Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Okay, this is a HUGE problem for me...but a nice one! ; )
Basically, I am ready to start novella number 3 but I have too many ideas rolling around in my head. Soooo, i'm opening it up to you guys. I am giving you a choice of heroine occupations, hero occupations and settings. The person who chooses the combination that kick starts a juicy (and erotic!) conflict in this muddled brain of mine will win a free copy of Explicitly English.
Hurry I make the choice on Thursday morning!!
Trainee chef, Personal Assistant or Cop
Plumber, Pro bono lawyer or Mystery Shopper
English City, Greek Tourist town or US small town
Thursday, 24 March 2011
Welcome to my blogspot, Kathleen! Before I let you take the floor I have to say how in love with your book cover I am! It is amazing! I wish you loads of sales - who was the artist? Absolutely beautiful.
Okay, gushing over - take it away!
The Beauty of the Series
By Kathleen Scott
I love a series.
The first one I remember getting my voracious eyes on was the intrepid Nancy Drew back when I still wore pigtails and pinafores. (Yes, back in the early to mid 70s our dresses did resemble pinafores.) There was just something about following along with Nancy and Ned on their various adventures that sucked me in and refused to let go. I loved the way the adventures never really ended, that if I went back to the library, there would be another book waiting to be read. Then I discovered fantasy fiction.
Let’s face it, no one does a series like a fantasy author. It’s written on their vary DNA to produce multi-book epics that stretch on long past the lifespan of the author. (Robert Jordan and Marion Zimmer Bradley anyone?) Is it any wonder then that when I started my writing journey it was on a road littered with the twists and turns of the plots that took several books to complete the arc?
My brain doesn’t seem to work any other way. I can come up with an idea for a one off and the next thing you know I have a notebook full of ideas for supporting characters to get their own stories. It’s a sickness really. Can’t seem to stop myself from plotting out the evolution of the characters/world/planets/political climates on into books four or five. This is sometimes good since there is always something to write. I never lack for new ideas. Sometimes it can make marketing a bit trickier, especially if the series doesn’t have a particular “tag” to them. This is the case with what I call my Scicia saga.
Technically all the books do not take place on the planet of Scicia, but the nexus of the plots did originate from there as do the characters, regardless of what planet the actual story takes place. But how do you go back and let readers who enjoy book two but haven’t read book one, know that book one is actually out there and waiting for them to download and enjoy? It’s hard, I’ll grant you. Not impossible though.
I know when I pick up a series to read, I always want to start at book one. Doesn’t always happen that way for one reason or another, but when it does, I do go back and read what I missed. Kind of brings me up to date. I did that recently with the Amelia Peabody Mysteries by Elizabeth Peters. A friend of mine suggested I’d love the series since it is set in my favorite historical time period – the Victorian Era—and deals with a favorite topic of mine, archeology.
Unfortunately, when I set out to read them, I could only obtain book three of the series and had to wait for books one and two. No sweat, says I, I’ll start at book three since they are mysteries and each one should pretty much stand alone. Right? Well, sort of.
The relationship between Peabody and her husband, Emerson, is so dynamic and hilarious I wanted to see how it evolved from the beginning. I was not disappointed when I finally got my hands on book one. As a matter of fact, I’m glad I went back and read it, as it made their relationship all the more endearing having seen the origination.
Which brings me back to the point of my own series: the stories are richer if you see where they all began. Unlike some of my other series where the books really are stand alones that are set in the same world but with different characters, the Scicia saga has one long underlying plot that unfolds the deeper into the series a reader gets. The actions and responses of the characters in Private Negotiations impact the lives of the characters in Intimate Weapons, which leads to the crises in Clandestine Alliance. Covert Operations’ story line runs concurrent with Clandestine Alliance, and the final book, Public Displays follows a few months after.
I’ll admit. I’ve had a lot of fun writing and imagining the worlds in the Scicia saga. Caught somewhere between the pageantry of the royal court life and the high tech exploits of inter-stellar travel, I had a blast with rules and governments and histories.
Why don’t you come along and step inside book one for a moment.
Private Negotiations by Kathleen Scott
For the past ten years, war has ravaged the planet of Scicia. The countries of Telesia and Vanden have painted the land with the blood of their people, neither side coming out the clear victor. The recent death of the Vanden Regent has brought his heir to the throne and with it a new chance for peace. That is, if the memories of an illicit love and a false identity do not derail the process first.
Vanden Regent, Loden Espacian has waited a long time to claim Rinalda D’Aubry as his bride. Four years before, on a mission to Presari Station, Loden attempted to seduce secrets from the Telesian Chancellor’s beautiful daughter. His quest failed when she did not divulge even so much as her family ties and Loden fell helplessly in love. Now, the war has taken a terrible toll on Vanden’s resources. With his country on the verge of collapse, Rinalda is within the walls of his palace as the Telesian peace emissary. The only chance for Loden to save his country is to find a way back to Rinalda’s good graces and once again win her heart.
