Monday, January 31, 2011

Wanted: Valentine's Day Fiasco Stories

Stupid cupid Pictures, Images and Photos

Before we get started on today's topic, I wanted to give a big shout out to Melissa Bradley and her Imaginarium blog for nominating Three Wicked Writers Plus Two for the Stylish Blogger Award. We are indeed honored and will pass along the kudos for sure. 

For those who have been nominated, there are few criteria to meet:

1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you, only do not re-nominate them.

2. Share 7 things about yourself

3. Pass along this nomination to 10 recently discovered stylish and cool bloggers

4. Contact them and tell them about their nomination.

Without further ado and in no particular order, here are my Stylish Blog nominees:

Sweet 'n' Sexy Divas:

Elizabeth Black:
Kissa Starling:
C Zampa:
CJ England:
Brindle Chase:
Mahalia Levey:
Mary Suzanne:
Debbie Gould:
Destiny Blaine:

And here are seven things about myself:

1.   I love turnip greens with vinegar poured over them. 
2.   My hair is naturally curly but I usually style it straight, but sometimes scrunch it. 
3.   I have hazel eyes. Mostly they stay green, but sometimes change to dark blue. 
4.   I'm a great cook but do less and less of it due to time constraints. 
5.   I love to embarrass my kids in public places--I dance and sing right much. lol 
6.   I'm a firm believer that you can fall in love within two minutes of seeing someone. 
7.   One day I want to live by the ocean.

Now for today's post: 

Help me prove that Cupid isn’t that smart. Just relate the story in three or four hundred words or less—tell me about a horrible gift or date, anything at all about a bad Valentine’s Day experience—and you’ll become a part of my UNValentine’s Day Blog Tour. Send stories to: Tess at Authors and readers are both invited to participate in this zany look at the big red heart-shaped day. If you’re an author with a website or blog—or a reader who blogs—include your link (nothing wrong with a little promo).

And now a little on that all-important day.

Turn on the TV. You can’t escape it. Love is in the air. Forced love, that is. The media is whipping everyone into thinking that they better be paired up for THE DAY. I walked into Wal-Mart and was immediately besieged by stuffed animals and chocolate galore. There is a scent that goes along with Valentine’s Day too.

And it doesn’t smell good. At least not to me.

Do we really need to set aside one day a year to spend money in order to show/tell someone we love them? Granted, I might be just a tad prejudiced against this day in general as I’m not coupled, but think about it. We reserve one day a year to make someone we love feel special. Shouldn’t that be an everyday occurrence? Shouldn’t we be working at relationships?

Photobucket What has me thinking about all this is the fact I have a Valentine’s Day novella releasing on February 11. Twelve Days of Love from Ellora’s Cave. So you’re probably wondering why I’d write about the day if I don’t necessarily believe in it. Well, I do believe in love. Just not sure everyone is lucky enough to find it, and I think a lot of times people settle for someone when they weren’t really THE ONE. But I’m the last person who should be talking about the rights and wrongs of love.

So why DID I write it? I’m a writer. I write. AND…I still hold out hope that one day Cupid will get it right. I had an idea for a quirky tale of love and an unlikely couple. I tossed it all together and BAM…there it was. It started out as a free read but just wouldn’t let go. By the time I reached ten thousand words I began to panic. The story simply wouldn’t end. It finally topped out at around thirty-five thousand. Definitely not a free read. It’s a nice feel-good romance. Not something that must be strictly read in the month of February either. It’s a story for all seasons. After all, love isn’t seasonal, is it? Take that, Cupid!

In the story the hero buys a few things for the heroine and it got me thinking about gifts on Valentine’s Day. And that made me think about VD’s of yesterday and some things I’d received and about some friends and what they’d received. All of that, in turn, started me thinking about what I’ll be blogging about during VD season. I’ll be on a few blogs here and there and since my book is all about the TWELVE days of love—a take-off on the Twelve Days of Christmas—I decided to put a slightly different spin on things. I’m not going to go the hearts and flowers route. I’m going to go the what-the-hell-happened? route.

In other words, I’ll be walking on the bad side of VD. The gifts that didn’t work out. The love that didn’t work out. The chocolate that BROKE her out—big red spots. AND a little of this and a little of that on what to watch out for from that diaper-wearing-bow-carrying-slightly-off-center dude with wings.

As of now, I’ll be visiting with Melissa Bradley’s Imaginarium on Feb 4 for zany ValentineLESS fun.
Stopping in with Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz at One Writer’s Journey on Feb 14 for an interview.
Having my say over at Robin Badillo’s Sealed With A Kiss blog on Feb14.
Telling it like it is at Misty Burke's Up All Night E-Books Feb 14 
Handing out more of my opinion at Raine Delight’s Book Nook on Feb 16.
AND…I’ll be settling in over at The Sweet ‘N’ Sexy Diva’s Blog on Feb 26 where I’m going to try to wind up my thoughts on the whole love-in-a-day fiasco.
Plus, I’ll be on my own blog, here on Three Wicked Writers Plus Two, at Midnight Seductions Authors, Nice 'n' Naughty Authors, and on Four Strong Women.

So, are you game? Ready to help me prove that the day isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? Ready to strip Cupid naked—well, wouldn’t take much there, would it?—and show his bad aim to the world? If you are, send me your story as stated at the beginning of this post to:

In the meantime, I’m still booking blog dates. So if you’d like to have me on your blog during the month of love, well, contact me. LOL Remember, mine is the BAH HUMBUG view on VD. No hearts and flowers for sure. It’s the UNValentine’s Day Blog Tour.

Subscribe to Risqué!The hot new once-a-month newsletter from Natalie Dae , Regina Carlysle , and Tess MacKall (this is a no-chatting group)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Money or Love?

Today's guest blogger is U.K. author, Lucy Felthouse. Lucy is taking the plunge, and I say good for her. See what she has to say on doing what she loves.

