Thursday, July 31, 2008

Comfort reads

Anne is still enjoying herself on her wonderful family vacation so I'm posting for her today. What I want to talk about today is comfort reads. You know those books you've read time and time again yet you always go back to when you're feeling down, can't find a book to read, or just want that guaranteed good read. I just finish one of those. Like I mentioned in my post yesterday I'm so ready for Ash I couldn't seem to read any of the new books in my TBR pile. I needed a guaranteed good book. One I know I love and will give me that fix. I ended up going with Say No To Joe by Lori Foster. Anyone read that one? I love it. Joe is such a hoot. So hot, arrogant, but loving and family oriented.

Another Lori Foster book is in my when-I-need-a-guaranteed-good-book-pile and its Too Much Temptation. LOVE Noah. Can you say yum? That man is so hot and sexy. I will never get tired of that book.

Another author and book in that group for me is Erin McCarthy's Houston We Have a Problem. Houston is so incredibly Alpha. He's one of my favs.

What about you? Do you have books or authors that you'll read time and time again? Books that you pick up when you want to visit old friends or need a guaranteed good read?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The anticipation is killing me!

Okay I know its only a week away but I'm going crazy for the newest book in the Dark-Hunter series. I'm sure I don't even have to say the name. Most everyone is going just as crazy as I am but I need Acheron!! I can't handle it. I really can't. I keep looking the book up online like its magically going to say available now. I check my bookstore to see if its out early. I'm wondering who his heroine is going to be, anxious to see him get his happily ever after, dreading the pain that he will probably go through along the way. It's amazing how the thought of one book can occupy my mind. I think that's one of the signs of a really fantastic author. I haven't looked forward to a book this much since, and don't laugh at me here, but the last Harry Potter book. I admire authors who can write books that readers connect so profoundly with, authors who create characters that we truly fall in love with and wait with bated breath for their book, to devour their story. Authors like Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward and in other genre's JK Rowling. It's a truly magical thing, to love books, a series or a character that deeply. I can only hope that one day I touch readers like that. These characters become more than just a character in a book. They become real.

But to me its also bittersweet. I loved the last HP book I was heartbroken to know there would be no more Harry adventures. My husband laughs at me for liking that series so much, they are after all "for children" but I can't help it. They're amazing books by an amazing writer. I think I'll feel the same way after reading Ash. With him though, I hope to still see him around in future books. I hope he's still going to be there to help his fellow Dark Hunters along the way.

What books have you sat on pins and needles waiting to be releases? Is it bittersweet for you to finally read them?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Is Your Heart in San Francisco?

Is your heart in San Francisco this week? Right now thousands of romance writers are descending on that beautiful city for the Romance Writers of America convention and I don't know if it's dawned of you guys but the loops are already starting to be a snore!!! ZZZZZ.

So while they are partying down in Cali, I'm here in Texas waiting for the tidbits of gossip to trickle in. I know several friends have taken laptops and I'm hoping to hear details.Many of you know that I dropped my RWA membership this year. As a member since 1992 I can't say I got a lot out of RWA except for a really pricey magazine once a month and though I often got some good publishing and writing information, most of the time I felt it was a huge waste of money. So yeah, at the end of June I am officially NOT a member. It's funny too, because I'd just sold enough of one particular book to be eligible for PAN. In the end, I realized I didn't really need RWA to be a writer.

On that note, let me say the conventions are a blast and I know what kind of fun awaits for friends fortunate enough to attend this year. My favorite things about the convention? Umm. It's a long list beginning with meeting up with friends that you've never actually met in person before. There's something wonderful about putting faces to names and realizing someone is just as cool in person as they are on line. Another thing I loved about the RWA conventions was the Goody Room. Tables full of free bags, books, pens, and other promo items that are fun to sift through.

The other day I ran off a list of "must do's" for a friend. At the top of the list was the Literacy Booksigning. It's a giant booksigning with all proceeds going to support literacy programs across the country. A very worth event and be sure to bring a camera for pics with your favorite authors. One thing I realized during this event was how NICE romance writers are. They were always willing to chat and take pictures.The workshops are good and my favorites were "Publisher Spotlights" where, as an unpubbed writer longing for publication, you could get the scoop on who was looking for what. Those were usually informal and packed with information.

On the downside? I'm multi-published now but then, I was one of the unpubbed rabble looking for a break and nowhere do you feel the distinction between the have's and have not's than at an RWA convention. It's not that people weren't nice, it was just that you KNEW you hadn't really arrived yet and that's a bothersome feeling. At least to me, it was. And agent/editor appointments? What a joke! Hundreds were herded in and out of the little rooms, nerves dancing, palms sweating and it didn't take me long to realize that most of the writers pitching ideas were told..yeah, send it in! Everyone left smiling. Once, in my group of ten, every single one of us were told this and NO ONE got a contract out of the deal. In retrospect, I think many editors just thought it was easier to be nice and ask for a manuscript than to say no.

Have you attended a convention lately? I'll confess it's been awhile and now that I've dropped my RWA membership, I'll be getting my convention fix at Romantic Times and the upcoming Ellora's Cave Convention next year. What would you most like to find at a convention? Do you want to see the cover models? Party down with friends? Hit a few good workshops? As a reader what do you want to do and see?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Anne Rainey takes a siesta!

Hey All!

As you're reading this, I'm most likely in Traverse City, Michigan. What am I doing? I'm relaxing and enjoying some much needed family time. It's been a good year. But there's also been a lot of pitfalls. I need this vacation like you wouldn't imagine.

My kids aren't getting any younger. I'm feeling the years slip by fast. They'll be 13 and 15 this September. Ouch1 I need to spend as much time with them as I can. Soon they won't want their mom around!

So for this vacation we plan to do lots of exploring, shopping, grilling out, fishing, relaxing, partying (wink, wink) and much more!

Last year we went to Bar Harbor, Maine. It was fantastic. By the time we were finished, we were ready to move there. It's so beautiful. I had this vision of having a little place right on the ocean. I'd write all day long. My husband what husband's do. LOL We're wondering if Michigan will be as wonderful. I have my doubts (I really loved Bar Harbor, lol). My husband is pretty sure I'm gonna have to drag him back kicking and screaming. LOL

Here's a few pictures of Traverse City that I found on the internet. When I get back I'll share some more personal photos.

Where we're staying.

Where we'll be sipping our wine.

Lighthouses we plan to visit.

Lunch and Shopping! Oh yeah, baby!

Romantic sunsets on the water, mmm...

Now, I ask ya...does it get any better?!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Brand spankin new excerpt

Today I'm going to share the first EVER excerpt of my novella The Art of Love which releases March 2009. I'm neverous because this book is a little different for me. I hope you like it.

Monique Brenner has had her eye on the beautiful Maori art of Tane Koti for years. When her art gallery finally gains a little bit of clout in the Seattle art scene she contacts him with her interest in buying some of his pieces. What she doesn't expect is the overwhelming attraction she feels toward the mysteriously, sexy man behind the art. Her gallery means everything to her which means she has to be professional. Unfortunately that means no hanky panky. But when Tane asks her to accompany him to a local art show Monique throws caution to the wind. A woman can only be so strong and the allure of Tane Koti is too strong to ignore.