When Sergeant Rinalda D’Aubry agreed with her father’s plan of going to Vanden as the emissary in a peace envoy, she had no idea she’d come face to face with the man she thought was lost to a wartime romance. Dreams of him have sustained her during some of her worst days and nights, fighting in a bloody war of her father’s making. The man she remembers was a common foot soldier, not the heir to the Vanden throne. Memories of their passionate lovemaking threatens to ignite the air between them, burning all who stand in the way. Betrayed and humiliated, Rinalda vows to rise above her broken heart to save both countries from destruction before it’s too late for redemption. But not before her father's secrets threaten to destroy the fragile peace and the new love growing between Loden and Rinalda, along with the promises of the future they plan to build together.
Available now from Liquid Silver Books
***** But the action and suspense did not stop there – here’s a blurb from book two*****
Intimate Weapons by Kathleen Scott
Jovita Rees is running for her life.
Infused with nanites to heighten her natural abilities, she has become little better than a weapon for her people. When used as a focus, Jovita can open wormholes at will. Not just in space, but in water or land. This ability has become a great asset to her people, the Celedons. Fearful her powers will be used as a weapon, she stows away on a transport ship to Presari Station. Once there, she tucks herself away on a ship bound for Scicia. – The Vanden ambassador, first-advisor to the Regent, Mallic Telonis, is taking his leave from the peace talks.
A known connoisseur of beautiful women and non-committed sex, Jovita hides in his suite aboard the vessel, hoping she can exchange sex for a passage to Vanden. Mallic is shocked to find a beautiful Celedon woman in his bed. Too bad that despite her offer of memorable sex, she is terrified at the very thought of his touch. He knows this by the color in her cheeks and the awkward way she moves. He is also troubled she would go through so much trouble and offer her body for a ride across the galaxy. When he gets out of her that she wishes political asylum, he tells her that she needed only to tell him that and he would have gladly taken her back to Vanden. There is no need to offer her body.
Mallic returns to the palace only to find it in an uproar. The Paladins want to settle the uninhabitable region of the planet to set up an outpost. They have called upon the Vandens and Telesians to assist in this endeavor and they aren’t being nice about it either.
Into the fray, word comes that a powerful weapon has been smuggled off of Celedon. It is a break-through technology that could change the balance of power in the known worlds. Mallic fears Jovita knows where the weapon is kept, but never dreams the woman he has begun to lust after more than any other he’s known, may be the weapon in question.
Available now from Liquid Silver Books.
Since starting the Scicia saga, I’ve had ideas for a few other series, two contemporaries and one more fantasy and sci-fi mixes. As I said, it is a sickness I endure and which I hope I never recover.
- Kathleen Scott
Great post, Kathleen! It's funny you chose to blog about writing series as this is an idea I have had perculating for a while now. I worry that if I start it, I won't be able to stick to it. How do you stop that from happening? Do you plan the entire series before you starting writing?
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Sayde is visiting with a new take on the blog post today ; ) She's making you work for your book prize, LOL! Take it away, Sayde...
The Query Game
Most readers will never realize that the book they are so engrossed in went through a tremendous amount of marketing before it was ever put on the shelves. Usually when I guest blog somewhere I give a little story and post an excerpt of whichever book I’m promoting. Today I want to do something a little different. Today we are going to play the Query Game.
First I’ll tell you what a query is. A query is a one to two page letter describing your book and your work that make you stand out in the mist of hundreds of other queries. You want these to be snazzy and eye catching. Now, I don’t mean send in pages to editors or agents with glitter all over them but you want the writing to really sale your work.
I’m going to post several paragraphs from a few of my books. Three of the books have been sold while one has not. I’m not a marketing genus so don’t expect a whole lot J First person to pick the query that has not sold will win a copy of my newest release.
Waking up tattooed, mated and a werewolf would shock most people but for Siddalee Brighton it’s just another day.
Sidda has always held a burning hunger for her best friend, werewolf Jasper Gandillion. But she never realized what belonging to the animal within him would mean until he marks her in a show of passion and dominance proving he’s the only Alpha who can tame her. The intense mating awakens the werewolf inside her who is determined not to submit to any male and takes nothing off anyone, not even Jasper.
Sidda’s awakening as Alpha female alerts the father she never knew, that she is alive. Sidda happens to be the first of many illegal breeding experiments that Luna Werewolf Nation Alpha, Dane Velham has created. Can Sidda stop her father from creating more experiments and free the ones he’s already made? Can she trust Jasper to stand by her side after he finds out she’s an experiment herself? Or will Sidda be forced into a life of servitude to the man who created her.
