Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Writing Resolutions

Okay, don't panic everyone, but I thought I should mention that tomorrow is December 1st. (How did this happen???) In amongst all the forthcoming holiday madness, I've decided to make some changes to my writing habits next year. I don't know if any of you make resolutions or actually stick to them for the New Year, but for 2012 I've got a whole ton of projects lined up waiting to be written, and that requires putting down actual new words on the page.

I just sent a project out last night, so I'm glad to have that off my plate, but I hate the waiting, which will be extended now due to the holidays. But what's the best way to forget about something you've got out on submission? Write the next book!

I've been really bad this year with my discipline. I got stuck (and still am stuck) in the middle of a book that by rights should have been turned in last Christmas. *hangs head* So in 2012 I've got to get tougher with myself.

My question to you lovely Naughty Chicks is: What tricks do you have to help you complete a project? As I said this one's way overdue, and mostly I blame it on sheer laziness. Writing short, hot novellas is a lot of fun, but I also can't neglect my other persona, especially when I've just received an e-mail from the publisher's executive editor, pretty much asking when the next book in the series will be done. (Eep!)

The only thing I've found that helps is going to the local library to write for a few hours after I drop the kids off in the mornings. With fewer distractions there and resisting the temptation of hooking up to the Wifi, I can usually force myself to get some new words down. I wish "force" wasn't the right word, but in this case it's the truth.

What about you? Do you have any writing resolutions or a bag of never fail tricks?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Until Next Year!


I looked up last week from my computer mid-NaNo-hibernation and realized…*&^%$%^!!...November is almost over! Holy &^%$%^##@!! When did that happen? Just warning you. This month my vocabulary deteriorated. I saved all the big words for my book. But it zoomed by and now I’m staring down the stretch of this crazy writing month, three days away from D-Day. My goal—obviously—was to achieve the illustrious 50,000 word count…yeaaahh, well, gonna fall a little short of that. But I should reach about 42,000 by Wednesday, which, hey! Isn’t too shabby at all! Especially considering my all-time high was 15k…I’ve waaay outdone myself! What was the difference between this year and years past? Was I more determined? Had a great outline? More prepared? Yes. Yes. And *&^&%$!! yes! But the really motivating and defining factor of my NaNo sojourn this year was me. Yes, ‘lil ‘ol me. Well, maybe not so little after all those snacks and cups of sugar and cream laced with coffee. But my mindset was different. I saw it as more than a lark but an honest-to-goodness accomplishment to obtain. I had something to prove and it was all to myself. That I can be disciplined and focused and achieve a goal I set forth. I proved to myself during these past 28 days that I could write a certain word count in a day—every day—no excuses. That I could write a rough draft without being Mrs. Perfection-Thou-Name-is-Anal. Hell, I gave myself permission to write a bad book, and did it! Only…it’s not so bad. Yes, there is repetition and run-on sentences and an inconsistency or two in personality that I need to go back and clean up. But I gave myself permission to leave the imperfections. I included a comment to go back and fix it and then kept it rollin’! It felt…It felt *&^%$%# good and liberating! And I’m honestly excited about going back and editing it. I know that sounds like straight fiction, but I am. But it’s not just the editing process where I can really flesh out and energize sentences, but seeing it shape up into something truly wonderful. To see the culmination of a process started. So though I didn’t reach the 50k, I gained more this November than I have in NaNo’s past…besides weight. I’ve learned about myself as a writer. And that is priceless. Will I do it again next year? Does Symphony bars come in King Size???

Bit of Trivia: The movie Water for Elephants starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson was based on the novel of the same name, which was originally written during…you got it! National Novel Writing Month! How cool is that?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Sex


The American Thanksgiving holiday is done and gone: turkeys stuffed and eaten, dishes washed, guests most likely out the door (unless you have some stragglers you haven't yet evicted). My mind has cleared enough from the stress of family gatherings to return to the important topics in the world. Sex.

I just caught an article on CNN.com's belief blog about the Puritans, Thanksgiving and sex. This is not a combination I would have previously considered. One does not imagine the Pilgrims of Plymouth celebrating Thanksgiving in a wanton way. But apparently the New England Puritans not only had been found to indulge heavily in spirits under the right circumstances (funeral celebrations for instance), but looked upon the Catholic church's preference for sexual abstinence as unscriptual. Church of England members were disciplined if they refused to have sex with their wives and women could sue for divorce if husbands were unable to satisfy them sexually. Apparently sex (within marriage--they weren't that non-traditional) was more than celebrated.

I've learned never to be surprised by new nuggets of information from history. People have always been sexual beings. It's part of who we are. So why not the Pilgrims as well?

Thanksgiving is not a holiday I imagine to be sexy, although I did write one sexy fantasy short story set during this yearly feast. That was a while ago, but I'll include the link for fun. I think reading the above article I am going to have to rethink my mind frame at next year's holiday dinner.

Happy Post-Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday blues

I think I've turned a corner. I almost hesitate to jinx it, but for about 10 years this was a rough time of year for me, and so far...I'm okay.

Everyone has their own “triggers” but some of the ways I’ve learned to defend against the blues, you may find helpful too.

First, eliminate unnecessary stress.

I’ve gone on strike when it comes to cooking Christmas dinner and our few remaining family members go out to a big Christmas brunch at a lovely hotel. It’s a treat and we all enjoy it.

I used to let my husband do all the decorating. I didn’t complain about the lights and garland absolutely everywhere and he didn’t complain that I wasn't helping.

