Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Bride Wore Gray -- Prologue -- Part 1

I grew up in different parts of the US...but my favorite time was in Lexington, Kentucky.

You see, we lived in what I called the "Civil War" house. It was a big ole home out in the boonies with a barn and plenty of Kentucky bluegrass. According to the locals, the antebellum house was built before the Civil War.

Over the years, the house had different owners, but it never lost its splendor in my eyes. Sure, it was run-down and the plumbing more often than not didn't work. God knows, it was cold in the winter, but my dad--a historical buff--rented it for as long as my poor mom could take it. It wasn't easy for her with no dishwasher or washer and an old, wood burning stove with a husband and two kids to take care of. No neighbors for what seemed like miles.

I loved it.

I'd race around the house with fireplaces taller than I was for hours, pretending I was hosting tea with fancy ladies or meeting that special gentleman in what I called my "secret" room. Wearing my mother's long dresses, I dreamed of being a true Southern belle (years later I got my own authentic hoop skirt from the costume department when I was doing theater).

So it's no wonder I followed my heart and wrote my own Civil War novel -- "The Bride Wore Gray."

Here's Part 1 of the Prologue. I hope you enjoy it!

Prologue

On a lonely road in the Tennessee woods
1862

Even before she saw the swath of blue moving through the trees, Pauletta Sue could smell them.

Yankees.

The raw male odor of Federal soldiers made her nauseous, but she pushed her horse harder.

They won't catch me.

“Faster, Savannah Lady, faster!”

Crack! came the sound of her whip hitting the mare's flanks. Her scarlet-gloved hand trembled as she repeated her command, louder now. The animal sensed her urgency, snorted, then raced ahead down the dark, country road, its hooves making dull, thudding sounds on the hard dirt as horse and rider went deeper into the woods.

The young woman riding sidesaddle winced. What had come over her? She had never struck the beautiful bay mare before, preferring to ride her with only the tight bit and an easy hand, but she had to get through the Yankee pickets. Nothing must stop her from carrying out her mission.

Nothing.

Her gray silk skirts, frayed at the hem, whipped at her ankles. Her long, hooded cloak made of fine black wool, threadbare in places, billowed behind her like heavy smoke, shielding her face from the demons in blue hidden all around her. Ready to strike her down if she dared to stop.

She couldn't. Wouldn't.

The danger of her mission chilled her. She dared not think about what lay ahead of her. She feared dying before she found the revenge she sought, for only then could she release the madness and torment of her broken heart.

The man she loved was dead.

Shot as a Confederate spy.

No, no!

All around her, the sounds of the forest—the squeal of a trapped pig, the hard rumble of wagon wheels somewhere in the distance, a faraway cannon firing, the loud orders of Federal officers up ahead of her—were muffled by the loud beating of her heart in her ears.

I will not allow you to die in vain, my love. I promise.

A lone bird creased the early morning sky with its silent wings, soaring upward and out of sight. She watched it disappear into the heavens. Like a soul in flight.

His soul.

A humid breeze kissed the back of her neck as she breathed in the dawn so deeply her lungs hurt. Tears welled in her eyes. Was it only a fortnight ago she had trembled at his touch?

Holding her so close to him, the heat of their bodies stripped away the heavy cottons, whalebone and silk ribbons of her garments separating them, the hardness of his chest crushing her soft breasts.

Two weeks? Or a lifetime?

“I cannot send you on your mission without telling you how much I love you, my darling,” she’d whispered in his ear, leading his hand to her breast. Daring, unladylike, but Pauletta Sue was beyond acting like a lady.

Brazen as a cheeky farmer’s daughter, she’d slipped past the sentries down to the river, where the Confederate troops were camped, defying all authority to meet him.

They’d planned to be married next spring when the roses bloomed again and the fields were thick with plump cotton. The war would be over by then, everyone said, but Pauletta Sue couldn’t wait. They were married in a secret ceremony by the magistrate, the paper not yet filed. They’d had no time for a wedding night.

Then she started thinking. What if something happened to her beloved? No, Pauletta Sue swore. She couldn’t bear to live. Something told her to come to him now.

Her hair blowing free as a restless wind, she didn’t care what anyone thought.

Only him.

“You crazy female,” he‘d said. “You’re as soft as a magnolia petal, Pauletta Sue, but as strong as an oak tree planted in Southern soil. Let me see your beautiful face.”

She lifted her wide‑brimmed straw bonnet with a big, black sash tied under her chin and smiled. She was proud of her small waist set off by a black cummerbund, her full skirts floating up around her in a sheer, filmy flower‑dotted pattern, her breasts outlined by her tight bodice. She winced as he squeezed her soft, womanly flesh, then swallowed hard when she heard him moan.

Colton, I had to see you…touch you…love you.” She bit down on her lower lip, trying to make him understand what she wanted from him, needed, if she was going to get through this war.

“You must go, my love,” he said, the blazing look in his eyes telling her that he understood. “Before I do something to harm your reputation.”

“You do me more harm, sir, by leaving me unfulfilled,” she whispered, this time with an urgency he couldn't deny. “We are married, in case it slipped your mind.”

He grinned. “I must have been a fool not to take you to my bed that night.”

“How could you when you were ordered back to your regiment before you even kissed your bride?”

