Gabrielle Bisset

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Samhain!

It's October 31, and to pagans of all varieties, it's the day the veil between the spirit world and the living world is the thinnest.  Samhain is also the new year for wiccans, so enjoy the day, whatever you choose to celebrate!  I'm just back from New Orleans, and all I can say is wow...I'm going with the plan of what happens in New Orleans stays in New Orleans.  ;)  I don't know if I have anything left in me to celebrate today, but I'm going to try.

I did get some fantastic research done for the settings that will appear in Blood Avenged, and I even got half a chapter written on the plane ride home.  I'm multi-tasking, baby! 

The Bewitching Trick or Treat Hop is still going on through today, so leave a comment and do as many extra entries as you'd like for a chance to win Destiny Redeemed, Vampire Dreams, and swag prizes.  

While I was away, Authors Promoting Authors ran a Six of A Story interview with me about Vampire Dreams (perfect for Halloween if you like sexy instead of scary), and then it appeared in The Romance Book Club Daily and The Erotic Fantasy Gazette.  Check both out for some interesting articles and info on romance and erotica books.

Tomorrow begins the month long book tour for Destiny Redeemed, and I can't wait.  I'll be posting each day about where I am and what's new with the tour, so look for that.  And I'm one of the featured interviews in November at The Romance Reviews, so keep an eye out for that and TRR's Year End Splash event happening all month. It should be great fun!

And last, but not least, this weekend was an important one for me because I reached my 10,000th sale sometime Sunday.  I can't thank enough the readers and bloggers who have supported me this year.  That I was able to reach this milestone in just five months since the release of my first book is just incredible to me as an indie author, and all I can say is thanks and stick around because I'm just getting started. 

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bewitching Trick-or-Treat Hop

Welcome all you trick-or-treaters to the Bewitching Trick-or-Treat Blog Hop!  Halloween is such a great time to celebrate, especially for someone who writes paranormal romance. Here at my blog, I'm giving away two prizes.  I promise, only treats. No tricks. ;) To enter, all you have to do is follow my blog and leave a comment with your email so I can contact the winners. For extra entries, you can do the following:

Follow me on Twitter (+1 entry) http://twitter.com/#!/gabriellebisset

Friend me on Facebook (+1 entry) https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002481284652&sk=info

Sign up for my monthly newsletter (+2 entries--comes out only once a month) See the pink box on the left.

Remember, the extra entries are optional.  You can do as many or as few as you like. :)  But help me out by adding up your entries in your comment, along with including your email address. And the giveaway is open internationally, so as long as you have an email address, you can enter!








First prize:  Ebook copies of Destiny Redeemed and Vampire Dreams (or another of my books if the winner has already read that one) plus book swag (bookmarks and cover flats)

Second prize:  Ebook copy of Destiny Redeemed and book swag (bookmarks and cover flats)

Here's the blurb and excerpt from Destiny Redeemed for a little taste:

Sentenced to spend the rest of his three remaining lifetimes in Nil, Amon Kalins is freed with the help of his Sidhe servant, Gethen, but now he must accept his life is never to be his again as the Council won't rest until he's safely back imprisoned within Nil's cold walls. Broken and nearly dead from his time in prison, Amon is saved by an Aeveren healer named Althea Forester. As a healer, Thea has served her people for forty-five lifetimes, never having a destined one and always knowing each lifetime would ultimately end with her alone. But destiny hasn't forgotten her.

Drawn to the seductive Amon, Thea quickly becomes a pawn the Council uses to trap him. Taken prisoner by the sadistic leader of the rebel group, the Soren, Thea must survive the vicious world of the people hellbent on taking her destined one away forever, and Amon must risk everything dear to him to free her from those who would sacrifice her to claim the bigger prize and return him to Nil.


Excerpt:
Thea watched the man in front of her with fear, but there was something else too, something she’d never experienced before as a healer. She didn’t just feel sympathetic for him, didn’t want to merely make his pain go away. She felt drawn to him, and not only on a physical level. She could understand that after resting her head on his hard body. He was more masculine than anyone she’d ever met. Even after what had obviously been repeated beatings, he seemed stronger than any man could be. So her physical attraction she understood.
But there was something else. After only a few hours near him, she realized with sadness that she’d miss him when he released her. But why? She knew little about him, and what she knew wasn’t good. He was Amon Kalins, the escaped prisoner from Nil. She’d been warned, as all other Aeveren healers had, not to help him in any way. She hadn’t had a choice, though. His wretched man had kidnapped her from her home and when she saw him suffering before her, nature had taken over. Healing him had never been a choice but a need.
“Thea, don’t be afraid. I told you I wouldn’t let any harm come to you, and I won’t. You’re safe as long as you’re with me.”
The tone of his deep voice was softer now, but it didn’t make her feel any better. She remained fearful, her fingers tightly gripping the drawer handle behind her.
“You’re Amon Kalins...” she squeaked out as her voice failed her.  The hard surface of the dresser pressed against her back when she attempted to take another step back away from him.
“Yes.”
“The escaped prisoner from Nil.”
“Yes.”
Thea’s body relaxed almost against her will. Each affirmation should have made her fear for her safety all the more, but it didn’t. Something in his voice soothed her.
“And you’re a tempuster?” This the Council hadn’t mentioned in its edict to healers.
“Yes.”
In all her lifetimes, she’d never met any Aeveren with the power of time travel. Amon Kalins must be a very powerful man, she realized.
“Is it my ability that frightens you?” he asked in a voice she was sure was intended to put her at ease.
Thea thought about this for a moment and answered in a small voice, “No.”
His being a tempuster was probably the least frightening aspect of him. The truth was she was most frightened of how much she already liked him. She shouldn’t. She knew this. But something about him called to her.
“Then my being a prisoner from Nil?”
Thea drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I’m not supposed to help you.”
“Why? You’re a healer. It’s your gift. Why would you be banned from healing someone who needs your help?”
Thea was ashamed to admit that she’d never considered this question, not when she was ordered not to heal him nor all the other times those who dictated her power ordered her not to help another in need. How many times had she followed edicts and watched half-breeds or full blooded Aeveren suffer needlessly for breaking one of the many rules of their world?
The thought of her blind heartlessness made her shoulders droop and the regret she suddenly felt overwhelmed her. Sadly, she explained, “The Council ordered all healers to not help you. Under no circumstances were any of us to heal you.” As she spoke the words of the edict, she felt guilty not because she had helped him, but because for the first time in her forty-five lifetimes she’d truly lived up to her nature.
“But you did. Not that we gave you a chance to follow your orders.”
“Now I don’t know what will happen to me. When they find out what I did...”
Thea’s voice trailed off as she thought of how the Council would punish her for healing Amon. As she winced at the thought of her reprimand, Amon clenched his fists at his side. Thea saw the anger in his expression and wasn’t sure how to react. She was reasonably sure his anger wasn’t because of her, but something in him had changed.
“Are you in pain?”
Amon relaxed his hands. “No.” Slowly, his face returned to the handsome, albeit bruised, expression he seemed to usually have. Thea stepped forward toward him and carefully placed her hands on both sides of his face. She didn’t know why as he’d said he wasn’t in pain, but something in her pushed her toward his bruised face.
The swollen left eye had returned to normal, and she felt the gaze of his ocean blue eyes on her as she coaxed the pain out of his features. Gradually, the slash under his eye closed until all that was left was a faint pink line. The light purple bruises that marked near his jaw and above his eyes, remnants from a prior assault than the one on his last night in Nil, faded under her light touch as the pads of her fingertips softly glided over his skin.
Amon sat stunned by her unsolicited help. As she focused on healing him, she saw him study her, his breathing turning to shallow pants and sensed his desire when she saw him lick his lips.  As a healer, she wasn’t gifted with the ability to read minds, but her power came with the complementary ability of being able to read others’ reactions better than other Aeveren.  
That something inside her that had pushed her toward him now told her to kiss him, and she leaned in and gently pressed her lips to one of the pale black and purple marks on his forehead. When she finally pulled away, she saw his eyes were closed and his face was calmer than at any time since she’d met him the night before.
Her mind raced. Should she apologize for kissing him, even if it was just on his skin? She’d never wanted to do anything like that ever before with anyone else she’d been charged to heal. But nothing about being near this man was like anything she’d ever experienced before.
Unsure of how to act, she found it difficult to know what to do next, and words began to tumble out of her mouth. “I’m sorry...I didn’t mean...I don’t know why...”
Amon opened his eyes as Thea felt the color rising in her cheeks. She may have been saying she was sorry and claiming she didn’t know why she’d kissed him, but she was still positioned right next to his face.
“No need to apologize. In fact, there’s no need to stop.”
A sound of surprise escaped her lips and her eyes grew wide at the idea that there was more to come. Her heart pounded in her chest as his deep blue eyes stared into hers. Would he kiss her now? All at once, she realized she wanted so much to feel his lips on hers.

