Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Guest Blogger - Anne Frasier

I'm so excited to be guest blogging on Halloween, my favorite day ofthe year! I'm interested in the paranormal and have been on several ghost hunts, but so far I've never seen, felt, or heard anything to convince me that the unexplained is anything more than the unexplained. The nearest I've ever come to something weird, odd, freaky, scary was the night I met my brother's doppelganger.

When I was fourteen and my younger brother was eight, we lived in an isolated desert town in southern New Mexico. My brother stood out in the largely Hispanic community because he had straight white hair and pale skin.

Enter Halloween.

My brother was going as a vampire. He and my mother were in thebathroom where she was putting on his makeup. I stood watching in the doorway. We were chatting and laughing. Someone knocks at the front door. I leave the bathroom, go approximately ten steps, turn on the porchlight and open the door, expecting an early trick-or-treater. There is my brother, standing at the bottom of the steps dressed in his black cape. No bag in his hands. Nothing on his head. His white hair. No cars around. No people. No trick-or-treaters.

He looks terrified.

My mind is struggling with the impossible logistics of the situation. I'd been looking at him in the bathroom when I heard the knock. I ask how he got outside. Terror in his eyes. I ask, What's wrong? He runs beyond the circle of the porch light, into the dark where he seems to vanish. I rush those few steps to the bathroom to tell my mom. To find out how they pulled off such a trick. There they both are, just as I left them.

This is a very small, one story house - less than 1,000 square feet. The bathroom is just a few paces from the front door. It has a window above the tub, but it's one of those high, crank-out things, almost to the ceiling, and very small. If my mother had been able to stuff my brother through the window, he would have dropped six feet on the other side, then he would have had to run around the house to get to the front door. Then he would have had to run back, somehow scale the wall, squeeze through the tiny window, and return to makeup position in the middle of the bathroom. A trick that a rehearsed team could have possibly accomplished in five or ten minutes, but certainly not the seconds I'm talking about.

Over the years I've replayed the event in my mind hundreds of times, but have never been able to come up with a logical explanation. I've asked my brother if it was a trick, but he always gives me the same puzzled and confused look he and my mother gave me that night. I'm the only one who saw my brother's doppelganger.

Anne


About Anne: Anne Frasier's nineteen novels have spanned the genres of mystery,science fiction, horror, and romance. Garden of Darkness, due for release in December 2007, continues a dark tale started in Pale Immortal of a spooky Wisconsin town. In Before I Wake, a secret government medical experiment goes wrong. Play Dead plays out amid the voodoo scene in Savannah, Georgia. Sleep Tight, a traditional police procedural, is set in Minneapolis. Publishers Weekly says Frasier "has perfected the art of making a reader's skin crawl." The Minneapolis Star Tribune calls her a "master." This award-winning, USA Today bestselling author has been published since 1988, and her books have been printed in over a dozen languages in hardcover, trade, and paperback. Frasier lives in Minneapolis/St. Paul where she is workingon her twentieth novel.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Guest Blogger - Donna Kauffman

Hi, Donna Kauffman reporting in.

Thank you, Lucy for inviting me to play in your sandbox today! Good timing, too. I am just finishing up The Black Sheep & The English Rose, which is the last of my Black Sheep: Men of Trinity, Inc. series. (See the end of the blog for the remainder of that shameless plug.)

That means I’m finally ready to tackle my towering To Be Read pile. It is time, finally, to read something written by someone other than ME. I can’t tell you how excited I am by that. I confess I’ve already peeked at Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer’s latest, Agnes & The Hitman, and will likely devour that one first. But, after that, there are so many titles calling my name…

So, I thought I’d throw it out to you all…what are you reading? What’s fun? What’s sizzling? What is the book I simply MUST read next? I even have some additional incentive in my Help A Reader Out campaign. I’ll randomly pick one of the commenters to this blog post and send them a free book to add to their pile! (I know, I’m such an enabler!)

As it happens, my next project, before I dive into another Black Sheep adventure, is a novella that is set to appear in the Kensington Christmas anthology next season. And I was thinking maybe I should get a bit of my holiday spirit on by dipping into this season’s offerings. Any suggestions? (Okay, okay, so I’m so far behind you could probably recommend last season’s highlights and they’d be news to me!) I know, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but it’s been so unseasonably warm here, I need help getting my Santa buzz ready.

Okay, the rest of that plug I promised. The first Trinity book, The Black Sheep & The Princess is on the shelves right this very second. The next, The Black Sheep & The Hidden Beauty, will be out right after Santa makes his last stop this holiday season and before your New Years resolutions have to be made. And finally, the above mentioned final book in the series, The Black Sheep & The English Rose, will make it’s way to you next summer. Plug officially over.

If you’re a blog fan, or just someone who likes a shot at winning free books, you can also add my blog to your daily Must Read Blog list (right after Lucy’s of course!) and enter the weekly scavenger hunts or just dish with my fellow Blog Babes on the latest goings on. A few of them share my addiction to a handful of current television shows, which I do a running Morning After Commentary on during the week, so come join the fun, join the snark. Be a joiner.

Have a great week!

Donna
www.donnakauffman.com

www.donnakauffman.com/blog

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Nesting and Other Instincts

Okay, so I've got this thing about having little nests around the house. Places I can sit and write (or read), where I can spread my things out and just be me. We're still living in chaos, which means that all my nests, but the one in my office (commonly referred to around here as "the cockpit"), are gone. And my office (being the only common living area not under remodeling siege from the big flood) is overrun with people. Lovely, wonderful, I'm-so-happy-to-be-around, but noisy, distracting and impossible to ignore people.

And this is where blessings come disguised. What happened was that a few months ago, Hubcap broke one of the reclining wingback chairs I keep in my office for visitors (even when the house isn't under seige I tend to get a lot of those - kids doing homework, sisters stopping by to say hi, etc.). It wasn't his fault really. He was taking an innocent little nap when he must have moved or something, but he had the chair fully reclined and it tipped backwards. So did he...at the time the chair was in front of my bookcases. You can imagine what happened next. He got a bath in books. Once I established he was okay...

Went like this -
"Honey, are you all right?"
"Wh...uh...okay? Yeah, okay." (He was asleep, remember.)

Well, anyway, once I knew he wasn't permanently injured I about died laughing. I could only see his legs...everything else was covered in books.

Once my amusement was down to a few snorts and chortles, I helped him up - picked up the chair and discovered it was broken. That meant I needed new visitor chairs for my office. It took me a while to getting around to ordering them, but I finally did. (Not reclining chairs this time for obvious reasons.) And they arrived the day before yesterday!!! This meant that I had one extra wing back recliner to do with as I liked. And I liked making myself a nest...this time in my bedroom. I bought a small half moon table to go beside it and now I have a place to hide and write when I need it - a place to read books while hubby is sleeping and a place to just chill and be me.

Happy sigh...

