2013 Review…

31 Dec

I still suck at blogging (surprise!), but I thought I’d make a post on this night–last of 2013. New Year’s Eve–ah, my favorite non-holiday. Love it!

Oh, past year, what can I say about you? Hated you! Seriously. Not even kidding. So many stresses and struggles, so many less than stellar events going on in my life. I’ve had more than a few backstabbers, personal tragedies, and weirdly hilarious attempts to rile me. My life has been like a strange ass Lifetime movie.

Thank goodness that shit is about to be over. I’m looking forward to 2014, but I won’t jinx it by saying how awesome it’s gonna be. Like, um, I…perhaps…did last NYE. Ahem.

Anyway, I’m nearing the official start of my self-publishing journey, and I can’t wait. 2014’s theme song is so “Control” by Janet Jackson, baby. I even made up my own lyrics to go along with the song. Yes, I am that big of a dork. Deal with it. So, yeah, more stress, to be sure. However, it’s going to be a better stress because I, and I alone, will be putting the bulk of it on myself. Yeah, I’ll take that over what I’ve been through this year, any day.

A new year, a fresh start, a brand new beginning. Woot! This rebellious spirit is ready to keep on keepin’ on, despite the hardships.

Resolutions. Eek. I really need to cut out the smoking once and for all. I suppose I can stuff my face instead. Come on, extra twenty pounds, I’m ready for you. I need to try my hardest to become more of a social person. Ugh. Just typing that gives me the willies. Have to try, though. I think there are interesting possibilities out there for me, if I do. (In real life, not on the ‘net. I really never want to be more social on the ‘net, at this point.) And I also have to get these remaining stories I have in my twisted brain OUT of my twisted brain and on to the screen. Then, the noise in there will stop, and maybe I can ditch writing and start something new. Like quilting or something. Hell, I don’t know. Ballroom dancing? Maaaybe.

Oh, and I think blogging more can be one of my resolutions. Just don’t hold me to that. This chick loves to procrastinate, and no one is taking that from me, damn it. So, goodbye, 2013. I won’t be sad to see you go.

Happy New Year’s, y’all.

–Vristen

Going Backward with Social Media

26 Aug

So I just realized I hadn’t blogged in a long time. Yep–just now. Better late than never, right? I only wish I had something mind-blowing to share, but, alas, not quite yet.

Anywho, life is cray. I just finished up the joy of meeting a book deadline, the day job’s hours have been insane, and I’m starting the always exciting journey of self-publishing. Whee! In the midst of this, I’ve come to the conclusion that social media just isn’t this introvert’s thing. Now, while I don’t plan to disappear completely–at least not yet–I do plan to pull back on a lot of it. I started the process of whittling down my Facebook friend list long ago, but then I got distracted (shocking, huh?) and never followed through like I thought I would. So it’s time for me to bid adieu to many FB friends and Twitter friends for now. It’s all a bit overwhelming at times and it only seems logical for me to friend/follow the very few I actually interact with on a semi-regular basis. Perhaps one day I’ll be cool enough to feel comfortable ditching the social media altogether. But what can I say? It is a wonderful way to procrastinate and I can always dig that. Hehe. Besides, I’m sure this will only help Ms. Procrastinator’s productivity, lol. I still appreciate so many of the acquaintances I’ve made during my first year of being published. It’s been a wild, eye-opening ride!

Here’s to thoroughly enjoying the rest of it.

