In The Zone

I’ve been working hard on finishing up my next book (currently titled Courting Innocence.)  I’m cleaning up chapters, tying up loose ends, and rewriting scenes that don’t quite work.  I am in The Zone.

It’s a wonderful and horrible place to be.  It might be hard for non-writers to understand (and some writers might not agree), but I have to be in a certain head space for this to happen.  It’s truly a mental and physical experience.  I can actually feel when I’m there.  I can write around the space.  I know the plot and the technical aspects of the story.  I can write some cool characters and some really hot sex.  Yet writing in The Zone is entirely different.

Everything else goes away.  I’m very aware of the passage of time, but it goes too fast.  I’m one with the characters, and the words flow.  I sit in front of the keyboard for hours.  I ignore the phone.  The house doesn’t get cleaned.  Meals are whatever I can grab fast.  Family knows not to disturb.  Sleep is shorter.  I am mentally checked out and in another world.  In this state, I can crank out an immense number of words — and they’re usually keepers.  But when I come up for air or drink or food, it’s like trudging through sludge, trying to come back to reality.

So why don’t I always write in The Zone?  Because as difficult it is to leave it, it’s even harder to get there.  My mind resists, and so does my body.  It doesn’t like the ache in my back from sitting in a chair.  My mind resists being pulled away from so many other interesting things.  What helps push me past all this and get into the groove?  Pressure.  I wish I could turn it on and off with a snap of my fingers, but I can’t.

So yes, I do have different places I go inside my head.  No, I don’t have mental problems, I’m a writer.

Do any of you do that?  Do you have a job or hobby or talent that you can become engrossed in?  What does it feel like for you?

Hypnotica “Hot and Bothered” Excerpt #HotForFriday #MFRWauthor

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Excerpt from Hypnotica

She’d been triggered again.

* * * * *

Copper wanted him.

Wanted him. Wanted him. Wanted him.

She pressed her body against his tightly and felt a hardness nudge against her belly. A thrill shot through her. He wanted her too.

She’d always wondered. Hoped.

Excitement gushed through her veins, and she boldly reached for the zipper of his pants. She had to have him. She didn’t care how. She didn’t care who saw. She just needed him to ease the ache that was driving her stark-raving mad.

“Whoa,” he said, quickly catching her hands. “Copper, quit it.”

Quit? Was he kidding?

“No,” she said, leaning in to nibble on his neck. She’d learned that he had a sensitive spot behind his ear.

It should get him going.

She smiled as she nuzzled against him. She liked it when he got going. She loved shaking up that steely control of his. Because when he lost it, he was like that fire-breathing dragon he wore like a badge of honor.

Just thinking about that tattoo made her wet.

“Oh, hell,” he said, trying to twist his neck away. “Don’t do that.”

She’d felt him shudder, though. The little feeling of power turned her on even more. “Don’t you like it?”

“You know I like it.” He caught her hands behind her back, but that just made things more interesting. She shimmied against him, and he cursed. “Damn it, what did that guy say? Sleep, Copper. Sleep!”

Who wanted to sleep?

She wanted to make love.

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Hypnotica’s New Cover

Newsletter recipients voted on which new cover I should use for Hypnotica, and the results came back overwhelmingly in favor of this one.  With 71% of the vote, the winner is:

Hypnotica_new_200x300Hypnotica – on sale now for only 99 cents

Genre:  Contemporary, erotic romance

You are feeling very sexy…

When shy Copper Daniels is entranced at an Erotic Hypnotic show, her Caribbean cruise quickly goes from restful to restless. Encouraged to find the sexiest man in the room, she chooses Nick Branson. Nick isn’t a saint. He kisses Copper like he’s always wanted, but then demands the hypnotist call off the spell. It just doesn’t take. Now, whenever Copper hears the trigger word, her inhibitions fade and things between them get hot. Hyp-naughty-cally hot!

Hypnotica excerpt

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Courting Jealousy “Hot and Swoonworthy” Excerpt #HotForFriday

Just a reminder that I have a freebie out there!

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Courting Jealousy

When Noelle hires an escort to accompany her to a charity event, it’s merely to show her ex that’s she’s moved on. Yet she gets more than she bargained for when Dane is assigned to accompany her. Tall, dark, and handsome, he knows how to arouse jealousy. He also knows how to arouse her!

Excerpt from Courting Jealousy

“Why… why are you saying these things?” she asked.

