Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How to Handle a Chat


There are several types of chats to know about. Live chats where everyone posts at once are insanely busy and IMHO only worth doing if they're moderated. Forum chats are laid back and slower so you have time to respond. Group chats (my personal fave) are what you make them. You can have a lightning fast pace if you co-op with other authors, or slow it down by doing one alone.

The best way to learn how to chat in a particular venue is to attend a few in that location. A chat on my group, Romance Lives Forever, can be as different as night and day depending on who's the guest. With Selena Illyria, who is a frequent guest chatter, it's insanely busy, full of laughs, hot excerpts, great videos to ogle, and recipes to make. She brings guest authors and the two-hour period races past. She's prepared ahead, and that's part of what makes her chats fun. I've had more serious authors whose chats went just as fast who had completely different agendas.

The biggest difference is preparation. Authors, know your time allotment, and plan what you'll do to fill that period. Consider how many excerpts you have, and how long it will take to read them once you post. One excerpt every 15 minutes is NOT fast enough. If you have one book, and only two excerpts you can use, you need to decide what to do with the rest of that 2 hours. Always plan for more. It's better to have things left over than not to have enough.

Readers, attending a chat is fun for us, but work for an author, even if she/he is having a great time. When you drop in and post a message it makes our day. Even if it's "Hey, jumping in for a minute while I fix dinner." There's a *live* person out there! In cyberland, it's hard to tell. If you want to hear more about a certain book, by all means say so. Don't be afraid to ask questions. I know 3D is becoming common, but so far, no one's been able to figure out how to reach through the screen and grab you. It's safe. Well, except in horror movies. ^_^



The origins of chatting were readers and authors interacting and answering questions. Now, readers tend to lurk more than interact on groups, depending on the group and many other facets. It's more of a one-sided show in some cases. If you have two hours to post, and get six comments, is that a successful chat? There is more than one way to know. If you offer a free read to anyone who emails and asks for it, you may get those same six comments (or two), but end up with 20 emails asking for the free read. The point is, have a reason for readers to follow up - by offering a download of a free read, a drawing at a certain time, the chance to sign up for your "release" list (a single email when your next book releases), a link to a special video only for those who ask. Give them a reason to check out your website, follow you on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Whatever you dream up.

If you're new to chatting as an author, here are three ways to learn how to use them.
#1 - attend a few chats as a lurker/reader, and just enjoy them.
#2 - reply to some messages and see how you like it.
#3 - sign up for a chat with a site you feel comfortable with, or where you've attended chats you enjoyed.

If you're new as a reader, try the first two yourself. You might find out how much fun you've been missing!

Like swimming or riding a bike - you learn by doing. You can watch a few people who do it well and see what it is you're supposed to do. Will you be an Olympic swimmer first time in the water? Maybe not. But get wet and enjoy the water anyway. Stay in the shallows till you gain confidence, and when you're ready, launch out. The English Channel on your first swim...? Uh... no. But you can probably make it across the shallow end of the pool. =^_^=

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

1 More day of Birthday Month

August 13 was my birthday. I’ve gained another year of wisdom. Hopefully. :) I've spent the entire month of August celebrating. I love my birthday. For the week before and the weekend of my birthday I relaxed with my family. So there was no blogs, or group posts and little internet (hey I can’t do without no internet). We went out to see some movies, eat out at restaurants, and shopping. We had a blast in the bookstore, movie store and music store.

For my b-day I decided to buy some books, movies and music. These are three of the things I enjoy doing. Reading, watching movies and/or listening to music. I sometimes do all three together. The family and I spent the day of birthday relaxing. We watched movies, danced crazily to music and ate. After I had so much wonderful books to choose from to read so I found a corner and read while my family brought me drinks and cake. Ahhh… I love my b-day.:)

Only one day left in August and I am off to have the last day of fun of my birthday month.



****



Taige Crenshaw is a multi-published author with books available at Ellora's Cave Publishing, Liquid Silver Books, Loose Id, and Total-E-Bound. Taige has been enthralled with the written word from time she picked up her first book. It wasn’t long before she started to make up her own tales of romance. With novels set in today, in alternate dimensions, or in the future she writes with adventure, fun sassy heroine’s, and sexy hero’s. Always hard at work creating new and exciting places Taige can be found curled up with a hot novel with exciting characters when she is not creating her own. Join her in the fun, frolic, interesting people and far reaches of the world in her novels. You can find out more about Taige at her website: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com or blog: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com/blog.Check out free reads at http://www.satinnotes.com/.

Power of Instinct - A woman does whatever is necessary to protect the man who is hers but once he finds out he goes with his instincts and makes her his.

Buy here at Total-E-Bound.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Erotic Authors Blog Tour - Tied up & Teasing

Welcome to this stop on the Decadent Publishing Erotic Authors Blog Tour.  Enjoy todays post by Mary Quast and be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a download of Handcuffs & Silk and a lovely hand crafted glass necklace.



I was forced by a wicked editor and her voodoo doll to write a story for 1NightStand. Really!!! I'd never written erotic sprinkled with BDSM and this project became a journey for me. Not familiar with BDSM, I interviewed people and researched.  (Oh, the research was delightful!)
Once my mind was able to wrap (like silk scarves) around  the erotic concept, I dove into writing the story. I spent a few days chatting online with a high school classmate who is a detective in Las Vegas in an effort to bring my character to life. 

