Saturday, August 29, 2009

Keep it Real

I know it's the 21st century. I know there are all kinds of wonderful techno-gadgets to make my life easier. Yes, it's true, I couldn't live without my computer and I've become pretty dependent on that hoojigger thingy that goes in my ear while I'm on my cellphone. But really there are soooo many more things that DRIVE ME INSANE!!!

I hate calling a business and being asked to press 17 buttons before someone will actually talk to me. I used to hit "0" until companies realized we were all doing that to get to a human so that's now an "I'm sorry I didn't understand your response" response. But I still have them fooled. If you refuse to say anything or hit any buttons they figure you're too stupid to use their system and someone actually answers the phone ... novel idea people since that's why I called in the first place.

My husband loves this technical age. Every time he's looking to buy something he researches it on the internet. If he's looking to buy a car he'll spend time surfing around seeing which car is the best deal and who sells it the lowest. Me? I'd rather go to the local car dealership, look the salesman in the eye and tell him no BS ... just sell me the car I want for the best deal you've got. I've gotten some really good deals this way (and definitely better service after the sale).

When we wanted to buy a laptop he spent daaaays shopping around on the internet ... why? I have no idea. The computer was for me and since I have special needs with the keyboard and the size of the keys I sure as heck wasn't buying anything I couldn't put my hands on. In the end we made a special trip to Best Buy talked to one of their very knowledgable computer techs who suggested a couple that would fit both my writing/internet and physical needs. We are now the proud owners of a laptop I can actually use.

He'll shop for ANYTHING and this process can take hours ... sometimes days. But here's the clincher folks. We live in the middle of NOWHERE! Which means regardless of how some other store is going to sell it, if the store HERE doesn't have it ... we're SOL. Why bother?

So why this rant? Well, the other day I went to apply for a passport. This requires a birth certificate ... which I knew. I had a certificate of birth, which is not the same thing ... which I suspected. This meant I needed to order a birth certificate. It was Saturday. The man came home and promptly got on the internet to order my birth certificate. Fine, whatever. In the end he found the vital records department of Connecticut where I was born and for $49 ordered a birth certificate. THEN printed out forms which I needed to sign and send with a copy of a photo ID 200% original size and a copy of my marriage certificate (which is buried in the hope chest in my daughter's room) to prove I had legally changed my name ... ummm, 25 years ago. Sooooo not going to happen.

I waited until Monday and got the number for the town office where I was born. Got the wrong department, but the woman that answered the phone giggled and forwarded me to the office of records. There an equally sweet young woman explained that I simply needed to send their office $10 (note the price), a written request for a full form birth certificate, and a regular sized copy of my driver's license. That's it. Done.

I love people. I hate computer services. Yes, I do shop the internet for promo items, but I've found talking to customer service often times gives me better deals. I won't buy clothes or such from the internet. I want to touch it, feel it, know what it looks like on me before I buy. I don't have the patience to buy 2 different sizes in everything I want just because I never know how something is cut and which size will fit better.

I'm not sure I'll ever have both feet fully in the 21st century. I need the interaction. Because let's face it ... I like talking to people just too darn much!

If you're not too tired of being on the internet you can stop by Nina's website and find out all about the books she manages to write in between her conversations.

Friday, August 28, 2009

My love affair with cowboys

They're hot. They're macho. They're sexy. They make my heart beat faster. With their worn denims clinging to those sexy muscles and their Stetsons pulled low over their foreheads, they make me melt even on a cold day. I guess that's why I write about them so much. I can't remember the first rodeo I went to, but watchign the bull and bronc riders and the roping contests only made my love affair with the cowboy that much stronger.

I guess that;s why my upcoming Ellora's Cave release, Rodeo Heat, is so special to me. Who but a rodeo cowboy was better suited to help Grace Delaney break out of the shell of her "safe" existence. To lead ehr on erotic dance that could only have the best ending.

Rodeo Heat debuts September 9 at Ellora's Cave ( Please come and meet Grace and Ben. I promise you the ride of your life.

It could have been the animalistic heat of the rodeo, or the pin with special powers that the old woman had all but forced her to buy. But whatever it was, within seconds of meeting rodeo rider Ben Lovell, Grace Delany safe world crumbled in a voluptuous explosion of lust. Every night was something new. From the handcuffs to the intriguing sex toys to the taking of her virgin ass, , Grace gave in to it all, relishing her body’s. As Ben Lowell led her from one earth-shattering climax to another, as her body softened and opened to him, her juices lubricating the way, all she could do was hang on for dear life and follow his lead. But when it was over, could she really walk away from the man who had taken her on an outrageous journey of sexual self-discovery where there were no limits or boundaries?.

