Who is Hephaestus?

Posted by: Tilly Greene

 Temple of Hephaestus and Ancient Agora in Athens, Greece

Let me back up.

The Olympians, took control from the Titans and have ruled from Mount Olympus ever sense.  They are twelve Greek gods and goddesses who do what they want, who they want to do it with, however they want to do it – no questions asked.   While the list shifts around depending on who is making it, the classical group remains: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Hestia, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Athena, Hephaestus and Hermes. 

Hephaestus, God of the Forge, Master of FireAs a member of this exclusive group, Hephaestus has titles like God of the Forge, Master of Fire, but in reality, his sphere of influence is much wider.  He also oversees technology, blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans and volcanoes.

Every day is physically demanding for Hephaestus and he has a seriously hot body to match, although it isn’t perfect.  He is lame and walks with a stick.  This happened from mistreatment by his mother when he was a baby, but he was able to get his revenge later on with a special throne he made. 

{Hmmm, special throne, could be this comes in to play in a different situation.}

Cast Iron Statue for 1904 St. Louis World FairAnyway, yes, he is absolutely sexy – in fact, my favorite picture of himself [because it showcases his buns of steel or iron in this case] is from a statue built for the 1904 World Fair in St. Louis.  It now resides in the Red Mountain, Birmingham, Alabama.

He isn’t all about work, there have been many women who have mattered to him in the past and as a result he has children, about twenty four.  However, this is the one area in his life that causes him problems.  Actually, the most difficult thing he has to deal with is his wife, Aphrodite.  She cheats on him with any pretty boy with a prick between his legs and he is fed up with the humiliation it causes him.  Since birth he has had to work hard for his peers respect and what she was doing went against this need of his.  Well, no more.  The time has arrived for him to do something about it and he has a plan. It’s going to be his way or he’ll walk away.

Tilly Greene

WARNING! Red hot romances ahead!

www.tillygreene.com

Tilly Greene’s Monthly Scorcher Yahoo or Google
Tilly Greene’s Hot Thoughts Blog

 

Hephaestus Lays Down the Law by Tilly GreeneHephaestus Lays Down the Law is an erotic paranormal romance now available in eBook exclusively through All Romance eBooks [ARe].

The paperback, Love’s Immortal Pantheon Anthology, includes Hephaestus Lays Down the Law, is now available for pre-order from Amazon.

Hamish Buchanan Opens Up by Tilly Greene

Posted by: Tilly Greene
Highland Heat by Tilly Greene

Highland Heat by Tilly Greene

My name is Hamish Buchanan and everyone in my home country, Scotland, knows who I am, but they don’t really know me.  They see a man born under horrific and tragic circumstances who, with the love and support of his family, has managed to make something of himself.  They see a successful property developer who wants to revamp the old and make it viable today.  They see a man who dates stunning women, but hasn’t found the right one to settle down with.  That’s me, just not all of me. 

There are a few gossipmongers who have been running rampant with information about me and my love life for years.  I’m not entirely sure why they care what I do or who I do it with, but it’s time to put an end to their pursuits.  Up until recently, it’s been easy for me to ignore them, but my life is undergoing a change, and I want them gone.  Jennifer, the lovely hostess for Wild on Books, has opened the door to her blog and is allowing me this time to tell you all something that may ease some of the probing light they’ve lately been shining very brightly on me.  

First off, I think you should know that, in my heart and soul, I believe there is no place on earth as beautiful and peaceful as the Highlands.  I may spend time doing business in Edinburgh and London, but up here, amongst the lochs, hills and valleys, and crisp clean air, is where I prefer to put my head down at the end of each day.  There is something special about life up here.  It’s secluded when you want it to be, and bursting full of family and friends when you don’t.    

Now that you know how important my home is to me, you now get why the book about me was titled Highland Heat.  I know what you’re thinking.   Since the Highlands of Scotland are not exactly known for their hot weather, then what does the word Heat refer to?  

Me.  It’s referring to me.  

Most people who have household pets know these go into heat periodically, but so do I, only for me it’s more about finding a mate.  That’s right, I’m a man who walks upright on two legs, and also possesses some animal-like qualities.  These special parts of me have been there from the moment I was born.  I’ve managed to make it this far without anyone discovering that side of me, but not too long ago, everything was turned upside down.  One night while at a party at the Royal Albert Hall in London, a new aspect was revealed and threw me off balance.  I won’t go into the details, those are covered in the book, but trust me when I say it was a very enlightening evening.

 There you have it, my big secret.  I’m a bit of an animal.  If this teases your curiosity to know more, then my suggestion is to pick up a copy of Highland Heat.  I spoke in depth with the author Tilly Greene and am pleased that she has managed to tell my story, without invading too much of my privacy.  Please remember, I am a man with unique animal-like traits racing through me, but a man.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.  I’m sitting with Tilly Greene today and will be using her computer to answer any questions you have.

 I’ve enjoyed my time spent with you all today, it has been a pleasure.  

Hamish Buchanan 

With help from:
Tilly Greene
WARNING! Red hot romances ahead!
www.tillygreene.com
Tilly Greene’s Monthly Scorcher Yahoo or Google
Tilly Greene’s Hot Thoughts Blog
Highland Heat is an erotic shape-shifter romance now available in eBook through Ellora’s Cave.
Hogmanay by Tilly Greene, Lady Jaided, the Ellora’s Cave Magazine [January 2009]

Getting Into Character

Posted by: Margay Leah Justice
Nora's Soul by Margay Leah Justice

Nora's Soul by Margay Leah Justice

I have a confession to make. I hear voices in my head. Now, under normal circumstances, this confession would make one question their sanity and perhaps lead to years of intensive therapy. But I left out an important part of the confession: I am a writer. The voices I hear in my head are those of the characters that live there, in the land of my imagination, toying with my gray matter until I finally tease them out and onto the page. And there is the secret, at least for me, of characterization. I have to be able to hear the voices before I can get a fix on the characters. 

