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30.10.13

Happy Halloween Early and Announcement

Well it is time to celebrate my favorite holiday. I am a huge fan of Halloween. With its history, customs, and fun it is a day and night that is full of possibilities.


For a paranormal writer like myself I looked forward to this time of year and my imagination runs wild. After all, if there was a night I finally got to meet my Master Vampire or Alpha Werewolf, wouldn't it be on a night they could go out as themselves?




I tend to gravitate more towards the paranormal then any other genre. Even if I don't mean to. In all honesty I have started books that were meant to be purely romance but some how one character just screams that he belongs in the paranormal world. And then it begins...

                           Although I won't complain. I really do love the paranormal!

So I wanted to say a quick Happy Halloween to all my friends who celebrate the holiday and for those who do not... Happy Fall.


                      Now, though, I would like to get on with my big announcement.

I have been hinting for some time that there was a big announcement in the Were Chronicles world. And I am happy to share it with you here also...

The Were Chronicles have their very own website.

A place dedicated just t the Alpha males and feisty females to bring you closer with you favorite characters.

                                                http://werechronicles.com

This site is up and running and waiting for you to drop by. Here you will find brand new features that my Author website does not have.

Have you ever wondered where the Packs are located? Well, now you can find them. Just head over to the Track the Packs page and find your favorite shifter!

Also, there is a guest book that you can sign once a month to be entered into my monthly contest. The guest book entry is additional to any other way to enter. So that's 1 free chance!

Right now I am running a contest through the guestbook until the end of the month in celebration of the Website Launch! Sign the guest book before midnight 10/31/13 (CST) and be entered to win a $25.00 egift card from Amazon.

And last but not least! Every month one of the characters will drop by and catch up with you. This month we received a nice note from Gage Wold, Pack Alpha, from book one. If you've missed Gage, you can find out just where he will be seen next, and hell tell you all about Marissa and the new baby!

So I hope you will stop by the new site and bring your friends!!!

There is a lot more in store for the two remaining months of the year. In November I have two releases and December will follow will one more.

                                                  Coming Soon! November 8, 2013




                                                   Coming Soon! November 15, 2013



                                                   Coming Soon! December 27, 2013






So have a safe and happy Halloween tomorrow! Oh and if you DO happen to see a vampire or werewolf, please send him my way!

Crissy Smith

http://www.crissysmith.net



 

28.10.13

Story Seeds by Lily Harlem


Where to start writing a book? It’s a tricky question which I’m sure doesn’t have one correct answer whatever the word count you have in mind. I’m equally sure every author has different methods for coming up with plot, characters and the location of their story. So I’ve been pondering on my own methods for writing erotic romances and I’d love to hear other people’s comments, strategies and opinions on what works best for them and what they enjoy reading and of course writing.

The first line is a good place to start. It has to be done, it’s pretty essential. One option is to throw the reader immediately into the story – The sleek, black car pulled alongside the lone girl, with the windows tinted and the stark glow of the headlamps it resembled a panther hunting its prey – or the first line could be a statement - Loneliness is gaping hole just waiting to be filled but like a key in a lock only the right person will fit. Another option is to dive straight in with dialogue – “You cow,” Sarah screamed down the stairs. ”How could you sleep with him when you know what he did to me?”

Opening line for me is one of the first things I dream up for a new novel, but not the absolute first. More often than not I begin with a stand-alone scene popping in and out of my head. Stephanie Meyer famously visualised Bella and her vampire Edward lying in the meadow then worked the story around this scene. The meadow was midway through “Twilight” and I related to her method as it’s something I do a lot. (Unfortunately I haven’t got the multi-million dollar film deals to go with the ideas! Hey-hoo!)



For example in my first novel with Total-E-Bound, Thief,  I kept thinking of a girl sneaking away from a guy she'd just had a one night stand with holding his car keys. I liked playing with the idea in my head. Why she was there in the first place? What she was hoping to achieve? Why she had become a thief? It was the start of something that grew into a complex plot, a whole load of wild emotions and even wilder sex. Of course, it needs a happy ending too, not easy when the heroine has pissed the hero off in a major way, again, those branches had to grow and twist so that Kat and John could walk off into the sunset - well sort of!


The seeds for That Filthy Book were scattered randomly rather than neatly sewn. I guess that's because it's a co-author novel. Natalie sent me the first chapter, asked if I could nurture it, persuade the characters to peek from the soil and luckily I could. A bit of attention, understanding and soon Karen and Jacob were thriving and reaching for the sky. This novel has had nothing but praise from reviewers including comments like 'every woman should read this book' so we certainly feel that our seeds grew to be strong and proud.



