Saturday, January 30, 2010

Make it 8!!

Eight reviews in the month of January! Wow! I don't know why this happened but I am overwhelmed. And since they've all been good reviews, right now I feel like my heart is going to explode!

The latest is 5 HEARTS from Shannon at The Romance Studio

"Ms. Jamieson has created an absolutely amazing story that quickly captures the reader's attention with its fascinating, complex and delicious exploration into a relationship built around an alternative lifestyle of pleasure and pain... Rigger is a unique and powerfully sensual story…There is a degree of edginess, sexiness and out-and-out erotic heat from every sizzling and passionate sexual scene … I am totally intrigued by this very talented author can't wait to read more from her."

Thank you so so much!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Extreme Close Up Chapter 30

Ally sat in front of her computer, waiting for Jack to get back from Carter’s place. One more glance at the clock told her it was taking way longer than it should have for him to pack his things, make his flight reservations and come back.
He’d said he’d come back. He’d better come back. Even if just to say goodbye. Unless Carter had somehow said something...
Jack’s loyalty to his friends was one of his most endearing traits, but now he had to see Carter was pond scum. It was sad...because they had been such good friends. They’d shared so much, and even though Carter must have had some doubts back when Brittany’d been pregnant, he had supported Jack through all that. It was such a shame.
Her insides still a writhing mass of nerves at the thought of Jack leaving, she tried to focus on her work. But it wasn’t happening.
Her life was a joke. She was stuck on her book, her fluffy magazine pieces disgusted her. She wanted to do something real.
She was not going to let it happen again. Jack had left her once before. She’d been so lost, she’d turned to Carter, pretty much her biggest mistake ever.
So if Jack was leaving, she was going with him.
It was crazy, but not so crazy. It made sense. What would she be leaving here? Nothing at all. She had a few close friends she could keep in touch with; otherwise her life was empty. She could write anywhere, and maybe she’d actually find something inspiring to write about.
Her heart leaped in her chest and adrenaline slid through her veins, making her restless, stomach tight, impatient to see Jack and tell him.
Agitated, suddenly anxious and impatient, Ally gazed around her office. She could pack right now. She could be on that plane with him, when he left. Where was her suitcase? She jumped out of her chair.
Then she stopped. Reality stuck a pin in her bubble of excitement.
She couldn’t just leave her condo. She’d have to make some kind of arrangements...she sank back down. What would she do? Sell the place? Ask her friends to keep an eye on it? How would she pay the bills? Suddenly the enormity of what she was about to do overwhelmed her.
Okay. Okay. It was do-able. Just maybe not immediately. But she’d talk to Jack. Maybe he’d wait for her. If not, she’d follow him. She put her hand over her mouth. Yeah.
Then the sound of her door opening had her head whipping round.
Jack stood there in the foyer, his hair mussed, his t-shirt untucked over the most faded, shabbiest jeans she’d ever seen.
She noticed his bags sitting on the tile floor behind him. All packed and ready to go. Her heart lodged painfully in her throat.
“You’re back,” she said softly.
He grinned.
She frowned. “Why are you looking so happy, goddammit?” she snapped at him.
“I don’t know.” And he laughed.

She drew in a shaky breath.
“I’m scared as hell and pissed off and...I don’t know why I’m so happy," he said.
His grin annoyed her. She scowled. “Okay, here’s the deal. I’m coming with you.”
His jaw dropped. “What?”
She plowed on. “I’m coming with you to Iraq. You left me once, and I’m not letting you do it again. So, the only problem is...” she hesitated, bit her lip. “I can’t be ready to go, in like...when does your flight leave?”
“It doesn’t.” Amusement sparkled in his blue eyes.
Her jaw dropped. “What?”
“I cancelled it.”
“You...cancelled it. Why?”
“I’m not leaving.”
She blinked, shook her head. “Like...for how long?”
Once again, her eyes widened to an eyeball-popping width.
“I...I don’t...” She looked around for something to sit on, afraid her legs were going to give out. She stumbled into her living room and collapsed onto the couch. “I don’t understand.”
“I want you to see something.” Jack followed her with the case holding his laptop, opened it and booted up the computer. He slid a flash drive into the port and in a moment, Ally’s face was on the screen.
“Whoa,” Ally breathed. “When did you take that?” She put her fingers to her mouth. The photograph was utterly sensual, portraying a woman’s raw sexual yearning, a photographer’s adoration.
Jack told her how he he’d been feeling that night he’d taken their graduation photos, seeing something in her, not sure what it was, but wanting to find out. Carter interrupting them. Carter and him, looking at the photographs of Ally, seeing the tender, hungry longing in her eyes, her sexuality that had always been there but which was brought out by the obvious worship the photographer had for his subject.
“It’s...beautiful, Jack,” she said slowly. “I don’t usually like pictures of myself, but that’s amazing.”
“Yeah. Fucking amazing.”
Startled at the bitterness in his voice, she turned her gaze to him.
“He knew,” he ground out. “The son of a bitch knew how I felt. He could see it.”
“Are you talking about Carter?”
“Yes, goddammit.” He slammed a hand down on Carter’s coffee table. “He knew. And he went after you deliberately.”
“What...what are you saying?”
“Carter came to you right after that, didn’t he?”
“Um...God, I can’t remember.” She closed her eyes, thinking back. “Yeah. It was right after that. We went out for pizza.” Silent, she cast her mind back in time. “It was different. He was paying so much attention to me. When I said something about you, he said you probably had plans with some girl you were seeing, which was news to me.”
Jack growled again. “I wasn’t seeing anyone then.”
Ally nodded, met Jack’s eyes. “Then we went back to my room and that’s when...he kissed me. And then you came in.”
“He knew I was coming over to bring the prints. Fuck!”
“Are you saying that he only did that because he thought you and I...what are you saying?”
“We were looking at the photos on the computer and we were both blown away by them. He realized I was nuts about you. So he deliberately went and put the moves on you, just to keep me from having you. And God help me, it worked. I ran like a fucking wounded dog, tail between my legs, because I wouldn’t fight him for you. I was so fucking loyal to him. What an idiot.”
“You are not an idiot,” she said, putting her hands on his chest, staring into his eyes. “Carter was a good friend to both of us. We thought. Your loyalty is what makes you I love that about you.”
Whoops. That kind of slipped out.
He grimaced, thrust a hand through his hair, not even picking up on her words. “He’d slept with my girlfriend in high school, which I didn’t know about. He let me take the heat for getting her pregnant when it was him, pretending all the while to stand by me like a great friend.” His voice was bitter. “But that wasn’t the worst, because, even though I cared about Brittany, she wasn’t...the one.”
Ally stared at him, heart thudding in slow painful beats.
“The one girl who was the love of my life...he fucking stole her away from me, deliberately. And then he kept us apart for five years.”
“Oh, Jack,” she whispered. “Do you really believe that?”
“I know it,” he said harshly. He met her eyes, held them. “I know he did, Ally. It all makes sense now. All of it.”
She swallowed. Then she whispered, “Am I the love of your life, Jack?”

