Home

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The ingredients for a Regency novel . . .


The ingredients for a Regency novel . . .

It’s no secret that I love traditional Regencies as well as historical Regencies. Well, most of the time, at any rate. The books of either category that I most emphatically do not care for are those with modern-day characters parading around in costume. They don’t know (or care, maybe?) about the times in which they happen to be living, or the customs of that time. Manners, language, protocol – all sorts of things mold a character and those who aren’t historically well-grounded are just a lot of fakes!

It’s true that Jane Austen wrote ‘contemporary’ novels, but her contemporary bears little or no resemblance to ours!

Time-travel, however, opens up another door entirely! (Pun intended, as that’s how most of them seem to work.)  A door opens, and someone falls in or out and before they can even think of the word ‘help!’ they’re in another world. There were any number of wonderful Regencies that evoked this plot line from the late 1980s through the 1990s.

Two of the very best (in my humble opinion were by Joan Overfield. The Door Ajar sent the Regency character forward into the London of the mid-90s and the battles with IRA – bombs, etc. everywhere! Time’s Tapestry, on the other hand, sent a modern young woman back to the Regency. She was a bit of a punk dressed in leather, chains and green hair, yet she managed to charm the Earl at whose feet she landed!

Noted Signet Regency  author Sandra Heath also wrote a number of these concoctions: Magic at Midnight, Summer’s Secret and Shades of the Past, among others. She also produced some just plain fantasy books: Lavender Blue, Halloween Husband and The Faun’s Folly.  Some of these also included varying degrees of sensuality, but readers were warned of that, in advance!


Each of these authors did endless research to be sure of getting it just right – whether the past or the present.  Recently I read another book, which isn’t quite a traditional Regency nor yet a time-travel, exactly, but a delicious mix of both, set in the modern-day present. In my opinion, it is nothing short of masterful! This book is Definitely Not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos.

Well, thanks to Colin Firth in the BBC/A&E production of Pride and Prejudice, (can you believe it’s already 15 years old?) there are literally hundreds of books out there these days that are either about Mr. Darcy, or have his name in the title. I freely admit to being a sucker for these books, but unfortunately, I’m sorry to say -- not all of them are wonderful.

Ms. Doornebos, however, really, truly did her homework. The plot is straight out of yesterday’s paper – a reality show! This one is inspired by the Jane Austen books and subsequent films, and is set around a ‘reality dating show’ set in the year 1812.  The eight finalists (and their chaperones!) live in a Regency era mansion with no mod cons. None! This comes as a rude shock to these modern young women, especially the heroine, 39-year-old Chloe Parker, mother of an eight-year-old daughter Abigail,  left behind in Chicago. And Chloe with NO cell-phone availability!

Of course, there is a dark, brooding hero (Mr. Wrightman) and his unassuming younger brother, plus the ever-present tv cameras, conniving entrants, lovely costumes, etc. It really is a wonderful reading experience! Very cleverly done, at that! I cannot recommend it highly enough for those of you who don’t need rampant sex scenes everywhere. Nothing against rampant sex scenes, of course, but this book does very nicely without them. What it does have is charm, historical accuracy (not a bad thing at all, really!) and a delicious twist at the end that will bring both tears and laughter, simultaneously! Try it and see for yourself! I can’t wait for the film!

Speaking of Jane Austen, did you see that a natural turquoise ring set in gold which originally belonged to her sold recently at a London auction for $236,557? Wow! 
                                     
I'm hoping to have a postscript of my own about a Christmas novella. We'll see if it comes to pass! In the meantime, happy reading -- whatever you choose to read! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

A WEEK & A DAY

The Olympics always get me thinking about the notion of "world community." We watch the opening ceremonies, my kids try to find countries they've never heard of on the globe, and everyone marvels at how people put aside their differences every four years to come together for a sporting event. Yes there's competition, but there are also smiles and tears, brotherhood, friendship and miracles. You become part of a bigger picture, and with every new story you hear, your knowledge and perspective changes.

What if you were that kid on the outside looking in?

RIEVER'S HEART comes out in paperback next week Wednesday, August 8, 2012. It's the story of two people--a man who dreams of joining his own "world community" and being accepted as an equal, and a woman who learns that sometimes dreams can change and that even when a door closes a window opens.

Aryk is the leader of two clans on Isadorikja, the Isle of Ice. There are six clans; none of them get along. He knows he must first unite his own country before the rest of the world will deign to see him as anything other than a RIEVER. A coastal raider. A pirate.


Verdeen is a newly graduated elven warrior who's lost everything. Her family disowns her. Her dreams of becoming an elite ranger come crashing down around her when the sentient war mares refuse to partner with her. Even when King Loren makes her his Right Hand there's a catch--banishment to the frozen, northern HUMAN lands with the scourge of the known world.

This is a book about dreams and perceptions, about both open and closed minds. About the difference between dreams and expectations, and about making your own destiny...

The warrior in her was ready for anything. But she never saw him coming…

Guardians of Light, Book 5

Verdeen is on the brink of becoming an elite warrior ranger until the ultimate humiliation—no war mare chooses her for advanced training. King Loren’s consolation prize isn’t much better. Journey to the Isle of Ice as bodyguard to a human riever. Daq Aryk. Barbarian. Prince of thieves. 

