Thursday, May 31, 2012

First person or third?

So you're sitting at your computer typing away on your work-in-progress. The story is going so-so, but the words can't be okay. They need to be great! A thought occurs. What if the book would be better in 1st person instead of 3rd?! You scrap the 3rd person point of view version of your story and start over. Yes, I know authors who have done this! Guess what? The story should've been done in 3rd person so back to the drawing board (okay... the computer program) you go... 

I haven't done the above scenario. How do I avoid it? First, I've been writing for years. During that time I've learned to accept my strengths and weaknesses which helps weigh the decisions involving each story I write. You see, I don't believe I write as well in 1st person as I do most books in 3rd. It would take a very long time for me to write an entire novel in 1st person. 

I have two current releases in 1st person. Cross the Line's idea came to me while I was swimming in the pool. I was new to the apartment complex and didn't know my neighbors. A really hot guy came down to the pool. He sat in the shade and watched me swim. Then came his wife! And his kids! I thought "Oh boy, this would make a really good story." Just so you know: Cross the Line isn't a true story. It came from my imagination :) When I went home I started the novella. I wrote it in 1st person because I knew the length it would be. I wanted a snappy, naughty story so that is what I wrote. It wouldn't have worked as well in 3rd person or if I wrote Cross the Line as a full length novel.  

Here is a scene from Cross the Line: 

I dropped the last box on the brown tiles and worried whether I’d packed anything breakable inside. With my luck, I had. Relieved to be done moving, I was already tired of the new city I called home even though I’d only been in it for a few hours. If I didn’t find something appealing about the place soon, I would be looking into moving again like when I’d wanted to get out of Billings, Montana. Nothing had been wrong with the old place, I get bored easy and like to move around is all.

My new best friend roared to life, blowing cool air from the vents. Ignoring the open front door, I sat down on the box I’d dropped. I did my best to rub the knots out of my lower back, but with achy arms, I wasn’t doing so well. Sweat trickled down my forehead, requiring me to stop my half-attempt at a massage, grab a washcloth from a nearby bag and mop at the sweat. How did people live like this? Why I’d decided to accept the job offer in Phoenix was beyond me. But moving in the middle of the Phoenix summer? Even worse. Now I could understand why Arizona had earned the nickname “the devil’s playground.”

Playground? Not sure that would be the right word choice because I was convinced I’d arrived in hell itself.

A knock on the door made me jump up from the box, making every strain in my muscles and joints become more prominent. The pain quickly faded as a luscious vision in denim leaned against my doorframe, looking sexy as sin.

A shot of heat spread through my body. I had no idea why he instantly turned me on. I didn’t find goatees attractive, wasn’t into the whole tattoo bit, or the almost too tight t-shirt style, but it all looked perfect on this man. This man definitely had the talent to pull off the bad boy look that made women drop to their knees. Me included.

I quickly ran my fingers through my hair. It had once been in a complete ponytail, but was only partially bound by a hairband at this point. I looked like a mess and knew it. What a great way to start out meeting someone so handsome. But that’s my luck and I had accepted it long ago. To make the best of the situation, I wiped my sweaty palm down my jean shorts before holding it out to him. “Hi. My name’s Leslie Teague.”

“Chris Matthews.” He barely touched my hand before dropping it, as if scorched. He cocked his head toward the front of my apartment. “Need help with that truck out front?”

“I would’ve taken you up on your offer a little earlier, but I’m done now.” The lie floated from my lips as if the act came as a second nature to me. I never lied to people and never, ever asked anyone for help. So why did I find myself holding my hands out toward the room full of boxes as if presenting a prize? “Unless you want to assist in moving the mattress to my bedroom?” A few suggestions as to what we could do on that mattress came to mind, but I did my best to keep my mouth shut.


Then I started Dreaming of Him. My daughter and I started writing the book together. We did the plotting. Okay... she plotted her part and I planned on winging the whole thing because that's how I work. I started the first chapter in 3rd person and my daughter decided to let me write the book on my own. Paranormal is not my genre. I've said it before and I'll say it now: Ghosts scare the crap out of me! With that said, I continued the book as a gift to my daughter because she really wanted to read this story. If she would've wrote with me I could've pulled off a full length novel. With it being an unfamiliar genre, I decided to write the story as a novella. I tried rereading Dreaming of Him in the small part of 3rd person I had done already but it didn't work well. I rewrote the chapter in 1st and the words flew from my fingertips. 

Here is a scene from Dreaming of Him: 

While I was supposed to be concentrating on making appointments, taking money from
clients, and being fake-happy, my thoughts remained absorbed with Trace. Who was he, and why
did he come to me night after night?

I couldn’t wait for nighttime to see if he showed up. For some reason, I had the idea that
he served as an important piece to my life and would provide me with the puzzle piece needed to
make me happy again. I should be dreaming of him as often as possible. His coming to me
wasn’t coincidental. There had to be a purpose and I wanted to know what it was.

Perhaps he was my soul mate? The man who would provide my soul mate? After all, I
was still single, so it would make sense. Maybe my dreams were really premonitions. I nodded
as the plan took form. I needed Trace sooner rather than later, and would begin looking at men
who resembled him to speed everything up.

“Want to go out after work?” Myana asked as she walked a client up to the desk.

I glanced at her and then the client, sure that the question didn’t qualify as appropriate
conversation in front of the older woman.

“Well?” Myana asked as I took the client’s credit card and swiped it through the machine.

“Sure.” I still didn’t find going out with these women any more thrilling than I had in the
beginning, but what if Trace was going to be there? It might be an opportunity to meet him.
Locating Trace certainly wouldn’t happen by sitting alone in my condo. I handed the client her
receipt and waited for her to leave the spa before adding, “Let’s go dancing, though. Sitting in
the bar while we drink isn’t much fun.” I actually didn’t want to drink at all. I only wanted to

How do you decide on what point of view to use? 

