One of the things I love most about reading and writing is the world the story is set it. It doesn’t matter if it is contemporary, historical, paranormal, sci-fi, mystery or any other genre build a world that will make me want more. LOL.
This is what makes some books automatic buys. Yes I love the characters but without the world they inhabit they are just a shell of what they can see. Books with a captivating world will make me want to read more. It’s all about the atmosphere that you set. Let me visualize that I am there in that world. Make me imagine that I am actually walking down the street with your characters.
When I create my own worlds in the books that I write I strive for a feeling. The feelings that will make you want to live in the world I created. There are so many intricacies to building a world. You have to engage all the senses. The sounds you hear, scents that make the place familiar, sights that you see, the feel of the place, and the taste of its local cuisine. Once these are engaged it brings richness to the world.
When I build series, I use many factors to create it. I take many parts of history, folklore and other interesting tidbits to create the world of a story. In writing the books, I sink into the myths that I was creating. It’s fun to bring in various things I find fascinating into my writing. When I build, I reveal brick by brick and layer by layer. There are so many beings and things in that world to explore. As I write each book, I have a wonderful time laying down the layers of the world and going on each adventure. The mythology of the world grows with each book.
Whenever I write a new book in any of my series ranging from contemporary to paranormal I’m excited to see where I go next. I get to push boundaries of belief and bring the reader into the journey of the story. Each journey will be a thrill ride as we get to know more of the world I’ve created. I’m having a great time being a World Builder.
Taige Crenshaw is a multi-published author with books available at Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Liquid Silver Books, Loose Id, and Totally Bound. Taige has been enthralled with the written word from time she picked up her first book. It wasn’t long before she started to make up her own tales of romance. With novels set in today, in alternate dimensions, or in the future she writes with adventure, fun sassy heroine’s, and sexy hero’s. Always hard at work creating new and exciting places Taige can be found curled up with a hot novel with exciting characters when she is not creating her own. Join her in the fun, frolic, interesting people and far reaches of the world in her novels. You can find out more about Taige at:
In this world when there are things that cannot be contained by humanities law.
When beings outside the scope of what humans can imagine decide to commit crimes, that are not only against the supernatural order but could effect the very humanity itself, who handles them? There is one place that stands between the human race and things that not only go bump in the night but make you even when you are awake be living in a nightmare.
For the agents of the secret agency sanctioned by the supernatural government it is a thin line between them and chaos. There are only a select few of the human race, which are in the ‘need to know’ category—not even the President of the United States is on that list. A PIA agent is equipped to handle whatever is needed of them. As they fight to keep the world from harm they find common alliances and enemies—new and old—who could even be a friend or family. Finding who to trust is a complicated thing. It can mean death or life.
For the agents fighting to keep the things we rather not know about at bay they will find themselves seduced by the most powerful of weapons—desire. Even as they work to keep our existence going these agents may find what comes beyond the initial uncontrollable passion. With their very breath, each beat of their heart and within their soul they will be reborn by love. Come inside and be embraced by the seductive power of the Phoenix Intelligence Agency.
Yes, I’m already looking past December to the New Year. I have the whole month of December to review my 2014 plan and figure out what the heck happened. There were projects I was forced to drop for personal reasons—illness being the main reason, lack of scheduled downtime the other. I don’t want a repeat of 2014. I want 2015 to be completely positive, maybe even a change of direction.
December 7-13, I’ll be running a planning workshop entitled “How to Write 50 Books a Year” through Roses Colored Glasses (ignore the dates listed on the page. Sis hasn’t updated and she’s on vacation at the moment. Use the link anyway to join the yahoo group!), and I want to be ready to work on my own plan while I lead other writers through the process. (BTW, the workshop is completely free, so if you’d like to plan your year along with a group of like-minded writers, please join us!)