Extreme Close Up Chapter 31

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Although I could barely keep my eyes open I stayed up and finished Mating Game by Janice Maynard. This turned out to be a pretty good story. At first a woman with 3 guys in her sights as possible husband candidates had me wondering how this story was going to turn out, but it quickly became evident who the hero material was. That was one minor problem I had with the story - how fast Nola and Tucker fell in love. That was a little hard to buy, but otherwise a pretty good story. And I always like to see someone who breaks the "romance rules"!

Next up on my reader: Primal Attraction by fellow Naught Novelist Sydney Somers!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Aaaaand...I got 2 more reviews!

I just have to say, I am blown away by the reviews I've been getting lately! This just rocks my little world.

Night Owl Reviews gave RIGGER 5 stars and a TOP PICK!

"While I don’t always appreciate all the aspects of BDSM, I do appreciate a good love story and this is a good one... What came across was the special relationship between Alek and Shaela and how it was evolving into something new and different. As they explored each other and their limits, you could appreciate the journey they were taking. I thoroughly enjoyed this best friends to lovers story. Excellent job."


Joyfully Reviewed says:

"I...wasn’t able to stop reading the book once I started because I liked each character so much and wanted to see how events would turn out with them. Of course, it would be remiss of me to write about a book called Irish Sex Fairy without mentioning, well, the sex. Ms. Jamieson certainly knows how to heat up the page, blending eroticism with tenderness in ways that made me sigh and – if I may be honest – envy Keara.

Irish Sex Fairy is everything its title suggests and more. It’s warm, sexy, and fun...I absolutely loved Irish Sex Fairy and will definitely be reading more of Ms. Jamieson’s work!"

Monday, January 25, 2010

WIPs and Chains

I’m sticking to Office Wife, even though I have reached that point where I believe I have written 125 pages of utter crap.

I want to make myself finish this story and then I can back to something else, or even start one of those new ideas.

I’m not doing so well on the “not going back and editing every time I open the document” plan. I keep doing it. I’m trying not to.

My fear is that this story is meandering all over the place like a wild pantser plot, and my characters are not acting at all consistent with their motivations. But I’m getting to know them better, and I have gone back a couple of times and added things to the beginning of the story that make them more real and believable and dimensional. And I have other ideas, too. This seemed to work for me before, going back to the beginning after I know the characters more fully, and fleshing out both them and the story. I know there’s not a right way or a wrong way – I’ve read that you should know your characters intimately right down to what kind of toothpaste they like to use before you even start writing, but I’ve also read that it’s okay to get to know them along the journey.

So once again I’m just trying to find my way, trying to find my balance with this. It feels loose and a little vague but I’m going to keep going and hope I can tighten it all up later.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A musical treat

This totally gave me shivers last night watching it on television - enjoy!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Extreme Close Up Chapter 29

On his way back to Carter’s to pack his things and make flight arrangements, Jack used his cell phone to call Brittany.
“Are you okay?” he asked her immediately.
“I’m okay.”
“What are you going to do about Carter?”
“I have no idea.” She sighed. “I think I might need to get a lawyer. I want to know if there’s any way I can force him to get tested.”
“You’ll need a good lawyer to fight Carter,” Jack said. “He’s smart as hell and from what Ally says, he can be kind of unscrupulous.”
“No kidding.” Bitterness sharpened her voice.
“Listen, we can try again to convince him. I don’t know if we’ll have any luck, but we can try.”
She was silent. “You don’t have to do that,” she answered. “But if you could... She’s my baby, Jack.” Her voice hitched. “You and Ally have been great about all this. I want to apologize again, Jack.”
“It’s okay. I don’t know what it’s like to have a child, I guess, but I was getting close to understanding. I get that you’d do whatever you have to, to save her.”
“Yeah. And Jack, you need to call the clinic. They need to give you all the test results.”
“Okay. I have the number. Hey, okay if I come by later? Sarah and I are almost finished the tree house. And I need to clean up your yard.”
Silence. He waited, heard a sniffle. “Yes,” she whispered. “That’s fine.”
After he flipped his cell phone closed, he called the clinic and spoke to the oncology nurse. She confirmed Brittany’s message and gave him all the results of the physical he’d had. Good to know he was healthy, anyway.
When he got to Carter’s place, Carter was of course at work. Jack plugged in his laptop and booted up, checking e-mail from work. He sent off a quick message to his boss to let him know things had changed and he’d be ready to head back sooner than anticipated.
Then he paused. The thought of leaving Ally made him feel empty inside. Hell.
This was not good. He had a job, a career that was important to him. He should be desperate to get back to the action. But, strangely, he wasn’t. The image of Ally as he’d left her that morning came to mind, warm and rumpled and sexy. All he wanted right now was to be back there with her. He couldn’t help but smile even as he was just a tad worried about how he was feeling and the conversation he was going to have with Carter.
Jack had the rest of the day to kill before Carter came home and he took one more shot at convincing him to get tested to see if he could donate for Sarah. He packed a few things, and when he came across some DVDs he slid them into his laptop and started looking at images to pass some time - images of Baghdad, Falluja, the night that Mohim’s wife and child had died.
He changed to another DVD and Ally’s face appeared full screen - the college graduation pictures he’d taken. Whoa. He hadn’t seen those for a while. Christ, she was beautiful.
His chest ached.
He’d left the day after that. The only other person who’d seen these photos was Carter, that night when Jack was downloading them from his camera to his computer.
Jack remembered looking at the images of Ally with Carter at his side and how dumbfounded they both had been. He clicked to another image. A photograph of Ally came up, an extreme close up where she’d been shrugging out of the graduation gown. Because she’d been wearing a tank top, it almost looked like she wore nothing under the gown, one shoulder bare, her eyes full of naked longing as she gazed at the camera. At him.
Jack remembered Carter asking him why he’d taken so many pictures of Ally. He remembered the two of them standing side by side, looking at that one image and Jack had muttered something abut how gorgeous she was.
Two hours later he’d walked in on her and Carter kissing.
Everything sharpened into focus, clear and pure.
“Son of a bitch,” Jack growled. He stared at the screen, horrified suspicion seeping through his body.

