Monday, September 28, 2009
Today, we are blessed to have with us on the couch, Amber Skyze, author of Erotic Romance. Welcome, Amber, make yourself at home. Put your feet up, grab a coffee, or whatever else you can find (I’ve got Pepsi, I think JennyKat has some Dr. Pepper around here somewhere.) Anyway, Welcome, hope you feel comfy here with us. So, let’s get started: Where are you from?
I live in one of the smallest states – Rhode Island. I moved here five years ago from New York, to be with my (now) husband.
Awww… isn’t it great how we’ll do the things we do for those we love? Why don’t you tell us your latest news?
My latest release is Talk Dirty to Topaz, from Aspen Mountain Press. www.aspenmountainpress.com. I have another book from AMP, Heat Waves coming out Sept. (haven’t gotten the exact date yet). And to end the year, Body Shots will be available with Ellora’s Cave www.jasminejade.com
All AWESOME news! Congrats, hon! When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing back in ’93 when I was a stay at home mom. I read extensively and decided one day – hey I can do this too! So I sat down and penned my first novel titled, Freedom’s Highway. It’s currently tucked away in the attic collecting dust bunnies.
LOL, I think we all have works that we have tucked away somewhere. I have one that I love the premise, but the exact story will need a lot of work if I want them to be out there in the world. Ah, well. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve been published in all the True Magazines, different non-fiction mags, and a handful of the Chicken Soup books, but I didn’t consider myself a writer until last December when my first book, Mistletoe Studs, was published.
I can certainly understand that one. I don’t know that I would consider myself a writer until I sell my very own book! What book are you reading now?
Currently I’m reading Annette Blair’s A Veiled Deception. It’s my first foray into the cozy mystery world and I’m rather enjoying it! You should read it if you haven’t.
I’ll have to look into it. Not always a huge suspense/\mystery fan. But you never know. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
There are actually two new authors. Fran Lee and Julia Barrett. Julia isn’t brand new, but her courage to write stories about abuse amazes me.
I can only imagine, it’s an utterly terrifying thing to experience and even if you’ve been through it it’s very difficult to do it well. I’ll have to look her up. What are your current projects?
Currently I’m writing a series called Lady Shea’s Manor, for AMP. Lady Shea’s will follow three women with three different fantasies. Lady Shea’s is a warm and inviting mansion that sits on the bluffs. It was turned into a place where women come to live out their every desire.
I’m also working on Sliding Home, a M/M for Noble Romance. And for my third publisher Ellora’s Cave, I’m working on Laney’s Delights, a contemporary.
Both sound very intriguing. You’ll have to keep us updated. We love to give shout outs to our friends! Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely, one I hope to make full time in the future.
Good, it’s very nice to see other authors who see it as a career. They take it seriously. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write every day. Keep submitting. If you don’t submit, you’ll never get published.
Sound advice, we should all follow it. How long does it take you to write a book?
About a month from start to finish.
Geesh, lucky duck. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I get up at 4am, check email, read my friends blogs, then I write for an hour or so before getting ready for my day job.
Wow, busy lady! What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I like to spend time with my new granddaughter, float around in my pool, (when the weather cooperates), and go to the beach.
Wow, even more of a lucky duck! Playing with grandbabies, floating in pool and going to the beach. Sounds like the good life. How many books have you written?
I’ve written over 15 books so far. Which is your favorite? My favorite erotica book is Splashing Good Time, with Ellora’s Cave. I just love the hero, Nathan. And my favorite non-erotica, is Mommy Bound, which I’m shopping to agents. It’s a romantic comedy, which I love to write too.
Wow that’s quite the back list. It’s obvious you love to do this. Do you hear from your readers much?
Because I’m a newer author I haven’t received much fan mail. But recently I did hear from two readers. What kinds of things do they say? They dropped a note to tell me how much the loved my book and one said she couldn’t wait for the sequel. This surprised me because I never mentioned a sequel, although I was writing it!
LOL, doesn’t it feel like our readers know before we do? And then the muse jumps up and says, “Yeah, what SHE said!” Now for the “nothing-to-do-with-writing questions: What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?
I have three dogs, so I’m going with a dog. ;-) They’re so much like humans, except they give love unconditionally. You could be mad about something they did and they’re licking your face.
Dogs are good companions to have. Have you ever cried during a movie?
Umm, I’ve cried in during a lot of movies. If yes, which one and why? Most recently I cried in Marley and Me. If you’ve seen the movie you know why.
Nothing wrong with crying. Have you ever made a crank phone call?
I’m ashamed to admit this, but yes. As a teenager I did. If yes, explain what you did. There was this girl who wanted my boyfriend. She’d call his house every day after school, which I was always there. Anyway, a few times I called and played this song, “Everybody Wants You”, because she thought all the seniors wanted her. Geez, I hadn’t thought about that in years. LOL
LOL, we all do it. Are you a morning person or a night person?
Definitely a morning person. I get up at 4am.
Oh, hmm… does it count if you don’t get to sleep, so you’re up at 4 am? Does that make me a morning person Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke?
Yes, yes, yes. When they used to have those taste test commercials I so wanted to be on them. I think there’s a distinctive difference between Pepsi and Coke. If so, which do you prefer? Pepsi!
I can tell the difference too. Well, thanks for hanging out with us today at The Menagerie. It has been so much fun getting to know each other. To know more about Amber visit her here at her website.
Amber Skyze is an new author of erotic romance. I’ve written fiction and non-fiction for over 14 years. I spent the first ten years of my career writing for the Trues – True Confessions, True Romance, etc. I also write magazine articles. My love for erotic romance didn’t come to light until I met my husband. Then all the bells went off – I want to write erotica, I want to write erotica! My husband’s a wonderful inspiration and research partner
Talk Dirty to Topaz by Amber Skyze
Interior Designer Teagan Topaz doesn’t believe in love, after finding her fiancé in bed doing the nasty with another woman. Nine long months later Teagan finds herself sexually frustrated, due to a recent surge of explicit sex phone calls on her business line.
Frank Black needs Teagan’s expertise to put the finishing touches on a room in his house, but he fantasizes about tying her up and ravishing her.