Anyway, I am doing some pre-planning brainstorming. Not so much targeted toward specific projects (although that will be the next step), but a more generalized view of the year. I’ve been collecting Mind-Mapping and Vision Board tools on Pinterest and think I’d like to create a visual to list my goals/priorities for 2015. Something that might look like this (I found this on Pinterest, which led me to a website called Jenny’s Sketchbook where she talks about building this mind-map)…
Maybe on mine, I’ll add things like:
Revamp my writing process
See that last step? I think that’s what’s missing from my process. Oh, and the plotting part, because I’m such a pantser, but I think the lack of plotting really took a bite out of the time I scheduled to actually write the books. So it needs to be there, and I need to get serious about doing it!
I’ll add some personal goals like “family time” activities or trips and adding exercise to my plan. I won’t plan on adding the “D” word (diet) to the map because I’ve had diet on my New Years Resolution list for years and it’s the first thing I always fail. So the D word does not make it to the map!
What else should I add? Some financial goal? Some organizational goal? Something targeted to my Etsy store, The Emerald Casket? I would like an offshoot circle for possible writing projects, maybe a brainstormed series list. Any suggestions for what I should jot down as possibilities? Any old favorites or new ideas?
Also, if you’d like to do something like this for yourself, whether you’re a writer prepping for “Write 50 Books a Year” planning or just a goal-minded person who loves the bright shiny possibilities of starting over in the New Year, be sure to share your map. Send me a pic, or a link to your map on Pinterest. If enough folks share, I’ll devote blog space or a Pinterest board to your efforts. 🙂
I’m definitely getting coal in my stocking this year. Yeah, it’s true. I try so hard to be good. I really do! But I have a demon sitting on one shoulder and she’s so much more fun than the angel on my other shoulder. What’s that? You don’t believe me? (Apparently you’ve never read one of my books!)
For you doubters, here’s a laundry list of my sins:
I torture my characters. Yeah, I really do. It’s part of my job. And to make things even worse, I enjoy it! LOL
I write dirty books. Yup, my characters are nice people but they’re always doing dirty (yummy) things. I don’t know how that happens. I really don’t.
When I’m in thrall to one of my stories, I sometimes go weeks without cleaning my house. I usually give in about the time fist-sized fur tumbleweeds skim across my floors when I walk through. (That doesn’t take as long as you might think, since I have 13 dogs!)
I corrupt others. I not only write dirty books, I entice others to read them. (cue evil grin and waggling eyebrows). In fact, I work really hard at enticing others into debauchery with me. You should try it, it’s fun and burns calories!
I’m totally, completely unrepentant. I’ll do it all over again next year. In fact I might double down on it. Because it’s how I roll. #:0)
Yeah, there’s a lump of coal in my future. Probably lots of them. But I look at it this way, diamonds come from carbon (as does coal). My lump isn’t really coal at all. It’s just a 10 karat diamond in its nascent form. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!
Merry Christmas everybody!
He just wants her to take life a little more seriously. She’s decided he could have a point. Especially now that somebody wants her dead.
Dolfe Honeybun broke up with Blaise Runa because her party girl ways were driving him to distraction. Unfortunately, out of sight does NOT mean out of mind. And when his favorite party girl sees something she shouldn’t and finds herself being chased by a cold blooded killer… reason shuts down and Dolfe’s heart takes over. If only he can get to her in time!
Dolfe’s head jerked off the pillow, groggy from an unusually deep sleep. His heart pounded as he reached over and shut off the phone. Cursing Blaise. The ringtone had been her idea. She’d told him, grinning, that it would remind him of her every time it rang. Dolfe silently berated himself for not changing it to something mature and soothing.
She’d been right. The tone did remind him of her…of the lush firmness of her perfect backside…the velvet feel of her skin…the sensual tang of her delicious scent.
God knew he didn’t need any more reminders of Blaise. Her essence was infused in every fabric in his home. Her presence saturated every cell of his existence. A battered paperback behind the sofa cushions…a bottle of siren red nail polish shoved to the back of his medicine cabinet.
She was everywhere.
Dolfe had thought breaking up with her would be enough to exorcise her from his life.
What an idiot he’d been.
