Sorry everyone! This was a weekend of manuscript editing and disc golfing! I promise to have a real blog post up next week!
Monday, May 17, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
*Make sure to leave a comment to be eligible for Tina's contest. Contest details are below.*
Fighting for Her Man. . .
In every good romance, there has to be conflict, someone or something keeping the hero and heroine from a fast resolution and a declaration of love.
Although the romantic moments are always nice, it’s the path to them, the struggle for the characters that provides the most interest. Readers flip pages faster and faster when they sense their wait is at an end.
All writers strive to make the journey as entertaining as possible, and I’m no exception. In my newest release, Lush Velvet Nights, Nathan is attracted to Adriana but because of an event in his past, he’s afraid to give up his heart. Adriana, on the other hand, knows he loves her. She just has to convince him of it.
Here’s a blurb (for background) and an excerpt to show you how Adriana fights for her man:
Lush Velvet Nights - When wanton desires & love demand all…
During the day, Adriana’s a lonely corporate heiress, helming a supermarket empire. At night, she hires escorts, scripting provocative fantasies of kidnapping, lust, submission and endless longing. It’s all she has to excite her until she meets Nathan Wynn. Tall, blond and muscular—like a modern-day Viking—Nathan’s a labor relations attorney representing Adriana’s union employees. His imposing presence intensifies her basest desires. When he protects her from an escort he believes is an attacker, she knows he’s wonderfully dominant and unrestrained. Fascinated by Adriana’s underlying sensuality, Nathan brings her to his secluded mountain estate, determined she submit fully to his hunger. At a gentleman’s club, he makes certain she denies him nothing. Engaging in a seductive sexual journey, Nathan’s caught off-guard by his stunning need for Adriana. An attraction he fears because of past events in his life. A growing emotional connection she will not let him deny.
For the remainder of the day, Adriana forced herself to concentrate on Greco’s myriad budgets and profit margins, behaving like the automaton her father had hoped to raise and felt most comfortable with. At eight p.m., she tossed her reading glasses on her desk, locked her office door against any interruption, flicked off the lights and sank in her chair, turning it to face the window. Given the glare of the city, only a few of the brightest stars sparkled in the sooty sky, ready for her to wish upon them as she had the night at Nathan’s estate.
Turning her cell phone over in her hand, she let down her guard finally, allowing her concern to filter through the confidence she’d tried to nurture all day. On a sigh, she whispered, “Please let him answer.” Please let him show how happy he is to hear from me. She didn’t doubt Nathan’s feelings for her. She worried his fear of another betrayal and the possibility of losing a future child might be greater. Her thumb shook as she punched in his number. With a trembling hand, she brought the phone to her ear. After six rings, his voicemail came on.
Heart sinking, Adriana ended the call and told herself she was behaving like a fool. Maybe he was speaking to a client or to Echo. He wasn’t going to stop answering his phone just because he knew she’d be contacting him.
She took several calming breaths to steady her voice prior to her next call. Her feet tapped the floor during his voicemail message. At the beep, Adriana smiled, then spoke softly, and she hoped, seductively, “Hey, it’s me, calling like I said. I thought you’d be finished with work by now. When you are, give me a call.” She gave him her private work and cell number, repeating both slowly to make certain he knew how to reach her. “I’m looking forward to hearing from you, Nathan. As I said this morning, I had an amazing time. I can’t wait for what comes next. Call me to talk about it. I do have some ideas. Bye.”
She closed her phone, placed it on her desk and wrapped her arms around herself, appreciating what millions of men went through everyday because society still expected them to make the first move with a woman. Nevertheless, she’d done it with Nathan. All she had to do now was wait for his call.
Sometime later, she jerked awake in her chair. Panicked at the hour—eleven p.m.—she checked voicemail on all her phones. Empty. Her shoulders slumped. She waited another half hour, dropped her phone in her jacket pocket and left her office. Despite her disappointment and fatigue, Adriana wasn’t about to give up. She hung on to what she knew to be true and what she couldn’t live without—hope.
* * * * *
Without asking, Joe cooked her favorite childhood foods during the long weekend. He heaped mounds of macaroni and cheese, lamb burgers and pork gyros on her plate, not commenting when she finished just a bit of his feast. Only once did he ask if everything was all right, not going further or probing for details. Adriana assured him everything was fine. And it would be, once she made her next move.