Wendy Ely 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day with Tori Scott

Today is Memorial Day. For many, that means a long weekend, a trip to the beach or lake, cookouts, family gatherings, swimming, fishing, a ball game. As someone with a lot of veterans in my family and extended family, I like to take time to honor those who have served, are serving, or have made the ultimate sacrifice in serving our country.

I have been privileged to know many who served our country with honor--some still living, some having passed on. My oldest daughter served in the Coast Guard, my father was a Merchant Marine during World War II, my father-in-law was in an Army tank division during that same time. All of my uncles served in one branch of the service or another, and my aunt and several cousins were in the Navy. I have a number of friends whose children are oversees or who are preparing to return.

I grew up during the Viet Nam War, and even as a young teenager I thought it was shameful the way our servicemen and women were treated. My heart broke to see those brave men come home to taunts and disrespect from individuals, celebrities, and our own government. I think it is shameful how little respect they are given even today. There should never be a single veteran living on the streets, never be a single veteran unable to afford food, housing, or medical care.

I think it's appalling that one soldier I know of had to sell his truck so he could afford to come home to see his four year old son before he deployed back to Iraq. I think it's appalling that our soldiers don't have enough ammunition, don't have proper safety equipment, often don't have enough food. That their families are many times destitute because their pay for fighting is so much lower than their civilian pay was.

The least we can do, as Americans, is say thank you. Send a card to a soldier today. And if you can, include a $20 bill, a phone card, a book--something to let them know you care. You will make their day and remind them who they are fighting for. Find a veteran, young or old, and shake his hand. Give him a sincere thank you. I try to do this whenever I come across one, young or old. Many times it brings tears to their eyes, especially the old men.

Another of my favorite hero types besides the strong and stoic soldier is the American Cowboy. Like our soldiers, they work hard with little reward or recognition. But as you're eating those burgers or steaks for Memorial Day, don't forget to be grateful to the cowboys and ranchers who make it possible.

Since I was born and raised in Texas, and still live here, I love writing about cowboys. In my newest release, Blue Moon Over Texas, we revisit the town of Morris Springs, deep in the heart of West Texas. It's Book Two of the Lone Star Cowboys Series and the sequel to Blame it on Texas.

Carol and Jake were high school sweethearts, but when she chose college over marriage, it cut Jake to the core. When they finally had a second chance at love, she chose to help her brother win custody of his daughter by moving to Dallas to live with them, leaving Jake once again. Now she's back, and Jake isn't sure he can give her another chance to break his heart.

Carol Tanner moves home to Morris Springs, Texas, to be near the ones she loves. And that includes Jake Reilly, though she hasn't decided if she's going to forgive him yet. When Jake is injured and needs help, Carol moves into his house to take care of him, putting her reputation, and her life, in danger.

Jake Reilly is always ready to lend a helping hand to his neighbors, but he finds accepting help a lot harder than giving it. Especially when that help comes from Carol, who had walked out on him twice--once right after high school and again two years ago. He isn't too likely to give her a third chance to break his heart. He has to face his own shortcomings when Carol's life is threatened, because one thing every cowboy knows is that you have to protect what's yours.

Here's a short excerpt:

