Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Swag Goodies

Hi!

Anyone want any new swag??? To celebrate a great release of A Taste for a Mate I've giving out new swag! Send me an email with your address to carrieannryanwrites(at)gmail(dot)com to get some!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Writing a Kick Ass Heroine with Sandra Sookoo

Writing a Kick-ass Heroine


Thanks for having me on your blog today!

Since the theme of this post is writing a kick-ass heroine, what better time than now to talking about my heroine from Ricochet, Willa Rayes?

During the planning stage of writing, I knew I wanted the heroine to be strong.  I wanted her to be able to stand up to the men around her and to take chances.  Nothing puts me off a book faster than reading about a heroine who’s got the personality of a wet noodle or who don’t stand up for themselves and develop “doormat syndrome”.

Besides, Ricochet is set in a sci-fi world, which calls for a gal with enough backbone to take on the rigors of the world.  So, Willa was “born”.  She’s got four brothers, all of whom are older than her, plus she’s the only daughter of a famous fighter pilot from her planet.  Big credentials to fill and compete against.

Willa’s always been under a shadow, of her brothers, of her father and of other males competing in her line of work.  She’s chosen to be a Lingorian pilot like her parent, but she’s doing it on her own terms.  She’s got her own brand of swagger because she knows she’s one of the best.  She wants respect.  She wants attention.  She wants love.  Unfortunately, as in many cases like Willa’s, these sought-after things don’t come simply because the men in her life aren’t wired to give it.

One of my all-time favorite lines from this book sums up her philosophy:  Not that she cared. She wasn’t here for a hookup. She was here to crush egos.

And then she meets Stratton (Sin), who makes no apologies for his chauvinistic, “all about me” attitude.  The urge to prove herself and then some to him is strong.  And she’s smacked down a few times.  Two big egos crashing against themselves nets explosive fireworks.  To make matters worse, she’s paired in a race with him.

Also during her encounters with Stratton, she’s taught that maybe she doesn’t know all there is to know about the male/female relationship, and that her ego does tend to get in the way of her interactions with other people.  Above all, she’s horrified to discover she’s been trying to gain male attention in all the wrong ways.

Overall, Willa’s one of my favorite heroines.  She compromises without losing her identity.  She argues, but when she’s wrong, she owns up to it.  She supports an idea different than her own with the same passion as she would if it had been hers.  And she’s not afraid to show an emotional side and be a “girl”.

She’s the type of gal you want to invite over for dinner, play video games or go to an amusement park with.  I can totally see her doing shots at a bar or watching football on Sundays.  Just don’t ask her to go to a tea-tasting or clothes shopping!

So what about you?  What type of heroine do you prefer reading about?

Sandra is a writer of romantic fiction. Her portfolio includes historical, contemporary, sci-fi and paranormal romances in full-length books as well as shorts and novellas. No matter if the heat level is spicy or sweet, she loves to blend genres and often times will add humor.

When not immersed in creating new worlds and interesting characters, Sandra likes to read, bake and travel. Her favorite place to spend vacation hours is Walt Disney World. It’s where dreams come true and the soul can play. If she’s not writing, she’s keeping things interesting at her Believing is Seeing blog or spending time with her husband, who patiently answers questions she has about men and/or sci-fi-related subjects.

You can write to Sandra at sandrasookoo@yahoo.com, visit her website at www.sandrasookoo.com or look her up on Facebook and Twitter. All links are provided on the front page of her website.

Believing is Seeing blog:  http://sandrasookoo.wordpress.com/
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/sandrasookoo
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/sandra.sookoo

Willa Rayes, only daughter of a legendary Lingorian fighter pilot, can fly any ship in the galaxy. Better than her brothers, in fact. But does that get her any respect? Not as long as she has breasts. Winning the Nebulon Trike will not only force her family to notice her, it’ll be her declaration of independence from men in general.

Then she meets her race partner, Stratton Sinnet. Arrogant and chauvinistic, he ignites her libido like no man ever before. And threatens to send her well-planned strategy straight to hell.

A bounty hunter by trade, Sin enters the Trike for one reason: money. Somewhere among the racers his quarry is hiding, but he’s not worried. He always gets his man, and winning the race will be a nice bonus. It sure would be a hell of a lot easier, though, if he wasn’t saddled with a know-it-all navigator who’s getting on his last nerve—and under his skin.

As the checkpoints go by and the danger escalates, the fight for control, the lead—and satisfaction—approaches supernova heat. Burning away their resistance, and the tough shells that protect their one vulnerability…their hearts.

Excerpt
At the moment, he to see how far he could push her, find out what she was made of. “Go for it, kita. I love a good challenge.”

Her eyes narrowed.

Stratton grinned. He’d called her bluff, and she had nothing to back up the words. Even so, a tiny twinge of disappointment caught him off guard. Why did women only want to interact with him on a carnal level? It might be nice to have a heated discussion or argument that had nothing to do with what he could give them physically. “Well, I guess we know which one of us deserves this seat, huh?” He swiveled the chair around to fully face her, and the tip of his nose came dangerously close to her bust line.

“You deserve this.” Before he could react, she stomped down hard on the instep of his right foot. “For now, I’ll let you have your way, but from here on out, you’ll have to fight me for the privilege of pilot. I’ve worked hard, struggled for every achievement I claim, and I refuse to let a louse like you take that away. Do you understand?”

Pain radiated through his foot and shot up his calf. Not for worlds would he show her the juvenile action had hurt. Swallowing down a string of vulgarity, he gave her what he hoped was an insolent grin. “Perfectly. If you don’t get your way, you’ll have a hissy fit. Gotcha. Typical spoiled little rich girl.”

