Wednesday, October 31, 2007
The picture on the left is that of Bela Lugosi's Dracula, from the 1931 film. Classic horror. I thought I'd list my favorite classics just for fun. Got any I've missed? Feel free to add them. :) Here's another oldie but a goodie. Boris Karloff's Frankenstein. And how about Lon Cheney, the man of 1000 faces? Recognize him in The Phantom of the Opera? Or how about his son, Lon Cheney, Jr., as The Wolfman? And who could forget The Creature From the Black Lagoon?
I've since introduced my smaller kids to these movies, and they love them. Free from mindless blood and gore, these movies still imbue that sense of awe and trepidation psychologically, without resorting to out and out violence. The shadows, the creepy music, the lingering pauses, all of it adds up to a thrill that still makes me tingle when I watch them.
No offense to Freddy Krueger, Jason Vorhees or Michael Meyers, but the oldies are goodies for a reason.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
On the run from an undeniably sexy and ruthless pirate, a desperately determined woman falls headlong into love when she is captured by her relentless pursuer.
For years Abjon Afier has coveted his captain’s beautiful daughter, biding his time until the moment is right for bonding. But before he can claim the headstrong woman as his own, she flees into the dark recesses of space. On the run from a pirate as ruthless as her father, Seriana Blue darts from planet to planet, all too aware her capture is inevitable. Yet instead of the imprisonment she so dreads, she finds passion and much, much more in her pursuer’s strong arms.A little backstory: I wrote Winner Takes All about a mercenary named Gren. When Gren attends a slave auction to try to rescue kidnapped women, he runs into a bruiser of a Ragga--a race with incredible strength--named Abjon. They struggle and fight, and Abjon flees before the System law arrives. Instead of leaving it at that, Abjon developed into a complex character, and the woman he was looking for, Seriana, escaped as well into her own story ...Seriana Found.
Seriana Found is now available from New Concepts Publishing. To read an excerpt, click here.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Click on the picture to listen
"The Mom" song, sung to the William Tell Overture, by Anita Renfroe.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
There's nothing that turns me off to a book more than an author who doesn't understand her/his own characters. A confusing concept, but one that unfortunately exists. Now, I have no problem with irritating secondary characters that have issues which help the story progress. They're supposed to be aggravating to push us toward some outlying truth about the main characters or the plot. I'm just tired of the heroine who can't say what she means because she's too meek, who overnight finds a backbone. Of the woman too afraid of love because her parents died or her first fiancé died, so she spends the entire book whining about lost love only to end up glued to a guy who happens to be a cop--a totally dangerous occupation that she's suddenly okay with. Hello???? Or how about my all time favorite... the alpha hero who treats his ladylove like crap the whole book, but learns he's really being a jerk on the last page and changes a paragraph before the words "The End." And I'm supposed to buy this Happily Ever After? Not.
We've all seen characters thrown into contrived plots that drive us nuts. The idiotic moron who goes into the basement--alone with no flashlight--of a haunted insane asylum rumored to be the home of a psychotic killer. Makes no sense. But horror movies love this device to ratchet tension. We see it again and again. In a good book, the author can have the same effect building tension by creating a decent plot with characters true to their natures.
No, a man hurt by women in the past won't automatically open up to the woman of his dreams. But maybe he can learn through empathizing with her problems or by watching what happens to his friends in the same situation. Or maybe he never learns, and that in itself prods him toward an act so out of character for him that it in fact shakes him into acknowledging hard truths about himself. Just because a character is one of the good guys doesn't necessarily make him a good, i.e. well drawn out, character.
I, for one, loved Hannibal Lecter the first minute I "met" him. Same with Freddy Krueger, Darth Vader, MacBeth and Medusa--okay, I admit, an odd collection of villains. But each character was so brilliantly detailed, flaws and all, that he/she sticks with me years after having read the book or seen the movie where the character was introduced.
Oh, and just as an aside, I could come up with a dozen male villains off the top of my head. Female villains? Besides Cruella Deville and Medusa, who technically could be called a monster? Not so easy...
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
In Winner Takes All, Temis Freya constantly works to be taken seriously in a man's world, battling her beauty and a stubborn male mindset. Now a peacemaker close to promotion, she finds herself unfortunately assigned to an undercover mission with a man known only as Gren, an infamous mercenary with a reputation as a murderer and thief.