My bride…I want to love you as you should be loved, but not here in a dirt field with the smell of death still settling upon the ground.”

“It’s hallowed ground, my love,” she whispered. “We have but a few hours to live a lifetime.”

“Even a lifetime wouldn't be long enough to love you, my darling.” He pulled up her skirt. The rounded hoops underneath bounced up around her, the fine French lace of her underskirts flitting through his eager fingers like frightened butterflies.

She felt no embarrassment. No silly school girl blush tinted her cheeks as she watched him pull his dirty muslin shirt up over his head, the broadness of his shoulders ripping apart the hastily-sewn seams.

She had given herself to no other.

Why must she wait for the war to be over to be with the man she loved?

“I love you, Colton,” she’d whispered, taking off her bonnet. She didn't take off her netted gloves—her fingertips were already exposed. That was all she needed to feel the hardness of his body as he pressed his chest against her and she ran her fingers up and down his back.

He said, “Are you certain...this is no place to make love to my bride—“

“It is heaven if I am with you.” She smiled, gazing at his concerned face, the angular planes sharply shadowed against his golden blond hair. His blue eyes searched her face for understanding, puzzled he was, but also aroused. She felt the hardness of him pressing against her flat belly.

“This war has taken so much from us, Pauletta Sue. What if something happened to you?” His breath was hot in her ear. “I couldn't bear to lose you.”

“You will never lose me. Quickly! We don't have much time. Kiss me, my darling,” Pauletta Sue whispered, her breath heated and warm as she pressed her lips against his unshaven cheek. She couldn't move, didn't want to.

 “I can't do this to you,” he said, breaking away. “The sentry will see us.”

“Don’t worry, my beloved. I have solicited the word of the sergeant-in-charge that no one will come upon us.”

“How can you be sure?” Colton asked, squeezing her waist and moaning as he fumbled with the ribbon fasteners on her pantalettes.

“Gold and silver buy time, my darling,” she whispered, pressing a coin into his palm. “For the Confederacy. And for us.”

He looked at the coin and grinned. “This old silver piece has your initials on the back.”

She smiled. “When your mission is done, send me the coin. Then I will know you are safe.”

“I will deliver it to you in person,” he said. “But first I will show you how much I love you.”


END  of Part One...

Check back in two weeks for Part Two of the Prologue for "The Bride Wore Gray."

Friday, January 25, 2013

New Release! NOT REALLY THE OUTDOOR TYPE!

So excited to announce I've got a new release out with Blushing Books called NOT REALLY THE OUTDOOR TYPE! It actually came out years ago and has been out of print for a while, so I've reworked it. This version is totally different - and I think better - than the original. I'm excited about it! Hope you will be, too!

Not Really the Outdoor Type

The passion between them isn't the only thing that's hot when a big-city girl rekindles a romance with her high school crush!

Dumped by her boyfriend and out of a job, Kendall Merriweather moves from LA back to her hometown in rural Idaho, hoping to sort out her life. When she needs a job, she goes to Outdoor Outfitters, one of the few businesses in the small town that’s hiring. She’s not crazy about live bait and arming hunters against poor defenseless animals, but there is one benefit—the owner is her high school crush, and even more gorgeous now than he was then.

Unfortunately, her fascination with Jason Maxwell results in one workplace disaster after another. He’s patient with her at first, but soon decides that what Kendall needs is a good sound spanking to help her focus on her job.

Kendall tells herself she’s a big-city girl who shouldn’t have to put up with getting a spanking from any man, so why does she get turned on by having a big, strong guy like Jason warm her bottom?


Excerpt:

Jason still hadn’t come back by closing time, which made her even more curious about where he’d gone off to. Nicole and the Darren, the other high school kid who worked at the store, headed out shortly after the last of the customers, leaving her alone in the store. She considered waiting for Jason in his office, but decided to hang out by the lake instead.

As she sat on the bench, her gaze strayed from the crystal waters of the lake to the hothouse to make sure those nasty crickets hadn’t figured out a way to open it. They were probably all over the place by now. God, those things made her skin crawl.

The door to the store opened, making her jump. She almost laughed. What did she think, it was some big, bad cricket coming to get her? Getting to her feet, she walked over to Jason. She’d worn shorts and a pair of low-heeled sandals to work, and her pulse skipped a beat when she saw his eyes go to her long legs.

“Hey.” She gave him a smile. “I was wondering where you were.”

He didn’t return her smile, or answer her question. Instead, he frowned and looked past her at the hothouse. “One of the locals said he came in looking to buy some crickets and you told him we were out of them. In fact, he said you told him we were out of all the live bait.”

“Um…” She knew she should own up to it and tell Jason what happened, but for some reason, her self-preservation kicked in “I don’t really remember. We were so busy today. Maybe he talked to someone else.”

Jason lifted a brow, the look in his eyes making Kendall think he didn’t quite believe her little fib.

She hurried on before he could press the issue. “I waited because I thought you might like to come over for…”

The words trailed off as Jason walked past her and headed down the dock toward the hothouse. She hurried after him.

“Wh-where are you going?”

He gave her a sidelong glance. “To see if we’re out of live bait.”

Kendall grabbed his arm. “You can’t!”

He halted in his tracks and turned to face her. “Why not?”

She tried to come up some lie he’d believe, but she couldn’t think of anything. “Because…”

His brows drew together. “What did you do, Kendall?”

