Friday, January 30, 2009

Friends to Lovers to Partners

One of the most treasured love stories is the ones where childhood friends become more. I know I love them. Their history, the whys and what fors of why they never dated, or maybe dated briefly for reasons we can’t wait to find out.

Sometimes I wonder if knowing one another so well hinders or helps along the comfort zone? You know, eliminating the awkward first dates. How nervous you both are and how the conversation may not flow, at first, or not at all.

How’s this scenario?

A boy, and a girl meet as teenagers, in high school, at work. A chemistry of some kind is instant—bantering and flip comments are shared and laughter over it all is under way. The friendly hugs around the neck and noogies, the smacks on the arm, the bottom, and the silly faces, all in harmless flirtation. Then there’s the gravitating toward one another in a crowd at community functions.

Years pass by and nothing changes. She’s dating someone, but still gravitates toward him. She becomes engaged, but accepts a dinner date with him. She buys a case of the wine they had for that one dinner and loved and shares it with him. They simply can’t stay away from one another.

The engagement has dissolved by now.

Another year or two goes by and one night, her birthday, they hook up. That’s it. That’s all it took. They knew at that moment it was there time.

There’s no pretense, there’s no awkwardness. They know one another in all ways that matter.

Can this be the perfect romance? Or have they been cheated out of the ritual of traditional dating?

Romance is subjective, but in this case scenario, I believe the couple is going to have their happily ever after. They were meant to be and this mom has known since they graduated from high school and things didn’t change for them that they were destined.

I’ve been describing a romance I’ve been watching blossom for twelve years. My oldest son, Jon, and his fiancée, Dawn has been walking the path of destiny. This coming September, they will have been officially together three years. They are getting married October 24. I’m going to need some serious something to keep me from becoming a blubbering fool on that day. I suppose I could think about how Jon wanted to do the wedding. He wanted to get married on his Harley.

A week ago today, I went with her, her mom and grandmother, and my mother-in-law to make the final choice on her wedding gown. On the drive home, she told me Jon still had a bottle of the wine from that case she shared with him. A reminder of that first date they had. Neither one of us knew he could be so sentimental.

I’m surrounded by love, romance and many happily ever afters. Is it no wonder I love writing romance?

A hopeless romantic.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Catanetworks award for 'A Secret Treasure'

I'm delighted to say that Ecataromance, the electronic publishing arm of Catanetworks, have given A Secret Treasure one of their Reviewers' Choice Awards for 2008. I'm really pleased with this, because A Secret Treasure is one of my quieter, sweeter stories.

In it I tried to weave a romance appropriate for the 1930s into a story growing out of the real tensions of living on an idyllic island (Rhodes) occupied by a foreign country (Italy). Agatha Christie set a Hercule Poirot whodunit on Rhodes in the same period (Triangle at Rhodes, a short story from 1936).

Details of A Secret Treasure are here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Surprise, Surprise ...a black cat romance

Stop the blogging presses ~ this news just in...
Guess what, the Kougar was just now notified, at her time of 10:57 PM, that her novella, BLACK CAT BEAUTY, is releasing today, Monday, from Liquid Silver Books...purr and roar!!! a big surprise to the core!!!
All I can say is that it must have been a last minute decision, prompted by *I don’t have a darn clue* ~ ‘cause usually there’s a couple of weeks notice before the release of a Liquid Silver title.
Not that I am in any way complaining. Especially since it was a LOVE-ly surprise during a day that definitely had it’s trials.
Romance? You purr...does it stir the heart in this story? Hmmm...probably more passion and erotic naughtiness ensue between these two, Sable Kiki and her hero, Devon Zant. Wait, I stand corrected. Devon romances and woos his Sable with songs in the scene where he is playing with his rock band. He croons his version of THE YEAR OF THE CAT into her little cat ear from afar, a super ability he possesses.
Okay, I admit it, I would feel all mushy and misty inside...and sigh with longing as I envisioned and wrote that scene between them...then again, the same sweet feelings erupted when I did the revisions.
Plus, I cannot tell you how many times I heard that particular song while I was penning Sable and Devon’s love story. And, not because I played it intentionally. Most often I heard it as the bumper music for Coast-to-Coast am, a night time radio talk show which focuses on all things paranormal. It became such an eerie synchronicity I would get goosebumps, and simply shake my head.

BLACK CAT BEAUTY ... she has the claws to prove it ...

Blurb: A private Halloween party in a gothic mansion hidden in the Hollywood Hills. Add one party crasher, Sable Kiki, a naughty black cat with a sexy wild human side.
Her covert assignment from her devious, always-cunning father: use her seductive wiles to find out the truth from Devon Zant, a movie star on the rise to super stardom.
Posing as the superhero actor, Devon Zant, D’Torr has arrived on Earth seeking revenge for the capture of his younger brother, and to assist in stopping a powerful enemy.
The leviathan warfleet of the Altirrux wants rule of all intergalactic trade routes to Earth, endangering the survival of D’Torr’s race, and all the inhabitants of the rare blue jewel, Earth.