My sexy muse continued whispering in my ear, stimulating my creative juices.
He liked being tied up.

I did my happy dance when I wrote my favorite line: “You have the right to remain silent.” She clamped a handcuff roughly onto a wrist and raised both arms over his head to hook around the headboard rails then attached the remaining cuff to his free wrist. “Anything you say can and will be used against you for my pleasure.”

Now I have you "tied up"
take a moment and enjoy my little teaser.


BLURB - Stephanie "Stiff" Johnson is a tough Las Vegas cop who many men find too intimidating to date. Steph begins to wonder if something is wrong with her so she turns to Madame Eve to find a man who could be the yin to her yang, even if it's just for one night.

Hunter Mason left behind years of living as a sub to a female Domme in New York. Upon return to his hometown, he questions whether he wants to continue with the "lifestyle" or find something different. Turning to 1 Night Stand, he hopes to sample his options.

A simple one-night stand opens a whole new sensuous world to both.

EXCERPT - Once inside, she slid out of his arms and stepped back to gaze at him. Everything else faded around her until only the magnificent man standing in front of her held her attention. Sex appeal coupled with willingness to satisfy equaled a very appealing combination in a one-night stand. His body radiated a power she wanted to tap. When he embraced her, their bodies fit together in a way promising extreme pleasure. Hunter lifted his arms out from his sides “Do I meet your approval, ma’am?” His dark eyes filled with lust before he focused on the floor.


“Beautiful.” She ached to touch his skin. “I need to see more.”

He began unbuttoning his shirt but she stopped him, stepped closer and took the buttons in her fingers. Working slowly, she admired every inch of skin revealed with her movements before caressing the smooth, tanned skin warm under her palm. His eyes never left the floor as she slid his shirt off broad shoulders. No scars, no tattoos, only perfection spread taut over impressive muscles.

Splaying her fingers wide across his chest, she dipped her head to flick her tongue over a dark nipple. Hunter’s gruff intake of breath and rapid heartbeat were the only sounds she heard. Her nails dragged over his rippled abs and under the band of the underwear peeking out of his pants.


Leave a comment for a chance to win a download of
Handcuffs & Silk
and a
lovely hand crafted glass necklace.




Romance author and Artist Mary Quast lives in a log home affectionately named "Camp Run-A-Muk" located in the woods of Michigan with her husband, three sons, and a collection of animal family members.


Mary's Website
Mary's Blog

Decadent Publishing Erotic Author Blog Tour

Decadent Erotic Romance Authors Blog Tour




August 22 - Ann Mayburn at Book Lovers Inc.and giving away copies of Amber Moon and Emerald Moon.


August 23Dominique Eastwick at Aspiring Romance Writers, giving away a copy of Strawberry Kisses and a pair of Strawberry earrings.


August 24 – Stephanie Beck at Piper Patter blog and giving away ebooks.


August 25 – Desiree Holt at Delilah Devlin’s blog and promoting Joy Ride, giving away a Lightnin' t-shirt or mug (winner's choice) plus a choice from her backlist to another winner.


August 26Valerie Mann at Siren’s Song and giving away a copy of her 1Night Stand ebook, To Feel Again, a copy of her demon paranormal, Hey You and a small “Joy” wall quilt.

August 27Cassandra Dean at Romance Australia and giving away a copy of Enslaved, a signed postcard and magnet.


August 28Laura Kaye at Books n Kisses and giving away an ebook and a set of trading cards.


August 29Mary Quast at Romance Writers Behaving Badly giving away a download of 1NS Handcuffs & Silk and a lovely handmade, sculpted glass necklace.


August 29Deanna Wadsworth at Taboo Indeed

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Characterization by Sara York

We have a special guest today.  Please welcome Sara York.



I want to thank Mary for inviting me to be a guest blog.
Today I'm talking about creating characters.


I love creating characters. I get into making up their little quirks. I love laying in bed thinking about little things, like what type of pizza they eat, or how they brush their teeth. You'll never see that much detail in the book, but I really like to know my characters.



Like Lance, from Working It Out, is a recovering neat freak. He is a surgeon so that's probably a good thing. He hates to have anything out of place and he finds out that loving Jake makes everything get jostled. Then there is Ean from Princess Slave, his evil twin tossed him into prison but he escaped. Ean is actually a very kind and compassionate man, but life has forced him to act rashly. Ean makes a high princess his sex slave. He hates himself for making her do the things he does, but he can't stop himself from loving Ava once he tastes her.


My favorite character so far is Jake Grant from Working It Out. Jake's partner passed away six months ago and now he's trying to pick up the pieces and move on, but the pain is too much at times. When he meets Lance Abbott he doesn't want a relationship but his body won't listen. The attraction is immediate. Jake can't help but let Lance kiss him and touch him. They move way too fast, and Jake knows he should stop but his restraint is nil where Lance is concerned.




