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Monday, June 30, 2014

REALITY IN FICTION

No one likes a perfect character. That too-true-to-be-believed character no one can relate to. Same thing goes with the plot and story. The world-building exists to enhance a reader’s escape, and one wrong move can shake that suspended-disbelief and bring it all crashing down…

I own a black Chow bitch named Abby. She’s four years old, and a cute little knee-high puffball with sparkling eyes and a pompon tail and a sense of mischief a mile wide. She’s also a ferocious guard dog who objects to everyone who walks past our house and strenuously strives to eat any dog within sight. Her recall is nonexistent. She broke her collar once and it was “missile away” and she darn near killed the neighbor’s dog. She just got into another fight yesterday - but it was the other dog's fault. (It's chain broke & IT attacked HER.) The reality is, our beloved family pet doesn’t have an off-switch. 2000 years of “guard” flows in her veins, and she’d lay down her life for any of us without hesitation. But her instinct is pure “us” vs. “them.” It’s up to US to provide the judgment–and control to keep her from hurting anyone.

What the hell does that have to do with writing?

Owning a dog like that is acknowledging, embracing and ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY FOR both sides of the coin. Yin and Yang. Light and Dark. And the fictitious worlds we build with the craft of words runs with the same rules and limitations. Every hero needs a dark side. Every villain needs a virtue. Every power needs a weakness. In order to for a fictitious world to seem real, there have to be rules and limitations that MUST be followed. Even Superman had Kryptonite…



When I first started the Guardians of Light series, I had one book. Duality. It set the bar for all the others. It set the parameters for all the others that they HAD to follow.  Dara was a half-dragon fire mage. Dragons are the ultimate shapeshifters. Dara was half-human–couldn’t shift. Dragons are “allergic” to iron; it locks away their powers. When she’s poisoned by a demon’s iron chains, her powers are gone. She goes to the elves for help. But she needs a metal mage and they don’t have any. Metal mages are common in the dwarven kingdom, but the elves and dwarves aren’t exactly on speaking terms… Power has checks and balances. Fire vs water. Earth vs air. Elves have powers of self-healing, which uses up all their energy and reserves. Magical hazel sprites are great healers, but they’re bound to–and die with–their trees…

Every little thing has to have a plus and a minus. And you have to be consistent. The second you break your own rules, the reader loses that suspended-disbelief and snaps out of the story. And in a series it’s twice as critical. You have to keep notes. You have to keep the rules the same in Book Six as they were in Book One. People laugh at me when they see me reading my own books–some probably assume I’m being pretentious. But the truth is, my memory is TERRIBLE (just ask my kids). My “author copies” are full of highlighting and notes–like how dragon lines are matriarchal and the females possess more power than the males, or how only a family member can bind someone in service to the sea-goddess, Cilaniestra… (These came up in Book Three, Lycan Tides, and are now coming full circle back around in Book Six, God of Fyre Mountain.)

I’m constantly double-checking things like speech patterns and characters’ preferred mannerisms and exclamations… Characters can grow and evolve but they can’t change. Countries need to stay in the same place. (Shamar will always be NORTH of Arcadia.)  Even terminology needs a sense of reality–”Shamaru” means “native people of Shamar” while “Shamari” means “NOT of Shamar” or “foreigner.” One simple letter change can make a big difference. (My son’s studying French–he’ll vouch for the importance of nuance and subtlety!)

Bottom line is, there has to be REALITY IN FICTION. Only way for a reader to truly believe in the journey.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sabrina York’s #RT14 MEGA Swag Giveaway: Win Goodies From New Orleans & A Tiara!

The RT Booklovers convention in May was held in New Orleans, and did we have a blast! I picked up a TON of swag, goodies and books…all for one lucky winner. Additionally, I got some local treats including famous pralines…and a sparkly Tiara I bought there just for you.
Review the list below, and please check out the authors who contributed to this giveaway. Then enter the rafflecopter and don't forget to tell your friends!
THANK YOU RT for a wonderful convention!

