Tuesday, March 29, 2011

When Hate Turns to Love


I'm working on the synopsis for a new story, one that's been rattling around my head for a while. This story isn't a romantic suspense, the genre I've been sticking to for the last year. The new book will be an uber hot contemporary romance in which the hero and heroine go from hating each other in the beginning to being in love by the end.

I've read many of those hate to love stories and I got to thinking about why that trope is seen so often. I don't know how often such a scenario plays out in real life, but it actually makes sense to me that it would. Why? Hate is a strong emotion. We can hate someone for perpetrating a heinous crime or doing something equally reprehensible. But sometimes a person might feel hatred for a competitor or a person with an opposing viewpoint. Those strong feelings can be harnessed and mixed with a bit of attraction to swing to the other side of the scale.

Such is the case in my Work in Progress. But that switch doesn't just happen. The hated one must act heroically or selflessly or do something to prove they are worthy of powerful emotions, but not hatred. It's true what they say. Love and hate are very close.


Do you buy it when you see two characters make the switch from hate to love?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Book Trailer

Want a sneak peek at Protective Custody? Thanks to my good friend, Randy, here it is:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

FREE Read - No Kidding!

How many things in life are really free? Well, this story is. If you have a Kindle, you can download The After Party HERE - yes it is really FREE. If you don't have a Kindle, you can download other formats HERE. Now - go enjoy The After Party.

Victoria meets a handsome stranger at a relative’s wedding. When he asks her out for a drink after, she invites him to her place. After a steamy encounter, they discover they have more than their profession and their love of cats in common. Their paths have crossed before. But will that connection end what they’ve just begun?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Movie Review

 I've never done a movie review so I thought it would be fun to tell you about Red Riding Hood, which DH and I saw on our Saturday night date.

I must say - this is not the fairy tale of our youths! It's rated PG-13 for a little gore and a mildly suggestive love scene. The first thing that struck me as very cool was the amazing set, like a medieval European village in the Bavarian mountains. It was exactly the sort of place I've always pictured Little Red Riding Hood living. Amanda Seyfried plays Valerie, the girl with the red riding hood, with just the right balance of innocence and chutzpah.

Instead of a wolf, it's a werewolf that's been plaguing the town for generations. He's always been appeased with livestock offerings until he goes for Valerie's sister. The wolf has broken his bargain with the town. The menfolk go on a wolf hunt and one of them is killed. They come back with a dead wolf and are celebrating when Gary Oldman, aka a werewolf hunter complete with his own entourage and an assortment of silver weaponry, arrives in town and tells the villagers they've only killed an ordinary wolf. The real werewolf is among them -- he or she is one of them.

I won't spoil the story, but I will say there's a bit of a love triangle, a lot of suspense and of course, an odd Grandma played by Julie Christie. Now, the movie does have its hokey moments and at parts is overdone, but all in all, it's worth the price of admission.

If you've seen the movie, what did you think?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Little Help From my Friends


I've always been a bit of a social butterfly. Ever since high school, being with friends has been a priority in my life. These days my time is pulled in many directions and I find I have distinct groups of friendships that sometimes overlap, a little like Venn diagrams!

Some of my closest and longest standing relationships stem from people I met through my kids many years ago, moms whose children went to school with mine. Others are from college and a few (including my husband) I met at a business I bought shortly after college.

The biggest group, by far, is the people I've met through my writing endeavors. Some of the ladies in my RWA chapter, my critique partner, even other writers I've met online have become great, supportive friends. The community of writers as a whole is an awesome asset to any writer. (And I include some editors and agents in this category.)

And although you'd think there would be lots of competition and jealousy, there's really very little. Maybe that's because no two authors create the exact same product. No two voices are identical, no two stories indistinguishable.

I remember one of my first discussions about writing when I'd barely finished my very first chapter. I was speaking to a published author who had graciously offered to read my work. The writing was awful, I knew nothing. Instead of giving me the litany of everything I'd done wrong, she gave me one important tip - she explained what point of view was. Then she complimented my descriptions. That was really sweet of her. She was my very first writing friend and she even introduced me to RWA.

What about you? Whatever you do for a living, was there any act of friendship that made a big difference in your career or your life?