Another happy sigh comes from the knowledge that we've got a wonderful guest blogger scheduled for tomorrow! None other than the amazing Donna Kauffman!!! Yep, that's right...that ultimate diva of the sexy romance is coming by to hang with us for a bit. Lovely, don't you think?

Oh, and the "other instincts" mentioned in my title...my strong urge to give things away of course. Last week's blog winner (drawn from all the comments made on all the post Sun - Sat) is:

==> Joyce <==

Hon, please email me off my website and I'll send your signed copy of "The Rancher's Rules" ASAP.

This week's blog winner can look forward to a book from my prize shelves (written by someone other than me) and some fab lip gloss - and a piece or two of chocolate, of course. :)

Hugs to all,
Lucy

P.S. You might note that I'm not writing as fast with my office as inundated as it is - but I am steadily climbing toward done on Phoebe and Spiros' story.

P.P.S. Crystal posted a couple of super reviews of Annabelle's Courtship and Meagan's Chance on her blog. If you'd like to read them, click here.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mini Interview with Stephanie Rowe

I thought I'd try something different. A mini interview. Interviews are fun, but they can get long...both to read and to answer questions for. So, I got to thinking that it would be fun to ask some authors to answer a short series of questions - stuff you (and I) like to know, but maybe don't always get the chance to ask. This is my first one and if you all like it, I'll do some more down the road. :) And for this "test drive" of the new "thing" - I started with the fun and fabulous Stephanie Rowe.

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Lucy: My readers are all about the characters...tell us a little about your hero. What or who inspired him?

SR: The hero in my upcoming November release, SEX & THE IMMORTAL BAD BOY, wasn’t inspired solely on his own. He was inspired by the heroine, Paige Darlington, who we met in the previous book in the series, HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME HOT. At the end of HE LOVES ME, Paige demanded the next book be about her (she wasn’t in my plans at all), and I had to come up with a hero worthy of her. Paige is facing some really tough crises (like, being cursed by Satan to become a soulless wraith who kills everything she touches), yet, she is a truly optimistic and positive person to her core. I needed to face her with her worst nightmare, which of course would be the one man who needs to kill her, a man who has been tortured for so long that he lives in the darkest place, so utterly devoid of hope and joy that even Paige can’t reach him. But for Paige to survive, she has to reach past that hellish wall Jed has erected around his heart and soul, and she has to find a way to make him believe again. If she doesn’t, they’ll both die and bring down everyone they care about with them. Paige and Jed are such opposites, at some different places on the spectrum, yet they are both so incredibly desperate that they are forced to find a way to deal with each other if they are to survive. I wanted to give each character a partner that would challenge everything they believed in, everything that made them who they are, and force them to face their worst fears and deepest hopes.

Lucy: I think we all like to get to know the woman behind the book cover sometimes, tell us a little about you. Besides writing, what other talent would you most like to have?


SR: Oh, this is sooo easy. I would love to be able to sing. I think singing in the greatest, and I would love to be that person who gets up on stage at a karayoke bar and belts out a song that makes everyone forget to drink their beer and scarf down peanuts. I always wanted to be in the high school musical, singing and dancing, and getting to kiss the hot senior on stage in front of everyone. But, alas, not only can I not sing, but I actually mutilate every song I attempt. You want to know how bad I am? Well, when I was in law school, I was talking to a gal who was a former musical child prodigy, and I was trying to convince her that I *really* couldn’t sing. She gave me this look of total disbelief, and said, “Everyone can sing at least somewhat.” And when I disagreed, she challenged me to prove it. So, she marches over to the piano and starts to whip out this great rendition of Oklahoma! off the top of her head (did I mention child prodigy?) and I leap in and start to sing with gusto, doing my absolute best to sing the song that I love. After about ten seconds, she stops playing and gives me a look of complete disgust and says, ‘Well, you have to try.” And I looked right back at her and said, “I was trying.” And she blinks and goes. “Oh.” Then she got up from the piano and didn’t bring it up again. Yeah, I’m *that* bad.

Lucy: Who is someone you admire and why?

SR: My two year old daughter is a huge inspiration, mostly because she shows me what I’ve forgotten in my cynical, old adulthood. To her, life is about laughter, it’s about being in the moment, it’s about finding joy in everything around her, it’s about hugging when you want to hug, running when you want to run, sleeping when you want to sleep. She reminds me to stop and notice the squirrels racing up a tree with acorns in his mouth, to stop and smell every flower as we walk down the street, to listen to the birds and dance to music in the car. She reminds me that something bad that happened five minutes ago is over and done, and not worthy worrying about when something better has come along, like the Wiggles or the cat (did I mention that she can’t say her “K’s” so the cat is “Titty?” She runs around the house yelling “Titty” all day. Yes, she’ll be a romance author when she grows up, but it’s looking like it may be erotic romance...).


Visit Stephanie and read about her past,
present and upcoming books at:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Guest Blogger - Bianca D'Arc

I’m thrilled and excited to guest blog here today. I’m Bianca D’Arc, and I aspire to be just as prolific and successful as Lucy when I grow up! ;-) I write mostly paranormal, futuristic, sci fi and fantasy romance – extra spicy, at times. I guess I’m best known for my Dragon Knights – a series where the dragons are the good guys who fight alongside their chosen knights against evil. Set in a fantasy-medieval world, a precious few of the dragons are shapeshifters – half-dragon and half-human. These are the special men of the royal line and so far they’re featured in two of my books: The Ice Dragon (which won an EPPIE Award), and my most recent release, Prince of Spies.

I also write paranormal and urban fantasy featuring werewolves, vampires, fey warriors, magic users, and spec ops guys who kick butt! The first of these books is already in print, titled Lords of the Were, and a related book will be out in ebook this December and in print next year, titled Sweeter Than Wine.

My next big print release is in March, and will mark the beginning of a new futuristic series called Resonance Mates. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world that isn’t dark, but rather, a place where only those gifted with psychic abilities have survived an alien takeover of the Earth. It’s one of those books that defies labels because it has elements of sci fi, paranormal, and a good old-fashioned Western, complete with a ranch and cowboys. This book is on the hotter end of my writing spectrum, so be warned. It’s definitely in the “erotic romance” sub-genre.

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about what’s “erotica” and what’s “erotic romance.” To me, there is a vast difference. Erotic romance focuses on the relationship and is a love story at heart. There’s got to be deep, emotional commitment between the characters that allow the extra-hot love scenes to make sense in the context of the story. I try to let my characters drive the story and write what makes sense for them. It’s not about getting as many sex scenes as you can in there.

It’s more about how these characters, put in this situation, will act and demonstrate their love for each other. That’s the thing erotica is missing, in my opinion. There’s usually little or no emotional component in erotica, and very often, no mention of love. I don’t write that. I just write love stories, and always end with a Happily Ever After. To me, that’s what romance is all about. How about you?

