Monday, February 28, 2011

Guest - Patricia Green

Good morning everyone! Today's guest, author Patricia Green, has given us a very interesting article on erotica and science fiction. Enjoy!

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The Treatment of Erotica in SciFi/Fantasy/Paranormal Books
by Patricia Green

Perhaps it started in ancient Greece, where clay tablets sometimes held naughty verse. Certainly, It started long before the twentieth century when Anaïs Nin wrote her famous Delta of Venus. No matter where it began, however, erotica is part of human existence and has been for at least two millennia.

The combination of erotica and science fiction necessitated that science fiction—both speculative and fantastical—become a meme with all its attendant facets. It needed more than technology, more than fantasy Gods and Goddesses and anthropomorphic animals; it needed a dose of visceral reality. This reality had to be the kind that included eating, sleeping, and, of course, sexuality.

We might never know when science fiction erotica was first produced, but it is easy to see its prevalence increasing as the centuries pass. Today, science fiction erotica is gaining popularity as authors such as Laurell K. Hamilton, John Norman, and the venerable Johanna Lindsey get into the act. Even Piers Anthony, that famous writer of fantasy that so many of  us cut our eye teeth on, wrote Pornucopia, his version of a paranormal romp in the hay. And while “Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex” by Larry Niven isn’t exactly erotic, he deals in suggestive sexual themes exclusively in that story.

But what are the romantic elements of sci-fi erotica, and how do they further the tech or fantasy? Try this on for size: boy meets girl; boy gets girl; boy loses girl; boy sings a song and gets girl back; they live happily ever after. That’s the basic refrain of romance novels, but in the case of sci-fi and fantasy romance, it could be: alien meets girl; or, boy meets android; or, shape-shifter meets demon. The combinations are endless, but the point is that someone meets someone else who rocks their world, then they find that they can’t do without that someone, and through some wonder of science or fantasia, they make it through trials and tribulations and find permanent togetherness. That’s the scope I tried to present in my two-book series, Daughter of the Moon.

The erotic elements are, I hope, self-explanatory. There’s sex that’s sexy, not perfunctory or medically technical, but sensual, often impulsive, and always passionate. It’s intended to emotionally charge the reader right along with the characters.

Can the characters have more than one partner and still retain the romance elements? I think so. There is illustrative value in comparisons, as well as a dose of reality when bad relationships and uncomfortable sexual situations occur. Furthermore, there is a burgeoning market for homosexual romance literature happening today that shouldn’t be ignored. And if homosexuality is allowed, perhaps polyamory ought to be, too. The world is a wide open place for erotica these days, and sci-fi erotica perhaps most open of all because the human(oid)s and supernatural beings that inhabit those realms don’t necessarily fit together the way we’re used to. But there’s lots of love to be had and that’s really the point.

Thank you, Lynda, for having me here on your lovely blog. It's exciting to be part of such a wonderful resource.

Daughter of the Moon

Imagine living 140 years in the future, a time when: neo-paganism flourishes over other religions; the younger generation has grown up under the stress of a long-standing war; and people live only for the moment, their sexuality free and easy with no threat of disease or unwanted pregnancy. Then, with little warning, the war escalates to nuclear bombs. Daughter of the Moon is the story of a small group of people before and after they must accept life underground in a well-appointed and high-tech shelter they call Articulus. Expecting to spend the next fifteen years or more of their lives in close-quarters, they have to learn to get along when friendships aren't enough. It isn't easy, especially when love and sexuality are so easily confused.

Daughter of the Moon, Book 1, tells the story of the group before the nuclear disaster. You can buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Moon-Book-Surface-ebook/dp/B0046LUXQK/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_2   and here: http://shop.renebooks.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=GREEN-03 .


Daughter of the Moon, Book 2, tells the story of the survivors as they take shelter. It will be released by Renaissance E Books during the first quarter of 2011.

More information and excerpts can be found at http://www.patriciagreenbooks.com .
Questions for the author can be directed to: pig@patriciagreenbooks.com .

Patricia Green has been a published fiction author since 1993, and writes under her real name as well as a pseudonym (for the super-racy stuff). Currently, she has eight ebooks available through Amazon and Renaissance E Books with themes from erotic SciFi to polygyny; all are love stories. She lives in the Washington, DC, area with her writer husband. Her 11th book is in progress.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Star Light, Star Bright...Interstellar Interview with Lydia Dare



Lydia Dare is the wild and witty writing team of Tammy Falkner and Jodie Pearson. Both ladies are active members of the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, as well as Board members! They live near Raleigh, NC.


