Saturday, December 18, 2010

A New Decade, A New Direction

Today, I have the great pleasure of  introducing a beautiful, wonderful and very talented woman. I met Kandie a couple of years ago and my opinion has not changed one bit in all that time. She is a giving lady and I'm honored to have her among my friends.



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Judith, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my news with your readers. You are truly a light and I'm glad to know you!


2010 marked my first year in book publishing with the release of Curtains: The Collective Works and Getting Started on the Web eBooks for Writers and Actors [GSOTW]. GSOTW helps artists establish and manage their digital brands while diversifying their talent to produce multiple streams of income.

Although getting a book published is definitely a dream come true, I have to say, I'm extremely excited about this turning point in my literary career. In 2011, I will move into fiction with screenwriting and novel writing- a move that has been challenging yet fulfilling.

Novel writing allows you to dive into your characters: the back story, the story arc, plots, and subplots -grabbing details about their surroundings and expressions- showing versus telling. It means having narrative that is just as engaging as the dialogue. Creative Writers also need to learn to write tight.
On the other hand, screenwriting affords me the chance to focus on the action, the urgency of dialogue and the transformation of words from script to screen; taking storytelling to a new place of collaboration and interpretation.

I always develop my stories from what I know from personal challenges, joys and sorrow. I even include experiences from actual vacations in my stories such as my trips to Paris, France and Cozumel will be in upcoming books.

Just knowing that I have a story that no one else is designed to tell but me, keeps me purposeful. Several years ago, a co-worker gave me a card with a quote by Toni Morrison: “If there’s a story you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

That was so profound to me.I want people to be entertained but also feel engaged, as if they are on the page with my characters, walking in their footsteps.

So next year is very pivotal for me: the start of a new year, a new decade, new goals and a new direction in my storytelling.



From Tempestuous Love by Kandie Delley

“Like what you see?” Gerald’s question tunneled into Casey’s thoughts. The color in her cheeks blossomed. To hide further embarrassment she turned her head into the cool breeze and gathered her composure.

“Oh, um…I thought I saw something on your shirt.” Casey reeled her head back upon hearing Gerald’s quiet laughter, knowing her little white lie had been revealed.

Gerald was something of an enigma. His gift for capturing moments in still life had graced the covers of international magazines and branched into multiple entertainment arenas from music to film. He’d photographed beautiful people and majestic scenes from all over the world nevertheless he spent his free time in a small suburb of Dallas perfecting his craft. Casey originally assumed a man with his worldly experience would be rather arrogant or unavailable. But Gerald had a very earthy approachable disposition.

Their conversation that afternoon segued into a dinner invitation at an Italian restaurant the same day. Following closely behind the hostess, Casey felt Gerald’s palm spread against her lower back as he guided her before him- ensuring her safety amidst the bustle of the restaurant activity. Electric currents of excitement tickled the length of Casey’s back. When they reached their table, subtle gestures from Gerald made her giddy in anticipation, such as his fingertips brushing softly against her arms after assisting with her seating.

Throughout dinner, Casey’s attention tilted back and forth between Gerald’s explanations about lighting techniques used in his photography studio to vivid snapshots of their bodies intertwined in front of a crackling fire. She tried to shake the images from her mind but they seem to take a life of their own.

Staring at him from across the table, her smirk balanced into a slow grin. To corral her frame of mind she nestled her hands in her lap, tugging on the hem of her shirt- anything to distract the image of Gerald’s lips on hers.

By dessert Casey gave up trying to imprison her thoughts. Instead, she rationalized her mindset by blaming it on the two year drought in the romance department. Sure she’d been out on dates but between day job and expanding her resume into television she hadn’t found the time to truly develop any romantic relationships.

Decadent, chocolaty, rich and sinful; if someone were to enter her thoughts at that moment, they would think she was describing the chocolate mousse cake centered on the table instead of Gerald. Casey mentally berated herself. It was as though she were back in high school gushing over the senior heartthrob.

Her eyes flashed back to Gerald. She watched his tongue dart between his lips occasionally as he spoke. So engrossed in his conversation, she imagined him talking in slow motion, each syllable exploding into her consciousness. Soon all the pent up desires she’d properly contained were finally released.

“It’s getting hot in here, don’t you think?” Casey’s admission caused Gerald’s eyebrows to lift momentarily.

Casey flagged the waiter motioning toward her water glass before sliding haphazardly back into her seat. The chair rocked slightly. Gerald reached over the table and grabbed her hand to steady her. Once Casey regained her balance he lowered to his seat.

