Sunday, April 29, 2007
by Bernadette Gardner
ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-998-8 (Paperback)
Genres: Anthology / Collections / Science Fiction / Futuristic / Fantasy / Shapeshifter / Action / Adventure / Superheroes
Heat Level: 2
Description: From the depths of the ocean to a man-made asteroid, love is universal and the possibilities are infinite. Previously available only in electronic format, these steamy tales of futuristic and fantasy erotic romance have now been combined for a paperback edition! Included are the stories...
Thal Warrior Tige D’Vron battles the biological imperative of his people. Can Zira, a mere human, withstand the mating frenzy?
-- More Than A Fantasy
When Mara Zander’s dream man walks out of the pounding Aegean surf to claim her, she discovers he’s much more than a fantasy...
-- The Adventures of Molten Man (No. 1)
Paige Weller has sworn off dating superheroes. Can a regular guy melt her heart, or will it take someone extraordinary?
-- Renna’s Sacrifice
A delicate balance of power requires a young woman’s sacrifice. Can she give up the man she loves to ensure peace on her world?
-- A Calculated Risk
Nola Rule’s mission is genetic espionage. Her target is Tarrant Kane. Every move she makes is a calculated risk and the greatest danger she faces is falling in love.
For more information on Infinite Worlds, click here!
Infinite Worlds is available through Amber Quill Press at Amazon. com!
This is freakin' amazing. and just in case the articles didn't make it clear enough, this discovery of a terrestrial planet (as opposed to a gas giant) orbiting the red dwarf star Gliese 581c at a distance that, given the red star's coolness and the planet's makeup and proximity, puts the planetary temperatures in a habitable zone of about 0-40 degrees Celsius.
So let's find out what other known places lie in that zone. Straaaange and unuuuuuusual places like, oh, Florida. The planet is terrestrial, which means it's made up of rocks. Could be a rocky surface, could be an ocean. Yeah, an ocean, because the temperature of the planet is within the range where water is liquid.
Now I write SF--distant planets, distant galaxies, space travel, all that. I'm familiar with strange new worlds and unusual planets. When I need a strange and exotic world, I make it up. I fudge the science--It's just me making stuff up according to the needs of the story. But this isn't me or anybody else making shit up. This is real. Really real, not just humans making stuff up out of their imaginations, but real, observable (to an extent) variety in the galaxy. This is something that doesn't come from the imagination of any human being. This is something from the mind of the Universe itself.
I wonder what kind of stories the Universe has to tell.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I know it’s plausible for her to rescue him, since the new kick-ass action romances have the heroine doing just that. But do you feel that the romantic couple should work as a team, or is it okay for the heroine to take the dominate (usually stereotypically male) role? (And I don’t mean in the bedroom with handcuffs leather chaps and a horsewhip.)
Of course, there’s no way the hero can be a nincompoop. I mean who could fall in love with a man too stupid to live? (Don’t we already dislike the girl who’s too stupid to live without adding this?) Even a nerd has redeeming qualities, like a brain for instance. And yes, Betas do exist rarely these days, but even they have the occasional fortitude to go Alpha when needed.
Earlier on the loop we discussed the changing genre of romance as it morphs to embrace the modern woman. Because she is confidant, intelligent and the person to get things done, should she be the token “hero” to save the “shrinking violet” guy? Or is this too far a reversal of the romantic norm? And should the men in romances embody the real guys we interact with everyday? Or atleast share some of those newly developed characteristics with a hotter body, etc.?
Are you still wondering what I was doing in those woods? I’ll preface by saying my bf didn’t manage to lock himself out of his car (or the house) again. Though I should’ve known trouble was afoot since “the guys” were getting together to hang out and had fast cars at their disposal to muddle through dangerous terrain. Did I mention he almost never calls unless something is amiss? He called on my mother’s phone twice and my sister’s phone trying to hunt me down.
With my heart in my throat I returned his call around 9 pm. It seems he’d had an accident…thought he’d totaled his car…and needed me to come get him. So what’s a girl to do? Get freaking mad first, then take a deep breath and strategize a plan of attack.
My brother-in-law and I left at midnight with a seen-better-days F-150 and rickety trailer that was hauling my car to travel across the state. Black Mountain (so named because it’s a transmission destroyer) had us saying every prayer we knew and ended up pushing us to the stopping point for the night. Three and a half hours later (and $90 poorer thanks to the shortest hotel stay I’ve had) we unloaded my car and set off to uncover the location of Fontana Dam. Things were fine until we turned off on Hwy. 28. Slowly, but surely the paved roads turned into asphalt covered goat paths that twined through the hills with sheer drops on either side. Can I say for the record, this isn’t my idea of fun? I wanted to turn back, but I knew I had to “save” my man. He had no one else to turn to.
When the inclines reached 60 degrees and the turns shrank to 90 degree angles my brother-in-law pulled off and said the truck couldn’t make it any farther. Then he told me I’d have to forge on alone. Gulp! I had to suck up my fears of venturing into unfamiliar territory (that could quite possibly get me killed). Sticking in there paid off when I saw my bf for the first time after his call. He practically ran across the lobby, hugged me like he never wanted to let go and started to cry. (Did I mention that car is like his baby?) I hugged him close, soothed him down and of course told him, “Everything is going to be okay.” Like I had a crystal ball tucked in my pocket!
After he got packed up (since he didn’t think we’d drive through the night), we met back up with my brother-in-law to backtrack and devise a route to get over the Great Smoky Mountains to Tennessee. Why forge ahead? The tow truck driver quoted my bf double the price to tow the Miata back to Fontana, then was kind enough to take the car farther out of our way. (Nice, huh?)
US 129 also circled around the mountain, and my bf (who had the only hands-on knowledge) said it was flatter than Hwy 28. That sold us on giving it a try. So we set out with a little fresh food in our belly for the ride. It was a beautiful summer day and all I had to do was follow the trailer. The panorama of the mountains was breathtaking…and then I started the hairpin turns, blind rises and almost got rear-ended by a Chevrolet whose driver thought he was “the man”. Dare I mention the motorcyclists insane enough to pass in a posted no passing zone going 10 to 15 over the 30 mph speed limit?
