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31.5.11

Looking for a hot fantasy?

Tattooed rock stars, hot sun, temporary lovers...I put these three things together and come up with my latest release, Rock and Roll Fantasy.

My husband lived in Florida for a couple fishing seasons, so I have a lot of fun memories to work from. For this story in particular, I wanted to write something that was pure fun, a super sexy daydream.



About ROCK AND ROLL FANTASY

Karrie Nicols’ love life is in a slump, and needs release. Lucky for her, she’s hopped on a ferry with two rock stars from her favourite band, The Skull Kings.

When she finds herself tucked in a closet with Ram Nix, the lead singer, she begins to see that it isn’t just her love life that was in a slump. It was her whole attitude. But is an afternoon on the deck of a yacht with two demanding rock stars enough to send her life in a new direction?

27.5.11

Deadlines, Deadlines Everywhere!


I have to admit a terrible thing...I’m having trouble even forming the words. I didn’t mean to do it, which will hopefully help me to earn a reprieve, but it did still happen. Okay, here goes, during the process of writing my latest manuscript, I asked for an extension on the deadline. *Hangs head in shame*

I don’t know what happened, it just got away from me. It didn’t help that it ended up longer than I had originally intended, but that still should be no excuse. It is the same problem I have with several other stories, they take on a life of their own. When it comes to writing, my self-control disappears like a feather on the breeze.

Of course, I’m aware of all the things that I should be doing in order to complete the manuscript on time—synopsis, planning, time management—and I do utilise then, most of the time. Still, I find myself on a fine line and, in this case, completely beyond it!

Although I work with a fabulous editor who reassured me that I could put the hair shirt away, I still felt terrible. I don’t like being late for appointments and I don’t like handing things in late, whether I have permission to do so or not. It feels like failure.

It has a massive knock-on effect when you’re like me and consistently have several works in progress. Everything that comes after the late manuscript is also at risk, like traffic on a nightmare motorway. Never mind ‘water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink’. Let’s try ‘deadlines, deadlines everywhere, I don’t have time to think’.

There is a great deal of satisfaction to be had from actually finishing, it’s just the period immediately preceding that I had an issue with! This is the first time I’ve not managed to submit a manuscript on time, so maybe I’ve just given myself too much to do of late. Whatever, the reason, I haven’t got time to discuss it...I’ve got writing to do.

Shermaine
www.shermainewilliams.co.uk
www.shermainewilliams.wordpress.com

26.5.11

Why I Love Writing Sex

I adore writing sex scenes Unashamedly, unabashedly, and with a great big grin, I love writing sex.

I don’t get tired of sex words or having my characters end up in bed, tied to a table, bent over a spanking bench…well, you get the picture!

To me, erotic romance is all about the emotion and character development. As a result, each sexual encounter has meaning. It deepens trust, creates conflict, or reveals character.

In life, I crave peace and staying on the sidelines of drama. In fiction, I want to vicariously experience all the excitement, drama, thrill, fear of a new relationship. I want to worry about characters and see how the entire dynamic unfolds.

As my heroine learns to trust, to ask for what she wants and mentally, emotionally, physically go places she’s never been, she changes. She grows. She becomes more confident.

My hero (or heroes!), too, are changed by encounters with the heroine. They experience love, maybe for the first time. Through being with the heroine, thoroughly dominating her, they, too are changed—they grow, they learn more about themselves.

Through the extremes created in my BDSM scenes, each character is laid bare. For my heroines, being restrained takes a tremendous amount of trust. But the exhilaration of being with the right Dom, of having negotiated boundaries, of discussing a safe word, before taking off that last piece of clothing, requires a level of honesty that she’s never experienced before.

Each encounter with him challenges her and forces change. And nowhere is that more evident than in a sex scene.

Because of its contribution to conflict and the drama I read for, I say, viva la sex scene!

24.5.11

Sex Toy Joys!!

I remember the first time I walked into a sex toy shop. My boyfriend at the time knew I'd always wanted to see what scandalous goodies such an establishment held, but I'd never gotten up the nerve to push through the doors. I was excited, nervous and more than a little embarrassed when we went inside, certain confirmation of my closet freakiness was now a flashing neon sign on my forehead as we entered the store.

