Tuesday, May 31, 2011
A lot of newbie’s ask – how do you get over writer’s block? I’m usually quick to answer this question with Just Do It. Just Write. Write a grocery list, a journal entry or babble on your WIP. Eventually the words will come and you’ll want to write.
So why can’t I take my own advice? When I go weeks without writing I forget that sage advice. Instead I ignore my wip or open it and stare at it, never writing a word. LOL Am I a hypocrite?
In all reality I think we need breaks from time to time. You need a break from the norm and do something different. We need to recharge our brains and to do that we need to step away from routines.
On Sunday the DH and I had lunch on the bay. As I sat watching the boats on the water I realized how much I missed this view. It’d been so long since I’d been near the water. There’s something about the water, more so the ocean that soothes me. It recharges my brain. There are days when I can drive to the state park, sit on a bench or the rocks with my laptop and get lost. Sometimes I don’t even write. I just sit, watch and let time pass.
The lull of the water wading in and out or the rising waves is therapeutic for me. So next time you’re stuck and the motto Just Do It isn’t working – do something that makes you happy. Take a break and don’t stress about not writing.
Monday, May 30, 2011
I have a few thoughts on this and today I am over at http://www.saucyandsinfulreviews.com to show you how these discussions happened in our house!
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
I have a long post over at my site, http://juliarachelbarrett.net
about my week. Stop by!
(Normally I wouldn't send you in a different direction, but man, I'm just not feeling all that hot!)
Thursday, May 26, 2011
As an author, I know it. As a reader, you probably do, too, especially if you are here reading this!
Being an East Coast gal who has been transported to deep in the heart of Texas, I tell you I never knew a cowboy till I got here. Never even hoped to meet one. True. True. My idea of a sexy guy was a Suit with the Suave of 007.
Now, 15 years after moving to southwest Texas and cowboy country, I have a craving for genuine western men. Cowboys. Rodeo contenders. Ranchers. Sheriffs. Texas Rangers. They are different from their coastal counterparts. Living with longhorns and cattle, fighting dust and draught, scorpions and cacti, hard winters and summers without water make a man tough. Sturdy. Inventive. And funny.
Definitely, they appeal to us for their legendary individuality. But their roughness—and their need to be rough means they have the grit, true grit, to love a woman hard and fast.
More than that, I think these men are much stronger characters in erotica--and more true to life! The rough, tough type of man we think of as a cowboy, is best personified by a man with a load of testosterone. Hence, a hot and heavy erotica fits best.
I like writing these men with a great sense of understanding and I got that way because living in cowboy country, I know these boys! I have worked with them, played with them (at the local Chamber of Commerce and other local events.)
They are truly independent. With a capital I.
They do not mess with details. This, of course, can get them in trouble. But they tend not to care. They let others work on that pesky little stuff for them.
They have other traits I love. For example, they know how to use a lasso. They do rope animals. Corral them. Kill them. And stuff them. Then mount them on the walls of their living rooms, if their wives will let them—or if not, on the walls of their den. If that fails, the front of their trucks can bear a brace of 15 foot longhorns. Yes, indeedy.
They do take care of their appearance. They are fit. Very. And need no gym membership to hone those delicious muscles. And as for attire, beard, etc? They are not particular but pull on those worn, comfortable jeans and plaid shirt to be out there on a horse. Chaps (yum, yum) if necessary. But at home with their women, at a dance hall to do a graceful (do not use that word, though, puleeez) Two Step, they dress. Knife-pressed, starched jeans. White, starched shirt. Damnedest big silver buckle on their belt. Bigger than...well, any one else's, donchaknow. Boots. Knee high. Polished. Leather or Ostrich. Hand tooled. Cut to a fare thee well. Spurs. (Tingly, yet?)
They also know how to cook. Well. Really, they know how to barbeque. Hottest, damn coals are best, thank you, ma'am.
What do they cook? Ribs. Beef, pork, baby backs. Fajitas, especially down here in south Texas, this is our specialty. They also do Mean Beans. MEAN. (Bring your constitution, please.) Brisket, they will smoke till it falls apart in your fingers. You get all gooey and you must lick yourself clean.
Hmmm. Method? Madness?
What else can they do?
They know how to wield a bull whip.
A carving knife.
Biggest trucks I have ever seen.
They are not good with eloquence of the East Coast variety. But they do know how to speak their minds...and their hearts.
Gimme a cowboy every time.