He moved his mouth over her body as if drawing a map with it, tasting every nook and crevice, seeking her pleasure spots and dwelling a long time on them. His open-mouthed kisses on her heated skin sent shafts of electricity through her, igniting nerves already snapping and firing.
His cock pressed against the soft skin of her inner thigh and her hands suddenly itched to touch it and hold it. Pulling Ben’s head up from its drifting path down to her pussy, she smiled at him. “Stop.”
His eyebrows raised. “Stop? Am I doing something wrong? Something you don’t like? Just tell me—”
“No. You’re doing everything just right. But I want to play too.” She pushed at his shoulders.
“And just what is it you want to do?” he asked, his eyes bright with curiosity as he rolled onto his back.
Wondering where this spurt of boldness had come from, she shifted onto her knees next to him, her gaze riveted to his erection which pointed directly at her. Tentatively she reached out a finger to touch the bead of fluid sitting like a viscous marble atop the slit. Rubbing it back and forth along the velvet surface, she watched the thick stalk bob under her touch and saw Ben’s thigh muscles tighten.
She hadn’t done this since Joe’s death. The few men she’d had sex with hadn’t appealed to her this way at all. Sometimes she wondered if they really appealed to her in any way. Worried that maybe she just wasn’t a sexual person.
No. Wait. Then she wouldn’t be where she was doing what she was. Right?
Inquisitively, she bent her head and licked the surface of the purple head with the tip of her tongue, swiping it back and forth two or three times, loving the slightly salty taste of the fluid and the sensation of the soft skin against her tongue. Her fingers barely wrapped around the thick length of him but she felt the steel beneath the supple covering. She unclasped him and ran one finger the length of the heavy vein, feeling the blood pulsing through it.
“Am I doing this right?” she asked, her voice tremulous, unable to look at him as she waited for his answer.
“Are you kidding?” Ben asked in a strangled voice, one large hand coming up to squeeze her buttocks. “I think you’re trying to torture me.”
Grace’s laugh held just a hint of uncertainty. “Just finding out what you feel like. How you feel.”
His hand moved in slow strokes on the cheek of her ass. “Surely this isn’t the first one you’ve ever seen or felt,” he joked.
“Believe it or not, the first in bright light. At least for longer than I want to remember.”
Because the others didn’t bear looking at. Except for Ben.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Sexually Assertive Woman

What is it with men these days? Or perhaps it is just the ones in my neck of the woods. I am proud to say that I am a sexually assertive woman. At the age of thirty-six I know what I want from my partner and I'm not afraid to ask, to demand it. I know what excites me, what gets my motor running, and I have even...(dare I admit it) masturbated. Gasp. I know. Not saying that for shock value just trying to convey that I know my body very well.
We no longer live in a society where women are to be chaste and pure while men are free to play. Or do we? Is there still that core value that sees a woman who is sexual as a whore? Slutty? Cheap? And who is really giving us this label? Men? Or other women?
I remember my twenties fondly. But I was far from the woman that I am now. I was easily intimidated and shy. I was never happy with my body, my appearance, my anything. I was far from assertive. But I lived. I experienced life and learned from it. Did I make mistakes? You bet, sometimes more than once. But they all brought to where I am now, to who I am now. So I regret nothing.
I was married for twelve years and although it ended sadly in divorce, I dont' regret it and will hold love for him somewhere inside always. He is the father of my children. I have dated. I have loved. I have walked away unscathed and I have walked away deeply wounded. I have even succumbed to the occasional booty call.
My original point was that I am a sexual woman. I love sex, every facet of it. I am confident and secure within myself and that changes how I behave in the bedroom...or wherever. Call me what you will but when it is all said and done, I never fake anything. I don't have to.
Men may be intimidated because they actually have to prove what they claim. I'm not some naive school girl that is going to be wrapped up in pleasing him. I'm a woman and I'll tell you what I like, what I don't, and what I'd really enjoy. Just maybe we'll both walk away with a smile...or even better, we won't have the strength left to walk at all.
So women don't be afraid to embrace your sexual side. It is more than okay to know what you want and to demand it. Don't settle. NEVER FAKE IT! And men. There is a lot to learn from a woman who knows her body. Explore it with her, listen, and you just might walk away a much better lover for it.
I am woman. I am Goddess. Hear me roar. More importantly just hear me!

Lacey Thorn
It's your world...unlaced.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Birthdays are wonderful...until you get past 12! But today is a great birthday!

And yesterday I got my birthday present...

Dictated by Fate
was just released from Resplendence Publishing!