Another of my favorite characters is Nick from Surprise Sleepover. Nick keeps his love life and his work life so separate that he hasn't been with anyone in a long while. He's even resorted to taking vacations alone because he doesn't want the messiness of having to explain his orientation to his coworkers. Then James comes along. Oh yeah, he's been fantasizing about James for over a year.



I do fall in love with my characters as I create them. Jake was easy to fall for. He's nice, kind, good looking, sweet and sexy. Jake is also smart and just an all around good guy. I hope you can fall in love with him too as you read Working It Out.


I'm a little sad that I've moved on from Jake Grant, he was an exceptional character to write. I'm developing another book about a cop who used to work in the sex industry. He was a prostitute. Shhh, I know it's totally taboo. I'm at that point where I'm doing straight writing so I haven't had to start editing the story so I'm still totally in love with the MC. So far his name is Blaine, but that could change. Anyways, Blaine is in it for justice. He's bound and determined to get teen prostitutes off the street but because of his past he knows bullying them into giving up the life won't work. Oh yeah, Blaine's been known to frequent gay bars where naughty things happen in the back rooms, but now he's found a guy that he wants more than anything, even those backroom trysts.




I hope you enjoy the excerpt from Working It Out. I would love to have a chance to talk to you and get to know you better. You can find me at my website or blog.

Moving up Jake’s arm, he concentrated on the man’s neck, loving the feel of Jake’s body even if it meant nothing to Jake.


“This feels wonderful.” Jake’s voice was muffled by the sheets.


The compliment made Lance’s heart grow tight. If only he had the courage to lean forward and kiss Jake on the back of the neck. “I’m glad you like it.”


“Yeah, the massage feels good too.”


Lance stopped moving his hands, his breath stalled in his lungs. Had he heard Jake right? No way. He started massaging again. Jake groaned, and blew out a huge breath.


“You really need to take better care of yourself.”


“What do you mean?”

Friday, August 26, 2011

FLIRTY FRIDAY

by Becca Simone



I am flirting with the idea of writing my very first M/M story. Actually, it would be an M/M/F story. I’ve never written one but I like to read them. But I’m hesitant to actually DO it. Here are my reasons why. Bear with me while I argue with myself.



Argument: My mom would be horrified (my dad is gay, and she still hasn’t accepted that).


Counter Argument: My mom doesn’t know I write erotica, so she’ll never read it. She’s not aware of this pen name (at least, not to my knowledge. OMG!!!! if she IS aware of it…)


Counter Argument #2: Do you live your life to please your mom? If you did, you’d probably be a nun right now.



Argument: Writing love scenes from a male’s POV would be really hard (pardon the pun) because I don’t know what it feels like.


Counter Argument: You get into the man’s head when you write M/F don’t you? Well, there you go. Plus, it’s FICTION. You’re supposed to make it up.



Argument: Mr. Simone likes to read all my stories. He definitely would not like to read a M/M/F story.


Counter Argument: Is it really that big a deal if he doesn’t read this one?



Argument: But I’m an old-fashioned girl and like old-fashioned romances between M/F.


Counter Argument: You’re not THAT old-fashioned if you write erotica.


Counter Argument #2: Your next story can be good ol’ M/F.



Argument: But what if it isn’t any good, what if it’s not convincing?


Counter Argument: Then it won’t sell. BFD. It’s not like you’ve never had stories rejected before.



Argument: What if by the time I finish and am ready to submit, M/M isn’t hot in the market anymore?


Counter Argument: Has the market ever stopped you before?



Hmm. I’m pretty convincing, aren’t I? Guess I’ll give it a shot. I’ll keep you posted.



What do you think about M/M stories? Like ‘em? Hate ‘em? No opinion?




Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday Thirteen – How to Keep Your Honey Thinking About You


There comes a time in every man's life when he's called away from home. Usually it's a business trip or it could even be a well planned hunting or fishing excursion with his buddies. Either way, he'll be without you and at times will feel lonely.



As a pilot's wife, I'm used to my man being gone for periods at a time. Sometimes he is even out of the country; talking on the phone became expensive so we became creative with our communication skills. Here are a few ideas I’ve collected to make sure you're always on his mind. (No, I haven’t done them all!)


1. Write little suggestive notes or mini love letters and hide them in his luggage.

2. Sweets from his sweet. Think Hershey kisses or green M&M’s! Hide some of his favorite candy or snacks in his socks.

3. Spray a pair of panties with your favorite perfume, place them in a zip lock baggie and tuck them in his suitcase.

4. Put together a small photo album with sexy photos of yourself. It will remind him what he’s coming home to.

5. Hide a set of handcuffs or a silk scarf in his luggage and then play coy when he mentions his find.

6. Send him an email at the end of every day, letting him know what you did. Include the boring monotonous stuff. It will make him feel like his being included in your daily life and not so far away from your touch. Believe it or not, when you write about doing the laundry he’ll picture you bending over a pile and start thinking about your bum, your legs… and so one. He’ll finish reading your letter with a smile on his face.

7. Call him or leave a message on his phone to tell him you are thinking about him. Send him little posts on his IM.



8. Next time you talk on the phone, tell him what part of his body is your favorite and why.

9. Send him suggestive instant messages; tell him what you want to do to him right then.



10. Use webcams to talk to each other. Surprise him by wearing something he really likes or a slinky nightgown. Talk to him normal but use your body in sensual manners to entice him. If you’re able (no kids around), let the mood carry you away.

