Showing posts from 2015

A Very Authorly Holiday, or, The Card Quandary

For many of us, the holidays are joyful events, filled with friendly board games, embarrassing reminiscences, overdrawn bank accounts, and far too much cranberry sauce.

And holiday cards – we can never forget the holiday cards.
My fiancée is Jewish, I’m Agnostic, and our friends and family range from Wiccan to Atheist to Pentecostal. We’re an eclectic group, the people for whom folks popularized the bland, safe “happy holidays.” As a result, my fiancée and I purchased a variety of holiday cards: some celebrating Solstice, some the new year, some Hanukkah, and some just gratuitously representing adorable furry friends. One of my favorites features a picture of a certain, gentle giant of an aquatic mammal wishing “Happy holidays for all of humanatee!”
I love sending out holiday cards. I write a different message in each one, decorate the envelope with sparkly stickers (How does a glittery butterfly represent the holidays? Who cares?), and match each stamp with the addressee it best …

Thursday Threads: The Highlander's Reluctant Bride by Cathy MacRae

The Highlander’s Reluctant Bride,  Book 2 in The Highlander’s Bride series by Cathy MacRae
Genre: Historical Romance set in the Highlands of Scotland, 1377 Heat Scale: Sensual
Cover blurb: Determined to keep the Macrory clan’s holdings out of the clutches of the Lord of the Isles and marauding pirates, King Robert II sends his man, Lord Ranald Scott, to hold Scaurness Castle. There, Laird Macrory lays dying, awaiting word from his son who is missing on the battlefields of France. If the son is not found before the old laird dies, Ranald will take over as laird—and marry Laird Macrory’s headstrong daughter. Lady Caitriona sees no reason she cannot rule the clan in her brother’s stead, and is bitterly disappointed with the king’s decision to send a man to oversee the castle and people. Not only is Ranald Scott only distantly related to the Macrory clan, but he was her childhood nemesis. She has little trust or like for him. Her disappointment turns to panic when the king’s plan is completely re…

Transcribing Our Emotional Maps

In my third book of the “Hunted Series,” Hunted Dreams, my dreaming main character suddenly finds herself at a laden dinner table. She grabs a fork and digs in.  With each bite, she experiences an explosion of feeling, each one different than the one before: terror, disgust, and rage, to name a few.
This scene was one of the hardest ones I’ve ever written. I forced myself to describe in intense detail every sensation of each emotion: the taste and color of each feeling, the bodily sensations, the resulting thoughts and intentions. Doing so, I discovered something rather profound: describing feelings is tough!

You can imagine my delight when I stumbled across this study. It uses self-reports to determine where people physically experience feelings. Looking at the picture, I’m flabbergasted by how our bodies literally feel more or less, depending on our current emotional state. For example, I find fascinating how many feelings find a home in the chest. Whether this is inherent in humans o…

Autumnal Hibernation

So, you may have noticed my posts have been a bit sparse lately. Perhaps Elle is on tour, you’re undoubtedly thinking, hyping up her latest book. But alas, my friends, alas; such is not the case. After a summer of schlepping multiple times to Arizona, California, and Colorado, I’ve been content to snuggle into a calmer autumn. Since then, I’ve immersed myself in home things: some sick furkids, a wedding (for me, not for the cats), a new puppy, and other domestic thingies. All in all, I’m pulling inside my turtle shell and pulling the door closed behind me.
I miss waxing poetic about every social topic known to humanity. I do. And I’ll return soon. But since my posts right now would probably consist of the best ways to get the cat pee smell out of dog beds or whines about the cost of wedding DJs, it’s probably best that my rants come a bit less frequently right now.

For all those reading this, though, may your autumn sparkle. Big ol’ hugs to you all!

Thursday Threads: The Widow's Walk by Carole Ann Moleti

The Widow's Walk by Carole Ann Moleti Genre: Paranormal Romance Heat level: Sexy, Heat Level 3-4
(available in ebook and print)
Mike and Liz Keeny are newlyweds, new parents, and the proprietors of the Barrett Inn, an 1875 Victorian on Cape Cod, which just happens to be haunted. By their own ghosts. The Inn had become an annex of Purgatory, putting Mike, Liz, and their infant son in danger. Selling the historic seaside bed and breakfast was the only answer, one that Liz and her own tortured specter refused to consider. Were they doomed to follow the same path that led to disaster in their previous lives? Was getting out, getting away, enough?
Excerpt: “Look, for now, we’ll just stay where we are–together. If Liz and Mike are united, then Jared and Elisabeth aren’t going to be able to get in between us.” He brushed the tears off her cheeks. She stared at him intently, fear, maybe desperation in her eyes. “We ca…

Thursday Threads: "The Valentine's Proposal" by Tina Susedik

MY SEXY VALENTINE HOLIDAY ANTHOLOGY Featuring Tina Susedik’s Short Story, The Valentine’s Proposal
Other Contributing Anthology Authors: Cheryl Yeko, Sage Spelling, Lynn Cahoon, S.C. Mitchell, Char Chaffin 
Blurb for The Valentine’s Proposal: 
When a Valentine's Day proposal doesn't go the way she expected, librarian Janetta Simonson's life changes in ways she’s never dreamed.
BUY LINK:  My Sexy Valentine:

EXCERPT FROM The Valentine’s Proposal:
Devlin Baran followed the statuesque brunette as she stomped from the woman’s room and headed to the bar. His cock twitched as her hips swayed in tight jeans. Was the guy who dumped her crazy? To trade in this hot piece for the washed-out blonde? He’d noticed her the moment she’d walked into the building. Full breasts. Tapered waist. Not too thin. Tall. His body had reacted immediately. He liked his women tall. He’d been ready to join her when the jerk arriv…