Harita was a seed that I had to plant on the other side of the world from where I live in the UK. I threw this little acorn all the way to Mumbai - with the wonders of the Internet - and did some research into Hindu weddings. From the information I gleaned and the images I saw grew ideas for an arranged marriage with a Dominant husband just waiting to be given permission to show his desires. I really enjoyed watching this one grow, tending it, encouraging it, and letting the shoots and leaves flourish. The Unwholesome Adventures of Harita turned into an elegant tree with vivid flowers and many layers to its bark.



For Orchestrating Manoeuvres I picked the first line -  I flopped back on my mountain of pillows, gasping, writhing and shoving Enrique—my new thick, black Rampant Rocker vibrator—into my pussy higher and harder. – this then leads on to more details about the protagonist’s situation and in turn sets up the story to be a menage a trois sex fest!



When the seeds are in place comes the really good bit - thinking up the sex scenes. I love the first time a ‘crazy for one another couple/threesome’ gets it together after that volcanic build-up of sexual tension. It’s such a release, so explosive and it’s all so new, every sense is overwhelmed and because I often write in first person the reader is really there, really experiencing what it’s like to be having wild, delicious sex with a hot, hard  - in these instances, soldier, husband, Dom, and two seriously sexy musicians – Phew!




So that’s how I nurture my story seeds into books. I give them time to germinate, then nurture them until they burst to life in my imagination and then by adding a pinch of real life experience, a dose of inspiration and a location which is a feast for the senses I watch it reach for the sky. Writing a story is a very personal journey, sometimes it overwhelms me in days or weeks, other times it lurks around for months and years.

I'd love to hear from anyone who shares my idiosyncrasies when it comes to writing, thoughts, comments and ideas are always very welcome! I’ll be hanging around to chat although probably in a different time zone!

Lily Harlem x




26.10.13

Love Note...In A Bottle!


Last weekend, during my birthday celebration, my sister and I were walking on the beach and found a message in a bottle! 

Together, we opened the champagne bottle and read the note. A couple was celebrating their first wedding anniversary and wanted to share their joy with the world. (What could be cooler than for a romance writer to find a love note?) 

 

Unfortunately there was no date or location on the note, so I have no idea how long ago it had been written or where it had been launched from.  

So, after some thought, my family and I decided to re-launch the bottle.  

My daughter penned a note to include with the original, adding our best wishes, adding a location and date, and expressing our own joy from being together to celebrate a girls-only birthday trip. We put my e-mail address on the note and invited a response from anyone who found it.

We went online to research the best time to do so. (I think it’s possible to find out anything these days.)

Then we looked up the time of the next high tide. All six of us went down to the beach under the nearly full moon and sent the bottle on its way.

It was a fabulous experience, something that made our get-together even more meaningful. If I get any updates, I’ll keep you posted!  

XXOO
Sierra

16.10.13

Sharing Nicely General Release & Contest!

Sharing Nicely is out now on general release and to celebrate I'm running a HUGE competition that everyone can join in with! So first, let's find out all about the novel.

