Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Oh, and did I tell you about...

Hey gang!

I had just an awesome week.

Firstly, thanks to writing bud Shannon K Butcher, I was invited to Rose's Bookhouse Naughty and Nice book signing last week in St. Louis. The turnout was great and I couldn't have asked for better reader support as well as earning a few new fans! Thanks to Regan, Shika, Laura and April. We had great conversations!

Barbara Vey of Publisher's Weekly was at the book signing since she had relatives in town. She mentioned the event in her blog and even showed off the t-shirt I was giving away in my drawing. See her and the blog here.

Then my editor posted a link to the USA Today's Happy Ever After section and my newest release On Thin Ice was one of the books featured, along with the cover. Thank you Dar Albert for making such spectacular cover art for me.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

My Writer Friends: Lily Harlem's Teamwork

I'ts here. Lily's latest in the Hot Ice series. And who doesn't like the excitement of hockey?

Book four in the Hot Ice series. (Can be enjoyed as a stand alone read.)

What I know about hockey could fit on the back of a stamp. So my latest patient may be one of the NHL’s hottest defensemen, but I’m not exactly blown away by his stardom. Add in the fact that he’s a surly, growling grump, and I’m more than happy to work my magic on his battered body and then hot-foot to my date with his teammate, Todd “Pretty” Carty.

Todd is sex on a stick, a slice of man heaven and I want a bit of the action, preferably of the bedroom variety. But when Raven emerges from his bad mood and throws his energy into blowing my mind with just one kiss, I find my head spinning and my libido raging.

What I didn’t bargain on is these hard-training, hard-playing hockey players working as efficiently off the ice as on it when it comes to getting results. But who am I to complain when satisfaction is their ultimate goal?

Reader Advisory: Contains m/f/m. Go on, you know you want to indulge!

And check out this cover:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

More from David Gandy

Sorry I've been slacking on David Gandy info. That doesn't mean I've forgotten him.

Just a reminder that you can follow him at where he blogs. Usually every three weeks or so you can find him posting interesting tidbits about fashion, travel, cars and his life.

He also has an active presence on Facebook. You can LIKE his page at DAVID JAMES GANDY. There, he posts tons of pictures, especially recent and past photo shoots and he will often comment or answer questions. He hasn't commented on anything I've said, but I'll keep trying. Here's that link:!/OfficialDavidGandy?fref=ts

And I'll leave you with a photo I recently saw, which I believe was from 2007. Don't know which campaign.

Aside from his god-like looks, I do find David to be interesting, self-depreciating and humorous.  But mostly, he's just an awesome man package!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Release Day: On Thin Ice

I love release day! It's time for Book Two, in the Cold Play series.

Keefe and Evan are back and hotter than ever.

Dr. Keefe Pearson knows what she wants. He’s hot, he’s sexy and he’s available anytime she wants sex and trouble. But what if she wants more?
When things heat up with the discovery of a rare Mayan urn, Evan Jahnning is tasked to retrieve it from the formidable Pearson Institute of Antiquities. A few dead bodies later and Evan is convinced he is doing the right thing—protecting Keefe and keeping the urn safe. Now if he can only prevent Keefe from finding out.
While Evan has Keefe hot and bothered between the sheets, she has her own plan to discover the truth of the elizurn—is it a treasure or does it portend the end of days? There is no convenient time for the truth but one thing is clear. Evan has to keep Keefe safe without committing the ultimate betrayal. Because she’s the one woman he can’t live without.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Writer Friends: Smuggler's Blues by Cindy Jacks

Here it is: Cindy Jacks' Smuggler's Blues, Book Two in the Pirates at Heart series. Available November 16th from Ellora's Cave and other major retailers.

The year is 2017 and all is quiet on the eastern front. Good news for the war-weary Republic of Texas…bad news for weapons smuggling–pirate Captain Brett Logan.

Logan’s been a surly handful since war’s end—not to mention a rather perfunctory lover—and his wife Kate has had about enough. When an illicit business venture falls in his lap, Logan is eager to get back to outrunning and out-gunning the enemy navy.

Kate becomes an unwilling participant in Logan’s criminal enterprise, but in his element of excitement and danger, he’s the roguish daredevil she fell in love with. Their passion for each other burns hotter than ever—spurred on by the thrill of the chase. As she learns more about Logan’s wild side, Kate finds herself craving him body and soul as love, sex and adventure finally rid Logan of those pesky smuggler’s blues.