Gren, a secret protector of the Thesha, wants nothing more than his first vacation in years, but he's unable to let the plight of kidnapped young women go unanswered. Drafted into helping the peacemakers, he is further drawn into the game by the magnificent though stubborn woman fighting herself and him at every turn.
The sparks fly when Gren and Temis discover a passion sizzling all too close to the surface. And soon they realize that only by working together can they accomplish their mission, and reach the wonders of true love.
To read an excerpt, click here.
Have a great Wednesday!!
Monday, October 22, 2007
To be eligible to win a free download of any of my books, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with OCTOBER CONTEST in the subject line, and tell me how you heard about me in the first place... i.e. word of mouth, a specific publisher or distributor, etc. Contest runs Oct 21st through Oct 26th. Two winners will be chosen randomly. Good luck!
Friday, October 19, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
With so much erotic romance out there, readers, reviewers and publishers wanting more, hotter and heavier, it's no wonder so many stories now involve what was once considered (and in many states still is :) forbidden. But underneath it all is still the story. Some stories I write with a specific goal in mind. Fun, short erotic interludes that promise escape in a world of fantasy and physical enjoyment. Others are longer tales, the sensual content there to reinforce the love and growing intimacy between partners, where the plot is more involved, the characters more flawed.
From one story to the next, content changes, both plot/character-wise and in explicit, mature content as well. But as an author, I find the real interest in what drives the story--the characters themselves.
Just a bit of mental babbling. And that's what you get when the hamster in my mind falls off the wheel.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Lurin's Surrender was my first single title with New Concepts Publishing, and started my addiction to futuristic romances. What was going to be a single work spanned into several more, all connected by the world in which they live, but as separate stories. Lurin's Surrender started it all.
When a bounty hunter sets out to capture a hardened criminal, she finds more than she bargained for in her sensual prisoner.
Captain Mara Seni captures the larger-than-life Lurin Vez and intends to deliver him as promised to the royal Elaran family for a hefty bounty. But she can't quite figure out why the handsome man with intelligence shining in his electric blue eyes would resort to such heinous crimes. Lurin is innocent and needs to escape. Using the inherent sensual skills of the Thesha, he seduces the captain only to find himself seduced in the process. But only with love can Lurin and Mara survive against the enemy threatening both their freedom, and their lives.
Monday, October 15, 2007
I also finished my galley edits for the print version of I Dream of Dragons vol 1, in which The Dragons' Demon appears, along with Bianca D'Arc's Wings of Change and Summer Devon's The Knight's Challenge. The book will be out in print in March, 2008. Check out this hot cover...
And I just submitted the complete manuscript of Saturnalia: The Lord of Misrule for Loose Id's Festival of Lights collection coming out in December. I'll be posting an excerpt on my website soon.
I got a lot of work done thanks to my husband, who held down the fort while I typed like a madwoman. :) I will say I had more fun editing the stuff I'd already written, enjoying my work a second time. So hey, if no one else is entertained, at least I am!
Cheers, and happy Monday.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Mandy Rovela has had the hots for Lincoln Baron for years, but refuses to become another notch on his bedpost. So she agrees to his stupid wager--to spend Halloween at her grandmother's house, a feat no Rovela would ever consider--to win twenty-four hours with Linc at her beck and call. Every Halloween, her grandmother flees the house in fear of the ghost trapped in a cursed mirror. For only on Halloween can the ghost be freed. Ignoring family superstition, Linc uses his bet to lure Mandy to him. For years he's tried to avoid his attraction to the smart-mouthed woman, but to no avail. He wants her, but more, he's in love with her. And it's high time he does something about it. Ghost or no ghost, he plans to have Mandy. But the ghost is more than a spirit. He's an earth mage who needs sex to gain power. And he'll use everything Linc and Mandy have to push him back into the spirit realm where he belongs. Lovers beware, Dominic de Sange is ready to play.
Now available from Loose Id. To read an excerpt, click here. Enjoy, and happy release day!!!
Monday, October 8, 2007
Tomorrow, Mirror, Mirror releases from Loose Id. It's a Loose Id Fling, a short story, and a fun romp complete with a ghost, Halloween, and a sexy couple needing a push into love.
I've got Guardian's Redemption working, and another story, The Lord of Misrule, in the works for Loose Id.
Just a brief update. Have a great week, and more later.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
I skipped Tuesday's blog on purpose. No, really, on purpose. I wanted to keep the attention on my newest release so Backlist Tuesday is being pushed to the end of the week.