Special thanks to Lucy, for inviting me here today. I had the good fortune to meet her (and the Hubcap) at Lora Leigh’s RAW a few weeks ago. I hope we get to do it all again next year!

Bianca D’Arc
Come over to The D’Arc Side… www.biancadarc.com
Visit my The D’Arc Side Blog at: http://biancadarc.com/blog/

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

To Expo or Not to Expo...

That's the question I was trying to answer this weekend when I attended the 2007 Northwest Women's Show in Portland. The promise of 15,000 women coming through one place sounded oh so tempting. But I needed to know if it made sense to participate next year. And in the process of discovery, I had myself a very good time.


It all started when my friends Tisa and Floydene showed up at my door with Floy's daughter. I had um...forgotten the time and was out back in the hot tub. I ran around frantically getting ready while they waited patiently in my still torn up great room. But finally, we were on our way. We managed not to lose each other in the parking garage and got into the expo without having to wait in line. There's something to be said for going on Sunday afternoon. :) The Red Hat Society were putting on the entertainment on the main stage - wonderful Big Band tunes sung by voices reminicent of some of the all time greats like Rosemary Clooney and then a fabulous fashion show that I only caught glimpses of as we perused the stalls.


I took Drama Queen and that was wonderful, except she talked me into a lot of stuff - like throwing an Undercover Wear party in November. Yep, she's pretty persuasive. I'm sure the demonstrater loved having her job done for her by my dd. LOL Tisa and Floydene were great cohorts in crime...Floy having the same kind of fun with her dd I was having with mine. ;-) You should have seen that beautiful girl after one session with a make-up artist. Oy...not hard to understand why the model agency stopped her and Floydene as they were walking by the booth.


Tisa and I talked about the feasibility of me doing promotion at a show like this and what I could hope to get out of it. Hubcap came along for recon as well, and graciously took pictures for us. He also carried the bags, and man did I have a few! There were wonderful things for sale, and very interesting information booths. It was an amazing experience and I'm trying to work out how to participate to the best effect next year. But one thing I know...as long as I've got friends along as fun as Tisa and Floydene and our sweet girls, it'll be a blast!

So, let's talk friendship...what's the most recent fun thing you've done with friends - or something you plan to do very soon? My next big "get together" is going to be with my mom, Drama Queen, and my two nieces (all of whom I consider friends)...I'm taking them to see Disney Princesses on Ice. It was DQ's idea of course. LOL

Hugs,
Lucy

P.S. The winner of Michelle's giveaway is Stacy S! Hon, please email me off my website with your mailing info so I can pass it on to Michelle. :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Guest Blogger - Michelle Buonfiglio

I'm so excited, I'm seriously dancing around my office! Michelle Buonfiglio, a woman who has done amazing things for the romance genre is here! On my little blog. I wasn't sure until the last minute if Michelle would have time to chat with you all, but she *made* the time and I'm oh so happy about that. :) Hers is one of my favorite blogs and her "Romance B(u)y the Book" channel on LifetimeTV.com is just plain amazing. Not only is she uber smart, but she's a very generous lady as well. She's running a contest on this blog post - the lucky winner (drawn from comments) will receive a 'Ciao Bella" t-shirt from Firenze, Italia, plus a six-pack of romance novels. Cool, huh?

Welcome, Michelle!
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Buongiorno, Lucy and Friends, and thank you! I’m really thrilled to be here with you for two reasons: This is my first official guest blog as LifetimeTV.com’s new romance columnist. And, at the risk of waxing all fangirl, I kinda dig Lucy’s books.

Lucy’s novel, “Ready,” crossed my desk when I was pretty new to writing “Romance: B(u)y the Book,” and still at WNBC.com. I was excited to feature “Ready,” “Willing,” and “and Able,” as a way to introduce folks who didn’t necessarily read romance to Lucy’s brand of hot and emotional.

It’s funny how I kind of absorbed those two qualities – sensual heat and emotional dynamics – as sort of “imprints” I’ll always associate with Lucy’s novels. And I find myself doing the same each time I read a new author. I’m miserable at remembering characters’ and writers’ names. But I rarely forget how a book made my body feel, or how deeply I hurt or fell in love along with the characters.

Beginning Tuesday, October 22 at Romance: B(u)y the Book/LifetimeTV.com, we’re paying tribute to Kathleen Woodiwiss (1939-2007) and her final novel, “Everlasting.” I first read Woodiwiss because I kept hearing everyone say things like, “’The Flame and the Flower’ changed my life,” and “I devoured and loved ‘The Wolf and the Dove’ in college, despite the fact my best friends thought it was single-handedly holding back women’s struggle for equality.”

So I picked up “The Wolf and the Dove” and was knocked out by the dark atmosphere, the conflict, the shocking challenges the heroine masters, and the hero I found wildly attractive in his quintessential bastardlyness. (It’s a word if I say it is, right)?

The impressions I absorbed and retain to this day about Woodiwiss’ novels are: deliciously over-the-top, dynamic passion; button-pushing sexual scenarios and “gender politics;” fantasy that speaks to women on a very elemental level; love stories truly romantic in their depiction of a monogamous couples’ journey toward happily ever after.

How about you? What makes you remember an author’s novels: Impressions/imprints? Characters? Something else? And feel free to visit “Let’s Talk Romance” today to share your “impressions” of Kathleen Woodiwiss’ novels.

Oh! Lucy’s GuestBlogging November 27th at “Let’s Talk Romance,” the blog that’s part of my “Romance: B(u)y the Book” channel at LifetimeTV.com! Join us as we celebrate the release of “Deal with This.” (Oh, how I’d love to, especially when I look at that cover)!

Last Week's Blog Winner ~ This Week's Prize

I had Hubcap draw a name from all the comments posted between Sunday (10-14) and Saturday (10-20) for the signed CD and full color program from Dancing Queen - and of course a bit of chocolate.

And the winner is:

Maureen!!!!

Maureen, please email me off my website with your mailing address, so I can send you your prize.

This week, we are going back to the once a week blog prizes drawn from all your comments made on all blog posts during the week. This week's prize will be a signed copy of The Rancher's Rules before it is in stores.

Hugs to all!

Lucy :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Stuck in the Airport

Well, the flight home got cancelled. (Broken spring in the landing gear - imagine that.) Honestly, I'm glad it got cancelled. Better late than as broken as the plane, or worse. You know? Anyway, we're going to be a few hours late getting home. But the good news is Reno's airport has Wi-Fi connection. Cool, huh???

More good news is that the delay has allowed me to get 15 more pages written on my current WIP. I wrote the first black moment (you all know my books often have more than one) yesterday and the aftermath today. Things just keep getting more complicated for Phoebe and Spiros. She's just discovered that Dimitri was blackmailed into going through with the marriage and she is one POed lady. Spiros is already on her list for playing with her affections, or at least that's the way she sees it. You know from TBPM that they end up married. But how they get there? Very rocky and it isn't going to be smooth sailing after that either.

