I think finding the right profession for my heroes is one of the toughest jobs. (Get the pun?) I mean there are stories like “Deceive Her With Desire” or “A Touch of Lilly” where a profession like being an alphabet guy just flows naturally from the plot. But sometimes that’s just not the case.
In my novella, Divine Deception, Nicholas Gradin is a chemical engineer. It just seemed to be a natural offshoot of growing up on a vineyard and learning to mix wines. And although I think he’s pretty irrisistable, an engineer in and of itself just isn’t sexy.
But I have to say there are just some heroes I can’t resist:
Demons (Fallen Angels)
They just scream alpha to me. Totally in charge. Totally ready to square off with a fiesty heroine and rock her world.
So what about you? Are there any heroes that make your knees go weak just because of their day job?
Thank you to everyone who stopped by this weekend and took part in our Midsummer Night’s Dream-Man blog hop! I had a wonderful time visiting all the other authors participating and hanging out with all of you!
And without further procrastination, I give you the winners:
Grand-prize winner of
$75 Gift Card
Winner of $10 Gift Card and
Digital copy of A TOUCH OF LILLY
Winner from this blog of a
$15 Gift Card and
a copy of DANGEROUS AFFAIRS
Congratulations to all of you. And I do hope everyone had a wonderful time. I’ll see you next time around!
One of the things I love about writing futuristic and fantasy stories is giving my muse the opportunity to really come out and play and stretch her wings creating new settings, new rules and new species.
A TOUCH OF LILLY found me in deep space creating a whole solar system with different planets and many unique aliens, some of them very human … others, not so much.
I had a wonderful time living in this world while I was writing the book. I loved hanging out in this world I created so much I’m working on a sequel. I can only imagine what it would be like to live on these fantasy planets.
But it’s not only imaginary places I fantasize about. I enjoy reading historical novels because I love the idea of living in the old west. I find the idea of living on the plains in a Native American tribe intriguing. I know it was a hard way to live, but there seems to be many wonderful things as well; living off the land and working in a community to survive. Yeah, there was a lot to do, but it also seems like there wouldn’t be much stress in your day-to-day life.
And if I got only one chance to visit one of those places I’d have a hard time choosing. What about you? If you could travel anywhere would you choose a magical fantasy world or visit another time period in this world?
So the other day I was shopping in a new store in a new state which meant finding replacements for some of the “standards” I keep in my cupboards. One of those basics is carbonated soda water. Not quite tonic, but similiar. I drink it all day instead of tap water. In Maine, we bought the store brand. Well, obviously I wasn’t going to find that in Rhode Island, so we found something that looked like it would fit the bill. Reasonably priced and 0 calories. Perfect.
Yeah, well, I poured my first tall glass and took a long swallow … and promptly spit it out. It was like drinking kool-aid with bubbles. GAH! A mouth full of sugar. When I looked at the ingredients I discovered it contained aspertame. Blech! I don’t like aspertame. I find it overly sweet. I ended up dumping 3 bottles of the stuff because I just couldn’t drink it. I was so bummed. I really felt that the product should have been more clearly labelled.
What’s this got to with writing? A lot actually.
A while back I bought a book that sound very intriguing. The title was about vikings. The cover showed a viking. The back cover blurb talked about vikings, ships and characters from different worlds falling in love. Yay! I was going to read a viking story. I settled in and within the first chapter was introduced to a “space bridge”. Wai … what? The “ship” turned out to be a space ship. The “other world” turned out to be outerspace. Now don’t get me wrong, I love science fiction stories. I read them all the time. Heck, I’ve even written a sci fi erotic romance. But I didn’t lead the reader to believe they were picking up a contemporary romp. The cover for A Touch of Lilly shows a planet with three moons and one of the guys has red skin … red skin. There is nothing that could lead a buyer to think they were picking up anything that didn’t include an alien of some type. Even if you never read the back cover blurb, you’re not going to think you’ve picked up a steampunk novel or an historical.
I felt totally jipped. The thing is, it might be a good book. I might even have enjoyed it, but I didn’t get past the second chapter before I set the book aside in disgust. It’s not what I plunked my money down for. I was looking for an historical romance and what I got instead was an eclectic mix of sci fi and historical which is totally awesome for the author, but not so much for the unsuspecting reader.
So how do you see it? Am I way off-base on this? Have you ever picked up a book you felt fell in one genre and actually turned out to be another? Did you feel like you got the old bait and switch? I’m just wondering if I’m feeling a little overly sensitive about this.
There are always exciting days in a writer’s world. Finishing a story and sending it off to your editor. Contract Offers. Release days. But you know, there is nothing that makes me hold my breath like COVER DAY! Seriously. I spend a lot of time describing my characters and my world settings to the art department in hopes that they can capture the feel of my story. So when the email comes from the art department I take a deep breath, close my eyes and open the attachment…and just stare. I have been blessed with some gorgeous covers. But none has made me jump up and down and shed tears of happiness like the cover for A TOUCH OF LILLY.
The VERY talented Reese Dante designed it for me and she fit all the pieces together perfectly! So it is with all kinds of happiness that I stand up and cheer for her as she accepts the ARIANA book cover award in the Science Fiction Erotic Romance category. w00f! w00f! w00f! (See the Julia Roberts fist pump.) She actually won in two categories which is not surprising since she is truly talented and makes the most gorgeous covers.