Second, replace the things you miss.
I read a study recently that receiving gifts makes people happy, but giving gifts makes the happiness last longer. No wonder I missed shopping for family members. It was the giving I missed! Even in this economy you can find bargains or make little gifts and give them to people who have been good to you during the year. You can even stop by your local fire house or police station with something—just because they’re there.

Third, be good to yourself. Do things that make you happy.
I bought a timeshare in Florida for the first week of each year. It gives me something to look forward to and makes my workaholic husband take some time off. We always have a wonderful time, if for no other reason than having lots and lots of “vacation sex.” Now there’s a great way to relieve the tension of the holidays when they’re finally over!

Are you struggling to make ends meet and can’t afford to do anything that spendy? Well, I empathize. I used to be a single parent and almost every penny went to pay rent and bills. My daughter and I made a list of all the things we liked to do that cost little or no money. Try it, you might be surprised.

Here are some of the things from our list:
Go to the perfume counter at any department store and try the free samples.
Do each others’ hair and make-up.
If you have a fireplace, enjoy gazing at it or toast marshmallows.
Feed the birds and watch them from your window.
Put flowers on a neighbor’s doorstep, ring the bell and run away.
Sing along to the radio.
Read books from the library. Especially fun if you read to each other.
Watch a comedy on TV.
Bake something.
Go to a music store and listen to new selections with headphones.
Find a store with music boxes and play as many of them as you want to. (It’s good for them to be played. Not good for them to sit unused for long periods of time.)
Make your own bath salts. (Just Epsom salt and a few drops of fragrant oil.)
Use them and take a long, hot bath. (Good for arthritis.)
Write to an old friend.
Make a new friend.

Finally, count your blessings. There’s always something to feel good about. Do you have a place to live? A car? Two feet you can walk on? Two arms you can hug with? A pet? A friend? There are always people who have less than you or have to deal with circumstances you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.

“Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.”
--Anonymous

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Debut coming soon

I'm so excited to announce my debut will be out Dec. 6 with Loose, Id. It's funny how things work out. CAN'T FAKE THIS started out on a whim. At the last minute, I decided to enter this 10,000 word contest. I’d written spicy mainstream, but this was my first dive into erotic waters. I didn’t win the contest, but after having what I thought was a good start, I added some more words and low and behold, this erotic became the first manuscript I sold.

The story is about a divorcee ready to reenter the dating world. Anna Ryan is determined to be the best “product on the market,” which requires a lot more experience so she propositions sexy police officer Chase Harris to teach her how to make hot, passionate love as opposed to just having sex. He takes it a step further, instructing each lesson based on The Twelve Days of Christmas.

The blog tour kicks off soon on there will be a huge blog party on my website Dec. 6 where 12 authors will be doing 12 give-aways to go along with the 12 Days of Christmas theme in the story. Best sellers & RITA nominees from various genres will be there!

So do you have a story about a book or something that came to fruition but never should have? Something that happened because you acted spontaneous and it changed your course of life? I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Best Kept Secret

I can't tell you how much I love the holidays and spending it with loved onesBUT, I must confessI have always had a weakness for the home-cooked feasts that will keep my tummy happy for days... My mouth is watering just thinking about the awesome dinner spread that takes most of the day to prepare. Being raised in the Deep South, there are some things that are reserved for such a special occasion....yes, beyond the juicy fried turkey, a mountain of side items, and the delicious desserts with whipped cream on topoh my!there's a secret weapon that many may not know about. It's called the Old Fashioned Cherry Coke Salad and it's the best darn companion to the Turkey Day feast that you'll surely dream about for years to come. 

Move over boring cranberry sauce...this is a heck of a lot tastier and memorable. Believe it or not, I normally NEVER share this recipe because I've tweaked it a zillion times over the years to my liking...but because this is my first Thanksgiving with the lovely Naughty Author Chicks, I'm spilling the best kept secret that I've ever kept.  :P

Now you can stash this recipe away to pull out for your next holiday feast. Bon Appétit

Old Fashioned Cherry Coke Salad

Ingredients:
1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapples (I prefer Dole brand), drained but juice reserved
1/2 cup water
1 large (8 serving size) cherry flavored Jello
1 can (21 ounces) can of sweet Bing cherries or dark sweet cherries in heavy syrup (must be this type only!), drained but syrup reserved
1 (12 oz can) of chilled Coca-Cola
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, marshmallows

Directions:
Drain pineapple and cherry, save the juices in saucepan; set fruit aside in refrigerator. Bring fruit juices to a boil, remove from heat and whisk in the Jello powder until fully dissolved. Measure off 4-Cups of  liquid from the Coca-Cola (can substitute with Dr. Pepper or Cherry Coke), transfer to a bowl or mold and stir in the pineapples, cherries, and nuts (optional). Add marshmallows when it just starts to set and can still sink into the bowl/mold. Allow to set from 3-5 hours and do NOT stir!

For topping: Mix cream cheese and sugar in a bowl; fold in Cool Whip or whipped cream until  it is fully combined. If you'd like a simpler topping, just add a dollop of cottage cheese to each serving. 

To increase this recipe: Add 4-Cups of liquid to every large package of Jello or 2 cups per 1 package of small Jello.

* * * * 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! May it be a safe and joyous one!

Here's also a shout out to all the men and women serving in the military...a big THANK YOU for all you do in keeping us safe. I'll be raising a glass (or two) of wine to you!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Titanic Rhapsody

© Mikle15 | Dreamstime.com © Michal Mrozek | Dreamstime.com

My Katie, the intrepid heroine in my Titanic epic, has found a home...