Copyright © CINDY JACKS, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
The familiar ping of rain falling onto a tin roof startled her. Thunder rumbled, louder this time. The storm had begun.
“What’s wrong?” He tilted her head up to look at him. His brow was furrowed, gaze studying hers. The concern in his expression disarmed her. Heavy raindrops beat a tattoo on the tin roof, adding to her fear and exhaustion.
She shook her head. Everything was wrong.
Seeming to read her mind, he nodded. “Stupid question, huh?”
Kathryn nodded and sighed. She wanted nothing more than to collapse into his arms, to fall into a dreamless sleep until this was all over. But it was nowhere near over. This ordeal continued to get more and more complicated.
Leaning her head against his chest, she listened to his strong heartbeat. “Do you—do you really think Dale killed someone because of my mistake?”
“No, not if he didn’t have to. Have some faith in basic human greed.” He jostled her.
The remark struck her as funny. She gave a weak smile. Maybe Brett was right. Or maybe he was trying to make her feel better.
“I really screwed up.”
“I screwed up. You’re only here because I… I should’ve stayed home when you asked me to pass up this deal.”
Home. It was all that she longed for, but the thought only brought on another wave of anxiety. Her chest grew tight and his words from the night before flooded back. He’d stolen the comfort of home from her too. Silent tears dripped down her cheeks.
“But you’re bored with me.” She huffed.
Lightning flashed outside, the wind picked up force. It swept through the poorly constructed shack, the oil lamp light flickering.
“Kate.” He smoothed her hair and pressed her into a hug. “Kate, I didn’t mean that you bore me.”
“Don’t try to sugarcoat it now.”
Tilting her chin up, he cupped her face in his hands. “I’m not. I bore me when I’m at home. This life—” He motioned to the shelter and the storm outside. “This is all I’ve ever known, and I just don’t know how to entertain myself otherwise.”
“I know I’m busy with the boys.” She went on as if she hadn’t heard what he’d said. “And I’ve never been the kind of woman who gets all dolled up—”
He cut her off with a kiss, his hand sliding around her waist.
“Stop.” She turned away.
Tangling a hand in her hair, he exposed her neck and planted a trail of kisses.
“You are—” He kissed down to her cleavage. “The most exciting woman I’ve ever known.”
His growing erection indicated the truth in his words.
“And that’s saying a lot,” she teased, his affection chasing away her self-doubt little by little.
Her pulse and respiration quickened, her sex grew warm and tight. He slipped a hand beneath her shirt, letting it roam over her bare skin as if it had a mind of its own.
“It’s not every woman who’ll assault me with my own wallet.”
Kathryn chuckled, holding back a squeal as he stroked the ticklish spot at the cleft of her ass.
“We can’t do this here.” She tried to extricate herself from his embrace.
“Why not?” Skimming his lips over her jawline, he pressed her closer.
“Because we’re fugitives.”
Oh God, they were fugitives. Strangers in a strange land. Well, it didn’t seem all that foreign to Brett.
Hand to his chest, she stopped his advances. “I didn’t know you could speak Reformlandish.”
Eyes heavy-lidded, he grinned slowly. “I speak a couple Reformlandish dialects. And Spanish. Some Cajun French.”
She arched an eyebrow, shaking her head. “How is it I didn’t know that?”
“Not much cause to use my language skills around the house.”
“What else don’t I know about you?” She leaned forward, inhaling his musky scent and the sweet whiskey on his breath.
His lips were so close that hers tingled, but he didn’t move for a kiss. Not yet. “I couldn’t say. You’ll just have to find out as we go.”
Running her fingertips up his arm, she imagined the landscape beneath his clothes. Since the day they’d met she’d made a road map of his body in her mind. The tattoos and scars, each ripple of muscle, every freckle, the tantalizing trail of hair that led from his bellybutton down to his cock.
Yes, she knew every inch of him. And she knew just how her body would react to his touch, his scent—her pulse pounding, her pussy swollen and wet. It was all delicious, but predictable. Even the routine they’d gotten into, making love right before bed. The song he’d sing her as she fell asleep.
But here, in the one place she never wanted to find herself again, she’d learned something new about her lover. She’d gotten to see the part of him he kept separate from their comfortable life at home. And though some of it shocked her and threw her off balance, there was something intoxicating about the outlaw whose arms wrapped around her.
Heat flared inside her, licking at her cheeks, her nipples, her sex. She surged forward, kissing him hard, her tongue invading his mouth. Caught off guard, he tumbled backward, chuckling, but spurred her on, his hands stripping off her sweater and shirt.
The cool evening air swirled around her breasts, her nipples drawing painfully tight. He leaned forward, capturing a bud between his teeth and rolling his tongue over it.
She gasped, pleasure rippling through her. Since they’d come ashore, he’d been in command of the situation, never once losing his cool. Now she wanted him in command of her body. She longed for him to tease her, overwhelm her and take her. Own her.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wicked After Dark Blog Hop


