Monday, June 30, 2008

Not exactly a historical but definitely spicey!

or should that be spacey?

Yay! Finally the new cover for 'Secured Mail' my follow-up book to 'Planet Mail' from Ellora's Cave (yes, I do get around a bit) a scintillating tale of intergalactic viking love. It comes out in e-book form on July 30th.

I like writing these fun books occasionally after all the angst my Regency heroes put me through. These intergalactic vikings are honorable straight-forward sexy men who love women-who could ask for more?

Here's a quick blurb:

Sven Magnusson’s stuck on Planet Earth sexually serving his queen, Douglass and dealing with a culture where women don’t seem to want a man’s protection. As he struggles to understand Earth females, the queen encourages him to get laid. Of course, Thea Cooper, the only woman who appeals to him, thinks men are useful for one thing and on a one night only basis. Despite their clash of sexual cultures and the fury of their heated erotic encounters, can Sven find a way to convince Thea that her future belongs with him on Planet Valhalla?

And something else fun-if you are a writer-I got a mention in Publisher's Weekly! Here's the link

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Erastes interview!

Come on over to Risky Regencies today where Erastes is talking about, and giving away a copy of her latest book, Speak Its Name.

Friday, June 27, 2008

In praise of pretty boys

Alpha males? Forget 'em. (And apologies in advance for having one of the posts I claim to despise, full of pictures of attractive men and my Youtube favorites.)

I like men who aren't afraid to wear makeup or silk or elaborate clothing that emphasizes both their masculine and feminine sides. As Jo Beverly says of Georgian men, the delicious thing is that all this fine plumage only disguised the hawks beneath ... most gentlemen routinely wore swords, and knew how to use them.

How about a man who ... isn't really a man? Or is he? How about the gorgeous Billy Crudup in a dress and out of a dress in Stage Beauty? Here's a wonderful scene where actor Ned Kynaston demonstrates what's beneath his magnificent skirts--you're much too beautiful to be a man--and an intensely erotic scene where he and Maria (Claire Danes) explore roles. I wish I could write something as sexy and beautiful as the weaving hands here.

The ultimate in sexual ambiguity of the eighteenth century was the castrato--an international superstar singer like Farinelli. Trained since childhood, and with the advantages of height and huge lung capacity, castrati could perform amazing musical feats of breath and control, rarely attempted by modern singers, although virtuoso mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux is one of the few who can handle this repertoire. When the 1994 movie Farinelli was made, his "voice" was digitally created using counter-tenor Derek Lee Ragin and coloratura Ewa Godlewska's voices as raw material--read more here.

And here's a gorgeous scene from Farinelli using that engineered voice--I love the way it shows the
very stylized stage (watch for the erectile peacock) and the typical audience behavior at the opera. It's Farinelli's London debut, at which the crowd really did shout "One God, one Farinelli," although the movie uh, embroidered the history a bit (but who are we to point fingers?). The aria Lascia ch'io pianga is from the opera Rinaldo by Handel (the gentleman with the wig)--and you'll see why the words are so appropriate for a castrato to sing:

Let me lament
my cruel destiny
and yearn for liberty!

May grief, in its mercy,
shatter the bonds
of my torment

Who are your favorite pretty boys?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer Lovin'

Margaritas are, hands down, the best summer drink. (And enough of them can lead to what I call 'summer lovin', hence the title.)

They're cool, they're pretty, they're sexy, and they can be sweet or sour.

And I'm here to tell you how to make super simple designer margaritas.

Ready? Okay.

All you need is sugar, ice, tequila...and Kool-Aid. That's right--Kool-Aid's not just for kids anymore. No sirreee.

Pick out your favorite, most intriguing Kool-Aid flavor. Ice-Blue Raspberry Lemonade, anyone? Swirling Strawberry Starfruit? Soarin' Strawberry Lemonade? You get the idea.

Make the packet of Kool-Aid (I usually don't add as much sugar as the packet calls for) as directed, and then simply use that as your margarita mixer. Add tequila and ice to taste...and voila!

Designer margaritas.