–V

The Good Old (Sexy) Days

21 Jun
Today I have the fantastically amazing Elizabeth Boyce, author of historical romance, here to share some very interesting things to make you go, “Hmm…”
Author Elizabeth Boyce

Author Elizabeth Boyce

People (Usually old people [Who am I kidding? I’m an Old.😦 {Get off my lawn, you little punks!}]) like to gripe about today’s youths being worthless degenerates, how civilization is sliding into moral decline, and how much better things were in The Good Old Days. You know The Good Old Days, don’t you? Silver-tinted and brimming with tall glasses of whole milk and paternal wisdom, The Good Old Days were a simpler time, when men were men and women were women and children respected their elders. Entertainment was wholesome in The Good Old Days. Authority figures like teachers and cops were respected in The Good Old Days. Women and minorities couldn’t vote and child labor laws didn’t exist in The Good Old… oh. Anywho, back in The Good Old Days, as society’s morality police would have you believe, people didn’t write or read filthy stories. Love was pure. Mr. Darcy didn’t sneak Lizzy Bennet into the hayloft for a tumble, did he? No! In The Good Old Days, people behaved decorously and had quiet, decorous orgasms only after they were married. Today’s historical romance novels, say the biddies, are full of dirty smutty smut that shouldn’t even be there.
No worries. They’re married.
To them I say, Pshaw! That’s right. I pshaw’d those historical smut naysayers. I’ll do it again: PSHAW! We authors of steamy, spicy, hot, and otherwise sexy historical romance stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our smutty sisters in other genres and proudly declare: Sex is awesome and you can’t make me feel shame for writing about it. We are not the first people to write about sex. Shoot, even cavemen depicted sex. 28,000 year old Aboriginal art discovered in Australia last year clearly illustrates couples copulating. Before written language existed, people were writing about sex. Ever since our primitive forebears committed to rock what was really on their minds, humans have written about sexual relationships. And why not? Sex is the sole biological imperative. All other instincts exist to make sure we survive long enough to reproduce. It’s kind of nature’s thing. I refuse to believe that people only admitted interest in reading about sex in the last fifty years. And I have centuries of good, clean smut backing me up.
Tell that sexy tale.
Take for instance The Canterbury Tales. You might remember from British Lit class that there was a good bit of ribaldry in the Tales, but do you recall just how graphic Chaucer got? “The Miller’s Tale” is about a carpenter’s wife who has an affair with one man, and is pursued by yet another. We’re presented with gems like these: “And privily he caught her by the queint” (That’s the, um, c-word in Middle English); “And helde her fast by the haunche bones;” and “But with his mouth he kiss’d her naked erse Full savourly.” Mmmm, savourly butt. And that’s just one tale! Shakespeare’s plays are notoriously peppered with innuendo and double entendres. A brief exchange from Romeo and Juliet:
MERCUTIO: Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting: it is a most sharp sauce.
ROMEO: And is it not then well served into a sweet goose?
MERCUTIO: O here’s a wit of cheverel, that stretches from an inch narrow to an ell broad!
Yeah, baby… serve that sauce in my sweet goose. Oh, yeah. Ooo, your wit is getting huge. It’s almost an ell [45 inches] long! Basically, if you’re reading Shakespeare and aren’t sure what he’s talking about, sex is a safe guess. And then there is John Donne, whose poems describe sexual longing tender and intense enough to make you weep, such as in these excerpts from “The Sun Rising”:

  Thy beams so reverend, and strong
Why shouldst thou think ?
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
But that I would not lose her sight so long. 
She’s all states, and all princes I ;
Nothing else is ; 
 and since thy duties be
To warm the world, that’s done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere ;
This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphere.
Suddenly, ruffs totally do it for me.
I die. I swoon straightaway. But then Donne gets funny on us, too, such as in “The Flea,” in which the narrator attempts to convince his love interest to give it up. Having both been bitten by the same bug:
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be;   
Thou know’st that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead
Later, the narrator’s lady squishes the flea. So much for reasoning his way into her bed. Today’s historical romance novels follow modern writing conventions. We go deep into our point of view characters and try to provide the reader with a full body, sensory experience. We tell you what characters taste and smell, what they feel, what they think. And yes, for many of us this includes writing about the sexual aspect of the developing romance. We walk a path well-trod by our literary forebears, who recognize sexuality as an integral aspect of the human experience. For me, emotional love is inseparable from the physical drive pulling two people together. Neglecting this key component of falling in love is only telling half the story.
Be sure to check out Elizabeth’s work; you won’t be disappointed! Once a Duchess and Once an Heiress are available now. Worry not–you won’t have to wait long for Once an Innocent, coming July 8th. To learn more about her and to get info on her books and more, visit her site by clicking here! In the meantime, get a gander at one of the most beauty-full covers you’ll ever see and check out the blurb for the upcoming romance…
Freakin' amazeballs, right?!