Will Teagan be able to resist the designs Frank has for her?
Sunday, September 27, 2009
One Tasty Night by Amber Skyze
Taylor Jax has a secret. She fantasizes about seducing longtime friend Shane Griffin. Only problem, he’s eight years her junior – too young in her mind.
During a game of truth or dare her secret is exposed. Challenged by her best friends, Taylor must go into an adult toy store and buy all the accessories needed to live out her fantasy.With another night of truth or dare looming, Taylor makes a bold move. Before her friends can dare her, she plans a full-fledged seduction.
Shane has loved Taylor for as long as he can remember. She enters his store in disguise, prompting him to tease her. To his surprise she agrees to have dinner with him. And when she propositions him he wonders - will one night be enough?
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Thursday, September 24, 2009
Today we're hosting a tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Please give a warm Menagerie welcome to paranormal erotic romance author, Anida Adler!!
So, Anida, let's get this started off right! Where are you from?
I grew up in South Africa, in a town called Boksburg, which is near Johannesburg. Adventure fell into my lap when I got married. I had the chance to live in beautiful Cape Town and take long walks on the wide, white beaches there.
The Afrikaner culture capital Pretoria gave me the opportunity to see places like the Voortrekker Monument.
On a farm near Bloemfontein, I learned how to handle sick sheep and what to feed pigs. I also got a job as a radio presenter, which was fun. I always found it difficult to understand why people spoke of 'big sky', until I moved to Ireland and experienced 'small sky'.
We moved back to Johannesburg, where I did the career woman thing as newsreader for a much bigger radio station. Let me just say it was not for me, and I'm glad I'm out of it.
I love the pictures -- they are amazing. So, tell me, when and why did you begin writing?
I started writing as soon as I could string words together, and I did it because my muse trained me from infancy. She and I have a complicated love-hate relationship, which I lamented in this post http://racingboo.livejournal.com/116589.html
What inspired you to write your first book?
My husband suggested it. I had been writing essays and short stories my whole life, but never thought becoming an author was a realistic goal. He has, throughout our relationship, been more able to see my talents than I have. The subsequent obsession that took hold of me has required a lot of patience and understanding from his side, and I'm lucky indeed that he has given me that in spades.
4. What book are you reading now?
I recently read James Morrow's The Last Witchfinder, Terry Pratchett's Nation and Night Watch, and I read most of Stephen Hodge's The Dead Sea Scrolls, a non-fiction, over the weekend. My husband took James Follett's Wicca out from the library, and I'm eyeing it hungrily. I read A LOT.
I think most writers, do. Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I'm working on a novel about Mandy, who meets a wonderful guy called Torin and embarks on a steamy relationship with him. He's just odd, the way he's in very different moods at different times: either in lawyerly mode, when he's earnest and pragmatic, or in artisty mode when he's exuberant and intense. There's more to Torin than meets the eye, and Mandy will soon get to meet one more of his 'moods', the most challenging part of him to deal with. She's not the only one discovering what Torin truly is. And a creature like him can give great power to the one who kills him.
Here's an excerpt, from the scene where Mindy and Torin first meet:
Mindy's cheeks went numb. Mister Essence-of-Lust had just ordered a cup of tea for her. Frankly, this miracle warranted something stronger. But tea would have to do, the café wasn't licensed for what she really needed.
"I hope you don't mind," he said, "but I saw you were about to leave and I couldn't let you go before talking to you." Anxiety hid in the sound of his voice as if he meant every word. "My name is Torin." He reached a hand over the table. Mindy lifted her own and let him wrap his fingers around it.
His handshake was firm, strong hands with no calluses. He wouldn't have, not a guy in a dark suit that sat comfortably on broad shoulders, striped blue shirt and darker blue tie. "Hiya, Torin." Her voice came out a hoarse whisper and she cleared her throat. He still held her hand, stared at her as if she was an angel that had appeared from thin air in front of him. She resisted the urge to look down at her arm, to see if there was really something like a feather stroking slowly up over her wrist to her inner elbow.
"What's your name?" he asked softly.
"Oh, sorry. Mindy. My name is Mindy."
"Mindy." Could he taste the sound, savour it on his tongue? He let go of her hand, fingertips briefly stroked her palm. Something warm bloomed beneath her navel, spread down into her vagina. The nerve endings around her pussy woke as if stroked by invisible fingers. Her nipples tightened under her tee shirt and she thanked heaven she wore a padded bra.
"Do you live hereabouts, Mindy? It's just, I come here often, and I haven't seen you before."
"I live just around the corner, walking distance. I come to the mall quite often for odds and ends. But I usually go to the cafe on the other side. This one doesn't serve food." She remembered the display case filled with so many mouth-watering cakes that she couldn't make a choice and ended up with just tea on her tray. "I mean, the other one serves real food." He cocked his head to one side, a half-smile on his lips. Mindy cast about in her mind for the right words. "Edible food. You know, um, good food." She nearly fell at the waitress' feet in gratitude when the girl arrived with their order.
A once in a lifetime opportunity, a few minutes with a hunk who'd ordered her tea in a moment of insanity. Shot to hell because she had to go and sound like an idiot. When she glanced at him again, he was grinning. The waitress trotted away and he nodded. "I know exactly what you mean. Not the kind of food you eat when your sweet tooth is bothersome. The kind you eat when you're hungry." Mindy nodded. Oh, how hungry she was. And not for food. As if reading her mind, Torin's smile faded and he mirrored her nod. "Really hungry."
Sounds awesome!! Okay, enough of the serious stuff. What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?
Cats! They're independent enough to not be a nuisance, but dependent enough to be loved. I think people should be like that, too.
LOL! Me, too, most of the time. Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?
Yes, I despise pictures of myself. In most of them I think I look awful, and I have very few pictures of myself on file. Recently, I've been fortunate to have befriended two ladies who are both into photography. Each of them, on different occasions, took photos of me which I thought were really nice.
You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?
Nothing, thank you. I believe every incident in our lives shapes us into what we are today, and I'm really comfortable with who I am. I love the British band James' song Oh My Heart, which says:
Adore this life, there is no guarantee:
could end by tomorrow.