My third release, and my first from Resplendence, this is a full length novel about two lonely people who find themselves in situations that can't be remedied without help...and when Fate steps in to help, you can bet things will heat up quickly! Between Fate and erroneous assumptions, things get pretty rocky pretty fast!


Facing eviction and being homeless is not quite the most humiliating thing that has ever happened to her...not quite. Her short and disappointing marriage to a gorgeous guy who never bothered to mention that he was gay took top honors in that division! But finding another affordable place will be virtually impossible if she has to move out within the week!


A man on a mission...a mission to find a very temporary wife to meet the requirements of his father's will. He has no desire to be saddled with a "'Til death do us part" relationship, but where can he find a woman who is attractive enough to convince his family and the lawyers that he is in love, without that woman sinking her claws into his hide and fortune? He only needs her for 24 months...and she must be willing to walk away with no strings at that point. The ideal candidate is a woman who has no interest in him as a man...who will be willing to let him go after 24 months...and who won't try to take his fortune when she does leave!

Assumption #1

He is utterly gorgeous, yet he has to find a wife to satisfy some legal requirement within his family? He can get any woman he wants! Why plain, dumpy Chris? He has to be gay...just like her ex! He obviously needs a showpiece wife to make his family believe he is straight. There can be no other explanation! What a waste! Will she never find a man who wants her for anything other than a facade? Is there a sign on her forehead that reads "Stupid and desperate"?

Assumption #2

A woman who is disinterested in Antonio Rodriguez? The maddening red head doesn't seem to find him in the least attractive, and she acts as if his touch is repellent! She must be a lesbian...after all, she was married to a gay man. Of course, she is exactly what he needs...except that he has never met a woman who didn't fall all over him and cling to him like a limpet. Too bad she doesn't like men...

But you know what they say about that odd little word ASSUME...right?

I am running a contest to win a FREE copy of my book on my website at:

It will end August 31, 2009.

Drop in and enter...there are also dozens of secondary prizes as well.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Not much to say today. Enjoy the weekend. See ya next month!


Friday, August 21, 2009

How Much Sex Is Too Much Sex In A Book...

Taken from the Writer's Evolution blog which hosted this excellent topic this week.

By Mia Watts

As someone who writes character driven stories, my answer has everything to do with what the characters would want. If Mavis is especially hot for Marvin and they finally get it on. She will not suddenly become inhibited or withdrawn. No, they will go at it like bunnies. And while I've never seen a bunny perform a blow job (the animal bunny), take it in the back door, or English mount another bunny, my characters will if the thought occurs to them for such a position.

Easy enough, yes? And yet there are still the publishing requirements. One publisher wanted sex within the first four pages. From Mavis meeting Marvin for the first time, to having his face buried in her p*ssy, there was to be immediate sex play. Once established, the idea was to keep it coming throughout the story. I believe the request is, quick, hot, often with a focus on sex and a plot directed at allowing sex to occur.

Another publisher requested (different than require but not by much) sex within the first 3k (12 pages). Much more do-able, if you'll forgive the pun. At least the characters can get beyond the handshake-jackmeoff moment and into, I'vejustmetyoulet'sfucknow moment. Breathing room.

Why do these publishers have requirements like this? Because it sells. With all the discussion around who has too much and who doesn't have enough and what does the reader really want to see, there is still that hidden question. Yes, we tell our stories and we give you the characters that you want to read about. But if you only wanted to read about the plot, most likely you wouldn't be book shopping in the erotic section (link). Or am I off-base?

There has been a strange twist in the market where the over abundance of gratuitous sex way overshadowing plot has reached an all time high. Readers are now saying that even erotic novels or short stories have too much. Where is the threshold? I believe we are currently seeking that line as authors and publishers.

So how much IS too much? Publishers push for more but have seen the downturn in sales. Readers want it but are disappointed in the level of plot development. Writers are frustrated, caught in the middle, wanting to give the readers what they want while reaching the demands of the industry standard.

I believe we need to write what fits. If Mavis and Marvin and nymphos, fine. Perhaps they are nymphos who meet in a hotel which has now caught fire and they are trapped on the top floor with the added twist that they must have sex on every floor to win a bet of some juvenile nature. Or perhaps Mavis is shy but a hot one and Marvin is the computer geek with whom she works. This character combo allows for a delay before intimacy begins. It would be out of character for Mavis to straddle him at his keyboard and go wild. Write what fits.

I believe that as long as the book isn't being forced and the characters made to act out of character, your reader will follow along with you, quite happy with the direction of plot and sex. But when it's forced and rushed... the reader will know it and knowing it creates discomfort. They will feel it in their gut that you, the writer, had it wrong. And potentially this wrong-ness could alienate them enough where they will be betrayed (see betraying your reader), possibly never coming back to you again.

