Monthly Archives: July 2013
“Dragon’s Claim by Anya Richards was an exquisite tale of the unrequited love between long ago friends and the courage they exhibited to pursue and cement their love…” “I felt every nuance of their despair and Ms. Richards words brought me to tears.” You can read the full review here.
Then, on June 15th, RomFan Reviews posted their review (five men) the highlight of which, for me anyway, was:
“This was one of the most powerful love stories I’ve read in a long time.” “…I actually found myself tearing up towards the end when they’re saying their goodbyes.” Read the rest here.
Finally came a 4.75 star review from the Joyfully Jay site. Snippets that thrilled me included:
“They are one of my new favorite couples.” “This tale is captivating. It’s a sweet, exciting, sad, heart-pounding rollercoaster ride, and completely worth it.”
Full review here.
It’s been wonderful to see others have enjoyed this book as much I have… have fallen in love with the characters, which happen to be two of the favorite I’ve ever written.
I’m in the process of writing a series of short, historical fantasy-based m/m novellas, and can only hope they’ll be as well received!
It’s sidekick time, so we get to talk about our favorites! I know that Sabrina just talked about Doctor Who, but while Martha is her favorite companion, I’ve got to give that particular crown to my favorite companion…
She’s not the youngest companion, or the prettiest. But I’ve got several big reasons why she is the PERFECT companion for the Doctor.
1. Zero Romantic Entanglement.
She’s a woman, he’s a Time Lord shaped like a man. But Donna NEVER had any particular attraction for him. That made their relationship as a team SO much more enjoyable. With Rose, I was always waiting for him to admit how he felt about her. With Martha, I was waiting for her to get over him. But Donna was his friend. His BEST friend. The only companion I’ve seen who could interact with him without giving a shit about how SHE felt. It was such a relief after the angst of Rose and Martha.
“I just want a mate,” he said, an earnestly worried expression on his face.
“You want… TO MATE?” She dropped her jaw in protest while her eyebrows winged to her hairline. “Oi, you’re not mating with ME, space man!”
She walloped him, she corrected him, she said NO. She did things that no other companion would, or could. She was tough and she didn’t mind standing up to what amounts to the most feared being in the Universe. I LOVED that about her.
In “Forest of the Dead” (which is the second part of “Silence in the Library”… Vashta Nerata anyone?) Donna was saved and provided a family by CAL. She had a husband, and children, and while she KNEW something was off about the whole situation, she couldn’t help falling in love with the whole idea. And then, all that was ripped away from her. After that episode, you got the sense that Donna knew a little bit about how the Doctor must feel, having lost so much. They comforted each other, not as potential lovers, but as FRIENDS.
It’s entirely possible for women and Time Lords to just be FRIENDS. And I think that the series is really missing that now. I never bought that Amy Pond lost her hero-worship type love of the Doctor, and I spent so much time wondering if Clara was some kind of regeneration of River or somehow one of the Doctor’s children that I never got a good sense that they were friends, either.
Like Sabrina, I love romance. Heck, I’m trying to make my living off just that! But Doctor Who works better when it’s an adventure between mates, not a soap opera.
So, Mr. Moffat, if you can hear me, BRING ME THE ONE THEY CALL NOBLE!
I love demons. Well, Gena Showalter’s demons. Not her personal demons… Maybe I should start over.
Today I’m going to blab about the best sidekicks EVAH. Having been a fan of paranormal romance (PNR) and urban fantasy (UF) for years — though I won’t disclose how many years — means I’m always looking for good books, preferably long-running series. I’m sort of picky about voice. It’s my pet peeve to get a flat voice or a voice I don’t connect with. It’s not the author’s fault, typically, but just my little quirk. Anyhoo, it often seems as if I’ve read everything I could possibly read. Then I find something new. Gena’s Lords of the Underworld series is the freaking best thing I’ve read in ages. No, it’s not new. Yes, I’m ashamed I hadn’t read it sooner. The point here is that I found it and have fallen in love with every…single…alpha hero. I’m talking almost-leave-my-lover-for-a-fictional-character love.