sn-win

Two hot, sexy billionaires know what they want and they want her, but will they be happy to share nicely?
Kerry Matthews is used to stress—she runs her own high-end London club called Diamonds, but what she isn’t used to is attention from two very persuasive and powerful men.
Darren Bennett and Greg Stamford are life-long rivals, but call a truce to spend one night with sassy, curvy Kerry. They’re not content to share forever though. They both have a selfish desire to possess her completely.
Darren buys her seductive lingerie, flowers and chocolates, Greg flies her to Paris for a romantic break, cleans her flat and makes her breakfast in bed. Both vying to cement their place in her heart. She needs to decide between them but is dazzled by their persuasive personas and extravagant gifts.
Reader Advisory: This book contains a scene of MFM Ménage and some violence.
sharingnicely_800
Excerpt:
“So, are you two ready?” he asked. “I’ll get Chester to bring the limo round.”
“We can go in mine,” Darren snapped.
“Oh, don’t start this again.” I shook my head. “Decide nicely or I’ll be getting the damn Tube home.”
If the billionaires could be so abrupt with me, I’d be snappy with them.
“Fine,” Darren shrugged, “but we’re going back to my hotel.”
“Where are you staying?”
While the boys argued amongst themselves I took the date book and locked it away in my desk. I’d filled up a lot of the year and some dates had drifted into the next one. With the business I’d secured I was guaranteed to finish the fiscal year pleasantly in profit. I might even be able to afford a holiday. If I could persuade myself to stay away from Diamonds long enough.
When I walked back over to them the boys were silent.
“So, are we actually ready now?”
Greg reacted first, slipping his arm into mine and smiling.
“Yes, it seems me and Darren are staying at the same hotel.”
“Wonderful,” I smiled, intensely relieved. “Lead the way.”
Darren took hold of my other arm and we strode out together. I wasn’t expecting the barrage of flashing lights and yelled questions that greeted us. I supposed I had been a little naïve. The boys, with the aid of some huge security guards, pushed past the demands and we scooted into the back of a shiny black limousine. The mellow scent of leather filled the interior. Everything sparkled. I felt like we were in a separate car to the driver who was way, way down at the front.
“Are we going to the hotel, sir?” a polite voice asked. It sounded like it came from behind me, which was puzzling until I realised there was some kind of intercom device. Greg reached to the side of the limo and pressed a button.
“Yes, please, Chester.”
I would have liked more space to actually enjoy the ride home but I was crowded by two competing men and so spent my time flipping my gaze from one to the other, answering questions. Both were squeezed up close to me and both seemed determined to seduce me. I found that mind-spinningly crazy.
“What perfume are you wearing?” Darren ducked his head to sniff at my neck. I was very aware of his lips hovering just above my pulse point. I wished he’d kiss me there.
“Oh, I don’t know. Something fruity.” My mind went completely blank.
“You smell good enough to eat.” Darren continued and his lips did touch my skin but only for the briefest second. My whole body tightened at the gentle kiss.
“Your dress is beautiful.” It seemed Greg was not to be outdone—in fact he boldly ran his hand down my body from my shoulder, over my breast and lower. “I love the feel of velvet.”
“Thank you,” I squeaked then cleared my throat. “Thanks, I love velvet too.”
Tension zinged through me, sexual and otherwise. These two guys who I’d only just met were making me into a battlefield. They were warring to control me.
I wasn’t a woman who enjoyed being mollycoddled. I took decisions, I dived into situations and I expected all of my staff to be respectful to both men and women. I’d reprimanded several for sexism and would go as far as to sack someone if they didn’t change their ways. I should have been appalled by the situation—I wasn’t just a trophy or a business contract. I should have kicked up a fuss and left then and there.
But I didn’t. I liked being the centre of attention. I liked being the prize they both wanted.
I waited for the next move but we pulled up outside the hotel so I had to wait until we exited the car. Again, both men linked arms with me. It was cold outside but apart from the cool breeze on my cheeks I barely felt it because their hard bodies protected me from the elements.
They whisked me across the marble frontage, past the liveried doorman and into a huge reception area. It glittered with prestige and marble. Everything was perfect, neat and tidy. There was nothing overly ornate or showy but you could tell by the purposeful minimalism that this was a very classy place. The kind of place I’d only ever imagined visiting.
We moved across the hall into the bar. Again it was big, shiny but understated. The bar was long and all the staff behind it were in immaculately cut uniforms. They all looked smart and tidy and I looked on with envy. I wished I could get my own staff to look so impressive.
“What would you like to drink?” Darren asked and smirked at Greg.
“I’d love a glass of water, really,” I replied, “I’m so thirsty.”
“I’ll get them to send over some water too, but should we have some champagne? It was a very good night for us all after all.”
Both Darren and Greg had won awards and I was sure they’d both made several deals too as they played the room.
“Yes, why not?” Greg answered before me. “Champagne sounds good.”
When Darren moved away Greg turned to me.
“Look, Kerry, I really would love to spend the night with you but it is killing me to be nice to him.”
“This is you being nice?”
“Exactly.” He almost smiled. I found it surprisingly endearing. “Please can we dump the other guy?”
“No.” I was very firm, it surprised even me. “No, I said I wanted to spend time with you both, so that is what’s going to happen. If you don’t like it, you can leave.”
“God, woman. You’re infuriatingly stubborn.” He growled.
“Now that is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.” I laughed.
Greg sighed. “I’m not used to being told what to do, Kerry. I’m the one in control.”
“I’d noticed, but if you want me, you play by my rules.” It was fun playing him at his own game.
“Oh, I want you.” His growl turned to a gravelly purr. It wasn’t cute, it was the noise of a killer beast merely at rest. Any moment he could pounce and rip me apart. It turned me on. I wriggled in my seat and my damp knickers chafed against my plump lips.
“Then you’ll share nicely.” I leaned in and kissed him. He was shocked, almost as much as I was. His lips were hard and ungiving for a moment—I thought maybe I’d pushed him too far—but then they melted, opened and pushed back and I felt his pent-up arousal running into me. I released my frustrated desire with every move of my lips.
We pulled apart and I had to pant to regain my breath while he licked his lips like he was savouring the taste.
“I’ll do it for you,” he said. I was intoxicated with the power of having him under my control.
“Hey, I want one too.” Darren came back, placed a glass of water before me and pressed his lips to mine. His were plump and giving. He prodded his tongue between my lips, into my mouth, taking control of the kiss and control of me. I felt like I might explode into a million pieces. I hadn’t been kissed in months and now I’d had two smoking hot smooches in as many minutes from two very hot but very different men.
“Okay,” I gasped when he pulled away, “now you’re even.”
The guys glowered at each other. I looked around the room to calm my nerves. Not a single person looked at us. Obviously such things happened often in bars of high-class hotels. It didn’t happen often to me. At all, in fact. I wondered if I was dreaming. I pinched my thigh below the table. It hurt. I definitely wasn’t dreaming.
A tall, skinny waiter brought us a bottle of champagne stood in a silver ice bucket. Balanced on his tray were three tall flutes. He transferred everything to our table with great pomp. I was in awe of his skill.
“Thank you,” I called. He nodded his head politely and walked off.
I knew a little about wine and champagne, only because my barman told me what I needed to order. The champagne in the bucket was clearly expensive—I’d never even heard of the name—and it was suitably French, obviously. I was sure Darren had ordered the most expensive in the place just to outdo Greg. I outdid both of them by just sipping at my water.
“Shall we take the rest of the bottle to my room?”
I nearly choked when I heard what Greg had said.
“Pardon?”
“Well, you wanted us to share nicely and I don’t think that even in an establishment like this where confidentiality is taken seriously we could share you, nicely or otherwise, right here in the bar.”
It took a moment to register that Greg Stamford, billionaire high-flyer and serious hottie, was propositioning me for a threesome. I’d agreed to it earlier, but it still seemed too much like a fairy tale to be actually real.
“I agree, mate. We’d get chucked out. Want to go to my room? It’s the Ambassador Suite.” Darren announced this like I should be impressed. Maybe it was the most expensive room in the hotel? I wasn’t sure.
“My room has the best view over the city,” Greg snapped.
“Yes, that’s what they tell people who can’t get in the Ambassador Suite.”
“Boys, stop it.” My voice was quite loud. The low murmur of conversation stopped for a moment, then carried on.
“Look. You are both very rich, I get it. You both want to be top dog, I get that too, but would you stop bickering like bloody schoolboys, okay? I am very flattered, truly, and I never in a million years would have imagined being in this situation…” I left the sentence hanging and gathered my thoughts.
“Please don’t say no.” Darren’s smile dissipated. “I’m sorry.”
“Well—” I tried to continue with my tirade. I had the moral high ground. I was going to say thanks but no thanks and leave both gentleman hanging, but say that I hoped they’d both still honour their bookings. I was going to make a stand, I really was. Then… Well, I’m not quite sure what happened.
“I’m sorry too,” Greg added. “We’re just billionaires used to getting our own way. Let’s go to the Ambassador Suite, it’s a lovely room.”
Had I heard that right? Had Greg Stamford apologised and ceded to his most hated rival?
“Yes, let’s,” Darren nodded. “Please, Kerry?”
I challenge any woman alive to not cave in when hit with not one but two sets of puppy dog eyes from intensely handsome men. I couldn’t do it.
“Come on then,” I whispered, “lead the way.”

