Monday, March 31, 2008
As for the April showers, it's more like April snow storms! This weekend, the weather shifted from beautiful clear skies and 68 degrees to snow twice in the last two days.
Light and sunny one day. Snowy, cloudy and frickin' cold the next. Hmmm. Kind of sounds like some of the things going on in the publishing world.
Have you all heard about what Amazon may be doing (the entire Writer's Weekly article is here)? It's not nailed down yet, but rumor has it that Amazon is pulling down Buy links for books that aren't printed by them. What does that mean? It means, for example, if my publishers don't agree to let Amazon be the printer of my books, the books may appear on the Amazon site...but there would be no Buy links to actually purchase the book.
At first I couldn't believe that Amazon might try to pull something like this. Then I stepped back and started taking a look at life in general. You know, like what I did to get my hands on books BEFORE there was ever an Amazon. I walked my big ass down to the local Barnes and Noble and purchased the book I wanted.
Now, with all the modern conveniences available, I find that I'm just damned lazy. Before I had a cell phone and e-mail, I didn't work at home and I didn't work weekends. But these days, I ALWAYS work at home, and I ALWAYS work weekends. And I'm not just talking about writing, but my day job as well.
Before cable, I hardly ever watched TV, except to check the local forecast and determine whether to wear a sweater or not. Now, the TV is on all the time.
Before the internet, I never played games or spent alot of time sitting in one spot. I was on a walk, or on my bike or at the gym. Now, I sit down with my computer in my lap, my cell phone next to me, and just sit, sit, sit, sit, sit while I type.
So the power play with Amazon really got me to thinking - it might not be such a bad thing if Amazon's actions force me out of the house!
Do you care one way or another if the books you want are not available through Amazon? I'm thinking it would just make me buy them somewhere else. And that's not looking like such a bad thing from where I sit...and sit, and sit. ROFL!~
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
SERATI'S FLAME, Book 2 in the Vampire Council of Ethics series, is now up for pre-order on Amazon.com. It's received awesome reviews in the eBook world, and I'm even more stoked about it coming in print. Woohoo!
Genre: Vampire / Paranormal
Series: Vampire Council of Ethics (V.C.O.E.) - Book Two; Previous Book: Carinian's Seeker
ISBN (eBook): 1-59998-549-7 - Aug '07
ISBN (Print): 978-1599988092 - Jun '08
Pre-Order at Amazon.com
Get the eBook at: Samhain Publishing
Click HERE then scroll down to read reviews and excerpts. Enjoy!
First, the blurb: For two Seekers of justice, hunting rogues is dangerous business. But not as dangerous as their yearning for each other.
There’s a rogue on the loose, and the Vampire Council of Ethics has just the man for the job. Alaan Serati, along with his team of elite fighters, is a Seeker for the V.C.O.E. The lethal vampire law enforcement assassin is also the most eligible bachelor of Clan Serati. His job: Take out the rogue vampire who killed his mate years ago. But working with a fellow Seeker quickly becomes a pain in his backside. How is he supposed to accomplish the mission if he can’t keep his mind or his hands off of his fellow officer?
For more years than she wants to remember, Tameth Serati-Cole has worked almost every day, side by side, with the gruff and gorgeous Alaan. It’s been hell considering the special bond between them, something rarely developed between mates. But Alaan doesn’t really want her. He’s still pining away for the woman taken from him years ago. So when he declares his need to bond with Tameth, this lady Seeker ain’t biting…even if she’s wanted to since the day they met.
Warning, this title contains the following: Hot monkey sex, lots of biting, and rolling around in backseats.
Wondering if she'll ever find the right guy, Mckenzie goes to see her "let it be" tree. There, she finds more than she bargained for with sexy Jake Bremmer. Jake's moved back home, and he's not much like Mckenzie remembers him, even when they share one wild lip-lock. She finds his sensual dominance more appealing than she'd ever thought possible.
Jake's come home to figure out himself, and he when he sees Mckenzie, he realizes she's something that he's missed. He doesn't understand why she doesn't remember the previous kisses they've shared, but he's determined to make this one stick. Even if he has to order her around a bit to do it.
Cursed into Mckenzie's silver maple, Deidre plots to take care of Jake for good this time. She'll make him stick out in Mckenzie's mind as the worst guy of them all with a curse leveled to bring them both into passion, before she strips it all away.Will this sixth curse of spring bring about the final try for Jake and Mckenzie, or will they find their way to each other against cursed odds?