“Bastard.” She spun on her heel, bending slightly to retrieve the handheld device.

“At your service.”

 Sandra will be awarding a gift bag of travel sized Bath and Body Works products in Charmed scent to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US/Canada only please) Be sure to follow the tour here.


Monday, February 27, 2012

What Makes Vampires Attractive to Readers?

What Makes Vampires Attractive to Readers?

This question stumped me for a long time, when Carrie suggested it as a topic. I know what attracts me to them, and it may not actually be what the majority like about them. My guess is that many readers like reading about vampires because (especially of late) they’re incredibly seductive and sexy. Even Bela Lugosi, who wasn’t particularly attractive to look at, was hypnotic in how he moved and acted as Dracula. And this makes sense, since they need to ease their prey long enough to get close for meal time.

These days, vamps come in almost every possible variety you can think of. You have annoying vampires who sparkle (yeah, not a fan, sorry), angsty, somewhat whiney vampires (a la Louis from Interview), brooding, guilt-ridden vampires (Angel anyone?), your garden-variety psychopathic terrorist (Spike, all of Feehan’s actual vampires as opposed to her Carpathians), and then vamps as a different species from the humans (Feehan’s Carpathians, Kenyon’s Daimons and Dark Hunters). Plus there are any number of incarnations which I haven’t read about as we authors are a prolific lot and I just can’t keep up. On that note, who are some of your favorite vampires these days? It can be someone already mentioned, or someone else. I love getting suggestions.

So what’s so appealing about creatures who slither around at night, with pale skin, and look on us as an all-you-can-eat buffet? For me, it’s the ageless factor, the potential to live for centuries and see how the world will change. Just think about what humanity has done in the past 150 years, how far we’ve come. There’s electricity, cars, cameras, computers (ever evolving), the internet, and going into space. My God, what will we do in the next century plus?! How exciting would it be to be able to live long enough to see it happen (assuming the various madmen in the world don’t blow us all up, or have my in-laws be right and the end of the world is at hand this year)?

I think some of that plays into the fascination we have for vampires. Plus, given the vast majority of the romance vampire novels I’ve read involve a vampire finding his mate/one-true-love from the humans, you’ve got the hunk who’s waited many lifetimes to find someone to be with him and gotten pretty danged good at the sex thing in the mean time. Who wouldn’t want a man with quite a bit of experience PLUS you’re probably pretty safe from STDs and pregnancy! Always a bonus in the world these days, right? There’s something pretty romantic about a guy who’s still capable of falling in love after so long and be willing to commit to a relationship likely to last for centuries.

So tell me, what is it you like about vampires? Let’s start up a conversation in the comments. One lucky commenter can either have a copy of Blood Rage or a $5 gift card to Amazon/Barnes & Noble!

Buy links:

Contact links: Website     Twitter     Facebook     Dream-Walker Page
I’m on Goodreads too.

Author bio:
Originally from the Sacramento Valley, Tory packed up and moved all the way to Southwest Florida in 2004 with her husband (a Florida native) under the premise that ‘hurricanes almost never hit that part of the state.’ That year, 4 blasted the area. 4 more came the following year, and her husband blames her for bringing the hurricanes. She now resides in Jacksonville and is relieved that, thus far, no more hurricanes have followed her around.
She began writing in kindergarten when a turnip wished to be human and, other than a hiatus shortly after getting married, has never stopped. Her love of vampires began somewhere in junior high, and combining the two loves didn’t take long. She loves music, considers herself a ‘book slut’ whose reading habits would break her family financially if given free reign, and is (usually) delighted to be a mommy of twin Shrimpettes and a Shrimp.


Blood Rage

For eighty years since the Great Awakening, humans and non-humans have lived in relative peace together. The peace is threatened when three bodies turn up less than a mile from the Bureau of Non-Human Affairs in Tampa, all bearing the signature of vampires who once terrorized Europe.
The Bureau’s chief liaison to the vampires, Dara MacKechnie, learns that the Tampa victims are not alone when her ex-lover, and head of the vampire’s Great Council, Anthony Caldwell comes calling.  The pair discovers the lie that separated them two centuries ago only banked their passion, not extinguished it.
Dara must decide whether she can trust Anthony with her heart a second time as they try to head off the war that threatens all they hold dear.

Chapter One
From the Bureau of Non-Human Affairs’ FAQ Page: Telepaths
Question: What should I do if I catch a telepath (species unimportant) using telepathy to read my mind and steal my personal information?
Answer: Call your local Bureau office immediately. The Privacy Act of 1974 makes it illegal for anyone to scan another person without a court order. Such orders may be granted to determine guilt or innocence of a crime, if requested by the accused.