* * * * *
Monday morning, she sat in Steve’s office, confessing what had happened between her and Nathan—sort of. She glossed over the intimate parts and eliminated all the kinky ones. Less cautious in her summary of Nathan’s life, she explained how he now supported his parents and had educated his siblings, sending them to Ivy League schools, his divorce from Hayley and losing Echo. Exhausted and breathless, Adriana slumped in her chair, awaiting Steve’s advice.
He twisted nervously in his chair. Its leather creaked beneath his heft.
Knowing he wanted to run, Adriana pinned him with her stare. “Come on, Steve, you’re a guy and I know you have an opinion on what my next move should be. Do I call him again, go to his office, send him flowers, a bottle of booze, a piece of my lingerie, what?”
“Have you thought about giving up?”
She gripped the arms of her chair. “Screw that. I know how the man feels.”
“He told you?”
“His eyes did.”
He started to roll his then stopped, apparently thinking better of it. “You’re certain he has feelings for you?”
Tears threatened, causing her voice to crack. “I’ve been with a lot of bums. I know when someone’s trying to con me. He wasn’t, Steve. The man needs me as much as I need him. So how do I get through to him? How do I convince him that what happened with Hayley won’t happen with us? That he’s a good man and he deserves a second chance?”
Steve loosened his tie and tightened it again. “Ah…”
“What?” Adriana leaned up in her chair. “Tell me. Please. As a friend. Don’t hold anything back. I’ll do whatever it takes.”
His lips fluttered with his hard exhale. “My best advice is for you to chill. Do not stalk him.”
Adriana’s head slumped forward. She pressed her fingers to her temple and spoke through her teeth. “I know I haven’t had great luck with men, but I’m not that desperate.”
“I’m only saying—”
“Yeah, I know. You’re never going to let me forget hiring Ed and what it cost this company. And now you’re worried I’ll act like a maniac with Nathan and he’ll sue us into bankruptcy and we’ll all be out on the street looking for work.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Just a minute.” He sounded offended. “As far as I’m concerned, the Ed incident never happened. And I do hope someday, well into the future, you and Nathan will have a good laugh about it.”
She tilted her head to see his face. Angry red blotches covered his cheeks and forehead. However, his expression registered hurt that she’d think his feelings for her ran only as deep as the company’s bottom line. “I’m sorry.”
Almost magically, he calmed down and waved his hand, dismissing all the nasty things she’d said. A typical guy response. Adriana knew most women would be pissed for weeks.
“You’re in love. I understand,” he offered. “It affected Francine the same way when she fell for me. She blew everything way out of proportion. Worse than PMS.”
So, he did have a feminine side after all. Adriana decided to let his bitchy comment slide. “You don’t think I should contact Nathan again?”
“He knows how you feel about him, right?”
“I didn’t say the words, but he’s fully aware. I saw it in his eyes.”
“Then don’t call him again. Wait for him to get in touch with you. That’s what I’d want if loving a woman frightened me. I wouldn’t appreciate being crowded. It would just make me run faster. Give him time to think about the two of you, what you shared, the good time you had. Give him a chance to miss that.”
* * * * *
Steve’s advice comforted Adriana until lunch. By dinner, she was too restless to eat. The following day, a wave of longing hit so hard she could barely function. Her thoughts kept returning to the voicemail she’d left him. What exactly had she said? She’d been so nervous, her words hadn’t registered. They’d just fallen out of her mouth. Maybe she said she’d call him again. Was he waiting for her to phone?
Why would he? Nathan wasn’t the type of man to wait for anything he wanted. He’d just take it.
At nine p.m., Adriana was the last one in her office and unable to think or worry anymore. Her sore muscles screamed for rest and a bit of peace. Removing her reading glasses, she went into her private bath and splashed icy water on her face to rouse herself for the lonely drive home. Her head was still hanging down, her fingers gripping the edge of the porcelain sink when she heard a noise. A faint creaking as if someone had just opened or closed a door. Steve? Had he returned to his office for something he’d forgotten? Was he back here to see if she was all right? She caught herself before she sighed, listened hard and heard more creaking…or was it tinkling? Like her cell phone ringing? Nathan calling?
Quickly, Adriana ran a towel over her face, tossing it aside as she hurried to her desk. Halfway there, she stopped with a jerk. Her heart jolted. She stared at Nathan standing in front of her closed office door, wearing a look of desperation as though he didn’t want to be here but couldn’t stop himself. The wind or his fingers had tousled his blond hair. He’d loosened his tie and unbuttoned his collar. His eyes bored into hers, they feasted on her as they did in her Viking fantasies.
