I don’t know about you, but for me, the hero makes the book. At the start of Ravished, we get a first glimpse of Dagr, the clan-lord of the Wolfskins, from the eyes of a secondary character. You can read that first full impression, and all of chapter one, if you click on this link. But I wanted to show you another first impression—the one from our heroine’s point of view with the hero acting the barbarian.
Before the siren finished its first warning peal, Honora Turgay rolled to her feet from her bunk and slammed the comm switch on the wall with her palm. “Turk, tell me what’s happening.”
“Captain, we’ve been boarded by Vikings!”
“Pirates?” Her heart stuttered, then pounded hard against her chest. Norse pirates were a scourge on civilian vessels, but hadn’t dared threaten Consortium ships. Her ship couldn’t be the first. She could already hear the scornful whispers: What more would you expect from the daughter of Ahn Turgay?
“Not sure,” Turk said, his voice tight with excitement. “They entered through the hold. No other ships appear in our quadrant.”
“How many?” she bit out, pulling up her deep-space skin-suit and locking the tab at her neck.
“A dozen, no, two! More coming! They’re huge!”
She ignored the edge of awe in his voice. “Keep them from the controls. I’m on my way.” Touching the comm-patch on her collar to activate it, she decided against the additional seconds needed to don the outer layers of her uniform, opting to add only her boots. Time was of the essence. She had to get to the deck.
She slipped a stunner from its wall-mounted holster, then eased open her cabin door and glanced up and down the small private corridor in the left wing of the ship, leading from the officers’ quarters to the bridge.
Finding it empty, she hurried down the corridor to the end and up a narrow, ringed ladder to the hatch that opened directly onto the command deck.
“This can’t be happening,” she muttered under her breath. First the Viking cargo the bounty hunters had gathered, and now Vikings attacking her ship. Definitely not a coincidence.
A bad, bad feeling sat like a lump of the cook’s oatmeal at the bottom of her stomach. I am not my father. This moment will not define me.
Even before she shoved the door upward, she could hear angry shouts and the dull clang of metal. What the fuck kind of weapons were the pirates using?
Honora gripped her stunner tighter, slammed open the small round door, and climbed quickly through the hatch. All around her a pitched battle raged, and no one noticed her. She crouched behind the metal railing dividing the captain’s dais from the rest of the bridge, and edged toward her chair. If only she could get a message out to her command . . .
In five short days, Ravished by a Viking will release. That’s how many days I have to convince you that you want to read this book.
Here’s my first argument. The world building in my book goes deeper than the surface. Every facet of my characters’ lives has been re-envisioned—beginning with the story of how my Vikings arrived at their present state. I’ve built a legend into my story that will resonate throughout the series.
Every great quest tale ought to have a legend. You remember Buffy’s “There can only be one…”? Or the legend of the Aztec gold for the Pirates of the Caribbean?
When I started dreaming up how I could make my “Vikings in Space” world less ridiculous than it sounded, I knew the key was in developing a legend that made the concept plausible. I hit the books. My own personal library books, that is. I read everything I had regarding Viking history and mythology until a history for my Norsemen far from home began to form.
In the dusk of the final age of man, the bravest of warriors fought a fierce battle, joining all the peoples of the northern lands to battle a common foe, sure that the war they waged was Ragnorok—the end of times for all Norsemen. For the gods had come to Midgard, Earth, setting challenges for the warriors and plucking the fiercest, the strongest, and the most prolific breeders to abide with them in the new world where the “Regeneration” would occur. As the fires of the great war died to smoldering embers, The Chosen followed the gods onto the Bifrost, the shimmering bridge leading from Midgard to Asgard where the gods reside, carrying their worldly goods, and bringing their women and their animals to settle the golden world they’d been promised.
