Category Archives: Uncategorized

The #Writer #Sewing

I’m not only an epic procrastinator when it comes to writing, but also when it comes to sewing.

I bought some adorable outdoor fabric last year to re-cover my super old, super skanky outdoor chair cushions. I figured, $50 for fabric sure beat $30 per new cushion. Have sewing machine, will create shit.

And then my big roll of bird fabric sat in my everything closet for 4 seasons…

But, in an effort to clear plates and be uber-productive (sort of), I busted that shit out the other day.

Observe:

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Blurry photo of totally gross cushion I’m rather ashamed to post.

 

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The master at work. Also BIRDS!!!! Note my faithful pin chicken.

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Voila!

 

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Full disclosure: I made one cushion with the birds upright, and then cut my remaining fabric after downing a bottle of Saki, all the while telling myself to be sure not to cut it sideways. Yes, the others are all upside-down (and I now realize there was some drunken photography going on). Also, I miscalculated my yardage and ended up short. I used a red outdoor upholstery fabric I had from a project I did at the Boston house and used it for the back of one cover.

Okay, so I won’t be selling my sewing wares on etsy anytime soon (ever), but you have to admit, they look way better than the originals!

-Kimber

 

 


Cover Reveal: Soaring Hearts by A.L. Boyd

 

SoaringHearts-Large

Blurb

Will hearts soar when pigs fly?

Alex’s job working for his family-owned radio station once took him all over the city reporting on major events—until the accident. His scars, both physical and emotional, cause him to withdraw into a self-imposed, semi-reclusive lifestyle. When his dad requests that he go to the world’s largest hot air balloon festival, he has to find the courage to break his isolation. Now he needs to find the courage to trust and love again.

Jeff had already been planning a move to Albuquerque when he lost his home, parents, and dog to a wildfire in California. To begin his new life, he agrees to help his sister and brother-in-law with their balloon at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Now he’s seen pigs fly and bees kissing, but will he find the love he’s been searching for?

 

Author Bio

A cartographer by day, A.L. Boyd spends most of her free time with her horses, gardening, or reading. She never intended to be a writer, but stories like this one sometimes just pop into her head. The writing came about as a way to get the stories out. Her first story for the Goodreads M/M Romance DRitC event Crest Ridge Vacation was expanded to the novella titled Crest Ridge.

Contact & Media Info

Email | Goodreads | Facebook

Other works include:

Crest Ridge

The Dawn of Darkness –Free short story for the Goodreads M/M Romance Group

And a short story included in the Kickass Anthology written and donated to help fellow author Eric Arvin with his medical bills.


Send Lawyers, Guns, and Roses by Heloise West

Send Lawyers, Guns, and Roses by Heloise West releases on April 19, 2016. It’s the sequel to Hitting Black Ice, so I recommend you pick up the first in Heloise’s Heart and Haven series right now (if you haven’t already) so you’ll be primed for book two next week. Both novels are action-packed and sure to please any MM mystery lover!

HeloiseWest_SendLawyersGunsandRoses

Blurb:

When Hunter and Alex (formally Shawn) are given the vacation of a lifetime, it’s a chance for them to pay attention to romance and get out of the path of danger. The tiny Caribbean island of Saba is gorgeous, the first to have marriage equality, and the Sabans are the nicest people on earth.

There’s lots of rum poolside for relaxing and a room with a mirror on the ceiling for passion. Hot karaoke nights, cold beer, and new friends.

Their new friends Orfeo and Max, and Max’s sister Talisha, share a troubling secret. Alex and Hunter want to help. As a hurricane bears down on them, a dead body surfaces, and a purple backpack loaded with stolen jewels leads a pair of dangerous men to the island.

Alex would rather poke his own eyes out with a pointy stick than call on his old enemy Nick Truman for help; he’d also do anything to keep Hunter out of danger. But even his nemesis can’t reach them now.

Once again, they only have each other to depend on as their paradise is about to become hell on earth.

 

Hitting Black Ice:heloisewest_hittingblackice

ER physician’s assistant Hunter guards his heart carefully, but that doesn’t stop him from falling for Shawn, the front desk clerk.  He keeps his distance from relationships for a reason, but just can’t help himself when it comes to Shawn.

Shawn is on the run from the law and love to protect himself and anyone else involved. One man is dead because of him, and his life now is simple and easily thrown into a bag at any hint of danger. Until he meets Hunter, and he no longer wants to run.

Forced into a hostage situation, buried passion explodes in the aftermath, and sex in the supply closet brings their hearts back to life. Tentatively, step by step, they begin to explore a relationship together until the past catches up with Shawn.