Imagine my surprise when no one turned to look at me. I couldn't believe no one looked outwardly freaky. I don't know what I expected...maybe a man stroking himself in one of the aisles or a couple getting it on with one of the display models. But no, it was just a regular store...well, minus the dildos, vibrating pussies and you get the idea.

I think my fascination with sex toys started right then and there.

I especially love glass toys as mentioned in my TEB Author Spotlight. Why? Glass toys can be warmed or cooled for varied erotic experiences. Glass toys don't absorb anything, if handled with care, they're impervious to damage and I think they're beautiful. Take a look and see if you agree.
Gorgeous, no?
So pretty!


A Beautiful Flower...perfect for every occasion!

I told my husband when the kids are grown and out of the house, I'd love to have a secret room that simply showcased all of my glass toys. Complete with black velvet mounts to display each erotic sculpture and spotlights for dramatic lighting!

I think there's still an unspoken stigma when it comes to talking freely about using sex toys, but times are changing. Women are having sex toy parties now and you can window shop anonymously until your heart's content thanks to the World Wide Web. Sex toys, when used properly, can add another level of intimacy and sexual intensity!

I like incorporating them in my work for my characters to explore and enjoy, like in my latest release, Doll. Rena gets to use a glass dildo, anal beads, Ben Wa balls, nipple chains, a pussy pump and a sex swing! I know...lucky girl, right?

No? Well, maybe that's too many toys for you, that doesn't mean you won't enjoy reading about them! You might be surprised what turns you on as you flip those pages! Sex toys can add new sensations and delights to be enjoyed alone, with a partner or pump up the thrills while reading an erotic book!

Until next time...

Love & Laughter,

Nichelle
www.nichellegregory.com

22.5.11

Bring in the Laughter

Today, Ayla Ruse has a terrific post called, Bring in the Laughter.

We read and write about all kinds of lovemaking: Make-up sex, break-up sex, tender, sweet, rough and raunchy sex. We are open enough to realize physical intimacy comes in all forms and can evoke a whole range of emotion within us and our partner.

Today, I want to bring up another facet of lovemaking. Silly sex. I mean this in the best of the funniest of ways. The kind of sex that might begin with a tickle-fest. Or maybe someone tries to role-play or talk dirty, but you and your partner both realize the situation is hopeless. Instead of becoming frustrated or “losing the mood,” try laughter instead, and go with it anyway. I don’t mean for you to laugh at your partner. Rather, encourage reciprocity for you to laugh with each other. Turn it into a new game. But while you’re chuckling or clutching your belly in rollicking laughter, continue to touch each other. Naked. If you’re not, then get naked. Intentionally turn the funny-fest into sexual play - if you haven’t already.

I promise you, it won’t be too long before the guffaws turn into moans and the giggles turn into cries of pleasure. Sometimes you might get so carried away you find yourself engaging in sexual forays you’d never before dreamed, and you go with it, because it’s fun (maybe a little freaky) and safe and enjoyable. You’re too busy having a good time with each other to realize you should be shocked or stunned by what might be happening. It could also occur the other way around… Imagine the look on your partner’s face when you try to – ahem – yeah. Definitely try that, too.

The resulting outcome will leave you and your partner grinning a mile wide, and you won’t care if your headboard has knocked a hole in the wall, or you later find your underwear in the yard outside (you could have sworn the window was closed), or you find yourself twisted and upside down on the floor when all’s said and done. You had fun. Your partner had fun. You each received a double dose of endorphins. I take that back, triple dose: sex (exercise), orgasm, and laughter. Hey, at this point, life is great any way you look at it!

Ayla Ruse
The Deciding Factor, from TEB

21.5.11

Interesting Sites on the World Wide Web

I’ve been spending a lot of time on the internet in the past few days doing research on things like nipple clamps and cock rings. I’ve been to a lot of interesting sites and found some wonderful photos.



During my internet travels, I stumbled on a site called Go Ahead…Pull On It and I must say the photos there are stunning. So today, I’m going to share some of the male pulchritude I found and like the name says, “If you want to pull on it…go ahead.”

