Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Will the real January please stand up?

Since it's actually quite balmy today for January, I thought I'd put this up, taken in a year when there actually was a winter.

I'm not complaining, mind you, and we did have a light sprinkling of snow last night, but I've been wondering where winter is. I hope this doesn't mean we're in for a super hot summer.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Blurb Blurt

Here's some blurbs for my upcoming stories:

A Calculated Risk
(Coming soon from Amber Quill Press)

Tarrant Kane was bred for one thing: military command. When the war ends, his forced retirement leaves him with more money and free time than any man should have. His new objective becomes learning how to be a civilian.

His self-imposed mission gets a little easier when he meets exotically beautiful Nola Rule at the exclusive resort on Sensuron. Nola offers him intense carnal pleasures and something he craves even more than sex: a challenge.

Kane’s dalliance with Nola comes with a steep price, however. When she disappears after a night of unbridled passion, he realizes that falling in love is a risk he isn’t prepared to take.

(Coming soon from Amber Quill Press)

Earth-Sec Agent Fletcher Gray doesn’t need or particularly want a sex slave, but he has no choice in the matter when he’s forced to decant trinium scout Talia Lory from a stasis pod full of U-4EA, the galaxy’s most powerful aphrodisiac.

Talia and twenty-four other human and alien females make up the cargo of the Mogarthan slave ship that Fletch and his incorporeal Metrian partner, Ganymede, have just hijacked from the wily captain Kreth-Regana. Since Mogarthan’s have four arms, it takes two humans to fly the ship. Gan, who exists out of phase with this dimension, can’t help, so Fletch has to liberate one of the females from the non-stop orgasm of her U-4EA high.

In between bouts of unbridled sex, Fletch begins to realize he enjoys Talia’s company on more than a physical level, but when her sex addiction wears off, will she still want him?

Hunter’s Mate
(Coming soon from New Concepts Publishing)

Being abducted by aliens is the last thing on Victoria Cambridge’s agenda when she returns to her parents’ home in rural Pennsylvania after months of emotional turmoil. While Adam and Alliana Cambridge vacation in Australia, Victoria looks forward to several weeks of rest, relaxation and long walks in the woods behind their farmhouse. Unfortunately the Sha-Shiri have other plans for her.

Kash-Koori has been chosen to mate with the human hybrid female. Fortunately for Victoria the regal, golden-eyed hunter is a spy sent to earth to protect her from those who wish to exploit her DNA or destroy her. When a subversive crewmember sabotages their ship and leaves he and Victoria alone and hurtling into the sun, Kash discovers he has more than protective feelings for the strangely compelling human. With death only hours away, Kash and Victoria give in to their growing desires, but will their intimate encounter cause complications if they actually survive?

Stay tuned for more...

Monday, January 29, 2007

Underdog Relationships

A lot of romances in books and on television, involve predestined love...the fated relationship that was written in the stars. Not long after the story begins, it’s crystal clear the Hero and Heroine belong together. They were made for each other and the progression of the story bears that out. Even through the dark moment when all seems hopeless, you just KNOW they have to work it out because these two are a perfect couple.

Look at Buffy and Angel for instance. There’s a perfect example of fated love. The Vampire and the Vampire Slayer. He loved her from the moment he first saw her [when he was 257 and she was 15, but we won’t go there]. Their love survived death [a couple of times] but it couldn’t ultimately survive the logistics of a modern relationship. Oh well. I ended up in the Cordelia/Angel camp. Sorry, but the underdog relationship won out. Sure, Buffy and Angel were fated love, but the Cordy/Angel ship [also pretty much doomed from the start] had an advantage. It grew over time, it evolved, whereas Buffy and Angel started with a bang and [okay, the actual bang came later on, but you know what I mean] and burned and fizzled, burned and fizzled.

Now I’m rooting for another underdog relationship. I got sucked into Smallville by DH and right away I dismissed the Clark and Lana ship – Pul-ease! A drama queen who cries at the crack of a well-manicured nail? Give me a break. This was fated love and it stunk. Now, they’ve got Lois Lane in the picture. Another fated love – Superman and Lois Lane go together like peanut butter and jelly.