Freakin’ amazeballs, right?!

Jordan Atherton, Viscount Freese, returned from the Peninsular War scarred and ready to live as a dissolute bachelor. Society knows nothing of his secret occupation or of the obligation binding him to Lintern Abbey, the estate he loathes. When his Foreign Office superiors discover a network of French agents near his country home, Jordan quickly devises a house party scheme to cover the influx of his men hunting the enemy. With no time to lose and political stability hanging in the balance, Jordan turns to his friend, the Duke of Monthwaite, for help. Would the duke be so kind as to loan Jordan some ladies to populate his party?

Lady Naomi Lockwood, Monthwaite’s younger sister, is snatched from her warm, secure world when she’s suddenly forced to go to Lintern Abbey, despite her pleas to stay home. Stunned by her family’s abandonment, Naomi and her aunt travel to the Yorkshire home of the handsome and enigmatic Jordan Atherton.

There Naomi soon realizes this house party is not all it seems. The estate is neglected by its master, as is Jordan’s ward, a mysterious Spanish orphan. When Naomi demands answers, Jordan distracts her by indulging their mutual attraction. With danger drawing closer and her family far away, Naomi must stand on her own to uncover the truth and protect the home and people she’s coming to love—including the maddening Lord Freese.

A Seductive Excerpt…

14 Jun

I’m so happy to have fellow Crimson Romance author, K.M. Jackson, visiting with me today. She’s kind enough to give us a peek into the wonderfully seductive Seduction’s Canvas, which (might I add) has a totally smoking hot cover. Whew! Read on to be drawn into temptation… Take it away, Kwana!

 

Seduction's Canvas cover 5-6

 

 

Hi Vristen,

 

Thanks so much for having me on your blog. It’s a real honor to be here and giving a peek into Mark and Samara’s world. First here’s a bit about SEDUCTION’S CANVAS:

SEDUCTION’S CANVAS:

“I want to paint you” Artist Samara Leighton had wanted to say those words to the sexy motorcycle rider ever since she first laid eyes on him nearly a year ago.

“Honey, you don’t have enough paint to cover me.” Security specialist Mark Thorn didn’t mean to come off hard. As a matter of fact, he wanted nothing more than to let the tempting artist do whatever she wanted to him and then some.

Samara knew this was her only chance to live out her long-standing fantasy and she wasn’t going to let it slip through her fingers. She had little time before her show was done and the pressure of her family legacy meant finally living out life under the umbrella of the Leighton name and its responsibilities.

There would be no more lazy museum afternoons or evenings spent lost in the magic of color and her canvases. And definitely no time spent holding tight to the muscular form of her dark rider while the horrors of her past and her cares drifted further away with each mile of road they covered.

 

Excerpt:

Six thirty-five and once again he was kissing her. But they were just talking. Having coffee. Really, she did only invite him up for coffee and talk and now he was kissing her. Shit, Gabby would swear this was planned.

Samara fought to keep the words running through her head and to bring some sort of balance to her brain. She knew she had to put a stop to this, but it was hard. Oh so hard, as Mark’s lips were melding into hers and she was now leaning in toward him like some sort of inflatable man shaped life raft tossed off the deck of a passing ship.