Excerpt from Chapter One ~

“Bored.” Sable tossed back her auburn waves of thigh-length hair, sauntering inside the main ballroom of the privately owned gothic mansion.
“Flat.” She wrinkled her nose and wished she could flip her own tail, instead of being stuck with the fake, listless cat tail of her costume. With casual flair, she set the champagne glass on the first passing tray, waiter attached, and kept on gliding into the main party area of the monstrous mansion.
Remembering not to flip her ears in search of Yisbet’s high-pitched signal, a keening sound beyond human hearing, Sable surveyed the Halloween crowd of black cats, and decided Halle Berry’s version of Catwoman won out as the most favored costume, with the Eartha Kitt costumes coming in a close second. If it hadn’t been for the fact that most of those present were humans encased in their second-skin black cat costumes, Sable would have felt right at home.
“Ooooh, Dracula black cat,” she cooed to a tall man who was obviously gay. His gaze slobbered over the boy-toy waiter passing between them. Yet he grinned at her, his fake whiskers at odd angles on his artfully painted face.
Listening for Yisbet, her long-time friend and surveillance partner, Sable wove through the loose crowd of partying black cats, who flirted with the realization that the night was still young, with midnight several hours away.
“Felix, the cat,” she teased with her tone, then tweaked the paunchy man’s black fur cheek. He was one of the few guests with extra love handles showing on his short frame and probably a producer invited to this celebrity shindig.
“Yeah, honey, you got some cat scratch fever for me?” he asked like Mel Brooks. She paused, smiling at his good-natured comeback.
“Wouldn’t want to tangle with your wife. She’s an Amazon compared to me.”
“How’d you know the redhead wearing the cat burglar costume was my wife?”
“Smell.” Gripping the tip of her nose with her thumb and forefinger, she wiggled it in an imitation of Samantha from Bewitched TV fame.
He grinned widely just as Yisbet signaled. Sable gave him a sassy grin, then pivoted toward the long low bar. Elegant and chic in design, it was covered by expensive leather, the red mahogany color stitched in a large diamond design.
Sable smiled at several other men, her natural cat-like grace causing them to stare, even though the curves of her lower half were more generous than was allowed in tinsel-shallow town.
“You’re late to the party.” Yisbet saluted her arrival with a generous-sized gimlet.
“Can’t a black cat have some scary fun on All Hallow’s Eve?” Casually, Sable leaned on her elbow and languorously planted her hip against the bar.
Yisbet stopped mid-sip. “What did you do?”
“Just a ‘little tiny wee’ chase. A four-footed bounce and pounce through the local haunted house.”
Yisbet scowled for an instant. “You’re lucky no one tasered you or hit you with a blast of pepper spray.”
“The kiddies loved it,” Sable defended, grinning. “Most of them cheered when I chased Freddie Krueger. They clapped and hopped, very happy, and were especially excited over my departing finale...” Sable waved away the willowy black cat bartender, who strongly resembled Audrey Hepburn.
“What?” Yisbet reluctantly prompted, rolled her eyes.
“I hissed and spit viciously at them while arching my back. Then I performed the typical cat scream. As bedlam ensued about me, the parents clacking and clucking like hysterical chickens, I bared my scary claws and evilly flattened my ears. Right on cue, I sprang like a panther, straight for Frankenstein’s face. Splat! I hit my target. Sinking my claws into his mask like a wildcat, I clung as he whirled around, grabbing at me.” Sable flipped a triumphant smile. “Quite enjoyable until the sirens yowled in my ears.” Cocking her head, she peered into her friend’s face, then offered a light-hearted grin. “Are you going to report my misbehavin’ antics?”
“You escaped.” Slowly Yisbet returned a wry grin. “Without a scratch. No. Why upset the Council?” She sipped daintily. “Or, more importantly, why upset your father?”
“Duty to the realm ... yes, to please father. Why I’m here. Observe the surface-dwelling humans. I am so bored to tears.”

A Halloween shifter tail just in time for Valentine’s Day...
Sable & Devon invite you to read their love story ~
BLACK CAT BEAUTY ~ purring seduction with cattitude ~ available from Liquid Silver Books ~ ~

May your most romantic dreams come true...


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~ ~

Friday, January 23, 2009

Heroes: masterful but no bullying, please!

I write historical romances, and like my heroes to be strong-minded and powerful. Alpha, yes, but not a bully. For that reason, I give my heroes doubts and 'issues'.

A man who does not listen, who never pities, who treats those around him like dirt, who always orders without explanation, who never allows the heroine an opinion or input - these traits are not attractive to me. In my romances, even in a master-slave relationship, there must be trust and respect. There are good historical reasons to show this: it was rare, but masters and mistresses did sometimes free their slaves and marry them as equals.

I try to show this by humour and tenderness. Lovers or soon-to-be lovers are indulgent to each other and they listen. In this scene from Flavia's Secret, Marcus owns Flavia. He has his own reasons for being uneasy with slavery and although he is masterful, he is never a bully. I love writing bright, caring, passionate women and my little Flavia is a particular favourite of mine. Here she is with Marcus, arguing about what she thinks is right:

Flavia ignored the rest of Dexter's sales patter and focused on the
headstone. The inscription was full of conventional platitudes about
so-and-so being a perfect mother, but with no true sense of the real
woman beyond the centurion's wife. Above the lettering was a carved
figure of a woman seated on a couch, dressed in a fine gown and
jewels and holding a fan.

`Yes, I like the size and the clarity,' Marcus was saying. `The fan's
impressive, too: the way all the folds are shown.'

`Naturally, we would produce the same standard for Lady Valeria's
memorial,' Dexter said, rubbing his hands together as if he was
already scenting a sale.

`Then we are agreed,' Marcus said, nodding approval. `And the price?'

Let it go, Flavia thought, as Marcus squared up to the bearded
sculptor to begin haggling, but she could not. `My lady never used a
fan,' she said.

At her low distinct voice, the two men stopped in mid-bargaining and
stared at her.

`What was that?' Marcus demanded, his eyes narrowing.

Flavia did not know if he was irritated at being interrupted or angry
at being reminded of Lady Valeria's true character, but she
persisted. She loved Marcus, but she had loved her mistress, too, and
to have a memorial that captured so little of that lady—

`You cannot have a headstone showing her with a fan.'

`They are very fashionable,' said Dexter, smoothing a smear of chalk-
dust from his beard.

`Only women of substance are shown with fans.' Marcus took a step
towards her, his jaw clenching ominously. `Would you have your lady
shown as less?'

`I would have her shown as she was,' said Flavia. `She considered
such things—' and here she waved a hand at the carved figure—`as
total frippery. If you must show her with anything, show her with a

`We can do that,' said Dexter rapidly, glancing from Flavia to Marcus.
Marcus was shaking his head. `By Mithras, you're a stubborn wench,'
he growled.

