Friday, September 30, 2011

A Moment with Judi Phillips

Tell the readers a little about yourself.
I live in Maine in the foothills of the White Mountains with three small dogs (who don’t know they’re little) to keep me company.  My kids are all grown and live all over the place.  I have three beautiful granddaughters and will be visiting two of them in Morocco in October.  His wife is Tunisian, thus my interest in the Jasmine Revolution, which is the basis for Night of Turmoil.
As an author, do you take time to read? If so, what do you like to read and who is/are your favorite author/s?
I do, although not as much as I’d like to.  For sci fi/fantasy I love Anne McCaffrey (her dragon rider series) and Linnea Sinclair.  For belly-laugh tears-running-down-my-face funny stories there’s nothing better than Janet Evanovich.  For romance, there’s not room to list everyone I read, but Susan Sizemore is one of my favorites.  And for the hot stuff, Caitlyn Willows is always entertaining.
If you could go anywhere in the world on a romantic getaway, what would you do and where would you go?
It’s a toss-up between Scotland and Jamaica.  To find myself a dour Scotsman with a tantalizing kilt or a hot Jamaican with a delicious accent.  (Check out Merrie’s Christmas by Pepper Goodrich at
for a spicy Jamaican Christmas story.)
If you could live the life of one of your characters who would you be?
Whichever one I’m writing about.  Right now I’m working on the sequel to Ghost of a Chance.  This is Aerial’s story, the mother of the heroine in Ghost.  She’s a psychic and sometimes I wish I had those abilities.  Other times, I’m glad I don’t.  I do like surprises.
The tag line on my blog is ‘Indulge Your Inner Romantic.’ What do you do to indulge?
I was ‘downsized’ a year ago, which curtailed my espresso and latte habit.  But for my birthday this year I had a brainstorm.  I asked my kids to give me an espresso machine and a few days later it was delivered to my house.  Probably not a good idea, because my espresso habit has bloomed into an addiction.  Even better are white chocolate lattes.  All accompanied by chocolate of the dark variety, of course.
I’m excited to share with you my latest release, Night of Turmoil, from Whispers Publishing.
Chelsea O'Malley, English as a Second Language teacher in Tunis, Tunisia, is always prudent, never reckless.  Her adult ESL student Malik Bourjamaa, aspires to a career in news journalism, hoping to facilitate change in his country.  While attending a protest march during the uprising in Tunis, Malik is wounded, infuriating Chelsea and causing her to admit she desires to be more than his teacher.  Can she throw caution to the wind and speak truth to a political system out of control?  Night of Turmoil tells the story of one day during the Jasmine Revolution.

Buy Link:
Watch the Trailer
Judi Phillips has had stories in her head as far back as she can remember. However, being lazy (her friends like to point out that she’s efficient), and being a legal assistant, she knew she could never complete a manuscript if she had to write it on a typewriter. Then, along came word processors, and those magic cut and paste and delete icons. There was no stopping her after that. Within a few weeks of her first job with a computer, she started her first story, a house-beautiful, vogue thing about lawyers. Needless to say, it will never be published -- but she honed her description skills on that project, so nothing is ever wasted.
Judi lives in Maine in the foothills of the White Mountains with her two Yorkies, Sassie and Mishka, and her MinPin, Gizmo.  Despite their small size, they rule the house.

Visit her on-line:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Moment with Smoky Zeidel