Adore every fight and opportunity
to give back what was borrowed.
Nothing's sacred, make it shatter.
Nothing's sacred, fall apart.
Oh my heart, oh my heart,
come on, break me in two.
It's both the good and the bad times which make us who we are, and if I change any of that I will be a different person.
Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?
I cry very easily during movies. I find it virtually impossible to distance myself from the tale, to remember that it's not real. Because to me, it actually is real on a certain level. Because I find this very distressing, I avoid watching sad films. The one I remember most vividly was Dances with Wolves, which I went to see with my sister. It took us probably an hour to make our way out of the theatre, as I'd think I'm composed now and get up, then start crying again and had to sit down to pull myself together. It's just not worth the trauma I feel, so I stick to happy films.
Do you like thunderstorms?
I love thunderstorms, and by chance I have a little excerpt here that I wrote about what rain was like when I grew up:
South Africa might be a dry country, but by God, when it rained, it rained. Especially on the highveld, where I grew up, afternoon thunderstorms sometimes gathered like an avenging army on the horizon to take on the day's heat. The sky turned near black under heaving clouds armed to the teeth with water. Thunder shivered across the laden sky, making it easy to believe the sound was that of giants rolling boulders to and fro in heaven.
A menacing hush settled on the world while the attacking army breathed in to launch its assault.
And then it rained.
Giant drops hurled themselves to the ground like the brief reincarnations of kamikaze pilots. Tiny rivers took shape in gutters within moments as terrified water raced for drains' jaws forced open by iron bars. And within fifteen minutes, half an hour, it would be over. The army, spent and lightened, dispersed. The world stirred back to life, shaken, stunned, yet grateful for the respite from the searing heat.
Thanks for the interview, I really enjoyed it.
Thank you for joining us and best of luck with your book, "The Ancient" -- available now from Loose ID. Here's a little excerpt to whet our readers whistles. And remember folks, if you leave a comment, you're entered to win this adorable bear:
Blurb and excerpt from "The Ancient" by Anida Adler
What would you do if you fell in love with the goddess of death?
June 1945 - Tadhg Daniels sees a woman clad in strange clothes and a feathered cloak, but she’s invisible to everyone else. He’s convinced his mind has been unhinged by the horrors of the D-day landings four days before, but when she appears to him again, the woman proves she is real. She is Morrigan, goddess of death, come to warn him his life is about to end.
Morrigan is disturbed by the man she meets. He looks in her eyes unflinching, while all others avoid her gaze. She’s never found such a strong will to survive in any of her charges before. He refuses to accept he’s going to die.
There is a way for Tadhg to cheat death, a secret Morrigan has guarded for millennia. Morrigan can save him if she takes him as her lover, but sex with the goddess of death will change him. He needs time to decide if he’s prepared to give up his humanity in order to be with her forever.
But Tadhg is not the only one who knows Morrigan’s secret. Someone else wants to take by force the gift she can bestow. And he’ll stop at nothing to get it.
Rat-tat-tat, rat-tat-tat, and two more German soldiers lay dead on the ground that had soaked up the blood of so many good men. The smell of cordite stung his nose and roiled nausea in his stomach. He glanced down at their faces, a seasoned soldier, judging from the lines etched around his mouth, beside him a boy not much older than Stephen.
Not now, not now. There had to be time enough to let the agony of taking life from others flow through his heart. He shoved past Morrigán. Someone fell beside him, and he pulled the trigger, shot and killed, wounded, maimed, and moved on. Bullets zinged an inch past him, and he tumbled into a shell hole beside Mark, breath racing in his chest.
And she was there, beside him, silent, waiting.
“I will not die,” Tadhg growled, but rising fear clutched cold fingers at his throat.
“You’re right there, my friend.” Mark clapped his shoulder. “We’re going to get through this shit together and go horseback riding when this fuckup is over.” He turned his attention back to the fighting, back to the air cloyed with hatred, anger, despair, and fear, and killed more Germans so they would not kill him. “Come on!” Mark shouted to Tadhg and launched himself over the lip of the hole.
Tadhg glanced at Morrigán and hesitated. Her gaze rested on him, and he saw eternity in her eyes. “No, Morrigán. No.” And with that he followed Mark, lifted his body from safety -- and felt the bullets slam into his chest as if time had slowed to a trickle. He fell and slid back into the shell hole, stared up at the blue sky in stunned disbelief.
Sound receded until he lay in utter silence among screams of pain and anger, in the midst of pounding boots and rattling guns. He felt no pain, but it was difficult to breathe, and something wet bubbled on his lips.
Morrigán crouched beside him. Why did she look angry? “You want to live, poet? You want to live no matter what?”
Again he felt that odd sensation of a part of him accepting, looking forward to entering the land of shades. He could blend with the power of running horses, exist in the steaming joy of early morning gallops across dewy fields. Yet inside him, another part rebelled, struggled for life, even as he sensed the last few grains of sand sink to the narrow waist of the hourglass of his measure of days. And as he lay dying, he rested his gaze on Morrigán’s beautiful, pearl-white face, and the part that wanted to live grew, filled him, became all of him.
“Tadhg, answer me. Do you want to live, no matter what the price?”
He couldn’t speak. Dear God, she offered him a chance, and now, because his lungs were filling with blood, he could not force his voice to reach out for what he craved with his entire being. Blackness tinged the edges of his vision; he fought to hold the receding image of her face. He nodded his answer, and she reacted in an instant, flicked her cloak over his body, and Tadhg felt himself falling, falling into a landscape of terrible dreams.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Alright, I'm not really sick, but I sort of feel sick. "Why?" you ask. Well, because I finally finished the requested revisions to my Cowboy story (now with the working title of Claiming Her Cowboy btw) and resubmitted it to The Wild Rose Press.