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Guest Author - Taige Crenshaw


Spin on Reality

By Taige Crenshaw

One of my favorite parts of writing is being able to put my own spin on reality. Taking something that is not of the real and making it so. Making it real to this world that readers want to live in that world. Be a part of the story as it unfolds.

To do this I can make it up totally in my thoughts and build it or take pieces of history, folklore and other interesting tidbits and molding it into what I want to. Doing this is a powerful aphrodisiac. The balance of creating a story that brings a person into it is just like a seductive dance. First you have to let them get a feel of your rhythm. Once they do then you move to the groove. Spinning it around. Weaving that reality to bring them deeper into the reality you’ve built. This is what I strive for in each world I build.

In the world and myths of my upcoming release Indigo Rain this is what I’ve done. I’ve taken many parts of history, folklore and other interesting tidbits to create the world of the story. In writing the book I sank into the myths that I was creating. It was fun to bring in various things I find fascinating. Kalina Erutan, my heroine is an Amazonian Warrior and I was able to create a mythology of her. This mythology is embedded into the very earth. Ryne Garon, my hero is a firebird and I put a major spin on what they are. I’m being deliberately vague about both because I don’t want to give away anything too much about the story. In building the world of the Phoenix Intelligence Agency there are so many beings and things to explore. I’m having a wonderful time laying down the layers of the world.

Each time I write a new book I wonder where I can go next. That is the thing with writing you get to do a spin on reality.

****

Taige Crenshaw is a multi-published author with books available at Ellora's Cave Publishing, Liquid Silver Books, Loose Id, and Total-E-Bound. Taige has been enthralled with the written word from time she picked up her first book. It wasn’t long before she started to make up her own tales of romance. With novels set in today, in alternate dimensions, or in the future she writes with adventure, fun sassy heroine’s, and sexy hero’s. Always hard at work creating new and exciting places Taige can be found curled up with a hot novel with exciting characters when she is not creating her own. Join her in the fun, frolic, interesting people and far reaches of the world in her novels. You can find out more about Taige at her website: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com or blog: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com/blog.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Making the Rounds

I'm a blogging fool today. You can find me over at Naughty Author Chicks talking about my favorite addiction and at Not Your Usual Suspects discussing real life villains. Please drop by and say hello!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Guest Author - Paige Tyler


Today my friend and fellow Naughty Author Chick, Paige Tyler is taking over my blog. She pointed a gun at me, what could I do. Not really, actually, I'm honored to have Paige here.

I'm so excited to announce I have a new book out with Ellora's Cave! It's a paranormal romancecalled GHOST HUNTER, and it's got a hunky hero, a kick-ass heroine and a serial killing ghost that's scary as hell! Not to mention a smokin' hot cover!


I love when I come up with an idea for a book out of the blue, which is what happened with GHOST HUNTER. When I heard my local RWA chapter set up a lecture with a team of paranormal investigators, it got me thinking right away about writing a book about a ghost hunter. Because the chapter is far from where we live, though, we didn't actually go to the lecture. I was a little bummed about that, especially since they were giving out EMF detectors. On second thought, maybe it was better we didn't go. Ghosts freak me out, so having something that can detect them probably wouldn't be a good idea.


Enough about me, back to the story behind the story. While I knew the hero was a ghost hunter named Trace, I wasn't quite sure how the heroine fit into the story, or even who she was. So, my hubby and I played around with a few ideas at our local PF Chang's (we come up with a lot of story ideas there!) We both decided that having the heroine Cassidy need the hero's help because her house was haunted or something like that didn't seem original enough, so we made her a budding romance writer who tags along with the hero and his team to do some research. Like any good story, though, it had to have some conflict, which is why Trace and Cassidy completely rub each other the wrong way right from the beginning. Actually, he thinks he's a jerk. But don't worry, Cassidy discovers underneath that rough ghost hunter exterior, Trace is just the man she's been looking for. It doesn't hurt that he's hot!


Okay, so we had our hero and heroine. Now we needed a bad guy. That's where the ghost comes in. He's not your standard, everyday ghost, though. He's a serial killer who attacked Cassidy that comes back from the grrave to continue his string of grisly murders, and she's at the top of his list. To make things even more interesting, not only can he do all the regualar ghostly stuff like walk through walls and materialize out of thin air, he can also take solid form.