"Good Lord, ladies. I do believe I've died and gone to cowboy heaven." Carol Tanner glanced around the decorated dance hall at the local cowboys, decked out in their Saturday night best--tight-fitting, starched blue jeans, brightly decorated shirts, hand-tooled leather belts, and boots that probably cost them a week's pay. She deliberately skipped her gaze over Jake Reilly, whose intense gaze hadn't wavered from her face since she stepped into the building. Tonight she'd forget about Jake and enjoy herself, or die trying.
But as hard as she tried to ignore him, she had to admit he did look hot tonight. Pissed, but hot.
"Now that is one fine example of prime male physique." Jean Sutherland sighed as a tall, muscular cowboy passed by.
"Just another reason to love this town," Nancy Phillips drawled, with a wink aimed at the cowboy under discussion. "So why are we just standing here? Let's go see what kind of trouble we can stir up."
Logan and Megan Tanner shook their heads and laughed as the three single women headed into the crowd on the dance floor. Logan took baby Charlie from Megan's arms and kissed his wife's cheek. "I'm glad I married you before that bunch had a chance to corrupt you with their wild ways."
Megan grinned. "Who said I wasn't corrupted? I married you, didn't I?"
"So you did." He turned to his daughter, Katie. "Listen, you can go meet up with your friends, but do not go outside after dark, do you understand? Most of these cowboys are harmless enough, but some are drifters that we know nothing about. And check in with Megan or me every hour."
Katie sighed. "I'm not a kid, Dad. See you in an hour." She hurried off, waving at a group of girls gathered around the groaning buffet tables.
Logan watched her go, wishing she was still young enough that he could keep her by his side. She'd grown into a beautiful young girl. No longer a child, but not yet a woman. "Remind me again that she's still only fourteen?"
"Fourteen going on twenty," Megan said. "It's all uphill from here."
"Logan, Megan. Good to see you stepping out for a change." Jake Reilly handed Logan a beer. "You want me to get you something to drink, Megan?"
"I'd love a root beer, Jake. Thank you."
When he came back with the icy drink, his face was stormy. "That sister of yours is asking for trouble," he told Logan.
"Why? What's Carol up to?"
"Out there on the dance floor, making eyes at those range rabbits. Don't even recognize some of those men. Asking for trouble, I'm telling you."
"She'll be okay. We'll keep an eye on her. Why don't you go ask her to dance? You're the one she wants to be with, anyway, and you know it."
Jake shook his head. "I'm going to sit this one out."
For the next hour, Jake watched from the edge of the dance floor as Carol two-stepped her way across the room with first one cowboy, and then another. Every once in a while, he caught her glancing his way--whether to see if he noticed her or hoping he'd ask her to dance, he didn't know. But he noticed, all right. How could he help it? With her skin tight jeans outlining her curves, the close-fitting sweater accentuating her breasts…
His hands clenched into fists as yet another man cut in and swung her away, out of his sight.
"You'd better go get her, Jake, before you decide to take out half the town with your fists." Logan leaned against the wall with Charlie tucked against his chest. The baby was sound asleep despite the loud music.
"What makes you think she'd dance with me? She hasn't spoken to me in two years."
"You ready to tell me why?"
"No." Jake scowled at Logan. "It's none of your business."
"Maybe, maybe not. She is my sister, so I expect anything that has to do with her happiness is my business."
Megan moved between the two men. "Will you two just stop it? Y'all are neighbors, friends. You work side by side nearly every day. You can't afford to get into a pissing contest and risk that friendship."
Jake ducked his head and nodded. "I don't want to fight with either of you over this. It's between me and Carol. If you want to know so badly, ask her."
"Believe me, I have. She's not talking either," Megan said with a sigh.
Katie passed by, dancing with a young man. Logan scowled. "What's she doing dancing with a boy? She's too young."
Megan laughed. "Would you rather she was dancing with a girl? Relax. That's Dean Neiman. He's a good kid. He brings his horse Dancer into the clinic every once in a while. If he treats Katie as well as he does that horse, you have nothing to worry about."
Why don't I know him? I know most of the Neiman clan."
"Because he's only been here a few months, living with his grandparents, Hugo and Leona. His parents are working in Abu Dubai for a year."
"Hmmph. She's still too young for a boyfriend."
"Who said anything about a boyfriend?" Megan shook her head. "It's just a dance, Logan. Don't make a big deal out of it."
Jake smirked as he listened to them. "I can't wait until she goes on her first car date. You planning to deck her first date like you did me when I took Carol out?"
Logan shot him a warning look. "Watch it, Jake. I can still take you down."
"I'd like to see you try." Though the banter was joking, it still rankled that Logan had taken him down with one punch all those years ago.
"No one is taking anyone down tonight." Megan said. "Now, let's just enjoy the party, okay?"
Katie came back to join them. "Want me to hold Charlie for a while? Y'all haven't danced even once since we got here."
Megan smiled her thanks at Katie, then ran a hand up Logan's arm. "Ready to dance with me, cowboy?"
"Always." Logan passed the baby to Katie, then swung Megan into his arms and they moved onto the crowded floor.
Jake watched them for a minute before his gaze strayed back to Carol. She had a new partner now, one that seemed to be holding her awfully close. He wanted to cut in, to stake his claim. But he had no claim. He didn't even have the guts to tell her how he felt.
He'd tried, God knows, he'd tried. But he'd never been good at discussing feelings. He'd been raised to keep them to himself, and he couldn't recall a single time his father had expressed any feelings toward his mother. But Carol was all about feelings. She used to ask him how he felt about everything from a new calf to a summer breeze.
A calf was a calf, money on the hoof. Cute, maybe, but you couldn't let yourself get attached because sooner or later you would have to sell it or butcher it. As for a summer breeze, it kept your blood from boiling under the unforgiving West Texas sun. But those weren't the answers she'd wanted to hear.
So how did he explain the way his chest got all tight when he saw her with someone else?

You can find Blue Moon Over Texas or any of my books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple iTunes, Sony, Diesel, and Kobo. If you'd like to connect with me on Twitter I'm @ToriScott, and  fan page on Facebook.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday- Cross the Line

A knock on the door made me jump up from the box, making every strain in my muscles and joints become more prominent. The pain quickly faded as a luscious vision in denim leaned against my doorframe, looking sexy as sin.

A shot of heat spread through my body. I had no idea why he instantly turned me on. I didn’t find goatees attractive, wasn’t into the whole tattoo bit, or the almost too tight t-shirt style, but it all looked perfect on this man. This man definitely had the talent to pull off the bad boy look that made women drop to their knees. Me included.

Friday, May 25, 2012

An awesome accomplishment!

Look! Confessions made it to the #10 spot on my publisher's contemporary romance bestsellers list.

And how about this one? Confessions is #1 on my publisher's bestsellers list for romantic suspense.

Want to get your copy? Find it here:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Writing What You Know By Lyncee Shillard

Write what you know – good advice? I’m sure anyone who has thought about writing or writes has heard this. Now if you write non-fiction this makes sense. Fiction – I’m not so sure.  For the non-fiction articles I write I do stick to subjects that I have a general knowledge of and add research. For my fiction – nope. How could I? Sorry, but my real life – is BORING!
 My fiction writing offers an escape from that for me and I get to travel – mentally – to places my wallet will never get me physically. In my current release, Taking a Risk a part of the anthology – Dangerous Men/Dangerous Places takes place in the Amazon. While kayaking down the Amazon my hero and heroine are kidnapped.  Now, I’ve never been kidnapped nor have I kayaked down the Amazon. I, however, did do a lot of research before writing this novella.  I learned the ??? is the largest rodent in the world. And pink dolphins live in the part of the Amazon my story was set.  The internet has more pictures of the Amazon than I have dust bunnies living in my house so writing details about the surroundings was easy.
Here’s a snippet…
  Leigh knew Nick was having some sort of breakdown brought on by the fact they were going to die. “Where are we going to sleep?”
“In the trees.”
Clearly, he had taken her Tarzan comments and integrated them into his vacation from reality. Leigh gathered her clothes and camera as her mind raced trying to come up with a plan. Having no idea where the second campsite was or even how to get back to the first one greatly narrowed down her possibilities.
Nick snaked an arm around her, pulling against his warm, wet body. “Leigh, I’m still going to love you once we’re safe. I’m going to love you when you’re eighty. And you never answered my question. What’s for dinner on Tuesday’s?”
“Yum,” he muttered against her shoulder. “I’m talking about you. Chicken is fine too. Tonight, you get to really be Jane.”
“Nick, please, we need to find shelter.” She twisted trying to separate herself from him. When she would rather wrap her legs around him and slip into ecstasy. Why did she always have to be the practical one?
All my romances have a happy ever after ending but I do throw a few curve balls. Because you know the saying – ‘it’s sweeter when you earn it.’ So my advice – write what you want to read.
Thanks to Wendy for having me….