When we made it to the other side, I asked my bf, “Did we just drive the Dragon?” Which is the infamous road the car clubs had come to drive (including some from other states) because of its reputation…318 CURVES in 11 MILES! He said, “Yeah.” I said, “I drove the Dragon and didn’t even get a t-shirt!” Making it through clean at top speed is a feat that they crow about for months on end, and I’d done it in a Contour, not a sports car. And my brother-in-law had done it in an old truck while hauling a trailer!
After we hauled butt through a third of Tennessee to our part of North Carolina and unloaded his banged-up car, I told my bf he’d have been impressed with my skills. After all I’d kept hot on my brother-in-laws rear end (not just on 129 but also on I-40 with insane transfer truck drivers) and stayed inside all the lines. He scoffed as if I didn’t drive better than him. Now remind me…who was it that needed rescuing?
His shirt reads “It’s only funny until someone gets hurt…then it’s hilarious!” I'm just glad he stayed in one piece like he promised!
Want to see video of the trek? Go here: http://www.dealsgaprotaryrally.com/videos.html Check out this website (http://www.dealsgap.com/) for more information on the Dragon and the yearly gatherings at Deals Gap.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
That makes them heroes in my eyes. A real hero steps up to the plate to do his best. A real hero takes his licks and keeps on going. A real hero doesn’t blame anyone else for his faults or mistakes.
We could use a few more like that, couldn’t we?
I think that’s why women read romantic fiction. We have a craving, a real desire, to see a ‘hero’ in action.
To be fair, most men don’t get the opportunity to flex their muscles just to impress us gals. And, to be even more fair, we should appreciate the ‘kinder, gentler’ qualities of our everyday heroes – fidelity and responsibility come to mind but I’m sure there are many others – and I’m sure we do.
But just as men have their fantasies, so do women. They might dream of chesty blondes with come-hither eyes. We dream of tall, dark and handsome men with seductive smiles (these are just stereotypical examples by the way–your mileage might vary).
When we read, we become the heroine and live the adventure with her. We’re as much seduced and loved by the hero as she is. And we fall in love with the hero for the same reasons the heroine does. I think that was the first ‘lesson’ I ever got when I first started writing romance. The hero must be someone the author can love or the readers won’t love him.
That doesn’t mean, of course, that a hero must be perfect. Who is? But he has to have those qualities I’ve mentioned (and a few others I haven’t mentioned). As authors, we have to show the good and the bad of every hero we write about. We have to show the interaction between him and the heroine from the first awkward moments right to the final culmination of their love. I’ve selected a scene from Altered Destiny to show one of these awkward moments.
Set up: Devyn’s been forced to accept Liane, the stranger he found on the beach, as his wife or have her sent to be a Qui’arel slave. He doesn’t like it but....
The lass wasn’t on the sofa.
He scanned the room quickly then heard the sound of running water. And heard it stop. He closed the outer door behind him. Rubbing his face with both hands, he struggled to clear his mind of the fatigue and evening’s libation. One question floated to the top of the stew. How had the lass thrown off the effect of the drugged tea so quickly?
The personal’s door opened. The lass stepped out wearing his robe, his favorite blue robe, belt snugged tight around her waist and hem dragging the floor. Briskly, she rubbed a towel on her wet hair, not seeing him as she went to the galley. The length of the robe parted revealing a long, pale leg and the glimmer of a silver chain on a shapely ankle.
His breath stopped. His heart stopped. Sweet Mae, the world stopped while he feasted his eyes, fatigue forgotten. And his roger danced happily beneath his sporran.
He let his gaze do a slow slide upward, away from the slender ankle. Her waist was narrow, her bosom enticing under the soft rich fabric. Annie threw the towel over her shoulder and fluffed the damp curls around her head. She paused in the galley, from the sounds of it making tea or coffee.
Devyn moved, stealthily, to watch. She opened the cooler, bent to inspect the contents and the robe caressed her heart-shaped arse like a lover. His hands curved into fists as he fought the insane desire to stroke that lovely behind. After reaching for something, she stood, used her hip to bump the door closed and turned.
Her bonnie eyes widened in surprise as she caught sight of him. “I didn’t know you were back.”
At the sound of her voice, silken and low, his breath came short again. Bloody hell. He had to stop this or he’d be cavorting around the lass like a pup after a teat. And that image had his blood pooling hotter and heavier in his groin.
He ripped his gaze away. Reaching deep for the Bard’s smarmy grin, he strolled forward. “What is it about women and green food?”
Her gaze dropped to the ball of lettuce in her right hand. “I was hungry. Is that a problem?”
She now sounded peeved and that was better than sounding erotic as far as he was concerned. “Not at all. Make yourself to hame, by all means. I’ll ask Morag to fetch you some clothes on the morrow. Or do you prefer to wear mine?”
With an awkward shrug, Annie put the lettuce on the counter beside a wedge of cheese and a loaf of bread. “I don’t want to be a bother.”
“Then you should not have claimed to be my bride.”
Monday, April 23, 2007
Of course, the older I get, the more I've come to realize there's something to be said for the simplicity of the past. While technology makes our lives easier most of the time, it also brings its own brand of stress.
Years ago when people beat their clothes on rocks to get them clean, life must have been quite difficult. Now we have washers and dryers that do the hard work for us, but years ago, the rock never broke down. It was always right next to the stream where you left it. It didn't need a new motor or make strange noises when a penny got caught in the agitator. It still worked when the electricity went out, because there was no delectricity to begin with and you didn't have to worry about putting too much detergent in and overflowing suds all over the floor.
Years ago, novelists had it rough too. You had to type everything out and if you made a mistake, you had to start the page over. You were lucky to have one perfect copy of your manuscript and once you mailed it to a publisher, you had to wait to get it back before you could send it anywhere else.
Now, you can make as many copies as you have paper to print. You can make multiple submissions over the Internet and sometimes get answers in hours or days where it used to take months.
And you can save a blank document over your WIP in the blink of an eye. Your hard drive can crash in a heartbeat and those 22 pages you wrote on Tuesday could be gone like the wind on Wednesday.
