Monday, February 28, 2011

To Happily Ever After or Not?

If all I was focused on was sex, I could produce page after page after page of hot bodies and slick sheets. But I can't. My characters want more than a physical release of pent up tension. The emotional connection is key to their satisfaction.

And that is where the problem lies. Delving into the psyche of a person can really take it out of you. With each of my books, I became as emotionally invested in the situations and progress of the relationships on the page as my characters. Which meant, I was as amped or drained as the heroes and heroines I wrote about. But I do enjoy it.

Harking back to the beginning of this post...see, I always have an ulterior motive (remember that -- ulterior motive)...While the majority of the people populating my imagination are looking for the love of their life and a happily every after, I do have a few who haven't reached the point in their life where they want a relationship. Happily Ever After (HEA) and sometimes even Happily For Now (HFN) aren't even on their radar. All they want is sex. Wild, kinky, wicked sex. A smorgasbord of physical gratification with as many people as possible as often as possible.

This, of course, creates a dilemma of sorts for me -- do I focus only on creating a happy ending for ALL of my characters, thereby forcing the ones who only want sex to accept the HEA/HFN to make myself happy? Or, do I cave and pen the sexual romps and get it out of my...I mean, their systems?

The reason I ask this question is: I'm thinking of taking a few of my scribblings and self-publishing them. It would only be a short or two -- 10,000 to 15,000 words, but I wonder and worry about the readers perception of a story that essentially has no resolution. It would simply be a story of fucking. I'm curious to know readers' opinions on this. 

To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, I'm including a snippet from a story:
Living in a construction zone can give a woman ideas best left not acted upon. All those sweating male bodies, taut muscled forms, and snug denims. Is it any wonder a normal, red-blooded woman wouldn’t indulge in a fantasy or four?
Unfortunately, I’m not one of those women who listens to her saner self. I like the thrill of the forbidden, the taste of temptation, and the satiation of desires others tuck away into corners of their minds and only bring out in the darkest of nights.
I make no excuses about enjoying sex. Why should I? Fucking is like breathing for me. Invigorating, stimulating, rejuvenating are all words which come close to describing the sensations, but don’t quite say enough. To be blunt, I love the feel of a hard cock stretching my pussy; the sound of wet flesh sliding in and out, over and against more wet flesh; the scent of sweat and sex that lingers after climax. All of these, to paraphrase Julie Andrews, are my favorite things. Society can go take a hike if it can’t accept me for who and what I am—a woman unafraid to ask for what I want and satisfy needs when I like.
Admittedly, I’ll never be any competition for the women who think thin is in. I like my food just like I like my men—full of flavor, plenty of it, and enough left over for later. I don’t worry about how others view me. When I look in the mirror, I’m happy with my full-figured self. I’ll never wear a size ten again, or a size twelve, but the clothes I wear suit my 38C breasts, full hips and round thighs. While at work I wear my honey blonde, shoulder-length hair in a braid or rolled up and clipped with one of those big alligator type clips. It’s easier that way and tends not to distract me from the records I have to input. Once I get home, though, I let it down. I love the feel of it swishing across the back of my neck, caressing the curve of my shoulders.
Charlie, Travis and Harry are my little secrets. Encounters repeated and enjoyed over the long summer when the apartment building I lived in was being repaired after a frightening fire destroyed half of it. Memories I often relive on those nights when I settle beneath my sheets, sometimes alone, but never lonely.

So, as a reader would a story like this interest you? Knowing there was no HEA/HFN at the end, would you shy away from buying it? Heck, I'm even curious to know if I should change it from first person to third. Let me know. Please.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

How did this get started?

Have you ever sat down and seriously thought about why a book got started? Books are forms of entertainment. They're there to make us think and imagine a world different from our own. Sometimes the world is extremely different and sometimes it's the same as our everyday world, but altered slightly because it's presented to us from the perspective of a totally different person.

That's how I think of my stories. They are a glimpse into a world occupied by ordinary people in an ordinary situation. Things just tend to get flipped around a bit. Especially if I have anything to say about it. LOL

Ironically, almost all of my books have begun with a simple question or a comment from one of the characters. In the seven books I have out, here are the simple questions or comments that started them:

Meeting A Neighbor's Needs -- Teasing can sometimes go too far. Are you ready for the consequences?

A Neighbor's Ultimatum -- Denying what you want can do more harm than good sometimes.

