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Friday, August 31, 2012

“#%@*!$&%@#!” Watch your language!


Perhaps the one word that best applies to and describes traditional Regencies is their CIVILITY. Coarse language, poor manners, improper behavior and/or dress – any of these things can quickly derail your Regency story, but the absolutely one thing that will betray you is – the language.

Speech mavens, historians, traditionalists—all have argued for more than two hundred years about the use of ‘cant’ (yes, the apostrophe is missing – on purpose!) in books set during that special era – the Regency era. Strictly speaking this consists of the years in which Prince George served as Regent in place of his father King George III, who was ill and unable to fulfill the duties of King.

Therefore, as long as the old king still lived, Prinny (as he was known to his intimates) was the designated King, moving up to becoming the absolute monarch henceforth known as King George IV when the old king died in 1820. He’d become Regent in 1811. All that excitement took place during these nine brief years!

Even if his over-extravagance and other unpopular traits overshadow his monarchy, we’ll always be grateful for one action he took – he championed the works of A Lady otherwise known to the world as Jane Austen. Generally speaking, at that time, it was almost entirely unheard of for a lady’s name to be emblazoned on a book as the author.

Of course, some sections of society used slang. See the Dictionary of Historical Slang by Eric Partridge. It’s HUGE!! Like most historical dictionaries, it covers written (and spoken) English through WWI, and is wonderfully entertaining. This special language, popular among young men (even those of the upper classes) is known as ‘cant’, and if used unwisely in the drawing room might see the speaker promptly ejected! Heaven itself wouldn’t be able to help a young woman who might indulge—improperly.

And yes, the infamous ‘four-letter-words’ of today did exist then, but were NOT ever spoken in front of a female. Neither did they enter the written word – in fact almost none of them were until after WWII.

Some of the still-famous (or infamous?) personages who lived during that era are Lord Byron, the Duke of Wellington, Napoleon, Sir Walter Scott, Beethoven, John Constable, Beau Brummel, plus of course, Jane Austen and the Shelleys -- Mary Wollstonecraft, and hubby Percy Bysshe. Pierce Egan was among the very first-ever sportswriters. Among the more famous fictional characters are Dracula, Frankenstein, Ivanhoe and of course, the ever-luscious Mr. Darcy!

Although she didn’t live then (actually, she was born in 1902) Georgette Heyer really made the Regency era her own. For an enormous number of years, she produced a book that headed both the NYTimes and London Times best-seller lists! Read any of her books, and you’ll soon see why. For a delightful look at the language she created for her books, here’s a great resource:   http://www.georgette-heyer.com/slang.html. 

Happy Reading! 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Am A Self-Professed JOSEPH CAMPBELL Fangirl


When was the last time a book REALLY resonated with you? The book that, rather than end up in last summer’s yard sale, is actually rubber-banded together because you’ve literally read it to pieces but can’t find a replacement copy? The one you can recite entire passages from? The one you recommend to everyone and their cousin?

What makes that book so special? So powerful? Have you ever stopped to think about where the magic comes from? How the author pulled character and theme and emotion and drama all together?
For me, I grew up with epic fantasy and sci fi – from reading CS Lewis and Tolkien to watching Star Wars. 

It wasn’t until I got older that I realized they had a common thread – a scholar/teacher named Joseph Campbell. The eminent mythology expert of the 20th & 21st centuries. The man who made it his life’s work to study universal themes, what all cultures’ storytelling and mythology have in common. Why people are still drawn, over and over, to the good defeats evil, David beats Goliath, the good guy always gets the girl and they live happily-ever-after? There’s so much chaos and negativity in the world that it’s great to be able to curl up with a tale and know the good guys are gonna win. “And they lived happily ever after. THE END.”