11. It’s fun to tell him what you want to do to him when he gets home; but it’s more fun to tease him with little hints during his entire time away. The build up is the most fun! Make sure you make arrangements for kids to be gone when your man gets home!

12. If you are bold, make a video of pleasuring yourself and send it to him.

13. If you’re even bolder… make a video of you pleasuring him before he leaves and send it to him.



Just remember the key to keep him thinking about you!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Humpday Help

We are baling hay in these here parts.
Hard work and short on time with threating rain.
 It's nice to give a helpful cowboy a cigar & bath after he's done with the chores.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Guest Blogger Alexandra Christian

Fucking Scary
               By Alexandra Christian

Do you like being scared? Your heart races faster and faster as the situation intensifies. Your skin becomes cool with sweat, almost clammy. You can’t seem to catch your breath and every gasp makes your lungs ache with the exertion. Tiny noises escape your throat as you struggle to keep control. Finally, your fear reaches its pinnacle and a bloodcurdling scream is ripped from your throat. Does this sound familiar? If I had left out the word “fear,” I could have been describing an orgasm. Its no secret that sex and fear are old friends. Very few emotions make us feel such intense passion, sharp sensation and oh so alive.

The genre of paranormal romance was born out of this blending of fear and fantasy. Nothing gets the chemistry between two people bubbling like the possibility of death. It’s the basis of conflict. As one of the angels in a movie called “A Life Less Ordinary” says, “Jeopardy, Jackson.” Put your hero and heroine in jeopardy and they’re sure to fall in love. Or at least in lust for a few pages. Its always amazed me how right in the middle of a horror movie, just when the characters are about to be eaten by a werewolf or axed by a masked killer—that’s when they decide to get it on in the bushes. But if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. If I thought that this might be my last night on Earth, I’d be in there jumping the hubby’s bones, not sitting here typing this blog post.

With all this in mind, I’d like to share an excerpt of my very first published work, Hellsong. It’s the story of a lonely woman, Theo Chandler, who has been wandering through her life in post-Katrina New Orleans having no recollection of who she was before that fateful night when she was found just after the storm. Little does she know that she’s Hell’s ultimate weapon in the war on humanity, hunted by minions of Satan AND agents of God. The only one who can help her is one of the Grigori, Saraqael, an angel sent to Earth to protect mankind.

“Everything matters, Theo.” He kissed her mouth again, knowing that it was wrong. Knowing that with every kiss, every touch of her hand, he was getting closer to the point of no return. And it could cost him everything. Protecting her was one thing. Falling for her charms was another. He knew by the way she panted, offering more of herself to him, that she was giving in. Her thoughts betrayed her, telling him just how to touch her, just want she wanted. He was so overcome with sensation and need that the voices of reason were already drowning in the flood. He should not want this. He should not crave more of her skin. Pleasures of the flesh had never been such a temptation before. Even as his fingertips were wandering closer to the button of her shapeless blue jeans, he knew he was wrong. But he simply did not care.

“Please, Saraqael,” she whined against his lips. “I need to feel something other than this fear. I want to know what‟s real.” She rolled her hips against his, feeling his cock, hardened like the stone flesh of the angel. He wanted to be inside her. He wanted to fill that empty space that was gnawing at her insides. He couldn't explain it, but this was supposed to happen.

Saraqael growled in response. He felt a sense of urgency as he pushed his hands down the back of her pants to feel her smooth flesh. Something in the back of his mind kept tickling his subconscious, but he tried to push it away. He deserved this. Just this one thing. He’d been here so long and done exactly what was expected of him. He no longer cared if it meant an eternity in Hell. He was going to fuck this demon.

His hands tangled in the luxuriant piles of waves that fell messily to her shoulders, pulling her in for another delirious kiss. Her lips tasted of milk and honey and the more frenzied they became, the sweeter the taste. It was as if ambrosia, the food of Heaven, dripped from her lips. It ignited his desire tenfold and, suddenly, he was gripped with a hunger that was almost painful. She was kissing her way down his chest, pausing to scrape her teeth over each of his nipples and using her tongue to trace the blue markings, which were starting to glow in the twilight.

Her hands fell heavily on his stomach, pressing him backward until he lay prone beneath her, propped on his elbows. He watched her eyes follow the lines of his body down to the open fly of his jeans. The fabric sat low on his hips, exposing the points of his pelvic bone and the perfectly formed muscles of his midsection. Her fingertips reached out to touch the V that crossed over his hips. They made an arrow that seemed to point downward to the delicious flesh that still remained hidden to her eyes.

He gasped when he felt her hands steal away into the open zipper to feel the pulse of the vein at the base of his cock. “God, Theo,” he growled, arching his hips toward her in encouragement.

*******************

The line between fear and ecstasy is very thin. There’s a reason why the French call an orgasm La petite mort—the little death. For a moment in time you can feel your soul separating from your body and though its frightening that you can be so out of control, its exhilarating.

Happy reading!