I had the pleasure of meeting Jodie and Tammy when they were pre-published, and new to HCRW. Though my path took me away from the group, I still kept tabs on the authors. But I was shocked when I walked into my local Barnes and Noble to find a whole end cap lined with their novels! And I was proud of their hard work, since I knew that both of them had been honing their craft and really getting to know the nitty gritty details of publishing. Now I'm ecstatic that they're about to unveil their 5th release. My how time flies and how things can change in the blink of an eye...but I know they're still the two lovely ladies who shared stories over coffee. And they deserve every little iota of their success!









How did you concoct the combination of characters in your Wolf series, and now the connected Bite series? What is the most important characteristic each hero or heroine must possess?

Lydia/Jodie - Tammy and I are both "panters" so we don't plot the combination of characters at all. It just happens organically. As for the most important hero/heroine characteristics... We try to stay within the guidelines our editor, Deb Werksman, says she's always looking for - "A heroine you can relate to and a hero you can fall in love with."

Lydia/Tammy – We actually came up with the wolves while Jodie and I were sitting at a conference. We started making up characters and scenarios, and there they were! Then in book two, our wolves met some witches. And our witches needed some formidable heroes. So the vampyres were born.






When did you decide to branch out from historical werewolf paranormals to mix in witches and now vampyres? Has the variety made your writing easier or more complex?

Lydia/Jodie - Oh, we decided fairly early on to bring the witches into the mix. The coven first debuted in the second book TALL, DARK and WOLFISH. As for the vampyres, there is a small introduction to one of our vampyre heroes in THE TAMING OF THE WOLF, but if you blinked you missed it. We decided to add more paranormal characters to our world to make it more mystical and add new layers. I don't think the variety has made the writing easier or more complex, but as our world grows and books are cast in stone, we don't have as much freedom to create as we did originally.

Lydia/Tammy – As we built our Regency Paranormal Historical world, we had to decide who would and would not be in it. And the witches were a very natural progression, because, honestly – who else could heal a broken Lycan? I vaguely remember that Jodie kept trying to write a dragon into our pages, and I kept writing him out. But we very well may see him at a later date. Who knows?















Since settings are critical in historicals, what one place stands out as your favorite to write about? Have you taken any sight seeing trips for inspiration?

Lydia/Jodie - My father's family stems from Scotland, so I have to say Edinburgh has been my favorite locale. I have not been to Scotland, but I have been to London and the southern counties of England. Spending time there feels more like home than where I live.

Lydia/Tammy – I have never been to any of the places we’ve written about, but I did visit a lot of them online. Since I was a novice at the Regency terminology, I had to go look at old photos of Drury Lane (the popular old theater) so I could picture it in my head. When we wrote IN THE HEAT OF THE BITE, Jodie sent me pictures of some old lochs so I could see the area where our castle was set. So, while we’ve not seen any of these places in person, we have certainly toured them in our minds.








How long have you been working together and what kind of sparks flew when you became Lydia Dare?

Lydia/Jodie - We've been writing together 2 1/2 years, but we've been friends a lot longer. I think sparks fly whenever we're together. We seldom agree.

Lydia/Tammy – Spark? What sparks? Jodie adores me 100% of the time, and I feel the same way about her. Just because I say, “I hate you Jodie,” at least once every time I see her doesn’t mean anything.








What is the best and worst thing that's happened since your rise to success? What are your wishes for the future?

Lydia/Jodie - The best thing about being so busy is interacting with readers. Talking to someone who is a fan is the highest high. The worst thing would be we would both like the time to work on individual projects, but we've been too busy to do so. Hmm - wishes for the future - hitting the NYT list!

Lydia/Tammy – The best thing – my husband tells everyone he’s the man on our covers. The worst thing – my husband tells everyone he’s the man on our covers.




Which "must have" item do you need when you're writing? A certain drink, pen/laptop or picture for inspiration?

Lydia/Jodie - I've become quite the Starbucks addict. I don't have to have a venti cinnamon dolche latte, but it does help.

Lydia/Tammy – I need quiet, Diet Dr Pepper, and a whole bunch of ice. But that’s about all!






Are there any upcoming appearances or other news fans need to know about?

Lydia/Jodie - I'm headed to Clearwater FL this weekend and plan on signing stock at the local bookstores.

Lydia/Tammy – I’ll be at Romantic Times in LA in April, and I’ll be in New York in June for the Romance Writers of America national conference.