FBI agent Nick Truman has finally found his man, but when Shawn escapes, he focuses his attention on Hunter. Shawn returns, even though it means sacrificing himself to save Hunter from the man who framed him for murder.

Buy Links:

http://www.loose-id.com/hitting-black-ice.html

http://www.amazon.com/Hitting-Black-Ice-Heloise-West-ebook/dp/B00QJEJ7VO/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hittingblackice-1689874-340.html

 

About Heloise West:

Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mayhem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of 10 years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.

Where to find Heloise:

Blogs: https://velvetpanic2.wordpress.com/

Website: http://heloisewest.wix.com/heloisewest

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heloise.west.1

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/heloisewest/

Email: heloise_67@hotmail.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/velvetpanic

Tumblr: http://heloisewest.tumblr.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8188216.Heloise_West


Some Pictures for Fun #wtf #horsingaround

Dollar Photo Club shuts down in 2 days.

Me tarzan... you tarzan... (1)

I had around 70 prepaid photo credits, so I “bought” a bunch of photos.

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Is that a pleather tie, Boston Strangler Bunny?

Some pics/picks were better than others.

horse mask young hipster gay man

Neigh! Don’t judge me.

-Kimber


The Long Way Home by Jessica Cale #kindle #giveaway

Woo hoo! Today I have my sister author (if you will, since we’re both published by Liquid Silver Books) Jessica Cale visiting. I adore Jessica’s books. Seriously, if you enjoy historical romance–not the window dressing kind, but the real deal–you should check out her Southwark series.

And her covers are sooooo pretty… Sigh.

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Jessica has given us a mini history lesson rife with dastardly doings (my favorite), so read on!

————

The Long Way Home is set in the court of Louis XIV at the beginning of the murder scandal that would become known as the Affair of the Poisons. Although this has become an overlooked corner of history, the revelations that arose from this scandal once caused terror throughout France and had serious consequences for hundreds of citizens from all walks of life. So what was it?

The Affair of the Poisons

The Affair of the Poisons was a major scandal that took place during the reign of Louis XIV in France between 1675 and 1682. Hundreds of people were accused of murder, conspiracy, and witchcraft, resulting in the imprisonment, torture, exile, or execution of nearly three hundred people, many of them prominent members of society.

Madame de Brinvilliers

The Affair of the Poisons is generally considered to begin with the trial and subsequent execution of Madame de Brinvilliers in 1675-6. A wealthy and respectable woman, Brinvilliers was convicted of conspiring to poison her father and two brothers with hopes of inheriting their estates. This was no crime of passion, but a coldly calculated maneuver executed very slowly over the course of years. She went to the trouble of installing her own servants in the homes of her father and brothers, and successfully poisoned all three relatives. She had also poisoned her husband and daughter, but gave them both antidotes in a fit of conscience.

This trial called attention to other mysterious deaths and raised fears across the kingdom. When an anonymous note detailing a plot to murder the king was found in a confession box in 1677, paranoia hit fever pitch.

The fears were well-founded.

When another woman, Madame de La Grange, was arrested in 1677 on murder charges, she appealed with information of other serious crimes, leading to the discovery of a vast network of people involved in poison, murder, witchcraft, infanticide, and even Satanism right under the King’s nose.

Investigation

Gabriel Nicolas de la Reynie, the chief of Paris police, followed the accusations to a number of fortune tellers, alchemists, and even renegade priests. If you’re thinking all this was over a little palm reading, think again. Fortune tellers and others were found to be selling poisons and other “remedies” door-to-door or even in shops along with cosmetics and household tonics (think evil Avon lady).

The most infamous of these was midwife Catherine Deshayes Monvoisin, also known as La Voisin, who was arrested in 1679. Following her arrest, La Voisin implicated many of her clients who were prominent members of the aristocracy, including one of the king’s mistresses, Madame de Montespan, the Comtesse de Soissons, the Duchesse de Bouillon, and the Duke of Luxembourg.

Poison and Witchcraft

Although the poisons they were using were potent enough to do away with rivals without any help, it was believed that magic gave the poison its power. We’re not talking about a few little spells, here, either. The magic was believed to come from priests, and a number of unscrupulous priests accepted this kind of work on the side to supplement their clerical livings. For a fee, they would say mass over magic charms and even poison to infuse them with power, regardless of their intended use. If poison or charms made from holy oil or menstrual blood did not prove to be potent enough to achieve the person’s aims, there was also something called an Amatory Mass. What was that, exactly? You probably don’t want to know. If you’re at all squeamish, maybe skip the next paragraph.