Being the Alpha female of both the werewolf and vampire species has given half vampire/werewolf Josephine Wade a problem--two actually. The first, Etienne Bordeaux, her former vampire lover is on his way to her plantation in hopes of seducing her back to his side. The second, her estranged Alpha Werewolf husband, Braxton Wade, wants to show his mate that although she may be dominant, he’s even more so, especially with her under him and his teeth marking her. Both powerful males want her back, but only one can have her heart, body and soul.
As Josephine tries to control the situation between her former lover and her husband, her world begins to unravel. What was once the truth, is now fiction--what was fiction is now truth. Only she can be the one to unite both truth and fiction to save those closest to her, and take her place beside her true mate in both the Werewolf and Vampire worlds.
Tattooed, pierced, and smart mouthed, Harper Dailey thinks she’s tough enough for whatever life has to throw at her. Unfortunately Harper isn’t ready for the trouble that the ghost of legendary gun fighter Luke Short will bring into her life. Harper’s life has always been intertwined with the ghost world but none of her experiences have ever consisted of deadly wooing.
If having one over blown male ego around isn’t enough, Harper’s drop-your-panties-sexy ex, Colt Bryan shows up wanting her back. Harper is about to turn him away but just can’t resist a night of smoking hot sex with the cowboy. As things heat up between Harper and Colt, Luke finds out about it and decides to prove he’s the only one for Harper even if he has to make her a ghost to have her.
Harper tries to hide from Luke in her one horse, population twenty-five, podunk home town in north Texas. What she doesn’t know is there’s no hiding from a ghost, even under the sheets of your ex’s bed.
On the verge of selling her Rodeo Production Company, Billie turns to young bareback rider Chet Haskins for a night of fun. She expects to get her mind off her business and her bull rider ex-fiancée, Bo Bennett. What she get’s is a night of pleasure with Chet and Bo.
Billie finds herself quite literally between two hot cowboys and can’t decide whether to move forward with Chet or start over with Bo. After several hot sinful nights with both men, she’s convinced she belongs with Bo.
But with good comes bad, and just when Billie has fallen in love with Bo and his one year old daughter, Lana, things get complicated. Lana’s mother wants Bo back. Good doesn’t always tromp evil, but a badass cowgirl like Billie will always get the cowboy.
All right, now no cheating. No going to my website and reading my list or googling my name. Which one hasn’t sold based on the queries above?
Fun! Love it ! Can't wait to see the responses....over to you, good people!
Fun! Love it ! Can't wait to see the responses....over to you, good people!
Thursday, 17 March 2011
A huge thanks to Rachel for letting me drop by her blog and introduce myself.
1) Who is your favourite author and why?
I have too many “favorite” authors to name. I find a new one every time I download an e-book. Although my best friend for more than thirty-five years is an author, would she count? If so, her name is Jennifer Schmidlin. She writes romantic suspense.
2) When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably in fourth grade. I loved to take the written word and make it mean something. I was a strange child.
3) Describe your writing space?
I have a cozy office with cherry notch and groove paneling. I love listening to the birds or the wind. It’s clean, organized and the only room in the house where I can tell you where everything is.
4) What are you reading now?
Moby Dick. Again. It’s a keeper for me. I don’t know why, but it’s always been a favorite.
5) How many books have your written? Which is your favourite?
Over the years, I’ve written more than forty. I’ve sold five. My first book was published November, 2009. Since then, I pay a great deal more about what’s hot in the market. Prior to that, I simply wrote what I felt.
As for a favorite, I really don’t have one. Each one speaks to me in a different way. It depicts a certain period in my life.
6) What comes first, plot or characters?
A single scene, maybe some dialogue. The idea normally comes from something in everyday life. I thing about it here and there and a story begins to form. I start asking, why was she there? What’s her past? What does she need, and so on. Before I know it, I have a book.
Not normally. I suffer from time thieves. Everyday issues take time away from writing. I usually don’t get writer’s block – I get blocked from writing.
8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love going to the races (stock car, demolition derby, drags). Seeing new places definitely trips my trigger. I love taking road trips with hubby. We have the most interesting conversations.
9) Tell us about your latest book?
I just contracted “Punishing Rose.” It’s for the Ellora’s Cave “Ahoy” series slated to come out in June. It’s a pirate theme.
Argh! Jon Paul Black were looking for vengeance and found his old flame, Rose on a neighboring planet. He takes her to his ship for interrogation. Aye, he likes to play a bit on the rough side, but only to test a wench’s boundaries. The whip, paddles and other play-pretties lining the wall of his cabin are mostly for show and to set the mood. Mostly. Argh.
Well, you get the idea.
10) What’s next for you?
I’ll keep writing what moves me and makes me laugh and hope an editor finds it worthy to share with others. I have a few spicy contemporaries in the wings along with a five book sci-fi erotic romance series.
