Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Not much to report on the reading front!  Still working on Yours, Mine and Howls by Kinsey Holley. I'm loading up my ereader for the trip to LA next week, anticipating reading time on the plane. I probably won't get much reading done while I'm there though!

Monday, March 28, 2011

WIPs and Chains

The WIP is progressing nicely albeit slowly the last few days because...I'm working on a sex scene.

I'm generally a very fast and prolific writer, overall, but I have to say that sex scenes slow me down considerably. Why is that?

I've heard of readers who skip over the sex scenes in racy romance novels and I recall hearing about an author (I WISH I could remember who) who said, please don't do that, I spend a lot of time on my sex scenes.

I agree.

Even for those readers who aren't comfortable with the bedrooom door open sex scenes (who probably aren't reading my books, aside from possibly my MIL) I would really appreciate if you read them in my books. In my books, the sex scenes are pivotal. They're important turning points in the book, often, points where the characters are at their most vulnerable, when they share things they otherwise wouldn't. I want these scenes to be emotional, moving, and yes, erotic - because arousal is another emotion.

I spend a lot of time not only on the mechanics of the scene - who touches whom, where, and how - but the emotions involved, the visceral feeling, the thoughts each person is having while this is going on. I spend a lot of time describing their deepest fears, their most intense emotions. Let's face it, these are often some of the most emotional moments of our lives, especially when it comes to the love stories of our lives. Yes, there are other emotional moments in life - moments of death, betrayal, suffering. But love and sex are definitely up there with those intense emotions and I want readers to experience that along with my characters, which is why I take so much time to make every movement, every word, every emotion the best it can be.

So please don't skip the sex scenes because yes, I spend a lot of time making them the best I can.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Sneak Peek

Here's a little peek at the manuscript I just sent off to my editor, Power Shift. For those of you following along this is Gabe's story - Gabe the master Dom from Power Struggle:

Reagan stood on Gabe’s deck beneath the moonlight and starlight and the intensity of his gaze, his dark blue eyes as deep and mesmerizing as the night sky. The way he looked at her, the power and compelling strength, made her want to drop to her knees in front of him. Which horrified her.

Clearly Gabe liked to be in control―the tension snapping between them over that had been obvious from the moment they’d met. And she was determined that never again was a man going to tell her what to do, to take over everything, to control her life. Never again was she going to be trapped like that, at someone else’s mercy.

But then―she studied him, the breeze lifting his dark hair just slightly, the moonlight highlighting the silver at his temples, his expression not fierce or forbidding, but rather gentle and warm and intent. And she wanted to laugh at her fears, because this was far from him controlling her life or trapping her. This was one night with one attractive man, which she’d had many times since she’d been divorced. It was her choice to be there, nobody was forcing her, and why did it have to be different than any other time she’d been with a man? Why couldn’t she just enjoy it?

She ignored the faint suspicion inside her that said oh hell yeah, this was different, this man was way different than any other man she’d ever met in her life. This was not the kind of man she should be spending time with, all forceful and overpowering. This was the kind of man she should be staying far, far away from, the kind of man who could be her downfall. She should be with someone like Kevin—kind, gentle...nice. But Kevin didn’t tempt her like Gabe did. And so she focused on her rationale for why she could do this―one night. Hot attraction. That’s all.

“I like it when you laugh,” she said.

His eyes darkened even more. “I don’t laugh very often.”

“I know.”

“You’re saying I’m a bad-tempered son of a bitch.”

She smiled. “If the hardhat fits...”

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday

So despite my excitement at finding out I could buy all the new books I want from the Kobo store, I haven't started reading any of them yet, as I need to get caught up on my Naughty Nine reading list. A few weeks ago I read a couple of Juniper Bell books, and this week I'm reading Yours, Mine and Howls by Kinsey Holley. I believe I have one by Kate Davies and a fairly new one by Erin Nicholas I need to read also! Those'll be next!

Monday, March 21, 2011

WIPs and Chains

I've been making great progress on this WIP! Right now I'm working on another hockey hero story. The hero of this story is Tag Heller, the brother of Jase Heller in Breakaway. I plan to submit this story as part of the O Canada theme at Ellora's Cave. Unfortunately I didn't check the submission guidelines closely enough when I started it and only discovered yesterday that these stories should have a maximum word count of 45,000 words. I'd planned this story to be 60,000! So now at 13,000 words, I'm realizing I need to pick up the pace a bit!  But that's okay. It's kind of funny that a while back I was struggling to write longer stories and now I seem to have no trouble with that!