We all want a man with the right amount of wicked.

One of my favorite wicked characters is the Merovingian from the Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions. He is this interesting blend of naughty and nerve along with a good dose of humor and a whole lot of power.

So who is Merv? Well, he’s a computer program that controls other computer programs. He is the antithesis of hero – he is out to stop Neo, he is willing to seduce other women while his woman watches and he is unwilling to give up an inch of his domain.

Oh, and he has the MOST fabulous French accent.

“Okay, you have some skill.” Emphasis on “Skeel.”

When Merovingian is on the screen, he must be watched. He compels. He excites. He demands. He makes us laugh. He makes us wish for the same kind of powerful influence.

As a writer, I can only hope that my characters compel in such a way. I read two great quotes recently, one from Lambert Wilson, the actor who played the Merovingian. “He’s the personification of all forms of indulgence in the voluptuousness of life. What he lacks, and therefore what he likes to indulge in, is emotion.”

And the beautiful Monica Bellucci, the actress who played Persephone says, “The Merovingian and Persephone are like vampires in that way. They want to provoke emotion in other people so they can feed on it.”

An apt description of wicked. And if you don’t believe me, here are a few more quotes:

“I love French wine, like I love the French language. I have sampled every language, French is my favorite. Fantastic language. Especially to curse with. It’s like wiping your arse with silk. I love it.”

“What is the reason? Soon the why and the reason are gone and all that matters is the feeling. This is the nature of the universe. We struggle against it, we fight it; but it is of course a lie. Beneath our poised appearance we are completely out of control.”

So here you have my dream character, as wicked characters go.

A few oddities regarding the term MEROVINGIAN.

Interestingly, the true Merovingian were part of a kingdom that included some of France (Gaul.) Legends indicate they were of royal bloodline and were influential in protecting the Holy Grail. There is another persuasion that is convinced the blood-lines of the Anti-Christ will pass through the Merovingian line. Wicked indeed.

Lastly, the Merovingian Knot or as it should rightly be called, the Ediety Knot, is worn by Merv in the movie, if you were eagle-eyed enough to catch it.

Leave your comments below for a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card (delivered electronically) and a digital copy of WICKED LORD. Don't forget your email address.

Your next three blog hop stops are:

Or click the Wicked After Dark Blog Hop link at the top of the page to view all blog hoppers.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

All About Wicked Affairs Four: WICKED SECRETS

I had a blog comment asking about the next in the Wicked Affairs series and promised a post regarding the plot.

For those of you who have read Book Three, Wicked Lord, you'll remember that Edward Chase, Lord Redding, has a sister Alizabet Standifer, Lady Archer. She has been married less than a year to Charles, but alas, there marriage is not made in heaven.

So here is the blurb with which I enticed my publisher, Ellora's Cave.  The title is WICKED SECRETS.

The Earl of Archer, Charles Standifer’s infatuation with his wife has turned into the cold reality of marriage misery. Vows are not so easily broken but when he gives into temptation all the secrets of the past threaten to destroy them and their marriage. He would give anything to have his wife, but she will have none of him.

The reserved and compassionate Alizabet, Lady Archer knows she will never please her husband in ways that matter to men yet she cannot deny the love she has for him in spite of the heartbreaking betrayal.

He has never doubted her affection for him, but that has done nothing to assuage his sexual need. When Charles discovers the revelation of Alizabet’s shocking past, can he be the man and husband she needs? Or will he forever be denied his rights to the alluring yet unattainable woman he calls wife?