Aryk dreams the impossible: unite six fractious clans into a peaceful nation. Failure means they are all doomed to kill each other off—and the nightmares of his son’s death by sword will come true. The new elven ambassador rouses his ire, not because she’s female, but because she’s inexperienced. Her possibly needless death weighs on his already overburdened soul. Her beauty is a distraction he can’t afford.

In a fragrant, moonlit garden, Verdeen dares yield to an irresistible compulsion to kiss the mortal riever. The heat shakes her to the core, and frees a desire that should occur but once in her life. With a mate.

As their quest twists down ever more dangerous paths, though, their bond is the asset that could assure peace…or the liability that could send a dream down in flames. 

Product Warnings
This tale illustrates what happens when adventurous dreamer meets seen-it-all cynic. Contains hot, no-holds-barred sex, voyeurism, and some self-loving. Also betrayal and some graphic (but never gratuitous) battle violence.

Only TWO WEEKS To Go...

...until I get to swap out my "writer" hat for my "writing-teacher" hat! I am SO excited to be able to share some of what I've learned and some of what readers and reviewers have commented on WHY they read the Guardians of Light series. I taiught this class a couple of summers ago for Savvy Authors, and it's nice to update from using examples from Hedda's Sword to using examples from Riever's Heart!<LOL> So people won't be getting exactly the same class. We constantly evolve and change as people & as writers--stands to reason our writing must change as well!

http://www.romance-ffp.com/workshops.cfm
I'm teaching a class for the online FFP (Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal) chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America) from August 13-19, 2012 entitled
DEEP POV, Pseudo-1st Person: The Art & Craft of "Skinwalking" -- Presented by Renee Wildes
which is Characterization Meets World-Building

What:DEEP POV, Pseudo-1st Person: The Art & Craft of "Skinwalking" -- Presented by Renee W

Skinwalking becomes putting on your character like a shroud. When you write in that character, you ARE that character, at almost a microscopic level. You find out everything about that character, like someone in witness protection or an undercover cop. You know that person so well, you ARE that person. 24/7/365. Almost to the point when a phone call comes in at work you answer "Good morning, this is Maleta, your avenging assassin nun. How may I help you today?" * Intro/Getting to Know You * Lecture 1 - Thoughts on Characterization in general: How are characters the same and different from real people? * Lecture 2 - Setting A Character's Parameters: How are characters influenced by their world? * Lecture 3 - Incorporating the Senses from Character's POV: How do characters experience/view their world? * Lecture 4 - Those little "TELLING" words: Getting closer POV * Lecture 5 - Quick Tips: A set of 8 ideas to put Skinwalking into play * Lecture 6 - Putting It All Together: How to tell a story from a character's unique perspective * Farewell/Feedback - What we've learned 

Where:FFnP Forum/ Loop

When:August 13, 2012 through August 19, 2012




Registration Costs:
This workshop will be conducted via a Yahoo! email loop. Email invitations will be sent 48 hours prior to the beginning of the workshop. Just register for the workshop and complete the payment process via PayPal. The cost is $10.00 for FFnP members and $15.00 for non-FFnP members. Payment is due at the time of registration. Refunds / credits are determined on a case by case basis. If a class should be canceled, then participants have a choice of a credit to be applied to a future workshop or a refund.



Speaker Information:
 Renee Wildes is a fantasy romance author in Wisconsin who writes the Guardians of Light series for Samhain Publishing (Duality, Hedda's Sword, Lycan Tides, Dust of Dreams & Riever's Heart). Her Awards include 2008 & 2009 Ecataromance Reviewer's Choice Awards, 2010 WisRWA Write Touch Reader's Award Runner Up (to Pamela Palmer), 2010 Love Romances & More Best Sci Fi/Fantasy Runner Up (reader's poll), and 2010 & 2011 EPIC Finalist in Fantasy Romance (non-erotic). She's consistently garnered 5-star reviews from LASR, Ecataromance, Bitten By Books, Howling Good Books, & Coffee Time Romance

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I can't believe it's been ten years!

No, not my marriage LOL. I've been married a lot  longer than that! I guess it is a marriage of sorts, though, because in November I'll have been writing for Ellora's Cave Publishing for ten years.


This month I had my sixtieth ebook release from EC, LOVERS' FEUD, the first in a new series called Caden Kink. It's been a fun, busy ride that I hope goes on for many more years--the company has great management, super editors and the best art department in the business!


I'm happy to be a part of the company's ten-year celebration, with all sorts of neat perks including new, super-hot covers for my oldies but goodies like AWAKENINGS-- a fairytale fantasy, probably the first or one of the first of the company's successful themed series.

AWAKENINGS came out first in the summer of 2003, an erotic takeoff on "Sleeping Beauty" and "Jorinda and Joringel" in which Jorinda falls under an evil witch's spell that requires two princes--in this case Jorinda and his twin brother Khalil--to make love to a sleeping princess and break the spells cast on both women.  Needless to say if you're familiar with my books, AWAKENINGS is a big departure from the contemporary erotic romances I usually write.

If you like erotic fantasies and haven't tried this one, check out the excerpt below...and get your updated copy with the beautiful cover by Syneca from Ellora's Cave, Amazon or other online retailers. It's also available in print, in the collection DARK FANTASIES.