She chewed on her lower lip, hesitating. When she didn’t answer, Jason turned on his heel and headed for the hothouse again. Kendall followed.

“I wouldn’t go in there if I were you,” she said, stopping him just as he reached the door. “At least not without a really big flyswatter or something.”

Jason turned to look at her in confusion. “A flyswatter. What are you talking about?”

Kendall sighed. “I went in there to get that guy his stupid crickets, and the next thing I know, those creepy, disgusting things were jumping all over the place.”

He frowned. “Didn’t you use the net?”

“I tried. But before I could, they attacked me.”

Jason lifted a brow, a smile threatening to break the seriousness of his expression. “Crickets attacked you?”

“Yes,” she insisted. “You should have seen it. They were all over me. In my hair. On my clothes.” She shivered just thinking about it. “I can’t believe it’s even legal to keep those things. They’re dangerous.”

He chuckled. “The only thing dangerous in there is you, honey. Believe me, those crickets are more afraid of you than you are of them.”

“I seriously doubt that.”

“You know, it probably would have been easier if you’d just used your hands instead of the net.”

Her eyes went wide. “My hands? You’ve got to be kidding me. They could have bitten me.”

“Crickets don’t bite, Kendall.” He jerked his head toward the hothouse. “Come on. I’ll show you how to catch them.”

Kendall blinked. He didn’t seriously expect her to go back in there with those things, did he? “No way. If you haven’t noticed, I’m not really the outdoor type. That means anything dealing with nature is off-limits.”

Jason shook his head. “You’ve been living in LA for way too long.”

“Yeah, well at least I don’t have to worry about crickets attacking me there.”

He snorted. “No. There, you just have to worry about people attacking you.”

She made a face. “Go take care of your stupid crickets. I’m going home.”

Kendall turned on her heel to storm off, only to trip over a plastic bucket beside the hothouse. It fell to the wooden dock with a thud, the contents inside spilling out all over her feet. This day just kept getting better and better.

Cursing, she shook her feet, trying to get the dirt off. That was when she realized there were slimy, wiggly things crawling around in it. Kendall jumped back with a scream, frantically kicking her feet. While the dirt fell off easily, the squirming things living in it only clung to her skin. She backpedaled wildly, cringing as they squished under her sandals.

“Get them off me,” she shrieked.

Jason ignored her. Instead, he crouched down to hurriedly scoop up handfuls of the nasty little creatures and put them back in the bucket.

“Dammit, Kendall, you’re stepping on them. Just pick them up. They won’t hurt you.”

Kendall stared at him in disbelief. He wanted her to touch those disgusting squirmy things?
“Pick them up yourself!” she shot back.

Heedless of the worms crawling around underfoot, she started for the door when Jason caught her arm and spun her around.

“You didn’t learn anything from that spanking I gave you the other day, did you?” he growled.

Kendall gasped. He wouldn’t dare spank her again. But as he strode over to one of the benches alongside the building, she realized he intended to do just that.

“Jason, wait…”

The rest of what she was going to say came out in a whoosh of breath as he sat down on the bench and flung her over his knee. Kendall immediately tried to push herself back up, but the strong arm wrapped firmly around her waist held her fast.


Buy it at Blushing Books!
http://www.blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=315

Buy it at Amazon!
http://www.amazon.com/Not-Really-Outdoor-Type-ebook/dp/B00B1W7DN8/ref=sr_1_41?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358452965&sr=1-41


*hugs*
Paige

Sexy Romantic Fiction!

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

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Milestones

I have a birthday coming up. It’s a half milestone on the way to a biggie, but that’s as close as I’m gonna get to admitting my age. It’s not that I’m ashamed of it, and considering the alternative, I’m certainly not upset about aging. I simply don’t want to have to act my age.

I’m celebrating this year by attending the Sassy Seven Naughty Sleepover in San Antonio. (I’ll pause here for the oohs and aahs.) Apparently, we’ll be hitting a male strip club pre-conference, which will be a first for me. I know, hard to believe, eh? Sam Cayto has been trying to get this to happen for about 10 years, including on a trip to Reno. I was more interested in getting an In N Out Burger. Still would be, but they don’t have that particular brand of meat and buns in Texas.  Here's a pic of actual In N Out Burgers, and a pic of what I expect at the strip club. Hard to decide, right? Right?

















The whole trip is actually full of milestone firsts for me, from wearing all pink to attending my first BDSM demo in a room full of people. I don’t know how that’s going to turn out, or if it’s for me, but I’ll be honest - I can’t wait to find out! Bet you can’t wait for the after party post.

Until then, Happy Almost Birthday to me. I love that I’m starting out the year trying some pretty cool new things.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Forecast: Rain and Flying Pigs!

Anyone who meets me for the first time will probably find out three things about me within the first ten minutes of conversation: my father is a pastor, I have a grand *cough! obsessive* passion for Vin Diesel and I abhor spiders. I'm very, very proud of my father and value his wisdom and guidance. That's not going to change. My love for Vin has endured for ten years...Hey, if I still adored him after Babylon, A.D., I'm gonna always be down for him! And my hatred and fear of spiders? Well, that's been around for the last three decades and still holding strong! Not. Gonna. Change.

