Sunday, September 25, 2016

Detail, Character Creation and Missed Opportunities by Suz deMello (@nanowrimo #iamwriting)

Abba Eban famously said of his opponents, "They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity." That's also true of many writers.

I recently read a promising tale in which a newbie sub was trapped in a stalled elevator with a Dom she'd played with just the night before. The story being erotic romance, of course they fucked, and after the elevator was fixed, he took her to a nice dinner and wooed her properly. Unfortunately the author was more concerned with throwing words onto the page and finishing the story rather than writing the best story she could. For example, she described the dinner with generalities, such as "While they finished their appetizers and waited for the main course, they talked of their mutual interests..."

Lacking specificity, the recitation was drier and more boring than a cookbook. At least with the recipes, one can read glowing descriptions of food, such as ruby red tomatoes drizzled with an emulsion of champagne vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil, which puts me in mind of well-flogged buttocks festooned with a man's come.

How much more lively would the meal have been if such food had been eaten? How much more lively if the author had taken the time to detail the meal instead of boring the reader with generalities?

Emotion is at the heart of every good story. How much richer would the scene have been if it had been infused with emotion?

Remember the scene in Sex and the City, when a man devours a ripe apricot half as though it was a woman's cunt? Or the very famous scene in Tom Jones when the title character and a whore seduce each other over soup, lobster and roast chicken?

I often write scenes in which the hero cooks for the heroine. When a man cooks a meal for a woman, a stereotypically female task, it shows caring and affection. Here's such a scene from Fashion Victim, a romantic suspense novel.

“So what’s for supper?”

“Vegetable stir-fry on Chinese noodles. We’ve eaten out so much lately that I wanted an evening at home.”

“Umm.” His place wasn’t home, but why argue?

He drained the noodles in a colander, adding splashes of sesame and chili oil. He divided the noodles into portions, dumping them into bowls decorated with blue carp. The veggies went over the noodles with sprinkles of sesame seeds and crumbled seaweed.

“Awfully strange fare for a meat and potatoes man,” I said.

“Oh, I’m aware of your tastes, honey, as well as my cholesterol count.”

My mind tilted and whirled, as though I was on a carnival ride. I had never envisioned myself living in the world of Thirty Minute Meals with Fletcher as Rachael Ray.  My investigator's lousy dossier hadn’t revealed that he knew one end of a wooden spoon from the other, let alone that he liked nori and sesame on his stir-fry.

So you can see how detail contributes to the reader's understanding of the characters and their relationship. The scene is richer because of the detailed description of the food and its preparation. The hero knows that the heroine prefers vegetables and therefore cooks a meal that's to her taste, showing that he cares about her desires.

In a romance--and most erotica has some romantic content--never miss an opportunity to infuse a scene with emotion. While the characters in the snippet I quoted were interacting casually, nevertheless, there's a lot of emotion implied rather than shoved down the reader's throat.

And how does detail contribute to the reader's experience? Why?

Consider the maxim: show, don't tell.

When we use generalities, we're telling.

When we use specifics, we're showing.

The message? Never miss an opportunity to round out your characters by showing them in an unexpected setting. Fashion Victim is a good example--the hero is a wealthy corporate raider. Most writers would show him being served a sumptuous meal in a fancy restaurant. Boooring.

And never, ever be boring.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

She's addictive, but what if he kissed her just once? @kayelleallen #scifi #romance

At the Mercy of Her Pleasure features a half-human hero who's younger than his genetically enhanced human heroine. She's addictive... but what if he kissed her just once?


In this scene from the beginning of At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, Senth discovers that his Sen'dai (trainer/master) has a plan involving a risky job.
Senth/Senthys: young half-human/half-feline Kin, already a master thief at age 18
Khyff/Khyffen: Senth's older brother (20), a pleasure slave who is bound to a cruel master
Luc Saint-Cyr: Senth's adoptive father and Sen'dai in the Thieves' Guild