What do you look for in a story? Great characters you can identify with? Believable problems and solutions? Exotic locations? Grand adventures? Tales that weave emotion through every page, where you laugh and cry and worry and wonder along with the characters? See it this pattern looks familiar:
·       
  Little hero/ine in a sucky spot, wants things to change
·         Little hero/ine thinks, “What can I do? It’s too big for me.”
·         The last straw breaks the camel’s back and little hero/ine thinks “enough already” and off s/he goes to change things
·         Meets their ideal hero/ine, sparks fly
·         Various adventure, mayhem and disasters ensue, with betrayal and death and rescues and lessons learned
·         Hero & heroine fall in love, but it will never work (see above various & sundry complications)
·         Black moment when all hope seems lost
·         Wondrous solving of the problem, characters personal growth and triumphant return
·         The happily ever after
·         THE END

The above template is my variation of “The Hero’s Journey” by Joseph Campbell, the Holy Grail of storytelling. It’s a wondrous journey, an adventure, an escape, with fabulously real lands, weird food, bad weather, horrific villains with evil plans, the occasional noble death, brave and sassy heroines, and smoking hot heroes. Any combination of the above. Anything goes!

The magic’s in the journey – and the triumph in the end.
Ever cheer at the end of a movie? Every hug a book you just finished reading? Ever write an author to say, “This book changed me/my life?”

Ever frantically search for a rubber band to keep from losing one single page of the third copy of your favorite book? (Okay, for me that book is Barbara Hambly’s “The Ladies of Mandrigyn” from Del Rey, 1984, ISBN 0345309197)

So, I cut my teeth on epic fantasy – Tolkien and Terry Brooks and LOTR and Willow. As a writer, I now have my award-winning “Guardians of Light” fantasy romance series for Samhain. Reviewers have taken notice. I hope you’ll check it out.

My heroines? A half-dragon fire mage, an assassin nun, a selkie/single mother, a dream faerie, an elven lady's-maid-turned-warrior and an island princess.

My heroes? Elven princes and paladins and spirit healers. The odd werewolf or two. A forest troll.

My villains? Demons and genocidal queens, power-mad dragons and selkie princes, and goblin (& elven) sorcerers.

We also have the odd tree sprite, gypsies, an occasional mermaid, talking horses and sentient jewelry. Chaos and mayhem aplenty, with the occasional head-on-a-pike. Noble death and self-sacrifice. Always the good-wins-out-over-evil AND they-lived-happily-ever-after.

Fantasy and romance are a marriage made in paradise for me!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rediscover Your Joy

      
         Hi, I'm Cathryn Cade.

        Yesterday evening I had the amusing, nostalgic, heart-warming experience of going through the filing cabinet that sits beside my computer desk. The top drawer was half-full of old (and I do mean old, girlfriend) manuscripts.
        We just moved last month, and I had pulled my early writings from a dusty box and filed them, so as I have time I can either keep or toss them. Some were 20 years old. Surprised a bat or two didn't flutter out when I opened those!
       As I read my earliest romance tales, typed on my Brothers Word Processor, I chuckled, I rolled my eyes, I winced ... and I even wiped away a few tears. The glory and pathos of those imaginings came right back to me, as if I'd written them only yesterday.
      The writing--let's be honest--was pretty bad. Rambling sentence structure. Scenes with little more point than a buildup to the heroine gasping as the hero pulled her masterfully into his muscled arms and kissed the sugar out of her. Very few actual endings. Only three stories were finished, and they probably shouldn't have been.
      But ... as I finally stacked the re-read pages into piles and tucked them back into their file folders, I realized something. When I wrote those stories, I was having FUN. That was their only purpose for existence.
      And while most of those first stories lacked such things as character arcs, secondary plot lines and many other story elements I've learned to employ in my published manuscripts, they were full of passion. The characters exploded off the page with larger than life emotions and reactions, with love scenes that still make me squirm and sigh.
     
      I'm a selling writer now.
      I've completed my popular Orion Series of erotic space opera, am in the midst of writing and publishing my contemporary paranormal Hawaiian Heroes series.
      I plan to write many more books and novellas. I read voraciously, studying my favorite writers' work. I take classes and read books, blogs and articles on writing. I am a small business owner, and a full-time writer.
      But I hope I never lose the sheer fun of putting a heroine and hero on the page, and letting them battle their way through obstacles and their own fears and foibles, on the way to their own scorchingly sexy version of happy ever after.

      What gives you joy?
      Do you have a beloved hobby, perhaps one you've turned into a business? If so, or even if you just dabble in many things, I hope you find your joy. I hope you seek it actively.