Let me know how it goes and how much of the pitcher you drink yourself, okay?

PS You can also do the same for martinis by simply adding vodka (flavored vodka works too!) instead of tequila.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Porn for Women

Not only was that basically the topic at Wiscon a few weeks back (the true title was: “Porn Crushes the Patriarchy”) but it is the title of a book given to me last week.

I have never laughed so hard in my life.

Beautifully photographed with men in various states of undress.

Here’s an example: imagine if you will, a handsome, dark-haired man, his shirt off, showing nice pecs and abs but not anywhere near the over-developed man-titty we all giggle at.

His boxers are peeking out from the top of his jeans and he is barefoot on a white shag rug in front of a fireplace.

In one hand, he holds the handle of a... vacuum cleaner. And the caption reads: “I love a clean house.”

It was put together by the Cambridge Women’s Pornography Cooperative, photographs by Susan Anderson, published by Chronicle Books and the ISBN is 978-0-8118-5551-8

And it kinda makes me think we’ve missed the boat in claiming erotic romance as porn for women. What it should be is romantic comedy with guys doing the things they should be doing, but never do, like putting the toilet seat down.

To say any more would give away the sheer delight of this book. And it was verily the most perfect gift for me.

So, folks, porn for women: does it crush the patriarchy, is it erotic romance, or should it be romantic comedy?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hot Silk and Naked Shoulders

I booked my flight to London yesterday, which means that my planned research trip to England this October is now a reality! It turned out that several members of my RWA chapter planned to go at the same time, so we’ve made it a joint trip and are renting an apartment. Now the real preparation begins! I have books on Jack the Ripper to read, and Regency locations to list so I can see them, and I’m also hoping to do some side excursions. Plus I’m looking forward to going to bookstores. What if I actually saw myself (i.e. a book of mine) in one of the stores? Boggles the mind. It’s like that scene in a Dirk Gently book by Douglas Adams, where a time-traveling professor claims that he hates to run into himself when he’s gone back in time. He never knows where to look.

I must admit it’s tough to follow up Pam’s amazing post of yesterday. I thought her comments on covers were really interesting. And I have to admit that I’m drawn to pick up covers like the one on The Edge of Impropriety. The elegant, historical female image is eye-candy for me—it looks like chocolate in a classy, lavish wrapper, and I cannot wait to delve inside.
I’ve also just received the artwork for my upcoming cover for The Club, my first book with Bantam/Dell. It took my breath away. Naked male shoulders were involved, and I do have a weakness for male shoulders.

I have to get back to the kids—I’m late posting and we have a truck-load of books to return to the library. The kids are antsy to replenish the supply, and I sure can’t deny them when they are so excited about books. So I’m posting an excerpt from my upcoming book Hot Silk. This one will be out in October—this excerpt is a little different. In Hot Silk my heroine originally makes love to the wrong man. Not a case of mistaken identity, but misplaced love. She thinks she is in love and discovers she’s not. How will romance readers react, I wonder?