Here’s a nibble of my newest, I CAUGHT THE SHERIFF, over at EC (www.jasminejade.com/ps-9022-50-i-caught-the-sheriff.aspx ) Here the hero is a rancher and the sheriff is a redhead with a whole lot of attitude! (Copyright 2011, Cerise DeLand)
She had as much chance of landing Lex Coltrane in her bed as there was rain in the forecast. Both were zero. But if getting next to him was as good as she got, she would chalk up her discretion as a job requirement. She needed to make friends here in this county where only last month she’d been appointed to replace the deceased sheriff. So hooking up with Lex Coltrane was an urge she should keep under wraps. In her panties. Her very damn wet panties.
But few men ever challenged her. They were too stunned by the combination of her looks and her job. Yet since this man had walked into her office the other day and shown her his own hot determination and fiery good looks, he had obsessed her. His swagger in tight jeans and his broad-as-a-barn shoulders made her as horny as hell. The coal-dark hair and deep purple eyes made her purr just to look at him. The big hands weren’t bad, either. Oh, lord. Could he put those hands on her? Please?
Hold on there, Sheriff! Lana patted her horse’s mane and fell in step with the most luscious man in the county. He was a widower, too, and unattached to any one female, she’d learned from her deputy.
“What’s your pleasure?” Lex interrupted her reverie as he led her toward the food stands. “Sausage? Tacos? Corn dogs?”
“One of each.”
He whistled. “Sheriff, ma’am, you better plan to work all that off fast.”
She so liked his easy manner, all smooth-talking Texas charm and tough rawhide.
“Advice from a man who knows women?”
“I had a wife who watched every morsel she put in her mouth. Loved her to bits, but she drove me nuts counting calories.”
Lana chuckled. Word was around town that Suzanna Coltrane had won every kind of local beauty queen crown that existed. “And I heard you were proud of her.”
“Very.” He seemed to suppress a wince as he scanned the lines in front of the booths.
Lana dug a ten dollar bill out of her back pocket. “Sausage on a stick.”
He stared for an overly long second into her eyes. “Broiled or boiled?”
“Broiled and big.”
He cleared his throat and turned away. “Who would you like to meet first?”
“Anyone who comes our way.”
“That’ll be a stampede of all the single men, you realize.” His mouth hatched up at one corner in humor.
“Maybe so. I’m not really interested in them, though.” And that was the gods’ honest truth. It’s only you who rile me up with your gruff looks and casual demeanor. “I’m not usually interested in men.”
“No? Women then?”
“Oh, no. No.” She scuffed the toe of one boot into the dirt. Why couldn’t she keep her big mouth shut instead of leading him down the garden path to sex?
He clamped a hand over hers and she flinched at the electric charge of his hold. “Really? Well, then we’ll just take it nice and easy. Whatever the day brings.”
As the zing from his touch pulsed through her body, she wondered why in tarnation she had to take this slowly. Her panties were soaked. Her pussy was throbbing. Her breasts were puckered up so high and hard, they were screaming to get out of her bra. Demanding he put his mouth on her there to lick her and bite her.
“Oh, god!” She ran a hand over her hip. “Can we just meet a few people and get this over with?”
“You want to skip the introductions?” He frowned, confused.
“I’d rather talk to you.”
“Works for me,” he told her in that voice that made her heart leap like a doe in rutting season.
She put palm to his chest. Yep. She’d been right. His heart was racing like a wild pony. She had to know if it was for her so she bit her lower lip and went for broke. “I want to celebrate Independence Day in a whole new way.”
“Is that right?” His hand clamped down on hers while his expression went from part surprise to raw need. “I like bright ideas. What did you have in mind?”
Courage, Sheriff. “Want to bring that sausage over to my house?”
His brows inched upward. Amusement competed with desire as he licked his lower lip with a lazy tongue. “Theirs? Or mine?”
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
So all this frustration has taken away from my writing time. which is a valuable commodity at this point. My dreaded day job has been busy as all heck, illness after illness has caused me to lose time and now blogger doesn’t want to work.
The painting begins tomorrow at our house – four rooms. The DH doesn’t do small, he has to take on large projects all at once. On top of that he seems to think he has to squeeze in every single home improvement project over the next ten weeks.
Luckily I can only sit and watch because I get frustrated very easily. :o)
I wanted to share something writing related, but I’ve got nothing. As you can see from this post my mind is fried!
Hopefully I’ll have something better planned for next week.
Oh, I’m about 30 pages from finishing Sugar Roux Voodoo Queen. If you haven’t picked up your copy run over to Ellora’s Cave and get it. I’m telling you this is another bestseller from Katalina Leon.