She sighed into his warm breath. Why fight it? Thinking was overrated anyway when you had a man this delicious and your chest was pushed up against his chest and his chest was so wonderfully rock hard that it could be sculpted from marble and your lips were perfectly melding with his lips. His lips that were soft and kissable, but just firm enough to send fizzures and sizzles to every erogenous zone that you ever knew about and three others you didn’t.

Mark’s tongue snaked out and intertwined with hers at the same time his hand came around the back of her neck, pulling her deeper into him, forcing her head back. Her eyes fluttered and she looked up, surprised to see his own briefly flutter open too and gaze at her with open admiration. Something snapped. A flash of desire, mixed with anxiety, mixed with a sense of déjà vu that she didn’t understand. Sam jolted as if shocked and Mark stilled, instantly releasing her.

“I’m sorry,” he said. She watched as he wiped his palms on his jeans. Now that was a first.

“There’s nothing to be sorry for. It’s fine. Um, the coffee is probably now cold. Would you like me to make you another one? You know, I was thinking that sketching you could be fun. You have the most interesting planes in your face. But first, um, let me get that coffee.” Damn, she was rambling. She didn’t ramble. Sam turned away, already heading toward the kitchen when Mark reached out his hand to stop her.

That wasn’t a charge of electricity she felt and even if it was, she sure as hell wasn’t acknowledging it. Her chin lifted, and her eyes met his.

Mark let her go. “No. I get it.” He nodded. “A sketch, huh?”

She smiled. “Well, I’d rather paint you. All in due time, of course.”

He smirked, flashing those devilish teeth. “As if you have enough paint to cover me.”

Sam couldn’t help but laugh. “How about you let me worry about what I can cover.”

 

 

SEDUCTION’S CANVAS can be ordered at AMAZON here: http://amzn.to/10tDzAb

Thank you so much for having me here. I can be found on my website at:

www.kwana.com

or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/KmJacksonAuthor

And on Twitter : https://twitter.com/kwanawrites

 

Author K.M. Jackson

Author K.M. Jackson

 

About K.M. Jackson

A native New Yorker, K.M. Jackson had two dreams for what she wanted to be when she “grew up”: 1. a fashion designer and 2. a writer.

After graduating from high school, she pursued her first dream and studied fashion design at New York’s FIT. She then spent ten years designing for various New York houses. But after years of juggling the oh-so-glam world of mid-market fashion along with being a mother of twins, K.M. took the leap of faith and decided to pursue her other long-held dream of being a writer.

She currently lives in a suburb of New York with her husband, teen twins, and her precocious terrier named Jack who keeps her on her toes. You can find her most days on her blog at www.kwana.com

 

Double Take

10 Jun

So happy to welcome the fab Alyssa Turner to my blog today! She’s here to give us a peek into her new story and the characters who bring it to life! Here’s your mission–you should definitely choose to accept it…

DoubleTake

Title: Double Take

Author: Alyssa Turner

Publisher: Etopia Press

Introduction:

The Matrix meets Savages.  Class warfare in the twenty-second century rages and someone has to do what’s right.  The mission is clear, but they didn’t think they’d fall in love.

Twin rebels and the girl from the glass tower have little in common except the undeniable attraction they share.  Ménage is complicated, twin ménage takes it a notch higher and a heart pounding plan to defeat a power hungry corporation in a post-apocalyptic world where profit rules at all costs makes Double Take one of the most unique new releases in erotic fiction today.

Blurb:

Same face, same mission, same woman. One big risk…
In post apocalyptic New York, Shannon Morris has one job to do: find the secrets everyone wants to hide from the all-powerful Eaglecorp. From her appointed perch high above the underclass, she would never have guessed she’d become a rebel sympathizer, or fall for two men at the same time–twins.
Ex-military resistance fighters Tristan and Pryor Davies also have a mission: to take down Eaglecorp by any means necessary. And Shannon is their key. But loving Shannon was never part of that plan. It’s a complication no amount of training could have prepared them for. They know instinctually how to rule her pleasure, and the sex between the three of them is explosive. But when the twins are forced to choose between their mission and Shannon, they struggle to find a solution they can live with. Because living without Shannon isn’t an option.
Awakened to Eaglecorp’s oppressive stranglehold on the people, Shannon begins to discover just what she’s capable of. There’s no turning back from the mission–or from the searing heat of twin lovers. Shannon is the key to defeating Eaglecorp, but only if she can unlock the truth before everything falls apart. In the end, the biggest secret she’ll uncover might be her own…