Flavia swallowed but did not budge, or flinch as Marcus stooped
beside her, shading his eyes as he glared at the headstone from her
eye-level. `What fuss,' he muttered.

`Would you be shown with a fan?' Flavia retorted.

The instant she spoke, she bit her lip, not daring to smile, but
Marcus' shoulders shook at her suggestion. `All right!' he exclaimed,
laughing, throwing up his arms. `Let the Lady Valeria be carved
holding a book!'

`And the inscription?' asked Dexter.

`Ask Flavia.' said Marcus laconically, but he was smiling. He
scratched his stubble along the length of his jaw and chin. `You
mentioned wine?'

In this scene, Marcus acknowledges Flavia's reason. He respects it. He changes his mind as a result. That kind of generosity of spirit is what makes a male Alpha to me.

Writing historical romances means that the roles between men and women are often more starkly defined. In a society where men were often armed to the teeth and there were no police, a lone woman could be vulnerable. I explore the romantic and sensual possibilities of this disparate 'power' relationship in my novels, but always in the end it is the lovers themselves who 'win' and who go off in a committed relationship of loving partnership. Sometimes the man 'tales charge' for a space, sometimes the woman. (If you want to see a role reversal involving a warrior woman and a sword, you may be interested in my forthcoming Bronze Lightning.)

I leave you with a scene from my forthcoming medieval historical romance, A Knight's Captive, where the hero Marc acts as a hero should and rescues the heroine, Sunniva:

"Rot in hell and back!" Marc bawled, bringing his sword round in a close, lethal arc that raised sparks on the bastard's belt buckle and rent a bloody welt across his chest. "No sanctuary here - you are dead!"

He stamped on the jerking creature and raised his sword, aiming for the heart, when a low moan beside him had him tumbling to his knees to guard her. At the same instant, her two attackers crawled away, stumbling through the door and out.

Marc let them go. Dropping his sword, he gathered Sunniva into his arms, whispering over and over in Breton, "You are alive. Safe. Safe, my angel. Safe."

He had been so afraid she was harmed that having her trembling but whole beneath his hands was overwhelming. Tears stormed into his eyes, swiftly followed by rage.

Where was her father? Her brothers? Where were the useless escorts, meant to protect?

"Hush, hush," he crooned, rocking her back and forth as he struggled to keep his own grief and anger in check.

He dared not look at her too closely while he had tears in his eyes and looked so unmanned, but the warrior's sense in him told him she was not fatally hurt in the flesh. He could smell no blood or sickness on her and though she shook, she did not grimace or writhe in pain.

The injury to herself, however: her integrity, trust, humor, spirit - Marc furiously blinked away the moisture in his eyes as he prayed that Sunniva would soon recover and forget.

"King Christ, ruler of heaven, let her not be afflicted by night terrors, as my poor Isabella is. Let her know peace."

He should be raising the alarm, since none of the other fools of the pilgrim party seemed to have realized yet that anything was amiss. He should be returning to his own three. In a breath, his memory went back to the fire that had carried off his elder brother Roland and his wife: on that dreadful night he had cradled his niece Alde in his arms, even as he was now clutching Sunniva; he remembered how his and Alde's tears had mingled as they clung to each other.

Sunniva did not cling. She was still too stunned to do anything save take great gasping breaths and shiver. There was a dark, welling bruise on the left side of her cheek and her eye was puckering, threatening to close altogether. Tears had streamed down her face; he saw them glistening near her nose and quivering lips. Such a red, soft mouth -

"Do you hurt anywhere else?" he asked softly, relieved when she shook her head. Longing to wipe away her tears, he held her close.

Best wishes, Lindsay.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Happily... Romance is in the air...

Romance and mushy stuff is in the and pink and white, glittery and lacy and beautiful...I have come to believe this frilly fun is an upliftment of the human heart. Indeed. and softly sighing here, a true celebration of Valentine’s Day is a reminder to our hearts. Yes, romance and love is always in the air...waiting for us, ever available to us...the tender and caring part of our natures.
That’s where us writers of romance novels come into the scene...being extra sensitive to the magical pinkie and red sparkly stuff floating down from the rarified realm of Cupid, and of Venus, or as she’s also known, Aphrodite ~ yes, the sprinkling of love dust secretly inspires our most romantic love scenes *shhhh, don’t tell anyone* ~ also, another little secret straight from Cupid’s bow-shaped mouth, the red sequin-like dust inspires the passionate sexy side of all of us, writer or reader...or red-blooded human.
For now, we won’t get into the subject of dear Cupid's tiny love arrows. However, the color, red...well, read on.
Recently Lexie O’Neill blogged at Title Magic on how red is the color of desire for men, in wearing that curve-enhancing slinky scarlet gown with no back, or wearing that hot little red dress...or is that, a hot little red number? Most women know about tempting men with red instinctively, if not intellectually. Certainly, I have dressed my heroines in red often. In one of my WIP’s ~ the Secret Lives of Fortunate Wolves, the hero adores the heroine in red velvet, and has all sorts of glamor clothing created for her, just for his ‘big bad wolfie’ pleasure.
Yes, I am partial to red, most every shade of red, from a deep ruby blue-red to a flaming, nearly orange red, so naturally the color shows up often in my writing.
In the magickal tradition ~ red is the color of desire.
And since romance is in the air...valentine red, that is... I was inspired to begin this *I don’t know what it is* ... a new WIP, or one of my Serial Flashes... I’m just not sure what, yet. But, take a look...let me know what you think... definitely the spirit of Valentine’s Day is possessing me... or, could it be? Cupid!...where are you?

Romance’s Red Ribbon ~

Light my loin’s fire,
Red is the color of my desire.
Let’s wing our love higher.
Come, take my breast, my Sire.
To ignite my most savage fire,
Taste my nipples to your desire,
Stoke my passions, take me swiftly higher...
Make them red as berries, my Princely Sire....
O, yes, I beg, tease my nether petals to a fierce needy fire
For you, bring me beneath your throbbing blade, soar us both to red’s most blistering desire...

