Liquid Silver Books

It’s been a fairly productive week. I’ve been having a lot of difficulties with my current story. It keeps holding me up. I know I should probably set it aside and work on something else, but it’s about 3/4 finished and I’d just like to get through it and be done.

One of the things for me about this first draft is that I often don’t know exactly how the crime happened, I mean, I have an inkling of who did it and why, but the exact details elude me. In two of my books, I thought a particular person was the murderer, but near the end of my first draft someone else stepped forward and confessed. Wow! It was a shocker! My conscious mind hadn’t known, but because my stories flow organically, I let the characters lead me where they may and someone else emerged as the bad guy. Of course in both instances I had to go back and rewrite portions of the story to keep the villain’s identities a secret and yet make sure were hints for the reader. No one likes to get to the end of a suspense story and be blind sided. Misled, yes … but tricked … not so much!

I do love that part though. If I didn’t see it coming then how could my readers? Since I just got the goooorgeous cover for Heart’s Afire, the firefighter anthology which includes my vampire suspense novella, Shadows of Fire, I thought I’d leave you today with a little excerpt from chapter one. Enjoy! I’m off to see what trouble my wolfies are getting into and make myself finish that sucker!

EXCERPT from Shadows of Fire:

It wasn’t much of a noise, just a dull thud in the night. But it was enough to pull Professor Paul Morgan from his slumber. Heavy with the arms of Morpheus still around him, his blood thick with sleeping medication, Paul wasn’t sure what had roused him. But when it came again, a muffled bang from downstairs, followed oddly enough by the sound of rushing wind, he knew he needed to investigate.

Swiping at his eyes, Paul tried unsuccessfully to push away the last strands of drowsiness still clinging to his mind. Something deep in the pit of his stomach told him what had woken him had nothing to do with Zeus, his mischievous tabby and only companion since his wife had died nearly thirty years ago. Swinging his feet to the floor, Paul stepped into his leather slippers and grabbed his robe from the hope chest at the foot of his bed. Scurrying from the bedroom, fear and urgency pushed him forward.

The eerie orange glow emanating from his den at the foot of the stairs brought bile to his throat. Everything near and dear to him was in that room; his wife’s portrait, the marble Sphinx from their trip to Egypt, the antique bookcase she’d given him when he’d gotten the position at the university-the bronzed baby shoes. His feet barely touched the treads as he rushed down the stairs, caution and prudence gone with the desperate need to salvage his memories.

He came up short at the threshold. Swallowing hard, he tried to dislodge the heart stuck in his throat. A fire crackled safely in the fireplace across the room, the dancing flames sending a ballet of mesmerizing shadows along the paneled walls and casting the room in an otherworldly radiance. Fingers of fear lifted the hairs on the back of his neck. 

A quick glance at his desk in the corner reassured him his research was also safe, but did nothing to assuage his fears. The papers he’d left stacked neatly for the magistrate’s office lay strewn about. The monitor of his computer silhouetted the head of a person sitting at his desk.

“Who are you? Wha … wha … what are doing?”

There was no response save for the clicking of computer keys.

“I’ll call the police.” Paul said. 

A maniacal laugh rent the stillness, sending a chill of terror down his spine.

“No, Professor Morgan. We both know you can not do that.” With a flourish, a hand came down hard on the keyboard. The monitor flicked rapidly through several screens before going black.

“What have you done?” Paul rushed to the desk, a wave of nausea rolling hotly in his chest and bringing water to his eyes. Everything. Everything was on that computer.

I didn’t want it to happen this way.” The words carried sadness, but the face that turned to stare at him was pure evil. A face he barely recognized. “You really shouldn’t have been quite so diligent in your research you know. I’ve sent obvious warnings, hoping to push you from this foolhardy course for months. But you wouldn’t heed the signs.” The clicking tongue scolded him as if he were an obstinate child. Fingers steepled in front of lips thin with hatred. “A shame really. I will miss your friendly manner. But you have become too much of a liability for me to allow you to live.”

“You can’t get away with this.”

“Oh, I think we both know … I have … and I will again.” The monster slowly standing before him wasn’t the amicable person he’d known for decades. This person had morphed into a heinous murderer-a murderer with no conscience and a moral compass that pointed straight to hell. 

Paul threw back his shoulders. Though he understood he would not survive this night, he would accept his fate with dignity. “I’ve already sent a copy of all of that to my lawyer.” His hand waved at the papers on the desk. “He knows. He knows and understands everything. He is painfully aware of our strained relationship. None of this will stop with my death.” Paul was pleased he could push the lie steadily through the panic clogging his throat.