You can pick up Sharing Nicely at all good ebook retailers, for a list check here: http://victoriablisse.co.uk/books/sharing-nicely

Now, onto the competition! Three great prizes including a sexy masquerade necklace, three hot anthologies and a signed print copy of my novel Fulfill Me are up for grabs. Just got to http://victoriablisse.co.uk/win and  share nicely! Use the raflecopter you find there to join in, there are loads of options from sharing on facebook and twitter to hosting me on your blog. All get points and at the end of it you could get a prize! The competition is open until the 4th November.

15.10.13

50% off Box Sets at the New Totally Bound Site + Sexy Menage Excerpt

Sorry this is so late to go live, but I was thoroughly distracted by the gorgeous new Totally Bound Website. You have to see it! As a part of the celebration to introduce you to the new site, Totally Bound is now offering wonderful box sets at a whopping 50% off. There are several themes, and one of them is the Three's a Thrill theme, which involves menage or more stories with a paranormal twist. I'm honoured that my sexy paranormal, A Spirit of Love, has been included. I'll give you a naughty little taste of that story here:
     Within a few seconds, the windows stopped shaking and everything was quiet. The ruckus had blown the candles out, and she grabbed one of the flashlights that the guys had brought and switched it on so that she could find her lighter. An icy breeze swooshed past her. Instantly, her nipples were hard again, and she was feeling warmth between her legs.

     Here we go again. But this time I need to stay in charge.

     “No,” she said. “I need a name. Tell me a name.”

     She waited. The heat of the sexual energy in the room was still very evident.

     “Louise…”

     It was a low husky whisper. Louise? She had actually been asking what his name was, but maybe that was the problem. Maybe he wasn’t after any female, but a particular female. The one who was represented by The Lovers card and had been chained with him to The Devil that he was mistaking her for.

     “I’m not Louise,” she said.

     The door slammed again, and the energy was morphing, moving away from the sexual heat of moments before.