Thus, the sick feeling. Yes, I made their suggested revisions, but that doesn't mean they're gonna like it and want to keep it. So, while I wait on pins and needles my tummy has decided to flip and flop and generally give me grief. LOL
I'll definitely keep y'all updated. And (fingers crossed) hopefully soon I'll have my very own little book cover over there on the right next to Mysti's! Wish me luck, keep your fingers crossed and I'll let y'all know what happens. :-D
Monday, September 21, 2009
Today, on The Menagerie we have Keta Diablo hanging out with us. It’s been fun getting to know her. We’re pretty excited. So, welcome, Keta! Make yourself comfy. Tell us your latest news?
Two new releases in June have kept me busy promoting. Carnal Cravings released through Dark Roast Press and Crossroads Revisited released through Phaze Publishing.
Great news! Glad you’re doing so well. When and why did you begin writing?
Professionally, I started writing sensual historicals about six years ago, but I’ve written informally for years. Mostly family history type stuff.
How great! Well, I’m sure your family appreciates your writing talents. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I suppose the first time I was offered a contract and was actually paid after the book was released.
That would do it for anyone. What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve always loved reading books, but then I started to collect stories about the pioneers who settled this country. That sparked an interest in writing my first historical novel.
Huh, it’s funny how our love of books is what pushes us to write them ourselves. Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m a “panster” for the most part. I do outline the story in my head, every conversation between characters, every scene, so by the time I sit down to write, I know what comes next. As for style, it depends. I’m wordier in my fantasy and historicals, and very to the point if I’m writing male/male contemporaries. I think this has to do with the pace of the story.
That makes sense if you ask me. And we’re all ‘pantsers’ here at The Menagerie. LOL. How did you come up with titles?
Often I don’t know the title of what I’m writing until at least half-way through the book. Something will trigger the title, either a conversation between the characters or some snippet about one of the character’s past. For example, in Land of Falling Stars, the title didn’t come to me until the heroine, Sophia, commented about her penchant for lying in the grass and watching the stars. She liked to pretend she lived in the Land of Falling Stars as a child.
Ah, how iteresting. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
If there are messages, they are subtle. I try to stay away from anything concerning my own personal or political views while I write. I just write the characters as I see them, and at times, reviewers have said, “Keta Diablo likes to write the “politically incorrect” characters. This isn’t intentional, but I do admit, some of my characters have been very controversial among readers and reviewers. Particularly in my gay fiction. I don’t sugarcoat my characters, but rather write them with all their warts and blemishes. Because readers like to concentrate on the goodness in people, this hasn’t always gone over real well.
How much of the book is realistic?
This is a good time to stress that romance and gay fiction books are simply that, fictional. These people don’t really exist, but seem very real to people. I think that’s why some might take offense at a character like Frank McGuire in the Crossroads series. He’s a tough, take-no-prisoners type of man in his career and in his personal life. Some have found him at the least abrasive, and at best dislikeable. But I call him like I see him as an ex-cop with tons of personal baggage.
I don't think many of us ever forget thtat it's a fantasy. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Never anyone I know personally. I suppose there are preconceived notions about what I imagine them to act like or how I think a certain character might respond were they real. But again, this is only in my imagination and not fashioned after anyone in particular. I don’t know anyone in my life like Frank McQuire or like Dominic Beresford from Carnal Cravings -- my two most controversial characters.
What books have most influenced your life most?
I simply love To Kill A Mockingbird, and read it for the first time when I was in the 5th grade. I read it at least once a year to remind myself how grand it is to open a book and be transported to another time and place by an author’s words.
I’m also fond of the characters in Gone With The Wind, particularly the complexity of Scarlett O’Hara. She was a woman ahead of her time, fearless and beautiful, willing to risk all, including her reputation to get what she wanted. She’s perhaps one of the most selfish characters portrayed in any book I’ve read.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I don’t know about choosing a writer, but I could perhaps choose a book. Windflower by the husband and wife team Laura London resonated with me. It’s one of those books that people either hated or loved, and I loved it. Today the prose would be considered a bit much. Their descriptions were lengthy and verbose, but I fell in love with their characters, could actually picture them and knew who was speaking by the way they were written. The secondary characters in the book were almost as strong as the main characters and could have easily had their own book. Too bad the authors stopped writing after Windflower. I would have loved to seen what happened with the secondary characters.
What book(s) are you reading now?
I have about four I keep going back and forth with. Mostly historical. That’s not a good sign I guess because none have held my interest from the first page long enough to keep me reading. Yet, there is something to learn from every book. I don’t have much time to read, so when I do, I hope to be hooked from the get go. The best kind of books are those you think about long after you’ve returned it to the shelf.
What are your current projects?
I’m in the final edits of a 85,000 word historical. Set during the Civil War and the Dakota Uprising, it’s the story of two brothers who love the same woman. Needless to say, there’s a lot of angst and conflict in a story like this. And there’s some violence to keep it realistic for the events that happened back then.
I’m also anxiously awaiting the release of Cecilia Tan’s Anthology called Boys of the Bite. My story involves a Sin Eater and a Vampire. I was very fortunate Cecilia chose my story for this anthology and can’t wait to see how it’s received.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
That would be two – readers and reviewers without a doubt. They have been most supportive, kind and generous.
Do you see writing as a career?
I couldn’t possibly see it any other way. I spend most of my daylight hours writing or promoting. And some of my ideas for a novel have come from my dreams. I think I’m way beyond calling my writing a hobby or a part-time vocation.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I try not to look back. Like I said, I call the characters as I see them. To write them to suit someone else would seem false. Not everyone is going to like your book or your characters. I fully understand that and write them with that in mind. You can’t please all the readers, so to venture down that road would be a continual second-guess game. Not a fun way to write for me.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes, what to work on next. I have far too many ideas rambling around in my head and have to make a concerted effort to stay focused. I might have three or four projects going at one time and end up spinning my wheels. I do best if I stick to one Work In Progress until it’s finished before moving on the next.
Who designs the covers?
