Tuesday, December 28, 2010

WORKSHOP!


Workshop: Writing Hot, Delicious Love Scenes

Date: January 3 - 31, 2011

Instructor: Nicole North

Fee: $25

Do the love scenes or sex scenes in your romance novel lack that magical spark and sizzling heat that makes the reader go WHEW!!? The romance genre has exploded with bonfire-hot romance and erotic romance novels and novellas over the last few years. In this workshop we'll explore the many aspects of fantastic, hot and delicious love scenes, whether you write mildly sensual
romance or erotic romance. We'll look at the best ways of writing those all-important love scenes that take your characters to the next level of their relationship.

Topics covered:
Leading up to sex
Interweaving emotion and sex
Differences between romance and erotic romance
Choosing your words
Kissing during sex
Sexy dialogue
Humor during sex
Sexual positions
Personalizing your love scenes
Sensual settings
Seducing the reader
The hero
The heroine
Fantasy
Historical vs. contemporary love scenes
Determining placement
Progression from one love scene to the next
Oral sex
Avoid sex cliches
Sex and conflict
Written and multimedia examples

Please note: this workshop does not deal with pure erotica or alternative lifestyles. The lessons and examples contain graphic language and frank discussions of sexuality. Only those age 18 and over are permitted to enroll.

This is an interactive online workshop with exercises and critique/ feedback from the instructor on your written love scene. Workshop will be conducted via a Yahoo group. Lessons will arrive at your email inbox. To register or to see what others have said about my workshops please visit http://www.nicolenorth.com/. and click on workshops. Thanks!!

Instructor bio: Nicole North's erotic romance novellas have been described
by reviewers as "exciting, high octane, captivating, scintillating, sinfully
delicious and pure romance." Her stories contain "heart and heat, killer
love scenes, magic and extraordinary characters." Her books from Red Sage
include: Beast in a Kilt in Secrets Volume 29 Indulge Your Fantasies (July
2010), Kilted Lover (Nov. 2009), and Devil in a Kilt is in Secrets Volume 27
Untamed Pleasures (July 2009). Laird of Darkness (March 2011) will be her
first novella from Carina Press. Scoundrel in a Kilt will be released in a
future Secrets volume. Though she has a degree in psychology, writing
romance is her first love. Please visit her website to learn more about her
books or see what past students have said about her workshops.
Website: http://www.nicolenorth.com/.

Monday, December 27, 2010

I can't believe it is over!


Well, Christmas has come and gone. I find it hard to believe. All of that hard work for the last three months, 12 hours of shopping on Black Friday, countless hours working on the food, waiting for the kids to go to sleep so that "Santa" can bring the presents out, and all for what? To have it all gone in one day...LOL!


In my house, to make the unwrapping of presents last a little longer, we draw numbers and then we watch as everyone opens there gifts, oohing, and ahhing as they go. This way, we all get to see what everyone got and enjoy it with them.
So now, we are recovering from the day. Everyone is still playing with their toys, my husband is having a blast playing Guitar Hero with the kids, and I am enjoying having him home for the holidays. It's nice to have an extra day off together.
Now it is time to plan a New Year's Eve party. I will be hosting the gathering at my house and this year we have come up with a theme, Alter Ego. Everyone must come dressed as their alter ego. I can't wait to see what people will choose. As for me? I will let you know, I haven't quite decided.
We have hosted a themed New Year's Eve party before. It was a slumber party. We always invite the children, so every came in their pajamas and brought pillows and sleeping bags. I sent all of the invitations in a slipper. When the families arrived, they had to show their slipper, then they found their match and the two families had to do a challenge together. We had sooo much fun!!! All of our drinks were in mugs, we played Pictionary, etc.
Do you have plans for the New Year? I hope you will share them here!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Season's Greetings!


I wanted to take a moment and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thank you so much for stopping by through out the year and seeing what I had to say. I appreciate your support.


May you have success in your endeavors and I hope all of your wishes come true in 2011!


With much love,

Sarah

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The History of the Nutcracker

After watching a bit of the ballet "The Nutcracker" on TV, I began to wonder how this became associated with Christmas.



Nutcrackers have been around since the beginning of time. Nuts and fruits have been an important part of man's diet. Not only did we eat them as they were, nuts were made into flour, butter, or as a way to spice up a meal. Nuts were easy to find and a plentiful food item.



If the nuts were too hard to crack by teeth, pitted stones were used. In excavations of early civilizations have found such stones and have been discovered in the United States and Europe dating back 4,000 to 8,000 years during the Archaic Period.



The oldest nutcracker can be found in a museum in Tarent, Italy and dates back to the third or fourth century B.C. The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum has a bronze Roman Nutcracker dating between 200 B.C and 200 A. D. It was found in 1960 after being buried for over 1800 years.



Over the years, Nutcrackers have evolved. I found that according to German folklore, Nutcrackers would be given to friends and family as keepsakes to bring good luck and to protect the home. Legend says that the Nutcracker represents strength and power. It serves as a look out for your family, guarding them from evil spirits and danger. The Nutcracker bares his teeth to evil spirits and danger, forever being the fierce protector.




Nutcrackers have become a tradition at dining tables and Christmas holiday settings for a long time. Bringing with it, whimsical conversations. Many unusual forms can be found of these novelty pieces. Writers, artists and composers have paid tribute to these festive messengers. The most famous is the novel, "The Nutcraker and the King of Mice" written by E.T. Amadeus Hoffman somewhere between 1776 and 1822. It was then turned into a popular ballet, debuting in St. Petersburg on Dec. 18, 1892. It was choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov and the score was written by none other than Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.



So, the next time you are sitting in the living room with the glow of the Chrsitmas tree over your shoulder and someone passes you a tray with nuts and the Nutcracker, I hope you will remember this post and it serves as another unusal conversation piece associated with this holiday tradition.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Good reads!


THE SEASONS OF GRACE series by Beverly Lewis

In the seemingly ordinary Amish home of Grace Byler, secrets abound. Why does her mother weep and wander deep in the night? And why does her father refuse to admit something is dreadfully wrong? Then, in one startling moment, the quiet life Grace has known is irrevocably altered, leaving her to question all she has been taught about love, family, and commitment.


  1. I really enjoyed this book and have already started on the second in this series. I hope you will give it a try. You may be more familiar with the most popular series by Beverly called, THE HERITAGE OF LANCASTER COUNTY. The book, THE SHUNNING, is being made into a musical.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Love poems by Robert Burns

I was looking through things to write about and I came across this site, Heart of Scotland. In it, I found love poems by Robert Burns. I know I should save this for the end of January when everyone celebrates Robert Burns Night, but they are just too good to store away. I hope you like them as much as I do.


MY LUVE
O my luve is like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
O my luve is like the melodie,
That's sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will luve thee still my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.



JEAN
Of a' the airts the wind can blaw,
I dearly like the west,
For there the bonie lassie lives,
The lassie I lo've best:
There's wild woods grow, and rivers row,
And mony a hill between;
But day and night my fancy's flight
Is ever wi' my Jean.

I see her in the dewy flowers,
I see her sweet and fair:
I hear her in the tunefu' birds,
I hear her charm the air:
There's not a bonie flower that springs
By fountain, shaw, or green,
There's not a bonie bird that sings,
But minds me o' my Jean.


O WERT THOU IN THE CAULD BLAST
O wert thou in the cauld blast,
On yonder lea, on yonder lea,
My plaidie to the aingry airt,
I'd shelter thee, I'd shelter thee.
Or did misfortune's bitter storms
Around thee blaw, around thee blaw,
The bield* should be my bosom,
To share it a', to share it a'.