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Keep writing even when life gets in the way!

When I had first began my writing career, I had to be happy to write or the words refused to flow. You can probably guess where this is going, huh? Life happens and no matter how much I tried, I couldn't be happy every moment of every day. That just isn't possible. People get sick, bills need to be paid, kids have problems. Even natural changes in life sometimes brings an unsettling feeling. If I could only write when I'm feeling happy, I'd have a lot of untold stories. Stories needed to be told and not depend on my mood. Here is what happened to make me realize this and how I changed that habit...

I'm going to call my former boyfriend Mark to protect his identity. I lived in Northern Arizona at the time and had been in a relationship with Mark for several few months. One day he called me. He said, "We're going on an overnight mini-vacation. Pack the kids up and be ready in an hour." He wouldn't tell me where we were going, but the kids and I were ready at the requested time. We drove to Las Vegas and had an amazing time. I had thought at the time that Mark was Mr. Right. As we were leaving the hotel the next day, Mark stopped outside of the casino's chapel. "Marry me!" he said. I was shocked by this and told him that we could marry sometime in the future but not that day. He seemed okay with it so we went home. Mark spent the night with me and got up for work the next day as normal. He woke me long enough to kiss me goodbye.

And I never saw him again.

Mark had been a store manager and would drop off a Starbucks for me on his way to do the bank deposits. He didn't show up that day. I called but didn't get an answer. After several hours of not hearing from him, I called the store. His employee told me something bad happened and I had to contact his parents. I freaked out.  Late in the evening his mom finally let me know that a death happened in the family and Mark would contact me when he felt like it. The death in the family had been a lie. He'd left the state and didn't contact me at all.

I was a college student at the time, ran my own business, was a single mother, and... well... I had a life that I had to live. Depression over took me and it was hard to get up each day to face my responsibilities. So how the hell would I write the romance when my Mr. Right had shattered my heart? Every time the phone rang I hoped it was Mark. It never was which crushed me even more. I wondered what I had done wrong, when he'd be back, if he'd committed a crime or something, if he had a wife/kids somewhere, and why hadn't I been good enough for him?

And NOT writing made things worse because that is such a big part of who I am.

I was 3/4 of the way finished with Confessions when he took off. If you haven't read Confessions yet, it is about Chelsea. She takes off from her hometown and didn't speak to anyone for ten years. It's amazing still how something similar had happened to me at the same time. Anyway, I had to finish Chelsea's story so I decided to sit down at the computer with an idea. I'd take everything I was feeling about that jerk, Mark, and infuse it into a scene that required similar emotions. I went back in the manuscript to a scene that had already been written to enhance the level of emotion involved. A ha! My idea worked and I use that technique now. If I have some deep emotions whether it's happiness, sadness, excitement, or whatever, I find a scene with matching emotion and inject what I'm feeling into the character.

I'm including the scene from Confessions and remember, my feelings mirrored Jordan's in this scene. Hope you like it:

“Stop saying you’re sorry! I’m tired of hearing it. If you hadn’t sold our baby we wouldn’t
be here right now. We’d be home. We’d be happy. We would be a family.” His strong voice flung out as if a bomb had gone off.

“Are you ever going to ever forgive me?” She shrank farther into the chair.

“I have every right to be angry with you, Chelsea. Do you know what I went through when you disappeared?” He took a few steps toward her.

“No,” she said, lowering her voice. “I won’t even pretend I do.”

“I went through hell.” His fist banged into his chest.

“As if I haven’t gone through anything.” The words shot at him like bullets.

“You?” He spat. “What have you gone through? Missing your daughter? You, darling, chose
this! I didn’t.” He stomped over to the window and looked outside.

She kept her legs curled up in the chair, as if it would shield her from the hurt she’d caused
him. It seemed like they had come so far in mending the issues between them, now they were
taking ten steps backward.

“Jordan, please.” She swiped at the tears trickling down her cheeks.

“Please what? Please forgive you? Please accept my daughter is gone? Please forget about
my love for you? You might be able to, but not me!” He turned to her, his eyes blazing with fury.

She shot up from the couch. “Forget? You think I can forget you? Look at this.” She undid the
zipper on her jeans to reveal the tattoo. “Remember this? I can never forget you with this branding
on me! I can’t even look in the damn mirror without remembering!”

“I hope it haunts you like it did me for ten years.” His voice lowered but didn’t lose an ounce
of anger. “I didn’t know what happened to you. I didn’t know if someone abducted you, or if I did
something wrong to make you leave.” His arms crossed over his chest. The anger seemed to be
dissolving a bit with each word. “I lay awake at night wondering where you were and what you
were doing right at that moment. Every damned night, Chelsea.”

“I’m so sor—Oh, never mind.” She turned to go back to her chair but the heat of his hand
on her shoulder stopped her. She covered it with her own. His fingers entwined with hers.

“I know you’re sorry,” he whispered. “I accept your apology.”

She turned toward him. She put her hands on his chest and fingered his wet t-shirt. “Take
this off. You’re going to get sick.”

“I don’t care.” He wiped his tears away. “The only things I care about are you and Elizabeth.”