You could send out that query letter, with the glaring typo in it, to six agents all at once rather than just one, and you can get a paper jam that's so catastrophic that even the technician you call for help has to just shake his head and walk away.
So technology is grand, yes. But it also allows us to screw up in grander ways and have grand snafus that put that rock by the side of the stream, with it's no moving parts and no power cord, to shame.
Welcome to the 21st Century. Proceed with caution.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
In a parade, Rex encountered Lin, a lovely lady impersonating the goddess from whom he's estranged as a loyal servant. It turned out she wasn't just a costumed temptress, but a hunter sent by his goddess to track him down and bring him back. A fellow exiled Packmate, Max, has come to his rescue in the guise of giving the huntress transport, and the two are discussing Lin's fate and Rex's attraction to her.
(Contains M/M, and the beginnings of not-quite worksafe)
Rex couldn't help but watch her sleep. And wonder why he wasn't going out as well. His question was answered a minute later when the pilot came back through the door from the cockpit. "Am I glad to see you, little brother." Max made his way hand over hand to Rex's seat and clapped him on the shoulder.
Rex sighed and embraced his former Packmate. His cheek rested against the other man's and he breathed in the wolf-scent of home gratefully. His body pressed against the older man's and Max wrapped his arms around him, responding to the need for comfort and touch.
"I thought we lost our last chance," Max said. "I worried about you being on your own." He glanced over at the sleeping Lin. "But you found yourself a patron, I see."
Rex's gut sank. He didn't want to break Max's bubble. "It's not what you think," he said.
Max chuckled. "Hey, the Lady doesn't rule us now, remember? We're not subject to Her rules."
"No, it's just...”
"I can smell her all over you," Max said, drifting over to the sleeping woman. "She's delicious. Would you share?"
Rex's laugh was only a touch bittersweet to his own ears. "Forget it, Max," he said.
"I'm crushed, little brother." Max lifted a hand to touch the sleeping woman's hair. "There's certainly a resemblance."
"You're better off not knowing. She's an Arrow."
Max drew his hand back so fast it sent him into a tailspin. "What? How did--you get--caught up--in that?" He spoke only when he faced the younger man.
Rex watched him spin. His coat flapped like great batwings around him. Finally dizzy enough to take mercy on his friend, he unhooked one latch of the webbing and stretched out an arm to stop the pilot's crazy trajectory. The coat kept spinning another quarter-turn until it came to rest, wrapped around Max's legs. "I didn't know," he said. "I was running from the Whites and I looked up and there she was. I thought she was the Lady at first." That moment of fear-terror-relief still confused him. "I just jumped on the parade float and hoped nobody would notice me long enough for me to lose the Whites."
Max's lip quirked. "And the sex came into play when?"
Rex blushed. "She was already worked up when I got there. I think I was just in the right place at the right time." He looked over at Lin. "She's a Truebreed. They're not known for their discriminating tastes. She said so herself. It wasn't until after she was done that her pendulum gave me away."
"I'll change course," Max said. "I can put us on an intercept with Helios. If she gives us trouble, she can go airlock-surfing." The disreputable grin was gone, and the older man's eyes hardened. "I've made a contact on board the array. I think he might be able to help."
Rex's heart jumped. "Who is it? How...”
Max shook his head. "Let's deal with our present problem first." He reached for the medkit panel housed in the wall. "I can make it painless..."
"No!" Rex unbelted himself all the way and floated out of his berth towards his Packmate. "We don't kill."
Max's nostrils flared and Rex smelled the wolf in him stir from slumber. "We don't have the luxury of mercy," he said.
Rex grabbed hold of a stabilizer strap and pulled himself in close against the wall. "Mercy is not a luxury," he said. "We. Don't. Kill."
A low growl rumbled in Max's throat as his blue eyes met and held Rex's. Rex's stomach clenched at facing down the elder Packmate whose will should have been sacrosanct. He took a shaky breath. "We are not animals, Brother."
Fine trembling started in his limbs as Max's eyebrows raised. "Of course we're animals," he said, pushing himself back from the medkit panel. "We're all animals, formed of clay and by the whim of the Gods." He spread his arms and executed a graceful flip, and Rex felt the tension ease between his shoulder blades. "She gets to live. For now."
Rex tried not to let his sigh push him across the room. "I appreciate that. Especially as she's put a binding on me that keeps me close to her. She goes out an airlock..."
"And you follow her like a Good Dog."
Rex's lips twisted.
"So why the hell is she dragging you to Deimos?"
He shrugged. "Ask her. I'm planning to. As far as I can tell, Diana's given her a limited time to bring me to Deimos."
"Why Deimos? It's a shithole."
"I don't know," Rex said, agitated. "Maybe she's into the food. All I know is that once Lin delivers me to Diana, the compulsion to follow her will be gone. After that...I'll deal with that when it gets here." He made his way back to the recliner and wriggled back into the webbing.
"And the other compulsion?" Max asked archly, settling his hand over Rex's crotch. "The one that's keeping this in a semi all the time?"
Rex sighed. "I want her. A lot. She felt so good when I put my fingers inside her." Just thinking of it made his cock ache. "But not bad enough to start thinking with my dick instead of my head."
Max's arms went around Rex’s waist. "Maybe you need a little relief." He ground his hips against Rex's erection.
Rex hardly dared to ask. "It's been lonely," he said. "Without the Pack."
Max's hands worked at the fastener of his pants. "I know. It's not easy being an exile." Rex's cock sprang free into Max’s hand and he pushed himself to his knees. Sudden tightness built in Rex's gut. The mere sensation of human contact sent such relief through him that his chest caught. And when Max's mouth closed over his dick, there was just as much comfort as pleasure. He whimpered as the blood rushed to his cock, swelling it in his Packmate's mouth.
excerpt from "Hounded" in A Witch In Time ( ISBN 1-59578-283-4)
Take one Argon healer, add one maddening Felys male, a hefty pinch of sexual attraction, mix in some sass, a dash of dislike, stir well and watch the sparks and hisses fly.