So I must warn you now, if you didn't pick it up in the above blurb: There is an affair - a no excuses, out in the open affair. We all know this happens but the real trick is the attempt to redeem the hero. I know some readers think that this is very unheroic to portray such an event but for those who have read the Wicked Affairs series you know that all of the books involve the troubles of marriage. And we know that institution is far from perfect. 

What do you think? Is it impossible to write a true, fulfilling romance when an affair is a large part of the story?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

French Revolution: Bloody Buoy

A new TALES OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION. A book from 1823, Bloody Buoy, talks of the "multitude of acts of HORRID BARBARITY, such as the eye never witnessed, the tongue never expressed or the imagination conceived, until the Commencement of The French Revolution."

Vol III Page 25:
Caption Leroux attests that the murder of the ninety priests was a most wanton act of cruelty, contrary to the professions of the committee itself; for that they were only to be sent, it was said, into perpetual exile. He says he was ordered before the committee, and threatened with imprisonment for having permitted two of them to get on board his vessel.
Captain Boulet, one day, in weighing anchor, saw four or five hundred dead bodies raised up by the cables; and adds that there were on hundred and thirty women confined at Mirabeau, who disappeared all at once.

Vol III Page 113:
The same witness says, I saw a great number of persons conducted from the place of Equality, to be shot at the Mauves. There were women and children of all ages amongst them. My heart could not support this spectacle; I ran home, saddled my horse, and rode to the place of execution. When I arrived the poor creatures were all on their knee, and the soldiers were preparing to fire. I rushed through them, and had the good fortune to save eight of the children, the oldest of which was twelve years of age, the rest were shot with their fathers and mothers.

While I am posting this from the historical perspective, it is a reminder that class warfare has no good end.

Friday, September 7, 2012

New Covers

There is only one thing I like in my in box more than a contract and that is the resulting cover art for a new book.

So, folks, here is what I have coming up in the next several months. Check out these awesome covers for upcoming releases. No dates available yet so just keep a look out at the Ellora's Cave Coming Soon page. And, of course, I will post on Facebook as soon as I hear.

On Thin Ice, Book Two in the Cold Play Series

Courtesan's Passion, Book Two in the Birds of Paradise Series

Wicked Secrets, Book Four in the Wicked Affairs Series

One Last Night, the first of a new series (I hope,) but hasn't been named yet

What do you think?

And I mustn't forget to mention that these covers were all designed by Dar Albert. I LOVE the distinctiveness of themes within each series.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Palenque - Mexican ruins

Saw this at the Cosmic Log website and there is a nice Google map to Palenque and other ruins in Mexico.  I mention this because Palenque is featured in my upcoming book On Thin Ice.

Dr. Keefe Pearson and her team of archaeologists discover an urn at Palenque. Everyone wants it but Keefe is determined to discover the truth - before anymore people die.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On Thin Ice

Woot! First round revisions are done and back to my editor along with the blurb and excerpt.  Yes, release day for On Thin Ice is fast approaching.  This is Book 2 in the COLD PLAY series.

Here's the great cover designed by Dar Albert.

For those of you with a sharp eye, you'll notice the Mexican ruins of Chichen Itza are in the background. In Book 1, you'll remember that Dr. Keefe Pearson is an archaeologist and director of the Pearson Institute of Antiquities.  In this book, her PIA team finds a rare Mayan urn with glyphs that portend the end of days. Trouble starts when former boyfriend Rafe Mederios shows up wanting the urn for himself.

For Evan Jahnning, what follows is a race to find the urn, protect Keefe and make sure his betrayal doesn't completely destroy their relationship.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

David Gandy Genetic Perfection

David is one of my favorite topics - not in the obsessive I have to have him way but in a WOW I can't take my eyes off him way. Do you feel the same? If I look at his features one at a time, I'm not overly impassioned - it just when those features are all on one face, with those blue eyes staring back at me and that brow lowered in dark contemplation that I get all...

You know. I'm a writer and I can't think of the right word. Let's just call it tingly. I wonder if I would go all stupid if I actually met him?