He reached her before she could get to him. Hands on either side of her face, he tipped her head back and pressed his mouth to her throat, suckling her, branding her, his groans of delight wonderfully vulgar. Lusty moans poured from the back of her throat. Panting noisily, Nathan lifted his head and stared.
In Lush Velvet Nights, Adriana’s convinced Nathan loves her, despite his misgivings. And through it all, she fights for him, determined to win his heart.
Lush Velvet Nights is available from Ellora’s Cave
Website/blog/YouTube video trailer for Lush Velvet Nights: http://www.tinadonahue.com/
Scavenger hunt: http://www.tinadonahue.com/?p=550
Monthly contest: http://www.tinadonahue.com/contest/
ONE of the commentors will win a choice of one of the following books by Tina:
1. Adored - ebook
2. Deep, Dark, Delicious - ebook
3. Close to Perfect - mass market paperback
4. Bad Boys with Red Roses - trade paperback
5. Take My Breath Away - trade paperback
Tina will ship anywhere in the continental US. If the winner is
outside the continental US, then that person will have a choice of one of
To be eligible to win, all you have to do is leave a comment. Tina will pick a winner randomly.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Dana Davis !!!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Now, Sandra is excited to be back and promote her newest release, Demons and Stilettos are a Girl’s Best Friend. Personally, I love this title and just the title makes me think it’s chocked full of mayhem and fun!
To learn more about Sandra and her books, visit her website at: http://www.sandrasookoo.com/
So, let’s get down to business asking Sandra the hard questions…LOL
GRACEN: May 5th marks a unique voluntarily celebrated holiday recognizing the Mexican efforts against the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1962 under General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin. This battle is legendary because since that time, not one country in the Americas has been invaded by another continent. Do you and/or your friends celebrate this holiday? Why or why not? If so, how do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo?
SANDRA: I’ve never celebrated this holiday. It means absolutely nothing to me.
GRACEN: Mother’s Day has become as commercialized as other holidays, but, as far as I can tell, no one seems to mind. Some mothers prefer flowers, some a nice meal, while others prefer gifts like time alone. If you are a mother or wish you were one, what would be your ultimate gift on Mother’s Day? Do (would) you prefer your gifts bought or handmade?
SANDRA: I’m not a mom and don’t really want kids at this time. I usually buy my mom something that will last longer than flowers or a meal.
GRACEN: With the situation in the Middle East, more and more people feel the need to demonstrate their support for the troops. Are you among them? Why or why not? If so, what do you, or have you done to show your support? (If you’re not, that’s okay!) Will you be doing anything special on Armed Forces Day?
SANDRA: I try not to get involved in anything have to do with the military situation. There are so many opinions on this matter and no matter what I’d say, I would end up making someone mad LOL
GRACEN: Many people make a point to care for the graves of loved ones on Memorial Day, or have parties and picnics to celebrate them. What about you? What, if any, Memorial Day traditions do you have?
SANDRA: I don’t really do anything on Memorial Day except spend time with my husband. My family is too disjointed and scattered to do anything with.
GRACEN: There are several games on Facebook (and maybe other social networking sites) that advertise about turning your image into a cartoon avatar, and these next questions find their roots there, but character has been substituted for avatar.
If you wrote yourself as a character, who would you be if someone other than yourself? Would you have the same name, physical attributes, anatomy or would everything change? What would your name be and what would your character-self look like? Would you be the heroine or the hero? Why?
SANDRA: I’d probably be the heroine. A kick-butt woman who doesn’t take crap from anyone. Maybe I’d be blonde. And slim. And wear stiletto boots with a dagger strapped to my thigh LOL As for names, let’s see. Meg Kincaid.
GRACEN: What about your personality and traits? What would you change and what would you keep? What new traits would you give your character-self and why those traits?
SANDRA: Maybe she’d volunteer at an animal shelter or work with the homeless. Maybe she’d cook. Who knows?
GRACEN: When would you exist? Would you go back in time, stay in the present, or jump into the future? What time period would you pick and why?
SANDRA: I’d probably stick to the present.
GRACEN: What type of story would it be (other than historical, contemporary or futuristic)?
SANDRA: Some sort of action story with plenty of foot chases and fast cars and hunky guys
GRACEN: We’ve had our fun now, so let’s put the focus on your writing, Sandra…What is your main genre (erotica, erotic romance, romantic suspense, etc.)? What was the draw for you?