 
Some of The Big Goodies...and Books!
PRIZE PACK INCLUDES:
Sabrina Swag including: A signed copy of Carolyn Reader’s Choice Award winning Dark Fancy, by Sabrina York, a bling pen, a signed teaser book and a Tiara purchased in New Orleans.
New Orleans Goodies: Pralines, Bacon flavored brittle, NOLA shot glass & Mardi Gras beads.
Exclusive RT Swag: RT Conference tote bag, RT Bookfair tote bag, Harlequin tote bag, Bookfair program, June RT Bookreviews Magazine, RT room key (with hot guy), an assortment of Mardi Gras beads, Blushing Books pub crawl bracelet, Entangled pub crawl tote bag, Samhain Hurricane glass and more--much of this, thanks to my roomie & collection assistant, Lucy Carol, who actually went to all the events!
Shane Rice...Signing YOUR book!
Signed Books
A copy of Texas Two Step signed by author Cynthia D’Alba and cover model Shane Rice
A copy of Cowboy Heat signed by Randi Alexander, Cynthia D’Alba, Shoshanna Evers, Myla Jackson, Cat Johnson & Sabrina York
A little bit dark and a whole lotta naughty swag pack from Jennifer Kacey INCLUDING an autographed copy of Together in Cyn - Book One in the Members Only series!
A copy of The Taming of the Wild Child signed by author Kimberly Lang
A copy of A Scandal in the Headlines signed by Caitlin Crews
A copy of The Billionaire’s Obsession—the Complete Collection signed by J.S. Scott