Kyzaira sighed to the depths of her heart, and felt it flutter within her breast. She’d only meant to pen a few lines of fanciful thought. Yet, there it was, her heart and her desire spilled from her red ink pen onto parchment. Disbelievingly, she stared for a moment. How? When had she become so carried away? Some fair time ago, she had settled at her desk for the purpose of sending a message of polite regard, to be handed to the regional Prince, upon his annual arrival to their realm, as was her social duty. Instead, her folly of feeling, her romantic daydreams had won out, upon thinking of the Prince’s bold visage, often compared to the hunting ferocity of a falcon.

May your most romantic dreams come true...

Romance is in the air *kiss* from the Kougar...


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~ ~

Monday, January 19, 2009


There’s a funky glass chandelier hanging above my dining room table. It’s big, it’s bold, and – in my humble opinion, at least – it’s beautiful. We’ve had it for years, so the regular guests of the Prescott household rarely comment on it anymore. But whenever anybody new comes for dinner, you can bet your best knickers my chandelier will come up in the conversation.

You see, this is not your average chandelier, at least, not anymore. I’ve no idea how old it is, but I’m guessing it emerged from an Italian chandelier manufactory about fifty years ago as a respectable, somewhat nondescript light fixture, spending the first forty years of its life illuminating my Great Aunt Nelda’s dinner guests.

And then, one sad day, my Great Aunt Nelda passed away and my parents had to empty her apartment. The chandelier, lackluster with age, laced in disintegrating cobwebs and speckled with fly pooh, was destined for the dumpster when inspiration struck. I retrieved it, wrapped it in a faded, orange and brown tea towel featuring a 1965 calendar on a background of kittens in a basket, and lugged it home, my artistic streak all aglow.

I put it on the kitchen table, pulled on my pink rubber gloves, filled a bucket with warm, soapy water and carefully eradicated all traces of dust and insect depravity. While it dried, I found my glass paints, and then went to work, my enthusiasm growing as the forlorn old chandelier metamorphosed into a multicolored, wild and wacky luminary masterpiece. When my husband came home from work, he was initially a little undecided on the artistic merits of my creation, but soon saw the light. He rolled up his Ralph Lauren sleeves, found his toolkit and hung Great Aunt Nelda’s chandelier above the dining room table. Hooked up to the dimmer switch, its pink, yellow, turquoise, green, red, orange, blue were mesmerizing. I was rather proud of myself!

Needless to say, my mad chandelier doesn’t spark eruptions of applause from everyone who comes to dinner. But it invariably provokes some sort of response, be it a careful comment, a doubtful glance, or a full blown, wine spluttering, “Oh my God, where did you get that kitsch monstrosity from?”. However, most people seem to like it, as a matter of fact I’ve had several commissions from family and friends requesting similar chandeliers for their homes. I transformed a smaller one I found at a flea market for a girlfriend who lives in Ibiza and was ecstatic when it was featured in a famous Spanish magazine devoted to homes and interiors!

My Great Aunt Nelda is probably giggling in her grave because her revamped chandelier also found its way into my romantic comedy, “Mucho Caliente!”. When Gemma, the main character, relinquishes her cheating husband’s divorce settlement and moves to Ibiza, she decides to make a business out of transforming boring old chandeliers into objects of desire in an effort to become financially independent. I’m not sure she’ll make a lot of money out of it, but she’ll definitely have oodles of fun with glass paints, and (hopefully!) stay out of trouble when Latino superstar Emilio Caliente goes on tour.

So the next time you’re pottering around a flea market, keep your eyes skinned for old glass chandeliers. All you need are some glass paints, a couple of paintbrushes, brush cleaning fluid and some old rags. You can add sparkles, sequins, anything at all. It’s easy, inexpensive, ecologically correct, and it’s fun. Who knows, in these somber economic times, cheerfully customized, hand-painted chandeliers might even be a way of earning some extra money!

With love,
Francesca Prescott

"MUCHO CALIENTE! - Wish upon a Latino Superstar"
An effervescent romantic comedy
LASR: "Best Book" / NOR: "Reviewer Top Pick"

Friday, January 16, 2009

Romance Under the Covers and The Work Behind It

Our recent poll results for What Attracts You To A Book gave me pause. Covers were the overwhelming winner. I really expected Happily Ever After to be the winner since it’s been the consensus of all discussions over the last few years.

What do we look for under the cover?

A well written story, of course. We want to meet the characters, love them, hate them, cry over them, root for them and most of all, we want to watch them struggle through their personal issues, the obstacles life puts in front of them and fall in love.

Don’t we authors wish it were so easy? And sometimes it is. Sometimes the story pours from some mystical depth and you feel possessed as I did with Last Glass of Wine. Other times we fight with our characters and ourselves as I’ve been doing with Contemptible Service.

We strive to make the reader feel like they are the character or at least feeling the emotions and the hunger for the outcome to be one that has us going, ‘yes, yes, yes’.

I’m currently finishing up the third book in my Servin’ It Up series. While the characters for the most part are in the food service industry, the stories are all different. This particular one, Contemptible Service is titled appropriately, giving multiple thought processes as to what the storyline might be. While this can be a downfall, I think it can be a pleasant surprise as well. I’ve spent the last several months agonizing over this story. I told my characters off, they told me off. I normally give the characters free reign, but I didn’t want the story to go the way they’ve taken it. I wanted a simple m/f romance with a suspenseful storyline. Jokes on me, but we finally came to a compromise a couple of days ago and now things are hunky dory between us. At least for the moment – we’ll see when I start going back through it tonight.

So, what’s the problem as long as we get a story that meets our expectations of characters we love to hate, root for, cry over and most of all watch them fall in love in spite of it all trials and tribulations to live Happily Ever After?