Anyway, I just wanted to share my joy with you. And since it’s been awhile, how about and excerpt …
Lilly D’Angelo could have been walking into any of the seedier establishments lining Forty-fifth and Wester on Chicago’s south side. Except for the clientele, the tavern’s owner had managed to replicate nearly every detail right down to the blue haze and the soft crooning of a jazz band on the corner stage. The acrid stench and gruff hum of a Friday night crowd tripped Lilly down memory lane—a place she had no desire to travel at the moment.
Lilly pushed the sour thoughts of home out of her mind and focused her energy on the patrons at the bar. Morphing her features into her sexiest vixen pout, she moved gracefully toward the long bar on the other side of the room. Her voluptuous breasts, spilling temptingly from her silk blouse, led the way. The eyes watching her ass sashay around the battered tables were clustered on various life forms—none of them human.
Yeah, definitely not Chicago. Shit, this wasn’t even Earth for chrissake.
“Regent’s ale, straight up, hold the brenic.” She spoke English, hoping the two-headed Xerick behind the bar had a cochlear translator in one of those eight holes that passed for ears. Satisfied when one head nodded, she settled on a stool, making sure her fur jacket and blouse parted enough to offer a seductive view of her cleavage. Lilly shifted just enough to let the black leather skirt ride up her thigh and expose a little more silky real estate. Surreptitiously checking her image in the mirrored glass behind the liquor bottles, she was pleased she looked every bit the part. She wasn’t trying to attract anyone in particular, perhaps something on the less offensive side that could offer her a bit of entertainment to help fritter away the next couple of hours.
Lilly wasn’t a xenophobic bigot by any stretch of the imagination. But six months in deep space, working these kinds of joints, wasn’t really long enough to become accustomed to the scenery. The Nebulae Galaxy’s spaceports overflowed with aliens of all sizes and genders. Only that wasn’t really a fair term here in deep space.
Alien inferred the life forms didn’t belong. On the contrary, it was humans who were invading their territory. The treaties of 2253, signed well over forty years ago, had guaranteed the safe travel of humans in deep space. After the snafu of ’34, which saw the first major space disaster since light travel had been discovered, humans had insisted on protection for their species. They’d formed some bullshit board of security, guaranteeing humans could run roughshod over the universe like everywhere else. Though most people referred to them as the QAL, Lilly nicknamed them the alphabet mafia. At one point she’d actually considered working for them until they’d discovered who she was—or more specifically what she was. It didn’t matter. They could all go fuck themselves if they didn’t appreciate her gifts. Lilly had found a way to use her talents and still bring down the bad guys.
Of course in deep space, bad was a relative term.
I am soooo pleased to share with you that A Touch of Lilly has been nominated as BEST SCIENCE FICTION BOOK OF 2010 by Siren Book Reviews.
Stacy gave A Touch of Lilly FIVE SIREN STONES and said this…
A Touch Of Lilly has a great story line and plot. The plot twists keep the pages turning. It’s easy to get absorbed into this world. Nina Pierce did a wonderful job of bringing her characters to life in this story…The three characters complement one another and have an easy camaraderie that comes through in the writing…If you like your stories with some science fiction and romance mixed together then this is a must read.
Some emotion she couldn’t decipher marred Dallas’s brow. “I want to help you,” he said. “But I can’t keep you safe if I don’t know everything.” He brushed hair from her face. “Thaegan mentioned some myth, but I’m thinking it’s much more than that.”
The man was an enigma. She wanted to believe the compassion in his voice was real, but the hard set of his jaw communicated something entirely different. But when it came right down to it, she wanted someone to know. Someone who could share her burden without judgment. Lilly had no idea if Dallas was that person, but sitting here, bound and naked, she figured she really didn’t have a whole hell of a lot more to lose.
“She was my great-great-grandmother. It’s barely a part of me.” Lilly looked down. Even with Dallas’ hand warm on her shoulder, there was shame in the telling.
His finger came under her chin and gently lifted it. She had no choice but to stare into the chocolate pools of his eyes. “Then it’s not your fault. Whatever it is, the responsibility belongs to someone else.” His thumb brushed over her lips. “The beginning. Start at the beginning. I have no idea what it is. What you are.”
Confusion and frustration warred within her. How could he not know? The answers were as obvious as her beaded nipples and the dizzying aroma of her arousal. Dallas was so close she could feel his body heat pressing against her, making it hard to fill her lungs. Yet the man seemed immune to the sexual energy crackling between them. Even without trying, her own arousal was usually enough to affect any male close to her and drive one with his hands on her to sexual delirium.
“I mean…you’re very obviously human.” One side of Dallas’ mouth curved, the dimple dancing. “But there’s something that makes you special.” His hand brushed up her face to cup her cheek and she couldn’t stop herself from leaning into it. “I just want to understand it.”
His gaze searched her face, settled on her lips and Lilly thought for a moment he might kiss her. She wanted to feel the heat of his mouth on hers. Instead, he dropped his hand, rubbing them both on his jeans. “Just please explain to me what Thaegan was talking about.”
Even that slight rejection stung. Seduction and escape no longer mattered. What Lilly needed now was Dallas—a human man to accept who she was. Filling her lungs with courage, she stared straight ahead, unable to witness his revulsion as she recalled the story her mother had told her the night of her first menses. “Serapheliums are an ancient race. They came from another galaxy, hundreds of light years from where we are now. It’s said they resembled humans, but their beauty was unmatched. Gods bowed down to their perfection and angels sang at their births.” She chanced a look at Dallas and shrugged, embarrassment heating her cheeks.
“I can see the resemblance.”
She laughed out her disbelief. “Yeah, whatever.”
If you enjoyed “A Touch of Lilly” I’d love your VOTE.