Lovely to 'meet' you, Kathleen and I must say, you are the first author to say their dedicated writing space is tidy! Most of us work in organized chaos, cafes or the end of the kitchen table is often a favorite.
Kathleen is waiting for your company and comments...
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
Raising a Ruckus
K D Grace
A friend of mine tells me that my erotic romance, The Initiation of Ms Holly, has raised a bit of a ruckus in a ladies’ reading group in the town near where he lives. When he ordered his copy of The Initiation of Ms Holly, the goddess of sexy novels smiled down upon him, and miraculously he received two copies in the post. Wanting to spread the good news, he gave the extra copy to a friend of his, a friend who was a member of said reading group. The book got passed around among the other members of the reading group. The end result was that some very worthy literary tidbit got temporarily neglected for a steamy sweaty sexy read through Holly.
I would be withholding important information if I didn’t say I was near bursting with pride at Holly’s ruckus-raising abilities. The way I see it, if an erotic novel doesn’t raise a bit of a ruckus, then what’s the point?
Back when The Initiation of Ms Holly was first accepted for publication by Xcite Books, I remember Adam Nevill, who was the editor at the time, telling me that most people writing erotica wrote it to make a statement. Back then I didn’t care about that. I barely paid attention. What I cared about was that my baby had a chance to go out into the big wide world.
But Adam was right. I see that now. Erotica writers write to make a statement – well that and because it’s just a whole lot of fun. The more erotica I write, the clearer my statement becomes to me, and the more loudly I want to proclaim it -- particularly in light of the disturbing attitudes about sex we’re confronted with on a daily basis. My statement would have something about making love not war as its core message. But it would look more like this: MAKE LOVE!!!!! (not war).
Make love, oh yes! That’s the ticket. Make lots of love. And let the world know we’re making lots of love. Don’t even think about keeping it a secret. Secrets generate gossip, gossip generates lies, and lies, where sex is concerned, are very, very dangerous. Lies, where sex is concerned, are what got us into this disturbing mess in the first place. So let’s proclaim it loud and clear. Sex is being had, oh yes indeedy, and it’s a good thing, a very good thing, and I’m gonna write all about it. There. That about sums it up, I think.
So what does any of that have to do with raising a ruckus? Well, just try talking about sex openly and honestly with people who aren’t other erotica writers and the ruckus won’t be far behind.
Sex, by its very nature raises a ruckus. It won’t be controlled, no matter how hard we try. We’re not all that far removed from our animal cousins when we’re having sex. Logic goes out the window, instincts, drives and physical need take control. That disturbs us. Sex is about the loss of control, it’s about the giving in to parts of our unconscious that frighten us, make us uncomfortable, makes our bodies feel things we don’t know how to deal with in civilized, dressed-for-proper-company ways. Sex makes us vulnerable, open for the take-over, exposed in the rawest sense of the word. We can’t really remain in a state of denial for very long where sex is concerned. Because we need it. Oh my, my, how we do need it! If we deny it for too long, it can turn ugly in ways we don’t even dare think about. And with all of that conflict, all of that loss of control, all of that vulnerable, raw exposure, of course sex is a fiction writer’s dream come true.
For the most part, we do our best, as a society, to keep sex locked away in the basement, the exotic pet gone feral. But it has ways of sneaking out. And one of the best ways is in between the covers of a sexy novel. It’s our job as erotica writers to let sex out of the basement, let it run rampant, let it writhe and fondle and seduce. We give folks a safe, open way to encounter full-frontal, mind-sizzling, dancing-naked-on-the-table sex. And with all those nasty naughty, yummy encounters hidden away in the words between the covers of a book it’s sometimes a quiet ruckus we raise, but we raise it all the same.
And let’s face it, in the deepest, most secret, most intimate parts of ourselves, we all want to let sex out of the basement. We all want to counter it full-on and totally lose control to the archetypal power of it. If we could only do it in little doses. If we could just have maybe a little bit of control.
So, we write hoping that if enough of us write to raise a ruckus, maybe more people will pass around copies of those ruckus-raising novels. And if enough people pass those copies to enough other people, the message will get out, the message that a world where sex is talked about, celebrated, honored, and embraced is a better place. Then maybe sex will be let out of the basement for good, and we can all raise a ruckus together while we MAKE LOVE!!!! (not war.)
K D Grace was born with a writing obsession. It got worse once she actually learned HOW to write. There's no treatment for it. It's progressive and chronic and quite often interferes with normal, everyday functioning. She might actually be concerned if it wasn't so damned much fun most of the time.
K Ds erotic romance novel, The Initiation of Ms Holly, published by Xcite Books, is now available everywhere.
Her erotica has been published with Xcite Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, Erotic Review, Ravenous Romance, and Scarlet Magazine.