I'm not going to tell you any more than that, though. Don't want to give too much away, you know. I will add that my editor at Ellora's Cave told me she got so caught up in the story, she completely forgot she was reading a submission!


Now that you know the story behind the story, I think I'll tease you with an excerpt. Enjoy!


BLURB:

Almost getting murdered by a serial killer gives Cassidy Kincaide a new lease on life and convinces her to go ahead and tackle that ghost-hunter novel she's always wanted to write. So, she hooks up with a gorgeous paranormal investigator named Trace McCord to do some research.

Cassidy and Trace rub each other the wrong way right from the beginning, but they have to put aside their differences when the serial killer who attacked her comes back from the grave to continue his string of grisly murders, with her at the top of his list.



Trace has to keep Cassidy close to keep her safe, and as they try to stay one step ahead of the ghost while figuring out how to stop it, he and Cassidy end up in each other’s arms. While Trace has a whole list of reasons why he shouldn’t get involved with her, he finds himself falling in love with the beautiful blonde anyway. And even though Cassidy started out thinking he was a jerk, she learns that underneath the rough ghost hunter exterior, he’s just the man she’s always been looking for. Now, all they have to do, is live long enough to be together.



EXCERPT:

Trace was only a few miles from the address Robert had given him for Cassidy when his cell phone rang. At first he wasn’t going to answer it, but some sixth sense made him change his mind. Now he was glad he had.

He was about to disconnect the call when he heard a muffled scream on the other end of the line. It was quickly followed by a loud clatter, then nothing.

“Cassidy!”

No answer.

Trace felt his chest tighten. Swearing under his breath, he shoved his cell phone in the pocket of his jeans and floored the pedal on the Hummer, running a red light to get through the intersection. The other drivers honked their horns as they squealed to a stop, but he ignored them. There was no way he was going to let Cassidy die.

Five minutes later, he slid into the parking lot outside her apartment, running over an ornamental fence and a flower bed to come to a screeching halt a few feet from the front door. Jumping out of the Hummer, he ran around to the back and grabbed his duffel bag full of gear. Throwing it over his shoulder, he raced up the steps and charged through the door into the building, scaring the hell out of two women carrying laundry baskets.

“Where the hell are the stairs?” he demanded, not wanting to waste time with the elevator.

The women timidly pointed around the corner.

Trace didn’t thank them as he ran in that direction. He hit the steps hard, taking them hree at a time. Once on the fourth floor, he ran down the hall, checking the room numbers on he doors. When he came to the right one, he didn’t even bother to slow down. Instead, he icked the door in as hard as he could, reaching into his bag for his shotgun as the frame plintered and the door flew open.

He looked left and right as he entered the apartment, but there was no sign of Cassidy or el Vecchio. Trace’s blood ran cold at the scene that met his eyes. The living room looked s if a cyclone hit it. The couch and throw pillows were sliced to shreds, stuffing still floating hrough the air. The coffee table was lying on its side, as were the two end tables, and the amps that had been on them were smashed to pieces along with practically everything ele in the place. Even the walls had been slashed.

“Cassidy?” Trace called.

“In here.”

Trace followed the sound of her voice until he came to the kitchen. Cassidy was standing in the center of the room inside a wobbly drawn circle of salt, ready to throw a handful of something in his face. She sagged with relief at the sight of him, letting the stuff in her hand trickle out onto the floor. That was when he realized she was holding a big container of oregano.

“Is he gone?” she whispered.

Trace nodded. “Yeah, he’s gone. But I’m getting you the hell out of here anyway.”

He didn’t wait for an answer, but simply slung the shotgun over his shoulder by the strap, then walked into the kitchen and swung Cassidy up in his arms.

She put one of her own around his neck. “Is it safe for me to leave the circle?”

“Yes. I’ll keep you safe. Trust me.”

Apparently she must have believed him because she didn’t resist. She cuddled the container of oregano close to her body and leaned against his chest.


He frowned. “Cassidy, you did great with the salt circle. It saved your life without a doubt. But what are you doing with the oregano?”


She looked up at him with big, blue eyes. “Isn’t it what you used to get rid of ghosts?”

His mouth twitched. “That’s sage and garlic. You can ditch the spaghetti spice.”