It’s the age-old question. Money or love? For me, it’s very easy to answer. I vote for the one which brings me the most happiness, which is the latter. Of course, money is great and if someone gave me a bag full of cash I wouldn’t turn it down. I need to eat, after all. But love is far more important. Partners, family, friends, they’re what makes the world go round.

Never have I realised this more than in the past few weeks. I’ve been umm-ing and ahh-ing over a tough decision. Do I stick at a job that makes me miserable but pays regularly, or do I take the risk and go it alone, doing what I love?

Again, I’ve opted for the latter. By the time you read this I’ll almost be a free woman, working the last couple of days of my notice period in my job. For too long I’ve been writing when I can, around the day job, around the social life and other stuff that happens in life. But now I get to dedicate more time and energy to it, which will hopefully result in more success.

As I said, I’d been deliberating over the decision for some time, but it was the knowledge that I had a wonderful support network around me that gave me the courage to take the plunge. People believing in me and encouraging me to go for it made me realise that even if things don’t work out, it’s not the end of the world. But I owe it to myself and those that care for me to give it a go. Here’s hoping!

My new venture will see my time divided between writing, editing, web design, marketing and PR. I’m incredibly lucky in that I love all of those things. I figure it won’t feel like a “job,” just that I’m doing stuff I enjoy and getting paid for it. Wish me luck – perhaps in a few months I’ll have money and love!

P.S. To the members of that support network, thank you. You know who you are.
Lucy Felthouse’s latest release, Uniform Behaviour, is an eBook anthology featuring sixteen erotic stories about men and women in uniform. She loved every moment of putting the book together and is proud to say that a percentage of the book’s proceeds are being donated to UK charity Help for Heroes. The organisation helps returning servicemen and women injured in battle.

Uniform Behaviour is available from all good eBook stockists, including, and All Romance eBooks.
Find out more about Lucy on her website,

Friday, January 28, 2011

Insomnia and Lily Harlem

I’ve been freakishly busy—and loving it—for the past fortnight. I had an art project and a few book covers to create, and I wanted to get it all done so I didn’t get insomnia, waking in the night to worry about finishing. So yesterday I finished my projects and allowed myself to relax. I had one of those times where your whole body just sags—love that feeling; I know, I’m weird—and, due to my brain knowing it didn’t have to function much beyond getting me from the desk to the sofa, the old grey matter kind of went a bit addled.
I went to bed, intent on sleeping the night away, but I stirred at 2 a.m. Author Lily Harlem popped into my mind and also the thought that I had got the wrong end of the stick with regard to a conversation we’d had earlier in the week about blogging. My brain woke up, and by 2:15 I’d convinced myself that I needed to contact Lily immediately to make sure I hadn’t messed up on blog dates.
I got up, emailed Lily, and felt much better, but my mind was still hyper alert. I opened a manuscript and, much to my surprise, wrote 3K before anyone else in the house got up. I expected to be trawling Facebook or blogs, propping my eyes open with matchsticks until I felt tired enough to crawl to the sofa and catch a couple more hours of sleep, but noooo, my lovely Victorian hero decided he wanted me to get on with his story—one that I haven’t picked up on for too long to mention.
After taking my youngest to school, battling bracing winds that were so cold I swear they had a mind to rip my damn face off, I then expected to come home and crash. No. I cleaned my kitchen then sat at the computer and wrote some more, this time in the heroine’s point of view. I’m now back with the hero, and d’you know, I think I may well finish this book before the day is out. I had been naughty on this one and in places wrote [INSERT SEX HERE] before moving on to the rest of the story. Insomnia allowed me to get all those inserts done—LOL @ inserts, ahem—and now I can move on to the end of the tale.
So, what have you all been doing this week? And what do you do when insomnia grabs hold of you and won’t let go?
As I was woken by thoughts of me letting Lily down—I’d have been very upset with myself if I had done that—and have now realised since she emailed back that I hadn’t needed to worry at all, that I hadn’t got any wires crossed and all blog discussions were as I had previously thought before my stupid brain told me otherwise, here is the lovely lady herself with some competition news for any authors reading this. Do you have this weekend spare to write a quick short story for a competition and get it subbed before Monday?
The heat is on! Challenge yourself. DO IT! And good luck if you do!
You can also download a free book by Lily. Just click the Madam President link. I'll continue with my waffle after Lily's post.

For those of you who don’t know me I’m an author of contemporary erotic romance writing for Ellora’s Cave, Total-e-Bound and Xcite as well as featuring in numerous UK and US anthologies. I got my big break into writing by entering an erotic fiction contest with the first steamy story I’d ever written titled Madam President. Much to my delight I won first place which gave me the confidence and the enthusiasm to continue with my naughty stories. So, with that in mind, I just want to tell any aspiring writers about the Love Honey/Filament Magazine’s latest competition, but you’ll have to be quick – closing is Monday 31st Jan. Hey, you probably weren’t doing anything over the weekend anyway!
Submissions can be sent by email and will be judged by Violet Blue, Sex Educator, Blogger, Author and Editor of erotic anthologies. Not only could you win (first prize is £100 with two runner-up prizes of £50 each) you could also get published in one of her anthologies due for release later this year.
Basically you just need to write the most fantastic, filthy, luscious, dripping, delightful piece of fiction ever. Of course your story needs to meet competition guidelines and ideally suggest the theme water and/or be inspired by one of the photographs on their website.            
Then once your sexy words are down send your entry in the body of an email (not as an attachment) to by 31 January 2011, 5pm GMT, subject line Filament fiction competition.
Be sure to check out all the official details by following the link below and while you’re there sit back for half an hour and listen to a FREE podcast of ‘A Classic Wedding Night’ - written by myself and read by Love Honey’s Alice – ever wondered what Mr and Mrs Darcy got up to on their wedding night after their carriage slipped from view? Wonder no more…phew, its steamy stuff! Or if you prefer just download it for FREE in pdf version. It might give you some naughty inspiration.
Good luck and don’t forget to spell check!
Lily Harlem x
Winner of the 2009 Love Honey Award for Erotic Fiction