Tell the readers a little about yourself.
I’d be happy to! But first, Lynn, thank you so much for having me as your guest today! I appreciate the invitation.
I’m the author of two novels: On the Choptank Shores and The Cabin; Smoky Trudeau Zeidel’s Short Story Collection, Vol. 1, which has just been released in a print edition;  the new Writer’s Workshop Combo Set containing my two books for writers: Front-Word, Back-Word, Insight Out and Left Brain, Write Brain, 366 Writing Prompts and Exercises;  and a photo/essay collection about the beauty of the natural world, Observations of an Earth Mage. All my books are published by Vanilla Heart Publishing. 
I taught fiction writing workshops for many years at several community colleges in Illinois, and was a frequent guest speaker at writing conferences throughout that state. But I never really liked the flat plains of Illinois, despite living there for fifty years!. In 2008, I finally succumbed to my bohemian spirit and need to live near the mountains and the ocean, and I moved to Southern California. It was a good decision; I met my husband and soul mate, Scott, shortly after moving. We now live in a ramshackle cottage in the woods overlooking the San Gabriel Valley and the San Gabriel Mountains beyond. I’m an ardent outdoorswoman with a deep reverence for nature, so when I’m not writing, you can find Scott and me hiking in the mountains, camping in the Sierras, splashing in tide pools, and fighting the urge to speak in haiku.
What one piece of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Can I give three? Based on my years of experience both as an author and as a writing teacher, this is what I tell novice writers who come to me for advice.
First, study your craft. People tend to think they can just decide to write a book and sit down to write one. But writing a book is an art, just like playing the piano and painting a masterpiece are art forms. Yo-Yo Ma didn’t sit down at the cello one day and decide to play, and produce exquisite music. Picasso didn’t decide one day to paint and produce The Guitarist. They studied their craft. Writers need to do that, too.
Second, get your book professionally edited. I’ve seen so many books full of errors because writers had their Aunt Frieda or their next-door neighbor edit for them, even though neither had a bit of editing experience. Editors know things your aunt and your neighbor don’t know about what a good manuscript looks like. They can find mistakes you probably didn’t even know were mistakes. Don’t skimp on this step.
Third, don’t give up just because your book isn’t accepted at first. I used to tell my students, publishing a book is like running into a wall at full speed. When you hit that wall, you knock yourself out and bloody your nose in the process. But if you pick yourself up, wipe the blood from your face, and say, “Gee, that felt good! I think I’ll do it again!” you’ll eventually knock that wall down. The same goes for getting your book published. If you’ve studied your craft and had your book professionally edited, and if, of course, your story is any good, you will find a publisher.
As an author, do you take time to read? If so, what do you like to read and who is/are your favorite author/s?
Yes, I take a lot of time to read. Any writer who doesn’t also read is missing out on a valuable learning experience. My favorite book of the past few years is Jose Saramago’s Death With Interruptions, a difficult, but so worthwhile read! I love Elizabeth Cunningham’s Maeve Chronicles, which is three books at the moment; I believe she is writing a fourth. I love Susan Vreeland’s The Forest Lover, a fictionalized account of the life of Canadian artist Emily Carr. Malcolm R. Campbell’s Sarabande, which was just released by my publisher, is a fabulous read, as is Melinda Clayton’s Appalachian Justice, also from my publisher.
If you could go anywhere in the world on a romantic getaway, what would you do and where would you go?
I’d go with my husband to Greece, to the Greek Isles in particular, to see the sacred sites of antiquity. I’m very interested in Greek mythology and lore of ancient times, and would love to lay eyes on the sites I’ve read so much about: the Delphi, for example, where the famed oracles made their prophesies, and Crete, where so much mythological stories took place. On the same trip, I’d like to go to Northern Italy and send my husband to cooking school for a week. He loves to cook and is a fabulous chef; I think he’d get a kick out of taking a class there.
If you could live the life of one of your characters who would you be?
That’s a great question; no one has ever asked me that one before! I guess it would be Grace, in On the Choptank Shores. Grace lives a simple life, gardening, caring for her family, reading. She’s a deeply spiritual person. I adore Grace.
The tag line on my blog is ‘Indulge Your Inner Romantic.’ What do you do to indulge?
I indulge in my love of exploring. My husband and I frequently hop in the car with no particular plans in mind and go exploring in the mountains, or the deserts, near our Southern California home. We love watching wildlife, or sitting by a mountain stream or on a rock out in the desert, just reading, watching the birds and lizards and coyotes or whatever else we see, maybe taking a few pictures. We live in such a beautiful place; we are surrounded by wilderness. There is always something new to see. And, as a writer, everything I see is fodder for another story.
Where can people find you on the Internet?