If it's believable, write it. If it isn't believable, make it believable. It's your contract with your reader and is far more important than the contract you hold with your publisher. Change your story if you must, but do not betray your audience.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Even Pantsers Plot--Sort of

I am a card-carrying, proud to be pantser. My editor says my plots are so convoluted they're impossible to follow--which may be why she hasn't bought anything recently. So, while rewriting my new futuristic--a wholesale, barely anything from the original salvageable rewrite--I laid out a bare bones plot. It consisted mostly of my hero/heroine traveling to various planets. End of detailed plot.

And here's where the pantser fun kicked in. Without belaboring scientific fact--like atmosphere and temperature and gravity--I created worlds where those elements are addressed with an appalling disregard as to whether or not they could be done. Domed planets, after all, make everything possible.

And then the characters took over as they tend to do in my stories. I discovered that my heroine has a domineering father yet cannot resist matchmaking for other people. My hero is a successful businessman and philanthropist who wants what he wants when he wants it. And what he wants is the heroine. Duh!

Haven't decided what the "black moment" will be. Probably he'll insist she marry him and she'll refuse. Probably--because not being a plotter--I don't know yet.

And that's the adventure of being a pantser!

BTW: If you're going to be in the Sacramento, CA area on October 3 and/or October 24 contact me for where and when I and several other local romance authors will be signing.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Never enough time

All writers seem to have this difficulty, so I'll just assume anyone reading this who's a writer does too. I've lately been caught up a complete revision my editor wanted. Her pertinent criticisms threw me for a while, but then I buckled down and am trying to do what she wanted. I'm one of those writers who loves every word in her little darlings of books, and I hate, hate, hate to cut. These revisions took about 6000 words, and as I always I'm ending up with a better book. Not easy for me to or to admit. So I'll take the easy path a post an excerpt from my book coming out Sept. 19th, Gareth's Gambit.

Gareth is the first son of Damien, the hero of Damien's Destiny. It's the second book in my series, Songs of the Mages. It's the story of how he and Morgana, the reluctant heroine, overcome their prejudices and faults to find each other. Here's an excerpt to whet your appetite, I hope.

"He motioned the three females down the hall and into a library. Katie and her mother looked around the beautifully furnished room, as a dark haired man rose to his feet behind a massive desk. Morgana’s eyes fastened on the viscount.
Katie’s whisper resounded perhaps a fraction less loudly than her last one.
“He’s even prettier, Morgana. Is he m‘nificent?”
Morgana flushed as her gaze focused on the handsomest man she’d ever seen. Dark hair curled at the ends over his collar. Not the fashion but desperately attractive on him, giving the impression of an untamed and unconventional spirit. Gray eyes that softened from their steely look as he spied Katie. Tall and slender in spite of his obviously muscled body. Magnetism positively oozed from every inch.
And she resented every separate inch of his seductive male body. She’d heard his father, Lord Sinclair was attractive and all his sons looked like him. No wonder this one was arrogant. Women probably chased him around the dance floor whenever they found the chance.
His lips curved into a genuinely amused smile. “Your thoughts are quite loud, Miss Monthill. No, I’m definitely not magnificent. And unfortunately no woman finds a chance to chase me. I don’t frequent ballrooms.”
Katie grinned, even though she didn’t understand all the pretty man said.
Morgana bristled with indignation. “A charlatan’s trick, sir. I’m disappointed you tried one so soon. I don’t believe anyone can read minds. You’ve probably basked in enough women giving you encouragement to say something like that with confidence.”
Amy gasped and put startled hands to her mouth. “Morgana, I’m here to ask a favor. Don’t make the gentleman angry, please.”
Lord Hunter looked at her gravely, the smile wiped abruptly from his face. His arrogantly masculine face. In spite of its strong angles and planes, he was far too handsome to ever be trusted.
“Your pardon, ladies. I have a bad habit of sounding facetious. Please sit down and tell me why you requested to see me, Mrs. Robbins.”
Morgana swallowed her feelings of distrust and throttled her tongue. She’d tried her best to keep Amy from consulting this man who claimed to be a mage. He and his brother were all rumored to be descended from the lineage of Merlin and the Lady of the Lake. A ridiculous bit of gossip. Reputedly his father was the most powerful mage alive, able to heal, see visions and work enchantments. Which he reportedly used only for a good cause. Truly a bunch of nonsense. She had only contempt for anyone who believed such feats were even possible. Her sister Amy sitting looking at him as if he were a miracle worker made Morgana even angrier.
If she provided him enough rope surely his own words would hang him. He’d make some ridiculous claim of such evident nonsense they could then leave. She didn’t at all enjoy the magnetic pull of his powerful body, making her want to reach out and stroke his splendid hair like a kitten’s enticing fur. Of course she’d never touch a man who made such absurd claims. Still, such wayward thoughts were not at all like her and her irritation increased. He was just another spoiled and good-looking man. Actually rather more than good-looking with his powerful build and impressive height. His face showed little expression, another point against him. His perfectly calm exterior definitely made her want to scream at him to stop his playacting."

