Category Archives: Reading
I like to think of myself as a practical, down-to-earth person. But, to be honest, horror movies, books, or even just concepts strip all that away, exposing my superstitious and vulnerable underbelly. Feeling that way isn’t something I enjoy, so I no longer indulge in that genre. As I’ve gotten older I’ve discovered reality is bad enough without terrifying myself with (hopefully) imaginary monsters or the kinds of horrors that might exist but (again, hopefully) will never touch my life.
When I was younger though, I remember huddling under the covers, reading Stephen King’s Firestarter, The Shining, etc. I also saw the movie version of The Shining and was suitably horrified, although I still think the book was better.
And there is one incident with a horror movie I’ll never forget, because it was so funny, and also a favorite memory of my teen years and of my brother.
My parents often went off on vacation, leaving my brother and me at home to hold down the fort. This particular time, I think I was too young for my brother to go out and leave me at home alone, so we settled in to watch a movie my brother-in-law had copied to VHS for us. Turned out to be Dracula, the 1979 version, starring Frank Langella. Okay, so it isn’t the scariest version ever made, but there was something about the way Dracula’s eyes vibrated whenever he saw blood, and the sight of him climbing down a sheer stone wall, that terrified me. But I didn’t want my brother to know how scared I was, so I didn’t cover my eyes or anything…
Then the movie ended and, realizing I would have to turn off the lights and go upstairs by myself, in the dark, if I didn’t get out of the room first, I bolted.
So did my brother!
And the night ended with neither of us willing to go back and turn off the TV or the lights, all of which stayed on until morning. It was a mini case of mass hysteria, LOL!
Now, I’ll leave you all to your zombies, possessed souls and other assorted things that go bump in the night… while I watch my true crime shows about mass murderers, serial killers, etc.
Which one is more horrible? I don’t know…
If you could live in another time, what time would you like to live in? That’s the topic at Darker Temptations over the past couple of weeks and a question for me to ponder…
But first….Contest! Contest! See below for details on getting a chance to win a free pdf copy of Resistance – Outlaw Lovers!
Call me crazy but I would be interested in living sometime in the future, specifically during the times of my Outlaw Lovers series…about seven plus years from now it would be a post-catastrophic time where most of the women have died from various illnesses and there are tons of men available.
Here’s a peek at how life would be like:
A fast-acting virus has killed a majority of the world’s female population and forced the creation of the Claiming Law. Groups of males have the right to claim a female as property…sexual property. With the Terrorist Wars over, the Outlaw brothers come home to declare ownership of their women…
I would be part of the “Resistance”. A ragtag group of people who are willing to fight to reinstate a democratic government and get rid of the newly formed dictatorship as well as the Claiming Law. I’d have my pick of hunky guys who believe in a woman picking her own man (or men) for her mates. And I would try like hell to avoid getting caught by the groups of men roving around looking to claim wives.
How about you? Do you have a wish to live in another time?
So, my contest question is…
For a chance at a free pdf ebook copy of “Resistance” send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org with the first names of the three main characters (one female and two males) in the futuristic erotic romance “Resistance” part of my Outlaw Lovers series at Ellora’s Cave.
Your answer can be found here:
A winner will be picked sometime over this weekend and their name will be posted here and I will contact them as well.
Contest deadline – midnight tonight – Friday September 27, 2013 E.T.
Good luck! Woot!
Books can be read in this series order (ebook formats)…1. Jude Outlaw 2. The Claiming 3. Colter’s Revenge 4. Tyler’s Woman 5. Resistance…..and in paperback format 1. Jude and Luke (contains Jude Outlaw & The Claiming) 2. Colter’s Revenge 3. Tyler’s Woman – no paperback version of Resistance available yet.
Also an update: Look for Toygasm , Attracted to Him and Attracted to Her releasing soon from Ellora’s Cave. Details can be found here: http://janspringerauthor.wordpress.com/coming-soon-2/
And releasing soon – Marley’s Menage – Book 2 The Key Club from Spunky Girl Publishing – http://spunkygirlpublishing.weebly.com/coming-next.html
Over the past few days Darker Temptations has been chatting about which robot/android/cyborg would I like to drop by for a visit.
My futuristic erotic romance has cyborgs. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyborg) “a cyborg is a being with both organic and artificial parts” and “the term cyborg is often applied to an organism that has enhanced abilities due to technology ”
Well, I would love my characters from “Claiming Hannah” to drop by. But since they are fictional, I will give you a peek into their world on Earth in the Year 50 A.A. (50 years After Armageddon). Here men and women are drafted into the Hit Association for life. They are trained to hunt down Breeder Slaves (clones) who escape their masters and run for the Free States to have a life of their own.
These drafted Hitmen and Hitwomen are turned into cyborgs. Their eyes, ears and brains (and sometimes other body parts) are enhanced so they can track down their prey. But sometimes they do fall in love…with the people they are ordered to kill.