Here goes…
"Touch me."
"Only if you take the blade from your heart."
"I will plunge it in if you leave me now. If you do not touch me. I cannot live without your touch. I could go to another woman. I know you are thinking that. I could bury my heavy, aching cock into her and fuck until my brain explodes and all the while I would be in pain because I wanted you. Do you have any idea what bloody torture that is?"
"I think I know."
"I want to marry you, Grace. All I need is a yes. One simple word."
"Yes." And there was no turning back. She hungered to touch him, and, once she did, she had to go forward.
If she touched him, she had to agree to do everything a husband and wife were intended to do. Slowly, she pulled off her glove—a white, virginal, and utterly irritating scrap of satin. She reached out, touching her fingertips to his chest, his skin hot and damp beneath her touch.
"Take the knife away," she breathed. He was drunk and his hand cupped her bottom—a place a man’s hand had never been—but she was afraid he would crush her to him and stab himself by accident.
He was young. Spoiled. Passionate. Wild.
Hers. With one simple word.
"Yes," she said again, to ensure there was no mistake, and she released a sigh of relief as he tossed the blade back to the desk. But in the next instant, he slid her skirts, petticoats and all, up her thighs. He pulled her drawers down before she could squeak, held her as she stepped out of them.
"You smell of lust, Grace. You stink of it and I love your smell. I want to cover my hands in it, my cock in it."
His earthy words made her more wet, more creamy and slick, and she could smell herself, flushing as she did so.
"Now, hold up your skirts for me and let me explore."
She obeyed and his hands slid around her naked inner thighs. His palms were strong, a little rough, and as he squeezed her skin she feared she’d fall to the floor.
"Stand up, Grace," he commanded in a growl and his hands skimmed higher, up and up to the juncture of her thighs, to her hot and sticky quim. "Part your legs for me a little more."
She did, aware of the wetness leaking down her inner thighs.
"Ah, yes, good girl," he murmured, and his look of fierce hunger softened with his heart-breaking smile. "Lovely, soft curls."
His fingers combed through them and she squirmed. Her quim felt tight and achy and hot and she was wriggling to ease the tension.
"Is your clit hard now? Would it like to feel my fingers stroking it? Would you like me to rub hard?"
She had no idea. A strangled, confused groan slipped from her lips. His bold erotic talk was what she wanted but not entirely what she’d expected. She was to be his wife—she’d thought he would be sweet. It would be sensuous and they would not speak—
Like a statue, she stood, unable to move, and his long, strong fingers slid into her cleft. It felt so good, it felt--

Excerpt from Hot Silk © Sharon Page

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sex or Science

From the New York Times's Thursday Style Section of June 12:

...scientists at the frontiers of research on the eternal question of what women find erotic... [say it's]... not naked guys, or at least simply naked guys.
You can read the whole thing here. But for me the central point is the study by Dr. Meredith Chivers at the University of Toronto, wherein she "showed people video clips of naked men and women in various sexual and nonsexual situations and measured their genital arousal," and during which:
Heterosexual women... were no more excited by athletic naked men doing yoga or tossing stones into the ocean than they were by the control footage: long pans of the snowcapped Himalayas.
When straight women viewed a video of a naked woman doing calisthenics... their blood flow increased considerably.

On the one hand, this was hardly a surprise to me -- or probably to anyone who came up through the heady days of second-wave feminism when we discovered for ourselves that images of women could be hot. And that, in any case, what wasn't hot was a passive, objectified male body, no matter how gorgeous (at least short of St. Sebastian -- where passive makes its way to active) .
And when Dr. Chivers asked her subjects to rate their own arousal to the videos they watched, the women, whether gay or straight, tended to give higher ratings to films showing women.

My experience exactly, and those of my commadres who were beginning to write our own porn in the 80s and 90s. We simply weren't like the boys with their Playboy spreads, we congratulated ourselves, and que vive, we said as we went out to write hotter stories -- at least for the small press anthologies like Cleis, which has been publishing my Carrie's Story and Safe Word, through several years and through multiple reprintings now.

Fast forward to the current mass erotica and erotic romance market.

Well, the money doesn't lie, does it? Or so one must assume, from the constant prodding from romance marketers like BGI's Sue Grimshaw that male torsos sell? Not to speak of those repeated exhortations (I expect more of them this summer at RWA National) to cut the f-f episodes (straight women will be turned off) and double the testosterone, as though the animals on George Orwell's famous farm were bleeting in chorus two pecs good, four pecs be-e-e-ter.

But here I can see that I'm getting the covers confused with the prose. Only two pecs per cover, I believe is the rule -- even if I'd make a beeline for a book sporting this graphic, copped from a wonderful earlier tea party post by Kate Pearce.

Lord that picture's hot -- because, I think, of the emotionality implied, and the fascinating play of dark and light, likeness and contrast. To me, it's the extremes of activity and passivity -- the implied narrativity in a non-narrative form -- that's arousing, and that just might circle us back to Professor Chivers' study results.

Except that the cover thing's not supposed to be about arousal.