Now add Death and a deadly secret. Can Tera and Illam stop the fur flying long enough to save a whole species from extinction?
Now here is the page!
Eulie, one of the other bodyguards, grinned. “Tera loves her traders.”
“I’m sure she does,” Illam said in disgust.
The Argons all glanced at him, Eulie and Wylin frowning.
“Obviously good friends,” Denyon said hastily.
“Obviously,” Illam agreed, just managing to take the bite from his tone. He was here as a visitor, and whatever the loose Argon female did wasn’t his problem.
Lysie whispered something to Marten, who grinned a little. Eulie and Wylin continued to look warily at Illam.
“Tera is one of our most respected healer apprentices,” Kiile said calmly, but there was a strong thread of steel in his tone.
“Of course.” Illam inclined his head. “No disrespect meant.”
But she could at least not have made such a spectacle of herself! Still, what else can one expect, when she is so rude anyway?
Denyon gave a low growl beside him. It was low enough that the Argons wouldn’t hear, but both Illam and Lysie were able to hear his warning, their feline hearing picking up the growl easily. Lysie smirked at Illam, and he rolled his eyes mentally.
“You’ll have a chance to meet the Daamens later,” Kiile informed Denyon and Illam. “They’ll be here for a night or two before leaving for Daamen.”
That’ll keep Tera more than happy. Illam caught sight of several more young Argon females giggling and casting glances towards the docking bay. And a few others, by Jocat.
The rooms they were taken to were luxurious, the beds big and soft, the furniture dark wood and polished to a shine, the cushions inviting, and the carpets rich and deep. Combined with the fragrance of the flowers outside the windows, it was enough to make him want to lie down on the carpet and roll across the rich fabric. He would have done, if he was a Felys kit. Instead, he crossed to the window and looked out at the gardens beyond, admiring the view.
The day passed quickly, while Illam reacquainted himself with the palace that he’d only visited once before, a fleeting visit for the wedding of Denyon’s little cousin to the Argon bodyguard.
Striding down the corridor, he spotted Tera coming towards him from the opposite end. Her thick brunette hair had come loose from its intricate braiding, and lay in thick waves across her shoulders and down her back. Her cheeks were flushed, and her eyes sparkled with laughter. Beside her walked her younger sister, Hanna. She, too, was laughing.
As they neared Illam, he inclined his head slightly at them.
“Are you settled in?” Hanna asked.
“Thank you, yes.” Illam slid his gaze across Tera. “Have fun meeting your friends?”
“Yes.” Tera smiled. “They’re a lot of fun.”
“I bet.” The words came out before he knew it. Shit!
The smile fled Tera’s lips, and she raised her chin. “What do you mean?”
“No. No, you meant something.” Her arms folded beneath her breasts, pushing the tempting mounds up against the soft fabric of her bodice.
Tempting mounds? Hidden by the fall of his hair, Illam’s ears twitched in interest. Manfully, he kept his gaze on her face. “I’m sorry. Did I offend you?”
“I think the question should be, did I offend you?”
Hope you enjoyed it!
Friday, April 20, 2007
Since this book is now in the editors hands, it may vary some from the finished product.
On an ice-encrusted road in New Jersey, Tara Johanan loses control of her car and drives off an embankment. At the same moment in Palmetto Springs, Florida, in an unwittnessed attack, Charlotte Durand is shot in the head and left for dead.
Both women die. Both return. But near-death experiences are not always straightforward, for now Tara has the voice and memories of a comatose woman in her head, and can remember a shooting she never witnessed.
Marcus Danforth is a detective with the Palmetto Springs Police Department, and Charlotte’s stepbrother. When he walked into Charlotte’s hospital room and finds a beautiful stranger with his stepsister, he feels as if he’s been poleaxed. He doesn’t understand why touching her hand makes him feel better than he has since Charlotte’s shooting. And yet, his training tells him that she is hiding something from him, and he’s determined to discover Tara’s secrets, even in the face of overwhelming desire.
After receiving information of a shooting that matches the description of the crime Tara has seen in her visions, she travels to Florida to try and piece together the fragmented scenes from Charlotte's life and the crime that put her in a coma.
This scene is the first meeting between Tara and Charlotte's step-brother, Marcus. WARNING: Teaser!!!
Tara held her head high and proceeded to the elevators. The only way someone would question whether she was supposed to be here or not would be if she looked as if she didn’t belong. It was a mantra she repeated even as she walked into the private room.
A sigh moved through her as she took in the room and the fact the only person inside was the one in the bed. At least she would have time with Charlotte while the family was not around.
She moved slowly across the room. Charlotte lay immobile on a bed that came to Tara’s waist. The gentle roar of air circulated beneath the prostrate figure. A long blue corrugated tube attached to the plastic collar around Charlotte’s neck, blowing oxygen into the tracheotomy tube. Tara leaned over and smoothed Charlotte’s hair from her face. Her resemblance to the comatose woman was startling. If Tara had given into the urge to dye her hair blonde they could pass for twins or at least sisters. It was a face she recognized clearly from the other side.
“Charlotte? It’s Tara. I’m here.”
There was no movement, but Charlotte took a deeper breath and let it out slowly.
“Oh, sweetheart, I know you can hear me. I’m sorry it took me so long to get to you, but I spent so much time in the hospital after the accident…” Tears started down her cheeks. She brushed at them, irritated at her emotions. Charlotte didn’t need her tears, she needed resolution. “I promise I’ll find the person responsible for this, if I have to stay here for the rest of my life to do so.”
Tara waited for a sign—even a small one—that Charlotte understood. But none came. How frustrating it must be for her loved ones? As if pulled by an unseen force, Tara’s attention settled on the tributes posted on the far wall.
Pictures gave testimony to Charlotte’s full and productive life. Tara couldn’t resist the need to see if she recognized anyone from her visions. There were photos of Charlotte with children, the tiny patients she cared for during her residency. There were friends and family members, all smiling, glad, it seemed, to be alive.
Tara scanned them all, drinking in the vague feelings of recollection she had for some of the images. In one of the photos, Charlotte held her cheek to that of a dark haired man. Her hand was held up to the camera to display a large diamond ring. A vague memory of the same man on bended knee skittered through her mind. He’d been in tears when he proposed to her.