Hellsong is available HERE, Amazon and AllRomance eBooks.

And don’t forget to check out my blog, The Southern Belle from Hell.
 I can also be found on Twitter and Facebook


Friday, August 19, 2011

Author Discovery ~ A MAGICAL RETURN by Serena Shay


Before reading A MAGICAL RETURN, I was intrigued by the premise of this story, an unusual one for me despite my fascination with all things paranormal. Let me tell you, Serena Shay’s latest book powerfully delivers on its promise of ‘magic’, Latin included.

That said, the joy for me, as a reader, was in the relationship between Conleth and his ‘unbelieving’ woman, Emterra. Because, not only am I a sucker for true love, I have this deep yearning to ‘feel’ the intimate passions between a hero and his heroine.

Too often, I’ve found that deep connection missing. Not in Ms. Shay’s highly erotic love story.

Note here: the sexual pleasures explicitly titillate the senses, and is not to be missed.

Yes, Con and Em’s reunion is deliciously complicated by their witch Others. However, Ms. Shay gorgeously writes the impassioned nuances between her lovers in a way that allows us to experience their unique, one-on-one intimacy. And, I felt every delectable nuance. Thank you, Ms. Shay.
~~~~~~

Blurb ~

A Magical Return
Serena Shay
ISBN 978-1-59578-839-9

The Loss

Conleth “Cole” Douglas, warlock and vessel, needs a miracle. A destructive force has taken hold of his town and it will take more than just he and his magical Other, Cole, to eradicate the Evil. When an attempt to open his lover, Emterra, to their shared destiny fails, Conleth and Cole take extreme measures to stop the rising darkness. Their only option: take it, and themselves, into another realm.

Emterra “Irene” Azzurra, untapped witch and vessel, has given up on finding her own happy-ever-after. Devastated by the loss of her one and only love she becomes disinterested and remote, closed off from a life without Conleth. Even her job as the mayor of the dying town of Douglasville, MO, fails to sustain her, until she gets a blast from the past…

The Return

He’s back, alive and whole, but he didn’t come alone. The evil they’d hoped to contain in a distant realm has returned with him and is out to finish the job it started. There can be no failure this time, the now middle-aged, Emterra must accept her Other or doom the town to an agonizing death.

Skeptical of his sudden homecoming, Emterra is afraid to hope that his return could be true. She balks at the idea of opening her heart to him again. Especially when he looks like the same young Goth from ten years ago and tries to convince her she’s sharing skin with a magical being.

Can Conleth prove his claims of magic and the Others to be true? Can Emterra allow herself to believe in love and his wild claims? Or will the returning Evil finally swallow this town and all its inhabitants into the deepest realms of hell.
~~~~~~