As a close reading of this discussion at Dear Author makes clear, it's about... well, I'm not sure what gets triggered in the three minutes you have in which to make a choice at an airport bookstore, but I don't think it's arousal. Something more like genre recognition, making sure the customer got the kind of book she was looking for. I don't think cover art is supposed to bewitch, bother, bewilder you or make you miss your train stop -- I think that's what the prose inside is supposed to do.

But the problem for me here is the implication that a customer knows what she's looking for. Because when I'm the customer, what I'm looking for is the unknown. Reading always has this yummy masochism for me: what I want is to be seduced by a new, confident voice and taken helpless wherever that voice might want to lead me. As the first page of Sarah Waters' lesbian Edwardian romance Tipping the Velvet did for me, when I opened it in Modern Times Bookstore several years ago...
Have you ever tasted a Whitstable oyster? If you have, you will remember it. Some quirk of the Kentish coastline makes Whitstable natives -- as they are properly called -- the largest and the juiciest, the savouriest yet the subtlest, oysters in the whole of England. Whitstable oysters are, quite rightly, famous. The French, who are known for their sensitive palates, regularly cross the Channel for them; they are shipped, in barrels of ice, to the dining-tables of Hamburg and Berlin. Why, the King himself, I heard, makes special trips to Whitstable with Mrs Keppel, to eat oyster suppers in a private hotel; and as for the old Queen, she dined on a native a day (or so they say) till the day she died.

Did you ever go to Whitstable, and see the oyster-parlours there? My father kept one; I was born in it. Do you recall a narrow, weather-boarded house, painted a flaking blue, half-way between the High Street and the harbour? Do you remember the bulging sign that hung above the door, that said that Astley's Oysters, the Best in Kent were to be had within? Did you, perhaps, push at that door, and step into the dim, low-ceilinged, fragrant room beyond it? Can you recall the tables with their chequered cloths? The bill of fare chalked on a board? the spirit-lamps, the sweating slabs of butter?

I'd like to quote the whole thing, the richness, the irresistible, unstoppable onward movement that took me past the sweating slabs of butter to our heroine Nancy, but it's too long already for a blog post. Read it here, though, at Powell's Books.

And then tell me if I should beg for a mantitty cover for some future book. (Or worry that the cover art of The Edge of Impropriety, gorgeous as it is, just isn't going to cut it sales- and display-wise, among all those hunks of meat that yell erotic romance.)

Or tell me what sort of response you have to a mantitty cover. Is it fleshy or financial -- ooh or ka-ching? Perhaps for you it really hits the spot (you know which one) even if it doesn't for me -- because anyway, it would hardly be the first time that a scientific researcher was wrong about something.

And then -- even though it's way too long and even though it's insane for me to put my own stuff in the same post as the sublime Sarah Waters -- here's a bit of f-f for straight girls (or for anybody else) from my erotic novel, Safe Word (w/a Molly Weatherfield), in which our intrepid heroine finds herself in...
..a nursery. Well, that’s what it looked like, anyway -- like that enormous Edwardian dormitory where Wendy, John, and Michael Darling had slept, in Peter Pan. I guessed that whoever owned the house had hired a decorator to create it for their kids, in a fit of upscale retro Anglophile whimsy. It wasn’t a fancy sort of room; it was big and clearly expensive, but the decorator had gone for a sort of shabby, aristocratic, cold-showers-and-beef-tea asceticism. All the more dissonant, then, as a setting for Sylvie and Stephanie and me -- naked in our collars and cuffs. Sylvie was lying on her belly on one of the small white iron beds, carefully making up her face in a mirror propped against the pillows. No smiles from her, not even evil ones. Just calm concentration on the mirror, a brief glimpse at me, and a determined glance at Stephanie, who nodded firmly, shutting the door behind me. The children’s hour, I thought, gulping.