So when I come across something that makes me not question one of these three tenets but presses my "The Hell You Say!" Button, I'm shocked. You know what "The Hell You Say!" Button is... The Maury Show is nominated for an Emmy. The hell you say! They're recalling NyQuil for too much alcohol. The hell you say! They're making a remake of Dirty Dancing. The hell--See? I threw you a curve ball on that one. That's the "No, the Hell They Didn't!" Button. Subtle difference but different all the same... But you get my point, right?

Well, this weekend, an author pushed my "The Hell You Say!" Button. While cruising the free books on Amazon (hubby has placed me on a "No Book" moratorium for a few days) I came across a book entitled A Hint of Frost by Hailey Edwards. I enjoy reading new authors and Ms. Edwards is new for me. And when I read the blurb it sounded really interesting! I'm like, cool. Probably about gods and ice (y'know, frost) and some awesome new mythology. So I downloaded it. Aaaand about five minutes into the book I realized, this ain't about gods...the characters are based on freakin' SPIDERS!!

Honestly, I did close the book. Shut off the Kindle. But then, a short while later, I had to open it again. The writing, the heroine's voice, the author's description of this world drew me into the story like...well like a spider would lure it's dinner into its web! Now I know what you're thinking! Get a grip! It's a book! It's not like they're are pictures! But see, that's where you would be wrong. Hailey Edwards' writing is so vivid and strong that she creates images with her words! The characters don't shift into spiders but their natures are like the arachnids they represent. I couldn't put it down! I even had my husband google the different clan names to see if Ms. Edwards had really based them on the abominations that haunt my dreams...and they are. He found it totally fascinating, by the way... The author accomplished what Tolkien and E.B. White were unable to: Make me read anything having to do with spiders! I bow down to you, Ms. Edwards! Because if anyone had told me as late as last week that I would read anything regarding those eight-leg freaks I would've said--all together now!--The Hell You Say!

When the head of the Araneidae clan is found poisoned in her nest, her eldest daughter, Lourdes, becomes their clan’s new maven. If her clan is to survive, she has but one choice: she must marry before her nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. Such a male is Rhys the Cold.

Born the youngest son of an impoverished maven, the only things Rhys has to his name are his sword and his mercenary reputation. His clan is starving, but their fondness for the flesh of fellow Araneaeans makes them unwelcome dinner guests. Torn between loyalty to his clan and fascination with his future bride, Rhys’s first taste of Lourdes threatens to melt the cold encasing his heart.

Amid the chaos of battle, Lourdes’s sister disappears and is feared captured. Lourdes and Rhys pursue their enemies into the southlands, where they discover an odd plague ravaging southern clans as it travels north, to Erania. Determined to survive, Lourdes will discover whether she’s worth her silk or if she’s spun the thread by which her clan will hang.

In hindsight, this blurb takes on a whoooole different meaning...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Interview with Jocelyn Dex, Free E-Book Opportunity!

New Ellora's Cave author Jocelyn Dex has been making quite a splash. Her blog has featured author interview after author interview, so when her own release day hit, I thought, "Wouldn't it be fun to get even and have her answer her own interview questions?"

Okay, okay, truth is that I couldn't come up with better questions, dammit. I challenge you to see if you can do so in the comments. Best question asked that's not in the interview will win a free, hot-off-the-presses ebook copy of Araya's Addiction!

Here we go!

An Interview with Jocelyn Dex,
Author of: Araya's Addiction
Erotic Romance, Paranormal, m/f

About Author and Author's Most Recent Release
Q: Do you have a favorite quote or line from this book? If so, please share.
A: Yes! I absolutely love this line from Kean, the hero.
“You wanted my cock in your mouth. You asked for a taste and you loved it.”
That might sound awfully cocky but it’s the truth. She did want it, she did ask for it and she did love it. :-)
Q: Who is your favorite main character from this book? Why?
A: Probably my hero, Kean. He’s part Incubus, he’s fun, a little cocky (there’s that word again), yummy and takes charge but he can also let his heroine, Araya, take charge. By the way, Araya is a Sempire. A Sempire is a female demon who requires semen to survive. Yum. Ha!
Q: Who is your favorite secondary character? Why?
A: Araya’s sister Valia. She’s funny and she knows she’s awesome.
Q: What was the hardest part of writing this book?
A: In general, I’d say completing the first draft.
Q: What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book?
A: May I make a movie based on it? :-)
Q: Convince readers to buy your book in 25 words or less.
A: A diehard-romantic Sempire heroine. A super-sexy, part-Incubus hero abducted to service the heroine. Emotional, sizzling sex scenes. A happy ending. (Haha. Happy ending. Get it?)