ELLORA'S CAVE

I so excited to be with Ellora's Cave!! I've been a Titanic enthusiast for a long time and I've seen every Titanic film I can, including A Night to Remember and the German film, Titanic, made during WWII. I'm so looking forward to seeing James Cameron's "Titanic" in 3-D in April 2012.

Like so many passengers on the Ship of Dreams, I'm Irish--so I had to write a story about an Irish girl coming to New York on this grand ship.

Titanic Rhapsody is the story of Katie O’Reilly, an enterprising Irish lass who takes the place of the Countess of Marbury when the Titanic sinks, and how a dashing gambler, a wealthy industrialist and a bet made between them changes her life.

Katie rises to the heights of New York Society–only to see it all threatened fifty years later when her secret is revealed…

I've been tweeting everyday aout the Titanic and blogging here at NAC about everything from icebergs to teddy bears (with more to come!). The 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ship is just months away...

My Titanic story is a moment-by-moment account of what it was like to be on board the Titanic during those days and nights from April 10 through April 14, 1912, when the liner hit an iceberg through the eyes of my heroine, Katie, and her dashing gambler, Captain Lord Jack Blackthorn, and the Countess of Marbury, who is also in love with Jack.

I don't have a cover yet--so I put together this piece of concept art (photos: http://www.dreamstime.com/) with Katie and her mum's rosary to celebrate Katie's new home at Ellora's Cave.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Series Complete

The third book in my Long and Hard series from Ellora's Cave was released last week. Crescendo is book number 13 for me at Ellora's Cave and I'm hoping that doesn't translate to bad luck!

There's a sense of completion with the release of the final edition of a trilogy, like I was holding my breath until the other shoe fell. I know, this is my own personal neurosis, but I felt like if something happened and the final book wasn't released, the whole thing would be a waste. But it's here so I can tuck away Wynter's crazy self and relax. Am I the only one who thinks like that? (Please, humor a crazy person)

Here's a little about Crescendo:

After a painful break-up, concert violinist Chloe Carmichael just wants to be alone. But when she is targeted by a stalker, she’s forced to allow a sexy stranger into her life.
Security expert Wyatt Long is trying to protect Chloe. Staying as close as he dares to the beautiful musician proves difficult when she insists on performing a public concert. When the job becomes personal, he has way more to lose than a client.

And if you are so inclined, you can read an excerpt HERE. I'll give one commenter a free download.


Friday, November 18, 2011

NEW RELEASE - SANTA'S WAYWARD ELF!

I love writing holiday romances, especially Christmas-themed ones, but when my hubby (who is also my writing partner!) suggested we write a story about one of Santa's Elves, I was like, "You're kidding, right?" Silly of me, actually. I mean, we pulled off a zombie romance in DEAD SEXY, which turned out to be an EPIC Award Finalist, by the way. Hubby still had to do some convincing, but he did it, and as we outlined the story, I completely fell in love with the heroine Sosie, a guileless elf who doesn't fit in up at the North Pole and ends up stranded in NYC on Christmas Eve where she meets and falls head over heels for a hunky cop. I think you'll fall in love with her, too!

Happy Reading!






Being one of Santa’s elves isn’t all sugar plums and candy canes.

At least not for Sosie. Taller than the other elves, she’s always had a problem fitting in at the North Pole, so when the transport sled she’s on breaks down in New York City on Christmas Eve, she can’t resist slipping away to explore the world of the “big people.” While she’s having fun, the transport sled takes off, leaving the naïve elf stranded.

Fortunately, handsome police detective Derek Clayton comes to her rescue, offering to let her stay at his apartment. Having heard horror stories about the big people, Sosie is both surprised and relieved to meet such a kind, sweet man. Not to mention one so gorgeous and well-built.

Even though Sosie expects the North Pole to send out a search party any day, she finds herself falling for Derek. She desperately wants to tell him she’s an elf, but knows he’ll never believe her. When the lies and omissions start to pile up, Derek can draw only one conclusion—Sosie is working for the mob boss he’s been after for years.

Just when things seem like they can’t get any worse, the chief of elfin security shows up to drag Sosie back to the North Pole. How is a runaway elf supposed to overcome a determined security elf, dangerous mobsters and a suspicious boyfriend all while keeping her pointed ears a secret?


Excerpt:

By the time the party wound down a few hours later, Sosie was more aroused from her fantasies than she’d ever been in her life. She was an elf in lust and nothing was going stop her from getting Derek into bed with her tonight. She didn’t care how much of a gentleman he was, there was no way he was sleeping on the couch again. In fact, if she had her way, he wasn’t going to be sleeping at all.

After they got back up to his apartment, however, her confidence faltered. But then she thought of the frustrated night she would assuredly have ahead of her if she didn’t proposition Derek, and how much she would regret it when she left.

Taking a deep breath, she turned to face him. “I had a great time at the party. It was very nice of you to invite me.”

He grinned. “I’m glad you came. I had a good time, too.”

Sosie nibbled on her lower lip. Okay, it was now or not at all. Time to be a bold elf. She looked up at him. “You know, I feel awful about putting you out of your bed again. I was thinking maybe you might want to sleep with me tonight.”

He studied her in silence, his dark eyes unreadable. Sosie held her breath as she waited for him to say something. What if Tracee and Linda had been wrong? What if Derek wasn’t as “into her” as they’d thought?

“If I share the bed with you, Sosie,” he said softly, “sleeping is the last thing either of us will be doing.”