So why am I rooting for Clark and Chloe Sullivan? I can’t help it. From season one, Chloe has been Clark’s best friend, his rock, his foil at times [they make each other mad, they fight, they storm off, and they come back together and reconcile because they can’t live without each other.] They’ve stood idly by watching each other’s other relationships crash and burn. Is it just friendship? Hell no. It’s a lot more than that and I’m going to be pulling for them all the way. There was a show called Lois and Clark. They had their time, now let’s see what happens when the friendship is allowed to evolve. Push aside the drama of the destined-to-be-together story line and give me good old fashioned home grown, one step at a time, romantic friendship love any day of the week.

How about you? Do you prefer the destined love that’s written in the stars, or the underdog relationship that no one thinks will ever work out?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Woohoo! New cover art!

Trace never ceases to amaze me. Here's the awesome cover art for my upcoming release:

The Demon of Pelican Bluff

Something is on the prowl in Pelican Bluff, Minnesota. When the mayor of the small town calls in cryptozooloist Laurel Jensen to investigate strange sightings of a winged, demon-like beast roaming the forest, she can’t resist. It’s not her passion for the unknown that draws her, though, it’s her need to come face to face with the creature that’s been haunting her dreams.

Laurel has seen the beast, too. He calls to her, eager to lure her into his clutches and claim her for his own. Certainly not a run-of-the-mill cryptid, more than a clever hoax, the beast is real, and it’s searching for the perfect mate.

National Forest Service Ranger Cade Morrison draws the thankless task of escorting Laurel on her search for evidence of the beast’s existence. Cade knows the mayor is looking for publicity to attract tourists to the Bluff and he doesn’t want any part of it. But he does want part of Laurel Jensen. Or maybe all of her. Too bad he’s not willing to share her with the The Demon of Pelican Bluff.

Coming in February 2007 from Amber Heat!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Take a quick trip to paradise... at Star-Crossed Lovers. I'm blogging about Talek, the ocean-side jungle paradise where my characters in Flight of the Valkyrie crash land.

Come on in, the water's fine!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Holy Bleep!

What would you say if Heather Locklear signed on to play the heroine of your latest book in a TV movie?

Apparently this was Nora Roberts’s reaction when told the line-up of actors slated to star in the TV adaptations of her books, Angels Fall, Montana Sky, Blue Smoke and Carolina Moon.

The stories are going to be Lifetime original movies shown on Monday nights from January 29th to February 19th.

I’m looking forward to the movies. I’ve read Angels Fall but not the others and it will be interesting to see how the stories translate. I’ve seen some Harlequin stories made into movies Hopefully Lifetime will do La Nora’s work justice.

It’s never easy to translate a book to film. Some kick butt – for instance the Harry Potter movies, though many would argue that a two hour film is far too short for one installment of JK Rowling’s teenage wizard. Others not so much – I’ve heard mixed reviews about the film version of The DaVinci Code. I liked the movie, LOVED the book. If they’d chosen Harrison Ford as the lead character rather than the inarguably talented but not quite as good looking Tom Hanks, I think DC would have been a whole different ball game, but that’s just me.

Anytime Harrison Ford wants to star in one of my books-made-into-a-movie, he’s more than welcome to. That would be worth saying Holy Bleep about.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

New Reviews!!

I had a bunch of blog entry ideas for today – first up was Nora Roberts, but I’ll put her off until tomorrow. Second was some blurbs for my upcoming releases which I’ll put off for another day too...and third are two new reviews, so I’ll start with those:

I received this from Joyfully Reviewed today:

The Soul Jar:
The words, the plot, the characters are all magical and will keep you wanting more ... Great job Ms. Colgan. – Klarissa, Joyfully Reviewed

And this also today about The Rebound Guy:
The sex scenes...sizzle, and the romance is just as enjoyable to watch. An engaging short story, be sure to check out THE REBOUND GUY. - Jennifer Bishop, Romance Reviews Today

In other news:

For chuckle today, check out Jennifer Elbaum’s blog and be sure to go watch The Bunnies!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