Or were I in the wildest waste,
Sae black and bare, sae black and bare,
The desert were a Paradise,
If thou wert there, if thou wert there;
Or were I monarch o' the globe,
Wi' thee to reign, wi' thee to reign,
The brightest jewel in my crown
Wad be my queen, wad be my queen!

*bield- shelter or protection

LOVE FOR LOVE
Ithers seek they ken na what,
Features, carriage, and a' that;
Gie me love in her I court,
Love to love makes a' the sport.

Let love sparkle in her e'e;
Let her lo'e nae man but me;
That's the tocher-gude* I prize,
There the luver's treasure lies.

*tocher-gude- marriage portion

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A quiet evening

I don't have any words of wisdom or information this time. I am only going to post about my day. It has been one of family and fun.

We had our annual 'Candy Making Day' and it was sooo much fun. There were 14 of in my house, all of us doing something, whether it be melting chocolate, dipping crackers and pretzels, making fudge, baking cookies etc. We made enough goodies to put a bakery to shame.

When that was completed, then men brought the children back and we all sat around eating chili and vegetable soup, talking and laughing. When all of the goodies were divied up, everyone headed home.

It has snowed all day, adding to the delight of the day. We are supposed to get 2-4 inches, bitter cold temperatures, and high winds. Needless to say, the kids have a 2 hour delay tomorrow for school. We'll see if they actually make it to school.

I love winter. I love the snow, how it makes the world look, the Christmas lights on homes, the T.V. shows, the songs, everything! As I am sitting here writing this, tucked warm under an afghan on my couch with my Pomeranian laying at my feet, I can see the Christmas lights on my house and watch the snow fall in front of them. Gorgeous!

So , I hope as you are sitting there reading this post, you are having a moment of contentment, like I am. Very peaceful, very happy.

Best wishes to you and your family and a very Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My family traditions part 3


I have another favorite family tradition, but am sad to say that this one is slowly coming to an end. My youngest child is 9 and I am not sure how many more years he will believe in Santa Claus.


In our house on Christmas eve, everyone, including the parents, get into their pajamas. After watching Christmas shows and laying out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer, we tuck our children into bed for the night.
When we are sure everyone is asleep, our jobs begin. Presents brought out, cookies and carrots eaten, and big items put together. This is normal in any household. Here's something we do different.
When my kids wake up in the morning, the first thing they do is run to the bathroom to look in the mirror. (My older two are very good at pretending since the youngest still believes.) They are looking for the thumb print left somewhere on their face by Santa Claus. Because Santa comes down the chimney, his gloves are dirty and before he leaves any packages, he checks to make sure the kids are asleep.
I have some of the cutest pictures of the kids and their animated faces at seeing what Santa had done. To think, Santa had been that close and they didn't even know it.
Maybe he really does exist?!! ; )

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My family traditions part 2




Another tradition that has become a favorite of mine, is Candy Making Day.



(My sister Kim, niece Shelbey, and Sister-In-Law Laura.)

Thanksgiving, Candy Making Day and Christmas Eve are rotated between the family, that way, one person isn't doing the same thing or can visit their family if need be. This year, CMD is at my house.


We usually start around 10 AM. This includes my sisters, my mother, a couple of cousins and any girls over the age of 13. There is usually about 15-20 of us there. Then the men take the kids and will congregate at another house for the day.


Christmas music plays in the background. We make buckeyes, dipped pretzels, peanut brittle, 6 flavors of rock candy, think mint cookies, sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, divinity, rice crispie treats, and fudge. Of course, these are the things we always make. Someone usually finds something new to try. Then we take whatever container we brought and split it up.


(My niece Joy)

After we have made an obscene amount of goodies, the husbands and children come back and we have dinner and play cards. It is a fun day to be had by all!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My family traditions part 1



Thanksgiving has come and gone. So you would think that the day after would be a time to sit down and relax. Not in my house!


My friend Kristie and I go shopping on "Black Friday" every year. Since some of the stores opened at midnight this year, we left our town at 11pm. Now, Kristie and I are die hard shoppers, but we keep it fun. We circle the lot until we get a great parking spot. We keep our eyes open and will change check out lanes to stay in the shortest one. We have a good time and make get a lot of great deals.


When I come home, which happened to be at 11 am this year, (a whole 12 hours of shopping!!!!), it is time for my family and I to put up the tree and outside lights. We play Christmas music and with the dog barking at the string of lights as we test them, it's a lot of fun! We each have a job to do and when we are done we always have a wonderful dinner and watch Christmas shows on T.V.
Most of the time, I'm passed out in the chair by 9 pm. (But do you blame me?)
Stay tuned for the next tradition in our house!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Interview with Author ANGELA JOHNSON


INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR Angela Johnson
Today I’m interviewing Angela Johnson, her book, VOW OF DECEPTION, is a historical romance and was released on November 2, 2010.


Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.
AJ:
VOW OF DECEPTION is a stand-alone sequel to my first book, VOW OF SEDUCTION. Sir Rand Montague is a loyal, dedicated knight who is not afraid of war, but afraid to love. Rosalyn Harcourt, lady of Ayleston is a widowed mother with a secret to hide. Ordered by the king to escort Rose to court to marry another knight, Rand is appalled—for he'd previously spent one unforgettable night of passion with Rose. Yet he dutifully obeys. But when Rose is attacked by her betrothed, Rand concocts a scheme of prior betrothal and marries Rose instead. Just as these two wounded souls discover that happiness is within their grasp, a diabolical enemy threatens to reveal the hidden truths that could destroy them both. VOW OF DECEPTION is rated "Hot" and received a Four Star review from RT Book Reviews.

Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in?
AJ:
I have only published in the Historical Romance genre so far, and I'm currently writing a third medieval for this series. After that, I have a Regency trilogy planned about three female friends who each must marry when caught in scandalous situations.

When did you start writing toward publication?
AJ:
After surviving a near-fatal car accident, and becoming physically handicapped, I returned to college and received a BA degree in History. Upon graduation I wasn't sure which way to go next until my husband said: “You love history and romance, why not combine the two, and write your own historical romance?” At first I thought he was crazy, but soon story ideas began to flow, and I started writing VOW OF SEDUCTION. I spent the next few years, writing, re-writing, and re-re-writing VOW OF SEDUCTION all over again. All the while I was continuously trying to learn all I could about writing and publishing.

Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?
AJ:
No, I did not write several manuscripts before I sold. Actually, I kind of went about getting published from the opposite angle. I chose to keep working on my original manuscript of VOW OF SEDUCTION until it was the quality of material that publishers wanted—and the best I could make it. One way I did that was by continuously getting feedback from other writers on my work. I used critique partners to get some one-on-one feedback, and I entered numerous writing contests to hear judges opinions about my work. I was only interested in improving my manuscript so I worked without an ego, listened closely, kept an open mind, showcased my strengths, improved my weaknesses, and made changes when it made sense. Because I eventually won several of the writing contests, I had editors requesting full submissions for VOW OF SEDUCTION, and that's how I got published by Kensington.

Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped
AJ:
Yes, I am a member of several writing organizations. The organizations I belong to are: Romance Writers of America, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, my local writers group--- KS Writers Inc., and RWA Online.

I strongly suggest any aspiring writer join a local writers’ group if they can locate one. Or if not, join an online writers’ organization. Writers’ groups are a great resource for authors and aspiring writers. They offer support, networking, and education. I have found critique partners and made many lifelong friends from within our local group as well. They have helped me achieve my dream of becoming a published author. I could not have accomplished it without them.

I also recommend aspiring writers join a national writers’ organization. They offer some of the same benefits as local and online groups, but also keep you well informed about the world and business of publishing.