He opened his eyes and squinted at the clock. Three flippin’ AM. He groaned, flopping back to the pillow and closed his eyes, determined to ignore whoever the asswipe was who thought it was a good idea to call him in the middle of the night.
For a brief, enticing moment he thought he might be able to do it. Go back to sleep. His muscles softened…his thoughts clouded… He took a deep breath, expelling it softly…
I like big butts and I cannot lie…
Dolfe growled his frustration and grabbed the cell, stabbing at the button to answer it. “This better be fucking good.”
Silence met his growled, less than friendly greeting. No. That wasn’t completely right. If he listened carefully he could hear breathing, soft and staccato. “Who’s there?”
A tiny squeak. Panic swirled through Dolfe. “Blaise? Is that you? I’m sorry, honey. You woke me up. What’s wrong?” He didn’t know how he knew it was her. He just did, in that instinctive, age-old way of lovers who’d been, even for a short time, totally in tune with each other.
“He killed her.”
The simple statement, thick with tears, ripped through whatever grogginess Dolfe might still be feeling and tore him from the bed. He was reaching for his jeans even as he spoke again. “Who killed who, honey. Tell me you’re all right. Let’s start with that. I need to know right now that you’re okay.”
She pulled air into her lungs in a shaky breath. “I’m okay. But…” Another squeak, “He saw me, Dolfe. He’s coming after me.”
Dolfe scrubbed a hand over his face. “Shit. Okay, honey, listen to me. Get someplace public. A busy restaurant or something. Sit down at a table facing the door and wait for me. Watch for me. I can be there in minutes. Just tell me where you are.”
A soft sob, the sound of the phone dropping, crashing against something.
USA Today Bestselling Author Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.
If you haven’t already connected, Sam would love it if you Liked/Followed her wherever you enjoy hanging out online. Here are her online haunts:
For you Americans out there, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’re spending the day with family and aren’t stuck in some airport. I’ll be sitting down to the table with mine and giving thanks for all my blessings. Now, on to our regularly scheduled program… 🙂
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3 Reasons to Let an Aircraft Mechanic Turn Your Wrench
Nothing is sexier than a book boyfriend who lives to keep others safe. Firefighters, military men, and police officers fill the romance genre—and for good reason. Aircraft mechanics don’t garner a lot of page time. Maybe it’s because the job isn’t glamorous or even one people care to think about. Mechanics are the grease-smudged faces behind the curtain, the unseen force keeping you in the air. Being married to one myself, I’ve seen every side of these mysterious men. Here are a few of the perks of the breed.
#3 Cocky calm.
Aircraft mechanics are a little like cardiologists. I’ve yet to meet one who wasn’t cocky as all get out, at least when it came to his job. On any given day these mechanics are responsible for the safety of hundreds or even thousands of people. No room for the wishy-washy in a field like that. And no matter how comfortable you are with the miracle of flight, when you’re cruising along at four hundred miles per hour and the airplane makes one of those godawful metal-grinding noises, it’s nice to have your man squeeze your hand and assure you that there will be no fiery death today. The phalange needs oiled, that’s all. On more than one occasion my husband even fixed the plane we were flying on before departure, saving us from a lengthy delay. If that’s not sexy, I don’t know what is.
#2 Joining the Mile High Club doesn’t necessarily involve a cramped lavatory.
Making love at 32,000 feet can be a beautiful thing. Yet every time I’m forced to step foot in one of those germ-ridden closets being passed off as a bathroom, I’m amazed anew that there even is a Mile High Club.
But fear not, amorous adventurers, I have two words for you: ferry flight. This is usually a short flight used to relocate an airplane. Say a plane lands in Cincinnati, Ohio, but needs to go to the airline’s base in Columbus for more extensive maintenance. A barebones crew then flies the jet to Columbus without paying passengers. The captain may permit certain people, such as a mechanic and his guest who are trying to get to Columbus to remain onboard.