If you haven't had a chance, you ought to visit his blog. He writes amazingly personal accounts of his life especially as it pertains to modeling and his other passions like animals and cars. Here's the link:

And no blog about David is complete without a few yummy photos:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gentleman's Pocket Book of Etiquette


There are a few things that denote the gentleman more than the manner of speaking to a servant; decision without haughtiness, condescension without familiarity, kindness with dignity, will always characterize the address of a gentleman to his dependents.

Never speak superciliously or passionately to a servant; commands given with mildness will be cheerfully obeyed; and especially avoid an imperative style of speaking to the servants of another.  In requesting them to hand you anything, preface the desire with “I will thank you for so and so.” Your tone and manner must indicate that the deference is paid to your sense of propriety, and that the request is to be complied with as a matter of course.

If during a party, your servant is peculiarly awkward, do not scold or speak harshly; but if his conduct requires reproof, reserve it to a more convenient opportunity.

Servants should wait at table in white gloves.

Hiring Servants

Lady's Maid

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Courtesan's Passion

Great news! The second book in the purchased woman series is titled "Courtesan's Passion."

This is the story of the depraved Lord Dane, first introduced in the novella, Another Lover. This is a full length novel instead, as Dane is a dark and complicated character who is daunted by the light of his new courtesan, Christina Turnbow.

Dane capitalizes on Christina's desperation, turning a single opportunity into a chance to have the beautiful but reluctant woman who fascinates him. He is willing to go to any lengths to keep her when all she wishes is to protect her family from financial ruin.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Etiquette for Gentlemen 1840 England: Dueling

I really do need to write a novel with a smashing duel scene!

Page 73:
It has been suggested to me that as Duel is essentially a matter of Etiquette, it should not be unnoticed, and that as ignorance is the parent of mischief, in other cases, it is likely to prove so in this. I am aware, however, that on this subject, so strong is the prejudice of some minds, that is admission to these pages may be condemned. After however maturely weighing the for and against, I have resolved on devoting a chapter thereto, being convinced from much observation and many opportunities, that more meetings arise out of ignorance in this particular than from any other cause. I must now most unqualifiedly protest against the practice of DUEL, even while I fear it cannot be abolished, except by the legislature.

Page 77:
A gentleman is always cool, or rather, never appears in passion in the society of ladies. A man of courage is always collected, and if accustomed to good society will never outrage its feelings, unless brutally attacked; then of course he may be allowed to repel brute force, by the like, the same as he would resist the attack of a highwayman in the presence of ladies, however alarmed they might be; he however who could calmly receive a blow, with the cool determination of clearing the disgrace at the proper opportunity, would undoubtedly the most entitled to the appellation of a perfect gentleman.

Well, more to come later on the proper etiquette or dueling. 

This is all from Wikipedia on some famous British and Irish Duels during the early 19th Century.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wicked Desires Free Ebook through June 3rd


Ellora's Cave is generously offering a two week freebie of my eBook Wicked Desires. This is the first book in the Wicked Affairs series.

This freebie is available between May 21st through June 3rd exclusively at Ellora's Cave. Just click the link below and it's all yours.

Book Two: Wicked Temptation and Book Three: Wicked Lord are also available for purchase.

And if that's not amazing enough, my new release Best Served Cold, a romantic suspense set in Athens, Greece is available on May 23rd at EC or other retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.


This link takes you to my author page, just click the ebook you are interested in.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Best Served Cold

Release day is just around the corner.

I must tell you that Best Served Cold was a labor of love. During the editing process, which were arduous, I explained to my editor that this was the transitional book for me. It was the one, that when I finished, I knew that someday I would be published. Perhaps not this book itself, but it was the first time I'd said, IT IS GOOD.

Strangely, I had this book read and critted by nearly every person I knew AND it has had the toughest editing process of all books I've done. Again, I think it was because I started with one set of skill sets and those skills evolved as I wrote the book.

Yes, this one is an emotional release.

What is better is that Best Served Cold is the first book of seven in the COLD PLAY series.The protagonists in BSC, Evan Jahnning and Dr. Keefe Pearson are the stars in three of the seven. Keefe is an archaeologist and I really want to keep on writing about her. She has been one of my favorite heroines - strong, beautiful, intelligent with a touch of attitude and a whole lot of love for the one man she shouldn't be loving.

Well, I'm looking forward to Wednesday and hearing what you all think of this book and my ability as a romantic suspense author. 