So this week saw the exciting moment when Black Cougar Curse, written by Tess and myself, made its appearance onto Ellora's Cave's front page. Tess has been like a fart in a colander, diving here there and everywhere, chatting and blogging and promoting. I've been writing blog posts for next week's part of our blog tour and ensuring we have places to park our bottoms each day of the week, and I think the pair of us are exhausted. However, that heady rush of release day always keeps you going, and we're just so damn happy our book is out there that my face might crack if I smile any wider. We've had so many comments on the cover and how Sam makes women feel, that I've been amazed. You've got to admit, though, that's one stunning cover.
So if you've been waiting for this beauty, HERE it is, and if you buy it, please know that you have our sincere and heartfelt thanks that you have supported us.
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! And don't forget to tell me what you've been up to this week and how you cope with insomnia! I need to know these things!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Peek At "What She Needs"

Today I figured I'd give you a taste of my upcoming Samhain release!

Samhain Publishing

What She Needs

Cape May--book 3

contemporary erotic romance

Part 2 of Tory, Devon and Con's love triangle


Taking turns was never their strong suit…

Devon Mason and Con Walker are sexy, honorable, loving, and completely devoted. In other words, everything Tory looks for in a relationship. But what’s she supposed to buy her two lovers on V Day? Chocolate? How average is that? Their little love triangle is anything but average!

When Con surprises her with a weekend in Cancun, just the three of them, Tory is all over it—until she realizes Con forgot to include Devon in the package. Now their little love triangle is suffering, thanks to a couple of hard-headed men who both want to be numero uno.

Con was content to let Devon take control at Christmas, but now it’s his turn. A weekend in Cancun seems the perfect place for a romantic getaway—then Devon says he’s planning to surprise Tory with a trip to Aruba, and Con’s possessive instincts kick in. He’d always been happy to share Tory with the guy he cares for like a brother. But the deeper Con falls in love, the harder it is to keep from ripping Tory away from Devon.

Sooner or later something—or someone—is going to give.

Warning: This title contains lots of steamy, explicit sex. Hot, jealous men in need of a strong, intelligent woman. And a warm, loving ménage a trois relationship.

Coming February 22nd!

Pre-order From: MBaM | Kindle | Nook |

Chapter One

As Con pried his eyes open, the first thing that captured his attention was Tory’s face nestled against his chest. The early morning light coming from the large windows across the room allowed him to see her small, curvy body tucked in close. His eager dick flexed its approval. Damn, he loved sleeping with her. Even though Tory was still in possession of her grandmother’s house, she went over there only a few days a week. Con had tried to persuade her to sell the old place, but she’d flat refused. It hadn’t taken him long to realize she kept it for sentimental reasons. It bothered him that she was paying taxes on the place, though. Thankfully, Devon, his best friend and partner in their little love triangle, didn’t have the same attachment to his condo. Clearly seeing the benefits of sharing expenses, he’d sold it and moved right in.

Careful not to wake Tory, Con gently pushed the sheet down their bodies, baring her one pretty inch at a time. It’d taken him and Devon a few weeks of coaxing, but they’d finally managed to talk Tory into sleeping naked. It’d been well worth the effort too. As he smoothed his palm down her side to her hip, all he felt was firm, warm, feminine skin. She mumbled and slung one smooth-as-satin leg over his calves. Christ, she was cute. Watching her sleep had become an obsession for him. There was just something about seeing Tory Jeffries with her guard down, looking so sweet and vulnerable. It pulled every single one of Con’s protective instincts front and center.

He looked across the room and spotted a bare-chested Devon sitting in the recliner. He’d pulled on his navy blue pajama bottoms and his laptop was open. Whatever was on the screen no longer held his attention, though. Devon sent him a grin, telling Con without words exactly what he intended to do—watch. He’d known for years that his friend was a voyeur and Con had been content to play the exhibitionist on several occasions. He didn’t quite understand it, but neither did he mind.

Turning his attention back to Tory, Con let his hand travel a leisurely path over Tory’s shoulder and lower back before reaching the plush cushion of her ass. Her bottom was a thing of beauty. He could spend hours kissing and fondling her there. He cupped it, filling his palm with her sexy flesh. She moaned and pressed closer, her damp pussy sliding along his thigh. The slight provocation spurred him into action. Grasping her around the waist, Con pulled her on top of him, blanketing himself with her warm, supple body.

"Good Morning, Con.”

He nudged his cock between her thighs and damn near drowned in bliss at the feel of her soft little pussy. “How’d you know it was me?”

“Because Devon is most likely up and working already.” She turned her head and glanced across the room. “Morning, Devon,” she mumbled.

Devon sat up and closed the laptop before placing it on the end table next to the chair. “Morning, sugar.”

Letting out a yawn, Tory snuggled against him again. “It Saturday, Devon. Why are you up?”

“I had too damn many meetings this week and got behind on a few things.”

“This is all real fascinating, but I’d rather play.” Con rubbed his cock against Tory’s pussy, teasing and evoking a throaty little moan from her. “Does our little baby want to play?”

Without answering, Tory started to move her hips, beginning a rhythmic rotating motion that had his cock hardening farther. Her cheek was pressed against his chest and one hand splayed wide, directly over his heart. “Mmm, our sweet Tory does want to play, Dev.”

"I can see that,” Devon said, his voice low.

Con looked over in time to see Devon get to his feet. Their gazes clashed. Devon pulled his pajama pants down and his cock sprang free. It was hard and already dripping with precome. Con continued to stare as Devon kicked his pants free and sat back down, one hand wrapped tight around his cock. When Devon’s smile came, something deep inside Con stirred the way it always did when they played this particular game.