The picture must have been taken right after the engagement. They both looked so happy, so full of hope and promise.
Another photo caught Tara’s eye. A tall, tawny haired man posed with Charlotte. Both wore Mardi Gras beads and held beers up to the camera in salute. Something about the man made Tara’s breath hitch. He looked familiar, but not in the same way the fiancé did, or the pictures of Charlotte’s parents. He was the same boy, now grown, from her vision of the Thanksgiving dinner. Charlotte’s brother?
“Can I help you?” A deep voice came from behind her.
Tara turned and nearly dropped to her knees. The picture did not do him justice.
Marcus knew how it felt to get a fastball to the gut. Back when he and Gil were kids they played for the local little league. There was this guy delusional enough to believe he would get picked for the majors at twelve. Marcus was up to bat when the kid let go of a crazy pitch. The ball hit Marcus before he could move away, and he dropped to the ground and curled up into a ball. The feeling was much like the force he felt looking into this stranger’s eyes.
The woman seemed stunned for a moment before she began to move. “I just dropped by to see how Charlotte’s doing.” She twisted her wrist to look at a very expensive watch. “I have to run.”
Marcus watched her bend over the bed and kiss Charlotte on the forehead. Her simple sundress was cut along elegant lines and fit her slender form beautifully. She moved with a dancer’s grace to the door. It took Marcus a half beat before he realized she was going to leave.
She turned around with her incredible eyes showing a flicker of panic. “Yes?”
“You didn’t give me your name.”
“Did I need to?” She asked, then closed her eyes. When she opened them again she held her hand out to him. “I’m sorry. It’s been a long day of traveling. I’m Tara Johanan.”
“Marcus Danforth, Charlotte’s brother.” Marcus took her hand and pumped it up and down gently. His large, calloused hand swallowed her soft, delicate one. Her skin felt warm and silky against his.
Tara took her hand back and made a tight fist at her side. “I need to go. I haven’t even checked into my hotel yet.”
“Where are you staying?”
“The El Dorado.”
She smiled and looked down her at feet, shod in a pair of well-made sandals. “I’m not too fussy when it comes to hotels. As long as it’s clean, quiet, and has good water pressure, I’m set.”
Marcus raised a brow. Her appearance said otherwise, though anyone with a smile like Tara Johanan’s could probably get away with saying anything. Her mouth was something out of a porno movie.
“How long are you going to be staying in town?”
“I haven’t decided yet. I’m on leave from work.” Her gaze moved to Charlotte and a frown knit her brow. “Well, it was nice meeting you, Mr. Danforth.”
He took her hand again, not knowing why just holding it made him feel better than he had in months. And besides, when she smiled she had the most beautiful dimple at the bottom right corner of her mouth, and he was a sucker for a woman with a dimple.
Coming Soon: Book Trailer for By A Silken Tread
Click here to watch the book trailer for Immorati:
Have a great day, and hope to see some of you in Houston this coming week. If you see me...stop and say 'HI".
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Go-to-girl Jacqui Valere decided to break her daily routine by testing a hunch about her friend's model-of-the-month. Bradley Eadoin's hiatus had expired, so he nixed her intrusive questions with a tour of his duty—saving innocents from extermination. But his mistake in identity catapulted her into a war-torn city where she embodies the Mayor's sought-after energy source. With her life next on the chopping block, Jacqui must enlist with the super-savior and wax heroic to topple the maniac dictator or die trying.
Can she safeguard her heart, while witnessing her partner's unselfish atonements for his sins?
Background to the Excerpt:
Jacqui and the Cadmus Dragons are trying to rescue innocent NoVice’s, but the plan is botched when Varick jimmies the local chain-gang’s mood-altering device. Instead of having the Carcerates and SPUDS (local P.D.) fight it out, innocent Winzlians have been attacked.
The Carcerate changed course. His free hand clenched over the old man’s face, then used the bone-jarring grip’s leverage to shove him back with extreme force. His white head bounced like an errant basketball off the bench, the heavy thump sickening as he hunched over lifeless.
His wife screamed as if her heart had been ripped from her chest. Her fingers clawed the air futilely to get to him. Sweaty Guy jerked her back roughly. Blood trickled down her forehead and he cackled with insane glee.
“Drake, let one fly!” Rad yelled, his arm like a directional arrow pointing out the target.
With a dagger already in hand for a poor SPUD soul, he pivoted mid-throw to flip the electric dagger end over end into the zombie’s belly.
Not phased one lick by the stunner-shot, the white-clad prisoner roared, enraged two fold. He dropped the woman like a sack of potatoes, then stepped over her sobbing form, on a direct path toward him.
Drake rattled off a dozen darts, the impact point the same.
He kept coming as if the sizzling, flesh-searing hits smarted equal to miniscule bee stingers that might’ve barbed his skin.
A scream encored the masterful demonstration as Drake fell, blood spurting like a cannon-shell had ripped into him.
“Jacqui, get him down below.”
Why did she have to save his hide? Finishing off a half-conscious guard didn’t compare to sprinting in while the team sent up a blitzkrieg for cover. But orders were orders. No matter how heartily she grumbled.
One of Kaida’s discs flew past. A gasey residue and the faint streaking whistle of a falling firecracker her only heads up. Half the SPUDs front line fell under the lone shot. Via Kaida’s power turned vehement, Drake’s ambient energy had taken down his assassin. Good girl.
Her heart rumbled as if it might burst a vessel, wind sprinting to match her race toward certain death. She executed a baseball slide in beside Drake’s prone form. His eyelids flickered, his colorless eyes snapping over to see who’d been sent as rescue. With a grunt, his eyeballs rolled back like he was a goner. His chest fluttered, the rise and fall faint. His breathing appeared shallow, but existent. She jerked his arm up, wrenching a scream from his whitened lips.
The ugly wound poured blood in a steady trickle down his hunter-orange sleeve. She had to stem it or he’d die on the spot. Jacqui grabbed the hem of her shirt, then stalled. He’d kill her.