On Writing and Writing Erotica
Q: Why did you choose to write in this genre/subgenre?
A: I love reading paranormal romance stories with scorching sex scenes so it made sense for me to stick to that genre/subgenre. Plus, the idea for this book jumped up and slapped me in the face one day. I had no choice.
Q: Do you outline or do you start with a basic idea and let it flow? (plotter or pantser)
A: I’m a pantser. I have an idea and start writing. The characters tell me where they want to go and what they want to do. Although, to create conflict, I do sometimes force them into situations they don’t want.
Q: Do your family and friends know what you write? If so, what do they think about it?
A: Yes. Most of them think it’s cool or think it’s funny. My husband tells his coworkers that his wife writes porn. Ha. I explained to him that I write “erotic romance” not “porn”. He said, “The semen demon book is romance?” That cracked me up. If I ever do come across someone who’s not okay with what I write, well, they can suck it. Twice.
Q: In erotica/erotic romance, the sex is depicted graphically. Are there any specific words or phrases you aren't comfortable using in your stories? Word or phrase that makes you say “ick”?
A: Yes and I ended up using it in my story! But only once. Anything “seeping” sounds funky to me. I don’t know what I was thinking.
Q: What is your favorite part of writing erotica/erotic romance?
A: I like the freedom to get as freaky with the sex scenes as I want. Which, by the way, may not be that freaky. It depends on what my characters enjoy. Araya wanted sweet but she did get tied up once and then there was that other time… Well, you’ll have to read it to find out.
Q: How long ago was your first story accepted by a publisher and did you pee your pants? 
A: It was approximately four months ago. I wasn’t wearing pants at the time, but I did have to mop the floor. 
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the publishing process?
A: Favorite: Receiving my cover art. I was surprised how much I loved it. Least favorite: Waiting. You’re always waiting on something. Contract, cover art, edits round one, edits round two, release day.

Fun Stuff
Q: Tattoos. Hot or not? And do you have any?
A: Sometimes hot, sometimes not. I have one above my right ankle. For years, I’ve wanted to get a tattoo on the top of my foot but I heard that’s one of the most painful places to get a tattoo. Plus, I haven’t been able to decide on a design.
Q: Wine, Beer or Liquor?
A: Yes, please. :-) It depends on my mood but typically beer.
Q: Dogs, cats or other?
A: Currently, four dogs and one cat.
Q: Kindle, Nook, Paper? Other?
A: I never thought I’d give up paperbacks but my husband bought me a Kindle Fire for Christmas a year ago and I freaking love it. I love the lighted screen and the ability to enlarge the text.
Q: Vibrators, nipple clamps or butt plugs? 
A: Ballistic Bullet. Check ‘em out. Cheap and effective.
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: She wasn’t wearing her glasses and thought the sign on the other side said, “Free Cock”, but it actually said, “Free Coke”.
Q: What is the meaning of life?
A: Hmm… Eat, drink, write graphic sex scenes between demons, cuddle your puppies and kitties and spouse and be merry?

Final thoughts:

Thanks to Naughty Author Chicks for having me on their blog today.

When Dalton suggested I answer the interview questions that I ask authors who visit my blog, http://jocelyndex.blogspot.com, I thought, cool idea. So, when you’re finished here, check out the following authors’ answers to these same questions. Chandra Ryan, Helena Harker, Berengaria Brown, Dalton Diaz, Lucy Felthouse and more.

Back cover blurb:
When Kean wakes up naked, collared and locked in a cell, he knows thinking with his dick has finally gotten him into trouble. Kean, part Incubus, enjoys scorching and frequent sex. One night, he finds himself a prisoner forced to help a Sempire rescue her daughter from certain death.
To gain his freedom, Kean must provide Araya with his semen to save her life, but she refuses it, even though the lust between them is undeniable.

Determined to escape and to help Araya, Kean ups the stakes and forces Araya into a situation that makes it impossible for her to continue refusing him. Feeling betrayed, Araya enacts a scheme to get Kean out of her life. However, her best laid plans may awaken emotions that will bind them to each other forever.


DD here.
Sounds awesome!  Don't forget to leave your own interview question in the comments for a chance to win a free ebook copy of Araya's Addiction! To give our foreign readers equal opportunity, the winner will be chosen by midnight on Sunday, Jan. 20th and posted the next day.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My latest project...what do you think?

Writers write...writers also get stuck.

In traffic.

At the checkout line in the grocery store behind a woman with a zillion coupons.

And at the keyboard.

This is one of those times. I've written about geishas, spies, samurai, CIA agents, FBI guys and gals, countesses and Irish maids, the Titanic, Impressionists, models, cabaret dancers, archaeologists...

I've also written kids' cartoons, travel articles, learning articles, documentaries, daytime drama, and enough blog posts to wrap around the globe twice (not really that many, but you get the idea).

So here I am...working on new projects. And I'm stuck. I know I shouldn't write about a subject that's not "in," but I've always had an avid interest in history, so I decided to tackle another momentous event.

The Civil War.

Yes, I know, it's crazy, but I walked the battlefields as a kid and attended Civil War talks and met with re-enactors..and I just can't forget the fact that around four hundred women disguised themselves and fought as men during the Civil War. Even more fascinating to me is the idea of a modern woman going back in time dressed as a Confederate officer and falling in love with a handsome Union Major.

What if he's a physician? And our modern day heroine challenges his ideas about medicine?

And, damn, she knows how the war will end...what if she could change history and save the hero's life?

What if...

Here's a short excerpt from "The Bride Wore Gray" -- Liberty is the name of my modern day heroine with Major Flynt Stephens as the hero. Let me know what you think!


---Liberty has traveled back to the Battle of Antietam on a September day in 1862; she's been taken prisoner and recruited to assist Union physician Major Stephens at the operating table---


She wiped the sweat off her face with her sleeve. She didn’t dare remove her hat and let her long hair come tumbling down. She noticed many soldiers never removed their hats. Or their uniforms. The unmistakable odor of male sweat was profuse, though Major Stephens insisted his operating area be kept clean and sanitary.