 Isn't this a great cover? The talented Dar Albert just keeps on shattering my expectations.

And some side notes, the next book in the series On Thin Ice has a cover. Check it out. Secondly, the newest m.s. in the Wicked Affairs series, tentatively titled Wicked Secrets is done! Now for some crit/edits and it will be submitted to my editor. More about this book in an upcoming post, but I will tell that I think I have done a credible job of taking an irredeemable hero and turning him into a keeper - and some super-tough subject matter for an erotica.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Best Served Cold Release Day

Are there better words than "Release Day?"

Possibly... Free Chocolate. David Gandy wants me.  You've won the lottery.

Okay, it's not the top thing but it is close.

Yes, folks, release day for Best Served Cold is finally here: May 23, 2012. BSC is the first installment of seven in the Cold Play Series, featuring Dr. Keefe Pearson, the archaeologist heroine, and her cold as ice lover, Evan Jahnning.

Their attraction is immediate, but Keefe suspects his motives. Evan, on the other hand, thinks her bed is the only place he can learn all her secrets.

Can't wait to hear what you think.

It's a cold, hard world. Good thing the heat is on.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Things to do before Doomsday

I thought New Year's resolutions would be a waste of time this year, since a resolution implies that I'll make a firm decision to do something. And well, we all know I won't.  Decision-making is for wimps anyway.

We only have until December 21st to get all of those things done that must get done so it's time to prioritize. Therefore I contemplate the following:

1. Eat more chocolate. There is no reason not to have a strong heart come doomsday.

2. Exercise less. I still have several series to complete on Netflix and exercise would take away from that time.

3. Have lunch with David Gandy. After this momentous event, I might not mind dying anyway. Bring it on, Mayans.

4. Read all of Charles Dickens' works. All of it. As long as I can still watch Netflix.

5. Use the balance of my sick time at EDJ. I have approximately 107 days built up, which if I calculate correctly, means my last day of work will be June 6th. More time for Netflix and Charles Dickens.

6. Finish writing my great American novel. When I'm done I'm going to feel so good because it will never need to be edited! I plan to finish the day before Doomsday so I can twitter about it before the world ends.

7. Sky dive. I will do this right after I finish the novel because if I my 'chute doesn't open, there was only one more day to live anyhow.

8. Finish War and Peace.

9. Reach 5,000 followers on Facebook (or Twitter.) You can help now BTW.

10. Tell everyone I know that I love them. I love you, guys!

And speaking of gods. Doomsday requires plenty of David.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tell A Story Blog Hop

An original short story by Eliza Lloyd

I was arrested, tried and convicted of killing a man I never knew.

The lengthy investigation flamed, stalled, sputtered. My neighbors spoke in whispered concern and outright lies. I listened. I heard. I thought I was aware of every aspect of the inquiry into the double homicide.

A crime of passion was how most people described the troubling episode.

No one paid a bit of attention to me until someone remembered they’d seen me with him.

But I was still surprised when they came for me. A knock on the door. A warrant for my arrest. A phone call. Ridiculously high bail. And then the waiting.

My defense attorney, a bright and shiny advocate fresh from law school, stood by me. He assured me that the jury would never believe I had a thing to do with this murder. He said I had a certain air of innocence and naiveté. My alibi was weak, but then anyone who lived alone would have the same predicament.

The victim was found naked, in bed with a woman of astounding beauty. There was no mistaking the man’s reason for being there. Do I need to mention that she was also naked? And stone-cold dead?

Opportunity? We lived in the same apartment complex. I thought it seemed like a nice place to live when I’d moved in two years ago—close to work, near the mall and my favorite restaurant.

Means? The crime scene photos caused me to turn away. They weren’t gruesome, just passionate. A single shot in the head for her. A single shot through the heart for him. Based on the blood smatterings, they thought he’d been killed after the woman. Perhaps he’d turned to beg mercy from the killer. Perhaps he laughed. Would anyone ever know?

Bang, bang.

Motive? During the trial, they said he was a professional gambler and cheat. They said he used women to get what he wanted. They said I was typical of his victims.

Other photos were displayed. Him with other women. Him without a care.

They said the case was all about him.

The case revolved around circumstantial evidence, and I began to feel relief that the end was in sight. My attorney had thought he was cock of the walk, until two days before the trial ended when a search warrant had turned up the gun used to kill them. Him, really. She was just an afterthought. They’d found the gun where I had hidden it. Inside his casket.