Author Discovery
by Savanna Kougar
~~~

Savanna Kougar is the best-selling author of twelve ebooks, with five books in print. She pens love stories because that’s her deepest heart. She writes in the futuristic/fantasy/paranormal subgenres because that’s her fiercest passion. And, she writes erotic romance because she ferociously enjoys ripping the damn doors off.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wild Wednesday - How Wild are You?

Cock Sox
Click to visit
This picture made me think dirty thoughts. I would never have had them on my own. It's all the picture's fault. And I never, ever lie, either. Or exaggerate. I wouldn't do that in a million years! If you want to see more hot wear like this for your guy - or you just want to see it period - click the link under the picture.

Deciding what to post in the middle of a week is sometimes a challenge. It's hump day - you can get a lot of ideas about that if you think about it for a second.

Around here, more like a nanosecond.

What words work with Wednesday? Wild popped right into mind after I saw this picture. It's the color of the cute little garment, that's what did it. I'm mad about teal blue. And tan. Especially tan skin. O_O Colors can make me a bit wild. Red is supposed to agitate a bull, right? Well, teal does it for me.

So, what gets you wild? Which of the following is more likely to get your antenna to sprout and swivel toward the station, if you get my drift. ;)


  1. A man wearing sexy clothing
  2. A man in uniform
  3. A man wearing absolutely nothing
  4. A man with long hair
  5. A man with short hair
Here are a few pix to help you decide. Take your time examining them. I wouldn't want you to rush through Wild Wednesday and miss any details. Did I mention if you click them they open in a larger size? Better for research into these important details. ;)

#1 In sexy clothing

















#2 In uniform


















#3 Wearing nothing

















#4 Long hair
















#5 Short hair











Photos 1, 2, 3, and 5 by Andrei Vishnyakov of VishStudio Photo 4 courtesy of iStockPhoto
(btw, 2 & 3 are the same guy, a Russian model named Anton. Don't ya just love Mother Russia?)

So... what's your verdict? Any of these guys make you feel more wild than another?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Warning to friends: beware of writer



A writer friend of mine has a T-shirt that reads, “Careful or you’ll end up in my novel.”

Every author ought to wear such a shirt to warn their friends of the dangers of associating with a writer. For the most part we sit at our computers and make stuff up, but sometimes a tiny little piece of what we write is truth cloaked as fiction.

We novelists sometimes are inspired by people we know and fictionalize tidbits in our books. Years ago I met a woman with a unique name, far too unusual for me to use directly, but I have used a rhyming version.

The quirkier your trait or habit is, the more likely we’ll assign it to a character. Both my mother-in-law and a sister-in-law have inspired short stories (not the erotic ones!) Sometimes we take it one step further -- many an author has killed off a real-life nemesis in the pages or his or her novel. Borrowing from our friends and enemies is one of the weird things we authors do.

But not the only odd thing. We have a lot of strange habits, among them:





  • We talk about our characters as if they’re real people we know


  • We eavesdrop on conversations these characters have


  • We cry with our characters’ sorrows – sorrows we inflicted – and smile when they’re happy, laugh when they’re amused

  • We live two parallel lives – one in the real world with all the normal people – and one in our heads where we weave our imaginations into tangible objects called books


  • We hoard words, snippets of conversations, names that catch our fancy, odd little news items to use at some future date


  • We scare our friends and family – and secretly like it that way!



Cara Bristol is the author of Black Velvet Seductions’ Intimate Submission and Secret Desires, and Loose Id's Unexpected Consequences to be released September 20. She currently is writing a cougar story called Reckless in Moonlight.




Sunday, August 14, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Today's Six Sentence Sunday was taken from Handcuffs & Silk.

His eyelids drooped as she loosened the leather belt and eased the pants off his lean hips. Her fingers slipped the boxers over his ass and she cupped the tight cheeks. Not a sound came from him as he stood stiffly with his eyes closed.

“Slide off your shoes and step out of your pants,” Steph ordered as she shoved his clothing down to the floor with a booted foot.

“I only wish to serve and please you.” His voice dripped with sex as he dropped to his knees in a submissive pose: head bowed with his hands behind his back.


Available from Decadent Publishing.

Visit Mary's website or her blog

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday 13: A Book's Timeline

Thursday 13

People are often curious how long it takes a book to be published. I decided to jot down a few things that come into play during that time. I purposely left out time it takes to print, send, and wait for an acceptance letter (which can take a year or more). Because I write ebooks, that time period is generally a matter of emailing the submission, and if I've worked with the publisher before, often two-three weeks or less for a response.




For other aspects, this list may help put it in perspective.
Romance Books

  1. From germ of idea to concept: 6 weeks (average)
  2. Synopsis to first chapter: 7 days
  3. Book completed: 8 months (average)
  4. From the signing of the contract to the day of publication: 90 days.
  5. Pre-book promotion everywhere: 90 days
  6. Book release day excitement: off the scale.
  7. Contests, promos, chats, author days, etc.: everlasting
  8. Waiting for results of sales: 90 days (one quarter) plus 30 days for processing
  9. Hearing check is in the mail and waiting to receive it: eternity
  10. Getting the letter out of the mailbox and realizing this is the first royalty check: time stops
  11. Walking back to the house with the envelope in hand: one minute
  12. Showing it off to your spouse or partner: 15 minutes plus dinner out plus celebratory sex
  13. Time it takes to spend the money: seconds
Care to add any steps or time periods I might have missed?
---