The best place to start is at my Wordpress site, at That’s the site of my “Smoky Talks…” blog, and you can find information about all of my books, my editing services, and more about me there. You can also find links to my other blogs, “Smoky Talks Books” (book reviews), “Smoky Talks Authors,” (author interviews), and “Observations of an Earth Mage” (reflections on nature).
My Facebook author page is I invite everyone to come and “like” me there.
Finally, you can find me on Twitter @SmokyZeidel. 

He was mucking out the stalls when Grace found him in the barn.
“You will never, ever, hit Miriam again, or lock her in that frightful closet, do you hear me, Papa?” she said, never raising her voice yet nonetheless unnerving Luther with her cold tone.
Luther put down his shovel and picked up a pitchfork. “‘Whom the Lord loveth he correcteth, even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.’” He tossed a forkful of straw into the stall. “‘He that spareth his rod hateth his.…’”
Stop it, Papa. I’ve heard the speech before, and I’m tired of it. There is no excuse—none, do you hear me?—for beating Miriam until she’s a bloody mess.” 
Luther continued pitching straw to the horses, not bothering to look up at his daughter. “ ‘Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths….’” 
Grace yanked the pitchfork out of his hands and sent it flying across the barn. “What have you taught Miriam other than to be afraid of you?” She spat the words at Luther as though they were bits of rotten meat in her mouth.
“What I am teaching her is to respect the authority of her father, something you attempt to thwart at every opportunity.” Wiping a trickle of sweat from his brow, Luther brushed past his daughter and headed for the barn door.
Who does she think she is, talking to me like that? His mind raced, a jumble of thoughts pounding him as unmercifully as floodwaters pound a dam. She is my daughter. I am the head of this household. I am the authority. I make the rules. I enforce God’s laws. I am the authority. I… am… the… authority…
He stopped cold in his tracks. Shaking with anger, he turned back to face Grace. The dam burst, unleashing a rage he had never known.
“Perhaps the problem here is that I spared you a few too many whippings for your own good, you impudent wretch,” Luther roared, lunging toward his daughter.
The first blow to her face sent her reeling backwards, and she hit the side of the stall with such force the horses reared up in fear. Luther grabbed her by the wrists, yanked her to him and struck her again. The awareness that Miriam had come into the barn and was now standing in the doorway, screaming, enraged him even more, and he raised his arm again.
This time, it was Luther who went reeling. A force stronger than his own grabbed his upraised arm, jerked it painfully behind him, then slammed him into the wall. His spectacles slid from their perch and shattered, piercing his left cheek with shards of broken glass.
“Take your filthy, pious hands off of my wife.” 
“She’s not your wife. She’s my daughter. And if beating her is the only way to knock sense into her, that’s my right and holy duty.” Luther winced, as Otto tightened his grip and gave his arm a sharp twist.
“She’s not my wife at the moment.” Otto leaned heavily into Luther, his breath hot in Luther’s ear. “But she will be by sundown, if she’ll have me that soon. I came here today to ask for your consent, but I’ve reconsidered that idea. You’re not fit to ask. And judging from what I’m seeing here, I don’t think there’s any question she’ll come with me right now, do you, brother Luther?”
 “Take your hands off of me. Grace will not consider going anywhere with you without my blessing.”
“Oh yes I will.” Grace struggled unsteadily to her feet; Otto loosened his hold on Luther to assist her. “I’ve already consented to be his wife. Furthermore,” she glared at Luther, the red handprint on her cheek glowing like a flame, “we’re taking Miriam with us. That’s what I came out here to tell you—you will never lay one hand on her again because she’s coming with me, with us.” She turned her attention to the sobbing child, pulling her into the protection of her arms.
“Fine. Go on then,” he snarled, picking a shard of broken glass from his cheek and hurling it to the barn floor. “You’re no daughter of mine; you’re the spawn of Satan himself. But Miriam stays, you hear me? Miriam stays right here where she belongs.”
He redirected his verbal barrage toward Otto. “Mark my words, Otto, you’ll regret this some day. ‘A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.’ That’s from Proverbs, Chapter Fi…”
“ ‘A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.’ I can quote scripture too, Luther.” Otto helped Grace to her feet, never taking his eyes off Luther. “Go pack a bag, and one for Miriam, too, Grace.”
“Not the little one. Miriam stays.” Luther made a lunge toward Miriam, but Otto was quicker, stepping between Luther and his daughters.
“I don’t think you want to do that, Luther.” Otto slammed him against the wall a second time. “Go on Grace. I’ll be right behind you.” 
Luther watched as Grace shepherded Miriam out of the barn, murmuring soft words he couldn’t quite make out as they disappeared into the bright sunshine.
“Don’t you move from that spot until we are packed and away from here, do you understand me, Luther?” Luther nodded, understanding the implied threat in Otto’s words. “Good. We’ll be out of you way shortly. Good day, brother Luther.” 
Ten minutes later, Luther heard the pickup truck doors slam, then the crank of the engine. He stood in the barn door and watched until the truck disappeared down the dusty road.
They hadn’t even said goodbye.