As anyone who takes a pen to paper will tell you, characterization is an integral part of the story. You can have a mediocre plot, a tried and true plot, and yet still make it come alive with fascinating characters. Likewise, boring characters can sink a good plot. Just ask any reader what kept them enthralled in a book and more often than not they will give you a detailed description of…the characters. What do you remember most about Romeo and Juliet? The intricacies of the plot – or how passionate the lovers were for each other? What about the movie Titanic? What remains fixed in your mind, the fact that the ship sank after striking an iceberg or the ill-fated love affair between Jack and Rose? 

Characters define a story; they are the backbone of the plot. Everything that happens within the story depends upon the type of characters that populate it. So the writer owes it to the reader to give him or her characters they will not forget. Characters that will live within them long after the last page is read and the book is closed. Characters that make them want to revisit that book again and again. How? For me, it is the simple matter of feeling that way about the characters myself. After all, if I can’t feel passionate about my characters, how can I expect my readers to? And so I listen to my characters. 

For me, listening to the way they speak, the words they use, is an integral part of characterization. That is how I “get into” character. I playact in my mind. Visualize the character in a scene and play with her emotions. It helps to imagine a certain actress playing the character in a movie, to run the scene in my head like it’s a filmstrip. How does she sound? How does she stand? What does she look like when she’s angry? These are all key ingredients to characterization. You have to think of them as real people, full-bodied and well-developed. When you start wondering how your character would feel about a certain situation or how she would handle a certain crisis, then you have done your job. If you can write a line of dialogue and on a second pass realize that your character would never say that, or at least not in that way, then you’re totally in synch with your character and are one step closer to remaining true to them. 

At this point, you might be thinking that’s all well and good, but how do you get so in tune with your characters? Another good tool that I use, in addition to the filmstripping, is the character interview. This is a fun and cool exercise for the writer because we never know just what our characters are going to say until we ask the questions. As evidenced in an interview of one of my characters – Dante, from Nora’s Soul – when he was interviewed by Pat Bertram http://patbertram.wordpress.com/2008/10/10/pat-bertram-introduces-dante-the-hero-of-noras-soul-written-by-margay-leah-justice/. Suffice it to say that Dante’s true nature leapt right off the page from the moment of his introduction – and he didn’t let up once. Not only did this make for an interesting interview, it made the character more memorable. 

Why not try it for yourself? You just never know what you might learn when you open up your mind to the voices in your head. 

Margay Leah Justice is the author of Nora’s Soul, published by Second Wind Publishing, LLC. To learn more about the author, visit her website at http://margayleahjustice.com. Nora’s Soul is currently available at Amazon.com.

 

Write What You Know?

Posted by: Starr Ambrose

It’s one of the first things they tell you about writing – write what you know.  Boy, did I ever break the rules!

My book, LIE TO ME, takes place in an exclusive neighborhood, and involves the lives of wealthy, powerful people.  People just like me!

Pause several minutes to ROFL.

I didn’t invent Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.  It exists, and is home to many rich and influential people, including some whose names you might recognize.  But I don’t live there.  I live a short drive away on a small farm outside of a little town.  I don’t drive a Mercedes, I drive a pickup truck.  And if I had a proper English butler like the one at the Westfield mansion, I wouldn’t know what to do with him – but I might start by having him clean horse stalls in the morning while I sleep in.

I also don’t know any Colombian drug runners or jewel thieves, but they’re part of my story.  So is a corporate executive, a sheriff, a society matron, and an ex-con.  Write what you know?  Not yet!

A good friend of mine wishes I would write a story about some of the crazy things I’ve done, like trapping and releasing the raccoons that raid my barn, or the hawk that strayed into my chicken coop.  Or hooking our huskies up to a dog sled and tearing down the snow-covered back roads.  But that’s my life, not my fantasy, and it’s harder for me to see the story potential in that.  So I’ll admit that I wrote about a life I haven’t lived and know little about – and neither did my heroine, which meant I could identify with how completely stunned she felt to be thrown into that world.  Combine that with some research and a lot of imagination, and presto, you’ve got Eleanore Coggins of Traverse City meeting the Payton-Westfields of Bloomfield Hills in a collision of culture, morals, and determined wills.  With some laughs and sex thrown in, of course, because what’s romance without laughter and sex, and what’s a story without a litte danger?  You might as well be cleaning stalls.  I do enough of that, thanks!

Take it Slow…

Posted by: Evangeline Anderson

Picture Perfect by Evangeline Anderson

Picture Perfect by Evangeline Anderson

Nothing turns me off a romance or erotica book faster than the writer jumping right into the sex before I even know the characters. You know, where it’s one sex scene after another from page one? I mean, I love a hot book and I love writing hot books but please, I at least want to understand the motivations and know the background of the people I am reading or writing about before they start going for it. To me jumping right into the sex, no matter how hot and naughty it is, without getting to know the characters first is no better than popping in a male-oriented porn movie. The kind where the pizza guy comes to the door but oops! the blonde with the fake boobs has no money to pay him and so has to get down and dirty on the living room rug to earn her extra large with anchovies. (Cue the bow-chicka-bow-bow music here.)

