Did you know that there are five thousand two hundred and twenty-three common Regency Era first names? Okay, I totally made that up. There are probably more like a couple dozen or so each for both males and females. But why do I care? You see, the thing is, unlike contemporary authors, historical writers have an unwritten code that you need to stay within certain parameters when naming your characters. If you call your heroine Cheryl, for example, the readers (and editors) will be all over you, and rightfully so. You should at least use a name that sounds historical, even if your British readers gnash their teeth at your end result. All you can do is your best. If it sounds too modern then it probably is. I’m pretty sure you won’t find a single Neveah, Caitlyn, or Alexis in any Jane Austen book. It’s a guess, but I’m pretty sure I’m right.
Using Cheryl for a Regency heroine would be like calling a vampire hero, Bob, Fred, or Wally. Those names, though awesome, just don’t have the same punch as Lucian or Dante do when naming a neck-chewing hero. Wally, Lord of the Vampires. Hmmm. You decide.
Then there are terms of endearment. Some affectionate Regency terms are Darling, Dearest, and Love. You won’t hear a historical hero calling his heroine Love Bunny, Snooky Bear, or Sugar Lumps. Again, just a guess. Can you imagine an alpha duke making kissy lips while calling his duchess Snooky Bear? Um, no. Nor can I imagine a duchess calling her duke a Hot Hunk of Burning Love. Though it would be pretty darn funny if she did!
I guess the point I’m trying to get to is that even a secondary character might be a hero or heroine in a future book. So choose their names wisely. When my readers started clambering for a redemption story staring Hortense from book two of my Brides series, I probably should have thought further ahead when I named her. Huh. Do you think I could have gotten away with calling her Sydney?
Notorious bad boy Simon Harrington, third in line for his uncle’s title, has finally conceded to settling down and finding a noble wife. Then he stumbles across a courtesan in peril on a dark London street, and his life takes an unexpected turn. Fearing for her safety, he brings the mysterious beauty to his cousin’s School for Brides, where compromised women are taught how to be suitable wives. But he finds it impossible simply to walk away.
A poor country squire’s daughter, Laura Precott was promised in marriage to the shadowy Earl of Westwick. Instead of making her his wife, however, he betrayed her and forced her to become his mistress. When she learned of his plan to sell her at auction, she fled for her life.
Simon knows he must forget his feelings for such an unsuitable woman or risk disgracing his family. But when Laura’s former lover turns out to have been murdered the very night of her escape, suspicion falls squarely on Laura. Now it is up to Simon to prove her innocence even if it leads to his downfall…
I’ve got TWO CONTESTS starting up today–you don’t want to miss them.
But be sure not to forget the question at the bottom of the page!
First, you want to know who won The Authors After Dark Grab Bagszzz Contest, right? Thanks to everyone who posted over the last couple of weeks! I let the random number generator choose the day and the winners, and here they are: Strohs (Aug 16), Crystal Guidroz (Aug 16), and June (Aug 27). Ladies, congratulations! Now, email me to let me know where I should mail your prizes!
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Hustler Magnets Contest
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I am a collector (hoarder!). One of the things I can’t resist when I’m out and about is magnets! My file cabinet is covered top to bottom in silly magnets. When I was in New Orleans for the Authors After Dark Conference, I think I bought 10!!!! Well, part of my prescribed therapy is to let go of the some of the things I “collect.” See the five magnets lined up in the picture? I picked them up in the Hustler Store on Bourbon Street. I’ll give them away to five lucky winners! But that’s not all… (Now I sound like the OxyClean guy!) I will fill the package your magnets come in with trading cards and a bookmark, and a cute little plastic boxed office kit. So don’t be shy. You know you want it.
What do you have to do to win? Post comments on this blog from now until the contest ends! Each time you post counts as another entry!
This contest ends on September 13th!
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Promo Ho Contest
What can you win? One $25.00 Amazon.com gift certificate, given to a new lucky winner every week of the contest!