“Please, don’t insult my intelligence.” The murderer gathered the papers on the desk and tapped them on its polished cherry surface, elegant fingers aligning the edges before setting them neatly in a pile. “We both know these are the only copies. And we both understand what is to come is inevitable. Preordained if you will  …” The smile was reptilian as if Satan himself had taken possession of this wayward soul.

“You won’t get away with this.” Paul was repeating himself, but terror had stripped him of coherent thought.

“But I already have.” Something small flew from the long fingers. Blue flames erupted in the fireplace. A ball of fire jumped to the leather chair next to the hearth. Another flew to the Aubusson rug he and his wife had gotten on their honeymoon fifty years ago.

“Stop!”

“What you began … I will finish tonight.”

Paul lunged for the decorative throw on back of the couch, intent on pounding the growing flames into submission.

Another burst of evil laughter split the air as the glass vase on the hearth exploded in the growing heat. “That’s right old man. Try to stop it.”

Paul brought the blanket down hard on the fire spreading like a sickness across the rug. The thick smoke choking the air filled his nose and burned his lungs. It was no use. The flames were spreading faster than he could control them. He needed to get out. Abandoning the blanket, he turned to run.

He saw the small ottoman only seconds before it crashed down on his world.

*copyright Nina Pierce 2009*

Thursday Thirteen is a meme where you get to know a little more about me. So this week I’m going to share with you 13 things that are within arms reach of my computer.

1. The man. Well, not all day, but he spends the evenings next to me on the couch while I write, email, or goof around on the computer. (Sometimes he helps me with a little research 😉 )

2. The phone. I’m on the national “no call” list and still my name is on so many calling lists it drives me insane. I got tired of getting up to check the caller ID in the other room. I keep this little number right next to me.

3. The dog. Since I started working from home, she is wherever I am. No kidding. I love her, but when I get up to pee, does she really have to follow me into the bathroom? I feel like I have little children all over again.

4. Notebooks and paper. I keep notebooks on all my books where I keep pictures and notes of my characters and the places they live. Sometimes for inspiration and sometimes to help me remember if the building is made of brick or logs or whether my hero has blue eyes or brown. (Did I mention my office assistant helps keep them in order?)

5. The TV remote. No, I don’t flip stations, but if I’m not writing I like to have the TV on for entertainment. I’ve completely fallen in love with the “Bonnie Hunt” show. I’m trying to convince her she wants me on as a guest… I’ll keep you posted.

6. My webcam. With Beautiful Girl in Italy we “Skype” nearly every day. It’s kind of funny, we talk more with her an ocean away than we ever did when she lived in Massachusetts.

7. An afghan (and a sweater). I’m cheap. I keep the heat really low during the day when it’s just me. Needless to say … it’s been a looooong winter!

8. A coaster. During the morning I drink the better part of a pot of decaf Hazelnut coffee and my cup sits on that coaster. In the afternoon I drink hotwater. In the evening it usually entertains a bottle of beer or a glass of wine. I like my coaster.

9. Pens and sticky notes. If you’ve ever seen my desk you’d know why these have to be so close. I write on them constantly. Sticky notes cover the edge of my two shelves and the side of my computer tower. And I still miss appointments.

10. One of two cats. We have three of them. But there are two that jockey for my attention. The youngest used to sleep in my lap until he got too fat to fit. Now he has to find his own place to hang out.

11. A metal case full of poker chips. They’re not mine. The man went through a period of time where he was addicted to some kind of poker and the kids bought it for him. It doesn’t fit in the game closet so it ended up next to my desk.

12. Beautiful Girl and Baby Girl’s college class schedules. I like to know where they’re at and what they’re studying.

13. Print outs of all my book covers which brings me to the newest! Did you see I got the cover for the Hearts Afire anthology which includes my vampire firefighter novella, Shadows of Fire? It’s coming out in May from Liquid Silver Books! April Martinez is the cover goddess!

Today I’d like to welcome Darragha Foster to my blog. Darr is a fellow erotic author with Liquid Silver Books. 