© 2011 Gabrielle Bisset

The hop runs from October 28-31, and I'll have random.org pick the winner on November 1.  Be sure to visit all the other blogs participating by clicking on the link below. Good luck, and happy hopping!  






Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Vampire Tuesday

Today, my interview with Vasilije is up at Bitten By Paranormal Romance, so stop over and give him a little love and comment. I've been spending a lot of time with that vampire and his book, so I thought I'd share him with the world for a bit today. He always steals the show, so expect him to be quite the interviewee over there.



I've also begun packing for my trip to New Orleans and The Theatre of The Vampires Ball.  I can't wait!  While in The Big Easy, I'll be doing research for setting info on Blood Avenged too, so the trip is going to be part work technically. *wink*  I wouldn't care if it were all work.  I just love the idea of New Orleans at Halloween.



Also, this coming weekend is the Bewitching Trick or Treat Blog Hop, so be sure to stop by for some treats (I promise, no tricks!)

Finally, Destiny Redeemed and I are featured in a new magazine, Supporting Authors One Read At A Time.  Check out page 19!  Have a great Tuesday!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Editing Pet Peeves

Along with being an author, I'm a reader of my genres and others.  I particularly read on my Kindle now because I want to read other authors' books like mine--epub and indie pub.  Some stories I like, whereas some I don't.  It's exactly like traditional publishing.  However, what isn't like traditional publishing is the editing in both epub and indie pub books.  In this area, traditional publishing still rules the day, and those of us in the epub and indie pub worlds need to aspire to the level NY has established in editing. 

The run-on in all its evil incarnations seems to have made a home in the books I've been reading lately.  The inability of editors to find this is a real problem and makes even the best epub or indie pub book look amateurish.  This is a run on:  I love to eat pizza, I just had it last night.  Yes, those two sentences are related to one another, but this is still a run on (comma splice, to be more specific).  And it's the comma splice that isn't being found by editors and writers, not the other type of run on (fused sentence-imagine the example with no punctuation at all). 

I can't tell you how often I see run-ons, even on authors' blogs.  As this is basic grammar, I'm confused why the run-on/comma splice is still found in the books I'm reading. To be fair, I've found this error in traditionally published books too, but far more rarely.

Then there's this grammar issue:  Left alone for dead, Diana raced to find help.  Uh, no.  That can't be since she's left for dead.  There can be no racing if you're left for dead.  What the writer means here is that someone else was left for dead and Diana raced to find help for that person. This isn't as big a problem as the comma splice, but it's appearing more and more.

Not to be outdone, this last editing concern is the quintessential style question.  How much description is necessary?  For me, very little is good.  I don't need the green described right out of the grass.  As an author, I admit I have to use one of my edits as a description edit to go over the story with a fine-toothed comb looking for places to sharpen the description.  However, I don't believe I'm in the majority of authors with this editing issue.  From what I'm reading, the opposite is true.  I'm reading description that breaks the cardinal rule of good writing:  Describe only if it helps move the story along.  A complete description of a character's clothes is only useful if it says something about her personality, her mental/emotional state, or the situation she's in. Other than that, why else would a reader have to know about the length of her dress or if she's wearing heels and just how high they are?

I have no idea why this over-describing occurs, other than because it's just the author's personal style.  That's fine, but it needs to be edited, just as my more spartan style needs to be edited to augment.  This is a touchy subject for some writers, though.  They argue that description is one of the most important parts of a story.  I respectfully disagree and offer the qualifier of the cardinal rule I mentioned above.  The problem isn't description but what role the description plays in the story.  If its only role is merely to describe, then it's not needed.  Why on Earth would a reader have to know the color of a house if it isn't symbolic of anything (and yes, Virginia, colors are often symbolic in good writing, contrary to the sage comments seen on Facebook) or indicative of some feature in the story?  Who cares if a house is white if that's all it is? 

These types of editing issues need to be a concern for every writer and editor. Epubs are routinely looked down on by many people, especially the smaller and newer companies.  And indie authors have been fighting for respect forever.  Simply improving the editing in otherwise great stories would go a long way toward getting people to see that a great book can come from somewhere other than NY.

I'm off to finish one of the last chapters in Blood Avenged today. Then it's time to pack for New Orleans for the vampire ball and some terrific on-site research for the setting of the book.  See?  I'm good for description.  It just has to be doing something other than just hanging around. 

Today, I'm over at Tony-Paul de Vissage's blog talking about how a character can sneak up on you and change an entire story.  Check it out and have a great weekend!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekend Dirty Dozen #1 and Other Friday Tidbits

I'm doing the Weekend Dirty Dozen, but before I get to that, here are some other tasty morsels on this Friday morning.  First, Ronda at Queentutt's World of Escapism reviewed Destiny Redeemed and the review is all that I could ever hope for with any book.  Definitely check that out. (You'll love her sexual rating scale!) Then Lola Loves Books reviewed the final novella in the Victorian Erotic Romance Trilogy, Masquerade, and made my morning again.  Thank you ladies for the wonderful reviews! 


So to celebrate the great review for my newest release, Destiny Redeemed, here is my Weekend Dirty Dozen from that book. Enjoy!

