Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What a Guy Wants by Brynna Curry

From the raised eyebrows, I see I have your attention. *winks* No, this isn’t that kind of post. J I'm talking about writing romance from the male point of view. Point of view (POV) is one of my favorite aspects of the writing process. Allowing your hero to tell the story changes tone. Change pov and your whole story world shifts focus.

A lot of thought goes into making a believable hero. No matter how perfect your heroine is, if your hero isn’t realistic, he may as well go hang out with the standard slasher flick girl who just has to leave the safety of the cabin and greet the psychopath. No one likes a cardboard character.

Writing from the hero’s pov shouldn’t be that hard right? Words on a page, spoken by a character who could be either sex until that speaker tag is included. But creating a hero just isn’t that simple, and thoughts like these are why some heroes fall short of the mark. He can’t just exist, he has to breathe.

So how do you give life to ink and paper? Some writers have a talent for making their characters breathe, but how do they do it? Is it the deep point of view we hear so much about? The hero and heroine’s emotional and physical encounters with each other? Their past? Their growth through the novel? Or is it simply an innate ability on the author's part, a talent that can't be taught? Maybe it’s a little bit of all of those things.

I ask my heroes a simple question. (For those of you wondering, I do actually talk to them out loud.) What does a guy want? What do you want? Other than the obvious answers. *lol* I want to know who he is, what he wants from the story, how will he grow as a person as he falls in love with the heroine. What does he look like? Why does he look that way? What are his flaws? (Hero must have flaws.) Dozens of questions spring from the first one.  If he likes a certain brand of soda, I want to know why. Talking to him, treating him like a real person is easy; slipping into his pov is a bit more difficult. He thinks and reacts differently; regards sex, food, work, money, time on a different wavelength than your heroine.

Falling into your hero’s thoughts means leaving all your learned or preconceived feminine notions at the door.  What does he see when he looks at the heroine? Touch, taste, smell, hear, what do his senses tell him?  Look at the story world through his eyes. What you learn may just surprise you.


Author Bio: Paranormal romance and romantic suspense author Brynna Curry is a lifelong believer in the importance of reading. She enjoys the writing process, helping others hone their craft by lending her time to review books, critique manuscripts and serving as a contest judge. She loves hearing from her readers.
When she isn’t writing, she’s often found haunting the library for new books to read, at the park with her children, or just spending an quiet evening at home with her husband Jackie watching old westerns on TV. She lives in North Alabama where the history is rich with music and culture, forests and lakes are abundant and beautiful, and every day is another adventure.

Visit her at www.brynnacurry.com.
Twitter: @BrynnaCurry http://twitter.com/#!/brynnacurry

Fire’s Ice
Author:  Brynna Curry
Series: Elemental Magic Book 5 
Genre: Erotic Romance/Paranormal

Length: Novella

ePub Page Count: 83
Publisher:  Lyrical Press, Inc.
Publication Date: June 18, 2012
Cover art by: Renee Rocco

Blurb: Ultimate power, or endless love?

Born the son of a Scottish laird a thousand years ago, but now trapped by his cousin's spell, Devin McLoch has seen countless battles and death. The erstwhile thief has turned away from darker pursuits to lead a life of peace, protecting those he loves and considers part of his clan. However, there is one woman he can never forget, who must be given a chance to change, to accept her heart and his.

Arianne Farrell is just as dangerous and intoxicating as her power. Imprisoned in an ancient stone dance more than a thousand years ago, her only chance at freedom from the spell is through love--a love she denied. When Devin asks for her aid to save another from imminent death, she realizes there is more at stake than just her freedom or her heart.

WARNING: Two stubborn sexy wizards using magic with no bounds, scorching love scenes, and happy ever after. Ever play with fire?