She gave him what she hoped was a flirtatious look. “Good. Then the mistletoe won’t go to waste.”

His mouth curved into a grin at the tiny sprig of greenery dangling from her fingers. “Mistletoe, huh?”

“I thought I could put it wherever I want you to kiss me.”

He chuckled. “Honey, you don’t need mistletoe for that. I’ve spent the past two hours fantasizing about kissing every inch of you.”

Her pulse skipped a beat. “You have?”

“Uh-huh.”

Cupping her face in his hand, he bent his head to cover her mouth with his. This time, there was no hesitancy in the kiss. This time, his mouth moved over hers with an urgency that left her breathless, and she had to cling to his shoulders to keep from melting as his tongue plunged into her mouth to take possession of hers. It was as if he couldn’t seem to get enough of her. The desire was mutual. She couldn’t get enough of him, either.

With a groan, Derek swung her up in his arms and strode toward the bedroom. She’d never had a guy do something so romantic before—mainly because she was always taller than the elf guys she’d slept with—but she decided it was very hot.

Once beside the bed, Derek set her on the floor, letting her slide slowly and deliciously down his body. Arms still looped around his neck, she pulled him down for another kiss. This time, she was the aggressor, her tongue seeking his and exploring every inch of his tasty mouth.

Derek groaned and ran his hands down her back to firmly cup her ass through the tight jeans she wore. She murmured her appreciation against his mouth as he pulled her more tightly against him. His erection strained against his jeans, pressing into her tummy. Mmm. Well, that answered the question as to whether he was well built everywhere. It felt as if he had a huge candy cane hidden in there.

Suddenly impatient to see how well built, Sosie ran her hands down his chest to the bottom of his shirt and urgently pushed it up. Derek must have thought she needed some help because he reached back and pulled it over his head to toss it on the floor.

She’d thought getting a glimpse of him without a shirt last night had been a treat, but seeing all that sculpted muscle up close was even better. Figgy, he was gorgeous.



5 Hearts from Sizzling Hot Books!

"Sosie is an elf that has never really fit in at the North Pole, so she decides to try the South Pole. But, when the sled she is on has trouble, she is enchanted by the city lights, the BP world (Big People) and wanders away. Needless to say, the sled takes off without her and she is stranded in the city. Sosie is a charming character. She knows only what has been shown on the local North Pole news about the big world and so while a little bit knowledgeable, her innocence and naivety are absolutely charming and funny.

Derek is a detective with the NYPD and when he finds Sosie, he can’t just let her venture about on her own. Taking her home may have been the best decision he’s ever made or it may turn out to be the worst when things start to fall apart. Derek is definitely an alpha male, but a gentleman with a heart of gold who likes to help women in trouble.

I have to admit that I read Santa’s Wayward Elf in one sitting - I couldn’t walk away from Sosie. This is one of the most unique, sweet and yet still sensual holiday stories I have read in a long time. There wasn’t a slow point to be found in Santa’s Wayward Elf as Paige Tyler weaves for us remarkable characters within a fairytale life that really embraces the Christmas spirit and spreads it to everyone that touches the pages!"



Watch the Trailer!
http://youtu.be/oEz-Rlqp0G4

Buy it at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid!
http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/torrid/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4&products_id=622&zenid=bfe7e3fcc71ed5a58a86c82d95c01468



*hugs*
Paige


"Stories so hot, they'll make your cheeks blush!"

http://www.pigetylertheauthor.com
http://paigetylertheauthor.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Still Truckin' Along

Anyone who thinks it’s possible to just sit down and bang out a story, even a bangin’ story, is sadly mistaken. It takes time to get to know the story, to flesh out the characters. And if you’re a by the seat of the pants writer like I am, that means a tremendous amount of rewrites along the way.

My biggest challenge by far is to write a confident, assertive, energetic heroine. I’ve never been confident, struggle with assertion (kinda goes with the confidence thing), and I’m an admitted couch potato. Oh, and did I mention that the hero I’m currently trying to flesh out is a mere 2.5 years younger than my oldest son? And the heroine is my age? That doesn’t help.

Truth is, I’ve been working on this story for quite some time, and I’m pretty sure my editor and crit partners don't think it will ever be finished. I’d agree, except for one thing. I’ve passed the point of no return. I love the characters, and I think they’ll find their way into the reader’s heart as well.

So I’m going to persevere on this one. I’m invested. I’m confident. I’m asserting that I’m going to park my ass on the couch and get this puppy finished.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

No Holds Barred

No Holds Barred, my first menage story, releases from Carina Press next Monday. I've never written a one before, and it sure shocked my poor crit partner when it arrived in her inbox without me warning her first. She replied with, "Um...WOW." It's all good though, I didn't scar her emotionally or anything.

It's a quick read, born from a lull between Kaylea Cross stories when I just wanted to let my hair down and let loose for a bit. But it's not your typical menage story. It's filled with a wealth of emotion and tenderness, and I hope it curls my readers' toes.

Blurb: During a playful talk about fantasies, Caitlin’s fiancé offers to give her a threesome—with his best friend, Liam, who’s coming to spend the weekend. At first Cait is shocked that Nathan could entertain the thought of sharing her with another man, but once he’s planted the idea her imagination runs wild, leaving her deeply aroused—yet still unsure about what the implications could be for her and Nate’s relationship.