After her impromptu shower adventure Tane had washed her body and her hair before turning off the water for them to get out. She’d warned him her hair would be an even bigger mass of unruly curls but he didn’t seem to care. He told her she was beautiful no matter what and the painting would take more than one sitting so he’d be sure not to get to her hair tonight if it bothered her.

She slipped on a robe he gave her. Tane wore a pair of boxer briefs and nothing else. Monique tried not to let herself get distracted by his hard body and the bulge beneath his underwear because for some reason this seemed to be important to him. It was important to her too, more so than she wanted to admit. “Where are we doing this?” she asked trying to disguise the quiver in her voice.

“My bed.”

He didn’t elaborate any further but pulled his green blanket and pillows from the bed and grabbed a matching red, velvet cover and red plush pillows from his closet. He was a man on a mission, organizing the pillows multiple times until he got them just right. His concentration so intense she wondered if he even realized she was still in the room.

He answered her internal question when he said, “Take off the robe and lay on the bed, Monique.”

Show time. She inhaled and exhaled a couple deep breaths. He’d seen her naked before, made love to her, and showered with her but this felt much more intimate. Like he would be seeing her for the very first time. When she stalled a minute longer, gaining her courage he finally turned and walked toward her, understanding in his eyes. Tane cupped her cheek and kissed her. First slowly, then more deep, more intense.

“Why are you so nervous about this, baby?”

He used the endearment for the first time today. First it had startled her and now she just reveled in the word rolling off his tongue. It warmed her from the inside out. She stood there a minute wondering how honest to be with him. Somehow she knew he would know if she wasn’t. “I’m afraid of what you’ll see. Afraid you’ll see too much. That I’ll see too much.”

He didn’t kiss her again. Just gazed into her eyes, his thumb caressing her cheek. “You never have to be afraid with me, Monique.”

She nodded her head yes and Tane led her by the hand to his bed. He pushed the robe from her shoulders, picked her up and laid her down in the middle of the bed. The cool fabric of the cover did nothing to chill the heat in her skin. He posed her so she lay on her side, curled her bottom leg and let the lay out straight. He had that intense stare back, a man at work and in his element. She felt honored to see him like this.

Obviously not satisfied he pushed her upper body back a little bit so she half lay on her back, her waist curved but comfortable, her breasts in plain view.. He positioned one arm over her head the other lay down at her side. She smiled when he stepped backwards and looked at her admiring his handiwork.

“Beautiful.” Tane turned and walked to the easel he’d set up earlier. She hoped the drumming of her heart didn’t burst through her chest.


Tane never felt like such an amateur in his life. His hand shook lightly which wouldn’t work. He needed to get himself and his need for Monique under control. No matter how many people he’d painted in his life this was different. First, he’d never painted from a naked model. Second, he’d never painted a woman he loved. Looking at her right now, if he’d had any doubts before, they faded as he took in the beautiful sight of her naked body laying there for him to capture.

And he would capture her. Every inch of beauty inside and out. He wanted her to see herself through his eyes and this was the only way he knew how to show her. Just a short few minutes ago he asked her why she was so nervous and now he’s the one who sat here unable to make his hand do what he wanted it to do. Instead he took her in with his eyes, drinking the sight of her lying on his bed, positioned the way he wanted her, sharing her bare body for his eyes only.

“Is everything okay?” she spoke so lightly he could hardly hear her. His cock started to stir in his boxer-briefs.

“Yeah, baby. Everything is perfect.”

Tane picked up his brush and dipped it into the paint. Right before he touched the canvas Monique stopped him by saying, “Wait.”

He looked over at her, confusion showing on her face. “What is it?”

“Have you…I know I don’t have the right to ask this but have you done this before…I mean with someone your…sleeping with?”

Her endearing stutter made him smile. “No baby. Just you.”

“What about the blankets, the pillows and all that?”

“All bought with your beautiful, luscious body in mind, Monique. Now relax so I can get started.”

Tane stroked the brush across the canvas intent on creating his best masterpiece yet.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Would you do it Again? Oh, HELL NO!

Hmm. Talking about high school here. Would you? Go back? My answer in three words...Oh, HELL NO!

Talked with some ladies yesterday and one of them had signed up for the classmates site where, for a fee, you can re-connect with people you knew in high school. She was talking and laughing about how much people had changed and such. I got the feeling she really loved her high school experience. It's funny. A few years ago, I got an email out of the blue from a guy who said...remember me? Well, as a matter of fact I did. He'd somehow found me when he'd signed up for this deal and I was so fascinated suddenly at the concept of checking up of people from high school.

So I paid my fee and started checking things out. Umm...what was I smokin'? In the end, I realized way too much time had passed and I really didn't know these people. There was no interest, little curiousity. I currently live far away from my small hometown and when I thought about those days, I mainly remembered bad stuff. Sure, there was the occasional teacher who'd made a difference in my life. English teachers who nurtured my love of writing and books but that was about IT.

I remembered gossip mainly, and cruelty. Lots and lots of cruelty. Recalled the "bully girls" who liked to sneak into the bathroom to smoke and pick on the "good girls" who had actual business in the rest room. I recalled the girl, very shy, who wore her coat to school despite the warm weather and the way a group of girls cornered her and yanked off her coat in front of everyone in the gym one day. She was very pregnant and trying to hide the fact beneath this fuzzy coat.

BLECH! High School sucked. They weren't people. They were more like animals and I couldn't get out of that place fast enough. So if anyone actually posed the question...would you do it all over again? I'd have to say that, to me, returning to high school would be like taking a trip to hell.

I don't think our teens have it any easier today. Cars and clothes and gadgets are certainly more accessable, most have computers, but they have their share of problems. Drugs of the super strong variety, sex and more sex, STD's, alcohol and other things that make us moms shudder. From the stories I hear from my own teen, things haven't gotten better. Sure many kids are more affluent, but there is still that sharp edge of cruelty and cunning that I remember from long ago.

So the other day, when the talk turned to class reunions and these sites that help you re-connect with those high school days, I recalled getting a reunion invitation several years ago. It didn't take much thinking on my part. The damn thing went straight in the trash.

What will/or did you do when that reunion invitation came in the mail? Did you toss it or book a flight? I know everyone's high school experience is different. Different regions of the country. Big cities and little towns. But really? What did you think of high school and if you had the chance would you do it all over again?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Diamond at Midnight--excerpt!

Today I thought I'd post an excerpt from my upcoming vampire romance, A Diamond at Midnight. It'll be released August 6th with The Wild Rose Press.

Diamonique’s life is changed forever when she stumbles across Cain Reed on a dark, lonely New York street. With a single bite, she’s given immortality and shown unimaginable pleasure. But before she can explore eternal love his betrayal tears them apart.

One hundred years later, Cain is back to save her from a dark enemy. Rafael, the depraved leader of The Dominion, will stop at nothing to settle an ancient score between him and Cain. Caught in the middle, Diamonique will need to swallow her pride and rely on Cain if she’s to survive. But is she handing her trust over to the right immortal or is she merely trading one evil for another?

The music changed once again, the tempo faster, the romantic tune gone, but the mood was still there. She was still as edgy, still as ready, and the stranger was still standing in front of her, staring at her, waiting for her to surrender.