     “Why Louise?”

     The same whisper, but on her other side this time.

     “I don’t understand. Help me to understand.”

     Nothing. It was if he had used up all of his energy in his angry display, then finally the mysterious whispers. But at least now she had a name, something she could go on. It was time to find out about this house and a woman named Louise. She headed downstairs.

     “Emilio, Martin!”

     They both burst through the front doorway, almost knocking each other over.

     “What!?” “Are you okay?” They cried out on top of one another, and bounded up the stairs towards her. They reached her on either side, both clutching her arms.

     A girl could get used to two guys acting this concerned all the time—it’s kind of an interesting scenario. I wonder if they’d be this giving in bed?

To grab this boxed set of stories that includes A Spirit of Love, click HERE and scroll down to get Three's a Thrill.

14.10.13

A BUTLER'S SECRETS...

Clarkson Dale is the consummate professional butler — that is until work turns to play and he breaks all the rules.

 
Want a sneak peek into his world? Don't be shy, come join me, your secret is safe with me....

 


EXCERPT:

THE BUTLER DID IT


His mouth went dry, his eyes locked with hers and he caught a blush on her cheeks. Was she thinking what he was thinking? God, he hoped not. He’d be fired before he even started.
“Let me show you my closet,” she said, holding his eyes. “I am very particular about it and how I like my clothes laid out. Must be the designer in me.”
“Of course, Ms Vi,” he said, following her once again.
“Clarkson, you’ll be supervising Maria and the other staff, her assistant Mathilde, Michel the chef, the chauffeur, the rooftop gardeners and my pilot. There’s a heli pad on the roof. Now, as for Maria... Well, she’s not that reliable—as you may have noticed from her absence. I trust you’ll sort that out.” Vi let out an exasperated sigh. “And please make sure she lays out the outfits for me to wear the following day, ready for me to review the night before.”
“Of course, Ms Vi.”
“Is that all you have to say, ‘Of course, Ms Vi’?” she asked with what he detected was a playful tone, leading him to her walk-through-closet—a closet the size of most people’s living rooms.
“Of course, Ms Vi,” he replied, pushing the envelope, unsure how she would respond.
Her eyes sparkled as she laughed. “You’ve a quick wit, Clarkson, we’ll get along just fine,” she said.
He struggled to maintain his employee status standing in her closet, only too aware of her tempting curves and smouldering gaze.
“How old are you, Clarkson, may I ask?”
“Thirty-two, Ms Vi. Is that a problem?” His lips were parched at the want of her as he imagined just what her lips could do. Not now! He needed this job. He’d miss his car payment this month if he didn’t get a pay cheque. The last thing he needed was this Vivienne Martin sending him back to the agency.
“No, perfect,” she said, running her hands along a green silk dress as she continued through the closet.
His cock pressed against his pants at the sight of her delicate fingers thumbing the fabric and her appreciative gaze as she looked at him. He hoped she didn’t see his evident arousal, but he had a suspicion she had when she flashed a devilish look his way before ushering him through to her large bathroom.
“I like a tub drawn every night. Maria is hopeless, so I’ll leave it for you to do. Not too hot,” she said.
As she stepped past him, he couldn’t help visions of their naked bodies frolicking in the water from popping into his head.
“Come to think of it, I might like one now,” she said, with a slow smile, motioning for him to draw her a bath. “I’ll be in my bedroom. Let me know when it’s ready.”

What the fuck? He was a professionally trained butler and he’d worked for some of the richest and most prominent families in the US and overseas, and now he was standing in his drop dead gorgeous employer’s bathroom with an obvious erection. Thankfully, she’d gone back to her room. Suppressing his overt desire, he proficiently went about drawing her bath, harnessing his most professional demeanour. He set out the tray of soaps and a few fluffy towels beside the tub and dimmed the lights. When the bubbles reached the top of the
gigantic tub, he checked to make sure he’d thought of everything his employer might want and realised she’d need her robe.
He stepped inside her closet. “Oh.” He paused with a gasp. Vi was bent over, slipping out of her skirt, her see-through lace panties revealing her perfectly shaped ass. Her eyes widened in surprise as the skirt slithered to her feet.
“Excuse me, Ms Vi, I thought you were in the bedroom,” he said, quickly averting his eyes. “Your bath is ready.”
“Clarkson?” she called.
He mustered his self-control and turned back to her, diverting his gaze to the row of clothes hanging orderly behind her to avoid looking directly at her half-naked body.
She smiled tentatively at him, stepping towards him in just her bra and panties.
He should move, leave the room, but he could not command a muscle. He longed for those full breasts, to feel the smooth curve of that body under his touch. It wasn’t professional to have these feelings for his boss, he knew better. He was damned if he refused the enticing temptress before him and damned if he gave into his desire and she accused him of coming on to her.
She smiled as if she could read his mind and reached out for him. Oh shit, to hell with the job. He could always get another one. He pulled her close to him, her body was so soft and hot, pressing against him. His cock yearned for her. His lips met hers, and he brushed the long auburn tendrils from her face. He pushed his tongue into her soft and welcoming mouth, feeling her shudder as he grasped her round buttocks and squeezed her against him. 