Her second novel, The Pet Shop, also published by Xcite Books, will be available in October 2011.
You can find out more about K D on her website, http://kdgrace.co.uk.
Great post, KD! I think you are absolutely spot on as to why we write erotic romance and why we read it. Sex, I think, will always remain a closeted conversation - no matter how we move on in technology, prejudices, spriritual growth...our sex lives is still a subject no one wants to discuss around a drink in the pub. But let me tell you, if you do, you'll be the most listened to person around the table...I know!
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Running a bit late with Jocelyn's interview, sorry, folks! I love Ellora Cave authors, I love their books and I love their covers, take it away, Jocelyn!
1) Who is your favourite author and why?
The first name that pops to the front of my boggled mind is Robin D. Owens (look her up, you’ll fall in love). She is a mesmerizing fantasy / romance author whom I adore. I have read her Heart series so many times I have huge chunks of her prose memorized. (I’ve also had the audacity to whine at her about writing too ssslllooowww.)
2) When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Oh, baby, I’m still faking it! I feel like a fraud when I do promos. Like, who am I to talk about my books? I’m not Robin D. Owens. I’m not J.R. Ward. I’m me and I’m just starting out, still learning, still striving to connect with my readers and befriend writers/editors/agents/publishers so I can take that next step forward to make my dream a reality.
Writing is hard and a lot of work and humbling and so damn fulfilling that I wouldn’t go back to the corporate world for a billion dollars…okay, maybe a billion. Bwahhaha!
3) Describe your writing space?
Laptop? Check. Scented candle (in a color that corresponds to current scene)? Check. Story’s Playlist? Check.
4) What are you reading now?
I just finished Lover Mine by J.R. Ward. Loved John Matthew’s and Xhex’s story. Favourite quote: “There were two timelines to people’s lives: the absolute and the perceived. The absolute was the universal day-and-night cycle that for them added up to something like three hundred and sixty-five. Then there was the way that time period had gone…He figured all told…that pegged the two of them at about four hundred thousand years.”
I am breathlessly awaiting Heart Search by Robin D. Owens, which is due out in August. (Hurry it up Robin…Yes, I’m rushing perfection.)
5) How many books have your written? Which is your favourite?
Um, well, let’s go with four—100%, no rewrites needed—novel length books completed. There are more but they’re no where near ready for submission so let’s leave them outta it.
I just signed a contract with Ellora’s Cave for Revolution Lovers, which has my all time favourite character, Adie Perrin who is a tortured soul with all kinds of snide attitude. She’s war vet who’s injuries and pain have pushed her to the end of her rope. She’s ready to give up when Zin, the planet’s dethroned prince walks in and asks for her help. The mission? For her to marry him to circumvent the demand that he marry a woman of their enemy race. I loved telling her story and was so excited when my editor told me she found Revolution Lovers compelling (yeah, she actually said compelling. *huge smile*) and wanted to give it a home.
6) What comes first, plot or characters?
Character. Usually a character tells me who they are through a scene or two. I talk with them, figure out who they need to become when their story is finished—from there a loose plot organically forms
Ick. That sounds vague and inaccessible, which I hated when I started out and was searching for advice from published authors, so let’s revise that to say that planning, plotting, researching, all of the “work” needed to complete a story must come only after I hear the voices of my characters in my head. They spark my interest, my creativity, and without that I have nothing.
7) Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Yes, which is why I have several stories in various stages of completion going at all times. This year I have resolved to complete the bulk of these stories as some of them have been in limbo for years…wish me luck.
8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Well, reading, of course. I also love to work with my hands, doing crafty sorts of things. I’ve learned that when I am physically creative, I become mentally creative as well. I have the best ideas when I’m working with my hands.
I also do some RPing with characters from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series. It’s (crazy, exasperating, bizarre) interesting writing storylines for another writers’ characters…yeah, let’s leave it at interesting. *snort*
9) Tell us about your latest book?
My Christmas shifter-lion quickie
On Vixen is my latest release (dropped in December). I had so much fun writing it, and I am ecstatic, happy-dance-doing, overjoyed that it has been well received by readers. Woop Woop!
I have a gorgeous little sci fi romance titled Paradise Moon, which will be out very soon…next month, I think? Yeah. It’s about, Kiana, a grrl from the dead district, the worst slums on Earth, who falls in love and moves across the galaxy to live with Alix who has a lot of money and even more romantic baggage. I love giving characters like Alix and Kiana a happily ever after ending. They become my friends and I want the best for them.
Revolution Lovers with my grumpy grrl Adie and her smoking hot prince, Zin will drop this summer. I can not wait to see the cover (please don’t let it suck)!
10) What’s next for you?