Want to read more of Chelsea and Jordan's story?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Following Childhood Dreams by Daisy Dunn

I’ve always wanted to be an author ever since I was a young child. A lot of people have, but I also wanted to be a ballerina, a princess, and an actress. We all have childhood dreams, but how many of us ever follow them into our adulthood? Well, as I became older, all my fantasies of writing, dancing (which I never took one lesson), and working on a movie set fell to the wayside. Reality kicked in and I started living my life as a normal 9 to 5 office worker.

Last year, I was hitting a milestone in the birthday department *cough cough 40 cough* and I thought back on my life and my goals. One goal stuck out in my mind as something on the top of my list—becoming an author. No faster did I think it, the stories started to flow into my mind. I couldn’t keep up with the waves of idea after idea plaguing my thoughts. So, after a few months of research, I began writing my first novel on January 1st, 2011. By late April, 2011, I received my first contract from a publisher.

I couldn’t believe that I had been given a contract and had to read the email over and over again to see if it were true. That’s a day I’ll never forget. Well, I just received a contract for my 19th book recently, and I’m hard at work on my next one. It’s amazing how much time we waste on daydreaming and not actually following our heart’s desires. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about this whole experience, don’t ever give up on your dreams because they might actually come true with some hard work and inspiration.

Daisy Dunn Links:
Facebook: Daisy Dunn
Twitter: @daisydunnauthor


MFM Ménage, paranormal (witches, werewolves), fantasy, contemporary

Earth elemental Ivy, with the powers of the forest and soil, has individually met and fallen in love with identical twin brothers and werewolves Luke and Levi. Torn between the two men, they make love to her with equal fervor, trying to win her heart over and allowing her to make the final decision of who she ultimately wants to be with.

During this time of new discovery, love, and confusion, The Hunters, a werewolf-hunting society, are closing in on them. Ivy is mistaken for a werewolf and taken to a hideout to lure her lovers to a trap. With danger lurking everywhere, she must trust the brothers equally to save her, and they, in turn, must trust two of her elemental sisters, with the powers of air and fire, to aid them in their search for Ivy, the only woman they have ever loved.


As he stood in the bush, spying on his prey, wondering how best to approach her, she surprised him. She quickly removed all of her clothing and stood naked in the forest. Mercy. He crouched down, realizing he couldn't walk up to her at this moment, as he'd probably frighten her. He knew he should walk away and never look back. Women only added complications to his already complex life, but she drew him to her. He felt the wrench in his soul, crying out to her to accept him as a man.

Her body had been beautiful with her clothes on, but standing naked before him, she personified perfection.

She proceeded to lie on the ground, seemingly enjoying herself, when she suddenly sat up and looked around. Assuming she must have heard him, he didn't move as he watched her intently, still in a crouched position. His keen sense of smell kicked in as her aroused, womanly fragrance wafted seductively through the air. His cock jerked. His erection felt like it wouldn’t stop growing. Pushing painfully against his jeans, he ached for her.

She settled back on the earth, took one last look around from her recumbent position, and then she slowly relaxed. Once she stopped looking around, he stood quietly back up, immediately unzipping his jeans to give his cock some much-needed space. Unable to tear his gaze away, he watched her grab her full breasts and flick her fingers over her elongated, hard nipples. She moaned with desire as Levi noticed the vines coming to life, wrapping themselves around her wrists and gently pulling her arms back above her head. His first reaction had been to run over to her, chop the plants down, and save her. However, he didn't sense any fear from her regarding the plants, as she became one with them. The vines continued down her body, wrapping around her legs and tenderly pulling them apart.

The blades of grass continued to grow rapidly, sensuously reaching up, stroking her breasts, flicking her nipples softly, and caressing her inner thighs. Lower down her body, their long, green fingers reached higher and fondled her sensitive snatch as she wiggled against their touch. More vines joined in, snaking around her hips to her flat stomach and edging lower to her pussy.

With incredible dexterity, hundreds of grass blades worked together to open her outer lips, allowing the leaves on the vine at her stomach access to her obviously swollen clit. The vines moved into place applying subtle pressure on her mons, while the attached leaves flicked her clit with a steady rhythm.

The sexuality and need in the air was palpable. Without thought, he grabbed his erection and stroked it firmly. As he gazed at her naked, aroused form, never had he been more jealous of plants in his life. He wanted to touch her, soothe her, and open her the way they did.

He continued to rub his erection faster, harder. He imagined her pussy surrounding his cock, pulling him in deeper, wrapping her shapely legs around his waist.

Levi swore he felt the earth's power surge through the air past him and into the beauty before him. The speed of the vines' leaves increased their tempo, which meant her release wouldn't be far behind. He began to pump his cock faster and tighter, the pressure built pushing him to the brink of sexual madness.
AIR’S PASSION, ELEMENTAL MAGIC BOOK TWO is also now available at Siren Publishing:

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pay nothing for books from Amazon?? By Mimi Barbour

Does it work to put your book for free on Amazon? Is it a good idea to belong to a group when your book goes free?

This is what happened to me. In March I joined the Indie Book Collective Lucky Days Free Par-tay along with many other authors. One of the requirements to be involved in this promotion was that I had to put my book "My Cheeky Angel" into the Select program on Amazon. In this way I could manage my promotion for those exact days.

IBC is the brainchild of best-selling author Carolyn McCray.  She is brilliant at what she does…and that is to guide the group through all the steps we needed to take in order to have a successful par-tay. She explained these steps in a series of Webinars where she gave us advice on our categories and covers, how to set up our book descriptions on Amazon and the best way to present the inner workings of our book like reviews, advertising our other work, etc. both in the front matter and the back.