I had worked at the mortuary in charge of his funeral. Possession of the gun would have been something of a problem to explain. My anxiety had fled in a moment of crazed relief as I’d read the clipboard with the duty assignments. After the autopsy, his body had been sent to me.

I don’t know about poetic justice. Perhaps it would have been, had I gotten away with the crime.

Typical of his victims? No. His other victims had let him get away with the swindle and heartbreak. His other victims would quietly nurse their wounded pride while he went about the business of emptying bank accounts, ruining lives and living large on other women’s ignorant generosity.

My grandmother always said we were a family of passionate women.

I found out the night I killed him, she was right.

Even though he was my lover, I never knew him.

Thanks for stopping by TELL A STORY Blog Hop. Don't forget to leave a comment. Here is the link to the rest of the hop participants:

And back to Allison's blog where you can also track through:

Writing Means Editing. Accept It.

The writer's journey is filled with...edits! And everytime I write on the blog, the real decision is whether to post beautiful men or talk about writing. Writing wins this time though I am giving you a David Gandy treat at the end.

Edits. Every writer has them. Every writer handles them differently.

I don’t have a formal procedure for handling edits but I do have a process. It all starts with the writing of the manuscript. I tend to edit as I go, down to the punctuation. I do not like to finish a sentence that is not as polished as it can be. Each sentence has the exact period, quotation marks at the end.

Now, if you were to ask my editor what my main problem is, she would probably tell you that it is the comma. She wouldn’t like the comma I used after the word now. Some of this is house style, but I haven’t gotten used to it. Yet.

Descriptive tags at the end of my sentence don’t exist. If I write ten tags during the writing of a manuscript, I would be surprised. I tend to avoid them all together. I think the dialogue is much snappier without any sort of identifier. If it is a long conversation, I will include a “he said” in the middle of it as a reminder of who is talking and to keep the reader focused.

One of my favorite examples of a descriptive tag is used by Ken Follett who wrote Pillars of the Earth. In this monster novel, he used this phrase twice and it jumped and screamed at me both times.

…” she said techily.

I had to look it up! It means: peevishly, fretfully, irritably.

I also pay particular attention to the end of my sentences, paragraphs and scenes. I do not like pronouns at the end of a sentence. “He didn’t mean anything to her.” Well, if you are in “her” POV, why include it?
Do you see that “it” I just wrote? I hate ending sentences with it. There I did it again. Why not turn that boring old phrase by transforming the “it?”

For example, “I hate ending sentences with the most boring and trite of all phrases.” I love the amp factor that replacement words can provide.

Once I’m done writing, another of my secrets is to add one more sentence to each page of my manuscript only it must be an emotional sentence – something that adds feeling and depth to my characters. Well, I’m not saying it works, just something I do during the editing process.

Oh, and I just thought of something else my editor would probably chide me for. The echo. I am stunned by the number of times I will reuse the same word within close proximity. It must be a brain function. A phrase may get locked in your brain as you write and then it’s the first one you grab when you need another quick word. Surely, there is a study that helps explain this phenomenon.

Having a clean first draft is the most important reward I can give myself as an author.

Well, happy writing folks.

And for those of you who made it to the end, check out your reward below – the beautiful David Gandy.

And my next two book covers... What do you think?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Words With Editor

Here's a silly post.

I played Words With Friends today - with my editor! She spanked me, but I must say it does give me even more confidence in my editor's abilities. There is something comforting about knowing the person who is evaluating your work has a strong command of the written word!

Here's the end puzzle. She killed me at the end with AFOOT and GAMINE when I was sitting with a tray full of vowels! Rematch.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

David Gandy! Our champion.

Don't miss this great video of David Gandy,
 Ambassador to the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

I like cats myself. You've heard the saying, "Women and cats will do as they please; men and dogs should relax and get used to it."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Favorite Historical Movies

I love movies. If it's a cold or wet or tired day, a movie usually means complete relaxation and no guilt about doing nothing.
I have a passel of films I call "my favorites." I will watch them repeatedly and mindlessly. I wouldn't say I know all the lines, but many of them.

So let's look at the list in what we'll call "period movies."