 

 

            See what I mean? Who wants to watch that (unless they have a penis of course.) What most women (myself included) seen to want is a slow, gradual progression that leads up to the final act. And that’s what I most love writing. The inevitable series of events that leads to the ultimate hot sex is important when writing an erotica book and if you skip to the end it’s just no fun. In other words, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.

            Having said that, let me introduce you to the characters in my latest naughty novel, Picture Perfect. Melanie is an aspiring model who has the hots for her gorgeous and completely off-limits stepbrother, Kurt. She’s wanted him from the moment her mom said ‘I do’ to Kurt’s dad but she knows that if they get together her mom will probably disown her. So she and Kurt try to ignore the electricity between them and act like everything is normal…but of course it isn’t.

            At the beginning of the story, Mel had decided to take a job modeling for pictures in an exercise book. Kurt, playing the overprotective big stepbrother insists on coming along and winds up getting roped into doing the modeling shoot with her. Of course what neither of them know is that the ‘exercise book’ is actually about sexual exercise—specifically it’s a modern day Kama Sutra that tells the reader how many calories each, um, position burns off.

            Naughty, huh?

            Having put Mel and Kurt in this situation I could have made them have sex right away but where would be the fun in that? What I really enjoyed about writing this book was that I had both my characters in a very uncomfortable position and completely naked getting into sexual positions without actually having sex…yet.

            During the modeling shoot Kurt and Mel get closer and closer to the actual act until the explosive climax. Was it fun to write? Hell, yes—talk about mental masturbation…lol.  Will it be fun to read? I certainly hope so. Here’s an excerpt so you can see for yourself. If you’re interested, check it out here:

http://www.loose-id.com/detail.aspx?ID=848   

EXCERPT of Picture Perfect by Evangeline Anderson—Warning—Explicit!

 

“Okay, you two want to tell me what’s going on?” she asked, stalking over with the camera in one hand.

“What do you mean?” I asked innocently, although I was pretty sure I knew what she was going to say.

“Why are you” — she pointed at Kurt — “acting like she’s too hot to touch? And you–” She pointed at me. “Why are you playing little Miss Shy? And why are both of you as stiff as boards? I would expect this kind of reserve if the two of you didn’t know each other, but you’re a couple — you’ve been together for…how many years?”

“Five,” Kurt said before I could answer.

“Five years,” Lisa continued, pacing up and down in front of the bed where we were positioned. “I mean, you’ve probably fucked her this way lots of times before, am I right, Kurt?”

“Oh, uh, sure.” He coughed, and I could almost see his tan face turning red. “I’ve just never…never in front of a camera.”

“Well, that to the side, it’s obvious you two have chemistry. You want her, right? She turns you on?”

Kurt cleared his throat and I couldn’t help looking over my shoulder to see his reaction to Lisa’s matter-of-fact question. “Yes, I want her,” he said with a quiet intensity that made me shiver. “I want her so much it hurts.”

“And you, Melanie,” Lisa continued, looking at me. “Kurt is a good-looking guy, and it’s clear he knows how to treat you in the bedroom. Knows when to be gentle, when to be rough — am I right?”

I bit my lip and felt myself turning bright red in the face, but I forced myself to answer. “Kurt’s…ah, amazing in bed,” I murmured. “He always knows just how to touch me.” Now why had I added that last part? Was I crazy, throwing gasoline on the fire I could feel raging between myself and my stepbrother? But once the words were out, I couldn’t call them back. Lisa, apparently oblivious to the added tension she was causing, continued to lecture.

“There’s a lot of passion between you two — I can feel it just under the surface, waiting to get out. And I know this kind of posing is awkward — it’s hard to do sexual things, even things you’ve done with a lover for years — in front of the camera. But think of the readers — they want more than just to be educated, they want to be titillated. Turned on. And nothing is more titillating or sexier than seeing two people who really care about each other making love. Do you see?”

I nodded and Kurt said, “Uh, sure,” from behind me.

Lisa nodded vigorously. “Glad you agree. So, please, let me see a little of that sensuality break free. Really get into it. Mel, spread your legs more and arch your back, as if you were trying to get him deeper inside you. And, Kurt, lean over Mel and hold her, cup her breasts. Stroke her, caress her, let her feel how much you want her.” She lifted the camera again and began fiddling with the lens. Apparently the lecture was over — for now.

“Mel?” I heard Kurt whisper in my ear. “Is this okay with you?”

I watched as Lisa finished whatever she was doing with the camera and raised it to her eye. I knew this was our last chance. We were going to have to let go a little more, or we’d be out the door and she’d find two other models who weren’t quite so constrained around each other.

“Yes,” I breathed, spreading my thighs wider and arching my back. I could feel the tips of my long auburn hair trailing over my naked lower back, tickling my bare skin, and the cool cotton of the sheets beneath my hands and knees. But most of all I was hypersensitive to the feeling of Kurt’s hands on my body as he bent over me. There was something warm and wet in the center of my back and I realized that he’d kissed me. Then again and again — he was leaving a trail of kisses up my spine, his mouth hot against my shivering skin as his big hands slid slowly around to cup me.

I moaned when he gathered my breasts into his hands — I couldn’t help it. The feel of his rough, callused palms against my sensitive, aching nipples was almost too much. The moist, blunt probe of his cock brushed against my inner thighs, dangerously close to my open cunt, and for a moment I felt like a female animal in heat about to be mounted.