Nathan’s watched Cait struggle to hide her attraction to Liam for years. He knows she’s nervous, but he also knows that by making her most intimate fantasies come true he can bring her to heights of pleasure she’s only imagined, and strengthen their bond. There’s only one way to help her overcome her inhibitions—by planning a night of ecstasy she’ll never forget…

Considering my love of military men, I should also mention that both guys in this story are former Marines :) If you're interested, you can find an excerpt here. I'll also be giving away copies in contests next week at various blogs, the details of which will be on my Facebook page. Hope this story helps keep the November chill away! Liam also has his own story, Let Me In, which releases next year.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Winter Romance; It's Dark Out There

The clocks turned back the weekend before last, and now I find myself ready for bed by 5pm. It's dark so early, it feels as though I've walked miles by the finish of every evening. I'm wondering about the upside of the time change for the modern non-agricultural residents of this planet. Is there an upside to extra dark? And then I thought romance.

If the darker, less pleasant weather cocoons us inside more often, this becomes prime time to snuggle down with a loved one. Perhaps the early dark is an excuse to rejuvenate connection and contact with a partner. Watch more movies together. Read together in bed. Or do other activities in bed (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, know what I mean, eh?)

Winter weather (if one lives where winter rakes its frigid claws down one's goose-pimpled flesh) can be harsh and unpleasant. (I'll put aside attraction for winter sports enthusiasts.) Although I've suggested winter darkness provides great moments for extra cuddling, I also thought about romance books set during the winter season. Aside from those novels using devices such as two lovers snowed into a secluded cabin, or the many amazing seasonal Christmas stories (see Penny Watson's latest release, Sweet Magik, for an awesome example) few of the romances I read are set during winter.

Is it the inconvenience of describing characters climbing in and out of heavy winter gear to go outside together? Or the fact that snow might slow down the action adventure romance? Are layers of clothing less sexy? Maybe I am miscounting the prevalence of winter set romances. I read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi romance and perhaps winter is underrepresented in those. Certainly none of the novels I've written are set in snowy months, but I am sure this is a personal bias. I am not a winter sports enthusiast and I abhor cold.

If someone undertook a research study that measured the most common season used in romance novels, which would win? Spring, summer or fall? I'm betting it's not winter, snuggling opportunities notwithstanding.

What's your guess?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Best Things About the South


By: Casey Crow




Having just returned from the Southern Magic Readers Luncheon in Birmingham, Alabama (got to meet the fabulous Naima Simone!), I experienced southern hospitality at its finest. This got me thinking about other great things about my part of the world, so here's my list of favorites. I hope you will add to it.

1. Sweet tea and sweeter accents
2. Macaroni & cheese is a vegetable and pecan pie is a staple
3. Y'all is a proper noun
4. Smocked dresses and hairbows as big as a little girl's head
5. Front porches are wide and words are long
6. Sultry summer nights that start in April
7. Mardi Gras
8. SEC football
9. Pageants are serious business
10. Everything is darlin' and someone's heart is always blessed




Enjoy life and take advantage of the uniqueness of your area, no matter where you live!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Inspiration is out there

One of the biggest obstacle for an author is hitting a wall during the most crucial moments in her writing career. Some things in life we just can't anticipate or prepare for, but we must gather the strength to move forward no matter how difficult the situation. 

Sure, there are times when there's a rush of creativity, where everything goes beautifully and the sailing is smooth...then there are times when you free fall off a cliff into the deep hole of insecurity, self-doubt, and depression--into a place that makes you question your decision to become a writer. Was it worth all the struggles and tears? If you answered "HELL, YEAH!"...then you are definitely meant to be a writer.

But, but, but....even when everything seems to be caving in on you, there's nothing more refreshing than a touch of inspiration to spark renewed life in your writing...in YOU. Sometimes we find inspiration at the oddest times and from the most unexpected places but it's out there. Inspiration is everywhere and you just have to open yourself to it...in order to find it. It's easier than you think and when you can hold onto that feeling--the excitement--that power will surge through you and you'll know it's the one thing you can control. Your story is a part of you that you're sharing with others. Your writing isn't just a passion but a way to unleash all those emotions. Just remember, your characters, your story is providing inspiration to others..it's true, and someday when you're down, you might get a letter, an email, a facebook feed that will prove otherwise. I guarantee months or years from now when you pick up your published work and re-read it, you'll be proud of what you've accomplished. Overcome. Conquered.


Photo Credit: liz green

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

All you need to know about the Hunter


Cover photo: © Les3photo8 | Dreamstime.com


Who is the Hunter?

He’s a character I’ve had in my mind for some time. A mysterious adventurer who has an almost mystical power to know what a woman wants and needs in bed. He has an unlimited fortune that allows him to roam the world doing just that.

Sound sexy? There’s more.

I’ve also been intrigued by the popularity of one-night stands.

You see them in films, short stories, anthologies and novels. That naughty deed that allows you to indulge in your fantasies with a stranger without worrying about what he’ll think “the morning after.” 

Not all one-night stands are about sex. Sometimes you meet a man outside your normal environment and because he’s a stranger, you talk about things you wouldn’t with anyone else. You never see him again, but you come away wiser and more confident about yourself.

That’s what I wanted to write about: an erotic short story (under 5,000 words) where the sex is hot and the Hunter helps the heroine discover something about herself that makes her blossom as a woman.

I’ve just self-pubbed the first story, “Breaking the Rules,” [available on Amazon and Smashwords for $.99!) and I’ve included the blurb and excerpt in this post.

But first, tell me, what do you think about one-night stands?

------------

“Breaking the Rules”

The Hunter knows what a woman wants in bed…and he always delivers. Going from town to town, he fulfills a woman’s most intimate, sexual fantasies.