* * *

Jack somehow found Carter’s office in an impressive high-rise office tower in downtown LA. Every sense was hyperaware – the smog and the exhaust fumes stung his nostrils, the roar of traffic assaulted his ears. The air of the office building chilled him as he walked into the lobby and his sneakers squeaked slightly on the marble floor as he strode to the elevators. He jabbed the up button, turned away from his reflection in the stainless steel doors.
Carter appeared surprised to see him but showed him into his office. “What’s up buddy?” He took a seat behind his desk, while Jack carefully closed the office door behind him. Then he walked towards Carter’s desk, went around behind it.
“Stand up,” he ordered, his voice low and tight. Carter gaped at him. “Stand up,” he said louder, rougher. Slowly Carter raised himself out of his black leather office chair. He had barely straightened when Jack drove his fist into Carter’s gut.
With a gasp, Carter doubled over, clutched his abdomen.
“You fucking asshole,” Jack growled. “I was pissed off enough after what I found out about you and Brittany. But even that wasn’t as bad as what you did to me and Ally.”
“What are you talking about?” Carter wheezed, looking genuinely confused as he struggled for composure. He stepped away from Jack’s clenched fists, gasped again for air.
“You knew I was into Ally,” Jack bit out. “That night before I left, when I did those pictures. You knew. And you deliberately went and seduced her, just so I couldn’t have her. Then you lied to her about my e-mails, told her you never heard from me, just to keep us apart. You are a fucking bastard and I want to kick your ass so bad...”
He took a deep breath. “Just tell me why,” he ground out through gritted teeth.
Carter lowered himself into his chair, blinking rapidly. He ran a hand through his hair, rubbed his stomach. “Uh. I have a meeting in a few minutes,” he said. “This isn’t really a good time.”
“Just tell me why you did that,” Jack said again. “I want to understand.”
Carter’s eyes narrowed. “Okay,” he said, his voice flat. “You two always had some special bond. You were friends before I ever came along, and even though we were supposedly the ‘awesome threesome’, I never felt like I was really one of you. You two spoke your own language; hell, sometimes you didn’t even have to say anything and you understood each other.” He gave a bitter laugh.
Jack stared at him. “You never said anything back then.”
“Yeah, right. What would I say? I’d sound like a whining little kid. And frankly, when I moved to Garden City I was just happy to have friends. I went along, glad to be included in your little circle. Even though I don’t think I ever really was included.”
“Yes, you were,” Jack said slowly. “Of course you were. We were all friends.” He moved away from Carter’s desk.
“Not like you and Ally were. Then, in college it was clear you were falling in love with her. That pissed me off. I figured, why should you have her? You had all the talent, you were going to be the famous hotshot photographer. She even loaned you money to go to New York so you could ace one of your courses.”
She had. When airplanes had flown into the World Trade Center, Jack had been so desperate to be there, to capture what was happening, Ally’d offered him money so he could fly there. His photos had earned him an A+ on that course.
“Well, I cared about her, too,” Carter continued. “So I just made my move first.” He shrugged.
“No.” Jack’s hands, still clenched into fists, ached, and he opened his fingers. “You didn’t just make the first move. You wouldn’t have made any move if it wasn’t for the fact that you figured out I cared about her. You did that on purpose to kick me in the teeth.”
Carter kept his face expressionless. “You can think what you want. It’s all moot. You left and gave Ally up.”
“I gave her up once. Hell, almost twice.” He shook his head grimly. “I’m not giving her up again. And if you have a problem with can go fuck yourself.”
“I should have known you were screwing her.” Carter’s mouth twisted. “When you didn’t come home the other night…”
Jack’s stomach rolled. “So do you admit you deliberately kept all my e-mails from her?” he asked slowly. “You really did want to keep us apart, didn’t you?”
Carter shrugged. “You took off. It just seemed cleaner if she thought you disappeared.”
“You bastard.” Jack stared at the man he thought he knew. He didn’t know him at all. He turned and walked out of Carter’s office.

Extreme Close Up Chapter 30

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What I'm Reading Wednesday

First of all, apologies to Cherry Adair and Janice Maynard - your books were the ones I happened to read just before and after Rainwater and unfortunately I am going to spend my time raving about Rainwater.

I finished Night Shadow by Cherry Adair. Her stories are always action packed!

I'm now reading Mating Game by Janice Maynard. I'm curious where this story is going.