They were hidden away together. Alone, with nobody around. There was no reason to keep up the act.

His lips curled into a somewhat embarrassed smile. “I guess you could say I’m hot for teacher.”

Her jaw dropped. Sexy men didn’t come on to her. She was pretty and she kept in shape, but she was low-key. Composed and self-contained. With her father’s high-profile job, she’d learned to live in the shadows. Handsome men like Dane didn’t tend to look outside the limelight for girls like her.

Yet when he leaned more heavily into her, she felt the evidence of his interest against her belly.

She propped her hands against his chest, and heat seeped into her fingertips. He was hard and muscled, yet she swore she could feel his heart pounding as hard as hers.

“But why?” she insisted.

“Why wouldn’t I be attracted to you?” he asked, flicking her nipple in chastisement. “From what I’ve seen, you’re sweet, giving, and adventurous. And in case you didn’t know it, you’re stunningly beautiful.”

He dropped his head and whispered into her ear. “I want to kiss you for real.”

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Courting Trouble Hot Kiss #HotForFriday

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When times get tough, just how bad does a good girl have to get?

Excerpt from Courting Trouble

‘You’re a bull in a china shop,’ she snapped. ‘Constantly pushing things out of your way. I didn’t have to come tonight, you know. You’re lucky you got anyone on such short notice.’

‘I’m lucky I got you.’

He closed the distance between them fast. He’d been fantasizing about finding her for weeks, but in his head, none of it had gone down like this.

It had gone like this.

He kissed her, his mouth closing over hers. Swinging an arm around her waist, he pulled her against him.

The sparks that had been flying combusted.

Fire and ice. It was all he could think as their mouths melded and their bodies squished tight. She fit him perfectly, soft curves cushioning all his hard places. She had an cool exterior, but God… the fire beneath the surface…

He swept his tongue along the seam of her lips, wanting access. She made one last fierce sound of protest, but then let him in.

The bottom of Jason’s stomach dropped out.

She liked to converse in French? He’d show her how the French really communicated. Pushing his tongue into her mouth, he laved at that sharp tongue that had just given him a lashing.

And she gave in.

A primitive growl left his throat.

He stroked his fingers deeper under her dress, but the damn cutouts were too small. He wanted to stroke his hands over her skin, fingers stretched wide and palms pressing firmly.

Her belly squeezed. ‘Jason—’

‘Shhh.’ He kissed his way down to her neck where he stopped to nuzzle. Everything about her felt good. Better than good. She was lighting him up.

He ran his tongue over the pulse pounding in her neck and stroked his hands down her back. Loose tendrils of her hair tickled his ear, and goose bumps popped up on the back of his neck.

One kiss. One kiss from her, and he was ready to explode.

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All I Have to Do is Dream

KimberlyDean_DreamMan800It’s always interesting what I run across when I’m doing research for a story.  For my Dream Weaver series, which kicks off with Dream Man, I did a lot of research on the subject of dreaming.  It was fascinating to learn about the sleep stages, what happens during REM, and what dreams might mean.  Yet one article I kept regarded daydreams or mind wandering.[1]

According to research results, on average people aren’t thinking about what they’re doing thirty to forty percent of the time.  That’s a lot!  The human brain just seems hard-wired to wander.  Most often, the mind slips to everyday things such as “to do” lists.  Fantasies are the next most common, with worries coming in third.  In this way, the human mind seems to devote time to problem solving or planning for the future.

My wandering thoughts are like everyone else’s…  I go to my “to do” list.  Yet my “to do” list includes my writing.  If I’m stuck on something, the answer often comes to me in these little flashes of random thought.  If I think too hard, though, the answers just won’t come.

So how do your daydreams work?  Do you get more than grocery lists and carpooling schedules?  Do you think the list is in the right order?  I’m curious about what’s more interesting – your daydreams or the ones you have at night?

[1] Science Paying Attention to Not Paying Attention by Malcom Ritter, Associated Press, http://www.msnby.msn.com/id/17690541/

Dream Time

KimberlyDean_DreamMan800I had a variation of the test-taking dream last night.  I was involved in a long and desperate search to find a clean Post-It note.  I’d noticed that a friend (okay, it was Sylvia Day) was staying in a hotel room next to mine, and I wanted to leave a note on her door that I was there.  The problem was that I couldn’t find a clean piece of paper, no matter how hard I tried.  Everything had scribbles on it.  I kept flipping through a stack of Post Its, wondering why they hadn’t been thrown away.  I don’t know why I couldn’t just leave a phone message or actually knock on the door.