SANDRA: My main genre is romance. I’m most comfortable writing in the paranormal, historical and contemporary sub-genres, it just depends on my mood. The main draw of romance is the promise of a HEA. Starting off with compelling characters, throwing a whole bunch of problems at them and seeing how they work together to get out of them is the big payoff for me.
GRACEN: Besides your main genre we just discussed, what elements do you prefer to use in a story and why those elements over others? Any elements you would never use? Why or why not?
SANDRA: When I started out writing romance, I kept all my stories “sweet”. Now that I’m more comfortable in my own skin as a writer, I’m kicking my stories up several notches to “spicy”. I like seeing how my characters interact after the “big event” in the bedroom and how it strengthens and helps their relationship. Elements that I won’t use? I have no idea at this point. Writing is a constantly growing process.
GRACEN: In your opinion, what author or story had the most influence on your writing? What about their writing or that story did you find so influential and why?
SANDRA: I enjoy many different authors in many different genres, so to narrow it down to just one author would be like asking me which of my fingers I could do without. It can’t be done LOL
GRACEN: While authors and stories can definitely influence us, inspiration can be everywhere for a writer, but sometimes specific people, places and events can inspire certain characters, personality traits or things that happen in our stories. In your current story that we’re promoting here today, DEMONS AND STILETTOS ARE A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND, did any one particular person, place or event inspire you? If so who/what was it (were they), how did it/they inspire you and how is this inspiration reflected in your story?
SANDRA: Well, my hero rides a motorcycle, so the inspiration for that part of the story came from my dad. He’s a big Harley enthusiast so I asked him a lot of questions about the bike. What else inspired this story? Of all things, I was listening to the soundtrack to Disney’s Lilo and Stitch and there’s an Elvis song on there “Devil in Disguise”. It talks about the Devil being disguised by an Angel. From that song, this book was born.
GRACEN: Without giving away anything pertinent to the story, tell us about the hero and heroine (s) of your story. What do they look like? How do they meet (or “did” if this is not the first book with these same characters)? What are their personalities – Are they comical cut-ups, are they serious or are they a mix of the two? Please give us a little bit of dialogue from the story that can illustrate this. (Not much, but just a few lines and from a different section than the main excerpt – Thanks!)
SANDRA: Oh wow. My heroine, Anne Jenkins, is an ordinary, blonde-haired gal who lives with her gramma. She’s very sarcastic. My hero, nicely built, fit with black hair, Gregg Carter, rides the aforementioned bike and is an IRS agent, not to mention a demon. They first meet as Anne is riding a runaway horse and Gregg saves her life—with heavy consequences. Both are comical and the interaction between them even made me laugh at times.
“What the hell are you talking about?” As her common sense trickled back, she narrowed her eyes. He didn’t look like a vagrant, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t crazy.
“Actually, you’re not far from the mark. I know every zip code of Hell on an intimate basis.” He stuck out a hand. “The name’s Carter. Gregg Carter.”
“Dude, you’re so not an international super spy.” No matter how hard she attempted to contain the chuckle, it escaped anyway.
“I never claimed I was.” He cleared his throat. “Now, how about we get down to business before that twittering horde of what you call friends descends upon us in hysterical female fashion.”
GRACEN: The main characters are usually great, but sometimes, secondary and tertiary characters are known to steal the scenes. Who are the secondary/tertiary characters in your story and what do they look like? What’s unique about them? What is their relationship to the hero/heroine? Have any of these gone on to become scene-stealers? If so, who and how did they do it? (Again, please give us a small bit of dialogue to illustrate this – thanks!)
SANDRA: LOL Oh, my secondary character is…well a character! She’s Anne’s Gramma Dottie and she looks like your typical grandmother type but she’s still sharp as a tack.
Gregg transferred his attention to the older woman sitting in a wooden rocking chair.
“I may be almost ninety, but I’m still in charge in my own home. You can’t stay in the house.” She tilted her half-moon reading glass down her nose. “There’s a guest room over the garage. Haven’t used it in months, so I can’t vouch for the shape it’s in. Rent’s eighty bucks a week, cash. You buy your own groceries.” Faded hazel eyes pierced through his chest as if she wielded a sword. “No smoking. No drinking. No parties. No funny business with my granddaughter. I know what you are, and I won’t stand for you corrupting Anne.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Gregg sat then shifted on the plastic-covered sofa, wincing when the leather of his pants created a crude sound.