“Apologies; I tend to ramble about my studio but I think I may be boring you.”

“No, of course not,” Casey fanned herself with a napkin. “I find photography very interesting. The photos you took of me for Texas Showdown were, unreal.”

“Well you’re very photogenic; a captivating complement to the camera.”

“Thanks. So, do you think the Cowboys will make it to the playoffs?” The unexpected change of subject produced an awkward silence that sandwiched between them until uneasy laughter filtered through, taking the edge off unspoken words.

As much as Casey desired to spend more time with Gerald she knew her pending schedule wouldn’t allow for it. Besides, she found dating more enjoyable than being saddled in a relationship -at least, that’s what she convinced herself to believe. But now, of all the men she’d met since winning the crown of Ms. North Texas, Gerald by far, intrigued her the most.

Friday, December 17, 2010

My friend Lillian Grant - Guest Appearance

Hey everyone, let's welcome my dear friend from down under, Lillian Grant.  She is not only a wonderful author but a great all around lady!  If you want an enduring romance be sure and check out her novel from Loose Id, Happy Birthday, Nancy Tobin. Here's the link to find the book at Loose Id   Lillian, it's your page, do what you do best!

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Happy Birthday, Nancy Tobin wasn’t the first book I ever wrote but it was the first one where I knew I really had something.  The characters were really strong and the story completely absorbed me for weeks.  Nancy shared her miserable existence, dark quirky sense of humor and the beautiful story of how her life was turned around by a man more than 14 years her junior with me.  Nancy’s life is a tale of triumph over despair, love snatched from misery and the discovery of a sensual side she had long thought dead.  Writing this book made me laugh and made me cry and I hope readers find the story as compelling to read as I found it to write.


Here is the blurb

Suddenly single on the eve of her fortieth birthday, Nancy Tobin’s not sure turning middle-aged is worth celebrating. She's stuck in a dead-end job as the boss’s bitch with only her morose Labrador for a companion. What does she have to party about? Maybe if she ignores the whole birthday thing, it will just go away.

Hot, twenty-six-year-old Jake Turner has other ideas. When he bumps into Nancy at the library, he sees a woman in need of a wake-up call. Determined to unleash the beauty hidden beneath the sad fa├žade, he schemes to relight her spark. He wants to give her a birthday to remember but he ends up being the one who can't forget: a visit to his apartment becomes a weekend in his bed where he discovers an offbeat, unpredictable, sexually adventurous woman he never wants to let go.

With Jake, Nancy can do anything, her life can be whatever she chooses. But this new and exciting relationship teeters on the edge of destruction when her soon-to-be ex-husband reveals the reason for Jake’s initial interest in her. Can Nancy trust Jake when he finally tells her he loves her?

Thanks for dropping by, Lillian.  Wishing you a tremendous success on Nancy and all your future endeavors!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Guest Author Lauren Fraser!

Oh, wow, I am just so excited to have my friend, Lauren Fraser here today.  Lauren is a multi-published author with Elora's Cave. So it is my great pleasure to open the page to Lauren Fraser!

Also, mark down December 11 and 12 on your calendars.  Lauren, along with several other authors, will be part of a blog tour over the weekend. There are loads of books up for grabs. Please be sure and pop over there to show some support of these ladies. You can jump on the blog tour at Lauren's blog and it will take them to the other blogs on the tour bus. http://www.laurenfaser.com/blog

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Thank you for having me on your blog today, Judith.

I'm really excited about the release of Sex, Sin and Surf. People always ask where story ideas come from and this idea is actually inspired from real life. I know, shocking, right? LOL. One of my favorite things is spending time at the beach, there's nothing like it. When we were in Mexico last spring, we went to this fantastic little town to go surfing. It was one of the best days of our holiday. The beach was amazing and we had such a great time surfing, I just knew I had to set a story there. And of course what would a day of surfing be without some surfers to look at. When we were surfing there was this surfer that my daughter and I were watching because he absolutely shredded the waves. He also happened to be quite attractive, and when we were having lunch a couple of ladies were discussing how hot he was. My daughter thought it was pretty funny because they were watching him for a completely different reason than we were. And the rest is history, the plot bunny was hatched and Sex, Sin and Surf is the result of a fantastic day of surfing and an active imagination. LOL

Blurb

Holidays are all about relaxation. And what better way to relax than with a hot holiday fling?