One of the best parts of the series, though, is that each warrior is paired with a demon high lord (i.e. Paris = Promiscuity, Toren = Disease, Amun = Secrets). These demons serve as a type of sidekick, influencing the hero and driving their behavior. It’s a great pairing because it gives each warrior such a distinct motivation because his will isn’t always his own. Every demon has a unique personality as well, and it’s interesting to see the interplay between man and monster. While the monster influences man, so does man influence monster. The author gives you the distinct impression that each demon might be just a little better than he was simply by being affiliated with his warrior. The warrior has ethics the demon lacks. It doesn’t always matter, but as each warrior battles his own story arc, you see how the two must work together to conquer whatever challenge has been set before him.
The other thing I truly love in this series is that the characters carry forward in every book, demons included. I have no idea how Gena manages as well as she does, but you never lose sight of any single character. It’s a remarkable talent she has to keep every character in every book while still allowing the hero/heroine to have their story. I’ve never felt cheated out of the hero’s/heroine’s story, even as I celebrate the recurring roles of the men I’ve fallen in love with.
Who are your favorite sidekicks in literature, movies or TV? I’m always interested to find out what people like about characters!
It was coming. One day I would get to do a Dr. Who post. The theme for the next two weeks is favorite sidekick and when it comes to Dr. Who my favorite is Martha Jones.
I know a lot of Dr. Who fans and she does not always rise to the top. But let me make my case. I admit, I hated Rose. Not because I had anything against her personally, but I prefer my Dr. Who as a character apart, isolated, alone–a character who encapsulated the true cost of being a hero, of having to stand apart. Someone who eventually leaves, because he must. Even though I write romance novels, he is the one hero who I identified with because of his aloneness. When he and Rose fall in love, that fundamental Dr. Whoness seemed ripped out by the seams. I didn’t like it. He’s the one hero who I need to remain attached
Enter stage left: Martha Jones. Her love for the Doctor is unrequited and painful, something she wears on her sleeve for all to see. I ached every time I watched them together. That process makes her stronger. It builds her to be something and someone who not only saves the world when the Doctor is captured by the Master, but like other Dr. Who sidekicks, think Sarah Jane, she becomes a Dr. Who protegy, doing his work on earth after the Doctor leaves. Martha nailed it, and because of her, I learned to love Dr. Who again after the whole Rose romance had me lose faith. When Martha finally chose to leave him, sadder, wiser, stronger. It seemed like she left him because the Doctor love another. She knew, deep down inside. its because the Doctor belongs to all of us.
And while I’m here, I’ve got a new book out. Just wanted to share. It’s contemporary, but its second chance romance for a single mother and divorced sports coach. Like Martha, Jocelyn and Jared deserved a second chance to find someone to love.
I so love my cover. Here’s the blurb.
Chamber of Commerce CEO and single mother Jocelyn Wade plays to win—in the boardroom, at local politics and for her daughter. With an overloaded life and a heart scarred shut, she doesn’t do relationships. Ever. Until Jared Wyatt, the hot out-of-town fling she can’t seem to forget swaggers into her life with a different agenda—making Jocelyn his own.
Surviving a shattered marriage, Jared swore off women until a night of unparalleled passion with Jocelyn reawakens needs he thought long gone. When a new job as high school athletic director lands him in Jocelyn’s town, where sports and business rule, he must stay one move ahead of her in the game to win her body and heart.
After rancorous local politics upend their game board, they both must learn to trust again or lose a second chance at love.
A Romantica® contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
My Writing Space(s)
Oh! This subject is near and dear to my heart. When I first decided that writing was going to be my full-time career, I began writing literally all over the place.
Peppermint Creek Inn was my first ever finished book. The writing seed burst with this story idea and I began to sketch it out long hand while my dad and I were travelling in Northern Ontario, Canada, on one of our “ghost town” hunting trips to a place called “Jackfish”. (one of the settings in Peppermint Creek Inn)
During this time, my writing space was in the car, in the tent, by the campfire, sitting on picnic tables with the Coleman lantern and yes! even in my kayak during leisurely breaks while floating in lakes and along rivers.