“It’s worse than I thought,” he said, exhaling. “The bullet seriously injured the axillary nerves.”

“Yes, sir,” Liberty said, nodding her head, though she was digging herself in deeper as the minutes passed.

How much longer could she keep this up?

Good God, what's this?” the Major uttered, pulling apart the soldier's arms tightly crossed around his gut. A gaping hole stared back at them where a bullet had ripped apart the soldier's small intestines.

“Has he got a chance?” Liberty asked quietly.

“I'm gonna die, Major, ain't I?” uttered the man lying on the table, his eyes springing open. Liberty jumped back, startled. She had no idea the man was conscious, but she doubted he was in pain. It was routine procedure for the medical corpsman to administer morphine and opium to the wounded before bringing them in from the battlefield.

 “Yes, soldier,” the Major said with a certainty that lay heavy in the air between them. Liberty was shocked by his honesty.

“How can you be so cruel, Major?” she cried out, forgetting herself. “Telling him he won’t survive.”

Control yourself, Lieutenant.”

“I won't stand by and watch you let this man die.”

“Infection is setting in—”

“But if you clean the wound and keep the germs out—“

“What did you say?” he interrupted her.

Germs. Surely you've heard about germs, Major?”

The look in his eyes made her stop, then Major Stephens grabbed her wrist and held it tight. Again she felt her heart racing as a searing heat shot through her.

“Where did you hear about germs, Reb?”

What could she say? That her world was obsessed with sanitizers and soaps and sprays to kill germs? She couldn't tell him the truth.

“Sorry I spoke out of turn, sir,” she said, calming down, “but if the theories of...”

Think, think. Who came up with the germ theory?

“Well, Lieutenant?”

”Pasteur, yes, that's it, Louis Pasteur. The chemist believed soldiers on both sides would have been saved if the medical men hadn’t been so damn slow to accept his ideas about germs.”

“I, too, have read the Frenchmen’s papers, Lieutenant, and believe there is some truth to his ideas,” he said, letting go of her hand. “But a penetrating wound to the abdominal is nearly always fatal. There's nothing we can do for this man.”
--------------

Thanks for reading! The action heats up when Liberty tries to escape rather than be transferred to a Yankee prison...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Work in Progress

Writers use this term a lot, but today I want to apply it to something other than any books I'm writing now. I think we, as writers and humans, are also works in progress. Our careers are anything but static, and it can take a lifetime of constantly reinventing yourself to stay fresh and make sure one book doesn't turn out like the others. I've seen that happen with some favorite authors as they age, and it's always such a deep disappointment.

Sometimes, though, it's hard to refresh. It takes effort to stay current enough in language and technology to write from the point of view of a 20 or even 30-something heroine. It takes work to make that 50th paranormal being just a little different than the ones before, so he or she is a character in his/her own right and not a rehash.

One thing I've been doing lately is attempting to revise some of my earlier works, to which the rights have reverted. It's weird to be analyzing them critically, now 5 or 6 or 7 years later. I've grown as a writer, in both technique and voice and yet, there was a certain freedom of style in those early works that I think would be good for me to recapture.

Any thoughts? Do you tend to like books by new authors or established ones? What would you like to see veteran authors do to stay fresh? If you're an author, what do you do? I'd love to hear your take on this.

Friday, January 11, 2013

What I'm Working On!

Hey everyone! Just a quick note to let you know what I'm working on!

I'm revising some sexy spanking romances I wrote for Blushing Books years ago. They've been out of print for a while, so I'm really reworking them for release with the same publisher. These versions are totally different - and I think better - than the originals. I'm excited about them! Hope you will be, too!

*hugs*
Paige

Sexy Romantic Fiction!

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

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My Life with Alzheimer's

I know a DD post is usually in jest, slightly irreverent, and always directionally challenged, but every once in a while it’s difficult to even front the mood. Fair warning: this is one of those times.

So why am I posting this? Because there’s a chance that someone, somewhere, will read it and find it helpful.

My mother has Alzheimer’s.

We’re not talking forgetting things every once in awhile. We passed that point years ago, long before we realized there was anything wrong. She lives with us, in an in-law apt in the basement, and we are at the point where she has an aide 5 days a week. Thankfully, she took out a long-term care policy when my dad did, though his proved to be useless. Hers is a Godsend. She also rarely gets agitated, and only wanders from stores, never from home - yet. It’s important that these facts be known before going on because every case is different, and so is everyone’s journey.

Here’s what I’ve learned on our journey so far:

Being a caregiver doesn’t give you legal rights, even if you are a family member with power of attorney
You know when you see on the news that someone who never should have been behind the wheel has an accident, and everyone shakes their head and wonders where the person’s family was that they let it get to that point? I understand that now. It could mean the family was trying, but their hands were legally tied. It took over a year of constant phone calls to have mom’s license taken away. I don’t know if it’s the same in every state, but Mass was all about her right to keep it. It took a filing by her Dr. for the RMV to even consider giving her a test when her renewal came up, and that was a hard win. By that point mom declined, knowing darn well she wouldn’t pass. Meanwhile, it was an entire year of not knowing if this time behind the wheel would be the time she killed herself - or worse, someone else.