On vacation in Mexico with her two best friends, forty-one-year-old Celeste Kopp vows to break out of her middle-aged rut and live life to the fullest. Taking surf lessons is on the top of her to do list. However, when she meets sexy surf instructor Ben, the idea of a holiday fling with a younger man becomes the only thing on her list.

Ben is more than willing to live out Celeste’s fantasies as well as a few of his own. But their holiday romance turns out to be more than either of them bargained for when the connection between them deepens. Being with Celeste forces Ben to deal with his own baggage in a way he never expected.

As the vacation draws to a close, Celeste realizes she wants so much more from Ben than a holiday fling, but can she convince him that their future together is worth the risk?




Page 13 excerpt

“I don’t think you should kick his ass,” he told her. His husky, lightly accented voice slid over her body, caressing her with its sexy cadence.

Surfer god stepped around the counter and shot the kid a fierce look before he eased the boy out of the way. “Sorry about him. What can I help you with? You ladies interested in learning to surf?”

“Well…” Nancy grumbled.

“Which is easier to learn, surfing or paddle boarding?” Celeste asked before her friends could change their minds.

“That depends really. A lot of people find the paddleboard a bit easier because they have something to hold onto for balance.”

Celeste stared at him, unable to speak. His English was flawless, with almost an American rhythm to it, but everything about his body language said Latin American.

Realizing she was staring at him like an idiot, she smiled. “Okay, well maybe we’ll start with that.”

She turned to glance at her friends. Focused on the surf god in front of them, it hadn't registered on the two women that Celeste had turned around. Celeste bit back a laugh. God, they were like a bunch of dirty old ladies ogling the man. He was just a baby, probably not much older than his early twenties. “Any chance you guys have lessons or something since we’ve never done this before?”

“We can certainly help you out. When did you want to go out?”

“Tomorrow sometime?”

He pulled out a day-planner from under the counter and flipped it open to the next day. “Do you have a preference if your instructor is a male or a female?”

Hell, if they were going to humiliate themselves, they could at least enjoy the view while they did so. Celeste rested her elbows on the counter. “Any chance you could give us a lesson?”

She couldn't be sure which one of her friends gasped. But if forced to guess, odds were the outraged noise had to have come from Nancy. Screw it. This was her vacation, and she was going to enjoy it.

His gaze flickered over her shoulder, amusement lingered in his eyes before he turned his attention back to Celeste. The look on his face quickly changed, a slow sexy smile eased across his face. He rested his elbows on the counter, his face inches from hers. “I could probably teach you a few things tomorrow afternoon.”

Her nipples beaded tightly beneath her bathing suit. Without breaking eye contact, she licked her lips. “That sounds perfect. What time works for you?”

A strong nudge to her hip forced her to look away from the man and toward her friends. Nancy glared down at her. Celeste wrinkled her eyebrows and mouthed, “What?” Nancy’s jaw clenched tightly as she stared back at her. Clearly, Nancy wasn’t on board with the whole relaxation and trying something new experience yet. Rolling her eyes, Celeste stood up. “Right, so what time tomorrow for our lesson?”

He laughed. “You’re on vacation, ladies, Mexican time. We’re a little more relaxed here on the beach. Do you plan to take a siesta during the day?”

“Not that I know of.”

“All right, well, the waves are pretty tame mid-day so why don’t you come down after you finish your lunch, maybe around one p.m.? I’ll take you out then.”

Nancy stepped closer to the counter and asked, “So our appointment is for one p.m.?”

Surfer god laughed. “Around then, yes.”

Nancy growled, which made Celeste and Sarah laugh until she turned her glaring stare to them. Celeste coughed to cover her amusement. “Sorry, Nance. Tomorrow around one-ish works just fine for us.”

“But…” Nancy stammered. Not giving her a chance to speak, Sarah pushed Nancy toward the door of the shop.

“What’s your name?” Surfer god asked.

“Celeste.”

He grinned and wrote her name in the book. “Celeste. I’ll see you tomorrow.” He nodded his head toward her friends. “Your friend needs to have a couple more margaritas to get her in the vacation spirit.”

Celeste laughed. “She already did.”

He snorted and shook his head. “I’m Ben by the way.” He grabbed a business card from the counter. “Call if you need to make any changes to the lessons.”

“Oh, I won’t.”

“I didn’t think you would, but I imagine your friends might.”

“Nope, they’ll be here too.”

“All right then, I will see all three of you tomorrow.”

“Great, sounds good,” Celeste said. Turning, she herded her friends toward the entrance.