Before the par-tay in March started, My Cheeky Angel was ranking around #240,500. Once she explained how to set my categories properly, within a few days the book had dropped to #140,000. I was shocked, and right then I decided I had made a good choice to be involved with this group. As the days drew closer, her committee of hard-working, very dedicated people had all of us busy setting up cross-promotion for the others in the par-tay and social media blurbs for twitter and facebook, etc.

On the big day, we all came free, and the website she'd designed came live. I watched in amazement as the downloads for my book went crazy. It was fantastic. Then the ranking dropped and on my best day I hit #552 in the free books and was #1 in two different categories and #2 in another. I walked around in shock for days…nothing I could do for myself would have ever gotten me these numbers. And I knew it!

*Amazon does allow for the free downloads to affect the ranking once your book is off the free slot, but not on a one to one basis. It's changing all the time, and the last I'd heard (just a supposition mind you) that every 50 free downloads would be the same a one book sold.*

Once the Par-tay ended I waited with bated breath to see what would occur. And I'm happy to say that the book levelled off for quite some time at around the #5,000 mark and then sadly, it began to climb back up. The last I looked, it was approximately #53,000.

But…I'm ecstatic to say that I'm now involved in the next par-tay which is happening in two days. Can't wait to see what ensues with my new release "His Devious Angel" which is the second in the Angels with Attitudes series. The first novella of my Vicarage Bench Series, "She's Me" will be available also.

I'll report back on what happens as far as the numbers go…but right now She's Me is ranking at #117,244 and Devious Angel is sitting at #82,810. If you're interested to track it with me, you can watch each day of the par-tay and see for yourself what a difference it'll make.

p.s. Crossed fingers, good wishes and prayers are all gladly accepted!
Better yet…download the book!
Xo Mimi


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Friday, May 4, 2012

Hanging out with V.L. Locey!

Hi there! My name is V.L. Locey and it is a real pleasure to be guest blogging on Wendy`s lovely site today! Since most of you aren`t familiar with me or my work, I figure we should have us a sit down, put on a fresh pot of coffee and just chat. I`m one of those folks who feels most at home with a cup of java in my hand at someone`s kitchen table. So, for today, we`ll gather round Wendy`s virtual table and have us a good klatch!
Let`s start off with the basics about me. I`m a fifty-one year old author of rural romantic/comedies and other assorted romance based tales. I`m a stay-at-home mom/farmer/author and I may as well come clean now….I have a thang for Greek mythos, in particular, those sexy Greek gods. I adore a good love story! If I can work some humor into the tale, so much the better! That`s kind of how I live my life. I try my best to find the laughter in daily things.
Living here in the hills of north-central Pennsylvania on a small farm, sometimes the laughs find me and sometimes I have to dig for them. My hubby of close to twenty-one years (and yes, he provides me with laughs daily, both intentionally and unintentionally, bless his heart) and my sixteen year old daughter call our twelve acres the hillside farm for good reason. The only flat spot on our land is our driveway. Living on the side of a mountain makes things interesting in the winter rest assured! There is nothing like ice skating down our dirt driveway to meet the school bus, or, crawling on hands and knees up the hill to feed the birds on a bitter morning! The things we rural folks do for fun….
We raise an assortment of critters here. Ducks, chickens, turkeys, beef steers and dairy goats. We`ve also raised hogs in the past but our hearts are claimed by the goats. Kidding season for us only reinforces the admiration we have for these loveable, quirky, sometimes troublesome creatures.

But really, take a look at that face and tell me that you don`t love goats? They are as addictive as potato chips but far less fattening. Running up and down the hill for chores keeps those pounds at bay…or would if I could leave the Milano cookies alone but that`s neither here nor there! We currently have three different breeds of dairy goats: Nubian, LaMancha and Sable. Each breed has their own personality. The Nubians are the divas. They act the most uppity and make the most noise. The LaMancha`s are the instigators of our herd. If you find a gate opened that you KNOW you closed, it was a LaMancha that opened it. The Sables are the Grateful Dead fans of the caprine world. They are just chilling and enjoying the world, man. Peace out.
I think it was this love of goats, my crazed lust for Greek gods and my obsession for romance and laughter that nudged me to pen my first novel, ‘Of Gods & Goats’ last year.