On the weekend I heard back from my critique partner about a manuscript she was looking at for me, and was so happy and relieved to hear that she loved it. That manuscript will be with my editor shortly!  That was another one that I started out trying to write a little shorter - aiming for the 60,000 words and it ended up 70,000! Oh well. It had to be that to tell the story. I've mentioned before that I'd done a couple of workshops and read some books to try to help me write longer stories. I think the result of this is that my characters have improved a lot. I think the last few books I've writte that have turned out longer, have had more complex, three-dimensional characters with many more layers than I used to write. I think. I'm often not the best judge of my own writing!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Release Day!!

Usually I say FINALLY on release day but in this case, I just found out MONDAY that today is release day!!! I thought it was a typo and my editor meant MAY 18. But's today! Yay!

You've been hearing me blog and Tweet about Breakaway for ages, and here it is! Read more about pro athlete romance heroes today at Nine Naughty Novelists - do you like them, or not?

I'm giving away a copy at my Facebook page - so come "like me" (I hate saying that!) and leave a comment for a chance to win.
Also if you join my newsletter group, I give away a copy of every new release to one newsletter subscriber

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Here's a little excerpt from Breakaway:

“You’re not my type,” Jason said.

Huh? She blinked. “Okay, then.” She started to stand but he grabbed her hand and tugged her back down, almost onto his lap.

“I mean…you didn’t used to be my type. Hell.” The corners of his mouth turned down. “I sound like an idiot. I am an idiot.”

Her heart softened. She relaxed onto the couch, his arm around her waist, and it felt sooooo good.

“You’re not an idiot,” she said with a little laugh.

“Yeah, I am. Bah.” He shook his head, mouth tight. “What I mean is, I’m not normally attracted to cute little blondes.”

Cute little blonde? Yeah, that was her. How she wished she had mile-long legs and big boobs and full lips like Brianne Haskett. Stephanie Seymour. Laetitia Casta. All those other Victoria’s Secret models who looked like that.

No, she was teeny weeny, skinny, flat-chested, with wispy blonde hair.

But Jason seemed to find her attractive.

She tilted her head to one side and regarded him through a rum-and-lust haze. “You’re kidding. Right?”

“No. I mean…” He looked confused. “I’m not kidding about not usually being attracted to cute little blondes. But you’re…cute.”

She laughed. Shook her head. Wished for another drink.

The crazy thing was, he was exactly the type of guy she was attracted to. Not just physically—big guys had always appealed to her, maybe because she was small—but she also liked his smile, his wide mouth and how it tilted up at the corners even when he wasn’t smiling, the fact that he was gorgeous but wasn’t all hung up on himself and the most important thing—he’d dumped a supermodel!

Dammit. What the hell was going on here? She looked around a bit frantically, now hoping Delise would show up and rescue her. But Delise was nowhere in sight. And Jason was right next to her, touching her, his big body radiating heat. He smelled good, like he’d just showered, a fresh masculine scent of shampoo and men’s shower gel, and a faint shadow of beard shaded his jaw. Yum. She wanted to bite him.

Whoa. She blinked. Her mind was in the gutter. What kind of responsible, big sister/school teacher was she?

He put a big hand on her cheek, cupping it, and she melted into a liquid puddle of lust on the red leather banquette. “You’re sweet,” he said, almost sounding surprised. “Okay. We’ll just stay here for a while. We can talk here.”

She nodded.

“You’re a free woman,” he said with a sexy smile. “And I’m a free man. We should both be celebrating. Why not together?”

She took in a long, slow breath. “Why not?” She smiled at him.

“Here’s the deal,” he said. “I’m not ready to settle down. I like you. We could have fun together.”

“We could.” Oh lord. What had she just said? She closed her eyes briefly, then focused on him and firmed her lips. “I’m not ready to settle down either. I just got my freedom. I’ve had enough responsibility. All I want is to have some fun.”

Even as she said the words, a small niggle of guilt wormed its way into her conscience. Was it true? Was that really all she wanted? She’d been mature, responsible, dependable for so long…did she even know how to just have fun?