Yep, Gareth and Morgana do have a bit of trouble getting together. But that's what a romance is all about, isn't it? Would love to have your reaction to this bit of Gareth's Gambit.

Clapping of hands here!!!!! I just got my new video for this book. If you have time go to www/ I love it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife

I haven't seen the movie - too busy getting ready to move and taking a holiday and sorting out clothing to send to thrift shops. Having said all that, I read a review for the movie and the reviewer, Rick Groen, gave such a neat little description of "sentimental fiction" that I had to share it.

"In sentimental fiction, if not in sorry reality, romance's heart always pound to the same reassuring three beats, and the script is the trusty metronome that keeps time. It's rhythm never varies, (1) introduce the problem; (2) complicate the problem; (3) resolve the problem. " He goes on to say the movies has few complications and seldom has the course of love run more smoothly.

Perhaps the 1, 2, 3 he lays out is worth sticking on the desk as you ponder the scenes. Introduce the Problem. Complicate the Problem. Resolve the Problem.

Goal. Motivation. Conflict. Same rhythm as the above, 1,2,3.

If only writing were that simple. Do we get lost in too much narrative? Not enough useful dialogue to move the plot. As for conflict! It's not a punch-up with bloody noses. It can be subtly devastating and hard to get a handle on.

I have many faults and one is not doing a thorough work-up on each significant character in my stories. When I have moved and settled into my new small apartment. I intend to mend my ways.

In the meantime, I have more to do to-day and tomorrow and tomorrow. I may miss my August 30 Goddess blog. I shall do my best so forgive me if I miss that day. As General Douglas MacCarthur (sp?) said, "I shall return."

Drop by my web site, and check out my books, quotes and news.


Friday, August 14, 2009

TGIF Contest

Okay today is my day to blog. Problem? I've got nothing to write about. I'm drained from revisions and life. So, instead of boring you with my life's trials and tribulations I'm hosting a contest.

I have a new release coming in Sept from Aspen Mountain Press called Heat Waves. Answer two questions correctly and you could win a copy of one of my recent releases. You can check out those at

1. What is the name of the Limo driver?

2. What is Nina afraid will happen to Cindy?

HINT: You can find the answer to both questions below in the excerpt.

Once you've found the answers post them in the comment section. Tomorrow I'll pick a winner.

Hope you enjoy this little contest. :-)


Ever wonder about the face behind the voice of a radio DJ?
Nina Walters has. She can’t get enough of disc jockey Ty’s sexy baritone. He has her masturbating to his voice daily. When he challenges his listeners to a contest Nina wants the upper hand. Luckily for her, her best friend, Cindy, works at the radio station.
Ty is offering a dream date, with him, to one lucky winner. He’s almost positive no one will guess the answer correctly. So, when Nina does he’s floored. Being a man of his word, he goes through with the date.
Sparks fly, but secrets linger. Will their heat for one another be enough to ride the waves of deception?


Nina struggled to keep up with him. She couldn’t imagine why he was ignoring her. She hung up on Cindy with no explanation. She needed to find out what was wrong with Ty. She watched him climb into the front of the limo. When she reached the door she pulled on the lever.
Locked. She knocked on the black-tinted window.
No response.
She knocked again, this time louder.
Still no response.
“I know you’re in there, Ty. Please come out and tell me what’s wrong,” she pleaded.
Why was he ignoring her? What had she done? Besides waiting for him to come out of the bathroom, she’d thought they were having a good time. What had changed his mind?
Jasper opened his door and stepped out. “Ms. Walters, let me get the door for you.” He opened the back door and waited for her to step in.
“I’m not getting in until Ty explains to me what the hell is going on.” Her voice grew louder as her frustration mounted.
“Ms. Walters, please.”
She knew she was making Jasper uncomfortable, but she didn’t care. She couldn’t understand what was going on.
“I’m not moving, so either you have Ty get his ass out of the car and talk to me, or you can leave me here.”
Jasper closed the door and disappeared into the limo, leaving her standing there.
Just fucking great. Was he going to take her seriously and leave her? He wouldn’t would he? This was ridiculous. Was he some kind of weirdo? Did he do this often? They’d shared an incredible day. What the fuck was going on?
She counted to one hundred. No one exited the limo, but it didn’t drive away either. Maybe that was a good sign. She paced the length of the limo racking her brain. She couldn’t figure it out, unless…
Oh shit!
Had he heard her conversation with Cindy? She hadn’t said enough to have him understand—had she? She’d continually looked over her shoulder to see if he was coming. Had he snuck up on her and listened to her private conversation? That would have been rude. But still, she couldn’t wrap her thoughts around what would make his so mad. She hadn’t said anything incrementing. If she had and he was pissed Cindy could lose her job.
That would be the nightmare of all nightmares.
When she reached two hundred and still no Ty, she went back to his side and knocked on the window.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August Thirteenth