Excerpt – (Hot) *edited slightly – actual book text may vary
Slipping into the frothy bubbles, Arianne sighed and let the reality of her situation sink in. I am finally out of that wretched circle. True enough, but she was still in a prison of sorts. One with running water, walls, food that didn’t taste like air, and a sexy male witch bent on driving her to frustration. Not so bad, all things considered.
Being trapped didn’t mean she hadn’t noticed changes in the world around her for the last thousand years. She tipped her feet out of the water, waved toward them, and turned her toenails a bright fiery red. A soft tapping sounded at the door. Her maddening laird had returned.
“Okay in there?” Devin’s voice sounded hesitant. “Breakfast is ready.”
Time to ruffle the phoenix’s feathers a bit. “There is no need to be shy, Devin. You can come in.”
* * * *
The sound of splashing water rippled past Devin’s ears. Temptress. Knowing Ari was just on the other side of the door, naked and wet, willing to succumb to every fantasy he could imagine, was a torment in itself. All he had to do was accept her sultry invitation and toss aside his plan. But she deserved a sweet slide into love, not the wild, mad rush of pleasure he craved. One palm rested on the door of its own volition, ready to comply. Not yet. Now, if only his traitorous body would listen to his heart. “That depends, sweetheart.”
“Oh?” she called out from the other side. “On what?”
Devin chuckled at the line, but he just couldn’t resist teasing her. “What are you wearing?”
She laughed. “Bubbles. Lots of bubbles. Share them with me.”
He saw it so clearly. Ari’s creamy skin peeking through the frothy bubbles. Open, welcoming. Need clawed under the skin, screamed at him. Why the hell not? Feeling a quiver of desire vibrate through his body, he called her bluff. “And what would you have me do with those bubbles? Hmm, Ari?”
“Oh, I am sure you could think of something. Something deliciously wicked. I have shared your dreams. I know your fantasies, lover.”
Oh, you have no idea. His mind made up, Devin opened the door.
She lay in his huge garden tub, feet propped up on the rim, eyes closed, waterfall of black hair piled on top of her head. A soft smile graced her face. So she was enjoying their teasing banter. “Have you changed your mind and decided to join me?”
“Maybe.” No reason he couldn’t push them both to the edge. Pulling the t-shirt over his head, Devin tossed it into the corner. He laid his cellphone on the sink--out of danger--kneeled by the edge of the tub and dipped one hand into cooling water, using his magic to heat it.
“Mmm. Nice.”
He let his voice drop to a whisper as he leaned close to her ear. “I want to slick my hands over every inch of your skin until you shiver from the heat.” His fingers found the back of her knee in the water and trailed higher along the inside of her thigh until he touched her softness. “Then I’d slip inside you, Ari. Make love to you slowly until you cried out my name. And then…”
  “And then...”
“I’d take more.” His name fell from her lips with a sigh and the sound of it, the moment was one he wouldn’t trade for any other. Mine. Always.

Link to extended sample on publisher’s site - http://www.lyricalpress.com/samples/brynnacurry_firesice.html

Friday, July 20, 2012


I'm sorry for not blogging for awhile. We've had a really eventful summer which I'll share with all of you once we are settled in our new house. So.. we are moving this weekend.

I wanted to move before the new school year started but didn't think we'd be able to find something in our price range before the beginning of August. We put moving off for a few months. I had a list of requirements for the new place. I wanted to be closer to my daughter's school to avoid a 2 hour bus trip for her every day and in a good district for my son. My list of "must haves" for a new house included 3 bedrooms, so each kid could finally have their own room again and a laundry room. I have also wanted to have an office as well but didn't actually expect to get one. We found this house because I was bored one day. We went over to meet with the landlord, she adored us, and approved us for the house right then.

Our new house has all of my "must haves", plus an office for me! I am so excited. Plus our neighborhood is nestled in some Phoenix-style mountains. We have a huge backyard that goes up part of the mountain. It's a lot closer to my daughter's school. If you don't know: Alexis attends a performing arts high school so moving her out of the school isn't an option. Also, my son will be returning to a district that he had attended before we moved to central Phoenix. He isn't excited about wearing uniforms, but I love the uniform requirement.