Plenty, but I’ll wait and let you read the story. I think one of my reviewers nailed me perfectly when he said this about my work. “With Bekki Lynn, you never know what will happen at the end, that’s how I was hooked and I guarantee you will be too.” ~ Mark ~ Book Cove Reviews

In the meantime, I’m looking for just the right cover. I want to catch the eye, but most importantly I want browsers to eye the cover and know the promises it’s making will be fulfilled. So, I’m cautious as to what I suggest.

When I offered the lady in the throes of the ultimate physical elation for A Psychic Hitch, I was thrilled when they said it had to be the cover. But after a while, I began second guessing the choice. What does it say about Cheri? What does it say about the story over all? It does fit certain aspects of the story and no one has complained the cover didn’t fit. It was a learning experience.

I was a bit more cautious with Last Glass of Wine – I love the couple in the wine glass as anyone who visits my sites know. They are my signature couple. I was writing the story when I found the couple and knew instantly they were Cole and Lana. For me as the author of the story, it reflects the imperfections of what are the expected handsome and gorgeous hero and heroine. At the same time, the single glass has a dual meaning. In the story, they shared wine from one glass, but also it’s unity. They came together through odds and became one.

All the authors and the cover artists can do is try to reflect our visions of the story and hope it draws in the reader. It’s hit and miss, because readers are as unique as writers.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Top Ten Reasons to Get an e Reader

10. You'll be ahead of the curve. If you have an e-reader you will be one of those cool techno geeks that are on the cutting edge of technology and pop culture. Okay...using "cool" and "techno geek" in the same sentence is a bit of an oxymoron...but you know what I mean.

9. It's easy on the eyes. You know when you love a book SO much and are so hooked, you read it until you are bleary eyed? Well e readers have a great can easily and quickly adjust both the font size and adjustable back lighting. It makes for a very easy read for tired eyes that just can't stop reading their favorite story. Also, if you know anyone who's older and having trouble reading, this is a great solution due to the larger font options.

8. They aren't just for books. You can download pictures, music, documents and even newspapers. If you have a subscription to the NY Times, you don't need the paperboy to toss it in your bushes (which leads to the inevitable search in your bathrobe just as your hot neighbor comes outside) Nope, not simply plug your e reader into your laptop, go to and upload that days paper. Simple, quick, and no embarrassing front yard escapades in your bathrobe....unless of course that's what you're into.

7. It's cost effective. you lay out some money for the device keep all the books, newspapers etc. in the exact condition you purchased them in. They don't rip, fade or get lost under your bed. You'll get your money's worth out of every download.

6. You have more than one choice. Since this handy little gadget is catching on, the competition is heating up. There are several choices. My favorite is the Sony (hubby got me one for Xmas). You can go to this techno-geek link to get a full rundown of all the e readers out there and which one looks best for you and your budget.

5. It accessorizes beautifully. It has special "extras" just like any other great gadget. I personally like the black leather cover, which not only protects it but makes it look better. I don't know about you but I always look better in black.....very slimming.

4. Create Collections with the tap of the screen. One of the neatest features is the ability to quickly and easily organize all of your books into your favorite collections. I've got mine separated by genre. Romance, Paranormal Romance, Mystery and so forth. It takes just a few minutes to get everything in it's place. Think about doing that with the two hundred paperbacks at home....that's an all day project....and where the heck are you gonna put 'em once you've organized 'em. With the e reader, it's quick and efficient.

3. They are environmentally friendly. E books use no paper....therefore no trees are harmed in order to produce them. Also, what happens to all those books we've read when we're done with them? Eventually they either go to the garbage bin I know most of us donate them. Face it, eventually someone will throw it away OR they sit around collecting dust and taking up space. How many books do you have stored in a corner/closet/box somewhere?

2. It's an incredible space saver! I don't know about you, but I LOVE books! When I get one I really like, I can read it in a day. So at home I have stacks and stacks of books, which are taking up loads and loads of space. Now, with an e reader, I can load hundreds of books into this one, thin, lightweight e reader. How about vacation? When I go away I like to bring two or three books. That takes up a good deal of space in the carry on, not to mention adds weight. Not with an e reader. No more bulky books and news just one slim little e reader. It's only about a half an inch thick and weighs less than a pound.

The #1 Reason you should get an e reader........You can buy a copy of "The Amoveo Legacy" on the very first day it's released at

C' knew it was coming. LOL.

Happy reading whatever your pleasure.


Monday, January 12, 2009

The timeless poetry of love

Have you ever written a love poem? Or received a love poem? I have. Poetry and love go together. Both are intense, powerful and vivid, heightening all the senses. Images of the beloved linger in the mind like the lines of well-remembered verse.

"The wild goose flies up and soars,
She sinks down upon the net.
The birds cry in flocks,
But I hasten homeward,
Since I care for your love alone."

Like love itself, poetry is old. I believe that as soon as we could speak, we composed poetry. By the time of the New Kingdom in ancient Egypt, 3000 years ago, love poetry was an accepted literary form. The man would call the woman "sister" and she call him "Brother" as expressions of intimacy. Each would speak of their longing and delight, using images of nature, trees and flowers.

"I am thy first sister. I am unto thee like a garden, which I have planted with flowers and with all manner of sweet-smelling herbs."

"Shedeh-wine it is, my hearing of thy voice, and I live because I hear it."

Reading such words, I am transported to the Nile and the young lovers, the man and woman who longed for each other and who adorned themselves with garlands and perfumes as each waited for the beloved to appear.

Truly, another magic of love.