You can purchase a copy of On the Choptank Shores here:

Print edition:   

Kindle edition:


Sunday, September 25, 2011


Hi all! Thanks so much for stopping by. I had AJ select a winner from the commenters and Congratulations Caroline Clemmons, you've won a mug full of goodies.

Be sure to come back and meet two wonderful authors I've had the good fortune to meet. Smoky Zeidel will be by Tuesday and fellow Whispers author Judi Phillips. And AJ will be here again on Saturday. Who knows there could be another chance at a giveaway.

Until then Indulge Your Inner Romantic!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Eliciting an Emotional Response

I hope you enjoyed what AJ had to say last week. She has enlightened me to a few things things that have eluded me with her first post and her second promises to be an eye-opener. So without further ado, AJ Nuest.

Greetings from the editorial side of the desk, and a peck on the cheek to Lynn for having me back at Decadent Decisions! We had an outstanding response to last week’s Character Development post. So in order to keep those synapses firing at a steady pace, this week I decided to tackle Emotional Response. 
Ask yourself this question: Of the stories you’ve read, which ones remain fixed in your memory? The mediocre plot where the hero and heroine overcame some small obstacle before magically encountering their happily-ever-after? Or perhaps the one that wrenched your heart? The one that had you chewing a thumbnail, or made you so angry at the villain you wanted to reach inside the book and throttle his neck! 
Emotional response is KEY if you’re looking to sell a manuscript, build a following, and in turn, be a successful writer.
If you write in the romance genre, eliciting an emotional response from your editor – and subsequently your readers – ranks right next to character development on the accept/reject chart. It also works in direct tandem with how well you know your characters (reference last week’s post).  I do NOT mean to imply that show vs. tell problems, writing with passive voice instead of active, or continuous POV shifts aren’t troublesome for an editor. They most definitely ARE troublesome – and will undoubtedly need to be addressed before your manuscript goes to print. However, if your story makes your editor laugh, cry, get nervous or even angry, chances are favorable he or she will look past the problematic technical issues because they became emotionally invested in the story
And before the whole lot of you stand up and shout, “Now, wait just a second! That sounds like a big ol’ pile of hooey!” Go ahead and stay seated. I know this for a fact because it happened to me. My first manuscript was a technical nightmare. And the editor wept all over the pages before she mailed me the contract.
So, how does one write from an emotional standpoint? It’s not as easy as following a simple set of rules. Right up front, I’m warning ya, things are about to get messy. If you’re not wearing a comfy pair of sweats, go change now. I can wait…
Back? Okay. The first step an author must achieve in order to write emotionally is to submerse themselves in the character. And let’s face facts. Unless you’re a wealthy heiress whose countryside estate is oft times visited by a devilishly handsome vampire, chances are good this submersion process will be a stretch of the imagination. But remember, no matter what the environmental circumstances, the emotional thread remains the same
