I’m extending the Mermaid Journal contest through Thursday, because 1) I want to finish packaging previous winners’ gifts for mailing, and 2) I want to begin a contest to help get the word out regarding Her Soul to Keep. I’ll be uploading the story to Kindle, Smashwords, Nook and All Romance today. Hopefully by Thursday, I’ll be able to point you to the book.
In the meantime, here’s an excerpt. Enjoy!
* * * * *
Minutes later, they arrived hand-in-hand and winded at her front door.
Viper cut a quick glance around them, straining for the crunch of footsteps and the beat of a telltale heart. No one lingered in the shadows around them.
Specters from his other life hadn’t followed him here.
Earlier, before he’d stalked her, he’d been careful not to lead anyone else to her door. He’d scrubbed the scent of blood, booze, and cigarettes from his skin and hair, and dressed in freshly laundered clothing. He’d laid down a trail in the opposite direction from her house and backtracked.
No one would ever connect her to him. No one could ever know how precious she was. The seamy underbelly of the dark world he moved inside would never touch her.
He’d sacrificed everything to make sure of that.
Her keys jangled as she clumsily fit one into the lock. “Don’t be expecting too much. I didn’t know I’d bring company back with me tonight.”
The door swung open, and she stepped inside.
Viper followed on her heels, not letting her put space between them. His hands gripped the sides of her hips, and he pushed her deeper inside before kicking the door closed behind them.
Then he pulled her backward, wrapping both arms around her waist and gliding his lips along the top of her shoulder and up her neck, finding the pulse thrumming just beneath the skin.
Her head fell against his shoulder, and his teeth began the slow slide downward. He jerked back his head, trying to get control of himself.
Do you agree? This was the first draft the designer gave me. “Let me know what you don’t like,” she’d said in the email. There wasn’t one thing I didn’t like. The cover captures the tone of the story perfectly. I’m sharing it today to let you know that tomorrow, I’ll be working on uploading the book to Amazon, Nook, All Romance and Smashwords. It will likely take a day or two for the story to be live, but what better things do you have to do than hit the refresh key? 😆
One night of pleasure…
His name is Viper—a dark mysterious enigma who rules the seedy, dangerous vampiric underworld. For one night, he will escape his murky prison and tempt an innocent.
…can last a lifetime…
Beautiful Mariah haunts him. Lures him from his den with a glimpse of his past. One she doesn’t remember. This night, he’ll be her dream lover. He’ll seduce her, make her fall in love with him—then leave her. Again.
Today is THE LAST DAY to enter the Mermaid Journal contest. See last Tuesday’s posting for a picture of the pretty prize!
I’m also blogging at Everything Erotic today. I posted a very long, juicy scene. You won’t want to miss it!
Tonight, I’ll be in live chats at Writerspace. Join me, along with other authors from Ellora’s Cave at 8 PM EST. Then stick around to talk with authors from After Midnight Fantasies at 9 PM EST. Here’s the URL for the chat room: Writerspace Chat Room
Remember! Post a comment and be entered in the Mermaid Journal contest! ~DD
Short but Sexy
The short story is under-rated. When it’s good, it’s really good. A short story can pull you into its world within the first few lines, thrust you through intense drama and then surprise you at the end.
Examples of some hit short stories include Stephen King’s, The Stand, and 1408, both of which were made into hugely successful movies, and Edgar Allen Poe’s, The Pit and the Pendulum.
These days everything seems to want to be long. It’s as if some writers are in competition with each other, trying to see who can write the longest manuscript. But bigger doesn’t always mean better.
As author Mark Twain once famously wrote to his friend, ‘I would have written a shorter letter, but I didn’t have the time.’
In many ways, writing a short story is harder than writing a novel. There isn’t the opportunity to hope the reader falls in love with the characters within a few chapters. Instead, the character must be big enough to be believed in and adored within a few paragraphs. The story needs to have a plot and the characters need to have a past, but this information needs to be filtered in and not simply dumped in one big heap.
Writing erotic short stories is sometimes even harder than writing non-erotic stories. Of course, the sex is important. It has to be smoking hot and it needs to happen within a few pages. However, this doesn’t mean that the story itself should be lost, or that the characters have any less depth or background.
Generally my short stories start with a situation: a woman gets into difficulties while out for a swim in a rough ocean, a man returns to his parents home to find the girl next door is no longer a little girl, a business man is accosted by a hot air hostess while on a long haul flight. Once I’ve got the situation sorted out, then the characters start to build in my mind. I ask myself who they are, what are their likes and dislikes—their favourite foods and music—how do they like to dress? Then I start to look into their past. What has happened in their past to get them into their present situation?
I like to end my stories with a happy-ever-after or a happy-for-now ending, but my favourite type of ending is a twist, something even I didn’t see coming.