Darragha, tell us a little bit about you and how you got into writing.
I wrote my first book when I was nine years old.  I submitted it to Random House.  It was rejected with the nicest letter you could ever imagine.  I was undaunted.  Writing is all I’ve ever wanted to do.  I don’t recall how I developed my great love of the written word, but I’m sure that my reading at a very young age contributed.  I am almost 48 years old.  I have a sexy school custodian husband, a gorgeous, strong-willed teenage daughter, an old miniature dachshund, a huge orange cat and a white horse.  I don’t like folding my clothes and putting them away.  I insist on having my own toothpaste that no-one else uses.  My miniature doxie thinks I’m his bitch.  He adores me.  He sits on my side of the bed and barks at me until I lay down with him.  I see a shape-shifter story in there somewhere…

I know you’re very prolific, would you please tell us about your books.  
I write shape-shifter romances with a twist.  Or a fin.  I am the author of “The Orca King,” after all.  Quick run down:

Love’s Second Sight
Viking Age romance.  Based on fact!  And tid-bit:  just about everything the heroine experiences, I experienced.  I like my research!

The Orca King
The original whale-shifter, hot Native American shaman who can bring on erotic vision quests (which get him into some hot water in the sequel).  Who says true love waits?  True love makes waves!

Cold, Hard Kash
A cursed cowboy incubus looking for love and destined to never find it. Then he hooks up with a dominatrix whose nickname is “Rage.”  Can anyone say “ouch?”

Teaching Old Gods New Tricks
Including: Devil King of the Sixth Heaven, Death Warmed Over, Devil’s Food Kate

 This is a 3-part story about the deposed and dethroned Norse gods making their way in human society.  This is a naughty, fun book.

A Witch in Time (witchcraft anthology)
My story is “Spell-Crafted for Pleasure” and involves a woman who buys and sells antique erotica and spell-casting supplies.  She picks up a Viking-Age whale bone dildo for a song and finds out that the spirits trapped in the bone are ready to do a little number for her.

Of Flesh and Blood (vampire anthology)
My tale is:  “Polishing Saber.”  Saber is a black woman living and working in the pristine, very blonde country of Iceland.  She finds out that the pristine-nature of the country is being jeopardized by her own invention and discovers that the way to save Iceland’s wilderness may just lie within the arms of one of its very blonde, ancient protectors.

Mooncusser Cove
I love this book.  I love the story.  I love the cover.  I wish my name was Vesper.  Mooncusser Cove is the story of a land pirate’s daughter cursed with a form of vampirism, the handyman she hires to help her (in oh, so many ways), and the villagers who want to burn her and her beach mansion to ashes.

The Orca King, II
I broke every rule of romance with this novel.  Big Tom (the Orca King, himself), is suffering from the effects of too much lovin’.  Who knew leading women on needless erotic vision quests could cause problems later?  With the help of Tom’s new friend, Devon de la Cruz, he steps out of the fog of his misdeeds, and out of the closet.  This is my first full m/m romance and it is lovely.  Lovely, loving and way outside the box.

Half-Were House
With my story “Tail Over Whiskers” in “Half-Were House” a were-shifter anthology written with Mima and Celia Kyle.  “Tail Over Whiskers” involves Blaze Angora, a woman who can partially shift into a house-cat and a man named Jack Hawk, to whom she is inadvertently scent-matched.  Only problem is, he’s a dog.  Literally. (NOTE: This book is being released TODAY! Boo-Yah!)

I’ve also got a submission out to a new publisher for me, called “Her Personal Trainer,” the tale of a woman, her treadmill and the genie of the treadmill.  Who knew exercise could be so much fun?

I’m writing all the time, too.  Lots of wicked fun stuff coming up.

I know you write a little on the outside. Could you tell us where your ideas come from?
You just gave me an idea!  That’s where my stories come from.  Everywhere.  Example:  I was watching a stable hand break a horse named Bear.  Breaking Bear.  Hmmmm….a “bear” is a gay man with lots of body hair.  “Breaking” could mean, well…”breaking in.”  So, I’ve outlined a story about two men working at a horse ranch.  One convinces the other that it’s okay to love who you love and thus the breaking of Bear (one of the men) happens.  On the mounting block.  Oh!  That’s another outlined story.  “The Mounting Block.”  You use a mounting block to get up on a horse.  You could use it for other things, too.  Then there’s “Sinking into the Bit,” a story of a high-strung stable owner who learns to relax a little.  She learns to sink into the bit.  It’s pretty obvious that my daughter is a horsewoman, huh?  I’ve spent lots of time in the car, with my laptop, watching her ride.  Let me be a proud mother:   

Here’s the last show of the season.
Hunt Equitation 
2nd Place Award (You need to see beautiful girl’s smile)

When you’re sick in bed what’s your comfort movie?
The Ten Commandments or maybe Ben Hur.  No kidding.  Yul Brenner and Charleton Heston when they were both firm young flesh…Mama!