We are a bit sad to be moving into a totally different area of town because we have lived over here for 3 years now. We know the area and love it. Some of our favorite places are right down the street... places we won't have over there. Just something we have to get used to because this location doesn't work for us any longer. And we hate living in this apartment!! I'm also going to miss our lovely swimming pool... sigh... but I'm keeping my mind on the positives!

Anyway, I need to pack. Talk to you soon...


Thursday, July 12, 2012

The War between Reading and Writing by M. S. Spencer

“Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to be entertained as you watch two titans of the ring locked in an eternal struggle for your…er…time.  In this corner, feast your eyes on the Tome, masked in fancy vellum, costumed in elaborate prose, as big as the New York City Public Library.  A fearsome foe indeed.”  The emcee pointed toward the ropes, where a massive rectangle, his name in raised gold lettering across his chest, riffled his pages at the throng.

“And now I direct your attention to the other corner.  Please give a cheer for Quill the mighty scribbler!”  The audience turns to see a gangly welterweight stand up, his eyes streaming purple ink, his long thin fingers clenching and unclenching, clearly longing to wring the Tome’s neck. 
Unfortunately, this kind of duel doesn’t draw in the big crowds (nor, sadly, the big bucks).  It is the conflict that has existed ever since Mr. Cro-Magnon wanted to focus on painting his wall epic while his wife insisted they go see what the neighbors put on their wall in case they could learn something from it.  It is the abiding war between Reading and Writing. 
Now you, Dear Reader, may not see it that way.  I’ll bet you love to read (you’re reading this, aren’t you?).  You spend hours of your day racing through paragraphs, flipping pages, humming as you go.   You put off the book report or letter in order to get to that last page before supper.  Then with a sigh you pick up pen and paper. Writing is the chore after the fun.
You, Dear Writer, are another story. Perhaps you plod dutifully through the novel, always aware of the page you’re on, checking your watch, then closing the book with a happy sigh at the appointed time.  You turn eagerly to the pad of paper.  You prefer to create the sentences and the story, not have it thrust upon you.
Of course there are people who think both activities are equally enjoyable, but as a writer I often find myself torn between the two, unsure which should take precedence.  Reading, as we all know, increases your vocabulary, your facility with language, your knowledge of the world and the human condition, in a way that writing in a cave will not (unless you’re a Cro-Magnon, but let’s move on now, shall we?).  However, if you’re a writer, putting words on paper is the immensely satisfying fulfillment of an internal necessity.  I speak of the urge, on the one hand, to teach and to reach other human beings, and on the other, to create and to control the means to that end; in other words, the desire to produce something original that will affect the reader in a new and different way.
My fear is that too much concurrent reading interferes with this creative process.  I know that sounds radical, even stupid, but hear me out.  Every book, every author has a certain individual style.  Every culture and era promotes a certain literary style.  Shakespeare’s rhythmic prose is different from Jane Austen’s perfectly constructed sentences, in contrast to Anne Rice’s florid paragraphs-within-paragraphs.  But if you are steeped in Shakespeare, how do you write a contemporary romance that doesn’t sound stilted?  If your favorite author writes in two-word sentences and minimal dialogue, how do you write that lush erotic love scene? 
Some might recommend using bits and pieces of other styles to perfect your own. It is natural, likely impossible, not to.  Your writing is, for better or worse, informed by the authors you admire.  But when you’re searching for your own voice, you must be careful to keep those elements at arm’s length.  So how do you train yourself to be aware when someone else’s voice starts creeping into your prose?
 Simple. Stop reading while you’re writing.  I hear you gulp, but think of it as a pause between lessons, a diet between the holidays if you will.  A candy diet.  You have to clear your mind of other writers’ styles in order to find your own.  As long as you give in to the urge to call your hero Mr. Darcy rather than “Fitzwilliam” (yes, that was his first name) or even Fitz, you can’t make your story your own.  Readers are very sensitive to a style that isn’t owned.  It’s confusing and irritating.  Besides, if you truly are a writer, you want to have your own voice.  I challenge any but the most seasoned of writers to find that voice if tenors are singing in your head while you’re trying to channel a baritone.
Confession: when I was young I read voraciously.  I’d pick up anything and read it, from Dostoievski to Joseph Conrad to Evelyn Waugh.  Those years provided me with a voluminous internal library, making it easier to set the reading aside while I concentrate on my own skills.  Writing is, after all, a profession like any other, to be studied, but also practiced and honed.  A trial lawyer may have the precedents at his fingertips, but in the end he’ll have to fashion his own creative defense.  A fullback studies the playbook, but at the snap he goes after the quarterback on his own.  A mathematician could not create his own original theory without knowing the multiplication tables.  Now that I’m writing professionally I have an obligation to do the same: to draw upon my internal library, yes, but ultimately to provide my own unique perspective on the world.  Otherwise, why would any reader want to read me rather than Shakespeare?
I’m sure other writers have their own means of balancing reading and writing as they work.  For me, if I’ve been reading a lot, it takes a real leap to get back into my writing.  I lose the thread of the story, the atmosphere I’ve worked hard to create.  I have to clear my mind and focus on the characters, sometimes even reread a large portion of the story, in order to slip back into the world I was constructing before I dove into someone else’s.  You can’t churn out those bestsellers if you have to keep stopping to regroup. 