EXCERPT:

 The most profound experience of his life. ‘Twas the only way Joringel could describe the orgasm that had overtaken not only his body but his heart and mind. Content, he lay on the mossy bed in the glen, tracing the sweet, womanly curve of Jorinda’s spine as she lay against his chest. Birds of red, green, yellow, and brilliant blue swooped down, then returned to perch in the branches of trees filled with fragrant blossoms.

The waning sun warmed his cheeks.

Paradise. Perhaps all he needed was this woman, not a thousand-year-old princess who’d only awaken to the touch of a worthy lover. Chances were, that worthy lover would have been Khalid, not he, in any case. Perhaps he’d take Jorinda, leave the forest ere evil befell them, and carve out a kingdom of his own in the verdant valley of Aphrodisias.

Yes. That was exactly what he’d do. Closing his eyes, Joringel imagined restoring the palace, fortifying the valley’s defenses…

Suddenly the sound of the birds’ songs changed, grew urgent. The sky darkened. Alarmed, Joringel drew Jorinda tightly into his arms as a huge black bird swooped down from the sky, its descent accompanied by an ominous rumbling from the top of a snow-capped mountain that lay far in the distance.

But his strength was no match for that of the mighty raptor. It grasped Jorinda by the waist and dragged her away…and up, up, up until she hung suspended from its huge yellow claws as though she weighed no more than one of the frightened songbirds.

Out of his reach. He searched for a tree to climb, that he might free her. None reached as high as the creature had already soared. Desperate now, for he now knew Jorinda was his destiny, Joringel snatched up his robe and sword, and took off running in the direction the bird had headed with its precious burden.

Toward Acilik Mountain, from which ‘twas said no man had ever returned.

The legends he’d heard and scoffed at before venturing into this place of tempting horrors now terrified him. Tales of maidens being carried away and turned to stone by Marij, the wicked witch of the mountain, never to be seen or heard from again, reverberated in his ears.

His original quest forgotten, Joringel uttered up prayers to the deities of his own people, and to the gods and goddesses that were said to keep the Aphrodisiasi people from harm.

“Protect my lady. Give me the strength to free her.” Joringel repeated those words like a mantra, though he had no clue as to how he might wrench his lover from the clutches of the evil one.

His concentration centered on his prayers, Joringel noticed only when he’d been neatly captured in the branches of a gnarled flower tree that he could no longer move about.

To no avail, he struggled to break away from the encircling branches. Finally realizing he’d been rendered helpless at least for the moment, Joringel assessed his surroundings. Nothing unusual. Only the forest, with its plants and creatures… He gawked, amazed, at the large snow-white owl when it landed on the ground before him, for the creature emitted a surrealistic glow, then changed into a wizened gnome before his eyes.

A gnome who looked much like the one his mother had described in the bedtime stories of his youth.
“Help me free myself, for I must hasten before it’s too late. The evil one has taken my lover.”

“She will go nowhere but to Acilik Castle. ‘Tis where Marij keeps all those she finds trespassing in this enchanted forest. Fear not. We’ll retrieve her in due course.”

Joringel struggled to break free, but the branches held him fast. “I must go to her now. I cannot lose her.”

“Calm yourself, my prince. First you have a more pressing duty: to break the spell Acilik Marij cast on my sleeping princess, for the time is upon us. Where is your brother, so we can get on with the seduction?” asked the gnome. “You are a prince of Gaziantep, are you not?”

“Yes, but—”

The gnome stomped one claw-like foot. “There is no time to argue, Your Highness. Marij’s curse was to last a thousand years, until the princes would come and waken Princess Talia.” The gnome’s wrinkled cheeks turned a brilliant red, and he lowered his gaze. “She’s to be awakened with all manner of carnal pleasures,” he added as though reluctant to impart that proviso.

Joringel had heard before that the awakening would involve mating with the sleeping princess, from wandering Aphrodisiasi minstrels who often visited the courts of Gaziantep, as well as in the Yazilikaya pleasure palaces. Understandably his mother had omitted that part of the legend when she’d told it to him and Khalid.

An hour ago Joringel would have argued that he could waken Talia alone—that his sexual prowess was without equal. Now, though, it was Jorinda he wanted—for life, with or without the kingdom that would come to the prince who awakened the Aphrodisiasi princess.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Sweet N Sexy Aloha

A Sweet N Sexy Aloha to everyone!

I'm thrilled to be the newest Diva. Thank you, Tina for inviting me.

I'm in pretty fabulous company. My only worry is that my Kindle TBR pile is out of control, because I've already bought books from other authors here!

This is a special week for me also because
Hawaiian Heroes II; Rolling in the Deep debuts July 31st.

Is there anything as exciting for a writer, and readers who have been waiting, as a book release? This is my 7th, and while the first acceptance letter may have been the only one that actually made me scream out loud, each time I know readers will get to meet my newest characters, I'm a happy wahine.

Of course that's because I'm such a serial monogamist (some people would call it slutty). I fall madly in love with every single one of my heroes!

And the Ho'omalu brothers are no exception. First I fell like a ripe papaya for David when he strode into my consciousness, down the slopes of his Big Island volcano. One flashing smile from his sweet, handsome Hawaiian mug, a flex of those big muscles and I fell right at his feet, like all the other female tourists he's charmed. It wasn't easy to turn him over to Melia, but I did, because she's his heroine after all.