Monday, May 23, 2011
The look on the heroine's face in this new cover for UNTIL TWILIGHT, soon to debut at EC, just KILLS me. Desiree and I are tickled the art dept. went with our suggestion.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
Fortunately, my mother is not the superstitious type, at least not when it comes to Fridays. I consider this my lucky day! Have a great and lucky day and weekend! Julia
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Wow, it's hard to believe that my next release will be number 25 for me. It seems surreal after almost 3 years of publishing. Okay, so I was surprised when my editor told me this would release on May 11th...two weeks after edits! Look for my newest release tomorrow. Here's a little taste.
Allie only wanted two weeks of peace and quiet at her friend’s beach house to get her life in perspective. She wasn’t looking for sex, drugs and a kidnapping. But that’s what she gets when she encounters not one but two tasty men.
Tony, her gorgeous next-door neighbor, has a body any woman would want to explore, and Allie crave him licking, teasing and ravishing her body with those strong hands and kissable lips. Little does she know Tony’s on the trail of a drug dealer.
Then there’s Paul, who also wants a piece of Allie…if he can possibly tear her away from Tony.
An Excerpt From: SEX ON THE BEACH
Copyright © AMBER SKYZE, 2011
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
The wind blew wisps of Allie’s long blonde hair back toward the road she’d just traveled. She sped along the California coastline in her yellow convertible Spyder, enjoying the sunrise in the distance. The sun sparkled across the ocean, glimmering orange as it rose. The rays would threaten to scorch her skin later in the day. The weatherman had said the temperatures would reach well into the nineties again.
She pressed her flip-flopped foot harder on the gas pedal. Allie allowed the car to accelerate because she knew no one in their right mind would be on the road at this ungodly hour. Not everyone woke before the crack of dawn. While most were still sleeping soundly in their beds, the air conditioner cooling their skin, Allie was up grocery shopping.
It wasn’t unusual for her to be up and going at four in the morning. She loved those first few hours of the day when life was quiet. She could sip her coffee leisurely. The hustle and bustle came later when she left the house to fight the highway traffic on her way to her job as a marketing executive for a pharmaceutical company.
At least that was her life before she’d lost her job. She punched the steering wheel.
“Fuck,” she cursed to the open wind. While she missed the craziness of her old life she had to admit the last six months were the most stress-free she’d felt in years, right up until she returned to work.
The long hours and stress related to her job contributed in the onslaught of health issues she hadn’t known existed. After three consecutive months with a bout of what she thought was the flu Allie finally sought the advice of her doctor. He put her through numerous rounds of testing and came to the conclusion she suffered from acid reflux and Crohns disease. Both were brought on by stress, food choices and not taking care of her body.
Allie spent five agonizing days in the hospital while her doctor tried to get her disease under control. It was the worst experience in her life. There were times when she thought she’d die and sometimes she silently prayed she would. It was devastating and debilitating, but she swore she wouldn’t let it control her again.
Once Dr. Robinson managed to get the disease under control she looked pointedly at Allie.
“Look, your job is slowly killing you. Your body can’t handle the stress or long hours you’re demanding of it. You need to make some lifestyle changes or I’m just going to see you back here in a few months,” she’d said.
The reality of the doctor’s words was like a knife being twisted in her chest. She didn’t know how to not be on the go 24/7. That was the way she’d lived her life since turning sixteen.
Allie pressed even harder on the gas pedal.
She couldn’t get to the beach house fast enough. The idea of spending two weeks of quiet, soaking up the sun and sand appealed to her on so many levels. When her friend Pam told her she could use her beach house, Allie had immediately jumped on the offer.
The next few weeks would give her time to readjust to being unemployed and hopefully clear her mind. Eventually she’d have to decide what direction she wanted to take with her life. She had enough money saved to get her through six months of unemployment, but Allie didn’t want to totally deplete her savings. It was there as a safety net, nothing more.
Quitting had never been a word Allie thought she’d use, but her boss left her no other choice. She’d had a career as a marketing executive for almost five years before she’d up and resigned.
“Asshole!” She gripped the steering wheel, fighting back the tears stinging her eyes. She refused to cry. She wouldn’t give that shithead the satisfaction of beating her down. She wiped away the drop with the back of her hand.
“Screw you, Marty.”
Monday, May 9, 2011
“Your list limits me severely,” Kitty objected to his outrageous list of qualifications for a wife.
“I am aware of that.” Justin remained cool, indifferent, unchallenged at all.
“There are few women who possess all the qualifications,” she objected
He rose and came to stand before her.
So close now, she breathed his cologne. Smelled the mint on his breath. Admired the dimple in his left cheek and the facets of green and brown in his large heavy−lidded eyes. “In fact, there are only three women who meet all of your requirements.”
“Ah. But wait, you have not heard them all.”
