Saturday, August 30, 2008

First Lines Meme

Gacked from [info]moonshayde on LiveJournal.

Post the first lines from your last 20 13 stories and look for patterns

1. At five minutes to closing, Morin Lansing flipped off the ‘open’ sign and store window lights then stormed across the store to the dressing room. (SL)
2. The night air teased Jamila’s skin through the fine linen robe. (KC)
3. Chen Jin Tai’s heart stopped as he read the letter. (DH)
4. Richard Taylor’s headlights found the state trooper’s cruiser sitting in the dark, off the road and waiting for speeders. (AHH)
5. Serena Whitmore stood behind a two-way mirror. (LFE)
6. Paul Loughton checked his reflection in the mirror. (PL)
7. Cavan woke in a cold sweat. (F)
8. Catherine Lakeland stared at her reflection in the full-length mirror. (DD)
9. The young man groaned as his brutalized flesh hit the icy pavement. (HF)
10. Roger Malloy could see the empty gauge flashing on his career. (TR)
11. Jared North nudged his car into the right lane of Interstate 35. (GIYS)
12. The young Asian woman stood silent, watching him. (TCOE)
13. Biton Savakis hungered. (TD)

I used all my contracted works. The first one isn't announced yet but what the hey! As for patterns... I like mirrors. I have three mentioned (#5, #6 & #8). And full names. Eight of those mentioned. And actually it should be nine. In #2, the character doesn't have a last name...yet. *cackle*

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A HELPING HAND Available Today!

New from Ellora's Cave!



Deputy Sheriff Rich Taylor has many secrets. His sexuality is only the top of the list. Even his best friend Dan doesn’t know Rich is gay. For good reason. His feelings for Dan are more than friendship. When Dan’s injured, the thought of losing him forces Rich to admit his years-long lust has turned to love.

An accident turns State Trooper Dan Fletcher’s life, and his car, upside down. With his right hand out of commission, he has to rely on his best friend for his basic—sometimes intimate—needs. After spending most of his life looking for the right woman, he begins to wonder if he’s been looking at the wrong gender—an impossible concept in their small-minded world.


Richard Taylor’s headlights found the state trooper’s cruiser sitting in the dark, off the road and waiting for speeders. Since Rich wasn’t speeding and was actually a deputy sheriff on his own patrol, he wasn’t worried about getting a ticket.

His lips crooked upward at the thought of Trooper Daniel Fletcher—his best friend, a womanizing lady’s man with a heart of gold and the subject of most of Rich’s jerk-off fantasies. His smile slipped. He wondered whether Dan would still be his friend if he knew that last part.

Rich flashed his lights at the cruiser before pulling in beside it. Dan’s hand appeared in the bright beams then pulled the side mirror in so Rich could pull his unit close in the tight spot. Rich grabbed his mirror and did the same as he eased the car to a stop, driver’s window to driver’s window.

“Hey there.” Dan’s face was pale in the light of an almost full moon.

“How’s it going?”

“Slow night.” Dan shrugged. “Only one ticket. Thought about dropping it until I saw her wedding band.” His teeth flashed white in his shadowed face.

Rich laughed at Dan’s implication. Dan was always looking for his next date, but Rich knew he was joking. Dan’s scruples were one of the things Rich liked most about the man. He would no more drop a ticket for a quickie than Rich would.

“Want some?” Dan held up his ever-present thermos.

Addicted to coffee, Dan always shared when Rich showed up. He even kept several small foam cups in his cruiser for Rich’s use.

Their breath, visible in the cold January night air, mingled as they talked. Rich breathed in through his mouth as if he could taste the other man on the frozen air. A hopeless fantasy. He pushed his thoughts to the back of his mind. Something best saved for the morning when he would be alone in his bed. “Sure. You know I never turn down coffee.” Or a chance to talk with his best friend.

Dan started pouring before Rich finished his answer.

“So what happened with Lizzie?” Rich reached across the short distance for the coffee cup. He shivered from more than cold when Dan’s fingers brushed his.

“How’d you hear about that?”

“I went to the grocery store.”

Dan snorted as he poured his own cup. “Lizzie’s sister.”