The highlight of my week (probably my year, LOL) was RAINWATER by Sandra Brown.
I had this book loaded on my reader for several weeks but hesitated to read it. I'd heard it was quite different for Sandra Brown and I love all her contemporary stories, so was reluctant to read something set during the Depression, afraid I wouldn't like it.

I loved it.

I started tearing up about half way through the story and was literally sobbing out loud at the end. My family was rolling their eyes at me (there goes Mom again). I wanted to analyze the story and figure out why it was so moving, but every time I started thinking about it I started crying again.

Last week I mentioned how one book I'd read hadn't been all that satisfying, and I questioned what made the main male character in that story a "hero". Well, I could start listing all the things that made David Rainwater a hero and probably couldn't even list them all. As a start:
- the time and patience and care he shows for Solly
- the encouragement he gives to Ella about Solly
- the things he does to help Ella
- the way he got involved with the farmers in the area and led them in their efforts to stand up to the "town bully"
- the way he personally stands up to the town bully, knowing that physically he is at a disadvantage
- the way he lived the end of his life with strength and honour and dignity and courage
- and the one that just wrenches my heart - read the book - his sacrifice at the end will grab you by the throat

Ella is a true heroine, too. She is a strong woman who leads her life with courage and honor and dignity despite all the hardships she has had to endure - her son, her husband, how hard she has to work to support her family. Things like her lack of prejudice in such a different time, her generosity in giving food and clothing to the people in the shanty town, her willingness to take a boarder into her home who is dying, her determination to keep her son with her despite her worry and fears for him, and most especially her refusal to allow herself to give in to self pity, all show her heroic courage. Her faith and determination to get her son to respond to her maternal love touched me so deeply. Imagine loving your child with all your heart and not knowing if he even realizes that. Of coures, in the end, Solly does show he loves her - she gets what she wants, but with such a heartbreaking outcome. And most of all - her willingness to fall in love even knowing what the end will be - her acceptance that just because the ending of the story is sad, it's still worth reading the book.

Neither of them is perfect - which also makes them heroic, in my mind.

This is one of those stories that will stay with me for a long, long time.

The other book I'm flipping through right now is called Write Mind - 299 Things Writers Should Never Say to Themselves. It gives write mind suggestions for "wrong thinking" and it's very positive.

Monday, January 18, 2010

WIPs and Chains

Lately I've had a flood of story ideas in my brain. The dilemma of course is – which one do I work on first? I already mentioned that I have three works in progress. But when I get a new idea, I get intrigued by that idea and want to run with it.

Am I in danger of becoming one of those writers who starts things and never finishes them?

Now, it’s not like I’ve never completed a book. I have 12 contracted books (10 already out and 2 more coming out) and I have – count ‘em – 6 completed manuscripts sitting waiting (for what, I’m not sure, but there they are). So I can do it. I’ve done it before. But geez, it’s been a while…and I’m wondering if I need to exercise some serious self-discipline and just work on one project and FINISH IT.

The ideas will still be there to work on when I’m finished – right? But what if it’s not fun? I love writing – I love so much about it. Becoming my characters, getting in their heads, living in their world, solving plot problems, finding beautiful new words and new ways to put words together that say exactly what I want to say. If it’s not fun, I just think – shouldn’t it be?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Extreme Close Up Chapter 28

“Jack! The booze must be making you violent.”
“Nah. I had that idea before we started drinking.”
She snorted with laughter. “Are you that mad at him for sleeping with your girlfriend?”
He paused. “No. Actually, I don’t even give a shit about that. I’m more pissed off that he won’t help Sarah.”
“Oh, Jack.” Her heart softened and she dragged in a shaky breath.
“I like your living room, Ally,” he said with an abrupt change of subject. “Did I tell you that?”
“, I don’t think so.”
“As soon as I walked in the door, I felt at home here,” he said. “Which is weird considering this is where you and Carter lived together.” He frowned.
“Well, this is all my furniture and stuff,” she explained. “So I guess it feels more like my place than Carter’s.”
“Yeah. It does feel like your place. It’s very you.” He waved a hand. “And I like it. And I like you.”
She giggled. “I like you too, Jack.”
He looked at her, lifted a brow. “You wanna have sex again tonight?”
Ally couldn’t help but laugh. “Apparently I always want to have sex with you. The question is, do you? You’re the one who’s been holding back.”
“Yeah. I have been. But suddenly all the reasons for us to not get together don’t seem so important.” He growled and put his arm around her shoulders, pulling her against him for a hug. “Only problem might have had a bit too much to drink.”
Ally relaxed against him, loving his embrace. “S’okay,” she mumbled. “Me too. But you can still stay here tonight. You can’t drive back to Carter’s like this.”
He shook his head. “No,” he said solemnly. “Can I sleep in your bed, though?”
She giggled. “Sure. Where should I sleep?”
He gave her a nudge. “Witch. With me, of course.”
She laughed again. “But you’re too tanked to tango.”
He groaned. “Damn it.” He kissed her hair. “I’ll make it up to you tomorrow.”
She leaned back to look at him. They were both a bit lit but she could see the heat in his eyes despite their glassiness. She smiled slowly at him. “Promise?”
“Hell, yeah.” He paused. “Thanks Ally.”
“Thanks for what?”
“For being there for me. Again.” He raised his glass to her in a toast. “You’re the only one in the world I can always count on.”
She smiled at him, feeling very warm and fuzzy. “And I know I can always count on you.”
They gazed at each other through a slight alcoholic haze and she suddenly realized how true those words were. Carter had let her down. She had new friends – Katelyn, Kim, others she had worked with - and she supposed she could count on them in a time of need, although that had never been tested. But without a shadow of doubt, she knew that whatever happened to her, Jack would be there.
Something squeezed her heart and her breath caught in her throat. She gulped down a burning mouthful of Jose Cuervo. Oh, God. This attraction she had for Jack was feeling strangely
She stared at him, her mind whirling with a million thoughts. She could not fall in love with Jack. Again.
She swallowed more tequila. What did that mean? She blinked at Jack, trying to process her confused thoughts. Had she been falling in love with Jack before he left? Was that why she’d had all those strange yearning feelings, why she’d been so restless and anxious about school ending?
They went upstairs and curled up naked together in Ally’s bed and slept, or perhaps passed out was a better description after all the tequila, and woke up late. Ally had forgotten to set her alarm and when she saw it was ten-fifteen, she had to think for a moment to know what day it was. Wednesday. Then she had to think a little longer to try to remember if there was any good reason she had to get up. Yeah, she had work to do, but she didn’t have to be anywhere or do anything.
She snuggled deeper into Jack’s arms, and felt them tighten around her. “You awake?” she whispered.
“Don’t yell like that,” he answered with a moan. She gave a little snort of laughter.
“Do you need some Advil?”
“What I need is to find the asshole who’s shooting off that AK47 in my brain and kill him.”
Amused, she turned in his arms to face him.
“Don’t even think of kissing me,” he said, burying his face into the pillow. “Not until I’ve brushed my teeth.”
Mmm. Ally ran her tongue over her own teeth. Probably a good idea.
“I’ll go use the bathroom first, then I’ll get you some Advil and coffee,” she offered. “And toast.”
“No toast.”
“Whatever.” She’d bring him toast and make him eat it.
Strangely, although she’d been a bit looped last night, she felt fine. She slid out of bed and walked naked to the bathroom.
She paused, both hands on the edge of the counter and lowered her head.
What on earth was she going to do when he left again?
Because what was keeping him here now? Now he’d learned he was not Sarah’s father, nor could he help her by donating bone marrow, the only reason for him being in LA no longer existed.
Oh lord. Her stomach plunged all the way to her toes.
He was going to leave. She knew it. He knew it. There was no longer anything keeping him there.