What do you have to do to enter? See the covers below? These books are in sore need of online reviews by readers. So I’m offering a tempting bribe. You know there won’t be as many entries for this contest as for the Grab Bag contest, so you stand a better chance of winning! And wouldn’t you like to have some cash to spend on new books? And who knows? Maybe you already have these stories sitting on your TBR pile. Time to move them to the top!
Give an honest review for one of these stories on one of the online bookstores. Send me the link at del…@delilahdevlin.com. It can be the same review on three different sites, but send me three separate messages with the different links. Doesn’t matter if the review is on Samhain’s or Ellora’s Cave’s website, Amazon or Nook—send me the link to the review. Easy as that. Send me the link!
This contest ends September 27!
(Yes, LDTL isn’t out yet, but you can have it on pre-order and get it the moment it’s ready!)
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If any TV show that has been off the air for at least 10 years could have a reunion show, which show’s cast would you like to see back together again?
(Question is from “The Question Guys”)
I’m starting this blog with a confession. I’m writing while impaired. No, not drunk or hung over, though it feels close. I’m goofy from a move which doesn’t seem to end. Three weeks, I’ve been packing and moving, then unpacking, then going back across town to do it again. Somewhere in the shuffle, the cord to my Kindle vanished, lost in the depths of an as yet undiscovered box. This of course means I can’t recharge my beloved Kinny and read. All my print books are still boxed, too. So not only am I exhausted and sore, I’m bookless.
Without books to read, the next best thing for me is usually writing, but with edits due, I have to settle for the not-as-fun fixing on my third angel book. I supposed fixing isn’t so bad. It gives me a chance to visit my characters again. And I do like the characters.
This book marks the first time in the series I’ve dealt strictly with a het couple… which is weirder when you know that when I started the first book, I had no plans to do anything except het. I’d never considered doing m/m in any form. I didn’t read it, didn’t write it, never had it even fleetingly cross my mind. Then boy kissed boy and suddenly I had no idea what I did and didn’t write. Calling me confused would be an understatement.
Well, that unplanned kiss opened me up to reading more than just boy meets girl. I picked up several books with m/m and what do you know, I did like it. I liked it a lot. But I didn’t fall head-first in love with m/m.
My why is pretty simple. I like men who are manly, and there is usually one partner who isn’t. By manly, I don’t mean an alphahole who is overburdened with testosterone. I mean the character comes across as a strong, purely male in thought and action. I’ve never been a fan of the effeminate guy.
When I wrote the second book, I knew going in that it would be an m/m and that both men would be on even ground in size, intelligence, and in in that elusive manliness scale. Equal partners in all ways… well, except one of them was a college professor and the other an angel on a mission from the Most High. That bit kinda blew the curve.
Even though I loved Ren and Adam, I will still say my heart is with het romance. What about you? Do you read gay romances? Do you like m/m, m/f, f/f… or a little bit of everything? What do you like or hate about them?
One lucky commenter will win a copy of Forsaking Eternity, the second book… that’s the m/m one… in the Heavenly Lovers series, now available from Ellora’s Cave. The third book in the series, Embracing Eternity, will be available this fall.
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You can find Voirey online on her website, voireylinger.com, or on Twitter as @voireylinger.
“Is it too bright for you? I can close the blinds if you’d like.” Adam took a stack of books from a battered chair and set them on his overfilled desk. He began shuffling papers, straightening the desk. “I like the light so I keep the blinds up most of the time. Natural light is much better for working, at least it is for me, but if you don’t like it…”
Adam stood still as a statue for a hesitant second. “I’m rambling, aren’t I?”
“Perhaps a little.” Ren ducked his head and smiled.
“Please, make yourself comfortable. I don’t have much time, unfortunately.”
Ren didn’t move. He couldn’t. His feet were firmly planted on those aging boards, held captive by this man, this simple human. After an eternity of living among wonders beyond this or any man’s comprehension, how was it that Adam, in all his base humanity, could fascinate him so?
“I don’t really wish to sit.” He peeked up at Adam and his gaze caught on the expression on the human’s face.
Adam slowly circled the desk once more until he stood close in front of Ren, closer than socially acceptable, closer than comfortable. Something deep in Ren’s chest responded. It pulled at him, tugged him toward Adam until he swayed.