I think black and white portraits are hot.



I know they’re not for everyone, but I’m a big fan of tattoos.



How about a little kink?



How about a lot of kink?



I know not everyone loves tighty whiteys but there’s just something about the stark white against the tanned skin.



This is how I ended up at the site. I was checking out photos of different types of nipple clamps.



Look at the amazing intricacies of this rope bondage.



I always wanted a clawfoot bathtub.



I have a real thing for men in leather.



Beautiful little teaser of what’s between his legs.




Assless chaps. My favourite.



You could bounce a quarter…



I really love the pie in the oven.



Look at the stripes of sunlight across his body.



Every picture tells a story…so get writing.



I’ve never seen him at my little local gym.



More nipple clamps.



I wonder what he’s got in the dryer.



I love the male body. In fact the only thing better than one male body is two male bodies.



Hope you’ve enjoyed my bevy of male beauties.

Make sure you check out my story, Indulge Me, a male/male story set in the largest gay spa in Toronto.

See you next month,

Kaenar

Kaenar Langford

Tales to seduce and entice…

www.kaenar.com

20.5.11

Double domes?


I have a character issue...well there is nothing new there, characters giving issues. Do characters do anything other than that to their authors?

Well I am in the middle of a story that is FF and both of these characters want to be the dome in the sexual relationship. I have never had this problem before. It has always been an easy obvious decision if there was going to be a dome sub relationship who would be what part. But in this...both of them want to take control and rule over the other's pleasure.

I am not sure what to do in this situation. The story could go a few different ways at this point and because I don't plan it all out before I start writing, I am stuck debating between scenarios for the story.

So double domes are running through my mind and the possibilities are intriguing and exciting though I am not sure they are what my story needs. And I can't help but wonder, could a true dome be submissive to another dome? Could they really take turns?

This is something I will have to think about and figure out before proceeding.

19.5.11

The Trouble With Titles by Gillian Archer

I find one of the hardest part of writing, what authors sometimes call “writing short.” This is the back copy blurb or the short pitch used when querying a publisher. Encapsulating an entire story in three paragraphs (or sometimes four sentences!), gives me indigestion just thinking about it. You want it to be short and sweet, enchanting and engaging, not give away too much, but most of all intriguing for the reader. No pressure, right?

Even trickier for me is the title. If writing short is tough, try being creative with just a handful of words. I am horrible at titles. Most of the time when I’m drafting a story, I don’t have a solid title tied to the story. I usually call them whatever the hook of the story is. I have a friends to lovers ménage I’m currently calling Best Friends Forever. Real original, right? My upcoming release with Total-e-Bound was referred to as the Faery Orgy when discussed with critique partners and writing friends. For some reason, they thought I should rename that one LOL.

Do you have title issues? Or do you have any helpful advice for the titled-impaired?

You can read more about my poorly titled WIPs at my website :)

18.5.11

Flowing Ideas

The ideas have been flowing a lot over the last few weeks. Ideas that I have been diving into flesh out into books. This means research of course and I love finding out new things.

I’ve discussed some of my stories with some friends and they gave some great insights. I’m excited about my project and eager to get to it. It’s amazing how clear something can become when you talk it out. The idea starts to flow and it is wonderful.

Taige Crenshaw
http://www.taigecrenshaw.com/
…increasing the sizzle factor

Blog: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com/blog
Chat Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crenshawcafe
Newsletter: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com/newsletterandgroups.shtml
Free Reads Site: http://www.satinnotes.com/

17.5.11

Silver Underwear

By Lisabet Sarai





Micheal Rennie was ill

The day the earth stood still

But he told us were we stand ;

And Flash Gordon was there

In silver underwear

Claude Rains was The Invisible Man...

- "Science Fiction/Double Feature" by Richard O'Brien, from The Rocky Horror Picture Show

I've always loved science fiction. I started with Eleanor Cameron's Mushroom Planet books when I was in third graden. By high school I'd read most of Heinlein and Asimov. One of the happiest years of my life was in the mid-nineties, when a close friend started a sci fi reading group and I was introduced to Sheri S. Tepper, Octavia Butler, Greg Bear, James Tiptree, and a host of other exciting and talented authors. Every month about a dozen of us would read someone new and then discuss the book over a potluck dinner. The food and wine were usually excellent, but it was the stories that got me high.

