Sunday, July 30, 2017

Escape to Vegas for the #Magic of the #ArcanaRoyale

Las Vegas, baby at the casino of all Casinos — the Arcana Royale.

Anything can happen here and anything goes, but don’t piss off the Overseers or you may find yourself serving up your soul to the showgirls.  

Discover tales of forbidden romance, sexy heroes and dark mysteries.

Featuring brand new covers and titles, the stories remain the same and don't miss a single one when they release tomorrow for $0.99 each!

It's the biggest game of his life.

Born for war, made for love.

Once she remembers...can she forgive?

No one wins against the house...

He'll suffer for her help

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Cast Iron Love

Google “romance,” and you’ll find images of champagne flutes and flowers, small tables in chic Parisian cafes, and sunsets over beaches. Such stock images of romance readily come to mind when romance writers craft that first meet of the heroine and hero. We want a setting that lifts the moment above the ordinary, but we also want to give our h/h something unique to their story.

Family legend gives my parents a very romantic meet—on a summer’s day at Bucks Lake in the Sierra foothills of California. From that start the romance took off. A fraternity pin soon followed, and then a December proposal the week before Pearl Harbor. What we children didn’t know until this summer, reading our Mom’s account of her life, is that Dad proposed to her at the Grand National Livestock Show at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. The romantic bubble burst amid bales of hay and the close proximity of thousand-pound beasts. We wondered how, in that setting, our mother could have said--“Yes!”

With Sexy Lexy, my soon-to-be-re-released contemporary comedy, I gave Sam and Lexy something of a mix between the romantic setting of coastal northern California and a close encounter with livestock on the hoof. Then I worked to give them something my own husband gives me—a love I can count on every day.

I said my own Yes! in an equally unromantic place after a whirlwind courtship. (A very romantic honeymoon to Carmel followed.) Then came the Christmas gift pictured here.

Unwrapping a cast iron frying pan from the man of one’s dreams in the midst of one’s extended and tactless family requires a certain mental and facial dexterity. I’m not sure I passed the test in that moment. I know my sisters didn’t. “How unromantic,” they scoffed.

And yet my cast iron pan has gone with us everywhere. I use it every day. Thousands of delicious dishes have come from this plain and humble square of iron. I’ve not had to whack a home intruder with it, but it’s probably just the thing if I ever have to face one. And it reminds me of an essential element in every romance I write.

It’s the very gift I like to give to all my heroes and heroines—enduring love, unbreakable love, cast iron love. (My husband says it’s a country song waiting to be written.) It’s the point of the last scene in each of my books, the one in which the heroine and hero laugh and plan and think about having sex again soon. It’s where the pattern of their life together is set. I hope you’ll look for Sam and Lexy’s story in the weeks ahead and cheer them on to their own version of cast iron love.  

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Do you see RED? Color, fashion in historicals and accuracy! Talking Regency Reds!

This charming number is dated approximately 1810
 and sits in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London
Creating fashion in our novels, we authors like to give stunning visuals. Sometimes, those require more research than we’d hope!

Recently on the Beau Monde RWA writers loop, we discussed the color red, the dyes and fabrics that could have existed at the time.

Here from one of my large references on fashion (let that read TOME), I thought it fun to list for you the very limited number of shades of red for that period! Note, too, that many come from the latter part of the period which is not officially the Regency, but indeed the late reign of George IV, once that notorious man, the Prince of Wales.

So this table reads as: the title of the color, the year the term was first used, the modern color description/name as per the British Color Council! (In alpha order!)

Aurora, 1809. Chilli.
Aurora, 1829.  Shell-Pink.
Eminence, 1829.  Crushed Strawberry.
Japanese Rose, 1826.  Crushed Strawberry.
Marsh Mallow, 1829. Crocus or Old Rose.
Morone, 1811. Peony Red.
Naccarat, 1800. Tangerine.
Terre D’Egypt, 1824. Brick Red.

What does this imply? That blood red, ruby red, cherry red and many more were not possible in this period. So when you read that your heroine wears a bright red gown to the ball, beware, she may not have been at all!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

One Creative Approach to Writer's Block by Suz deMello

I recently blogged about what I do when I’m blocked, which is practically all the time these days. Below is one of my approaches:

Paradoxically: stop trying. Yes, I actually mean stop writing. Instead, do something else that exercises your creativity. My favorite is refinishing old furniture. I recently moved back into my condo, where a tenant’s been living while I cared for my elderly mother. She’s with my brother now, so I can resume my life, and I love being back in my home. But there were a lot of built-ins in my mom's house, including a huge dresser, where about a third of my clothes have been residing. And I gave my now ex-boyfriend the storage I’d been using—which itself had been a rescue-and-refinish item. So I get to do the same thing all over again. Yay!