Featured Swag From People I Hung Out With!
Cherry Adair (Buttons)
Allie K. Adams (TREX Key Ring, Pen)
Anna Alexander (Teaser Book)
Shelly Bell (Screwdriver/Benediction Bracelet)
Cynthia D’Alba (Pen with Device Stylus/ Jar Opener)
Cheryl Dragon (Band Aid Holder/RT14 Dog Tags)
Susana Ellis (Pen)
Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin (Buttons/Pen/Magnets)
Elle James (SEAL Magnet)
Jenna Jacob (Signed Bookmarks/Button/Do Not Disturb)
Cat Johnson (Keep Calm and Eat Bologna Jar Opener)
Jennifer Kacey (Swag Pack)
Hildie McQueen (Button/Signed Promo/Swag Pack)
Kate Richards (Measuring Tape & Spanking Ms. Whitman t-shirt—XL)
Jayne Rylon (Book Companion/Magnet)
S&M Book Obsessions (My Other Button Button)
Chudney Thomas (Full Circle t-shirt—S)
Kris Tualla (Key Ring)
Paige Tyler (Teaser Book/Button/Magnet/Keyring)
Maisey Yates (Copy of Take Me by Maisey Yates)
Rebecca Zanetti (Pen/Magnets/Calculator/Clip)
Only a fraction of the loot, ladies!
And More Amazing SWAG from:
Darcy Abriel (Charm & Necklace); Elf Ahearn (Teaser Book/ Jar Opener); Randi Alexander (Shot Glass Necklace) ; RG Alexander (Well Read Button); Melody Anne (Notebook & pens); Gillian Archer (Magnet); Melanie Atkins (Lip Balm); Atria Books (Do Not Disturb); Samantha Beck (Cover Stickers); Jennifer Bernard (Magnetic Calendar/Sexy Do Not Disturb); Shayla Black (Pen/Teaser Book); Lexi Blake (Teaser Book); Cara Bristol (Stirring Spoon); Katherine Bone (Bone—not kidding. A bone); Jenna Bennett (Button); Victoria Blue/ Angel Payne (Magnet); Rhian Cahill (Swag Pack with Cup Holder); Coreene Callahan (Nail File); Lexxi Callahan (Love Soup Button/RT14 Button); Mari Carr (Mardi Gras Necklace); Deborah Cooke (Dragonfire Tattoo); Lexxie Couper (2Teaser Books/Pen); Christina Courtenay (Tiny Crystal Ball/Itty Bitty Book Charm/Fan Cards); Robin Covington (Pen/Do Not Distrub); Heidi Cullinan (Politely Naughty Button); Theresa DaLayne (Lip Balm); Adrianna Dane (Charm); Sylvia Day (Luggage Lag); Vela Day (Stickie Note Pad); Vivien Dean (Magnet); Jess Dee (Pen); Seleste Delaney (Badlands Border Guards Button/Trait Agent Button/Magnet); Zoe Derrick (Button, Signed Teaser Book); Rebecca Donovan (Charm); Down Under Divas (Glasses Cleaner—this is AWESOME! I hate letting it go!); Nikki Duncan (Lip Balm); Elizabeth Essex (Luggage Tag); Jennifer Estep (Pen/Notepad); Entangled Publishing (Button); Fated Desires (Pen); Avery Flynn (Friday Man Wars Button); Yasmine Galenorn (Bracelet); Barbara Garren (Pen); Molly Harper (Mini Teaser Book); Lynn Raye Harris (Dog Tags/Pen/I’m A Hottie Button/Hot Pursuit Button/I’m A Hottie Dog Tags/Stickie Note Pad); Kim Harrison (Hallows Bus Line Token); Jordan L. Hawk (Signed Swag); Kelli Ireland (Stickies); Intergalactic Bar & Grille (Luggage Tag from Catherine Asaro, Jenna Bennett, Maria Hammarblad, Stacey Kade, Lydia Kang, Isabo Kelly, Melissa Landers/Macy Beckett, Janet Miller/Cricket Starr, Cindy Spencer Pape, Katee Robert, Vijaya Schartz, Sarah Zettel, PJ Schnyder, Linnea Sinclair); International Heat Passport; Kelli Ireland (Stickie Note Pad); Olivia Jaymes (Pen/Stickie Note Pad); Myla Jackson (Coaster); Olivia Jaymes (Magnet); Kandi Jaynes (Magnetic Clip/Zinnia seeds/Magnet); Kelly Jamison (Teaser Book); Amy Jarecki (If it’s Nae Scottish, it’s Crap Button); Julie Jenner (Compact); Stephanie Julian (I Love Werewolves Button/Be The Goddess Button); Skylar Kade (Ruler); Stacey Kade (Paper Doll Bracelet/tattoos); Laura Kaye (Hard Is Good Button); Jeffe Kennedy (Key Ring); J Kenner (Team Damien Button/Coaster); Julie Kenner & Dee Davis (Fan); Killion Group (Calendar); Sophia Knightly (Pen/Signed Promo); Kennedy Layne (Nail File/Sanitizer/Pen); Kimberly Lang (Ruler/Cup Holder); AJ Larrieu (Twisted Miracles Button/Fate Love Decapitation Button); Andrea Laurence (Mini Teaser); Jen LeBlanc (Trading Cards); Jade Lee (Office Notes); Sammi Lee (Ruler); Amber Lin (Nail File); Jeannie Lin (Note Pad); J.M. Madden (Pen); Kallypso Masters (Pen); Mia Marshall (Shifting Selves Button/Strange Fires Button/Pen); Crista McHugh (Stickie Note Pad); Midnight Ink (Tattoos); Lea Nolan (Book Boyfriends Button); Julie Particka (Magnet); Robyn Peterman (Go To Hell Button/Porno Grannies Rock Button); Caridad Pineiro (Swag Pack with Necklace); Riptide Publishing (Pad/Read the Rainbow Button); Ella Quinn (Pen); Robin Rotham (FrankenDom Ruler/Aliens Overnight Spaceship); Carrie Ann Ryan (I Love Redwood Pack Button/Stickie Note Pad); Suzanne M. Sabol (Teaser Book, Signed); J.S. Scott (Pen and wallet); Secret Curtsey Society (Teaser Book Signed by Ashlyn Macnamara and Erin Knightly); Pat Simmons (No Easy Catch Button); Cherise Sinclair (Trainee Button); Linnea Sinclair (Glow Stick/Tattoos); Sinfully Good (Teaser Book); Smutketeers (Let’s Be Bad Button/Pen); Smut Peddlers (Screw Calm Read Smut Button); Elisabeth Staab (Hunter By Night Button); Tiffany Snow (Teaser Book); Spellcrackers (Pencil); Teri Anne Stanley (Button); Karen Stivali (I Love Wood Button/Got Wood Button); Liz Schulte (Notepad); Damon Suede (Magnets); Swoon Reads (Stickie Note Pad); Julie Rowe (Charm); Chudney Thomas (Signed Promo); Candis Terry (Sucker); A.R. Torre (Do Not Disturb)
Other Books
Fire Inside by Kristen Ashley; Yes, Sir by Ellis Carrington; Fight or Flight by Natalie J. Damschroder;  Free Book from T.J. Dell; Secrets of a Viscount by Rose Gordon; Free Falling by SE Jakes; Wanted by J. Kenner; The Windflower by Laura London; Found in You by Laurelin Paige; The Warrior’s Bride by Amanda Scott; Always on my Mind by Jill Shalvis.
Plus Paper promo from HUNDREDS OF OTHER Authors Including:

Enter today, baby!