My pals, Melissa Lopez and Mari from Marissa Alwin will be chatting at 9 EST M-Spot chat. Melissa and I both had new releases yesterday so there will be plenty to talk about!
Mechele Armstrong aka Lany of Melany Logen
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
The examples include fantasy, romance, and science fiction stories, and even one Hollywood screenwriting synopsis.
I posted not only the synopsis for Raven's Heart, the first novel I sold (although it was the third one I wrote), but also the original ending that didn't sell. When you compare the two, the flaws in the original are obvious. People do things for no reason, events hang upon coincidences, the hero is selfish (and shows all the emotional sensitivity of a future spouse abuser) and the heroine's fate is determined by the men around her. By the time it was rewritten and sold, however, everything happens for a reason, the hero is willing to sacrifice everything that matters for the heroine, and everyone around her waits eagerly for her to make a decision that will tell them how to proceed.
I also posted a Question and Answer interview regarding my synopsis writing style. I actually like writing synopses, because they let me make my mistakes early in the process. It's a whole lot easier to change a few paragraphs in a synopsis than it is to throw out and rewrite entire chapters in the finished book.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
So today, I just wanna laugh my ass off.
As an author of multicultural romance, I'm gonna go out on a limb and share one of the things that cracks me up...at my own expense of course (No, it's not Hard Gay...this time ;D)
STEPHEN LYNCH! Comedian and all out nutball has a song about interracial dating - it's called VANILLA ICE CREAM. And it's funny as hell! This subject gets danced around sometimes, but this is the first time I think I've heard a comedian address it in this manner. And as a sistah, it was nice to find that it's totally positive while still making you laugh your butt off. My kids even put it on their iPods so we can laugh in the car over it. It's fabulous! So take a listen...
You Tube Video (first 30 seconds in talking, but I promise he'll get to the song - click HERE
To Visit Stephen's Site to hear this song (better quality) - click HERE
..* ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
((¸¸.*´ ..*´ www.tjmichaels.com -:¦:-
-:¦:- ((¸¸.*´* www.dynamicthree.com
CARINIAN'S SEEKER, V.C.O.E. Bk 1 ~ CAPA 2007 Nominee
SERATI'S FLAME, V.C.O.E. Bk 2 ~ In Print June 2008
WILD WINTER, Ellora's Cave ~ Now In Print
HATSEPT HEAT, V.C.O.E. Bk 3, Samhain Publishing ~ July 2008
JAGUAR'S RULE, Pocket Books Anthology ~ Feb 2009
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Cum used as another word for orgasm or semen was something I only saw in poorly written free fiction. In my opinion, come is the correct spelling for both verb and noun. However, this topic was brought up in an on-line author group and apparently cum as both verb and noun is acceptable for some publishing houses.
Color me scandalized!
I had published authors telling me they used cum and cumming in their writings ALL THE TIME! And their editors accepted it!
Now, I can go on and on about why I believe this is wrong, but I have insufficient time to rant properly.
So, here's the question I posed to these authors: What's the past tense of cum?
Their answer: came.
Not cumed or cummed but came.
So, uh, shouldn't the present tense be come?
(Yes, I'm anal retentive. Did you catch my rant about ménage? How about the rant about poor research? And the one about TSTL heroines?)
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I'm thrilled to announce that Craving Candy has been awarded a 2008 EPPIE Award in the category of Erotic Romance--Contemporary/Suspense/Mystery! The category was a tie, so I'm happy to share this award with Marie-Nicole Ryan and her winning book, Too Good To Be True.
Congratulations to all the other finalists and the other winners.
Charming the Masters, a Jewel Quickie by Katherine Kingston, releases March 14, 2008. The story is a contemporary BDSM/ménage that features bondage, spanking, MFM interaction and a bit of food play. No vegetables were abused in the course of the story, however, unless you consider eating them an act of depravity.
Blurb: The jeweled amulet Lindy wears to the club’s Halloween party is imbued with a love charm to make her irresistible to men. Shy Lindy needs some magic to snare the masterful man she wants. After seeing business acquaintance Rick Lowery do a demonstration of sensual flogging techniques, she’s convinced he’s the one. Rick does respond to her, but so does his friend, Kyle Harrison. It will take all her courage to handle both of them, but she's eager for a night to remember. Lindy figures that's all she's likely to get after she confesses to them what she’s done.