Describe your writing space. Do you move around or always write in the same place?
I write in my messy home office with Lyle nudging my ankles for attention.  (Lyle is my dog).

I write in the staff lounge on my lunch break during my day job duties.  I have a tiny laptop I take to work every day.  Can’t use school equipment to write smut, after all!  (I’m a shape-shifter.  By day I am a school secretary.  By night I am a romance novelist.)

And I write in the car while my daughter mucks, grooms, rides, etc.  Sometimes I write in the barn or at a bench if the weather is nice at the stable.

Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter or pantzer? Do you have comfort drinks or snack foods? Any favorite music you play while writing?
I am both a plotter and a pantster.  I weave my ideas onto the computer and then just start writing like mad to see where stuff lands.  Sometimes it suffers the agony of delete, sometimes it’s damn good!  I drink tea and coffee.  I always have a water bottle with me.  I don’t snack.  I have a lap-band and snacking is bad.  I have lost over 60lbs,  however! (The woman is melting down to nothing, she looks mighty fine … trust me on that one.)

If we asked your friends to name 3 personality traits about you, what do you think they would say?
Twisted.
Stubborn.
Generous.

What happened to the first novel you ever wrote?
It’s in a box in the attic along with the rejection letter from Random House.

Do you think these pants make my butt look big?
No, darling.  I think your fleshy butt makes the pants look fabulous. (I knew pink striped spandex was perfect for me!)

The editing process is an important aspect of writing. Do you have a routine you follow when going through it?
I read my first drafts aloud.  Oh, the mistakes you catch when you read things out loud!  Then I “fill In the blanks” (add plot where plot is needed).  Then I bleed a chicken in a pentagram and pray for the best.

You have a fulltime job. How do you fit writing into your busy schedule?
I write at 5am.  I write at 1pm.  I write when I get home from work after I feed the family dinner.  I LOVE having DVR, because I can record TV shows I want to see and catch up watching them early, early Saturday or Sunday mornings.  Like LOST.  Love it.  I write in the car while “waiting” for the kid.  I write in my head while on the phone with parents wanting to get messages to their kids.  I write in my head while the principal is stressing over the budget cuts.  I write in my head while waiting in line at Trader Joe’s.  I definitely write while paying the bills or cleaning the tub.

A hot soak in the tub or a smokin’ BBQ with friends?
Darragha likes baby back ribs.  I’d say family gathering at the Foster farm with ribs and Caesar salad.

Tell us where we can find you when you’re not hanging out here checking out my cabana crew … 
I have a Facebook!  I love Facebook.  I’m not so big on MySpace, but you can also visit me there. I run contests all the time.  Check out my blog and my Facebook for more info!

I make video trailers under the guise of “Chocolate Covered Promotions.”  I charge way less than anyone else-only $20.00.  I’m also a gifted psychic and have been giving readings for over 30 years.  I charge $5.00 per question.  You can find out more about my readings by visiting my website.  I have a ton of videos up on YouTube, too.  Need one?  Just ask!

Darragha would love to hear from you. Go on ask her some questions while Darr does a couple of tarot readings, at least that’s what she told me she was doing when she went into the pool house with a couple of the cabana boys and closed the curtains. Perhaps she’s just doing some writing. Maybe it’s just research … yeah, probably research.

Thank you everyone for sharing all those wonderful memories with me during the Liquid Silver Stocking Stuffer Giveaway. They really touched my heart.

It was fun to see all your comments on the other blogs along the Liquid Silver trail. I hope you enjoyed all that Christmas candy. I would like to congratulate:

Donna for winning a copy of The Healer’s Garden.

And the grand prize winner of the stocking full of books is:
Debbie Tsikuris! Congratulations!

Each author will be emailing you individually, Debbie with your books, including mine, the first novella in the Tilling Passions series, Blind Love.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS ONE AND ALL!!! 

Welcome! You’ve made it to the beginning of the Liquid Silver Stocking Stuffer Give Away! All you need to do is follow Santa’s trail along nine other Liquid Silver Blogs. Including:

Paige Tyler
Savanna Kougar
Kim Knox
Jeanne Barrack 
Dawn Montgomery 
Tina Holland
Taige Crenshaw
McKenna Jeffries
Stephanie Adkins

Leave a comment on each one at their Stocking Stuffer post and be eligible to win a stocking full of Liquid Silver ebooks! Because as you know, giving is so much better than receiving.