I’m finishing up the next book in my Pride & Passion shifter lion series, tentatively titled First Sight (yeah right, my editor and readers reply. No really, I’m working on it. I swear I’m making real progress), and I am in the beginning stages of writing a prequel to Revolution Lovers, which is tentatively titled Broken Bonds.
I’m also wrapping up two short sci fi erotic romances. One with a couple of kissable clones, the other with seven drool-worthy brothers (a series). Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. They’re probably going under another pen name so…yeah, that’s going to suck up all of my time for the next few months!
LOL! Plenty to be getting on with then, Jocelyn?? I, too, love J R Ward...in fact, I might have to go out and buy her latest this afternoon!
Tuesday, 8 March 2011
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that very recently I posted a blog about my biggest challenge, finding time and dropping balls, and when I checked my twitter sure enough, there was a gentle reminder that I’d dropped another ball.
--Thank you BlackBerry for the Twitter app!--
Now normally, I’m very organized. I have a daily planner that I write everything regarding writing, school schedules, etc. But when I checked today’s date: nothing. Sigh.
It is possible that I wrote it down on something else with the intention of putting it in my planner... but that’s really not the point.
So what is? Writers need to become jugglers. I don’t know why I pictured us all in clown outfits but there you go.
My biggest surprise as a published author? A writer’s work isn’t just writing books. In fact, if you let yourself, writing will be a very small percentage of the time you spend at the computer.
Within an hour of posting the above mentioned blog, five writers agreed with me or at least commiserated on the frequency of dropped balls and that feeling that we just aren’t quite doing enough.
Reading the comments was actually something like a comfort. I’m not alone. It can seem that other writers have this promo/work/family/writing thing down to a science. Updated websites, a new release every month, or at least every other month, promos, banners, trailers, contests, oh my!
So what’s the solution?
I think for me it’s the old axiom: slow and steady wins the race. I have young children that need my attention and a day job. I’m simply not going to be one of those powerhouse authors who produce a book a month. I won’t catch every promo opportunity. I will drop a few promo balls (sorry Rachel, and hey, did that sound just a little dirty to you?) However, I can, and will, focus on producing quality books. Maybe only a few a year, but hey, I’m doing what I love. How many people can say that?
Loose ends have a way of tripping you up…
Years ago, a law school graduation weekend in Vegas had been part of Lily MacPherson’s plan. Waking up next to a naked Adonis with a ring on her finger was not. After a quick annulment, she relegated Caleb Anderson to her late-night fantasies—and very short list of mistakes—until his voice on the other end of the phone asks a favor that could shake the foundations of her neat and tidy future.
Caleb is still haunted by Lily’s horrified expression that morning in Vegas. At least it had made it easy to set her free…except they aren’t. The papers were never filed. And when the nosy patroness who could launch his painting career insists on meeting his “wife”, does he confess, or call Lily? He calls Lily.
When she steps off the plane, Caleb’s determination to play tour guide disappears in the San Francisco fog. Lily thought she could keep up the pretense for one weekend, cut the last tie to her past, and move on. But their chemistry still pops and sizzles, finally exploding into passion at Caleb’s studio.
It’s everything they remember…but so is the yawning chasm of differences that, in the end, could once again drive them apart.
Contains balmy ocean breezes, coffee as seduction, the creative use of melted chocolate, and naughty shower lovin’ that gives new meanings to the term “shower head”.
The computer screen blurred. Lily blinked to refocus her tired eyes on the deposition and sighed in relief when the phone rang. She loved her job, loved working for a law firm, but staring at a computer screen for hours took its toll.
Blowing a strand of dark hair out of her eyes, she reached over a stack of law books. “McPherson.” Lily glanced at the clock as her stomach rumbled. She’d worked through lunch again. Damn.
The other end of the line was silent for so long, she thought the caller had changed his or her mind. “Hello?”
The rich, masculine voice sent chills down her spine and knotted her stomach. Eyes closed, she gripped the phone so hard it hurt. Even after all these years, she knew that voice. “Caleb?”
A low, sexy chuckle rumbled through the line. “You remember me.”
Oh shit, why was he calling her now? Memories of the most erotic night of her life flashed through her mind. Lily opened her eyes, reminding herself the most embarrassing morning of her life had followed. “How did you get this number? Never mind.”
Despite the deep breath, the receiver trembled in her hand. “Can I do something for you?”
An intake of breath and then a pause. “We have a slight problem.”
Lily’s stomach churned acid. None of their problems had been small, not for the twelve hours and twenty-two minutes they’d been married. “Yes?”
Caleb cleared his throat. “It seems the annulment didn’t go through.”
“Oh, shit.” I’m in a bad movie. This has got to be a joke. She leaned against the back of her chair. “What do you mean it didn’t go through?”
“We’re still married, sweetie. The annulment was never processed.”
Married? “Why?” Lily rubbed the ache growing between her eyes. “No. I don’t care. Just get it processed.”