BOOK BLURB
Your first allegiance is to your heart…

As a knight, Sir Rand Montague’s allegiance is to King Edward I. But when the king orders Rand to escort Rosalyn Harcourt to court in order to wed her off to Sir Golan—a crass knight Rand abhors—he’s torn between duty and desire. For Rand has never forgotten the woman he spent one unforgettable night of passion with…

After suffering abuse at the hands of her deceased husband, Rose wishes to never wed again. But when Rand rescues her after Sir Golan attempts to compromise her, she agrees to marry Rand in name only. However, sharing such close quarters with Rand brings back memories of their torrid rendezvous—and tempts Rose to give in to an all-consuming desire…

A little bit about the author
Angela Johnson fell in love with romance novels in high school. In college, she earned a degree in history. Today, she combines her two favorite passions—history and romance—into a writing career. Loving to research and spin sensual tales, Angela lives in Kansas, with Joe, her very own hero of twenty-three years. Angela loves to hear from readers. Please visit her at http://angelajohnsonauthor.com/.

How can my readers buy your book?

Readers can go to the publisher’s home page at http://www.kensingtonbooks.com
Check out my book trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFYbLpN58-M.

You can find more information about Angela Johnson and my book, VOW OF DECEPTION by visiting my website, http://angelajohnsonauthor.com/. or my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Angela-Johnson-Author/107353814770.

Excerpt: VOW OF DECEPTION


Chapter Two

Ayleston Castle, Chester County
In the year of our Lord 1274, January 3
Second year in the reign of Edward I

Rosalyn, the lady of Ayleston, froze in stunned horror at the landing of the Keep’s stairs. Right before her eyes, Lord Ayleston whirled his arms like a windmill, teetering backward, one foot on the top stair. Her husband’s handsome features—honed as if by the hand of God Himself—suddenly contorted in stark fear.


Rose clutched her infant son to her chest protectively, though he was asleep and cradled securely in the makeshift sling around her neck. Feeling sluggish as though swimming in deep waters, Rose at last reached out her free hand to Bertram. His fingers brushed her sleeve before he hurtled backward down the steps, an open O of terror on his lips. Thump, thump, thump, the sickening sound of his body hitting the rough stone stairs drummed inside her ears.
Legs moving without volition, Rose raced down the wide spiral stairs after him. When his golden head hit the last step, a loud crack echoed up the stairwell. Bertram landed in a crumpled heap at the bottom.



Rose stared wide-eyed at her husband, her temples pounding in rhythm with her agitated heart. Her cheek burned from Bertram’s recent violent slap, while a scream of horror reverberated inside her head. It echoed like a pack of hellhounds in Purgatory.

Light from a single torch illuminated Lord Ayleston. His body was facedown, but with his neck twisted at an awkward angle, his vacant eyes stared up at the heavens. With gory fascination, Rose watched a dark red pool of blood begin to form on the step beneath his head. It slowly spread, until a drop of blood dripped over the edge and plopped on the stone floor of the Great Hall.

A noise in the hall shattered her stunned observations. Beads of sweat popped out at her temples and her heart thundered as though it were going to explode. If she was found with Bertram’s body, she might be blamed for his death, whether she was responsible or not. A hue and cry would be raised, and if accused of having killed her husband, she would be taken to gaol, away from her young son, a prospect she could not bear. Even more frightening, if she was indicted and convicted of killing her husband, hence her lord, her punishment would be harsh: burning at the stake.


Rose clutched her tunics in one hand, spun around, and made quickly for her chamber at the end of the corridor. After easing the door closed behind her, she rushed into her son’s adjoining chamber. Jason’s usually vigilant nurse remained sound asleep on a pallet beside the boy’s cradle. Rose had slipped a sleeping draught into her drink earlier. When Rose’s disappearance was discovered in the morning, she wanted Edith to be able to truthfully say she knew naught of Rose’s intentions.

But everything had gone awry when Bertram had stumbled out of his chamber just as she had reached the stair landing.


Now, she slipped the cloth sling over her head, laid Jason in his cradle, and removed the swath of wool from beneath his warm body. The boy made not a sound as she pulled the colorful quilt up to his chin. Ever since his birth, Jason had been a quiet, happy baby. And Rose was thankful for it in this moment as she listened for any signs of a commotion below stairs.

She thought she had measured with exacting care the belladonna she put in Bertram’s favorite evening wine, in order that she did not overdose him. But apparently she had been too careful. Rose tiptoed back to her bedchamber, hung up her garments on the pegs beside the door, and slid into her bed to wait the raising of the hue and cry.



Her heart continued to pump sporadically. She stared wide-eyed up at the canopy, her lips moving in silent prayer. Not for her deceased husband, may God forgive her, but that no one would ever discover her involvement in this night’s deeds. It was a confession she would take to her grave; she lived for her son alone now.
***
Rose jerked awake. Panic beat like the wings of a bird inside her chest. Her mouth was open, a scream deep in the back of her throat. But no sound escaped. It wasn’t that she could not scream, but she knew better than to voice her discontent.

Rose blinked, but the solid blanket of darkness surrounding her did not lessen. She crawled across the soft mattress, gripped the velvet bed curtain, and yanked it aside. A glimmer of moonlight from her open shutters illuminated the disheveled sheets and coverlet of her canopy bed. Her medical books were on her table too.

A sigh of relief escaped her.


It was only a nightmare. She was safe in her own bed. Alone. Taking deep breaths, she willed her fear to recede. With her husband dead nigh onto three years, her degradation and humiliation at his hands was a thing of the past. But deep inside, she knew she would never be the innocent, naïve, happy young woman she was when she married Bertram. Her heart was a hard cold lump—she was a frigid woman who despised a man’s touch.


She reached for her Trotula medical book—a gift from her father—and caressed its beloved well-worn Cordoba leather covering. When Bertram was alive she’d hidden her books because he forbade her to practice her healing arts. She put the text back and chose another book. It was a special collection of healing recipes, prayers, and charms collected and passed down through the generations by the women in her family. Upon Rose’s marriage, her mother had gathered them together, then commissioned a local monk to transcribe and bind them into a beautifully illuminated manuscript.


Flipping open the leather cover, she allowed the vellum pages to flutter open, and closing her eyes, she stuck her finger on a random spot in the book. It was a ritual she performed as a way to ease her dark mood. Many times offering her insight and guidance and wisdom.

She opened her eyes and read the Latin script. She stopped mid entry; scoffing, she snapped the book shut. She’d touched on a charm for making a man fall in love with a woman. What superstitious nonsense. Her mother had taught her to use her intellect and observation to deduce whether a cure was effective or not. No spell or charm could make a man love a woman. She knew. Had she not tried a similar love spell when she’d discovered Bertram had a mistress—on the night they wed?


Rose plunked the book back on the table and determinedly locked the memories away. She’d dwelled much too often of late upon the misbegotten cur.


Rose slid off the tall bed, and her nightshift dropped down to cover her bare feet. The cooler air of the room dried the film of perspiration that covered her completely. Her linen shift clinging to her skin in damp patches, she shivered. A chill seeped into the soles of her feet as she padded across the floor to her washstand, which stood against the west wall opposite a cushioned window seat. Double arched windows above the seat looked down on the ornamental garden next to the Great Hall.


Grabbing the open neck of her shift, she tugged it over her head and tossed it onto the bed. She plucked her chamber robe off the peg beside the washstand and slid into its enveloping warmth. Then Rose poured water from the chipped painted pitcher into the basin, splashed cool water over her face and chest, and finished her bath by drying off with a linen towel.
An instinctual sensation tugged at her soul, drawing her into the adjoining chamber. A small bed, a chest, and a stool were the only furniture in the room. No one could enter her son’s chamber unless first coming through her bedchamber. Next to the small bed in the corner, Jason’s nurse and fierce protector lay curled up on a pallet snoring loudly. Rose quietly approached the foot of the bed and stared down at her sweet, innocent son. He lay on his side facing her, with his thumb stuck in his pursed lips and his other dimpled hand clutching a curly lock of light blond hair.