An Invitation: Ariel's Pet -- Little sisters are hell on interlopers-- she'll give him a run for his money.

Santa's Elf -- What if Santa had a naughty side and there was one specific elf he was interested in playing with?

Unfair Advantage -- "You damned pillaging pirate!" (seriously that was the first line I remember when I wrote the original story in 1982)

Under Control -- "I've become the monster I've fought to destroy"

Rite of First Claim -- "I want a baby. I want his baby."

Kinda hard to keep the ideas from flowing when they start with such interesting information. Don't you think?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Knowing Isn't Doing

I am an author of erotic romances. I love telling stories about strong men and women who aren't afraid to go after what they want. Before I was published, writing was a past time. I did it to relax, to decompress after work, to escape the boredom of not having anything to watch on television.

All that changed after I was published. I still love writing, I still hear the characters telling me their stories in my head, but now I'm finding that sitting down to write isn't as easy as I thought. In the last six months, although I've had ideas and jotted down notes for stories -- I haven't written anything but blogs and I'm beginning to worry.

A friend of mine and I have been discussing this issue since December. In bits and pieces things have been surfacing and making sense regarding my writing process, but knowing isn't doing.

Fact One: I am a pantser. I don't normally plot out a story because that isn't the way I see it. Recently, I have been reading and studying books on plot techniques. I'm not sure if this has been a good thing or a bad thing.

Situation: One part of my brain is adamantly demanding I need to plot out my books before I write anything. The other part is being stubborn and refusing to do anything if I'm going to ruin everything by plotting it out.

Result: Nothing is getting written.

Fact Two: My stories are not linear or sequential. This means I don't see the story from beginning to end. I see it, and when I'm able to, I write it in disjointed scenes. Sometimes a scene at the end of the book; sometimes in the middle; occasionally a scene at the beginning of the story.

Situation: The part of my brain processing the plotting demands is irate over the mish-mash of information. My creative side is blowing fat, juicy raspberries at the plotting side and making fun of it.

Result: Nothing is getting written.

Fact Three: I have always known that the way I learn, as identified by Dawna Markova, is VKA (Visual, Kinesthetic, Auditory), which means for me to learn I have to see it; do it; then hear how it's done. Based on the premise that the brainstorming style is the reverse of the learning (also considered the writing) style, then I have to talk out my ideas, write them down, then see them on the page.

Situation: This would suggest, then, that I would do well to plot my story ideas out before writing them. *Note: pantser brain is in the corner pouting, while plotting brain is doing the dance of celebration, chanting 'naner-naner, boo hoo,' and thumbing its nose at the pantser side based on this conclusion.

Result: I have tons of notes and information in notebooks and journals, but nothing on the story is getting written.

Fact Four: Further discussion with another couple of friends has gotten me thinking about working with a critique partner. Someone who will get on me about producing pages and getting work done.

Situation: I don't normally like presenting my work to critiquers until I'm done completely with the book. Or at least nearly finished. I like feedback and responses to get an idea if I'm on the right track, but I'm not big on being pushed or being told "you need to..." Guess it's the Taurus in me.

Result: I have a few people I do send my work to, but nothing produced yet.

Fact Five: In order to write my books, I have to rewrite them at least three times. Not really a hard thing for me when you consider once I know what needs fixing I can get it done relatively quickly.

Situation: Thinking about my writing process both annoys and depresses me. Annoys because I think I should do it faster than I usually do. Depresses because the idea of redoing a story four times makes me question my writing skills. (This sucks especially writing it down and seeing it on the screen.)

Result: My mind works in a certain way and I need to respect that.

All of this analysis simply identifies the fact that I need to get over it. I need to accept the fact that I work in levels and steps. I'm character driven and plotting is great -- in MY revision stage, NOT my original draft stage. If I'm going to get back on the horse for a ride or two, I'm going to have to close my eyes and take a leap of faith!

That's all any writer can do. Have faith that their skills and the story inside them deserves a chance to be heard and read.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm being interviewed

Today and tomorrow, the lovely Jianne Carlo has graciously invited me to visit with her on her blog. The interview is up today and tomorrow she'll be posting an excerpt from my latest book, Diablo Blanco Club: Rite of First Claim.

Feel free to come on by and say hello. I'll try to reply to comments throughout the day.

Here's the link:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Release from a Good Friend--Tess MacKall

One of my fellow Midnight Seductions Authors, Tess MacKall, released her newest book with Ellora's Cave on Friday, February 11th.