Romance Lives Forever is the brainchild of author Kayelle Allen, a multipublished, award winning author with character-driven, plot-heavy Science Fiction Romance. Her worldbuilding skills include alien languages and 10k years of future history. She's known for unstoppable heroes, uncompromising love, unforgettable passion, and her personal drive to excel. She founded Marketing for Romance Writers, a self-help mentoring group which encourages authors, agents, editors, publishers, author promo services, and cover artists to learn effective marketing skills by working together. She uses her expertise in online marketing to mentor new authors, coach those with more experience, and partner with the more advanced. Kayelle writes about immortal characters, hence the name Romance Lives Forever, and she created the Kin -- feline humanoid warriors who purr.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Helpful Humpday Honey

During the middle of the week we could all use a little extra help. 

Whew!  I don't know about you, but this summer heat is really getting to my garden and lawn.  I found a Helpful Honey who is more than willing to pull out his hose and take care of sensitive buds, wilting flowers, and unhappy gardens.


Feel free to check out Mary Quast on her blog and website.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Flirty Cocktail

Get your flirt on with this cocktail concoction.


The Flirtini
1 oz. Vodka
2 oz. Champagne
2 oz/ Pineapple Juice
Combine Vodka, Champagne, and Pineapple Juice in a highball or Collins glass filled with ice.
Multiply recipe and mix in a pitcher for a hot evening of fun.

Monday, August 8, 2011

All Tied Up With Nowhere To Go

Somehow, the last five books I've written and have either released, or will release soon, have involved BDSM of some kind. I'm not complaining in the least, I go where the characters and story take me. But sometimes I have to marvel at the place I find myself in.


I've gotten so used to working with the complicated dynamic of D/s that I had to really stop and think about the dynamic of the non-BDSM book I'm working on right now. The situations are different. The power exchange between the couple vacillates between them instead of favoring one character over the other such as in a  book involving D/s.

I think that's one of the things I love about writing. You can become so immersed in something and never even realize it until you look back on it and say, "Wow!"

I'm giving away one copy of each of my new releases at Author Island this month. Come on over and enter, it's easy! http://www.authorisland.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=6&Itemid=510



Saturday, August 6, 2011

Cowboys and Aliens, Oh My....





My first inclination was to title this blog, Defying Pigeon-holes since that's on my mind. But I was inspired to offer the topic when I saw the new film,Cowboys & Aliens.


In spite of  ambivalent reviews, this film was #1 at the Box Office last weekend. So maybe a lot of people besides me are tired of the same-ole-same-old we're usually served.                                        
Harrison Ford plays a rough, tough rancher, delivering a hard-edged performance I loved.
The story defies normal expectations of either western or sci-fi genres and comes off fresh and unique.
The cinematography is awesome, the western atmosphere magnificent. 
slice_cowboys_aliens_movie_image_daniel_craig_01
And Daniel Craig is pure HAWT!


Watching Cowboys & Aliens, I was challenged  to think outside of the box, push myself  further, and avoid getting comfortable in a formula-story niche. It was worth the $5 popcorn, $6 soft drink, and $9 admission to remind me of that goal. I'm curious about how other authors stay fresh.

2011 Passionate Plume Winner
2010 EPIC Award Winner

Friday, August 5, 2011

FLIRTY FRIDAY: Great first lines

To Flirt means to “tease” or “provoke.” Well, that’s exactly what a first line in a book or story needs to do to make us want to read more. Here are some great starts from of our blog’s fabulous authors.



Five Card Stud by Gem Sivad


Sam McAllister was chugging a mug of beer when he saw the lady gambler for the first time. He forgot to swallow and frothy liquid ran down his front like drool. http://amzn.to/r1fuor



Double Dare by Jeanne St. James


Logan Reed jammed a finger into the neck of his white oxford and pulled. He needed some fucking air. http://amzn.to/oiJnL2



Where the Rain is Made by Keta Diablo


Ethan Gray rose from his dingy cot for the tenth time and paced the small and paced the small area of his jail cell. http://amzn.to/nrABGr



Handcuffs and Silk by Mary Quast


The blades of the chopper sliced through the heat of the night as it flew over the City of Lights. http://amzn.to/qnO17o



At the Mercy of Her Pleasure by Kayelle Allen


Sheathed in black, Senth checked left, then right before molding his body into the shadows near a brick wall.


http://amzn.to/ncxs6o



Branded by the Texans by Savanna Kougar


Kylie’s tears slid down her over-heated cheeks. Squeezing the bars of the jail cell harder, she mentally shoved down the desperation that threatened to make her start screaming and not stop. http://amzn.to/nFF40o



Indigo Rain by Taige Crenshaw


Kalina Erutan stood still, imagining herself as part of the landscape. She felt a sense of fading, and then knew it was a reality, she’d been displaced. http://amzn.to/nQypj9



Midnight’s Shadow by Sara Brookes


If Wallace didn’t kill him, I’d kill him myself.


http://amzn.to/qjzsrb



Midnight Treat by Becca Simone


He fisted his fingers in Marie Antoinette’s white wig as she took his cock deep into her warm mouth. http://amzn.to/okXZfq



And if you think the first lines are great, you should read the rest of the book...


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursday Thirteen - Sex Bucket List


I found a “bucket list” of 69 Things 2 Do Before You Die. It’s actually a Playboy TV adult news magazine show that features exotic locales, adventures and erotic trends. I picked a few that would be fun. What would you put on your sexy bucket list?

1. Sensual massage in Hawaii.

2. Take a trip to tantalizing resort, Maya Tulum, for beaches, yoga & spa. Clothing optional.

3. Attend a fetish convention in the Caribbean.

4. Visit Prague to see the Sex Machines Museum and pick up some tips from the ladies at a brothel.

5. Have a Menage-A-Trois.

6. Take a bubble bath with someone special in a tub that actually has room to play in.

7. Go boating naked in the Ozarks.

8. Attend a male naked volleyball tournament.

9. Check out a sex club in San Francisco.

10. Take stripper classes in Vegas.

11. Attend a Sacred Sex workshop.

12. See a show at the world famous Crazy Horse Paris, in Paris.

13. Make love under the Northern Lights in Alaska.



I would have put that one on my list... but hubby is a pilot. *grins*

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tip Top Grammar Tips

There are some things I have issues with when I sit down to write. No matter how often I write the word receipt, I have to recite the reminder. "I before E except after C..." So I started making notes in a document called Grammar Tips, and I've amassed quite a few. Here are some of the most helpful for me.