“Yeah. Gossip central. I swear they could tell you which of your dog’s fleas jumped ship today.” Rich sipped the strong, hot liquid. “So, what’s your side of the story?”

“She’s just not the one.”

Rich smiled behind his coffee cup. Dan’s search for the elusive “one”—the perfect woman—was the talk of the county. After dating nearly half the available women in the small community, Dan still hadn’t found someone.

“It’s not as if I don’t want to settle down, I just can’t find a woman I think I could live with forever.” Dan’s comment wasn’t a new one.

“But Lizzie seemed like a good fit. Not too clingy, not calling all the time. Not like Sharon.” Even the mention of Sharon’s name sent a shudder down Rich’s back. That one had the makings of a stalker. In the pale moonlight he could see Dan had the same reaction.

“Don’t mention her! She’s scary.”

“Hey, you were the one who said she was harmless!” Rich chuckled at the idea of his tall muscular friend afraid of the petite brunette.

“Well, after awhile I thought I’d find her boiling bunnies in my kitchen! She can hold a grudge like nobody’s business.”

Rich laughed. “She’d never boil bunnies. She loves animals. You, on the other hand, are a different story. I thought we’d have to assign a protective detail on your house!”

As they both laughed, a speeding car topped the hill setting Dan’s radar beeping.

“Gotta go.” Dan switched on his blue lights and pulled out before Rich had time to say goodbye.

Rich watched in the darkness as the flashing lights of Dan’s car gained on the speeder. His friend was a damned attractive man and never had trouble getting dates. His chiseled features and deep blue eyes had most of the women he met willing and ready with little effort. Not to mention the great body.

Even his reputation didn’t seem to hurt his chances. The fact he was kind and sensitive to the point that most of his ex-girlfriends had no hard feelings didn’t hurt. Just the kind of man women wanted to take home to meet the parents.

Rich wasn’t overly modest about his own looks. He kept his body in shape, partly out of pride in his physique and partly out of the demands of the job. He never had trouble getting his own dates.

However, his tastes ran more to lean, masculine bodies and hard cocks. A small rural county in Tennessee wasn’t exactly the best place to come out of the closet, and since he wasn’t his best friend’s type, why bother. He hadn’t met anyone he wanted a lasting relationship with, anyone worth the trouble such a revelation would cause.

Occasional trips to see his friend Jeremy in Memphis, one hundred and fifty miles away, helped take the edge off when things got too bad. He could relax with Jeremy and not worry about people finding out his secret.

Lost in his thoughts, it took a few seconds for Rich’s mind to realize the speeder wasn’t stopping.

The radio crackled with Dan’s unit number. “J-12 in pursuit, possible 10-49, northbound 641, mile 6.”

Rich flipped his lights on as he backed out of the spot. He could still see the blue strobe lights of Dan’s cruiser in the distance. A drunk driver was a pain in the ass, but a fleeing one was an accident wanting to happen. He reached for his radio as he pulled out of the shadows and joined the pursuit. “Dispatch, C-6 to assist J-12.”

Tossing his radio mike on the passenger seat as the dispatcher acknowledged, he floored the accelerator. Rich closed the distance enough to see the white tail of a deer flash blue as it ran across the highway.

Dan’s cruiser swerved in an erratic jerk—first left then right—then flew off the left side of the road. The flashing blue strobe danced in the darkness. As if in slow motion, the car flipped.

Rich’s heart was in his throat as he watched it roll out of sight down an embankment. “Dispatch, 10-36 with 10-34. Mile 10 northbound 641.”

His car screeched to a stop near where Dan had gone over. He had the door open before the dispatcher acknowledged his call of an accident with an officer in trouble.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Life In General

I've been out of sorts lately. Tired, unmotivated, can't seem to concentrate on anything--evil day job or writing related. Part of it I blamed on quitting smoking. Supposedly your metabolism drops when you quit smoking... Okay, that could work. Part of it I blamed on the 105 degree weather with 110-115 heat indices. I mean, who can get motivated when walking outside takes your breath away! Part of my blahs I blamed on just the normal cycle of ups and downs I seem to go through at different times of the year.