Extreme Close Up Chapter 29

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sick of reviews?

Gotta laugh, but I got two more!

This one's for Irish Sex Fairy from

Fraught with tension at the beginning...This is full of the complexities of life, joy, humor, and a woman who has to decide whether or not "they" win. I liked the premise the author worked with in this and can see a sequel possibility. This one is good for a night by the fire.

And another one for Sexpresso Night - 5 STARS from Just Erotic Romance Reviews newsletter:

“I loved everything about Sexpresso Night and to my surprise actually learned quite a bit more about coffee…Ms. Jamieson does a wonderful job showing their building emotions and pacing this story perfectly. The sex scenes were incredible, well-written and detailed…. Sexpresso Night is a story I will definitely be rereading and I will be on the lookout for other books by this author.”

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What I'm Reading Wednesday

This week I finished reading No Greater Pleasure by Megan Hart. Yes I’ll say it again: Megan is one of my favourite authors. This book however didn’t completely satisfy me. I read the first Order of Solace trilogy and I loved all three stories. No Greater Pleasure involves another Handmaiden and her assignment. Quilla’s assignment is a difficult one, as Gabriel has a very dark past (one tortured hero coming up). However I don’t know what exactly made him a hero. He loves his son, even though he may not be his, which is admirable He stays with his wife because of a vow, even though she is evil, which is also admirable. His marriage raises the question of how he and Quilla will end up together, and that’s what kept me reading, but if he was falling in love with her, I didn’t see it. She did everything for him, to the point that it annoyed me a little, and he didn’t seem to care at all. In fact, he seemed deliberately cruel to her. There is very little sex in the story - not that a story has to have it to be good, but Megan Hart writes excellent erotic romance and this is not erotic. The story is all told from Quilla’s point of view so we don’t get inside Gabriel’s head to know why he fell in love with her, other than she looked after him. The writing is absolutely beautiful, though, and I loved the character of Florentine. The friendship that develops between her and Quilla is much more satisfying than the romance in this story.

Now reading: Night Shadow by Cherry Adair. Teleporting wizards and clones!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Another review!

Can I just say, WOW! I am riding a run of good reviews lately! This one's for Rigger, from Romance Junkies:


"RIGGER is an emotional roller coaster that you won’t want to leave. Heat rises from the pages every time Shaela and Alek are together. You won’t want to miss this hot story. "


Monday, January 11, 2010

WIPs and Chains

Before I talk about writing, just want to mention that I'm a guest over at Beth Kery's blog. Beth is a fellow Ellora's Cave and Samhain author and we have the same agent, the fabulous Laura Bradford. I'm giving away a download of Rigger there so come on over!

The WIP (I’m calling it Office Wife) is coming along nicely. I’m really trying to keep the momentum up by NOT going back and editing every time I open the document. I seem to have developed this habit and while I know some writers work that way, it doesn’t seem to work well for me. It seems to stall the creative process and I feel I’m using the “editing” as a tool to procrastinate on the actual writing. It used to be that I HAD to get the story out of me – out of my head and onto the screen, which gave me a lot of push to keep going and motivation to finish. I had to find out what was going to happen! Since I started plotting more, I no longer feel that drive to get the story out, I guess because I already know the story and what’s going to happen.

Except I don’t really know what’s going to happen, because when I get writing, things suddenly take a turn I didn’t expect – characters react differently in the moment than I planned. I love that!

In this WIP I’ve got only the bare outline of my story and I want to just run with it and see what happens, more like what I did when I started writing. I hope I can find the best balance for me between plotting and pantsing.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A review for Sexpresso Night!

Just got a great review from Night Owl Reviews for Sexpresso Night!
4 1/4 Stars! (I've never seen 1/4 star before but I'm not gonna turn it down!)

Here's what they had to say:

"Ms. Jamison has done it again…. there is a lot of emotion torn between the pages…If you are a fan of Ms. Jamison you won't be disappointed, if you've never read this author before, I encourage you to pick this short story up to whet your appetite for more."