“Why did you come, Renatus?” The words were a whisper, their speaker so close Ren could feel them ghosting over his own lips.
“I wanted to be with you, if only for a few more moments.”
Ren couldn’t say which one of them moved, or if maybe they both had. He just knew that in the next moment his jacket brushed against the tweed of Adam’s, the near-contact of their bodies so overwhelming that he could feel every fiber as they caught and clung. Adam’s breath fell hot and fast against his face. Ren’s lids grew heavy, his head tilted and he began to lean in.
With just a little over a month to go before this call for submissions closes, I thought I’d remind all you authors out there that your stories need to be told! Please pass this along to all your writer friends out there! ~DD
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Sex Objects: Hot He-Man Erotic Romance for Women
Editor: Delilah Devlin
Publisher: Cleis Press in Fall 2013
Deadline: October 1, 2012
SEX OBJECTS: HOT HE-MAN EROTIC ROMANCE FOR WOMENis open to all authors.
Editor Delilah Devlin is looking for hetero “super alpha” stories for a romantic erotica anthology tentatively entitled: SEX OBJECTS: HOT HE-MAN EROTIC ROMANCE FOR WOMEN.
What is it about heroes like Superman, Iron Man or Thor that revs our engines like no other? Is it the suit? The manly physique? Or is it the courage they display, wading in where others fear to go, to save the damsel, the city, the Earth? Well, we don’t want Superman or Thor this go-round! Are there real-life heroes who inspire the same lustful fascination? Kickass iconic heroes who enter danger zones in the name of duty, honor, country—or maybe love—who conjure images of hard, chiseled bodies, deadly glares and camouflaged features?
Sex Objects will seek stories that satisfy the reader who craves the romantic idea of that “super alpha” man. The stories will be contemporary. While traditional themes are likely to be featured, writers are encouraged to imagine greater in order to create tales that, while featuring this iconic hero, may also surprise.
Imagine the Navy SEAL sent on a rescue mission; the damaged Army Ranger home from war; the para rescue team member jumping into frigid waters; a SWAT team member entering a human trafficker’s den… These “super alpha” heroes can be military members and based in far-flung places around the world or the smoke-jumper living next door. Then imagine the romantic possibilities of being held against that massively muscled chest by a man whose mission is to protect and serve…
Published authors with an established “super alpha” world may use that setting for their original short story.
The stories may be as kinky or vanilla as the writer wants—but a deep sensuality should linger in every word. Exotic locations and scenarios are welcome. Keep in mind there must be a romantic element with a happy-for-now or happy-ever-after ending. Strong plots, engaging characters and unique twists are the ultimate goal. Please no reprints. We are seeking original stories.
How to submit: Prepare your 1,500 to 4,500 words story in a double-spaced, Arial, 12 point, black font document with pages numbered (.doc, NOT.docx) OR rich text format. Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch and double space (regular double spacing, do not add extra lines between paragraphs or do any other irregular spacing). US grammar (double quotation marks around dialogue, etc.) is required.
In your document at the top left of the page, include your legal name (and pseudonym if applicable), mailing address, and 50 words or less bio in the third person to email@example.com. If you are using a pseudonym, please provide your real name and pseudonym and make it clear which one you’d like to be credited as. Authors may submit up to 2 stories. Delilah will respond in January 2013. The publisher has final approval over the stories included in the manuscript.
Payment will be $50.00 USD and two copies of the published book upon publication.
About the editor: Ms. Devlin has published over a hundred erotic stories in multiple genres and lengths. Her published print titles include Into the Darkness, Seduced by Darkness, Darkness Burning, Darkness Captured, Down in Texas, Texas Men, Ravished by a Viking, and Enslaved by a Viking. Her short stories are featured in Zane’s Purple Panties, and Cleis Press’s Lesbian Cowboys, Girl Crush, Fairy Tale Lust, Lesbian Lust, Passion, Carnal Machines, Dream Lovers, Lesbian Cops, Best Erotic Romance, and Girl Fever. She is published by Atria/Strebor, Avon, Berkley, Black Lace, Ellora’s Cave, Harlequin, Kensington, Mischief, Running Press and Samhain Publishing. In Fall 2011, she debuted her first anthology with Cleis Press, Girls Who Bite. In Summer 2012, Cleis Press released She Shifters and Cowboy Lust.