The room was full of toys, too, though not the kind the original owners had imagined -- these toys were were made of leather and latex and brass and iron. There were big wicker baskets filled with whips and restraints of various sizes and shapes. There were high-heeled shoes lined up at the scuffed powder-blue baseboard, and black corsets and garter belts hanging from hooks on the wall that once must have held sweet little smocked pinafores from Laura Ashley and overalls from Baby Gap and OshKosh B’Gosh. There were latex cocks on harnesses, too -- a large selection of them, in all the colors of the rainbow. There were two-tone jobs, marbled ones. And some were translucent as well, with glitter embedded in the latex. All sizes and shapes -- I mean besides your traditional naturalistic ones, there were twists and bumps and spirals. I watched warily, as Stephanie chose a handful -- a bouquet -- of them, strapped one on, and tossed another to Sylvie.

“I’ll go first,” she said to her, blowing her a kiss, “unless you really want to.”

“No,” Sylvie answered, coolly, “you go ahead.”

But first Stephanie just walked around me, critically. “She’s really not all that terribly pretty, is she?” she asked.

“Oh, no,” Sylvie answered, “but, well, she does have something, you know. Even Kate says so.”

“Attitude, Kate says. Makes people want to hurt her.”

"Umm, well, I can see that, yes. Too bad we only have permission to fuck her.”

“Well, her ass is her best feature after all.”

I started to look around nervously, for the grease. I mean, they were going to grease that cock, weren’t they, before Stephanie stuck it up my best feature? And I wasn’t at all reassured when Stephanie positioned herself squarely in front of me, her voice icy. “Suck it, Carrie,” she said.

I hesitated for a heartbeat. Did she mean that the only lubrication I’d get was my own saliva? And then, just before she had to push me down to my knees, I got down quickly, opened my mouth, and inhaled the monster, watching its shaft, in its obscene fuschia color, disappear down my mouth to my throat.

Sylvie had gotten off the bed and was watching closely. “Deeper,” she said to me. She smacked my ass with the cock that she hadn’t strapped on yet. “Don’t imagine you can hold back on us.”

No, I didn’t imagine I could. And yes, she was right. I could open my throat a little more widely. I could keep from retching, if I tried, gave it everything I had. I felt the latex fill my throat, in hollows that nobody usually touched. My eyes filled with tears, but I kept going down on that cock as though were my life’s work. I was frightened, disoriented. I mean, I’d known I wasn’t their favorite person, but this didn’t seem like Sylvie or Stephanie at all—more like their evil top twins. It was like getting to see the dark side of the moon. And then they blindfolded me—in soft, thick black velvet—and I couldn’t see anything at all.

A hand grabbed the ring in the back of my collar (“silly-looking collar,” I heard one of them sneer) and dragged me to one of the beds. I scrambled onto it, banging my shins, and raised myself up on my knees. And I breathed an enormous sigh of relief when one of them shoved some grease up my asshole.

They took turns fucking me—speeding up and slowing down, squeezing and slapping my breasts, and commenting dryly from time to time on my form, my looks, my performance. “Well, she can do this okay, anyway,” I think that was Stephanie, very grudgingly—and from Sylvie, a giggled, “I should hope so, or I’d lose all my respect for Jonathan.” They tried different cocks, commenting on some of the more exotic ones, and giggling about how they looked in them. They kissed and stroked each other, too, I think, though I could only feel and hear it, rather than see it. I began to cry out—it was painful, and it was also arousing—but when I felt the tears soaking the blindfold, I knew I was crying because I was lonely. I wanted one of them to kiss or stroke me.

They didn’t, of course. They left me kneeling on the bed and I guessed that they’d gone to one of the other little beds, where I could hear them giggling and kissing, hugging and poking and playing. And then deep moans, and I supposed that they’d taken off the cocks and were happily eating each other, crying out, and then ending with creamy sighs of contentment.

And whispers, then. “Oh, well, she took that pretty well, anyway,” and [...m]ore ominously, “She’s probably not going to have an easy afternoon, after all,” and then lots of stuff I couldn’t hear, until Stephanie called out to me, “You can come into bed with us if you want, you know.”

I tore off the blindfold. It was difficult not to take a flying leap, and it was delightful to have them touch and kiss me. But, “Kate lets you make love to each other?” I asked.