      But if it hasn't been there for you lately, come on along with me.
      Escape for a little while into a great romance. It's cheaper than a plane ticket, and you can be back in time for work, or to get the kids up for school.  


      Aloha,
     Cathryn

     http://www.cathryncade.com
 
     http://twitter.com/CathrynCade
     http://www.facebook.com/cathryncade.author
     http://store.samhainpublishing.com/cathryn-cade-pa-351.html
     http://about.me/cathryncadeauthor


    
 
     
     
    
     
     
       

 

Monday, August 27, 2012

5 Reasons this Reader Wants Every Writer to get an editor and a copyeditor!


http://tinyurl.com/7o7guuk
I bought an iPad in May. Drooling to get one for ages, I figured I could finally afford it. Since May, I have read more books in 4 months than EVER and my eyeballs are falling out! I am in heaven.
I am in hell.
My outrage at writers who do not employ editors nor even copyeditors is getting rather bitter! (And trust me, I am a gentle soul who works to never spend her adrenalin on anger because when I do, it destroys my chi for the day or longer!) EVEN multi-pubbed authors seem to be skipping this process. What? To save $$$? If they do it to save TIME, then I have a new dynamic in my buying habits and it is called, "Oh, boy, I ain't buying your stuff, no more, no more!"
Ergo, I rise to my speaker's stump and proclaim to my fellow authors, if you are writing, I really do not care how many previous books you have published or how many awards you have won, if you can't hit the spell check or the grammar (shoot me, please), and you do not hire an editor to smooth out your draft prose or your plot or logic, I am not returning.

Here are 5 reasons why I beg you to hire an editor and copyeditor:

1. I am an educated reader. I have a graduate degree, had to read and write my a$$ of to get it, and I understand logic, sentence structure and time sequencing. (As an author, I also get all that other jazz like conflict, inner and outer dialogue, etc. But that is another subject and I digress.)
I read at a fast pace.
I am in that demographic you crave: I am over 45, I buy hundreds of $$ worth of books each year, I will buy almost any genre if you lure me in. (And you spend a lot of people, time and money to lure me in, don't you? Yowza.)
Treat me right. Give me the very best. Then I will buy another book of yours.

2. I understand how typos occur. I have written hundreds of thousands (maybe millions of words, given my corporate tenure) during my career. I am still a really $hitty typist. I hit the spell check. It's free. It completes me.
But you need to hit the spell and grammar check and hire a copyeditor because every time one of those blurps appears, my reader's mind goes blank.
I lose track of the story.
I get angry because this is supposed to be a professional piece worthy of my copious UNfree time! Remember, your work is supposed to entertain me.

3. When I stop reading (and I can sit for a damn long time doing it, like 8 hours+ when I did not move on a flight to Israel), I subconsciously ask myself: Will this happen to me again?
I get frustrated. I might even skip around. Go to the end. (Oh, no, you shout!) And I will skim the intervening pages, too. If my expert eyes find more god awful stuff, you can bet you and I and your story might be done, baby, done.

4. Grammar still thrills me. Correct grammar. With the exception of dialogue that shows regional accent, grammar makes my day.
If you use the wrong version, I am really mad.
I stop here too. (See #3 for my further actions.) Not pretty.

5. See Spot Run. Sigh. Spot, the dog, still runs around. He appears in a lot of works and he needs to go home and sit in his doghouse. He needs to learn his place. He needs to go to critique group and hear his professional colleagues tell him to polish his prose, deepen his characters' profiles and improve the pace of his plot.