But the dreams of a land of endless harvests, green pastures rich enough to sustain them through the ages, gold vessels to sup from, and jewels to adorn their women, proved false. The gods sought to trap the warriors in endless labors, forcing them to burrow under icebound plains in search of “pure light.” Abandoned on their frozen world, the warriors rebelled against their slavery and returned to old habits and old ways, building fortresses of rock and ice. They chased away the gods, but soon they battled each other, raiding to survive, stealing food and women to sustain their endless appetites.
Until the day the gods returned…
~New Icelandic Chronicles
Ragnorok, the Bifrost bridge, and the Regeneration, are all concepts pulled directly from Norse mythology. And I wrote my new legend in the figurative language and tradition of the Icelandic Sagas—as Norsemen might have if they’d been uprooted during the Early Middle Ages, before Christianity arrived. Their history and the stories they’d tell wouldn’t stop when they left Earth. And when you enter the pages, you quickly realize that the men who exist on that new world aren’t as simple as the legend depicts. They may live in a harsh, unforgiving environment, but they aren’t crude or stupid. They are imbued with a sense of destiny. And they know their lives and adventures will be recounted in the old tradition.
Thank you to Delilah for inviting me to pop in today and thanks to all of you for stopping by during what is a very busy holiday season. This year the season has been a bit different for me. While most people are making plans for New Years Eve and penning their soon to be broken resolutions for 2011, I find myself anticipating something else—the start of a new PBR season (that’s Professional Bull Riders not Pabst Blue Ribbon for you non-fans. LOL)
Perhaps it’s that my Twitter follow list over the past year has become filled with bull riders, stock contractors, ropin’ rodeo cowboys, and fellow cowboy-lovers from all over the world. And in this world, which a few years ago was quite foreign to a New York girl like me, we (me included) are counting down not to New Years, but instead to the opening day of the 2011 season which kicks off at Madison Square Garden in NYC on Friday, January 7th. I’ve got my tickets and am waiting as anxiously as the rest.
How did I, a born and bred suburbanite, get hooked on bull riding and cowboys? It started out of necessity. I was writing a book about rodeo cowboys a few years ago and was forced (ha, real hardship there!) to consult with real live cowboys for research as well as watch anything I could find about the sport on TV. It’s apparently addicting, both the cowboys and the sport, and now I’m hooked on both, book research or not. But it’s not just me who is easily addicted. A reviewer recently wrote that reading one of my Studs in Spurs series books made her want to watch bull riding and one of my readers bought tickets to a PBR event after reading my book. The love of cowboys proves universal!
Anyway, Friday night, January 7th, when my friends join me at MSG (they got me and themselves tix as my Christmas gift), we’ll see if I can get them hooked as well. There will be lots of questions because they are more suburban that I—at least I own horses while all they own are prints of horses for their walls—but I’m ready for them. After all these years of research for my bull rider series, I can quote the announcers and analyze the rides with the best of them.
I’ve included a short blurb from my newest bull riding cowboy book. I dare you not to fall in love with him!
Happy New Year and Happy Reading to you all and Let’s Buck!
What happens in Vegas…sometimes follows you home.
Studs in Spurs, Book 3
Pro bull rider Chase Reese knew things move faster than an eight-second ride in Las Vegas. He just never expected to be driving home with a national championship under his belt and a wedding band on his left hand with no clue how it got there.
Yet he can’t complain about the stripper bride beside him. From the moment his buddies bought him a lap dance from her, her trembles told him there was more to her than stiletto heels.
Leesa Santiago has met the perfect guy. Her timing couldn’t be worse though. If it was just their explosive sex, she could walk away. But from the moment her lap dance brought her this close to his baby blues, she was hooked. She can’t lie that she couldn’t be happier to bear his name—or guiltier that she’s using it and his Oklahoma farm to hide out from mob hit men.
That’s before Chase’s family gets involved. And his determination to do the right thing pushes her to do the one thing that will keep him safe. Break his heart.
Do cowboy boots mix with stripper heels? And can a love that started out on the wrong foot end up on the right one? That’s the risk you take waking up in Vegas.
