Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Fluff....

Yeah, this title is literal, I'm afraid. There's A LOT of the white stuff floating around in the air and covering the ground this morning! This is typical where I live, but damn, I'm sick of this stuff. I'm SO ready for spring. ACK!

So, I do have some fluffy details to hand out. First, have you signed up for Sophie's newsletter? Because a special announcement newsletter is going out next week, and there's a contest for just newsletter subscribers! If you want in on some of the goods, sign up. I promise not to flood your inbox with newsletters, because one, I'm really unimaginative when it comes to my newsletter, and two, I'm lazy when I have to gather up all that information and shoot it off to my most excellent newsletter mistress!

So...more fluff....hmmmm. I'm running a contest for Charlotte on Goodreads. Two advanced (and mailed early, too) copies of Sinful. I'm shipping to US, Canada, Great Britain, and parts of Europe. So, if you're wanting to fondle Wallingford weeks before other readers will get to, go to Goodreads and sign up for the contest!

In other good news, and because of all the incredible support from the blogging community, and all those pre-orders of Velvet Haven, NAL has contracted me to write the second book of the Immortals of Annwyn series. Thus far there is no title as yet, but we did talk cover art yesterday. I can't wait to see it, and I hope, hope, hope that it compares to Velvet Haven's cover.

I can tell you that most of the book will be spent in Annwyn. The heroine is a goddess, and her name is Bronwnn. The hero, is Bran's cousin, Rhys, who is a mortal and runs Velvet Haven. I've added a few pics of what I imagine the goddesses temple to look like. Basically my inspiration was where the Elves live in Lord of the Rings, but in my vision, it's definitely more Celtic, with a heavy dose of mysticism and female sensuality. Bronwnn is the goddess of sexuality and fertility, so I'm envisioning some very sexy scenes! I'm using the music of Lorenna McKennitt to insprire my Annwyn world.

Currently I'm writing Lust. It's going well. Also, a little birdie told me that Spice is working on the cover of Lust. I can't wait to see what they're going to give me! I'm also working on the proposal for Vanity, and I'm really happy with it. It's going well, and there's a scene that I've written for the book that has me realy excited. The iron was hot and I had to strike. I love, love, love this scene. And I have to thank Barbara, and Ashley for giving me the kick in the ass I needed to believe that this scene could work, and fire up the reader! So, thanks guys!!!

Well, I'm all fluffed out! I hope everyone has a great weekend! And don't forget to sign up for my newsletter. There's a good contest, and some chances coming up to win some signed copies of Velvet Haven!

Be Well!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Delicious Tease!!!

My buds Shayla Black and Tracy Wolff are giving away a cool, cool prize~An iPod Touch! Not to mention they've gathered up some great writers for days of prizes. I'll be among them on March 5th, chatting about Velvet Haven.

Stop by for some great teasin'!!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Slow news day...

Well, guess what? Sinful is up and available for pre-order at all the usual suspect places. Barnes and Noble, Amazon,, Chapters.... Just a few more months.

And...have you seen that countdown widget for Velvet Haven? Holy hell, where did the months go? We're talking DAYS now before it releases! EEEEK!!!

Good news, though, my publisher asked for a proposal for book 2 of the Annwyn Chronicles. I happily obliged them and am waiting on word.

Let's see, what else...hmm, Lust has successfully seduced Chastity (man, he had to work hard for it) and Vanity has finally located his virtue, who, I'm afraid isn't all he thought her to be.

Also, found some cool promo stuff for the Sins, and an equally cool quote by the bard--Commit the oldest sins the newest kind of ways--William Shakespeare.I love that quote. I have to use it!

Okay, that's it. I'm boring.....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Meet Sinful's Jane Rankin

What's in a name? I've asked myself that question numerous times, especially as I lament a character's name. To me, naming a character is vital. The name is the character. Some writers just pick a name they like and run with it--and I admire those writers who don't get caught up in the name game. I'm afraid I'm not one of them. Currently, I'm going over names for a hero for my HQN book. His title is the Earl of Black. He has no Christian name. I feel his name needs to start with a J....I have a name in mind, but I'm still savoring it, making sure it feels right!

Now, honestly, sometimes I find it very easy to pick a name. Others not so much. With Addicted, Lindsay was just born Lindsay. His name fits--passionate, emotional, poetic. The name fits the man (and yes, in those olden days, men had names like Shelley, and Lindsay and Ashley...) As well, Anais, (Lindsay's heroine) has a very lovely, passionate name. The names fit the couple and their love, which is soft and romantic and well....passionate. Sinful's characters however are another matter entirely. Wallingford is a gruff no nonsense man. I was 3/4 finished Addicted before I even knew what his name would be. Matthew kept popping into my head, and I resisted it for days. He didn't seem to be a Matthew to me. He was only just Wallingford. But then I began to really think on it. Matthew can be a strong name. It seems the sort of name that a duke might give his son. And Matty whispered by the heroine would be the most intimate of sounds, especially to a man who never hears his Christian name. So, Matthew Wallingford became.