About Sabrina York
Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York is the award winning author of over 20 hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. Her titles range from sweet & sexy erotic romance to scorching BDSM. Connect with her on twitter @sabrina_york, on Facebook or on Pintrest. Check out Sabrina’s books and read an excerpt on Amazon or wherever e-books are sold. Visit her webpage at www.sabrinayork.com to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Free Teaser Book: http://sabrinayork.com/home-2/sabrina-yorks-teaser-book/ And don’t forget to enter to win the royal tiara!
CURRENT PROMOS
Newsletter & Ongoing Tiara Contest: http://sabrinayork.com/sabrinas-contest-and-newsletter/
Follow my blog for juicy updates: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SabrinaYork
Enter to win a signed print copy of Book 1 in the Tryst Island Series, Rebound: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17706507-rebound

FOLLOW SABRINA
Like my Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sabrinayork
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Friday, June 27, 2014

Ever Burn for a man? A SEAL? BURNING FOR NERO out now!


BURNING FOR NERO

Want to sizzle this summer?

Try BURNING FOR NERO by Cerise DeLand!

Who is Nero? 
Tony Nero, a SEAL, goes home for July 4th weekend to see his family and finds there the woman he has tried to forget for more than a decade!
On leave due to an injury, Navy SEAL Tony Nero heads home for a little R&R and some Fourth of July fun. When his buddy’s widow Cass Phillips picks him up at the air station, Tony figures he’s in for a sexually frustrating few days. He’s had the hots for the blonde siren for years, but his best friend won her heart first. Even though Ray’s been gone more than a year, Tony bets Cass isn’t interested in any man. Not him. And especially not another SEAL.
Cass has a bone to pick with longtime friend, Tony. After her husband died, he was the closest thing her little boy had to a father figure. His visits stopped abruptly and her son doesn't understand why. Neither does she. She's also unable to quench her growing need for the tough and tender man. She's already loved and lost one SEAL, but that doesn't stop her from burning for Nero.
     Part of the SEALS GOING HOT series, BURNING FOR NERO is the second. The first was RIDE THE MUSTANG by Desiree Holt, and we have in July Samantha Cayto's CATCHING EAGLE's EYE, then Brenna Zinn in August with TOUCHING MIDAS!
Need a nibble of Cerise’s newest cherry?
Of course you do!
Copyright 2014, Cerise DeLand. All rights reserved.
   Wild to leave, Cass headed through the French doors. Across the patio to the lawn, she sank in the lush grass. Catching herself time and again from turning an ankle, she strode toward the boathouse. She stayed there whenever she visited, not wishing to sleep in the room she and Ray had shared when Ray was alive. Jon still slept up at the main house with his grandparents, thinking it a vacation from Mommy and ordinary restrictions. Tonight, Cass needed the solitude the hideaway offered.
The moon was bright and she made her way quickly. She got to the steps before Tony’s hand grasped her wrist, the strength of the man she wished to escape halting her in her tracks.
   “Stop. Cass, stop.”
   “No.” No, she would not cry or beg or scream. She couldn’t demean herself like that. She took a step, but the giant in her path caught her against him. With just one arm, Tony could trap her.
   Against his formidable body, against her better judgment, she wanted to simply stand there, never move.
   He crushed her close, nearer than he ever had before, and she felt the power of his presence. His one good hand pressed her fully against him, then glided down her spine to press her hips to his. She caught her breath. He was hard. And he wanted her.
   She turned to leave.
   “Stay. Stay.”
   She shook her head, her gaze beyond him. “Let me go, Tony.”
   “I don’t want to.” He lifted her chin with his injured hand. “Look at me.”
   Bravery was her forte. Hell, she’d been a warrior’s wife. To face this one was easy peasy. Right? She met his gaze.
   Not the viper, not the seducer, not her friend, this man gazed down at her and absorbed her distress with sympathetic eyes. “You don’t want to go, either.”
   “I couldn’t watch—” Oh, lord. Had she really blurted that? She was botching this.
   “She came on to me, Cass.”
   She stared at him, caught between delight at his words and regret at her. If she had more nerve, she could own up to wanting him. If she weren’t so stuck in her friendship rut, she could make a move on him. Was her pride more important than finding out if he could care for her as more than a friend?