I have long had a secret (or not so secret if you ask my family and friends) crush on Ares, the Greek god of war. Sure, I know there are other gods out there that fit the romantic leading man role better but there is something about Ares….Sorry, I drifted. Anydoodles, I`ve been writing seriously for about five years and in all that time I could not find a way to use my god of battle-lust in a romance story. He just didn`t seem to want to fit into any plotline I came up with. He`s very stubborn at times. Then, one night last summer, his story arrived.
It came with a line of thunderstorms that spawned several tornadoes in our county. That is a rare occurrence in the hills of Pennsylvania. We don`t see too many twisters in the mountains. This front was a nasty one, pummeling our little rural community with rain, wind, ferocious lightning, hail and a couple touchdowns. Of course, during this unsettling time the power went off. There we were hubby, daughter, the three dogs and two cats and me, sitting in the dark with flashlights, praying for our neighbors and our barn roof. Me being who I am, said something like this-
“Man alive, someone has really pissed off Zeus.”
From that one comment and that particularly nasty line of storms, Ares story was born. But, as I fiddled with the plot and the characters, the story began to change. It became not Ares story but Libby`s. The moment I placed her name and her traits to paper, she came alive and demanded to be the star. Ares seemed willing to play her romantic lead and so I let Ms. Simons speak. The tale that she told captured my heart and that big, brash war gods, too. I can get inside the head of a woman with ease. Inside the head of a man? Well, I`m still trying to figure out how those cogs cog.
Libby is a widowed, thirty-five year old woman, living in the hills of Pennsylvania, raising dairy goats and making soap to help pay the bills. One day she finds not only a hole in her barn roof after a night of violent storms passes over, but a towering, disoriented man (naked as the proverbial jaybird because my mind is naughty) claiming to be THE god of war.
Uh-huh, right. Someone call the men in the white suits. I know that`s what a few of you may be thinking. It`s okay. After reading my manuscript for the first time, my editor called and asked me what I was smoking. I took that to be a compliment about my imagination. Libby found herself questioning her own sanity as well. Not only did she have this naked man lying in her barn, she then had to deal with an owl who became a woman that professes to be Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom, and then commands Libby to aid her half-brother in a quest for Hades` missing Helm of Darkness. All this before Libby even had a decent cup of coffee!
Things escalate from that pronouncement of Athena`s. Libby now has to try to keep the god of war a secret from her rural neighbors. Not an easy task. We folks in the hills know everything about everyone and aren`t shy about talking about what our neighbors are up to! Gossiping is much more fun than cleaning barns. She also finds herself facing ancient Grecian monsters, a terribly upset god of the underworld (Hades dislikes having others touch his stuff. He has sharing issues I think), a Minotaur that is not your standard Minotaur and a saw-whet companion of Athena`s that thinks her shower curtain rod is a dandy place to nap during the day.
Then there is the god of war himself, and those intense, scary, sizzling sensations that Libby is beginning to feel whenever he is near. Ares not only teaches Libby that she can and should love again; he also reaffirms her faith in higher beings. It`s kind of hard to denounce gods when one is plodding around in a pair of bib overalls, eating your food and making you experience emotions and desires you thought you had buried with your husband.
‘Of Gods & Goats’ is the first in a trilogy of novels. ‘Of Heroes & Haybales’ and ‘Of Titans & Tractors’ will follow with releases in 2013 and 2014, God willing and the creek don`t rise as they say. I hope any of you that decide to grab the novel (Available at my website - for E-Readers on Smashwords) will get a chuckle or a face fanning moment from it. If the books make you smile than I am a happy goatherder indeed! I`m also on Facebook, GoodReads and Twitter if anyone wishes to stop in and say howdy! You can find me at my blog as well right here –
Here`s an excerpt from, ‘Of Gods & Goats’. I hope you enjoy the snippet and it`s been a real pleasure to chat with y`all!
V.L. Locey