Long hand writing continued at a yoyo pace around temporary office and factory jobs. During down times I went to the cottage up near Minden (no electricity at the cottage). While there, I used my Alpha Smart or wrote long hand while sitting on the lawn chair on our dock during heat waves or lounging in a hammock on a cliff overlooking the lake, and finally during the winter months on cottage visits, I sat indoors beside a cozy antique wood stove or on sunny afternoons outside on a lawn chair on the frozen lake and for company build comfy little fires built on pieces of metal to help prevent the melting ice from killing my fires. Back in civilization, I pounded the keys of my computer or laptop getting all the handwritten information in.
A Hero’s Welcome, A Hero Escapes, A Hero Betrayed, A Hero’s Kiss and the first couple of Outlaw Lovers stories where all sketched out long hand in fat notebooks while sitting in my car during cold winter evenings. Why outside? My mom babysat and I escaped the noise into my car, driving down to Lake Ontario, parking in abandoned parks. It was spooky, but it was also fun flipping on the car heater once an hour to punch through the chill and watching my stories emerge. During the days, I would pound the information into my computer at home.
Later, as my writing career took off (thank you to Ellora’s Cave!!!) and sales rocketed, I bought more stories and produced more stories and I was able to buy 4 acres of land in cottage country. I continued writing at the cottage and also commuted back and forth to my piece of paradise land to sit and write while on a hammock with pesky mosquitoes buzzing around my head.
Then I ordered a modular home and had it put onto my property. Outside my house, my writing spaces included a lawn chair with laptop and that same hammock (mentioned above). Inside my new two-bedroom office home, a sunny bedroom with computer was my office.
These days I continue to work in several places. My favorite is a nice quiet room over my garage, where scented candles flicker and bookshelves hold my nearest and dearest paperback books. I still write long hand as ideas pop up. To give my hands a break, sometimes I use Speech Recognition (Dragon Speech) and I have a nice printer and a couple of laptops and a computer now.
But those first few years while starting out writing in the car, are still nearest and dearest to my heart.
Hugs and Happy Reading!
I’m the type of person that needs everything in place before I start a writing project. Everything has to be within easy access from my chair! Research books are only a step away from my desk, files are next to my laptop, pens and scissors and notepad within arm’s distance.
Goddess statues that I’ve collected from my travels are lined up on my window sill. I bought a bright chair and designed my writing studio around it! It’s a comfortable area and a flexible room. I can close the doors and not hear a sound but the window overlooks our indoor atrium with far windows overlooking our living room, so I never feel isolated.
I usually write to music and one of my ‘must haves’ is my iPod stereo docking station.
Here’s what’s on my desk:
3. research and writing books
4. colorful pens
5. photos of my husband and family
6. Story files
7. Gratitude Affirmations
9. lamp with my blessed Buddha good fortune charm hanging from it
Viki Lyn: Award winning author of male/male paranormal and contemporary romances. You can find all of Viki’s books at the following sites: Amazon, All Romance Ebooks and GLBT Bookshelf.
I have a desk. It’s upstairs, in the corner of my bedroom. At least, I think that’s where it is – there’s an awful lot of clothing piled on top. I’ve done the writer equivalent of buying an exercise machine only to use it as a clothes horse. Ahem.
So my place to write is… on the sofa. Laptop sits on my lap. Headphones get plugged in my ears. And, when I resist the temptation to tend my virtual kingdom or chat away on Twitter for long enough, I write. I don’t think where matters so much as doing. as long as I manage to switch off from the chaos around me (and with five kids, there’s a lot of chaos!), then I can get in the zone and write.
The Zone tends to have an almost mythical status. “How do you do that?” I get asked. Usually because those people know about the kids. And the husband. I’ve enough distractions before the Internet. My answer is to know what I’m going to write. I tend to rehearse scenes in my head before writing them down. I find that if I do that, then once I get to writing them, the words just flow. One scene segues into another and before I know it, I’ve 1K and change.
Secondly, I can’t write in silence. Probably because I’m so used to noise. I filter the quiet out the same way I do the kids playing on the Wii – I listen to music. What depends on the scene I’m writing and the overall feel I’m going for. Novel-in-progress Cassiopeia has a playlist that’s made up of several tracks from the Doctor Who soundtrack. Archangel‘s is a lot of Eighties music.