“Am I hurting you?” he asked in a low voice, and I shook my head, not sure I could trust myself to speak. God, it felt good to have him so close. I just wished I could have him a little bit closer. For the first time, I began to seriously consider doing the infamous “penetration shots” Lisa had talked so casually about. Then I pushed the thought away — Kurt was my brother, well, my stepbrother anyway. There was no way we ought to be doing what we were doing right now, even if it was only simulated, let alone taking things any further.

“Good, good, that’s excellent,” Lisa said, walking around us and clicking away with the camera, capturing the position from every possible angle. “Play with her nipples, Kurt — pinch them, twist them. Do whatever it is that you usually do to get her turned on.”

Kurt didn’t ask this time. I felt him grasp my sensitive peaks and tug gently at first and then more forcefully when I didn’t object. “God, Mel, your breasts are so beautiful,” he murmured in my ear as he touched me. “Haven’t been able to get them out of my mind since the time during that last vacation you walked in on me and you were topless.”

I could feel myself blushing with pleasure. So he had been thinking about me as much as I thought about him. I had figured as much considering the constant sexual tension between us, but it was nice to hear out loud that he found me desirable.

“You were more than topless — you were naked,” I pointed out breathlessly as he continued to play with my breasts.

“I was taking a shower,” he growled. “Tell the truth, did you walk in like that on purpose?”

I shook my head and gasped as he tugged at my aching peaks. “No, I swear. I didn’t hear you — I had water in my ears from swimming in the lake.”

“Too bad.” He kissed the side of my neck, a hard, openmouthed kiss that made me writhe with pleasure. “I kind of hoped you did.”

I couldn’t believe he’d admitted that. “I’ve thought about you too, since then,” I whispered breathlessly as he twisted my nipples, sending sparks of pure pleasure straight to my open pussy. God, I was throbbing with need, my clit like a second heartbeat between my legs. If only he would touch me there…

It was as if Lisa read my mind. “Okay now, this position is excellent for manual stimulation,” she said, still clicking. “So, Kurt, put one hand between Melanie’s legs and pretend you’re stroking her.”

One of Kurt’s large, warm hands left my breasts and began to travel slowly over my quivering stomach. I spread my thighs wider for him, hoping he would understand what I was trying to say, that he didn’t have to pretend anything if he didn’t want to. He was too much of a gentleman to take the hint, however, and I nearly moaned with frustration when he simply cupped my heated mound in his hand. But already Lisa was shaking her head.

“Not good enough,” she told him. “I need some action here — I know this is intimate, but I have to ask you to go as far as you can in order to get a realistic shot. Pretend you’re really making love and you want to make her come — spread her open and play with her a little. You don’t have to do finger penetration if you don’t want to, but it would certainly look better if you did,” she added, as if it was an afterthought.

“Mel?” Kurt was panting in my ear, his deep voice hoarse with need.

“Do it,” I whispered back. “You heard her; we have to get a good shot. Please, Kurt, don’t hold back. I need this to be good.” I didn’t know if I was talking about getting a good picture or about letting him finger me for the first time, but by that time I hardly cared. I arched my pelvis, angling my pussy into his hand, and moaned as I felt him part my swollen cunt lips with his big fingers. He stroked me gently, his blunt fingertips circling my throbbing clit before sliding lower.

“Is it all right to go inside you?” he asked, obviously still not wanting to do anything without my permission. “Can I finger your pussy, Mel? Do you want me to finger fuck your cunt?”

“God!” I moaned as he circled my entrance, waiting to hear my answer. I was sure he knew what his dirty words would do to me, that talking to me that way would make me hot enough to explode.

“Mel,” he murmured, sliding back up to stroke my clit again. “I need to know. I can’t do this without your permission — it wouldn’t be right.”

“Yes,” I whispered at last, when I could catch my breath. “Yes, Kurt, put…put your fingers inside me. Do it.”

Two long, strong fingers slid deeply into my cunt almost before the words were out of my mouth. I gasped helplessly as he pressed up into me, trying to find the end of my channel, testing my heat.

“God, Kurt!” I blurted as he fucked into me with his fingers. I couldn’t believe we were actually doing something so wrong and forbidden, something I had been wanting for ages even though I never let myself think about it or fantasize about it. Well, not much, anyway. I could feel the pleasure building inside me, and I was getting close…so close…

“All right, that’s very good. Glad you two have finally come around — those shots will look great in the preparation chapter.” Lisa’s voice interrupted my impending orgasm, and I looked up blindly to see her fiddling with the lens on her camera again. Suddenly, I realized what I had been doing — riding Kurt’s fingers to orgasm in front of a famous photographer and her crew, completely oblivious to how I must look. Not to mention oblivious to how wrong it was to spread my pussy and let my stepbrother finger my slippery, wet inner cunt in the first place.

I shuddered with shame as Kurt withdrew his fingers. He must have felt the same way I did because he murmured, “Sorry, Mel,” as he sat back and away from me. Without the heat from his big body surrounding me, I suddenly felt even more naked. I crossed my arms over my chest protectively and shivered.

“What’s next?” Kurt asked, his deep voice surly. I guessed that his guilt matched my own because when I stole a glance at him, he had his arms crossed over his muscular chest and he was frowning deeply.

“A few more poses and then a break,” Lisa promised. “For right now, twining position.”

 

****So that’s all for now. I’d like to thank Wild on Books for having me as a guest blogger. I hope you enjoyed my entry and remember, the next time you’re reading or writing something naughty…take it slow.