            “Do you have any idea what time it is?”
            Dara rolled her eyes at her assistant’s lazy inquiry as she paced in front of the elevator. “About three hours later than it is here, which means you’re probably in the middle of a date, Ronnie, not in bed.”
            A delicate giggle escaped the other woman before she said, “Who says I’m not in bed in the middle of my date, darlin’?”
            “Spare me. Just swear to me, one last time, he’s not on the guest list.”
            Her assistant groaned loudly, likely for effect on whoever the lucky man was to emphasize her put-upon status. “Dara, you’re calling me at nearly eleven at night to bug me about that man again?”
            The elevator doors “swooshed” open in invitation. Unwilling to risk losing her connection because she suspected Ronnie would ignore any subsequent call, Dara shook her head at the car’s occupants and spun to stalk down the hall toward her suite door. “Please, just tell me he’s not going to be here!” She heard the whine in her voice. How could she be so pathetic? Two hundred years of life experience should give me more dignity than this.
            She could practically see the other woman’s eyes roll as she said, “According to the Society’s president’s secretary when I talked to her three hours ago in anticipation of this discussion, no. Anthony Caldwell declined his invitation three weeks ago and has made no attempt to reverse that decision.”
            Dara’s shoulders slumped in relief. Everything would be fine then. No known child-killers in attendance at the Society’s 80th Anniversary Bash made for a good evening. “All right, thanks,” she murmured in genuine appreciation.
            “How’d the LeTourneau dress look when you put it on?”
            She blinked at the abrupt change in topic, and her gaze dropped to her half-bared chest where fluorescent lights glinted off the pale, ropy scars that marred the surface. “I feel like an overstuffed sausage, Ronnie. I wore a corset when they were fashionable and hated them. I almost needed one today to get into this infernal outfit.” So she exaggerated, a little.
            Ronnie snickered, and Dara heard a low male whisper in the background. “I don’t need my powers, or a picture, to know you’re lying to me. Sarah would never put you in anything that didn’t look spectacular. Go make your speech, darling. Tell me all about it when you get back to Tampa.”
            Dara slowly pressed the disconnect button and wandered back toward the elevator with a sigh. Ronnie was right, knowing Dara’s insecurities about her appearance entirely too well. Sarah, the last descendant of her little sister, Caila, had exquisite fashion taste. The LeTourneau dress, the first and only one she’d ever bought from the exclusive werewolf designer, was a new purchase, bought specifically for this party.
            Attending the Bash on behalf of the Bureau of Non-Human Affairs certainly hadn’t been Dara’s idea. But when invited as the honoree and keynote speaker, one must attend, especially when one’s boss said to go or be fired. Therefore, she’d allowed the Society to fly her out, put her up in the exclusive Bearings Hotel and Casino for three nights with Sarah, and had agreed to give a single speech and attend a ball afterward in exchange. Overall, it really was a good deal for her. The short, enforced vacation offered her an escape from the wet heat of Florida in late August.
            She pressed the down-button on the elevator and tapped her foot with just the first hint of impatience. Less than thirty minutes remained before her speech. As the keynote speaker, she didn’t intend to show up until she had to, to avoid the inevitable attention that would be focused on her. At least Anthony’s absence was assured.
****
            “Would you care for another drink, Mr. Caldwell?”
            Anthony looked up from the blackjack table as the leggy blond waitress leaned over to ask her question. He gave her a lazy smile and finished the last of his blood and gin, noting the faint flush that spread across her cheeks. Another lifetime, perhaps he might have asked for her phone number, but not now. Not when his objective of so many years was almost at hand.
            “No. Thank you just the same, madam.”
              She flashed him a smile that revealed just a hint of fangs and sauntered off. He eyed the long legs for a moment more and repressed a scowl that he felt nothing at turning down what could have been a very pleasurable evening if he’d accepted the implied invitation. What was the world coming to?
            “Ante up, gentlemen,” the dealer said.
            After a glance at the rose-gold, Atlas watch around his right wrist, Anthony shook his head. “I’m out. Duty calls.”
            Duty didn’t call, not yet anyway, but the time was close enough at hand that his conscience didn’t prick him for the slight inaccuracy. If he intended to track down his quarry before they met in the ballroom, he needed to go. His senses, on constant alert in the crowded casino, had yet to detect her, but she couldn’t be much longer. Even she wouldn’t be late to a ceremony intended to honor her.
             Then again, when has Athdara Genevieve ever been on time for anything? he thought with faint amusement.
            He closed his eyes for a moment to filter through the hundreds of minds pressing in around him from around the casino. For a younger vampire, it would have taken much longer. After more than twelve hundred years of practice, it didn’t present that great a challenge, regardless of the population density.
            About to give up the current search, he paused when he recognized her presence. Anthony turned. With little effort, thanks to his height, he looked across the main room to see her just exiting the elevator.
            The breath he didn’t need to draw in caught in his throat. It had been sixty years since their paths had crossed, a deliberate move on his part out of respect for the hatred, however well-deserved, she held for him. Sixty long, boring years.
            Athdara looked the same of course, eternally twenty-six as a vampire. Unfashionably curvy, lush, and perfect. She’d pulled her long red hair back in an ugly braid. The coiffure failed to detract from the fragile face. So many hours spent brushing that hair. She wore a long, black satin ball gown, LeTourneau if he were any judge, that swished when she moved past a bank of bleeping and flashing slot machines.
            Anthony allowed a trace of a smile to curve his mouth upward, and he turned toward the staircase leading to a landing that would give him an unimpeded view of the main room. Now to have some fun.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Trinity Bound - Six Sentence Sunday #29

Hi!

Welcome to my Six Sentence Sunday today! Below is a snippet from my upcoming Trinity Bound, book 3 in the Redwood Pack. Reed is holding Hannah, trying to calm her down from an experience that scared even me when I wrote it.


Reed held her to his chest, trying to give her the strength she needed, knowing he was lacking. She stopped crying, exhausted emotionally as well as physically. A salty trail of tears remained on her cheeks. Reed wiped away their evidence with the pad of his thumb, taking in the softness of her skin.
             “No matter what happens, I will find a way to kill him.” Reed’s voice deepened with a promise of vengeance.