Since I write for five publishers, the covers are designed by the cover artists that work with each individual publisher. I think some of the best covers I’ve seen are by April Martinez who designs for Ravenous Romance. She’s truly gifted.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
I don’t feel I’m qualified to give advice to other writers. Every writer has to find their own stride, discover what works for them and what doesn’t. It’s a learning process. I guess the only advice I would offer is to stay focused and don’t listen to the naysayers.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
A sincere thank you. I think authors should never lose sight of the fact that without readers, authors wouldn’t exist. Oh, I suppose most would still write for the pure joy of it, but it wouldn’t be much fun if no one read your books or became enthused about them.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I write at all hours of the day, and sometimes the night. It depends on what I have going on in my personal life. If there is something I must attend during the day, I will write late into the evening to make up for lost time. This also means my sleeping schedule is very irregular. But I’m basically a night owl, so this life suits me.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write the book after weeks of planning it out in my head. I write it fairly fast and don’t pay too much attention to structure or grammar at that time. When I’m all done, I go back in and edit the entire manuscript. This often takes almost as long as it did to write the book.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Spend as much time out of doors as possible (weather permitting). I like to read and garden. I spend a lot of time with my cat, Emma LaPounce and my Sheltie.
What does your family think of your writing?
They are very supportive and know when to leave me alone. If they interrupt me to many times for trivial things or things they could have taken care of themselves, they might see a “wee” bit of my Irish temper. For the most part, they know my family comes first, my writing second and so when I’m writing, they are respectful of that.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How many hours and how much work goes into writing a book. I think a lot of people think you just sit down and a short time later, voila! Everything is ready to send off to the publisher. I hear a lot of people say, “I’m going to sit down and write a book.” And I say under my breath, “Good luck with that.”
How many books have you written?
I think I’m on my eleventh right now. Wow, that seems like a lot and yet I read all the time about authors who are on their 36th book and their 48th book. I have to hand it to them – that’s a lot of writing.
Which is your favorite?
That’s like asking me to name my favorite child. I like all the books I’ve written but for different reasons. Either I fell in love with the hero or was sad to see the story end. If I had to choose what I like to write best that would be erotica historical.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Study the craft. Read everything you can about writing and publishing. Knowledge is power. Learn the basic rules and then learn when you can break them. (lol)
You can keep with Keta at her author blog, and her http://ketadiablo.blogspot.com online.
Decadent Deceptions, A 2008 Molly Contest Finalist by Keta Diablo
Noble Romance (http://www.nobleromance.com
About the book:
Daring and desperate to win Morgan’s love, Olivia Breedlove embarks on a reckless folly. But everything backfires when Morgan remains one step ahead of her and the game ventures down a path of duplicity and murder.
A decade ago, Morgan was a heartbeat away from taking Olivia’s virginity. Her father, Thaddeus, intervened and threatened to meet him over pistols if he so much as looked at his daughter again. But now, Thaddeus is dead and Morgan has no intention of ignoring the ravenous hunger he’s harbored for the blasted woman for ten years.
One way or the other, he will quench this burning desire and make her his forever.
Special Content Alert: Voyuerism
Crossroads Revisited by Keta Diablo
Phaze Publishing (http://www.phaze.com
The exciting sequel to Crossroads!
Frank McGuire is beginning to think the City has become a melting pot for serial killers. Another maniac is stalking the streets, only this time the deviant isn't tracking Goth girls, but gay college students. Rumors surface that put Frank's life in jeopardy, and somehow he must protect Rand from the carnage about to unfold. What he didn't count on was Rand becoming the killer's next victim.
Elements: scenes of intense sexuality
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
There is a new study about women and how they feel
about their asses, the results were pretty
30% of women think their ass is too fat...........
10% of women think their ass is too skinny......
The remaining 60% say they don't care, they love him, he's a good man, and they wouldn't trade him for the world.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
A few days ago, an author whose blog I frequent on a daily basis, and who I have a IRL albeit long-distance relationship with, announced her latest release and posted the dedication in it. It thanked the people who read her blog regularly and commented and then proceeded to say "especially..." and listed a dozen, some of whom she didn't even know by name, only by blog title.
I wasn't there.
Now, I know it's not a big deal, and I know she both appreciates my support and my friendship, and she certainly didn't owe me anything, but it still stung a little. Silly? Maybe. Even so, it got me to thinking about how easily it would be to alienate someone that way.
The thing is, I don't expect to ever be listed in a dedication -- but I guess when you include a group of people to whom I belong, it's a painful little poke when I don't get named.
I write and publish mainstream romance under a different name. That name and this name shall never be spoken in the same breath for a variety of reasons. I bring this up because in my first published novel I mentioned a group of people in the dedication, and then did an "especially..." and listed some names. And now I wonder -- did I hurt someones feelings by NOT listing them?
I doubt I'll ever do that again in a dedication. I'll do one or the other. I'll say, "Thanks to my writing group." or "Thanks to JoBeth, Jolene and Joe Bob." And, I know that it may seem silly or petty or any number of adjectives, but I know how sad the situation made me feel for a bit, and I don't want anyone else to feel that way because of me if I can help it.
What do you think? Am I wrong to feel the way I do? Did I overreact to the situation? How do you decide what to put in your dedications (and do you ever consider how it will make people feel)?
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Speaking of cowboy stories (ya like how I segued there?): Our good friend Sandy Sullivan had a release last week! Way to go Sandy! (Yup, give me a holler and I'll announce yours too... lol) Her book Cowboy Love came out on Thursday the 10th of September, and is available from Siren Publishing. It looks purty good too!
Cowboy Love by Sandy Sullivan
Amy Russell has sworn off men until she runs into Tanner Lewis. His muscular chest, soft brown eyes and drop dead gorgeous, sexy dimpled smile has her rethinking her decision. Can she learn to trust again, especially a cowboy, after her ex broke her heart? Will she let Tanner penetrate the shell around her heart?
Tanner's been burned. Yeah, he was in love once, until he caught his fiancé in bed with his best friend. Now all he wants is to get his singing career on the right path. Just when he thinks things are going perfectly, he runs smack into Amy Russell, horse tamer extraordinaire and registered nurse. As he watches her take a difficult horse and turn it into a docile pussycat with nothing more than soft words and a kind touch, he's fascinated, but Amy doesn't want a relationship. Can he convince her there's nothing better than a cowboy's love?