Anne Jenkins never believed there was a heaven or hell but when she’s rescued from a runaway horse by a guy who claims he’s a demon, her freak detector goes off. She demands proof and the leather-clad biker sets some local wildlife on fire. She starts to trust in a hurry.
Gregg Carter, bound to the Devil for all eternity because of an audit gone wrong, seizes the opportunity to take possession of Anne’s soul as a way to please his boss. What he didn’t count on was the fact that his libido would take the one-way bus to crazy town as he gets to know her better.
Trouble is, Anne and Gregg spend so much time trying to hide their true selves from each other, they can’t escape the attraction that builds between them. But everyone knows demons and humans don’t mix, and neither can two people who have no futures.
Anne glanced around, looking for hidden cameras just in case her friends were attempting to punk her. Seeing nothing but red and gold leaves that shook in the slight breeze, she turned back to the biker. “You’re serious, aren’t you?”
“You bet. Now, I need you to sign here testifying that I did indeed save your life and prevented the early termination of such. Because I did, the payment for my deed is one human soul, to be rendered due and payable within thirty days of the receipt of said services.” He held the pen out to her. “I do have other clients today.”
“I can’t just give you my soul. I don’t even know exactly where in my body it’s located or how a person goes about parting with it.” She took another drink. “Besides, don’t I need my soul in order to function? I’m pretty sure it’s not like an appendix or something.” Flutters filled her stomach when the smile he’d flashed earlier morphed into something smoldering and sexy.
“A human soul is only valuable if you know how to use it. To sweeten the pot, I’m prepared to give you three wishes.”
Anne snorted while she took another drink. Water shot through her nose, and tears stung her eyes. Not exactly the sort of thing that would impress a bike-riding minion from hell—not that she wanted to impress him. Damn, I must be desperate if I’m trying to catch the interest of an alleged demon.
Wiping the drops from her face with the back of her hand, she stifled another round of laughter. “Three wishes, huh? Like a magic genie?”
“No, it’s an added bonus, an incentive. Think of it as a supplement to the contract in order to cushion the blow of my taking your soul. You have thirty days to accept the offer, but be aware there are some conditions.”
“Is saving me from impending death one of the wishes?” The whole conversation felt so weird and beyond normal that Anne suddenly knew how Alice felt in the Lewis Carroll story.
“No, but at least you’re paying attention.” A smile curved his lips. “You can use the wishes on yourself or others, but they must be used in the time allowed. You can’t save them. Also, until you exhaust the wishes or they expire at the end of the specified term, I will be your constant companion—”
“I thought you had other clients?”
He huffed his disapproval. “I have a very loose schedule. Anyway, if you do not use the wishes by the end of the thirty day period, you forfeit them, and I still take your soul.”
“That doesn’t sound very fair.” Anne frowned. Fear made her insides clench. “What if I don’t agree to any of it? I mean,” she snorted from the absurdity of the notion, “it really is pretty unbelievable.”
A shadow of annoyance crossed Gregg’s face, and his expression grew dark with anger. “It doesn’t matter. I saved your life. Therefore, you owe me. I can reset recent events and leave you to die, or I can take your soul, and you’ll still die, but at least you will have lived it up for thirty days. What’s not to get?”
Remember, to purchase Sandra’s new book or any of her others, visit her website: http://www.sandrasookoo.com/
Monday, May 10, 2010
Okay, many of you have heard - oh what a fantastic web we weave when we practice to deceive - or something along those lines.
Why do I bring this up? Because I think tasks fall into this category. Seriously.
Here's the deal -
1. just thinking of cleaning makes me want to read
2. Editing (reading something that hasn't been printed yet for errors) has the uncanny knack of making me want to clean.
It's an unending cycle that drives me crazy. I swear it isn't that I dislike editing. I actually enjoy it. So why the issue then?
For a couple of weeks, I honestly had no clue why that would happen. Then, like a brick, the truth of it hit me. So what, you may or may not be asking, in all my brilliance did I discover was the answer?
Well, I've pinned it down to two things and they are in no particular order:
1. I just don't like what I'm editing.
2. I'm saturated on the genre.
There's a simple cure for saturation, read a different genre. I do that all the time. Unfortunately, there's really no fix when you don't like the story you're editing. You have to set aside your likes, biases and anything else that could get in the way and just edit. I have determined that cleaning is my way of clearing my mind of biases and tastes that could negatively effect how I edit something.