Although I've read tons of scifi, I haven't dared to write much of it. I'm just too intimidated by the required combination of exceptional imagination and scientific precision. Yes, I've dabbled a bit - you can find an early effort, recycled as a free read, here - and I have a half-finished M/M scifi novel that's been sitting untouched on my hard drive for the past six months, but "Bodies of Light", in the Total-E-Bound anthology Seeing Stars, is my first published science fiction. I'm definitely nervous as to how it will be received. I comfort myself with the notion that most of the readers will view it as romance first, and only secondarily as scifi, but for me, the speculative aspects are at least as important as the love and the sex.

"Bodies of Light" is set in the relatively near future - near enough that the heroine's grandmother remembered watching Alan Shepard's brief voyage into space. That's actually a memory of my own - sitting in the elementary school cafeteria, watching the black and white TV mounted on the wall, holding my breath as the rocket blasted off into the unknown. After that, I wanted to be an astronaut, at least until someone informed me that my extreme myopia and pronated arches would disqualify me. (Nobody ever told me that wasn't a suitable occupation for a girl!)

In any case, one reason "Bodies of Light" takes place fifty years rather than fifty centuries in the future is that I'm not sure I can convincingly portray a time and place at such an extreme distance from our own. Today's world is vastly different from the world into which I was born, in terms of attitudes and styles as well as technology - and we're talking fewer than half a dozen decades. Furthermore, the rate of change seems to be accelerating. So with this story, I decided to play it safe.

I couldn't avoid including some scientific details, though. I spent hours examining the known properties of star systems, seeking a plausible destination for the Archimedes, reviewing the coordinate system for locating objects in space, and refreshing my knowledge of quantum mechanics. I really didn't want to make some dumb mistake. Even so, when my husband read the first draft, he wrote "No!" in big red letters at a number of points in the text and I had to rework several scenes to correct the errors he pointed out.

Anyway, for better or worse, I can now say that I've published some science fiction. I've included the blurb and an excerpt below. Oh, and I should mention that Alyn and Zed, the two heroes, do wear something like silver underwear - when they're not naked, that is - although I wasn't thinking about the song when I wrote the tale!

Blurb

Love travels faster than light.

Physicist Dr. Christine Monroe has devoted her lonely life to research on hyper-space travel. Her continued failure leads her to sign on to the Archimedes, a sub-light-speed mission aimed at establishing a colony in the Sirius B system. Waking from suspended animation, she discovers that the ship is wildly off course and the rest of the crew are dead due to equipment failure.

At first she thinks the two handsome strangers who show up on the ship are figments of her imagination - erotic hallucinations created by isolation and stress. However, Alyn and Zed are solid, real, and ready to sacrifice their lives for the strong woman they’ve found stranded in deep space.

As her ship begins to disintegrate, Christine must choose between the planet she was sent to save and the two alien beings she’s come to cherish.

Excerpt

The bridge was as silent as the suspension bay. However, a survey of the blinking panels and rotating 3D displays revealed that the entire ship had power. The pods had been some kind of anomaly. Relieved, Christine settled into the pilot’s chair (Sven Harlsson, gone like all the rest) and searched the cluttered controls until she found the viewport activation button. The curved shields slid open, revealing a hemisphere of blackness. For the first time, Christine gazed out into the emptiness of interstellar space.

Terror tightened her throat. She was falling into the immense void before her, drowning in the utter absence of light or form. She closed her eyes, trying to summon the scientist within her. No one had seen this before, the vast reaches of the universe outside Earth’s solar system. She was the first.

She forced herself to peer into the darkness, pressing against the transparent carbon-crystal of the viewport. As her vision adapted, she found she could see faint glowing clouds that must be galaxies and pinpricks of light that were distant stars. The universe was not totally empty, after all. She swallowed her fear and tried to speak.

"Request interstellar coordinates.” Her long-unused voice came out as a croak, but Archimedes understood her command.

“359˚ 56’ 39.5’’ galactic latitude, -2˚ 42’ 46.3’’ galactic longitude,” the ship replied crisply.