Warning: Contains one happy-ending lap dance that will make you squirm, some pretty hot sex between two strangers who also happen to be married to each other, and a huge surprise conclusion.
Find more information about Cat’s other Studs in Spurs series eBook and paperbacks featuring hot bull riding cowboys at: Cat’s Website and Samhain Publishing
Nothing overly exciting leaks through the sheetrock for me. When I was younger my room was against the living room. I got to listen to episodes of Cheers and Seinfeld when I was supposed to be sleeping. When we moved my only wall share was with the bathroom…. Yeah, a few breaks from Sister through the night (something I could have done without!) was it.
And that’s it. I married and we moved into a rental house. The bedroom was in the back and butted against the laundry room. I got to hear the dryer. *whoo-hoo*. I’ve again moved into a single-wide and let me tell you, the walls are so thin on these puppies I can hear my son playing with cars in his room. On the opposite end of the trailer. Nothing more exciting than that.
I know other people get some pretty cool eavesdropping through their walls. Shortly before my book was to release, I set up an alert for “Through The Wall”. Sixty-plus hits were rolling in everyday. None of those about my book, mind you, but about people just hearing crap through their walls. Sex, TV, some kid’s music practice (eek!), singing (most likely another, eek!), fighting—you name it and somebody somewhere is hearing about it right now.
My heroine, Stephanie, gets some pretty freaking cool eavesdropping. Instead of sleeping, she stays up late and listens to her neighbor’s headboard banging against her bedroom wall. And where there’s headboard knocking, you know there is other awesome stuff to be heard!
What’s the most memorable thing you’ve heard through a wall?
She doesn’t want wild and raunchy, just a little spice…
Stephanie Faulkner listens to her neighbor’s nightly sexcapades through her bedroom wall. What used to make her blush now has her reaching for her vibrator. But she’s had enough self-fulfillment and now wants the real thing.
He wants commitment and long-term, not a quick roll…
The only woman Parker Madison ever wanted for long-term was Stephanie…but she’s off-limits. He’s tried to find a substitute but there just isn’t another woman like her. Now that she’s available, if he gives her time to get over her ex-husband…will he finally get his long-desired chance?
Short-term doesn’t lead to long term. Or does it…?
On January 4th, my attention will be divided between two books—one, my first print title with Berkley, and the other, my next cowboy menage with Samhain. Most of my efforts are going toward the Viking book because I need it to be a success for me to be able to write more stories for Berkley. They are very different books, but both are ones I know you will enjoy. In the next week, I’ll share snippets from the Viking book, so that you will get a flavor of the fun that’s in store for you.
Something to keep in mind… Ravished by a Viking is available for pre-order now and is on sale for $10.20—a savings of $4.80 off the cover price. I don’t know how long that price will hold. If you order now, your card won’t be charged until it ships on the 4th! Ravished at Amazon
So today, is a “Tale of Two Books.” Click on the covers to read the openings for both. Tomorrow and Wednesday, I’ll have guest bloggers sharing this space, but after that, it will be Ravished excerpts up until the day. 🙂
What a Viking wants, a Viking takes.
When his younger brother goes missing, Dagr, Viking warrior and Lord of the Wolfskin Clan, will do whatever it takes to get him back. But nothing could have prepared him for Honora—a feisty, intelligent woman who is nothing like the women of his world—women who are content to serve their men in all things. Drawn to her despite her recalcitrant nature, Dagr is determined to show her who’s boss both in bed and out.
When the two enemies-turned-lovers join forces to find Dagr’s brother they are thrown into a rousing adventure full of danger, intrigue and erotic abandon. Can their passion truly unite them or will their different worlds lead to destruction for them both?
Two men plus one woman equals three bodies on fire…
True Wyatt’s hands are going to be full enough keeping the herd alive through the dead of winter. The last thing he needs to hear is that his brother Lonny has rented out their isolated hunting cabin to a reclusive writer—especially a sassy, disaster-prone brunette. Who has the time to babysit a city girl until Spring?