The great thing about a short story is that it has such immediate gratification, both for the writer and the reader. There isn’t the six months writing the first draft, followed by another six months of revisions, then another six months of submitting before you even hear something. Writing short stories are fun, and getting the acceptances are even better.
So get writing everyone. Craft your short stories with the love you give your novels, but remember if less has ever been more, it is certainly true in a short!
M.K. Elliott is the author of the bestselling short story collection, Rescued. A British author, she was born in Devon, England, where she now lives with her husband, two young daughters, a crazy Spanish rescue dog and four hens. Though she has a degree in Zoology, her true love has always been writing and she now works as a full time author. M.K. writes everything from contemporary romance to steaming hot erotica, and her love of travel and adventure is her main influence in her stories.
Comment here today to be entered in the Mermaid Journal contest (details in Tuesday’s post)! ~DD
Yeah, the cover’s a little freaky. This story is from very early in my epubbed career, when I was still trying to get my footing writing series. Love Bites came easier than I expected because of Quentin. He appeared as the best friend of my hero in the first My Immortal Knight book and was so arrogant and droll I didn’t want to say goodbye to him. Here’s a snippet from the story when he nearly loses the one thing he can’t live without.
“…congratulations to Ms. Devlin for creating a masterpiece. This story has all the elements that a Gold Star book has in it. The novel has intense suspense that was thrilling and delightful,…” Gold Star Award, Just Erotic Romance
“… LOVE BITES is a delicious, emotional romp of a story, a tale that builds powerfully on the old, often-used love triangle and succeeds beautifully in creating something new and exciting.” Sensual Romance
On the trail of a serial killer, vampire Quentin Albermarle is mistaken for the killer by a police special task force. Once the smoke clears, Quentin finds himself in a delicious position-atop one of the unit’s crack officers, Darcy Henry.
In need of Quentin’s access to the vampire sub-culture, the task force leadership invites Quentin to join the crime unit as a special advisor, much to the chagrin of the men in the unit, and especially, of Darcy.
A no-nonsense cop with no time for romance, Darcy suddenly finds herself embroiled in a steamy love triangle between her mortal partner, Joe, and the handsome vampire. Going from abstinence to wantonness, she is unable to resist the two men’s relentless seduction or her own sensual curiosity about a vampire’s special “kiss”.
When the real killer threatens the life of someone close to her, Darcy makes a choice that forever binds the three of them together.
The radio crackled in Darcy’s ear. “Nicky and his crew just pulled into the marina,” the Captain said from the command post—the team’s van in the parking area. “Remember, we’ll wait to strike until he brings his men in to move the cargo.”
Thank God! She’d been afraid she would disgrace herself. The wait had been interminable. The storm that threatened to break over their heads had whipped up waves in the inlet, setting all the boats tied to the dock bobbing in the water. Her stomach pitched right along with them.
“I’m gonna barf if this doesn’t go down soon,” Phil moaned.
Soft chuckles sounded from seven mikes. Darcy commiserated with Phil. Glad she hadn’t eaten any dinner, she kept silent beside Quentin, nausea roiling in her belly and clammy perspiration breaking on her forehead. This was one stakeout she’d be happy to see the end of. Read the rest of this entry »
Desiree Holt is one of my favorite people. I met her when I lived in South Texas. Her appearance is deceptive. She looks sweet, like everyone’s favorite milk-and-cookies mama—until you get closer and note the maniacal gleam in her eyes.
I met her before she ever published and I had not idea she’d be such a powerhouse! I’m prolific, but she’s a human dynamo—and she just published her 100th book! Give her a warm welcome! ~DD
What do The Kingston Trio, Tex and I have in common?
The Kingston Trio recorded a centuries-old Irish air called The Gypsy Rover, about a whistling gypsy whose music is so seductive that the daughter of the castle’s lord runs from her home, her lover and her upcoming wedding to follow the gypsy rover. Her father “saddles his fastest steed and searches the valleys all over” in order to find her.
Texas is where I live-and breathe—so whenever possible I set my stories here. It seems the perfect backdrop for a story of a runaway bride, a wealthy and powerful rancher and a cowboy minstrel who isn’t quite what he seems. I love the song so much that I just had to write the story—and of course listen to the song while I was writing.
Erin Braddock, daughter of wealthy and powerful rancher Rance Braddock, has been to hell and back. So has wandering cowboy minstrel Grady Sinclair. But the moment they meet chemistry ignites between them, erasing everything else. The sex is scorching, explosive, addictive. They can’t get enough each other. The same talented fingers that coax seductive music from his guitar coax powerful orgasms from her body. Seduced by his music as well as the sinfully sexy man himself, Erin runs away with him. Nights she sits in the bar listening to his come-to-me voice promising her the erotic delights he delivers on when they’re back in their room. But will the past follow them or can they build a future together, in and out of bed?