When in doubt, cover it in chocolate

I have to admit, I'm easy when it comes to desserts. Drizzle chocolate on something and you have me at hello.
Yesterday I was in the supermarket and the big display of fresh strawberries came complete with those little tubs of meltable chocolate wafers that you stick in the microwave for 2 minutes and make chocolate covered whatever-you-want.
Of course I could not resist. So last night in between stirring the alfredo and sauteing the hot dogs [we have an ecclectic menu around here - especially on nights that it's just me and the kids] I whipped up a batch of these babies.
Instant decadence. Let me tell you, if you want to feel special [and get the kids to do chores before dessert] just chocolate cover some fruit [works well with pretzel rods too, btw!] and presto, you're golden. The kids think you're a magician and you get to feel good about giving them fruit for dessert. [Chocolate is full of anti-oxidants, don't forget, so technically it's a health food.]
Last week we did frozen bananas [I fall for all those marketing ploys at Shop Rite, btw. If it looks good, I'll try it.] They loved those, too.
If only broccoli tasted good covered in chocolate.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bank Rant

I'm really not much of a complainer, honest. But there are days...

My bank was bought out recently by another bank and they've been in the process of converting for a few weeks now. This weekend was the day of the final changeover when everything goes from the old bank to the new bank, with supposedly minimal fuss.

Last week I received a new bank card and paperwork explaining how to activate said card, so on Friday, following these instructions, I went to the ATM machine to withdraw some money [which I really didn't need] in order to activate my new card.

The machine told me my pin number was invalid.


I didn't have time to argue with the machine, because I had to be at the office, so I went on my not too merry way sans money with a bum bank card. Saturday I went back to the bank with DH in tow and spoke to one of the bank employees.

Convarsation goes like this:

ME: I tried to activate my new ATM card yesterday, as per the instructions in the letter and my pin number is invalid.

Bank employee {BE}: What pin number did you use?

ME: My only pin number.

BE: Did they send you a new pin number?

ME: No. They sent me a paper telling me my pin number would not change.

BE: And the pin they sent you was the same as your current pin number?

ME: Yes, it was.

BE: Are you sure?

ME: [No, I'm lying to you.] Yes, I'm sure.

BE: Yesterday was very confusing. If you try again today it should work.

ME: [Sure, I bet that's what you're telling everyone to get them out of your hair.] Okay.

BE: Go try it now and if it doesn't work, come back and we will see if we can fix it.

ME: Okay. But this must be taken care of today because I will need my ATM card on Monday.

BE: Go try it. It should work.

ME: [Yeah, right.]

At this point DH is annoyed with me because in his words, I'm being "overly agressive."

Why, I ask, does he think I'm 'overly agressive?' Because, he replies, I used the word 'today.'
I need this taken care of 'today' - is apparently me being nasty and unreasonable.

Okay. So I go OUTSIDE [because the bank does not have an indoor ATM] DH tries his card, which of course works perfectly. I try my card, which of course, does not work.

We go back inside.

BE: It didn't work?

ME: [Would I be back if it did?] Nope.

BE: [directs me to another BE who will fix the problem]

2ndBE: Your ATM card isn't working?

ME: No. My pin is invalid.

2nd BE: Did you get a new pin number?

ME: [Yes, but I'm stupidly insisting that the old one should work, duh.] No. I got the same pin number and a letter telling me my pin number should not change.

2nd BE: But the pin in the letter was the same as your old pin number?

ME: [No, it was different! I've been lying to you all this time.] Yes. It was the same number.

2nd BE: And that's the pin number you used?

ME: [No. I typed in the 35 digit code that the Pentagon uses to launch nuclear missles. Why won't THAT work?] Yes, that's the number I used.

Turns out the computer locked me out and all that needed to be done was that the pin number be reset to the same pin number and presto, it worked.

Yet, DH lectured me on being calm and collected in these situations because he felt I overreacted to not being able to get my money out of the bank with my new ATM card.

I plan to be 'overly agressive' all week now. So everybody better watch out.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

There's nothing on!

It used to be that during the summer months, you had repeats of all your favorite shows and by the time you got done picnicking, partying, swimming, sunning and taking vacation, it was September and all the shows were new again.

Then something happened. I think it was cable, maybe it was an actors' strike, I don't know. But nowadays there are so many lulls in the television season it's a wonder anyone bothers turning the tube on at all.

It seems like the TV schedule goes like this:

September: The new season premieres for most shows
October: The shows that are too 'hot' for a September premiere begin
November: Sweeps - things get interesting for a while
December: It's the holidays, nobody's wathing anyway, put on repeats
January: People are watching sporadically, alternate between new episodes and repeats
February: Sweeps! Things get interesting
March: see December
April: see January
May: Sweeps! Time to wrap up the season with cliffhangers!
June, July, August: Replace highest rated shows with insipid reality TV and repeats

It's January and I'm tired of repeats. I'm tired of having nothing to watch every other week.