Saint-Cyr steepled his fingers. "Since Senthys told me about your situation, Khyffen, I've been matching what you earn on the street and putting it into your freedom savings account."
"That's generous of you, sir, but why would you do that?"
"I know you're in a bad spot. I'm doing everything I can to help you."
"What do you expect in return?"
"The better question is, what does your brother expect?"
Khyff narrowed his eyes, sending a questioning look Senth's way.
Resisting the urge to shrug, Senth waited for Saint-Cyr to jump in. It didn't take him long.
"I want Senthys for a job. If he's successful, he could buy his freedom. Since I won't part with your brother, I hit on this solution. What do you say?"
"So you're using me to get my brother to do something dangerous."
A slow smile eased across Saint-Cyr's face. "Well put. If you want assurances that he'll be safe, I can't give them. Nevertheless, there are certain guarantees. It is a union job after all, and they require a 'safety net' in the contract terms. The job will bring in a tidy sum, and I'll owe him more than what the union dictates. Yes, it holds risk, but I know my son. He can handle it."
That might not sound like much in the way of praise, but coming from Saint-Cyr? Senth rocked on the balls of his feet.
His Sen'dai motioned to Khyff. "Senth will be paid, as usual, but the job is important enough to warrant sweetening the deal. I think helping your brother help you should make us even."
Khyff looked from Saint-Cyr to Senth and back again. "Thank you, sir. I appreciate your offer, but I'd prefer you freed my brother. I'll be able to--"
"Son." Saint-Cyr tapped his steepled fingertips together. "You were not listening. I'm going to repeat this once. I'm not ready to free him yet. I need him for this job. You're being offered your freedom. That offer is contingent upon your brother succeeding. I suggest you accept."
Senth winked. "Do it, Bro. Get out of there."
After a glance between Saint-Cyr and Senth, Khyff nodded. "Thank you, sir."
"All right, Khyffen. If you'll excuse us, your brother and I have work to do. He'll be off-planet for a few days, so say your good-byes. Walk him to the club, Senthys, and then meet me back here."
"Yes, Sen'dai." Senth accompanied Khyff back downstairs to the entry point for the club.
"Look, Sen. I'd still rather he freed you."
"Take the offer, Bro." Senth set a hand on the railing. "I've got two years and I'm free. The Man and I-- we have our issues, but he is my father. He's taken care of me since I was three. It's okay. I trust him."
Khyff's narrowed his blue eyes at Senth like a weapon. "You're sure."
"Positive. Look, since you and I found each other, I've bargained everything short of my soul to buy your contract and free you. They treat animals better than your master treats you. Let me help you."
Khyff rubbed the back of his neck. "If I do this, promise me you'll be careful. The job is dangerous or he wouldn't be bargaining for it. You gotta know that, right?"
"You think you can shirk my cozy without a drip? Man, Bro, yo' cover is for gloom." Senth stuck up a thumb. "I got you happy."
Khyff frowned. "Uh..."
Senth sighed. "You gotta learn street talk if you're gonna make it on Kelthia, Bro. I said you can't get rid of me that easy. No one watches your back better than I do."
Khyff grinned, shaking his head. "Go to work." He turned and shouldered his way into the crowded club.

At the Mercy of Her Pleasure (Antonello Brothers 1: a Scifi Romance)
Hired to steal back a prototype taken by the imperial armada, Senth Antonello retrieves it, but his brother is kidnapped to force Senth to surrender the device.
Now he has to rescue his brother, outsmart the armada, and keep the item out of imperial hands. All doable, except for one small problem. He must do it in the company of NarrAy Jorlan, a genetically altered woman whose pheromones could enhance the mission or crumble it into dust with a single siren kiss.
He's a thief. She's a soldier. Do opposites attract? Oh, mercy!
Free on Kindle Unlimited
Amazon http://amzn.to/1f7FQ2h
CreateSpace (Print) http://bit.ly/bro-mercy-csp
Kayelle Allen is a best selling American author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr.
Homeworld/Blog https://kayelleallen.com
Romance Lives Forever Reader Group https://kayelleallen.com/bro

Thursday, September 22, 2016




Antiques expert Steve Carlson must face the mistakes of his past to discover a treasure he never imagined: the heart of a vulnerable yet determined widow.


Twenty-eight-year-old Victoria Van Orr just lost everything. With the death of her billionaire husband went his mature patience and warm encouragement; and the veneer of acceptance from everyone else. His friends and colleagues now ignore Victoria, and if his son succeeds she just might be forced back to the streets upon which she was raised. But money was never her goal. All she wants is love. Real love.

Antiques expert Steve Carlson knows the value of everything. Pain and betrayal? Those he gave away--and now they're coming back. His worst mistakes were all with one man: an old friend, the son of a father figure, now the stepchild of a beautiful young widow who wants Steve to help her auction off the family estate. To help Victoria, Steve must face his past and become a better man. To find true love, he will discover her surprisingly pure heart, vulnerable yet determined. And beyond price.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Would your rather read or listen to a book? Sample #romance #audiobooks from @SSaraDaniel

I'm a reader and a writer. Written word is always my preference for absorbing information and relaxing. However, if you're more like my husband and daughter, you might prefer books in audio. I currently have audio versions of one standalone office romance and three Wiccan Haus paranormal romance books in my collection. Listen to a sample to see which one might be to your liking. But don't worry. You don't have to choose. You listen to and read them all!