“Thea, I need you. Now.”
He pushed her back gently onto the bed and ran his hands up the smooth skin of her legs as his eyes devoured the sight of her pale pink sex. His fingers reached the desired destination first and carefully explored the soft folds that glistened with moisture. With one finger, he stroked her excited nub and then traced his way to her entrance, wet and eager for him.
Desperate for a taste of her, Amon bent his head to her and touched his tongue to her clitoris, sending waves of pleasure through her body. Her hands held him to her while her fingers trailed over the shells of his ears and the nape of his neck.
A second finger joined the first inside her, and he thrust into her as he sucked her swollen nub between his lips. She tasted so good—sweet but musky—and his mouth worked to satisfy the craving she caused in him.
Beneath him, Thea’s body opened to his every stroke and desire. With every nip of his tongue and sweet invasion of his fingers, she melted into him becoming his and his alone. He felt her begin to tighten around his fingers as the walls of her core signaled her approaching climax. He pushed into her faster, his fingers stroking her to completion as his tongue sensually flicked her hardened nub. Thea’s fingers pressed against his skin behind his ears, and he heard her mew her pleasure above him.

Click here to see a list of everyone involved in the Weekend Dirty Dozen this week. Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Great Blogs To Check Out

I'm at Labelle Books today, the blog of author Jennifer Labelle, today talking about my brand of paranormal in Destiny Redeemed. Jennifer's blog is great, so definitely check it out. I'm also at VampireBooks with an interview I did with Raven Kelly, the wonderful blogger who runs that site.  She's all about vampires and paranormal, so that's somewhere I'd definitely say to check out. 

In my travels this morning around the blogs, I came across a delicious little snippet over at Roxanne's Realm. Lady Amelia by Jaxon Vail is a yummy little vampire romantica excerpt.  Need a little pick me up this morning?  Check it out.  In very few words, the author shows why vampires are hot. Mmmmm....

Oh, and don't forget that I'm at Tonya Kinzer's blog and the giveaway of a copy of Destiny Redeemed goes on all week. Have a great one!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Winners!

I'm a little behind on the posting of this, but here are the winners from the Celebrating Romance Giveaway Hop.

Winner of a copy of Destiny Redeemed and swag:  Ollie

Winner of a copy of Destiny Redeemed and a $15 gift card to Amazon:  Amy@Amy's Book World

Thanks to everyone who entered, and look for more chances to win more books coming up here around Halloween.

That Writing Thing Is Easy, Right?

I'm over at Tonya Kinzer's blog, Tonya's Tales, all this week with an interview and a chance to win a copy of Destiny Redeemed, so I hope everyone will check that out and enter. These last two weeks of October are shaping up to be quite busy at work, with my son's home schooling, and with my writing, so by the time of the Vampire Ball on the 28th, I might be too tired to party.

Nah...

I finished Chapter 14 in Blood Avenged last night, which means there are only about fifty pages left.  I might even be a little ahead of schedule, amazingly enough. Doing the Happy Monday dance for that.

I overheard a conversation Friday night at Barnes and Noble that's stuck in my brain (or is it my craw?) since then, so today it's coming out.  I've got too much other important stuff to keep up there!

Two women were seated near me, and the one woman was talking about writing a paranormal romance.  My ears instantly perked up since that's what I do.  I have to admit that I don't get to spend much real time (in person) hearing about the joy and sorrows of other authors' lives, so I was interested even more. 

Cue the hopes-dashed-against-the-rocks music here, however.  I quickly found out that I wasn't listening to an author but someone who was posing as a writer.  Her first sentence gave her away when she announced that she was going to write a paranormal romance and didn't believe it would be that hard or take too long. She then went on to explain why, her reasons including that others have done it, so why couldn't she and it's not like there's a lot of research involved.

I don't disagree with the idea that others have done it so why can't I.  I think it's a great incentive to doing anything.  That said, it's not easy.  There's a reason some people are good at it and others, no matter how hard they try, aren't. 

And not much research?  Well, that depends, and you'd be surprised at how much research good authors do even for subjects you'd think required very little research.

Writing isn't something you can learn from books, no matter how many gurus say otherwise.  Sure, you can (and should!) learn grammar from a book, in addition to techniques concerning methods to organize stories and your ideas.  However, you can't learn to write from books.  Writing is something that comes from a place other than your head.  The how-to books are good for your brain, but they don't do anything for your heart.  Stories require your heart to be in them, or no matter how hard you try, they won't work.

And then there's another reality lost in our world today.  Even if you have heart and have learned everything you can from the writing gurus, it may still never mean you can write anything good.  Not everyone can be a writer, just like not everyone can be a football player.  Writing just seems easier because it doesn't physically hurt as much. :)

So to the woman at the Barnes and Noble near my house, I wish you luck.  When you looked at your friend and said confidently, "That writing thing can't be that hard, right?" I chuckled.  And then when you added, "And it's paranormal romance, so how hard could that be?" I rolled my eyes. You see, it only looks easy.  What you're entering into is a world where there are no rules but many competitors. Everyone has a vampire, angel, demon, shapeshifter, were, and even ghost romance to sell, so you've just walked on to a very crowded field. And your attitude tells me you underestimate a few things and overestimate others.

So no, lady at Barnes and Noble, that writing thing isn't easy and your ideas about paranormal romance are a bit off.  And even if everyone you know says you can do it, in the end, it's all on the author.  I'll be looking for your idea because I remember it.  Nothing original, but then again, either were your ideas about writing. It's called hubris. Dictionaries are in the reference section.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Author Jemima Valentino Guest Post

I'm thrilled to welcome author Jemima Valentino to my blog today on her blog tour for her new book, The House on Hundred Hill. Let's get things rolling with her guest post and then make sure to read on for an excerpt from the book.

It’s great to be with you today Gabrielle, and thanks for having me on your blog as part of the tour for The House on Hundred Hill. When doing interviews with bloggers, one of the most common questions an author can be asked is, “Why did you want to be a writer?” Since I’ve joined the blogging circuit, both as a writer and a reader, I’ve given this question a lot of thought (because it’s often asked of me.)


Ever since my eldest daughter (who is 9) has been old enough to reach the work surface in kitchen, she has been fascinated with food - the look and feel of it, how ingredients go together etc, and she tries anything that’s put in front of her, even if she doesn’t like it. I remember being in the supermarket with her when she was about eighteen months old and she was screaming the entire place down. If you’ve ever been a parent in a supermarket then you’ll know the feeling this brings on - sheer undiluted panic! There is no way to hush up a child who is entering the phase of uncontrollable ear-splitting screams. Cuddles and soothing sounds from either me or my husband just weren’t cutting it, other parents were looking at us (probably thankful that it wasn’t them!) and other customers who obviously weren’t parents were walking past and shaking their heads in disgust.


In that one moment my husband did something that would shape the future of our daughter forever. He gave her a red peperami. Within two seconds flat she was silent and munching on this thing like her life depended on it.