Give me something good to watch before I have to subscribe to the "Let's Watch Paint Dry" network. Arrrgh!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Location as Character

As a romance writer, I concentrate most on my hero and heroine, of course. It’s their story so they take center stage. Most of my stories are written in alternating H/h POV, or on rare occasions, all heroine POV. I delve into their emotions, their backstories and their motivation for doing what they do. In my longer stories I get to add a little depth to my secondary characters and my villains, all fun and necessary to a longer novel.

I was thinking today about another character that doesn’t often get as much attention. Location. Here’s a great example of location as character:

This is Halliwell Manor from Charmed. While I like the witchy sisters and their collection of supporting characters, my favorite player in the show is the house they live in. It has panache, a fascinating backstory, some power of its own. It has died and been brought back to life a few times just like most of the human characters on the show. It nurtures and protects the other characters and even provides a gateway to another realm in later episodes. Harry Potter’s Hogwarts is another fabulous example of location as character.

In my stories, I really haven’t yet explored the idea of location as character yet. The generational spaceship Ravenstar in Ravenstar’s Bride probably comes the closest to a location character, though it doesn’t possess the depth of Halliwell Manor or Hogwarts. Do you have a location as character? Have you created a place that is so integral to your story that it has a life of its own?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Don't Worry Be Happy

I catch up on news and world events at the dentist office. That's where I read the latest issue of Time, US News, The New know, the stuff that's usually too boring or political to hold my interest at home where there are so many more important things to do than read about the moronic things elected officials do and say, or the gloom and doom mentality of the Fourt Estate.

Today I read an interesting article on 50 Ways to be Happier.

Most of the magazine issue was taken up with page long reports on how each of the 50 things they listed has some track record for improving a person's mental health and well-being.

Some of them made sense. For instance: Eat at home. Rather than go to a restuarant [more than likely fast food] you are more likely to eat a healthier meal if you cook at home. This will of course reduce the tendency to obesity that plagues Americans these days, thus making you happier. It has some merit, though a nice night out where I don't have to cook or clean up after anyone has always gone a long way toward making me jolly.

Another was Lose your shoes. Which makes sense when coupled with the platform heels in the picture that was included with the article. Bad shoes cause back problems which make people unhappy. I get that. I wear sneakers most of the time which keeps me rather jovial.

Most of the other options I took with a grain of salt, though. For instance: Coach your kid's sports team. Okay. I know several parents who do this and not one of them does it for personal happiness. Most of them do it because the alternative is to have someone else coach the team who doesn't know what they're doing. A good friend of mine got sucked in as assistant coach to her duaghter's basketball team because she was the only parent who actually hung around for the entire practice. Everyone else sees that hour as free babysitting.

How about get tested for diabetes? Now sure, taking care of your health does go a long way toward improving your mental as well as your physical disposition. I don't dispute that. But I can't say being tested for diabetes would actually make me happy. Of course, if the test came up negative I might feel relief and perhaps a short burst of adrenalin caused by knowing I'm not sick, but what if the test comes out positive? That's not the stuff of happiness, finding out you have a serious illness. While the opportunity to treat and control the disease before it becomes life threatening might make you feel a little like you dodged a bullet, I just don't think the first thing you'd feel would be happiness.

My favorite was the last one: Install crown molding. Seriously. I'm not kidding. Because of its aesthetic value, crown molding brightens up most rooms and gives them an elegant look. No argument there - crown molding is very nice. Would it make me happier if I had it all over my house? Sure, if someone did it for free and painted every room while they were at it. But crown molding in and of itself will not increase my happiness or anyone else's. I'm sorry. I just don't believe that.

So, once again, the high and mighty media found a way to completely screw up a decent concept. We all could use a few tips on how to be happier, but most of what was in this list didn't really qualify as sage advice.

I have a tip for being happier - shut off the evening news and read a romance novel. Trust me, you'll be a lot happier.

What about you? What's your tip for how to be happier in 2007?

Monday, January 15, 2007

MBaM and a Preview of 2007

Since it's release on January 9th, I've been checking the progress of The Rebound Guy at My Bookstore and More, the Samhain eBook shop and I'm thrilled to announce that it's been steadily climbing up the best seller list!