Thanks so much for joining me! Hope you enjoyed a peek into Clarkson's world.

Best,
Kate 
x0



 
Total E Bound: http://bit.ly/GNVxLI


More About Kate:

Website:     http://www.katedeveaux.com
Pinterest:   http://pinterest.com/katedeveaux


 

12.10.13

Cowboy Loving




So why do I love a cowboy hero?
I think that a childhood spent with my amazing little Granny and her own fascination with the Wild West probably started it all. We’d sit and eat hot strawberry jam toasties on a Saturday afternoon, whilst watching the likes of John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and Clint Eastwood swagger across the screen of a tiny portable TV. (Remember those! No 50 inch LED screens in the 1980s folks!) Their arrogance and pride, their chaps and Stetsons and their love of the land all hooked me right there and then. They were respectful towards women (usually) and they would bare knuckle fight anyone who insulted their own woman or family.
 
©Depositphotos/alanpoulson
 

Even as a child, I knew that they were acting but it opened a whole new world to me, one where men were chivalrous and masculine with integrity and a thirst for justice. Growing up in the Welsh valleys, the Wild West was a complete contrast and I became fascinated by the wild and rugged landscape and the men who sought to tame it.

My western novels are set in the 1800s. I’m addicted to historical romances and historical novels and I love reading about different times. I’m always thinking ‘what if…’ when I read and write and I like to consider how my characters would have coped with the challenges of day to day life back then, as well as how they’d behave when faced with love and loss. Romance novels require a strong, honourable and sexy hero and cowboys epitomise this. They don’t want any trouble but if it finds them, they face it with courage and they stick to their principles – and their guns! ;-)
They also have deep dark eyes, broad  toned shoulders, thick muscular thighs and abs to die for… but I have to give the heroine (and my lovely reader) a bit of what she (or he) fancies! ;-)
©Depositphotos/artem_furman
 
Add to these qualities an air of mystery and independence, and what more could you wish for?
The cowboy often has a past that would make many lesser men break down but he bears it admirably and he doesn’t harp on about how hard he’s had it. It might mean that he has a secret vulnerability that only the heroine can soothe and when he does ‘open up’, it’s a beautiful and sensitive moment.
The cowboy hero's desire for independence means that he works his land and he cares for his animals. He has the means to support himself and his family and he doesn’t need anyone or anything else. In fact, he doesn’t give a damn what others think. In a society where we deal constantly with job insecurities, rising living costs and are relentlessly bombarded by the message that we need to be better in all areas of our lives, it’s no wonder that the cowboy hero is so appealing.

So why do I love a cowboy hero?

He’ll ride in on his horse, scoop you up in his arms and seat you on the saddle in front of him, then carry you back to his homestead where he’ll make love to you in his rough and ready, yet extremely sensual way and offer you your Happy Ever After (in more ways than one) as only a cowboy can.
 
 

 

©Depositphotos/konradbak

So what do you think? Can you resist a cowboy hero?
Molly xxx

 

 

9.10.13

Why I Love the Paranormal

It’s coming up to Halloween – time for trick-or-treaters, ghoulish decorations and spooky releases.

I’m not a Halloween person myself, but I love anything paranormal. I love horror films, I love to read about seances, ghosts, psi powers and cryptozoology. And I love the freedom that it gives when writing a story.

Oh, I’m not short of story ideas outside of the paranormal. But being able to bend the rules of the known world is hugely entertaining. Everyone tackles them differently. What would happen if you fell in love with a vampire – or perhaps an angel or one of the fae? What would happen if you could control objects with your mind? Or if you could talk to ghosts? Who wouldn’t want to believe there was a world beyond ours where all this was possible?

I don’t have a paranormal release out on Halloween, but I do have one out in early November. Sleepwalker follows herbalist Tally Haslam, who goes to stay at a haunted hotel for a paranormal evening. On the first night she sleepwalks, waking to find herself outside the open bedroom door of Kyle Hunter, who has chosen to pleasure himself before he goes to sleep. Shocked and hopelessly aroused, Tally escapes and decides to keep this a secret – but the ghost of Madigan Hall has other ideas…



8.10.13

What I hate about BDSM Romance

Ya. I know. I write BDSM Romance, so how can I hate it? The answer - I don't! I just hate some aspects and perceptions of it. Such as

1.  People who participate in BDSM are somehow "damaged" and need the dominance or submission of BDSM in order to feel better about themselves. No names mentioned here, but I can think of 50 shades of assumptions gone askew!