“Oh,” was all she said. Resting her head on his shoulder, she let the container of oregano tumble to the floor, then put that arm around his neck, too.

Giving the place one more look to make sure Del Vecchio hadn’t come back, Trace carried her out of the apartment and right passed the alarmed neighbors who had come out into the hallway to see what the ruckus was all about. Trace imagined they got their money’s worth seeing a big guy with a shotgun and a duffel bag slung over his shoulder carrying a beautiful half-naked woman in his arms. He abruptly realized he probably should have taken a few minutes to let Cassidy grab some clothes. But then the lights in the hallway flickered and he decided he could get her clothes later. They were getting the hell out of there.

“Is she being kidnapped?” one elderly woman asked another in a low voice as he and Cassidy passed them.

“If she is,” said the other old woman, “then I want to want to be kidnapped next.”

Any other time, Trace would have laughed, but right now all he wanted to do was get Cassidy someplace safe. Fortunately, he knew exactly where to take her.

Watch the Trailer Here!
Get your copy of GHOST HUNTER at Ellora's Cave!
*hugs*
Paige

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's a Writer's Life for Me!

Damn, I love being a writer. I love that I can work in my pajamas if I want and that if I have a doctor's appointment or I have to pick up my daughter early from school, I don't have to clear it with anyone. I love that I can plot out stories then watch them unfold and grow in unplanned directions.

All I have to do is uphold my end of the bargain—park my butt in front of the computer and write. Sure, I have to spend a fair amount of time on promotion, but what business doesn't have to sell itself?

I love that all my writer buddies are smart cookies. There aren't a lot of unintelligent authors out there, although certainly the profession has its bottom-dwellers, but I haven't ever run into any.

One major perk of the job is watching people's reactions when I tell them what I do. They get so excited, tell me how they should write too because, you know, they have the best story idea ever. And maybe they do, but they haven't written it and probably never will.

I love when visitors come into my office and gasp at my wall full of book covers (even though the majority are for short stories and novellas). They always say, "Did you write all those books?"
What I love most of all is that I can say, "Yeah, I did."

If you're a writer, what's your favorite thing about it?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Back to Normal - Whatever That is...

Today is the first day of back-to-normal. My snowbird parents flew back up north on Saturday then we had a quick visit with my in-laws Sunday. Now I must either put my nose to the grindstone and start putting out some serious word count or else come up with an even better excuse than two months of company!

Unfortunately, the day didn't start as I'd planned. DD woke up feeling sick so I couldn't go to the gym. Two hours later she felt better so I dropped her at school then headed to the green grocer for some fresh produce. After that I spent an hour downloading music for my MP3 player only to discover that I had no idea how to get it onto the device from my new computer. (No - I am not so technically adept that I can figure that stuff out).

Enter my son - yeah! He got the music onto the device in three seconds. Seriously - three seconds! So now I must write and take breaks to walk and listen to my newest songs (I go way faster with up tempo music). Word goal here I come!

In the meanwhile, I hope you enjoy another excerpt from Tropic of Trouble:

What the hell was she up to? He held a fist to his mouth and studied her on the
video on his computer. He’d expected the hidden camera to catch her banging some
young stud but after weeks of surveillance, the worst he’d observed was her smoking
inside the house. Something he’d expressly forbidden, but hardly what he’d
anticipated.

That gut feeling he’d been having lately—as if she was up to no good—clawed at
him. He’d put units in their bedroom, the kitchen, the living room. None showed her
doing anything she shouldn’t. Except being the lazy, spoiled bitch she’d always been.
Unless her trysts took her elsewhere. Maybe he ought to hire a private detective to
follow her. No, he didn’t need someone else knowing their secrets, giving them fodder
for blackmail.

Would she have an internet affair? Probably considered herself too highbrow for
something like that. She never let him forget how much better than he she thought
herself, with her hoity-toity pedigree and her privileged upbringing. Bastard father of
hers had never tired of reminding him how she’d lowered herself to marry him. But
he’d put an end to that.

As the video progressed, she seemed nervous suddenly. She stood at her dresser
but kept glancing toward the door as if she were afraid she’d be caught doing
something she shouldn’t. Easing open the top drawer, she lifted out a small black book
and flipped to the middle. Another glance at the door. She took a phone out of her
pocket and called someone.