If you'd like to learn nmore about Lydia Dare go to http://www.lydiadare.com/. One lucky person who posts a comment or question for Tammy or Jodie will be entered in a drawing to win a signed copy of IT HAPPENED ONE BITE...their March release! Please include your e-mail address in your post!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Guest - Ashlyn Chase

Good morning! As a writer myself, it always interests me to hear how other authors come up with their ideas, particularly if they're a paranormal writer. Today Ashlyn Chase tells us how she comes up with some of her ideas. Enjoy!
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My Wackadoodle Ideas

Often in interviews, I’m asked where I come up with my ideas? I’m sure I’m not the only author who is asked that question, but since my romantic comedies betray some pretty wackadoodle ideas I’ve had, I may get it more than some.

Heaving Bosoms. Sounds like words in a bodice ripper romance from the seventies, right? Well, with my irreverent tongue firmly planted in my cheek, I thought, wouldn’t that make a wonderful title for a romantic comedy? Oh, yes. I must remember that one. So I tucked it away in my idea file.

Now, I should let you know that my idea file is only for me. Therefore, I can put my most bizarre ideas in there without editing myself. Sometimes I go back and shake my head at something I had thought was brilliant at the time and hit the “poof” button (what I call delete) before I make anyone else groan. Usually, I let the title or idea sit in my folder. God forbid I drop dead someday and my relatives find that folder! 

But the reason I keep it is because, inevitably the day will come when I need an idea prompt and will check my folder. Of course sometimes I don’t even need to open it. Simply because I performed the act of writing up an idea, some opportunity will present itself and I’ll remember, “Ah-HA! I have something in my folder that would be perfect for that!

For instance, my dear friend and fellow writer Dalton went to her town Founder's Day Fair one fine summer day. She and her friend were simply walking along and chatting when Dalton suddenly disappeared from view! She had stepped into a hole and twisted her ankle. Much to her chagrin, the EMT's kicked the local kids off the ambulance on display, and carted her off to the hospital. Thank goodness it was only a sprain.

In the retelling of this story, another writer commented something like this, “If you weren’t so top-heavy, you would have stayed upright instead of falling over and then the hunky EMTs wouldn’t have had to show up.” My funny title sprang to mind and the rest is history—or at least a contemporary romantic comedy that opened the door to a publisher I had been targeting for quite a while. I whole-heartedly recommend keeping an ideas folder. It’s worth the risk of posthumous embarrassment.

Oh, and how do I answer that question when I’m asked in interviews, “Where do your funny original ideas come from?” I blame it on Thalia, the muse of comedy. I hope you’ll check out my brand new release The Werewolf Upstairs. It’s book 2 in the Strange Neighbors series, inspired by Tom Brady—quarterback of the New England Patriots. I heard he owned a condo building in Boston and I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to live in his building? Then I made the condos into apartments and changed the football player into a baseball hero. Why did I populate the building with paranormal misfits? Because I could—and Thalia made me do it.


THE WEREWOLF UPSTAIRS BY ASHLYN CHASE – IN STORES FEBRAURY 2011

Petty Crime Never Looked So Good…
Alpha werewolf Konrad Wolfensen sees it as his duty to protect the citizens of Boston, even if it means breaking into their businesses just to prove their security systems don’t’ work. But when his unsolicited services land him in trouble with the law, he’ll have to turn to his sexy new neighbor for help.

She Should Know Better
Attorney Roz Wells is bored. She used to have such a knack for attracting the weird and unexpected,. But ever since she took a job as a public defender, the quirky quotient is her life has taken a serious hit. Until her sexy werewolf neighbor starting coming around…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A multi-published author with Ellora’s Cave/Cerridwen Press, Ashlyn Chase specializes in characters who reinvent themselves, having reinvented herself numerous times. She has worked as a psychiatric nurse, and for the Red Cross, and has a degree in behavioral sciences. She lives with her true-life hero husband in beautiful New Hampshire, where she is working on the third book in her series, The Vampire Next Door, set to release in August 2011. For more information, please visit http://ashlynchase.com/

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-- Lynda Again
 Sourcebooks is offering two copies of The Werewolf Upstairs to our USA and Canadian readers. If you'd like to be included in the drawing, send me an email Lynda@LyndaKScott.com with the word Werewolf in the Subject line and your name & address in the body by Friday Feb 25. Good luck!

Guest - Gabriella Hewitt

Good morning everyone! Gabriella Hewitt has given us a fantastic article on weapons and I have to agree -- I'd want the very first one she mentions. The one with the tight abs, lol.

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DEADLY AZTEC WEAPONS and a GIVEAWAY by Gabriella Hewitt

What weapon would you use in the heat of battle?