Am I perfect? No. But I try. And I spend the money when I do self-publishing to ensure that those readers I have worked hard to gain, I keep.
And yep, the cover here is my latest self-pubbed book for which I hired Wizards in Publishing to do my editing and copyediting and formatting. They are superb.
Shameless Self Promotion.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

DON'T SWEAT THE CONFERENCES

Conferences are such an exciting event in my writing calendar, but can also be filled with stresses.
Will I pitch to an agent, an editor?
What workshops do I attend?  If I go to abc workshop, I’ll miss out on xyz workshop.  
And of course, on every woman’s lips – what shall I wear?
For me, stuck in my little office way out in the country, with dogs, cats and local pukekos (birds), ducks, fantails, hawks and not to mention, cows, sheep, horses etc – for company, well, getting dressed up once a year should put the fear of god into me.  First of all it’s dusting off my high heels, replacing my normal sneakers, then there is the dreaded trying on the ‘good’ clothes and seeing if they still fit me a year later – that would put the frighteners on any woman I reckon.
But the truth is we writers (and yes at the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference we are mostly women) we’re not going to ogle what each other is wearing, but to listen to speakers, learn something new and most of all be inspired to create stories that publishers, agents, and best of all, our readers, will love reading.  So if I trudge up in jeans and a sweatshirt, leaving the gumboots/Wellingtons behind, it’ll be okay. The most important thing is to just actually be there and absorb as much as I can because those moments of inspiration will sustain me for the following 52 weeks until the next conference.  The inspiration does work.  I dreamed up No Sex Necessary while at conference one year, and also He’s the One.
This year’s conference has a great line up, but mostly I’m looking forward to hearing what Randy Ingermanson has to say about his snowflake method of writing.  I’m sure  it’s going to open a wonderful new world to me in the plotting department of my books and that when I sit down to start my next book which all going well will be in a couple of weeks, Randy’s method will just make my plotting angst disappear, and it’ll all be plain sailing from the get go, until I type the end.
Well, I can hope anyway.
Another speaker I’m so looking forward to is in fact my lovely friend Sophia James.  She’s going to be talking to about layering a story.  When I read her books I can see all the depth she’s dug up when she’s done this planning.  She tells me she just thinks and thinks and then asks why, why, why for a few weeks before she starts. 
Now, note to self at this point. Don’t go around asking why, why why, out loud, because sure as the sun is going to come up the next day, if I’m heard muttering why, why, the men in white coats might come around and take me away…
But hey I’m a writer and we’re all a bit nuts aren’t we?  We talk to ourselves, make up stories in our heads and talk to our invisible characters, for goodness sakes.  And I wouldn’t change it for the world.


Happy writing and reading every one

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Thoughts on a Summer Morning


Some of you may already know how I became a published erotic romance author. For those of you who don’t know or remember, it all began at the RWA national conference in Reno, NV in 2005. There I hooked up with former Sacramento chapter member Lynn LaFleur. She insisted—in that very Texas Belle way of hers—that I attend a spotlight on her publisher, Ellora’s Cave.

Of course I attended. One does not ignore an invitation from a Texas woman, belle or not. Some of them are armed and all of them seem more than a little dangerous under all that sweetness.

Inspired after the spotlight, I came home and wrote like crazy in a way I’d never written before: in scenes. Only after I finished did I collate the story—Passion’s Four Towers—and send it into the Ethernet. EC bought it and the rest is history. My twentieth novel—Temptress of Time—is targeted for release this year.

Needless to say I become an advocate for e-publishing.
 
This year at RWA in Anaheim, CA a young woman saw my badge and said, “This is all your fault!” And thanked me for suggesting she submit to e-publishers.

Keri Gregg… You are most welcome.

Don’t get me wrong. E-Publishers are just as difficult to sell to as traditional print publishers. And despite the number of e-pubs, the competition is still pretty stiff. You still have to write a good story and make sure your manuscript is the cleanest you can make it. If you can’t spell, don’t rely on your spell-check—it won’t correct those pesky little homophones like to, too and two. If you can’t punctuate to save your soul, find a critique partner who can, but only after you’ve made all the corrections you can. Having recently threatened my DH with bodily harm if he didn’t learn how to punctuate, I know the fastest way to lose a partner or an editor is a poorly spelled, horribly punctuated manuscript.

You may be the best storyteller on the planet, but if you can’t make it clear with proper spelling and punctuation, nobody will read it.

Lecture over! Have a super day.

Dee Brice
Erotic Fantasies Where Nothing is Forbidden

Friday, August 24, 2012

Trailer Time!

Liz's Best Selling Realty series has a new installment coming Saturday, August 25!