One year I gave my sister-in-law a really tacky gift and signed it from her sister. In the confusion of opening the gifts neither sister knew what to do when the gift was opened. The receiver thought “Umm… what do I say about this ugly thing?” and the giver thought “Why would my husband buy that for her?” Me? I was laughing my butt off. (As was my DH and the brother-in-law that I shared it with.) Really, it is a Christmas classic that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to outdo.

So share with me in my comments (which are above this post) the favorite gift you gave or received and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a copy of The Healer’s Garden AND a chance at the grand prize (if you visit ALL of the Liquid Silver authors)  … a stocking FULL of ebooks including the first novella in the Tilling Passions series, Blind Love.

And of course I couldn’t have you showing up to my blog without a little incentive. How about some calorie-free Christmas candy to reward your efforts?

Don’t forget your next stop is Paige Tyler’s (http://paigetylertheauthor.blogspot.com) blog. Stop by here tomorrow and check out the winners! Happy hunting for more Santa candy!

 

I am so excited to welcome multi-published author, Kayelle Allen. Whew, the woman came with her own entourage of pool boys and it appears several of her heroes have come to join the party. *wipes drool off chin* This is going to be a couple of very fun days!  

Thanks for visiting Kayelle, could you tell us a little bit about you and how you got into writing.
My mother was an artist, and she also wanted to publish short stories and poetry. I think I picked up my love of writing from her. I think I was five when I first saw one of the little cartoons she drew and I was delighted. All through school I was the top student in Grammar and my reports always drew good comments. When I was eighteen, I sat down and started writing. I gave it up for awhile, but eventually came back to my first love. I couldn’t “not” write.

Please tell us about your books.
It’d be easiest if I just list them by publisher, I think. All the Liquid Silver and Loose Id titles are SciFi Romance. The others are mainstream fantasy and contemporary Romance.

Liquid Silver Books
At the Mercy of Her Pleasure
For Women Only
Tales of the Chosen – Wulf
Tales of the Chosen – Alitus
Tales of the Chosen – Jawk

Shadowfire Press
The Last Vhalgenn – 2008 EPPIE Finalist in Fantasy (short story)
Naughty is Nice (Christmas anthology)

Wolfsinger Publications
A Time To… the Best of the Lorelei Signal Vol. 1 (The Last Vhalgenn)
2008 EPPIE Finalist in Fantasy – A Time To… the Best of the Lorelei Signal Vol. 1 Wolfsinger Publications (The Last Vhalgenn)

Loose Id
Coming in Jan 2009 Surrender Love (book one of a trilogy featuring Luc Saint-Cyr)

I love the world of the Kin. How did you come up with all of that?
I’ve always enjoyed both dogs and cats, and I wondered what would happen if humans crossed human and dog or cat DNA and came up with half-human creatures. Would they be feral or more human in nature? How would they look, and what would they be like? Then I thought, what if someone was brilliant enough to do this, and started making centaurs and satyrs, humans with wings, or soldiers who healed so rapidly they never needed medical attention? That fostered the idea of the Sempervians, who are immortal. The next thought that came to me was “what if these creatures were spread across one part of the galaxy and wars separated them from the other parts, and from their creators? They would continue to develop their own cultures, isolated for so many thousands of years that the idea of being created from humans is a mere myth.”

The Kin look human at first glance, but then you notice the pointed cat ears almost atop their heads, and their velvet-appearing furskin — most are golden, but they come in all colors, from solid black to solid white. None are striped or spotted, however. The males grow a pelt (think lion’s mane but on the uppermost part of their chests). They have fangs on the top row of teeth, and their front teeth are less rounded and more pointy. They growl (their word is rrrll) and purr, and unlike Earth’s felines, they can both roar and purr. Sharp claws can be extended from beneath their human-like nails, but their toenails are all claws. Because in the past few hundred years, the birth of females have plummeted, marriages are made with several males to one alpha female. Males have become subjugated and controlled. However, they will fight other males at the flick of an ear to defend their territory and clan holdings. The arrival of Tarthian Empire androids and humans offered unattached and homeless males an opportunity to gain freedom, power, and an income for the first time in their lives, and thousands joined the Armada to serve the Conqueror. Ironically, now there are fewer virile males on the homeworld, but Kin males are able to impregnant humans, and female Kin can easily become pregnant by human males. The resulting offspring are called HalfKin, and they are sterile. At least, so far as we know…