Trailer:   

Meet Double Take’s Tristan, Pryor and Shannon

Abstract dark blue technical background

Abstract dark blue technical background

Abstract dark blue technical background

Acclaim:        Five stars – “If you like steamy futuristic suspense with two alpha-males and a kick-ass heroine, you should read this book!” Isabelle, More Books than Livros

Five stars – “I loved this post-apocalyptic ménage romance!”  Mary, Mary’s Ménage Whispers (formerly Mary’s Naughty Whispers)

Four stars – “It has heat, it has steam, and it has substance.”  Bitten by Books for ARE Café

Excerpt: 

August 16, 2158

Shannon took in the sight of them. Two sleek chiseled frames, perfectly male, unmistakably powerful, standing in nothing but the low hung cotton underwear they’d slept in. She followed the valleys at each of their hips, suddenly grateful for the ten sets of military style sit-ups neither started the day without. Identical bodies stood languidly over her only an arm’s length away, radiating with confidence and compassion and sex. She couldn’t love either of them more, though her reasons for loving each had proven unique if not complex. The Davies twins were one of a kind and no one else but Pryor and Tristan could better prepare her for what she needed to do.

“Are you ready for today?” Tristan asked.

Shannon sat on the edge of the bed, still wearing his T-shirt.

“I’m anxious,” she admitted.

Pryor stepped closer to her and knelt between her legs. He dragged his hands up her bare thighs and they disappeared under the frayed hem.

“You’re going to do great, darling.”

Shannon caught her breath at his closeness. She’d felt those lips enough times to know his kiss would curl her toes. His mouth opened on hers and she tasted his minty breath and smelled the freshness of his shave. His tongue was always playful at first, sweeping at hers with tiny flicks a few times before gaining intensity. Soon she would be drowning in him, his dominance. He pressed her to the bed and she reveled in the way his fingertips dented her skin as he brought her legs up around his waist. Tristan didn’t need a formal invitation. Instincts were in play. Besides, Pryor wouldn’t hog her all to himself. That wouldn’t be right. Not when she needed them both.

The bed dipped at her head where Tristan now knelt. His brother withdrew a bit, enough to allow Tristan to slip his hands onto her breasts. Tristan had the most delicate touch, fine and precise, finding her sensitive nerves at the underside of her small mounds and stroking with trained fingers up the sides. Shannon arched her back away from the mattress and toward his fingertips. She didn’t think her nipples could get any harder, until he swept his flat palms in tight delicate circles over them.

There was work to be done, but still they wouldn’t rush her. Tristan blessed one of her small breasts with soft wet warmth. Then he dragged his fingers along the lengths of her arms and pinned her wrists in his lap. A kiss to her mouth landed upside down, but was just as perfectly placed. Pryor took the chance to wrap his lips onto her cooling nipple, still wet from Tristan’s twirling licks. Now they had her, both holding her in place between them, exactly where she wanted to be. Shannon needed to be taken this way, especially this morning. Soon enough she’d be the one to carry the weight of the world.

* * *

Two weeks earlier

“Shannon, Raymond Stark has arrived for his two o’clock appointment.”

Stark was on time, of course. Shannon took a clipped breath to answer the voice-com.

“Thanks, Joel. I’ll greet him personally.” Then, fumbling desperately in her purse for the silver tube of lip stain that mocked her from the bottom, she added with false composure, “Please let him know I’ll be right out.”