Blurb:  
Craig Robinson and Suzanne Baxter had no reason to meet, no real excuse to be friends. But when heart calls to heart...blood to blood...should two people who seem destined to be together heed the spin of Fate's wheel? 



Craig spent years floating through life on cruise control, using directionless jobs, his rock band, swimming, and a string of older women in his bed to smother feelings of loneliness and loss.  He finally thought he had found his true love in one Sara Thornton -- A sexy, beautiful, fellow real estate agent and mentor. But his self-doubt and innate sense of failure is only reinforced when he realizes her heart belongs to another man.  



When Sara introduces him to Suzanne, a woman fighting her own demons from an abusive marriage and subsequent feelings of inadequacy and deep unhappiness, that chance moment snaps Craig's hazy existence into crystal clear focus.  A bond born of instant physical attraction is nurtured by time and shared experience, and plenty of erotic energy.  



 As Suzanne's past continues to haunt her, making her push Craig away just as he thinks he’s getting closer, each of them must come to terms with their true selves and face their ultimate realities. 

Rated PG Excerpt:  
He smiled, and kept his distance. Something in her stance told him she wanted that.  Contenting himself with looking at her a second, taking in the delicate features of her expressive face he waited while she shut the door behind her, and visibly squared her shoulders as if girding herself for battle. “Listen,” he said, putting a hand on her elbow and ignoring her slight flinch. “Let’s play a game.” She shot him an odd look. “No, no hear me out. Let’s just pretend this isn’t a date. We’ll just say we’re going to mutually enjoy a musical performance, then share a meal and a beer and then I’ll drive you home because it’s just more convenient to take one car instead of two. You know, because I’m so into being environmentally correct and all.”
She smiled, and his heart clenched. Oh crap. He was doing it again. Falling for an older woman. But this time it felt very very real and that terrified him. He kept his tone light. She elbowed his side. “All right, humor me. That’s fine. But I get to decide at the end if we share a friendly kiss. How about that?”
Craig tried not to smile too widely. He felt like a teenager on his first date ever as he opened the door and handed her up into his SUV. She stayed quiet during the short drive from her Barton Hills mansion to downtown. He crawled around looking for a parking spot, letting her keep her silence. It wasn’t awkward really so he decided not to fill it with useless chatter. “Thanks,” she said as he came around and helped her out of the truck. “Tell me about this band we’re going to see.”
Relieved, he gave her a brief history of the Paul Thorn trio, a bluesy-folk group out of New Orleans. They took their place in line outside The Ark, one of Ann Arbor’s best places to hear live music. She leaned into him as he ran his mouth, and he put what he hoped felt like a casual arm around her shoulders. She felt one hundred percent perfect to him and he tried hard not giving him a perfect excuse to do just that. He put his lips to her hair, closed his eyes a split second as the incredible blend of scents that were quintessentially Suzanne crawled into his brain—a sweetness tinged with heat, like cinnamon laced with a malty richness that he figured must be in her pores by now having spent so much time in a working brewery. It was amazing.
By the time the concert was over he’d had a chance to stare at her in the darkened venue, admiring the way she sipped her beer, talked to all the people who knew her, everything about her really. He gave himself a mental smack and refocused on being casual, friendly. But his body was sending him some serious “I want” signals he recognized. He guided her out afterward, keeping a hand in the small of her back. As promised they shared a meal, a beer and he barely remembered anything that came out of his mouth, or went into it he was so damn lost in her by now. Her jokey sarcasm matched his, she loved all the same foods he did, and he adored how she would go off on a tangent about beer at the slightest provocation.
He sipped his hoppy ale and smiled at her.
“What?” She blushed and put a hand to her face making his body react in an alarming way to the sight. He shifted, making room for his suddenly stiff zipper. “I’m sorry, I go on sometimes.”
“Huh?” he put his pint glass down. “You had me at abv’s then lost me at “house ale yeast” but I could listen to you read a menu I think…now.” He looked down, embarrassed by the admission. He jumped when she put her hand on his.
“Okay so now we are on a date it’s pretty clear and I have a question for you. It’s kind of important to me but I don’t want to…you know…freak you out or anything.” She stopped, picked up her glass and he got mesmerized all over again by her lips as they caressed the edge of it, by the perfect line of her neck as she swallowed.
“Sure.” He swallowed, trying to regain his composure. Craig would look back many years and many heartbreaks later and realize that that split second was a fork in the road for him. He wanted to follow her wherever she went and steeled himself for whatever tough question she had. It could be anything and he dreaded the “didn’t I see you naked with a guitar on the cover of a gay porn book?”
“When are you going to take me swimming?” She put the glass down, put her chin on her hands and batted her eyes at him.
He blew out a breath and sat back, trying to process it. Then chuckled. “Damn woman, you know how to throw a guy off.” He ran a hand down his face, leaned back further. “How about…now?”
 He stood, threw some money on the table and held out a hand. She slid her palm into it and he tugged her close, no longer caring what she thought about being in her personal space. He planned to get even closer tonight. She looked up at him. “I’m about to initiate the friendly kiss,” he whispered as the room shrunk to the two of them. “You good with that?”
She nodded. He touched his lips to hers, softly, determined to go at a pace she could handle but by the time he heard the first cat calls of “get a room kids” from the other diners and a round of applause had broken out she had herself wrapped around him so tight and her hands buried in his hair and he was drowning in her. He broke away, but held her close. “Okay then. Good start.” She grinned and blushed again. “I love it when you do that.” He bit back anything more, let her go and held her hand all the way out to the car