I love the process of finding the right piece, deciding what colors to paint it, discovering the perfect drawer pulls. But you have to have the temperament for this. You have to love wandering around thrift shops and hardware stores. I happen to, so I’m good.

On a lark, a friend and I stopped by a Goodwill furniture store on Memorial Day, and spotted a solid maple dresser for only $90:

I instantly knew that I had spotted a great deal, so I bought it. And at checkout, I discovered that the deal was even better than I’d thought—Memorial Day was half-off day at Goodwill! So YES! I got this treasure for only $45!

I called a Lyft and got it home, where (as you can see) I put it on my lawn. Why, you ask?

Most paint should be used in places with excellent ventilation. I also knew I’d be sanding, and didn’t want to breathe in the dust. Plus, I’m clumsy and guaranteed to get paint all over the place despite how careful I might be. So the lawn is perfect. So the grass gets paint on it—so what? It grows out and gets cut.

Stage one: taking out drawers, sanding and applying the first coat.

I chose a chalk paint on the advice of a gal at my local hardware store, who seemed well versed in the Shabby Chic school of furniture refinishing, and that’s a look I love. So I tried it.

After sanding, I got a beautiful distressed look (above). However, that paint was not going to stay on and look beautiful. It flaked off when scratched with a fingernail. So I opted for a more conventional look—used primer and an acrylic based paint, topped by a spray varnish.

In the middle of the process, it unexpectedly rained:

But I was undeterred. Because of the rain and generally odd weather (anyone doubt global climate change? I don’t. It’s not supposed to rain so much in June in SacTown, and this year it rained a lot.) I moved everything undercover:

As you can see, I chose white with the drawer fronts in pale grey. I decided upon this color scheme for a few reasons—my default color for almost everything is white. I like my home to be light and bright. As for the grey, that was about the drawer pulls. This dresser has a bizarre number of drawer pulls—twenty. No, you didn’t misread that. There are twenty drawer pulls on a dresser with nine drawers. On top of that they are in two different sizes.

The ones that came with the dresser were hideous faux early American. Clearly intolerable. When I went to a hardware store to choose new pulls, only one type came in two sizes, the cup style ones I chose. They came in brushed silver, so I chose grey drawer fronts in hope that they would sort of blend together and the finished piece wouldn’t look so busy.

I also decided against the distressed look...after I had painted the thing with multiple coats of primer and paint, and then sprayed it with polyurethane finish, it was really hard to sand through all that to get the beat-up look. So I opted for letting it be.

And here it is, in place in my bedroom:

What do you think?

Monday, July 24, 2017

From @kayelleallen Meet the bad guys from For Women Only #SciFi #Romance

Meet the bad guys from For Women Only @kayelleallen #SciFi #RomanceThere's a reason one reviewer said this book had "complex, scary and slightly disturbing bad guy sidekicks." In this scene, the immortal Dessy (Empress Rheyn Destoiya) had been planning a pleasant evening when her twin brother, Pietas, instigates a riot among her Praetorian Guard and takes her assistant hostage. After she settles everyone down and is alone with him, she lets Pietas know she is not the least bit pleased. Their interaction takes place in her palace office.

   "Why the drama, Pietas?"
   "Your assistant wouldn't let me see you without an appointment."
   "You insufferable..." She palmed the weapon fastened beneath her desk, then withdrew it and aimed at his head.
   Pietas laughed, but he raised his hands. "I should've known you'd be armed."
   With her other hand, she picked up his gun and aimed it at him. "Ambidextrous, remember?"
   He started to put his hands down and she thumbed his weapon to full. His hands went back up. "Fine, Dessy. But I had to see you, and he wouldn't let me in. You know how I hate waiting."
   "For that, you made my favorite your hostage and instigated a riot among my Praetorian?"
  He shrugged.
   She sighed and clicked the safety into place on both weapons. "What do you want?"
   "I haven't seen you in twenty years and that's all you have to say to me?"
   "It's been eleven years, and according to the rules of Peril, I shouldn't have seen you for at least ten more. And you had no right to interfere with anyone I claim as mine. Don't you ever touch Alitus again. If you do, I'll kill you in every way you hate." She tapped the desk. "And I know them all, my dear brother. Is that clear?"
   He twisted his mouth. "Fine. I won't touch your pet."
   "Or allow anyone within your control or influence to do so. So help me, Pietas, promise me or I'll--"
   "Yes, yes. I promise. Don't be tedious. I get the point." He dropped his huge frame into a wingback chair and hung one leg over an arm of it. "Besides, you're impossibly nasty when anyone touches your pets."
   She snorted and slid his gun toward him. "Fine. Now tell me what you want."

