows and movies, we know a bunch of planets have joined together into a confederation. Knowing how this came about isn’t necessary for the episodes or movies. It’s just there. The exception is in the series “Enterprise,” which focused on the early days of space exploration and the formation of the Federation.

In your story, you get to decide what to focus on. And how much the reader needs to know. Like salt in food, use a light hand.

Diane Burton writes science fiction romance, as well as romantic suspense and mysteries. From a resort town on Lake Michigan to the Frontier of space, her characters occupy a variety of worlds. She’s currently writing the third book in her Outer Rim series. FMI, visit her website:

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Discover the #Wolves of Willow Bend! Bayou Wolf is here


The rise of so many lone wolves into a prospective sixth pack brings the Alphas of all the North American packs to Willow Bend for a summit. Having so many powerful dominants in one place invites challenges and hazards. No protocol can be ignored and none feels the strain more than Lincoln Buckley. He’s been charged by his Alpha to act as liaison for the Delta Crescent Alpha—the fierce and wildly beautiful Serafina Andre.

Serafina stands apart from her ‘fellow’ Alphas. As the only female to hold sway over a North American pack, she only has Delta Crescent’s interests in mind. She expects challenges from the other male Alphas, dominants all, due to their need to protect females. It doesn’t surprise her in the least to find out the wolf assigned as her liaison has also been tasked with her protection. What does startle her is the depth of her interest in him.

An Alpha doesn’t submit, no matter how much the woman in her might crave him. Her pack must come first, especially since what Willow Bend proposes is insanity…

Read the first chapter!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Back to Back

New releases...and Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Dirty Rotten Vampires series continues with #3 - Hold Me Hard

If interested, find a free read, Not The Garden of Eden, HERE at Changling's Encounter site about an upcoming character who's the dirtiest, rottenest vampire alive. Check it out! And, yes, Adam will make an appearance in the full novella, Dare Me Once, and he's damn naughty.

Vigier Stone fought tirelessly for supremacy of his kind as a member of the vampire council. After betrayal by a few, Vig goes to war again -- this time against demons seeking power and threatening destruction of all half-breeds including the one he desires. The demi-vamp has captured his heart and soul, creating an out-of-control master hell-bent on annihilating anything that dares keep her from him.

Vig took this all in as she neared and his fingers itched to run through her short, almost black, unruly curls as Ki wedged between his legs.
“No magic.”
“If I wish it.” He wore only black slacks. “Remove one piece at a time.” His breathing escalated as Ki lifted the hem of her shirt and inched it up and over golden, lace-enveloped breasts. “Stop.” Vig leaned forward and pressed a kiss to her navel. An athletically toned body and soft, perfumed skin beckoned him to explore the tiny indentation. His tongue jabbed in and out, mimicking what he’d do to her with his cock. “Do you want me?”
“Yes.” She relinquished her hold on the shirt and pushed fingers through his hair. “You cut it.”
Vig grasped her ass and clenched his thighs, capturing Ki between them. “It got in the way.” He ran his tongue in circles around her belly button where, afterward, he laid his head and savored the warmth for a moment. “And you wished it.”
“You look like a petulant boy.”
Licking a path to her bra, Vig used fangs to rip the material, enjoying the way it made Ki tremble. “Is that why you blushed?”
“I blushed knowing what you’d do to me.”
“Will you like it?” He yanked the lacy material, dragging her down.
He swatted her ass hard. “Who?”
“Vigier, oh Jesus, Vig.”

You can find the series at most ebook outlets:
Hold Me Hard, DRV 3Read more
Love Me Madly, DRV 2Read more
Hurt Me Good, DRV 1Read more

And NEW! is Her Maine Stud, part of Changeling's SOS multi-authors series. I really liked writing about Tyrant Blue Blade Runner and Coral Gillespie - the girl has a way with words!

Tyrant Blue Blade Runner, special agent with the U.S. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Special Outreach Services Division known as SOS, shouldn’t dally with a woman whose accident he perpetrated. Turns out Coral Gillespie is not only stealing cats from his property, she’s having some neutered! While monitoring the thief, her pert nose, saucy way with words, and generous swell of hips not only captures Ty’s attention, the wily woman may become his undoing.