Then I met his older brother. And David ... um, David who? Melia can have him. Of course he'll always have a corner of my heart, but Daniel--holy aloha!

These two may be brothers, but they're as different as night and day. David never met a stranger, while Daniel holds everyone but his family at arms length. And those are some pretty impressive arms.

Here's a bit about him. I hope you'll want to meet him as well.

If you do, leave a comment and I'll enter your name in a random drawing. Five commenters will win a FREE copy of the ebook.

_________________________________


 Desire as deep and dark as the sea…danger as close as a heartbeat.

Hawaiian Heroes, Book 2

Daniel Ho'omalu’s intimidating physique, tribal tattoos and mane of black braids frighten most women before they get close enough to discover he likes to play rough. Pile on his perilous vocation as one of a secret society of island guardians, and he’s painfully aware he may never find a mate.

One look at Daniel, and Claire Hunter knows she’s found the man of her sensual dreams. Without hesitation she sinks her teeth into the challenge of landing the big Hawaiian in her bed. But while he clearly wants her, he won’t bite back.

Daniel is certain the beautiful haole is too young and innocent to handle his dark sexual needs. Despite their determination to ignore each other, the island casts its spell, and in one explosive night, Daniel learns that Claire is more than a match for him in every way.

When Daniel must leave her side and dive to the depths of the sea to foil a gang of drug smugglers, Claire trusts that their powerful bond will bring her lover back safely to her arms. But his vow of honor to protect his people could be the one thing that breaks her heart.

Product Warnings
Big, hot, tattooed Hawaiian hero who likes it rough—in bed and on the beach. Going deep takes on a whole new meaning in this tropical heat wave.
 
Stop by Samhain Publishing for an excerpt!     http://bit.ly/QGmN0N
 
And stop by my website http://www.cathryncade.com for more about Hawaiian Heroes I; Walking in Fire including some fabulous reviews. Readers compare this series to a red hot tropical mini-vacation.
 
I say it's cheaper than a plane ticket!
 
I la maika'i nou, Have a nice day,
Cathryn


 
 
 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Would you wear these?

Corsets! The pre-bra look is a real cinch...for those who dig the look, but never argue about the comfort.
While building my Pinterest site, I found these!
Lovely, but oh, boy. I could wear them for Halloween and a few hours of fun in the bedroom, but on a daily basis?
What is your take?
Would you wear these? For how long?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

HUMOR IN WRITING WITH ELLE DRUSKIN

Hi Jane! Thanks so much for inviting me to be a guest with you. For those who don’t know, Jane and I first met online and eventually in person in New Zealand. Our kids had fun together and we’ve been friends, writing buddies and supporters of each other for many years.


How long have you been writing?

Probably forever. I really enjoyed creative writing in school and I was editor of my high school yearbook which was an award winner. I had a fabulous teacher to moderate the work on the yearbook and a great crew of peers. Despite being a very long time ago, some of us are still in touch. That teacher, the fabulous, Cecilia Whitehouse, was also an award-winning teacher and taught us all a lot about writing.

I’ve written a lot of academic material; book chapters, scholarly articles. That’s not fiction but any writing helps develop skill and craft. I started writing fiction because I had a story flashing in my head. It was driving me crazy and I thought the only thing to do was try to write it and get it out of my head. I had no intention of doing anything with it, didn’t know if I could write a coherent book, but it didn’t matter because nobody would see it. I wrote the book, put it away and forgot about it for a while. Took it out, re-wrote it, having learned something about fiction writing in the interim and finally showed it to several critical readers including that teacher. Here’s the thing, one thought it was a romance, a little unorthodox, but a romance, one thought it was a mystery (I never saw that myself) and one thought it had elements of a thriller. Hmmph. I still didn’t know what I had written. The important thing was that they all loved the book, said it was very entertaining, funny, engaging with realistic characters and it should be published. That book went through a few titles (pretty awful, you don’t want to know) before I submitted it and guess what? The book became To Catch A Cop which was a bestseller for Red Rose Publishing and developed a sequel, To Catch A Crook. Every single review was excellent which really floored me.

So the answer to the question is that I’ve been writing for a long time. In the end, I think of myself as a storyteller more than a writer

From The Romance Reviews for To Catch A Cop

This is an absolute must read!!!  Thank you so much for creating Lindy Kellerman! She's a smart ass 40-something divorced mother with two kids, who wears plain cotton underwear instead of thongs, has runs in her pantyhose and wrinkled, stained clothes.  http://tinyurl.com/co5rcb6


Your books have a lot of humor in them.  Because humor is subjective how do you know if the humor is going to go down well with readers? 

That’s a good question. I laugh a lot, at just about anything or everything including myself. Laughing with other people at yourself is fine, having them laugh AT you is not. I come from a long line of terrific storytellers and some very humorous people. They never had to try, they could turn anything into a laugh. It’s a gift. I’m not sure I’ve inherited the Make ‘Em Laugh Gene, but I try.

Before I submit any book off to a publisher, I have several beta readers who read through a completed draft. These wonderful people make comments and suggestions for changes. They read for overall story, punctuation, realistic dialogue and anything else that is important in creating a book. The one rule that differs from other beta readers that writers use is that they must be laughing out loud at least some of the time.  With the Liberty Heights books one of the beta readers said she wet her pants one time, which we thought, was pretty good. She recently read a draft of what I hope will be Book 4 in the series and told me she had to stop for a few minutes because she was laughing so hard. That’s a pretty good test. So now, you guessed it, we have the Have To Wet Your Pants Rule. I am personally responsible for a number of underwear incidents <g>.