At the height of the Affair of the Poisons, there were accusations that certain prominent members of the court, most notably the King’s longest-serving mistress and mother to seven of his children, Madame de Montespan, had employed corrupt priests to perform a ritual called an Amatory mass. While it was superficially similar to common Christian mass, it differed with a few key details. Said over the body of a naked woman (usually the person requesting the magic), it culminated in the sacrifice of a human infant. While the existence of these has not been conclusively proven, testimony of priests thought to be involved is eerily similar.

Aftermath

The investigations into the Affair of the Poisons resulted in the imprisonment, torture, and interrogation of many people, as well as the execution of a further thirty-six. Following the execution of La Voisin in 1680, the king’s minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert helped to sweep things under the rug on the king’s instruction. His Chambre Ardente, a court established to judge cases of poisonings and witchcraft, was closed in 1682 on the king’s instruction because so many courtiers and those connected to them had been questioned and found guilty that he could not abide the scandal.

Some measures were taken to limit the availability of poisons after the scandal. In 1682, an edict proclaimed that anyone convicted of supplying poison, whether or not that supply resulted in death, would be sentenced to death. Alchemists found themselves under greater scrutiny because of the involvement of a small number of them in the formulation of the poisons, most notably Brinvilliers’ alchemist lover. The same edict restricted alchemy to that conducted with the protection of a permit. Further limits were placed on the sale of arsenic and mercury sublimate, so that they were no longer available to the general public, but only to professions that were deemed to require them.

***

The Long Way Home takes place in Versailles in 1677, just as the Affair of the Poisons is beginning in earnest. The court is plagued with mysterious deaths, the king fears for his life, and Alice quickly discovers that court is not as virtuous as it appears.

Sources

Lynn Wood Mollenauer. Strange Revelations: Magic, Poison, and Sacrilege in Louis XIV’s France.

Anne Somerset. The Affair of the Poisons: Murder, Infanticide, and Satanism at the Court of Louis XIV.

Blurb:

A paranoid king, a poison plot, and hideous shoes…it’s not easy being Cinderella.

After saving the life of the glamorous Marquise de Harfleur, painfully shy barmaid Alice Henshawe is employed as the lady’s companion and whisked away to Versailles. There, she catches King Louis’ eye and quickly becomes a court favorite as the muse for Charles Perrault’s Cinderella. The palace appears to be heaven itself, but there is danger hidden beneath the façade and Alice soon finds herself thrust into a world of intrigue, murder, and Satanism at the heart of the French court.

Having left his apprenticeship to serve King Charles as a spy, Jack Sharpe is given a mission that may just kill him. In the midst of the Franco-Dutch war, he is to investigate rumors of a poison plot by posing as a courtier, but he has a mission of his own. His childhood friend Alice Henshawe is missing and he will stop at nothing to see her safe. When he finds her in the company of the very people he is meant to be investigating, Jack begins to wonder if the sweet girl he grew up with has a dark side.

When a careless lie finds them accidentally married, Alice and Jack must rely on one another to survive the intrigues of the court. As old affection gives way to new passion, suspicion lingers. Can they trust each other, or is the real danger closer than they suspect?

“Really brilliant writing that’s so engaging with such endearing characters! I especially love the way Jack and Alice are both so devoted to each other! I was totally absorbed in this exciting and fascinating world Jessica Cale created from the very first paragraph to the last! I read this all in one sitting, staying awake late to finish, just had to!”Romazing Reader

Add to Goodreads

Buy links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Google Play

Kobo

Liquid Silver

Find the rest of the series here.

Rafflecopter: Win a 7” Kindle Fire. Open from 2/22-3/14.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

—–

Jessica Cale (6)About the author

Jessica Cale is the award-winning author of the historical romance series, The Southwark Saga. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in North Carolina.

Website: http://www.authorjessicacale.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicacale

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaCale @JessicaCale

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rainbowcarnage

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Cale/e/B00PVDV9EW

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9819997

Jessica Cale Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/bMas0P

 

 


Balancing Act is Official! #LGBT #Gay #Romance

I just signed a contract for Balancing Act with Liquid Silver Books! It feels good to be back in the saddle after a rather long writing hiatus, and I’m trying hard not to let the Samhain news tarnish what is usually one of the greatest highs I know. I’m also plugging along on the new book in my Shooting Stars series starring mega-model Andy (who you’ll meet in BA. By the way, I love shortening Balancing Act to BA. Cracks me up). So far so good with the current WIP. You can check out my Pinterest board for Vic, Andy’s smokin’ hot bad boy bodyguard. I’ll keep adding, so feel free to follow along for more of my inspirational photos. 😉 I think you’re going to love these two and I’ve definitely fallen for them, so that certainly makes the writing easier.