Celeste walked by a rack of t-shirts and glanced back. Ben was watching her ass as she left. She turned back around, a smile on her face. She still had it. She added a little extra sway to her hips as she left the store.

Once she stepped onto the beach, she kicked off her shoes and strolled down to the water. Her friends immediately joined her. “What were you thinking flirting with that guy?” Nancy demanded.

“What do you mean? I thought we were on vacation. Weren’t you the one who said a little vacation romance would be good for me?”

“I did, but he’s so young.”

“He might be young, but he sure seemed interested in Celeste,” Sarah piped in. “And damn, if a man who looked like that even glanced my way, I would be all over him in a heartbeat.”

Celeste glanced back over her shoulder to the shop. “He was damn sexy, wasn’t he? Mmm.”

Nancy shook her head. “Just don’t make a fool of yourself.”

“Oh relax, Mom, I’m not going to do anything stupid.”

Sarah hip bumped Nancy. “Drop it, let’s just move on. We’re here to relax and have fun. Think of it like Vegas. What happens in Sayulita stays in Sayulita.”

“Sounds good to me,” Celeste said. “Let’s go explore the beach.”

A shell caught her eye and she bent down to pick it up. Celeste trailed her finger over the beautiful pink swirls before sticking the shell in her purse. Glancing down the beach, she spotted a cute little restaurant.

“Let’s get some drinks,” she said to her friends and plopped down onto a lounge chair in front of one of the many beachfront restaurants. This vacation was all about relaxation and enjoyment and if she stood a chance with Ben, she planned to make the most of it.

Buy Link

Friday, December 10, 2010

How are stories born by Rhonda Lee Carver.

Today I'm guesting a wonderful lady and a talented author, Rhonda Lee Carver. Rhonda, you have center stage. Welcome to my world and thank you for sharing a piece of yours with us.

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Many writers have been asked the question, “Are your stories purely fantasy or are they based on truth?” I’ve been asked this question a few times. For me, my mind is always open and observant to a new story. Places, people, movies, phrases…can all trigger an idea that bleeds into another book.


One of my favorite flicker-of-an-idea-into-book stories is the paranormal I contracted with Lyrical Press. While I was driving on a lonely, narrow road one evening almost a year ago I glanced up and saw the most tattered, desperate looking house sitting in the middle of an overgrown field. Sure, from a glance, it was like any abandoned house one may see along the hills and winding roads of Ohio country; however, I was struck with a sudden urge to pull over. Staring at the house with the frayed rope hanging from an old beastly tree and broken porch and windows, I imagined characters living there and soon these figments of imagination had personalities…and from there a story was born.


For Second Chance Cowboy, released this November with Lyrical, I was fascinated with couples finding love again. I knew I wanted my hero to be named Chance. The name conjured up possibilities and ideas, but one stuck in my mind and developed into second chances for love. I then bounced around in my head motives why a man and woman who are divorced would want to give their marriage another try. One reason, they still love one another. Two, if something tore them apart besides falling out of love. Three, they have an opportunity to relive the passion they once shared together. So, my heroine Carly took a fall down the staircase, banged her head, and waking up with amnesia, she believed Chance was still her cowboy. Not wanting to hurt her, and seeing this as his second chance for love, he keeps the truth a secret.


Whether a story is based on fantasy or reality, a spark of an idea can definitely entangle itself inside a writer’s mind until we have no choice but to create and craft a life for these characters. It is amazing that one fabrication of thought can grow into 50, 000 or so words based on love, passion, conflict, denial, trust…







BIO:

Rhonda is a full-time romance author and a freelance editor. She enjoys writing contemporary, paranormal, suspense, and erotica. Her specialty is bad-ass heroes (charcoal hair, copper eyes, and heart of gold) and smart and sassy heroines. And her favorite subject is…men in military uniform. They make the perfect hero.


Reading her first romance novel at age thirteen, Rhonda was hooked. Her talent of bringing interesting characters to print and shaping happy endings are not only a passion of hers, but a dream career. She thinks the love between hero and heroine should be so steamy that it melts the ink off the pages.


If she’s not at her computer crafting a story, Rhonda enjoys reading romance, hanging out with her loved ones, or watching a movie that either pushes her to tears or has her rolling with laughter…and preferably both.


She lives in Ohio where she is a mother by day and a sensual writer by night. She has too many pets to name but has a place in her heart for each of them.