Ooops...got to go get our bags and re-book on another airline. I may add to this - or I may not. :)

Hugs,
Lucy

Friday, October 19, 2007

Guest Blogger...Karen Whiddon

Hi, my name is Karen Whiddon. Thanks so much to Lucy for extending me the invitation to be a guest blogger.

I write "The Pack" books for Silhouette Nocturne and have just started a new series for Silhouette Romantic Suspense. I've also written Fae books for Lovespell. Currently I have a RS Bulletproof Marriage out from Silhouette Romantic Suspense.

While trying to decide what to blog about today, I decided to write as a reader rather than a writer. We all love to read - heck, that's what makes most of us authors decide to write. I personally (like so many others) have a huge TBR stack. I enjoy many different kinds of books, from romance to horror to non-fiction. If you've read my recent blogs on my web page or myspace page, you'll note that I've been raving about a book I've just finished reading by Ted Kerasote called Merle's Door - Lessons From a Freethinking Dog. This is one of the rare books I've finished and immediately bought another copy to give as a gift. If you love a dog, get this book. The author is an amazingly descriptive writer and, while I didn't always agree with his theories, puts in many interesting scientific facts.

But the real treat is the love story. Yes, love story. Between a man and his special, special dog. After finishing this book, I wept. Wanted to immediately start re-reading. I felt like I knew the author and his friends, and most especially, Merle the Magnificent. I actually wanted to contact Mr. Kerasote to find out if he's ever gotten another dog. I didn't, but I wanted to.

Days after finishing this book, it's stayed with me. I find myself thinking about it daily. I've even gone to the author's website (Tedkerasote.com) and view pictures of Merle. Merle passed away three years ago, but I've truly just gotten to know him and mourn him. Ah, what a story.

Reading this non-fiction book made me aspire to do the same thing in my own fiction work. Inspire a reader. Write a story that lingers. Invite readers into a world they don't want to leave. I'm currently revising two scheduled books, the first Black Sheep P.I. will be out in May 2008 from Silhouette Romantic Suspense. The second, Dance of the Wolf will be released in August 2008 from Silhouette Nocturne.

How about you? What books have you read lately that made you want to rush out and buy a second copy and gift a friend? I'm always looking for good reading material.

Sincerely,

Karen Whiddon

Thursday, October 18, 2007

She's a Dancing Queen...

Or not. LOL Okay, so maybe *I* didn't do all that much dancing, but I sure saw a show full of it and done beautifully. The dancers were absolutely amazing and the music? Pure 1970s with yes, tons of ABBA. My first thought as the glittery curtain rose to reveal the dancers in their glitzy costumes...wow, wouldn't Drama Queen love this? Dh's first thought...aren't they cold? Seriously, he leaned over and asked me. He was embarrassed later, but I told him I totally preferred him the way he is than being married to some guy who would sit there and salivate over the scantily clad dancers. We *both* thoroughly enjoyed the show though. So much, that I knew what my Reno Prize was going to be.

Can you guess? A CD of the music signed by the four main singers along with a signed full color program of the show. You'll almost be there. LOL

The rest of my day was pretty good. I mean if you discount the fact the contractors left the key outside of the lock box outside of the house...AGAIN and the myriad teenage emergencies I handled via the phone. Well, okay, don't discount that stuff. It's all part of life and it's a life I love. But who says you can't parent from several hundred miles away? I finally got a bath about noon and I was sitting in there talking to God and he reminded me, "Just don't give up." I don't mean in the big picture. That's a given. He meant in the small stuff. Stay stubborn, argue it out with the teens until either they convince me I'm wrong or I convince them I'm not. Today? I did the convincing. Felt good. ;-)

I also got lots of writing done as you can see by my progress meter to the right. I've got some pictures of me hard at work. Okay, so I had to take them myself 'cuz Hubcap was at his class, but you get the idea, even if I wasn't exactly writing at that moment in time. (Hard to do one handed...LOL)

Yesterday, DH and I went out to a nice restaurant and then did a little shopping before coming back to the room to do unmentionable things. Okay, okay...I admit, we watched The Colbert Report. ;-) That guy is too funny. He really is.

Wanna know what I bought? Well, can't tell you what I got the kidlinks 'cuz sometimes they read the blog, but I got something very special for me. A painting for my office. Isn't it gorgeous? I adore the original and I had NEVER seen a replica done so well. Even the frame is perfect. It's the kind of creative inspiration I thrive on. Now, how I'm going to ship it home - that I have no idea!!!

One final picture...the view out our window at night. It's so pretty. Really just gives me shivers. So did some of the stuff I saw in the adult toy shop. Yes, I really went there. It's research, don't you know? Seriously, it was a lovely shop - everything tastefully displayed, even the stuff that doesn't make it in the same dictionary with tasteful. One of DH's comments that made me laugh out loud? "Ouch. That's GOTTA hurt." I think if you saw what he was looking at, you would agree. :)


Well, that's it! I'll be posting the guest blogger's post in a little while...bet you're wondering who she is. I know I am...I mean...just kidding!


Hugs,
Lucy

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lucy's On the Road

So, you know what happens when you whine at your hubby about going with him on a business trip? He invites you along. At least mine did. He has a class on QC 80,000 (something to do with his new job as an environmentalist at Intel) here in sparkly Reno, NV. I said, "Gosh, I wish I could go with you." And maybe I whined...a tad.

He said, "Why don't you?"

I said, "What are you nuts? We've got six, cout 'em, SIX teenagers. We can't leave them without adult supervision for five days!!!!"

He said, "Yes, we can."

Um...we did. So, here we are...a totally unexpected five day getaway together in Reno. Neither of us gamble, but we like all the sound, lights and energy of the city. We're going to shows (I'll blog about 'em - don't worry) and I'm working (writing, email, etc.) while he's in class during the day. It's perfect, if a bit scary.

But the teens are doing fine, the contractors (remember the guys putting our flooded house back together?) have figured out how to use our alarm without getting the police involved (Yay!!) and I've got several drop-in visits by friends and family planned for my teens. Yes, I trust 'em - but well, I'm a mom...I worry! LOL

Our room is gorgeous with a view of the city - at night, it is spectacular, but during the day it's nothing to sneeze at either. I am writing with a picture post-card image of the hills around Reno right out my window. Very inspiring! Which is good because I lost two days of writing getting ready for this trip and flying down here and playing hooky with hubby yesterday. It's time I kicked it into high gear. :)

You all want me to bring something special back from Reno? I could give it away as this week's blog prize. At least one, maybe more than one, random winner will be drawn from all the comments on all the posts from this week. Yes, if you comment on more than one post, or more than once, your name will be entered in the drawing more than once. :)

Todays question: If you could go anywhere in the world for five days, where would it be?