So, what about all of you out there - does anything like this happen to you? Do you ever find that you only seem to feel like cleaning a closet that's been messy all year when you know you're going to have company staying with you? It could be any weird and wacky similar type of paradox. How do you work through your behavior?
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Now, sit back, relax and enjoy getting to know Cherie and her characters.
GRACEN: Mother’s Day has become as commercialized as other holidays, but, as far as I can tell, no one seems to mind. Some mothers prefer flowers, some a nice meal, while others prefer gifts like time alone. If you are a mother or wish you were one, what would be your ultimate gift on Mother’s Day?
CHERIE: Nothing makes me happier than to share a meal and a movie with my son, Scott. He's a great cook and will probably make me a great breakfast and dinner on Mother's Day.
GRACEN: Do (would) you prefer your gifts bought or handmade?
CHERIE: From an early age, my son who's 26 now, would make me trinkets, hand-painted pins and paper books of poetry for Mother's Day. I definitely appreciate smaller, more personal items that come from the heart.
GRACEN: If you wrote yourself as a character, who would you be if someone other than yourself?
CHERIE: I always wanted to be Catwoman when I was a kid. I thought her tight black outfit and snarling cat whining was so cool.
GRACEN: Would you have the same name, physical attributes, anatomy or would everything change?
CHERIE: I was born with a good face and athletic body, but I wouldn't mind a little lift, wrinkle removal or to lose a few pounds. LOL
GRACEN: What would your name be and what would your character-self look like? Would you be the heroine or the hero and why?
CHERIE: I guess the character would be Cat Cherie and I'd be the heroine I like heating up the hero in my tight black leather of course.
GRACEN: What about your personality and traits?
CHERIE: I'm outgoing and a good listener. After years and years of being told so, I have to own the behavior. I think the opposite would be a nice switch. Cool, allough, mysterious.
GRACEN: What would you change and what would you keep?
CHERIE: I'd ditch my happy voice and use a deeper, seductive growl. Meow.
GRACEN: What new traits would you give your character-self and why those traits?
CHERIE: Cat Cherie would let other do the laundry and dishes. Purrfect.
GRACEN: When would you exist?
CHERIE: In the 60's when men still opened doors for women.
GRACEN: Would you go back in time, stay in the present, or jump into the future?
CHERIE: I don't think there would be any time that could withstand the enigmatic Cat Cherie!
GRACEN: What time period would you pick and why?
CHERIE: The 60's for sure, I think Cat Cherie would be a big hit!
GRACEN: What type of story would it be (other than historical, contemporary or futuristic)?
CHERIE: Suspense…always a suspense.
GRACEN: Would you have companions (family, friends, pets, children) or would you be the loner-type? What companions would you have and what would they be like?
CHERIE: I'd have a handsome-man sidekick who kept me from straying…
GRACEN: What, if any, special qualities would your pet have if your character-self had one?
CHERIE: Ooooh, I'd have an Ocelot feline. They can be trained, but are wild animals naturally. Very rare pet and I'd want to be able to communicate mentally with the animal. Here kitty, kitty.
GRACEN: What about a love interest(s)?
CHERIE: Oh, yes, please!
GRACEN: What type of relationship(s) would it (they) be?
CHERIE: Well, you know female cats when they're in heat.
GRACEN: Would it (they) be anything similar to what you have now (or want to have), or would you be radical and change things up?
CHERIE: I'm monogamous, but living as half cat/half woman could be very liberating.
GRACEN: What would he/she (they) look/be like?
CHERIE: HOT, ripped, cat-like grace and all man…did I say HOT?
GRACEN: What would it be about him/her (they) that attracts you?
CHERIE: The eyes as they scan over my feline form.
GRACEN: Would he/she (they) have any traits you don’t like or would you make him/her (they) completely perfect?
CHERIE: I would want the companion to be contrary, to have different views of everything. I like contrast and spicy conversations.
GRACEN: What traits and why?
CHERIE: He would need to take charge even if I beat him at his own game. I need the friction.
GRACEN: We’ve had our fun now, so let’s put the focus on your writing, Cherie…
What is your main genre (erotica, erotic romance, romantic suspense, etc.)? What was the draw for you?
CHERIE: Erotic romantic suspense and paranormal suspense. I find writing a straight contemporary difficult and need friction in my characters lives besides their romance issues.