Thank you so much for stopping by today! I really do cherish your comments and read every single one. Enjoy your Sunday and to find the other sixers, click here.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Putting the 'O, man!' in Romance with AIllison Merrit

I'm going to be honest. I write adventure romances in the guise of steampunk. My main motivation is getting the romance across to the reader. First and foremost, that's my intention. But I love action and I love writing scenes where the reader is on edge going, wow, what will happen next? 

There's something to be said for tender kisses and frenzied sex scenes. They get the blood going, don't they? But so does a well set-up action scene. The first action scene I ever wrote, I bungled. That's okay, I was learning the ropes. A critique group told me I was drawing it out too much. What I was doing, of course, was telling, rather than showing the action and it makes the reader lose interest. I'm a dialogue girl, I love witty conversation, but it's not like I can write an entire book with dialogue. If that was the case, I'd be writing screenplays. 

The senses are what's going to put the oh, man! in your writing and keep your reader turning the pages. So, how do you write a tight, compelling action scene? Let's take a look at some tips.

Show, don't tell. You want the reader to feel the urgency behind the thoughts and actions of your characters. When you show, make sure you're not using a writer's favorite crutch, adverbs. Keep your thesaurus handy and watch for words like loudly, suddenly, quickly. You can find replacements for them like bellow, explosive, or unanticipated.

Throw in the tangy taste of blood, the scent of the attacker's cloying cologne that doesn't disguise his body odor or the burrito he had for lunch. Show me the dark parking garage where a rogue werewolf has cornered your heroine. Take me there.

I'm a fan of fragment sentences. They are useful in action scenes because they're sort of jarring. You don't want to bring the reader out of the scene, but a fragment can make a stand alone sentence really jump out.

Keep the pace quick. Your characters are required to think on their feet because they're fighting for their lives. You might be writing about a paranormal character who has quick reflexes and is expecting to be attacked. But if you've got a human character, he or she might not have the same abilities to move like a mother. Get in your character's head and see what he/she is seeing. You might even--go ahead and laugh--try acting out a scene or two. Watch movies, note how the actors move and file that away so that when you write your scene, you can relive what you've seen.

Know your weapons, know your characters and don't force the scene. It'll sound out of place mixed in with the rest of your novel. Remember (most of the time) your characters want to move forward and find their HEA scene and a good action scene before that really helps reinforce the bond between your characters.

Tell me about your favorite actions scenes or your favorite way to write an action scene.

Buy links for The Treasure Hunter's Lady



Blurb:
Romy Farrington seems to have the perfect life—a world-famous archeologist father and upcoming marriage to a wealthy businessman. But to Romy, her new life in the city is a punishment.

For years, she traveled the world at her father's side, exploring new lands and uncovering ancient secrets. It was everything she ever wanted, until a near-fatal encounter with hostile natives forced her and her father into a life of retirement in Boston and an undesired advance into proper society.

Everything changes again when she's saved from an accident by a brash Texan in a back alley. Abel Courte may act like a care-free cowboy, but he's harboring a secret—he's searching for the Diamond of Uktena, a legendary jewel that can cure any disease known to man. He needs information Romy's father has in order to get to the jewel. When he traces the origin of the Diamond to Dakota Territory, he sets off to claim the treasure, only to find the archaeologist's fiery redheaded daughter stuck to him like a bug in sap.

In a race against time, Romy and Abel must learn to trust each other as they undertake a cross-country journey that will expose them to lands uncharted by white men, a deadly battle against the fearsome creature in possession of the Diamond and a fight to return to civilization where they might make the greatest discovery of all—love. 

Social network links

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Finding Romance in Real Life with Lisa Scott

Finding Romance in Real Life

            I think the chance for romance lurks around every corner, whether you’re single or in a relationship. That’s part of the reason I so love writing it; nearly any situation can lead to love.
For a while, I was writing short story romances for a magazine and turned every real life event into a story.  When I took a class to learn how to install my koi pond, it became perfect fodder for a meets-cute short story.  The teacher helps his student install a pond on her grandmother’s property fulfilling a dream she had been never completed before she died. 
My love of post-holiday bargain sales turned into a cute little story where two shoppers meet in the day-after Christmas return line.  A friend who mentioned she was sick of dating because she was always the one doing the dumping, prompted me to write the story “Never Been Dumped.”  I even know a woman who met her husband after crashing her car into his.
While the potential for meet-cute scenarios is endless, what happens after that ‘aww’ moment?  When the relationship has shifted into regular gear and you’re arguing over Chunky Monkey or Chubby Hubby for Friday movie night? And who gets to pick the movie this time, anyway?  Where’s the romance now, baby?
It’s there; it’s just different after that first blush of mad love has faded.  For me, the little things have always meant the most.  My husband no longer drives thousands of miles to see me (we were long-distance lovers for a while there.)  Now, he makes the quick trip downstairs to do the laundry.  Yes, there’s a lot of love in a load of dirty clothes, especially when I’m not the one cleaning them.  When he tapes my favorite shows or brings home my favorite treat, I know he’s telling me he loves me.
Little gestures like that let you know that special someone really knows you.  They notice what’s important. Everyone wants someone who ‘gets’ them, right? The characters in my stories notice the little things.  While a romantic night out with wine and roses might seem like the ultimate gesture, learning how to cook her favorite French dish because she can’t forget that magical honeymoon is Paris would trump a night on the town any day.
My husband doesn’t bring me roses; he’ll bring me a potted orchid because for the life of me, I can’t keep one alive.  But he believes in me that I’ll get it right eventually.  It’s also a bit of a running joke at this point.  But I think it’s lovely and sweet—something that is uniquely ours.  To me, that’s romance.
Yes, just like you can find your one true love in the strangest ways, you can find evidence of your love in the most unexpected gestures, too. So here’s to love, whether you found it in the produce aisle or the emergency room, whether he’s keeping the flame alive by picking up your favorite tea and cleaning up after your cat gets sick. (The cat he wasn’t thrilled about getting.)  In the end, the little things really are the big things.