It had to be done. She jabbed her thumb in the thin cotton, then tore backwards with all the cutting action her nails would afford. A two-inch section ripped raggedly, leaving her belly unabashedly bare.
“No,” Drake’s protested, the volume level less than two, but utterly insistent. A tear streamed from his wide eyes. His lips snarled, like a vicious pitbull ready to strike its abuser. In his condition it constituted more bluster than bite.
If you'd like to see the mock book cover I patched together for BELIEVE IN ME, visit http://www.maseysplace.com/Futuristic_page.html
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
United Alliance starships have been sent to evacuate the population of the ocean world, Zalaban, in an attempt to save them from total annihilation by the Loreto Asteroid.
Drawn by the siren's call of the beautiful Alarija, Captain Gerano Lasalle learns she has been left behind as a sacrifice to the Sacred Eye. But he is determined to save the woman he has already joined with in his mind...
Background to the excerpt...
Gerry and Alarija's servant, Marsalir, are on their way to bring her back to the starship but are stopped by The Elders of Zalaban before they reach the shuttle.
Gerry glanced at Marsalir. “Your ... servant is accompanying me on a rescue mission. I have been informed there is one person left on Zalaban. I plan to retrieve her.”
The Elders looked at each other in alarm. The plumpest one snarled at Marsalir. “You have betrayed us. Betrayed your people.”
“My Lords, Alarija must be--”
“Silence!” the eldest man roared. “You dare to speak her name among se’kaanae?”
Se’kaanae. An odd choice of word, Gerry thought. It’s meaning lay between infidel and heretic.
“There has been no betrayal,” Gerry said coldly. “He’s merely my guide.”
“You lie.” The skeletal one glared at him. Then he pointed at Marsalir, who had visibly started to shake. “Whatever he has told you is a lie.”
Gerry’s hand tightened on the handle of his phaser. A cold fury swept over him at their insubordination. Godammit, this was his ship!
“Who’s the liar? Do you deny Alarija remains on Zalaban?”
The plump Elder’s face turned puce. “You dare to speak her name?”
“I dare to bring her back with me.”
Marsalir took a step towards them, hands outstretched imploringly. “My Lords, we cannot leave her--”
The skeletal Elder flung out his arm. As though he weighed only more than a matchstick, Marsalir’s body was thrown up in the air and hit the hull of the shuttle with a sickening crunch. He fell to the ground, his huge body crumpling.
Gerry ran to him, knelt at his side. He had only to look at his unnaturally twisted neck to know that Marsalir was dead. Killed by his own people. On his ship.
Still crouching, Gerry turned, pulling out his phaser and aiming it at them. Immediately the weapon flew from his grasp and clattered across the launch pad.
The Elders faced him, their eyes blazing.
Gerry rose to his feet, stood proudly as fury coursing through his body. “You have contravened the laws of the United Alliance. I can have you up for charges of murder. For mutiny. Both punishable by death.”
He spoke coldly, fearless in his authority. “There are witnesses enough,” he swept his hand around the launch pad where three squads of soldiers and more than two dozen technicians observed them. “Surely you can’t mean to kill all of us?”
For the first time, something like fear swept over their faces. The Elders turned to each other uncertainly, conversing quietly for a moment. When they were done, the plump one turned to him and said nervously, “We apologize. We have overstepped the mark.”
Suddenly Gerry knew what he had to do. “You murder someone and think an apology will fix that atrocity?” He pressed home his advantage. “I demand a life for a life. It’s my right.”
“No, you cannot--”
“As captain of this starship, I claim Alarija’s life in exchange.”
“No!” the Elders stared at him in horror.
It was an ancient law. Before the Univesal Alliance had established firm order in the galaxies, pirates and rogue mercenaries posed a problem to every trade ship, cruiser and colonial outpost on rim planets. Murder, sky-jackings, and kidnappings had been rampant. After a series of high profile kidnappings for ransom by pirates, negotiations had turned on a life-for-a-life--the release of the kidnap victim in exchange for the freedom of criminals in captivity. Later it was expanded later to include all lives taken accidentally during close confrontations on spaceships. It had fallen into disuse as the UA exerted it’s control over most of the known galaxies, but as a law it was still the right of any spaceship captain to legitimately claim, with the Universal Alliance’s full backing.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Here's the blurb for Altered Destiny
Stranded on an alternate Earth, architect and Jill-of-all-trades, Liane Gautier-MacGregor must find her way back to her homeworld before she's enslaved...or falls in love with a man who is the exact duplicate of her ex-husband.
Devyn MacGregor's alter ego as the Reiver Lord is the only way he can fight the Qui'arel and their nefarious Bride Bounty, a tax paid with human females...until he meets the oddly familiar woman who claims he is her husband. And who sets in motion the rebellion that will either free his countrymen or destroy them.
“He looks like the laird o’ fear.”
Devyn pushed the apartment door open, wincing as the fabric of his shirt pulled free of the scabs on his back. Cuini’s flogger had bit deep during the night, a sign of her anger. And her growing mania.
The draperies were still drawn but the dawning light peeped into the room, enough so that he could see Annie lying curled up on the sofa. After quietly closing the door behind him, he made his way to her side.
One hand was curved under her cheek, the other rested on her hip as she slept. She wore her white robe over a silky blue nightgown. Her feet were tucked together, nestled like kittens on the seat cushion. Why hadn’t she gone to bed? Had she been worried about him?
The idea that she’d waited up for him warmed the ravaged places in his soul and a smile flickered across his mouth.
Flickered and faded.
He had to get Annie away from Seagate and soon. He wouldn’t be able to protect her much longer.
Today, he decided and felt the familiar ache of loss.
Automatically, he reviewed his schedule. He’d been putting off a visit to Jasper’s Port down the coast. The trip would provide the alibi he needed to cover his absence when Annie disappeared. She’d be hurt at the betrayal but it had to be done.
On the sofa, the lass stirred. She couldn’t be comfortable. He needed, suddenly, to see to her comfort and swiftly bent, sliding his arms under her. She came awake, gasping, as he lifted her. Her arms flailed for a wild moment then latched around his neck like a vise.