Me? Anywhere with my hubby...I love to travel and see new places, but the company makes the trip something special - or not - as the case may be. I've been places that were far more exotic without him and didn't have half the fun.

Hugs,
Lucy


Monday, October 15, 2007

Brownies: Food for Thought

A recurring question writers are asked is, “Where do you get your ideas?” We get our ideas the same place everyone else gets their ideas. They arrive at odd moments, usually when we’re not trying too hard. When the left-brain backs off and allows the right brain freedom, ideas flow. This happens in the early morning, in the last hour before falling asleep, in the shower, driving, and while baking. Relaxing my left-brain is my reason for shopping and making brownies.

I had the idea for my novella in A Western Winter Wonderland for a long time. The first thing I knew was the first thing I usually know: The Feel of the Story. The atmosphere. The way I will feel while I write and the way I wanted readers to feel when they read the story. Unexplainable, actually, but for me atmosphere is the story skeleton, as much as plot outline or characters. A character always comes next. For this story it was Marvel. I knew she was lonely and had spent her life caring for an elderly father. Life had passed her by, and she wanted more.

She got the wrong man the first time. Sorry, Marvel. My bad. I came up with Brody, an Irishman with a sexy brogue and a son and a backstory about his wife and her unscrupulous father, plus a whole complex scenario where the father-in-law cheated him out of his shipyards yada yada. He was a nice guy. Probably would have made a good lover and husband. But he had too much baggage and something was missing. Chemistry perhaps. So Marvel waited for her perfect man. A couple years passed.

When I needed a Christmas novella, I thought of Marvel, still lonely, still wanting more. Story making can be better than real life, so I could fix that! If my character gets the wrong guy the first time, I just delete him. Poof! And find her a better guy. Along came the New Guy With No Name. Now what? Give him character traits that will play off hers. Give him a backstory, give him something she wants. Give him a name….hmmm…. I put out a query to my blog readers: Please help me name my hero. They had great ideas! One of them had the perfect name. As soon as I heard Seth Paxton, I knew Seth was right. So I jotted down all the things I knew and plotted and made lists and a created a calendar. I’m working on strengthening timelines and transitions, so I use a calendar to keep myself accountable. From my character and plot notes I wrote a synopsis. From the synopsis I wrote the story.

So you see, a story comes from jotting down resonating ideas and eventually assembling them into a plot structure. It comes from sleeping and reading, from watching television and shopping, from showering and eating brownies. That’s my latest story, and I’m sticking to it.

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ ..·´ Cheryl St.John :-)
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ The Preacher's Daughter, Harlequin Historicals, 6/07
A Western Winter Wonderland Christmas Anthology, 10/07
Look who's blogging:
http://cherylstjohn.blogspot.com/
Romancing the West: www.petticoatsandpistols.com

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A cool interview...

Since so many of you said you liked my "just me" posts, I thought you might be interested in an in-depth interview Rachelle did with me for her blog. You can read it here.

And watch for another guest blogger from your list of "desirable authors" to be posted tomorrow!

Hugs,
Lucy

Friday, October 12, 2007

46 Days and Counting...

Until what you ask?

Until Deal With This is in stores!!! Okay, so I'm a little excited about the release of this book. Can I tell you all that I'm proud of it? I took some risks and I'm thankful Kate Duffy at Brava was cool with that. The story itself was a lot of fun and one of the things that kept me writing through some of the darkest times this last year. Like with all my books, there are spots of humor I'm so hoping my readers get. I understand that my sense of humor can be a little unfathomable at times. ;-) The romance is hot, both physically and emotionally - though neither character is ready for the emotional side. How like life that is. We are so rarely ready for the big changes when they happen...either good or bad. :) And while both Alan and Jillian tend to see the changes coming at them as unsettling, they are very good indeed.

And it's a story tons of readers have emailed me to request or mentioned at chats, etc. You remember Jillian, don't you? Amanda's best friend from The Real Deal...the red-head who helped Amanda dismantle the big screen TV and send it crashing to the floor? Well, this is her story...and Alan's. He's been in a couple of books. Most recently in Satisfaction Guaranteed, but he played a bit role in Moon Magnetism (my novella in Star Quality) as well. Can you guess who he was? I'll give you a hint...he wasn't going by his real name - he was in town as an FBI agent undercover, though no one realized it. Blake realized he was more than he seemed though - it was a good thing for him that Ivy didn't.

So, can you guess who Alan was in Moon Magnetism?

The Book Trailer for Deal With This

I absolutely love this trailer!


As seen on TV and in theaters.
What do you think?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Writing Inside a Ziploc Bag

First of all, thanks to Lucy for the invitation. I love the chance to chat with other readers and writers.

Which brings me to the topic of this post. I began writing in a Ziploc bag. And believe me, it’s hard to breathe in there. It’s also lonely. I didn’t have any writer friends. I didn’t have the nerve to interview police officers and firefighters for my work in progress – I mean, I wasn’t really a writer, was I? But then a miracle happened. I attended a writing workshop and somebody opened up that baggie and released me like a genie (without the fabulous outfit and magical powers).

Since then, connecting with people has been one of the greatest joys writing has brought me. I’ve been able to meet some of my favorite authors face to face (thrill of thrills!). I’ve made some of my best friends through writing. I’ve interviewed some of the most interesting and fantastic people during my research on subjects such as: search and rescue dogs (got to be buried in concrete rubble and play victim for this one); autism; and how to start a fire without leaving evidence of arson (I had to promise not to put that bit to practical use). Heck, once somebody actually suspected me of industrial espionage – in Iowa! (Managed to get that one straightened out before the authorities were called.)

But best of all, I’ve been able to talk with the people who read my books. There is absolutely nothing in this world better than talking to someone (either in person or via email and letters) about your labor of love and how it affected them. Now, I’m not saying it’s all praise and glory – that’s not the point. (I’ve had plenty of shame-on-yous, and there was an error on page such and such.) The point is sharing the story, talking about the process, exploring other people’s ideas. It’s about talking about books … to people who are passionate about books.

I have six published novels, with the seventh, PITCH BLACK, due out in June, ’08. Each one has brought someone special into my life.

I invite everyone who reads this to open up a line of communication – whether you’ve read my work or not. If you’re reading this blog, we have something in common. We love books!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Story Prep & Inspiration

So, I just finished the preparation for my current WIP. I've been working on it for the last two days; plotting, plumbing the depths of my characters and organizing my thoughts with a plethora of paper and sticky notes. It feels so good to have this many thoughts swirling in my head again, to plot and immediately see underlying messages that must be subtly revealed, to hear my characters speak in voices unique to them. Ah, the joy of creation.

I also thought it would be fun to share my progress on this story with you all. So, as soon as I can figure out how to get the "Word-ometer" on the page, you'll get a first hand view of my daily progress in writing. Sound fun?