Monday, September 14, 2009
Hey, all, we’re hanging out on the couch today with our good friend Dalton Diaz. Let’s all make sure she feels welcome. Welcome to our couch, Dalton, it’s so great to have you here today. Let’s get started: Where are you from?
I’m, like, a Valley Girl from Cali. Yeah, wish I were kidding. Wrong side of the tracks, tho, so is this where I admit I’m from the porn capital of the world? What can I say, it’s a diverse place. Rad. Like, totally.
LOL, s’alright, we won’t hold it against you. Do you have any new news?
New news? Well, Stray Lovers finally came out on 8/21, and it's the one I was telling you about that's the fundraiser. Ashlyn Chase and I just sold a Quickie that will be titled, "Strokes" but there's no release date yet. Illegal Moves got a new cover as it's going to print - not a bare butt in sight! Oh, and I'll be signing at Romanticon in Oct.
HA, I remember that conversation… no one would post your cover. I think there aren’t enough bare butts on it in my opinion. LOL. Congrats on all the other good news! If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Suzanne Brockmann. There have been many since, but she was my first mentor. If it weren’t for her, I never would have joined RWA and finally realized my dream of being a published author. Her fee? Pass it on. She’s truly an amazing, caring lady and that extends to outside of the romance world as well. She’s out there, making a difference.
Wow, a fantastic author, and a great person as well! Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
There are two who really stand out for me. Suzanne Brockmann because I know I can just relax and let myself go on whatever ride she wants to take me. Gaps will be filled and things will make sense. One of the casualties of becoming a writer is being able to let go and just be a reader. She’s one of the few authors I can still do that with. Another is Joey Hill. It doesn’t matter if you’re not into whatever genre she writes about, you get it. That’s talent.
Wow, those are both awesome authors, but my fave is Joey W. Hill. She’s amazing, and all of her books just suck me right on it. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Without you, I couldn’t justify the time it takes to do this. I wouldn’t be doing what I love to do, and where I fit.
How sweet! What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I can’t get a feel for the characters until I figure out a black moment. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the black moment that’s used in the book, in fact, it usually gets completely discarded. What I need to see is how the characters react in order to get a real feel for them. Once I have that, I’ll literally go back and revamp the beginning so we can all see what got them to that reaction. Does that even make sense? LOL! Well, you did ask for quirky, and I am one of the Quirky Ladies!
Yup, makes perfect sense to me. LOL When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I can remember walking around in middle school with a notebook that I would write scenes in. I shared them with a guy friend once, and only once. Embarrassed the heck out of him. I guess I was a little ahead of my time.
I’ll bet he still remembers you too! And now for our ‘nothing whatsoever to do with writing’ questions: Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?
Yes, because I don’t photograph well! I have taken maybe three or four good pics in my life – no lie. The camera just doesn’t love me. Ironically, I took an excellent driver’s license photo, then got married a few months later and had to get a new license. That pic, and every one that has followed, has been beyond hideous.
Poor Dalton… I’m sorry. I was so excited the first time I got a license that actually looked like me. That was fun! You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?
The coolest girl in grade school standing up in front of all of our friends and saying she hadn’t wanted to invite me to her party in the first place. I had had an airhead moment, but nothing mean. Certainly nothing warranting that humiliation. It’s amazing how you never forget those moments. Do you think it would be cathartic to humiliate her in a book? Hmmm.
Hey, go for it! Then again, that’s like using your power for evil instead of good…. Hmmm… must ponder that one. What is your favorite animal?
That would be the Guinea Pig. I never in a million years thought I would love something so rodent-like, but there it is. They rule! They’re sweet, they purr, they’re not loud or nocturnal, and the more attention you give them, the cooler they become. I do love all animals, and I get a good fix at work every day. Mostly dogs and cats, but we see our fair share of rabbits, Guinea Pigs, and birds, too.
Guinea Pigs, huh? Have you seen G-Force? Just wondering. Are you a morning person or a night person?
You know, my first instinct is to say I’m definitely a night person. The problem is, I’m really not coherent after about 9 pm. I’m a night owl, I’m just not a very functional night owl.
LOL, I can sort of relate to that. Usually my non-functional night owl traits come from meds. If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?
Equality for all. There’s nothing that irritates me more than people who sit in judgment of others. I’m not talking about actions that hurt innocent people here; I’m talking about preferences in religion, lifestyle, sexuality, etc. I’m not trying to open up a can of worms, I’m simply saying live and let live. If you don’t like something, don’t do it, read it, believe it. That doesn’t mean you get to dictate what others do, read, and believe. OK, I’m stepping off my soapbox now, but you did ask!
You’re right, I did ask. No problem. I tend to agree anyway. LOL Thanks so much for hanging out on the couch with us today, Dalton. It was great fun getting to know you even better and laughing while I did this interview. Don’t be a stranger, hon. Come visit us as much as you can.
When asked to give us a bio… this is what Dalton gave us:
Hmm. I have no idea why people want to know what makes me… me, but here it goes:
My favorite hobby is reading, and I am a complete romance snob. If a story doesn’t have romance, it isn’t worth it. If there’s hot sex, it’s extra worth it.
My favorite food is anything that isn’t brussel sprouts or scallops. Dark chocolate is way at the top of the list. If there’s hot sex with dark chocolate, it’s extra worth it.
My favorite music ranges from sixties pop to nineties grunge, with some heavy metal thrown in. But the eighties will always rule. That’s about when I discovered hot sex and dark chocolate, so there’s no contest.
Let’s face it, fantasy is usually a lot more fun than reality. Not always, but usually. As a writer, one can be anything, do anything, say anything that comes to mind. There are a thousand and one ways to make things happen, each one more exciting than the last. Case in point: I don’t choose Ranger or Morelli. I choose Ranger AND Morelli, preferably covered in dark chocolate.
This is the best job in the world.
You can keep up with Dalton at her website and blog.
Illegal Moves by Dalton Diaz & Samantha Cayto
Attorney Caroline Ellis wants a decent orgasm or twenty. Sex has been mediocre since she and Jordan Fox split, and he owes her for breaking his word and her heart.