She was kind enough to let me post the cover, blurb, and a short excerpt here on my blog today. 


Author: Tess MacKall
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing
ISBN: 9781419931017
MSRP/List Price: $10.40
Our Cover Price: $5.20

Eden Riley left her high school geek days far behind. Or so she thought. But when she returns to her hometown and comes face to face with the local heartthrob, sparks ignite like a chemistry set on crack. Super-smooth Nick Lancaster sets her nerves jangling and thrusts her libido into overdrive. But can the former geeky girl overcome her insecurities and jump his sexy bones?

Nothing suits former jock and debate team star Nick more than sparring with the one-time nerd. He’s just itching to get up close and personal with her high-velocity curves and tangle with her on the nearest bed.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, all bets are off when Cupid draws back his bow and Nick has only twelve days to convince Eden she belongs with him, in his heart and in his bed.


Jingling bells mounted above the flower shop door alerted Eden that a customer had entered the store. She pushed the stem of a pink sweetheart rose into the small wedding bouquet she had just started and wiped her hands on her green wraparound smock. As she turned, she caught a man’s reflection in the glass doors of the refrigerated case.

She couldn’t help but pause and stare. His tall, lean silhouette appeared to be standing there among all those leggy gladiolas and giant spider mums perched in their vases. He reached up to the service counter with one hand and touched the small African violet sitting near the edge. For a moment it looked as though he’d brushed his hand over the big snowy-white spider mum in the cooler.

Eden moaned slightly, his touch so obviously tender. Warm tendrils of longing tiptoed over her skin. She shuddered with the sensation, mentally chiding herself for giving him even a second thought, much less allowing him to affect her physically.

But Nick Lancaster had always worked his way under her skin, even in high school.

He was wet panties and get-naked-quick in one fine-looking package. Bottled sin. A walking aphrodisiac. And all that with just a “hello”. Why did she torture herself with this insane crush? She wasn’t exactly his type, was she? Eden patted her tummy to remind herself of the paunch that sometimes forced her to unbutton her jeans after she’d eaten. Yeah, it hadn’t disappeared, still there.

Nick tilted his head to the side as if to peek into the back of the shop where she stood watching, his mirrored reflection in the glass doors so damn lifelike she took a step back. An exaggerated sigh blew through the workroom’s open doorway, a sure-fire sign his patience had grown thin. He shoved his hands into his jeans pockets and glanced up at the ceiling.

Eden squared her shoulders, inhaled a deep, cleansing breath and stepped into the showroom. Both Nick’s eyebrows quirked when she appeared and he grinned. She nodded, smiled and planted herself on the opposite side of the counter. He looked too damn delicious today in his dark green Polo shirt and navy blazer. Why did he have to be so handsome?

“Hi, Nick. I might have known I’d be seeing you. The countdown has begun, hasn’t it?”

A distinct V formed between his brows, his grin fading into a frown. 

“Yeah, countdown.” Eden gestured toward the large, heart-shaped day calendar on the wall behind her.

Emblazoned in sparkling gold against the bright red background over the heart’s two humps were the words “Valentine’s Day Countdown”. The number twelve was displayed in bright red and centered inside a pale blue and white wisp of a cloud with Cupid sitting on top, his bow drawn.

Nick focused over her head. “Oh!” Then he frowned even harder. “Well, what was that crack about ’might have known I’d be seeing you’ all about?”

“Nothing. Forget it.”

He pursed his luscious lips and squinted his gorgeous green eyes. “You don’t like me very much, do you?”

“Where the hell did you get that idea?”

It never failed. Every time he came into the shop, they ended up arguing. She always managed to make some snarky comment, and of course, he picked up on it. They’d been at odds since their freshman year of high school. Both had joined the debate team and had never seen eye-to-eye on a single subject.
Slowly but surely they’d gravitated to different ends of the spectrum in popularity too, which hadn’t made things any easier. He, with his Adonis good looks and nothing-but-net shooting ability, naturally floated to the top; she, with her wide hips, pimply face, geeky glasses and penchant for all things artistic, sank to the bottom.

Now here they were, all these years later, no further from that high-school type of relationship than when they’d started. Except Nick had taken over his father’s string of Chevy dealerships and she had moved back home last year, forsaking her managerial position at an up-and-coming art gallery in New York to take over her ailing mother’s flower shop.

Times and situations changed but evidently people didn’t.