Personally, I would use one with tight abs, strong legs and flowing black hair woven with feathers. Throw on a mantle of jaguar skin and I’ve got my perfect weapon, better known as a Shadow Warrior.

Who the heck cares what weapon he has in his hands as long as he knows how to use it!

One thing is for certain, the ancient Aztec warriors had a bunch to choose from and they were skilled in using all of them.

Call me a blood-thirsty woman, but I love doing the research and finding out all the different weapons that these tough men used to do battle or capture rival tribesmen and sacrifice them to the gods.

Here are a few I have chosen for my seriously sexy Shadow Warriors to use:

The Maquahuitl was an incredibly strong two-handed sword that was made of oak and could be as long as a person. It was embedded with obsidian, a type of volcanic glass that is so sharp it could be used with medical precision to cut out a heart. The Spanish claimed a Maquahuitl could chop the head off a horse with one blow. Actually, I did get to see this demonstrated on a fake horse model on SPIKE’s  television show Deadliest Warrior. Unbelievable! 









The Atlatl  is a throwing stick with a handle on one end and a socket that holds a light spear or dart and when flicked with the wrist flings the object across a great distance. It is considered deadly and accurate, one of the earliest forms of the bow and arrow.





Now here is one that is seriously pre-historic, totally devastating and very basic though it does the trick.

The Cuauhololli was a club made of wood with a ball at the end and sometimes embedded with stones. It was used to smash and crush.




Last but not least are the Tlahuitolli and Yaomime, aka bow and arrow.

The bows were 5 feet long, and the arrows were pointed with flint, bone or obsidian. It is believed that the arrows could fly 450 feet or more and could pierce Spanish armor.





These weapons may be primitive but they represent some serious hardware, and in the hands of a Shadow Warrior they are deadly.

My Shadow Warriors series is a four novella series, the first of which has been contracted with Samhain as of January this year. The second novella is with my editor and I’m hard at work on the third. Once I have publication dates, I’ll be back to share more about this sexy, suspenseful paranormal series that weaves Aztec mythology with a contemporary setting.

In the meantime, if you like romantic suspense, check out this excerpt from my first book, Dark Waters. This tension-packed tale is set on the tropical island of Vieques, just off Puerto Rico. It’s got a hot romance, missing women and the legend of el chupacabra.

When you’re done, leave a comment about the blog post or the excerpt and you’ll automatically be entered in a drawing for a $5 Samhain Publishing Gift Certificate. Also, send me your email address, so that I can send you the certificate if you win. The address is gabriellahewitt@hotmail.com  The winner will be picked on Friday, February 25th  and announced here and on my blog www.GabriellaHewitt.com/blog/

Lastly, I’d like to announce March Madness on my blog in which I’ll be having an amazing line up of guests. Among them will be Harlequin Editor Stacy Boyd, who currently edits for the Desire line and will hold a Q&A about that and contemporary romances; additionally, Harlequin Nocturne author and women’s fiction writer Caridad Pineiro will guest blog. Tune into my blog as the guest list continues to grow and don’t forget to stop by next month for some March Madness!

Book Title:  Dark Waters
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release date: September 2007











Excerpt:

A predator stalks paradise and she’s next 
Dark Waters
© 2007 Gabriella Hewitt

God save him from stubborn females.

He pulled a lock pick out of his pocket and went back to the kitchen door. In a matter of minutes he was inside. His eyes swept the kitchen, noting the clean counters and dishes lying in the draining board. The scent of onions and garlic lingered in the air. Well, she’d obviously eaten.

He retraced his steps from the afternoon until he was at the bottom of the staircase. He could see where Frankie covered over the hole he’d made with a patch of plywood. As much as he wanted to run up the stairs, he didn’t dare. Carefully, he tested each tread before taking a step.

While moonlight filtered into the rooms downstairs, up here, with all the doors to the hallway closed, he could barely see his hand in front of his face. Quietly, Rico made his way down the hall until he came to Frankie’s door.

He rapped lightly. Still no answer.

Moving to the side of the door, he reached over, turned the handle and gave it a small push inward. He glanced in and then slowly stepped over the threshold, grateful for the moonlight that enabled him to see.
Fresh sheets covered the bed. The room looked neat and tidy.

No Frankie.

What the hell had happened to her? God help him if she’d been snatched...


He didn’t pause to wonder why his fear she’d had an accident had morphed into something worse. He didn’t have to.

This house had him on edge, while his mother’s request had him balled up so tight he could bounce.