(Pictures of a scribe and his wife and of an Egyptian blue lily from Wikimedia Commons. For more Egyptian love poems try here at the Ancient History Sourcebook.)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Winter in Blue & Romance in the Year of Two

Hi Romantics, 2009 is considered to be the Year of Two in the world of numerology. The number TWO is love, companionship and sharing ~ this year is about couples coming together to care for each other and to love each other from their hearts and souls. This year is all about romance in all its many-splendored expressions. So look for those lovely and loving ways to let your beloved know how much you cherish them.
If you’ve every wanted to learn the art of romance or bring more of a mood of romance into your life, this is the year to explore those possibilities, then implement the ideas that most resonate with you.
For example ~ what would make your bedroom more romantic to you? In my case, other than a wickedly sexy prince charming, it would be a red velvet divan with a heart-shaped back. It would be layers of mist-like gauze. It would be faux leopard throws, zebra-print blankets and heart-shaped pillows in every size and in every shade of pink and purple. Just as a beginning, of course.
Oops, don’t forget the gold-trimmed sheer fabrics draped about.
This Year of Two is also a time to join forces with each other, with our friends and family, to achieve our life dreams, as we are all doing with this blog. Working together, during this year, will bring about the most satisfaction and success...and the most romance into all our lives.
And, who couldn’t use a bit more romance...or, a whole lot.


Since my OtherRealm, erotic romance novella *** ALL SHADES OF BLUE PARADISE *** does not celebrate the holidays as we do here, I thought I’d write a winter courtship scene ten years prior to when the story begins. Yes, it’s all about romance in it’s purest form as Sher and Zag fall in love.

An OtherRealm novella, set in the dimensional world known as ~
The World of the Blue Pearl Moon–A world of lush erotic decadence, where the fiercest passions between a woman and a man need never be denied. A world of potent seductive arts, where every appetite is served in the salons and the lavish entertainments. A world of wicked and resplendent pleasures, where the love between a man and a woman is a sensual lusty affair, soaring up to the radiant blue vault of sky.

Winter in Blue
The Courtship of Sher and Zag ~
A prequel scene to ALL SHADES OF BLUE PARADISE ~

He rode beside her, Zag, the Baron, astride one of his winter steeds, a silvery gray stallion of majestic stature. Lady Sheridan glowed, a giddy excitement. Her heart winged toward him, the flight of a dove toward its mate. For a moment she closed her eyes, and hoped with all her being that his heart soared toward her. He’d spoken so. Just two days past. Two days of dreaming about him night and day. Of walking on a floor of air as she remembered the emerald smolder of his eyes only for her, as she remembered the fierce passion of his features before he had sealed her lips with a kiss that had been a silken blaze of pleasure over every inch of her flesh.
Goddess of the Blue Flame, she recalled his every word of love.
For two days now, she told herself to stop acting like a lust-wild virgin beneath the full blue pearl moon.
Yet, did she dare hope? Given his stud-formidable reputation with women, lots of women, could she afford to give her heart? His erotic talents and trysts were well-known throughout the kingdom. Still, in truth, she’d heard no woman claim his love as hers.
Shades of pale blue shimmered, a glaze over the deep blanket of snow on the mountain plateau, where she often trained her horses for competition. The cold air of winter only tickled her nose as bluefire raced through her veins. She listened to the snow-crunch of their horses’ hooves echo softly as they sedately traveled the scenic path. Blue-sky wishes, she wished her heart would quit fluttering, a fast-winging bird in her chest.
The frigid stillness around them, seemed as companionable as the silence between them now. She’d swiftly discovered being with him didn’t require the silly art of playing coy, of always engaging his attention.
“Sher.” His purring tone, so like a golden cougar, warmed her skin to honey. Clasping her gloved hand in his, he brought them to a halt. “Mother is throwing one of her extravagant balls for Father’s top business associates. Would you attend with me?”
His formal tone soared her insides, yet shattered her composure. This invitation to the Baroness’s high profile event was a step toward becoming engaged.
“Yes.” The icy mist of her breath met the mist of his.
“Sher, you have become my heart.”
Subtly, he squeezed her hand, his gaze a glisten of fire. Lifting her hand beneath his lips, he caught the edge of her glove with his teeth. Almost fiercely, he tugged, exposing a sliver of bare skin. With one kiss, soft yet completely potent, he seduced the underside of her wrist.
Spinning inside, she leaned toward him. Their lips collided in a searing kiss. As he claimed her mouth with a ferocity that pleased her, she moaned, inviting the play of his tongue. They dueled passionately, the swordplay of pleasure only interrupted when his stallion became impatient.
“I shall teach him better manners.” His grin wickedly teased her.

May your most romantic dreams come true...


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~ ~

A Happy New Year of Romance in Blue....
Lady Sheridan & Baron Zaggry invite you to read their love story ~
ALL SHADES OF BLUE PARADISE ~ an aristocratic fantasy of fiercest passion ~ *5 Stars* from ReviewYourBook ~ an erotic romance available from Siren Publishing ~ ~
An Author Discovery by Lindsay Townsend ~ ~

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Romance, Love and the Ages

Does age reflect on what is deemed romantic, made you feel the butterflies of love and what you look into the future and see as the perfect happy ending? I think so.

How old were you when you had your first love? What was the first thing a guy/gal ever gave you that sent your heart into a pitter-patter? Reflecting back on the different periods of your life, do they make you smile, feel that little ‘aw’ emotion?

My first real kiss was at the age of eight and if he hadn’t stunned me, he would have been wearing a nice, shiny black eye. Needless to say, he didn’t try it again.

That kiss, however, had me seeing boys with a different eye. I didn’t like it. Boys were my equals, my tree-climbing, cowboy and Indian, fishing pals. Then an eight year old, redheaded, freckle-faced boy smiled at me at school. We became inseparable, but only on the school grounds – one day he found a lug nut on the playground, put it on my finger and declared me his wife. I moved to the other side of town, which meant I had to change schools. End of marriage. LOL

My next experience was as an eighth grader. Oh my – the black haired, brown-eyed boy stole my heart. Small town, small school and an age where there is interest between the sexes, but fear of being shot down keeping them at opposite ends of the room. His friends and my friends ganged up on us at school dance. He finally approached me and said we could only have one dance together. His family was moving. No one else knew. The song was American Pie.

This happened at a time just after I discovered romance novels. I was enveloped in the romance and emotions and suddenly, I could really relate to the forlorn heroines and heroes who left them. Well, as much as a young teen could. The only difference was, my hero wasn’t going to return.