Captivating the CEO
He only plans for the future. She might not have one.

Audio Version - Narrated by Nina Price
Buy Links:

A Man Worth Fighting For - audio version
He has nothing left to offer. She's determined to show him how much he's worth.
narrated by Hollie Jackson
 Buy Links:

Psychic Lies - audio version
What if you could read minds during sex? What if the government wanted to exploit you for your ability?
narrated by Hollie Jackson
Buy Links:
A Bride Worth Fighting For - audio version
If she remembers the past, they won’t have a future.
narrated by Hollie Jackson
Buy Links:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Private Wolf ~ New Release and Giveaway!


Shawn Blu, tracker and private investigator, has come home. As a pack tracker, he’s ready to defend Los Lobos and use his contacts to find pack members and bring them back into the fold. So, when Miss Fern, his aunt, asks him to find Brienne Talbert, he’s happy to help out. What he isn’t expecting is to find his mate.

Brienne left home at sixteen, knowing she’d return to the Black Hills and Los Lobos one day. As it stands, in six months she’ll graduate with her master’s degree and there’s no way anyone will stop her now. However, when the hunky slab of wolf Shawn Blu shows up with a tempting offer—a week with her pack, no strings attached—she’s willing to reconsider her harsh stance about not going home.

When one weekend turns into a mating she hadn’t planned on, will she be able to leave it all behind and return to school, or will the call of her pack be too much to turn her back on?


Shawn Blu walked into Los Lobos Café and spotted his aunt at a table near the far wall. In front of her sat a paperback book and a mug, along with a pastry. Behind the counter, Ero took the order from a new female. Her long dark hair was pulled into a messy bun, and her gray eyes glittered with—arousal? If the other wolf noticed, he appeared indifferent to it. Oh well. Bypassing his normal routine, of ordering coffee and Danish, he marched over and sat at the table where his aunt waited. Fern glanced up at him. Her warm, affectionate smile greeted him.

“Good morning, Auntie.” He leaned in and kissed her cheek. “That twinkle in your eye says you’re up to no good.”

Fern laughed and patted his hand. “I have a job for you.”

A job. Why hadn’t she mentioned it last night when he came over for dinner?

Why did they have to meet in the café? “Okay. What is it?”

“Well, technically, it is two jobs….”


Ero approached with a cup in one hand and a sweet treat in the other. “You didn’t order. I see why now.” He grinned then winked at Fern.

“I didn’t want to interrupt your time with Cynthia,” Shawn teased. “She’s interested in you.”

“Don’t I know it.” Ero frowned. “But there’s…the spark’s not there.” He glanced at his brother, Luc, who sat in his usual spot.

“Say no more, I understand.” He did, too. They were waiting for their perfect mate. Might be a while, but Shawn had a feeling it would happen. “Thanks for the coffee.”

“You’re welcome.”

Taking a sip of the piping-hot brew, he waited for Ero to leave before returning to the conversation with his aunt. The way Fern watched him—assessing him—left him uneasy. “Should I be afraid of what you’re going to ask of me?”

“Never,” she assured him. “In fact, you’ll win tons of brownie points with Miss Claire if you do this for me.”

Buy Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2blSSYZ
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2cfceo9
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2bv9wqz
Bookstrand: http://bit.ly/2bGeR1F
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2bmzSML
ARE: http://bit.ly/2bFXLfK
iBook: http://apple.co/2bVJX1A
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2bTfD82

Author Bio

TL Reeve, is a bestselling, multi-published author with Cobblestone Press, Decadent Publishing, Evernight Publishing, Loose-Id and ARe Books. Living in Alabama, TL misses Los Angeles, and will one-day return to Southern California to ride the waves at Huntington Beach. When not writing something hot and sexy, TL can be found curled up with a good book, or working on homework with a cute little pixie. ​

You can sign-up for her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/bv07fn

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Monday, September 19, 2016

New Release~ Cameron's Negotiator~ ARe Best Seller

Trevor Langford is a tough FBI negotiator. His last case scarred him both mentally and psychically. He takes some mandatory sick time, going to Sawtooth Range, Idaho to find himself again, and get his head on straight. There he meets Cameron. Tall, dark and ruggedly handsome, Cameron is everything Trevor looks for in a man, but scares him too. 
Cameron has always wanted a mate and finding Trevor in his own backyard is a coup. Unfortunately, Trevor has no idea what mates are or that he is a wolf. Trevor’s a realist and believes in tangibles. 
Can Cameron convince his mate that true love is meant forever? 
Previously published by Secret Cravings Publishing 

“More coffee, Cameron? I couldn’t help but notice you were flagging me down with your eyes.” Maude’s smile took any sting out of her tone. She adored the young pup.