I want you to try this exercise: Close your eyes. Now live (yes, LIVE) the moment you are trying to create by envisioning a time when you experienced the exact same emotion you hope to relay through your character. Turn off the editorial stop gaps in your brain and write! Don’t think about what you’re writing. Don’t worry about punctuation or phrasing. If you’re fingers stumble do NOT go back and fix your errors. JUST WRITE! Every single thing you’re feeling, every thought, every detail, the physical responses, all of it. I want you to vomit those words on the page. I’m giving you free rein to SPEAK YOUR PEACE! Let go the fear that you might hurt someone’s feelings or say something inappropriate. If you need to, go ahead and get mad! Get upset! FEEL FREE TO BEAT THAT DEAD HORSE!
When you’re done, only after you’ve got absolutely nothing left inside, THEN sit back from the keyboard, and see what you’ve got.  
BOTTOM LINE TIME: To create an emotional response, you gotta get emotional. You need to locate a specific moment when you were either scared out of your wits, or overjoyed, or madder than kicked hornet’s nest, and THEN fine tune the thoughts and physical responses you experienced in that moment
How will you know if you were successful? If you didn’t laugh, cry, grit your teeth or have some sort of visceral response during that writing session, the words aren’t right. Sorry. But they’re not right. Take a break, walk around for a bit, then go back and try again.
Sidebar:  We have a saying at our house, “If Mom isn’t crying (or laughing, or mad, etc.) the story is crap.” 
If YOU are not experiencing an emotional response to your OWN writing, neither will the reader.  
If you craft a heroine who starts to cry during a scene and YOU ARE NOT CRYING WHILE WRITING IT, the scene is missing that emotional thread.
I recently put the finishing touches on an edgy inspirational, entitled Flicker. I mention this for two reasons. First, to remind everyone that apart from being an editor, I am also a writer. And second, so you all know I completely “get” how difficult it is to write for an emotional response. 
After finishing the story, I sent an email to my editor asking if she would mind giving Flicker a read. Even though the manuscript fell outside the guidelines of her house due to length (Flicker topped out at over 190K, just under 700 pages), she still agreed to read it because she is so incredibly awesome. I attached the file to an email and sent it off late on a Monday afternoon. The following Tuesday morning I received this response:
Oh, AJ. You didn't warn me I'd have to read it all in one sitting. I read all night til 5 a.m. and I am so wasted. My stack of soaked hankies fills a laundry basket. I think I'll reread maybe next week and send you comments and reactions when my head stops spinning. For now just know...your writing is gut-wrenching. In a good way.
In recovery, E

I could demur here and say I’m sharing this email as proof that I know what I’m talking about when it comes to crafting an emotional story. But the simple truth is, this response really cranked my knob. That a person who spends most of her days reading submissions would stay awake all night to finish my story…well, the closest I can come to explaining how it felt was like I’d just won an Emmy. 
Here’s the important part. I SOBBED while writing that story. There were times I spontaneously burst into tears at the mere thought of it. I submersed myself so deeply into the heroine that I became Jillian Parkes. 
If you want to craft an emotional story, you must let go of the fear that you may get caught up in the story. You have to be prepared to step on some toes. You’ve got to break down the barriers of what society deems “proper” and get it all out there. If need be, you can always pull back once you get into the editing phase of your story. 
Next week’s post: Technical Malfunctions, “Houston, we have a problem.”