“Request distance from Sirius cluster.”

“Approximately thirty-four-point-seven light years.”

“What?” That was farther away than they’d been when they started! “There must be a mistake! Recheck your calculations.”

The ship’s computer hesitated for a fraction of a second—almost as though it were offended, Christine thought. “There is no error. Current position is 34.68643 light years from Sirius, 41.321966 light years from Terra. Current speed is .917 c. Heading is 22˚ 13’ b by 9˚ 2’ l.”

Forty-one light years from Earth! Had they overshot their goal? Of course, a tiny miscalculation in their initial trajectory would be magnified into an increasingly large discrepancy the farther the ship travelled from its starting point. “How long has it been since departure?”

“Four years, sixty-two days, four hours and twenty-two minutes,” the ship intoned.

Only four years? “That’s not possible,” Christine objected. Given their maximum velocity, they could not have travelled anywhere near this far. Something was very wrong.

“Run full self-diagnostics,” she ordered. “Report any faults.”

The computer was silent for about ten seconds. Christine stared out of the viewport, wondering whether any of the faint, flickering points of brightness might be Sol.

“Self-diagnostics completed,” Archimedes announced. “No faults detected.”

Christine leaned back in the padded chair with a weary sigh. Pain pounded in her temples. Her usually nimble mind felt stiff and rusty. She had to figure this out.

Once again, she saw Ravin’s blank, lifeless face. She had not loved him, but she had respected him, and he had given her pleasure during their pre-launch familiarisation exercises. She found that she missed him. “The crew are all dead,” she murmured to herself. “I’m the only one left, and I’m lost in space, billions of kilometres off course.

“All suspension pod power was terminated,” the ship commented. “A collision with unidentified debris damaged the electrical distribution cables in the hull. Backup systems failed to engage.”

“What? How long ago did this happen?”

“Sixty-two hours and seventeen minutes ago.” Less than three days! If she had awakened a bit sooner, she might have saved them. The impact must have triggered the reactivation sequence in her own pod. Or perhaps the backup had kicked in to handle the life support for her pod alone.

“EVA is recommended to repair the breach,” Archimedes added. “Probability of atmospheric loss over the next twenty-four hours is point-four-six.”

Christine collapsed on to the control panel, her face buried in her hands, squeezing her eyes tight to hold back the tears. The ship wanted her to risk her life, venturing outside to patch the hole before the air escaped. But why should she bother? She was dead one way or the other.

The vastness of space weighed on her, even when she was not looking at it. The unending blackness threatened to smother her. She felt as empty and hollow as the universe stretching into infinity on every side.

****************

For sexier, less scientific excerpts - visit my web site or check out Justine Elyot's blog!

16.5.11

TEB Ladies do Lincoln.

I had a great opportunity this past weekend to meet several people who are intrinsically involved in making Total-E-Bound the brilliant publisher they are. The adventure started Friday afternoon where I hopped on a couple of packed trains and made my way to Lincoln. I promptly found myself slightly lost and rang my darling husband for help. Between us we worked out I needed to head for the Cathedral. This involved walking up 'Steep Hill' and believe me, they don't call it that in any kind of Ironic way.

When I finally reached the Lincoln hotel (which is lovely by the way) I was not looking my best. However they did let me in, despite my sweaty, short of breath state and I settled myself into my lovely room. After a little wander around the quaint shops on my own I met up with the Lovely Serena Yates. I completely blanked her at first but thankfully she approached me and didn't take any affront at my sillyness!

We wandered around the impressive Cathedral, peeked in at the Castle (it was closing) and chat, chat, chat, chatted. Serena is a very easy to get along with person and within minutes I felt like I was talking with a friend I'd known for years.

Later that evening we met up with the Lovely Elizabeth Coldwell and the happy, smiley, bubbly TEB ladies and went off to enjoy a lovely Thai meal under (rather randomly) Christmas reindeer and angel lights in a pretty little conservatory surrounded by greenery.

Please note if you ever meet Claire and Nicki of TEB fame, offer them good quality wine. They know their onions, I mean grapes, when it comes to that subject.