To celebrate BA releasing sometime in the next three/four months, I’ll give you a teaser (unedited, of course)kyrie. 🙂

 

Blurb:

Greg Dwyer and Kyrie Li are living the glorious couple life in New York City. Or are they? When struggling actor Kyrie lands a modeling job, he’s ecstatic to be able to pitch in for his share of the mortgage and to plan a secret birthday vacation for his best-friend-turned-boyfriend.

Of course, Greg is suspicious that Anders Berglund, the gorgeous and androgynous Swedish cover model the designers love to pair with Kyrie, is after his man. And maybe Kyrie is encouraging a growing closeness with the guy.

Greg is probably to blame if Kyrie is drawn to the openly gay and seriously beautiful Andy. With Andy, Kyrie can be himself, as loud and proud as he’s always been. But Greg’s

sexuality stays firmly locked in the closest except for when he’s with Kyrie’s supportive family or alone with the man he loves.

To make matters worse, Greg’s out-of-touch mom meets with financial ruin and moves in with the couple, forcing him into the closet in his own home.

Can Greg find a way to stand up to mommy dearest and win back a love he fought so hard to reach? He discovers the road to pride begins at home, and with accepting oneself first. Otherwise, it’s just a dead-end street.

(NSFW) Excerpt:

Kyrie loved being the seductive bottom; getting Greg all worked up with his teasing and flirting. Backing off while Greg simmered. Then Kyrie would stoke him higher, pressing further until Greg eventually broke and became the domineering top. Usually they let the game go for a while, pushing each other’s buttons in their own drawn-out version of foreplay.

The sliver of pain slicing down Kyrie’s crack paired succulently with the throbbing wood pressed against his lower belly. All signs told him they were going straight to sudden death—no warm up, no scrimmage, just hot, fast action. Game on.

“What’re you gonna do to me?”

“I should make you beg.” Greg grabbed Kyrie’s hard-on with his other hand. “Make you drop on your knees and suck me off. Then get me hard again for your turn.” Kyrie whimpered, his mouth filling with saliva. “Get my cock nice and wet before I feed it to that greedy ass of yours.”

“Yes.” It was a husky wanton word, more moan than speech. Kyrie closed his eyes and in the darkness the scruff he adored grazed his chin and cheeks as Greg’s lips covered his. His tongue split Kyrie’s mouth open, not like he didn’t want it, but the coy act was a tough one to break. Well, Greg broke it. Butchered it. Tenderized Kyrie’s tongue with his own until Kyrie’s thighs quivered and the strip of spandex jammed up his ass became another lover he wanted to hump when his pelvic thrusts pitched him away from the hard slab of man rutting against his front.

Greg cupped Kyrie’s balls again. “Whose are these?”

“Yours.” Kyrie’s breath stuttered while Greg dragged fingers over his cock, a bit hard, a bit rough. Absolutely perfect.

“Whose dick it this?” Greg milked precome from Kyrie like a seasoned farmhand, leaning down to bite Kyrie’s lower lip nearly hard enough to draw blood. Kyrie groaned.

“Yours, Greg.”

“Turn around.” In case Kyrie wasn’t about to follow orders, Greg spun him so his palms slapped the wall, his face pressed to cool paint as Greg slid warm hands up and under Kyr’s mesh top. He pinched his erect nipples, eliciting a gasp, and then stroked Kyrie’s satin-covered dick before heading back toward his waistband. Kyrie braced for another tug upward, but Greg surprised him by yanking his underwear down. The burn on his crack flared and abated, and then Greg’s fingers, slick with spit, were drifting down the cleft and pressing against his hole like a balm.

“Whose tight ass is this, Kyr?”

Jealous horny Greg had to be Kyrie’s favorite sex toy. “It can be yours.”

Greg punished, or maybe rewarded him, with a thick pointer finger piercing him fully, no warning. Kyrie sobbed, cheek hitting the wall. Greg’s mouth found his earlobe, biting, and then licking, his finger fucking Kyrie slowly while the hard cock caged in fine wool mimicked the action against Kyrie’s lower back. “Just mine.” Greg growled against his ear, nipping at the delicate skin below before sucking it into his mouth for a second. “You don’t want me marking you for your photo shoot, you better give me the right answer.”

————–

Yay! Sorry for the HUGE wait on this book. Hopefully it will be worth it! 🙂 By the way, if you haven’t read Hard Act to Follow yet, you might want to get on that since Balancing Act continues with Greg and Kyrie’s story (as well as introduces Andy, who gets the next book).

-Kimber

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Free story when you sign up for my totally unspammy newsletter!


Villains with Vaginas

I was on social media the other day (shocking, I know) and stumbled over a thread that piqued my interest. Someone had read a book in which women seemed to be vilified to the point of misogyny. The disappointed reader said it was a theme she’d been running into frequently and numerous other readers chimed in that they had the same issue with MM books. I haven’t read the book in question, so I can’t speak to its content, but women being portrayed negatively in gay romance is hardly a new phenomenon. Readers have been complaining about it for years.