With a deadline looming, erotica writer Honey Cahill is looking forward to six distraction-free weeks to finish her next book. However, between Lonny’s flirty sensuality and True’s hard-edged intensity, the Wyatt brothers set the stage of her imagination for a winter of wicked delights.
The fire that destroys the cabin, though, is as real as it gets. Forced to seek a bed under True and Lonny’s roof, the temptation to experiment—all in the name of research, of course—is overpowering. One night in their arms doesn’t feel like enough; it feels like more. Particularly with one cowboy who fires all her cylinders…
For those who don’t know, my sister and I co-founded a website for writers called Rose’s Colored Glasses. From that site, we run a critique group, issue a quarterly writerly newsletter and provide workshops—some for free and some for pay. In January, we will be leading a month-long online plotting bootcamp. How’s our workshop different from every other one out there? We provide feedback and brainstorming every step of the way. We are so good at it that we have many authors return again and again for help with their new Works-in-Progress.
Here’s a description of the class. January is a great time to take on a new challenge and a new book. Join us if you can!
Your DIs (Drill Instructors): Elle James and Delilah Devlin
Dates: January 3—January 30, 2010
Cost: $35.00—cheap, considering everything you get!
What you can look forward to during Plotting Bootcamp?
Learn a methodical approach to harness your creativity in order to produce an in-depth plot for your next novel! Sound scary? It is-when you’re staring at an empty page without a compass and a map to guide you through the novelistic jungle. Your DIs will lead you through four weeks of activities that will help strengthen your abilities to: capture the conflicts, the major plot line and subplots; deepen your knowledge of your characters; and conceive of and develop an in-depth, by-chapter description of your book. Elle and Delilah will accomplish this with weekly lessons, bi-weekly chats and daily online communication. Be ready for bivouac!
My only Christmas story to date, and of course it’s about a vampire. The short story was written in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina was still weighing heavily on everyone’s mind.
Enjoy the snippet. And Happy Holiday!
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Noelle Moyaux questions her gift of sight until a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger sets her on a path to save his soul.
Magnus Thornton is a millennium-old vampire who has found evidence of an old foe’s evil at work in the demolished city of New Orleans. Weary of the fight, he decides to greet the coming dawn after a night reveling in his favorite things–a bottle of Bordeaux and a willing woman.
Noelle seems the answer, but she quickly creeps into his heart-the vampire, so jaded from life he never speaks, must now persuade Noelle to flee the city before it’s too late.
Noelle Moyaux flicked off the battery-powered Christmas lights that ringed her metal cart, folded her purple tablecloth into a small tidy square and tucked it and the folding table inside the cart before latching the lid closed.
She wheeled the cart across the busy street and waved to her friend Gerard, the owner of a small Cajun restaurant. Continuing around the back of the eatery, she stowed her palmistry kiosk in the storage unit she’d rented from Gerard since before the troubles.
Today’s earnings were slim, despite the unseasonably warm weather that allowed the thin-blooded residents of the city to roam the streets in light jackets. No one believed in a future amid the chaos—and some questioned her ability since she’d received no divination of the coming catastrophe. Indeed, Noelle questioned her gift daily as she sat beneath her umbrella in front of the embroidered cloth advertising “Noelle’s News”.
If not for the little nest egg of money she’d saved from substitute teaching before the flood, she’d be in dire straits.
Clutching her purse close to her side, she headed down the street toward home.
One last night. One last chance to lose myself in The Hunger, a fine glass of wine and the body of a willing woman. Before my last sunrise—the first I will see in nearly a thousand years…
Noelle heard the quiet, fleeting thought as she passed through the crowd ambling along Bourbon Street and spun to find the owner. The inner voice that accompanied the thought was masculine and raspy. Added to the familiar spark of connection when her skin had brushed against his was a wash of the blackest melancholy she’d ever sensed. It nearly drowned her in despair. Read the rest of this entry »