Adjective order determines commas

Number, size, color (Five long red sports cars) needs no commas. Successive adjectives outside this order do. (A long, sporty red car.)

Lie vs Lay

Lie = to recline or rest on a surface.
Lay = to put or place something.
So ask yourself which meaning applies to the sentence. Did Jane put the book on the table or did the book recline or rest on the table?
She lie/lay on the chaise by the poolside.
What is she doing? She's reclining, resting. She lay on the chaise by the poolside.
Why? As I said, she's reclining, but also, lay is the past tense of lie.

For lie

  • Base form: lie
  • Past tense: lay
  • Past participle: lain
  • Present participle: lying

For lay

  • Base: lay
  • Past: laid
  • Past participle: laid
  • Present participle: laying
If confused with a sentence that may use either lay or lie, an alternate method is to choose a different verb such as placed or reclined.

Each die is marked.

Die vs Dice

1 die
2 dice

Italics

These change from publisher to publisher, but these fit fairly well:
  • Mouthed dialogue is italicized.
  • Character thoughts are italicized.
  • Foreign or alien words and phrases are italicized only on the first use.
  • Other uses of italics follows conventional rules, such as the names of ships, short story titles, etc.

Less vs Fewer

Less and fewer are easy to mix up. They mean the same thing--the opposite of more--but you use them in different circumstances. The basic rule is that you use less with mass nouns and fewer with count nouns. A count noun is something you can count. I'm looking at my desk and I see books, pens, and M&M's. I can count all those things, so they are count nouns and the right word to use is fewer. I should eat fewer M&M's. Mass nouns are things that you can't count individually. Again, on my desk I see tape and clutter. These things can't be counted individually, so the right word to use is less. If I had less clutter, my desk would be cleaner. Another clue is that you don't make mass nouns plural: I would never say I have clutters on my desk or that I need more tapes to hold my book covers together.

Was vs. Were

On was/were -- "was" is correct for things that could be true. "Were" is correct for things that could never be true or are imaginary, fanciful, or impossible. Since it is possible that he could be perfectly at home there, it is correct to say "as if he was" perfectly at home lolling there. On the other hand, if you said "He leapt across the gully as if he were a winged creature" --  he is not and could never be a winged creature (unless a shapeshifter) -- he can't sprout wings at will -- so "as if he were" is correct. The subjunctive (were) "expresses an action or state as doubtful, imagined, desired, conditional, or otherwise contrary to fact." If none of those fit, "was" is used.

Ellipses

Ellipses do not have a space...between them and the words around them, unless they are at the end of a sentence. Then they have a space afterward.

A while / Awhile

Grammatically, a while is a noun phrase in which "a" is an article and "while" functions as a noun meaning "a short period of time"; awhile is an adverb meaning "for a while." In other words, the meaning is the same, but the structure is different: the word awhile has "for" built into its meaning.

The test of which to use is to consider whether "for a while" may be used in the sentence where we intend to place (or have placed) the word awhile – without changing anything else.

Examples:

  • "I'll wait here awhile" is correct because we could also say, "I'll wait here for a while."
  • "My mother is staying awhile" is correct because we could also say, "My mother is staying for a while."
  • "I'll wait here for awhile" is not correct because we have actually used the word for twice, given that awhile = for a while: "I'll wait here for for a while."
  • "I'll be there in awhile" is not correct because we would not say, "I'll be there IN FOR a while."
  • "This may take awhile" is not correct because "This may take for a while" is not idiomatic English.
The two-word noun phrase (a while) is probably more often the correct choice than is the one-word adverb (awhile). Certainly, most misuses of a while / awhile involve using awhile where a while is the appropriate construction.

It's vs. its

The cat held its toy.
It's is a contraction for it is. The easiest way to remember this is to picture the apostrophe as the dot over the I which has been deleted. When you're not sure which works, read the sentence with "it is" in place of it's. Does it make sense? If not, the spelling is "its."

Example:

The cat held it's toy.
The cat held it is toy. (Incorrect)
The cat held its toy. (Correct)

Dashes Inside or Outside Quotations (Dash = Hyphen)

Dashes "--" should be outside the quotation marks at the end of a sentence that is interrupted by an action and then picked up on the other side of the interruption. Dashes are placed INSIDE the lines when the sentence is interrupted and a new paragraph begins, such as one speaker interrupting the other.

Dashes Em and En (Dash = Hyphen)

LI style is two hyphens vs. en and em dashes.
An em dash is written like this: — and an en dash is – while a regular dash is -.

From Word help:

1.      When you type a space and one or two hyphens between text, Microsoft Word automatically inserts an en dash ( – ).
2.      If you type two hyphens and do not include a space before the hyphens, then an em dash ( — ) is created.
3.      To turn off this feature, use Tools > AutoCorrect Options. Unselect "hyphens with dash" in both Autoformat and Autoformat as you Type.
4.      To turn on this feature, use Tools > AutoCorrect Options. Select "hyphens with dash" in both Autoformat and Autoformat as you Type.

Since we're always looking for timely bits that help us create a correct manuscript, feel free to share any helpful grammar tips you've learned.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Pomegranate Cosmos


Here's a drink to refrsh a hot summer night and it's only 188 calories!

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups pomegranate juice
2 1/4 cups vodka
1 cup lime juice
3/4 cup Cointreau or Grand Marnier
1/4 cup ginger juice
2 tbs sugar, superfine “bar sugar”
preferred plus a little for the rims
Strips of lime zest for decoration

Preparation
Mix pomegranate juice, vodka, lime juice, Cointreau (or Grand Marnier) in a large pitcher. Then fill cocktail shakers with 1/2 ice and 1/2 Cosmo mix, then shake until frosty and cold to touch. Next dip the rim of a martini glass in water, then add sugar. Pour the drink into the glass then add your lime zest.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mojo Monday



Look at this photo.


Then give yourself 15 minutes to write whatever comes to mind.


Ready...set...GO!