And I love this part with the "coffee" reference: "I was very jealous of Danya when she picked a man who knows how to make his coffee! He is the perfect blend."
LOL! Love the coffee reference, and he is the perfect blend for Danya!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Nine Naughty Novelists are having a pool party to heat up this cold winter weekend! Come on by for some fun and a chance to win some books!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Bradford Bunch

Come on over to the Bradford Bunch after you read Extreme Close Up - I'm blogging about the roller coaster ride of writing today!

Extreme Close Up Chapter 27


Ally had spent another frustrating day at her computer, almost in tears over her inability to figure out what she wanted to do. The ideas she came up with were farfetched, she couldn’t invent any kind of motivation for what her characters needed to do and her head ached from going around in plot circles. Then her doorbell rang. Through the peephole she saw Jack leaning against the door frame.
Her heart slammed to a stop. She opened the door. My God, he looked like he’d been beat up.
He looked at her with a wry smile. “You want to say ‘I told you so’?”
She stared at him. “Huh?”
“About Carter.” Jack straightened and walked past her into her home. “You kept asking why I was so concerned about hurting him by getting involved with you, when he was a liar and a cheater. Well, you were right. He is a liar and a cheater.”
She followed along behind him, confused. “What’s going on, Jack?”
He threw himself down onto her couch and told her what had happened.
“Oh my God.” She put her fingers to her mouth, staring at him. “Oh, Jack. Are you okay?”
He shook his head. “I have no fucking idea. This is the most bizarre thing that’s ever happened to me.”
He fell back against the cushions of the sofa, closed his eyes, covered his face with his hands.

They were both silent for a long time.
“Wow,” Ally whispered finally. “I don’t even know what to say. Are you...are you disappointed? That you’re not a father?”
“Hell,” he growled, lowering his hands to the couch beside him. He stared up at the ceiling. “I don’t even know. I think I actually am, a little. On the other hand, all I’ve wanted since I got here was to get back to my nice, normal, bombs-exploding life.” He grimaced. “I’m really, really confused.”
That’s what he wanted ever since he’d gotten there - to leave. Well. Ally’s heart began a slow descent.
Then Jack lifted his head. “I need a drink.”
Ally nodded and jumped to her feet.
“Do you have anything stronger than beer?”
She went over to her small bar and opened it, revealing rows and rows of bottles.
“Excellent.” He got up and walked over to the well-stocked bar. “My old buddy Jose. Jose Cuervo.”
Ally pulled two glasses from another cupboard and set them on top of the bar. Jack poured golden liquid into each glass, recapped the bottle and set it down. Then he handed a glass to Ally and took one himself and they carried them back to the couch.
“Well,” Jack said heavily.
Again they were silent, processing the evening’s astonishing turn of events.
Finally, Jack turned to Ally. “I can’t believe it. That dickhead. He slept with my girlfriend and never said a word, even through the whole pregnancy thing. He was so supportive about it all, and it turns out it was actually him. It was his baby! God!” He rubbed his face. “I can’t believe he let me take the heat for that! Christ, my parents were so pissed off. Brittany’s parents probably hate me to this day. Oh, man.”
“ could have been the father, Jack.”
He stared at her and color washed into his cheeks. “Yeah. Okay. We had sex. But we were always careful. Unlike goddamn Carter. Didn’t it even enter his head that it could be his baby?” He frowned. “It probably did. He just didn’t say anything. Technically,” Jack’s mouth twisted wryly, “he didn’t have to.”
Ally drew a long breath into her lungs. She had been right about Carter - he didn’t deserve Jack’s loyalty. But she didn’t feel good about it. On the contrary, she felt crappy seeing Jack have his friendship trashed, all his memories of Carter and the experiences they’d shared now tainted. She knew how he felt, because she’d been through the same thing when she’d found Carter cheating on her.
“I’m sorry, Jack,” she whispered. “I know how it hurts when someone betrays you like that.”
He met her eyes. She could see the pain and confusion in them and ached for him.
He held up his empty glass and gave a rueful smile. “I am going to get totally shit-faced.”
She got up and went and got the bottle of tequila, splashed more into their glasses and set it on the table between them. She leaned back against the couch, sitting beside Jack, and they both lifted their feet to the coffee table, holding their drinks.
“You know what’s the worst thing?” he said, swirling the amber liquid in his glass.
“Carter is Sarah’s father and he isn’t going to help her.”
Ally was silent. “Shit.”
“Yeah. What a scumbag.”
“Ass wipe
“Rat bastard.”
“Numb nuts.”
They continued naming Carter the worst, most imaginative insults they could come up with until they both started laughing. Jack reached for the bottle again and refilled their glasses, leaning back with a sigh and a smile.
“Are you mad at Brittany?” Ally asked.
He thought about that. “Nah,” he finally said. “She was just doing what she thought she had to, to save her kid.”
“I meant...for sleeping with Carter.”
“Oh.” Jack gulped his drink. “Nah. It was so long ago, it doesn’t even mean anything.” He sighed. “I just wish she had figured out who was the father nine years ago. Wow, would things have been different.”
Ally considered that. “Yes.” She knew Jack’s relationship with his parents had never really been the same after that. ”You need to tell your folks.”
“Yeah.” He grimaced. “And think how different Carter’s life would have been. You and he would likely never have gotten together.” The curve of his lips looked endearingly satisfied at that thought.
“Probably not.” And how different would things have been for her and Jack? Would they have figured out their feelings for each other sooner? But what if they had? They’d been awfully young to know who they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with.
Yikes. Where the hell did that thought come from? There was no way she and Jack had any kind of future. She had to just wash those thoughts right out of her slightly drunk and fuzzy head.
“Thank God you and Brittany didn’t get married,” Ally said suddenly. “Wow. What a mess that would have been.”
Jack groaned. “No kidding. And, thank God we didn’t tell Sarah yet. Oh man.” They were silent again for a moment.
“This is good stuff,” Jack said, leaning back into the cushions of the couch and lifting his glass. “You know we have to do something about dickhead Carter.”
Ally grinned and leaned back too. “Like what?”
“How about beat the living crap out of him.”