Author bio:

Lisa Scott is a former TV news anchor who now enjoys making up stories instead of sticking to the facts. The first book in her Willowdale Romance series will be released by Belle Bridge books in November 2012. In the meantime, she'll be releasing short stories linked to the Willowdale series, in addition to her Flirts! collections.

When not begging her husband and two kids for a few minutes of peace to write her stories, she works as a voice actor and putters around in her koi pond and garden in upstate NY.

Blurb:  Every volume of the Flirts! Collection features five sweet, funny romantic short stories, linked by a loose thread.  It all ties up in a fab, fun ending, bringing together characters from all the stories in that collection.  Each short story is 8,000-12,000 words long--the perfect length to squeeze in during your lunch break or kids' practices.  Sometimes you need a little love!  

http://readlisascott.com   
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Read-Lisa-Scott/227457993948941     http://twitter.com/#!/ReadLisaScott

excerpt: from  "Washed Up" story #4 in the Beach Flirts! collection

            He woke to darkness and pain, with a pounding head and churning stomach; but soft lips crushed against his, so the night couldn’t have been that bad.  His mouth moved in response, and he reached to find the body attached to those remarkable lips.  He wrapped one hand around the back of her neck, while the other trailed further south over her collarbone, cupping a round, firm…

            Slap!  His eyes opened to an explosion of light.  Then he sat up and puked.  Seawater spewed from his mouth and someone rolled him onto his side.

            “He’s okay, but get the lifeguard!” a woman shouted.  She rubbed his arm.  “You’re fine. Everything’s fine.” 

            This wasn’t exactly his definition of fine. He blinked away salty brine and fell back on the sand.  “What the hell happened?”  He looked up at the woman—petite, with dark eyes, and long hair that glowed in the sun. 

            “I’m not sure. I found you washed up here.”

            He winced at the familiar phrase.  Just ask his agent, who hadn’t been able to land him so much as a mall opening in the past three years.

            “And then you kissed me?” he asked. Crazy fans had tried worse.  At least duct tape and handcuffs hadn’t been involved this time; an actor without his sense of humor might have pressed charges.

            “Kiss you?” She rolled her eyes.  “Ever heard of CPR?  I was a lifeguard in high school.  You kissed me, and then you tried…” she winced. 



Lisa will be giving away a $10 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter. Please make sure you follow the tour for more chances to win!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Book Spotlight: Moon Over Alcatraz by Patricia Yager Delagrange

Following the death of their baby during a difficult birth, Brandy and Weston Chambers are grief-stricken and withdraw from each other, both seeking solace outside of their marriage; however, they vow to work through their painful disloyalty.  But when the man Brandy slept with moves back to their hometown, three lives are forever changed by his return.

Excerpt:
Three days later we were standing at the edge of a hole in the ground at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Hayward, the silence so thick, the insides of my ears buzzed like a distant swarm of angry bees.  Mr. Peralta and another gentleman stood off to the side while Weston and I held hands next to the tiny casket.
Weston had chosen a simple mahogany box with gold handles, a bouquet of white lilies graced the top of the small box.  I knelt down and laid a kiss on the smooth wood then wiped off the tears that had fallen on the wood.  Weston joined me and placed a single red rose in the middle of the lilies.
He helped me up and we stood side-by-side in silence, my guilt over her death like a stone in my empty belly.  I missed everything I’d dreamed would be happening right now, yearned for all that could have been.
Weston nodded at the man standing next to Mr. Peralta and our baby was slowly lowered into the gaping maw.  She reached the bottom, and a bird landed on the rich brown dirt piled next to the grave.  It pecked around, chirping a little song, then flew off - as if saying goodbye.  My heart squeezed inside my chest.
I picked up a small handful of soft dirt.  “Goodbye, Christine,” I whispered, throwing it on top of her casket.
Weston wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me in close to his side.  Why her?  Why my baby?  Was this supposed to make sense?  And, if so, to whom?
We drove home in silence.  No words existed to express my grief.


Fascinated by broken-hearted couples and atypical families, Patricia weaves engaging tales of men and women who create cohesive families where love reigns supreme.  She sprinkles her books with intriguing characters who struggle to find balance in life after tragedy.  Whether an unwed teenager, desperate widow, abandoned father, or a couple who stray from their marital vows, her characters form relationships impacted by their desire to create a family.
Aside from writing, her favorite things to do include riding her Friesian horse, Maximus, dot-to-dot for adults, and watching Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington movies.  She spends a majority of her days writing while her two very large Chocolate Labs lounge on the couch cuddled next to her and her MacBook.
She writes a blog every Wednesday, so if you're interested, sign up to be on the mailing list and she'll notify you after she posts her blog on this website.  Or just drop by Wednesday mornings and leave a comment.



Sunday, February 19, 2012

Trinity Bound - Six Sentence Sunday #28

Hi!

My Six Sentence Sunday comes from my upcoming Trinity Bound, book 3 in the Redwood Pack series. This should be out in March/April or so.

Thanks again for coming! This is a set-up for some *ahem* fun. *grins*


Hannah watched as both men shifted to rest on their knees. Reed, freshly healed and looking almost pain free, kneeled, naked, watching her. His sandy blonde hair, slightly crispy on the ends, in a disarrayed halo around his beautiful artistic face. Josh knelt by him, strong, and not quite as beautiful, but equally as handsome.