For Women Only - Antonello Brothers 2

Publisher Romance Lives Forever Books
Genre science fiction romance, space opera, military science fiction, sweet romance

When Mehfawni Ruh, a Kin ambassador, visits the capitol planet of the empire, she meets security expert Khyff Antonello, a human. A death in her family forces Fawni to return home, but she can't bear to part with Khyff and takes him along. Her family demands she cast out the human, or abdicate her future rule.
When Fawni searches for an alternative, she stumbles upon Khyff’s secret. The cover-up, if exposed, will betray her world to its enemies and bare her family to open shame. Her duty is clear. Yet how can she leave Khyff to suffer in the darkness that binds his heart?
His secret truth is her people's darkest lie.
Amazon https://amzn.to/1f7Ge0P
Amazon (print) https://amzn.to/2eFKee5
In print from Romance Lives Forever Books https://bit.ly/bro-womenprint-kl
The prequel for this book is At the Mercy of Her Pleasure.
Bro is a free short story set before this book opens. Download it here. https://kayelleallen.com/bro/
Grab both At the Mercy of Her Pleasure and For Women Only plus a third book all in one boxed set.
Dessy and Pietas are in multiple books, including Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas.
The books are free on Kindle Unlimited

Kayelle Allen

Kayelle is a best-selling American author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr.
Homeworld/Blog https://kayelleallen.com
Twitter https://twitter.com/kayelleallen
Facebook https://facebook.com/kayelleallen.author
Amazon Author page https://amazon.com/author/kayelleallen
Join the Romance Lives Forever Reader Group Download four free books and get news about books coming soon. All books download immediately. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Druidrey and the Beast

I am currently working on The Bear and The Druidess and plan to finish the first draft this month. It is set in the Celtic Iron Age and the heroine is a druidess named Bronwen of the Durotriges tribe. The hero is the God Artaois, a Celtic god whose animal form is a bear. And the story is set during the Winter Solstice festival. It will be the third book in the Druidry and the Beast series.

Each Druidry and the Beast story is set in Britain in the Celtic Iron Age. The heroine in each book is a druidess and the hero in each book is a Celtic God who shape shifters into one of their animal forms, and each one is set at a Celtic festival.

The first book in the series is TheWolf and the Druidess. The druidess is named Seren and the hero is God Gwydian, who shape shifts into a wolf. The tale is set during the Samhain festival (Halloween).


A Celtic Tryst With A Shape Shifter Twist

In days of old, deep in the dark woods, Druidess Seren discovers a wolf shape shifting into the bare, muscular Celtic God, Gwydion. Seren's mind turns from the Samhain feast to wicked thoughts of Gwydion's gorgeous body.

Is the love Gwydion and Seren share strong enough to overcome barriers between an immortal god and a mortal woman? Or will a warning of danger from beyond the grave destroy the sensual magic brewing between the wolf and the druidess?

The second book in the series is The Dragon and the Druidess. The druidess is named Nona and the hero is God Dewey, who shape shifts into a dragon. The tale is set during the Beltaine festival (May Day).

To a passionate man...all women are goddesses.

With spring, icy streams have thawed, Druidess Nona's tribe is building a pair of roaring bonfires and she's seeking a lover for the Beltane rite. Without warning, a fierce red dragon swoops down before her. Not just any dragon...it's God Dewey in wild, beastly form. Hot, in a rage, blowing smoke and flames... because Nona's tribesmen snatched gold from the earth without the gods' consent.

Captivated by Nona's beauty and bravery, sparks fly and ablaze with desire for Nona, Dewi flies away... only to land nearby and shape shifts to human form. In the guise of a visiting warrior needing the Druidesses hospitality, Dewi returns to the village. But, he discovers he has a rival for Nona's affection, a chief who will stop at nothing to have her for his own.

The moment Nona sees the warrior Dewi, her passion ignites, she envisions them coupling together in the Beltane mating rite... unleashing powerful, magic. Little does she know, the handsome warrior is really the mighty Dragon god. What will happen when Dewi's secret is revealed? And what evil might the jealous chief unleash on the druidess and the dragon god?

The  forth book will be The Unicorn and the Druidess
And the fifth will be The Lynx and the Druidess

The Wolf and the Druids and the Dragon and the Druids are available now for at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles on line, and iTunes.