“It’s too late now. We’ve been married too long.”
“We are not married.” Lily tried to swallow past the tide of rising panic.
“The state of Nevada would disagree, sweetheart.”
She could almost see that sexy grin, those sparkling green eyes. She definitely remembered what they did to her. She’d been chocolate under the heat of his sun. “I am not your sweetheart.” She reached for a notepad. Who to call? Certainly no one in the firm. Though they were all professional and talented, people talked. She couldn’t let it get back to her family or… Oh, God. Stewart. “I’ll file for divorce in the morning.”
“Um, about that.”
She didn’t have the patience to wait out the pause. “What?”
“I was wondering if we could delay that a bit.”
A pain in her hand alerted her to the death grip she’d taken on the phone. She was suddenly glad she’d skipped lunch. “Delay? Why?”
“I need a favor.”
“Well you’re out of luck. I’m fresh out of favors.”
“Lily, please listen.”
His voice had lowered to almost pleading. Something in her heart softened. What’s wrong with me? I don’t owe this man anything! He’s a stranger. “You call me out of the blue to tell me we’re still married and now you need a favor?” It came out a little more acerbic than she’d meant.
His chuckle sounded nervous. “I guess that pretty much sums it up. You’re not married or anything, are you?”
Lily closed her eyes. “No. I’m not.”
“Well.” He cleared his throat. “Except to me.”
“Not for long. Thank you for letting me know about the clerical error. I’ll handle it from my end. Good-bye.” Lily set the phone in its cradle. Quite a feat when she wanted to slam it down. She stood and walked toward the window, leaned against the sill and stared out at the tops of the trees and below them to the expanse of grass. Interns didn’t usually merit an office with a window, let alone a window facing the courtyard. It was one of the benefits of almost being engaged to her boss’s son.
Ah, Stewart. He wouldn’t mind that she slept with someone in Vegas, though he’d be a bit irritated she hadn’t been smarter about keeping it quiet. But in his eyes, marrying a divorceé was socially unacceptable. No one could ever find out about what happened in Vegas. It had been a mistake, a horrible mistake.
She closed her eyes and the image of waking next to a naked Adonis filled her mind. His long blond hair had spread over perfectly sculpted shoulders, his head cradled by well-muscled arms. A silk sheet covered his lower back to mid-thigh but had only served to tantalize the imagination of her sleep-fogged brain. For a moment, she’d been tempted to explore the promising hills and valleys of his body and then she’d moved to touch him and seen the gaudy fake diamond ring on her left hand.
She still could only remember flashes of their night together; falling into his arms, the silky warmth of his skin next to hers, his lips. She opened her eyes in an attempt to wash out the images that had tinted her fantasies in the three years since. An ache built in her lower abdomen as she remembered the sound of his voice. She couldn’t recall standing in front of a minister and saying I do, but the documents didn’t lie. “Shit.” Caleb Anderson might be a talented artist and sexy as hell, but he wasn’t in her ten-year plan.
Behind her, the phone rang again and she sighed, turned and picked it up. “Macpherson.”
“Lily, please, listen,” Caleb asked.
“You have three minutes.”
“It’s… Damn it, Lily. It’s a long story.”
“Three minutes,” she repeated. The sound of Caleb’s sigh into her ear sent shivers down her body.
“I need you to…come out here for a few days.”
Her jaw dropped open.
After a long pause, Caleb cleared his throat. “Are you still there?”
“Is this a joke?”
“No. It’s not. If you’ll let—”
“No. Absolutely not. You’re crazy.”
“Please. I know it’s inconvenient—”
“Inconvenient? That’s an understatement. Why would I fly across the country?”
“Because it could make a permanent difference in my career, in my life. Listen, it’s complicated but…” he paused and his voice thickened. “My patroness did a background check, she found out I was married. I panicked. She wants to meet you.” The words came out in a rush.
“I appreciate your position, but…” Lily hesitated. She could vividly remember the passion with which he described his art. It had been one of the many things that had kept her by the bar ordering drink after drink until her memory faded to black.
“I’ll pay for your air fare and—”
“It’s not that.”
“Then what? Lily, I need your help. Please. It’s my one big chance. It would only be for a couple of days.”
A couple of days. That’s what got her into this mess in the first place, but something inside of her softened further. She did have some vacation time coming and she’d heard San Francisco was beautiful in the summer. Holy heaven, I’m considering it.
She had to admit, part of her hesitation was the memory of his skin on hers and the fear she’d tumble back into bed with him in a heartbeat. She’d done it in her fantasies enough times. Would that be so bad?
No, it would be so good. That was the problem. She took a deep breath. “I’ll think about it, Caleb.”
She hung up the phone, buried her face in her hands, and then grimaced. “I’ve just had my first argument with my husband.”