Luc is your favorite character (shhhh, we promise not to tell). Can you tell us about him and where you see him going in the future?
I can’t get enough of this tall, dark, handsome alpha. Luc Saint-Cyr is immortal, and the richest man in the Tarthian Empire. He started out as a bad guy in my first book, but as I wrote him, I saw a side of him that could also be gentle and caring. I purposely switched his character from baddy to good guy throughout the book so readers were thrown off-balance. It was a love/hate relationship. Right up to the end of the book, you don’t know whether to trust him. The punch of the final page reveals a completely unexpected twist. While I was writing the book, my crit group kept asking me about Luc’s book and when I planned to write it. At the time, I didn’t think he really had a story, but as I said, while writing him and developing the character, I began to see that his shadow fell across the entire saga of the Tarthian Empire. My third book featured Luc falling in love with Wulf. It was the start of the Chosen trilogy, and by the end of the series, their love affair was in serious trouble. For those who’ve read Wulf, Tales of the Chosen, and fallen in love with this hot couple, don’t despair. Both Luc and Wulf have their happy ever afters — just (spoiler) — not with each other. That’s what the Tales of the Chosen is all about. The shifting of loyalties and ties, the manipulation of the immortal Luc by other immortals, and his manipulation of them. Luc’s is the kind of story that can’t be told in a few books. I plan many books set in this empire.

In January 2009, the first book in the Surrender trilogy debuts. This is the beginning of Luc and his forever love, his happy ever after. Since he’s immortal, that’s a long, long time to be happy! The books are Surrender Love, Surrender Trust, and Surrender Will. All three feature Luc and his newly-turned immortal Kin lover. (Oh, I have soooo been waiting for Luc to find his true love *rubs hands together*)

If you had super powers what would they be and what would you call yourself?
I’d be Speedy Woman, and my special ability would be to clean the house in the first fifteen minutes of the day, spend four hours writing my next book, a few more hours saving the world from slow connections and traffic jams, and the rest of the day I’d have free to watch 24, The Unit, Torchwood, or something juicy like Dante’s Cove.

Describe your writing space. Do you move around or always write in the same place?
I’m a creature of habit. I always stay in the same place, and I have a small bedroom that’s been converted to a home office. That said, I almost always carry a notebook with me and have been known to pull off the road and scribble down an idea I’ve had. I have a 19″ flat screen LED monitor that’s fantastic, a pc tower that’s on an old table I resurrected and dragged in here, and my desk is a simple white one with a wide pull out tray and shelves on the bottom left. I don’t like being sneaked up on, and when I’m in the thick of writing, I’m oblivious to everything else, so my desk faces the door. Over the top of my desk, against the wall, I have mini shelves with knick knacks and a storage area for software CDs and speakers for my sound system and Nano. Above all that is my mission statement:

“I will give readers a complex plot that immerses them in an erotic tale and provides plenty of unexpected action, in settings so real they’ll swear they’ve been there.”

I also have postcards I’ve created for promos, with art my son Jamin has created for my website. Most importantly, there’s an area where I can put drinks where they won’t tip over and drip on anything electrical. *Ow, zzzzap!*

Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter or pantzer? Do you have comfort drinks or snack foods. Any favorite music you play while writing?
I’m a plotser. I know the overall storyline covering several years, and each book is planned and the blurb and tags written before I start writing (usually). However, I view this as an atlas and the characters are the street-level maps. They take turns I didn’t expect. Sometimes I have to coerce them into U-turns, and sometimes I let them go where they want. Some of my best plot twists have come out that way. As for goodies — I always have water on hand, and either coffee with chocolate creamer, or a caffeine free diet Pepsi or Coke. I like both. When I’m home alone, I eat lunch or dinner in here, but if family is around, we eat in the kitchen. Music? OMG – I spend a fortune on iTunes buying mood music. Each book and character has its own theme songs. About a month into working with my editor on Surrender Love, I came across a song called Surrender Love, by Joshua Perahia, and the lyrics absolutely fit Luc and his younger hero. “Every time I see your face, my pain is gone without a trace, Dying dreams are once again reborn, Surrender, surrender love, surrender, surrender love…” Although I have to admit that Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing is a close second. (Kayelle has a very nice voice … she’s got the cabana and pool boys dancing … oh, that’s not dancing … never mind.)

What happened to the first novel you ever wrote?
The one I wrote at 18? It will never see the light of day, but its seeds are in everything that I’m writing now.