When I first began writing MM, rumblings about women being cast as conniving harpies abounded on review sites–every female in nearly every book was pure evil. Or there were no females in books, in other cases.

Female sorcerer with two troll beasts

Long ago, I vowed to be super conscientious about how my female characters came across. And then I largely washed my hands of the worry. Seriously, I’m the girl who likes to joke that women can’t do X because their vaginas are so cumbersome they get in the way. I used to go to parties in HS to challenge dudes to mercy competitions just to prove what a bad ass I was. Well, and to drink (shot for shot with the guys, of course). Yeah, also to get laid because treating men the way I perceived they’d treated women since the dawn of time–like a piece of meat to be used–was my shtick, I’m rather ashamed to say (they rarely minded, for the record, so I guess I won’t feel too guilty).

My point is, I’m not the girl who thinks women are in any way inferior to men (really–why would any woman think that?). I mean, we squeeze squalling 8 lb beings from our bodies and then we’re like, give me some fucking pizza and let me walk around or I’ll drown you in breast milk. If anything, I’ve got a chip on my shoulder when it comes to how undervalued women are.

Yet, whenever I see these posts, I get paranoid.

I shouldn’t. I know I shouldn’t. I am woman, with better plumbing, carpentry, and electrical skills than most men I know. Hear me roar. I won’t even mention my chest hair (I blame gin).

Oh, but people were complaining about the evil fictional ex-wife! The evil mother-in-law!

Well, I’ve written a character mid-divorce in a nasty custody battle. Yes, his wife came off witchy, but she’d given her best years to a guy and wanted to keep her kid. No, she wasn’t nice to her soon-to-be ex-husband, but I’ve seen more ugly divorces than I can count, and I don’t think a bit of reality is untoward. Guaranteed, if I’d been writing from the ex-wife’s POV, Gio would have looked like a total cobnobbler.

Not that anyone has accused me of defaming women. But the conversation makes me rethink every female character I’ve ever written. Was she too bitter? Did I make all women look bad by writing one woman going through a shitastic stage in her life? Should I never write female characters I wouldn’t want to be friends with IRL? Should I never write a female as an antagonist for fear of being labeled a misogynist?

I have more awesome women than bitchy women in my books, when I do the math. Probably equal amounts antagonistic men to antagonistic women. Realistically, someone needs to be the adversary in contemporary romance.

And then I just wrote a rather unlikable mother-in-law(ish)…

Maybe exes and MILs are overdone at this point. Maybe that’s the problem, in which case, contemporary MM may be overdone too because, well, as I know I’ve complained before, we can’t just pull a (sexless) monster out of our asses to make a villain.

Now, is Greg’s mom in my latest book (Balancing Act~~Coming soon to a website near you! Shameless plug!) absolute evil? No. Not even remotely. Matter of fact, she’s based on a woman I happen to adore. Is she a horse-pill to swallow? Oh, you bet your ass. On the flip side, Kyrie’s mom is a love, she just doesn’t get major screen time in this book. Same for his cool friend, Liv.

Nice can be boring, TBH. Suspense doesn’t come from that totally humorous Comic-Con scene I keep contemplating. A book needs to move forward and then get kicked in the teeth to make it step back. It needs tension. Bad guys and bad girls.

Sigh. No one was complaining about my characters, so I know I shouldn’t get all twitchy about this. And, yes, if I happen to come across a book that makes me think the author hates women, I’ll get way fucking twitchier, but I hate how this conversation makes me think twice about using female characters at all. Much like complaints about authors writing persons of color incorrectly make me nervous about just writing any damn character that comes to mind.

I don’t want to shy away from female characters–or any characters. Occasionally, I even want to write a hard-nosed bitch. Just as sometimes I want to write a psychotic would-be murderer who happens to have a penis. Neither one makes me a misogynist or a misandrist.

I guess I’ll just keep reminding myself of that and follow wherever my characters lead. No fear. After all, they’re in charge–even if that means they come off a little cunty sometimes.

Hey, don’t we all?

-Kimber

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FREE FREE FREE FREE story. Click to sign up!

 

 

 


The Gazillionaire & the Virgin #Giveaway #BDSM

 

Today I have the lovely Lisabet Sarai stopping by with info on her new release, The Gazillionaire & the Virgin. To celebrate her book tour, Lisabet has a couple of giveaways, so read on for a sample of her refreshing role-reversal BDSM romance, and to learn how to be in the running for a $50 gift card or a paperback copy of The Gazillionaire & the Virgin!