AJ Nuest lives in northwest Indiana with her loving husband and two beautiful children. She is the Senior Editor for Still Moments Publishing, and the author of two contemporary romance novels.
Visit her on the web at:

Jezebel’s Wish Buy Links:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Got A Life

Got A Life
Liz Crowe

You know, that thing you’re supposed to be doing while planning something else?
My very new publishing career has taken on a life of its own as of late.  I have 2 novels, 2 shorts, a trilogy releasing before the end of the year, with three different publishers.  And was just asked to write a prequel to the as-yet-unpublished trilogy.  I have a major novel project I’m pulling out of the cobwebbed box called “Old WIPs” and dusting it off for a major submission.  And in spite of all my outward nonchalance, every single day I check email obsessively waiting for an Answer to my Big Sub that is now 3 weeks, 2 days, and 17 hours old.
On top of that, I own a beer company and am charged with marketing, sales, promotions and all manner of employee improvement, constant beer learning and blogging for same.  
I have never been the sort of person who took a lot of stock in “down time.”  Perhaps because I used to have a plethora of it. Now, every single moment of family and beer-free quiet it used furiously editing, revising, prepping submissions and promoting my ass off. 
I have managed to jump into a couple of markets in their apparent infancy but that are crowded with all manner of posers and half-assers.  Both craft beer and romance e-publishing could be called growth areas – and then some.  Everybody’s jumping onto the apparent gravy train with no real sense of how hard both of them are.  Sort of like how everybody’s stay home mom, maiden aunt, math teacher, registered nurse and attorney got their real estate license back in 2000.  Yeah.  I had one of those too.  I must be one of the na├»ve ones.
But I take everything I do very seriously, with intent and purpose.  I don’t give up easily.  Hence, my kids go many nights with cereal for dinner (hey, it’s healthy) and I’m averaging 4.5 hours of sleep a night.  But I am so revved up and excited it hasn’t hit me too hard.
Writing the story is the easy part.  You’ve heard this before.  For what it is worth, here is my advice: If you are not prepared to deal with rejection, brutal editing processes that make you question your very existence, dumb ass reviewers and pirate e-book jerk offs, the major successes of authors that in your opinion can barely write a coherent Facebook update, my advice is to stay very far away from this world.  
I could easily translate that to my beer life.  If you (starry-eyed home brewer) aren’t prepared to deal with rejection, brutal brew days that make you question your very existence, dumb ass beer dork reviewers and knock offs of your most treasured recipes, and can’t find anyone to support your venture with ginomrous injections of Cold Hard Cash, my advice is to stay very far away from this world.
It’s a buzz.  I’ve channeled one into the other with my upcoming release The Tap Room.  
Erin Brady is having a seriously bad year.
Her Alpha banker husband, Bradley, has left, claiming she pays more attention to her microbrewery than to him and their two sons.
  One business partner, Trent, is attempting to re-kindle an old flame between them.  
Their amazing success has demanded they hire a new brewer, Jeff, who takes one look at his new boss and is determined to be something more than an employee.  
The daily stresses of running a small business, plus the ongoing turmoil in her personal life are more than she can take.  Escaping to Denver for an industry event, she meets Landon, a brewery rock star turned consultant who has been watching her company--and her-- for a while.  
When family trauma requires an early return to Michigan, Erin is faced with even harder realities plus a thoroughly contrite Bradley, wishing for a reunion.  Then, the ultimate sign of success:  a buy out offer is tendered from a much larger brewery, just as the owners of Winter Street Brewing are about to be honored by Inc. Magazine as Top Entrepreneurs.  
Finally, Erin turns to her other partner, Owen, who has watched the woman he loves suffer long enough and is determined to step in and be the one.
Guess what?  YOU get to decide.....September 30, 2011.
For more in depth descriptions of Erin’s options check out:
Liz’s website:
She blogs at:
Liz’s buy links for:

Excerpt from The Tap Room:
Erin and her business partner Owen, dance around a new angle to their six-year relationship.
Tears blurred her vision. She started re-shelving glassware, not sensing Owen’s presence until he put a hand on her shoulder. She jumped and stepped away. He put his phone down on the bar top.
"Yeah, um, about that grinder." He ran his fingers through his thick blond hair and down his now-stubbled face. Erin kept herself from launching into his arms, running her tongue across his rough cheeks and kissing his full lips. 
"What about it?" She heard the sharpness in her tone. She didn’t understand herself, nor did she like the emotions this man seemed to draw from her.
"Well, I mean, I think it has to be a capital expense this month otherwise we are gonna get behind on the brew schedule," he muttered, not looking at her. 
That made her even more angry. Erin, emboldened by the two beers she’d had on an empty stomach, closed the gap between them. She put a tentative hand on Owen’s shoulder just as his phone rang again. Surprising her, he quickly pulled her to him and possessed her with his mouth, his phone forgotten on the bar top. Owen buried both hands in her hair as his tongue swept into her mouth, making her weak in the knees. She wrapped her arms around him and leaned on the bar. 
Erin broke free of his amazing lips and reveled in the sensation of his tongue on her neck. Her heart fluttered at the press of his erection against her hip. "Owen...I..." she murmured, unable to finish a coherent thought. 
"Shhh..." He brushed his lips against her forehead, once, twice, and then kissed down her cheeks. "Don’t talk," he whispered as he took her earlobe between his teeth. She moaned and arched into him. His strong hands trailed down and cupped her ass as his mouth settled over her insistent yet gentle. She gripped his shoulders.
 Suddenly, without warning, he broke completely away, leaving her gasping for breath. Owen looked down at the floor, then up at her, his eyes shining with pure desire.
"Erin, I won’t do this," he said, as her brain processed what was happening. 
"Um, do what?" She had a sinking feeling. What was it about her that made men act like this?  
"I don’t want to just fuck you," he said, running a hand through his hair. "I mean...shit...I do want to—it’s just..."  
Erin clenched her fists against the need to reach out and touch his face, to wrap herself around him once more. Her very soul was crying out for his touch, but her stubborn nature won out. She yanked her hair up in a tight knot and resolved control the situation.
"I’m sorry," she said, sorry for many reasons, but unable to articulate them coherently. 
Owen frowned. "You have no reason to be sorry." His voice angry, he walked toward her as she gripped the edge of the bar behind her, unable to move. He cradled her face between his hands and kissed her again, with a passion she had not felt in years. Her fingernails dug into the bar. She would be nobody’s mercy fuck. Not even Owen’s. He broke off before she could, his lips trailing along her jawline. 
"You are amazing. You make every man in the room want to know you, to hold you, kiss you, and more..." He smiled and her heart lifted. "But..." He lowered his eyes. "I just can’t do this, not here."
Rage and hurt surged through her as her mind spun. Her formerly simple life—one filled with a busy, successful husband and two active and healthy sons—slipped free of its final mooring and floated away. A somewhat misplaced anger at Bradley made her grit her teeth. The stay-at-home mom thing had consumed her for years, and she’d been damn good at it. She took pride her organization, clean house, elaborate, balanced meals. Bradley had been all she needed, albeit a little on the selfish side but she handled it. He’d professed support for the "beer venture" at first. Except the last three years had been a whirlwind of arguments and unhappiness. Now everything could change. This gentle, kind, creative man standing across from her could possibly be exactly what she needed. 
She made a decision right then. One she hoped she wouldn’t regret. Letting her heart lead, Erin reached out for him and he offered little resistance. Pressing her lips to his she sighed, feeling more at home in a man’s arms than she had felt in years. He kissed her, softly at first then with purpose, as his passion reasserted itself. Owen yanked at her flimsy T-shirt, shoving it up so he could get her bra clasp. She had to have his hands on her, all over her, right now, never mind the bar lights still shone and the windows reflected their images to anyone walking by outside. Erin was nearly in tears by the time Owen flipped open her bra and leaned in to take her rock hard nipple between his lips. She ran her hands through his thick hair, holding him in place as her clit throbbed, and she gasped for air. 
He broke away and refocused on her mouth, moaning and muttering her name. Erin unzipped his shorts and reached in to release his straining cock. He groaned as she stroked his length, lingering on the thick, uncut head, relishing the release of fluid, using it to lubricate her palm. Owen plunged a hand down the front of her jeans, his fingers touching her, making her whimper. Erin’s head was spinning. How they had progressed from "we can’t do this" to groping like teenagers was beyond her, but she wasn’t about to stop now. 
 Erin tilted her hips, keeping her lips on his, needing him more than she’d remembered needing any man in her life. He kept his thumb pressed against the hard nub of enervated flesh and shoved two fingers deep inside. She felt an orgasm on the horizon, racing toward her, as Owen increased the pressure against her sex, providing just the perfect amount against her clit, and finally stroking her G-spot. She shuddered in climax and bit into his shoulder to keep from crying out. 
His cock was thick in her hand, smooth and hot. She dropped into a tall bar chair, her eyes locking on his before leaning down to taste him. Her tongue flicked at his exposed slit and drank down the salty evidence of his passion. Owen put his hands in her hair, halting her movements.
"Wait." His voice was raspy as he brought her up to standing again. His eyes sparkled with desire. Erin kept her hand on his shaft, stroking him with a slow rhythm. 
He kissed her so hard she could hear herself mumbling, begging him never to stop. Erin had never felt so complete, so utterly at peace and eager to please a man as she did at this moment. It was perfect, and she knew it was the start of something that could bring her true happiness. But Owen jerked away, and Erin opened her eyes in surprise. He was staring at the door. 
She looked up at Trent. His face was filled with surprise, and she thought in her lust-fogged state, hurt. "I, uh, forgot my laptop. Left it here the other night," he muttered, standing with his hand still on the open door. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Your Vote Counts