“If you don’t want me as a customer, Eden, why don’t you just say so?” He leaned forward, folding his arms over one another on the counter’s faux granite surface, watching her intently.

Lemon drops. He always smelled of lemon drops—and some expensive cologne she couldn’t remember the name of. God, she wanted to reach over and ruffle that thick, wavy black hair of his. Oh shit. Wet panties alert! He managed to do it to her every time without even trying.

And oh how she wished he would. Fat chance.

“I do want you as a customer,” she said succinctly, trying to put an end to the verbal scuffle.

“So? What was that crack all about?”

“Nothing. Just pointing out the countdown is all. I’m a florist. Valentine’s Day is important to me.” Actually, her remark had been a direct jibe regarding his frequent flower-buying miles. He constantly had arrangements delivered locally and wired over a three-state area with each card signed, “Yours, Nick”.

“Your mother is a florist. You’re a stand-in.” He grinned, wet his index finger with his tongue and painted the air with an imaginary mark. “Score one for me.”

Her mouth dropped open. She had a damned art degree in her back pocket. He, on the other hand, had dropped out of college after year two thanks to a bum knee and the fact he’d no longer be able to pump up his already over-inflated ego with the roar of the fans. How dare he call her a stand-in!

“I’ll have you know that I started working in this shop when I was twelve years old. Every day after school, weekends, all summer long too. I’m the one who made those sweet little corsages for all your high-school dance dates. So don’t say I’m not up to the job.”

He jabbed the rigid fingers of his left hand into his right palm—time out. “Chill, girl. Damn. You’re gonna pop a blood vessel one of these days.” He shook his head. “I was joking, messing with you. But I really meant that as soon as your mother was feeling better, you’re gonna be out of here and back to that fancy New York art career of yours.”

Did she detect a note of jealousy? Impossible. Nick Lancaster had it all. Well, except for his divorce, that is. Her mother had told her all about it right after Eden had taken over the shop. Nick had shown up on Eden’s third day to place an order and their customary enmity from high school had picked up right where it had left off.

Eden had related the entire scene to her mother at home that night and was shocked to learn that Nick and his wife, Jenna, had called it quits. He’d caught her dead-to-rights with her masseuse.

The vision of Jenna’s toothy white smile, platinum pony-tail and deep cleavage bouncing up and down right along with the whimsical sashay of blue-and-white pompoms rollicked in Eden’s mind. The cheerleader prom queen sure had screwed up her life. How the hell could she ever want anyone but Nick?

Eden tucked her fingernails into her palms and squeezed, jolting herself back to the present. Who was she to talk? Her judgment where love was concerned wasn’t so great either.

She picked up the order book and scratched out Nick’s name on the appropriate line. “I won’t be going back to New York.”

“What do you mean?” He leaned in closer.

The lemony scent became downright heady. Have mercy. Her nipples poked at her thin cotton sports bra. Tingles of lust wound their way straight to her pussy. Maybe she should start keeping a supply of clean panties on hand.

He rapped his knuckles on the counter. “Are you listening to me?”


“You looked like you spaced out for a few seconds.”

“Just thinking. Now what would you like to order today?”

He shook his head. “Not so fast. Why aren’t you going back to New York?”

“Mom’s not going to be able to return to work. She’s now on dialysis.”

He glanced down at the floor then back up at her. His usually devilish eyes had softened. “I’m sorry to hear that, Eden. Your mom is a nice lady. I hope her condition improves.”

Eden averted her gaze. He was being nice. And Nick Lancaster’s “nice” wasn’t something she could take. As long as he played the fool with her, she could handle him, but this side? No.

She pressed the pen against the paper. “Thank you. So how many dozen roses? One for each of the Twelve Days of Love? A dozen different women or just one special lady this time?”

He choked with laughter, sputtering, “The Twelve Days of Love?”

She rolled her eyes. “Florist marketing. If you can have the Twelve Days of Christmas, why not the Twelve—”

“Days of Love,” he finished in a sarcastic tone.

Eden perched her hand on her hip and stared at him.

He licked his lips. Lusty butterflies fluttered in her lower abdomen, sending a delicious pleasure-pain to body parts she didn’t even know she had. Her stomach somersaulted. She wondered what it would feel like to kiss him. Damn. She had to stop doing this. They didn’t even like each other. She wasn’t his type—no pompoms. He’d laugh his ass off if he knew how I felt. As long as she didn’t see him, she was fine. But if she had to talk to him, be near him…

He came around to her side of the counter. “How long have we been rubbing each other the wrong way?”