Despite what you hear about early detection being imperative, Alz’s is a process of elimination disease
It took over two years to get an official diagnosis. At that point, the Dr.’s throw meds and vitamins at it and if something sticks, you’re ahead of the game. In mom’s case, nothing stuck. I ran myself ragged those first two years of diagnosis, and for a solid year after that trying to figure out how to fix it - to the point of nearly losing my own sanity. I don’t regret or resent that because that’s what I needed to do to come to terms with the fact that there really isn’t a damned thing I can do to stop or even slow her progression. Everyone who gets this disease runs on their own timetable, and every caregiver goes through a stretch when they try to lug the anvil back up the hill. It doesn’t work, but the peace of acceptance only comes after getting crushed by the damned thing. 

Alzheimer’s falls under the Dementia umbrella because it’s not limited to memory
The ability to process information is skewed. When something is said to you, your ears process the info and send it to the brain, which processes it and sends it out for response. For someone with Alzheimer’s, it’s like the game of telephone. Eventually, all reason is lost. If you tell mom not to touch something because it’s hot, chances are high she’ll reach out and touch it because that’s what she heard. Memory loss comes into play five minutes later, when she’d do it again because in her world, it never happened. Or if she does remember and gets upset at being told again, we wait another five minutes and chances are, neither event will have occurred. Every once in awhile something will stick and become an obsession for an undeterminable amount of time. We’ve collected tissue boxes, sunglasses, and our current obsession is coffee mugs.

Even those with advanced Alzheimer’s can fake normalcy
My mom was a very intelligent woman. She was an English teacher, and even at this late stage of the disease, she can hold a conversation as long as you don’t so much as scratch below surface level. In some ways, that’s made it even harder to be heard when trying to get outsiders to understand there’s a problem. This happens with doctors and nurses, and yes, family & friends. They don’t understand that this same woman who fronted her way through a conversation at a holiday party that night, earlier in the day thought she’d messed up while helping gift wrap Pilsner glasses by turning the box upside down because the picture showed there was already beer in them.

Routines are for the caregiver, not the person with Alzheimer’s
Anything set up out of necessity will be new. New things fall under short-term memory, which has a timespan of up to 5 min. I can set up all the routines I want, mom won’t remember them, therefore she can’t follow them. The routines need to be so that I can tell what has happened, or hasn’t happened. It’s also okay to let some things go. I need to pick and choose the battles for my own sanity, and mom needs to feel like she does some things on her own for as long as she’s able. These decisions are based on safety, hers and ours. The stove and garbage disposal in her apt. are disabled, and it won’t be long before the microwave (purposely) bites the dust.

It’s not ok to get angry at someone for doing something they can’t help doing, but it happens
It’s ok to need a break. All problems cannot get solved by waiting 5 min, and even those things get frustrating when it’s fifty times a day, every day. It’s ok to walk away. In fact, it’s downright necessary. Even with an aide 5 days a week, a supportive husband, 2 teenage boys at home, & The Sherry who willingly sits through countless retelling of mom’s stories so I can cook holiday meals, I lose it. Then mom forgets it happened in 5 min, and I feel like fresh dog shit that can’t be scraped off a shoe for a good 3 days.

An outside support system is imperative
It helps to talk about it with people who have been there, or are there now, even if the very reason you need to go is the reason you can’t go consistently. I belong to a Caregiver group through the senior center that meets once a month. I’m the youngest one there, but the problems are all the same. I also have friends and family who have been through it with their parents. I can call on them, day or night, and they understand whether I feel like laughing, crying, or just bouncing things off of them. Legal advice from a writing friend who recently lost her own mother to the disease has proven invaluable. The paperwork involved could fill a shed.

The reason I can’t front is because today, my husband and I visited a Medicare approved nursing home. It was everything I expected, and it was completely devastating. Even though I am grateful these places exist, and I know it’s inevitable she’ll end up either there or somewhere similar, seeing it firsthand has renewed my strength to keep her at home for as long as we can. Certainly while she’s still living in the moment.

With that, I’ll end on the most important thing I’ve learned:

Treasure the moments
It’s so easy to get into the mode of thinking it doesn’t matter because nothing will be remembered. Lord knows, I’m guilty of it. But if I don’t treasure them now, what will I have when those moments are gone? They’re dwindling fast. It doesn’t have to be much; a moment of my undivided attention, really listening when she says something for the millionth time, watching a movie or TV show together. Or it can be even more simple than that. Mom loves both Snickers bars and ice cream. I tried portion control before I realized, “What the hell am I doing?” If she enjoys it, let her have it. If she forgets and enjoys another one an hour later, more power to her.

I’m sorry if I’ve bummed you all out. I know many people who battle worse things in their lives, including worse Alzheimer's situations, but it’s still painful. If reading this helps someone in any way, even just to not feel alone, it was worth writing it.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Casey's Alabama Tourism commercial

This is so totally not book related, but kinda exciting so I wanted to share. One of my (many) side jobs is working as a professional model. Here's a commercial I filmed a while back. Okay, so I have a whopping two seconds of air time, but I got paid AND I got to eat crab claws, fried dill pickles, and nachos at 7:30 in the morning. (Little known fact - acting isn't all that glamorous getting up at 3 a.m. so you can be in make-up by 4 and  on set in time for the "perfect" sunrise in which time you have about 15 minutes to do three hours worth of work.). Hopefully, the movie I filmed in October, OCULUS, will give more a little more screen time. It's even supposed to be in theaters this summer. We'll see. Hope you enjoy this and come visit Alabama's beaches! ~ Casey Crow

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year 2013: Romancing the eReader



Happy New Year 2013!