Shannon had no idea why she was so nervous. She wasn’t the type to fidget in her chair or smooth and re-smooth her skirt. Nearly one hundred employees passed over her desk each year for final screening. They were the ones with the butterflies, wondering if she’d found some reason to block their promotions or worse. But all week Shannon had been neck deep in Raymond Stark’s profile search and building a healthy curiosity for the man who now stood waiting in her reception area. She inhaled deeply and walked toward a tall figure looking sharp in his impeccably tailored suit. Her stride was eager, her hand extended, purporting the picture of confidence.

She took hold of him. “I’m Shannon Morris, Mr. Stark.” She gauged his grip and judged his style: strong, firm single shake, not overly eager. “Right this way.”

“You can tell a lot about a person from their handshake,” he said as his fingertips slipped away from hers.

Shannon’s eyebrow rose with interest for the coincidence, and she watched a grin flood his razor-clean face.

“I’d have to agree with you.” She nodded in slow motion, showing him through the double glass doors.

He studied the place, looking around at each window, noting the impressive views from both sides of her corner office with an obligatory compliment. Settling in a glossy red vinyl armchair opposite her desk, he finally rested his gaze on her hazel eyes. She also took a seat, folded her hands casually on the desktop, and began to relax.

“Congratulations are in order no matter the outcome of this Human Resources screening, Mr. Stark. It’s quite an accomplishment to be considered for Sector Vetting Marshal.”

“Call me Raymond, please,” he corrected with a long pause before responding. His eyes creased softly, small lines familiar with framing the ready smile on his lips. “You’re pretty accomplished yourself. Senior Director by thirty-two…a rising star.”

Shannon felt her cheeks warm. His brazenness was shocking. It was common for candidates to do a search on her before their appointments; it helped them feel on equal ground, and she couldn’t blame them for that. But it took balls to openly use her own disarming tactics against her. If he meant to throw her off her game, it worked.

Her mouth formed a tight smile and she took a breath.

“Though you are no doubt familiar with this process, I must first inform you that this is an official inquiry into your recorded past. As an employee of Eaglecorp Global Inc., you are required to disclose everything of interest.”

“Of interest to Eaglecorp.” It didn’t sound like a question, but she felt like it was.

Her nose twitched, the way it did when she told a lie.

“Of course, this is not personal.” Not exactly personal, since she didn’t yet know him personally. Still the weeks of his inanimate likeness staring back from her com-screen had made his physical presence seem oddly intimate. In person, his pooling eyes deepened with the color of night as he spoke. There was challenge in those eyes, like he lived on the edge of a dare.

She shifted in her seat and struck a firm tone, intending to sound official. “I will ask the questions and you will answer to the best of your ability. Shall we begin?”

Leaning back against the chair, he nodded once with casual permission. “Whenever you’re ready.”

“You grew up in Canada, though you were born in Maine. Do you still have ties in Montreal?”

“My grandmother passed away during the summer of 2143. She was the last of my family there.”

“Your father was a—”

“A janitor, yes. I come from humble beginnings.”

“All the more impressive to have you here before me today.”

“Is that all you are impressed with?”

She flushed entirely red, she just knew it. Damn him for that. He was as smug as they come, only the condition wasn’t exactly undeserved. Purposely, she averted her eyes away from his sculpted features, though it was a struggle.

“After you received your secondary degree, there is a gap in your search results. For two years you are un-traceable. How do you explain that?”

“I took some time for myself and traveled.”

“But there are no travel records, no credit transactions.”

He held up his hands. “You got me.”

Shannon pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes on him.

“I traded passage south to Mexico on a shipping vessel. Such a thing is only illegal in the States.”

“Why trade at all? Why not travel on the bonus credits you received for graduating college?”

“I was young and curious. Living off the grid was a challenge, an experiment of sorts.”

Shannon tapped her pen on her desk, not sure what to make of the interview. She’d expected him to say something like he’d gone back to Montreal to tend to his ailing grandmother. Never did she imagine such a flagrant admission of guilt.