         Josh took a deep breath and lifted the shirt above his head. Hannah caught her breath as she watched his biceps and abs flex with the movement.



Find the other sixers here. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Author Blurb and Link Day

Hi Everyone!

Today is Author Free Promo Day!!! I love helping authors and reading new books. I may be an author myself, but I'm still a reader!

So if you're an an author, leave the following information in the comments section. (I made it so you can cut and paste LOL) And if you're a reader? Comment to talk to your favorite authors or read to learn more about authors you could love!

And if you could only do up to two books this time, that would be great LOL!

Author Name:
Title of Book:
Genre:
Series: (YA, Sweet, Spicy, Erotic, Erotica)
Heat Rating:
Author Website:
Blurb:

And be sure to include your buy links! Thank you so much for coming by and be sure to tell your friends! I'll be doing this again in the future so lets go and find some new authors and books!

Without further ado.... Here's mine!


Author Name: Carrie Ann Ryan
Title of Book: A Taste for a Mate
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Redwood Pack, Book 2
Heat Rating: Spicy
Author Website: http://www.carrieannryan.com/
Blurb:
Jasper Jamenson’s only responsibility to being the Beta of the Redwood Pack, second son of the Alpha, is to protect the Pack from themselves and the human world. After a century of selfless service, his brother’s new found mating forced him into taking a good look into his life. He isn’t sure he wants a mate, but fate may have other ideas.
Willow Delton is a skinny, bakery owner – the type most woman love to hate. Being without family, she finds herself alone to the Greek god with green eyes who saunters into her bakery every morning. Her desire to follow him, to be with him, overrides every rational sense she possesses.
Jasper and Willow are drawn together, despite every nuisance that works against them. But evil beyond even Jasper’s supernatural compensation will make war against him, by going after the only thing in his eternal life he desires – Willow. Is Willow’s heart enough to overcome Jasper’s soul to save her life? A fight he cannot win, but to save her life – he must.

Writing the Perfect Romance with Cari Silverwood and Leia Shaw

Writing the Perfect Romance
There are any number of reasons why us writers choose to pen a romance – fun, a desperate need to tell stories, a need for more alpha males in our lives, money…Leia and I had all those and one extra one. So many of the romances out there are well, romantic. The men are ten feet tall with ten inch dicks and pretty much always get it right. And we women like that don’t we? Having a man who can almost read our minds, who knows just the right spot to nibble, lick or smack?
In BDSM romances the Dom or dominant male seems to become even more idealized. He is often the experienced one who can take his woman to the height of a world-shuddering orgasm with the precision application of ropes, cuffs, floggers and maybe a few more exotic pieces of equipment like candles, feathers or pieces of ginger used in a very naughty way.
A lot of women have a desire for some aspect of BDSM. It’s a fact supported by many surveys over the years. And although we all pretty much know that fiction is fiction, there does seem to be an extra potent effect when women first realize their desires may have a real life possibility of being forfilled. That they may not be freaks. That there may be a man out there who shares their desires for something kinky. I’ve seen a lot of women ready to kneel at the feet of almost the first real man who answers to the dominant label.
The problem is, even Doms are human. They aren’t perfect. They do make mistakes, and they do have to start somewhere.
Both Leia and I saw the need for a real story and since one of our friends had the same idea, was ready to let us tell her story, and hell, she even had a silly side to her that made writing the story fun, we went with it.
So here it is. 31 Flavors is the story of one married couple’s first foray into the land of BDSM. It’s not perfect. Sid’s husband Nick, is not infallible, and some of their mistakes may make you chuckle out loud. The comedy in the book , as well as the steamy sex seems to be grabbing our readers, and that’s good. Because as one reviewer has said,
“Wow… just wow! This novel is brilliantly written, it is well balanced with humor (at some parts hilarious), saucy sex scenes and genuine life drama.
There were times while reading that I thought “OMG that’s so true”, and there were times that just wanted to jump into the novel and give Sidney a hug and say, “never ever doubt who you are”. I was captured from the get go…”
We hope you enjoy reading it as well as perhaps ending the novel with some new insights on what can make a marriage hum.

Oh and FYI 31 Flavors will be  on sale for $0.99 all weekend!!!!!

You can find more about this awesome story here http://thirtyoneflavors.weebly.com/


First chapter:

“Come here.”

His voice, low and full of authority, slides through me like a cold shiver. My breath hitches as I glide silently over our office carpet.

“On your knees.”

I immediately drop. Acutely conscious of my nudity, I sit with my ass resting on my heels and my hands on the curve of my upper thighs.

“Do you know why you are being punished?”

A lump of anticipation lodges in my throat. I keep my eyes downcast and nod.

“Good. Now, I’m going to tie you to the desk, spank you and stuff you with the vibrator. And you’re not to come without my permission, do you understand?”

My stomach lurches and I’m soaked with arousal. I can’t trust my voice so I nod again.

“Answer me.”

I clear my throat and croak a shaky, “Y-yes, sir.”

“Stand up and bend over the desk.”

My knees tremble. I can barely hold my weight as I walk to the desk.
A thin rope dangles from his hands. I dare to look in his eyes. They remain impassive, foreboding. I’m a prisoner in the shadow of my executioner. Can I do this?

His brows raise a fraction of an inch. “Go on.”

I steel myself and bend over the desk. The glass top is like ice on my naked breasts. My breath quickens as he coolly and effectively ties my ankles to the desk legs, then my wrists behind my back. I twist my hands, checking the tightness. No give, at all. Suddenly I feel vulnerable. Too open, too exposed.

