Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Draw Nigh and Listen to Kaye Spencer's Ghostly Tale

Thanks, Roxanne, for inviting me over today.

I've always been enthralled by ghost stories, and the American Old West is rich with legends that span the paranormal spectrum, such as
  • · Lost Dutchman's Mine in the southwest
  • · Denver's haunted Brown Palace Hotel
  • · The Alamo in Texas
  • · St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico
  • · Hell's Dogs of El Dorado Canyon, Nevada
  • · Phantoms of the Vallecito Stage Station in California
  • · Haunted Tombstone, Arizona
My favorite ghostly story comes from an old cowboy song written by Stan Jones in 1948 and recorded by a plethora of musicians…Ghostriders in the Sky.

Probably, the basis for this American ghostrider legend can be traced to Europe where there are older, and some ancient, versions of the story: the Wild Huntsman; the pack of white hounds with blood-red ears that accompanies Herne the Hunter; the Gabriel Hounds aka Hellhounds; Odin riding his eight-legged stallion and followed by the Souls of the Dead; and the Orkney Islands' fairies who travel the night skies on horseback while herding stolen cattle ahead of them.

Each of these Wild Hunt stories has a phantom-like leader with groups of animals following and all are racing rampantly across the sky. Bad tidings (usually death) awaits those who witness the Wild Hunt in any of its legendary forms. Either evil accompanies these spectral travelers, or they are searching to punish those who must atone for the wrong they did in their living lives.

America's Wild Hunt legend tells the tale of cowboys, damned and doomed, who must chase a herd of phantom cattle for all eternity. From this ghost story, I crafted a western romance (novella length) called Gunslingers & Ghostriders, (written under other my pen name, A.L. Debran). The hero, gunfighter Matt Caddock, has to face the violence he wrought in his past when the Ghostriders come for his soul.

Here's a ghostly excerpt.
[Matt is injured and the heroine is trying to help him.]
Leading the buckskin, Brenna returned just as lightning flashed and crackled across the sky, splitting and shaking the evening air with an immediate explosion of thunder. The man jerked upright and she twisted around, following his stare to the ominous dark, billowing clouds rolling along the western lip of the mesa.

He staggered to his feet, weaving and off balance. “No. Not going. They’re not taking me.”

Brenna was transfixed, breathless. The vague shape of cattle took form over McBride Butte to the west as the cloud raced along the rim to the south then curved straight east. As she watched, the indistinct shapes became a massive herd of stampeding, red-eyed cattle swooping down from the top of the butte.

The cloud of cattle followed the ancient stone wall dike that ran low and parallel to the mesa, then raced to the top of the mesa and soared into the sky, doubling back over McBride Butte to run again along the edge. It reminded her of the sinuous motion of a Chinese Dragon, making an undulating journey from the ground to the towering top of the storm bank and down again.

The herd continued racing east along the edge, only to turn and come thundering down over the pass. She flinched and ducked as the lead steer overtook her. The herd pounded overhead on steely hooves amidst boom after boom of roaring thunder headed north, out across the prairie.

Looking up again, she saw the herd circle over Pine Canyon and come charging from the east. The darker blue and black billowing clouds surrounding the herd spilled into lighter gray and white upward into the vast expanse of the storm. The horrifying sky opened up into a sandy ravine and the cattle veered and ran up it, their black horns glistening and their brands flaming with each blaze of lightning. In another flash, she felt their breath in a whoosh of hot wind in her face.

The gelding sensed the eeriness in the air and danced around, anxious to leave. “Go. Get us the hell out of here,” the man yelled, over the deafening echo of the thundering hooves. He grabbed Brenna, tossed her to the buckskin’s back and swung up behind her. He clamped one arm around her waist and grasped the saddle horn with his other hand.

The buckskin wheeled around. The sight behind her made the hair on her arms prickle in fear. Leaping out of the maelstrom of churning black clouds, gray ghost cowboys came riding hard and fast after the phantom herd on wild-eyed, fire-snorting horses.

A mournful cry cut through the air as the man slapped spurs to the buckskin…

*** Happy Haunted October Reading!
Fall in love…faster, harder, deeper with Kaye Spencer romances
Buy Link:

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Buying Men's Undies with a New Lover

Here's a cute excerpt from Boom!
Michael and Jessie have decided the underwear they've worn for years isn't sexy and that their new relationship needs something with more oomph!