It started out at #9 and as of today has worked its way up to #5! One of the perks of being a writer is sometimes getting to see your name on a best seller list.

In other news:

Apparently I was pretty busy in 2006, though sometimes it seemed like I was swimming upstream, I actually was working most of the time.

I know I have EIGHT releases coming up which should be available in 2007. In no particular order they are:

The Demon of Pelican Bluff - paranormal erotic romance - Amber Quill/Amber Heat

Unleashed - a paranormal anthology/print - Amber Quill/Amber Heat

A Calculated Risk - science fiction erotic romance - Amber Quill/Amber Heat

Infinite Worlds - science fiction anthology/print - Amber Quill/Amber Heat

The Hunted: Rogue Theta - science fiction erotic romance - Ellora's Cave

La Mirage - paranormal erotic romance - Samhain Publishing

U-4EA - science fiction erotic romance - Amber Quill/Amber Heat

Hunter's Mate* - science fiction erotic romance - New Concepts Publishing

* I received the contract for Hunter's Mate this morning. It's the long awaited sequel to Hunter's Moon!

Stay tuned for blurbs and some sneak peek excerpts from my upcoming releases!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Let it Cool

It's rare, especially on weekends, but today I managed to accomplish excatly what I set out to do.

I spent the afternoon away from the computer, in the basement with the laundy running and the tools of my trade spread out around me. My objective was to make the requested revisions to my Midsummer Night's Steam novella, La Mirage.

I did it the old fashioned way with lined paper and pen, scissors and tape. I literally cut and pasted the new scenes in. It may seem like a primitive way to work but it for me, it does the trick. I went through the whole manuscript and now I have a new first draft.

I'm going to let it cool for a couple of days, then type it up and let it cool some more, then edit and let it cool, proof read and let it cool and then I'll submit the finished product. It sounds like I'm baking bread, doesn't it?

Why so much cooling? I've always believed the only way to approach something you write is with fresh eyes. You need to distance yourself from your words sometimes in order to be objective. I never understood writers who say, "Oh, I typed THE END today and sent my story off to agents." WHAT?

How could a book or novella or anything, go from THE END to agent in less than a day? It's impossible. Unless you have an established relationship with an agent who is begging for your next manuscript and has editors waiting with baited breath for your every keystroke, a rough draft is NEVER agent ready. It just never is. Nor is it editor ready unless the editor of your seven book deal is chomping at the bit to finish your world renowed series and get the movie rights to that last book sold and your first two initials are JK.

If that's not the case, then let your work cool after you've typed THE END, no matter how much it kills you, put it aside for a day or two, or maybe a week. When you pick it up again, it will look different. You'll be able to see some of the typos and notice those commas that don't belong. You will be able to smooth out that awkward dialogue and hone your chapter ending hooks to razor sharp points. At the very least, you'll have a new perspective on your work. It's worth a shot.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

CP Strikes Gold

I’m going to brag on my CP Eden Bradley today. She just struck another two-book deal with Bantam! Talk about having a tiger by the tail! Her first novel isn’t even on the shelves yet and her editor is buying more. Am I jealous much? Like hell, but Lisa’s got the goods and she deserves every success. I can’t wait to waltz into Borders and see the Eden Bradley shelf – and be able to say, “Guess, what? I KNOW her!”

You know what I’d like to do one of these days, [when I have a lot of pocket money, that is]? I’d like to walk into a bookstore and buy an armful of books, but only those written by Romance Divas. How much fun would that be? To go pick up a dozen titles and every one of them from someone I know. I think I’m going to start saving up...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Yes, I do still read...

Even though it takes me a while, I do manage to finish reading a book now and then. I wish I had more time to read, but the problem is, when I do I feel guilty for not writing.

KMM's Darkfever was definitely worth the guilt, though. I just finished it and I really enjoyed it. I've been a fan of KMM since the first chapter of The Immortal Highlander. I read her previous books out of order, but I loved them all anyway.

Darkfever is a change of pace that's very refreshing. It's not a traditional romance, it's the first in a series and it's dark...hence the title.

What did I love about it? That the relationship between the leads is allowed to grow, very slowly. If these two ever get together, it will be one of those BAM moments. She's set up a dark hero who begs the question, is he really one of the good guys? The hero and heroine don't jump into bed just to fill a sex scene quota, and I know KMM can deliver, so when they DO hit the sheets, it will be well worth the wait.