My freshman year of high school wasn’t under way long before I had two senior guys hanging out at my locker. I didn’t understand why they were even in the freshman hall or why me, being the shy, awkward, hide in the shadow girl I was when out of my element. One moved on to college at the end of the year, the other continued to pursue me through the summer. The day I received roses from him, he proposed to another woman.

Seeing a pattern here.

Finally, sixteen came around and I was allowed to date. I wasn’t the least bit interested. But my first real date was with a football player – we went to see Jim Stafford in concert. Our second date was to our Homecoming Dance where I learned he only asked me because his friends coerced him to.

Oh my God!

Would you have bothered with guys after all this?

A few months later, I accepted a date with a tall, nerdy Tuba player and another football player. I, being in the flag corps, wasn’t unfamiliar with him. My half-time program had us side-by-side during some of our routines on the field. Now, this was an odd relationship. We dated only while school was in session. Other than that, we had a good thing going. Until the middle of my senior year when my mother said we were getting too serious.

I refused to date after that. Until a friend of mine decided I just had to attend my senior prom. She set me up with her ex-fiancée. The rest is history. The rest is romance at it’s best.

I’ve been married to that man for thirty-one and a half years. We had actually met my sophomore year, his junior. We played one-on-one basketball every day we had gym while our classmates showered and dressed. We hated the crowd. He doesn’t recall this, but it stands out so vivid in my memory because it’d been so long since I was allowed to be myself with a boy. I was born a tomboy and will die one.

After the initial date, we saw each other for two weeks and he dumped me. I graduated from high school and moved to the city. Two, maybe three weeks later I called him. He’d been trying to find me and my friend was too mad at him to tell him where I was. We were married two months later.

I’m the heroine and my husband is the hero and we’re watching our four sons become the hero and wondering who their heroines will end up being. In the case of our oldest son, who will be twenty-eight in two weeks, he’s chosen his heroine. Their story is a romance novel in the making.

My ‘aw’ moments of the ages of my life have made me the woman I am today. Lessons of love, heartache and with patience, love and yeah, a few tears – there’s a happy ending.


Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of A Psychic Hitch or Last Glass of Wine.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Writing a Romantic Comedy - "Mucho Caliente! - Wish upon a Latino Superstar" - Francesca Prescott

To say that the idea for “Mucho Caliente!” sprung for some deep and dark existential question would be a lie. The tongue-in-cheek, pseudo-Spanish title is already a good indication that this is no tear jerker. Then there’s the subtitle, “Wish upon a Latino Superstar”, which came as a last minute addendum, partly to ensure that people knew my book was in English, but mostly because I liked the play on words. My first book is a romantic comedy, written purely for entertainment.

Writing “Mucho Caliente!” sprung from a desire to have some fun, to escape from the dark, grey days of long, cold Swiss winters and to immerse myself in a sunny, funny romantic fantasy. The seed of the story began to germinate when I spotted a famous pop star at a beach bar in Ibiza while visiting a girlfriend, someone whose music and style I admired. From there it was just a matter of creating a cast of vivid characters, placing them against a funky, colorful backdrop, confounding them in a series of mortifying moments, before putting them all out of their misery with a intensely satisfying happily ever after.

“Mucho Caliente!” is a light-hearted story about daring to believe in yourself and to have faith in other people when you’ve been burned. It is about attempting to take control of your life even though you’re terrified of making mistakes, and about taking chances while remaining true to yourself. It is about the angst of falling in love with a (very famous!) younger man. But it’s also about the wonderful friendships between women, are often laced with a touch of rivalry. I particularly enjoyed delving into that unique, heartwarming “girlie” camaraderie. And although we meet new people and make new friends all the time, few friendships truly last a lifetime, weathering separations and misunderstandings, withstanding the vast spectrum of unpleasant emotions that creep up on us despite our best intentions. These special friendships, these "true-loves", need to be nurtured, celebrated and enjoyed.

Basically, I wrote this story with no other motive than to make myself and other people smile!

xx Francesca Prescott

Friday, January 2, 2009


Where did Judah's Still Running come from?

I have a fascination with people and their "inner workings" - the things that make them tick, and which govern and drive their responses to others and different circumstances. I love exploring issues and layers and all things human. I suppose, also, that I've managed to cram a hefty lot of "life experience" into my not-so-few years, which means I have a huge database of things to pick on and weave a story around. Still Running birthed itself, really, from this amalgam of different experiences...


Lee's Inspiration for The Twist

You hear some strange things standing in the ladies' room line on the Ocean City boardwalk. A cute little thing in a halter top and a pair of Daisy Dukes behind me was arguing with her purple-haired boy friend about her smoking. He was going on about what a filthy habit it was and how he might as well be kissing an ashtray. Fumbling in her purse for a Virginia Slim, all she could come up with in her defense was "You have no idea how hard it is for a girl to quit smoking!" I've always been fascinated by transformation stories, but they never seem to have a happy ending. Hum, it sounded like there was a story there to me.


Ideas come from life in general. It seems everywhere I go something sparks a new idea. For the Servin' It Up series - I never thought I'd ever write about my career of choice. It seemed tabu. But what a world of ideas and differentiality I work in. I know we've all seen movies and read stories where characters work in the of field of food service, but I have the inside scoop allowing me angles and routes most don't have and dare to tred on. Then there this my work you haven't seen, my mainstream, women's lit and even the paranormal -- I might have sparked an idea from a dream, something I experienced and or someone told me about an incident where they experienced an injustice people weren't aware of. I love to put realism in my work, but without the ideas and the creativity the characters to pull it all together, it'd be nothing but an idea. The world around you contains so many books that it's a matter of choosing. Shame we can't slow down time and turn every day into forty-eight hours. Bekki


I write historicals, but my ideas come from everywhere. Snatches of conversations. News items. A haunting scent. A repeated sound. Music. A tiny bit of historical, personal fact. Looking at a place through the viewpoint of a character.

