Romance Ain’t Easy

(spoiler alert) re. Avengers

I went to see Avengers: Age of Ultron last weekend and was, frankly, disappointed.  It was too big and too cluttered, but the thing that bothered me most of all was the forced “romance” between two of the characters.  When you think of Black Widow, who would you pair her with?  Hawkeye? Captain America?  She’s had nice moments with both of her fellow Avengers in past movies.  (And just because a woman is nice to men, it doesn’t mean she’s a slut, Jeremy Renner!)

There was something to build upon with either of those two men, but who does the movie try to pair her with?  The Hulk.  Seriously?  This is where I got irritated.  Romance is often poo-poo’d by so many people, but it’s not easy to write.  And the writers made a critical error.  There was no spark between the two.  There was no basis for the pairing.  Yet we were supposed to believe it?  More so, feel it?  You can’t just throw two random people together and have them work as a couple.  It takes more effort than that.  Good or bad, there has to be a connection between the two.

Writing romance isn’t easy.  Some of the biggest writers in Hollywood just proved it.

Dream Bear Giveaway Results

day dreamer bearCongratulations to Micielle, who was the winner of my Dreaming Bear Outdoor Decoration.  Micielle has been a newsletter recipient since October 2014. This giveaway was to celebrate the kickoff of my Dream Weaver series.

If you’re interested in my giveaways, join my newsletter!

The survey results this time were what I expected.  The question was, “What time of year do you read most?”

Results:
About the same year-round – 78%Winter – 11%
Summer – 7%
Fall – 3%
Spring – 1%

There are some voracious readers out there!  Gotta love that!

Dream Man Print Copy Winners & Survey Results

Congratulations to Jackie and Andra for winning print copies of Dream Man in my newsletter blast giveaway.

As always, the survey results were quite interesting.  The question was about readers’ feelings about who produces the books they read.  It’s really telling of the times.  Below you can see how the answers rated:

 

Q:  What are your thoughts on independently published books versus those produced by publishing houses?

A1:  I don’t care – 49%
A2:  I can’t tell the difference – 40%A3:  I prefer publishing house books – 5%
A3:  I prefer self-pubbed books – 5% (in a tie)
A5:  What are you talking about? – 2%

As a hybrid author who writes with a publishing house and produces her own books on the side, I LOVE those answers.  Everybody just needs to make sure to up their game.

What do you think of the results?  Are they what you expected or are there some surprises in there?

 

Courting Innocence on Amazon UK

Courting Innocence is up on the Amazon UK site.  This is the next book in the Courting Series. It’s starting to get real!

Courting Innocence

Even Nice Girls Have Needs.

Erin starts using matchmaker Luxxor Limited, not realizing that the company is truly an escort service. She meets a series of hunky men, but the dates are disappointing. She wants a man that will awaken her senses, challenge her thoughts, and rev up her body. But she gets more than she bargained for when Luxxor sets her up with another client, lawyer Colton King. Her big brother’s best friend.

Erin has always lusted for Colt. Dark, muscled, and brooding, he was her first teenage crush. Now he’s her favourite fevered fantasy. He’s just never taken notice of her before. She has his attention now.

Colton is horrified when he learns the scandalous game Erin has been playing with Luxxor’s escorts. He orders her to stop, but things go a bit too far … and become a bit too sexy … Soon Colt is escorting Erin straight to his bed.

Years ago, her family forbade him to touch her. How will he defend himself when they learn how impure his thoughts are for their innocent, loving daughter? The one who’s grown up into the sweetest, naughtiest, little temptress.

I also saw a preliminary version of the cover yesterday.  I can’t share yet, but it’s sharp!

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

Hypnotica_new_200x300

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.

———————————

Download Hypnotica e-book for only 99 cents

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Want to read more “Hot and Bothered” excerpts?  Click the picture below to join the Book Boyfriends Cafe Blog Hop.

 

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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Isn’t it beautiful?  If you’re interested in getting the first view on things like this, join my newsletter, too.

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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To read more Hot and Swoonworthy excerpts at Book Boyfriends Cafe, click on the picture below.