I didn't, however, think I was actually sick! *cackle*

About a week and a half ago, I started coughing...not much, just in the mornings and it didn't last long. On the third day, the coughing included blood and my back hurt from the middle of my shoulder blades to my waist. Time to see a doctor. I didn't feel sick but hey, anytime blood is involved... So I went a week ago Friday. I had walking pneumonia! No telling how long I'd had it! Bitch of it was, my car was packed to spend the weekend with a few writer friends and my doctor said I couldn't go! *pouts*

Of course, by the time I got home, I was ready to hit the bed. It was as if his diagnosis gave my body permission to fall apart! LOL I'm better. The antibiotics seemed to have done the job although I feel like I could sleep away the day today. I went back to work on Thursday and then went to my RWA chapter meeting yesterday so I am a little worn out.

While I was sick I recieved my page proofs for Keket's Curse (Masters of Desire antho for Kensington Aphrodisia). I finally got around to them last night. Before that, I couldn't stay upright for long. Only two corrections! Woohoo! I can fax the two pages back tomorrow.

I'm trying to get back into working on a new m/m story. It's just a short novella but with the way I've been feeling this summer, it's taking FOREVER!! LOL I think I'm going to take a nap and then work on the story this afternoon. If I can get anything written, I'll be happy. Because of the pneumonia, I promised not to push myself too much this week.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Another New Cover!

An abundance of riches! Last week, I received cover flats for my Kensington Aphrodisia release Masters of Desire! A nice man torso shot! Can't go wrong with that! So now I have the official title and the official blurb!

Masters of Desire wasn't the original antho title. When this idea was originally pitched it was two volumes of Damned, Dangerous and Delicious--my story in volume two. But somewhere along the way the idea of a Volume 1 and 2 was dropped. The first anthology ended up Damned, Delicious and Dangerous with Delilah Devlin, Lisa Renee Jones and Megan Kerans, released in May 2008. And now, Masters of Desire will be released January 2009! While the book is listed on Amazon, the blurbs aren't there yet.

So blurbage!

Three outstanding erotic authors team up for the second in this imaginative series featuring lovers cursed by fate—and freed by desire.

"Pirate of Mystique Island" by Myla Jackson

A magnificent man rises from the sea before the siren Melodie and she is enchanted in an instant. Lord Rafe Herrington is naked, his skin a shimmering blue, his muscles outlined by silvery rivulets. She longs to trace the water's path...down, down, down...and caress him tenderly. A deep spell binds him prisoner, but a shattering climax can free him...

"Ghostly Legacy" by Layla Chase

Know me. Know my body. Reidun's whispered command arouses a potent response in her Norwegian warlord. He vows to five her the utmost pleasure...until fate parts them forever. The a modern woman hears his voice as she wanders through an ancient castle--and the warlord lives--and loves--once more...

"Keket's Curse" by Shayla Kersten

Given as a handmaiden to the ancient temple of Goddess Hathor, Jamila's body and beauty mesmerize all men. Cursed by a jealous priestess, she can never be truly satisfied--until centuries later, still young, still beautiful, she is saved by David. His kiss explodes her bonds--and sexual ecstasy is next...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Procrastination 101

I should be writing but I'm catching up on my usual blog reading... Found some hot vids on one of my favorite reads Guy Dads which in turn sent me to search for more hot videos... Well, YouTube, thy name is procrastination...

Ghost Hunting Update! (Finally!)

So two weeks ago, the Diamond State Romance Authors spent a weekend at a haunted hotel and went ghost hunting. And we had a blast! Personally, I didn't see or feel anything but then I'm a serious skeptic. Some of our group are more sensitive and open to that sort of thing. A couple had the shivers and goosebumps of a close encounter--which was fun for me to be there to watch.

Our weekend started on Saturday at the Colorado Grill in Hot Springs. A few of us planned to meet there for lunch before checking in at the hotel. Fantastic Mexican food, lousy parking. LOL Almost got lost looking for the parking lot on the block behind the restaurant. But the food was worth the minor aggrevation. More than a few showed up and some brought their families so we ended up with a big party!

Left is Cynthia D'Alba, my wonderful friend and critique partner. She's a hoot to be around. Several of us spent a lovely weekend at her lake house recently plotting books and drinking esspresso martinis.