Since that day in the supermarket, my daughter has been a huge fan of spicy food. Gone are the days where we can eat a curry together as a family because what I consider to be pleasantly spicy is never hot enough for her. But also, since that day, she has had the burning ambition to be a chef. I know a lot of kids want to be many things when they grow up - teacher, vet, police officer, but not for our kid, it’s only ever been one thing. Chef.


Watching her growing up with this desire reminds me of when I was her age and wanted the very same thing. For me though, I wanted more than anything to be a writer. Unfortunately, through one thing or another I initially fell into a different career and it was only in 2009 when I published my first novella ‘His Elle’ that I finally began to realise my dreams. My parents gave me as much encouragement in my childhood as I like to think I give my daughter with her ambitions. They didn’t censor my reading and I slowly made my way through my Dad’s entire library, preferring his Stephen King’s and Tom Clancy’s to my mother’s copious Danielle Steele and Barbara Taylor Bradford collection. I don’t believe our dreams are a product of what our parents want for us, but I do believe that what our parents do for us can really help us to achieve our dreams.


So you see, it wasn’t a simple question of waking up one day and deciding that I wanted to be a writer, it was truly that I needed it, as much as my daughter needs to cook. Stories develop in my head every day and often won’t leave me alone until I fire up my trusty pink laptop and start to scribble them down. 


Jemima x

Excerpt:

 
“Jesus, Jess,” her best friend Anna had bleated every time she mentioned Derek and his parents. “Derek’s a bloody good catch. It’s only his parents for god’s sake. If you don’t get your arse in gear and make that man happy, then I’m going to!”



It was a running joke between them, but Anna not only had a not-so-secret crush on Jessica’s boyfriend, she also couldn’t tolerate Jessica’s attitude to commitment. Both her best friend and her own mother had the same opinion. Why couldn’t she just settle down with a good looking and decent man who didn’t treat her like shit? After all, everyone just settles in the end, don’t they?



But the spark had already dwindled, the burning embers of desire extinguished and overtaken with monotonous responsibility. She hadn’t even agreed to move in with him yet for fear of losing her independence. What if he farted in bed or left his toenail clippings on the sofa? It made her physically shudder.



There was another reason that Jessica was not prepared to settle down with her bloody-good-catch. Derek was a wonderful, thoughtful lover, but that was exactly the problem. She wanted more. She needed more. The dark thoughts that originally started as mild curiosity had developed into an intense craving that could not be satisfied. Her fantasies had overtaken her every waking moment. It was a burning passion; a powerful rage had stoked the fire in the very depths of her core, like a lioness that vengefully hunts for prey to feed her own insatiable hunger. She couldn’t define it. She couldn’t understand what she needed, but she did know that Derek would never be strong enough and that was why it simply had to end.

Thanks so much, Jemima, for stopping by my blog on your book tour! 


Friday, October 14, 2011

Author Gillian Colbert Guest Post

Please welcome erotica author Gillian Colbert to the blog with a guest post and smoking hot excerpt from her new book, Coming Out Of Her Shell.  No kidding...this is definitely for 18 and over.  Without further ado, here's Gillian.


Music: The Roadmap of a Character’s Psyche

As a writer, I often make use of subtle devices to add layer and dimension to the story without beating the reader over the head with it. For instance, I have always have Pitbulls in the stories I write. Animals are very intuitive regarding a person’s energy, so they serve as a great barometer for the morality and motivation of a character. Another device that I often use is music.

In my own life, I often find songs running through my head. A long time ago I realized that the lyrics running through my head were always an indicator of my current mental state. Today, I woke up with the lyrics to Muse’s “Uprising” tramping around my brain, specifically the lines “We will be victorious/So come on.” Well, I also had a deadline for a $1Million dollar proposal for the 9-5 due today. I finished it yesterday and feel like I did a kick ass job on it, so it was no surprise to wake up to that song in my head.

I use this device in my writing to illustrate the current frame of mind for the character. As a for instance, in Reunions, a current work in progress, the main character, Charli, sets out for a drive with no destination in mind. She’s recently moved back to her home town where she was estranged from her family after the death of her mother. The song playing on the radio as she drives out is Gritz’s “My Life Be Like.” The lyrics are “It's times like these that make me say/Lord if you see me please come my way/Leavin' bread crumbs for when I stray.” With no real conscious thought, she ends up at the cemetery where her grandparents and mother are buried. During this visit, she comes to a few realizations about her past and her relationships with these three people. The song, the scene and Charli are all symbiotically tied together. The song is a form of foreshadowing. Charli needed closure on this area of her life and she found it by saying her goodbyes.

In the same book, there is a scene where Jake, Charli’s love interest in the story, sees Charli dancing with her Pitbull, Fred, and belting out the lyrics to “He Is” by Heather Hedley. This song is about a woman who loves a man who is the embodiment of her desires. Charli isn’t aware of Jake’s presence and in this unguarded moment we learn about what she is seeking in a man. The question that she’ll spend time answering in the story is if Jake is that man.

I can’t speak for other authors, but I feel like it is possible to overwrite a story. The prime directive of writing is show, don’t tell. I interpret that to mean show the reader in as many creative ways as possible. Yes, I could spend 500 words writing about her type of man and what her life lessons have taught her. And I could certainly spell it out explicitly for the reader. Or, I can drop hints, like the above, and use the story itself to expose Charli’s needs and desires.

For me, music is deeply personal and representative of my personality. My playlist runs from the Jackson 5, to Lyle Lovett, to Run-DMC. A trip through my playlist is a musical stroll through my psyche. My characters all have playlists and you can discern their personalities just by knowing the songs.

Excerpt from Coming Out Of Her Shell:


ISBN: 9781458096104
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     He was there. Susan could feel his eyes on her, even if she couldn't see his face. His balcony was in shadows, but she knew he was watching her. The very thought that he watched her in such an intimate, vulnerable moment was both thrilling and shameful. She couldn't believe she was doing this. Again. She should stop. Just get up go back inside the house and get back to her normal and predictable life. She was crazy to play this game. She knew nothing about him other than the easy going image he projected.

     Sure, he was beautiful to her. Tall and lean with a natural athletic build. The kind of body that said he stayed active rather than pumping iron. His slightly shaggy, black hair gave him a lazy, relaxed appearance that belied the intelligence he sometimes let slip through his "don't take me too seriously" exterior. If she had to catalog his features, she'd say that individually they were fairly ordinary. He had a broad chin, straight nose and perpetual five o'clock shadow. His eyes were the exception. They were otherworldly. Emerald green, they had captured her the minute she'd seen him at the neighborhood block party the first week she'd moved to Chester Park. The sum of him took her breath away. He had a casual grace when he moved that said, "I'm okay with who I am, so fuck off if you don't agree."

     She hadn't spoken to him that day. Hadn't said anything more to him than "Hi" and "How are you?" since she'd moved in three months ago, despite living next door to him. She thought of him though. In fact, she was beginning to fear she was obsessed with him.