Her heart seized with love, and she could not keep a huge smile from forming on her lips. It was a side of herself she revealed to only a few people. Though she adored her son, she took care never to indulge in sentimental excess. She controlled her inappropriate passions behind a stoic manner befitting a widow.

Jason’s cherub lips drew down, and he kicked off his quilt. Rose pulled it back up under his chin, kissed his warm temple. She trembled with a sudden urge to grab her son and escape into the night. But her maternal instinct was stronger. Jason would be the one to suffer—loss of his inheritance, his title, and all the privileges it accompanied.

Did she have the right to steal it from him because of her fears, her insecurities, her cowardice?

Rose started at a loud bang that echoed from her chamber. She left Jason and went in the other room. The door rattled on its hinges. The sound of a deep voice, a soft giggle drew her curiosity. Rose opened the chamber door and peeked out.

Near a lit torch, Rand trapped Lisbeth up against the wall, his face pillowed between her indecently exposed plump breasts. The maid’s hose-clad thigh curled around Rand’s hip like a coiled serpent, pulling him flush against her, seeking to devour him inside her.

Rose inhaled sharply in surprise. A quiver of repulsion raced through her. The man was an incorrigible lecher. As far as she knew, Lady Elena was his current mistress, or was when Rose was at court a couple of months ago. Apparently not content with Elena, Rand had to debauch Rose’s castle servants too.

Rand glanced up just then, and stared, gaze glittering. He winked at her, a wolfish grin on his face. Flashing him a look of contempt, Rose pulled back and slammed the door shut.
Her gaze blurred as she stared at the oaken door. She regretted ever . . . Rose shook her head. The past was unalterable, she could only learn from her mistakes and never repeat them. Not that she had any desire to repeat them. Rubbing her arms, she turned and stared at her rumpled bed.

She should get some more rest before the long trip on the morrow. But she could not bear the separation from Jason, so she went to his chamber, crawled into bed beside him, and wrapped her arms around his sweet-smelling form. ***

Monday, November 29, 2010

St. Andrew's Day is November 30th.



Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland. Scots around the world celebrate St. Andrew's Day on Nov. 30th. The flag of Scotland is the Cross of St. Andrew. It is widely displayed as a symbol of national identity.


Not much is known about the Patron Saint. It is believed that he and his brother, Simon Peter or Saint Peter, were fisherman in Galilee, which is now a part of Israel. They both became apostles of Jesus Christ.

Word has it that St. Andrew may have been responsible for the spreading on tenets of the Christian religion through Asia Minor and Greece. Through tradition we learn that St. Andrew was put to death by the Romans in Patras in southern Greece by being pinned to a cross. The diagonal shape of the cross is reflected on the Scottish flag.

There have been two stories which depict how St. Andrew became affiliated to Scotland. The first begins that St. Andrew was entombed after his death. 300 years later, his bones were moved by Emperor Constantine to his new capitol in Constantinople. (This is now Istambul in Turkey.) Then a Greek Monk called St. Rule or St. Regulus, was warned in a dream by an angel that St. Andrew's remains were to be moved to the ends of the earth for safe keeping. St. Rule removed a tooth, an arm bone, a knee cap, and some fingers from his tomb. Scotland was where St. Rule had become shipwrecked and it was believed to be as far away as one could get. St. Rule then came ashore near a Pictish settlement on the east coast of Scotland. This town became known as St. Andrew.

The other story is that Acca, bishop of Hexham, who was a collector of relics, brought the relics of St. Andrew to the town of St. Andrew in 733. There was a religious centre in the town at the time. It was either founded by St. Rule in the 6th century or by a Pictish King, Ungus, who reigned from 731-761.

Either of these stories could be true, but the fact remains that the relics were placed in a specially constructed chapel. The chapel was replaced by the Cathedral of St. Andrews in 1160. St. Andrews then became the religious capitol of Scotland and a great centre for the Medieval pilgrims who came to view the relics.

There is little evidence of truth to the St. Rule story, though the name exists still today in Scotland. There is St. Rule Tower which remains amongst the ruins of St. Andrew's Cathedral.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


I wanted to take a moment and wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for stopping by my blog. I appreciate all of your support.


I hope you have safe travels and are surrounded by love today!


Love,

Sarah

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

December Workshop

12/06 thru 12/19

MS Word Workshop for Writers
Instructor: Catherine Chant

This online workshop focuses on teaching you the aspects of the Word program that are most useful for fiction writers, and the subjects presented will help you streamline your on-screen tasks so you can think more about your story and less about what the computer is doing (or not doing). Included in this workshop will be lectures on proper manuscript formatting, creating headers/footers, working with page numbers, creating a pre-formatted manuscript template that can be used on all your new book projects, customizing the toolbars, understanding and customizing the Auto-Correct feature, using the Work menu, formatting the query letter, creating a template for the query, printing envelopes, printing labels for SASEs, and backing up your computer. This workshop is designed for both Macintosh and Windows/PC users, and has been written for versions of Word from '97 to the latest 2007/2008.

Catherine Chant is an award-winning writer from New England. She is a PRO member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and webmaster for her RWA chapter, From the Heart Romance Writers (fthrw.com). A graduate of Boston College, she worked for fifteen years at her alma mater as a computing & communications consultant and now provides freelance web editing and design services to other writers and clients such as BC's Lynch School of Education. Her short fiction and non-fiction work has appeared in RWA newsletters, CharacterS, SchoolArts, MetroKids, Twilight Times, Apollos Lyre, and on websites controlled by SEO content provider DemandStudios.com. Her young adult time travel romance WISHING YOU WERE HERE was a finalist in the 2008 Golden Heart® awards. She is currently working a new young adult novel.

For more information, you may contact Celtic Hearts Romance Writers Education Coordinator, KERRI NELSON, at celtickerri@yahoo.com.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Good reads!



Today is Wednesday, hump day, and if you are finding yourself wanting something new to read, then I would like to make a suggestion. I just finished reading Cynthia Owens' book, "In Sunshine or in Shadow."

BLURB-
Siobhàn Desmond will do anything to keep the tattered remains of her family alive, even if it means working for the new landlord-a darkly handsome stranger with secrets in his eyes and pain in his smile. As she watches her village return to life and begin to thrive under Rory's care, she comes to understand his true nature and soon finds herself falling under his dangerously sensual spell. As danger ignites all around them, Rory and Siobhàn fight to right the wrongs of the past-and protect their newfound love.

This book is set in Ireland with an action packed story that provokes great emotion!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Indian Summer


If you live anywhere in the USA, then this is a term you have most likely heard of. An 'Indian Summer' is marked by a week or two of unseasonably warm, dry, and calm weather after the first frost.
The event happens all around the world. The technical term is called 'weather singularity.' Or in other words, a climatic event that recurs the same time around the world. The length and depth of the event depends on the geography in which it is occurring. I am from Indiana and this has been one of the prettiest weeks we have had. Perfect! I turned the heat off and opened the windows. Nothing but bright sun and 70 to 75 degrees in temperature. It is most frequently associated with the central and eastern parts of the United States because of favorable climate. That means a wide variety or wide speed and temperature from summer to winter.
So why is it called 'Indian Summer'? Here are a couple reasons I have found in my research.
1) It was a period when the Native Americans first harvested their crops.
2) It was more commonly found in the North American Indian territories.
In the beginning, this term was only found in America. The English had their own names for this time of year. 'St. Luke's Summer' and 'St. Martin's Summer" are a couple. Those terms have all but disappeared and the term 'Indian Summer' has been used in the UK for at least a decade. When I tried to verify this by asking a friend who is from the UK, he could not say for sure. I think regardless of what we call it, those of us who are having this occurrence in the autumn, are thankful to have one last blast of summer before winter begins.
The first mention of the term was found in an essay "A Snow Storm as it effects the American Farmer", written in the 1770's by a Frenchman turned American farmer. His name was J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur:
"Why the respite from the impending advance of winter was called Indian Summer is anyone's guess--and everyone has guessed. Some of the explanations offered early in the nineteenth century after the term was well established were that it got it's name because the Indian's predicted it, or explained it, to the European settlers; that it was a time of year when the Indians moved to winter hunting grounds; even that the Indians caused it by setting smoky fires to drive game out of hiding."
I think today, as the sun shines and the temperature reaches 75, I am going to put clothes on the line one last time and rake leaves. I hope that you are enjoying your 'Indian Summer'! I know I am!