A sound caught his ears. Exiting the room, he moved silently down the corridor. The noise grew louder, like a herd of sick cows. When he reached the room where the sound came the loudest, he threw open the door and went in low and fast, ready to deal with the threat.

Frankie rose before him, moonlight casting its soft glow on the water droplets sliding down her torso and into the claw foot tub she stood in. Her mouth opened and closed and, in that second, Rico catalogued every gorgeous inch of her, from her perfect, dusky-tipped breasts to her shapely thighs.

What do you want? Her voice came out reed thin, her eyes wide.

He’d terrified her. Rico held his hands out, palms open. I brought your truck back, Frankie. When you didn’t answer the door, I got worried and let myself in. I’m not here to hurt you. He spoke low and soft, willing her to listen to his words. He almost missed the change in her eyes from fear to majorly ticked off, but he wasn’t left in doubt long.
 
Frankie exploded into action. She grabbed a bar of soap and hurled it at him, hitting him smack in the chest.
Instinctively, he caught the soap before it fell to the tiled floor. Want me to get your back? Relief coursed through him. Not only was she okay, she was in kick-butt NY mode. He could live with that.

Get out! she screamed. Out! Out! Out!

The gentleman in him grabbed up a towel and held it out to her. The other side of him wanted to wipe every drop of water off her sexy body, but he highly doubted she would let him.

Frankie seized the towel and wrapped it around her. Get out!

I’m going. But, why are you taking a bath in the dark?

Because the damn fuse blew and I wasn’t about to go traipsing around the house wet and naked. Satisfied?

Hell, no! But, feeling a definite tightening in his groin at the image, he decided not to answer. Safer that way. At least with this woman.

Now are you leaving or do I have to get mean?

You got a weapon on you? All I saw—

Shut up, Lopez. I swear you’re dead meat. Her hands tightened into fists at her sides.

Need a hand getting out of the tub? he asked hopefully.

That’s it. You have five seconds to get out of this room or you and that toilet brush are going to become personally acquainted.

Okay, you win, he said, holding his hands up in the air in mock surrender. Anything but the toilet brush. He winked at her and left the room, shutting the door with an audible snap. Leaning against it, he closed his eyes. He could hear her stepping out of the tub. Could imagine her rubbing that lithe body down and wished he were the towel. The image of Frankie rising up from the water like some goddess out of a Greek myth would stay burned onto the back of his eyelids for a long time. And if he told her, she’d probably try to have them surgically removed.

He grinned so hard the sides of his mouth hurt.

The bathroom echoed with her creative curses in both Spanish and English. The woman sure had a mouth on her.

Feeling incredibly lighter, Rico spoke through the closed door. Frankie?

What?

Would it make you feel better if I got naked too?

BIO
Gabriella Hewitt is the pen name for a dynamic duo who have been partners for over five years, though they have never met in person. One of them lives in Japan and the other is a transplanted New Yorker in North Carolina. They spin tales of excitement, suspense and passion via daily emails and the occasional chat. Both are busy moms of three and they both work in education. To learn more visit www.GabriellaHewitt.com  You can also follow me on Twitter:  @GabriellaHewitt

Review - The Werewolf Upstairs by Ashlyn Chase

The Werewolf Upstairs
by Ashlyn Chase
Sourcebooks Casablanca
February 2011



Konrad Wolfensen considers it his responsibility to protect the citizens of Boston, even if it's from their own carelessness. So he breaks into unguarded businesses to show how easy stealing from them could be. However, he doesn't count on being caught in the act and ending up in jail. Luckily for him, his attractive new neighbor is an attorney.

When attorney Roz Wells moves into her new apartment, she gets a lot more than she expects including help from her handsome upstairs neighbor. She looks forward to getting to know him better.

So begins an amusing tale of romance, courtship and misunderstandings. Konrad realizes he needs to find another career especially as he gets to know Roz better. As an attorney, she's seen and heard it all from a plethora of 'But I'm innocent' clients and she's simply tired of it. She's pretty sure that Konrad isn't one of those types even after she helps keep him out of jail and when he suggests that they both need different careers, she's game to try.

What follows is a career counselor's nightmare, albeit a funny one as the duo attempt to learn cooking, bar tending, dancing, and parachuting skills and should come with the label 'Don't Try This At Home'. While Konrad and Roz appear to be perfect for each other, their career talents are far more limited as Roz ends up with a nearly broken foot (dancing), and burnt hair (cooking). Konrad doesn't fare a whole lot better but, as a werewolf, he's built a lot sturdier and can take a lot more damage. His main problem is how to let Roz know what he truly is without freaking her out.