A one-night stand she’ll never regret.

He has the power to give each woman what she needs, whether it’s oral/anal sex, BDSM, ménage, foreplay, sex toys, role playing, etc. He takes on whatever persona necessary to focus on her needs, her emotional core.

Her sexual adventure takes center stage in every Hunter story.

In “Breaking the Rules,” Elaine is a rules-kind-of-girl, whether it’s at work or in the bedroom. She sets out on journey of self-discovery when she meets the Hunter, who shows her that rules are made to be broken.

The Hunter is coming to your town…are you ready?


Excerpt from “Breaking the Rules:” 

“I'd like to interview you for my book,” said the Hunter, looking at her crossed bare legs under the table. Without thinking about the consequences, she uncrossed them.

“Me? A legal secretary?” she said, closing her laptop. That was a silly thing to say. As if she had no identity other than what she did for a living. That didn’t surprise her. She'd been so focused on her job, she hadn't had a date in months. Not since Hank broke up with her via a text message.

“I think you'd make an interesting chapter, Elaine.” He put his hand on her knee, making her stiffen.

“I don't read those kinds of books,” she said, avoiding his gaze. It was a lie. She did read them, the ones with the highlander heroes and the bold heroines. She loved staying up all night reading a spicy novel, a vibrator in one hand and an e-book reader in the other.

The battery gave out before she finished the book.  

“No harm in asking,” he said, offering her a lemon drop. She shook her head. “You look like the adventurous type.”

“No way. I play by the rules,” she blurted out, then wished she hadn't. Hank had made it clear she was anything but adventurous. Boring but dependable, like her white cotton panties.

No wonder he fell for a girl who went commando.

“Bet I could change your mind.” He popped another lemon drop into his mouth and began sucking on it, licking his lips in a provocative manner that mesmerized her. Made her wish she had the courage to allow him to focus his attention on her throbbing clit.

But that, too, was against the rules.

She said, “I bet you couldn't.”

“I'd like to try.” He took her hand in his under the table and squeezed it, then stroked her palm with his fingers, sending tiny shivers through her.

It seemed natural for her to squeeze back, a heat rising in her that begged to ignite and forget he was a stranger. To let him do with her as he pleased. 

Why not? For a reason she didn’t understand, she felt close to him, like she knew him. As if he were one of the scowling heroes she swooned over in the novels she read.

A modern-day warrior rescuing a lady in distress in the midst of battle.

She let her natural instincts take over when he blew in her ear, making her tremble with pleasure. A sigh that turned into a moan escaped from her lips. A sound of frustration that was an invitation for him to take her where she wanted, where she needed, to go.

Over the edge. With him.

She turned her face toward him, her eyes questioning. She didn't protest when he pulled her to her feet and urged her to follow him into a dark corner. Before she could take a breath, his arms were around her, his firm lips on hers and, finding no resistance, she felt his tongue probing her mouth, searching and exploring her inner recesses as if she were already naked.

She grabbed his shoulders and he drew her closer to him, crushing her breasts up against his bare chest. Feeling the warmth of his body against hers, she couldn't stop rubbing against him and delighting in the sensation of her hardened peaks skimming over his chest, her breasts aching for his touch.

Elaine panicked. The idea excited her, but he wouldn't reach through her blouse to fondle her breasts, squeeze her nipples, not here.

Would he?

NEWS:

TITANIC RHAPSODY -- my romance novel about the ship of dreams will be available from Ellora's Cave in 2012.

More info in my next blog...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interruptions to Normal

Life always manages to throw curves into everyone's plans. Well, this week I was hit with too much to concentrate on getting my next chapter of Dangerous Desires done and posted. My Mom got sick and her stomacache led to a week hospital stay and the discovery of growths in her lungs and kidney. Today she had surgery to remove what was on her kidney, but it became a problem not easily solved. So, she's still in the hospital. As she is the daily babysitter of my four year old newphew, I had to take over the task. Anyone with kids knows, a four year olds rarely lets you get anything else done. Not only do I have to watch him, but I do so while working my day job--online retail. Thankfully, I do that from home.

Hopefully, my life will return to normal and my story will resume in two weeks.
Until then, here's a recipe that may come in handy for one of your future busy days.

Lita's Breakfast Muffins
I got this recipe from my sister-in-law. They're easy to make, and they freeze well. Perfect for those days you'll be too busy to get breakfast during the holiday season.


Ingredients

1 tube Pillsbury flaky biscut dough

3-1/3 cups Shredded Cheddar/Colby Jack Cheese
1 pound cooked ground sausage
3 eggs, beaten

Optional additions are cooked and minced: onion, green bell pepper, jalapeno, and for a festive feel add diced red pimento or used red bell pepper with the green peppers.

Instructions

Separate each biscut into three layers. Flatten each layer and line 24 muffin cups.

Mix other ingredients together well and fill the lined muffin cups, mounding is okay.

Bake 15-20 minutes in a preheated 325 degree oven.

Eat warm, eat cold, freeze for another day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Writer's Internet Toolbox

I'll share a little secret with you. We writers sometimes need help with word, with motivation or character development. So many things go into writing a book -- too many to list. But I have a list of helpful sites I refer to over and over. Since I'm in a generous mood, I'm going to share some of those sites;-)

Here's a blog with loads of terrific posts from writers, agents and industry professionals - http://writerunboxed.com/

Karen A. Fox has been a longtime favorite site of mine. She lists romance agents and publishers - http://www.karenafox.com/publishers.htm

Here's a list of keyboard shortcuts that has come in handy for me more than a few times - http://www.nouilles.info/keyboard_shortcuts.html

Author Kristen Lamb has a very informative blog about writing and promotion that's always worth a read - http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/

Our very own Jax Cassidy is co-founder of this site, which is chock full of great info, from online classes to forums full of helpful tidbits from authors - http://romancedivas.com/

Last, here's a post that catalogs many review sites that get awesome traffic - http://kathleendienne.com/review-sites-roundup/

This should get you started. Do you have any go-to sites you'd like to share?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Squee! New Contract with Ellora's Cave!