I draw characters from aspects of people I know, or from people I learn about or from my own wish-fulfilment or fears. I've always wanted to be a bull leaper, or know how to make a sword, or weave cloth, or sing opera.

I develop and draw out stories from asking, 'What if?'

What if a king had power over storms?
What if a man believed he was a hulking brute, unworthy of any woman's love?
What if a woman feared that one of her family was a killer?
What if a woman had done something illegal to protect her family?

I focus on four things to bring the story to life for me -

The stakes: Always love, life, trust and commitment.
The heroine: I try to make her active, interesting and engaging.
The hero: I try to make him protective and active, with a sense of humour.
The setting: A past or present I can use to add to tension, glamour and adventure.

Ideas come from life.



My inspiration for ALL SHADES OF BLUE PARADISE ~

"When the phrase ‘all shades of blue’ popped into my head during the twilight realm before sleep, and Sheridan arrived, wearing icy blue pearls she fingered, attired in a chic azure-blue silk dress, her matching high heels clicking on the mansion floor, I knew she was meeting a man she had loved long ago, a man who still loved her." ~ Savanna Kougar ~


Jen's Inspiration for Eternal Seduction:

I was actually standing in the bookstore when Logan Ellis (the heroine in Eternal Seduction) came to life. I'd picked up a bunch of different novels, read the blurbs, and realized all the leading ladies had high paying professional occupations. Doctors, lawyers, marketing professionals, ect. And that immediately got me thinking, what if a herione didn't have a high paying job? Or even better, what if she didn't have a job at all...or a home? What if she lived on the streets? And those questions lead right into, if she's a street waif, she's bound to be dirty and skinny in a rather unappealing and unhealthy way. She probably mugs people to get what little money she has, so her moral compass and outlook on the world have to be a little off - which completely flies in the face of traditional heroines. But then came the question that practically had her screaming in my head: What if this skinny, homeless drug addict..has a darker outlook on the world than the ancient vampire she finds herself attached to?

Turning the tables on traditional vampire romance with a heroine like Logan was just too good to pass up. :)


What shakes up your creative world? What would you like to see more of, less of? Any ideas you've not come across that you'd find interesting in romance?


Let us introduce ourselves. We're the HAPPILY EVER AFTER authors.

Hey there! I'm Judah Raine. I live in a leafy suburb of Durban, South Africa, called Westville. My grown daughter and I share a house overlooking a river with our zoo - seven of them in all! I love writing. It's my "grand passion" and I'm really excited to have one book released in 2008 with Siren-Bookstrand (Still Running) and The Look and A Thick Black Line coming out very soon. Being "creative-obsessive", I indulge in all sorts of things from music (I'm a guitarist and vocalist, and now stretching my wings as a songwriter) to beading, and pretty much anything else that comes my way. Life is great, and I'm really happy to be here...


I'm Bekki Lynn, a wife, mother and author of contemporary romance. I write sub-levels within this genre. I currently have a m/f series going, and I'm here to celebrate romance between one man and one woman, the ultimate love connection. Aside from writing, I'm an avid reader, love movies, television and music.


Hi! I’m Francesca Prescott. I live in a small village just outside Geneva, Switzerland with my husband, two teenage children and two dogs. I enjoy writing romantic comedy, as well as short, humorous articles. I have a romantic comedy set in Ibiza, Spain, published by BookStrand, and I'm currently rewriting a romantic saga set between England, California, Sicily and the island of Ithaca, Greece. Apart from writing, I enjoy horse riding, Pilates, Yoga, reading, music, watching movies and going for long walks in the countryside. I look forward to contributing to "Happily Ever After" with all these wonderful, talented authors!


waving hi from Norfolk, VA)
I’m BookStrand author, Lee Silver. My writing explores mainstream m/f romance in a framework of high tech intrigue. With a technical background in engineering, I love to write fast-paced drama staged in a not too distant future. If my stories can pull my readers away from the hustle and bustle of their lives long enough to put a smile on their faces when they head back to the real world, I couldn’t ask for more!


I'm Lindsay Townsend.I'm married, I live and work in England, Yorkshire. I love all things romantic and am looking forward to exploring and celebrating love and relationships in male-female romance. I am working on a medieval historical romance at the moment and have several historical romances and romantic thrillers published. I enjoy reading, nature, music and chocolate.


Hi, romance lovers, I'm Savanna Kougar. It feels like I've been writing some form of romance since forever, beginning when I was thirteen and the Beatles craze hit. Currently I'm living on what I call the tame prairie, and loving it. I enjoy writing paranormal romances, about any subgenre there is. So far, I have two shapeshifter novellas published, one near futuristic and one set in another dimension. I'm looking forward to exploring love in all its many romantic splendors with the other authors and with the readers.


Hi! My name is Jennifer Turner. I'm 30, married, and have a nine year old daughter I regularly refer to as the Heathen. I'm also an author of dark paranormal romance, and absolutely love writing about vampires and otherworldly creatures. I'm the new kid on the block in regards to this kick ass line-up of authors, but am looking forward to sharing my thoughts with everyone and celebrating the timeless dynamics of the male/female romance!


Koko Brown lives in Florida where she writes contemporary romance in various forms of paranormal, time-travel and historical, usually mixing them to bring life, love and romance beyond the depths to join soulmates. While not writing, Koko loves to travel, have great conversations, thrift store shopping, riding motorcycles (she recently sold a Yamaha 650 Classic), surfing the internet and working up the nerve to go snowboarding again.


Linda Banche is a brand new author and writes romances set in the Regency era. Her stories contain humor (most of the time), fantasy (sometimes) and occasionally the paranormal (once in a while). Linda read romances for years before she finally decided to write my own. She quickly found out it's a lot harder than it looks. She lives in New England and likes aerobics and ducks.


Thanks for joining us. To check us out further, click on any of the Happily Ever After Authors and visit our websites.

Bekki, Francesca, Lee, Lindsay, Savanna, Jennifer, Koko and Linda