I didn't forget that I promised to share my inspiration pics for this book and my last one either. Here they are:


For Hired: The Sheikh's Secretary Mistress
Summer '08
He wants her to find him a wife, she wants him to realize she's the woman for him.
Amir's Inspiration

Grace's Inspiration
For The Greek Tycoon's Discarded Bride
to be included in a M&B Anthology Sept '08.
She wants so much more than a marriage of convenience, but he's offering anything but love.

Spiros' Inspiration
Phoebe's Inspiration

What do you think? Anyone recognize the inspiration pic for Spiros? Hint, he's an actor.

Hugs to you all!
Lucy

A Lucy M Public Service Announcement

JURY DUTY SCAM

This has been verified by the FBI (their link is included below). It is spreading fast - so be prepared should you get this call.

Most of us take summons for jury duty seriously, but enough people skip out on their civic duty, that a new and ominous kind of scam has surfaced. The caller claims to be a jury coordinator. If you protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the scammer asks you for your Social Security number and date of birth so he or she can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. Give out any of this information and bingo; your identity just got stolen.

The scam has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma , Illinois , and Colorado . This (scam) is particularly insidious because they use intimidation over the phone to try to bully people into giving information by pretending they're with the court system. The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their web sites, warning consumers about the fraud.

Check it out here:
http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/juryduty.asp http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/j/jury_duty_scam.htm http://www.fbi.gov/page2/june06/jury_scams060206.htm

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My Day Off

Started off by sleeping in...YUM! Then I got up, got ready and *straightened my hair* - I never have time to dot that. I felt like a million bucks when hubby got home to have lunch with me. Got a very sad phone call about my uncle, but had to bounce back - this was my "DAY OFF" and that hasn't happened for love or money in all too long. After lunch, leftover Thai food - to die for good - I called one of my favorite cohorts in crime, that would be my mom...and invited her on an excursion to my favorite store. Office Depot.

After a couple of side trips (Mom needed blood drawn at the hospital and a friend called me 'cuz her parents needed help using the computer to book tickets to fly back east today and she lives out of state, but I don't. Thank goodness. ::g::) we made it to my personal Disney Land. Okay, call me a geek, but I get so excited over new styles of Post-It notes (did you *know* they now have a line made out of 30% recycled paper???) and pens and computer stuff (got a new router - what fun - it's supposed to be way faster for wireless Internet). We spent a good hour picking out a new printer for my exchange students, a new router for me, and sundry other stuff. My mom laughed out loud as I trailed my fingers over the newest wireless ergonomic keyboard and moaned in delight. Wonder how long my current keyboard is going to last??? LOL

After Office Depot, I visited Mom a bit at her house and then went home with my hubby. The kids were all wondering where in the world I was and going into withdrawls or something 'cuz I wasn't here to hear about their day. So, we went out to a late dinner at the Olive Garden and had the coolest waiter on the planet. Visited, laughed and in general rounded off my day perfectly! Yes, I boxed up my dinner and got dessert. So? Now you know all my secrets...I'm a total office supply hound and I eat dessert before dinner. LOL

What's your favorite thing to do on your day off?

P.S. I'm blogging at BravaAuthors.com today and giving away a prize off that blog post. Come by and visit me over there too if you get a chance. :)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Guest Blogger...Vivi Anna

I was thrilled when Lucy asked me to guestblog at her place. I adore Lucy. She’s an author and woman that I truly respect and admire. When I grow up I hope to be half the person she is. I’m thrilled that she’s back and in fine form.

So, thank you Lucy!

I love October. I like the fall colors, and that Halloween is coming up, I love the creepy crawlies. I also love October because I have a new book out full of the creatures that go bump in the night…
DARK LIES, book two of the Valorian Chronicles
by Vivi Anna

What dark secret was she hiding?
When the Otherworld Crime Unit reconvenes to investigate a ritualistic murder, werewolf Jace Jericho can barely set aside his past—and his hatred of humanity—to work with the team's newest member. As far as Jace is concerned, police rookie Tala Channing has two strikes against her: one, she's human, and two, something about her drives him wild with desire.—

Forced to work side by side with Tala, deep into the witching hours, Jace struggles to keep his primal instincts in check. But when they finally succumb to wild passion, Jace realizes Tala has spun a web of lies. And Tala's secret now puts his life—and heart—on the line.—

“Any story by Vivi Anna never lets the reader down, as the plots are compelling with particularly engaging characters. This talented author knows how to create characters who are either appealing from their charming natures or despicable from the havoc they generate. A marvelous cast of characters live in the world conceived by Ms. Anna for the Valorian Chronicles series, and each one is a driving force in the telling of DARK LIES…Heart wrenching emotions and even some delightful humor interweave with chilling incidents to make DARK LIES a spellbinding story.” – Amelia, Cataromance

“If it’s a book by Vivi Anna, you just know it’s going to be good. DARK LIES is spectacular, even better than the first book in The Valorian Chronicles!” – Debbie, CK2KWIPSANDKRITIQUES

”The characters in the Valorian Chronicles are so multi-faceted and explored so thoroughly that they feel very real, very ‘human’. Dark Lies took me from the crime scene, to the lab, and into the lives and homes of this very talented Otherworld Crime Unit, as well as into those that their lives touched effortlessly and realistically. I can do nothing other than totally, Joyfully recommend Dark Lies. If you love action and emotionally packed stories, I recommend you pick up both installments of the Valorian Chronicles, you won’t be disappointed…just be prepared to lose your connection to real life for a few hours.” – Lyonene, Joyfully Reviewed

In the spirit of Halloween, I’d love to know what paranormal creature you like best. Are you a vamp groupie, totally live in the wolfie world, or is magic your forte?

I love them all personally, and I don’t think I have a favorite. That’s why I wanted to create a world for them all to live and play in. All of them deserve their fun.

Tell me who’d you love a late night visit from and I’ll put your name in a cauldron and pick two winners for a couple of prizes – a choice of any one of my books.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Thoughts on a Rainy Saturday

Well, it's been a busy week, no? We've had some great guest bloggers and I've been writing like mad in order to finish my current WIP on time. Throw in an impromptu radio interview, my daughter and her boyfriend breaking up and my son deciding he's too smart for school and well, you've got a tiny slice of my life. LOL

The interview was great and I think Phil Harris will turn out to be a friend. He's witty and culturally relevant and he cares about the world we live in. All good things in my book. He's also an author and I'll be reading a book of his soon. It's a retelling of "A Christmas Carol" and you all know what a sucker I am for Christmas. Make the protagonist a teenager in trouble and you've got me hook, line and sinker.