Damn it!Why hadn’t he bought the camera with audio? She pressed a couple
buttons then returned the cell to her pocket. He stopped the frame, backed it up and
zoomed in. What happened to the pink phone he’d given her? This one was larger and
silver.

His chest tightened and rage coursed through his veins. That lying bitch. Should
have known he couldn’t trust her. Of course, he had known. Otherwise he wouldn’t
have filmed her. He backed up the video to the part where she took out the book. He
froze the frame and enlarged it.

Leaning his head closer, he squinted, made out numbers hand written on the page,
too faint to read. Fighting his instinct to go upstairs, yank her out of bed and beat the
living shit out of her, he merely fisted his hands. If he tipped her off, he might not find
out what she was really up to. He thought she’d learned her lesson the last time she’d
disobeyed him, but apparently she needed more incentive not to fuck with him.
After she woke her lazy ass up tomorrow morning, he’d send her shopping or
something. She loved spending his money now that she had none of her own.

Bitch.

With her gone, he’d search for that silver cell phone and her little black book.
God help her if he learned she was up to no good. He’d kill the bitch for cheating on
him. Whoever she was screwing would pay the price too. No one would make a fool of
him. He’d make them both wish they’d never been born.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Snipet by request



Thanks Maureen for the idea to post excerpts of my books. First on the menu is Tropic of Trouble from Ellora's Cave.

Jail Sergeant Jason Jones is heading to Kelsey's place since he suspects the person who murdered Kelsey's employee at her used bookstore isn't finished yet:

Jason fastened his seat belt in his truck and started the engine. A detour past Kelsey’s place would hardly take any extra time. The peace of mind would help him sleep after he got home.

He turned on to Thirty-Sixth Street and noticed the same dark sedan behind him he’d seen immediately after leaving the jail complex. Blinded by the car’s high-beam headlights, he adjusted his rearview mirror to cut the glare.

Slowing a little, he eased the truck to the right, giving the car a wide berth to pass, but it didn’t. On a hunch, he took a left on to Eighty-Seventh Avenue. The sedan did the same, sticking close to him.

Suddenly the other driver accelerated and bumped his tailgate.

Son of a bitch. That was no accident. He swerved into a parking lot, but the other driver refused to quit. The car pulled alongside him and jerked hard to the left. The truck lurched, but he immediately righted it. He tried to glimpse inside the driver’s window but the tint proved too dark and the sky still too black.

Abruptly as it had started, the game ended and the sedan sped off. He tried to make out the license plate, but couldn’t. He gave chase for several blocks until he caught sight of a woman crossing a street pushing a stroller ahead. Easing on his brakes, he prayed the other car would slow down and avoid hitting the mother and child. The sedan continued on, barely missing them.

The vehicle zoomed away, then veered on to a side street. No way could he catch up now.

Drawing a deep breath, he wiped the sweat from his forehead.

Any doubt that Margaret’s murder had merely been an unfortunate accident during a random robbery vanished. This had become way too personal.


Want to read another excerpt? Click HERE.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Welcome!

Thanks for coming to check out my brand new blog. I've been blogging for years now on my group blogs, but I've opened this spot just for me and some special guests to hang out. I'd love to hear what sorts of posts you'd find interesting—stuff about the craft of writing, day-to-day ramblings, marketplace news. Also, what DON'T you want to hear about? In the meanwhile, I'll share a little about myself.

I live in sunny central Florida and I write erotic romance and hot romantic suspense. Most of my books as yet have been published by Ellora's Cave, but I also write for Carina Press, Loose id and Red Sage.

Writing is my full time job but I'm also a wife and mother. My two cats are my constant companions. I like to walk with my hubby, to swim (if the water is warm as a bath) and to shop if the deals are red hot! I'm one of those neurotic people who checks email ten times a day so I am never hard to reach. I tend to go on rants about things I feel strongly about. I'm blessed to have not only a wonderful family, but also lots of supportive friends. (Yes, I am a social butterfly).

So now it's your turn. Help me shape my new blog by sharing what you'd like this to be about.

General Gratitude

You may have read some of my Gratitude posts . I have a lot to be grateful for, believe me. Last night, watching the last episode of The Han...