Dreams are weird that way.

Yet if I try to analyze this one, I think I know what it means.  To me, it most closely matches the test-taking dream, because it was all about paper and writing and a time limit.  (I needed to get the note posted before she left.)  If I look back to what the dream analysts say about the test taking dream, it’s about work stress, being scrutinized, and/or anxiety.  I’m deep into my current work-in-progress, and a deadline is looming.  I spent a full day at the keyboard yesterday.  By that, I mean 9:00 am – 9:00 pm (with a few breaks.)  As for Sylvia being in the dream – I have no idea what that meant.  Ha!

Yeah, my Dream Weaver has been hard at work.

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Dream Man excerpt

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Tiger Lily Hot Encounter #HotForFriday

TigerLily_excerptTiger Lily is now part of the Kindle Unlimited program.  Participating members can read it for free!

PLEASE NOTE:  This one is pretty hard-core erotica, although it does include one my favorite love stories ever.

When Federal Agent Shanna McKay – aka Lily – is assigned to a new case, her shady past returns to haunt her. She has to bust drug lord, Manuel Santos, who caused her sister’s disappearance years ago. The McKay sisters had been wild. Shanna had become hooked on sex; her sister hooked on Santos and his drugs. Desperate to even the score, Shanna infiltrates the organization by using her most powerful weapon – her sexuality. She seduces Santos’ men one by one in an attempt to get access to the main man. It’s a dangerous game and her boss, Joe Mitchell, knows it. He goes undercover in an attempt to save his agent before her cover is blown. Which will be stronger – Shanna’s lust for Mitchell or her need for vengeance?

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Excerpt from Tiger Lily

Shanna approached the safe house.  She hoped that whomever had prepped the place had left the door unlocked. She didn’t have a key, and she didn’t know where they might have left one. It would be a bitch if her cover were blown because of such a simple detail.

She reached for the doorknob and swallowed a gasp when it turned of its own volition. The door swung open and there, filling the doorway, was her boss.

Her jaw dropped, and she went mute.

Oh God, she wasn’t prepared for this. Not now. She hadn’t had time to go over what she wanted to say to him. She wasn’t ready for another speech about her impulsiveness.

Her heart thudded in her chest. What was he going to do to her? There had to be repercussions. He looked angry enough to do anything. His eyes flashed green fire and energy radiated from his tense body. He wouldn’t stop staring, and it made her nervous.

“Ti—”

He moved so quickly, she wasn’t able to get the rest of his code name out. His hand jutted out and caught her at the nape of the neck. His lips came down hard on hers, silencing what she’d intended to say.

Shock paralyzed Shanna. Joe Mitchell was kissing her.

His other arm wrapped around her waist and pulled her close. An almost electrical jolt of energy zapped through her at the contact of their bodies, and her eyelids drifted shut.

Five years of wanting bubbled up inside her. His body was warm and hard against her soft curves. His lips ate at hers, and his hands… Lord, his touch was like fire.

Her body started shaking with need. Almost hesitantly, she ran her hands up his arms. His muscles clenched under her touch.

This wasn’t a fantasy. He was real, and he was kissing her as if his life depended on it.

She wasn’t about to question why. With a groan, she wrapped her arms about his neck and hung on for dear life. When his tongue pressed at the seam of her lips, her body melted. She clung to him, letting his body take her weight.

“Joe,” she said, her voice full of need.

His knees seemed to buckle at the sound of his name on her lips.

“Lily,” he said in a ragged tone.

His touch became more urgent as he tried to touch all of her at once. Shanna squirmed under his wandering hands. Her skin burned wherever his fingers brushed against her.

One of his hands dove into the dark waterfall of her hair. The other one sneaked under the hem of her dress to her buttocks. His jaw went tight when he discovered she wasn’t wearing any panties.

“Lord help me,” he said.

Urgency seemed to hit him then. With his hand firmly on her bare ass, he pulled her across the room with him. They tumbled down onto the couch and his lips found hers again.

His kisses jumbled Shanna’s thought processes. She didn’t know why he was here, and she didn’t care. She didn’t want to think about why he was touching her. She just wanted to touch him.

* * * * *

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