Eden skirted past him and walked over to the display window. She twisted a pot of heavily leaved philodendron so its back side faced the sun. “Forever. I’ve got a wedding tomorrow, Nick. I hate to rush you, but…”

I know, I'm mean, but hey, if you want to find out what happens, check out the website and pick up Twelve Days of Love by Tess MacKall!

Have a great day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentines Blog Tour -- Valentine's Day Senses

You should have reached my site via Sara York's blog. Welcome to stop number 5 on the Sensual N Secret Valentine's Day Blog Tour. 

Valentine's Day is a day of feast for the senses. Think about it. Each of the five senses are stimulated to a quivering, giddy level on February 14th.

 Through sight a bombardment of hearts and flowers printed on cards; plastered on billboards; splashed across television and computer screens; inundate our eyes with inducements to purchase sparkling diamond or ruby encrusted jewelry.

With smell, there are the yummy aromas of chocolate or the luscious scent of roses as sweethearts send boxes and bouquets of each to their lovers and loved ones throughout the day.

Which leads to taste. The flavors of a home cooked meal or the offerings of a five star restaurant shared with the person you love seated across from you. The end of the meal bringing a succulent dessert or liqueur laced coffee....mmmm

Of course there is the walk home, and the sense of touch. Holding hands as you stroll along the streets, the chill in the late winter air necessitating you hold him, or her, closer as you head toward home. Hands entwined, shoulders rubbing against each other.

And the evening concludes with sound. The soft whisper of "I love you" accompanying the caress of lips along the throat, followed by the sexy nip of teeth on the earlobe. Perhaps the murmured suggestion of what will happen when the lovers reach the bedroom.

Taken individually they might make a person curious, but folded together and brushed with the fairy dust from a romance author's imagination, it might look like this:

The flames flickered, winking out as first one taper then the next burned out, the red wax pooling in the bases of the candlesticks. The Irish Creme laced coffee had gone cold in the ivory cups along side the catered meal only half eaten on the fine china.

From the bed, the harsh breathing of the occupants had begun to slow, returning to normal after the vigorous bout of lovemaking.

Leaning on his side, he smoothed the tangled strands of hair from her brow and watched the rise and fall of her breasts beneath the silk sheets. Smears of pink and brown were visible just above the ribbon trimmed edge of the sheet. He traced his finger along her jaw, then down her throat as he made his way to the covering and tugged the silk down, baring her body.

"Mmmm." The rumble of appreciation vibrated against her skin as he nibbled at the streaks of flavored paint. "Remind me to pick some more strawberry up on the way home."

She rolled toward him, dipping her head so her lips nibbled at his shoulder. "Only if you get the chocolate body paint as well."

Have a great Valentine's Day. Don't forget to proceed to your next stop: Lily Harlem's blog

If you get lost, you can find the order of the tour at the Sensual N Secret blog.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Things We Do For Luv!

I've always known that people can ban together to help those in need. And who better to help than those people who write romance novels. The people who know just how important love is to survive.

Well, I'm finally getting to do what I've wanted to do for the last four years. I'll be joining the other members of the 96Rock/Hibernian team on March 5th when they shave their heads to raise money for St. Baldrick's and children's cancer research. 

I'm hoping to raise a minimum of $1000 for the event and I'm reaching out to readers and other authors to see if you'd like to join in. You can join through donations or volunteering on the St. Baldrick's website.

If you'd like to help me reach my goal, you can donate through my participant page.

Do something to help the kids and their families while they fight this terrible disease.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Blogged Today

At Nice N' Naughty about Trigger Points.

Feel free to comment and share, but remember -- be nice. If you can't be nice, at least be polite.



Sunday, February 6, 2011

WooHoo!! Success!

I'm feeling quite successful!! I've actually been able to input the information on my Diablo Blanco Club books. They even have their own page.

Ahh, now to include the links so people can purchase the books at Loose Id, LLC, Amazon, Fictionwise, All Romance eBooks, and Barnes & Noble.

I'm getting there. Slowly but surely, I'm getting this done.

Who knows, maybe by the end of this week I may even have a Twitter link/page. (Now that's scary!)

Have a great night.


PS-- hehehe, I've learned how to add this to my Author Page on Amazon....hmm, this is getting dangerous, very dangerous. LOL