Rick looked from one of them to the other and let his gaze rest on Lindy for a moment, studying her a bit more seriously than he had before. “I was in the process of asking Lindy if she’d like to wear my collar for the evening. Under the circumstances I think I might revise the request.”
Lindy stared at him. Kyle did the same. Her breath caught when she understood. This definitely qualified as getting more than she bargained for.
“Kyle has been a Master for a long time and he’s extraordinarily good at it,” Rick told her. “He could teach us both a lot.” Rick’s eyes questioned her silently, waiting for her to shake her head or otherwise refuse.
She wasn’t sure why he wanted to include Kyle. Because Kyle needed it? Or because he himself needed the moral support. Hard to believe that. Could he think she might prefer it?
Rick was still the man she wanted, but for some reason he wanted Kyle to join them. Maybe it would help him over the awkwardness of starting a different sort of relationship with someone who’d been a mere business acquaintance a few hours ago.
“I don’t think that’s what Lindy had in mind in coming here,” Kyle said, filling the awkward void of her silence.
Lindy shook her head. “Actually, Rick and I just ran into each other here a few minutes ago, though we’ve been acquainted for a while.” Which was the truth if not the whole truth.
“Business relationship,” Rick added. “Though now that we’ve met here, I’d like to expand that. Lindy is close to a novice, though.”
Kyle gave each of them a quick, hard glance, started to say something and then thought better of it. He shrugged. “It could be tempting. To have such a lovely sub and share her with a good friend. It’s been a long time, though, and I’m out of practice.”
“It’s not the kind of thing you’re likely to forget,” Rick said. “But it might be more than Lindy is ready for.” Both men looked at her.
She’d come here tonight hoping to meet and connect with one particular man. And so she had, but in truth, she found him a bit intimidating. She found Kyle intimidating too. And yet… For reasons that made no sense whatsoever, the two of them together seemed a bit less so. “I don’t think I mind.” A smile formed. “Actually I should be getting down on my knees in gratitude. To have two strong, handsome men wanting to Master me? I’ll bet half the women in the room would kill to be in this position. Maybe more than half.”
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Details about the contest are on my web site (http://www.kmccullough.com) on the "Contest" page. Check it out and start getting your entry together!
For any of you in the Greensboro-High Point, North Carolina area, I’ll be a guest at StellarCon this weekend. I’d love to see anyone who’s in the area!
This is the description of the con from their web site: Stellarcon is a general fantasy, science fiction, horror, and comics fiction convention held in High Point, NC. Drawing an average of 500 fans each year, we have an intimate convention setting where you can sit and relax with fans and guests alike. You won’t find long lines for events or autographs here. More information on the con is available at its web site: http://www.stellarcon.org/home
The panels I’ve been assigned to (with their descriptions) are:
By the Light of the Moon-- Lycanthropes and vampires have a certain draw. This panel will discuss the mysticism, the myths, and the facts.
Battle of Serenity – No description, but when I asked about it I was told that it was indeed a panel to discuss Firefly/Serenity. WhooHoo! I get to yammer on about one of my favorite TV series ever.
How to Annoy Your Publisher -- Boot Camp for New Writers: Things you shouldn’t do as a new writer.
Artists vs. Authors Pictionary - Artists have the edge for the drawing, authors with the words. Who will win?? Can I admit I’m a bit nervous about this one? I’m not all that great at the game anyway. Competing with actual artists? I’m so dead.
Fear in Fiction -- Horror, suspense, thriller, you name it:people like to be scared. Why? How does one write to induce fear and not disgust and cheese?
There are lots of other great panels, too, and I plan to take in as many as possible. It should be fun, so why not plan to stop by?
Monday, March 10, 2008
I thought I wonder what makes a hero a hero? And started thinking about what makes one for me. In no particular order...
- Intelligence is a big one for me. I want a smart guy.
- Humor is another biggie. My husband can make me laugh on the worst of days. And I love him for that.
- Peseverence. When the tough get going, they keep pace right beside. They also do what they say they will.
- Loyalty. They keep the faith.
- Leadership. People follow them, sometimes though they don't really want to.
Some of my favorite heroes include Chris from This is all I ask, Julian from Fantasy Lover, Ramiel from The Lady's Tutor, Mal from Firefly and Serenity, and Jack from Torchwood. There are others, LOL. This is the short list.
So what makes a hero a hero for you? And who are some of your favorites?
Mechele aka Lany of Melany Logen
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
After her father abandons her for the gold fields of California, Abby must find a husband to keep her safe from the bully who owns the small Texas town where she lives, and who wants to own her at any cost. But any prospective husband will have to let her go when her brother comes to take her back East, where she might find safety and her dreams of education fulfilled.