Extreme Close Up Chapter 28

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Right now I am reading Switch by Megan Hart. Wow! This story is different and of course beautifully written. As you probably all know Megan Hart is one of my favourite authors. Which is why I bought TWO of her books on the weekend :-)

I have to say, I do appreciate it when a favourite author has new releases out regularly!

Monday, January 4, 2010

WIPs and Chains

I’m going to start blogging (I’m going to try for every Monday!) about my writing process and what I’m working on. I don’t like to reveal too much about my works in progress (WIP) because sometimes they end up going nowhere and are total dreck, and also because I like to tease. :-)

One thing I’ve learned from all my writer friends is that we are all neurotic, self-obsessed whiners who lack confidence in our ability. Okay, I’m kidding, sort of, but I do find that many of us ride the same emotional roller coaster when it comes to our writing, so if this blog gets all whiny be sure to slap me in a comment and let me know to get over it!

I currently have 3 stories I’m actively working on, although I’m going back and forth between them all. I don’t generally have titles for my WIPs until they’re finished, with some exceptions, so I make up names for them. My first WIP is currently known as “Ponzi”. I’ve been stuck on this one for a while. This story is intended to be part of a series involving a big international security company. I think I got overwhelmed by the enormity of doing a series, and that stalled me on this story for a while.

I then started another story which I’m calling “Murder in the Vineyard” except the murder didn’t really happen in the vineyard, but oh well. I got stuck on this one, and I’m going to blame it on the amount of plotting I did. Because there’s an element of mystery/suspense in this story, I wanted to plot it out intricately. But somehow that took all the fun out of writing it.

I went back to Ponzi. I decided I would focus only on this story in the series, and not the others right now, and maybe it would be less overwhelming. This did seem to help, but then I got stuck because of all the research I needed to do. Since I wasn’t having fun with it, I went back to my Murder in the Vineyard story. But my boredom with the story (I already knew exactly what was going to happen) made me worry that the story itself was boring. So I sent the first five chapters off to my critique partner. Her feedback encouraged me to keep going with it.

But then I decided I just wanted to write something fast and fun. So I started the third story. And that’s the one I’m working on right now. Next week I’ll talk about how that’s going…

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A review for Rigger!

Seriously Reviewed rated Rigger: Story: 9 Presentation: 9
Total: 18

"Oh my hell, this book was impossible to put down. Alek has all the wonderful qualities we love in a hotter than hell hero. He’s sexy and yummy, and has a deliciously naughty streak that made my heart pound and my panties damp.

Yep, this is a perfect example of erotic romance, because while the sex is scorching and just remembering while I’m writing this review is making me hot again, this is also a wonderful friends to lovers stories...This truly was a hot story to read that satisfied on all levels."

I am so thrilled! This means a lot to me, because this is exactly what I want my writing to be - hot and steamy but still a satisfying story. Thank you Se
riously Reviewed!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Extreme Close Up Chapter 26