2.  All BDSM involves pain. Not true. Ninety percent of BDSM is a mind fuck. I truly believe that 90% of sensuality is a mind fuck!

3.  Dominants are sadistic and only care about their own pleasure. In truth, a true dominant puts the needs of his submissive before his own. He must see to his pleasure, her pleasure, her safety.  For example, I have asthma and when my husband and I do a scene he watches my skin color careful. If I start to turn a bit gray (a sure sign my lungs are in distress), he puts a halt to anything going on even if I'm not ready to stop.

4.  BDSM is unnatural.  Okay. I got nothing here. Define "natural"? As in takes place in nature? Let me assure you all - there are LOTS of natural BDSM encounters!!!

5.  Submissives are wimps. GET REAL!!! Do you have any idea how brave and trusting a person must be to give control of his or her body over to another person?? Besides, this is one situation at least where NO means NO and STOP means STOP. In truth, the sub has all of the control.

6.  Dominants are arrogant. Again, GET REAL!! Do you have any idea how humbling an experience it is to know that another person trusts YOU enough to allow you control over his or her body?

I've been told by people whom I know and respect that my writing is just plain wrong. That it would be better if I took out the BDSM aspects and replaced them with good, old-fashioned love making. My response - I did that. I just included BDSM in that love making.

6.10.13

What is the appeal of Regency period?


The Regency era as we have come to know it in historical romance fiction represents quite a few qualities. And a number of types exist from sweet to saucy and erotic (as in HIS DELECTABLE COOK which is an a quatre!).

But each of the sub-sub-genres share qualities with the others.

Is there room for any variety?

I want to know!

Best selling Regencies, IMHO, have a few traits in common:

1. Wit or humor is required of hero, heroine and perhaps even in the plot!

2. A fiasco of some sort pops up to challenge the hero/heroine and they must use their noggins to solve the issue. USUALLY it is the woman who has her head screwed on straight, however. Hey, this is romance, donchaknow? NO TooStupidToLive Heroines, please!

3. Balls, gardens, misunderstandings abound.
We must dance, smell the roses and misperceive each other to make it a viable period piece.

4. The hero must be Above the Fray, usually not wishing to marry, though (handtobrow) he must, poor boy, for the sake of (pick one) the family, the estate, daddy, mom, sister in distress, et al.

5. Heroines tend to be smarter than the average gal. Well read, though most were not in that period. Well dressed, if she can afford it. Beautifully underdressed, if she is smart.

Tell me what other traits you see in them—and why you read them!

HIS DELECTABLE COOK is for sale at:
Amazon  http://amzn.to/156cqdn


5.10.13

Everything you ever need to know about writing romance...

Some of you might know that I broke my arm recently. It's made typing a bit tricky and messed with my head as well, so when I realised it was my turn to Hit the Hot Spot I was freaking out LOL

I wracked my brain, and then searched all of my romance related articles and found some notes I'd taken at my very first Romance Writers conference back in 2002. I found the perfect thing! This is a recap of the wonderful advice I received from NY Times bestseller Stephanie Laurens, and quite frankly, I'm amazed that my notes were so comprehensive. I must have listened well.

This advice is still very relevant today and will help all romance writers, published or not. It takes us all back to the basics and why we do what we do. I hope you find it as useful as I have.



The first thing to remember is that romance is entertainment fiction

Therefore :1. Romance is entertainment
                  2. It should be written in the vernacular (common tongue of the reader)

In practice how does that work?

Writing is storytelling.  Storytelling is entertainment (do we see a theme here?).  The writer has an unwritten contract with the reader.  The writer tells their story, and the reader is entertained!

When we tell our story, it is a performance.  We want the reader to have an experience they enjoy so much that they will come back for more.

What is our competition?  Television, Movies and Time!

Other writers are NOT our competition.  When a writer is successful, it encourages readers to read! 

Not just one author, but many.  ‘The rising tide floats ALL our boats”

How is success measured?  SALES, SALES, SALES! (Notice I didn't mention reviews?)

For writers, to be successful and to gain recognition for their work  they must repeat their performance at least twice a year. The reader always wants more, and will forget you if you don't indulge them.

Successful writers are born storytellers but not all writers are successful.

The process of storytelling involves the 1. What? ie What you are telling and 2. the How? How you tell it. 

Of course the story is often the same or similar to other stories, but it is the different telling of the story that counts…ie..Same, but different! (confused?)

The main mistake new writers make is to try to write for the current popular sub-genre instead of writing what they are good at.

Some writers try to be different, but remember that the readers expect similar books each time so don’t be too different.