Diamonique glided a step closer, bringing their bodies into contact. She could smell his natural masculine scent. For the first time, she realized what it was about a man that made women lose their heads. That smell, that all too enthralling maleness. It made her long to run her tongue over his beautiful full lips.

Rising up on her tiptoes, she took a taste. Initiating the first contact gave her a sense of feminine power. He kept his hands at his sides, as if not sure how to respond. As her fingers went to his hair, his arms closed around her in a tight embrace. Diamonique grabbed handfuls of dark silk and pressed her lips to his, she was eager to taste him. She coaxed his lips apart with her tongue and delved inside. She angled her head, deepening the kiss and felt the sudden change in him. He’d had enough of standing and doing nothing. When she was ready to pull back, the room spun. She’d gone too long without blood. Her cells were shriveling with each second that passed, her mind turned to mush, as she tried to concentrate on the male in her arms. She wanted to kick herself for using her power of flight when she was already so weak. It made her vulnerable. Not since Cain had she felt this way.

Diamonique longed to feel this man succumb to her lips at his throat. She used her voice like a weapon, softly luring him outside, away from the revelry. To her shock, he smiled and took her by the hand as if unaffected by the hypnotic notes. Suddenly, he was the one in control as he steered her down the alley behind the nightclub, beyond the eyes of the curious.

She tuned out the smells, the stench of the trash that hugged every crevice and seemed to cling to her skin like a sickening glove. She frowned as she tried to concentrate, but all she received for her efforts was a headache and no answer as to why she was letting him take the lead.

Shaking off her lethargy, Diamonique moved in front of him and let him look his fill, allowed his eyes to travel the length of her body. His gaze took in the flow of the silky dress, breasts that threatened to spill out of the scoop neckline, and the black spiked heels encrusted with the diamonds that were her namesake. He watched as she moved her legs apart and let the silk fall away from one calf, the slit reaching clear to her waistline. His eyes heated instantly. His heart beat loud in her ears, his blood pumping hard.

Beckoning her to drink.

Pleading for Diamonique to sate herself with this stranger.

She lifted her hand to the back of his neck and pulled him down, then silently slipped inside his mind, reading his thoughts easily. He was a flurry of sexual lust. He ached to sink his heavy length inside her body. Nothing seemed to matter to him except the swell of hip that protruded from the open dress.

Diamonique felt his hands there, even as her teeth scored his soft skin. His musky male scent bombarded her senses, as she tasted his sweet blood. Only once before had she tasted such nectar. Before she could explore the remembrance, his strong capable hands massaged the junction of her thighs. Her tongue continued to tease the blood from his willing veins, each in their own way fulfilling their lust. She let the moment drag out, longer than ever before. She loved his strong, capable hands massaging where she needed him the most. Even as her tongue continued to lap sweet sustenance, Diamonique felt her own climax mounting.

Then he spoke.

“My beautiful, Diamond, I thought I’d lost you forever.”

That voice! Warm velvet skimmed the length of Diamonique’s body. Every muscle went rigid with disbelief.

It was Cain!

The one who’d turned her into this monster of the dark.

She wrenched out of his arms.

“You were projecting false thoughts,” she accused, “so I wouldn’t know it was you.”

She readied herself for battle. But he only stood there, eyes full of laughter as if mocking her. His grin triggered Diamonique’s rage as his gaze traveled over her body with a possessiveness he had no right to.

Her blood craving withered.
Well, what'd you think???

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Famous movie quotes

Thought I'd try something different today and talk about famous movie quotes. You know what I'm talking about? Those quotes that you hear and you know exactly what movie they're from. Sometimes all you have to do is hear half the quote and you know exactly what the person is going to say. And sometimes we even use those quotes in our everyday lives. "I'll be back" my family and I tease each other with that famous Terminator line all the time. Of course we use the "Arnold" voice too. Can't say "I'll be back" without it. Another one of my favorites is "You had me at hello" or "You complete me". I'm not a big Tom fan but loved it when he said that to Renee. Those two lines will forever be in my memory. Oh, and who can forget, "Nobody puts Baby in the corner". *Swoon* Patrick was so hot in that movie. Loved it when he came and grabbed Baby and jerked her out of the corner and brought her up on the stage. His respect for her showed so clearly in that one line. One of my favorites, and I agree with Helen Hunt on this one, its one of the best compliments I've ever heard is, "You make me want to be a better man" from As Good as it Gets. Can you imagine having some guy say that to you? Again, *swoon*. Of course we can't forget one of the most famous of all times, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn". I'm going to let you in on a little secret, I've never actually seen the movie but I know the line that's for sure!

I love quotes like this. Just one line that brings a scene alive in your head. I remember what I felt like when Johnny walked up to Baby and said that. My heart accelerated. Butterflies danced in my belly. I remember that scene perfectly and that one line makes makes the image bloom in my mind every time I hear it.

Do you like quotes? Have any favorite movie quotes that make you smile, make you laugh, that makes your heart feel good? What about quotes from a book? Is there a line from one of your favorite books that the hero or heroine say to each other that makes you swoon?

***Also, if any Wonder Women did anything special for themselves since last Wednesday please list it in the comments section too :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Saddle Up for a Ride with a Cowboy

Wanna man with a slow hand? Wanna lover with an easy touch? Snicker. Sorry, had to steal the lines from a song here because this one always makes me think about cowboys. Maybe it's because I'm from Texas and they're swarming around here, but I write a lot of cowboy stories. No, not the Rancher's Secret Baby kind, but the ultra hot, slow moving, long lovin' kind that make the ladies, hey, cowboy, let's go for a RIDE. So do you like cowboys and cowboy stories? What is it about a cowboy that makes him so appealing?

For many readers, the cowboy story will always be in fashion but I've been noticing a resurgence in these stories lately. They seem to be hitting the bestsellers lists with a number of publishers in big numbers. Maybe women like the idea of a plain talking man or maybe it's the way he wears that battered cowboy hat low over his forehead?

I've written several of these and I always love writing about them. Cowboys are rugged, down to earth men, who know how to treat a lady. One Dependable Man, Book One of The McBrides of Texas (first of a three-book series) is available in e-book and print at The Wild Rose Press under my OTHER name, Rita Thedford, and back last fall this publisher came up with a unique idea for a continuing storyline that was just too good to pass up. Wayback, Texas is the place where a cowboy falls in love every 8 seconds and I was priviledged to write the first book in the series. The authors have built the fictional town from the ground up filling it with colorful characters. Wayback is a small texas town whose only claim to fame is a rodeo that's held from March through October every year and when the visiting cowboys and cowgirls mix with the locals, the prairie dust flies. My story Hot Night at the Blue Bug Saloon told the story of Nash Logan, a cowboy with a lonely past, and Gina Ballew, a whole lotta woman. Several stories have since been released in the series and they are all just soooo good. Later this fall, The Wild Rose Press will release four stories in a print anthology called Wild Wayback Nights. My story will appear in this along with those by Cindy Spencer Pape, Judith Rochelle, and Sylvie Kaye.

The latest installment to the Wayback Texas series is by my friend Cindy Spencer Pape. Cindy writes for The Wild Rose Press, Total E Bound, and Ellora's Cave and everything she does is just yummy. So here's a little bit about her rockin' Wayback Story, All the Way Back.