Great excerpt and beautiful cover, Lynne!
Lynne is waiting to chat and would love to hear from you! Questions? Comments?
Thursday, 3 March 2011
Great to have you here, Jennifer - I am leaning more and more toward those sexy cowboys as I learn the craft of erotic romance writing so I was a very happy girl when I read your blog post. It gave me food for thought about the whole western thing as a setting for a story...the sex part I can pretty much conjure up myself when I think of half-naked cowboys! ; )
WESTERN OR NOT?
Michaela and Sully. Stands with a Fist and John Dunbar. Hawkeye and Cora. Charley and Sue.
Have I got you thinking? What TV series or movies did these characters come from?
*insert Jeopardy music here*
OK, time's up!
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman; Dances with Wolves; Last of the Mohicans. Open Range.
Now, down to business. :) The characters I mentioned are those I never tire of. These are the kind of characters I write about (or aspire to). These are the kind of characters that grow larger than life in my head. Ever since elementary school, when I spent my summers reading about Sacajawea leading Lewis and Clark, I’ve had a love affair with frontier stories. So I have to wonder: Does that make me a western historical romance writer? I’m not sure. Let me explain. In my opinion ‘western’ brings to mind a certain image. When you say the word, do you automatically picture Clint Eastwood or John Wayne riding down a dusty Texas street? Do you picture two gun-slingers meeting on said street at high noon? Mmm-Hmm. Me too.
And therein lies my dilemma. None of my stories take place in Texas. Stagecoaches? Nope. Cacti? Sorry. And *gasp* there’s not a tumbling tumbleweed in sight. Yikes!
Am I a fraud? Will the real card-carrying western romance writers kick me out of Dodge? :) OK, I joke, but it’s something I’ve given some – maybe too much – thought to. And I have to ask: What is my subgenre?
A chaptermate suggested I call my work frontier historical romance. What do you think? What do you expect when you pick up a book labeled western historical romance?
I'd love to give an e-book of RAFE'S REDEMPTION to one lucky commentator!
He rode into town to buy supplies, not a woman.
For hunted recluse Rafe McBride, the raven-haired beauty on the auction block is exactly what he doesn't need. A dependent woman will be another clue his vengeful stepbrother can use to find and kill him. But Rafe's conscience won't let him leave another innocent's virginity to the riff-raff bidding. He buys her, promising to return her to St. Louis untouched. He only prays the impending blizzard holds off before her sultry beauty breaks his willpower.
She wanted freedom, not a lover.
Whisked to the auction block by her devious, gambling cousin, and then sold into the arms of a gorgeous stranger, outspoken artist Maggie Monroe isn't about to go meekly. Especially when the rugged mountain man looks like sin and danger rolled into one. But a blizzard and temptation thrust them together, and Maggie yearns to explore her smoldering passion for Rafe.
But when the snow clears, will the danger and secrets that surround Rafe and Maggie tear them apart?
Maggie wanted freedom, not a lover…
Oh, Lord. He was going to kiss her. She shouldn’t want this. She was confused enough.
Respectable women didn’t kiss men they barely knew, certainly not men who made them have wild,
It was crazy. He was making her want crazy things. Making her not give a damn about her reputation
or her virginity. Or her long-awaited freedom. All she could think about was that dream, and the way
his sinful mouth had felt. The table was only a step away, and honey was just as sweet as peach juice…
She swallowed hard and looked up into his hooded eyes.
“Maggie,” he groaned. “Don’t be scared. I’d never hurt you.”
Her mouth parted to object, but firm lips covered hers, hungry, demanding. She gasped, shocked at his
hunger, but even more at the illicit response coursing through her. An aching heat unfurled low in her
stomach, pulsed between her legs. Oh, yes. It started just like in the dream.
He deepened the kiss, coaxed her lips with his warm tongue. Long, languid strokes teased the inside of
her mouth, encouraging, tempting before he pulled back to nibble the corners of her lips.
Oh, God. Is this what all kisses felt like? Hot, lethargic? Melting her like molasses over warm bread?
“Kiss me, Maggie,” he breathed.
About the Author
After trying several careers—everything from a beautician to a dump truck driver—Jennifer finally returned to her first love, writing. Maybe it was all those Clint Eastwood movies she watched growing up, but in her opinion there is no better read than a steamy western historical.
Married to her very own hero, she lives on fifteen acres along with two beautiful daughters, two elderly horses, two spoiled cats and two hyper dogs.
During the summer she does Civil War re-enacting and has found it a great research tool, not to mention she has continued appreciation for her microwave and hot water heater.
Visit Jennifer Jakes at www.jenniferjakes.com
Ok, you've pulled me in Jennifer! And I really admired you for writing a full-length erotic romance novel. Not sure I could do that...but never say never.
Great post - over to you guys...what makes a western a western?