Sunday, May 19, 2013
Saturday, May 18, 2013
By Mae Clair
That strange luminescent glow glinted on the surface of his eyes, flaring
pure silver when he looked at her. “I was studying the moon.”
She wasn’t certain she wanted to venture in that direction. Moonlight and a
handsome man were a notoriously fatal combination. “I’ve always thought full moons
He gave a skeptical snort. “It’s not full, it only looks that way. It’s already started
to wane. You just can’t tell by the naked eye.” He tugged at his collar. Sweat clung to his
cheeks, prompting him to thumb open another button on his shirt.
The inky material gaped on his chest. A traitorous part of her mind wondered
what it would be like to free the remaining buttons. She could almost feel the heated
touch of his flesh beneath her fingertips as she slowly worked her way to his waist.
Disturbed, she jerked her hand from his. A hot flush crept up her neck.
“You can tell the difference?” She shot a doubtful glance at the moon. It made her
think of long-ago legends: fairy glades, nameless winged creatures and werewolves.
“The moon and I are well acquainted.”
He leaned into the banister, his leg casually brushing hers. She tensed at the
informal contact, surprised when it streaked through her like a bolt of lightning. Weak-kneed
and stunned, she tried to retreat.
“Annie, don’t go--” Caleb caught her hand.
“Don’t call me that.”
“It suits you.” Towering over her, he stepped closer, his eyes mirroring the smoky
blue of the night-dusted sky. “I think we were supposed to meet.” His voice grew low and
husky, sending a shivery chill up her spine.
She wet her lips, trying to retain her composure. It was impossible to think
straight when he stood so near, his presence engulfing her in a sizzling wall of heat.
He bent closer and threaded his hand into her hair, his fingertips lightly pressing
her scalp. A dizzying shiver of sensation cascaded through her. She barely had time to
register the feeling before his mouth closed over hers, possessive and eager, leaving her
Tag & Blurb:
Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?
Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.
Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets--some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.
Finding a decent guy who'll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?
You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:
Facebook Author Page
Lyrical Press Author Page
Amazon Author Page
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Friday, May 17, 2013
.How do you create your characters? Do you have a special system?
They tend to pop in my head on their own, usually vague and shadowy, demanding to be fleshed out in greater detail. It’s hard to say what initially sparks their conception. I studiously avoid patterning characters after anyone I know, so they certainly don’t germinate from life experiences!
Usually, once I have that initial ghost of character life, I create backstory and motivation, and then begin constructing relationships with other characters. That eventually leads me into the playground of plot.
2. Do your characters come before your plot? Do you sketch out your plot or do you let your characters develop the route to the end?
Definitely characters before plot. They control the reins, leading me into the plot as we work along. I generally have a vague idea of where we’re headed when I start writing, but the twists and turns along the way are often unexpected and lead to threads I hadn’t anticipated.
3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general or a specific way?
Hmm. I seem to be leading into your questions with my previous answers. J I rarely know the end of a story when I start, other than wanting it to have an HEA with the hero and heroine ending up together - -after much conflict and many hurdles, of course! That’s about as specific as I get when I start a new novel.
4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses on your book shelf?
A little of both. For the most part, I sculpt settings from areas I know. I live in Pennsylvania and so set the majority of my books there. But I’m also extremely comfortable with eastern coastal settings and will frequently pull from that familiarity. I’ve travelled a bit across the country and will occasionally reference an area I’ve visited as well. For the last 20+ years, I’ve worked in the real estate industry and have toured properties that range from cottages to historical homes, B&Bs and multi-million dollar mansions. That background has been wonderful in creating diverse home settings!
5. Where do you do your research? From books you won, the library or the internet?
I rarely venture to the library these days. Most of my research is done online but I have several favored books on my shelf, I reference for historical and myth-related topics.
6. Are you a draft writer or do you revise as you go along?
I’ve never developed the knack for being a draft writer. I’m constantly revising as I go along so by the time I reach the end, the book is pretty polished. That’s not to say I don’t do several more read-throughs for tightening and editing before calling it finished.
Thanks for having me as a guest today, Janet. I enjoyed answering your questions!
Author of WEATHERING ROCK
Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks & Lyrical Press
Author of TWELFTH SUN
Coming August 2013
The back door, I discover, is unlocked. I’m one hundred percent certain I didn’t leave it that way. Carefully, keeping my body behind the door, I scan the yard. The light filtering from the kitchen windows is bright enough for me to see that there is no one in my little square of turf. It also shows me crushed tomato plants and bean vines torn from their trellises, clearly marking the intruder’s escape route.