I'm so excited! I just signed with Ellora's Cave for my BDSM erotic romance SUBMISSION BECOMES HER!


Here's the blurb!

Submision Becomes Her

Josie Roberts has a secret fantasy. She wants to be dominated, to feel owned by a man in the bedroom while being his complete equal outside of it. Finding that man has been difficult, however. But then she meets “Sir Dom” in an online BDSM chat room. After weeks of cyberspanking, Josie and her online Dom are both ready for the real thing, so they decide to finally meet in person.

When Josie arrives at the restaurant, she’s stunned to discover “Sir Dom” is none other than her ex-boyfriend Gavin Elliot. She can’t believe it. He might be gorgeous, but when it came to sex, he was about as vanilla as a man could get. Or so she’d always thought.

It turns out Gavin had kept his dream of dominating a woman in the bedroom a secret, too. And now, he’s going to live out every fantasy he’s ever had by tying her up and spanking her until she begs for more.



*hugs*
Paige

"Stories so hot, they'll make your cheeks blush!"

http://www.paigetylertheauthor.com
http://paigetylertheauthor.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Toys-4-Us

I had a goal in mind for today's post; I really did. See, there are these seven incredibly talented authors who got together to write a series about getting together in San Antonio and drinking chocolate wine and flavored vodka. Oh, and, you know, having an adult toy party 'cuz did I mention that each of these authors is a hot ticket? LOL!

Anyway...

Every four months, the Sassy Seven (Alix, Caitlyn, Emily, Giana, Hannah, Petra and Sara), get together for a long weekend to reconnect, relax and have some fun. This fall, the ladies met in San Antonio to celebrate Petra’s birthday. And oh what a celebration it was. The chocolate wine and flavored vodka got everyone in the perfect mood for a party. An adult toy party.
Each of the women went home with a pink satin bag full of tantalizing fun, aching to invite the man of their dreams over for some sexy playtime.


Dalton again. Sounds amazing, right? But wait, there's a blog, too! http://toys4ustales.blogspot.com/

So my goal was to post the cover pics and whole blurbs, and let you know how you can get your hands on these stories for just .99 CENTS EACH! Seriously, move it. They're only .99 cents until November 30th. So where did I go wrong? Um, I couldn't get past the need to keep the covers large. I tried. I really, really tried. I could go on explaining myself, but I'll let you see why for yourselves. (So please forgive me for taking huge liberties with the blurbs, only because the full version is available with the click of a button.)

Once you tear yourselves away from the covers long enough to click the links, you'll find out how hot the books are, how to get them in your hot little hands for .99 cents, AND how to WIN A KINDLE FIRE! Nope, not kidding.


A Long Time Comin'

by
Cerise Deland

A sex toy party with her six sassy gal pals? Caitlyn Hagerty is IN! When Delta Force hunk John Ramos flies home on R&R, Cait promises herself to seduce Ram–or cut him from her life forever.

READ FULL BLURB, EXCERPT, AND PURCHASE HERE!
(DD: Let your eyes slide on back to the left now that you know his nickname is Ram.)

WIN A KINDLE FIRE!




Bound and Determined
by Desiree Holt

Alix Townsend, uptight, high-powered litigation attorney, has a wild side she rarely unleashes. Deep inside, beneath her tailored suits and frosty image, beats the heart of a woman who dreams of the kinkiest kinds of sex. Preferably with her next door neighbor Mack Taylor.


READ FULL BLURB, EXCERPT, AND PURCHASE HERE!
(DD: And find out where Mack first sees her toys - that naughty girl!)

WIN A KINDLE FIRE!





Good Vibrations
by
Nicole Austin

The pink satin bag stuffed full of erotic toys is like a flashing neon sign.
Sara wants sex and there’s only one conceivable option.

READ FULL BLURB, EXCERPT, AND PURCHASE HERE!
(DD: You know you want to find out who that option is. C'mon now!)

WIN A KINDLE FIRE!







Private Showing
by Brenna Zinn

Gianna Romano has a dream, and she doesn’t have time for a man. Not even the sexy Scot with a delicious accent who wants to unleash her lust and make her a permanent fixture in his life, as well as his bed.


READ FULL BLURB, EXCERPT, AND PURCHASE HERE!
(DD: Sexy.Scot.With.Accent. Oh, man, I'm so there!)


WIN A KINDLE FIRE!






Slippery When Wet
by Allie Standifer

Flush with the success of her birthday party and thrilled with her Toys-4-Us goodies, Petra Harbor heads home to Houston. Until a little snag has her calling the last man she needs to see but the first one to star in her fantasies.


READ FULL BLURB, EXCERPT, AND PURCHASE HERE!
(DD: It's her ex's best friend. Does it get any hotter than that?)


WIN A KINDLE FIRE!





Wet Ride

by Samantha Cayto

General contractor, Kevin Brandt, has the right tools in his belt to keep a lady happy. He wields a flogger and a hammer with equal skill. He’s on the prowl for a strong woman who will trust him with her body.