The atmosphere on a ferry flight is completely different. No passengers to appease, fewer regulations to follow. The crew is at the end of a long day, most likely in the mood to either joke around or simply fly in peaceful silence. With the latter you and your mechanic are left to entertain yourselves. Hmm . . . All those empty seats and a flight attendant who’s only too happy to leave you alone. What’s a girl to do?
Which leads us to . . .
#1 He knows how to use his equipment.
There is no engine too complex, no G-spot too elusive for a man who knows how to use his quick mind and strong, calloused hands—and all other tools at his disposal. Le sigh.
Eva Siedler was born in Columbus, Ohio to parents who enjoy the kind of epic love most people only read about. She didn’t inhale books or scribble stories in a notebook during study hall. Because writing necessitated reading. And she HATED reading. Every paragraph was a battle, and she couldn’t seem to stay awake through the first ten pages. It wasn’t until her own love story unfolded and a colicky baby started keeping her up at night that Eva discovered what good fiction can do for the soul. Writing wasn’t the path she imagined. It’s the path she was born for, and so much better than she could have dreamed.
Coastal Airlines mechanic Sebastian Brisbane is on his way to Las Vegas to fix a broken jet. But after one look at his sexy, travel-sized seatmate, he’s more concerned with revving her engine than fixing the plane’s.
Clara Howe will do anything to fulfill her aunt’s last wishes to have her ashes spread in Vegas. A one-night stand isn’t on the itinerary, but when Clara accidentally pricks Sebastian’s temper, along with his passion, only one thing is certain: It’s bound to be a bumpy ride.
Something I made forever ago, including the refurbished pin.
My daughter decided she wanted to make scarves for her girls. Something handmade. Problem was, she didn’t know how to crochet or knit. I used to crochet way back in the dark ages, but I’ll be the first to admit I was never really any good at it. Didn’t matter. She wanted to learn, we had a space of time where we were alone (pre-holiday sale at her frame shop=tons of dead time), so we bought needles, yarn and settled in.
So after about 4 false starts (she made a crescent rather than a neat straight-across row; I had a section that was knotty or skinny at the end of each row), two customers took pity on us and gave us impromptu lessons. Yeah, we depend on the kindness of strangers—love ’em!
Now we are busily making our first scarves, and she’s much more inspired than I am, but it’s a chance for us to do something together, and now her two girls want to learn. Oy!
I feel very domesticated today. Like I’ve passed on homespun knowledge, inspiring another generation to make handmade things. The girls thought they only wanted to be beaders when they grew up, now they want to “make stuff.” I’ll be sure to post pics of our first efforts on Facebook and Pinterest.
So what about you?
What homespun craft/knowledge do you plan to pass on to the next generation? Or is there a craft you’re dying to learn but haven’t had the time to begin?
Long before romance novelists wrote explicit sex in their novels, women were reading romance. After all, it was the romance stupid. Women wanted to read about the developing relationship and falling in love.
Tiffany Tyer describes four powerful romance novel love scenes in Beyond the Bedroom Door: Most Romantic Love Scenes. She puts it very well when she says, “Romantic love scenes aren’t really about flowery words, soft lighting, or a specific setting. They don’t have to be slow or lengthy. It’s about the connection between the hero and heroine, a relationship that has been carefully crafted to bring the romance to a certain point, where the love scenes become truly memorable.”
In thinking about this blog post, I searched the Internet and found a lengthy, but interesting article in Psychology Today (online). The article, Intimacy: The Art of Relationships by Lori H. Gordon, was published December 31, 1969 – last reviewed on August 30, 2004. The author talks about how our modern culture does not provide our biological need for intimacy.
Ms. Gordon explains, “… our cultural talent for commercialization has separated out sex from intimacy. In fact, intimacy involves both emotional and physical closeness and openness. But we wind up confusing the two and end up feeling betrayed or used when, as often happens, we fail to satisfy our need for closeness in sex.”
That’s why a love scene in a “sweet” romance where the bedroom door closes on the couple can be as emotionally satisfying as the most popular erotic novel. It’s the presence of emotional intimacy that we enjoy reading.