RATED EXXXcerpt:

“Craig, sweetie, humor me,” she purred, rising from the bed in her full naked glory and running her hands through his hair, down his face, and settling on his lap. She set the guitar aside and slanted her lips over his. He drowned in her kiss, tried very, very hard not to make this into anything more than sex.  He loved every single one of the women who’d taught him, who’d been drawn to him like bees to a bright flower. But eventually he’d let them go. Lindsay, however, made his whole body shiver and his ears get hot. He wanted her, all of the time. Love? Not likely. But it would do for now.
He smiled at her, stood and slid his shorts off, fisted her dark hair when she got to her knees and sucked him down her throat. He groaned at the absolutely incredible sensation when she slid her expert fingers under his balls and stroked him there, then inched her way towards his ass. He thrust into her mouth grunting with the simple exertion of getting off, yet again. His brain clicked in for some reason at the last minute and he groaned and bent over her, trying to stop about ten seconds too late.  He gripped her hair harder, but she kept up her exquisite suction then her finger slid deep into his ass.
“Fuck!” he cried out, furious at himself but helpless to stop. He came for what felt like an hour, groaning with the effort-slash-pain-slash-pleasure.
She released his cock with one last lick, wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and grabbed that infernal camera again. “Craig,” she sighed, “show me.”
He sighed, ran his hands through hair, his cock still hard and throbbing. “Jesus. Whatever,” he flopped down onto the couch and caught his breath. He heard the camera clicking away but ignored it, reaching for his guitar as a sort of shield. He plucked out a tune, sang, his voice croaky with exhaustion and frustration.
She climbed around him, had him sit up, move the guitar so it was just covering his crotch.  She kissed him a lot, ran her hands up and down his bare torso, teasing his nipples to hard peaks then backed off to take yet more fucking pictures. She set the camera down and lit a joint as he strummed and tried to convince himself to make her leave. He’d never been to her place once in all their torrid time together. But had managed to fuck her in every room of his condo, in his cubicle at the dealership, in the rooftop pool, after hours on top of another motorcycle in the dealership. He took a drag, held it in, and then resumed playing. She climbed up on the bed, draped her arms around his neck, and held the joint to his lips. He smoked, played, and before he knew it he was naked, with a cowboy hat on his head, holding the guitar and doing whatever the hell she wanted him to while she snapped away with her infernal fucking camera.
“You putting me on the internet or what?” he gasped at one point after she’d reached down to stroke him again. He grabbed her neck, forced his tongue between her lips, making her moan and mold herself into him. He let the emotion carry him, as he always did. He knew his own weaknesses with women—knew he would love them, fuck them, whatever they wanted, as long as he could get something in return. Something beyond the physical. He had not found it yet and doubted he would with this woman, but she was kind of addicting.
“You wish,” she giggled as she pushed him back on his bed and straddled his hips, rocking into him. He yanked her down, pinched one of her nipples and kissed her hard, letting her get off on him, rubbing her clit against his still half-hard shaft. She moaned, pulsed and sighed, then sat up, her grin evil and infectious.
“I am feeling used right now. Sort of dirty.” He said, his hips already moving again, involuntarily, his cock pulsing with need but his brain shutting down, making him take her arms and shove her off. She flopped over, frowning, but he rose, and made for the kitchen, ignoring her. This whole thing was making him insane, restless, and courting insomnia. He swam for hours, sold bikes, paid his bills and played music. Lindsay occupied his nights. He hated himself, but he could not stop, no matter what he did.