“You understand that intentionally evasive behavior is frowned upon by the corporation.”

“I do.”

“And so what is to say that you will not decide to drop off the grid again, Mr. Stark?”

“I am a company man now, Ms. Morris. My record speaks for itself.”

“I see you’ve increased profits in your area by over twenty percent during the past eighteen months.”

“A result of cost cutting on the individual level. But I don’t think I’m here to reiterate my résumé.”

“No. You’re not.”

“I’m here for you to determine whether I’m Platinum Class material.” He leaned in and placed his hands on her desk. It vibrated just slightly and Shannon was vaguely aware of a sudden heat radiating from the glass surface. His darkening eyes were intense, seducing her mind into agreement.

“And that’s exactly what you are going to do.”

Shannon felt her head go foggy with only a single light of focus in the haze. One sentence on her lips, the only words she knew in the English language at that moment. “Yes, you have my recommendation.”

 

Author Bio: 

Alyssa Turner 2 med

If you asked her, she’d say it all started with her vast collection of paper dolls.  That’s how long Alyssa Turner has been crafting intricate story lines full of twists and turns and memorable characters.  Thirty years later, her stories are now quite grown up.

She writes erotica and erotic romance in all lengths, having been featured in a number of notable anthologies.  With her proclivity for the ménage genre, Alyssa is often recognized for weaving complexity and emotional depth into her characters and plots.

Alyssa has more than several full length novels under her belt and no two stories are the same. For Alyssa, it’s much more fun to try something new.   Read more about Alyssa Turner and preview her published works on her blog.  http://alyssaturnerwrites.blogspot.com

 

Connect with Alyssa Turner:

Blog:  http://alyssaturnerwrites.blogspot.com

Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/alyssaturnerwrites

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/AlyssaTurner

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/alyturn

Amazon Author Page:  http://amazon.com/author/alyssaturner

YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/0alyssaturner0

Buy Link:  http://amzn.to/NtARUU

Inquiring Minds

7 Jun

Vristen: Today I’m handing over my blog to the fabulous Elle Rush. She’s even graciously agreed to give us a little taste of her story, “Bear With Me”. Take it away, Elle!

 

Guest post and excerpt, courtesy of Elle Rush:

I have a question. Of all the possible wereanimals and shapeshifters out there, why have I never once seen a story about a sasquatch? Really, they are the ultimate half-man/half-beast creation. They’re perfect.

And fictional. But so is the story that shouldn’t stop anyone. It’s a great idea (and if you want to steal it, go ahead) but not one I’m going to be chasing any time soon. I’m playing with my own shifters, whose origin story starts light years away.

I didn’t write a sasquatch shifter story but one did make it into “Bear With Me”. Here is one of my favourite exchanges between Bear, the human-turned-grizzly, and Manon, the park ranger who was looking for him:

“…You were right about there being a meteor shower. You were a little off on the timing though. The big ones started a couple weeks ago. They’re still happening. NASA is going nuts. Airlines too. It’s world-wide and unpredictable. The news is saying it mostly happens at night.”

 

“This is happening all over the world?” No wonder she wasn’t freaking out on him.

 

“This? No. Nothing about people changing into animals. That would have made the news. The meteorite strikes. There have been a few stories about quarantined areas and some samples being sent off to government labs but those are only on fringe news websites.”

 

Bear allowed himself to be distracted for a moment. “Why do you follow fringe news websites?”

 

“I’m a park ranger. I try to keep up to date on Bigfoot sightings.”

 

“Really?”

 

“No. I ran a web search on the meteor showers since your file indicated you had an interest in astronomy. They popped up.”

 

He wanted to ask more, but Manon’s sigh said she wasn’t finished.