Below is Shada Royce, an up and coming author, who made a recent short story sale that we're not allowed to talk about yet. *cackle* She and I will be in the same anthology but more on that news will have to wait until the paperwork is final!

And Shada's not bored. I think she's hungover--or just very tired. She and Delilah stayed at Cyndi's the night before. I know alcohol was involved, however, they were up until the wee hours of the morning brainstorming.

Then we were off to the Velda Rose. The Velda is considered one of the most haunted places in Hot Springs. A number of murders, suicides and deaths pepper their long history. The ninth floor and the spa--on the second floor--are where the most paranormal activity takes place. Of course, we all wanted on the ninth floor. LOL Nutty writers...the things we do for our art! Although our outing coordinator had reserved rooms all on the ninth floor, the desk clerks couldn't seem to come up with enough rooms. They straightened it out with a few calls to the manager and we all checked into our haunted floor.

Our regular business meeting was held in a hotel meeting room and we went through the normal motions while we anxiously waited for the ladies of the Central Arkansas Society for Paranormal Research!

Karen and Cathy joined us with a presentation on Hot Springs, its history and its hauntings plus pictures of apparitions and ghost orbs. We also got to see the clip of them on the Montel Williams show! The presentation was fascinating and the ladies were lovely and animated about their finds. We broke for dinner and to wait for dark--because what fun is wandering a cemetary in the daylight?

About 9:30 we headed out to the Hollywood Cemetary in Hot Springs. It's a fairly small cemetery but old and it's in the middle of Hot Springs so we didn't have to go too far. We needed to be back at the Velda Rose by 11 PM for the haunted hotel tour!

During Karen and Cathy's presentation, they showed us what ghost orbs looked like so we were all about finding some orbs! Snapping pictures in a graveyard after dark, I expected the police to stop by and see what we were up to! But we went undisturbed by the living as we wandered around the graves. I, being absentminded, forgot my flashlight at home. But between the lurking full moon and the residual lights from the city, I managed fine without one. The dirt road winding around and between the plots was pale and easy to make out in the limited light. The only time I needed assistance was if I wanted to go into a specific plot. The grassy areas made seeing a little more difficult.

I took a few pictures with some interesting results. One of the things we were looking for was ghost orbs. This picture shows a close up of something--although there were a lot of strange orbs in the shot--this one was the most interesting. The largest orb has an interesting texture and depth. Some websites claim this to be dust particles, some say it's a ghost orb. Being the skeptic I am, I'll let you do your own research and decide for yourself. Link here to the larger version of this shot--

Whether a ghost or dust or humidity--whatever--I had the greatest story idea pop into my head while standing in the middle of a graveyard on a muggy, hot night as sweat trickled down the middle of my back and shivers not related to tempurature wrapped around my spine.

More on the story when it's written! *cackle*

After the cemetery, we met back at the bar in the hotel for something cold to drink and a little air conditioning. At 11 PM, we gathered in the lobby with Karen from CASPR and started the ghost tour. We went to different floors where we heard about the man who was murdered in the hall--gutted like a fish with blood soaking into the carpet. Another where a man put a gun in his mouth and blew his brains all over the hotel room. An elderly man who died in room 612 of natural causes and his wife, returning on year later, died of natural causes in room 611. Stories of the woman in white Victorian era clothing who wanders the stairwells and the restaurant. Lots of stories about the hotel and the sometimes violent history of Hot Springs.

The most haunted spot in the hotel is supposed to be the spa. After a little mix up about access to the closed spa at midnight, we did get in. But I was dead on my feet and my troublesome knee and plantar facsiitis foot weren't very happy with me. I didn't stay for the hunt for ghosts in the spa. My roomie, Delilah Devlin, wandered into our room about 1:30 AM. I'd already downed a double dose of naproxen and was dozing off and on in the unfamiliar bed. Turns out, I didn't miss much by going to bed early and my knee and foot were much happier with me!

The next morning, Delilah and I headed back to the haunted spa, this time open for business. We did the full spa treatment--hot mineral baths, massage and sauna. Now that was worth facing any ghost, anytime!