 

Hugs to all,

Evangeline Anderson.

Visit me at www.evangelineanderson.com

Friend me at Myspace   http://www.myspace.com/evangelineanderson

And Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/profile.php?id=745272455

Or follow me on Twitter. http://twitter.com/EvangelineA

Or if you just want to keep up with my latest releases, join either one of my Yahoo groups. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EvangelineAndersonBookChat

Or http://groups.yahoo.com/group/evangelineandersonbooks

 

Whew—what a lot of internet crap! Anyway, I hope to see you around.

EA

How to Save a Life Without Really Trying

Posted by: Belinda McBride

This morning, I was on the telephone, making an appointment to take my niece to visit her social worker.  Once we’d settled on a date, I had to change the time, remembering that was my regular day to donate platelets through Apheresis.  

To my surprise, she didn’t know anything about donating blood, and was even more mystified that I would take several hours out of my day every two weeks to undergo Apheresis, the procedure that separates platelets from blood.  

I began to donate blood a few years back, going in to the blood center maybe two or three times a year.  And then one day, I overheard one of the nurses mention that some of the cancer patients at local hospitals were literally dying because they couldn’t get enough platelet donors.  I asked about the procedure, was tested for my platelet count, and to my surprise, discovered that I was an ideal donor.  In fact, with my high platelet count, I am able to do triple donations twice a month.  That means six very ill patients receive life-saving platelets from me every month!

What does this have to do with writing?  Well, I spend about ninety minutes in a recliner while the Apheresis procedure takes place, and my mind wanders.  Once, I was thinking of a new idea for a story; the setting was clear, the story would take place in post-earthquake San Francisco.  I had the title: Dragon’s Blood.  But the plot just wouldn’t gel. 

I looked around the room at all of the donors and thought of a future where a mysterious disease had taken hold of the human population.  A future where donated blood became a rare and precious commodity.  This disease became a major plot point in the Black Planet series, and will continue to re-emerge in future books in that series.  In my current release, Tiger Eyes, the heroine is afflicted with the disease called Dragon’s Blood, and is rapidly dying.  Grace fights valiantly to stay alive in this story; she’s an amazingly strong character.

Over the course of my life, I’ve seen many lives saved by the donations of others.  My friend Mo received bone marrow transplants which extended her life during her battle with cancer.   My brother received whole blood following a devastating injury.  My co-worker Melissa made the stunning and selfless decision to donate her kidney to a friend, and literally saved that woman’s life.  

You too can save lives; simply call your local blood center to see if you are eligible to donate.  It takes a little time, and next to no effort.  To learn more about Platelet Apheresis, visit the American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/services/biomed/0,1082,0_554_,00.html

Black Planet: Tiger Eyes is now available at Changeling Press:

http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1027

Belinda McBride
http://www.belindamcbride.com/ 

Tiger Eyes by Belinda McBride

Black Planet: Tiger Eyes by Belinda McBride

Chat with J.K. Coi!

Posted by: J.K. Coi

Hi there! I’m so very happy to join in the fun here on the Wild on Books blog today! It gives me a bit of a break from my pressing responsibility. And no, today it isn’t a rambunctious five year old who needs my time, or a mountain of laundry. I’m supposed to be starting my new book. I’m psyched and eager, but at the same time, I’m nervous. 

I always get nervous when I’m starting something new. I think it’s a combination of things. High expectations. Excitement. Mind-numbing fear. Not to mention that niggling little detail—that I have no idea where I’m going with this. See, I’m used to pantsing my way through the first half of my books while I get to know my characters and find out just where they’re coming from. 

It worked really well for me for a while, but now that I’m working on book 4 of my series—The Immortal Series—well…I already know my characters (at least the ones that have been making repeated appearances in the books that came before). They are familiar to me and dear to me. I know what they want, and I’ve already had the time and space to work on their motivations and inner conflicts. 

So why don’t I just get writing, you ask? Good question, why didn’t I think of that? *g*

It should be that simple, and so I wonder if my difficulty lies in the fact that I do know these characters so well and I need to know that I’m doing right by them. I usually have some time before I have to dig really deep into their tortured psyches. After I’ve started writing, it comes upon me in a soft, gradual way, and then I go back and rewrite some things once I’ve got it all figured out. By doing this now, right from the beginning, instead of a month from now, I might actually save a step, but it means a lot more up front and direct introspection than I’m used to. 

I know this question gets asked often enough, but for the writers out there, are you pantsers or plotters? Some combination? But more importantly, have you noticed your writing style changing, developing, the longer you write? 

And for the readers today, what is it about a good series? I think people keep coming back for more when it comes to series because they’re so character driven. Would you agree, or is there something else that draws you to your favourite series? Which authors do it best? 

Before I leave the floor to you, here is my pertinent book and contact info and I hope to see you again soon! 

The Trouble With Destiny (http://www.lindenbayromance.com/product-thetroublewithdestiny-7213-140.html) is now available! 

Books 1 and 2 of the Immortal Series are also available. Get My Immortal and Immortal Kiss from Linden Bay Romance (http://www.lindenbayromance.com) directly, and other major e-retailers online. You can also buy print copies of the books from your local stores. 

  

Please visit me at my website for more information about upcoming books, chats, interviews, reviews, and all things Immortal: http://www.jkcoi.com. I’m also on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/jkcoi and I blog at http://www.jkcoi.blogspot.com

Thank you so much for having me today!