At that point, my rage finally overwhelms my fear. I pour myself a finger of scotch and sit at the kitchen table, simmering in helpless anger and vowing some kind of revenge.
Then a horrible thought crosses my mind. Jimmy knew I would be out tonight. He was the only one who knew. Was it possible that he was involved in all this, somehow? Is it possible that smiling Jimmy might have betrayed me?
The balance shifts again. Shudders shake my body. Sitting alone under the fluorescent lights, gripping my drink, I am paralyzed by the realization that I don’t know who I can trust. If anyone.
Exposure - An erotic thriller by Lisabet Sarai
Visit Lisabet's Fantasy Factory: http://www.lisabetsarai.com
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Please come back next week for A Few Lines From. . . Rita Karnopp. Lisabet Sarai
Thursday, May 16, 2013
The challenge match had lasted longer than Alric thought possible. His opponent, one of the desert riders, had been chosen by his clan for the duel. Only one man could win. If Alric bested the other fighter, the local farmers would be spared raids on their crops and herds by the nomad band comprised of rebels against the laws of Investia. If he lost the raids would continue until another patrol arrived. Alric concentrated on the lines of fire flowing over the other man’s skin.
The younger man was agile and talented with the sword and knife. His hair, bleached by the sun, shone red-gold in the morning light. The lines flowed in changing scarlet patterns over his arms and bare chest.
Alric’s opponent’s quick responses to each move made him believe the young man read the lines, too. Someone had to make a mistake before they collapsed.
Sweat coated Alric’s skin. An occasional droplet stung his eyes and blurred his vision. The desert rider showed the same physical reactions. Exhaustion threatened Alric’s control. Then he found an opening. The lines of fire on the younger man’s sword hand faltered.
Alric lunged and caught the other sword sending the blade sailing through the air. He followed with a sweep of his leg. The desert rider sprawled on the ground. Alric pressed his knife against the man’s pulsing neck vein.
“Yield,” he demanded.
“Yielded.” The young man grinned. “Good fight. I’m Jens.”
Jens turned to the gathered clansmen and the crowd of cheering farmers. “Trade is good unless you try to cheat. We have wool, silver, gold, some gemstones, herbs and spices. We need grain, produce, honey and beer.”
“Do you have salt among the spices?” a man asked.
Moments later someone tapped a keg of beer. Alric opted for a mug of water. Once the formalities ended he searched the crowd for his current bondmate. Before he found her, Jens beckoned. They drew apart from the celebrating clan and villagers.
“I gather you see the lines of fire,” Jens said.
Alric glanced around to make sure no one stood close enough to hear. “It is said only those who are heart bound can see them. Among the Defenders I do not speak of my ability to anyone other than those I trust.”
“Why? I have no bondmate and my friends know of my ability. That’s why I’m chosen for these duels. You’re my first loss.”
Alric moved further from the celebration. “Seeing the lines is one of the reasons our forefathers used the mists to come to this land. Sorcerers sought to use their talents for evil.”
“An old wives’ tale I’ve often heard from the elderly riders.”
“Perhaps. I’m a Defender as I promised my father I would become. I believe what he told me when I was growing up.”
Jens frowned. “How fortunate to have known your father. As a small child I lived in the Defenders Hall. My mother died so I was fostered to a shepherd’s family when I was three. Soon as I could I ran. A penned life isn’t for me.”
Alric swallowed. “Did you have a sister?”
Jens shrugged. “My memories of the Defenders Hall are poor. What I remember is a tall man dragging me away and riding with him for days.”
Alric wished the younger man had more memories but he feared he would never know if this young man was his lost brother. “You might consider coming with our patrol. Though you’re older than most of the trainees, your skill would let you advance rapidly.”
Jens laughed. “You could leave the Defenders behind and join this clan of riders. We would welcome a man with your skills. You and I could be invincible as a team at the games.”
Alric studied the ground. There were times when he dreamed of leaving the Defenders. Some of the twelve years hadn’t been pleasant, especially when the leader placed obstacles in his way. He’d leaped over those stumbling blocks and succeeded. The promise he’d made to his father ruled his life.
Alric turned away and saw his bondmate waving. “I must go. Good riding and successful dueling.”
When Alric strode away from the younger man he scowled. The connection to Jens had been deeper than usual. Though the younger man had no memories of the past, he could be one of the missing sibs. In an instant Alric decided when he returned to the Hall he would search the Archives to see if the records held any information about his family.