Roz values truth and honesty after dealing with all her so-called innocent clients. She likes Konrad's honesty and willingness to help the other residents in the apartment building and she loves the way he treats her as if she's the most special person in the world. What woman wouldn't? But even a love struck woman has to wonder why her lover vanishes on the night of the full moon or ends up parading down the hall in all his naked glory. And his answers don't go very far to satisfy her. He's hiding something and until she knows what it is, she can't commit herself to their relationship.

The Werewolf Upstairs is an amusing tale and a good way to spend a cold February evening. This is the second in Ms Chase's series (Strange Neighbors was the first book).

Monday, February 14, 2011

Guest - Marsha Moore

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Today's guest is author Marsha Moore with an article about pirates! Enjoy!

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The Wild Pirate Island of Tortuga
From my first visit to the Caribbean, I was hooked. I love the culture, the sway of steel drum bands, the colorful cottages, the turquoise waters, soft sand, sun, delicious seafood, rum beverages…and wild pirate lore.
 
Two years ago, when I moved to the Tampa area, I was delighted to feel the vibe of the Caribbean seeping into the local atmosphere, and it inspired me to write. The result is my new book Tears on a Tranquil Lake.

One of my favorite settings in the book takes place on the Haitian island of Tortuga, a wild pirate hangout during the 1600s. While Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movies paint it as a somewhat mythical place, it did really serve from 1640 to 1684 as a neutral hideout for pirate ships and storage of their booty.

While researching the history of the island, I learned some interesting bits of information. Although the island was known to the native tribes, the Taino, and formed a landing for Christopher Columbus in 1493, it wasn’t used as permanent settlement until Spanish and French pirates claimed it for their own uses. Various European governments then attempted to control the island. The French government built Fort de Rocher, and a Spanish army tried to overthrow that effort. The British entered the mix, and amid such indecision, the pirates easily commanded authority with their natural barbaric style.

By 1640, the pirates using Tortuga as a home port called themselves the Brethren of the Coast. Eventually, the various governments devised ways to deal with or control the pirates’ wild lifestyles so the island could be inhabited by civilized peoples. The French governor even imported 1,650 prostitutes, hoping to lure the lascivious buccaneers into respectable, settled lifestyles with family commitments. Hard to believe! Seems to me like giving candy to lustful pirates wouldn’t have given them reason to want a full meal. After a few years, the French government realized their error and attempted more successful business deals with the pirates, hiring them to serve as naval strike-force backup. Money provided a better hold on the Tortuga pirate community than sex!

Come enjoy some unbridled licentiousness and hedonism in Tears on a Tranquil Lake with the main character, a mermaid named Ciel, as she discovers the pleasures and vices of that magical island.


What a surprise for a young woman, to find herself suddenly transformed into a mermaid.

Ciel’s first thought – track down the merman who changed her and make him reverse his magic. 

Unable to find him, survival in her new world becomes paramount. She eagerly accepts help from a dashing pirate captain who takes a fancy to her, lavishing her with finery. When her merman does show up, he competes for her affection. One look into his eyes makes her life more complex -- he is her soul mate.

Which man will she choose – pirate captain or merman? Which life – human or mermaid? Caribbean adventures and dangers chase Ciel as she searches for decisions and the key to her happiness.

Warning: This book contains Haitian vodou, sultry wenches, foul-mouthed scalliwag pirates, overindulgence of fine Caribbean rum, and amorous encounters on deserted beaches.

Excerpt:

            On deck, a conga drummer joined the musicians from two nights ago, entertaining us with some lively salsa tunes. The deck hands sang and shouted, rhythmically pulling at the rigging on the halyards, raising and lowering sails that propelled the ship out of the Bay.  

With so many distractions onboard I failed to pay attention to sights the ship passed. Only when a large rock formation came astern on the portside did I see Meris seated on its peak, level with the schooner’s deck. He looked regal with his muscular flipper draped across the rocks and his emerald green tail fin fanned out wide, glistening in the sunlight.

I held out an arm and he lifted his open palm up to me.  I bent far over the gunwale, wanting desperately to bridge the short distance. Forgetting everything except my desire to be with him I leaned farther, somehow believing I could swim through the air to reach him.

            “No, Ciel! Stop!” Meris shouted.  

            Immediately, arms grasped me tight at my waist and pulled me back behind the railing, and then I perceived the dangers below. I would have fallen perilously near the hull, or crashed upon rocks in the narrow passageway. I glanced behind to see Black Sam holding me.