All the Way Back
By Cindy Spencer Pape
A Wayback, Texas story
From The Wild Rose Press
Buy It Here

Blurb: Drew Lawson left Wayback for the army a long time ago. Now he’s back, a little older and a lot wiser, but the past still haunts him. Music teacher Annie Zykov had a crush on Drew when she was a kid, but what she feels for the man is something else entirely. With Annie’s help, can Drew come to grips with his past and learn to face the future? Is love what it takes to bring him All the Way Back?

Excerpt: (R-rated)
His movements were sure and graceful, in perfect time with the music. She closed her eyes and began to quietly hum along to the music.

“Why didn’t I ever know you could sing?” he asked. “You must be pretty good at it to teach it for a living.”

She shrugged against his chest. “I do okay—I’m no Gretchen Wilson, but I don’t usually send people screaming, either. I didn’t really start taking it seriously, though, until high school. When I was younger, it was just something I did at Sunday school, or singing along with the radio. I sure wouldn’t have tried to sing in front of my brother or his cute friends—I was trying to hang out with you guys—not be laughed at.”

“Were we that mean to you, Little Bit?” he asked with a warm chuckle that made his chest vibrate against her cheek. “Kids can be rotten to each other, but I’d hate to think we hurt you.”

“Nah. You didn’t have a mean bone in your body, Drew. I don’t believe you have it in you to deliberately hurt anyone.”

He stopped moving. His whole body stiffened, as if she’d just belted him with a cast iron pan. His hands tightened convulsively, then he inhaled a deep breath and slowly relaxed his muscles. “You’d be surprised, darlin’, what a man like me is capable of.”

Shit. He’d just come home from a freaking war zone. Of course he’d been required to hurt people. She’d said something wrong—way wrong—but she had no idea what to do about it. She just rubbed her cheek against his chest again and went back to humming along with the music. They didn’t speak again, but when the song ended and another one, Patsy Cline this time, started up, they just kept dancing.

Annie was glad he was holding her up, because being pressed this close against Drew’s chest was making her knees weak. His breath was warm against her ear. All that coiled muscle right under her fingertips made her want to find out what he felt like without any clothing between them. She was glad she’d worn a denim skirt instead of jeans so the wetness between her legs didn’t show. Bad enough that her snug T-shirt would probably show off her hardened nipples as soon as she moved away from Drew’s chest.

Stoic as he seemed, Drew wasn’t unaffected either. Annie could feel the firm press of his erection against her stomach as they danced. It had grown noticeably since they’d started, and that made her even hotter. What was it about this man that made her want to jump him when, really, they’d only just met—as adults at least? Was it her childhood crush coming back to haunt her? Her grandmother’s second sight? Or just the chemical reaction between two physically compatible adults? Annie wasn’t sure, but she was very much inclined to find out.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Routines and Summertime

Okay, since so many kids are out of school, I thought this would be a good time to talk about routines for the stay-home mom and writer.

*sips coffee* My routine is pretty set during the school year. I’m the type of person who needs a schedule or I get off track, then pretty soon I’m lollygagging. I wake up every morning at 6am. The first thing I do is roll my lazy butt out of bed and nudge my oldest daughter awake. I get her breakfast, then I’m off to the dark, dreary laundry room to iron my husband’s work clothes while he showers. The kitten plays with the dangling ironing cord and usually by the time I’m finished with his shirt, I’m smiling over her silly antics. Once the clothes are pressed, I take them to him and push my daughter off the couch so she can start the hour long process of making herself more beautiful than she already is. The number one rule in my house: get everything (clothes, shoes, bookbag) ready the night before! This way we aren’t scrambling around searching for a missing shoe or an important homework assignment. Usually, by the time the dogs have been let out to potty and the coffee is on, I’m able to get myself dressed and now I’m allowed to kick up the computer. I check email while I’m making lunches. Once my daughter is ready, lunches are done, and my husband is out the door (with a kiss and a smack on the ass, lol) I take my oldest to school. Once I’m back from that it’s usually about 7:30am and I have a few minutes to answer some emails and eat a quick breakfast.

Then I wake my second daughter at 8am. The routine starts all over again. After I get her to school, I can really start my day. I write from about 9:30am until 1:30pm with the T.V. on in the background. I can’t do anything when it’s dead silent. Drives me nuts. Comes from growing up in a rowdy family I think. Noise to me says ‘comfort’.

At 1:30 I stop, save whatever I’ve managed to work on, get myself ready, let the dogs out again to potty, and go pick the kids up from school. The rest of the day is spent doing homework, chores, errands, etc. I’m lucky to get back to the computer after the kids are home. Usually we’re too busy with...stuff. At around 4:30 my husband calls and we chat on the phone for awhile (he’s got a long boring ride home, so that’s usually our time to catch up on each other’s day).

From 6:30pm on, it’s dinner, showers, getting ready for the next day, then whatever show we can’t live without. Weekends for me are a hit or miss. Sometimes, I can get some writing done, or at least some editing. Most times, if I get to the computer on the weekends, I’m researching or doing other things that are boring but necessary.

What's my summertime routine. Chaos. Yep, that about sums it up. LOL I actually thought that once the kids got a little older (14, 12) I'd have more time. *snort* Not! Between wanting to go to the mall, the movies, swimming, hiking, I'm forever driving them or trying to keep them from being bored out of their minds. I have been getting lots of writing done, but it's spread out throughout the day and it's making me feel like a slacker. I need order or I go a little nuts. This summer I've tried to do things a little different though. I'm letting the kids sleep in later, and I'm taking more time away from the computer. They grow up so fast and I want to make every minute count. They won't be young forever! One of these days they won't want mom around. I need to take advantage of the fact they actually want to spend time with me, right?

So all you moms out there (working and stay-home), what's your summertime schedule? Do you find it difficult to keep your kids entertained and out of trouble? Do you adhere to a routine or do you just let the day flow?

Writer moms, do you write during the day or are you more creative at night? Do you try to get the writing in while everyone is in bed? What's your summertime secret?

Tell me, because inquiring minds wanna know! :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's getting hot in here!

Hotties for you to enjoy this fine Sunday morning....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mission accomplished!

I just finished my book The Art of Love today. I love the feeling of finishing a book. I get this true feeling of accomplishment that lasts for days. I always feel proud of myself, and happy that I gave two more people their happily ever after. I ignore the fact that these people only exist in my head and on paper, to me they are real and their lives are just beginning together. This feeling is like a high for me. I finally realize that all my sweat and tears have been for a reason. The hours upon hours, and some times months and months of hard work, is accomplished and I have this new manuscript in my hands to show for it. No better feeling in the world. I don't find myself getting sad when I finish a book. I'll miss the characters but I know they're okay now. And I know I can always go and pick up the book if I want to revisit them. That is a big one for me, my characters become like friends to me. I think that's why I love giving them their happily ever after so much.

I'm like that when it comes to other aspects of my life as well. Like everyone, I'm sure, I love knowing that my hard work was worth it. I love knowing that I finished what I started. What I really want to do is come up with a kind of celebration I can have each time I finish a book. Even if its just a drink with my hubby that night. Hmm, maybe I should give that a try.

For you writers out there are you like me? Do you really enjoy the feeling of finishing a book or does it kind of make you sad to know this couple's story is over for you?