Tearing his gaze away from Devon, Con turned his attention back to the woman draped over him like a warm, silky blanket. He pushed the wild mane of Tory’s hair to one side and kissed her exposed cheek, savoring the flavor of her creamy skin. Her eyes fluttered open and her tongue darted out, licking at her dry, swollen lips. He watched the emotions skitter across her face as she went from drowsy to totally alert. Her gaze heated and Con’s chest tightened. Damn, the woman could make a monk shake with need. Some part of him half-expected Tory to reject him. Even after so many nights spent together, he still couldn’t help but wonder why she hadn’t kicked him to the curb. Okay, so he was a successful businessman now. He no longer had to fight just to survive. But while he might’ve moved up in the world, financially and socially, deep down Con still felt like the punk kid nobody wanted around. He was just too fucking glad Tory had never known him back then. Too fucking glad she saw something in him worth keeping around.

For a moment, Con let his mind replay the previous night. Tory had been exhausted from helping Summer with her bed-and-breakfast. He admired the fact she never thought twice about lending a hand whenever a friend was in need, but he hated that she worked so damn hard all the time. Devon had drawn her a bath. They’d both instructed her to relax and unwind. Afterward, Con had a dinner of grilled salmon and steamed vegetables ready and waiting. The full-body massage after had been pure impulse. Of course, having their hands on the woman they loved was no hardship. And seeing her all fresh and pink from her bath had been a little too much provocation. On the other hand, her begging them to take her hadn’t hurt either. His fair little princess had been an eager and wild participant in the sex games that followed. And judging by the dampness pressing against his cock now, she was wide awake and ready for round two.

Con was only too happy to comply.

For the rest of this scene head over to my website, but be careful it's HOT! :)

Also, check out What She Wants, book 1 and What She Craves book 2 of the Cape May series!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Searching for Signs of Spring

Don't know what it is about January and February that depresses me but I've pretty much figured it's the weather. If August signals the Dog Days of Summer then January and February are the Doggier Days of Winter. Those of you in the North and Northeast have been buried under snow FOREVER and looking for a way to dig yourselves out of the mess. Here in Texas, it has been just cold and dreary. Not a bit of snow, just BLECH. Everywhere you go people are wearing their dark, wintery things and the warm tone of the holiday spirit we just experienced has disappeared. Personally, I have found my energy is low. The world seems gray and nasty. Color is just gone.

The stores are now stocked with Valentine's things...lots of reds and pinks and there is even heavy evidence of Easter stuff, too. Retailers are teasing us with the coming of spring and anticipation is building for the grass to green-up and the trees to bud. Sadly though, spring isn't here yet. We'll be trudging through another few months before the world begins to look a little brighter. A week or so ago, I headed out to run errands and while piddling around in a cosmetics department I found this BEAUTIFUL pink nail polish. Normally I don't bother with it because I'm home all the time and behind my computer. Guess I figure, who do I need to impress? Anyway, the polish caught my eye because it was nestled among all these darker, bolder colors...purples, blues and dark greens. That pretty pink polish practically sang to me. Naturally, I had to have it and I was so in love with the spring color that I immediately did my nails. To me it was like putting Easter eggs on my nails and my mood instantly soared. Just a simple thing.

I'm thinking now that color is key, at least for me, in finding signs of spring but other things play a part too. Listening to The Beach Boys makes me think of summer. The scent of watermelon does too. Little things can take us into a different time and place. Simple things like burning citrus candles could help and I'm seriously tempted to head to the florist for a bouquet of something pretty and bright for my favorite vase. Spring is out there seductively whispering in my ear but Spring is also a slow-poke. A little nudge might be just the thing. What little things do you do to bring a little sunshine into your life?

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Soapbox Weekend

I love engaging in discussions about writing. Those of you familiar with me already know that. LOL This weekend I was on the Sweet ΄N΄ Sexy Divas group owned by two oh-so-talented authors, Tina Donahue and Sarah McNeal and a few of us went back and forth on some really great topics of interest to me. Yep, I got on my soapbox. By the way, the Sweet ‘n’ Sexy Divas group is wonderful and you might just want to join.

One of the things we talked about was when can it ever be appropriate for an Alpha to cry? Now I’ve studied the romance genre for years. And when I say study, I don’t mean I read a few articles. I mean I’ve put in sixteen-hour days of CAREFUL study. My philosophy is this: In order to break the rules, you’ve got to know what the rules are first. Why? Because only then do you have a real understanding of the craft, and please note that I’m talking about the romance genre only with respect to this blog post.

The romance genre is unique. There’s nothing else like it out there. As I said on the Sweet ‘n’ Sexy Divas’ group, it’s often accused of being formulaic and unrealistic. That sounds really bad, doesn’t it? But actually, it’s not. Know your target audience. I can’t emphasize that enough. And in romance writing, your target audience is women who are looking to escape the daily grind of life. They want to be entertained and swept away. They want to step into the heroine’s shoes for the span of that read and experience everything she does. AND…they want to know what to expect.

They pick up that book because they KNOW there will be a happily ever after or happy for now. They KNOW the hero is going to be a hard dude to wrangle into a relationship. They KNOW there will be external conflicts pulling them apart. But they KNOW, in the end, that all will be right with the world. In this case, familiarity does not breed contempt, but rather sales.

As I said, there are rules in writing romance. Some written, some unwritten. Those rules are there for a reason. There is nothing at all wrong with bending the rules, thinking outside the box. Sometimes that can lead to major success. But you have to be careful how you go about it.

So, when is it appropriate for an Alpha to cry? Can he feel remorse? Specifically we were talking about the Alpha killing someone in order to protect the heroine and whether it was okay for him to feel remorse and eventually that led to the discussion of letting him cry.

Personally, I’d never let one of my Alphas cry. I might let his eyes moisten if something pretty tragic is going on. For instance: Someone he loves dies. He is losing the heroine. A memory of something horrible that happened in his past crops up. But outright cry? NEVER. So if you do let your Alpha cry, make sure you have a damn good reason for it…and…

It’s all about this: How you execute the scene and consistent characterization throughout.