We had a fun evening and I don't think I have laughed so much in ages. The conversation flowed freely and it was really brilliant to put faces to names. As the evening carried on certain catchphrases and nicknames were born. I told my husband about these and an idea Nicki had about making little avatar type pictures for each one and the wonderful Kevin Mitnik came up with a set of brilliant pics!



Let's start with myself. I became known as 'Thumbs' because I confessed to writing little snippets of stories with my Blackberry. Every time the subject of writing came up, people would look at me and say 'Thumbs' with the accompanying thumb wiggling actions. It's funny really as I'm about as phone incompetent as you can get but I do find myself using my thumbs quite often as i take notes on story ideas or even write snippets of scenes that come to me whilst I'm on or waiting for public transport!



Next is the other well used catchphrase of the event and that was 'Spreadsheets'. Serena and Nicki found a mutual love of all things spreadsheet and conversations quite often got back to these much loved organisational devices. In the end I decided to give this one to Serena as I have to say she is the first author I've heard of who plots her works out in spreadsheet first and even alters the spreadsheet as she goes along and plans and scenes change!

And I might as well carry on with the authors here and introduce you to what I think of when I think of Liz Coldwell. As I mentioned, there were reindeer and angels at the restaurant though disappointingly they were never lit up. When we got back to the Lincoln hotel however all the Triangular trees outside were festooned with bright white twinkly lights and Liz remarked '"It is always Christmas in Lincoln." Which actually sparked off a story idea in my mind later that night and yes, my story will contain light up reindeer and angels!


Next, Nicki. Lovely Nicki with a menagerie of animals and the mammoth task of keeping all Total-E-Bounds 250 (ish) authors in line. As she described her work and how she would keep an eye on all authors and projects and would make sure everything went smoothly and happened on time I had a vision of her having a room somewhat like that of the Discworld's Death. He has a room with rows and rows of timers one for each life. Nicki has one for each story instead! So Nicki has become The Timekeeper in my mind.



Heidi is quite possibly one of the nicest people in the whole world. She has an easy smile and a gentle manner that puts you instantly at your ease. She is so vibrant and positive it really is a pleasure to spend time with her. Her nickname came out on the Saturday really, but you saw signs of it from the start. Heidi is the PR and communications lady in the TEB office and simply put she is their official talker. She is very good at her job too!

And last but certainly not least is Claire, Ms Big Boss Big herself with the most used and best acted catchphrase of the whole weekend. Claire is dedicated to getting the Total-E-Bound name out there and her focus for the Book Festival was to get mum's in to the Mum's tent (which turned out to be a back room, more about that later) and was constantly heard cackling 'Come to me my pretties' while temptingly crooking her finger to beckon people in. So here's Claire's and I specified that the husband should pick out an attractive witch! I didn't want to offend the woman at the top!

Now I met the lovely Liz and the ebullient on the Saturday but didn't speak to either long enough to find their nickname or catchphrase. I will set that straight in future I hope!



Saturday was fun. Our Mum's tent for the Lincoln Book Festival was moved to the Drill Hall at short notice so no tent was involved in the end. We set up the green room as an inviting place for mum's to come and enjoy a hot drink and one of these delicious cupcakes provided by the talented folks at Thomas 2 (check out their yummy cake gallery here) or maybe an author made biscuit or two if they fancied.

It took a while to set up the table loaded with books and freebies and the TV and the wonderful banners but we could see that Claire and Nicki had done it all a time or two before! Finally we were ready and although the day threw us a few curve balls the TEB ladies took it all in their stride. Extra credit goes to Serena and Emmy for venturing out into the main hall to hand out free eBook postcards and the prize for going beyond and above the call of duty goes to Claire and Heidi for taking the advertising out onto the cold High Street and handing out dozens of cards that entitled the bearer to a free Total-E-Bound book of their choice.

It was a brilliant day and I loved every minute of it. Even the reading in the cafe area which was very nerve wracking. I've done book readings before but never used a microphone, that is a whole new experience as is trying to make yourself heard over a background noise of people talking, eating and clearing tables! I read a non-saucy bit from The Point and Serena Introduced us to The Magic Thieves as Liz took us off to the continent with an excerpt from Missing in Milan. I loved both of their excerpts because not only were they brilliant it meant I wasn't having to read any more!