Businessman Jordan Fox wants to win back the woman he loves. He regrets not going through with that ménage in college, but the idea of letting another man touch him had made him run. It was the biggest mistake of his life, and long past time to make it right.
Secretly bisexual attorney Seth Foster has his fist wrapped around a recurrent fantasy that Jordan, his boss and best friend, is not completely hetero. Never in those wildest dreams did he imagine it could come true.
Jordan's determination to get Caroline back could fulfill each of their fantasies, and more.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Love Cuffs by Ashlyn Chase & Dalton Diaz
At thirty-eight, Hope Daniels is a Jersey cop with superhuman hearing and a controlling mother. And she’s about to marry any sane woman’s last choice of a groom. Right before she walks down the aisle, she hears distant screams. Figuring someone should be rescued, she bolts from her mother’s vision of a royal wedding. But when she breaks down the door of a BDSM club, she’s the one who winds up in handcuffs.
Dorian Markoff is intent on using a hypnotist to wipe the beautiful cop’s mind of his—and his club’s—existence. But the hypnotist is in Vegas so a mad romp ensues, involving lots of hot vanilla-ish sex that turns his BDSM lifestyle upside down.
Neither guesses what an adventure it will be to find the hypnotist, avoid one unintentionally snubbed Dominatrix, and explain it all to Hope’s mother. All while falling in love.
Want to see your book commercial here? Go here to find out how!
Friday, September 11, 2009
One morning 3 South Carolina good old boys and 3 Yankees were in a ticket line at the Greenville train station heading to Charlotte for a big football game.
The 3 Northerners each bought a ticket and watched as the 3 Southerners bought just one ticket among them.
"How are the 3 of you going to travel on one 1 ticket?" asked one of the Yankees.
"Watch and learn" answered one of the boys from the South.
When the 6 travelers boarded the train, the 3 Yankees sat down, but the 3 Southerners crammed into a bathroom together and closed the door.
Shortly after the train departed, the conductor came around to collect tickets.
He knocked on the bathroom door and said, "tickets please." the door opened just a crack and a single arm emerged with a ticket in hand. The Conductor took it and moved on.
The Yankees saw this happen and agreed it was quite a clever idea.. Indeed, so clever that they decided to do the same thing on the return trip and save some money.
That evening after the game when they got to the Charlotte train station, they bought a single ticket for the return trip while to their astonishment the 3 Southerners didn't buy even 1 ticket.
"How are you going to travel without a ticket?" asked one of the perplexed Yankees.
"Watch and learn", answered one of the Southern boys.
When they boarded the train the 3 Northerners crammed themselves into a bathroom and the 3 Southerners crammed themselves into the other bathroom across from it.
Shortly after the train began to move, one of the Southerners left their bathroom and walked quietly over to the Yankee's bathroom. He knocked on the door and said "ticket please"...
There's just no way on God's green earth to explain how the Yankees won the war...
Monday, September 7, 2009
Today on the couch we are so happy to have Lisa Lane join us. Welcome to The Menagerie, Lisa. So glad you’re here. Let’s get started: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing as a young child, around eight or nine years old. The thought of creating a work that might offer others the same fulfillment I felt when I read my favorite authors’ books inspired me to write my first short story. I do not recall much about the work beyond the fact that it was about good witch and her cat, and I’m sure it lacked the structure and story development I would later learn was necessary for a good read, but it was mine and I was proud of it. I bound the twelve-page behemoth with a cardboard cover, complete with crayon drawings. I’ve been writing ever since.
LOL, love it. That would be a great keepsake if you could find it. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
All of my novels have one or more messages in them, and I try to make them clear with use of theme and other literary elements. I do also have a common theme throughout my works. I love to make statements about human nature, judgment, control, and beliefs, but I won’t spoil the fun for any potential readers by disclosing any more. I will say that I write even my most non-literary works with potential critical analysis in mind.
Well, guess that just means we’ll have to read them. :-D Do you see writing as a career?
Yes and no. I am a writer. No matter what else I might be doing at any given time, be it managing at a pet store or finishing my degree, I am a writer. With that said, it would be a dream come true to be able to write—and only write—for a living. Writing is not work for me, even when I have insane deadlines or I have to make edits I don’t want to make, it is a pleasure. It is my purpose in life, and I’ll do it until the day I die. God willing, I’ll entertain and enrich a few lives in the process.
That’s a great philosophy to have. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I want to thank those who have taken the time to read my books, especially those who have offered their feedback and/or support. I am very excited about my upcoming projects, and I hope to be able to share more with you soon. Thank you for helping me to grow as a writer. You have not seen anything yet.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Depending on how hard the muses drive me, it can take me anywhere from one to three months to write a 50,000-60,000 word novel.
Wow, I don’t think it matters how hard my muse drives me… it just takes time. Good for you! Now for our “absolutely nothing to do with writing” questions: Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?
I do not like the way I look in most pictures, but I don’t hate how I look in them. I cannot for the life of me smile naturally for the camera, and I generally look goofy in candid shots. I’m just not photogenic. Such is life.
LOL, ah, well at least everyone will remember you in the pictures! Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?
I am right-handed, but I write with the paper turned 90 degrees, my arm wrapped around the paper, like people who write left-handed.
Oh, I’ll bet that gives you a kink in your neck! You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?
I wouldn’t erase any of them. They molded me into who I am today, and I say that with the utmost of honesty. I have been through much in this life, including surviving an abusive relationship and spending a year in bed, due to a serious illness, but I appreciate every little positive in my life. I’m not spoiled, and I think I’m a better person for it.
That’s the way we all should look at it. Great answer! Have you ever made a crank phone call? If yes, explain what you did.
I am ashamed to admit that I made numerous crank calls when I was a kid, before Caller ID was commonplace. The calls varied depending on who I was with, but my antics were typical: “Is John there?” Wait for the likely “I’m sorry but there’s no John here,” and then reply, “Then where do you ****?”
Somehow… I’m not surprised. Are you a morning person or a night person?
I’m definitely a night person. I have been for most of my life. It is not by choice, but I do enjoy the quiet calm of the late night/early morning hours.