Direct any questions you have regarding your story or the submission process to Delilah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gosh, how many times have we all heard that expression? Used in relation to just about everything? And sometimes even about actual books? 🙂 With the explosion of self-publishing, there are a lot of books out there these days and getting your book noticed is becoming more and more difficult, I think. There are also a vast range of covers. Some professionally done and others…not. Some done really well and others…well, not so much O.o. Of course, that’s just my opinion.
I really do buy into the ‘never judge a book by its cover’ sentiment, but the reality is in this climate, a book’s cover has become even more important in the increasingly competitive world of attracting readers. A cover is often the first impression someone has of an author’s work. It has to be eye catching as readers are scanning the many hundreds of books at the online sites or on a bookshelf, give an idea of genre at a single glance, and it has to entice the reader to want to take a second look. And a third. And ultimately buy it. Of course, not all readers buy new authors simply on cover, but I do think for most, it plays into the decision to some degree.
I found several links out there that profess to have the worst covers of all time and I thought I’d share just a few of them:
Did anyone spew anything onto their computer screens looking at some of these LOL? Yes, some of those covers were horrid. And downright terrifying. And yeah…extreme. The thing is, these are more the exception. There are a lot of good covers out there. And many really great ones. As an author who publishes through a publisher, covers are something I have little control over, but I’ve been fortunate so far. I haven’t shuddered at any of my covers—far from it—and I think I really lucked out with my most recent release, Rise of Hope from Carina Press. I do think it’s eye catching with the color scheme, I think it screams ‘paranormal’ and the hero…well, he’s not half bad to look at, right? Some might even say it channels a young Ryan Reynolds. 😉 And of course, I hope that it will be intriguing enough to new-to-me readers that they’ll go that extra step. Perhaps read the blurb. Check out the excerpt and let the writing sway them.
So..what do YOU think? How important are book covers in the buying decision process for you?
I’ll choose a random commenter through Monday 11:59 pm Eastern, to receive a book of their choice from my backlist J.
Kaily Hart, a seemingly straight-laced mother of four, left corporate America and a high-powered, lucrative career to be a stay at home mom. Right…That lasted about four weeks, during which time she realized she had a deeply repressed dream—to write. And (gasp) romance at that! Who knew? By day, Kaily plays conservative wife and soccer mom, but at night crafts hot and steamy tales of romance and love with gorgeous heroes who wouldn’t dream of leaving the toilet set up. Ever. She’s smart and sassy, at least in her own mind, and is creating as many happy ever afters as she can, one hot story at a time. Kaily never would have thought she’d be doing this, but now that she is? Well, you couldn’t pay her enough to do anything else.
Kaily’s books, PICTURE THIS, PAY UP, PLAY ME & POINT BLANK (yeah, she has a thing for book titles that start with ‘P’), are all currently available from Ellora’s Cave. Her latest release RISE OF HOPE, book 1 in the Fabric of Fate series, is now available from Carina Press. You can find out more information about all Kaily’s books here and read more about RISE OF HOPE here.
If anyone would want to contact me (which I would love by the way) or just keep up with what I’m doing, you can find me all over:
Not so much a report card today, but a list of announcements—things you may be interested in, including freebies, contests, and what’s coming…
Look to the left. See the “Subscribe to Blog via Email” notice? I added that in case you’re absent-minded and forget to check out my site every day for new contests, guests, and events. You won’t be spammed if you subscribe. You’ll just get an email showing you what’s on my blog that day.
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Yesterday’s winner of a free download of one of my backlisted Samhain stories is…Becky H! Congrats, Becky, and be sure to email me to arrange delivery of your prize!
I’m August’s Featured Author on the Erotica Readers and Writers Association website!