The 13th of every month is my day to blog and I almost always forget my day. Not today. I remembered because today is an anniversary and a bad memory. On this day, oh...I don't know how many years ago...I married my first husband. We eloped and were married before a Justice of the Peace in front of two witnesses.
Why oh why did I do this? Why on earth did I run off and marry someone I barely knew? To this day, I have no idea why I married an utter nightmare of a human being. I suppose I could be New Age about the entire experience and say...well...there are no mistakes. We are destined to do the things we do so we can learn and grow and blah...blah...blah. Maybe there's something to that. I certainly did learn an awful lot. But I was also very young, very troubled, very afraid, and blinded by my screwed up past. I didn't stand before the Justice of the Peace as a hopeful young bride. I stood there, legs shaking, filled with the absolute conviction that I was doing the wrong thing yet I did it anyway. How crazy is that!
Every single August 13th, I remember as if it's happening in the present. The day has left an indelible mark on me - like a tattoo. But by tomorrow, I will have forgotten all over again. Despite the fact that New Year's Day is January 1, my year always begins on August 14th. August 13th is how I've marked my calendar year ever since.
So that's why I remembered it's my day to blog!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Putting the Muse on hold.

I'm jumping in for a quick blog although my days are actually August 15 and 30. I have sold my home and am moving into a beautiful retirement apartment building. Not a care facility! My new suite overlooks the sea - a million dollar view.

My muse is on hold until I am settled in my new home. However, I am going on a short cruise from Vancouver to Skagway, and one of my writer friends is joining me. We are plotting a series - very different story lines from what we usually write. That should be fun.

My historical romance, A Very Difficult Man, is now available in trade paperback as well in the e-pub edition, both from Cerridwen Press. The cover is beautiful. There's a gypsy fortune teller in my story, that's her crystal ball on the cover.

I hope to have time to blog on August 15th. Depends if my brain can cope with planning to move - packing, sorting, throwing stuff away - what to keep, what not to keep.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Importance of Passion

I just read Bleak House by Charles Dickens -- and watched the BBC movie so I could figure out what was going on -- and read Spark notes to make sure what I thought was going on really did.

One of the themes is the importance of passion. It’s like fire, dangerous but necessary. The word makes us think of heavy breathing, gasps, and sighs, but it’s also a main component of motivation. Lack of passion and interest is essentially death. Ever done a job you weren’t passionate about? Didn’t the time go very slowly? Passion gives you that can’t wait to get out of bed feeling in the morning (not just the can’t wait to get into it at night).

It’s what makes us good writers. So what happens when we sit at the keyboard and feel no passion? As the pilot of Apollo 13 said, “Houston, we have a problem.” Passion is the lifeblood of fiction. The reader wants to feel what the characters feel. I recommend reading Christopher Vogler’s “The Writer’s Journey.” In it, he says good writing makes our juices flow. Sounds gross but it’s true. We’ve got to feel that stuff percolating while we type so the reader feels it when she reads it. Amazing how passion stays locked up in those little words, isn’t it? Just sitting there, waiting to be read, or re-read if it’s a keeper.

So have you lost your passion? Never fear. There is help.

-Drink some java or take a jog to get the heart pumping.
-Take a break. Fatigue and burn-out kill passion. Recharge. Better yet, take a little trip for a change of scene.
-Watch an emotional movie. Get out the tissues and have a good wail.
-Watch a soap opera and watch the facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice -- and how they all converge to convey emotion.
-Face your fears. Have an issue you’re burying so it can’t hurt you? Dig it up and feel it so you can feel and write again. Writing is cathartic.

May passion be with you!

Afton Locke

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Interview with Hero Sloane Hoffman from "Sexy Games"

New release, "Sexy Games" by April Ash, is an erotic romance book with Sloane Hoffman and Stacy Newman testing new games for the Naughty Games Company...a company that specializes in adult games. They're required to don costumes and role-play different scenarios. And, sex is involved.