If you're not a writer, what accomplishment always makes you feel really giddy?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Desiree Holt: One Hot Texas Chick!

Yes, she IS one hot Texas chick and I know that because I live in Texas, too, and it's hotter'n'hell around here this summer. LOL. But I know something else, too. Desiree is one of the hottest authors of erotic romance around today and I'm so proud to say she's one of my BFF's. We both write for Ellora's Cave and are FROGS. It's sort of a sorority except we don't get to hit any frat parties.

Anyway, I asked Desiree to come by to celebrate this week's release of Line of Sight at Ellora's Cave and since we're such good friends, she had to say YESSSS! I don't have to tell you she writes erotic contemporaries, majorly smokin' cowboy tales, or kickass romantic suspense. She's known for those genres after all. Line of Sight is a bit different for her though. It's her first shifter story and you guys KNOW how much I love shifters. But before I get on with the questions for this talented author and one of the funniest women I know, I have a wee surprise for Desiree and I KNOW you won't mind if I just share this with ya'll.

One of the big benefits of friendship is knowing that Christian Bale is one of Desiree's all-time favorite hunks. So here you go, honey. Happy Release! Try not to drool on your keyboard, darlin'.

Now that we've had a yummy pic, lets talk about a yummy story....Line of Sight

Questions for Desiree:

Tell us a little about yourself. Where you live, things you like to do (besides write, of course) and what is your idea of a perfect day?

I live in the Hill Country on six gorgeous acres surrounded by the hottest cowboys you can imagine. I love visiting the ranches around here to gather information-the people are great. We visit the wineries around us a lot because we collect Texas wines. Try them. They’re fabulous. I even put one of them in a couple of my books. My secret passion is Steven Seagal movies. I wish I could put him in one of my books.

You write the hottest of the hot in romance fiction. We know you write a lot of romantic suspense, craft a great cowboy story, write a great contemporary tale, and now you’re delving into paranormal. What is you favorite genre? What type of story really rings your bells? Both as a reader and a writer.

Actually I love all genres except horror. Lately my favorite is paranormal and I’ve found a way to combine all the others with it. Most of all it has to be a romance, with a HEA or at the very least, a HFN. I love cowboys and use them cross genre-contemporary, suspense, paranormal, erotic romance. They are so alphas. Next comes the military men, present or former. I am married to the most alpha of alphas but with an understanding heart. Doesn’t get much better than that. I’m beginning to get more and more into the paranormal-shapeshifters, psychic gifts, dreams. Mostly my heroes will still be military or cowboys – imagine doing all those things I write about with the man in the Stetson or the aviator shades! - and my full lengths will always have the element of suspense. Kind of a convoluted answer, I guess, but it’s where my head is at right now.

Lots of us have issues with family over what we write. How did you tell your family and what was their reaction?

Actually, my husband was the one who first encouraged me to try my hand at erotic fiction. I chose a pen name because I didn’t want my kids to have top hide every time the name came up. Amazingly enough, they are my biggest cheering section. They might not read my stuff but the promote it. My daughter is a real estate sales manager in Florida for two very proper British brothers, but they love flashing what they call “the Desiree Holt porn pens”. And when I was struggling to come up with a fresh idea for the OW/YM I’m writing now, my son actually gave me the idea. They just think the whole thing is a big hoot.

Line of Sight, your brand new Ellora’s Cave release, is your first shifter story. Why did you decide to do a shifter at this point and did you enjoy writing it? Will you do more?

I love wolves. Always have. Karen Whiddon, a very talented author, first introduced me to shifters in her Wolf Pack series and I’ve read every one of Kate Douglas’s Wolf Tales. I was a goner after that. I’ve studied wolves and they are such mysterious creatures. The concept of shifting fascinates so I felt compelled to try my hand at it. I absolutely loved writing it. I had the whole thing plotted out in my head before I wrote the first word. And yes, I hope this one sells well because I’d like to do a series.

Tell us a little about the book. Is there possibly a sequel here?

This is the story of Alexa Morgan, a shapeshifter expelled from her pack because she wouldn‘t marry the man the alpha chose for her. She’s moved hundreds of miles away and leads a pretty solitary life. Against her better instincts, she falls for Jesse Farrell, the hunky cop next door. When he’s injured on the job, she decides she has to protect him by following him at night in her wolf form. Always keeping him in her “line of sight.” But what will happen, she worries, if Jesse finds out her true nature? And yes, I hope to make a series out of it.

Do you start out with a basic idea and then just let it fly? Or are you more constructed with your writing? Do you plot and plan and make endless notes?

I am most definitely not a plotter. I always start with a basic idea and a clear image of my hero and heroine. Sometimes I just have a nugget, or sometimes, like with this one, the whole story unravels in my head and I just sit down and write it. I know from the beginning exactly where I’m going with it. About the only structures thing I do is a character outline sheet. I started it when my hero changed eye color three times in one story, and when all my heroines had auburn hair. Also I had a character from one story visit uninvited in another. I had a reader email me and ask me if I’d actually done all the things I write about. Don’t I wish! I told her if I dud all that, when would I write?

What is the best advice you could give a beginning writer.

Don’t ever give up and find a good critique group. I’d be nothing without the one in our chapter. They taught me how to write a saleable manuscript.

Who are you reading now?

Like my writing, I always have more than one thing going at a time. I just finished Lisa Kleypas’ Blue eyed Devil which is my recommendation for the year. Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Wolf Tales V by Kate Douglas. Heart of the Bear by cindy Spencer Pape(a don’t miss story) and Escape, by Robert K. Tananbaum. This last one is completely off the path from anything I write. It’s a legal/police thriller with a hint of romance, but I’ve read the whole series and love it.

Do you have some exciting projects waiting for everyone? What are you working on now?

I think all my projects are exciting, but of course I would, wouldn’t I? I’m finishing an OW/YM, then another shifter, then a full length (half done) with a Western sheriff as the hero, and a novella with a hunky cowboy who loves sex, is a great Dom, and the woman who loves him but is put off by his lifestyle. They have a wonderful time as he teaches her how fulfilling the D/s relationship can be.

Line of Sight

available now at Ellora's Cave Publishing

Buy It Here

An Excerpt:

The sound of the doorbell startled her. On tiptoe she peered through the peephole. She was stunned to see Jesse on her porch, dripping wet and shifting from one foot to the other.
She yanked the door open. “What’s wrong? It’s pouring rain. Why aren’t you inside?”
“Can I come in, please?”
“Oh, sure. Come on.” Yes, bring your fantastic body into my house.
“Sorry to bother you. I left my key on the counter this morning.” He raked his wet hair back from his forehead. “Stupid, stupid, stupid.”
Jesse always carried his car keys separately.
“In case I’m ever attacked,” he explained, “I don’t want anyone having a key to my house. I can keep an extra one of yours too, if you want.”
Another link to him she should have avoided.
“I’ll get it,” she told him now, “but come into the kitchen. You look like a drowned rat and you must be freezing. At least get that wet shirt off and let me make you some coffee.”
“I’ll drip all over your place,” he protested.
“Tile floors are easy to mop.” She took his hand. “Come on. I’d feel terrible if you got pneumonia and I could have prevented it.”
In the kitchen, she flipped the switch on the coffeemaker while he took off his shirt. Then she handed him a large towel from the stack in the laundry room.
“You look exhausted. Bad night?” Her heart pinched at the weary sight of him.
Jesse scrubbed a hand over his face. “Every night’s bad with the gangs. We’ve got a couple of new ones out there ramping up their so-called initiation requirements. That makes it pretty tense on the streets.”
He was a member of the sheriff’s gang task force, a thankless and dangerous job. On the night streets, he was a shadowy figure in jeans and t-shirt looking to stop trouble before it started. Even in a county as small as Palmetto, gangs were a big problem, many of them migrating south from Tampa.
She’d taken to waiting up for him, reassuring herself that once again he was home safely. If only she could find a way to protect him. Well, there was one if she transformed. But she had no idea how he’d feel about a giant redwolf following him around the county.
She ran a critical eye over him, noting his soaked jeans and pulled out another towel. “You’d better take off the rest of those clothes and let me put everything in the dryer. Coffee should be ready in a minute.”
“I’m all right, Alexa. Honest. I just need to get some sleep.”