GRACEN: Besides your main genre we just discussed, what elements do you prefer to use in a story and why those elements over others?
CHERIE: I insist on using water, whether it is a lake, sea or river. You'll see my characters are often surrounded by water somewhere in the novel.
GRACEN: Any elements you would never use?
CHERIE: I really can't think of any, I'm well-traveled and often put my characters in different countries, climates and situations.
GRACEN: In your opinion, what author or story had the most influence on your writing?
CHERIE: There is not just one, but a combination. Like the various music I listen to, I read many genres of books. Nora Roberts taught me cadence and characterization. Stephen King taught me suspense and edge of your seat thrills. Dean Koontz taught me mystery and how to keep the reader on the edge of understanding what the solution to the suspense may be.
GRACEN: What about their writing or that story did you find so influential and why?
CHERIE: I dislike clowns intensely, yet "It" by Stephen King is one of my favorite novels. That story combines multiple lives, back stories and terror in the most elaborate way.
GRACEN: While authors and stories can definitely influence us, inspiration can be everywhere for a writer, but sometimes specific people, places and events can inspire certain characters, personality traits or things that happen in our stories. In your current story that we’re promoting here today, Tales of the Red Moon Clan, did any one particular person, place or event inspire you? If so who/what was it (were they), how did it/they inspire you and how is this inspiration reflected in your story?
CHERIE: Yes. The southwest region of Oregon is my favorite place and that's where my story begins. Oregon is a rough, gorgeous forest with angry rivers and mean weather. This was the perfect place to set, Tales of the Red Moon Clan.
GRACEN: Without giving away anything pertinent to the story, tell us about the hero and heroine (s) of your story. What do they look like?
CHERIE: Neol is a Navajo shapeshifting bountyhunter. He's muscular, has cat-like grace and sinfully handsome. Sara is an assistant DA, athletic with green eyes and auburn hair.
GRACEN: How do they meet (or “did” if this is not the first book with these same characters)?
CHERIE: Sara's meeting with the owner of a strip club goes very wrong and Neol intervenes swiftly to save her from certain death.
GRACEN: What are their personalities – Are they comical cut-ups, are they serious or are they a mix of the two?
CHERIE: Neol and Sara are on the run as they fall in love, but humor manages to surface.
GRACEN: Please give us a little bit of dialogue from the story that can illustrate this. (Not much, but just a few lines and from a different section than the main excerpt – Thanks!)
Her eyes flicked back to his face. "Sara, Sara Hughes."
"Where are we headed, Sara? Where are you taking us?" He'd been paying attention and she had a specific destination in mind. Her driving didn't feel random.
"My dad's old cabin. It's off a dirt road next to the lake." Her lips trembled as tears glistened in her soft green eyes.
He'd liked those eyes when he’d seen them close up for the first time in the bar. Now they tore at him with the terror they reflected.
"Okay Sara, get us to the lake and I'll figure something out." He smiled. She needed him to be a rock during the turmoil.
GRACEN: The main characters are usually great, but sometimes, secondary and tertiary characters are known to steal the scenes. Who are the secondary/tertiary characters in your story and what do they look like?
CHERIE: Tse is Neol's cousin and they share so many similar qualities…wink, wink. Tse is in the second book of the series coming soon. And then there is Claire, Sara's best friend and assistant at the DA's office.
GRACEN: What’s unique about them?
CHERIE: They reflect what is good about the leading h/h and have unique characteristics of their own. They will share scenes in the next book.
GRACEN: What is their relationship to the hero/heroine?
CHERIE: Both Tse and Claire are the closest people to the h/h.
GRACEN: Have any of these gone on to become scene-stealers?
CHERIE: Oh, sure. Claire is a waif, but tough. Tse is a tough man and yet gentle.
GRACEN: Again, please give us a small bit of dialogue to illustrate this – thanks!
"Sara, Mrs. Sampson is on the phone and she wants to make an appointment to see you tomorrow."
The dead seventeen-year-old's mother called every day wanting an update. Sara gave Claire a wilted look.
"I have nothing new on Daniels. Claire, I know she wants some closure to Jessica's death, but I need Daniels for that."
Claire pushed her light blond curls behind an ear and stuck out a stubborn chin. "I know, but she says she has some new information she wants to share with you."
Sara sighed—she hated to ignore the woman. "Okay, tomorrow afternoon."