—————–

Letting My Characters Lead

By Lisabet Sarai

On the plotter versus pantser dimension, I usually lean more toward plotting. I don’t do really detailed outlines or character sketches before I begin a book, but normally I have a pretty clear idea of the story arc. Often I will create a scene list. In particular, I know how I want the book to end. The process of writing is something like directing a film, as I walk the characters through the scenes, moving them in the direction of the climax and resolution.

The Gazillionaire and the Virgin was different. This was the first novel I’ve written using the Character-driven Random Walk Method. When I began writing, all I had was a title and the two main characters (reflected in the title), Rachel and Theo. I really had no idea what they’d do, other than having sex and falling in love.

I did know this was going to be an erotic romance. In fact, although the book deliberately shreds romance stereotypes, it preserves the essential core of romance, namely, the characters’ journey toward a loving relationship. So I understood there had to be obstacles or conflicts that would stand in the way of the happy ending. At the start, though, I couldn’t have told you the nature of those obstacles. I didn’t plan. I didn’t outline. That’s not like me at all! I simply sat down at my computer, invoked Rachel and Theo, and let them interact. At each point in the plot, the focus character in some sense decided what would happen next.

I’d expected the book would be 20K at most. As I let Rachel and Theo lead me deeper into their story, I discovered I was wrong. They did not want to be rushed. It took four chapters for them to get to their first erotic encounter. The revelation that they shared kinky interests took another four. By the time I reached the book’s climax, the events that tear them apart, I had more or less figured out how they’d reconcile, but I couldn’t make them follow my script. Theo turned out to be far more stubborn than I would have guessed. Fortunately, Rachel’s imagination came to the rescue. Still, every time I sat down to write what I thought would be the final chapter, I’d come to realize there was yet another one needed.

When I finally wrote “The End”, I was seriously relieved. I wasn’t sure Rachel and Theo would ever let me finish their story!

I know a lot of authors always write this way. Some of my writer friends talk about hearing voices in their heads. For me, though, this was a new experience—alternately fulfilling and frustrating. I have to admit that I am really pleased with the result. I hope readers will be, too.

~ ~ ~

This post is part of my Gazillionaire and Virgin blog tour, running from February 1st to 15th. Leave me a comment on this post, including your email address, and I’ll enter you to win a $50 bookstore gift certificate (first prize) or a print copy of the new book (second prize). Visit all the stops for more chances to win. You’ll find the full list here: http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/2016/01/blog-tour.html

TheGazillionaireAndTheVirgin_400

Trust can’t be bought—it has to be earned.

Blurb:

When Silicon Valley entrepreneur Rachel Zelinsky meets reclusive genius Theo Moore, she finds him strangely compelling. Theo is both arrogant and socially awkward, but he has an aura of power that speaks to Rachel’s carefully-hidden submissive side. Disturbed and aroused, she tries to focus on her original objective—a deal to incorporate his Artificial Intelligence software into her company’s popular virtual world. Rachel’s not a woman who lets pleasure interfere with business, but for some reason, she can’t resist Theo’s geeky appeal.

Theo Moore can’t be bought. His past battles with poverty make him deeply suspicious of the billionaire CEO. Still, with her voluptuous curves and brilliant mind, Rachel embodies his ultimate sexual fantasy. Too bad his knowledge about sex derives from

extensive research and a stash of kinky porn rather than real-world experience.

That doesn’t bother Rachel, however. In his bed—in his arms—in his bonds—she discovers the bliss of total surrender. Rachel may be Theo’s first lover, but Theo is Rachel’s first true Master—and the first man to truly touch her heart. It seems that love may harmonize their differing goals and values, until Rachel’s unwitting violation of Theo’s trust threatens to tear them apart forever.

Excerpt:

It won’t go away. All through the day—every day—need gnaws at my spirit. Whether I’m reading my email, meeting with my board of directors, preparing a presentation, closing a deal to acquire a promising start-up, discussing deployment of the next release with my engineering managers, I can’t shake the sense that something critical is missing. In yoga class, the aching knot just above my solar plexus doesn’t unwind, no matter how deeply I breathe. Driving to work, I have to force myself to pay attention. Otherwise, I drift off into recollections of my time with Theo—what he did, what he said, how I responded.

I miss him, miss him dreadfully, though it’s been only four days since we were last together. We’ve Skyped every night since the weekend, but somehow that only makes the hunger worse. When I see him there on my screen, grainy and over-exposed, all I want is to touch him—to brush the unruly hair off his forehead, to stroke his cheek, to trace the line of his plump, sensitive lips with my thumb. To offer up my own mouth for him to claim it, tear off my blouse and press my tits against his solid chest, sink to my knees and beg him to take me.