Stephanie laughed. “Well,” she said, “not all the time. But for treats, yes, she does[.... She... says] it’s a male thing, that business of being so stingy with a slave’s sexuality. Because it seems to us there’s always enough to go around—well, we never have any problem with it, anyway.”

And Sylvie added, “And neither does Randy."

They giggled at that, and so did I. The evil twins had disappeared, leaving me rolling around in bed with Marcia Brady and Laurie Partridge....

Monday, June 16, 2008

Character Development in Erotic Romance

The sun is out for the first time in a month and I am thinking… Man I would love to be home cleaning my house and sitting on the porch, reading a good book instead of in my office at work, trying to look as if I am not staring out the window at the sun shine.

I know that many of us have day jobs and write and have families. But how do you fit reading into all of that?

I seem to only have time to read when one of those three important things above is not present… like now… I am not writing, so I am reading.

I have been drawn to people books of late… books about why people are the way they are. Such as Mating in Captivity… mentioned in my last post. I have really been enjoying this book. I have just gotten to the section about the different needs of intimacy vs desire… intimacy needs closeness… Desire needs separateness… and how that all works. I am a slow reader. Smiles.

I also have been reading other people books like The Loving Dominant and Finding Meaning In The Second Half Of Life.

I seem to go in spurts with my reading. Reading history books like crazy… then switching to fiction… then to people books…. Etc.

I am finding all sorts of inspiration not only for my own life in reading theses books but in developing deeper characters.

I always find myself asking my characters... what was their first sexual experience?
from there I ask all those questions... do they like oral? do they have kinks? if they do have kinks, where did those kinks stem from? They say... your early sexual experiences shape your desires for life... so pretty important to know for ones characters.

Then to go deeper... do my characters have relationship patterns? Do they have choice patterns? Are they following society rules? or following their souls?

So for you other authors: I am wondering how do you go about developing characters that have real life issues, sexualities, and lives? Do you base them on someone you know? A mixture of people? On people in history? Or do you read People books?

For Readers and Authors: If you read people books do they ever affect you? Do you find things in them to relate to or want to try?

I myself dove into the world of sensuality and erotica because of something i read that moved me and made me look a small piece of myself that I had buried... that was my sensual, sexual being. I read and I looked deep, and I have yet to turn back.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tell me, gentle readers...

Lord Granville Leveson Gower, a portrait after Sir Thomas Lawrence-The Regency Collection

Seeing as I'm late posting this blog, I thought I'd really be lazy and ask you all a couple of questions that have been buzzing around my brain recently. The reason I'm asking is because I made the mistake of reading my reviews for "Simply Sexual" on various sites recently and found that some readers were not happy with me at all...

Apparently, for some readers I don't stick to the rules of romance and go off and complicate things by introducing other men, m/m elements or other way too kinky unrealistic stuff into my romances. For those readers, they feel cheated when the HEA they were expecting turns into something else entirely. (I write about characters who love and accept each other despite the rigid lines of sexuality). And I can understand that-to a certain extent. Reader expectation is the basis of the success of all genre-fiction-you expect to get what you paid for, right?

I think some of that problem about expectation is because the lines between erotic romance and erotica are blurred and publishers don't always want to alienate their core audience so write back cover copy that might um, 'fudge the issues' a little maybe? On the other hand, introducing risque elements into mainline romance novels gives me a vicarious thrill. So should I be voted off the romance island or am I simply expanding its horizons?

So does anyone have an opinion on this or have you all gone on vacation already?

And just in case you haven't-check out this awesome video of Regency heroes on YouTube

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Too darn hot

It's always the same here (Washington, DC)--the temperature shoots up anytime between May and October and we shake our heads in disbelief and claim that it never does this usually...

We've had heat indexes of over 100 for three days running. Yikes. The heat has made me very aware of my body in the worst sort of way--parts of me sweat that normally don't.