But that's not what this post is about...it's just a quick reflection on the past week. I need to be writing, but I felt and even deeper need to connect to you all personally. Last night was drama central around here with oldest daughter and boyfriend parting ways. She's hurting, but I admire her strength is standing firm by her principles. My son, who may very well be too smart for school, nevertheless agreed with my arguments on the necessity not only of going, but doing well. Could have a tiny bit to do with the fact he'll be grounded until he's fifty if he tries a different route. ;-)

Dh [to the right with son] is his usual wonderful self, which is not precisely perfect so much as flawed in all the right places. LOL He and all the boys (my son, the nephew living with us, our two long term exchange students and Papa - dh's daddy) are all fishing at the lake today. In the rain...and the mud (last fishing experience son came home covered in mud from head to toe, his legs literally caked with it because he'd stepped in several sink holes - this time he wore rubber boots - smart boy) and you know, I don't think they care. They just like fishing.

They were all very excited about it last night, especially Papa who I think could have been happy with a few more kids of his own. LOL

Youngest daughter [to the left w/ her sissy] went to a dance last night and came home happy - until she got righteously indignant on her older sister's behalf. You gotta love loyalty. It's way better than teen girls arguing, I'm here to tell you. :)

Me? I'm feeling so happy. You see, this past year? Very, very hard. Health issues that weren't life threatening, but were frustrating and never over when I thought they were. But finally? I'm me again and boy does that feel good. If the Great Indoor Flood had happened three months ago? I would have taken to my bed and not come out until everything was over. Now, I'm laughing about it and sharing office space with the family as it's the only unaffected public room in our house. (Try writing a book with six teenagers in the room - it's been interesting...LOL)

Anyway, I just wanted to share with you all how good it feels to *know* I will finish this book on time because the writing is coming more naturally again and no matter what is happening in life now (and there is *plenty*), I'm not getting overwhelmed. I'm praying and I know He's listening and that gives me so much peace.

Love and blessings to you all,

Lucy :)

P.S. I just got this link. Between Your Sheets interviewed me about what went on between the sheets of Annabelle's Courtship and I thought you all might be interested. Click here to read the interview.

Friday, October 05, 2007

You asked for it...

You really did. Remember when I asked you all who you'd like to see as guest bloggers around here? And you gave me this phenomenal list of authors. Then - well, life got in the way and I didn't get a chance to invite them. But now I have (All of them - inlcuding Nora Roberts, boy did that take moxie - but remember not everyone is going to have time, so we just gotta be grateful for the authors that do, yeah?). However, by and large, the response has been overwhelmingly positive and the authors who don't have time have been SO nice about it. There are lots coming, so keep your eyes out for your favorites to be here in the coming weeks and months.

Truth is? We authors like to talk to readers who have actually invited us to drop by...you know? And I especially like you all, so if there's any way I can provide you access to an author you admire, I'll try to do it.

Now break out the cyber champagne and celebrate with me because our first reader invited (by proxy - me ::g::) guest blogger is here!!!

Give a huge welcome to Shelley Bradley on the post below this one. And to help welcome her, I'm drawing this week's blog prize winner from the comments on her post. What's the prize you ask? A signed copy of "Moon Awakening", a second paranormal book from my prize stash in the goody closet (i.e. by another author LOL), an MA bookmark, a Lucy Monroe pen and a wolf tattoo for the primitive in all of us. ::wink:: Shelley is also generously giving away a second prize...a signed copy of Decadent!

Guest Blogger - Shelley Bradley/Shayla Black

Good morning! Lucy invited me to blog, at your suggestion. Thanks much for recommending me! Here’s a few words about my latest release. Hope you enjoy!

DECADENT – Berkley Heat
(October 2007)
By Shayla Black

Two men are better than one…

How can a virgin seeking happily-ever-after with a hot pop star who has a penchant for threesomes win her fantasy man? Kimber Edgington desperately needs a plan to convince Jesse McCall, who’s been her friend and secret crush since they spent a summer together as teenagers, that they are meant for each other. But all the tabloid stories about his sexual escapades make her feel oh-so inadequate.

Determined to prove she’s woman enough for Jesse, Kimber turns to bodyguard Deke Trenton for sexual education. Bold and brash, Deke warns Kimber that playing with him is playing with fire. But he can’t bear to imagine the innocent beauty in someone else’s arms. So Deke and his super-sexy friend, Luc, take Kimber under their wings and dangerously close to the edge of ecstasy. Though she’s saved herself for Jesse, Kimber soon learns, he’s not the man adept at stoking her aching, endless need. That’s Deke, and he can’t resist when Kimber begs for more–and more…

Reviews:

Top Pick! Hot sex scenes, a strong yet innocent heroine, two devastatingly sexy heroes and enough danger, intrigue and tragic pasts to keep the pages turning. What more could a reader ask for? Black even delivers a happy ending. The last few pages are sure to satisfy even the most romantically-inclined fan. This book is a pleasure to read, and satisfying on every level.” ~ Romantic Times

“I loved Wicked Ties, so I didn’t think that I could enjoyed Decadent even more, AND I DID!!! Decadent put you on my forever list of auto-buy authors (and for that matter an auto-recommend to my customers)!!!! You truly have a gift for writing - and writing HOT! ;-) There are very few erotic romance authors out there who write such complex characters (and storyline) without making it seem contrived! Bravo to you for being one of THE *best* out there! You are so talented in writing true emotion.” ~ Tina Trevaskis - Borders Romance Expert

5 out of 5! “Shayla Black’s Decadent will leave you breathless and panting. She has written an excellent book with believable characters and some sizzling hot sex. This book has a great plot and is told magnificently. Ms Black definitely has a talent for deep emotional scenes with an underlying love story. Decadent is not a book to be missed and is one for the keeper shelf.” ~ Two Lips Reviews

For excerpts and book video, visit my website and blog.

Now...let's talk...have you ever read a menage romance or been curious about one?
**Shelley is also giving away a signed copy of Decadent to a randomly drawn winner from the comments on this post.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

LL Foster...Lori Foster's Dark Side

Listen, gals and pals, as most of you know I am a huge Lori Foster fan, some might even go so far as to say fanatic. It takes a lot to get me to read a "dark" book - a super intriguing premise, an excerpt that yanks me in and won't let go...an author who is so auto-buy even Amazon knows she's on my list of easy sells. So, when all three of those elements come together - I have absolutely no way of holding back. I bet you all know what book I'm talking about, a book that even as we speak is winging it's way to me via expedited shipping methods. :)

That would be Servant (an urban fantasy) by LL Foster, who just happens to be Lori Foster, my hero and one of my all time favorite, autobuy authors!

And if this book trailer does not get your attention, I don't know what will.




Lori did an incredible interview on her blog with LeeAnn regarding the book and if you haven't listened to the podcast I blogged about yesterday yet, do - 'cuz the first half gives some very cool insight into the book and Lori's alter ego.

No, this book is not a romance, but it is by an amazing author who I know is going to pull me into the story and probably keep me up when I should be sleeping. :)

Lucy's On the Radio...