“Please, and maybe a little info when you have time.” Cameron retrieved the newly filled cup and its saucer from her grasp. “Do you think you can sit for a minute?”

Looking around at all the occupied tables, Maude’s gaze fell back to the men at her current booth. “Let me pick up your order and I can take five. I’ve been on my feet for hours and could use the spell. Everyone seems to be eating and not wanting right now.”

Cam’s head ached and he had a twinge in the base of his skull. Tension wound through his shoulders when he thought of the small-statured human with the limp. He needed a closer look at his mate. The desire to embrace him, run his fingers through his spikey blond hair and see what color his eyes were, gnawed at his being. Soon, he promised himself.

“You’re awfully quiet all of a sudden,” Jay interrupted Cam’s thoughts.

“Sorry, just thinking about how to approach my mate. It’s not like I can simply say, ‘Hey, you’re my mate and by the way, I think you’re a wolf.’ Can I?” Rhetorical question— Cam didn’t expect Jameson to answer.

“Boys.” Maude placed platters of fried eggs, pancakes, sausages and toast in front of each of the men, and slid into the booth next to Jay. “What can I do for you, Alpha?”

Cameron smiled at the honorific, picking up a piece of his toast and dipping it into the runny eggs, sopping up the yolk, before placing a piece in his mouth. He watched Maude as he chewed, before speaking. Maude was older than she looked. To the human eye, she appeared to be in her forties, but she was an elder in the pack at over two hundred years old. She grew up with Cam’s parents as part of Joshua Sierran’s inner circle. When youth took over the pack with Cameron as Alpha, Maude elected to step down and enjoy her golden years. Her idea of retirement; working at the diner, keeping her finger on the pulse of everyone’s business. At least Cameron had been able to convince her to reside on pack lands. Her small cabin, perfect for her needs with an open door policy, inviting the young to always seek her wisdom, including him.

“Maude, we were running the ridge and I saw someone occupying the log cabin farthest from town, but closest to our lands. Any idea who the man is?” Leaning forward, Cameron didn’t want to appear too eager, but he needed some information on the man.

Deep in thought, Maude stroked the side of her face before speaking. “The blond from Philadelphia, about five-feet-six inches with a slight limp?” Already Cameron knew more in that one sentence than anticipated.

“Yes, that’s him,” Cameron answered her. “You say he’s from Philadelphia? Do you know what’s up with him? Please, it’s important.” Cam didn’t want to whine, but by the smirk on Jay’s face, he knew he’d done so.

“Well,” Maude began, “I heard he’s a cop of some sort. FBI, I think. Got hurt on duty and is recuperating. Why? He do something wrong? Should the pack be worried?” She crinkled her forehead in thought.

“No. No.” Cameron put his hands in front of his body in surrender. “He didn’t do anything wrong. I just want to know about him and why he’s here. I’m going to talk to him this morning, but wanted all my ducks in a row.”

Cameron contemplated how much information he should disclose. He inwardly chuckled, the elder had loose lips.

“Maude, if your Alpha gave you a directive, you’d follow it, right?”

Tilting her head to expose her neck, she replied, “Yes, Alpha.”

“I think the man is my mate. No, I know he is, but I don’t think he knows he’s wolf.” He waited for Maude to absorb what he’d said. “He’s the Omega to my Alpha.”

Cameron looked to Jay for support, the man nodded his head, before he continued.

“My wolf sniffed him out. I watched from the tree line, but when he spotted me, he took off toward the cabin like his ass was on fire. If the man knew about wolves, shifters, he shouldn’t have been spooked so much.” At least in Cam’s mind it made sense.

“Have you talked to your parents about this?” Maude leaned in and whispered.

“Yes, ma’am, I did. Dad and Mom think the same thing. My mate doesn’t know he’s wolf.”

“Do you want me to try and sniff around a little bit more.” Maude chuckled at her pun. “I know he walks the trails, because he’s come in and ordered sandwiches for takeout and he has a back pack with him. Charlie said he bought all the fixings to make trail mixes as well.”