Goddamn Gryphon! When he saw his brother, he’d demand to know why he hadn’t divulged information as important as Coral risking her life.
“You okay with this? You look funny.”
Ty tightened his hands around the steering wheel. “I’m fine.”
“Promise you’ll follow my lead or stay in the truck.”
Follow her lead! Christ, his ass was in deep shit because no way would he allow anyone to get within a hair’s breadth of her. “Sure, got it.”
“Pull over here. I want to peep in this guy’s backyard.”
“He’s got a shepherd he treats like shit. I’ve warned him once.”
“He doesn’t get a second chance?”
“Hell no.” She opened the door before he came to a complete stop and grinned at him over her shoulder. “Today, it’s the dog’s turn for a chance.”
After parking, he jumped out and trotted after her. Coral had already eaten up half the alley at a slow run. On her heels, he couldn’t keep his eyes off her ass encased in black leather. When she came to a stop, Ty slammed into the back of her and wrapped his arms around her waist to steady Coral. “Sorry.”
“Gee-willikers,” she hissed.
The words were so incongruous with her attitude and attire, Tyrant burst out laughing.
“Keep it down, he’s always home.”
She turned to glare at him, hands on hips. “You are.”
“I’m what?”
“Sorry.” She shook her head. “I can’t do this with you, go wait in the truck.”
“Like hell I will.”
“Tyrant! I don’t need you to back me up. I’ve done this for years.”
“Why didn’t I know about it?”
“Umm, because we just met?” Coral’s hazel eyes pierced him. “Look, you’re one hell of a specimen of man, but I could probably take your ass in under ten seconds.”
He grew more irritated with each passing moment. “Do what you have to so we can get the hell out of here.”
They reached a chain link fence with a hole only large enough for Coral to fit through, and she quickly folded her body and slipped into the muddy, garbage-strewn yard. She turned a corner and he lost sight of her. “Hey, boy.” Her soft voice slid down his spine and started his cock on a trip to bone-hard town. Christ! Not now.
He heard a gruff voice yell, “Gillespie, touch my dog, and I’ll knock your fucking ass out.”
“Okay, you know I’m here.”
A thud followed by grunting sent him into action. Jumping the fence, Tyrant ran a few feet and turned the corner to see Coral straddling a two hundred pound man and binding his hands with plastic cuffs.
“I’m leaving these a little loose.” She tugged the ties. “You can yell for your girl to cut them once I leave.”
“Another word, I’ll clobber your ass again, Jinks.” She tapped his face. “I told you he’d better look healthier in a week.”
“I feed him table scraps.”
“Jinks, he needs regular meals and fresh water. Don’t you get that?”
“One more chance, my kid loves him.”
“No more, it’s his turn now.”
“Fine. I can’t stand the fucker.”
“Then we don’t have a problem.” She looked over her shoulder. “Took you long enough. Loosen the dog’s rope and get him out of here.”
He got the dog loose and said, “I’m not leaving you.”
“Oh for goodness sakes.” She stood and nudged the man on the ground with a booted toe. “Don’t move until we’re gone or I’ll use this again.” She waved the nightstick in the air, and for the first time, Tyrant noticed blood running from the man’s nose.
Fuckin’ A, Coral was badass!

So, there ya go, I've been busy and I hope you enjoy the stories!

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

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Why I love flashing! I mean writing flash fiction...

Spring time has me thinking of new beginnings. When I started to focus on my writing I wrote a lot of Flash Fiction. Writing a tight, complete story in about 500 words is a great way to practice honing your craft...and fun! 
With the warmer weather approaching, my thoughts also drift to the gardens my father and father in law plant and my favorite thing- garden tomatoes. 
Speaking of spring, tomatoes and stories, here's an old flash fiction story of mine that I thought I'd share. 

                                                   Secret Garden

“More lemonade, Grams?” LuAnn plucked up the glass and rolled its cool condensation across her temple. “Whew, what a scorcher.”
Grams pushed her bifocals up the slick bridge of her nose. “Good for the tomatoes.”
LuAnn glanced at the new sign above the door advertising Grams Pasta Sauce, and smiled. “You’ve had a good season.” She kissed Grams weathered cheek. “I’ve been worried about you, without Grandpa.”
“The Lord provides.” Grams fanned herself, then smiled a toothless grin while biting into a tomato with gusto. Rivulets of juice streamed down her chin. 
LuAnn eyed the jars lining the table. “Will you ever tell me your new secret ingredient?”
 “Some secrets are best kept buried.” Grams swatted a mosquito. “Besides, sauce is in our blood, child.”
The screen door ushered LuAnn into the house, slamming her behind as she carried the glasses in. The whirling ceiling fan moved the stagnant air. LuAnn squinted out the window at the rows of tomatoes. Again, the sunlight glinted on something.
“Hey Gram, whatcha’ got in the garden? Something to scare off the rabbits?” LuAnn went out the back and was engulfed in the thick air, filled with the cicadas’ songs and the babbling of the creek. Squatting down, she dug into the moist dirt. 
“What is that, a coin?” LuAnn’s hand brushed against the offending item. She shielded her eyes from the glare as the sun struck it. 
“They say time heals all wounds,” Grams said. 
LuAnn startled and fell onto her buttocks, dislodging a mound of dirt.
“Now, I don’t necessarily believe that’s true.” Grams lowered onto the wooden stool near the garden and rolled her knee high stocking down.
LuAnn’s mouth gaped at Grams exposed leg, which sported a plethora of scars.  “What—”
Grams dropped the skirt and clutched a hoe to hoist herself up. “Oh that’s nothin’.” She waved her hand at LuAnn. “Don’t you worry yourself, child. I told ya, the Lord provides.” Nodding, she ran her hand along the hoe. “He provided me with this hoe and this bountiful garden.”
“Every time I got a lashing, I just planted me another tomato plant, um-hmm.”  Grams turned and hobbled back to the house.
LuAnn started to push herself up, and then saw it. Amongst the green stalks, a decomposing finger erupted from the earth. The gold wedding band encircled the bone.
LuAnn’s eyes widened and she scuttled back on all fours. “Grandpa,” she whispered. A black beetle scurried across the band, tiny tentacles twitching.
LuAnn suppressed her rising nausea with her palm while stumbling to her feet.  Frantically, she brushed off the clinging dirt. She cringed as a crow cawed, following its’ flight path across the vast acres of tomato plants.
Her breathing slowed. Her muscles relaxed.
“Here’s your lemonade, Grams,” LuAnn said, settling into a rocker. 
“Still wanna know the secret ingredient?” Grams rocking slowed.

“Nah.” LuAnn met Grams gaze. “Like you said, sauce is in our blood.”

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Penning stories boasting laughter, light suspense and something magical in the hope of sharing  her love of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary world.