Monday, November 8, 2010

My post at The Celtic Rose

Today I blogged at The Celtic Rose about The Book of Kells. I hope you will go to http://www.thecelticroseblog.blogspot.com/. and read about The Book of Kells and the Four Gospels.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My romance story


15 years ago, on a chilly November day, I stood outside the church waiting to be escorted in to the man of my dreams. Light snow started to fall on my bare shoulders and I shivered. Winter is my favorite season, so I smiled to myself thinking how fitting it was that the first snow of the season would fall on one of the happiest days of my life.

Today is our anniversary and I can't express to you how much I have enjoyed these years or how lucky I feel to be married to my husband. We met at a country bar and I truly believe in love at first sight. Boy, could he dance and I just loved that about him. I told my cousin one night, "That's the man I want to marry." Low and behold, it came true.
Through the years we have had our ups and downs, three beautiful children, and lived in two towns. But through it all, we have had each other and that is the most important thing. The hardest part, as I look back now, is the time he spent as an over the road trucker. The kids were small and having him gone all the time was rough. But I would do it all again.
So I want to honor my husband, my knight in shining armour that makes everyone else look like boys in tin foil, by having a contest. There is a poem that Andy recites to me. Here it is:
If the ocean were made of ink and the sky were made of paper, I could not begin to write how much I love you!
I would like for you to tell me where the poem came from. Where have you heard and seen it before? (CLUE, not in a book that I know of!) If you can correctly tell me where he got the poem, then you could win a $20 gift card to Blockbuster. That way you can rent a movie, have a little popcorn and snuggle with the man you love. Just a romantic night for two!
Good luck!
Happy Anniversary Andy! I love you!

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaNoWriMo

The title looks funny doesn't it? I sat there too, the first time I saw it, and tried to pronounce it. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. November 1st is the offical start date and many a writers are gearing towards a fun filled month of writing. The goal is to write a 175- page, (50,000 word) novel by midnight Nov. 30.

Since everyone who is participating has a limited time to write, it's all about quantity, not quality. No worries about grammar, spelling, orwhether or not he is wearing a the same blur shirt from the second paragraph to the fourth. It's a fly by the seat of your pants approach. Leave the editing for later.

The nice things is that there are writers all over the world doing the same thing. You can buddy other writers and form a support group.

In 2009, NaNoWriMo had over 165,000 writers, with over 30,000 of them reaching the goal and crossing the finish line entering into the Nationals of NaNoWriMo. Every writer will log in each day and write. At midnight on Nov 30, a writer will submit their work and a team of web-based robotic word counters will begin their job.

I want to wish "GOOD LUCK" to all of those who are participating. I have chosen not to this year. I need to finish book 2 in my Macpherson Saga and my novella. It's only fair that they come first.
If you would like to participate, then go to www.nanowrimo.org and sign up.

Good luck!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The history of Trick or Treating




WHO doesn't love Trick or Treating? As a child, it was so exciting to go shopping with mom to find the perfect outfit. I remember one year being Wonder Woman. I remember the plastic outfit I would wear and the face with the elastic band to hold it in place. Trying to find your way around looking through the tiny eye slots. How my voice sounded talking through the mask. How about the smell of the plastic. I still love that smell and when it hits me, I automatically think of the costume.




Sometimes we would make our own costume. Those were just as fun! Now that I am the mom, Halloween is just as fun. I went today to the store to buy my son the items needed to turn him into Frankenstein. My older two, along with their father, participate every year in the local Haunted House, so it is just he and I going around town.






This got me to wondering though, how did Trick or Treating come about?






This event dates back a long time ago to Britain on All Souls Day, which was Nov. 1. The beggars would "go a souling" or begging door to door. Housewives would give them special treats called "soul cakes" and the "soulers" would promise to say a prayer for the dead. The term "Trick or Treating" is an American tradition and can be found in print for the first time after 1939.




Scotland and Ireland also do this on All Souls day and they call this guising as the children are in disguises. The children in these two countries perform, whether it be singing, reciting a poem, or a card trick. Then the household will give them their treat. In Ireland, as an old custom, they do this in preparation of the festival of St. Columbkill.



So, we have the fun part of it down, but why do we do this on Oct. 31? Well, the Celts believed that the night before their New Year blurred the boundaries between the living and the dead. The Celts believed that the spirits came to Earth to cause mischief and make animals sick. The Celts would also use the presence of the spirits to foretell the future.



Samhain, pronounced saw-win, means summers end. This was what the Celts called their New Year's Eve. During this festival the Celts would dress themselves up in the heads and skin of the recent animals they had killed. They took the weak and the old from their herd on order for the stronger to survive. The made huge bonfires and sacrifices of crops and animals. Then they would take embers from the bonfire and light the fires within their home before extinguishing the huge bonfire. They believed this would offer protection through the winter months.


Imagine this.

You are walking down the dark street in your neighborhood. You are almost home. Your feet hurt and but your child's bag is filled to the rim with his treasures he has collected. Every other corner has a street light on, but the one on the end flickers, shutting off for just the briefest of moments, before turning back on. In those few seconds of total darkness, an owl hoots in the distance and the wind blows, caressing your cheek ever so gently. Goose bumps decorate your flesh. A twig snaps off to your left and you turn quickly to see who or what it is. You feel slightly embarrassed for being so jumpy, but yet, you just can't seem to help yourself. You take two more steps and you hear the sound again. What is the sound you wonder? Your mind plays tricks on you and starts to imagine all sorts of things. And I ask you, could it be the spirits of the dead, come to wander the earth? I'll Let you decide!! Happy Halloween!













Thursday, October 28, 2010

Today at Casablanca Authors!

Do you have a book that you would love to pitch? Maybe you have a question about the industry? Today is your lucky day! Editorial Manager at Sourcebooks Casablanca, DEB WERKSMAN, is taking questions and pitches on her blog, www.casablancaauthors.blogspot.com.

I posted my pitch for Highland Dreams. She will give you feed back right there on the blog and I have seen her request full manuscripts also. So, if you feel you are ready, head on over and check it out! GOOD LUCK!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My interview with Author, Sandra Cox!


INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR Sandra Cox
Today I’m interviewing Sandra Cox. Her book, SUNDIAL is a time travel romance and was released on October 15, 2010.

Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.
Sarah Miles is a successful garden painter. When painting a garden she finds an ancient sundial with the words, ‘fate cannot be altered’. When she touches it, it transports her back to the battle of San Jacinto. There she meets Jesse Adams, Sam Houston’s right hand man, the man she unknowingly went back in time to find.

Describe the genre of this particular title, and is this the only genre you write in?
SUNDIAL is a time travel romance.
I’m a genre hopper. I write YA fantasy, crossover YA, paranormal romance, historical romance, time travel romance, and nonfiction metaphysical.

When did you start writing toward publication?
I started writing a long time ago. I got published about four years ago.

Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?
I had a couple manuscripts written before I sold. I had an agent for awhile. But I actually sold after I went out on my own.

What is your writing routine like?
It varies. In the winter, I often write in the ‘mole hole’ (our basement). And in the summer I write in the screened in porch that overlooks my gardens and bird feeders.

What sort of promo do you do? Do you have help?
I would absolutely love to have a publicist, but currently I do my own. I blog and run contests and do a little twittering.

Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?
Keep sending your work out, get or stay in a critique group. If something doesn’t sell move on to the next project. You can always go back and pick up your first.
Don’t give up. It will happen.

What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on the third book in my Hunter Series. The Series is based around Zoe Tempest, a vampire hunter and her cousin Jolene Sayre, a werewolf hunter.

BOOK BLURB
As Sarah Miles drives down Eighteenth Street a stranger materializes in front of her car. She throws on her brakes, braces for impact and….drives straight through him. For a brief moment, his voice filled with quiet despair echoes in her head. “Saura. Saura.” Then he is gone. Later that day, Sarah discovers the SUNDIAL and her incredible journey through time begins.
A little bit about the author
Multi-published author Sandra Cox lives with her husband, five cats, a dog and an occasional foster cat in sunny North Carolina. You can see the menagerie at http://www.sandracox1.com/.

Excerpt
The stallion reared. Sarah clung to Jesse, dangling off the ground.

Jesse brought the horse under control. A flush of irritation reddened the hard planes of his face. “Let go dammit.”

She slid to the ground, stumbled and landed on her rump in the soggy marsh grass.

Jesse looked down at her as he gathered his reins. “Next time, throw your leg all the way over and don’t kick the poor beast to death. I wish I could say it’s been a pleasure. What I can say, with certainty, is it’s been damn peculiar.”

He tightened his knees. The stallion reared, making her scoot backwards on her bottom.
He gave her an elegant half-bow. “Ma’am.”

“You always were an arrogant bastard.” Sarah could feel her eyes flash sparks of anger even while she thought how would I know that?

“And you were always an imp of Satan,” he shot back. The words were no sooner out than a look of bewilderment settled over his handsome features.

For one frozen moment his eyes met hers. Time fell away. Recognition passed between them.
She felt her heart jump and her breath quicken.

Then Jesse made a violent motion with his hand, rejection clearly written on his face. Wheeling his horse, he raced away.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


SUNDIAL can be purchased in e or paper at http://www.classactbooks.com/

Contest:
For a chance to win an autographed copy of SUNDIAL, a ‘seeing’ pendant, and a gift card to Starbucks just go to http://www.sandracox.blogspot.com/. and leave a comment mentioning Sarah and SUNDIAL.

How can my readers buy your book?
Readers can go to the publisher’s home page at http://www.classactbooks.com/.
You can find more information about Sandra Cox and and her book SUNDIAL by visiting http://sandracox1.com/. or http://sandracox.blogspot.com/.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My apologies!

I wanted to apologize for not having the rest of my posts up about the holidays and gatherings. I am having issues with my computer. I will get back to them as soon as I can.

On Oct. 26, I will have author, Sandra Cox on here for an interview. Please stay posted.

Thank you for understanding!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A week of holidays and gatherings! Day 3

Scotland has a tradition that I have fallen in love with every since I read about it in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. It is called First Footing.

First Footing is exactly as it sounds. As the bells ring in the New Year shortly after midnight, the first person to step over a homes threshold will determine the homeowners luck of the year.

Ideally, the person should be a man and of dark complexion. (I have heard that if the visitor is twins, then the luck is doubled, but I could not prove this.) This dates back to the 8th century when the Vikings attacked Scotland. A blond visitor is a bad omen. The visitor should bear gifts which include whisky, coal, salt, a coin, and black buns (a spice cake).

Apparently, there is a lot of celebrating going on, for in Scotland, January 2nd is also considered a holiday! Sounds good to me!

I think that this tradition is so exciting. To be the person going around spreading cheer and love in the hopes that crossing someone's door step will bring them good luck. Or to be the person, who opens their door to find the dark stranger bearing gifts. This is a tradition I would like to see happen all around the world.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A week of holidays and gatherings! Day 2

We call it New Year's Eve. The people of Scotland call it HOGMANAY and they have a long and rich tradition with this holiday.

Many people have their ideas of where the word "Hogmanay" may have derived from. The Scandanavians use "Hoggo-nott" to describe the feast that proceeded Yule. The Flemish used "hoog min dag" meaning "great love day." Also, the Anglo-Saxons used Haleg monath, or Holy month. "Oge maidne" is Gaelic meaning new morning. But the most likely source is from the French. "Homme est né" or "man is born."

Did you know that for 400 years, Christmas was not celebrated and virtually banned in Scotland from the 17th century to the 1950's? This came from the Protestant Reformation when the Kirk believed Christmas to be a Catholic feast. Many Scots worked on Christmas, therefore they would gather their family and friends together at New Year's Eve and exchange gifts.

One tradition is to clean house before midnight including the ashes from the fireplace.

A big part of the Hogmanay celebration is to welcome friends and family with a warm welcome and a 'kiss' to wish everyone a Giude New Year. The belief is to clear out old feelings and bring in the New Year with a clean slate. Don't forget about singing "Auld Lang Syne" by Robert Burns, who is Scottish.

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o kindness yet, for auld lang syne."


Check out tomorrow to find out what happens on January 1st.!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A week of holidays and gatherings!

As we all know, Halloween is fast approaching. This got me to thinking about holidays. So I am going to set off a week of holidays and gatherings here at my blog.

The first one I would like to write about is called Braemar Gathering. This takes place on the first Saturday in September. Braemar is a village in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. About 58 miles west of Aberdeen in the Highlands, sitting near the River Dee. The Gaelic, Bràigh Mhàrr, literally means upper Marr.

The origin of this major Highland Games is said to go back to the 11th century when King Malcom the third, "Canmore", came to the village with his first Queen and held a gathering at the original settlement of Doldencha. He gave a prize to the winner of a race to the top of Craig Choinnich.

In 1746, the Act of Proscription ended all clan gatherings. It was repealled in 1782, and all enthusiasm for such events returned. In 1826, the Braemar Highland Society was created and the first modern day games took place in 1832. On September 14, 1844, Queen Victoria attended the gathering. In 1866, Royal was added to Braemar Highland Society. In 1906, the Duke of Fife presented 12 acres of Mar Estate to the Society in which The Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park, the current home of the gathering, was created. Since Queen Victoria's time, the reigning Monarch has been the Patron of the Braemar Royal Highland Society.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Words and their meanings

As with any country, there are certain words that we say that are only known to us. Over time, some words have stuck around and some have faded. Have you ever read a romance novel and seen a word; not quite sure of what it's meaning is? We all have. It is hard to read a book and try to get the message, only to be thrown a little off by using a word you have never seen. You try to decipher it yourself or stop reading to look it up. Especially if it is in a different language.

I thought I would list a few words here and give you their meaning.

Fortnight- 2 weeks, this word is still used today.

Stone- this is a weight of measurement. One stone is equal to 14 lbs. This term is not used as much anymore. They use kilos now to measure weight.

Snog- this means heavy petting or making out. It is a term you would see not only in Scotland but England and Britain as well.

A Scot's Mile- this is 1973 and 1/3 yards or 320 foot falls of 18 Scotsman. It is a little longer then the English Mile which is 1970 yards. The Royal Mile in Edinburgh is closer to the Scot's Mile in length.

Kine- cattle

Ken- thought or think (EX: I kent you would be here.)

Loch- lake

Plaid- (played). Blanket- like garment worn over the shoulder. It is a wool tartan that has two pieces sewn together. It is about 12-18 feet long and about 5 feet wide.