Here's the blurb on my WIP: Uncross My Heart, paranormal romance
Julian Devlin isn’t a vampire. That’s his problem. He was respected, powerful and of course, immortal, until his former ally, Enoch Lambert, cast a spell that turned Julian human again.
Zoe Boyd is the quirky, fashion unconscious owner of Dollars and Sense, a consignment shop that handles wedding dresses, baby clothes and vintage jewelry. Her life is about finding creative ways to make old things look antique, not about helping a vampire get his fangs back. Then she meets Julian and her world turns upside down.
Convinced that Julian has lost his marbles, rather than his fangs, she agrees to help him lay low while he tries to find a trustworthy magic user who can reverse the spell and help him take revenge on Lambert. When the moment comes, however, Julian finds himself with a dilemma. His human self has fallen in love with Zoe and he knows that once he transforms back, she’ll mean nothing to him. Will he give up his undead life for her, or turn his back on the only woman who makes him long for mortality?
And here's page 11:
He took one step in her direction, his expression questioning whether or not she’d let him up the stairs without going kung fu on him again.
Zoe hadn’t quite decided if she would or not. He certainly didn’t look dangerous from where she stood now...at least not in the physical sense. His clothes were impeccable despite his surroundings. His fingernails looked clean and professionally manicured. His watch, probably a Rolex though she couldn’t be sure, sparkled in the feeble light coming from the back room, and the Gucci remark had been a lucky guess. Ostentatious wasn’t her style and neither was demure elegance, and he seemed to be a combination of both.
She’d just about reached the conclusion that she could safely let him pass and show him out the back door, when he stumbled and sank to his knees on the dirty cement floor.
Panic battled with concern. Had she really hurt him, or was this a ruse to lure her back down the stairs and into his clutches? “Are you all right? What’s—”
His head shot up, and the look on his face morphed into one of rage mixed with fear. He rose in a fluid motion and lunged for her just as something exploded behind her. The back door of Dollars and Sense crashed open as if the dead bolt holding it closed didn’t exist. The burglar alarm wailed to life and red hazard lights came on, casting Zoe’s shadow in bloody relief before her.
Before she could scream, she fell forward, propelled by the concussion of the force from above as well as her own somewhat stunted survival instincts.
She landed in his arms.
Despite his apparent weakness, he was all muscle and he smelled of expensive cologne...something woodsy with a liberal dose of citrus that filled her lungs when she drew in a panicked breath.
“This way. They’ve found me. We have to get out of here.”
“They who? Who...they...” Zoe fought against his grip, trying to pry his long fingers from where they’d closed around her wrist. She couldn’t budge him, though, and that left her with no choice but to stumble after him through the old wooden door.
Shouts came from above along with the sound of breaking glass.
It was like an ambush of some sort. She was caught between the gorgeous stranger who lurked in basements and the noisy invasion of who-knew-what from above. Demanding that he let her go seemed pointless at this juncture, so, terrified and faced with no alternative, Zoe ran.
Friday, April 13, 2007
So it's Friday the 13th Down Under. I had no idea until I was grousing at a shop lady about the bad day I'd had...and she informed me it was Friday the 13th, and did that have something to do with it?
I mean, I'm not superstitious. I walk on cracks, stop to pat black cats, and will walk under a ladder to prove a point. So I just looked at her. I looked even more when she started going on about a show she saw, and saying we should be grateful for what we had instead of complaining.
Hello! SHE asked ME how my day was going, and I told her (right down the toilet, my day was going, as a matter of fact). I mean, if she really didn't want to know, then don't ask! And when I'm having a bad day, I don't want someone telling me how we should all be grateful - I WANT SYMPATHY! IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?
So...I'm wondering, what constitutes a bad day in the future? The toilet still blocks up? Will the space ship fall from the sky? Alien invasion? Our air rockets run out of air? (or we do). Our ultra swish wedgie air boots fall apart? Our robot servants spring a spring? I mean, will it even be Friday the 13th in the future? Maybe they'll do away with the calendar time altogether... Our fast slim-in-five-seconds pill goes out of date and now it takes half an hour instead to lose that 15 kgs? (man, that would be great right here in the present!) I mean, if the future is as perfect as some people say, will we ever have a bad day again?
Or would I still find something to whine about? Knowing me, I'm sure I would!
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I sometimes write short contemporary romantic comedies (at one point I was pursuing publication with a certain house that published a lot of them) and in my contemps, I always favored a heroine with a healthy sexual outlook and the experience to have come by that outlook honestly. I felt--and I still feel--that a heroine who's ready for the HEA does not need the extra baggage of sexual hangups for the hero to help her through. And besides, in comedies, nobody really wants to slog through all the dysfunction. 'Cause it's just not funny.
But in my SF/Futuristic universes, virginity can be as alien and outlandish as extra appendages. And in erotic romance, it can offer up a creative tension between the characters. So here's my chewing question. Knowing how very annoying the ZOMG_VIIRRRRRGGGIIIINNN! heroine can be, and knowing how easy it is for her to be annoying, what makes a smart and entertaining virgin heroine?
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
My curiosity was piqued (as I hope others were) a week or so ago by the article “Doohan’s Ashes to be Blasted into Space”. I clicked on the link to discover that Star Trek’s Scotty was being rocketed into space…or atleast a tiny seven gram portion of him for $5,300. In my mind I pictured a rocket exploding grandly, scattering Doohan's ashes and those of his fellow passengers into space to drift aimlessly. Instead, I learned that the payload of “Legacy Flight” will be launched and fall back to Earth, at which time the families will be awarded the remains and a commemorative plaque. In my opinion, the other portion of Doohan’s ashes included in “The Explorers Launch” (also being carried by a Celestis courier later this year) will meet a far more fitting end, since the ashes will burn up upon reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere. Still not quite out there, but atleast they’re not Earth-bound like the first sampling.
Since I’m a little on the spacey side at the moment (perhaps because of my elephant-incapacitating headache), my mind is wondering, what would happen if people’s ashes did filter into deep space? What if other beings captured the small particles and were able to use them to recreate the organism the bio-material came from? What if a person who was dead to us was reborn and rose up like a Phoenix from his ashes in another place?