Today I'd like to talk about A Royal Continuum. I'm always interested in how writers create their stories, what goes into the whole process and how they come up with plot lines and characters. So I guess I'd better start at the beginning.
In February 2007, Amber Quill Press released Firebreather, what was initially written as a single title story for the BeastmasterI Pax. Firebreather was about a shapeshifter, Ferin Dekker, the Dracon king, and his dealings with a human female, Lea Venlay, who intrigues him on every level. The story revolves around Ferin and how he brings Lea into his culture and into his heart, despite the enmity between their families. In the course of binding her to him, Ferin shares Lea with his brothers and best friend, respectively Matthias, Adrian and Lucas.
Okay. That's Firebreather in a nutshell. I had intended to let the book stand by itself. But Firebreather was such a fun story and had such a wonderful response (was a bestseller on AQP's list for several months and hit #1 on Fictionwise in erotic romance) that I began toying with the idea of writing about Ferin's brothers. In a flash, Matthias's story began to unfold. A plot not so much built on danger and rebellious Dracon, but on character tension. And of course, the promise of hot, hot lovin'. :)
At the end of Firebreather, Matthias and Cora Venlay, Lea's sister, seem to have an attraction. Yet when I began writing, Cora just didn't fit. Matthias needed something more... And then she hit me. Ava Tailstack, cousin to the villain in Firebreather, suddenly popped into existence. She reveres family, but has problems with self-blame since her cousin brought down the Tailstack name, which further troubles Ava since she's been in love with Matthias forever. A wonderful character. But...not enough for Matthias. He needed more. And he found it with Tanner Flay, a half-breed Dracon with issues, the least of which is that he's straight and finds himself attracted to a man and a woman way out of his league. Half-breeds are rare, and not accepted in either human or Dracon culture.
With Ava and Tanner, the possibilities for conflict exploded, and I was having a blast trying to find out how Matthias could possibly mate Tanner and Ava. Matthias was royal, and I wanted a title to express his tie to Ferin. Firebreather II? Return to Dracon Mount? A Royal Match? Yech. Those titles totally didn't work. And then I thought about the story. Matthias has to continue his line. Hmm. He's royalty. Hmm. A Royal Continuum. Ah, I liked it.
I wrote a great first draft pretty quickly. Good juju. Until I reread what I'd written. I had to go back and make sure I stuck to all the rules I'd created in Firebreather. If Dracon and humans can't procreate, how the hell does Tanner exist? And there were inconsistencies in the physical lovemaking scenes I had to get straight. Names and spellings to correct. Tanner became Tannon for pages on end. Hello, Asheville has two "e's". Ack. A lot of crap to get right.
But I fixed it. And then Karin, my wonderful editor with AQP, fixed some more. Galley edits came back, and more corrections were made. Whew. So I hope it works now. I'm very proud of A Royal Continuum and wanted right away to get to work on Adrian and Lucas's story, which has so many twists and turns at this point that I'm not sure how to direct it. Alas, my current WIP is taking me FOREVER to finish, so I have to push the last installment in the Firebreather "series" aside. (I hate to say "series" because to me, that implies the books need to be read in order to be understood. But the Dekker brothers each have their own story that is related, but not dependent upon the other stories.)
Tanner is a great character, and a lot of his story still has yet to unfold. I'm thinking some revelations about Tanner will come out in the last book, tentatively titled Icebreather. (Still not sure if that works.) Then again, maybe not, because the focus of the story is Adrian and Luca. sigh I really need to finish my current stuff, get to another AQP book for the Bite Me Pax, a collection of stories about vampires coming out in Jan 2008, and a work for Loose Id I'm very excited about coming out in Dec 2007.... and THEN I can start Adrian and Lucas's story. whew
Monday, October 1, 2007
In A Royal Continuum, Matthias Dekker is one of the three royal Dracon, a princely shapeshifter sought after by many, but who's finally found the other half of himself--a mate. The problem is, his "other half" happens to come in the form of two problematic Dracon. Ava, a female he's been hungering after for years, has finally come of age and is no longer under the watchful eye of her protective uncle. And Tanner, a wandering half-breed with a huge chip on his shoulder when it comes to love, protects Matthias because he's been ordered to by the head of Dracon security. Trying to justify two mates to the Dracon community is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Matthias's troubles. Because neither Ava nor Tanner seems to relish the idea of a royal mate, and Matthias's plan to cement his new family goes astray when he mates both Ava and Tanner without their knowledge, and without the express permission of the Dracon king.