            “No, lass, ye can’t dive here.”

            Undaunted, I turned my attention back to Meris, whose position passed away from me as the schooner progressed. I squirmed free from Sam, and moved aft as quickly as I could, using the gunwale for support. Our bond throbbed within my heart.

Author Bio:
Marsha A. Moore is a romantic and a writer of fantasy romance/soft erotica. She loves being creative and enjoying the creativity of others in all art forms. Her other artistic pursuits include watercolor painting and drawing. She moved from Toledo to Tampa in 2008 and is happily transforming into a Floridian. Crazy about cycling, she usually passes the 1,000 mile mark yearly. She is learning kayaking and loving it. She’s also a yoga enthusiast and never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at new stories with toes wiggling in the sand.
Links:
ISBN: 978-1-926931-29-6

Friday, February 11, 2011

Baby or Book?

With my brother and sister-in-law's twins almost ready to make their debut, I got to thinking how birthing a book is like having a baby. I still couldn't determine which was worse or more grand.


Sure childbirth is no picnic as we've all seen thanks to Hollywood's rendetions on film. But at least there's a finite end...9 months or so in which you get to plan, set up a nursey, invite others ladies to shower you with stories and gifts, as well as get check-ups like a status report. Then there's the nausea that can be short-lived or last the whole time, not being able to sleep, and the reading and classes to be prepared yet still scared.




Birthing a book can take years. There's coming up with a concept you love, writing the book(which can take a month or years) then comes editing the first draft (which could take many months) followed by queries to agents and publishers in the hopes of seeing your hard work pay off in a paperback or hardback. Along with that comes all the prep work of setting up a website, making bookmarks, promo appearances, and good days versus bad days where you really do feel like your back will break between writing classes, research, and perhaps jugling a full time job.


So what do you think? Which is worse or better?

Monday, February 07, 2011

Guest - Laurie London


Good morning, everyone! Today's guest is Laurie London who'll be discussing paranormal research and Ghost Conferences...ghost conferences? Read on to find out more (and to find out about her giveaway)

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Thanks for having me on today!

As I’m going through my receipts for tax purposes, I’m reminded of one big advantage about being an author. It gives me the excuse to do and try things in the name of research that I may never have done otherwise and call it a business expense.

Because I write paranormal romance, when I heard about a local Ghost Conference, I couldn’t NOT go. I rallied a few other writer friends and dragged my teenage son with me.

Held in the historic town of Port Gamble, Washington, which claims to be one of the most haunted towns in the state, the conference had a variety of speakers and workshops given by paranormal experts. Until then, I had no idea we had professional paranormal investigators around here. Think TAPS from SyFy’s Ghost Hunters.

One lecture was given by Scott Powers from OPPS (Olympic Peninsula Paranormal Society) where he discussed the audio and video equipment used in investigations. For the most accurate EVP recordings (electronic voice phenomena), he recommends the Zoom H2 and H4 devices.

To capture photographic evidence, a full-spectrum camera is best, not a digital one because they pick up too many orbs from dust. Orbs are unexpected circular images which may show up in photographs. While some feel it’s the first step in spirit manifestation, many experts in the field believe it’s just dust and not good evidence of spirit energy.

Next, we attended a lecture given by Neil McNeil who studies and teaches parapsychology at a local college. Parapsychology is the study of paranormal phenomena through the lens of science, as opposed to religion, etc.

He listed three types of psi phenomenon:

1. Hauntings—an imprint of an event on an environment that gets replayed over and over, like a movie.

2. Poltergeists—very rare and spontaneous. All activity is usually centered around one person, not a place.

3. Apparitions (the scientific term for ghosts and spirits)—solid, not transparent entities. You often don’t know it’s an apparition until it disappears. They can have a personality and be intelligent, making it possible to talk to them and get a response.

We were so impressed by Mr. McNeil’s presentation that we invited him to speak to Greater Seattle RWA in April. I can’t wait!

Up next were the actual investigations. Of course, we had to wait till it was pitch black outside. Since Port Gamble is located on the Olympic Peninsula and far from the city lights of Seattle, darkness there is much darker than I’m used to.

Armed with our ghost-hunting flashlights, we walked through an old cemetery, taking pictures with our digital cameras (we didn’t know about the whole orb thing then). Next, we participated in an actual EVP session in the old church. To my knowledge, no one picked up any paranormal recordings, but one woman felt someone tapping on her shoulder when no one was behind her. She was so freaked out that she and her husband left.