But there are also the small pleasures of dealing with the heat, too, the sort of experiences that you want to store away in your mind to use later when you're writing: the delicious sensation of fresh cotton sheets on your skin and the textures of linen and silk; drinking cold water from a bottle of melting ice and letting it spill down your neck; the first few minutes of a cool shower after you've peeled off your sweaty clothes; wonderful drinks and watermelon and other summer treats.

What do you like about the heat?

What summer experiences do you enjoy?

Or, as Cole Porter put it, do you find it just too darn hot?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hanky Panky

Absolutely nothing to do with writing or historicals, but a lot to do with capturing your audience and building tension... enjoy!


absolutely not work safe!

Jane, posting today because Colette is off on the road...somewhere

Friday, June 6, 2008

I Had A Goal to Write

Y’all might remember in my last post that I was bemoaning that my ability to write had more or less gone out the window but that I was aiming to get back into the saddle.

You see, once I stopped having that deadline, I stopped writing. Until that point, I had been writing regularly every week day and had a page quota that I usually met and often exceeded.

Well, we won’t go into my excuses again, except to say I heard most of them at a writing panel as Wiscon on my trip. Let us see how I did.

The plan was to finish the way-out proposal. This didn’t get done.

Instead, in the notebook I’d taken with me to jot notes during Wiscon, I found some notes from RWA National a year ago, I guess, and I spent my time turning an unpubbed full-length manuscript into a novella, and coming up with companion ideas.

And so I wrote 30 pages of new stuff on my first week of vacation! Go me! And boy, they were hot, smokin’ pages of stuff too! Now I just need to fold the old stuff in, edit it so it’s smooth, write synopses for the three novellas and ta da! I’ve something to show for it.

But wait, there’s more. Since coming home, I spent my first day off, well, I wish I could say it was all spent writing but that isn’t true. I spent most of the morning dealing with a sick dog and taking him to the vet. But I got some time to write in the afternoon.

The bad news is I’ve been swiped with a nasty cold. But as I’m apparently with it enough to put mostly coherent sentences together, I could do some more writing tonight....or catch up on Doctor Who.

Sorry for the delay, for some reason the post-ahead option didn't take, so publishing now.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Life in Disarray

Finally, I am about to launch into a sex scene on my current WIP for Aphrodisia. I got a title for it this week—Blood Deep—and a release date. It will be coming out in June 2009. Honestly, this always freaks me out a little since quite a bit of the middle of the book is still just a gleam in my eye.
I had to spend the last two days doing computer clean up. Astonishing how you can run out of space on your computer. Well, not so much if you don’t delete an email for four years. Sigh. And unfortunately I had to do some tidying (against my will). The computer finally stopped letting me send emails—rather like a strict nanny giving me a few lashes with a cane.

And yesterday morning we (my hubby and I) inherited furniture from an author friend of mine who is downsizing, so we now have a dining table and chairs and a new sofa. The kids were stunned—they’ve pretty much ruled the main floor of the house. There just never seemed any point to getting furniture when we had toddlers—not for two kids who only scribbled faster with the pencils when you shouted "NO!"

So with all the upheaval, it’s been tough to find time to write. But I tried a new trick with "Blood Deep". I’ve decided to write the last line of the book first. I attended a terrific writing workshop given by Harlequin author Molly O’Keefe, and she pointed out that a story essentially rushes to its last line. So this is the way I now view "Blood Deep". It is hurtling toward that last line—the line that sums up the romance, the happy ending, the theme, and the growth of the characters. I’ve found that once I have that last line (or something hopefully close), even if I have nothing else on the story, not even a title, I suddenly "get" the story. Yesterday, I was thrilled because I also wrote the last line of my short epilogue. It may not be the final "final line", but it summed up (for me) what the series is about.

As a reader, do you get that sense of a story racing toward that one final line when you read? Are there any books that have left you remembering the last line? Do you ever sneak a peak at the last line while reading, or even while you’re in the bookstore?
And the image above is my cover for my next Aphrodisia, Hot Silk!

Guest blogging today

I'm guest blogging today at Love is an Exploding Cigar (isn't that a great blog name?) and giving away a copy of a book--do come on over and say hello. You have to register to comment, but it's a harmless procedure...