I think most of us (sci-fi lovers) would welcome the return of Gene Roddenberry whose ashes blasted into space in 1997. Because the conveyance is now a reality (to those with wallets big enough), I wonder what others have taken their final voyage into deep space, and who will be joining Mr. Doohan on his last trek?
As for me, I’ve always envisioned my final resting place being atop a pyre, set afire as my gown billows in the wind. But I would also be happy to take my last voyage like Tristan in TRISTAN & ISOLDE. Imagine being set adrift in a small boat, which only the greatest archers could set ablaze with flaming arrows that arched through the sky like fiery birds. What a grand exit to life and entrance into the hereafter.
For more info about Space Services, Inc. or to write a message that will be digitized and sent with “Scotty” visit http://www.nameastarspacelaunch.com/doohan_message.asp
Friday, April 06, 2007
I've been working diligently...well, maybe diligent is too strong a word, lol, on a MySpace presence for Star-Crossed. I'm not quite done but I think it's finished enough to go 'public'. So I'd like to invite all our current readers to stop by and 'friend' us. And, if you haven't already done so, 'friend' each of the Star-Crossed authors there too.
Here's the link Star-Crossed Romance Be sure to leave a comment and let us know what you think of the site.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
I've had a run of sick animals, so my vet bill is...okay, we won't go into that, let's just say...no, let's don't. The cats and dog are all recovered/on the road to recovery, and that's the main thing!
And then I had one day where I dropped everything. EVERYTHING! Cornflour, jars, milk - even the cucumber hit the floor and fell in half!
And my current characters are giving me the runaround...with a deadline of June, they can't do this to me! THEY CAN'T, I SAY! But they do *sniffle*
You know, looking back on things, if time travel were possible, I'd travel back to all those quiet nights when I could sit and write. Now if I did that, though, wouldn't that mean that I still wouldn't be able to write anything new, because I'd just be re-writing everything I'd already done back then? OR...would I be watching my other self and, in secret, write my new story with plenty of time to spare. THEN I could time travel to the future and see what the manuscript would look like finished and pick up major mistakes and have time for rewrites. HOWEVER, if I did this, would the manuscript be finished? After all, I wouldn't have written it in the present, would I, so how would it be finished in the future for me to check?
Ah me...see, this is why I can't write time travel books LOL
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I wish there was a way to back date these things. Anyhoo...
Have you ever had to actually sit and clean your brain out of all the flotsom that writing washes up on your creative shore? Oh, good, I was afraid it was just me. So, I'm writing this erotic romance novella for Trisk and other story ideas keep bumping into me as I float along on the waves of my plot. I'll work for a few minutes on it, then move to another story, then go on to another. While this is great for productivity in a broad sense of the word, it ain't doin' much for my self-imposed deadlines.
Then I'm driving to the post office and bank today, when an idea I had for another erotic romance pushes itself to the forefront of my brain and says..."ME NEXT!! ME NEXT!!" Well, that's all well and good...if it had wanted to remain a novella. But now the idea is demanding not only to be front and center, but wanting to be a 90K novel and a mainstream breakout for my Kathleen Scott personality. A very tall order. How dare the presumptious plot line hijack my frontal and temporal lobes like that? I ask you?
The problem with this plot line is it is going to be very controversial in a religious sense. I hope, though, that the fact it's going to be a futuristic will temper that just a bit. I really don't want to give away any of the storyline at this early date yet, but if the idea and characters have anything to say about it, I'll be working on this one in the next few months. Maybe I can even have it done in time for the NJ conference in October. That would be really cool!!
Oh geez...look at me. I have no willpower where my stories are concerned. I'm actually letting it talk me into blowing my deadlines. (Which if you've read my blog on http://Katwriter.blogspot.com you would be up to speed on my blown self-imposed deadlines and how they are waaaayyyy behind schedule at the moment).
Oh, well...back to the more immediate work.
Monday, April 02, 2007
If you asked me a few weeks ago about what differentiated erotica from erotic romance, my answer would probably have included something about the hero and heroine being faithful to each other onscreen. A few weeks ago, the ladies over at Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books blogged about misogyny in romancelandia where Smart Bitch Candy posted the following, which is tangential to their discussion, but made me think hard enough that it hurt:
But the thing is, sexually active women are still punished, and punished severely, in Romancelandia. Think about the legions of villainous fiancées and mistresses that populate romance novels; odds are high that these women are sexually voracious or promiscuous, which is usually meant to contrast with the heroine’s dewy-eyed innocence. In the vast majority of romance novels in the past, the heroine is allowed to feel pleasure with the hero, and only the hero. It’s only very recently that we’ve started encountering heroines who’ve had pleasurable experiences with former lovers, or whose virginity wasn’t kept intact despite all odds and common sense.
Candy also discussed the heroes:
...another convention that’s kept to quite strictly in Romancelandia is the hero’s absolute fidelity--one bordering on monomania--to the heroine once he meets her. In books past, this led to Inexplicable Dick Death on the part of the hero once he met our (usually virginal) heroine, an ailment that can only be cured by the heroine’s Magic Hoo Hoo.
What this amounts to is that once "on stage," in each other's lives, so to speak, the hero and heroine remain faithful to each other...or at least, free of other entanglements.
My current WIP features a theme of the heroine's journey of self-discovery (which is a theme through a lot of my stories). But part of her journey requires her to climb into bed with other partners. And the cultural situation in which I've placed them both would make it less-than-believable if they only partnered with each other.
I can think of a time in the not-too-distant past where I would have passed right over a book where the heroine enjoys multiple sex partners without guilt after engaging with the hero. Ditto for the hero once the heroine is firmly in his life. But I honestly can't see writing this story any other way. The story is an erotic romance, of that I have no doubt. But it's not all-sex-all-the-time, so it's very definitely still in the romance category without being full-on erotica. What do you think? Would it bother you to know that the main characters are gleefully schtupping my (hopefully) interesting and quirky and equally-deep supporting cast? Or does that signal "wallbanger" for you?