She's always been told her boldness will get her into trouble one day and it just might when, in desperation, she turns to Miguel for help. She has long admired him from afar, but worries he will not agree to her proposal. But he is honor-bound to keep her safe, and determined to keep his promises to her, come hell or high water. He will protect her from the man of her nightmares, and from the raging passion her innocent curiosity awakens in both of them.
As Abby and Miguel work together to strengthen their temporary marriage and to battle the forces conspiring to bring them down, Abby finds herself looking forward to leaving less and less. Will the temporary bride be bold enough to make it permanent?
Lany of Melany Logen aka Mechele Armstrong
My Triskelion book released last Friday -- yippeee!!
I was never officially caught up in the mess since my name never appeared on any documents, but I was holding my breath during the whole litigation process, expecting to be told, 'uh, no, you're involved, PULL that book from your publisher.'
But it didn't happen and I'm happy to say the Pig Book is out -- so called because a pig kicks off the story by digging up a body under a rose bush.
This is the second book I wrote in 1st person and the words just jumped off my pen. It took me about 5 weeks to write and I haven't had to do any major edits to it (and two editors saw it, one from each publishing house). That was when I knew 1st person was 'my voice'. I do 3rd person well, but first is so easy for me.
Anyway -- The Book is Released! Yea! Here's the blurb:
When JT McCord jilted Molly Lawford she survived and moved on to marry twice. But her first husband died and her second husband ran off with a hairdresser. Molly gave up on romance and settled down in Tangle Butte, Minnesota, as a small town reporter.
Now JT is back in town as the Chief of Police. His first official act is to investigate how Molly's thought-to-be-vanished husband turned up buried next to the septic tank in Molly's back yard, dug up by a neighbor's pig.
Molly sets out to solve that mystery with the help of Mr. Sex's Ladies (her book group), her newspaper editor, her Tarot reader and her color-sorted M&Ms. If she can survive a couple of attempts on her life she might find the love of her life—all because of a pig and some plumbing.
Here's a link to an excerpt: http://www.jayellwilson.com/candy3.htm
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Today, Standoff, the last book in this story arc of my Cascadia Wolves series, releases from Samhain.
I love this cover! Anne Caine does a great job but I must say I've loved every single cover in this series. They've all been so pretty and done so well - I've had great cover mojo. But it's over. In the last year I've ended two series - this one, my Cascadia Wolves and my Chase Brothers books. I'll continue on with both worlds. In fact I've already contracted Unexpected, Megan's story for August and I really want to write Nathan Murphy's story to revisit Petal. But while I love series and the sense of home I can build with a cast of characters readers can revisit time and again, I think it's best if they don't drag on too long. I want to end when readers want more, not when they're reading and thinking, "Gah, she really neededed to stop this series two books ago!"
Series enable an author to really dig deep, to create a world built over many books. What that means is I can take a town like Petal and breathe real life into her. I can give Petal traditions like Homecoming, which I've come back to in every story. Or in the case of this particular family, the Christmas proposal or wedding. I love that. I love that as a reader! I love how I can take werewolves and create government. Law and order and lawlessness too. I've had four books to build a paranormal universe in, which has been a treat. Four books to build the suspense with the werewolf mafia. I'm spoiled and it's been a great ride.
I think about Nora Roberts' trilogies and I think she as the right idea. She builds enough to give readers a sense of something big and sweeping and yet intimate at the same time. Very few authors can take it more than four books in the same story setting and make it work over and over. Kim Harrison can (I just finished The Outlaw Demon Wails this last week and OMG! it was fab), Nora as JD Robb can do it with her In Death books - but in a fully realized romance world you don't see it as often and after book five, it begins to seem all a big stretch (sister's best friend's baby sitter's brother in law's best friend). I do love spin offs though! Like I love cupcakes. I'll eat up every book related to the family Jenny Cruisie introduces us to in Welcome To Temptation (and Davy's story was so good!), or the Chesapeake books from Nora, or SEP's Chicago Stars. There's something really special about returning to a world you've loved so much.
What about you all? What do you like best about series? Do you read them? Which ones?
PS - I've been lucky enough to get early reviews on this one: 5 Nymphs - I’ll say up front that I loved this story. It has everything needed to make a great book…a well written and plotted ongoing storyline, great secondary characters well integrated from previous books and two sexy, determined and dedicated individuals as our hero and heroine. It’s a thrilling story that pulled me in from the very first words and kept me racing through its pages until I reached the action filled end.