Tartan- is the material that makes the kilt. Each clan will have a different tartan.

Arisaid- Woman's long shaw.

Kilt- (breacan feile- the Gaelic name for a kilt.) contains about 6 yards of material and is the traditional clothing of Scotland.

Ceildh- (kay-lee) A party

Sgian Dubh- (skee-doo) Small knife often worn in the top of the sock. Translates from Gaelic as "black knife" (Dubh means black) Most likely refers to it's intended use rather than it's color.

If you have other words you have seen and do not know the answer for or you do know the answer for, please, list them here. I hope this helps!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Buy books to support boobs!

From my friend and Author, Kerri Nelson-

My October effort to raise money to help breast cancer research continues every day with more books listed. Some new, some used, and some collectibles (autographed). Get in on the action...bid and help spread the word!

NEW items listed daily, here's today's set of books (a dozen books for only .99):

http://bit.ly/bwBdhU.


The Day #5 Auction Book Lot closes tomorrow & no bidders! :-( Get 9 books for .99 & help breast cancer research!

http://bit.ly/9xGn0A.


Women, Authors, Readers Unite for a Cure!



Here are all the details and daily updates:

http://kerribookwriter.blogspot.com/2010/10/books-for-boobs-help-raise-money-for.html.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A great blog!

For those of you who are writers or those of you who just enjoy a great blog, I hope you will head over to New Kid on the Writer's Block at www.newkidonthewritersblock.blogspot.com. Join me and a bunch of wonderful ladies as we discover the world of writing. The are funny posts, informative posts, and many links to other sources.

My new post on immortality will be up on Saturday, Oct. 11. I post there every other Saturday. NKOTWB has just hit a milestone and got it's 101st follower! WTG laddies on creating a blog that people love!

Let me introduce you to the ladies who blog there and I will post a link as to where else you can find them.

Rebecca Lynn at www.romancingthepalate.blogspot.com

Deb Sanders at www.debsanderswordpress.com

Jennieke Cohen at www.jenniekecohen.wordpress.com

Lynn Cahoon at Facebook

Debby Lee

Kristal Lee at www.kristalleeromances.com

Renee Lynn Scott at www.reneelynnscott.com

Julie Shumway at www.julieshumway.wordpress.com

Camryn Rhys at www.camrynrhys.blogspot.com

Tamara D. Hanson

Monday, October 4, 2010

My interview with Author Nancy Lennea





Today I am interviewing Nancy Lennea. Her book, DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN, is a romantic suspense and was released on September 30th.

Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.

DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN is a romantic suspense, with a hint of gothic mystery, that uses scenery as a backdrop for both sexual attraction and intrigue. I placed my heroine, Destiny Blake, in a beautiful college town that happens to lie beside a lovely river and breathtakingly beautiful mountains. In fact, her cabin is on the side of the big mountain—Destiny’s mountain. When Jacob Oliver comes along, things go from bad to worse…to erotic. I weave in a couple of guys—stalkers, I’d call them—amidst a young woman’s search for love and an older man’s cynical views.

Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?

I finished five manuscripts over three years before I got ‘the call’. Actually, it was an e-mail from Wendi Felter, the owner of Red Rose Publishing. That was for my 3rd manuscript, SECRET LOVE MATCH which was released June 25th of this year. DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN was my first ever manuscript. Yep, and it was rejected left and right. I sent it out to agents on my own. When those rejections came in, I sent it to Harlequin, who requested the full. Nope. They decided it wasn’t for them. I put it away, and kept writing. I took it out and looked it over years later with a fresh eye. I immediately cut out the first seventy-seven pages, used all I had learned at workshops and on-line courses, and polished it into an action-packed love-story filled with stalking, murder, incorrect assumptions, sexual tension, mountain rescue, ghostly voices, and love. THEN I sent it to Red Rose Publishing.

What is your writing routine like?

I am fortunate in that I retired from my job as a 9-1-1 Emergency Medical Dispatcher for the state of New Hampshire when my husband and I moved to North Carolina. My writing day is figured around my marvelous hubby. Sometimes he leaves for work at 9 a.m, and sometimes not until 2 p.m. so I vary what I do. Sometimes I go to bed early, sometimes late. It all depends. Sometimes I go pick up my sister’s dog because I babysit. Normally, I check e-mails first and respond to anything timely or important. I check my calendar to make sure I am aware of any interviews or blogposts coming up. If my plate is clear, I plug a flashdrive into either the desktop or laptop computer (depending on what room I wish to write in that day) and write. Must have backup! Very important.

What sort of promo do you do? Do you have help?

An e-book sale is so much different from a print sale to a large, New York publisher. My publishers send the book out to review sites. They make the books available on other bookseller sites such as Amazon and Fictionwise. They post my book, blurb, and an excerpt on their own website. Me? I do the rest. I have two websites and two blogs because I write in different genres under two different names. When I wanted a book trailer for SECRET LOVE MATCH, I went to the very talented Kerri Nelson at www.thebookboost.blogspot.com. When I wanted bookmarks, I was lucky to find Florina Craven at http://www.thinkflowdesign.com/. She and I choose a suitable size and she used my covers to make lovely bookmarks. Check out her website and see them for yourself. She is making me a book trailer for DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN. I also contacted different blog owners—blogs I read and who post interesting subjects—and scheduled an interview with them or wrote an article for them. I am on Facebook and various romance-related Yahoo groups and I keep busy by spreading the news.

Are you a member of any writing organizations and have they helped?

The first thing I did once we signed a contract to sell our New Hampshire home was to join Romance Writers of America and the local chapter in my new home town. The Heart of Carolina Romance writers are a wonderful mix of new writers, newly published writers, and ‘old hats’. Everyone helps you whenever you have a question and our monthly meetings are full of valuable craft and industry insight. Check out the calendar at http://www.heartofcarolina.org/.
The point I’m making is that no one should do this alone. Writing is a very solitary profession. Can’t make meetings or there isn’t a chapter close by? There are dozens of on-line chapters as well. Just do it!

What’s next for you?

I just sold a short story to Whispers Publishing called UNWRAPPING CHRIS. It is a contemporary romance and takes place mostly on an army base then at a Christmas wedding. It will be released this holiday season. I also just sold what I would loosely call the sequel to DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN. I found that my secondary characters were so engaging that they needed a story of their own. Since they are both paramedic-firefighters, I used my history as a volunteer EMT and firefighter in my local community as inspiration. LOVE TO THE RESCUE is also a romantic suspense and Red Rose Publishing will release it in 2011.

BOOK BLURB

In a quirky college town surrounded by the mountains of New Hampshire, new art history professor Jacob Oliver hikes a trail on a crisp September morning. He contemplates his life. Divorced, and forced out of his job with the Boston Police due to a horrific accident, he spots a naked woman beneath a majestic waterfall. Escaping, he falls and re-injures his knee.
Destiny Blake heard a noise. Someone is on her mountain. She finds a handsome man sitting in the mud. Love blooms and lust consumes them after she helps him to the safety of her cabin. Soon assumptions tear them apart, leaving her vulnerable to the unwanted attentions of other men.
When Jacob decides he cannot live without her, he must save her from a madman who chases her up her mountain through the cold, snowy darkness of a November night. Ghostly voices push Jacob onward, while another spirit’s voice urges Destiny to fight back. Pain, hypothermia, and death threaten as the sun rises. Can Destiny and Jacob make it off Destiny’s Mountain…alive?


