Category Archives: Writing
I am very excited to share with you my latest release Tangled Redemption, book 4 in my Celestial Surrender series. It is a super-sexy Sci-Fi menage and a story that has been on my mind since Miguel walked on to the page in Tangled Shadows, book 1 in the series. It was an adventure to tell Miguel, Sydney and Jayden’s story and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it.
Come by my website for a chance to win a copy of Tangled Redemption or a $50 gift card.
Sydney Radnall is no man’s toy, despite fate’s attempt to make her just that. But kidnapping puts her at the mercy of a sadistic Feral commander. Being held prisoner is bad enough, but her Naema blood is powerful. In her current Vampiric company her presence is like ringing a dinner bell.
In an attempt to break her, the commander makes her the pet of two of his lieutenants. Miguel is one of the most dangerous men she has ever met, but she can’t stop the attraction blazing between them. Then there is Jayden, a Vampire who is as surprising as he is sexy. Two Vampires she should not be attracted to, should not want to surrender to, should not trust.
But things aren’t always what they seem. Secrets and lies shadow their connections, making it impossible to see clearly. What are the chances of her finding lifemates while surrounded by enemies? Making the wrong decision could not just shatter her heart. It could cost her life.
By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, please exit this site.
An Excerpt From: TANGLED REDEMPTION
Copyright © TINA CHRISTOPHER, 2014
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
When the Feral Vampire strode up to her, a malicious grin curving his thin lips, fangs glistening, Sydney Radnall knew she would never again allow anyone to take her blood. She would die first.
There were three of them. The other two stayed slightly behind, fanning out and blocking the entrance.
Marissa, the young human who had been taken from Parvati at the same time as Sydney, stood beside her. Their shoulders bumped. Marissa’s shook, but she raised her fists as if to fend off the three Vampires with her bare hands.
No way in fucking hell.
Sydney straightened her shoulders, rolled her neck and took a step forward. She smiled.
The lead Feral’s gaze narrowed.
She didn’t give him a chance to respond, but leaped and rammed her knee into his groin. He folded over with a whimper. She grabbed a hunk of his hair and slammed the bottom of her palm into his nose. Cartilage crunched as she jammed the shattered bones into his brain.
Eyes wide he dropped to the floor. Dead.
Sydney panted. She touched the cold synth-metal wall of the spaceship for a second but stopped herself from rubbing her sore hand. The other two Ferals gaped at her. She wanted to smirk, but she’d lost the advantage of surprise.
They recovered and converged on her. Before they had taken even one step the door slid open and Tall, Dark and Dangerous, the man—no, the Vampire—responsible for her kidnapping, strode in.
He appeared to grasp the situation with one look and grabbed the nearest Feral, killing him with a quick twist of the neck. The third attacker froze.
Sydney took a couple of steps back to give herself more room. She would fight to the bitter end.
“Honorable Radnall, what are you planning to do?” His seductive voice slid across her in an inappropriate manner. He was taller than her, something that didn’t happen often. His skin was darkly tanned. Thick dark-brown hair framed his arresting face as if he hadn’t had the opportunity to get it cut for some time. His eyes gave nothing away. With every movement, every inch of his muscular body, he demonstrated he was a warrior.
She had trained with men like him, had been taught by them, but she had never managed to best even one of them.
He crossed his arms before his chest. The final Feral moved against her. Dark and Dangerous gestured and two of the Ferals who had accompanied him grabbed the attacker.
Sydney was not surprised he was the leader. The power of a highly trained warrior and powerful Vampire cloaked him. He raised a brow at her.
Unlike her attackers his eyes were black, not red. The red identified Ferals as Vampires who drained their prey of blood while inducing horror and panic. In one of the few instances of cooperation between the three major species, the Naema Senate, the Vampire Council and the human government had agreed that Ferals were an unacceptable danger. Law enforcement as well as civilians had permission to shoot Ferals on sight without repercussions.
Over the last year or so scattered Feral groups had come together under one leader to smuggle humans as blood slaves, a crime that, if it became public knowledge, would incite another Human-Vampire War. A war far more devastating than the one three centuries ago.
She mirrored his stance. “My parents told me not to talk to strangers.”
His lips quirked. “Miguel Calatrave, at your service, Honorable Radnall.” He gestured to the dead body. “Now, if you would please explain?”
She couldn’t defend herself against his voice. Goose bumps rose in its wake.
Sydney stood even straighter. “They entered with one clear intent. An intent that I won’t allow.”
His nostrils flared, but the flash of rage was gone too quickly for her to be certain. It seemed the Ferals had ignored his orders.
“You will not allow? All right, Honorable Radnall. You have one out of the way. I took care of another. How will you deter anyone from coming in here to drink your or the human’s blood?”
She stared at him. Was he serious? Why would he want her to kill one of his own?