I can certainly relate to the ‘not by choice’ part of that. If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?
I would wish that life were not so fleeting. I’ve found that our lives move in chapters, each with good and bad, neither everlasting. There is so much in this world I would love to experience, so much I would love to learn and do, but I find far too often that life to gets in the way, so to speak. Time is precious; I wish there were more of it.
Great wish! I agree. Well, that’s the end of our interview. Thank you so much for hanging out with us today, Lisa. Don’t be a stranger, we loved having you here.
Lisa Lane lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their two cats. She has written over a dozen novels and screenplays, as well as numerous short stories and essays, and she prides herself in her ability to move between different genres and formats. Her literary influences include Olaf Stapledon, Kurt Vonnegut, and Anne Rice. Lisa likes to keep busy, often working on multiple projects at once, and recently finished a screen adaptation for a Hugo award-winning novelette.
You can keep up with Lisa on the web here at her site.
The Darkness and the Night III: Twins of Darkness by Lisa Lane
Karen learns quickly that being both a mother and a vampire is no easy task, especially since her children, fraternal twins Anna and Andy, are not typical kids. Anna, although seemingly human, has the unique ability to not only travel the Astral, but also manipulate objects and people between planes. Andy also appears to be a normal human boy, but appearances prove disastrously deceiving.
With the help of her blood donor and lover, Jason, Karen does her best to offer the twins a "normal" suburban life. Despite them, Anna and Andy come into their own, exploring their family's past . . . and the very different beings they are both slowly becoming. In the process, the author takes us on a wild ride that breaks beyond the boundaries of time and reality, sexual exploration, love and sacrifice... and back to the vampire commune.
Author note: Although this book stands alone well, it is best read after the first two installments.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Have you ever told a white lie? You are going to love this--especially all of the ladies who bake for church events.
Alice Grayson was to bake a cake for the Baptist Church ladies' group bake sale in Tuscaloosa, but she forgot to do it until the last minute.
She remembered it the morning of the bake sale and after rummaging through cabinets she found an angel food cake mix and quickly made it while drying her hair and dressing and helping her son Bryan pack up for Scout camp.
But when Alice took the cake from the oven, the center had dropped flat and the cake was horribly disfigured. She said, "Oh dear, there's no time to bake another cake."
This cake was so important to Alice because she did so want to fit in at her new church, and in her new community of new friends. So, being inventive, she looked around the house for something to build up the center of the cake.
Alice found it in the bathroom -- a roll of toilet paper & newspaper. She plunked it in and then covered it with icing. Not only did the finished product look beautiful, it looked perfect!
Before she left the house to drop the cake by the church and head for work, Alice woke her daughter Amanda and gave her some money and specific instructions to be at the bake sale the minute it opened at 9:30, and to buy that cake and bring it home.
When the daughter arrived at the sale, she found that the attractive perfect cake had already been sold. Amanda grabbed her cell phone and called her Mom. Alice was horrified. She couldn't imagine what had gone wrong. Alice was beside herself. Everyone would know, what would they think? "Oh, my," she wailed! She would be ostracized, talked about, ridiculed. All night Alice lay awake in bed thinking about people pointing their fingers at her and talking about her behind her back.
The next day, Alice promised herself that she would try not to think about the cake and she would attended the fancy luncheon/bridal shower at the home of a friend of a friend and try to have a good time. Alice did not really want to attend because the hostess was a snob who more than once had looked down her nose at the fact that Alice was a single parent and not from the founding families of Tuscaloosa, but having already RSVP 'd she could not think of a believable excuse to stay home.
The meal was elegant, the company was definitely upper crust old South. Then, to Alice's horror, the CAKE in question was presented for dessert.
Alice felt the blood drain from her body when she saw the cake. She started out of her chair to rush to tell her hostess all about it, but before she could get to her feet, the Mayor's wife said, "What a beautiful cake!"
Alice, who was still stunned, sat back in her chair when she heard the hostess (who was a prominent church member) say, "Thank you, I baked it myself."
Alice smiled and thought to herself, "GOD is good."
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Okay, we authors are always talking about how our characters take over, or how they tell us something and all of a sudden things just make sense.
Well, aside from revisions and edits to two finished WIPs, I am in the middle of writing a story that involves shifters. Shifters that I have thought were wolves this entire time. Some of y'all will remember a certain flash-fiction that I did that started the whole Alpha shifter story that includes a pretty hot menage. (No, that's not in the flash-fiction, but it's hinted at.) Anyway... I sort of hit a spot that just sat there... and sat there... and went stagnant. I couldn't figure out why I was so unable to continue and why the characters seemed to be so uncooperative. Now, I've heard some authors say that there is no such thing as the characters taking over, or telling you what to write; that it's all the subconscious. Umm... even if it is, it explains the voices that demand to be heard. Leave me my illusions please.
So, here I am turning on my computer and staring at the blinking cursor wondering why I can't get the words to come. Why aren't their characteristics and behaviors easier for me to get down? Yeah, the little buggers were letting me stew... the alpha very quietly harrumphed (with his Irish accent) and informed me that perhaps the reason I couldn't get them down was because I had the wrong species of shifter down. "We aren't dogs, m'dear. We're cats." Well... excuuuuuuuuse me, but to my knowledge there weren't big cats in Ireland, so how the hell was I gonna explain that one? He just smiled and wandered off to torment his queen.
Today, I figured, "Hey, I'll just see if there is anything to this whole big cats in Ireland thing." and plugged it into that handy-dandy Google box. You should have seen the shock on my face when article after article popped up on the screen. I even found an entire site devoted entirely to the study and investigation of big cat sightings in Ireland. We're talking sightings of leopards, tigers, and even a lion or two. I don't ever remember seeing any articles about this before, so it leaves me wondering how my CHARACTERS knew it before I did.
Now, after reading some of these articles my muse took off running and things are moving along and making sense. And of course my characters are much happier now that I've stopped calling them "dogs" and started calling them kitties... Okay, they don't like kitties much either, but they agree it's better than dog.
How about you? Has that ever happened before where your characters seemed to know something before you did? How do you deal with it? Do you just go with the flow?