How about in my bed?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Fashion Industry & Our Teens!

As I browse the magazines and the internet I get really sick of seeing all the underweight models. It’s annoying to see so many size Os. I mean, what is that?! As a mother of two young girls I see how much these ads influence them. Moms, whether you like to think about it or not, young girls are looking at those pictures and they’re wondering why they don’t look the same. They’re staring at themselves in the mirror and seeing bulges, instead of beauty. It makes me so damn angry!
I do believe that the fashion industry has a responsibility to our teens. I do think they should be held accountable! Did you know that 75% of normal weight women think they’re overweight? Did you know that two models died last year, and in both cases there was mention of their weight as being the direct cause? Since these two models’ death Milan has put guidelines into place regulating underweight models and since then the U.S. as well. But we need to do way more than a few guidelines!

On the same token, I read an article about the lack of black models. In one case, Naomi Campbell explains that at the Paris Haute Couture there was only one black model in all the shows. To me that’s ridiculous. I want to know why? What reason can they possibly have for not mixing it up? Are they so stupid as to think that black women aren’t beautiful? I was surprised to read this myself. I don’t understand the racial issues. I guess I thought we were beyond all that idiocy, but it would seem not. I applaud Naomi for striving to make a difference!

My plea. Bring out normal women for crying out loud! We want to see all races and all sizes on the damn runway! After all, normal women are going to the be the ones buying these overpriced clothes! Besides, I want my daughters to see that not all women have to be white and wear a size 0 in order to be considered beautiful!! If they can’t showcase women in the proper light, then put the freaking camera down!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Calling all wonder women

I've been asking myself this a lot lately, how do we as mothers, wives, writers or whatever we do for a living manage to do it all everyday? It seems every time I turn around I have something else added to my plate lately. I have two upcoming deadlines in the next two months, just finished edits on a novel, I have a four year old, a seven month old, a puppy, and a husband who sometimes acts like my fourth child (the puppy being my third), LOL. Now don't get me wrong I know how lucky I am to have two beautiful little girls and to be lucky enough to do what I love but still...some days I feel like I could pull my hair out. Dishes to wash, meals to cook, lunches to pack, laundry, diapers, ballet classes for my daughter, play dates, puppy training, the list goes on and on and I haven't even factored writing, promo, editing or anything like that in. The amazing part is no matter how much gets piled on our plates we always get it done. I really think that all women should hold the title of wonder woman. Some of us work outside the home and run our home. We take care of our family often times forgetting to take care of ourselves in the process. The other day on a friends blog she asked what we've done to treat ourselves. Bought a new purse? Took the weekend off? Got your hair done? The sad part is I couldn't think of a single thing. NOTHING. Yes, I buy books but we're talking something special, something out of the ordinary. I can remember the sweet little things I've done for my husband, the toys I bought for my kiddos but for me? Nada. That made me a little sad. Not saying I need to go splurge on myself all the time but I think we wonder women work so hard for everyone else that we sometimes just totally forget about ourselves.

So I have three purposes for my post today. First I want to know how you do it? Leave me a comment and tell us how you get it all done. Are you a schedule person or a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants I-have-no-idea-how-I-get-it-done kind of person.

Second, let's give props to our fellow wonder women. If you have a friend who just amazes you, who just seems to do it all and you have no idea how, give them props here today.

Third, do something good for yourself! No matter how big or small, do something for YOU. Next Wednesday I'm going to do a follow up and I want to hear what all you wonder women did for yourself. I'll draw one winner next week from everyone who did something special for themselves and you'll get a free download of my novella, The Emperor--Trenton's Terms.

My props for today goes to ALL the wonder women out there but especially to my friend Tonya. She has three girls of her own, took in a special needs foster boy, recently let her teenage daughter who lived in a bad home move in with them. She runs around bringing kids to track, swim, gymnastics, or whatever activity they happen to be in at the time. Travels two hours each way once a week to bring her foster boy to special doctors appointments, the list goes on. She does all this and still has time for her friends. She's my beta reader and runs around to all my blogs, yahoo groups or whatever I have going on to support me. Tonya, you go girl!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

She did WHAT????

A few days ago we had a nice little rant about what completely ticks us off in the books we read. Mine was reading work from authors who don't do a lick of research when it comes to dressing her characters. It totally takes me out of the story to see a heroine wearing rollers to bed, caftans, and frumpy-dumpy shoes. Sorry! It's just a THING with me.

Now I'm at it again with my take on heroines. They are the women we want to LOVE but end up just wanting to smack em. Oh, you know the ones I'm talking about. These are the ladies who quibble about their feelings for the hero and "do I TRRRUUUUSSSSTTT him?" while in the midst of wild hot monkey sex with the man she might not trust. Gimme a break. If a woman really had serious doubts about the hero would she really participate in a sex-a-thon with him?

Then there are the weepy damsels...eye roll here. They cry over everything through the entire book. Do we have any respect for a woman who can't face life head-on without falling apart? I've had a crying scene or two in my books because, yes, real women cry and feel things deeply but there comes a point where my heroine will pull herself up by her panty hose and face life, take charge, and reach for what she wants. She'll bravely face-off with a bully or protect a child from harm. Those are REAL heroines and I might say, more fairly represent REAL women. It's been my experience that women are the glue that holds the world together. They are the emotional backbones of their families, true to their friends, and are the cream that rises to the top in times of crisis. Most of us are women like that or know women like that.

Ninja warrior women. Oh puhleez. Don't get me started! What is wrong with a woman showing her strength through intellect, common sense, and wit? Does she really have to wear black leather, be trained in the martial arts, and kick ass with the boys? Maybe there are women who can identify with that kind of heroine but I'm not one of them.

What do you like to see in a heroine? Some of my favorites were crafted by Amanda Quick (aka Jayne Ann Krentz). In these bright, witty historicals, her heroines are always deeply interested in some endevour, hobby, or profession. They were women who had struggles and challenges in life and the never bitched about it. Most often they were underestimated by the men in their lives. But when push came to shove, these women solved the problem by remaining true to themselves and displaying a wit and intelligence that saves the day. Wow...what a woman!