Sydney swallowed and observed the Vampire being held by Calatrave’s men. He’d clenched his jaw. The skin across his face was stretched tight, muscles bulging, making his two keepers struggle to hold him. His red eyes, eyes that proved he had killed humans without compassion, blazed.
She didn’t have much time.
Her chest tightened and she looked back into Calatrave’s jet-black eyes. His expression was impassive.
Her first kill had been self-defense. The next one had to be an execution. The last man she had killed had been a traitor to her country and her planet. A traitor to her species. A traitor to her.
Shades of Pink Charity Anthology
As you may know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Last year, the first Shades of Pink event raised over $10.000 through more than 1300 donations
For our second year, 22 authors have allied for 1 cause: fundraising for research. Their gift to everyone who makes a donation is a romance anthology (ebook) titled Shades of Pink (volume 2), totaling almost 150.000 words / about 400 pages as a PDF. I participated last year and am proud to participate this year, with my first sweet love story.
The suggested donation is $5. Funds are raised via Stayclassy.org and all proceeds go directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Readers can also donate to the charity organization of their choice (with a focus on breast cancer) and email their receipt to receive their copy of the anthology in either PDF, ePub or mobi (kindle).
Who: Catherine Bowman, Mitzi Calderone, Vivien Dean, JJ and TA Ellis, Sabrina Garie, Nina Day Gerard, T. Hammond, Susan Harris, Laura Hunsaker, Kallysten, Amara Lebel, Alicia J. Love, Deelylah Mullin, C. Deanne Rowe, Cynthia Sax, DJ Shaw, Alice Stark, Ashley Suzanne, Gill Taber, Natasza Waters, Zoe York, Angela Yseult
When: Now through November 15th.
What: 22 short stories, including…
- 4 paranormal, 1 sci-fi, 11 contemporary, 1 historical, 2 military, 3 BDSM, 2 YA (some stories have more than one genre)
- 3 spicy (ménage or kink), 7 sexy (explicit sex scenes), 12 sweet (no sex)
- A couple of vampires, about three dozen humans including soldiers, geeks, teachers, librarians, writers, survivors, bosses, rock stars, teens, mages, wives, husbands and fiancés, 1 succubus, 1 genie, a few aliens, some werewolves and other shifters.
- Pink, pink and more pink, including tattoos, plenty of flowers, precious stones, jewelry, a bookmark, a drawing, ropes, lingerie, a car, a bag, a vase, various clothes, an anteater and a squirrel.
Where: Kallysten’s blog
Here you’ll find links to teasers for the stories, interviews of the authors and blog posts during all of October, a FAQ, and of course the link where you can donate and help this worthy cause.
When I received the topic for this week’s blog post, I thought, “Name three things I’m most grateful for? Easy peasy.” Turns out that’s not quite true. I think I wrote this post four times, and every time I started fresh, there were three new things in my life I found myself grateful for. I decided to go with the first version because, while it’s much more personal than I tend to ever get, it’s the most authentic. Here’s what I came up with.
#1: My Husband
It might sound a bit trite, but he’s the thing I’m most grateful for in life. There are too many reasons to list, plus I’d probably get all sappy, so let me hit the high points. First, that man loves me more than anything else in the world, and he makes sure I know it–texts, notes, voicemails, emails, flowers, surprise dates. He is a cuddling machine. He listens to what I have to say. He’s brilliant and not stingy in sharing the knowledge, so I’ve grown marginally more intelligent over the years. (Yay, osmosis!)
Above all, when the shit really hit the fan and I found myself in a very precarious emotional spot due to some serious ongoing health issues, he stood by me, behind me for support and in front of me as interference. He was where I needed him to be when I needed him to be there without my ever having to ask. He simply loved me harder.
This man has taught me more about love than I ever thought possible, and I am a better woman for having been his partner for eighteen years.
#2: My Friends and Family
So simple. So true. I have a very, very small inner circle of people who surround me. There are quite a few people who orbit the group, people whom I value, but those closest to me? There are only a handful. These are the people I can call at 3:00 a.m. when my old Labrador Retriever had a seizure and my husband was out of town, the person I meet at Starbucks in “our spot” and can count on to be honest no matter how hard it is to hear, the person who goes to doctors’ appointments with me so I don’t have to be alone, the person who calls and says, “My Spidey Sense was tingling…what’s wrong?” and the person who simply shows up with a cold Dr. Pepper despite her personal war against sugar and says, “You need a little sunshine, Denise. Let’s sit outside.”
I do my absolute best to be worthy of their friendship, be they blooded family or not. My life is richer because of these people who form the nucleus of who I am.