“Claiming Hannah” (Ellora’s Cave) is one of those stories…
Hannah is a Breeding Slave. Created solely for the purpose of producing healthy offspring for an ailing human race, Hannah Roberts longs for freedom and fantasizes about the dangerous man she can never have. With her breeding status about to commence, her hunger for freedom explodes. Escaping into the night, she knows capture will bring her certain death.
Jacob is her Hitman. Trained to be a cold-blooded killing machine, the only light in Jacob Romero’s life is Hannah, a beautiful Slave whose sweet innocence brands his heart and awakens dark desires he never knew he had. Assigned to hunt her down and kill her, he’s seriously injured when he saves her life.
Forbidden love always finds a way. Now fugitives, they hide in a deserted mansion where Hannah nurses the wounded Hitman she’s always wanted. Soon their passions ignite, throwing them into a sexual ecstasy neither can run from. Their forbidden love will face one final challenge. Escaping to a harsh new life in the Free States.
Publisher Note: Previously released by another publisher under the title of A Hitman for Hannah, this book has been extensively revised and reedited for Ellora’s Cave.
Here’s “Claiming Hannah’s” Book Trailer: http://www.ellorascave.com/claiming-hannah.html
And the “Forward” for Claiming Hannah:
Year 50 A.A. (50 years After Armageddon)
Compliments of Armageddon, radiation and pollution continue to plague the Earth. Disease, stem cell research and organ transplants are common. Treatment for certain diseases is often extreme, leaving many afflicted with side effects such as sterility. Human reproductive failures are at epidemic proportions.
Cloning from quality, radiation-resistant embryos becomes the norm, allowing non-reproductive couples to have access to healthy test-tube babies. However, studies reveal such babies aren’t as resilient to pollution or radiation as those conceived in a human host. Couples demand access to healthier children.
Hence a large amount of Copies or Clones, as they were known in the A.C.—After Christ—years are created. They are designer babies, genetically manipulated to produce superior-quality offspring and their sole purpose in life is to be Breeding Slaves or Studs. Rich, childless humans are eligible for the enhanced offspring of the Breeder Slaves. These superior babies will be integrated into society.
After a conditioning period of eighteen years, the Breeding Slaves and Studs are moved to privately owned breeding farms—a very lucrative business where a rich couple will pay quite handsomely to purchase a baby and watch their child’s creation from conception to birth by the two Copies they select. Certain factions protest the use of Copies for breeding purposes. It goes against human morals, they say. Copies are just as human as the rest of the people. They bleed blood, they understand and have emotions. They should be free to live in society as the rest of the humans. They should have the right to pick their mates, have their own children. To gain an education.
Activists fight for Breeding Slave and Stud rights. The government does listen to an extent. Strict rights are granted. Female Copies are educated and allowed to keep their firstborn until the child is eighteen when a master can either sell the firstborn as a Breeding Slave or set him or her free. And then there are the downfalls. Being a Breeding Slave must remain a life sentence. It is after all, why these enhanced humans have been created. To serve mankind. There can be no marriage between Breeding Slave and Stud or humans. If a Breeding Slave or Stud runs, he or she must pay a deadly consequence.
Hannah is a Breeding Slave and she’s running. Jacob is a Hitman assigned to eliminate her.
Neither has known passion or love.
Glossary for Claiming Hannah
Hitman or Hitwoman: Men and women drafted into the Hit Association. Their draft is for life or death, whichever comes first.
Hit Association: A group of men and women drafted and trained to hunt down runners. They are given enhanced eyes and ears and other equipment to assist in their jobs.
Armageddon: In the year 2050 A.C. the Fourth World War begins. It rages for seven long years. After a rain of nuclear bombs completes the war, the ensuing pollution gives the world an ailing civilization that clings to the hope of a future using genetically designed healthy Breeding Slaves and Studs—Clones, designer babies, Copies—to produce offspring for them.
enhanced eyes: Infrared heat-seeking lenses embedded into the eyes and wired to the brain of Hitmen and Hitwomen drafted into the Hit Association.
enhanced hearing: Electrical implants embedded into the ears and wired to the brain. The unit enhances a Hitman’s or Hitwoman’s hearing.
tazer gun: Sends out green ray probes of electricity and shocks the intended victim into unconsciousness.
laser gun: Depending upon the strength of the ray, it can either severely burn or kill the intended victim. In most cases it is used on a runner.
runner: A Breeding Slave or Stud who decides the breeding life is not for him or her and runs for the Free States.
Breeding Slave or Stud: Designer babies produced specifically to be conditioned into being Breeders. As adults they will be paired with mates, creating healthy babies for the ailing human race.
Free States: A harsh, lawless, cold land north of the States border where runners gain their freedom. They must survive here using their wits.