Surprise, surprise - there is a formula.  The main characters are the Hero and the Heroine.  The story revolves around the development of emotional relationships and ends with a resolution of the relationship.   Similar to crime fiction with  protagonist, antagonist, and a crime with a resolution at the end.

Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.  Return to the familiar world. Write what you're good at and enjoy reading.

The story comes first…then the telling.  The right story creates a spark in a mesmerising way.

The telling style is influenced by the contract with the audience.  What they expect, otherwise know as reader expectation.

It should have immediacy and urgency– be gripping, page turning.  Grab the attention from the first page.

Don't forget to vary the pacing in the way that suits your story.  The audience is conditioned to expect pacing.  Don’t disappoint them.  Use it as a weapon, but don’t try to exhaust them.

Don’t use big words.  Unusual words must be understandable in the context of the story.  You have to reach a wide audience.  Not all readers are highly educated.

The audience must be able to “hear” you.  Read your story aloud.  Listen to your words.  Find your “voice”.

Use distance and Point of View (How close is the POV in the relationship to the character?)
Think of the distance in terms of looking through a camera lens.

Use close POV in romance fiction.  Rarely use narrative.  Use the characters thoughts and observations.  The audience wants to get inside the characters’ heads.  This engages the audience.

Remember…thinking is not always in correct grammar.

Match the characters with their motivations.
You must be consistent and logical in your motivations.
Be realistic in terms of the “world” you have created.
Characters and their motivations must be related to by the audience.

The intensity of your story, and it’s telling depends on vividness, accuracy, plot, scene construction and “voice”. Correct intensity leaves your audience satisfied.

NEVER FORGET THAT THE AUTHOR IS THE PERFORMER AND THE READER IS THE AUDIENCE.

So what was the final message?

Stop listening to what others say about your writing.  Make your own decisions.  Have confidence in your own abilities.  Study bestsellers and their backlists.  See how they developed.  Look for their strengths.  Find your own.


Wonderful advice!


Now go forth and write!   I expect an influx of new submissions to Total-e-bound in a couple of months!


 Do you have some favourite writing tips?  How about sharing them here? 

I'm offering the best tip a chance to win a copy of my alter ego Maggie Mitchell's new release CHASING TERPSICHORE.

I look forward to some wonderful tips :-)

Maggie
www.maggienash.com
www.maggienash.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/maggienash

And don't forget to check out my books HERE


1.10.13

Spoiling the Plot

I've just read an article on the BBC news website about how some people think it's fine to give away the plot in films or in books. The fate of one of the main characters in the new Bridget Jones saga has been released and fans are furious.


"As well as Psycho, some people think it's fine to give away that scene in The Crying Game or the denouement in The Sixth Sense or the twist in The Sting. It's not fine." (bolding is mine)
Damn right. It's not fine. You wouldn't believe the amount of times I see authors frustrated by the fact that the plot twist they have carefully constructed has been given away by reviewers who reveal too much.

People will go all out to avoid knowing the sports results, or end of series cliff-hanger. But inevitably they are doomed to disappointment. If you watch American shows outside of America (we are often months/years/decades behind), and you use social media, then you have little to no hope of not seeing a passing post about the subject. Even in fandom, a moratorium on discussing the end will only last so long. Avid viewers just have to pull up their big girl panties and avoid all social media - ever - until they see the episode, or accept that details will seep out.

My book about an LGBT homeless lad, The Sky is Dead, has such a plot twist, and I thank each and every reviewer and reader who mentioned there was a twist, and did not say what it was. Fortunately when you're discussing homeless youth, there's plenty of other things to talk about.



My kids have been trained to ask if I mind knowing the details about programmes we watch and I thank them for their good manners. My daughter (permanently attached to the iPad) nearly flies apart at the seams if I don't want to know a spoiler, but she won't tell me if I say no.

All I'm saying is, don't assume people already know the huge twist of the latest novel or blockbuster. They may not know, and giving it away ruins it for both them and also for the person who has taken the time to construct the twist.




Book Three in the The Arches series.

Milo has a history of screwing up his life. He meets David at The Arches gym and realises this is his chance to start afresh.

By some miracle, Milo, Matt’s ex-boyfriend, has managed to hold down his job at The Arches gym, and keep his room in Jimmy’s house, despite being a total slob. But Milo is really bored of cleaning and the menial jobs he does every day. Then David St. Giles walks into the gym, he’s in London for two months and looking for temporary membership. Tall, dark and handsome David has Milo’s dream job as a political lobbyist and the contacts to get Milo finally into the career he’s always wanted.

Milo has a history of using his boyfriends and friends to get what he wants, and Gabe, Matt’s current boyfriend, is determined to warn David away. David doesn’t take the hint and invites Milo out. Milo is attracted to David, even if the man keeps trying to top him. This time he doesn’t want to take advantage of David, but he’d be stupid not to, wouldn’t he?