I just got my royalty check and I’m thinking about buying this purse or these boots. Which would you suggest?
Those thigh-high black shiny leather boots with heels and lots of buckles–go with them. You can get a purse anywhere, but boots like that are hard to find. ^_^ (Kayelle knows they match my whip … so the boots it is.)

The editing process is an important aspect of writing. Do you have a routine you follow when going through it?
For personal editing, I read and reread, tinker, twist, and delete, cut words ending in “ly” or “ing” as much as possible. I also look for words like “just”, which is a common word in dialogue, but easy to overuse when writing. I have an entire list of “no no words” that I drag out and search for with my find command.

When my editor sends me an edit, it has track changes turned on, and I either accept or deny the changes made. These edits are my highest priority. When I get an email from her, it goes straight into my edits folder so I can tell I have work to do. *smiles* I open it, download the attachment and go through it right then. We’re almost through with the first run through, and it’s been mostly minor things like house styles that are different from what I’ve used before (for example, ok vs okay). However, the next round will be more detailed. I need to cut about twenty thousand words. Yikes. I’ve already decided to move a sub-plot to the next book, which should take care of about three to four thousand. The last chapter is being completely rewritten to exclude some characters I was introducing for later, and to resolve an issue between two others. I always expect to learn something new and fresh about writing from my editors. I haven’t been disappointed.

You’re now writing full time. Could you tell us a little bit about that?
Working for myself is heavenly. For one thing, my boss is very lenient about work hours and the length of my breaks and lunches. *grins* I spent the last five years working a 40-hour a week job, commuting, and then writing at least 30-hours. Now, I probably write or promo only 50-hours a week, which frees up a lot of personal time. For the first time in a long time, I always have clean, folded laundry that’s in a dresser or closet instead of a basket. >_<  I’ve always treated my writing like a business, and now that discipline is paying off. It’s great.

A hot soak in the tub or a smokin’ BBQ with friends?
First the BBQ, after which I will definitely NEED that soak.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Don’t let anyone steal your dream, including yourself. Cut out any negative self talk. Never use the phrase “I’m only”. You are working toward being the best, and being “only” something is not going to help you achieve that. Stop saying “I’m sorry” unless you’ve hurt someone or missed a deadline. Women especially seem to overuse this phrase. When you send an email, always always always sign your pen name and at least add your website. You don’t know where it might be forwarded or who will see it. Above all, never say anything online that you don’t want even one person to hear. Gossip travels ten times faster than the speed of light and always goes to the wrong person at the wrong time. And don’t ever diss your publisher, editor, cover artist, or another author online, for the same reason as above, plus the fact it will somehow get to any new publisher, editor or cover artist you work with. It could even cost you a contract if you come across as a troublemaker or they think you may speak negatively about them one day.

Anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
On November 22, I started a blog tour to celebrate the release of Naughty is Nice – Christmas Anthology with Kayelle Allen and Sultry Summers. “Can a cop and an elf save Christmas for two lonely women?” Follow the tour every day until November 25, and you’ll find a secret page on my website. Everyone who lands there and enters their name will be elible to win a gorgeous latte mug that says Naughty on one side and Nice on the other, and stuffed full of Dove chocolate candy. First place to visit on 11/22 is Coffee Time Romance. (Scroll to the bottom of the main page. NOTE: As of Monday, Nov 24, the link to Kayelle’s page does not appear to be working.) Leave a comment so I can verify you were there, please. You’ll be directed to the next blog stop on the tour for the next day. Please leave a comment at each blog. The winner must comment to qualify for the Naughty is Nice prize.

If you have reached here by following the tour, the next stop in your tour is The Night Raven Muse on November 25. Her blog will give you the secret location on my website where you will find a free download and an opportunity to enter the contest for the Naughty is Nice latte mug filled with Dove Chocolates!

Kayelle will be partying here for a couple of days. But feel free to visit her website, visit her at Coffee Time Forum or friend her on MySpace. She also has a very active Yahoo group and would love to have you join her at Romance Lives Forever. If you’re a writer, you might also enjoy her Marketing Yahoo Group.

Be sure to show her some comment love for a chance at that beautiful mug!

So, it’s November and I’m looking back and reassessing the past year. Out of the personal writing goals I set for myself this past year, I’m figuring out which ones I met, which ones didn’t quite hit the mark, and which ones I exceeded. (Notice I never share these goals … cause like … I’m really chicken.)