     She'd learned his name from one of the neighbors ... Eric Tanner. Such a simple name, it rolled off the tongue beautifully. She savored its syllables, sucked them into her mouth like the cherry off the top of a sundae. She loved his name; she longed to use it intimately. To whisper it in his ear as she nibbled on the lobe. To scream it as she came around his cock and milked his climax from him.

     A slight breeze stirred the air, feathering across her exposed breasts. She imagined the whisper kiss was his lips and was lost to the fantasy. Her nipples tightened painfully and moisture flooded her core.

     She hadn't meant for him to see. This game they played hadn't been planned. It had been totally accidental. Truly. But, playing with Eric was seductive. Like dark chocolate, it made her ravenous and one bite was not enough. It was a heady mixture of power and vulnerability that she never wanted to end even though she knew she should stop. She would stop. She wouldn't do it again. She couldn't do it again. Not if she wanted to respect herself.

     It had started so simply. She had decided that she needed more personal time and changed her schedule at work. Truthfully, she was bored out of her skull. She'd been a corporate shepherd watching diligently over her human sheep for over 15 years and she hated it more everyday.

     She was 35-years old and her life was so routine it put even her to sleep. All she did was work. QuestCom ran like a well-oiled machine. Never let it be said she didn't do her job. She was efficient, organized and effective, but about as fun as a tax auditor. She had no real friends, she'd never been married or in a truly serious relationship and had no children, though it could be argued that her Pug, Roxy, was her baby. She simply didn't know how to relax and be herself with people. Men especially. Once "cold fish" had become a recurring theme in the bedroom, she'd sworn off men. What was the point? She couldn't relax enough to try some of the things they wanted her to do and she got tired of the complaints.

     It wasn't that she blamed them. Even she got tired of the missionary position. Nor did she think it would be very fun to screw a woman who could barely tolerate having sex with the lights on. She was repressed and she knew it, but so far there hadn't been anyone worth making the effort for. So, to balance out her failure in the dynamic woman department, she'd made a point of being the best employee she could be. Her career had skyrocketed and she was the youngest Chief Operating Officer in her company's history. She was good at her job, but she hated it. She excelled in her role, but she was bored and it showed.

     When she'd taken to just staring out the window of her office for hours at a time, she decided she needed a change. Hell, she needed a life. So, she had rearranged her schedule to take every Thursday afternoon off. Her plan was to take up a hobby. She just hadn't expected it to be masturbating for her sexy neighbor.

     She hadn't known he was there that first time. She had simply gone out for a swim. After doing enough laps to leave her breathless, she'd put on her sunglasses and hat and stretched out on her favorite lounge chair to let the sun dry her off.

She'd lain there trying to remember the last time she'd had sex (two years) and fantasizing about Eric. Wondering if he was involved with anyone. Imagining him naked and plunging into her. Without any conscious thought, she'd begun to stroke herself - outside her bikini bottoms because she never touched herself directly - until she brought herself to orgasm on the sheer fantasy of Eric.

     As she'd struggled to catch her breath, a sound like a chair being pushed back drifted to her from the direction of his balcony. She opened her eyes in time to see the object of her fantasy stand up and turn to go inside.

     She'd been shocked. Mortified. Humiliated. She'd stumbled to her feet and run inside as fast as she could. After locking the door, she'd slid down the wall and sat there on the cold marble tile with her arms wrapped around her knees rocking as she tried to calm the nausea roiling in her belly.

     He'd seen her masturbate. Watched her at her most vulnerable moment. She'd been imagining herself with him and he'd watched as she pleasured herself. To her utter shock, as the idea sank in, rather than puke up her lunch, her nipples tightened and her pussy clenched.

     The reality slammed into her. He'd watched her! Eric had seen her masturbate.

     The thought was both electric and erotic. The idea of his eyes on her aroused her more than she thought possible. She broke out in goose bumps and her pussy throbbed. She refused to touch herself again though. She wanted to savor the memory of coming with his eyes on her.

     And so it began. Over the weeks, she'd become more and more brazen. Touching herself in ways she'd never had the courage to before. Rather than feeling embarrassed by Eric's presence, she was emboldened. She didn't even bother with a bathing suit now.

     One evening, after making sure his car was gone, she'd gone so far as to arrange the lounge chair so that the angle and distance would be such that, even though he'd have a good view, he'd have to pay close attention if he really wanted to see her.

     She performed for him every Thursday afternoon at two o'clock without fail. Today was different though, today was her last performance. She'd promised herself she would stop this madness. She was becoming consumed by the fantasy of him and she couldn't take it anymore.

     It was a lie and she felt like a cheat. She wasn't really this sexy, erotic woman. It was a game she was playing and it had to stop. So, today was her finale and she planned to make it good for him.

#

     He was hard, so hard it hurt. Eric slowly, carefully opened the zipper on his Levi's to free his straining cock. What in the hell had made him think going commando was a smart idea?

     Thank god his balcony was enclosed rather than one of those open grill-work types. Most people wanted sunny, open balconies. He didn't. He preferred to sit and ponder in the shade, his feet propped up on the railing with a cold Guinness in his hand.

     His balcony was his refuge. No frilly patio furniture for him. He liked solid, comfortable furniture sized for a man, but only one chair and one side table for his beer. He didn't share his balcony. At least, not with other humans. Peanut was the exception, but even his Pitbull wasn't allowed out here when he watched Her.

     Eric was never more grateful for the shadows than he was when she performed. He was hanging free for the world to see and he didn't relish the idea of being seen with his pants down, literally. Despite being in the shadows, she knew he was there. Watching her. She had to. All evidence said that this was a private show just for him and he'd be damned if he wasn't going to watch. Hell, who was he kidding, he'd gone from watching to participating weeks ago.

     As he stroked his erection, he wondered if that was truly her intent. Was this a show for him? Did she do it to torture him? Drive him to distraction? Tease him to madness? Or, was his ego leading him off a cliff? What if she didn't know he was there? Maybe she just liked the idea that she might be seen. It could just be the thrill of potentially getting caught that got her off.

     Eric rejected the notion. Her performances were as regular as clockwork. Two o'clock every Thursday afternoon. He'd begun clearing his schedule in order to guarantee he'd be home when she performed. Without fail, he'd find her next to her small swimming pool, stretched out on one of her blue and white striped chaise lounges. She always wore a straw hat and sunglasses with a fine, white linen cover up. In the beginning, she'd worn a barely there bikini, but over the subsequent weeks she didn't even bother and now, she was always naked under the cover up.

     If there was no thought of him watching, why be so regular? Everyone knew he ran his dog training business out of his house. She might be new to the neighborhood, but his advertisements were everywhere and most of their neighbors used him to train their dogs. She'd have to be completely self-involved not to know. But still, maybe he was wrong. She'd never said more than two words to him when they ran into each other. In fact, she seemed to always be in a rush to get away from him. The few times he'd tried to engage her in conversation, she'd looked at him like he had two heads.

     Eric had first seen her the day she moved in. Her long, brown hair had been pulled back in a simple pony tail. She'd worn no make up and had looked fresh and young. She'd glanced up at his house and he'd gotten a glimpse of clear skin, brown eyes and full, rosy lips. He'd instantly imagined those lips wrapped around his dick and he'd had to think of Roseanne Barr naked to force the sucker down, so he could go meet a client.