“Ares?” I called softly as I gently stretched my leg out and worked on getting my bandana out of my eyes. I heard the rustle in the mound of loose hay inside the large metal round bale feeder to my left. “I just wanted to make sure you were okay,” I added.
“I am fine, Bunting,” he replied, much to my relief. “My ego is sorely bruised, but aside from that, all is well. This sitting and hiding, it is not my preferred manner of behavior.”
“Yeah, I can imagine you`re more of a doer than a sitter,” I said as a small brown bat made its first pass of the pasture. Bats and I get along well and I had even had Matt put a bat house on the back-side of Paddy`s barn.
I sat in silence and simply enjoyed the mammal`s sharp dives as the day left my mountain. Paddy was content inside and chewing on some fresh hay, his tail hitting the metal gate in leisurely swats.  I would have been quite at peace if not for the obvious.
            “I just wanted to let you know,” I mentioned nonchalantly, “That the reason I kissed you earlier was because I was scared.”
“Truly? I recall the kiss well and I do not remember fear on your lips. Passion and want, yes, but fear? Nay, not fear. Fabricate what you wish to placate your inner turmoil if you so desire, but know that I am aware of the truth, Libby.”
I stared at the hay pile intently for a moment then turned my head so that I could see my little home. The windows were softly illuminated and I could make out Argus sitting in the window.  
            “Sometimes the things that you hold onto are all you have to get you through a day,” I murmured as I focused on my white cat in the window.
“True, and yet sometimes we must let go of what we cling to in fear and allow the sun to illuminate the darkness.”
“Wow, I had no idea you were so philosophical,” I said and blinked rapidly at the silhouette of my fussy feline. The hay mound shuffled ever so softly, his trying to get his bulk arranged I assumed.
            “I am not, most generally. `Tis my sibling Apollo that waxes poetic but although I do not find much merit in his flowery prose, there are some things he professes that make much sense. Perchance I am just bored sitting here in a mountain of dried grasses and my mouth is wishing to run away with me.”
            I smiled at his words. Yeah, I could easily see the second part of his admission. Ares would not be a man prone to tossing out soliloquies at the drop of a hat, or battle helmet, as the case may be.
            “Maybe you should sit in a hay mound more often if that`s what your bored mind comes up with,” I whispered as I sat and waited. The hill of hay made a deep grunt that tugged my lips upwards.
 He may have been ready to whip a retort back but then all manner of conversation died because of the snapping ball of jade energy that appeared at the far end of my cattle pasture. My eyes watered and, yes, it was the appearance of the underworld critter and not Ares soft proclamation of truth. The entire pasture flashed so brightly for just a millisecond that I thought I had been blinded. Then the new night settled back down over the hillside. I sucked in a passing bug; thank God it was a little one, before I could see once again. I began to cough to expel the bug from my lungs and the Minotaur whipped its head in our direction. Its eyes glowed crimson. I coughed harder as I looked at the beast. It was easier to see him now since my eyes had grown as wide as dinner plates.
The beast was a huge humanoid, easily standing eight feet tall. It was covered with long matted fur that hung from its body. I could make out two wide horns that grew from the side of its skull and a round ring in its bovine nose.
Its chest was bare like a man`s, aside from a necklace of skulls that dangled from its thick neck. I coughed and it lowered its enormous head and pawed at the severely rutted ground with a hoof. Then it charged straight at me. I pushed to my feet, still trying to hack up that stupid bug and backed up in primal fear. My thighs hit the barbed wire and a jolt of electricity ran into me. The inhaled insect came up into my mouth as I sailed backwards over the top strand of our corral. Down I went on my ass with a rush that sent the soggy bug back into the night. I yelled just once and then rolled over to crawl to the gate that separated me from my Hereford. The Minotaur ran full bore into the trio of snapping wires and let out a bray that made my ears weep. Ares exploded from the hay mound and cleared the top rung of the round bale feeder in one fluid motion.
I sat there, tasting bug and abject fear as the bovine slash humanoid denizen of the netherworld struggled and flailed. The more the beast fought the wires the more entangled he became. It was then that I noticed he wore a filthy sort of loincloth to cover his manly bits.
“Are you uninjured, Libby?” Ares asked after planting his girth between me and the well-wrapped Minotaur. “Speak to me, woman!”
“I`m okay,” I squeaked and drew back closer to the gate when the Minotaur reached for me with clawed hands. “I swallowed a bug,” I added just to show the war god that I was only tearing up due to insect inhalation and not fear of death by Minotaur goring. “It tasted really bad.”
            “Stay far from its grip, Bunting. He can snap human bones with ease,” Ares warned then used the cattle prod to make the hand retreat. Another horrible sound of agony came from the creature. It made me feel terrible and it brought a low from the red and white beefer inside the cow barn. The Minotaur stopped fighting the ever-tightening bonds of barbed wire and called softly to my steer. Paddy replied. Great, they were talking to each other in cow. I started when I felt the hot breaths of my Hereford blowing down on my bandana.
“Don`t worry, buddy,” I said shakily and tucked my legs against my tiny breasts. The Minotaur then raised its head to look at me. Damn but my animal lover side was really getting to me. Then I realized that the beast wasn`t looking at me, it was trying to see Paddy behind me. A low sound came from the Minotaur and Paddy responded in kind.
“`Tis a pity we had the misfortune of capturing one of these,” Ares muttered with rancor. “They are not the most intelligent of my uncle`s minions. We will get very little from the hellion aside from guttural grunts and perhaps a word or two. I say we slay the beast now and be done with it.”
I stared at those red eyes and swallowed down a ball of unease. Then the Minotaur called to my steer as if begging for assistance from one of its own. Paddy pushed on the gate with his huge head and answered the plaintive call.
“We can`t kill it,” I said and stood up carefully, using the gate at my back for assistance. “I think you should try to talk to it. What?” I asked at the huff that came from the man still guarding me from the twitching Minotaur.
“Libby, there is no talking to a beast such as this. All it knows is killing and destruction!”
“Well, some people think that about you, don`t they, but I`m still talking to you!” I fired back, resolve now filling my breast.
“Do you think to compare me to a Minotaur, female?!” he blustered. Ares blusters very well I must say, but his protests aside I wasn`t going to let him just dispatch the beast coldly. I might live to regret that decision, and a few others I made, but my mind was made up. I turned from the man and his loud complaints and unlatched Paddy`s gate. The steer pushed out and lumbered to the entangled Minotaur on the ground. They touched noses and Paddy jerked as another rush of electric went through him from the wet nose to nose contact.
“Sorry, Paddy,” I whispered then limped around the side of the barn and tugged the power feed line from the regulator. Ares was right on my back and when I turned, my nose scrubbed against a pectoral of steel. He was glowering. I couldn`t see him since darkness was now blanketing my farm but I could feel his anger.
“Don`t argue with me on this one, Ares; we`re not killing the poor thing!” I stated and shoved around him.
How I got past the mountain of muscle I don`t know, he must have been too shocked to move. I limped through the gate, listening to the sounds of cow friendship coming from the twosome of short ribs and left the cow barn for the shed.
Again, the god of manly courage was behind me.
            “Libby, I forbid you to allow that spawn of Hades realm to run free!” he bellowed as he came into the small shed adjacent to the cow barn. I flipped on the light and ignored him the best I could. I was searching for my five-gallon plastic fencing bucket. Inside I would find my fencing pliers. Now if I could only locate the damned bucket among all the hundred pound bags of goat and cow feed  I would free the Minotaur and then…well then I didn`t quite know to be honest. His hands on my shoulders scared me slightly and then I was spun around to face the very disgruntled god of war.
“Woman, you are thinking with your tender heart,” the man barked. His fingers were digging into my flesh but I simply planted my feet and took it. “That beast is not a domesticated bovine like your pet is,” he said and waved a huge hand in the direction of the cow pasture. “It is a creature of wickedness, an atrocity that needs be sent to the foul bowels of Tartarus where it will languish until it is called upon to serve its vile master again!”
“You are not killing it,” I argued and set my jaw. I guess he wasn`t familiar with my set jaw because he continued to expound on the reasons why the Minotaur had to die. We stood there, in the shed with tiny little moths and millers now coming in to check out the light; neither one of us willing to give an inch. Finally his list of reasons had run out and I was still stiff-backed and firmly jawed. His mouth clamped closed and his eyes were lit like bright blue gemstones. Then he let his left hand move from my tense shoulder. His rough fingers glided down my arm, a soft caress of sandpaper on satin until his hand moved to encircle my wrist.
“You are the most exasperating female I have ever encountered and I am the son of Hera, queen of Olympus and high ruler of exasperation,” he said then without warning he tugged me into his barrel chest and dropped his mouth over mine.
The moths and millers were bouncing off the exposed light-bulb. Paddy and the Minotaur were still talking to each other in soft bovine and my heart was about to explode from my chest. I should have pushed at him, I know. I should have spit in his face and maybe even slapped his regal godly cheek. But did I do any of those things? Nope. I rose up on my toes, winced at the sharp cry of my twisted ankle and let him kiss me. Kissing him was like placing your lips to a fully charged tractor battery terminal. My synapses sparked and sizzled. His fingers loosened on my wrist, perhaps because he felt no resistance on my part or maybe because he wanted to get a good grip on my neck. I sighed across his lips as he placed a war-mongering hand to the back of my neck.