READ FULL BLURB, EXCERPT, AND PURCHASE HERE!
(DD: Oh...My...God! What are you doing reading my words? Look left. LEFT!)


WIN A KINDLE FIRE!






Whiz Bang

by Regina Carlysle


Hannah West needs some whiz bang, baby. And after attending a raucous sex-toys party with her best buds, the Sassy Seven, she aims to fulfill that urge. If it means hunting down a man or two to experiment with battery-operated pleasure, then so be it.


READ FULL BLURB, EXCERPT, AND PURCHASE HERE!
(DD: On the bed, against the wall, in the shower. This is verbatim from the blurb. Click already!)


WIN A KINDLE FIRE!

Eye of the Beholder

As I've only recently dipped my toes in the erotic romance waters, I'm still surprised by some of the things I find. The latest puzzle is over how differently reviewers and readers rate erotic romance books.

Take a really well known/revered author like Megan Hart. She's sold thousands upon thousands of books, has a hard core fan base, and still the majority of her books are rated an average of just over 3 stars at places like Goodreads. I know reader taste is highly subjective, but I find it swings even more wildly in erotic romance.One reader will give a low rating because the story wasn't kinky enough. Or romantic enough. Another will hate it because it was too kinky/harsh. Others will love it and rave to all their reader friends. I don't know why this is, but I have a theory.

There's such a huge range of tastes when it comes to sex and sexy books, it makes it impossible for an author to please the palate of every reader. Are erotic romance readers tougher on books than readers of non-erotic romance? Something that always surprises me is when someone gives a low rating on a novella because they felt it was too short. If something important is missing from the story or character development, I can understand. But giving a book a low rating simply because you felt it should have been longer? That mystifies me.

To sum it up, I think it's even tougher for an author to get rave reviews with erotic romance because people's tastes and expectations are just so incredibly varied. Is it just me, or have you noticed it too? I'm bracing myself for criticism as my upcoming releases approach.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I'm Gearing Up!


It's almost that time of year again! National Novel Writing Month or more commonly known as NaNoWriMo! Whoo-hoo! Yay! (That's my Week One cheer...it'll sound a little less enthusiastic by Week Two...) This is the time of year when hundreds of thousands of people around the world come together in an awesome display of mass psychosis and tackle writing a 50,000 word novel in one month. Isn't it wonderful!!

I've attempted this monumental challenge three times before and have never achieved the 50,000 goal. I've fallen waaay short...oh yeah, way short. But out of those three times I participated I discovered an amazing writing community, not to mention the reincarnation of my first published book, Sweet Ultimatum, and the start of Love and Protect, my second full-length novel with Ellora's Cave. I've had a ball!


This year, though, I am determined to knock out the 50k! I'm like Hulk-Hogan-meets-Rowdy-Roddy-Piper-flying-off-the-ropes going to knock it out! Yes, I just went old school with the wrestling analogy. But I want it! And in the last ten days I have amassed the requisite staples in order to have a successful November. I'm prepared ya'll!

1. And this may be why I came shy of the count in previous years. I found out I was supposed to have a hat! Sheesh! Why didn't anyone tell me? I know this disrupted my writing karma! But now I have my NaNoWriMo chapeau! Not only does it invoke thoughts of me tapping furiously away in a dim, smokey Irish pub while a light rain falls outside, misting the uneven cobblestones , but it also lets Thing 1 and Thing 2 know that when the cap is on I can't be distracted with run-downs of the latest iCarly episode or hear why Ray Mysterio can take out that Cena guy.




2. Coffee! What undertaking of this magnitude can be attempted without coffee?? And thanks to my sweet hubby I have a single cup coffee maker to supply all my caffeine related needs and cravings! I love you, sweetie! Mwah! Mwah!

3. Symphony bars. Turtle Chex Mix. Cherry Coke. Ranch flavored Pringles. The snacks of champions! With these four major food groups in my pantry and 'frig I fully expect to reach 50k...and ten pounds. But we must suffer for our art!

4. I must have my soundtrack! Music sets the mood for not just writing, but the story. I can lose myself in my compilation of 80s hits, Kenny G, Annie Lennox, The Police... And if I stop writing in the middle of a scene, I can go back to the song that was playing at the time and dive right back into the mood of the scene. Plus...I bought some really cool, mega-size headphones with the funkiest design! And nooo they are not to drown out my son playing the trumpet! How dare you suggest such a thing! He absolutely kills "Mary Had a Little Lamb"! Kill in a good way, I mean...

5. The WriteorDie program! I've been trying this out in the last week and it rocks! Talk about keeps you writing! Let me put it this way. You have the piercing sound of evil violins blare in the library just one time and see if you don't keep writing! Trust me when I say it's a tad bit embarrassing to have people peep at you over the top of their computer screens and roll their eyes. Hee-hee!

6. Okay, so I do have an outline. It's not cheating! I have a road map of where I'm headed and it helps plough through the Week Two sludge! Of course there is plenty of room for different turns that my characters may decide to take...but with my outline, I know where we will eventually end up...It's not cheating...

What I'm looking forward to most of all, though, is letting go. Believe it or not I've never had a rough draft of any of my novels. I edit so much as I write that I've never allowed myself to have a horrible, much needed revised draft. So this month I'm giving myself permission to write a bad book full of repetition, cliches, misplaced commas and misspells. It will need to be reviewed, edited and thesaurus-ed the hell out of! And you know what? I'm actually looking forward to it! Okay, folks! Happy NaNoWriMo!