By dirafum
sad this week

“Brittany’s coming over,” Jack told Carter a few days later.
Carter’s brows flew up. “Brittany’s coming here? What for?”
“She has the results of the testing. She wants to talk about it.”
“Oh.” Carter fidgeted. “I’ll go out for a while, then.”
“Nah, that’s okay. It’s your place, you can stay. Not like we have any secrets.” Except they did, guilt still eating at his gut over sleeping with Ally. He felt like a piece of shit hiding what they’d done from Carter. He sighed. Carter’s doorbell rang and he grimaced. “Guess that’s her.”
Carter looked strained as he went to answer the door, but when Jack saw Brittany’s face, he was even more alarmed. Shit. This was not going to be good.
“Long time no see, Brittany,” Carter said with his usual easy charm. “Come on in, have a seat.” Brittany’s eyes met Jack’s as she walked into the room and she gave him a weak smile.
They sat on Carter’s sleek leather furniture. Brittany’s fingers twisted the strap of her purse over and over again.
“Would you like a drink?” Carter offered.
“No thanks.” Her eyes sought Jack’s again and his heart sank. Oh man. This was going to be bad news, he could just feel it. He probably wasn’t a good match for donating and Brittany was upset and worried.
The churning in his gut started up again. He took a breath, smiled reassuringly at Brittany. “So what’s the deal?”
“Um...” Brittany’s eyes darted from Jack to Carter and back to Jack again. “I gather Carter knows what’s going on?”
“Yeah, I told him about Sarah.” Jack glanced at Carter, hoping Carter wasn’t going to start talking that crap about Brittany suing for child support. “It’s okay with you if he’s here, isn’t it?”
He watched as she visibly straightened her spine, fingers still tightly clasped on her purse. “I...I guess so.” She looked even more distressed. Jesus.
“Anyway,” Jack continued, his own nerves stretched like an elastic band ready to snap. “Did you get the results of the tests?” He looked at her expectantly.
She nodded, looked down again. “Yes. I’m afraid it’s not good news.” She paused, drew a breath, and Jack’s heart sank. The silence amplified as Brittany gathered her thoughts, then she looked up and met Jack’s eyes. “I’m sorry, Jack,” she whispered. “I am so, so sorry.”
He nodded, felt his throat tighten. “It’s okay,” he said gruffly. “You don’t need to apologize. I’m sorry.”
She continued, licking her lips nervously. “The tests showed that you’re not a good match.”
He nodded again, chest aching. “I figured that.”
“Not even close, in fact.” She closed her eyes, opened them again. “In fact, the tests showed that you’re not even Sarah’s father.”
The room was so silent you could hear the faint tick of Carter’s Patek Phillippe watch.Jack shook his head. What did she say?
He frowned, peered at Brittany. Now she met his eyes steadily, her own shiny with tears. She nodded. “I’m really sorry,” she said again, her voice trembling.
“Uh...Brittany...what the hell?”
“I guess I screwed up,” she choked out.
She guessed she screwed up? Jack shook his head again. “What do you mean you screwed up? Are you serious? I’m not Sarah’s father?” His heart started a slow, heavy thudding in his chest.
She nodded.
“ said Sarah is nine years old.”
Brittany nodded again, biting her lower lip. “Yes. She’ll be ten in December.”
Jack’s mind whirled and he couldn’t do the math, but he’d done it before and it worked out. “I...I don’t get it,” he muttered, shaking his head. “If I’m not her father - then who is?”
Brittany lowered her eyes. “I really didn’t want to do this like this.”
“Brittany...” Jack’s face felt like it was going to crack. “Who’s the father?”
She lifted her head and looked at Carter. Jack followed her gaze, saw Carter grow visibly pale, eyes flickering.
No. No, no, no.
Jack looked back at Brittany. Questioning. Accusing. Incredulous.
She nodded, a small, jerky nod. “Carter. I’m sorry. Like I said, this wasn’t how I planned to tell you.”
Carter jumped to his feet. “You’re saying I’m the father?” His voice was loud, strained.
Brittany looked up at him, her eyes watery, and nodded.
Jack stared at Carter and Brittany, who were staring at each other, Carter standing there with fists clenched, Brittany in the chair, her fingers tightly knotted.
“You can’t be serious,” Carter finally said, with a short laugh. “That is ridiculous.”
Brittany’s eyes widened in shock. “Are you...denying it?”
“I sure as hell am!” Carter cried. “Jesus Christ! What the hell do you think you’re trying to pull on us, coming here like this, nine years later, looking for the father of your child?”
Brittany was speechless for a few seconds. “I...I’m trying to find the person who can save my daughter’s life,” she whispered. “She’s dying, Carter.”
He scowled. “Oh, please, spare me. This has nothing to do with me.”
Her head moved slowly from side to side as she continued to stare at him with disbelief. “ know. You have to know.”
“Are you saying that he...that you and he...” Jack stumbled over his words, shook his head to try to clear it. “Brittany, you and Carter...?”
Her face crumpled with shame. “Yes. I am so, so sorry Jack. Like I said, this wasn’t exactly how I saw things going. I was so sure you were the father. For the last nine years, I believed it, even though I never told you. I never dreamed...Carter and was only once. It just happened.”
“When we were going out?” Jack was incredulous. This was unfuckingbelievable.
“Yes.” She dropped her eyes. “I know I keep saying it, but I’m sorry. We slept together, but we both agreed we would never tell you about it. I didn’t want to hurt you.”
“It just happened? How the hell did it just happen?”
Brittany looked nervously between him and Carter. “It don’t really want to know the details, do you?”
Jack stared at her. Then he shook his head abruptly. “Hell, no.” He turned his gaze to Carter. He glared at his friend with burning eyes. “You slept with my girlfriend? I cannot fucking believe this!”
Strangely enough, he was more offended by Carter’s betrayal than Brittany’s unfaithfulness. It was almost too much to take in. When Brittany had discovered she was pregnant, how had Carter not wondered? How had he faced Jack, knowing he’d slept with his girlfriend? What about all that talk about standing by him, supporting him if he became a teenage father?
“Once,” Carter bit out, his face pale and tight. “It happened once.” He turned to Brittany. “That does not mean I’m the father of your child.”
“There was nobody else,” Brittany said firmly, still struggling with tears. “And Jack has already been proven to not be the father. That leaves you, Carter.”
He shook his head, his jaw clenched. “No. No fucking way.” He drew in a breath. “I know what you’re trying to do. You have to know, Brittany, when you didn’t tell the father nine years ago, kept it secret all these years, chose to raise the child yourself, there’s no way you’d be successful if you try to sue for support.”
Her eyes widened. “That’s not what I want!” she cried. She, too, jumped to her feet and faced Carter, eyes blazing. “You asshole!” She poked him in the chest and he took a surprised step backward.
Jack’s mouth dropped open.
“All I want is a bone marrow donor for my daughter!” Brittany cried. “I chose to raise her on own my own, for my own reasons, and I’m not looking for anything more than that. I just want to save her life.”
Carter shook his head. “Well, screw that. I’m not getting involved in this. I am not the father and that’s that.”
He looked at Jack. “What a bunch of bullshit,” he snarled, then turned and left his home. He slammed the door behind him.
Brittany stood there looking pole-axed. “I can’t believe he just walked out on me.” She put a hand to her mouth, turned to Jack. He stood immobile, paralyzed with shock and dismay.
“You’re probably mad at me, too,” she said on a sob. “And I can’t blame you. I made you come all the way home for nothing. Got you all worked up about nothing. I can only say again, I’m sorry, Jack. For everything.” She bent and picked up her purse. “I guess I’d better go too.” She started to leave, then stopped and turned back. Her eyes were wet. “I want to thank you. For coming and for getting tested and agreeing to donate, even though it didn’t work out. Thank you, Jack.”
Jack just stared after her as she, too left the room, closing the front door more quietly behind her than Carter had.
Jack swallowed. Holy shit. What had just happened here? He covered his face with his hands and sank down onto the couch before his legs gave out. How could this be?
Jesus. He’d put his whole life on hold to come home and meet his daughter. Then he found out she might be dying and he was the only one who might be able to save her. Now ...he had no daughter. And found out his best friend had betrayed him all those years ago and he’d had no fucking idea.
He stared up at the ceiling with burning eyes, feeling like he’d just been run over by an Abrams M1 tank. Then he knew he couldn’t sit there alone. There was only one person who could help him deal with this shit.

Extreme Close Up Chapter 27