10. Tristan and Isolde (Franco)
9. Moll Flanders (Freeman/Wright)
8. Rob Roy (Neeson)
7. The Count of Monte Cristo (Caviezel)
6. The Gladiator (Crowe)
5. Braveheart (Gibson)
4. Man in the Iron Mask (DiCaprio)
3. Tangled (Disney cartoon)
2. Ladyhawke (Hauer/Pfieffer)
1. Pride and Prejudice (Knightly/McFadden)

I would also classify several cable series in this group: Rome, The Tudor's, Spartacus. And yes, the movie Tangled. I think it is by far one of the best Disney classics.

Tell me what you think. I'd be interested in hearing about your favorites or hidden gems.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Napoleon Bonaparte

The French Revolution gave rise to its most famous son, Napoleon Bonaparte. He and Josephine were married today in history, in the year 1796. Two days after he married, he left Paris, taking charge of the French Army. He led the successful invasion of Italy.

From Wiki: "Napoleon was born in Corsica to parents of noble Genoese ancestry, and trained as an artillery officer in mainland France. He rose to prominence under the French First Republic and led successful campaigns against the First and Second Coalitions arrayed against France. In 1799, he staged a coup d'état and installed himself as First Consul; five years later the French Senate proclaimed him emperor. In the first decade of the 19th century, the French Empire under Napoleon engaged in a series of conflicts—the Napoleonic Wars—involving every major European power."

I had always believed they had some great love. Apparently, not so.

More from Wiki:
"Napoleon married Joséphine de Beauharnais in 1796, when he was 26; she was a 32-year-old widow whose first husband had been executed during the Revolution. Until she met Bonaparte, she had been known as 'Rose', a name which he disliked. He called her 'Joséphine' instead, and she went by this name henceforth. Bonaparte often sent her love letters while on his campaigns. He formally adopted her son Eugène and cousin Stéphanie and arranged dynastic marriages for them. Joséphine had her daughter Hortense marry Napoleon's brother Louis.
Joséphine had lovers, including a Hussar lieutenant, Hippolyte Charles, during Napoleon's Italian campaign. Napoleon learnt the full extent of her affair with Charles while in Egypt, and a letter he wrote to his brother Joseph regarding the subject was intercepted by the British. The letter appeared in the London and Paris presses, much to Napoleon's embarrassment. Napoleon had his own affairs too: during the Egyptian campaign he took Pauline Bellisle Foures, the wife of a junior officer, as his mistress. She became known as Cleopatra after the Ancient Egyptian ruler.
While Napoleon's mistresses had children by him, Joséphine did not produce an heir, possibly because of either the stresses of her imprisonment during the Reign of Terror or an abortion she may have had in her 20s. Napoleon ultimately chose divorce so he could remarry in search of an heir. In March 1810, he married Marie Louise, Archduchess of Austria, and a great niece of Marie Antoinette by proxy; thus he had married into a German royal and imperial family.
They remained married until his death, though she did not join him in exile on Elba and thereafter never saw her husband again. The couple had one child, Napoleon Francis Joseph Charles (1811–1832), known from birth as the King of Rome. He became Napoleon II in 1814 and reigned for only two weeks. He was awarded the title of the Duke of Reichstadt in 1818 and died of tuberculosis aged 21, with no children."

Since my illusions are now crushed, I will have to find a new evil dictator to admire.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tales of the French Revolution

A book from 1823, Bloody Buoy, talks of the "multitude of acts of HORRID BARBARITY, such as the eye never witnessed, the tongue never expressed or the imagination conceived, until the Commencement of The French Revolution."

Here is one short story: "In the same town, and on the same day, the ax was suspended on over the head of Mr. Teron, when the revolutionist bethought them that he had a son. This son was about ten years of age and in order to enjoy the father's torments and the child's tears both a a time, he was brought to the place of execution. His tears and cries gave a relish to the ferocious banquet. After tiring themselves with the spectacle, they put the father to death before the eyes of the child, whom they besmeared with his blood."

And another: "Two women, who had persisted in asking the life of their husbands, were tied, during six hours, to the posts of the guillotine. Their own husbands were executed before their eyes, and their blood sprinkled over them."

I had never considered writing a story set in this time period until recently, when I had the idea of a three-generation series, starting during the revolution.

Vive la France.