I notice the wooden paddle on the desk only when he reaches for it. I gasp. From fear or anticipation, I’m not sure. He moves away so I can no longer see him.

From behind me, I hear, “Count, Sidney.”

I squeeze my eyes shut, and the paddle whistles through the air –

Beep. Beep. Beep.

I wake with a start, flushed and wet. A dream. I exhale a deep breath then slam my hand on the snooze button. Nick stirs beside me, his body heating me through the blankets. My dream comes back full force, an assault on my already over-eager libido.

Nick. His eyes stern, his lips turned down in a disapproving frown. The rope, the paddle… oh. I can’t stop a sharp inhalation.

The idea is laughable. Nick wielding a paddle? He’s more likely to cross-dress and pierce his nipples than mercilessly paddle my ass.

Nick is the nicest man I’ve ever met. It’s why I married him.
I sigh in frustration and push my fantasies away. The dog jumps at the door. Nick rolls over. His voice is groggy. “Honey. The dog wants to go out.”

“I know.”

Welcome to real life.


Excerpt 2:


“Well, maybe you could seduce me?”

I blink. “Me?”

“Yeah, like a little lap dance or a strip tease.”

Fucking A. Of course the pain in the ass would pick something completely out of my comfort zone. A strip tease and a lap dance? I’ve never had a single dance lesson. I’m awkward and clumsy and not the least bit sexy.

Don’t be a taker, I scold myself. He tied me up. He spanked me. He stepped out of his comfort zone, I can too.

Steeling myself for humiliation, I rise from the bed. As seductively as I can manage, I raise the hem of my blouse. “Like this?” I purr.

Nick puts his arms behind his head and his gaze rakes me over. A big grin stretches across his face. He likes it. Okay, I can do this. I pull my shirt up higher, exposing my bra.

“Yeah!” Nick praises from the bed.

I give him a flirty smile then start to pull the blouse over my head. It’s a little tight and I tug harder. Buttons. The damn shirt has buttons, dummy. I bring my arms down to undo the top button, but something yanks on my ear.

Ow! Ow, ow, ow. I freeze, my arms over head, my shirt covering my face. The top button is stuck on the stupid hoop earrings I insisted on wearing to work today. I was trying to look sexy. Not so sexy now, am I?

“Honey? Are you okay?”

He doesn’t need to see my face to know I’m blushing. I’m sure it covers my entire body. But I can recover. I can still pull this off. Somehow, I will make this sexy.

“Um.” My voice is muffled in my shirt. I go for a casual tone. “I’m fine. I’m just, uh, going slow. So you can, you know, savor it.” I move my hips side to side in a seductive sway while simultaneously trying to untangle my earring.

The arm opposite the stuck earring is halfway in my shirt sleeve so I jerk my upper body to the side, trying to get it over to help. But it won’t quite reach where I need it. I’m panting with the exertion and getting a bit frantic that it won’t come loose. I wriggle my arms furiously trying to get them out of the sleeves. Every few seconds I stop and shake my hips toward Nick. Or somewhere. I’m not really sure which direction I’m facing anymore.

Oh God, how ridiculous do I look?

I hear a strangled snort from behind me. I spin around and freeze. Is he laughing at me? Except for the crinkling of the shirt over my ears, the room is silent.

My arms ache and my ear hurts. I blow out a breath of air.

Nick clears his throat. “Do you need help?” The end of the sentence is choked off with a covered chuckle.

“Yes,” I say, defeated.

I hear him rise from the bed. Then his fingers are on me, unbuttoning my blouse.

“Careful,” I tell him from inside the cave of my shirt. “My earring is stuck.”

“I got it.” His fingers work deftly, freeing my face and arms, until just the blouse is dangling from my earring. He works on getting that loose too, leaning in close to see where the earring and blouse entangle. I look up at him. Maybe it’s the lack of oxygen from being stuck in my shirt, but he’s never looked so handsome.

“Hi,” I say sheepishly.

He smirks. “Hi.” His breath touches my lips and lingers.

Suddenly, I want to kiss him. Need to kiss him. I lean forward. “Ow!” Something tugs my earring.

“Stay still,” he orders softly. His arm wraps around my waist and pulls me against his body. Goose bumps rise along the skin on my belly and back. Am I getting turned on? I exhale a laugh.

Nick is rescuing me from an utterly unsexy and quite possibly life-threatening strip tease. I probably looked like one those moles with the red tendril thingies on its head, clawing its way out of the ground. I should be digging a hole into the ground and hiding in humiliation.

Finally, the blouse falls to the floor and my ear is free. I pull both hoops out and place them on the dresser. Nick steps back and looks me over. His mouth is tight with a restrained grin.

I point a finger at him. “Don’t. Laugh.”

He covers his mouth with his hand and his shoulders shake. I cast him a dirty look then launch myself at him, toppling him onto the bed. I straddle his hips as his hysterical laughter fills the room.

“Shut up.” I try to cover his mouth with my hand but he blocks me.

“That was cute, Sid,” he says between roars of laughter. “It was like a sea cucumber giving birth to an anemone.”

I gasp and try to smack him but he dodges my hand.

“A sexy sea cucumber,” he adds.

This time, I go for the jugular. He catches my wrists and holds them captive. “So violent. I may be new at this, but I’m pretty sure beating up your Dom is bad behavior. Should I punish you now?”

“No! I’m too mad.” I pout, pulling my wrists from his hands. “I won’t fulfill anymore of your fantasies if you make fun of me.”

He smiles. “Honey, you fulfill my fantasies every day just by being you.”