The great Alpha is misunderstood. He’s stubborn, doesn’t bend too well. He’s forceful and wants what he wants when he wants it. But he’s not good at expressing his emotions—like most men. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have feelings, and it doesn’t mean he hides his feelings either. It simply means he shows them differently than a woman or say a Beta hero.

Let’s look at it this way. Your heroine and hero disagree about their next step in foiling the plans of the bad guy. Your Beta hero would probably sit down at the nearest kitchen table and discuss it with her. He’d be sensitive to her thoughts on the subject. He wouldn’t let anger get the best of him. He would talk out everything he is feeling. But your Alpha? Hells bells. He’d storm out of the room and go chop a cord of wood. Yep, he would. And that’s how he expresses his emotions. More action and a whole lot less words. You can, of course, reveal in narrative from his POV and in internal thoughts the truth of what he’s feeling. But he is not going to be good at all with expressing this to the heroine verbally. At that point in time, only the reader knows just how sweet and kind and caring he really is—only the reader knows his true self and loves him all the more for it. And the heroine? Well, she sits and fumes over how stubborn he is. And it creates more tension between the two of them. Which is exactly what you want. Can’t make it too easy on these two, now can we? LOL

More about remorse and the Alpha. So he kills someone in order to protect the heroine. The Alpha IS human. You don’t just take another person’s life and not have it affect you. In paranormal romance, it’s much easier to get away with killing and not worry about the fallout of feelings. He killed a monster—a cruel vampire—a rogue werewolf—something not quite human, after all. The lines are a bit more forgiving there. But if he kills another human—even one who is evil to the bone—you might elect to show his remorse. And that all goes to author voice, of course, and depends on how you execute the scene.

But the point is, if you do want to show remorse, how would you show it for an Alpha? He doesn’t express his feelings well, remember? On the Sweet ‘n’ Sexy Divas group I posted an example of that very thing. Now, it’s rough—so don’t laugh and throw rocks. And it’s just a snippet too. But I think I show enough distinction between how a Beta would handle it versus an Alpha that you can get the general idea. Also, there is some not-so-pretty language in this example. I hope you’re not offended.

Beta Hero feels remorse:

The anguish he felt over taking Parker's life tore him apart. It would stay with him the rest of his life. If only she hadn't been there. If only he'd had more time.

Alpha Hero feels remorse:

Goddamn it. Why the hell couldn't he have found another way? But taking Parker out had been the only way, hadn't it? It was her or him. Fuck it. Parker asked for it.

In example 1, there is a more Beta hero feel. Example 2, to me at least, has a more Alpha feel. The Alpha might question his actions, but he'll easily justify them, too, decide he was right all along, and move on. And he’ll do it quickly—won’t dwell on it. Which is why I write Alphas. I love a stone-cold confident man. LOL Oh God, and before I insult Beta lovers out there, I don’t mean that Betas aren’t confident. They are and that translates into being confident enough in themselves that they CAN question their actions and still come out on top. They just do it differently than an Alpha with the tendency to look inward more so.

With anything you write, you need to be consistent with characterization. So please, don’t start out with an Alpha then switch him over to Beta to satisfy something you want to use as part of the story or vice versa. I’ve seen that. Actually, I’ve seen a lot of it. Oftentimes an author writes a scene that is inconsistent with character behavior. Good editors will catch that. Staying consistent with characterization is what makes your characters believable. They must be true to their nature. So when you write, decide who your characters are. Throughout the story your characters will grow based on the conflicts they face and the LOVE that blooms. But that growth must be believable and not so varied or different that it is completely contrary to their nature and the characters become unrecognizable.

You can’t let your Alpha learn things and change along the way if the change makes no sense. So if he kills someone and you have him feel remorse, let tears moisten his eyes, then have him fall in love with the heroine which opens up his heart completely—please don’t let him all of a sudden become Mr. Sensitive and start giving in to the heroine at the drop of a hat. At least not in that book. If it’s a series, and in the next book you have another hero and you mention the first hero in there—well, let him change diapers and prepare a soufflé if need be. LOL Just don’t let him do that in the first book. You don’t have enough time in that first one to completely overhaul the great Alpha’s personality. The changes must be enough so that the reader recognizes the changes, but at the same time, not so huge that they aren’t believable.

As I said at the start of this post, there are rules for romance writing. Some of those rules apply to other genres but a lot of them are strictly for writing romance. And as you break down the romance genre into sub genres there are even more rules in place to guide you. What you need to remember is that the “formula” is tried and true. It’s there for a reason. It works. Yes, you can bend or break the rules but know what the rules are before you do.

Photobucket Now for a little news from me. I was very flattered and thrilled to find out that Latin Rhythm, my contemporary older woman/younger man novella published with Pink Petal Books was nominated for Love Romances Cafe's Best Contemporary Book of 2010. No, I don't expect to win. I'm in some really amazing company over there. lol But I do enjoy the fact that someone read my story and thought enough of it to believe it deserved a nod. So thank you to whoever that individual is. AND...if you've read Latin Rhythm, enjoyed it and would like to vote for it, just stop by Dawn's Reading Nook and comment on Latin Rhythm. If you haven't read Latin Rhythm you can purchase it here:

Photobucket And now it’s shameless promo time! Yes, yes yes…I only have to sleep through tonight and tomorrow night before I can wake up to the release of Black Cougar Curse! I’m excited. Can you tell? LOL Wednesday, January 26 is the day, my friends. It’s a steamy shifter story co-authored with Natalie Dae We had a great time writing this one and eventually gave up trying to figure out who had written which part because we could no longer recognize each other’s writing. Yep, our writing just magically blended. So we’re looking forward to what everyone thinks of Black Cougar Curse and truly hoping you like it. For a sneak peek, you can read an excerpt here:

And on February 1, the new, once-a-month newsletter--Risqué--from Natalie
, Regina Carlysle and little ol' me will make its debut. So if you'd like to receive our newsletter, you can subscribe here by joining our newsletter group--this is a no chatting group--newsletter only.