Gypsy rover come over the hill, down through the valley so shady
He whistled and he sang til the greenwoods rang and he won the heart of a lady
Erin Braddock slipped into the dark bar through the back door, squinty against the darkness and found her way to a tiny booth in the corner. The area was so small a second person would be hard pressed to find room in the space but that suited her just fine. She hadn’t come here looking for company. Unless it was the cowboy up on the postage stamp sized stage, alone in the spotlight with his guitar and his smoky voice. Ebony black hair curled down to the nape of his neck and a work shirt and worn jeans clung to his lean body like a second skin. The muscles in his arm flexed as he picked at the strings of the guitar, coaxing a tune from it. Read the rest of this entry »
Remember reader “MC” from Tuesday’s post? She sent me this. Completely made my day.
Oh…my…god, what can we say
Boy-oh-boy, you sure made our day!!
We read your blog, and now do believe
You are who you are, but there is still no reprieve
Say what you must, but we know you’re the best
Your writing is divine, you surpass the rest
Delilah dear Delilah, your fans we all wait
With bated breath and a hunger, only you can sate
Look at your plan and do what you must
But please write the books, that are filled with such lust
Long or short, we will accept what you do
Because if we don’t get a book, it would make us all blue
Your devoted fans that is us, and this is our prayer
To read your next book, which you do with such flair
Is that not the cutest thing? I’ll keep her on speed-dial for the next time I need help with a spell!
In the meantime, it’s nuts out there isn’t it? Earthquakes, tornadoes, raging rivers, controlled floods… Watched a movie last night, The Final Storm, a sort of End of Days tale about a troubled farm family, so isolated they couldn’t figure out what was happening around them until the stars began to wink out, one by one, and the next Big Bang exploded. Exciting times. I hope none of you reading this have had to leave your homes to move out of the way of the water.
* I’m also blogging at Wild & Wicked Cowboys. Click in the link and come see the yummy photo I posted!
* The Mermaid Journal contest continues. Any comment you make today here and on W&WC, will count in the drawing!
The Mermaid Journal contest continues! Post a comment today for another chance to win! ~DD
Thanks so much for having me, Delilah!
My May release Past Midnight is the first book in my sexy new DeKnight Trilogy from Berkley Heat. It’s the emotional tale of a couple who had the perfect life until they lost their son, and their struggle to find each other again. Here’s a brief blurb.
A devastating blow rocked Erin and Dominic DeKnight’s marriage, and now only extreme sexual games can soothe their emotional pain. But their most daring erotic adventure is just ahead, and it could ultimately destroy everything they hoped to save.
When I tell people that I do research for my erotic romances, they always think I mean sex research! No! I have a very vivid imagination for that. Though I write contemporary erotic romance, my characters can’t be having sex all the time. There’s got to be a story, too! My editor loves what she calls my “business” books. I’m an accountant by training, and I spent 20 years working in Silicon Valley, so I love incorporating that business world into my stories (see, there is more than sex!). The Fortune Hunter trilogy was set in a mining equipment company. And the background for the DeKnight trilogy is a small company which manufactures ultrasonic testing gauges. You see, Erin and Dominic own this firm together. In order to give my readers a real feel, I interviewed my neighbor, Teresa. She and her husband own a company very similar to DeKnight Gauges, Inc. It’s just amazing what ideas come when you simply listen to people talk about what they do. I have to thank Teresa for giving the story direction from the business point of view, helping me add a little corporate intrigue (stolen patents). The other two books in the trilogy will center on two of their employees, one their accountant (or course), and the other a single mother reentering the work world after a divorce.
Research doesn’t stop with the business side of things. I sent Erin and Dominic on a train ride, and in order to get those details correct, I took a trip on Amtrak’s Zephyr from San Francisco to Reno. My family went with me, and we had a great time. I was able to get all the details I needed, including a tour of the sleeping car given to me by a helpful porter.
This past weekend, I went to Las Vegas, again with my family, to research a trip my lovers take in the third book of the DeKnight trilogy, Anything Goes After Hours. My mother said I made her walk 9 miles so I could take photos of the Grand Canal in the Venetian, the indoor Paris cityscape, the Bellagio’s conservatory, and much much more. She drew the line at going on the roller coaster in New York New York, though. We did see “Menopause, The Musical” at the Luxor. Mom adored it!
So just because I write erotic romance, don’t think I skimp on the research! The truth is research actually helps shape the story, taking me in directions I wouldn’t have thought of without it.
Past Midnight is available online and in local your bookstore and also in e-format, Kindle and Nook. Book 2, What Happens After Dark will be out in Nov 2011 and Book 3, Anything Goes After Hours will be coming in April 2012. Don’t miss an excerpt.