Q: Sloane, why did you decide to test games?
A: Two reasons. I wanted to satisfy my father's request, and once I saw Stacy again and knew she'd be my testing partner, I couldn't say no.

Q: I, heard a rumor that Stacy wasn't very anxious to have you as her partner. Am I wrong?
A: (Sloane squirms in his chair) Stacy was mad at me, and rightfully so. We'd spent an incredible night together and I kinda left her in a hurry. Without a word. Sorta fled in panic. But, she warmed up to the idea pretty quickly and we both were happy about that.

Q: What kind of woman do you like to date?
A: Up until Stacy, I'd say one that I know deep down inside I won't have trouble walking away from. My bachelor radar was always on, always alert so I wouldn't get too close to anyone.

Q: What about Stacy?
A: Is it getting hot in here? (Sloane runs his finger around the inside of his collar) Stacy's, well, different. I wanted her and didn't want anyone else to have her. She was always stuck in the back of my mind and drove me crazy.

Q: Tell me about the first game you played, "Hot Sands".
A: I got to be a sheik and wear a costume consisting of a turban, vest and pantaloons that the game testing people developed. A little scratchy at first, but I didn't wear them long. Anyway, Stacy and her costume distracted me from any discomfort.

Q: Game number two? "Teach Me"?
A: (Big grin appears on Sloane's face) I had to play a nerdy professor, naive about the world of strippers and lap-dancing. Stacy had this really suggestive costume, and... (Sloane's eyes glaze over) Oh. Yeah. I wore this dumb bowtie and suit. She had these pasties with tassels, and plastic fish swimming around in her very high clear heels, and, well, we didn't keep the costumes on too long.

Q: Last game..."The Lady and Her Butler".
A: Interesting one. I got to be the experienced butler guiding a novice and pure "lady" through the pleasures of lovemaking. (Sloane laughs) Stacy's character sure caught on fast. We got to do this tub scene...well, I've always loved water sports.

Q: So, what happens at the end?
A: (Sloane shakes a finger at me) Now that's something you'll have to find out by reading the book. Obstacles always creep into romance, and ours is no different.

Q: Anything else we should know about you or "Sexy Games"?
A: Hmm. (Sloane leans in near me and whispers) Well, there are other creative ways we satisfy our passion, the book! I don't "kiss and tell" everything!

"Sexy Games", by April Ash, is now available from Ellora's Cave:

A blurb and excerpts are at:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A sagging middle

No, not mine. If it is I'd never admit it....I really mean the dreaded middle of the book when you need a dramatic episode or two to make the transition between the first scene and the last. Those two I generally have firmly in mind and can set on paper almost as soon I decide on a new book. It's the middle, the damned middle, that gives me fits every time.

Sometimes an idea comes to me in the middle of the night, and I lie there repeating it in my head so I'll remember it in the morning. Often I do, and with a germ of an idea can go ahead. Sometimes I forget by morning, and then I'm in trouble. Can't make notes at night since the light would wake my husband. As a lot of you know, he's not been well. Anyway I wish I could think better in the day time. Seems I need to be half asleep to get the old subconscious to take over.

Do you all do this, or something like it? My subconcious definitely works better at night, especially if I repeat the problem to myself several times before falling asleep. Last night I wrestled with how to make the hero look good even while the villain breaks through the protection he's put around her and injures her. Blast if I don't at least give myself interesting problems.

This new book is Twin Quest Two, hopefully to be no. five in the Songs of the Mages series. Jono is the playboy twin who's abjured his mages powers, and is now wanting to reform so he can claim and also help the heroine. It's going to take a lot of convincing, because he's been a very bad boy. Needless to say it's a book I'm enjoying writing. Always love to really delve into a character, and who doesn't like bad boys trying to reform?. Doesn't hurt a bit if he happens to be handsome and a real charmer...Its proof of the old saying twisted around, it's not love of a good woman a man needs, but love FOR her.


Babies in the Bargain
Author: Mona Risk
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Release Date: July 3, 2009
Blue Ribbon Rating: 5


BABIES IN THE BARGAIN is one novel that pulls you into the story and holds you captive to the last page. My heart broke for Marc and the touching way little Paulito comes into his life. At the same time, the baby forces Holly to acknowledge her feelings for Marc – feelings she’s been trying hard to ignore. Mona Risk delves into the intense life and death situation babies in the NICU face and tempers that overwhelming emotion with a high intensity romance in a storyline that will truly touch the reader’s heart.