I feel like I’m at a pivotal place in my writing career which requires some real soul searching and goal-setting. Writing is far more than a hobby for me–it’s a new career–and one that really seems to be agreeing with me.

I have to admit. Just 12 short months ago I was looking forward to my first book being released from Liquid Silver Books. I hope I never forget the excitement of being welcomed into the LSB family. The day I got my first ISBN … I cried. That was followed by edits and book covers and finally publication. What an amazing high.

That book was followed by the erotic suspense series, Tilling Passions and then I had the honor of being part of an anthology with Tina Holland and Celia Kyle.

Now, I’m on the cusp of breaking into a new publisher (fingers, toes, eyes, and legs crossed … no, forget the legs  😀 ) and currently I’m brainstorming a story for yet a third publisher. (Because I’ve learned that thinking about a book is an integral part of the writing process for me.)

Who woulda thunk?

I’ve learned so much in the past twelve months. My mom keeps asking me “How do you know that?” and I shake my head, realizing it’s just another thing I’ve learned along this crazy road of writing, submitting, editing, and publishing books.

Anyway, next week I’m hanging out for a couple of days with my critique partner and one of my best friends. The baby’s going to daycare, her hubby’s rolling up his sleeves so we can have someone feed us in our brainstorming euphoria … and you sooooo know she’s warming up the blender. I suspect there will be lots of wine and green drink consumption! Two days won’t be nearly enough for us to catch up and brainstorm our stories and goals. But we’re going to have to buckle down and getur done! The timing couldn’t be better for me.

I hope to walk away with a notebook full of ideas and a clear idea of where I’m going in my publishing career. I have a feeling there may be some big changes on the horizon. Keep an eye out for them as I move with confidence (NOT!) into 2009.

So, it’s been awhile since I plugged one of books and I couldn’t resist taking this week and listing thirteen reasons why you’d love my novel The Healer’s Garden.

1. Anne Cain designed an amazing cover.

2. This book transports you to an alternate future in the 23rd century.

3. Brenimyn is the first ever hero that I fell in love with and a woman never forgets her first. (Don’t tell my other guys, but he’s my favorite.)

4. Jahara Hriznek is a kick-ass heroine who can heal people with just her hands.

5. It’s a Nina Pierce title so you know there’s some hawt monkey sex. (No, not literally with monkeys, just really wild crazy moments with Bren and Jahara … like the time in the pool … yeah you’re gonna like that scene.)

6. Gabriella Bresilee is a really nasty villain who just has weird ideas about how the world should work. She adds a really suspenseful twist to the story.

7. Bren is telepathic … oh yeah, he touches every part of a woman.

8. This book has got some amazing reviews:
“The characters are well written…The Healer’s Garden is a must read!”
Yolanda of TwoLips Reviews 4.5 lips

“…at the end of the day I find this an interesting and entertaining well-written story”
Mrs. Giggles of mrsgiggles.com

“This is a great read and if you are in the mood for a sexy futuristic romance, The Healer’s Garden is the book for you.”
Whitney of Simply Romance Reviews – Grade A

“Strong characters, their struggles with ethics, justice, and morality, coupled with excellent dialogue and attention to detail, make this book a fantastic fantasy read! The sex scenes were very well written – so hot, Hot, HOT!!!! Get the air coolers running!”
Lisa of Night Owl Romance
4.5 and a Reviewer’s Top Choice

9. This book is up for an award for Best Fantasy/Futuristic/Off World/Time-Travel Erotic Romance for Fall 2008 at Night Owl Romance. I’d love your vote. Click HERE to vote. (Right hand column, fourth one down … not that I’m trying to point the way. Just sayin …)

10. Did I mention Bren and Jahara go at it like bunnies in heat? Oh, I mentioned the SEX? Sorry, didn’t mean to overstate that this story is an erotic romance.

11. Brenimyn is like your brother’s best friend that you loved all through high school, but he didn’t notice you were an actual person of the opposite sex until you came home from college and then he had only eyes for you and  you still blushed and lost your breath whenever he entered the room. *sigh* Yeah, that’s Bren.

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12. The Healer’s Garden is available as an ebook which means you could buy it now from Liquid Silver Books! What are you waiting for?

13. It’s got an awesome book trailer.

Currently all my contests are closed. I’m sorting through all the trick-or-treaters. Shuffling through the Goody Basket entrants. And just generally trying to get myself organized.

I’ll be back later this morning and announce winners for my multiple contests.

Thank you to all those who participated!!! It’s been a ton of fun!!!!

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