States: Since Armageddon the States have been run by a harsh dictatorship government that is trying to repopulate the land with a superior race of humans. It uses any means necessary to accomplish its goals.
To get your copy of Claiming Hannah:
Ellora’s Cave – http://www.ellorascave.com/claiming-hannah.html
I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into the future and some day in the near future – maybe next year – I do have plans for more stories of this world so stay tuned.
Hugs and Happy Reading!
The topic for today’s post came in and I panicked. I’m not talking a little “oh no, what will I write about” panic. I’m talking “holy crap, there is no way to do this in less than a doctoral thesis” panic. The topic? Discussing our favorite book. I know, I know — I see the panic on your face. I felt the same way. How can I choose just one book? Impossible. This isn’t a remake of Highlander and there are no swords and beheadings and stuff. But I’m still talking books. Just a little off center.
Reading is a huge part of my life. I’ve been a compulsive reader ever since I was a kid. Some of my favorite memories center on the mailman delivering my Disney reader books every month. Remember those little square, cardboard-cover books? Yeah, those. I still have all of mine, even the ones my evil little brother defaced with crayons. He almost had his eyebrows shaved for that one. If only Mom hadn’t caught me with the straight razor… There’s still time, though.
When I entered elementary school, I was exposed to the Serendipity books. They were a huge turning point for me. It was like this creative switch was turned on in my brain and I fell in love with reading. It was then that I knew I wanted to write. I wanted to create stories that made people think and feel and get lost in the words. I was six.
As I got older, I continued to read. As a child, my absolute favorite book was Watership Down. I didn’t understand all of the social implications of the book, but the story was incredibly engaging and it made me think. I was nine when I first read it.
I also loved anything by Shel Silverstein, particularly A Light in the Attic. The man was a brilliant voice for children. One of the favorite things I have ever written is a silly poem. It won awards. It made me realize humor had to be part of my literary voice.
In college, I read romance. Lots and lots of romance. Anything I could get my hands on — historical, contemporary, paranormal. I realized that romance gave me an outlet to get lost in a world where the outcome was much more predictable than anything I was facing at the time. And, though predictable happy endings occurred, I never knew which path the author would take to get me there. Of course, my favorite book then was Outlander, though I know the author isn’t keen on having her book categorized as straight romance. That book taught me the value of complex world building and reader engagement.
In my thirties, I glommed onto paranormal romance like it was an illicit $5.99 drug. Yes, paperbacks were still $5.99. I read Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, JR Ward and a few Sherrylin Kenyon. I found Nora Roberts’s different trilogies and ate up anything with recurring characters. I discovered I’m madly passionate about stories where I get to experience characters over and over. A main character in one book who cameos in the series? My favorite setup ever.
It wasn’t until my mid- to late-thirties that I discovered “good” erotica — stories with an actual plot that were sexy as hell. Thank you, Denise Rossetti and Robin Rotham. I discovered that closed-door sex scenes annoy the crap out of me and, therefore, have no place in my writing.
I entered my forties last January. I’ve discovered Gena Showalter. Why it took so long is beyond me, but it did. I’ve devoured everything of hers this summer. Her paranormal romances have indulged my love of world-building in a contemporary setting.
So many authors have had so much influence on my love of reading that it seems horribly unfair of me to limit myself to one favorite. In forty years, I’ve collected favorite books and favorite authors and favorite themes and favorite… You get the idea.
What about you? Are you able to identify one book that is, above all others, The One?
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!
We’ve been chatting about what we would like to shift into…and the first animal that popped into my mind was a porcupine!
I think that would fit my mood lately…me being so prickly and all. LOLOL
Porcupines produce quills…Once when my dad and I went on a road trip, we popped into Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains in Canada. We hiked up to the Plain of Six Glaciers’ tea house near Lake Louise (see pic below). There was a lady there who was selling the most gorgeous porcupine quill jewelry. They looked similar to these at this link and below pic of earrings.
Besides a fantastic view, the tea house had the best tasting chocolate cake and tea that I ever tasted. Apparently they bring in the food via packs on the backs of horses along the same trails the hikers come up…and I love hiking too so I would like to hang around this place if I was a porcupine. It has a great view…oh, did I mention that already?
And since I love salad (you’d never guess from looking at me) I’d make a good porcupine as they eat tons of greens such as leaves, green plants, skunk cabbage, twigs and bark – of course I would put in an order for chocolate covered twigs and bark.
When I was a kid I climbed trees all the time – and so do porcupines…so I would love to climb trees again as a porcupine.
And they have such a cool look, don’t you think? I love their protective armor. My dog Laura (who passed away many years ago) was into chasing porcupines…there were several times she came home with her snout riddled with quills. My dad would sigh and patiently take out the quills one by one with the pliers…what a daunting task! That sweet dog never learned. LOL
So yeah, I would love to shift into a porcupine some day. I think it would be quite the adventure. 🙂