On an aside note, I recently got a five blue ribbon review from Romance Junkies for Tempting Tess, my May Ellora's Cave release. Check it out here

Monday, July 14, 2008

Welcome author Anny Cook!

Click the gorgeous cover to the left to find out all about Anny Cook's Current release!

Click the cover to the right to learn all about her upcoming release! (July 18th)

Hi Anny,
Welcome to the Three Wicked Writers blog. I just spent some time on your website and read a few of your excerpts. Wow, you have a lot of books published! You write a range of things too I see. From fantasy to shape-shifters to tri-marriages. I’m interested in how you came to write so many different things and did you always have a love of paranormal?

ANNY: July 12th was the one year anniversary for the first book I wrote, Dancer’s Delight! It is the first book in the Mystic Valley series. Sure doesn’t seem like it’s only been a year. When I submitted it, I had no plans to write anything other than a possible sequel. And actually, that second book, Traveller’s Refuge was nearly complete when I was offered a contract for Dancer’s Delight.

As soon as I submitted the second one, an idea for a trilogy set in Camelot came to me. That turned into a series called the Flowers of Camelot.

As for paranormal… I didn’t realize that was what I was writing. When I queried my editor about that she sent back a two word answer—blue people. The natives of Mystic Valley are blue, with pointed ears, little fangs. When I wrote it, I wasn’t thinking paranormal. Heh.

TWW: Let’s talk a little bit about your latest release. Tell the readers the basic idea.

ANNY: My latest release was Daffodil, the third book in the Flowers of Camelot series. The first three books, Chrysanthemum, Honeysuckle, and Daffodil are about three sisters who go to Camelot in search of husbands. Daffodil, the youngest sister was perfectly happy to stay at home with her lover, Raulf the butler, but her father insisted that she could do better at Camelot.

I must say that this is not your grandmother’s Camelot. For one thing it’s on the planet Avalon where the men are horny and the women are…horny but faithful. There are dragons and unicorns and faeries and giants. The books are very close to satires of all the fairytale/Arthurian legends readers are familiar with. I had a lot of fun writing the Flowers series. The fourth in this series, Magnolia, will be released in December.

TWW: I see you have Kama Sutra Lovers coming out on July 18th. I read the blurb and excerpt and I can easily say you have a very unique idea here! What made you want to write about a tri-marriage?

ANNY: I love the idea of a ménage, but for me it has to be a permanent relationship—not a one shot deal. Initially, when I was tossing around ideas for this book, it was a couple, Arik and Giosetta. But Hart just absolutely wanted to be part of it so then the premise of the book changed just a bit. I really love this trio. I love how they pulled together and worked to make a lasting relationship.

TWW: You have at least three series going right now, how do you keep it all straight and do you write one series at a time?

ANNY: Actually, I alternate series as much as possible. For one thing, there are certain readers who like one series and other readers who like another series. So to be fair, I try to alternate so that everyone has something to look forward to.

As for keeping the characters, stories, worlds, etc., straight, well that’s what a series bible is for. I have notebooks with research information, maps, character lists, glossaries, clothing sketches, recipes, laws, monetary systems, and probably tons of other things…family trees, character descriptions, animal descriptions… Since I invent my worlds from scratch, the devil is in the details. They all need to be written down somewhere. That’s what we call a bible.

TWW: Describe your writing style in one sentence so the readers will know what they’re getting when they pick up an Anny Cook book.

ANNY: My writing style is distinctive, unusual, offbeat, humorous, sexy, and loving.

TWW: Readers always want to know, or get a peek at, a writer’s work in progress. So, what are you working on now?

ANNY: Wow! At the moment I have several works in progress, but four main projects: (all titles tentative) Forbidden Hearts, book two of the Angels/shifter series; Tracer’s Melody, book six of the Mystic Valley series; Dragon Lady, a standalone ménage about a dragon, tiger, and alien; and Soul Survivors, another standalone romance about a couple who are sent back in time when their plane crashes.

I recently contracted Love Never-ending, book five of the Mystic Valley series and Magnolia, book four of the Flowers of Camelot.

TWW: Congrats on your latest contract! Okay, last question, swear! LOL Is there a genre you have no desire to write? Why?

ANNY: Oh, there are probably a couple—BDSM and/or historical. The main reason is the amount of research required to do them right. For the time travel story I’m working on, I would say that I’ve probably put in a couple hundred hours of research so far. For a true historical I think it would be so much more. Also, my voice is so distinctive that I think I would have a very hard time subduing it for a historical. BDSM is such a complicated, layered genre that I don’t feel like I could do it justice though my characters occasionally play around with a little bondage light.

TWW: Thanks so much for visiting us! We’re thrilled to have you guest blog!

Thank you so much for having me as your guest. I’ve been very excited about this all week!
You can find Anny Cook at the following locations. or

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lazy Sunday

We're taking the day off to have a lazy Sunday today. We wanted go give you a hottie to hold you over until we're back tomorrow with more Wicked conversation!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Is romance dead?

I have to admit I'm a romantic at heart. I cry in romance movies, my heartbeat accelerates, I feel the joy, fear, and love right along with characters that I read, write or watch on television. If someone asks me to the movies the first movie I'm going to want to see will be a romance. I love chatting with friends about their love lives, my heart melts when I read a really sweet line in a book, hear it in a movie, or hear about a romantic story in real life. I live and breath romance and love. I guess that's part of the reason I ended up becoming a romance author. I love romance heroes because they're smart, strong, masculine yet still caring, protective, confident and always intent on giving their woman the pleasure they need in the bedroom. Some open doors for women and pay for their meals on a date. They respect them even though they aren't always perfect by any means of the word. Romance can be strong, masculine, confident and still sweet and romantic. These heroes we write prove that but I fear they're in the minority. Now I'm not man-hating in the least. I have the utmost respect for men. I'm one of those lucky women who have a wonderful husband who wants nothing more than to provide love and security for his family. He's a hard worker, sweet and can even be romantic when he wants to. Not on an everyday basis but then I wouldn't want that. Showing that romantic streak for no reason at all makes it all the more meaningful. I wonder though, is my husband in the minority like our romance heroes? In real life is romance dead? Are we teaching our sons how to respect, love and care for our women? On the flip side are we teaching our daughters the same thing? It is a two way street after all. I just wish I saw more romance in the world around me. I wish I saw 25 year old men opening doors for women. I do. Maybe I'm old fashion. Maybe I'm not caught up on what women nowadays want. For me a man opening the door for me, paying for my meal anything like that isn't taking away from my strength as a woman, is just a man showing respect or being romantic. I'm curious how everyone else feels about this. Do you think romance is dead? As women do you want a man to hold open a door for you or does that bother you? Do any of you have any romantic stories that happened to you to show us that romance is alive and well in our real lives? Open up. I'd love to hear what everyone thinks.

Look out! It's the FASHION POLICE!!!!

Yep. Slap the fuzzy pink cuffs on the author who just made her heroine look like a blooming idiot. Call the fashion police! Lock em up in solitary with a television and current copies of Vogue and Architechtural digest, please.