I’m also grateful that my two editors, Gloria Oren and Penny Ehrenkranz at MuseItUpPublishing also “get” the humor in the books. They are as devoted to Liberty Heights as I am and keep telling me, keep writing. You HAVE to write a story about this or that character. You can’t stop now. No idea where all this insanity comes from but it makes sense in the books and always makes people laugh. I kind of like that.


Tell us a bit about your Liberty Heights series.  How did it come about?

I never set out consciously to write The Liberty Heights series. I originally was writing what I thought was a stand-alone book with several titles in mind. I eventually settled on Animal Crackers for a few reasons. Yes, there are animals, boy are there animals in this book! The hero is named Jake Marx, yes, like The Marx Brothers—no relation, and Liberty Heights is just this side of loony. How can you not have fun with a stressed out New York workaholic who loses her job and apartment in one day. House-sitting a movie star’s home sounds like the answer to her prayers. Water the plants, bring in the mail. Pretty easy. Too bad nobody mentioned the house has more critters than the Beverly Hillbillies and worst of all, it’s in Liberty Heights, New Jersey. Local cutie and all around nice guy veterinarian Jake Marx is pretty desperate to meet a woman he hasn’t known since kindergarten.  Soon everybody in town is doing their best to ensure Jake and Hayley get a happily ever after.

Night Owl Review for Animal Crackers:  
Elle Druskin brings to life a New Jersey like you’ve never seen before with this feel-good story. http://tinyurl.com/ce7bmhe
.
As I was working on Animal Crackers, Jake’s cousin Ellie, cruise director and party organizer, popped into my head and pretty soon Ellie was running riot with foreign correspondent Zach Resnick in between Daddy baby showers, Not Quite Sweet Sixteens, and parties for any and every occasion.  Can Ellie turn cranky Zach into the Life of The Party? I guess you have to read the book.

The nice thing about writing a series is having peripheral characters. Liberty Heights does have some pretty quirky residents and it’s natural to pick up their stories, bring them front and center while catching up with the characters from previous books. It’s tremendous fun for me and I honestly am surprised at some of their shenanigans myself. I kind of liken these characters to Arctic explorers who would leave food caches for emergencies. While not an emergency, these characters are my caches; I get the chance to pick them and help them develop those layers that are so important while telling their stories.

.

Why do you think animal stories connect with readers?

Lots of people have pets. All sorts of pets and many feel they are part of the family. Nothing really wrong with that. Having a pet is terrific for many reasons. I never really intended to write “animal stories” but they keep turning up in my books. For me, the animals are characters too. They serve lots of purposes; they can be humorous, like Antoine The Parrot in The Liberty Heights series, who swears in French at everyone. (He can’t help it, he previously belonged to a madame in France and overheard some rather choicy expressions.) They might serve as a catalyst to bring characters together, for example, Henry, the deaf dog who lip reads in Animal Crackers (Book 1 in the series) who is injured and forces house-sitter Hayley Weaver and veterinarian Jake Marx to spend the night together. You can guess where that’s going. Or a stand alone book, Going To The Dogs, about a cop tracking his partner’s killer. The catch? His new partner is a junk food addicted poodle and the chief suspect is a dog trainer with a caseload of clients that could pack Belleview. In this case, the dogs are smarter than the people and it was lots of fun creating havoc around a crime and a dog show.

Your Liberty Heights series particularly has great characterization.  What makes a great character for you?

Layers. They have to have layers. By that I mean, they can’t be one-dimensional. Somewhere along the line, they have to make mistakes, be able to learn from them and gain insight. They have to meet challenges, have fortitude and confess to being wrong occasionally. They can have compassion, face heartbreak, help other people (or animals, remember the animals?) or face up to their pasts. Characters do things I don’t always like and things that I wouldn’t do. Heck, you don’t even have to like all the characters—we certainly don’t like villains, but they have to have dimension.

Characters have to be real. Real people wear cotton underwear at least some of the time. (Lindy, the heroine of the To Catch books). It’s the least of her problems since she’s trying desperately to juggle her kids, a job, a house that’s falling apart. Slam a dead body on top of that and we’re going to learn a lot about Lindy by the way she handles that. Just lucky for her she has hottie Detective Fraser MacKinnon as another problem which really isn’t a problem in a romance novel. Lindy always surprises me and comes up with things I wouldn’t say or do. So do other characters but it’s their story, not mine.


 What animal for you has the best characteristics to write about?

All of them depending on their purpose and how they’re used. I’ve used a lot of dogs probably because I’m a dog owner and used to breed and show them so I’ve seen lots of different breeds. I’ve also used Antoine The Parrot and Pansy the chimpanzee in Animal Crackers. There are more animals coming in the series. Mostly, the animals are exhibiting their normal behavior; it’s the human responses that are interesting and occasionally, pretty funny.

What is coming next in the Liberty Heights series?