4 1/2 stars from JERR: Lauren Dane has done a magnificent job of combining awesome characters and a sparkling plot. I only hope that this is not the last installment in the Cascadia Wolves series.
5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies: I loved the intensity of this storyline and the emotional connections between the characters, but I especially adored Grace’s honest reactions and willingness to stand up for herself. She does it with such style that I found myself immersed in each heated scene. If you’re reading this book solely for the romance, Ms. Dane doesn’t disappoint there either. There’s tons of red hot steamy sexy scenes and of course with a couple that butts heads as often as Cade and Grace do, there’s plenty of make up sex that’ll leave you hot and bothered. Beautifully written Ms. Dane. I’ll be anxiously awaiting more Cascadian Wolves tales in the near future.
Monday, March 3, 2008
Holy cow, this one has snuck up on me. Normally when I have a release date approaching, I’m counting down the days for weeks in advance. Somehow the upcoming release date for the “Jewels” series Quickie, Charming the Masters, flew under my radar until a couple of days ago.
Even though this will be my fourteenth release from Ellora’s Cave, the excitement, the thrill of it never wears off. It hasn’t this time either. It’s just that I’ve been so buy the past few weeks that I’ve barely had time to keep up.
I just saw the cover for Charming the Masters for the first time this past week. It’s a series cover so it’s not particularly unique and it doesn’t really fit my story, but still, I like it! And when I saw it on the “Coming Soon” page, it suddenly brought home to me that release day isn’t far away.
Recently I’ve seen discussion on some lists about the elements in a story that should be highlighted to warm readers who might not like that sort of thing. So I’m letting readers know here that Charming the Masters includes bondage, spanking, MFM ménage, toys of various sorts, food used in sensuous ways, and a magical piece of jewelry.
Here’s the blurb for Charming the Masters:
The jeweled amulet Lindy wears to the club’s Halloween party is imbued with a love charm to make her irresistible to men. Shy Lindy needs some magic to snare the masterful man she wants. After seeing business acquaintance Rick Lowery do a demonstration of sensual flogging techniques, she’s convinced he’s the one. Rick does respond to her, but so does his friend, Kyle Harrison. It will take all her courage to handle both of them, but she's eager for a night to remember. Lindy figures that's all she's likely to get after she confesses to them what she’s done.
I’ll post an excerpt on Wednesday. If I can get that organized.
-- Katherine Kingston
Sunday, March 2, 2008
I keep telling myself I should blog more. But I never do. Why am I blogging today? Because a question on a group on which I lurk put me in the blogging mood. The writer asked why most of the IR (interracial) romances mentioned were erotic ones. Then the writer wondered if all such readers were interested in was sex without character development. Mention was made of characters having sex in the first chapter of a book—as if that were a bad thing. :-)
I write erotic romances. But you knew that already. Didn’t you? :-) You didn’t? Hmm. Clearly you haven’t been visiting me at my Yahoo Group, Love Bytes or my own neglected blog. Why not? What? Because it is neglected? Hmm. Good point, but let’s get back to the subject of this blog—erotic romances.
The writer’s reference was to IR erotic romances in particular, nevertheless, it could be asked of readers of any genre of erotic romance. Are readers who read erotic romance only interested in sex at the expense of character development? When I asked the question on my Yahoo Group (You know the one you’re going to visit after reading this blog. Right?), those who responded made no apology for reading erotic romance, while clearly stating their insistence on character development. Not a single reader expressed a preference for sex for its own sake. They enjoyed not having the bedroom closed in their face, but they wanted the sexual relationship between the hero and heroine to enhance the plot—not replace it.
In my response to the writer, I indicated that I allowed my characters to decide when they will make love. I’ve written books where that happened very early in the book. I’ve also written books where the hero and heroine only make love after they’ve gotten to know each other. I also pointed out if sex was the sole consideration of the readers in question, they could very well read straight erotica. I think the very fact that they’re choosing erotic romance is indicative of a desire for a satisfying love story that is enhanced by the couple’s love making.
So those of you who read erotic romance and who (for some strange reason are not members of my Yahoo Group), what’s your opinion? What do you expect or want when you read an erotic romance? Do you read it strictly for the sex? Do you want a plot and character development with the sex? Are you bothered or turned off if the heroine and hero make love very early in the book?