As a writer I know people have different tastes in things and I can be somewhat forgiving about hairstyles that I personally think are DUMB or shoes that are oh-so-yesterday, but do it a lot and you'll lose me. Yes. I'll shut the book and never buy your work again. Because I'm a snob? No, I don't think so. I just believe that an author owes her readers a little research and effort. That's all. I don't want the beautiful to-die-for gorgeous heroine wearing her hair like Farrah Fawcett from the 1970's. I don't want her wearing crocheted vests or sensible skirts of polyester blend. BLEH! We want our heroines wearing something young and dowdy duds please.

Same with the guys. Nothing is worse than reading about a CEO hero who is a multi-bazillionaire and he's wearing something completely goofy. Does that bug you guys? Ah, man. It's my biggest pet peeve EVER. So writers? If you live in a cave (as I confess I DO) please come out of your hidey-hole long enough to look at the television a bit. Pick up a current fashion mag or, for heaven's sake, call up a fashionable friend for advice.

I think I might have mentioned this before but there is an author of paranormal work that I just LOVE but she has no clue...NONE about how to dress her characters. They seem to almost have stepped out of a comic book. I love her stories. She's a fabulous writer with a huge fan base but DAMN! I continued to buy her work despite this little "fashion problem" and just kind of re-dressed everyone in my mind. It's a tiring thing, let me tell ya. Finally, her books were so full of sex sans plot that the heroine and male characters were pretty much naked all the time so that worked for me.

Nothing tells me the age of a writer more than the way she dresses her characters. Now, don't get me wrong, there are plenty of writers "of a certain age" who've got it all going on. They don't miss a trick with fashion, decorating or ANYTHING but others? Well, when we read about frumpy styles we know two things. One: she probably wore those things herself when she was in her 20's and 30's and TWO: we've just figured out she doesn't believe in research.

Sorry if this sounds harsh but nothing takes me out of a story faster than permed hair, shag carpet, or rollers in hair that is slathered with Dippity Do. Need I say more?

So is it just me? Does this bug the hell out of anyone else? If not, what DOES bother you when you're reading a story? Is it the wimpy heroine who cries at the drop of a hat (and does this throughout the entire book)? Is it the wicked, evil mother? Aren't mothers NICE any more? Or is it the fact there is a severe shortage of female characters who are actually friends? Yep. That bothers me lots since I like to think of women as supportive and caring about each other and not evil, vindictive, bitches.

Okay. I've let it all out. I feel MUCH better now. How about you? Wanna vent? What ticks you off the most? Tell Mother Regina your troubles. Confession is good for the soul.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Something Wicked, Something Immortal

I’m doing something a little different today. I want to talk about paranormal. Dark, Immortal, and sensual. I recently read Erin McCarthy’s, My Immortal. As expected it was fantastic.

I give her5 wicked hearts for the first book in her Seven Deadly Sins series. Ms. McCarthy proves she can weave a damn fine story, no matter the sub-genre. She hooked me with her wit in The Pregnancy Test, but now I’m completely her slave.

Damien is the ultimate tortured hero. He has a past that you wouldn’t imagine. You’ll hate him, love him, hate him, then crave him. He’s deliciously bad and everything I ache for in a hero. Have you read this book yet? Have I convinced you yet? Well, take a second and read the blurb and excerpt, then come back and tell me you aren’t going to run out and buy this story!

Paranormal authors have something that no other author has, a right to write it the way they see it. Sometimes that can make a contemporary or historical author envious. We have to conform to certain rules. Reality has to be ever present when you write and that can be somewhat limiting at times. Well, I discovered when I wrote A Diamond at Midnight that it’s damned exciting to step into the dark world of immortals. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t nearly as easy as I thought it would be. Not by a long shot! You basically have to come up with your own world, then you have to be sure stick to the rules of that world. As in Christine Feehan’s Carpathian series, they aren’t the same as humans, so they aren’t going to function in the same way. That can get confusing really fast for an author!

However, Ms McCarty intertwined the past, with the present and she did it was a dark flavor that I thoroughly enjoyed. She took Louisiana and gave it a new coat of paint, in my opinion. I felt like I was there, right along with Damien and Marley. I struggled with Marley as she dealt with her wild and impetuous sister. I despaired with Damien as he carried the shame of a past full of selfishness. I cried for that man’s struggle, I tell ya!

As I turned the last page and sighed, I felt sadness that I’d finished it. Stellar books like that just don’t come along every day. At least they don’t for me. Maybe I’m just that picky. Either way, I need to thank this gifted author for creating a story that breathed new life into the paranormal world. I’m already fixin’ to get Fallen. This is one series I plan to devour!

Bravo, Erin McCarthy, you have yet another winner!
So what is it about these paranormals that we love so much? I've gotten to the point where a regular romance just doesn't cut it anymore. I need that darker, more sensual story in order to feel satisfied. I guess I'm addicted. What about you?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Gimme a kiss!

There is nothing sexier than a really hot kiss. Watch these examples below if you aren't sold on how sexy a kiss can be.

Gives me chills watching these kisses. Holy smokes. A kiss can convey so many feelings, love, passion, attraction, happiness, the list goes on. They make your toes curl, give you a zing when you kiss the right person for the first time. They're the first level of intimacy that most people share and on some levels one of the deepest. A kiss can tell you how someone feels about you, can tell you if the chemistry is there between two people. Sexy, passionate lip locks are one of my very favorite scenes to read and write. There is nothing hotter than that first kiss or that first kiss once you know love is behind it.

What about you? Do you think its all in his kiss? Without too much detail *smile* what is your favorite sexy scene to read or write? Are you a kiss girl like me? It's all about the mouth where I'm concerned. Kisses and sexy bites. YUM!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Gimme Some of Those Silver Foxes!

Who needs a pretty boy when you can check out a Silver Fox? I belong to a group of writers who call themselves "frogs". We're kind of like a sorority but waaay BETTER. The other day some of us were talking about Silver Foxes. Those yummy over-forty men who make our blood heat and our pulses soar. These guys are downright HOT. As our society gets "older" maybe we have a better appreciation for these delicious guys. What is it about them that makes women of all ages daydream not about the current crop of "pretty boys" but about these men who seem to have it all together? I mean, really, who needs Brad and Johnnie when George is flashing that naughty, I've-got-a-delicious-secret smile?

Today it seems the world is geared toward youth. Starletts starve themselves to be in style and the tabloids are full of all the crazy-assed stuff they do, what they wear, how they live (or party). Between you and I, I'm sick of it. Why don't they grow up already? Same with the guys to a certain extent and yeah, there are some great looking younger celebs out there but I think something is missing.

Who says younger is better? I don't get it. Some of the most beautiful women and YES...MEN are over forty. Some are even in their 60's. Ummm. Tom Selleck anyone? The man has always been rugged and sexy and that remains unchanged today.

To me there is nothing sexier than a man who has it all together. No, he's not perfect by any means but what one of is IS? These are men who have gained wisdom, experience and manage it all it aplomb and a great sense of humor. They are growing older gracefully and doing it with style. Here are some of my favorite Silver Foxes. Do you have a favorite among them? Honestly, I had more pics but this post should only be soooo long, ya know? There's Hugh Grant...funny with that naughty smile. Tough but witty Bruce Willis...and who doesn't love a man who says...yeah, I'm bald. So what? Get over it! Do you love the sexy elegance of Pierce Brosnan? Who doesn't?

Surely, you have an opinion. Who's your favorite older guy? What is it about him that makes you sigh and, what a MAN!