Till next Monday!

Friday, January 21, 2011

It's That Time Again...

I’m possibly going to offend someone today, but please bear in mind this is just my opinion!
Now, it’s “that time” again, when we’re asked to vote for books. Anyone can nominate a book, cover, editor, you name it. However, to “win” a good place, you need the dreaded votes. Some authors are totally unaware if their books are on that site because perhaps they realise that it isn’t a big deal. Me, for instance. I agree that if someone nominated you, that’s a nice thing to have done, and if you promote the fact you’ve been nominated, excellent. But what I dislike is the barrage of emails I get asking me to vote for them.
Why would I vote for a book I’ve never read? Despite knowing the author, wouldn’t it be wrong of me to go and vote for this person to win best book or best whatever, when I have no clue what their book is about? In my opinion, yes. The same goes for the following: Why would I vote for an author I’ve never read and don’t even know? Same with covers. Why would I vote for a cover I didn’t like when there were nicer ones there to choose from? Do people just blindly go along like sheep, doing as they’re told and clicking the links provided?
There are many authors who ask for votes and state that if you’ve read the book and enjoyed it, feel free to vote. This is preferable to me, but even more preferable—and I’m not talking about the poll that is currently going on because I haven’t voted there since I realised it wasn’t a fair voting system—is when I go to the link, having read a book, and I vote for someone else entirely. I don’t mean that in a nasty way toward the person who may have sent me to the site to vote, but if I get there and see a book I enjoyed more, you can bet I’m going to vote for that one instead. This isn’t being mean, this is being honest and true to myself.
So now we come to unfair voting. There are some people out there who create multiple email accounts so they can vote several times. They also have their friends and family do the same. They garner far more votes this way, and for what? To “win” a poll that doesn’t reflect the true feelings of the people who matter the most—the READERS. For me to sit here and do that, and just say for argument’s sake I won, I would have won unfairly. I wouldn’t deserve that win because I had manipulated the voting system. Again, for what? To make myself look good? So I can go about telling everyone I won, therefore I must be an awesome author and you really ought to go and buy my books?
Umm, no. I’d prefer to let the readers choose which author and book they liked the best. If someone else won, good on them, and I mean that with total honesty. I don’t feel envy or jealousy toward someone who may win over me.
What I’m saying is, that it would not sit well with me if I won because I had bombarded people with vote pleas. For a start, I couldn’t even bring myself to type the email asking for votes. It would embarrass me. I’d be knowingly putting pressure on someone to click when they otherwise wouldn’t have. I’d be giving someone a dilemma if they didn’t like my book but felt they should vote because I asked really nicely and in an overly-excited manner. Why lie to myself? Why be pleased I “won” because I just happened to entice several hundred people—the majority having never read a book by me in their life, possibly have never even heard of me before I asked for votes—to vote for me?
I find it all very bizarre that people get so excited about a poll that is so easy to manipulate—and believe me, a great percentage of authors know this poll isn’t worth bothering with. A few years ago I watched two people literally fighting for the #1 spot. One would have, say, 4 votes more than #2, so #2 then rounded up a few more votes and overtook #1. #1 then did the same. It was exhausting to watch, because the authors were clearly watching the other’s votes totting up and off they’d go again to ask for more votes.
I’ll say again that this is just my opinion and how I feel about these kinds of polls. They’re fake, they mean absolutely nothing when you win unfairly, and to have a “win” on my conscience that wasn’t done in the correct way—because fairly means readers have voted because they wanted to, readers who have actually read the damn book—is something I wouldn’t want to live with.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Samhain Publishing's New Look!

I completely forgot it was my day to blog. I've been more concerned with this crazy weather. More snow, shocker. LOL The kids already have a late arrival tomorrow  and judging by the way it's coming down, I'm betting they'll change that to CLOSED.

Anyway, onto happier stuff! Have you seen Samhain's fancy new site? 

Lots of new features, including a series page. All the series the Samhain authors have can now be found on one page. Handy, huh? My Vaughn series, Cape May series, and the Tahoe Nights series can all be found there. Actually, What She Craves, my second Cape May story is missing from the series page, but they'll have it added soon. They're still working on the site! :-) 

Another fun feature, you can now preorder Samhain's upcoming stories. I've never seen an epub do that before, but I LOVE it! My next Cape May story, What She Needs, can be preordered, which is awsome!
Also, have you seen these sexy little gift certificates? Okay, I'm not really sure they're new, lol, but they are gorgeous! And I plan to give one or two away in future contests, so be on the lookout for that!

Anyway, as far as publishing websites go, I'm loving Samhain's new one. 

and now the blurb for What She Needs, which releases Feb. 22nd:

Part 2 of Tory, Devon and Con’s love triangle

Taking turns was never their strong suit…

Devon Mason and Con Walker are sexy, honorable, loving, and completely devoted. In other words, everything Tory looks for in a relationship. But what’s she supposed to buy her two lovers on V Day? Chocolate? How average is that? Their little love triangle is anything but average!

When Con surprises her with a weekend in Cancun, just the three of them, Tory is all over it—until she realizes Con forgot to include Devon in the package. Now their little love triangle is suffering, thanks to a couple of hard-headed men who both want to be numero uno.

Con was content to let Devon take control at Christmas, but now it’s his turn. A weekend in Cancun seems the perfect place for a romantic getaway—then Devon says he’s planning to surprise Tory with a trip to Aruba, and Con’s possessive instincts kick in. He’d always been happy to share Tory with the guy he cares for like a brother. But the deeper Con falls in love, the harder it is to keep from ripping Tory away from Devon.

Sooner or later something—or someone—is going to give.

Warning: This title contains lots of steamy, explicit sex. Hot, jealous men in need of a strong, intelligent woman. And a warm, loving ménage a trois relationship.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What drives you?

I was reading a blog post from a friend. She was talking about things that make her hit the "pause" button in her writing. When I left my comment for her, it got me thinking about myself. Not about my pause button, but about what drives me to keep going. To keep writing despite all the hurdles I've had in my way.