BABIES IN THE BARGAIN, sweet and spicy, in the genre of ER and Gray's Anatomy: New release at The Wild Rose Press.
At Barnes and Noble:

Short Synopsis:
With only one year left to complete her medical training in Neonatology, Dr. Holly Collier vows not to let anyone mess up her sacrosanct schedule. Especially not the drop-dead gorgeous Dr. Marc Suarez who broke her heart seven years ago.

When a tragic accident transforms the carefree playboy into a dedicated but novice father to his nephew, Holly gives in to her maternal instincts and turns her structured life upside down for the orphaned preemie. But can she learn to trust Marc again and believe in true love?


He sucked in a deep breath. Had he been so insensitive? Judging by the shadow of sadness in her eyes, he’d made a real mess back then. Damn it. “I’m sorry if I hurt you. That was never my intention.”

“It’s all in the past,” she said in the soothing voice she probably used with the parents of her little patients. She didn’t even seem to resent him. But he knew better. She had avoided him as if he could transmit germs on sight.

Her head tilted to the side, she stared at him like a porcelain statue, beautiful but cold. His fingers clenched on his fork to refrain from caressing her hair. She hadn’t asked for explanations, but as a doctor, he felt the need to disinfect old wounds.

“Let me explain the scene you’d witnessed. Several girls came to say goodbye. Some of these women were quite aggressive. But none was special to me. They hugged and kissed and wished me the best. That was it. I couldn’t throw them out when they were just being nice. Beside I was going away the next day.” He covered her fisted hand. It slowly relaxed. “You were the only one I wrote to.”

“A few lines to tell me you were extremely busy.” She pushed the croutons of her salad to the side of her plate with nervous little taps.

“I was. Honestly. My father’s health was failing. And then both my sister and Carlos had some, hmm, problems. But I wrote again as soon as I could.”

“Three letters in a year. Not that I’m blaming you. I didn’t have a free minute myself.”
He didn’t like her bitter smile. He tried to capture her gaze, but she kept looking at the damn croutons as if she were studying a medical sample.

“But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about you. In fact there wasn’t a day that I didn’t think about you.”

“Come on.” She raised her eyebrows in disbelief.

“Oh, yes. At least for the first two years,” he specified, a thorny regret twisting his insides.

“When you never answered my last letter, I gave up and started flirting right and left to forget you.”

“That I can well imagine.” A sarcastic smile played on her lips.

She certainly didn’t harbor a good opinion about his character. He wasn’t at liberty to divulge the series of scandals his family had faced and the shame that muddied the Suarez name until he had repaired the damage. But he could at least explain his compulsive search for fun. An effective antidote to the troubles that had poisoned his life.

“Holly, you know firsthand that medicine is a tough field. The long hours, the stress. I was working like a madman. I saw death on a regular basis.” And an alcoholic father in a wheelchair, pathetic and loud. “I never thought twice about taking a bit of pleasure wherever I could find it. It was all part of the hectic life, part of growing up.”

Her lips puckered in a grimace. “No shit. I’m used to medical stress, Marc. I’m still in deep water now.”

“Yes, I know.” He raked his fingers through his hair. “But I’ve changed now. Trudging the poor areas of San Juan forced me to see life differently. And the old problems were settled.”

“You don’t have to.” She arched a skeptical eyebrow.

Words—even words from the heart—were not enough to convince her. He’d have to prove himself.

She flipped her hand in the air, in an I’ve-heard-it-all-before gesture. “I can deal with charming playboys. My father belonged to that club.”

“Your father? Is he...deceased?”

“To me. I haven’t seen him in twenty years. He left when I was ten and never asked for visitation rights.”

The bitterness of her words twisted at his guts. It was even worse than he thought. Holly was convinced he was nothing but a lecher, a younger version of her father.

“I’m sorry about your father. But for us, it was seven years ago. We’ve both changed. Matured.”
He knew he had. He didn’t need to flirt to forget the pain of losing his only brother. Having Holly with him was the only soothing his wounded soul hungered for. He smiled at her and squeezed her hand.

Holly’s heart somersaulted. Heat spread from her fingers, ran through her arm. His devastating smile was back in place, but without the hint of arrogance that used to put her on edge. A glint of affection reflected in his chocolate eyes.

Could it be possible?

“Yes, we have.” Under the table, she scraped her heels back and forth against the tiles. “Yes, of course. We’ve matured. You are the eminent anesthesiologist WCH hired, and I’m no longer a student.”

What was he getting at with these explanations and veiled apologies?

Would he ask her out again?

Good God, but this new Marc was more dangerous to her inner peace than the playboy of the past.

By the same author: To Love A Hero: At Jasmine Jade