To me, the new standard for a love scene comes from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, a Starz original series. The wedding night between Jamie and Claire was a mixture of sensuality and humor, a sweet and sexy unfolding of their relationship together. If you haven’t seen the Starz version of the book, it’s worth finding a way to view it.
Love scenes work in romance novels when they combine the two types of intimacy—the emotional and the physical. The physical can be explicit or implied, but without emotional intimacy, the love scene will fall flat and fail to satisfy.
Jan Scarbrough is the author of the popular Bluegrass Reunion series, writing heartwarming contemporary romances about family and second chances, and if the plot allows—horses. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books, and the excitement of a horse race or a competitive horse show. A member of Novelist, Inc., Jan has published with Kensington, Five Star, ImaJinn Books, Resplendence Publishing and Turquoise Morning Press.
No one crosses Parker Stuart, caretaker to his family’s thoroughbred racing empire. Parker retaliates against anyone who dares slight him or his blue-blooded British family, especially Regina Ward and her poker-playing father. The previous spring, Reggie had had the nerve to walk out on him after a torrid, three-week affair. Now, when Parker arrives in Kentucky to collect his family’s winnings, he’s determined to settle the score with the lovely Ms. Ward.
Regina Ward doesn’t consider herself a damsel in distress. After all, this is America, and she’s accustomed to depending upon herself. However, when her father loses four of the yearlings from their central Kentucky horse farm in a poker game, Reggie knows it’s up to her to save what’s left of her family’s homestead and her proud Kentucky heritage. Can she do it when Parker Stuart, the most arrogant and infuriating Brit she’s ever met, shows up in the Bluegrass?
Have you ever walked into a room and known you were not alone? Have you ever thought you were by yourself only to catch a movement in the corner of your eye?
Throughout history there have been sightings of the spirits people and animals that have long ago passed away. Every language spoken on earth has a word for ghost and every culture has ghost stories. It is part of the human psyche to both fear and be fascinated by thoughts of the afterlife and those who have gone there before us. There have been opinion polls taken that show approximately one third of the population believe in the existence of ghosts.
People have reported seeing spirits in graveyards, old buildings or any number of outdoor locations. Sightings have been reported ranging from the mere sense of a presence to seeing apparitions of people or animals, sitting, standing or walking about. There are often reports of a mist surrounding these figures and a notable drop in temperature when they are present.
There are many people who actually hunt for ghosts. They call themselves paranormal investigators. These ghost hunters often use electronic equipment to help them find and record spirits. The equipment can range from audio or video recorders to digital thermometers, night vision scopes and EMF meters. The SyFy channel has had a television show for many years called ‘Ghost Hunters’ that follows a team of paranormal investigators to various sights in hopes of finding ghosts.
My debut novel, THE KISS OF A ROSE, is at its heart a ghost story. The chorus of the song, “Kissed by a Rose” sung by Seal was my inspiration to write it. I heard the lyrics of the chorus one day and had a flash of a grave stone partially buried in snow and a blood red rose lying at its base. The rest of the story developed from that point.
Belief in ghosts is a very personal and emotional matter. How among us hasn’t lost a loved one for whom we would give almost anything to see and speak to just one more time.
I believe there are spirits who walk the earth among the living. I have had the experience of being alone in a room and feeling a hand brush my arm. So I ask you, have you ever seen a ghost?
In 1882, Rose Van Buren loved the wrong man and paid for it with her life. Now, more than a century later, the angel Gabriel has granted her another shot at living. In exchange, she must convince a smart, handsome, up-and-coming lawyer to set aside his lofty ambitions.
A FUTURE PRESENT
Stephen Winship is headed straight for the governor’s chair. He has a brilliant career, solid allies, and a seemingly perfect girlfriend. But night after night he finds himself dreaming of a heavenly beauty, a luminous but long-dead girl. Like some altered Ghost of Christmas Past, she shows him her own tragic tale in order to “save him.” And he’s beginning to see Rose is risking her heart as much as baring her soul. Yet falling for her will cost him everything—and open him up to a happiness he never imagined.