The Liberty Heights series has Book 2, The Life of the Party coming out in August. It’s available as a pre-order now:
http://tinyurl.com/bu4xxwk

I had a great time with this book. Some of the characters from Animal Crackers appear but this story focuses on Ellie Marx, Jake’s cousin. But this party planner is on a collision course with foreign correspondent Zach Resnick. After ten years on the road, Zach’s finally home in Liberty Heights seeking peace and quiet to write a book. Zach doesn’t stand a chance with Ellie around because she’s determined to turn him into The Life of The Party.
Book 3, Hanky-Panky, should be out in December 2012

Kaboom! A gas leak destroys Dana Fremder’s apartment and business in Brooklyn. With nowhere to go, Dana runs straight to best friend Hayley in Liberty Heights where a gunman is running loose. Or so Dana thinks. Voice over actor Hank Axelrod is loaded with sound effects that pop, whine and screech, irritating Dana’s overstretched nerves. Too bad for Hank and Dana, that Grandma Baumgart’s joyride on a skateboard results in a concussion, and an unshakeable conviction that grandson Hank and Dana are married. Nobody wants to upset Grandma. What can Hank and Dana do?  It’s Grandma as matchmaker along with Algernon the Meerkat. More romance, fun and mayhem in Liberty Heights.

I had a ball with this book and hope readers will too. Yes, there is a fourth book in the works.


My books are available at Amazon:  http://tinyurl.com/cu7p9gu
 
At Barnes and Noble for Nook:  http://tinyurl.com/c5bbp8p

You can find me on the web in lots of places:
Website:          www.elledruskin.com  with my blog, book excerpts, reviews, news, free bookmarks and recipes.

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/ElleDruskin

I also hang out at Books and Writers Community, a great place for writers and readers. It’s free, it’s fun and everything you can possibly imagine is discussed. You’ll see some famous names there including Diana Gabaldon and Joanna Bourne.
http://tinyurl.com/ykv698y




Many thanks to Elle for her fabulous insight into writing great characters, whether they be human or another species, plus how she puts humor into her stories. 

Happy writing.

Jane Beckenham

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

California, Here I Come


Except—oops!—I live in California. Northern California that is, but am heading to Southern California even as you read this. My bags are packed and I’m ready to go to Anaheim for the RWA conference. Will be signing at the Literacy reception this evening and am looking forward to hooking up with old friends and meeting new ones.

Haven’t yet decided what workshops I want to attend, but there’s also the lounge where I can just hangout and see who’s there. That’ll be a nice way to get off my feet.

If you’ve never attended conference, my recommendation is to take comfortable shoes (and wear them!). Even if the host hotel seems compact, you’re either walking to get somewhere—usually in a hurry—or standing in line to get into a workshop or a meal. And always allow plenty of time to wait for elevators!

Lots of activities going on aside from what’s included in the conference. Thursday night, my RWA local chapter is getting together to toast our chapter Golden Heart finalist. Saturday, Donna del Oro and I are lunching with Brenda Novak and her auction bidders who won critiques from Donna and me. That evening DH and I will attend the Rita and Golden Heart awards and a dessert party afterward. Oh, other folks will also attend. lol

The wonderful cover is for my twentieth published novel. Am expecting edits any time now and hope to see it released this year. Oh, BTW, my eXtasy novel, Chosen, was a finalist in the Oklahoma chapter RWA International Digital Awards for 2012. I’m stoked.

Busy, busy, busy. But also fun, fun, fun! Sorry, Mickey and Minnie. No time for you this trip.

Talk to you next month.

Dee Brice
Erotic Fantasies Where Nothing is Forbidden

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Better Late Than Never--LUST ON TAP

Greeting Divas and Diva fans!
I have a new release coming from Ellora's Cave on August 10 and thought I'd share the news with you!
Lust on Tap is my first with EC, and I'll wager is a first for them too--a hot romance set in the craft microbrewery world!


Blurb:

When wealthy brewery owner Dustin Prufrock meets sexy saleswoman Helena Turner, sparks fly—angry sparks. They seem destined to do nothing but clash, until a hot hook-up in a cold beer cooler changes everything.

For Dustin, it’s a life-changing moment and one that sets him on a path away from his birthright. Helena is forced to face her fears about committing to a man considered the playboy of the micro brewing world. The power of pre-conceived notions nearly tears them apart, until they meet up with Erik, Dustin’s old friend from the brewing institute in Munich, who provides them with an erotic and emotional connection that completes them all.

But fate has different plans, and Dustin is forced to take responsibility for his old life as heir to a large business. While he slips back into his expected role, Helena and Erik are thrown together in an attempt to run Dustin’s brewery without him. But the strength and trust of their once-balanced threesome has been shattered, and mutual lust might not be enough to keep them all together.


Mark your calendars....Hot Hot Heat with Ice Cold Beers coming your way, August 10.  


www.lizcrowe.com
www.brewingpasion.com
www.a2beerwench.com

Sunday, July 22, 2012

SHE-SHIFTERS, New Release!




Take a walk on the wild side…

Following the success of her ground-breaking GIRLS WHO BITE: LESBIAN VAMPIRE EROTICA, best-selling author Delilah Devlin and her contributors deliver another stunning collection.

Shapeshifters—beings both human and animal—ignite our imaginations with visions of primal passions and insatiable hungers. Most commonly seen as dark, masculine demons, these sixteen stories investigate shapeshifter myths from around the world, and add fur and claws to a fresh girl-on-girl blending of physical power and inescapable desires.