She wanted to find out.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday

If you didn't see my ecstatic Twittering this past week let me just share my joy with you!! I discovered that I can buy books from the Kobo store that work on my Sony reader. And the Kobo store has the books I want to read, that the Sony store doesn't. I still don't entirely understand why that is, apparently some kind of geographical restrictions set by publishers, but can I tell you how much that annoyed me (Grrrrrr) that I could not buy the books I wanted. Favourite authors, new authors...I could go to the bookstore and buy the print book. But why should I have to do that?
I don't know why I never thought of visiting the Kobo store sooner. I have a Chapters membership which gets me a discount off print books in store and online and I've made good use of that in the past. Now...not so much since I buy mainly ebooks. I feel a little bad about that, because I'd like to support my local bookstore and Chapters was awesome about carrying my print book Friends With Benefits when it came out. (It's sold out!! Yay!! Must go see if they've ordered any more...) Anyhoo, I got an email from Chapters about some sale and there was a link to their Kobo store, so I had the idea to check there. I had no idea what format Kobo readers use. Turns out it's EPUB, which totally works on my Sony. Excitedly, I searched for books, and found the ones I've been wanting- Jill Shalvis and Julie James, to name two. Even more excitedly I made my purchase, downloaded it, opened it in Adobe Digital Editions, transferred it onto my reader and opened it up...voila!  I had my book! And it was even cheaper than the Sony store!!!

Well you can imagine how my TBR "pile" has grown!! Will report back next week!

Monday, March 14, 2011

WIPs and Chains

After another one of those weeks wondering if this is it, I'm done as a writer, I'll never write again,  I'm happy to say-  it's back!

I don't have those self-doubts as much as I used to because I've been through this a few times now. That feeling of thinking I should be writing...but I don't want to. I have ideas but none of them excite me. I have a few projects I've started that I could go back to. I did go back to them. They didn't excite me either.

This usually happens when I've been writing like crazy and yes, I've just completed a few manuscripts and I guess somehow my brain just needs to rest and regenerate or something. I wanted to write something fast and easy, something that doesn't take a lot of research or planning, something hot and sexy and fun. Even that seemed beyond me, though I'd started something that I thought fit the bill.

This morning I woke up early (except for the Daylight Savings Time thing - losing an hour REALLY annoys me, but maybe it wasn't so bad because I wasn't writing something and didn't feel that urgent need to GET UP OUT OF BED AND GET WORKING which I usually feel) so I lay in bed for a while and started thinking about the story I'd started and a few hot scenes came to mind and...whoa! I was inspired!

And I wrote nearly 4000 words today on that story. Yay!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Something Different...

Today instead of sharing what I'm reading (which hasn't been much this week due to a very busy week!) I'm sharing my Romance Trading Card with you. This whole Romance Trading Cards got started as a way for authors to help promote their books at the RT Booklovers Convention and I along with my blog companions the Nine Naughty Novelists, got pulled into the fun of it! The fabulous Kim Killion at designed this one for me and I thought I'd share sneak peek here. Tonight at the Samhain Cafe some of the other Naughty Nine will share their cards too and we're even going to give away a Naughty Nine set (soon as they're printed, that is!) including the much-sought-after (we hope!) The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy's Secret Werewolf Babies!!

Here's the front and back - this is Jason Heller from my upcoming release BREAKAWAY:

So what do you think?????

Monday, March 7, 2011

WIPs and Chains

Was it last week I said I was going to start work on a new story? Ha! That never happened. This was one of those weeks where the "business" of writing interfered with the actual writing. Preparing for the RT Convention in Los Angeles and all the promotion that goes along with it consumed a lot of time this week. (Are you going to RT? I sure hope to meet with a lot of people there!) I was also consumed by another round of edits on Breakaway, which had to be done by March 2, and by another round of revisions on a manuscript my agent has. So the story idea I was working on last weekend never got off the ground. But as I write this, the promo whirl has slowed, the edits are turned in to my editor, the agent has the revised manuscript and likes it and...maybe today it will happen!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday

This week I've read two books by author Juniper Bell - first, Go Wild, a super hot book set in a cold location. This book has the best "meet cute" scene I've read in a long time!  A quick but great read.

Then I read Training the Receptionist also by Juniper. I loved this story! It's so different - told in first person which I'm sometimes not fond of, but the narrator's voice was funny and a little snarky. Another hot little read!