I’d be more than willing to strip and perform for him, to act out whatever lewd actions he ordered, but he refuses to become involved in any sort of phone or cyber-sex. “Everyone’s listening in,” he asserts. “The government. The neighbors. What you and I do should be private.” So we chat about safe topics—our work, what we’ve been reading, where we should go for dinner next weekend. All the while, lust burns in those bright eyes of his. I know what he’s thinking. I’m thinking the same thing.

I’m not expecting him to call Thursday afternoon. The trill of my phone interrupts me as I’m giving Diane instructions for tomorrow. Still, the sound of his voice kindles a warm joy in the pit of my stomach as well as a wetness between my legs.

“Hello. Rachel?”

“Hi, Theo. What’s up?”

“I want you to come early tomorrow. Around noon.”

“I—um—I really can’t. I’ve got an all-day meeting up in San Francisco, some investors from India.”

“Cancel it.”

“What? I can’t do that. These guys have come half-way around the world to talk to me about a franchise deal. Think of the potential profit! More than a billion people, a soaring GDP, and Internet growth that’s doubling every year…”

It’s the wrong thing to say. I realize this the moment the statement’s out of my mouth.

“So you care more about money than about me.” Not a whining complaint, but a dry statement of the facts, at least as Theo sees them.

“No, of course not, but I can’t put my personal life above my business…”

“You should.” I can picture his face, the stubborn set of his jaw as he retreats, distancing himself from me. “But never mind. Of course you’re too busy. I should have expected that.”

“Wait! Wait, don’t hang up, Theo.” I struggle to keep him engaged. “What’s so important about tomorrow noon?”

“I want you to meet my sister. Ellen. She’s free for lunch tomorrow.”

“Can’t we do it Saturday?”

“She’s flying to Jamaica for a two week vacation with her partner Saturday morning.”

“What about when she gets back?”

“She doesn’t want to leave without talking to you. She says she’s worried about me, worried about our relationship. She’s afraid you’ll hurt me, break my heart.”

I’d never hurt you, I almost say, then understand I’m doing so at that very moment. And it feels horrible, like a knife twisting in my gut.

—————–

Links (Print coming soon!)

Amazon US

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B76B95K/

Amazon UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01B76B95K/

Barnes & Noble

All Romance

Kobo

Goodreads

—————-

About Lisabet

LISABET SARAI occasionally tackles other genres, but BDSM will always be her first love. Every one of her nine novels includes some element of power exchange, while her D/s short stories range from mildly kinky to intensely perverse.

You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website, along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance, she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads and finally, on Twitter.

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#Writing: How to Spot a Passive Clause

Since I am still churning away with edits on Balancing Act (and also writing some new stuff–yippee for new stuff!), I thought I’d do a little post on something I am not even remotely an expert on, and pass(ive) it off as a tutorial. Seriously, I suck big passive cojones, so this is to help me as much as anyone else. Here goes…in three, two…

Wow, this is such a great #teachingblog. I should totally #followit.

…one.

Anyway, the passive voice is one of those writing devils we tend to hear a ton about. It’s a stylistic “error” (for lack of a better word), rather than a grammatical one. Often, the problem with passivity (which, BTW, has not a thing to do with past tense, or tense at all), is it often reduces clarity in writing. Additionally, it can make the author read like a rhetoric-spouting politician. Let’s just look at an example:

The bill to tax individual producers of wind and solar energy was passed in Oklahoma.

That, right there, is some passive spin-doctor shit. It almost sounds like everyone in Oklahoma gave it the thumbs up, huh? Do you know how you can tell this is passive? Add by someone/something to the end.

A bill was passed by sneaky freaking legislatures whose pockets are lined by big business.

Look at me doubling down on the passive clauses!

Who is doing the acting here? It’s the legislatures (and big business). Let’s rewrite this in a more active way:

The sneaky legislatures passed a bill to screw small-time producers of green energy.

Now, it should be noted that neither sentence is grammatically incorrect. Maybe if politicians wanted to make it seem that some vague non-entity passed the bill–it’s not the government’s fault, mind you, it just happened–they would phrase it the first way. Which they do. Passivity is the politician’s playground.

Let’s take another example I like to use when trying to determine if a passive construct is preferable to an active (and it’s all entirely subjective, of course).

Barrack Obama was voted the 44th President.

I add the by at the end and see, yup, it’s passive. But should I reword this?

U.S. citizens voted Barrack Obama the 44th President.

Did I really want U.S. citizens to be my subject? Are they the most important thing about that sentence (ignoring the obvious exchange concerning for the people, by the people, blah, blah, bah)? The argument could easily be made that the subject should be the President and making the voters our subject detracts from the entire point of the statement. Again, it’s stylistically ambiguous.