   “Listen to me.” He stroked the small of her back. “I didn’t encourage her. Why would I, Cass?” His last words were so raw, she barely heard them. But the sorrow in them thrilled her and she looked up at him again. “Why would I when I just want to be with you? Tell you how I loved your song and dance with Jon. Praise you and say you are the finest mother, babe. Why would I want to be with her when you’re the one I want to talk to? Huh? Tell me.”
   She was speechless with joy.
   He cradled her near him as if she were fragile china. The feel of him was heaven, like coming home to a safe place she’d never known existed. He dropped kisses to the crown of her hair and his gentleness stunned her so that she wrapped her arms around his waist and burrowed into him.
   He groaned and stepped out of her embrace.
   Unbalanced, she stumbled.
   But he clasped her hand and pulled her along, striding like a mercenary on a mission toward the front door of her boathouse. At the threshold, he halted, dropped her hand and looked down at her, a muscle in his jaw jumping. “Invite me inside, Cass.”
   An order, a metaphor, a plea. His words were all of them and she reveled in their potential. In one lunge, she swept open the screen door and pulled him inside.
   He whirled her against the inside wall, pinning her there with his body and cupping her throat. “Tell me why I’m here.”
   Words would be too much, too soon. She’d show him. She undulated against him, this man she had watched and wanted for months now. Wrapping her arms around him, she brushed her mouth against the corded column of his throat, nuzzling the hollow beneath his Adam’s apple. She parted her lips to taste the musk of his very healthy body. She rose on her toes, pulling him closer, nestling her puckered lips into the hollow beneath his cheekbones. She slid her mouth to his and he waited, still as stone, letting her lead.
   Ah, god. She had hungered for this decadent taste of him for so long. She’d been so careful to tease apart her motives. Tony was kind, caring, no clone of Ray. No substitute either. She wanted him for his sweet, bad self. Could he want her because she was different from any other woman he took to bed? She paused to examine him.
   “Don’t stop now. What’s in your eyes is too raw to be best friends with benefits.” He grabbed a fistful of her curls and yanked her head gently. “I won’t trespass. Our ties are too old, too strong. So, whatever I’m here for say it, or I’m leaving and we forget this ever happened.”
   “Stay.” She took his mouth as if she were a dying woman, needing only the succor he gave. His lips were firm and willing. She grabbed him by the shirt, yearning to hold all of him, lose herself inside  him. “I want all of you.”
   “Since when?”
   “Months and months.”
   Growling, he pressed flush against her from chest to thighs He seized her lips, bestowing sizzling kisses, grazing her tender flesh, scouring her mind. He sent his tongue inside the cavern of mouth and probed and plunged, fierce, claiming and testing. She mewled.
  Breathless, he yanked away. “I’m hurting you.”
   “No.” She curled her hands around his neck and drew his mouth once more to hers. “I need you to need me like that.”
   “Christ, baby.” He sucked on her lips. “I’m trying not to gobble you up.”
   “Damn. You’d better.”
   He stopped, surprise living in his gaze, feral, dominant. This was that other Nero. Predator. Marauder. The sight of him in his splendor made her knees quiver. “What else can I do for you?”
   When had any man ever asked her that? She licked her lips. “Multiple orgasms.”
   He nodded, grinning. “Your wish is my command.”
   Helpless joy flooded her. She’d grown so tired of Ray’s selfishness, she’d questioned any man’s desire to satisfy her in bed or out. The one man she had opened her legs for last year had turned out to be a total dud. All slap and tickle, full of sound and fury signifying nothing but meh. “You can deliver, huh?”
  “Complain to me at any time,” Tony whispered with such utter compassion, that she realized he understood she lacked inspired loving. “One rule though,” he said against her mouth, his hand stroking her spine.
   To have this man in her bed, inside her, this man to roll with and rock with? Oh, yes. Yes. “Name it.”
* * * * * * *
How is Cerise’s Regency life????
ACTIVE!
Lady Varney’s Risqué Business is out now.
The Stanhope Challenge, a Regency Quartet comes soon
and then…
Rendezvous with a Duke!
* * * * * * *
Come nibble more of my cherries at http://cerisedeland.com
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