Embrace your wild child as you journey through worlds of unexpected delights with some of today’s hottest erotic romance authors, including Sacchi Green, Christine d’Abo, Adele Dubois and Myla Jackson. Fly atop the Tower of London in Paisley Smith’s “The Night Crow.” In Anna Meadows’ “Verde,” feel the burn of a hot Mexican summer. Experience the raw lash of a dragon’s tail in “Scorched Retribution,” then linger in the sensual delights of a furry convention in “She’s Furry Yiffy”.

Prepare to be embraced inside the warm, feathered wings of a phoenix, race through a rain forest morphing from tiger to kingfisher, and watch your lover surrender her seal’s pelt to walk hand-in-hand with you along a cold and lonely shore. In She Shifters, love comes running, slithering, flying—in all shapes of desire.

Delilah Devlin’s one-of-a-kind She Shifters unleashes the wild creature inside us all!

“The Night Crow” by Paisley Smith
Driven by erotic dreams, a woman travels to the Tower of London where she realizes one of its famous ravens is a long-ago lover

“Verde” by Anna Meadows
A local peach-grower rescues a wounded, mythical bird-shifter, injured when it is blamed for a drought

“Nine Days and Seven Tears” by J.L. Merrow
A selkie blown off course inspires an island girl yearning for fulfillment

“Sweetwater Pass” by Angela Caperton
Westward bound, a shapeshifter on a wagon train discovers a kindred spirit in an Indian maiden

“Scorched Retribution” by Christine d’Abo
A submissive returns home after ten years to regain the heart of her dragon lover

“Thwarting the Spirits” by Michael M. Jones
A cobra and a mongoose struggle against a curse that turns lovers into mortal enemies

She’s Furry Yiffy” by Adele Dubois
A hot-bodied shapeshifter finds more than a hook-up at an X-rated Fur Con

“Totem” by Karis Walsh
A Tlingit shaman shifts through her animal spirits to win the heart of her true love

“Sneak” by Giselle Renarde
A shifter and a whore hatch a plan to satisfy a spell that demands one be a mouse

“Purrfect in Venezia” by Myla Jackson
A woman returns to the magic of Venice’s Carnival hoping to reunite with her feline lover

“The Dragon Descending” by Sacchi Green
Only a girl with a fierce pirate spirit could rouse the sleeping dragon of Ha Long bay

“All the Colors of the Sun” by Victoria Oldham
After meeting a mysterious girl at the beach, a woman risks the flame of a phoenix’s embrace

“The Handler” by Tahira Iqbal
Can a reclusive wolf allow her beautiful, but tough handler to protect her without falling for her?

“Bound with Bronze” by Chris Kouju
A guardian spirit clashes wills with an intriguing enemy in the Malayan rainforest

“Catnip” by Delilah Devlin
A cat-woman doll found at a garage sale reveals a lonely woman’s magical destiny

“Belling the Kat” by J.L. Merrow
Two bridesmaids conspire to hide one girl’s furry little tail

About The Authors
Angela Caperton writes eclectic erotica that challenges genre conventions. Look for her stories published with Black Lace and eBury Publishing, Cleis, Circlet, Coming Together, Drollerie, eXtasy Books, Renaissance, and in the indie magazine Out of the Gutter.

Christine d’Abo loves writing in the worlds of sci-fi, BDSM, and romance. By combining the elements of those genres, Christine creates the types of stories she loves to read. Christine is currently published with Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Berkley Heat, and Cleis Press.

Adele Dubois is an award-winning, multipublished erotic romance author and former newspaper and magazine columnist, features writer, and foreign correspondent. When not on the beach, she and her family enjoy their rural eastern Pennsylvania home, where she is currently working on her next novel.

Sacchi Green writes in western Massachusetts. Her stories have appeared in a hip-high stack of publications with erotically inspirational covers, and she’s also edited or co-edited seven volumes of erotica, including Girl Crazy, Lesbian Cowboys (winner of the 2010 Lambda Literary Award for lesbian erotica), Lesbian Lust, and Lesbian Cops.

Tahira Iqbal is a UK-based writer who currently works in the film and TV industry, but writing is and will always be her first love. You can find her work, an erotic vampire short story “The Queen,” in the Red Velvet and Absinthe anthology published by Cleis Press.

Myla Jackson pens wildly sexy adventures of all genres including historical westerns, medieval tales, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and paranormals with beasties of all shapes and sizes. When not wrangling words from her computer with the help of her canine muses, she’s snow skiing, boating, or riding her ATV.

Michael M. Jones is a writer, editor, and book reviewer, which often leads to interesting conversations at family get-togethers. His stories have appeared in Rumpled Silk Sheets, Like A Queen, Like A God’s Kiss, Masked Pleasures, and more. He is the editor of the forthcoming Like A Cunning Plan: Erotic Trickster Tales.

Chris Kouju, a Malaysian writer, usually pens fantasy, science fiction, and an obscene amount of slashfic. Although lesbian erotica is not something she typically writes, she will lay hands on anything. Armed with a master’s in creative writing, she is determined to finish her first novel in gorgeous, chilly Scotland.

Anna Meadows is a part-time executive assistant, part-time Sapphic housewife. Her work appears in six Cleis Press anthologies, including Girls Who Bite. She lives and writes in northern California.