“No? Preposterous! There is a very small pool of possible candidates, Justin. To add more requirements would be burdensome—”
“But my fortune will be very large. My homes, here and in the country, are grand estates. I will be married to this woman for many decades, and I need the best companion possible.” He frowned, very determined looking. “I have the right to declare to whom I shall be joined!”
“Precisely so, my lord, but we must be prudent.”
“You be prudent! I shall be as I am!”
His virulence shocked her.
“Your fees are high. I shall have whom I want! Who is best suited to me.” He strode closer and seized her arms, his powerful body dwarfing hers. Once his might had been comforting, but now, full of fury, his size made her wince. She had been intimidated by her husband far too often and she would not be by any man ever again.
She stiffened her spine. “Tell me your other requirements.”
“She must spend twenty-four hours with me at Belmont Manor.”
“Oh, I see.” She let out a breath, relieved. “You want her to visit.”
“No, I want her in my bed.”
Kitty blinked. “I...I’m sorry. You want her--?”
“Naked. I want to learn if she likes men. Me, to be exact.”
“I see.” Women do like you, from what I hear. One mistress in particular who boasts of your prowess in the art of pleasing a woman. “Why wouldn’t she?
“I need to learn if she is a dry piece of toast. Or a willing woman who likes a man’s touch. If she’ll be a desirable partner.”
“Most women are.”
“Really? You think so?” With a sound of derision, he spun away and walked toward the window. “I have learned that women in English society tend to be naïve and foolish. Certainly the ones who have been shoved at me as appropriate are witless ninnies, reared in tiny rooms by smaller-minded governesses. I want a woman in my bed, a full blown beauty with brains.”
“I see.” Did you also think me witless? A ninny?
“Can you find one?” He peered at her with narrowed, merciless eyes.
She felt undressed from so far across the room, but she lifted her chin and carried on in a snit. “Indeed, I can, my lord. To fit your qualifications, I have two candidates.”
“Two. Damn me! So many!” he scoffed—and his expression implied he was surprised at her capabilities. Odd. He ought to be damn pleased. “I am delighted at your resourcefulness, Lady Varney. I wish to interview each of them, naturally. At my home in Kent.”
“First, I shall inquire if each is interested and accepts your terms.”
He waved a hand. “Of course. Do it within the week. I need to know quickly. My uncle is not well and he wishes this matter of my marriage resolved before he sheds his mortal coil.”
Kitty frowned. Had she been wrong all these years to remember Justin as kind and caring? Had she varnished him with a romantic veneer of her own making?
He strolled closer. His magnetic allure nearly buckled her knees. But she stood taller, met him toe to toe, damn his eyes!
“And who are these women you have chosen for me?”
She gathered her courage. “Maribella Winter, Baroness Avon. And Susanna Curtis, Marchioness Hamill.”
“But to be honest, there is one more. Is there not, madam?”
“A third? No, none that I—”
“What of the illustrious blonde beauty who travels in the best of Society? What of the widow who has a son by her deceased husband? What of the heiress who holds through her own ancestry the ancient title of Lady Downey?”
Kitty caught her breath at the mention of her own ancient title. “She is not available.” Not rich.“Not suitable.”
“I say she is.”
She stared at him, tempted and hating herself for it. “She is older.” Wiser than to do this.
“She will be presented to me at Belmont Manor.”
She shook her head. “No.”
“I triple my fee.”
“Triple?” she parroted like a simpleton.
“One sum of five thousand pounds for each candidate.”
She could not refuse him. Not that sum. That amount would nearly free her of Henry’s gambling debts and give her enough to buy a few new frocks for next Season. The ability to hire a governess for her son. “Justin, fifteen thousand pounds is a startling sum. But I cannot take it. Cannot ask three women to rendezvous with you. Really, how could I? I want to, but I cannot because--”
“Kitty! Stop this!” Justin stepped toward her so quickly, she scarcely noticed that he’d moved. But his arms crushed her close. His fingers lifted her chin. His lips took hers. Once, twice. Damn him, three times. Her own arms twined around him. She whimpered and moaned into his mouth while her breasts beaded and her nether regions flooded with a wet hot desire. She had not felt so gloriously wanton since last she stood in his embrace.
“Oh, you’ll take it. Look at me,” he demanded. “Tell me who the third candidate is.”She stared up at him, the devil. He had planned it this way. Devised this scheme to torture her, punish her for how she had not fought to stay with him eleven years ago. Poor man, he believed the ton. Thought she was rich. But he’d get no wife in her, only a lover. For one day and night. One risqué affair. “The last woman is me.”