Let’s take another example and see if you can tell whether it’s active or passive, shall we?

She was running from the garbage truck.

What do you think? It’s got that was, which tends to give people the heebie-jeebies, but it’s not a passive clause. She is the subject. Was (past tense of to be) is a helper for the verb running and the entire thing is written in past progressive (or continuous) tense. If you try the by trick is doesn’t add up. No one else is doing the running for her.

She was run over (by the garbage truck) is something entirely different and is entirely passive. The garbage truck is doing the acting. Of course, if she is my friend, I tend to think she ought to be the subject of the sentence even though the garbage truck was acting upon her. Bad enough she got hit, but now she’s not even the subject of her own story. Insult to injury, I say.

How about another?

The basement had been filled with exercise equipment.

Let’s see…there’s that had been, which is often a red flag. But watch out–to be (in any form) is not always passive. Try the by at the end:

The basement had been filled with exercise equipment by the homeowner.

That settles it. It’s passive. Well, fuck that–let’s fix it.

The homeowner had filled the basement with exercise equipment.

But what if you don’t know who put all that shit in the basement? What if Richard Simmons showed up with a crew of big burly guys and flipped someone’s basement for his new exercise reality TV show?

~Don’t go looking for it. I just made that up. Hey, it could happen.~

If you don’t know who did it, you may decide to leave it passive: The basement was filled with instruments of torture. Oh, but making it active, with the torture equipment front and center, is even better: Instruments of torture filled the basement, covering every square inch in enough wall-to-wall hell to make Ferdinand II of Aragon turn over in his dusty grave.

Okay. Last one.

I had been masturbating when the UPS man delivered a package to my front door.

Oooo, there’s that had been trying to screw with our heads. The sentence gets a little wordy after that, further mucking up the water. Let’s scrap the UPS man to make it easier to identify the conjugated to be as passive or not. Don’t forget to test with a by.

I had been masturbating by… Wait. What?

Hmm. Unless someone else was masturbating me (sigh) I submit that this sentence is perfectly active. I am the subject. Unfortunately, I was masturbating myself (no thanks to the UPS man–he only made the sentence of past perfect progressive/continuous tense because I was actively masturbating when he rang the doorbell and interrupted me). Jerk.

I should really get some curtains for the front door sidelight panels.

Okay, that’s all the writing dissection I’m doing for today. If you’d like to quiz yourself, here’s a handy link. Until next time, when I tackle subject verb agreement. Or not. Maybe sentence fragments. Or I could go on and on about comma splices, they really are a pain in the ass.

Kisses & Cooties,

Kimber

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Keeping it Real #amwriting

So, I’m finally nearing the end of my self-edit for Balancing Act. I know I’m suuuuuuper slow, but I like to fool myself into thinking that means it will be better than if I was suuuuuper fast. Right? Here’s to hoping.

Anyway, I’ve been stalled on plans for the next book for a long time now. I’ve got an idea of what will happen–I know Andy’s story fairly well, but this entire time I’ve been dreading writing it because I think it will be hard. Like, really hard. I haven’t been able to plan a love story, because all I can see is darkness. I couldn’t visualize the happy times amid all the issues. Until a few days ago, when I finally got a solid mental picture of my other MC and it all clicked.

I know it will still be hard.

Image courtesy of kangshutters at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of kangshutters at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Andy has baggage, so this book can’t be a walk in the park. I mean, even with that fancy wheeled luggage, he can’t drag it behind him for a stroll around the grounds– not without sore arms and a twinge in his back. Not without mud puddles and dive-bombing pigeons, stray baseballs and rude joggers throwing monkey wrenches at every turn. Hell, I’d just stay home with all my baggage and save myself the trouble.

But it MUST be a walk in the park! It’s a romance, dammit! That’s what I do! No matter how tough my characters have it (and they MUST have it tough, because they are meant to be real–they’re real in my head and I need them real in my readers’ hearts and the only way for that to work is for my guys to bleed), they still deserve the rainbows and cooing doves and ice cream sundaes.

Well, I figured it out (safe for me to say from the only outlining stage). Life isn’t sunshine and roses for any of us, but if we have someone who loves us unconditionally, who wants to make every moment sunbeams and park walks and flowers, well, it will be. Eventually. Certainly some of the time. And hauling all that baggage is easier with an extra set of arms (especially an extremely diesel set of tattooed arms–yes, I’m getting excited about this character. Suffice it to say, I’m having good times on Pinterest fleshing this guy out).

Anyway, all those rough spots will only make the good times better, the rainbows brighter, and the romance sweeter. At least, that’s what I’m banking on.

-Kimber

 

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