Two downsides: [Not counting the first person POV, which works well in this case] The cover art really has nothing to do with the story. This is one of those bait and switch covers that says: Buy This Because Doesn't It Look Really Sexy? I'm sure a more fitting cover art could have been devised.

Second down side, there is one major reality check in the book, a detail that caught me and had me going, No way does that make any sense. I won't say what it was, but if anyone else read it and knows what I'm talking about, comment on this post. The rest of the book is so good, I don't even mind the blunder, but it is definitely a blunder.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Pinch me...

I was going to sit on this for a while, but I just can't, so I'll post it here once, very quietly.

I sold to Ellora's Cave.

I've been offered a contract on The Hunted: Rogue Theta.

I'm a Cave Girl.


What else?

I just signed a contract with Samhain for their Midsummer Night's Steam Anthology for my short story, La Mirage {Contemporary with a Paranormal twist}. This will be released in e-format and eventually go to print. Also squeeeeeeeee!

Overall, not a bad start to the year.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Back to Back Releases!

Available Today From Samhain Publishing:

ISBN: 1-59998-308-7
Length: Novella
Price: $3.50
2007Cover art by Scott Carpenter
When two friends share a night of unbridled passion, can their relationship withstand the consequences?

Catching her boyfriend in the act with another woman should have made Lauren James angry, indignant or even depressed. Instead, it made her horny. The only man in the world she trusts enough to help her through the sting of betrayal is her best friend, Eric Reynolds.

When Lauren shows up at Eric’s apartment, it doesn’t take much for her to seduce him. She finds solace for her trampled heart and bruised ego in Eric’s capable hands. After an unforgettable night of passion, Lauren wakes to the cold reality that she used Eric to get revenge. Will Eric forgive her, even if she can’t forgive herself?

Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex
Lauren’s hand shook as she reached up to ring Eric’s doorbell. The faint tremor should have served as a warning, a yellow light of sorts, to slow down and rethink her headlong leap into a whole new set of problems, but it didn’t. In fact, the frisson of fear and uncertainty coursing through her body only seemed to make her more determined to get what she wanted tonight.

She took a deep breath of humid night air. As her chest expanded, her half-unbuttoned silk blouse rubbed against her scandalously braless breasts. She remembered why she’d come here and that gave her the courage to thrust her finger the final two inches and stab at the glowing button on the doorframe.

So much for heeding a warning. Lauren didn’t believe in fate anyway—or signs from above, or below, or anywhere else. If she had, she certainly wouldn’t be here at her best friend’s front door, naked beneath her tight black jeans and ready to plunge into moral bankruptcy.
The bell chimed somewhere in the depths of Eric’s apartment, and Lauren’s nerve wavered once again. What if he turned her down?

Her heart fled to a tight spot just below her rib cage when the door flew open. She hadn’t counted on him looking this good. Maybe the useless tears she’d shed over Mark’s betrayal had heightened her senses. Of course Eric Reynolds was attractive, but tonight his dark blue eyes seemed more intense, his black hair darker. He wore faded jeans and a blue, button-down shirt open at the collar to reveal a triangle of smooth, tanned chest. He was barefoot, and he looked sexy and sleepy, like she’d woken him from dozing in front of the TV.

She bit her lower lip and tossed her hair, hoping the move made her look alluring rather than spastic.

“Hi.” Did her voice sound husky and sensual, or would he think she had a case of laryngitis?
Lauren hooked her thumbs in her belt loops and tugged a little so the waistband of her jeans dropped just enough to reveal some skin beneath the hem of her blouse. Would Eric notice?

“Hey.” He gave her a quizzical stare, one eyebrow up, a half-smile curving his suddenly very kissable lips.

“I’m not interrupting anything, am I?” At half-past eight on a Tuesday night? Not likely.
Eric squinted at her as though he didn’t quite understand the question. His gaze traveled over her shoulder as if he expected to find her posse of girlfriends hiding in the bushes. Tara and Roxy would kill her if they knew she’d come here after ducking out of the pity party they’d thrown in her honor. Being cheated on by Mark, her boyfriend of eight months, was supposed to make her depressed, resolute perhaps, and mad as hell, not lusty and reckless and hot for the only man on the face of the planet she could trust not to lie to her.