Thursday, May 5, 2011
I'm not two things:
1. I'm not a big fan of YA literature unless I'm reading it with a child.
2. I'm not a reviewer.
But a friend and book blogger who reviews mostly paranormal, sci fi and fantasy literature asked me if I'd be willing to read and review a more or less contemporary YA written by an American ex-pat living in Berlin. As the protagonist is a Jewish girl, my friend thought the story, Wallflower, might be right up my alley. I'm Jewish as are at least two of my heroines - Mari in Captured and Eva in Beauty and the Feast.
I pondered her request for a few minutes, and then I decided, why not? I'm in a writing slump anyway, so what the heck...It seemed like a good idea to read something out of my comfort zone.
Wallflower can best be described as a day in the life. Actually, it's more apt to say four hours in the life of the protagonist, Molly Beth Lenzfeld, an American teen living in Berlin with her father. She's tall, gangly, morose, lacks self-confidence and feels out of place at her American school. She's actually on her way out. Molly plans to return to the States to live with her older sister. The Berlin Wall has only recently come crashing down and now that she's leaving Germany, Molly decides to make a pilgrimage to East Berlin to visit her deceased mother's original home, the site where her mother was born, the place she left behind with her parents when they fled Nazi persecution in 1938.
Traveling from West to East on the train, Molly is sidetracked, first by an unpleasant acquaintance and then by a young man, a tall, enigmatic, East German drama student, Michael Maier, or Mick, as his friends call him. Despite Molly's doubts and insecurities, Mick's interested in her. Not only interested, but persistent. During the four hours Molly spends traveling from West to East, she never manages to find her mother's home, at least, she never finds it when we're watching. She finds something else entirely. Hope.
My thoughts...Holly-Jane Rahlens, a journalist by profession, writes lovely prose in the style I prefer - her words are clean, clear and crisp. There's an unusual amount of detail in the short story, yet nothing is extraneous or trivial. Those sensual and tactile details included are absolutely necessary. The reader can hear, see, feel and smell the train car, the subway stations, the foods of East Berlin, even the streets themselves. I swear I could smell the worn yet welcoming scent of Mick's leather jacket.
Wallflower is a delicate story. Not much happens in four hours. No one is murdered, there is no great catastrophe, even the climax of the story is calm and thoughtful. Yet in the space of four hours, a seventeen year old girl is transformed from a wallflower into a young woman. The story is exquisite, actually. The teenage voices are realistic, the characters believable. Wallflower is a refreshing change from what's become the formulaic YA novel containing absentee and/or incompetent parents and super-powered teens. Molly's father cares about her, her sister cares about her, and every character is a regular human being, warts and all. This is a quick read and I do recommend it.
Wallflower was first published in German in 2009, by Rowohlt/Reinbek.
It was released in 2010 in the United States by Berlinica Publishing, LLC, website: www.Berlinica.com
I couldn't find a website for the author, Holly-Jane Rahlens, but her bio says she was born in New York, and moved to Berlin shortly after college, where she's remained, working in radio, television and film. In 2003, her novel Prince William, Maximillian Minsky and Me earned the prestigious Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis as the best young adult novel in Germany.
Ah…found a website! http://www.holly-jane-rahlens.com/about.php?l=2
Since I don't normally do this, I guess I have to say the following: a copy of the book was received from the author. This reviewer did not receive any financial reimbursement for the review.
I always wait anxiously for the first reviews of my books. I'm breathing a sigh of relief that there are now two wonderful ones for Pampering Jessica!
Night Owl Reviews: 4 stars
"I thoroughly enjoyed this hot (and encouraging if you’ve reached a certain age) story and recommend you have some free time for your significant other for after the story ends."
Sizzling Hot Books: 5 stars
"Reading Pampering Jessica by Tessie Bradford gave me a wonderful start to my day... I like that Tessie Bradford gave us a story of love and passion with a couple that has been married for years and are in their middle ages. Passion is not just for the young. I will keep Pamering Jessica and read on days that I feel older and just plain dowdy."
Hubby and I are off to Central Michigan University again tomorrow - Saturday is GRADUATION DAY!!
S is graduating cum laude with the degree of 'Bachelor of Applied Arts in Apparel Merchandising and Design with a minor in English and a concentration in Design and Merchandising'!!!
Have a great weekend everyone~
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Yesterday was a bittersweet day for Americans. The death of Osama bin Laden after nearly 10 years in hiding surprised me really. I honestly didn’t think I’d see the day. I thought he’d continue to elude the military until his death of old age. I praise the men and women who have worked tirelessly to capture the terrorist and applaud the ones who put the bullet in him.
Okay, so like I said earlier I’m working on a tight deadline and must get back to writing.
Until Next Tuesday!