What does that mean for you? Well, I gave them three short stories to post that you can read for free! Come September 1st, it will be too late! So mosey on over there now and enjoy! Click on the picture for the link!
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The Cowboy Lust Blog Tour
One more blog hop was added to the blog tour. I won’t select winners until the 28th! Click on this link to read about the blog tour, check out the stops and the list of prizes. Don’t miss out! The Cowboy Lust Blog Tour details
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If any of you have read any of my latest releases, all listed below, I would appreciate your help posting reviews for the books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the Samhain website (where appropriate). To help incentivize you into doing it, I’ll be launching a Promo Ho contest on Thursday. So if you’d like to get a jump start, you can send me links to reviews you’ve posted and be entered for a great prize (to be announced!). Here’s the list of what I’ve had come out lately…
I love having guests on my blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed finding new authors here. This week, I have the following authors coming to play:
08/27/12 – Kaily Hart
08/29/12 – Voirey Linger
08/31/12 – Cheyl Ann Smith
Be sure to drop in and see what they’re talking about.
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For you writers…
My sister, Elle James, and I usually provide a free workshop in August called, “Write Fifty Books a Year” and a plotting bootcamp in September. Due to our overbooked work schedules, we’ve decided to slide Write Fifty to December, to help authors get ready for the New Year, and wait to offer another bootcamp until January. So mark your calendars, and if you’re interested in joining us, be sure to check out the Rose’s Colored Glasses website. Space is limited for the bootcamp, so the earlier you sign up, the better!
You know I’m going to tease you right up until release day! If you like my Westerns, you will LOVE this story. And you’ll want Gabe and Tommy’s stories next. So go ahead, don’t fight the urge another day.
Post a comment here today and you’ll be entered to win a free download from my backlisted Samhain books!
Seeking sanctuary could be the hottest mistake she ever made.
The TripleHorn Brand, Book 1
A lifetime ago, Zuri Prescott kicked the dirt off her boots and ditched her small-time small town for the glam city life—and lived to regret it. When she’s framed for a bank job, she lights out for home, seeking refuge with her old high school sweetheart while she figures out her next steps. Only she discovers that the boy she left behind is the last man she should trust.
Sheriff Colt Triplehorn knows trouble when he sees it, especially when it comes in the form of a familiar trespasser, caught naked between an angry bull and her underwear. Sure she’s up to her usual no good, he grants her sanctuary at his ranch—the better to keep an eye on her, and purge her from his system once and for all.
Reconnection is sweet and hot, but the heat can’t hide the truth. When Colt inevitably finds out what Zuri’s running from, it’s too late to put the fire out, and he’s got a career-compromising choice on his hands. Follow the letter of the law, or follow his heart.
Product Warnings: When a sheriff captures the girl who got away, expect revenge so hot it leaves brands on two lonely hearts…
“You still want to stay?”
Her head came up, her gaze clinging to his expression, which was set in firm lines that didn’t give away a thing he was really thinking. “You haven’t changed your mind? Your brothers didn’t talk you out of it? I’m bad news, remember?”
“I don’t answer to them. You willin’ to stay on my terms?”
She shook her head, not understanding him—angry and unbending one moment, offering her a carrot the next. “Why are you doin’ this?”
One side of his sexy mouth curved upward. “I haven’t a clue.”
The screen door creaked opened behind them. They both turned. Gabe gave her a hard, pointed stare, and then turned to Colt. “You have a call. It’s the station.”
Colt sighed and shot her a look that said he wasn’t satisfied, not by a long shot. “We’re not done.” Then he stood and walked back into the house.
Gabe lingered on the porch, standing behind her, making her uncomfortable enough with his silent disapproval that her hackles raised.
She kept her gaze resolutely on the roofs of the outbuildings just beyond the paddock. “You have somethin’ you want to get off your chest?”
“He’s not a kid anymore. He won’t be fooled twice.”
Zuri shook her head and aimed a narrowed glare over her shoulder. “You sound like I did somethin’ to him.”
“Just givin’ you fair warnin’.”
She lifted her shoulders. “I’m not here to start anything with him. I just ran into some trouble and need a place to stay for a couple of days.”