SO, what drove me to keep writing despite the rejections. Despite the almosts, but just not theres. Despite some friends and family who completely considered my writing a "hobby" and nothing to take serious. Of course the number ONE answer is my LOVE of writing. I write because I'm passionate about it, and I can't imagine doing anything else, but I'm delving a little deeper here. What really drove me to keep going, to keep writing and now that I have an agent what's making me push forward even harder is my HUGE fear of failure. I hate it when I can't do something. Whatever it is will weigh on my mind until I drive myself (and my husband) crazy. For as long as I can remember, my dream has always been to be author. Not just with one book or two, but a career! I wanted to share my love of stories with the world and do it for a long, long time.

Once I realized that, for me, there was no turning back. I was so scared to start something and not finish it. To prove those people right who just considered writing a silly hobby that I would never get anywhere with. It was that fear of failure that after I wrote my first agent targeted book and only got ONE agent request to write my second one. That fear told me to suck it up after I wrote my second book to AGAIN only get ONE agent request. That fear told me, "Okay, Kelley, time to step up your game and write a really special story" when I started my third agent targeted book. And after the excitement of the ten or so agent requests I got for it turned into more rejections (though a couple REALLY close calls) that fear of failure propelled me forward to write yet another one.

This time, I wasn't pulling any punches. Sebastian, my hero, was special and I knew his story was too. But I got rejections... a lot of them. Less requests than I got for number three, but still definitely more than I got for my other books.

Should I give up? Do I SUCK? I was honestly starting to think I did, but I couldn't let myself give up. I was so scared. Part of my dream had come true, I had a few published books, but I wanted it all. So I kept querying. And I got more requests... and then I got FOUR offers of representation.

Despite how over the moon happy I am, I'm even more scared now. What if it was a fluke? What if now that I have an agent I can't write? Fear, fear, fear! I have to prove to myself that it isn't a fluke. That I would deserve the agent requests so I got busy on my next book. My fear won't let me give up and though I don't like being so scared, I'm thankful for it. Thankful that my fear won't let me lie down. Won't let me take anything for granted and will keep making me push on no matter what.

What drives YOU? It doesn't have to be about writing, but can be if you're a writer. What drives you in your job, personal life, anything at all.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Little Ramblings

First off, I was up waaaay too late writing last night and I'm a little muzzy this morning. Today I woke up with a little ADD vibe going on since I couldn't seem to latch on to a single thought and hold onto it for awhile. Some days are like that so if you'll pardon me, I'm going to blog about several different things.

Spring- Normally I get my best ideas when I sit out in my backyard. That doesn't happen much in the winter months. We don't have extremelly cold temps in Texas during wintertime but it is NOT pretty here in January. No fluffy white stuff to look at. Seems it's just a bunch of skeletal, leafless trees and dry crackly leaves laying willy nilly on the ground. Dusty here too because we've had no rain in West Texas for longer than I can recall. So yesterday I found myself longing for spring. Kinda figure we're all in the same boat on that one. So I headed out to run some errands yesterday and stumbled across this beautiful nail polish. It was a soft, soft pink. Impulsively, I picked it up thinking it reminded me of spring. Now my fingernails are the color of Easter Eggs. Doesn't quite work with the winter wardrobe but I keep looking at them and smiling. So that works for me!

Tweaking & Writing- Since turning Lover's Moon (book one of a new shifter series) in to my Ellora's Cave editor, I've been a bundle of nerves. That never, ever ends for me. Since I don't like feeling jittery (despite my addiction to I started a new book. Didn't quite know what I was going to tackle next so I headed into my docs looking for "starts". Most writers have them. They are the beginnings of stories that are eventually abandoned like orphans on our computers when another idea tugs more strongly. Oddly enough, I found three book beginnings that were soooo similar that I couldn't help noticing. All Texas-set, small town stories with a touch of humor. So I have culled these three stories out of the mix, made some adjustments and will make them a series about three Texas brothers who re-connect with a woman from the past. As of now, I'm halfway through Return to Delight (as in Delight, Texas). All it took was a little tweaking here, a little name-changing there and voila! I've been flying on this novella but yesterday was weird. The current scene just wasn't flowing as I wanted. I'd written three or four pages when I decided maybe I needed to just re-write the whole damn thing in the heroine's point of view, rather than in the heros. I tweaked, I adjusted, I played with it. In the end, I stepped away, read it again later and kept everything as I'd originally written it. What was really fun though was realizing that all that tweaking helped make things better.

What did I learn? Step back. Give things an hour or so before doing something major. I spent most of the day thinking "I SUCK" but the feeling passed and I ended up writing until late in the night. I love my life!

Promotion- We talk about promotion a lot here. I tend to be really cautious about stepping into something new. I like to schedule chats (always with other authors) and I employ a promotion company to chat up my newest releases. I blog here and at my Regina blog on a regular basis. I attend conventions, have contests, network with other writers and chat with readers. Those are all good things. I've been wanting to do a newsletter for awhile now figuring it is another fun way to connect with readers and keep folks informed about upcoming stuff. Finally, I'm doing it. Natalie Dae, Tess MacKall, and I joined forceds and we have a brand new newsletter that will make an appearance around the first of the month. We'll offer contests and tell you what we're up to. Signing up for the Risque is easy. Just click the banner!

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Life In The Zoo

Before I begin, I’d like to take a moment to remember what this day means. I was too young to participate in what was going on and certainly too young to understand. But later as an adult I came to understand.

Today we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King. He was a man of great conviction and strength. A man of faith who delivered hope. He inspired a nation and because of his words and deeds we are a better people.

Thank You.


We all have those days in which nothing seems to go right. That’s a given. Mine seem to be constant, however. There is always something a bit off kilter. Some monkey wrench that gets thrown at me and keeps me off balance. It’s gotten to the point that each morning before I get out of bed, I think about all the possible scenarios. I never just throw the covers back anymore and set my feet to the floor. No, I’ve learned not to do that.