And you can even PRE ORDER here... but please read the following Caveat:
Dear Loyal Reader:
Conditional Offer is the 5th book in the Stewart Realty story arc and develops the relationship between Craig Robinson and Suzanne Baxter; two not-so-secondary characters from the first four books: Floor Time, Sweat Equity, Closing Costs, and Essence of Time.
Please do not attempt to jump into the Stewart saga with this book. You will be frustrated and might even not like it. And I simply will not allow that.
Also, if you are picking up this oh-so-romantic story of love and redemption between two damaged people, please realize some familiar scenes from the first books are touched on or repeated from different perspectives, with full attention on Craig and Suzanne. Hence, not all conversations will occur verbatim. We all hear things differently, so do my characters.
Well? What are you waiting for? If you haven't started the Stewart Realty saga, go get Floor Time, Sweat Equity, Closing Costs, and Essence of Time, immediately. If you are all caught up with the Stewart gang through Essence of Time... dive in. Craig tells me the water is perfect.
Love, Liz.

coming soon....ESCALATION CLAUSE.... book 6! Jack is BACK baby...





Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lughnasa (August) by Cornelia Amiri

LughnasaLughnasa, pronounced LOO-nahs-ah, is the Celtic Harvest festival, celebrated August  1st . It is also another name for the month of August. In my novel, Druidess, the hero and heroine are both druids, who fight for Boudica against the Romans in first century AD Britian. They began their relationship at Lughnasa, a great time for romance. The month and the festival are named after the sun god Lugh, a tall, muscular warrior with sky blue eyes and a hallo of golden light, which blazed around his thick flaxen hair. He was also known as Lugh of the long arm because of his magic spear, which never missed its mark.
Here’s an excerpt from Druidess:
It began when they danced nude afore the blaze of the roaring bonfire at the Lughnasa festival, celebrating the mating of the sun god to the Earth goddess, hot fire and the ripe Earth. They leapt in front and beside each other to the drum beats, as the pipes wailed.

Drunk with desire for Rhys, blood pounded in her head. Sulwen jumped and he caught her in his hard, brawny arms. He carried her up the steep, rock carved path to the hill fort of Holly Mound, and into a round stone hut.

There he laid her on a pallet covered with soft bear pelts, next to a crackling fire, blazing hotter than the sun at midday. She needed his demanding mouth on hers. Rhys’ lips felt hard yet tender. In their heated embrace they were two pieces of iron melded together with spark and fire.

The earth goddess (Tailtiu in Ireland and Blodeuwedd in Wales) was an important part of Lughnasa as the Celts celebrated the marriage of the earth to the sky. Hand fasting marriages occurred at Lughnasa.  Also as this was a big month for berry picking, young men and women paired off to gather sweet, ripe bilberries and didn’t return until nightfall.
 Here’s a Lughnasa excerpt from Druid Bride, the sequel to Druidess:
Lughnasa, one of her favorite festivals. She and Brude would pick bilberries together and stay out until dark. He would thread the dark berries they plucked together into a bracelet for her to wear that day. At least, he should. She imagined his lips on hers, pressing down, hot and wet, kissing her beneath the light of the white moon, his mouth and breath tasting of sweet, juicy bilberries. .

In our modern times we can still honor the traditions of the ancient Celts and celebrate Lughnasa or the month of August at our homes by making a centerpiece of dried wheat sheaves, nuts, and grapes or have the whole family participate in making and eating a fresh loaf of homemade bread.  

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