Cameron contemplated his choices. Try to catch the man when he came into town and introduce himself or walk the trails, picking up his scent and introduce himself. Stalkerish, maybe? Either way, he didn’t want to scare his mate.

Shifting in the cracked, red faux-leather seat, Jay looked out the large window and said, “Well, it looks like you won’t have to wait, Cam. Your mate’s about to walk into the diner.”

The bell jingled over the door, and the man in question entered the establishment, limped past them, and sat at a vacant stool at the counter. “Maude. Jay. This is my lucky day. I believe I’ll go introduce myself as the welcoming committee.”

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Better Late...

....than never!

I was away with my boys for a family weekend in Northern Ontario. A place called Wasaga Beach - the longest fresh water beach in the world.

Meat Man's aunt has little and very basic cottage that we love to go to. There is no phone, no internet and barely any service for our cells. There's no cable tv and without cell/internet service it's the old fashioned DVD's or VHS movies - yes there is an old machine there :)

We walked down to the beach at night, look at the stars to find the constellations and watch for the International Space Station. There is an app you can get to find out when it will be flying overhead in your location. We played Cards Against Humanity, drank (my kids are in there mid to late twenties) had bonfires roasting weiners and making s'mores, playing the drinking game Kings - have you played that? It's pretty fun. We even went bowling yesterday because it rained. It was like the good old days.

This was the first night. It was so nice, with a nice warm breeze rustling through the trees. My cubs are the two on the left, Chef Son, Techie Son. The other boy is their friend, they've known for over twenty years. He's deaf and the whole group is fluent in sign language. The girl on the right is Techie Son's gf, she's also hearing impaired.
We walked down to the beach in the dark and decided to take a selfie. We couldn't see a thing and when the flash went off, we were all blinded and making funny faces.
Saturday it rained and boys decided to go for a swim. I enlarged the shot and why it's fuzzy

Our glow in the dark bowling shoes when we went to Rock-a-bowl.

After a great weekend I need to buckle down and finish my edits on my next Harlequin Blaze, title - A Cowboy In Paradise. It comes out next March - it's available for preorder everywhere. I don't have a cover yet, but this is a mini blurb.

In her designer dress and high-heeled shoes, Jimi clearly didn’t belong on a dusty Hawaiian ranch. Or with rugged cowboy Dallas Wilde. Dallas may be a delicious temptation, but could a city girl ever trade Laboutins for lassoes?

How does it sound? 

But in less than two months my sexy serial Working Girl will be release in UK, Australia and New Zealand - it's also available for preorder.

Working Girl:  A sexy new serial, perfect for fans of Audrey Carlan's Calendar Girl.
A sexy seven-day job interview. Seven irresistible interviewers. Who will she choose at the end of the week?

Tess has been determined to get revenge for her father, ever since he was falsely accused of misusing company funds and unceremoniously let go from Diamond Enterprises. Applying to be Executive Assistant to the elusive, elderly head of the company, Mr King, seems the ideal way to get inside the firm and clear his name.
But the job interview is not what she expects. Arriving at the company HQ, she is escorted to a helicopter, blindfolded and flown to a secret location. She meets a man whose voice is disguised, but introduces himself as Mr King and says the job advertisement was a ruse to find the new CEO of Diamond Enterprises. The catch, the interviewer says, is that the job will only be hers if she passes a seven-day interview.
Tess will have seven mysterious men who will assist her - one for each task each day. She will have to use all of her skills if she's to succeed and to resist the powerful magnetism of the irresistible men sent to help - or distract - her. Or will Tess find herself losing her heart when she meets her man of the week?

Mr Monday, Mr Tuesday, Mr Wednesday, Mr Thursday, Mr Friday, Mr Saturday, Mr Sunday. Meet all seven in Working Girl - who will be your man of the week?
With all these new books coming out I'm going to be giving away some great stuff. Free reads, swag, all kinds of goodies. So make sure you sign up for my newsletter so you don't miss out. I'll be launching my newsletter within the month. Click HERE to get on the list and a chance to win FREE STUFF

In the meantime - My second chance love story AFTER THE HURT is on sale for only .99! So make sure you grab a copy HERE. AND how would you like to get four BLAZE ebooks by fabulous authors Vicki Lewis Thompson, Leslie Kelly, Regina Kyle, Kelli Ireland. Well now's your chance! For less than the price of ONE book! Then click on over HERE for another great deal!

  Wow! See, I told you better late than never. It was worth it right? So until next month! Happy reading.