Well, the internet radio anyway. But really, this was kind of a big deal. I filled in for...gasp...Christine Feehan on Phil Harris' All Things that Matter Internet talk radio show. He interviewed both Lori Foster and myself and it was tons of fun. If you've got the time, stop by and listen to the podcast. You can let me know if you think I sound like an idiot, or not. LOL

I'm inches away from finishing my current book and man, am I loving these characters. It's the story that comes after Hawk's book (so many readers asked for that one, I couldn't not write his story ::g::). This one is about the sheikh who was *supposed* to marry Hawk's woman before he got to her. Amir is one sexy alpha hero and it's really fun to watch his very ordinary personal assitant bring him to his royal knees. Readers get to visit Zorha again (Khalil's country - the hero from my novella in Hot Desert Nights) and see both Khalil and Jade as well as meet the oldest brother. He's a tortured hero that has a story that has to be told for sure...just when, I don't know.

I'll try to remember to post the character inspiration pics I used for this couple once I've finished the story (really it's so close to done I can taste the final ink). If I forget, remind me. You are all going to love this hero. :) Speaking of inspiration, it's been a while since we chatted about guys we think would make good physical or personality inspirations for my heroes. Any suggestions? If you include a url I can visit, I'll be oh so grateful. JudyF is keeping me supplied daily with inspiration, but it's fun to see what everyone else thinks too.

And of course, it's time for me to give away a blog prize...what do you think? Something related to the hero pics...oh, I've got it. Everyone can have this one. I've created a one page 2008 calendar with color images of Brava book covers that show some very sexy heroes...my four personal favorites. It's a printable pdf file. Cool, huh? You can download it here.

Hugs and happy reading!
Lucy

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Welcome Guest Blogger...Brand NEW Author Lavada Dee

Lavada has been a dear friend for years and you cannot imagine my excitement when she sold her first book! I practically begged her to come guest blog with you all. She's a gem and her writing is a treasure! ~ WELCOME, Lavada. :)

A Rose by Any Other Name
by Lavada Dee
While Shakespeare in his classic romance Romeo and Juliet could pen this beautiful passage, our modern day cyberspace says not on your life. Primarily I’m talking about domain names as I’m sure we all agree Shakespeare had and has it right.

Acquiring a domain name isn’t expensive or hard but getting the one you want may be. I use my “real” first name and middle name for a pen name. As Lavada isn’t that common I didn’t think I’d have any trouble securing it. However I took a few precautions that you may not be aware of. When searching to see if the domain name you want is available be prepared to purchase it immediately if it is available. Why, because there are programs that can be employed to log searched names. The domain names might then be bought for investment resale. This means a name you might have purchased for under $10.00 a year can cost whatever the marketer can get for it.

Is this a common problem? I’m not sure. For awhile it was or least there were warnings being broadcasted over the lists. I think it may depend on the name but why take a chance. This is especially true if you want to acquire the .com or .net extension for your name or have a catchy name that might be used for more than a pen name.

I hope the subject of this blog will be new information to some of you. When I first started writing I thought all I had to do was write a good story. Then I thought all you had to do was write a good story and sell it. Silly me, that’s only the beginning. In order to be a successful author you need to be experienced and effective in marketing and promotion. Keep up on technology. Participate in the industry. Build name recognition. It’s like any business you need to take care of it and it’s an ongoing learning process.

This is my first attempt at blogging and right now I seem to be floundering in a lot of firsts. This Old House was released by Asylett Press on the 15th of September. To read an excerpt or blurb visit me at https://lavadadee.com/ . This Old House is the first (yes another first) manuscript I wrote. I have two more submitted to publishers, another contemporary and a romantic suspense. I love writing stories with sexy alpha hero’s who are strong enough to show their feminine side and heroines who love them.

Lucy, Thank you for having me as guest on your blog. Your support and encouragement make me feel very humble. As busy as you are you always have time to be a friend, and mentor as well as contributing enormously to this wonderful industry we’re in.

Regards and many Thanks,
Lavada Dee
This Old House (Asylett Press- Sept 2007)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Having Your Beefcake and Nibbling On It, Too!

Welcome, guest blogger...Jacqueline Frank. This is going to be a treat for you all...I promise. :)
=========================

People always ask me the same questions, they only vary into two categories. The first category is industry. How do I get an agent? How do you write sex scenes in a book? How long does it have to be? How do I submit? Etcetera. The other questions are more craft specific and generally are asked by my drooling---err…devoted readers. What’s going to happen to so and so? When is Noah’s book coming out?? Are you doing so-and-so’s story? How do you write those sexy scenes? What inspires you and where do you get your ideas?

So I decided to pick on one that straddles both.

Sex.

Yeah, baby!

I am often asked this question and often complimented on my style. But style is exactly the issue. I can’t give definitive instructions on how to write good sex because, like sex itself, no two people do it alike! So all I can advise…or rather explain…is how I do sex my way. Err…I mean write sex my way. Well, no…I guess I do mean do sex my way. The first thing they always tell you is to write what you know. Well, I know good sex when I am having it. And I know what would make sex good for me when I need it. It’s almost as if…well, if you have ever had mediocre sex (and haven’t we all?) when you were younger, before you learn how to speak your mind and demand what you want. In the process of this mediocrity, in your mind, you are trying to psychically send instructions to your clueless partner. Your brain is straining and you’re trying to mentally tell him (because you know that saying it out loud will crush the male ego to smithereens) to just do this or just touch me like that or…argh!!...just do something!!

Well, I take that little internal dialogue (it wasn’t just me was it??) and blend it with the memories of really truly awesome sex I have had, and then I mix in my style of writing and voila! Sex. Or the building blocks at least. Honestly, the characters of a story I write are very distinctive in their approach to life and in their personalities, therefore their approach to sex will follow the dynamics of who they are. My hardened warrior male will never doubt his skills in battle or in bed because it’s in his nature to see himself trained to be the very best at anything he does. Doubt only comes when he acts against his own convictions and ingrained learned habits. My Alpha ruler is used to being universally obeyed and respected but giving respect and giving cause to be deserving of his leadership role is critical to him, so as a lover he would demand what he wants and expect to get it, yet he’ll make damn sure he deserves it first.
Now, once I have all this understood I have to have the right music on (heh, puts me in the mood) and then I just write slowly or quickly depending on the type of sex. An impulsive, heated quickie…well, I write furiously using hard and fast adjectives. Slow seductive lovemaking and I choose each and every action and reaction very careful, put myself firmly in the perspective I am using at the time, imagine what every sensation would feel like and try to describe it as wholly and vividly as I can.

And there you have it. Sex. My way, that is. I can assure you that if you ask a different author you’ll get a different answer! Now I’d love to hear what your all time favorite sex scene is from any novel you have read. I will choose one of you from the comments section and send you a prize! I’ll try and keep up with you all today, but alas, my floors are getting ripped out and I might be in a dead faint if something gets broken! But I will do my very best. Promise!

Hugs and kitties,
Jacquelyn Frank