EXCERPT

She turned to leave. She had to leave. An injured man deserved privacy, not a drooling voyeur.
A large hand landed on her arm and stopped her cold. His tendons trembled under his skin as he curled his long fingers around her bicep. She glanced down at his hand, amazed at the light dusting of golden-brown hairs that trailed across his wrist, then up a muscular forearm.
“Wait,” he pleaded. His words sounded forced, as if his lungs struggled for air.
Destiny returned her attention to his eyes. She couldn’t read him. Did this signify lust or more? A brief memory featuring Marcus Benton and Pete Thayer crossed her mind, hindering her from acting on her first impulse.
“Do you need help showering?” An innocent question. So, why had a smile broken out across his full, luscious lips? With a jolt, she realized what she’d said and how it sounded.
“I wouldn’t want you to fall, of course,” she explained.
Deep brown eyes stared right through her. Was the man laughing because she’d said something inappropriate? Or was his smile an invitation?
“It seems a sin to waste all this hot water when there’s plenty of room for two.”
Was the man daft? Her shower was small. Really small. His voice sounded steady. He certainly didn’t look steady. She, herself, suddenly wavered. If he fell inside her shower, she’d be in a pickle.
“I promise I won’t look or touch unless you want me to.” He held her widening gaze half a minute more, then opened the shower door and hopped inside.
Panic bubbled up inside Destiny. Standing stock still, she watched as the water cascaded over his head and down to his toes. Her eyes must have spelled out her sudden shock at his words, because he closed the shower door with a definite click…and broke the spell.


AUTHOR BIO

Nancy grew up on New York’s Long Island then attended college in the beautiful mountains of New Hampshire. She worked during college in their dining hall while earning a degree in art education. After meeting her husband there, they raised her family in a small, nearby town. She volunteered as an EMT/firefighter on their small fire department then worked for the State of New Hampshire as a 9-1-1 Emergency Medical Dispatcher. Retired from public service, Nancy now writes full time, lives in North Carolina, and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Celtic Heart Romance Writers, and Sisters-in-Crime. She also writes paranormal romance, such as her recent release, DRAGON’S CURSE, as Nancy Lee Badger, at http://www.nancyleebadger.com/.


How can my readers buy your book?

DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN is available for download from Red Rose Publishing.
The buy link is: http://bit.ly/a4NOHE.
Visit my website at: http://www.nancylennea.com/.
Visit my blog at: http://www.nancylennea-inlove.blogspot.com/.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

WEB DESIGN

Are you new to the writing atmosphere? Maybe you have just gotten published and are looking for a way to promote you and your books. Let me first congratulate you on such a feat! Getting published isn't easy. But, you still have some hard work ahead of you and promoting with a web site is a great way to go. All of the famous authors have one. Veronica Wolff, Nora Roberts, Diana Gabaldon, and the list goes on and on.

Well, let me mention one other award winning author. I am sure some of you have read her work and if you haven't, please do so. I think you will be entertained. Her name is Kimberly Killion and you can visit her at www.kimberlykillion.com. 'My Cursed Highlander', 'Her One Desire', and 'His Magick Touch" are just a few of her books.

I haven't mentioned her here just to brag on her writing skills, but to also brag on her computer skills. Kimberly has also started up a web design company called Hot Damn Designs. You can find the link here at www.hotdamndesigns.com. Kimberly designed her own web page and I think it looks great! When it is my turn to come to a point where I will need a web page, this is the lady I will turn to.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

~~~WORKSHOP~~~

~~PERMISSION TO FORWARD GRANTED AND ENCOURAGED~~
Celtic Hearts Romance Writers would like to announce their October workshop:

Witches, Kelpies and Fairies, Oh My!
October 1 through October 29, 2010

Instructor: Cindy Vallar

My first introduction to the Otherworld, as Highlanders call it, came when I joined the Brownies. My Girl Scout handbook included a tale that explained who brownies were. Little did I realize that many years later, I would immerse myself in this strange world in order to better understand my Scottish characters. I invite you to step into the unknown as we explore the supernatural Scottish Highlands. The Scots believed the creatures and forces of the Otherworld were real, and sometimes more menacing than one’s neighbors. In this workshop you’ll learn about the differences between Highland and Lowland witches; second sight and seers; water creatures; portents of death; the world of fairies and elves; other supernatural beings; and ghosts.

Lessons are enhanced with a resource bibliography and excerpts from my novel, The Scottish Thistle, where I incorporated the Otherworld into this tale of the Rising of 1745. We will also discuss whether you believe and which elements of the Otherworld you would weave into your Scottish stories. At the end of the workshop, I offer to edit a chapter from each participant’s manuscript involving the supernatural.

Past Workshop Participants’ Comments:
This class far surpassed anything I could have imagined. You are so kind to go the extra-extra mile for your students. The info is more than I ever dreamed I might need and your resources are worth a pirate's ransom. Thank you so much for a wonderful class. ~Kati

Thank you SO much for this workshop. You're an incredible teacher and always give killer workshops! – Diana Cosby, author of His Captive

You are such an engaging presenter. And I always enjoy your workshops -- just can't believe that the return on my dollar is so high. ~Evelyn Marentette

The class was well structured and the amount of information was amazing! I have never attended a class that has provided so much information pertaining to the subject being taught. The resources listed and the information given is invaluable! You're a wonderful instructor and giver of knowledge. ~Shannon Robinson

This was the first workshop I have ever tried and it more than exceeded my expectations. Not only did it provide a ton of factual information and resources, it really triggered a lot of plotting and character ideas. This was an A+ class in all respects. ~Millie Bullock

Cindy Vallar, Associate Editor of Industry for Solander, writes the “Red Pencil” column where she compares a selection from an author’s published novel with an early draft of that work. She also reviews for the Historical Novel Society’s journal, Historical Novels Review. She is a freelance editor, the editor of Pirates and Privateers, and the author of The Scottish Thistle, her debut historical novel about the Camerons and MacGregors during Scotland’s Rising of 1745, and Odin’s Stone, a romantic short story of how the Lord of the Isles settled the medieval feud between the MacKinnons and MacLeans on the Isle of Skye.

She belongs to the Historical Novel Society, the Red River Branch of the Clan Cameron Association, the Scottish Clans of North Texas, and the National Maritime Historical Society. In 2005 at the Clan Cameron North American Rally, Cindy received the first Friend of Clan Cameron Award. Prior to becoming an author and editor, she was a school librarian for twenty years, and she also taught computers and social studies. She invites you to visit her award-winning web site, Thistles & Pirates (http://www.cindyvallar.com/), to learn more.

For more information, you may contact Celtic Hearts Education Coordinator, Kerri Nelson at celtickerri@yahoo.com.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A little moment to myself

What a week! Have you ever heard of the old saying "run ragged"? I feel as if I have been run ragged. More hours at work, kids in the after school activities, wedding reception, birthday party, and today I had to take my son to the doctor and then to the Out Patient services for x-rays. He might have fractured his hand or wrist in football. With my husband in the fields, it is up to me to do it all.

As I sit here writing this with guilt on my shoulder because I haven't written on my site since Friday, I try to think of ways to take a few moments for myself. Monday I went to Dairy Queen and read a book while I ate my lunch. Then treated myself to an ice cream cone. I have to say it was fun and very relaxing. Something so simple, was exactly what I needed.

This got me to thinking. There are so many ways for me to relax. I could go and take a walk at the park. Maybe go to the Library, watch a movie, read a book, or get my nails done. What did the women from the past do to relax? I can't imagine that I am suffering from anything that any woman through the years hasn't suffered from. Kids running through the house, siblings fighting, spills made and things torn. Or how about the husband who brings in his dirty shoes on a clean floor, food that didn't cook right, or not enough money to get done what needs to be done.

In this day and age kids go to school for 8 hours. I have a husband that I could wag my finger at for disgracing my poor floors, and there are many more options to us to get money. We have come along way. What do you think mom's did back in the day when they needed to relax? How did they keep sane when once in a while every fiber of their being was on the brink of going crazy?