And then there’s God Is An Astronaut – Best. Sci Fi. Writing Music. Ever. Here, I’ll leave you with , so you can hear for yourself. You’re welcome. 😀
What I need to write can be pretty much summed up by the above picture. I need music on and the world turned off. What I need to edit, though, is music off and world off. Editing and writing go hand-in-hand but are definitely not the same thing. When I’m writing, music helps set tone, mood, and rhythm. A fast-paced song can lead to a fast, upbeat scene. A slow, sad song can help me reach the emotional levels of despair that I need to plumb in order to get the write words to express a character’s pain.
When I’m editing, such things are usually a distraction. I recognize that the reader won’t be consuming my book with the soundtrack I wrote it to playing in the background, so I edit in silence. This keeps my mind free of distraction and helps me to see if I really did hit all of the emotional points as soundly as I needed to hit them.
The most important aspect of writing or editing, though, is world off. I can’t get much accomplished when I’m distracted. I need to know that I’ve got a solid hour of near-solid time that I can really get my head in the right space. When I’m writing or editing, my child might come in and ask me something and I have to work really hard to make any sense of what she’s saying. I have a feeling that as a pre-teen she’ll figure out how to work this to her advantage. So a quiet place, alone, with nothing to pull my mind away is what I need to edit.
Everyone is different, though. I have a friend who writes in silence and listens to classical while she edits. I have another friend who does her best work in busy cafes. The thing is, if you write, find out what you need and seek it relentlessly.
Keira Andrews and Leta Blake write fairy tale inspired m/m erotica and romantica with Ellora’s Cave. Check out Ascending Hearts, available through Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, and others! And also remember to look at Earthly Desires, the first book in the Tempting Tales series, available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Ellora’s Cave.
Before I get to the topic of the moment, I have to say, “HAPPY CANADA DAY!” It was one year ago today that I became a Canadian citizen, a fact that still gives me a little thrill. There was a Mountie (a lovely lady I think my step-son wanted to chat up but was too scared to!), the MPP for the area and many excited people in attendance. It was made that much more special for taking place on Canada Day, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. Even my dog, Sable, who was just a little pup at the time, had to be brought into the celebration. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_-XaWNZbOg Yes, that dorky voice is mine…LOL!
Now, back to the subject at hand!
I wish I could tell you I have an awesome writing space that is just my own, beautifully decorated and serene, which fires my creativity every time I enter it. More’s the pity, I just can’t! Every writing space I’ve had has been carved out of somewhere else—our bedroom, the basement rec-room, the living room or dining room—depending on where we’ve lived at the time.
The closest I came to an office was after our daughter moved out, when I (briefly) took over her old room, moving my drafting table/desk in there. I had planned to move all my reference books in there too but, before that could happen, our youngest “moved out” and my husband and I decided to downsize again. If you notice the quotation marks above, and you have grown kids of your own, you might realize there is a catch. Yes, the youngest removed his person. He just omitted to move a lot of his stuff! Our second bedroom isn’t the empty palette I’d like as an office, but eventually, once I figure out how to fit everything—my desk, reference books, craft stuff, plus the son’s leftovers—in there, along with keeping it a spare bedroom, I’ll probably be calling in my ‘office’.
Luckily, my writing habits have changed a lot over the years, so it doesn’t really matter whether I have a designated space or not. When I first started I was working on a desktop PC, which I shared with both my husband and the kids. Eventually I got a PC of my own, and then a laptop (“Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!” I chortled in my joy!). As part of the evolution I also went from needing music when I was writing (to block out the noise), then to wanting silence (I was sequestered in the basement then), to not really caring what was going on around me. Now, sometimes I want music and sometimes not. Sometimes I can write with the TV on, and at others I prefer it off.
So, when you get right down to it, although my desk is set up in a corner of our dining room (that’s it in the picture), you’re more likely to find the cat using it as a sun deck than to find me sitting at it. I’ll lounge on the loveseat, the dog using my feet as a pillow, and have at it. If I want a bit more solitude, I’ll write in bed. Sometimes, on the bus, heading for the EDJ, I’ll write longhand in one of my umpteen notebooks (I have a stationary fetish LOL!). And I’ve found it’s useful, really, to be a low-maintenance author. All I really need to be able to write is my trusty laptop or notebook, a cup of tea if I can get it and some inspiration.
Maybe one day I’ll have a lovely office—which I’ll probably hardly use!