J.K. Coi
Immortals to Die For
www.jkcoi.com

Sun Stroked

Posted by: Cathryn Fox

As I developed the idea for Sun Stroked not once did the show ‘Fantasy Island’ ever pop into my head.  For those that have read my book, I’m sure you’re shocked by that.

It was a cold winter day and I was sitting at my desk dreaming of being somewhere warm and tropical.   That’s when I decided I wanted to set a story on a hot tropical island, somewhere in the middle of the south pacific.  Then I thought, now what is so special about this island that people would come from all over.  Maybe if it had a fountain of youth, or better yet, a magical elixir that when ingested helps fulfill all your fantasies, sexual and otherwise (after all, I do write erotic romance)   Once I had the concept I thought about my heroines, who they were, and what they wanted.   

After I decided who my lead heroines would be, that I wanted my story set at an exclusive spa, with a magical elixir, I made an appointment to visit our local spa.  I asked a lot of questions and took pictures of the rooms to give me a feel and help set the ambiance for when I began writing….still no Fantasy Island theme.   One question I asked the owner was, what kind of men go to such places?  She said business men, men who are stressed out.  I thought long and hard on that one.  Did I want my three interior designers to hook up with stressed out business men?   Would these men understand their need?

I went home that day and thought more about this.  As I was pulling into my driveway, I grabbed my newspaper and saw headlines about the war, then I looked around at all the men and women coming home at the end of a work day.  That’s when it occurred to me.  I live in a military community, with a wealth of information at my disposal.  My mind started racing and the story began to take form.  I knew who my tortured heroes would be, why they were at the spa and figured out exactly what they needed.  (Still no Fantasy Island theme)   

I needed a proprietor of the island, a man (not unlike Mr. Rourke, apparently) who helped guide these young people and helped them find love.  That’s where Malik came in.  He’s the character who held it all together and spoke cryptic words, showing each and every couple that their magic comes from within.  Hard to believe Fantasy Island still hadn’t popped into my head isn’t it?

So when the reviews started pouring it, comparing Sun Stroked to Fantasy Island, I was a bit surprised.  I sat back and thought about it.  Even though I hadn’t consciously drawn on that old show, it must have been bouncing around in my subconscious.  Then I thought, is that so bad?  An erotic Fantasy Island?  Why not? 

www.cathryfox.com

The Writer-Reader Relationship

Posted by: Devon Ellington

The relationship between writer and reader is extraordinarily intimate.  When a reader finishes a well-written book, there is a sense of living the story thanks to the writer’s skill.  There’s a sense of connection completely different that the experience of watching something on the screen. 

But what happens between readers and writers off the page?  If a reader enjoys a book, very often the reader expresses appreciation to the writer via the website or a letter or going out to buy more of the writer’s books.  The writer, in turn, appreciates the response, and often thanks the reader and heads back to the desk to write an even better book to please the readers. 

What happens when readers try to dictate what writers write?  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle faced this issue when he had to resurrect Sherlock Holmes, and it continues today.  Some so-called fans grow furious or hysterical if a writer ends a series and chooses to go in a different direction.  They send vicious emails or even threats.   

Truly, all they have to do is not purchase the books.  

Sometimes, readers have good suggestions.  A close friend of mine wandered into a live chat on which I was featured a few weeks ago, about my book HEX BREAKER and the Jain Lazarus Adventures in general.  I answered questions about process and vision for the series, etc., and my friend tossed out an idea of something he’d like to see happen in the course of the series.  The idea was a good one, caught my attention, and we brainstormed back and forth enough so that I can go away and outline it.  Will the final book be the same as we discussed?  Highly unlikely, although that spark of inspiration will have fueled it (and I’ll dedicate it to him).  And why did it catch my attention, rather than raising my hackles as usually happens when the gist of a conversation is “You should write . . .” 

There are two reasons this was a positive rather than a negative.  First, the idea came from someone I trust, someone who is one of my Trusted Readers, understands my work and also my bad habits.  Second, the idea was in keeping with the vision of the series.   

Too often, reader suggestions have to do more with fan fic, in the sense of putting themselves in the context of the story rather than staying true to the vision of the story.  Only the writer truly knows the overall vision (add in the editor and maybe the agent once the writer shares that vision).  When I talk to people about writing for television series, I explain that they have to remember each episode has to carry forward the story and strengths of the regular cast and the guest stars are just that—guests.  If the episode becomes more about the guest than the star of the show, unless you’re a well-known writer with an “A” list guest star – the episode will be rejected.  In fiction, there’s a little more leeway – secondary characters have a chance for their moment in the sun.  But, far too often, reader suggestions focus on introducing a new central character to represent the reader that interferes with rather than enhances the writer’s vision for the series.  Without knowing the full arc of a series, a reader can’t know how his or her “great idea” will hurt the rest of it.  I’ve also noticed those who are the most vehement about forcing their ideas into other people’s work are those who “would write if I had time” but never “get around to it.”  It’s often a case of creative constipation used to punish a writer.  

Those would-be writers need to get over their own fears, put pen to paper, and explore those ideas themselves.  Not only would they have a creative outlet, they might gain an understanding of what it means to write a book, and all the different elements involved. 

As a reader, I love it when writers whose work I admire try something new.  I am not a fan of ”branding” or “niche”.  Far too many churned out books start to feel like all the writer did was hit “global replace” for character name and setting.  The only thing I need to know is that the quality of the writing is good.  I want the writer to try new things, explore different kinds of writing.  Supporting a writer’s forays into new territory is, to me, part of being a fan. 