Maybe there is a limit to limits of disbelief. Maybe wereanimals from outer space crosses that line. I don’t think they do. I think that the limit is only determined by the scope of the story and the quality of the storytelling. I’m hoping I reach those levels.

 

Bio:

Elle Rush is a Canadian romance author from Winnipeg, Manitoba. When she’s not travelling, she’s hard at work writing her hot sci-fi shifter and contemporary romance eBooks which are set all over the world. Elle earned a degree in Spanish and French, barely passed German, and is starting to learn Italian and Japanese. She has flunked poetry in every language she’s ever taken. She’s also has mild addictions to tea, cookbooks and the sci-fi channel. Follow her at www.ellerush.com or on her Twitter account @elle_rush.

A collection of hot, shifter romance!

Blurb for “Bear With Me”, part of the “Beneath a Spring Moon” collection:

When Bartholomew “Bear” Cain set up camp in the Manitoba wilderness to get an unobstructed view of a meteor shower, he had no idea he was going be exposed to an alien element and merge with a grizzly bear. Learning to control the shift is hard enough, but when poachers steal his gear, Bear has to learn to survive.

Manon Martin, a conservation officer sent to look for a rogue grizzly, but obsessed with finding the missing man, discovers both when Bear saves her from a wild animal attack. Manon vows to keep him safe—not just from the returning poachers, or through the cold winter’s night, but into the future beyond, assuming they both survive.

Pick up this story, and three others, from Liquid Silver Books, Amazon, ARe (All Romance Ebooks), Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

The Alpha Heroine

5 Jun

Sexy shot of pure kickassitude, no chaser.

We all know what we think of when we think ‘alpha male’, but what about the other side of that coin? I do love a take-charge heroine who is bold, confident, and assertive. In my erotic romance novel (that I’m hoping to self-publish early next year–crossing my fingers that I can get the ball rolling on the paperwork aspects of starting a “business”, yikes), my heroine is all of those things and more. It’s the “and more” part that gets things cooking…and then makes them deliciously messy.

Stephanie is damn close to an anti-heroine. She has great qualities, but she’s far from sunshine and roses. She’s so, so far. And those great qualities are so, so hidden to most people. An unapologetic grouch with a baaad case of ze potty mouth, no one could possibly mistake her for a shiny, happy heroine. My girl’s willing to throw down, if necessary. Now don’t run off frightened just yet! Sure, Steph’s bold. Sure, she’s confident and assertive. But are those her only good qualities? Nah. Stephanie’s fierce, to be sure, but that fire she carries inside burns in all sorts of directions. She’s fiercely protective of those (very, very select few) she loves. She’s fiercely competitive (and gets to work her brand of badass magic on her antagonist in the story, a much despised co-worker.) She’s fiercely passionate as well. And since this is a romance, Stephanie gets her opportunity to allow that quality to shine. Oh, and shine it does. When she meets Chance, the sexy, although slightly cocky man who becomes her boss, you just know the wheels start turning in that fabulous mind of hers. She’s far too goal-oriented for those wheels to stay motionless long. She plans to use the gorgeous schmuck in order to further her own agenda, but… Well, sometimes things don’t go as planned, right? Anyway, the fun gets wicked when you put her with a man who’s way too sure of himself and deserves to be knocked down a peg or three. Neither is used to backing down from a challenge and the biggest challenge they’ve ever faced is one another. Sparks fly, things ignite, clothes are shed, naughty things that shan’t be spoken of here are done. Yeah, in other words, I had a blast writing this sucker, lol.

In any case, for me, it’s almost easier to know what an alpha heroine isn’t rather than what she is. She’s not shy. She’s not a wallflower. She’s not weak. She’s not perfect. She’s not one to back down from fights, obstacles, problems, etc. What I do wonder is: What is an alpha heroine to others? Or perhaps it’s just meant to be one of those great mysteries of life. Maybe she’s just too damn elusive to define. Probably. It would, after all, be just one more way for the alpha heroine to keep us on our toes.