Becoming Multilingual in the Love Languages

I just finished writing an uber-romantic scene. In it, my two love interests, who are still ostensibly at the friend stage, cuddle one another for reassurance while spilling deep, dark secrets. Oh. Em. Gee. It just couldn’t get any more passionate, could it? Actually, maybe it could. It occurred to me this morning that almost all of my romantic scenes involve, well, cuddling and secret sharing. And while it may be surprising — nay, shocking! — to imagine, not everyone expresses their love through talk and touch. Ever heard of those love language things? Cheesy, I know, but I find them useful tools for talking about the different ways we express and receive loving gestures. Basically, the concept says there exist five ways of showing peeps you love them: words of affirmation (verbal love, baby), acts of service (love as verb), receiving gifts (show me the stuff!), quality time (giving the gift of time and attention), and physical touch (affection through physicality). Oh, and because …

Thursday Threads: The Perfect Duke by Dawn Ireland

The Perfect Duke By Dawn Ireland
Genre: Historical Romance (Late Georgian Era) Heat Level: Sensual
Back Cover Blurb:
Known as The Marble Duke amongst the Ton, Garret Weston, the Duke of Kendal sets himself apart from his peers. Nothing will hinder his guilt-driven attempt to become a perfect duke.  Nothing that is, save the alluring and imaginative betrothed he’d thought dead. His intended believes-of all things-that she is a Vicar’s daughter. The “perfect” duke needs a “perfect” duchess, but how was he to discern her suitability? Employing her as a governess to his niece seemed like an ideal solution. But whose “suitability” is being tested? His betrothed refuses to see he is beyond redemption. And most grievous of all, she stirs his blood, making him forget what’s important. 

Cara believes fairy tales really can come true, until she meets the unrelenting and arrogant Duke of Kendal. He looks like a Prince, but acts like a Beast. Why must he challenge her at every turn? Her greatest peril i…

The Beauty of the Ordinary


The Sound of Writing

The hills are alive with the sound of… writing?
Much has been said about writers’ creepy Internet search histories, the music we blast while writing – heck, even whether we bother changing out of our jammies before jumping in front of the keyboard. The time has come to rip away the veil and expose yet another bizarre facet of the authorial experience: the truly weird noises we employ while writing.
After all, it’s not always easy to come up with words for all those items and events percolating in our creative noggins. If you’re like me, you’ve been known – perhaps well known – to gesture wildly, pace noisily near your desk, or repeatedly smack your palm against your chest, all in efforts to find The. Perfect. Word.
So, for example, someone standing outside my office might hear some of the following:
[Growling] “Kind of a rumble…” [Growl] “Maybe a snarl…”
“What’s that when you say it low, like [mumble, mumble]? Is that a mutter? A murmur? A throaty whisper?”
[Slapping arm with other hand] …

Thursday Threads: Pirates of the Dark Nebula by S.C. Mitchell

Pirates of the Dark Nebula S.C. Mitchell

Genre: Science Fiction Romance Heat Level: Sizzling Buy Link:
Blurb: It can’t fall into the wrong hands.

Luna Callista holds the key to a galaxy-changing new technology. Captured by a ruthless band of deep-space pirates, she’s rescued by a man filled with dark secrets of his own. Who is Rik Mazar?

Galactic protector or rogue pirate?

After three years undercover among the Brotherhood of the Dark Nebula, Rik Mazar isn’t sure what side of the law he’s walking. In a world of murder and betrayal, his life goes on the line every day. But, protecting Luna Callista means putting his heart in as much danger as his hide.
A rusting service droid, a Ferang fortuneteller, and a ship full of back-water refugees are their only allies, as two hearts go into orbit to save a galaxy in peril.

HEARTS IN ORBIT: VOLUME 2 – PIRATES OF THE DARK NEBULA is a science fiction romance set in the far-f…

Happily Ever After... Or Else


Thursday Threads: Play with My Heart by Meda White

Play With My Heart Meda White
Genre: Contemporary Romance Heat Level: Sweet to Sensual

Blurb: Southern musician and closet geek Liz Baker enjoys her quiet life. While in Los Angeles helping her brother with a house project, the simple life gets complicated when British television actor Ian Clarke walks into the picture.
Ian enjoys his celebrity status in Hollywood and is determined nothing and no one will get in the way of his plans for success on the big screen. He never counted on meeting a woman like Liz, but she’s the only one who can help him with a personal problem.
Forced into close quarters where priorities and cultures clash, an intense attraction catches them both by surprise. Secrets, old lovers and the paparazzi threaten their new dreams and a chance for love could be lost forever.
Play With My Heart is a finalist in the 2014 BTS Reader's Choice Red Carpet Awards in the Contemporary Category and a 2015 RONE Nominee in the Sweet Contemporary Category.

Tagline: Southern musician …

Thursday Threads: Fallen Redemption by R.B. Austin

Fallen Redemption  by R B Austin
Genre: Paranormal Romance Heat Level: Sizzling
Killing Fallen to save mankind is Cade’s redemption for murder and only one human—mouthwatering and absolutely forbidden—stands in his way.
Cade committed himself to saving lives before he learned the full consequences of his life-altering decision. It wasn’t until he was tending his sick wife that he learned the enormity of what he’d done and he was unable to save her from the monster he had become. Consumed with guilt and praying for absolution, he threw himself into killing every Fallen he could find to save the humans he’d sworn to protect. But then Emma, deliciously mortal and completely forbidden, swept into his world, stirring an overpowering desire. Now he’s not only fighting soulless creatures, but also his inner cravings, trying to maintain his distance and continue on his path to forgiveness. He won’t lose control again and lose another love.

The cut was small and not deep; it would stop b…