The day came to a close. We said our goodbyes to Emmy Ellis who is lovely and very chatty. I love how she called me 'Vick' all the time. It was a rest from my more formal name and made me feel instantly relaxed in her company. We tidied up and I persuaded Claire and Heidi to say cheese for me! Don't they look fabulous?

I wound my weary way home through the beauty of the peak district, my mind filled with memories, ideas and possible future stories. I had a fantastic time in Lincoln and I cannot wait to go back again. Apparently there is something in the works for September and I will be there come hell or high water. Thanks to all who put in so much effort to make the weekend such a success and I am really proud to count all the ladies I met this weekend as friends.

15.5.11

Songs in Movies

I love the way a song can set the mood in a movie scene. I've compiled a list of some of my favorites while avoiding some of the obvious like Ghost - Unchained Melody, Titanic - My Heart Will Go On, and Dirty Dancing - Time of My Life.

What songs have touched you in movies?


1. Flashdance - What A Feeling
Feel good song. What more can I say?



2. Armageddon - I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing
*Sniff* *Sniff* For any daughter who has lost her daddy, this one's for you.



3. She's Having a Baby - This Woman's Work
Warning: This one stirs up all sorts of intense, poignant sadness.



4. Once - Falling Softly
My hubby and I found this small, independent movie way before it received any Oscar buzz. Great, odd little love story.
Sorry, no embedded link available on this one. You have to go to YouTube to watch. Please do. It's worth it!

















5. The Ugly Truth - Right Round
And sometimes a song just makes you want to kick up your heels and dance!
This song played while the closing credits rolled for The Ugly Truth. It was a good thing I was watching at home because it had me jumping to my feet.

14.5.11

Language, it's gotta fit

Scarface and Swish
by Jude Mason

The door swung open letting in the heat of the late August afternoon into the ramshackle bar. Scarface grumbled, then turned and scowled at the slender man who entered. Blond and fair-skinned, the entire room had to know the silk suited twit wasn't 'one of them' he was much too simpering, too pale and much, much too clean. Before the swish sat down, Scarface slammed his half empty beer mug on the filthy bar and rose to his feet, unsteadily, and shambled across the room.

Simpering swish turned and looked at him, a large buck-toothed smile on his face. His right hand, the nails gleaming with polish, reached out, limp-wristed, towards Scarface. "I'm Sammy, what do you want, asshole?" Even his voice was out of place, thin and reedy, a pitch too high to be manly.

"I'd be much obliged if you'd turn your feet that-away and go somewhere else," Scarface growled, ignoring the proffered hand.

"Why you piece of shit, lowlife asshole, why would I do that?" Sammy replied in a simpering snivel.

"Because, if you refuse, I'll have to show you the door."

"Yeah," Sammy cringed, his face gone white. "I've seen the fuckin door. Now, fuck off!"

Scarface's blood boiled. The swish was asking for trouble. "Listen, Sammy, you'll simply have to go. There's no place for the likes of you here. We're all rough, tough bikers, can't you see that?" The last few words came out with a spattering of spittle.

Okay, I'm not sure if that worked, but it was fun. What I'm really trying to get at here is, language is flexible, beautiful and amazing fun to play with. Characters, people, speak a certain way and as readers you expect the characters to comply with a set of unwritten rules. The biker doesn't sound like he'd pass the Grey Poupon, the sissy doesn't come out with guttural snarls and language that'd make a logger blush.

I'm really a firm believer in using language appropriate to the character. If the harsher words upset you, or you prefer not to use them, don't write characters who would normally use them.

As for what words I won't use? If you mean Jude the wife, mother, grandmother, I tend to fit the words to who I'm talking to. I've been known to curse viciously and foully. Cutting one's thumb with a hedge trimmer will make the meekest of us creative in the use of language. LOL Yet, I'm sure if my grand son had been there, I'd have bitten off a goodly portion of them and screamed REALLY loud instead.