     Only later had he found out that her name was Susan Mallory and she was some kind of executive suit at a local firm. He steered clear of those types. They always wanted to put you in a box and he'd had enough suits to last him a lifetime in his father. Despite owning a successful business, his father had always treated him like a loser. The refrain never changed. His business was infantile, he dressed like a slob, he had no ambition. Their conversations consisted wholly of criticizing Eric and highly unwanted "suggestions" that were for Eric's "own good."

     When his mother had been alive, Eric had tolerated his father for her sake. Once the cancer had taken her, Eric didn't even bother. He couldn't remember the last time he'd spoken to his father and that suited him just fine. Nope, he stayed away from suits. He liked his life and he wasn't changing to satisfy anyone else's opinion of what he should be doing with himself. If someone didn't like him, they could just fuck off.

     Which brought him right back to her. Maybe these performances had nothing to do with him and she just liked to masturbate in her back yard. Maybe she just wanted to pleasure herself in the open air with the sun heating her skin and drinking in her cries as she came. Sometimes, though, he could swear she said his name.

     Either way, she was going to kill him. Literally. It wasn't going to be an easy death either. No. She clearly planned to make it slow and tortuous. Killing him bit-by-bit, until he begged for death rather than submit to her torture.

     As it was, he didn't think he could stand it even one moment longer. The ache was excruciating. He needed relief. He needed peace. One way or another he had to end this madness, but when he did, it would be on his terms NOT hers. She'd be the one begging. She'd be the one screaming and writhing. She'd be the one under his power.

     Today was especially intense. She'd gone slow, prolonging each moment. She'd started by rubbing some kind of oil all over her body that left her glistening from head to toe. She'd lingered over her breasts, rubbing each one in turn, pushing them together and massaging the oil into them. She'd made sure to rub and play with each nipple until they were deep red and jutting out from her body before continuing down her stomach. When she'd reached her legs, she'd lifted each one in turn. She'd massaged her calf and thigh for long moments as she exposed her pussy to him. He imagined he could see her moisture glistening, even from this distance.

     After rubbing in the oil, she'd lain back and continued to leisurely rub her belly and breasts. As he watched, his impatience grew. He wanted her to continue, not leave him in suspense. He thought about standing up and demanding she go on, but rejected the notion before it was even a complete thought.

     What was she doing? Why was she waiting?

     Just when he thought he'd go crazy, she'd reached for her glass, some kind of blue, girlie drink, on the table next to her and sucked an ice cube into her mouth. She then slowly drew it out from between her lips. He swallowed hard and imagined her sucking him in and out of her mouth like she'd done to that ice cube. His dick had gotten so hard at the thought that he was gritting his teeth as he worked to hold back his climax. He wasn't ready to come yet.

     She began to slowly rub the ice over each rosy, nipple. He could see her belly clench and contract with each frigid touch. Her eyes were hidden by her sunglasses, but her mouth was parted slightly and he could see the tip of her tongue darting out periodically to lick her bottom lip. He wanted to feel that tongue darting out against his cock.

     She continued stroking down her body with the ice cube until she reached her pussy. As he watched, she opened her legs and spread her outer lips and then inserted the cube into her pussy.

     "Holy shit," Eric groaned as he watched her fuck her pussy with the ice. His cock was jumping in his hand as he pumped his hand up and down in rhythm with her thrusts.

     She strained against the chill, pushing her hips upward. Her thigh muscles flexed convulsively and she clenched her free fist around the end of the lounge chair as she worked her pussy. She kept thrusting the ice in and out until it melted and then she shocked the hell out of him by licking the moisture from her fingers. She lay there for several moments, breathing hard. Her breasts rose and fell with each inhale. He drank her in as she lay there. The sun glinted off her skin in small flashes with every breath.

     Soon, but not soon enough for Eric's cock, she resumed her ministrations to her pussy. Parting her lips and stroking her clitoris in small, lazy circles. She seemed to have all the time in the world today. There was no rush, no urgency. She dallied over her pussy alternating between thrusting her fingers deep and then circling them around and over her clit.

     Eric wanted to scream his frustration. She was killing him. He couldn't stop himself from imagining what her pussy would feel like wrapped around his dick. He barely held his climax at bay. He panted through clenched teeth as sweat began to dribble down his back. He seriously contemplated barging into her back yard, throwing her legs over his shoulders and pounding his cock into her until she screamed his name over and over.

     Instead, he silently begged her to put him out of his misery. He wanted to watch her come. He wanted to hear her moan. He loved watching her come. She was beautiful when she climaxed. Arching her back so that her pert, round breasts thrust up into the air. The fingers of one hand buried in her pussy as she plucked and squeezed her nipples with the other. Her moans were music to his ears and ultimately it was the sweet, sexy little purrs she made that sent him over the edge every time.

     Today was no different. Her legs tensed and her back began to arch. Finally. This was it, she'd reached the end of her tether and she was going to come. Eric gripped his penis more firmly at the base with one hand, while he used the other to work the head of his cock harder. He squeezed the head almost to the point of pain as he waited for her to go over.

     "Come on, baby," he whispered. "Let me see. That's it. Don't make me wait any longer."

     Harder and faster, his hand flew up and down his shaft. He wouldn't come before she did. He made sure they came together every time and today would be no different. Eric groaned and cursed himself for a fool. He shouldn't do this. Every single time he promised himself it was the last time. Every time he swore he'd end it. He couldn't go on with this torture. He was becoming obsessed and he knew it.

     Today's performance had been the most intense yet and if he didn't do something about it soon, she was going to drive him to drastic measures. He knew if he crossed that bridge there'd be no coming back ... for either of them.

     Eric panted with the strain of holding back. She was close, but she seemed to be deliberately prolonging the show. His cock throbbed as sweat bloomed all over his body. He didn't think he could go on much longer.

     "Now," he groaned. "Come for me. Now."

     As if she'd heard his whispered command, she threw her head back as her orgasm claimed her. Gasping and moaning, she writhed through the whirlwind.

     That was all it took. As the luscious sounds of her pleasure reached his ears, he broke and together they rode the wave.

Friday Thoughts and Some Texas-Sized Brass Balls

I'm over at HeartFelt Promos in the Hot Seat for an interview today, and they asked me some different questions than I'm used to, so take a peak. I think I do more interviews than anyone else I've ever met, but keep in mind that I generally only know people in low places, so that might skew the numbers. ;) (Cue the Garth Brooks song.)

Someone suggested to me that I do a weekly post on something that piques my interest.  While I don't know if I'm willing to commit to something like that every Friday because things come up all the time that would make it impossible, I thought it was a good idea and agreed to write about something when it came up. Well, this morning something came up.

I receive an email every morning from a blog about writing.  Keep that in mind as I continue with this post.  Almost every post at this blog is riddled with grammar errors.  The irony is almost too much for me sometimes.  I've almost written them an email on several occasions to inform them of how bad this looks. I haven't because I imagine these writers would simply ignore it or lash out against me publicly (yeah, they're a bit like that). 