Although I have lived or traveled in five continents, the last 30 years have been spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, chair of a large volunteer program, and non-profit director.  I am blessed with two fabulous grown children, and the company of Iggy Pop the cat and have published 5 romantic suspense novels.

Contact M. S. Spencer here:

Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/M.S.SpencerAuthor
Amazon Author Page:

My Books are all full-length, romantic suspense/mystery novels.

From Red Rose:  Lost in His Arms
Available both in eBook and Print (ASIN: B003WMA72O)

 and Lost and Found, love and lust in the wilds of Maine:

From Secret Cravings comes Losers Keepers, rekindled romance and murder on Chincoteague (eBook and Print):

Triptych, lost artworks, jealousy, sex, larceny & genius above the mighty Potomac River  (eBook and Print):

and Artful Dodging: The Torpedo Factory Murders, a five-star mystery that has love in stitches (eBook and Print):

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I need your help!

I'm doing a special project and I want your help! Send me interview questions. They can be either about me as an author or writing questions.  Email your questions to authorwendyely@gmail.com. If I pick your questions, I'll give you credit (with your permission!).

Monday, July 9, 2012


Summertime living is not so easy when you’re a stay-at-home writer mom. You’re
caught between a rock (writing) and a hard place (children). At the moment, I’m writing
this post with two children sitting on a couch in front of my desk. One daughter watches
a My Little Pony video whose characters, God Bless ‘em, love to scream in high-pitched
voices throughout the entire story. Daughter number two is playing Webkinz, which
requires a play-by-play announcement of how her creature is feeling/eating/wearing
every three minutes. And lengthy descriptions of the prizes she wins. Somewhere
nearby a dog also resides. I only know this because of the smell.

What’s a mom to do? At seven and nine, I can ignore them only for so long. I don’t want to look back on their childhood years as a blur of glancing over my computer screen at the back of their heads (which is what I’m doing right now). I also have the attention span of an adult flea. I find myself wondering if Pinky Pie Pony is going to escape the

clutches of whatever thing is making that God Awful Sound instead of wondering how my character Cherry Tucker is going to escape the God Awful Mess she’s gotten herself into.

I know there’s many of us out there. Counting down the day until school restarts and then handing ourselves a whopping pile of guilt for entertaining the thought of wanting time and space from our little darlings. They don’t care about our deadlines. They want our attention right now.

Now some of you scoff. I know what you’re going to say. I grew up in the seventies when kids were kicked out of the house by eight a.m. and we didn’t see our mothers until dinnertime. If we were lucky, she’d throw a cookie out the door somewhere around three o’clock. Where I lived there was no community pool. No community nothing. I’m
from a farming village. I had a bike, a sister, and a yard. My kids experienced this
freedom when we lived overseas (and I started writing again). I gave them a watch and
sent them on their merry way with orders to be back at dinnertime. They went to the
local park with the neighborhood kids.