“Interrupt what?”

“Good.” Relief made her lightheaded. What would she have done if Eric had been with someone?

“Are you all right?” His smile faded, replaced with grim concern. The only time she’d showed up at his place without calling first was the day her parents announced their impending divorce. At twenty-five, she should have taken the news with maturity and aplomb. Instead, she’d run to Eric to cry on his shoulder because her family was breaking up.

“I’m fine,” she replied, taking a bold step forward. The move put her directly into his personal space. Warmth radiated from his chest when she placed her hands there. When she leaned close, the tempting vanilla spice scent of his aftershave tickled her nose. “I need a favor.”

He seemed to gulp for air, but to his credit, he held his ground. He didn’t step back to put distance between them.

“You know I’d…do anything for you.”

Lauren stifled a giggle at the brief hesitation in his response. Eric’s bad-boy good looks and his athlete’s physique hid the soul of an altar boy. He meant he’d do anything that wasn’t illegal or dishonest. That’s what she loved about him. Eric was straight up. He didn’t lie and he would never cheat on his girlfriend the way Mark had. And he was currently single.

“Anything?” Lauren licked her lips as she traced the line of his jaw with her finger.

“What’s going on, Laur? Are you sure you’re all right?” He put his hands on her shoulders and the heat of his touch sent her spiraling into desire for sweaty sex and sweet, sweet revenge.
She wanted revenge against Mark for letting her find him this afternoon cock-deep in a blonde bimbette. She wanted to feel important to someone, cherished and sexy and safe. Eric could do that for her. She needed him to do that for her.

Fear of rejection lasted all of two seconds. Her tumultuous thoughts conjured a particularly vivid memory of last summer’s Fourth of July beach party. Brilliant fireworks over the bay, an oyster bar and an extra large beach towel spread on the coarse sand had led to a moment of soul searching she still hadn’t forgotten.

A single kiss from Eric had sent her senses rocketing up among the roman candles bursting overhead. For a moment, as she’d absorbed the sweet taste of saltwater taffy from his lips, she’d wanted him inside her.

It never happened. The moment fled too soon. Their friends, marching down from the rented beach house in a drunken conga line, had shattered the spell with an off key rendition of Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are”.

The next morning, Eric had feigned amnesia about the whole evening. Lauren, ever the self-analyst, realized it was his way of letting her know, without embarrassing either of them, that the kiss had meant nothing. It had been just a sweet moment between two friends, nothing more.

Until now.

Now she drew on that memory to give her courage. It had sustained her during the long cab ride to his apartment from the restaurant where she’d left her two best girlfriends. She turned that memory into the full-fledged belief that she needed Eric now. Tonight. All the way.

“I want you. I want you to make love to me, right now.”

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Concubine's Tale Releases Today!

I was thrilled to find out today that The Concubine's Tale is now available at New Concepts! Though it's a standalone story, The Concubine's Tale ties in with The Soul Jar

Here's the blurb:

An ancient papyrus scroll tells the sensual and tragic tale of Nayari, concubine to a power-hungry magistrate bent on usurping the Egyptian throne. The chronicles of her forbidden love for Khanu, the stoic warrior sent to transport her from her master's home to the temple of Min, enflame the passions of modern day art collector Grant Pierson for sexy gallery curator Cait Lang. As Cait relates Nayari's erotic adventure she stirs more than just Grant's curiosity in the priceless artifact and they find themselves caught up in a love story three thousand years in the making.

Rating: Contains some violence and sexual situations.

And here's a short excerpt:

Cait stared at the scroll and thought of the first pair of hands that might have touched it. Sheathed now in tempered glass, its brittle remnants spread in a broken oval shape, it reminded her of a half-finished jigsaw puzzle. She found it sad that the missing pieces would never come together.

Lost in thought, she jumped a little at the sound of the gallery's door chime. She smoothed her dark skirt and hurried to the front door.
Grant Pierson appraised her through the frosted MG logo that decorated the upper half of the glass.

"I hope I'm not keeping you from something," he said as she backed up to let him inside. He stepped aside while she relocked the door.

Of course not, she thought. What social life can a girl have when she works all the time? "No problem. I was able to rearrange my plans." Cait let her curious gaze follow him across the main display area. His charcoal suit and polished shoes said boardroom all the way, but the broad shoulders and tight butt said weekend athlete. He moved like he owned the place. With the amount of money he'd spent here over the years, he might as well have been a partner in the business.