At midnight, we conducted our last investigation at the most “active” house in town, the Walker-Ames mansion. It was creepy, it was spooky, and my son swears he felt someone push him when we went into the attic.

Down in the basement (imagine a rickety staircase, low ceilings, dirt floor, exposed pipes), my friend also had a paranormal experience. In a photograph she took of herself that she examined later, a strange cord showed up in front of her face when no cord existed. None of the paranormal investigators were able to debunk it and felt it could be evidence of spirit activity. Apparently, the basement is particularly “active” and the spirits there seem to be attracted to single women with blond hair.

I’ve always been fascinated by the possibility that strange and eerie things can be happening right under our noses without us being aware of their existence. Who knows if any this proves the existence of paranormal activity, but it sure was fun investigating the possibility.

The Sweetblood world is based on this concept—vampires living peacefully (for the most part) but secretly among humans.

What about you? Do you believe in paranormal phenomena or do you think it’s just the product of people’s over-active imaginations? When you read paranormal romance, do you like when the world is secret or do you prefer it being out in the open?

I’m giving away a signed copy of BONDED BY BLOOD to one lucky commenter. Contest ends Friday, 2/11. Thanks for joining me today!

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BONDED BY BLOOD, Sweetblood series #1
By Laurie London
HQN Books January 18
ISBN: 978-0373775446

Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, two vampire coalitions battle for supremacy—Guardian enforcers who safeguard humanity and Darkbloods, rogues who kill like their ancient ancestors.

Some cravings are too powerful to resist...

Movie location scout Mackenzie Foster-Shaw has always known that she’s cursed to die young. No one can protect her from the evil that has stalked her family for generations—vampires who crave her rare blood type. Until one afternoon in a wooded cemetery, she encounters an impossibly sexy stranger, a man she must trust with her life.

For Dominic, a man haunted by loss, Mackenzie satisfies a primal hunger that torments him—and the bond they share goes beyond heat, beyond love. She alone can supply the strength he needs to claim his revenge. But in doing so, he could destroy her…

 About the author:
A graduate of Western Washington University with a BA in Business Administration and a former tester/programmer for a Fortune 500 company, Laurie London now writes from her home near Seattle where she lives with her husband and two children.  

When not writing, she can be found running, reading, or riding and showing her horse. Someday she hopes to qualify for the Quarter Horse World Show – that is, if her horse doesn’t get hurt again.
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For more information on my books, including excerpts, photos and discussion questions, please visit my website www.LaurieLondonBooks.com

Or you can find me on Facebook www.facebook.com/LaurieLondonAuthor


Friday, February 04, 2011

The Battle is On!

So it's Super Bowl weekend and everywhere you turn people are picking sides. At my full time job we had two cakes and a warring tray of cupcakes for Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers. Of course I opted for the Steelers...what woman can turn down chocolate? By this, you can guess that I'm not pulling for either team. (Last year I was all in for the Saints!)
But I think this time honored tradition...the parties and bashing of bodies over a small pigskin ball relates to romance. Sure it can boil down to man versus man to win a lady's hand and all the behind-the-scenes subterfuge that goes on. (I mean there have been more articles about NFL players' hair this past week to last us a lifetime.) Of course each has a secret weapon...perhaps it's money, perhaps it's power, or perhaps its just being able to outwit their opponent when it counts.


However, this dynamic is also visible in the pull of give and take between heroes/heroines and villains. Call it the big Super Bowl that's spanned for eternity of Good versus Evil. Man what a Pay Per View special that could be. Just like there have been armies for each, today we have civilized teams (for the most part) who rely on yardage of a custom sodded field instead of conquering towns (and their citizens). Sure the football players aren't evil with a capital E, but you have to admit this year's line up has some "bad boys" who could claim the honorary title. Many are fighting just like the warriors of old for glory, honor and allegiance. But today they're also thinking about their careers, financial ramifications and the perks. That's not to say soldiers for hire back in the day didn't, it's just now the oodles of potential pluses are staggering.


Then we have the parties. Can you say festival? It's like the seasonal harvest rites and good old all nighters warriors partook of after a campaign gone right. Food, beer, women, and lots of goofy games...not necessarily in that order. Not to mention someone ruffling someone else's feathers over who was the victor.


Football isn't a new sport, though some of the technology is, and it's creation is grounded in history. As they say no idea is a new one, and someone else has already done it before. You just have to add a new spin.


If you're in the mood to share what's the coolest football game you've seen or which historical battle really stands out for you (and yes, this can be from a movie)? Are you okay with battles being depicted in romances and paranormals, or would you prefer they leave the "realistic stuff" out?