She believes everyone deserves romance in their life—one page at a time.

links:Facebook
Twitter/RLCarver


email : rhondaleecarver.author@gmail.com


You can find Rhonda's novel Second Chance Cowboy at Lyrical Press.
www.rhondaleecarver.com

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jadette Paige's release day has finally happened. I am thrilled to say this is her debut novel and it's a hot one.  The characters in the book came to life on the pages. It is more than just an erotic m/m alternate fantasy novel, no, it is a love story. One I hope everyone will enjoy.



Take him from Heaven’s Seat. Bring him to me. We will protect his sacred head.



Stryver Zorti’s mission appears simple. Kidnap the Godchild and deliver him to his master. But with the first meeting of the holy man’s azure gaze, desire surges in him to strip bare the God and touch the man within.


Worshiped all his life, the Godchild is shocked by the stranger who dares lay hands on him, even if it is to save him from assassins. With a different name given by his new ally, Blue is freed from the constraints of the holy order for the first time. He revels in the extraordinary experiences opening to him, then in the passion that sparks between him and the hard-edged, oddly gentle Stryver.


But a god does not love, and if discovered, their precarious utopia will shatter, destroying any chance for a future together--that is, if the assassins don’t kill them first.


Except:

Stryver leaned against the broad trunk, waiting with waning patience. Blue had been fine until the rain. He had melted with the first drops, shivering and gasping until Stryver helped him move under the protection of the oak.



He frowned at Blue where he huddled among the roots’ knobs at the base of the trunk. His knees were drawn up against his chest, his thin arms wrapped around them.


Rain never hurt anyone. Why him? Stryver couldn’t figure it out.


Everything about the holy man confused him—in particular, the reason why someone wanted him dead. He didn’t appear to be a threat to anyone, yet from what Aidal said and what Stryver had witnessed in the cathedral, his life was in imminent danger.


Shaking his head, Stryver dug a cloth-covered bundle from his supply bag. He unrolled half a loaf of bread and a small wedge of cheese. He squatted next to Blue, his own back pressed against the bark. He stared at the holy man, his hand frozen in the act of offering him a share of the bread.


Head lowered, gaze caught on something next to him, Blue held one finger out. A small, black ant crawled onto the tip. He lifted his hand, his gaze centered on the ant.


Uncomfortable with the intensity of Blue’s survey of the insect, Stryver released a low laugh. “You act like you’ve never seen an ant.”


Blue’s gaze stayed riveted on the tiny creature as he murmured, “That is its name?”


Confused even more by the strange question, Stryver shook his head. “Yes. You’ve never seen one?”


“No. It’s different from us. So fragile.”


Disbelief replaced his confusion. “There had to be ants at the monastery.”

“No. Only the monks and myself. No other creatures were ever allowed to enter.”


Stryver looked at the ant. What sort of problems could an ant cause? “Why?”


“No distraction, nothing to influence or interrupt my growth. No threats to my development.”


Amazed at the calm, accepting manner with which Blue repeated this simple mantra, Stryver asked, needing an answer, anything to clear the muddle in his mind, “What is your ability?”


This question brought the azure gaze over to meet his. The gentle patter of the rain striking the dirt road and leaves surrounded them, enfolding them in a secluded place. For the space of a breath, Stryver forgot to look away. Then he blinked, focusing on the ant again, making sure not to stare into the innocent orbs studying him.


“I was instructed not to tell anyone.”


“You can’t tell me your name. Now, it’s your true power. Why the secrets? The last Godchild’s name was proclaimed across the land. People rejoiced in his abilities.”

The finger lowered to the ground. The ant hurried away to resume its work. Blue spoke low, and Stryver had to lean closer to hear. “Some things are best not known.”


Unease rippled along Stryver’s back. So there were reasons why the assassins tried to kill him. “You’re not going to tell me, are you?”


“No.”


“Even if it means life or death for both of us?”


Fresh, crisp, rain-washed air breezed over Stryver’s face with the gentle shake of Blue’s head.


The answer struck Stryver full force. So the odds for this mission to fail had increased. His mortality loomed in front of him. All because of one small, quiet man. Compassion for him and unease for what the future held washed over Stryver.


When he broke the quiet, his words came out low and gruff. “Here. Eat. You have to keep your strength up.”


Blue’s slender fingers broke off a small hunk of bread. Stryver pulled the cheese apart and gave him the larger half.


As he chewed in the peaceful rain, he tried to find a way to discover the truth about the Godchild. His life depended on knowing it.

You can find Jadette at the following links.

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Email