Neol moved quickly to answer the knock at his door and caught Tse's scent. His cousin rushed in, almost bowling him over, and Neol shut the door and locked up.
"Any longer and that cop at the next room would have started asking some serious questions." Tse complained.
Neol rolled his shoulders. "Sorry. Just taking care of Sara next door. She's locked in her bedroom, which is right next to this one." He pointed to the open door to the right and Tse nodded. "There are two officers and her boss in the room next to hers on the other side, but they went to sleep a couple of hours ago."
Tse rolled his eyes. "Well, I guess they're going to miss all the action."
Neol Pallaton walks alone through the bowels of society as a bounty hunter, until he shifts into a cougar to save Assistant D.A. Sara Hughes from certain death. A relentless killer keeps them moving by day through the Oregon forest—and by night under the full moon, passion rules their hearts.
The rugged forest is no place for a beautiful and feisty city woman, but Neol’s determined to help Sara piece together why she's being hunted. Sara thought bounty hunters were brutal loners who stretched the law she’s sworn to uphold. But Neol proves that no one can hunt, track and protect her like a Navajo medicine man from the Red Moon Clan.
Neol is willing to anger the spirits to protect his one true mate. Sara will have to bend the law to keep Neol and her alive—and together forever.
She sat across from Claire, chewing on her Chinese chicken salad and the meat reminded her of the rabbits Neol caught. She wished she could share more details about Neol’s personality with Claire, but that would mean divulging his secrets and she could never do that to him. How sad he had to hide who he really was when his abilities were as much an integral part of him as eye color or height. But then again, he kept secrets even from her. Like how he’d managed to get in the cabin that first night. The only explanation she could think of was that he’d climbed in through the old doggie door. That thought made her smile.
"What are you grinning about? Whatever it is you need to share, because I'm a wreck right now."
Claire's hands shook as she tucked a stray blonde strand behind her ear. Sara flinched with remorse for thinking only about herself. She searched her mind for something harmless she could share with Claire.
"I was reminiscing about my dad and his old dog and how they liked to hunt every single thing in the forest. They'd bring back deer, rabbits, squirrels, all kinds of prey together. Near the end his dog would hunt alone and my dad didn't even have to leave his chair for a good meal." She laughed at the memory.
Claire smiled. "Wow, I hadn't realized your dad was such a hunter."
"Well, he worked as an accountant by day, but during hunting season? Look out, baby. He was like Daniel Boone. He always came back with whatever he had a taste for, every time."
"Sounds like you're describing Neol; you must see the similarities." Claire snuck in her opinion quietly, visibly more calm as she put a fork into her beef and broccoli.
"Yes, actually I do." Sara bit into a mandarin orange slice. Neol did remind her of her father; she'd noticed the similarity right away when he'd handled her dad's hunting knife. She'd been safe around her dad and now with Neol. Both were strong men and she'd picked up on the characteristics they shared. Warmth coursed through her with the knowledge her father would have approved of Neol.
Buy Link & Website: http://www.cheriedesues2.com/
Friday, May 7, 2010
Mother’s Day seems to be as commercialized as Valentine’s Day, Halloween and Christmas. And I get asked every year by my husband and two sons, “What do you want for Mother’s Day.” Typically my response is “nothing” because I seriously don’t need anything. This year, I gave them something and got three scrunched up faces! *throws hands in the air* What I learned, they don’t what to buy me what I want, but only what they want me to have. How screwed up is that?!? And I wasn’t even asking for anything expensive. Sheesh!
Mostly, I’d rather have a gift that comes from the heart, like something homemade. Homemade gifts can be found littering my home until they practically rot to dust in their spot. Those are the gifts I cherish. Some of the favorites I’ve received so far are book marks with their fingerprints on them, little ceramic dogs and cats painted with enthusiasm for me, cards with their misspelled words of love, but most of all, I’ll remember the smiles of pride when they hand me those gifts and their big hugs when I exclaim over them. They are as proud of those gifts as I am!
So, this is an early Happy Mother’s Day to all of you! Tell me your favorite Mother’s Day gift, or just your favorite Mother’s Day event. Or tell me your fondest memory of your Mother or an Aunt or someone that was like a mother to you. Let’s celebrate early and thank all the mothers for kissing our scrapes and cuts by praising all of them today!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
The winners will be announced here but later tonight, I promise!
Whispered by Carrie at 4:33 PM
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Rebecca Savage !!!