As a writer, I listen to suggestions from readers, but I remain true to my vision for my work.  Unless I’m doing a work-for-hire to someone else’s specs, I need to remain true to my own stories and my own characters.   By doing so, I retain the integrity to my creative process and to the readers who were drawn to the work in the first place. 

Devon Ellington publishes under a half a dozen names in both fiction and non-fiction.  Her blog on the writing life is Ink in My Coffee:  http://devonellington.wordpress.com.  You can read an excerpt of HEX BREAKER at http://hexbreaker.devonellingtonwork.com.

Jazz and Nick Hang Out At The Full Moon Café

Posted by: Linda Wisdom

Mega thanks to Wild on Books for having me here! 

I thought for a change of pace that an after dark television personality would interview, at least try to, Jazz and Nick, so you could find out a little bit more about them and why they’re together and even why there’s centuries they’re not together.  

Enjoy! 

Linda 

The ageless woman was the picture of pure goth in her black velvet gown that fit her like a glove, black lace fingerless mitts covering her hands that ended in blood red nails that matched her lipstick. Her dark eyes were lined with kohl pencil and appeared mysterious with their soul-stealing gaze. She sat in the chair as if it was a throne and fingered the tiny microphone clipped to the deep v neckline of her gown. She made a small gesture toward the vampire holding a camera and immediately smiled wide enough to display gleaming white fangs.  

“Good evening, my dark of the night viewers. This is Drusilla with After Midnight Broadcasting and tonight we’re at the Full Moon Café with two special guests.  

“As you know, we love to hit the nightspots popular with the preternatural community and tonight we were lucky enough to connect with popular witch (a hint of sneer appeared on her perfect features since vampires aren’t too fond of witches no matter how popular they are) and curse eliminator, Jazz Tremaine and private investigator Nick Gregory. The two have been an item for the last 300 odd years. Hopefully, we’ll pick up some tasty tidbits from this couple as we talk to them about their unlives.”   

Jazz, muttering – “Tasty tidbits, cute, Dru. And I have a life, thank you very much. Plus I don’t think Coby would appreciate being referred to as having an unlife.”  

Dru flashed a hint of fang. “We all are grateful for Coby’s efforts to keep a neutral territory for our communities.” 

Nick subtly nudged Jazz with the toe of his boot. She glared back then turned to the television celebrity with a snarky smile that outshone the vampire’s fangy beam.  

Drusilla — “Good evening, Jazz and Nick. It’s so nice to have this chance to talk to you two. Both of you have been so busy lately with adventures that rival anything you might read in a book, that I am truly amazed you’re both in one piece.” She stared at Jazz as if she’d hoped to see disfiguring scars while offering Nick a dazzling smile.  

Jazz smiled back, definitely more venom showing. “Thanks for asking us, Dru.” She inwardly cheered at the vampire’s slightly pained expression since Drusilla preferred her full name used. Jazz looked warily at Nick’s coffee mug – “There’s no AB-neg in there, is there? Because I’m not even going to sit at the same table with you if you added something to it.” 

Nick – looking a trifle pained – “No, just straight coffee and I’m not sharing. If you want more coffee, ask Coby for a refill.”  

Jazz – looking put upon – “He’ll come over here faster for you.” 

Nick – raises voice – “Coby? Could Jazz have some more coffee please?” 

The Were owner of the café, along with being a powerful pack leader for the area, walks over with the pot and tops off both mugs, but topping off Nick’s first. He ignored Drusilla’s wine glass that held a ruby red liquid that was more O-Pos than a nice Bordeaux. 

Jazz – “Uh, ladies first?” 

Coby – “Only when I see a lady.” He walks away. 

Jazz – “Everyone picks on the witches.” Raises voice. “You wouldn’t have wards around this place if it wasn’t for us.” 

Coby – calling back – “Wizards set them up, sweetheart.” 

Nick – chuckles – “No, they just pick on you because you’re so much fun to pick on.” 

Drusilla, determines to keep control of the interview. “You two have been together for the last 300 years. Exactly sow did you two meet?” 

Nick – “I worked for the Protectorate at the time and was chasing down a Comte in Venice that was a rogue vampire. Jazz was working for him as a personal maid for his wife.” 

Jazz – “The woman was a major slob.”

Nick – “Jazz was also accused of stealing the Comte’s wife’s jewels and was to be tortured as punishment. He loved to inflict major pain on his servants for the least infraction. Jazz was very lucky since I saved her from his whip.” 

Jazz, shaking her head and rolling her eyes – “He called it a whip. I called it a speck of thread that a woman wouldn’t look at twice. Not to mention if he’d tried burying his fangs in me he would have been in for a big surprise. A witch’s blood being poisonous to a vampire is a definite plus.” 

Nick – Then perhaps I should have let him bite you. It would have saved me having to destroy him.” 

Jazz – coos – “Ah, but then you couldn’t have saved the poor innocent little maid, could you?”  

Nick shot her a look that indicated he didn’t view her all that innocent.  

Drusilla cut in before she lost total control of the interview – “Tell me something, Nick. What do you feel is Jazz’s best quality? After all, witches and vampires don’t get along for many good reasons. Why would you have a relationship with her this long when it’s known vampires are the far superior race.” 

Jazz – hackles now up – “Hey!” 

Nick – ignoring the mini tantrum — “One thing you have to say about Jazz is that she’s loyal to her friends to the extreme. She’s there to help out no matter what. But if you cross her, watch out, because she cannot only eliminate curses she can call up some doozies. And one of her closest friends specializes in revenge curse. Not to mention Fluff and Puff, her magick bunny slippers are good at getting even on her behalf.” 