He bent to study the rare coin case in the center of the room. "You've changed the lighting in here."

She nodded. "We added some tracks down the center of the ceiling and replaced the top panels of the cases with a new type of glare-free glass. A major improvement for a small investment."

"Your idea?" His expression gave her pause. She couldn't tell if he approved of the change or not.

She crossed the room before answering, conscious of his eyes on her. "Not really. Mr. Greer is the display expert. The scroll is in the back, if you'd like to take a look."

"Can't wait."

They met at the narrow doorway leading to the back room. There, she caught a warm, spice-scented whiff of his aftershave as she passed him. Their shoulders brushed, and the feel of textured wool over lean muscle sent a charge through her nerve endings. Goosebumps rose under her blouse.

The sudden chill of excitement caused by the brief contact became a languid heat as she watched his expression change. His eyes lit when he saw the scroll, and his long fingers flexed with the desire to touch it. Figures an ancient artifact would turn him on, she thought.
He circled the display case. "Tell me about it." He clasped his hands behind his back now, as if to prevent himself from reaching for the inaccessible treasure.

"Of course."

* * *

For a longer excerpt, go here! And don’t forget, if you want to know more about the legend of The Concubine’s Tale, pick up The Soul Jar, also available from NCP.

Friday, January 05, 2007

A Mini Rant

You know what I hate? I hate coming up with a great title for a book, and not having the book to go with it.

I have a couple dozen great titles, titles for a series, titles for epic science fiction, even titles for spicy erotica, none of which have story lines to go with them.

I used to think having a story without a title was frustrating, but this is much, much worse.

Do you have titles without stories, or stories without titles?

Edited to add the Cover Art for Concubine's Tale

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Vorpol Dust Bunnies Unite!

My friend, Tim, sent this to our discussion group the other day. If you've ever wondered how dust bunnies get around, here's proof they can drive.

For more bunny pictures, check out The BunnyGoth Galleries very good for a laugh and a couple of 'Awwws!'

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Voyages

To boldly go where no one has gone before.
That's sort of my goal as a writer. And it may sound a tad familiar, but hey, it's tough to come up with new stuff all the time no matter how hard we try.
They say there are no new plots. The way to stand out in this business is to take one of the existing plots [there's a finite number, I'm told, but I don't recall what it is at the moment] and make it unique in some way.
It sounds easy, but one of the problems with this seemingly simple strategy is that once you think something, once you write it down, once you say the words, its out there. It's floating through space where someone else can pick it up. I'm not talking about advertising your WIP synopsis on a 10,000-member loop and then wondering why someone else turns up writing a similar book. I'm talking about having an idea and whispering it to your cat, or thinking about it really loudly while you're driving to the store. It doesn't matter how closely you guard it, someone else has already thought of it.
You might think the answer to this is to give up and start over, but someone will only come along and scoop up your next idea, too. So the only thing you can do is just write it anyway.
There's nothing new under the sun, so they say. So rather than agonize over the fact that your hard won idea sounds an awful lot like the latest bestseller that you haven't even read yet, just write it.
And then make it unique. Give it your own twist, you're signature style, your special something and make it great and you're home free.
How do you do that? Well, when I figure that out, I'll let you know.

Monday, January 01, 2007

I Went Beta

I hate change.

Especially any change that has to do with computers, blogs, websites, message boards. I have a steep learning curve with this stuff and a lot of times I just don't have the patience to go through tutorials or read the fine print.

I know that's bad. But I like things easy and reading complicated instructions just frustrates me.

So yesterday, being as I was in a mellow mood, don't ask me why, I decided to upgrade to Blogger Beta. It was one of those spur of the moment, do or die kinds of things. I'd heard bad things and I was afraid of losing my blog all together or losing access and having to start all over. That would have killed me because I really like my blog just the way it it is.

I know progress is the way of the human race. We have to keep improving, expanding our knowledge and moving forward. It's what we do. But I can't help being a little nostalgic for the idea that when something works, why change it? I guess that's an old fashioned view point.

It's a new year now, and time to put on the big girl panties and get back to work, learn new things, write new stories, update my websites and make it the best year ever.

Happy New Year everyone!