Guess who? I'm your new eReader. All sexy swirls and curly Qs. Just waiting for you to click me on and take you to paradise. Yes, I know, your rabbit vibrator made the same promises...but I've got something special to offer you.

I've got romance.

I can sweep you away to that special place in your mind where you can fall in love over and over again...and have great sex.

So, put away your bunny vibe and hop aboard!

I'm trim and gorgeous. Sexy design. Botox-smooth case.

Slimmer than I've been in years.

Clear, no-glare screens. And those cute keyboards. Like sassy, high-heeled shoes. Makes you want to let your fingers do the walking.

And no more of those pesky page numbers to get in the way. It's like weighing yourself after you've gone on your mocha latte splurge. Who wants to know?

I do have a pet peeve about those TOCs. Half the time the Table of Contents key doesn't work, sending ahead in the story and you know who's sleeping with whom before you've guessed. it.

And don't talk to me about Bookmarks.

They're like old boyfriends who won't go away. Once you've marked them, you're stuck with them.

Ah, but I can't stop drooling over the hunky guys on the Cover. Muscle-bound heroes to die for.

Hmm...if I could add just one thing to my eReader software...

It would be to have the Cover Hunk in 3-D.

All of him...and you know what part I mean!

Happy Romance eReading in 2013!

Best,
Jina

www.JinaBacarr.com 

PS: If you want to try out with new eReader with an erotic short story, download:


"Breaking the Rules" -- FREE today on Kindle Amazon  


A working girl who learns you have to ask for what you want.
At work...or in bed.

----------------- 


Or try an erotic short story: "Nice Girls Do It" for 99 cents on Amazon Kindle and e-tailers everywhere!

A stormy day and Chloe gets caught in the rain until a mysterious stranger who calls himself “the Hunter” offers her shelter in his old Victorian mansion.

And tells her about the secret ritual of the geisha when she loses her virginity.

Sensual, mysterious, naughty...

Will Chloe lose her virginity before morning comes?

EXCERPT:

Did she want to remain a virgin for the rest of her life?

Or worse yet, what if she got herself into a situation where her emotions were running high and she fucked a guy in the backseat of a car or in a hotel room then regretted it later.

Why not make love now with this handsome stranger who was as mystical as he was appealing?

“You know another way for a girl to lose her virginity?” Chloe asked.

“Yes,” he said, his voice low. “An elegant and exquisite ritual practiced by the geisha.”

“I thought geisha didn’t sleep with their customers,” she said, toying with the long, silk kimono. She took a deep breath and leaned forward, eager to hear more.

“They don’t,” the Hunter admitted, “which is why their virginity was a prized commodity and often auctioned off to the highest bidder.”

Chloe’s eyes widened. She imagined she was a beautiful geisha with long black hair trailing down her back to her knees, trembling as she stood before the men in the tea house. Her flaming red silk kimono open and exposing her slender nude body for their inspection.

“Tell me more,” she pleaded. She wasn’t afraid. The Hunter exhibited a protectiveness toward her that made her feel safe.

“If you insist,” he said with a wide smile.

“I do.”

“A more civilized deflowering ceremony is performed in Japan,” he said, “where the new vase or virgin doesn’t undergo the pain of penetration by an overzealous husband or lover.” The Hunter slid the kimono off her shoulders. She moaned in pleasure when he lifted her breasts to his mouth, licking one nipple than the other. “Rather, the ritual is performed by a complete stranger.”

Chloe bit down on her lower lip, her mind reeling with wild imaginings. “Show me.”


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!

Another year--where did the time go? 2012 has been a year of ups and downs, and 2013 promises more of the same here in the Pape household. Then again, isn't that always the way it goes? At least we survived the Mayan apocalypse. :)

I don't do resolutions, but I do have some goals. Here are my 13 things to do in '13. I've been doing this since '05 and add one new one to the list each year, tweaking as necessary.

1. Learn at least one new skill
2. Make at least one brand new friend
3. Reconnect with at least one old friend I’ve lost touch with
4. Visit at least one place I’ve never been before
5. Try at least one totally new food
6. Listen to at least one new kind of music
7. Attempt at least one physical activity I’ve never tried
8. Find at least one new way to volunteer/help others
9. Write at least one story that is totally out of my comfort zone. (This year, this is amended to, "...and get my writing groove back." 2012 was an off year for me creatively, and I need to get myself over the hump and back into loving what I do.)
10. Find at least one new way to have fun with my husband and/or family
11. Do at least one thing to make my surroundings more attractive and functional
12. Catch up on at least one thing I've neglected with regard to my well-being.
13. Take at least one overnight trip that isn't work related for either the spouse or myself

So there you go. Notice they're short and specific: nothing general like eat healthier or quit beating myself up when I make mistakes, although those are important too. But my yearly goals are meant to be concrete and definable. Did I meet all of them this year? Probably not. But it sure gives me something to strive for. :)