#3: My Writing
This one might strike you as odd. Let me explain. Several years ago, I lost my job after a back surgery gone wrong. My job had become my life. It was everything I identified with, everything I used to define the parameters of “me.” When those parameters crumbled, I was left a shivering mass of naked regret. A decade spent building a career — gone. Disability was suddenly an unavoidable reality, and I hated myself for it. For a long time, I sulked. I didn’t want to rediscover joy in life. I didn’t want to find new passions. I wanted my old life back, and was so busy looking over my shoulder that I nearly missed what was right in front of me. Remember my darling husband? He bought me a laptop, brought it home and said, “Write. It used to make you happy.” I sulked a bit longer, then got up in pain in the middle of the night and went to the living room. There sat the computer. I opened it up and wrote the first few pages of Legacy, the first book I sold. Writing helped me rediscover who I was, who I am, and it gave my flagging sense of productivity an outlet that I could physically, safely, manage. I found myself in the words when I thought I was lost, when things were so bleak for me that I went to a very dark place I don’t talk about. My imagination was unlocked and I found my happy inside. How can I ever thank him for that?
Take a second and let me know who or what you’re most grateful for. I’d love to celebrate them or it with you.
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
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!
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!
1. Keep the drama on the page.
I first heard this writing advice from a woman in a Writing Marathon Group. Essentially, the lesson here is to not let your life get so bogged down in drama that you don’t have the emotional room or time to write. Don’t lose your days to bullshit concerns like who said what to whom, or get dragged into making poor choices that end up giving you real life consequences that eat into your mind and erode your ability to get words on the page. If you’re going to have drama in your life? Keep it on the page. Write it into a story where it only hurts your poor, hapless characters; don’t let it hurt you or your productivity.
2. Write for only one person.
I heard this advice only two weeks ago from a friend who heard it from her writing coach. Don’t let the voices of your editors, your friends, the crowd, the reviewers, and the polls about what “our readers” want tell you what you can or can’t write. If you do that, you’ll no longer be able to hear your own inner voice and you’ll be paralyzed with fear. You’ll think things like, “I can’t write this story in first person! Everyone hates first person!” or “I can’t have the other love interest be a woman because the main m/m review sites won’t look at a story if there’s a woman in it, too!”
If you think those thoughts, your creativity dies. It shrivels up into a corner and starts to cry, “Everyone hates me, nobody loves me, guess I’ll go eat worms.” Then it will sit there and refuse to move, letting your miserable writerly self stew in panic over how you can’t write anymore!
Yep, that’s what will happen. So! Write for one person and one person only. No matter who it might be. It’s okay for that person to be your best friend, or that one reader you know will love the concept, or perhaps best and most freeing of all, write it for yourself.
3. Don’t get caught up in ideas of what you should be writing. Write whatever the hell you want to write. Write trash, write smut, write hoity-toity literature, write gay romance, write heterosexual romance, write threesomes, fivesomes, westerns, space-cowboys, write about circuses or trash collectors. Don’t cut yourself off from your creative source by deciding what kind of writer you want to be and sticking only to that.
People will tell you that diversification is bad because your following only wants to read what you’ve fed them in the past. Well, creativity doesn’t thrive on reproducing the same book again and again, and readers will either follow you into something new or or they won’t. Your creativity, though, won’t stick around while you batter it against the same wall again and again. If you do that, what you once loved–writing–will become a dreadful chore.
4. That’s right. It’s okay for your book to not be okay. It’s okay for it to not be perfect or even really good. It’s okay if people don’t like it. It’s okay if it only sells four copies. It’s okay.
Do you know why it’s okay? Because you wrote a motherfucking book! And not everyone does that. You know that quote, right? The one about perfection being the enemy of good? At some point just be done with your book. There’s a ‘good enough’ point that must be reached in order to let your book live in the hands of readers. Bow to that and submit fully to it. Be okay with the outcome. After all….
You wrote a motherfucking book!
5. Make peace with the fact that you’re not Jonathan Lethem or Catherynne Valente or Ernest Hemingway or any writer other than yourself. Make peace with the fact that you’re not going to be in TIME or win a prize. Make peace with that reality and write your books to the very best of your ability–and it might turn out that you were wrong. But even if you weren’t wrong, you wrote a damn book. Good on you!
5. Yep, that’s right. Every book is a new creature and you’re going to have to face that fact. Don’t let the new and daunting stop you from going forward. Every writer struggles at times, some books are easier than others, and you just have to keep on keeping on.
6. What’s the most important thing to do as a writer? We all know the answer. The single most important thing you can do to become a successful writer is…*drum roll*…
FINISH YOUR WORK!!!!!
That’s right. That’s the single most important thing you can do to become a successful writer. Why’s that? Because if you finish nothing then you’ll never sell anything either. You have to start somewhere and that means you’ve got to have a finished product. Embrace “good enough” and finish your book. Don’t get overly distracted by the pretty, shiny of a new idea, or let yourself quit when the going gets tough. If you get bored, come at it from a new angle, introduce a new point of view, or throw away part of it. Embrace the rewrites. Just don’t quit and don’t stop. Finish. Your. Work.
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 for Earthly Desires, the first book in the Tempting Tales series, available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Ellora’s Cave.