Hi Everyone,

I'm really excited, the cover for Seducing His Wife is up at You Gotta Read Covers and I would love to win, but to do that I need your votes. From now until September 26 the polls will be open. So please, vote for me and while you're there vote for fellow Whispers Author C. L. Scholey,  her book trailer Assassin's Treasure is a contender.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Moment with Darah Lace

How do you stay motivated when the Muse is uncooperative?
My muse is more than uncooperative. She likes to take several extended vacations a year, leaving a big, blank void to work with. And I'm not one to just sit in my chair and start cranking out the words.  I have to see the characters, watch them like a video in my head, hear their dialogue, and feel their emotions.  When she leaves me to stare at a blank screen and no sound system, that's the time to get up and do something else. Sometimes that means interacting with my family, doing something that has nothing to do with writing. Or sometimes I watch television, read a book, go to the movies, listen to music. I try not to force creativity or I get frustrated. I've learned to just sit back and wait for my muse to come home and hope she's gathered tons of material for new stories. Btw, she's been gone a while. Has anybody seen her?
Who is your ideal hero?
From my books? That would be Marcus from Bachelor Auction. He has just enough insecurity to make him a lovable Beta and enough confidence to make him a totally hot Alpha. I haven't written another hero yet who surpasses Marcus's claim on my affection. Some come close, but they're just not quite there. Maybe someday.
If you could go anywhere in the world on a romantic getaway, what would you do and where would you go?
OMG, this is a difficult question for me. I'm such a homebody. I'd rather be home with my dh and a good movie. I have dreams of traveling to Scotland but I know myself well enough to realize the whole time I was gone, I'd be wanting to come home.
The tag line on my blog is ‘Indulge Your Inner Romantic.’ What do you do to indulge?
One look at my waistline and you'd know the answer. Food, more specifically and of late, chocolate...or any kind of ice cream.
What is the hardest thing for you to write?
Hmm, it's not so much that I have a hard time writing any one thing. I love writing dialogue, action, emotion. Those things flow pretty well for me. But I've found I have a hard time "not" writing certain elements. I've tried, but every story ends up with a sensual, steamy, or erotic tone. My characters are always sexually aware of the other and the tension is always high. It eventually takes control. I guess you could say, I like a little plot with my sex.

Game Night - The Wild Rose Press

Bucking Hard - Ellora's Cave