Now, his heroine. I'm not sure how many of you know this, but I tossed out the first 200pgs of Sinful. It wasn't working. And it was the heroine who wasn't doing it for me. She was all wrong for my Wallingford. In short, she was a ball breaker. She never backed down. She was contempous, hard headed, and I really didn't like her, but I thought she was the sort that Wallingford needed. And her name...GAWD...Emma just didn't work.

I kept wanting to call her Jane. The trouble was, I had used that name for a heroine in a novella--Tutoring Lady Jane. I didn't want readers to think that I was struggling for names--or ideas. But the truth was, she was Jane to me, and worse, she was Jane to Matthew as well. I could hear him speaking her name, whether in longing or in anger or exasperation. I wanted a common name, a strong name that spoke of the kind of woman she was. In the end, I captiulated and decided that Jane she was, and I've never looked back.

Jane Austen once said (and I'm paraphrasing here) that she would be in essence devastated if readers did not like her Elizabeth Bennett. Jane Austen found Lizzy 'quite a delightful character', and I agree with her. I also feel much the same about Jane Rankin.

I find heroines rather difficult to pen. The men are always the first to come to me, but the women...sigh...I usually struggle with them. I think it's me. I have a hard time relating to some heroines. My editor once told me that heroines are wall paper for us. And I agree. In the beginning when you're learning who these characters are, they're just fictional people. But then they begin to take on a life of their own, and the women become us--or rather, we magically become the heroine, experiencing love and passion with the hero. When you can't relate to the heroine, that's bad. And sometimes I have a very difficult time identifying with female leads. I don't know if it's because I'm a complicated person, or because I'm just naturally inclined to be put off by silliness, vanity, and too much bravado. Whatever it is, those sorts of heroines immediately put me off because I can't identify with their thoughts, motivations and behaviors.

To me, Jane Rankin is as 'normal' a woman as we can have, and truth be told, Jane is the heroine most like my true nature. She's a mixture of strength and vulnerability, who possesses nearly as sharp a tongue as Wallingford, but who has such a capacity to heal and nurture. She is a woman who longs, but who tempers that longing with practicality. I guess, what I like the most about Jane is that I admire her. If she were a live person, I could be friends with her. We could take tea and chat, or we could stroll through the gardens and I could speak of my biggest secrets, and know that Jane would never tell another soul. That's the kind of person Jane Rankin is. That's what drives Wallingford to possess her at all costs, the hidden essence of Jane which is nothing short of magical as he slowly encourages her set her innermost thoughts, fears and longings free.

In my mind, Jane is plain. Not ugly, mind. Just....average. I went trolling through pictures trying to find something suitable, and nothing was right. Except, I happened across this image and thought it perfect for one particular scene in Sinful. It's with Jane, and her employer, Lady Blackwood. Jane in this scene, is trying to maintain composure. Trying to be strong and dignified. But she is a woman who is hurting, and it's this picture, that reminds me so much of what Jane embodies. The woman holding Jane is too young to be Lady Blackwood, but the mood and emotions conveyed are very reminscent of the scene. The picture made me sigh, and hope that readers will like Jane as much as I do.

So tell me. Have you ever read a book where the name of the hero or heroine didn't match the character's personality? And, what fictional heroine have you most identified with?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Beefcake Bran

Hey guys, just wanted to give you the heads up that Bran, my hero from Velvet Haven, is the beefcake for February over at Leontine's Book Realm.

Join Bran on Monday, February 8th, for his interview, and to ask him some questions. As well, I'll be giving away a copy of Velvet Haven to a lucky winner.

See you there!!!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Feel Good

So, I've met my word goals for this week! YEAH!!! LUST is coming along quite well, and I've even penned a scene for Vanity's book. So, I'm treating myself this weekend to reading for pleasure.

This is what I'm diving into....

VFG has been on me for AGES to get my arse in gear and read Nalini! I know, what rock have been living under to not have read anything by her? lol! I started chapter one earlier this week, but got distracted by writing stuff. This weekend, I'm totally devoting myself to this book. And it's about angels, you know I love me some bad boy angels!!!

Next up is a fun reseach book I found on-line. What a treasure it is. Filled with really neat ancetodal information on the Fae. It even has a fab chapter on faery sex! lol!

Seducing virgins, preying upon hapless travelers, luring mortals toward madness and death . . . What are faeries really like?

Contrary to today’s sanitized depictions, the hobgoblins, imps, sprites, elves, and other magical creatures embodied in folklore can be quite nasty. Kenny Klein draws on folkloric record—ancient songs, stories of forest and field, legends, myths, and sagas—to reveal faeries’ true nature: where they live; what they do; their desires, fears, powers, proclivities, and enchantments.

Entertaining and enlightening, this unique guide explores human interactions with Mab the Faerie Queen, Puck the prankster, Reynardine the fox man, Jenny Green Teeth, and an array of other legendary fey. It includes rituals and spells for faerie protection, tells the reader how to enlist faerie help in finding lost objects or gaining inspiration, and offers practical tips for those who dare to venture into the world of the Faerie.

“Think you know faeries? This well-researched, compelling book will have you looking twice at shadows and tying bits of red thread around your bedposts for protection.”—Jennifer McMahon, author of Promise Not to Tell

So, I'll be finishing up this little gem and diving into Angel's Kiss.

What's everyone reading?