The grammar errors in their posts are downright embarrassing.  They're never spelling errors, but that's because most blog setups have what Blogger has, I imagine: whenever I type too fast and misspell a word, a little red squiggly line pops up underneath the misspelled word.  The problem is that blogs don't have grammar check.  As a result, each post at this writers' blog is a mess, and it's a shame because often they have useful ideas for today's authors. However, far too often, the writing is just so poor that it's difficult to get through.

Basic problems like subject-verb agreement and pronoun-antecedent agreement ruin their posts on a regular basis.  Now you might say that you struggle with that too.  Okay, but unless you're claiming to have the answers about writing and how to produce a bestselling book, you're cool.  You can struggle in anonymity. 

Or how about comma use?  Oh...this is a huge problem for this group.  It's enough to make you cringe.  And run ons?  Even worse. 

Now I'm sure some will say these are small things, but they aren't.  Writers who claim to know something about what they're doing shouldn't post blogs riddled with English grammar errors.  Their posts tell me that they don't know much about grammar, but these writers sell a ton of books.  However, a quick trip to Amazon shows that critical reviews for their books often center on editing problems.  I'm not surprised.

An excellent editor is a writer's best friend, but at some point as a writer, don't you learn by your mistakes?  If a writer continually told instead of showed, the writing community, especially in romance, would be barking out their disapproval from the highest rooftops.  However, making the same grammar mistakes in your public writing that you obviously make in your books is perfectly acceptable?  No, sorry, that's not the case.  If you're reading the edits your editor sends, you begin to see a pattern of grammatical behavior that requires fixing.  The learning and growing as an author part happens when you watch for them in your next book and begin to not make the same mistake.

As an aside to wrap this up, someone just posted a comment on this site that took them to task for their constant grammar issues and what I believed would happen did.  The person was attacked and one of the writers even went to the commenter's blog and looked for grammar issues there. 

Wow...

Now those are balls the size of Texas and those babies are brass. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Release Day For Destiny Redeemed

Today is the release day for Destiny Redeemed!  Excitement all around!  I'm thrilled to announce this because this has been a long time in the making.  Completed in March of this year, it's had to wait until the Victorian Erotic Romance Trilogy had its time, but now it has its chance to be the star.

The hero of
Destiny Redeemed has been one of my favorite characters to spend time with, and it's with real happiness that I release his story to the world. Amon was a character who threatened to take up all the air in the room from the moment he appeared on the page.  More than anyone else, he was the one who readers connected with in Stolen Destiny, even though he was the romantic villain.  He was just so good at being bad.

I finished writing that book last November and almost immediately began Destiny Redeemed. Even if I hadn't wanted to, he was going to make sure I did.  Ever on my mind, his story flowed through my pen and even with taking off time around Christmas, I completed writing the book by early March. Firmly intending to follow the path I'd taken with Stolen Destiny, I typed the manuscript and prepared to send it to the publisher.

Then everything changed with my publishing situation and suddenly the book was put into limbo as I began writing Vampire Dreams.  Never far from my mind, Destiny Redeemed remained on the side throughout the summer as Love's Master and then Masquerade took my attention.  Finally, after the success of those three novellas, I was ready to go back into Amon's world.

When I finally turned to it, I was a different writer than I'd been when I'd first written it, but I still loved the story as much as I had then. In the end, after some reconstruction, the story is what I'd always known it could be. So today I officially release it to the world and take down the Destiny Redeemed progress counter that has been present since I first began this blog back in January.

I hope readers enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.  Here's a little taste of Amon and Thea: 

     Thea watched the man in front of her with fear, but there was something else too, something she’d never experienced before as a healer. She didn’t just feel sympathetic for him, didn’t want to merely make his pain go away. She felt drawn to him, and not only on a physical level. She could understand that after resting her head on his hard body. He was more masculine than anyone she’d ever met. Even after what had obviously been repeated beatings, he seemed stronger than any man could be. So her physical attraction she understood.

     But there was something else. After only a few hours near him, she realized with sadness that she’d miss him when he released her. But why? She knew little about him, and what she knew wasn’t good. He was Amon Kalins, the escaped prisoner from Nil. She’d been warned, as all other Aeveren healers had, not to help him in any way. She hadn’t had a choice, though. His wretched man had kidnapped her from her home and when she saw him suffering before her, nature had taken over. Healing him had never been a choice but a need.

     “Thea, don’t be afraid. I told you I wouldn’t let any harm come to you, and I won’t. You’re safe as long as you’re with me.”

     The tone of his deep voice was softer now, but it didn’t make her feel any better. She remained fearful, her fingers tightly gripping the drawer handle behind her.

     “You’re Amon Kalins...” she squeaked out as her voice failed her. The hard surface of the dresser pressed against her back when she attempted to take another step back away from him.

     “Yes.”

     “The escaped prisoner from Nil.”

     “Yes.”

     Thea’s body relaxed almost against her will. Each affirmation should have made her fear for her safety all the more, but it didn’t. Something in his voice soothed her.

     “And you’re a tempuster?” This the Council hadn’t mentioned in its edict to healers.

     “Yes.”

     In all her lifetimes, she’d never met any Aeveren with the power of time travel. Amon Kalins must be a very powerful man, she realized.

     “Is it my ability that frightens you?” he asked in a voice she was sure was intended to put her at ease.

     Thea thought about this for a moment and answered in a small voice, “No.”

     His being a tempuster was probably the least frightening aspect of him. The truth was she was most frightened of how much she already liked him. She shouldn’t. She knew this. But something about him called to her.

     “Then my being a prisoner from Nil?”

     Thea drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I’m not supposed to help you.”

     “Why? You’re a healer. It’s your gift. Why would you be banned from healing someone who needs your help?”

     Thea was ashamed to admit that she’d never considered this question, not when she was ordered not to heal him nor all the other times those who dictated her power ordered her not to help another in need. How many times had she followed edicts and watched half-breeds or full blooded Aeveren suffer needlessly for breaking one of the many rules of their world?

     The thought of her blind heartlessness made her shoulders droop and the regret she suddenly felt overwhelmed her. Sadly, she explained, “The Council ordered all healers to not help you. Under no circumstances were any of us to heal you.” As she spoke the words of the edict, she felt guilty not because she had helped him, but because for the first time in her forty-five lifetimes she’d truly lived up to her nature.

     “But you did. Not that we gave you a chance to follow your orders.”

     “Now I don’t know what will happen to me. When they find out what I did...”

     Thea’s voice trailed off as she thought of how the Council would punish her for healing Amon. As she winced at the thought of her reprimand, Amon clenched his fists at his side. Thea saw the anger in his expression and wasn’t sure how to react. She was reasonably sure his anger wasn’t because of her, but something in him had changed.

     “Are you in pain?”