Those days are long gone here in Suburbia, USA, where I now reside. So new ideas?

We can start with headphones to drown out the cries of Pinky Pie, but they don’t stop
the visual assault of children practicing somersaults in front of your computer while you
try to describe the perfect murder.

I joined a 5 a.m. Club through a friend when my writing day started at eight o’clock after
I waved goodbye to the children. This will work for some better than others. I am
attempting to begin writing at 5 a.m., although I generally hit the alarm until 5:30 and
actually get up somewhere closer to seven. Which gives me thirty uninterrupted
minutes. When I do get up at five, I spend a lot of time staring at the computer screen
before I remember to actually turn the computer on.

If you are able to get up early and think coherently, hop on Twitter. Lots of people are
up. Ask to do a writing sprint (like #1K1H or #amwriting) for support from fellow writers.
Nothing like a little competition to induce your muse.

Not an early riser but a good night owl? Again, hop on Twitter and ask to sprint. I also
don’t usually think coherently at night, but the few times I felt on my game I did this and

was able to crank out a good word count.

Taking time out to show them how to play one game, do one craft, how to use the vacuum... I operate on the teach a man to fish axion. However, I often forget that a few minutes of my attention can buy thirty.

The girls are participating in a few camps. Camps can be expensive and the ones they attend are only three hours at a time. The first camp I spent about thirty minutes driving and then wasted precious writing time catching up on email when I returned. Second camp, I parked myself in a nearby Starbucks and refused to sign onto the internet. Amazing how no internet produces word counts!

I can’t afford a regular babysitter. If you have wee ones, hire an upper elementary student (4th - 6th grader) to play with your kids while you’re locked in a room. That age might not handle a big emergency, but you’re within shouting distance. The fun of a “big kid” will distract your little ones from bugging you. And elementary school students will be pleased with five bucks, unlike their older siblings who want eight dollars and up an hour.

Libraries are great for kids who will enjoy perusing the shelves for new books. Some
libraries have programs with planned entertainment. You can haul your laptop with you
and spew some words while your kids play the library’s computer games and look for
new books. Mine are not so good about independent book searching, but maybe this
will work for you.

Any other ideas out there? How are you keeping your kids occupied without guilt? My
heroine, Cherry Tucker, clamors for me to finish book 2! Her first mystery, PORTRAIT
OF A DEAD GUY, releases August 28.

Larissa began her writing career in second grade when she sold her first publication to a
neighbor for a nickel. After moving around the midwest, Japan, and the south, she now
lives in Georgia with her husband, daughters, and Biscuit, a Cairn Terrier. She loves
small town characters with big attitudes. PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY is a 2012
Daphne du Maurier finalist, a 2012 The Emily finalist, and a 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial
winner. When she’s not writing about southern fried chicken, she writes about Asian
fried chicken at her blog about life as an ex-expat at theexpatreturneth.blogspot.com.
You can find Larissa chatting on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RisWrites; on
Twitter at RisWrites; and on Goodreads. She loves pinning onto her Cherry Tucker and
other boards at Pinterest. You can also find more information on her website at

In Halo, Georgia, folks know Cherry Tucker as big in mouth, small in stature, and able to
sketch a portrait faster than buckshot rips from a ten gauge -- but commissions are
scarce. So when the well-heeled Branson family wants to memorialize their murdered
son in a coffin portrait, Cherry scrambles to win their patronage from her small town

As the clock ticks toward the deadline, Cherry faces more trouble than just a
controversial subject. Her rival wants to ruin her reputation, her ex-flame wants to
rekindle the fire, and someone’s setting her up to take the fall. Mix in her flaky family, an
illegal gambling ring, and outwitting a killer on a spree, Cherry finds herself painted into
a corner she’ll be lucky to survive.

PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY (Henery Press, 2012) is available for pre-order on
Amazon.com. It releases August 28 on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apple iPad.
See www.henerypress.com for details.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

WRITING ACROSS THE GENRES, a blessing or a curse - by Vijaya Schartz

I write romantic fiction across the board, from early medieval fantasy novels to contemporary romantic suspense, to paranormal and shape shifters, to futuristic romance and speculative science fiction. And while finding publishers for all these stories, I kept the same name. I didn’t want to divide my readership.

Besides, maintaining several identities like many of my author friends do, is time consuming and costly. I wanted to believe that my loyal readers would cross the genre lines and appreciate all my stories, whether the setting was contemporary, historical or futuristic.

Through all these genres, I found many common threads in my work: Lots of action, smart plots, great villains, strong heroines, guns, swords or blasters, and of course sizzling romance. I thought it would be enough to make my readers try something different. I was wrong.

Now that my new Curse of the Lost Isle medieval fantasy series started, I realize that, although many new readers flock to this series, they only buy these particular books. Similarly, few of my romantic science fiction fans are crossing the line. I still have to advertise my futuristic romance separately from my medieval series, have to maintain different blogs for each genre, etc.

I only have one official website and one Facebook fan page, and I still hope that it will help my readers discover my other books and warm up to a new genre. But it seems readers know what they like and are not eager to try anything unfamiliar, even when you offer a story for free.

I observed that the authors who limit themselves to a narrow niche, especially erotic romance, are more successful in their marketing efforts at reaching their specific audience. But I made my choice long ago, and I’m sticking to it.

In conclusion, writing across the genres might be considered as a curse, but for me it’s also a blessing. I would not want to write in the same particular genre or subgenre for the rest of my writing career. I like variety in life and on the page. So I’ll keep writing the stories of my heart and keep hoping that my readers will eventually learn to like all the facets of my imagination. Because despite the variety, I believe I found my personal style, and it is branded in everything I write.

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
Vijaya's books on Amazon:

Born in France, award-winning author Vijaya Schartz never conformed to anything and could never refuse a challenge. She likes action and exotic settings, in life and on the page. She traveled the world and claims to also travel through time, as she writes with the same ease about the future and the far away past. Her books collected many five star reviews and literary awards. She makes you believe you actually lived these extraordinary adventures among her characters. Her stories have been compared to Indiana Jones with sizzling romance. So, go ahead, dare to experience the magic, and she will keep you entranced, turning the pages until the last line.


From history shrouded in myths, emerges a family of immortal Celtic Ladies, who roam the medieval world in search of salvation from a curse. For centuries, imbued with hereditary gifts, they hide their deadly secret... but if the Church ever suspects what they really are, they will be hunted, tortured, and burned at the stake.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July! Do you have any holiday plans? My daughter is in a charity dance performance tonight, so we'll be attending the dance production instead of going to bbq's or big firework shows. This is the first paid performance for her which adds to the excitement of the night.

A lot of people would be sad to miss the 4th of July festivities. I'm not. I love the purpose of this holiday, but I don't like the fireworks. I'm really jumpy anyway, so you can imagine what constant booms, crackles, and bangs do to my nerves. It's not so bad in Arizona because fireworks are not legal here (except the big shows), but growing up in Oregon was torture. I had to deal with the loud noises for an entire month. While most people like this... I hated it!

One more thing about 4th of July: All of my books are on sale through my publisher's site. Hop on over there for a read or two or three. Most of my books are 50 cents! http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=authors&authors_id=87

Anyway, have a safe holiday!

Wendy Ely

Monday, July 2, 2012

Blog Hop Winners!

Thank you for stopping by our blogs! We had a great turn out and appreciate every single one of you! Congrats on the winners:

Winner from my blog: Leia Shaw! You won a copy of Dreaming of Him. Watch your email :)

Grand Prize Winners: Kindle Touch Winner: #1291 from I Smell Sheep: Stephanie Huff
Amazon $60 Gift Card Winner: #4695 from Dani Harper's Blog: Drake