J.L. Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humor.

Victoria Oldham is an editor of lesbian fiction and has published erotica in Girls Who Bite, Where the Girls Are, Women in Uniform, Skulls and Crossbones, and Blue Collar Lesbians. She lives in England with her partner and enjoys tromping through ruins.

Giselle Renarde is a queer Canadian, avid volunteer, contributor to more than fifty short story anthologies, and author of dozens of electronic and print books, including Anonymous, Ondine, and My Mistress’ Thighs. Ms. Renarde lives across from a park with two bilingual cats who sleep on her head.

Paisley Smith is a full-time freelance writer and can usually be found in front of her computer either writing, chatting, promoting, or plotting. It’s a glamorous life…working in one’s pajamas. She attended college in the Deep South, where she obtained a slew of totally useless degrees and developed an unrelenting sense of humor.

Karis Walsh is a horseback riding instructor in the Pacific Northwest. She is the author of Harmony and Worth the Risk (January 2012), both from Bold Strokes Books.

Cleis Press
ISBN-10: 157344796X
ISBN-13: 978-1573447966
Format: Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million
Indiebound
The Book Depository

About The Editor:
Delilah Devlin is a prolific and award-winning author of erotica and erotic romance with a rapidly expanding reputation for writing deliciously edgy stories with complex characters. Whether creating dark, erotically charged paranormal worlds or richly descriptive historical and contemporary stories that ring with authenticity, Delilah Devlin “pens in uncharted territory that will leave the readers breathless and hungering for more…” (Paranormal Reviews).

Buy a copy at Amazon!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sweet N Sexy Soulful Quotes

It's hard to believe it's already July. The summer has heated up and like the weather, I've got some hot reads for you this month.

The books I feature are from authors who were not afraid to be soulful, sappy, and/or suggestive when it came to their heroes. So, grab a seat, and pick up a pen and paper (or fire up your eReaders) so you can add these to your TBR collection.

Happy reading!

She heard the reassurance in his voice, but she learned long ago not to trust anyone, especially a man lurking about her window during the blackest hours of night. "If you wish to speak with me, then you must go through Messer Lorenzo. He is my guardian." She took another step and laid her hand on the sill. Call the guards, her inner voice told her, but her curiosity stilled her tongue. She'd thought of little else over the past two days since their initial meeting.

"I'm here now." 'Twould be rude to awaken the mon from his sleep at such an ungodly hour."

She hooted. "You awoke me." Her palm slid over the seam where the shutters met. A combination of apprehension and excitement sent her stomach spinning.

"Forgive me for pulling ye from your bed. If ye release the lock, I would be happy to tuck ye back in."

His lusty comment rounded her eyes on nothingness. Wicked barbarian!
~ Kimberly Killion, My Cursed Highlander


“She was supposed to help you?”

“Not exactly,” I amended. “She’s offered to help me many times, but I’ve always declined.”

“I see,” he drew out, folding his hands on the counter. “So, what do you wish you had to offer her?”

I turned around, hiding my embarrassment as I confessed the truth. “After she learns I had a man in my apartment, she’s the type of girl who’ll want details. You know, the dirty details. More explicit the better.”

I felt his presence behind me. I hadn’t expected him to ditch his place at the counter and approach me so daringly. He gently brushed the exposed skin at my neck and turned my chin in his direction. “You mean details like, how close I stood to you when I said goodbye? Or whether or not I kissed you before I left?”

I swallowed.

Hard.

I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think about anything but Joseph touching me. His fingers curved around my jaw and held me motionless. The simple contact he made with my face rooted me to the floor. His hand felt warm against my skin, and I could smell the faint aroma of last night’s cologne swirling around me.

He tested me, this I knew, but my normal brain function took a hiatus. I was left with nothing but my own addlebrained thoughts and emotions, neither of which could save me from the intensity of this moment.

Still cupping my cheek, I saw a glint of amusement in his eyes. The corner of his mouth twitched into a smile. “How about you let me take you out tonight, and we’ll see if we can muster up some of those details your friend might ask for.”
~ Gracie Lee Rose, The Start of Something Good



On the drive back to Freeport, Dana sat in the passenger seat and stared out the window at the blur of darkness. Exhaustion numbed her emotions, but not to the state of nothingness she had lived in for far too long.

Life was worth living. Love was worth feeling.

“You’re awful quiet, over there,” Nick said, filling the empty space between them.

“It’s hard to comprehend. The enormity of the terrorist plot is so unbelievable, Nick. Seven different states and twenty targets. They were going to use our own weapons against us. And to think Arlen and Danny were helping support them in their efforts.”

“Look what it got them.”

“I just think Danny got sucked in over his head. Maybe it’s what I want to believe, but I got the impression he didn’t think he had a choice, that he was bullied into participating.”

“I guess we’ll never know.”

“Probably not.” Nick reached across the console and took Dana’s hand. “Please don’t pull away,” he whispered when she tensed. “I need to hold onto you, to feel your skin against mine, even this little bit. I came so close to losing you today. I don’t know what I would have done if I had. I know that you’re going to leave me soon, but I realized today that as long as you are somewhere in this world, I’ll have hope, and I don’t want to live without hope.”
~ Christina Wolfer, Emotional Warfare



Renee Vincent is an award-winning author of historical and contemporary romance.