Jazz points her finger at him. “One time. Just the one.” 

Nick – “They were my favorite boots and they turned them into leather jerky!”   

Drusilla automatically checked out her black satin Christian Louboutin pumps. If her lungs worked she would have drawn a breath of relief there were no fuzzy bunny slippers near her toes. 

Jazz frowns at Nick. “You could have said I’m gorgeous, sexy, even smell good.” 

Nick – “That’s a given.” 

Drusilla – “And Jazz, what do you see as Nick’s best quality?” 

Jazz – sipping her coffee and nibbling on a piece of chocolate cream pie Coby left for her – “It’ll sound schmaltzy, but he really is an all around good guy. I know for a fact he was an excellent enforced for the Protectorate, but as far as I’m concerned, he’s an even better private investigator for preternaturals. Creatures know they can count on him to get the job done.”  

Nick chuckles – “She’s such a romantic.” 

Jazz chimes in — “Don’t ask me what he doesn’t like about me.” 

Drusilla – very interested in that statement — “Why not?” 

Jazz – “I probably wouldn’t like what he’d have to say.”  

Nick ignores her – without hesitation – “Stubborn, tends to act without thinking, she inserts fashionably shod foot in mouth on a regular basis, has pissed off at least one member in every community, … “ 

Coby speaks up — “You got that right.” 

Jazz – “Hey! Our interview, not yours. You want to be interviewed flash those pearly fangs at Drusilla and maybe she’ll slot in you at the next full moon.” 

Nick – nods – “’Nuff said about her attitude. But her good qualities do overtake the bad.” 

Jazz, outraged  – “I don’t have any bad qualities!” 

Nick – burying his nose in his coffee – “And the witch’s nose grows yet again.” 

Jazz automatically touches her nose and finds it the same pert size it was before.  

Jazz – “Fine, I love you because you do what’s right, you refuse to allow anyone, even me, to push you around, you are sexy as Hades, you look out for the little guy whether he’s vamp or even a troll, which, by the way, I wouldn’t assist for all the gold in the world. Nasty little guys.” She forks up a bite of pie and stuffs her mouth. “But there are times I wish you’d talk more.” 

Nick – “About what?” 

Jazz – “Everything.” She gives him THE LOOK as in you know very well what I mean. “Everything’s going so well for us now.” 

Drusilla, still struggling to control the interview and seeing it swept out of her hands. “Lately, the two of you have been in the supernatural news for destroying a serial killer of vampires and later on for killing a powerful wizard along with working to protect Fluff and Puff.” She glances around with a wary look as if saying their names would conjure them up. “They’re not here with you, are they?”  

Jazz – “No, they’re home. Or at least, they should be.” 

Drusilla continues to look around, just in case. Her shoes were new and she meant to keep them that way for as long as possible. “Do you really believe it’s safe for you to go against such powerful beings? You’re just one witch and while Nick is very strong, is it all right to expect his assistance so much?” 

Jazz – “We’re here and they’re not. That’s good enough for me.” She stared at her now empty plate, obviously considering a second piece. 

Nick – “We do make a good team.” He made eye contact with Coby and the Were brought over another helping of pie. Jazz flashed him a dazzling smile, but Coby didn’t smile back.  

Jazz – digging into her pie – “Still, you’d think after 300 years we’d be, well, more together.” 

Drusilla, looking at them both – “Together how?” 

Nick – “Hard to do when you threaten to stake me.” 

Jazz – ready to defend herself – “I only do that when you state you’d rather I was on the other side of the universe.” 

Nick – “If you wouldn’t get into trouble so much I wouldn’t have to bail you out.” 

Jazz – “Excuse me? You never bail me out! You’re always having me thrown in jail instead on some trumped up charge!”  

Nick – “It’s the only way I can keep your cute little ass safe!”  

Jazz opens her mouth then closes it again – “So you do think it’s cute and little.” 

Nick – sighs – “Yes, even when you’re a pain in mine. Maybe there’s a story there. I’m meant to keep you out of trouble.” 

Jazz – “I never get into trouble! Well, okay a few times. All right, more than a few, but I can get myself out of it without any help.” 

Nick – shakes head as he gets up – “You keep that up and pretty soon your nose will be dragging on the ground.” 

Jazz makes sure there’s no pie left on the plate as she hops to her feet. “What is this with my nose! Sure, I’ve had my bad days, but I’ve never been a wooden puppet!” She waits while Nick pays the bill then they head to the door as if they’d forgotten that a stunned Drusilla still sat in her chair.  

Nick — could be heard to say — “Maybe you should have been a puppet. Then when need be you could be locked in a box.” 

Jazz – hot on his heels – “You keep thinking that way and you’ll be sleeping alone for a couple centuries!”  

Nick – flashes her a hot look that even includes a hint of fang – “I love it when you threaten me.” He hooks his arm around her neck and pulled her toward him for a kiss that heated up the whole area.  

Drusilla stands up, adjusting her gown and saunters over to Coby. – “Jazz and Nick are very definitely an odd couple. What about you, Coby? Is it really true that the Full Moon Café is neutral territory?”  

Coby shrugs as he idly wipes off the counter – “Most of the time.”  

What about you? What would you ask Jazz and Nick? Could you keep control of the interview better than Drusilla did or would you just let them go on in hopes of hearing way more than they might want to let on?  

And since the Hex books have been optioned for pitching to TV and feature films, would you ask how they feel about that?  

Linda