His bondmate led him away from the crowd. “Where is the rest of the patrol?” he asked.
“I told them to head out and you would catch up.”
She wore no bracelet. A groan rumbled from his gut. Bracelets meant the bonding between mates stood. Since she had removed hers, that meant he’d been twice rejected. Once more and he would be banished from the Defenders. He opened the clasp on the brass one he wore.
“Seeks you won’t be returning with me.”
She stared at the ground. “I never wanted to be a Defender. I wanted to exchange bracelets with my childhood sweetheart. He’s here and wears no bracelet.”
With his thumbs, Alric tilted her head to see her expression. Though her decision was right for her, sadness shrouded his thoughts. “I wish you happiness.” He dropped the bracelet she had clasped on his wrist during the bonding ceremony into her hand. “Here’s your price.”
She shook her head. “I don’t want you to pay the fine. I never tried to see if our bond could last.”
“Neither did I.”
“You could have forced me to unite with you.”
Alric grimaced. “I wasn’t raised to grab what I wasn’t offered.”
“What will you do?” she asked.
“The patrol has finished the rounds of the southern sector of Investia. The Day of Ingathering for the returning patrols is just weeks away. I’ll ride to the Defenders Hall and choose another mate.”
“I wish you luck."
Alric walked away. He touched the bracelet hidden beneath his shirt. His father had given him the unique piece just before his death. Perhaps this time he would find his heart bound mate.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
First let me say this is one of the best books I've read on writing and I've used it since I began writing. The first copy of this book was loaned to someone who never returned it so I bought a new one. I learned so much about writing from the book and also from the editors who, years ago, made comments on my stories and sent me back to re-write.
There is a little thing I've used when writing gleaned from this book. For me it usually comes after the rough draft is completed or when I try several first chapters that go no-where. What this technique does is allows you to see the focus of the story and that starts with deciding which character is the focus of the story. Sometimes this is easy but often in writing romance both the hero and the heroine seem to be the focus characters. This isn't necessarily so. Here's a look at how I find my way before too much is lost. The technique was found in Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain.
It is a statement followed by a question and sums up the entire book to keep me on track. So I'll show you how it works for me since it's being used in a story I'm currently writing.
When Rafe Marshall returns to take the position as Director of Nursing at Fern Lake General, he encounters Manon Lockley MD, the girl he deserted on the night of their senior prom because of threats voiced by her father. Will he be able to convince Manon that he loves her when she believes the lies she has been told?
Here we have the focus character Rafe and the situation. At first, I thought Manon was the focus character, but this wasn't working. Then the reason hit me. Rafe has the most to lose and to gain in the story. The situation is addressed by his return and the why of his return is given. The goal or objective is stated and the opponent is named. Also the potential for disaster is named. Once I had this down the story has moved ahead rapidly.
I've been using things gleaned from this book for my weekly tips and have sort of jumped ahead but wanted to share what put me on track.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Since last week this never made it to my tribes, I thought I'd repost this week. The quote struck me as important to writers.
I'm re-reading a book with essays from writers past and present and found one by Evan Hunter and his advice was rather short and easy. "If you haven't got an idea for one, forget it."
The idea is usually the jumping off point for my stories. Something read in the newspaper, on the internet, in a book. Sometimes the idea comes from observing other people and the way they interact. The idea is like a small germ that sits in your thoughts and abrades the process until suddenly the idea sprouts and blooms into a flower you must show to the world.
I remember quite clearly how the idea for Murder and Mint Tea came about. "And so we walk on eggshells." The abrading began and slowly other things began to form. Why were we walking on eggshells? Who was doing the walking? The first germ was a murder and the second became the character of Katherine Miller. She's stayed with me for five books and the possibility of a sixth. Each of the following stories started with the grain that abraded. Characters introduced in the first story joined with characters in the next stories. Some in small ways and some in large ways. But the idea was the thing.
The grain for Code Blue was different. I love medical suspense, but they all seemed to me to follow a pattern. An evil doctor or other medical professional made decisions that resulted in harm for other people. What if a patient, a patient's relative was the one doing in the medical personel. That was the idea that rubbed and rubbed until the characters were born. Then the fun began. The first murder was truly a murder but I wanted others not to seem like then. The first was an impulse kill. The others were planned. As the idea expanded, only then did I begin to write. Most of the exploration was in my head.
So it's been with every story I've written. The idea came, often like a shock, followed by what if. Then I sat back and let the ingredients for. So to repeat. "If you haven't got an idea, forget it."
How about you? Does the idea happen and then nag until a form is born?