I chuckle nervously. “Sure.” But I’m touched, whether it’s true or not.

We stare at each other silently for a moment, giddy smiles plastered on our faces. In a bold move, I get my retribution by snaking my hand up his chest to pinch his nipple.

“Ow!” He grasps my hand to free his nipple. “You’re not a very good sub,” he teases.

“Maybe you’re not a good Dom,” I counter with a saucy grin.

“Probably.” Evil glittering in his eyes, he folds his arms around me, then yanks me down for a kiss. Our lips meet and he holds the back of my head as the kiss deepens. Not that I’m planning on leaving. The play of lips on lips, soft and hard, tongue and teeth, is a dance Nick has always done well. I snuggle closer and catch my breath. My eyelids drift lower as I give in to the sensations. I sneak my hand onto his chest, palm flattened, and play with the hair above his shirt neckline. When he stops kissing me, I’m breathing hard and very conscious of his body beneath me.

His gaze locks with mine. “So let’s just be us.”

I smile. Us. Nick and Sidney. Not vanilla. Not Rocky Road. Any kind of thirty-one flavors we want to be. I bite my lip and nod.

With both hands, he grasps my ass and squeezes. “Now let me tie you up so we can fuck and feel better.”

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Sneak Peek and Updates

Hi everyone!

I have some updates, a sneak peek at A Taste for a Mate and a CONTEST!!!

It's been a busy month and it's not over! A Taste for a Mate just came out this month and I'm so excited about it. Thanks to all who have bought it and emailed or facebooked me about it! You really make writing worth it.

People have been asking about Reed's book, Trinity Bound. It's currently at my editor's, but it will be out in April. So that's not too long.

And yes, all of the Jamensons will get their own book. You can check my website for all of the titles.

After Reed's book, I'm going to start a new series, Dante's Circle. Dust of My Wings is the first book and will be out this summer.

After that, is Enforcer's Redemption!

I've been super busy but so excited!


As a thank you for a great release month, I'll be giving away a $15 Amazon GC to someone who signs up for my newsletter here http://www.carrieannryan.com/contact-me/192-2/ and comments on this post! Thank you guys!



I thought I'd give y'all a cute excerpt from A Taste for a Mate, book two in the Redwood Pack series.

You can find it on Amazon and Barnes&Noble


Jasper led Willow to the large two-door refrigerator and opened it to reveal fairly stocked shelves. He didn’t entertain or cook often, but when he did, he preferred a good, hardy meal.
“Is there anything you’re interested in? I have everything you could possibly need for breakfast. At least I hope. I know you have more expertise in that area than I do.”
Dear God. He was rambling like a teenager. Except for that one glorious kiss when he’d put her to bed, they’d barely touched. He knew many things about her, but she didn’t know that much about him.  That would have to change – and soon. She may have been forced into his world, but he would do his damndest to make her feel included and part of their Pack.
Willow studied his offerings like an artist would study a blank canvas before painting. In a matter of moments, he knew she’d cataloged his food and would come up with a perfect and delicious meal. Glancing up at him with a sly smile, she took out eggs, cheese, and veggies and set them on the island. With her second trip, she grabbed bacon, potatoes, and oranges.
He would have offered to help, and the man his mother raised begged him to, but he didn’t want to interrupt her thought process. He loved the way she glided around the kitchen as if she’d been here all along. Even with the bruises, she was still gloriously beautiful and he knew through the mate mark she would heal any injuries quicker than a normal human. It was a one-time only perk of the bite and she wouldn’t heal fast with other injuries until she changed.
If she changed.
“Do you think you can make orange juice and coffee?” Willow’s soft request brought Jasper out of his thoughts. “I can do the rest, but I don’t want to take over your kitchen completely.”
“I can do that.” He walked over to the cabinet and pulled out fresh gourmet coffee beans and put them in the grinder. Soon the smell of freshly ground coffee filled the air. He quickly set the automatic coffee maker to percolate and began slicing and squeezing oranges.
Willow moved around his kitchen with ease as she made breakfast. She broke the eggs against the side of the bowl before whisking them. He followed her hands as she moved quickly. The sound of fatty bacon popping and sizzling echoed in the kitchen, and she went back to the cutting board to slice onions and mushrooms for her omelets.
When he wasn’t looking, she’d diced potatoes for homemade hash browns that were now browning on the stovetop. Already his mouth salivated at  the thought of such a gourmet meal.
 Like a magician, Willow prepared light and fluffy omelets bursting at the seams with bacon, spinach, mushrooms, and feta and ricotta cheeses. On the each plate, she put three slices of bacon and still sizzling hash browns before he had time to put their drinks in mugs and glasses.
Thank God he was a werewolf because his arteries would be screaming if he was a normal human at his age.
Taking the plates from her hands, he set them on the table next to the drinks. Before she could protest, he took her face between his hands and placed a feathery light kiss to her lips. He lifted his head from hers, looked into her eyes, and gave her a smile.
“Thank you for breakfast. This has got to be the best meal I have ever seen made in this kitchen. I can’t wait to see what you come up with here in the future.”
At his startling reminder of their mating and future, her eyes widened and her lips parted. Jasper took this as another invitation to kiss her plump lips again. So he did.
When he pulled away, he smiled and said, “Let's eat.”
Because if he didn’t eat food, he’d want to indulge in her. And ravishing her against the kitchen table might not be the best way to slowly introduce her to this whole mating thing.
Willow bent over the table and set her plate down, her firm ass right near his crotch.
Jasper groaned. Yeah, this might be harder than he thought.