     Amon relaxed his hands. “No.” Slowly, his face returned to the handsome, albeit bruised, expression he seemed to usually have. Thea stepped forward toward him and carefully placed her hands on both sides of his face. She didn’t know why as he’d said he wasn’t in pain, but something in her pushed her toward his bruised face.

     The swollen left eye had returned to normal, and she felt the gaze of his ocean blue eyes on her as she coaxed the pain out of his features. Gradually, the slash under his eye closed until all that was left was a faint pink line. The light purple bruises that marked near his jaw and above his eyes, remnants from a prior assault than the one on his last night in Nil, faded under her light touch as the pads of her fingertips softly glided over his skin.

     Amon sat stunned by her unsolicited help. As she focused on healing him, she saw him study her, his breathing turning to shallow pants and sensed his desire when she saw him lick his lips. As a healer, she wasn’t gifted with the ability to read minds, but her power came with the complementary ability of being able to read others’ reactions better than other Aeveren.

     That something inside her that had pushed her toward him now told her to kiss him, and she leaned in and gently pressed her lips to one of the pale black and purple marks on his forehead. When she finally pulled away, she saw his eyes were closed and his face was calmer than at any time since she’d met him the night before.

     Her mind raced. Should she apologize for kissing him, even if it was just on his skin? She’d never wanted to do anything like that ever before with anyone else she’d been charged to heal. But nothing about being near this man was like anything she’d ever experienced before.

     Unsure of how to act, she found it difficult to know what to do next, and words began to tumble out of her mouth. “I’m sorry...I didn’t mean...I don’t know why...”

     Amon opened his eyes as Thea felt the color rising in her cheeks. She may have been saying she was sorry and claiming she didn’t know why she’d kissed him, but she was still positioned right next to his face.

     “No need to apologize. In fact, there’s no need to stop.”

     A sound of surprise escaped her lips and her eyes grew wide at the idea that there was more to come. Her heart pounded in her chest as his deep blue eyes stared into hers. Would he kiss her now? All at once, she realized she wanted so much to feel his lips on hers.



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Author Sherry James Guest Post

Thanks for having me today, Gabrielle! I’m thrilled to be here. Today I’m going to share a little bit of my romantic comedies.

Hot, sexy men in tool belts! Sounds like an appealing image to me. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind a sexy contractor coming to my house to do a little bit of remodeling. Having a set of six pack abs and a slew of rock hard muscles to look at each day while my house is under construction would make all the sheetrock dust and general upheaval worth it.

Well, if you’re with me and wouldn’t mind a handsome hunk, leather tool belt slung low on slim hips and an assortment of power tools at the ready, to remedy your¼umm, home improvement needs, then you might want to check out my fun romantic comedy series, Studs 4 Hire. The first two books, Woman On Top, and Woman In Charge are out now from Prairie Muse Publishing and can be found at your favorite online bookseller for just .99 cents.

The idea for the Studs 4 Hire series was partially inspired by my husband when he was working construction a number of years ago. While he was handling remodeling projects for others, I could only dream of that awesome master bedroom with a walk-in closet. Walk-in closet. What a novel, wonderful, delicious idea. Can you tell it’s still on my dream list?!

The other inspiration for the series was my memory of a popular Diet Coke commercial in the 1990’s that featured a sexy construction worker who always took a Diet Coke break at 11:30 AM. All the women in the nearby office building flocked to the windows as the hunk slipped off his well fitting T-shirt to enjoy that cool, refreshing beverage. The commercial was such a hit it even inspired a calendar for that year.

Studs 4 Hire is the brainchild of Sydnie Riley. Tired of chauvinistic men ruling the corporate world, and tired of women being duped by unscrupulous contractors, Sydnie asks her two college friends, Casey Burrows and Terri Alberry, to join her in a contracting business where the women are in charge and the men working for them are super hot! Come join Sydnie, Casey and Terri as they reunite and meet some sexy men and face one shenanigan after another along the way.

Here’s a taste!

WOMAN ON TOP

He’s One Hot Carpenter Undercover . . .
Trevor is directed to go undercover at Studs for Hire as a carpenter. His mission–seduce Sydnie into unknowingly giving him ideas to launch the Venus Bra for one of the ad agency’s biggest clients, Stardust Lingerie. But how can he steal her advertising ideas and win her heart, too?

She's one feisty boss with something to prove . . .
Sydnie Riley is tired of men always being the boss. After she’s cheated out of a promotion at her advertising job by her sexy nemesis and almost lover, Trevor Vanden Bosch, she decides it’s time she take charge of her life and career. She ditches her male-dominated corporate job, bands together with two college friends, and creates Studs for Hire, a contracting firm loaded with sexy electricians, plumbers, and carpenters. As the brains behind Studs for Hire, Sydnie's ready to give the orders, not take them.

WOMAN IN CHARGE

Has Elvis really left the building . . . or is his spirit playing matchmaker?
Alex Roy is used to building classy timber frame homes for the elite, but his last business association with a woman left him in debt and his heart in shreds. Is he so desperate to earn a paycheck and reclaim his business that he'll swallow his pride and design a shrine to the King of Rock 'n' Roll in a widow's mansion? And what about Casey Burrows, the woman who wants to hire him to do the job for the wealthy widow? Alex has an eye for good lines—and Casey's are curving in all the right places. But can he handle the job and walk away with his heart and reputation unscathed? Or will he end up as a permanent resident in Heartbreak Hotel?

How about you? Do you fantasies about sexy men and tool belts? I’d love to hear them. I still have Terri’s story to write and I’m always on the lookout for inspiration.

And if you love a fun, light read, I hope you’ll give my Studs 4 Hire series a try. Be sure and let me know what you think of the series. I love to hear from readers. And if you love cowboys, well, I can help you out there, too. Check out my web siteto find out more!











Sunday, October 9, 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Celebrating Romance Giveaway Hop

Welcome to another giveaway hop hosted by the fabulous Nat at Reading Romances. The Celebrating Romance Giveaway Hop celebrates my favorite thing:  romance.  Sexy, dreamy, hot romance.  Mmmmm.....okay, I'm back now. 


So here's the info.  The Celebrating Romance Giveaway Hop runs from October 8 through 14. Be sure to hop around to all the wonderful blogs participating.  Here I'm giving away two copies of my newest book, Destiny Redeemed, which is being released on October 13, along with swag prizes and an Amazon $15 gift card.

One winner will win the book and swag, and another will win the book and gift card. The giveaway is open internationally, so anyone with an email can enter. Winners will be chosen randomly by Random.org on October 15, and I will notify the winners by email. 


Okay, here's how to enter:  first, you must follow my blog.  That counts as one entry.  For extra entries, you can do the following:


Friend me on Facebook (+1 entry)
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002481284652&sk=info



Follow me on Twitter (+2 entries) http://twitter.com/#!/gabriellebisset



Subscribe to my newsletter (+2 entries)Just look for the pink box in the left sidebar



When you've done all the entries you want (remember, only the following here is mandatory), be sweet and add them up for me in your comment, along with including your email so I can contact you if you win. :)


Good luck, and enjoy hopping around!