A couple of weeks ago I threw back the covers and the beagle went flying through the air. Sorry, didn’t know he was there or I was that strong. Guess it was because he was at the foot of the bed and nice and relaxed. And if that wasn’t enough, the next morning I put my feet on the floor to step on a chewed up rawhide. OUCH!

On Saturday, we had a flood in the laundry room. One day last week I had a flat tire. And in prepping for our winter storm I had an experience in the grocery store that I’ll never forget—blogged about it here if you would like to see how all that went—

Yesterday was no different for me. Something always sets my nerves a-jangling. I was sitting at my comp working on an edit for a friend. I was really into it, too. The door to the living room was closed and I was in the back end of the house in my little office alcove minding my own business.

At first the noise started kind of low and far away, but then it grew in intensity and all of a sudden I heard kids screaming. Oh Hell! Screaming kids is NEVER a good thing. So I went into Mama Mode. You know what I mean. Whatever made your kid scream needs to get running and get running quick because it is about to be faced with THE BEAR. THE LION. THE BEAST FROM THE BOWELS OF HELL.

Anything that makes your kid scream is in deep do-do for sure.

With no weapon handy, I go into the thick of things bare-fisted. Yeah, had those clubs of mine ready for action—and still wearing my nightie. Not sure I’d even combed my hair. But it didn’t matter how ugly I looked at the time, I wanted to look ugly so whatever/whoever was making my kids scream would scream and run. Right? Right.

Yep, wasn’t like I could stop by the bathroom and run a brush through my hair or apply lipstick for sure.

I shoved that living room door open and good lord almighty. In the middle of my beautiful living room, on my shiny hardwood floor—not the family room where these THINGS should be—but in my LIVING ROOM—the two abandoned dogs were going at it like—well, like rabid dogs!

I know you’re thinking “abandoned? They’re in your house, Tess. How can they be abandoned?” It’s like this. I had two dogs. Both mutts. Both perfectly well-behaved, loving, sweet, adorable mutts. And then I had one teenager bring home another mutt and begged to keep it. I said no no no no no. But her father said okay. So we got that mutt which is a mixture of Pit Bull and Rottweiler. Then two months later, the second teenager—and not my boy—no, that child is sane—but the other girl decided she should have her very own dog too. These girls are eighteen and nineteen and should be well past the I-need-a-puppy stage. And I said NO to both. But their father said YES. Asshole.

The second dog was a beagle. And that beagle is mean, bossy, uppity, and just plain pisses me off. Cute, trust me it’s cute, and I have always had a fondness for beagles. My sweet little beagle Sammie was hit by a car three years ago and I still miss that dog. But this dog is nothing like Sammie. This dog thinks it is ten feet tall and bullet proof. And it starts fights. Barks at everything that moves and jumps everything, too, including tht Pit Bull/Rottweiller mix. And every time it does jump on that dog, it bleeds. You’d think it would learn.

So why have they been abandoned? Because my girls are legally of age. That’s why. Both of them practically live with boyfriends now and just stop in at my house for a meal and money. So they are never here to feed, water, let the dogs in and out, bathe them or just plain deal with them in general. AND they don’t buy dog food or treat their wounds either.

Okay, I walked into the living room, fists in the air, see this mess and out of the corner of my eye see my brother running with a big pot from the kitchen area. SPLASHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

OHHHHH EMMMMMM GEEEEEEE. Water floods my beautiful gleaming hardwood floor and my gorgeous plum-colored floral oriental area rug and those two dogs.

And it wasn’t enough. Here came POT NO. 2. Yes, middle girl just happened to be home. SPLASHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My bare feet are covered in water and a string of expletives about five miles long came out of my mouth and with the strength of a sonic boom. I was no longer in Mama Mode. I was in EAT-THE-FAMILY MODE.

Of all the stupid... OMG OMG. I wanted to kill. And then? The two dogs started up again. I saw both my brother and the girl running back to the kitchen for more water. STUPID!!!! I know I know. Throw cold water on them. I don’t care. This is my living room.

So I took my foot and kicked them. Kicked them hard and several times. Yep, my bare foot. One went flying one way and the other the other way. I grabbed the beagle by her collar and put her in the hall and closed the door.

My brother said, “They could have chewed your foot off.”

I said, “Don’t care. It’s better than having a freaking $500 rug ruined.”

He said, “Seriously.”

I gave him one of those shut-the hell-up looks and said, “Clean this mess up.”

He said, “ME?”

And then he got another look.

I walked into the hall, shutting the door behind me, and didn’t see the beagle anywhere. I checked every room. And what did I find? Said beagle was in the center of my bed—bleeding onto my big pink comforter. YEAH! It had bite marks—small, nothing serious—on it’s upper chest area and one on its leg. No huge amount of blood but it was my freaking comforter!

I whipped out my cell phone and called its MAMA. Gave her hell and gave her five minutes to get her butt home. She got there, took care of the dog and went to Pet Smart for ANOTHER bottle of doggie antiseptic. I guess she was upset because she ended up having a conversation with the doggie dude there who recommended some calming pills for the dogs. So the dogs are now medicated. Yep, they are now nice and sleepy all the time. Yayyyyyy

And as of this morning, they both have appointments for a little “snip snip” too. Balls awaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

So, does anyone want to know why I can’t write. Why I can’t get anything done?

On another note--a more pleasant one, I hope. Natalie Dae, Regina Carlysle, and MOI, are starting a newsletter group. Once a month--around the first--we'll be delivering the news about our books and lives to anyone who joins. This won't be a chat group, of course, just once a month news from us to you. If you're interested in finding out all about us, entering our contests, and hearing all our latest publishing news, you can join our newsletter--entitled RISQUE--and Risque should have an accent over the E and is pronounced like an A but blogger won't let me do that. lol Here's the link--we'd love to have you join!