Jude the author doesn't shy away from many words. I'm not fond of purple prose, but have used them in my time. Flowery bugs me, yet vile vernaculars makes me smile. I once read a poem in an outhouse that was inspiring. It rhymed and it was totally swear words. And it made sense. I was impressed. I laughed and pointed it out to my daughter, who was in her twenties at the time. She thought I was a tad weird, but she laughed too.

Okay, back to Scarface and Swish. The language I used didn't fit them. If it had, the story could have gone on quite nicely. Poor Swish would have been either tossed out on his ear or something worse. The way I wrote it, made it pretty much impossible to get into the story. We expect things and are confused when we don't get it. Writers learn this or have trouble finding readers.

What do you all think? Have you ever read something where the language pulled you out of the story? What words bother you? Why?

Hugs


*Jude Mason – Readers needed: Come, explore with me…if you dare*

13.5.11

Spectacular

Having covered most of the facial attributes I like in a hero I'm stopping for a moment, before I move on to consider matters torso-related, to digress into the area of face furniture, specifically spectacles.

I love a man in glasses - so much so that I sent our wonderful artist Emmy on a wild goose chase around the photo archives to see if she couldn't find a picture of a sexy bespectacled man for the cover of A Very Personal Trainer. Surprisingly, there are few pictures of men working the luscious lens look in existence - a serious gap in the market, in my opinion. In the end, Emmy had to resort to making a nice pair of glasses for my gorgeous cover man to wear - and the results were certainly spectacular. See for yourself:



So it seems I might be in a minority in my tastes, but I can live with that. Indeed, I have to. I'm in the minority in pretty much all my tastes, from anchovies to obscure French actors. All the more bespectacled men for me then! Ha!

12.5.11

TEB Launches Lincoln Book Festival

Tuesday 10th May was Ladies’ Night at The Lincoln Hotel where Total-E-Bound Publishing launched the eighth Lincoln Book Festival.

The evening was based around women and all things romance. Alongside launching the Book Festival Total-E-Bound Publishing also raised over £1,200for Lincoln Women’s Aid.

We prepared for the event for nearly two months as well as preparing and attending The Romantic Times Readers Convention in America, so it’s been a very busy time - but well worth it.

The evening started quite early at 6.30pm with cocktail drinks in the bar.

We invited our UK authors along to the evening to help promote themselves and Total-E-Bound Publishing.


Ansley Vaughan, Serena Yates, Shermaine Williams, Lavinia Lewis and Lily Harlem all provided some wonderful author readings from their books, and all received praise and interest from the guests on the evening.

A huge thank you to all of our attending authors for coming along to join the fun.

After a few of the readings we had a delicious three course meal with wine. The tables looked beautiful with eyecatching centre flower arrangements and handmade chocolates, with some fabulous little heart shaped ‘bling’ USB’s for the guests.

Throughout the meal everyone enjoyed dances from The Dance Box Dancers and The Lincoln Tango Group. We watched the passionate argentine tango as well the famous All That Jazz from ‘Chicago’ and a very sexy burlesque number to end the evening’s entertainment.






As well as showcasing what Total-E-Bound Publishing has to offer and launching the Lincoln Book Festival we also held a silent auction with the proceeds going to the local women’s refuge. Julie Rimington from the charity gave a heart-wrenching speech about the abuse that many women and children live with whilst in a domestic abuse situation, and I think it encouraged the purses to open and coins to be offered for a great cause. Julie was nearly speechless at the amount we raised and was extremely grateful.

We had a fabulous range of prizes and amongst them were a romantic weekend at Branston Hall, a drive in a Lotus, Argentine Tango dance lessons, a Kindle E-Reader, a romantic photo shoot, a mineral makeover, a wellbeing package, a bouquet, a travel voucher and beauty therapy sessions. The auction was well received and we were astounded at the amount of money we raised for charity.














The evening on Tuesday was fantastic and everyone seemed to have a really great time.

We hope to do more events like this in the future and certainly in the UK as this one was so well received by the people who attended the evening.

We will also be running a ‘mum’s corner’ chill out area at the Lincoln Drill Hall on Saturday 14th May, as part of the Lincoln Book Festival, so if you’re likely to be in the area do come along and join us for some tea, cake, and readings from more of our authors.