Michael and Jessie went to The Bay to shop for underwear. She’d picked up packages of generic briefs for both husbands, but had never bought undies with a man before.
Visions of Michael in a skimpy thong filled her brain.
First, they headed for the shelves with the shirts. “I’ve developed a fetish for buying shirts,” he admitted. “I’ve bought over a hundred since Linda left.”
“I noticed your closet was rather full,” she teased. He was deliberately delaying the underwear buying, knowing she was excited about it.
He quickly picked out a shirt in the right size, then headed for the tie racks. “My problem is I have no trouble choosing a shirt, but I can never find the right tie.”
Jessie worked her way through the ties, pulling out one or two she thought might be suitable. She lay them one at a time on the front of the shirt he’d picked out, knowing which one she would select if it was up to her.
“Which would you choose?” he asked, scratching his head.
She pointed.
He grinned, planting a kiss on her forehead. “Perfect! Now for the undies.”
He handed the shirt and tie over to a clerk. “Can you hang on to these? My lover and I are headed over to the men’s underwear department.”
Ignoring the woman’s rapid blinking, he made a beeline for the Calvin Klein display.
“Black?’ he asked, holding a bikini thong in front of his crotch.
Heat shot through her. “Nice,” she murmured.
“What size do you think I am?”
Her tongue seemed to be glued to the roof of her mouth. “Large, I’d guess.”
He smirked, hunting through the bin. “Only large, eh? Not XL? Okay. I’ll try them on, to be sure.”
She trailed after him to the dressing room, her face on fire. The female clerk took one look at him, then spied the underwear. She smiled seductively, but her smile turned to a glare when she realized he wasn’t alone.
Jessie glared back.
You wanna fight me for him? Huh? Huh?
“I’ll wait here,” she declared.
The clerk led the way into the change rooms, reminding him, as she glanced at his groin, to keep his own underwear on when he tried the Calvin Klein.
Jessie made a show of being interested in the racks near the dressing rooms, but the breath wooshed from her lungs when she looked up three minutes later to see Michael standing in the doorway wearing only the Calvin Klein and a seductive smile, his hands out at his sides, as if to say, “What do you think?”
The clerk bustled over, looking irritated, but he held up his hand, stopping her in her tracks. “I’m buying them anyway. Just want my lover to see them.”
The well designed underwear hugged the bulge at his crotch beautifully. The bikini style revealed a tantalizing glimpse of pubic hair. Jessie couldn’t take her eyes off him. Neither could a handful of women who happened to be walking by.
He turned. “How about from the back? Look okay?”
She might faint. Her heart was pounding, pounding. “Very nice,” she croaked. “Are they comfortable?”
Hell’s bells! Now she was talking like his mother.
He winked at her over his shoulder, a big grin on his face. “Very.”
“Let’s get a dozen.”


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Gemma Juliana~Seeing through the Eyes of Your Characters

Thanks for inviting me to be your guest today, Roxanne.

One of the most exciting prospects when starting to write a new novel is getting to know what makes your characters tick. I always look forward to writing the heroine’s name on one sheet, the hero’s name on another, and starting to fill in ‘facts’ about them.

Sometimes I think I know the characters because they have been banging around in my head for a while, only to be startled once I sketch them out on paper.

For instance, in the early stages of writing The Sheikh’s Crowning, I decided Princess Yasmine was a shy virgin princess, untouched by human hand. She’d lived a sheltered existence in her brother’s palace, until a rowdy, deep and brooding FBI agent from the USA landed in her world and rattled her sensual cage.

Not so. Yasmine didn’t tell me until Chapter Two that I must go back and rewrite her. She was not a virgin. She was a widow who knew what love and loss was all about. Her experiences led her to determine she would never again love any man whose career was dangerous enough to cost her his life.

The meek, timid woman I’d first envisioned Yasmine to be was a figment of my imagination. That’s saying a lot, as a fiction writer! In reality, Yasmine was a passionate, experienced and sexually starved woman whose heart was breaking at her loneliness. Kings and princes courted her, but none of them made her heart sing. She was crying out for the right man to come into her life and help her feel alive again, but she wanted him on her terms.

Then there was Rick, her hero. He shocked me as well, but not as much as Yasmine. He was the consummate bachelor, in love with his career and with a passion to ‘get the bad guys’… He’d enjoyed short-lived affairs with a rich array of women around the globe, but always guarded his heart.

Rick had no problem pursuing Yasmine when he thought her an ordinary woman, but as soon as he realized she was a princess, he jumped to the conclusion she was too rich for his blood. He couldn’t possibly offer her the sort of life she deserved.

When writing a story, it isn’t enough to get into the heads of your characters, nor even their hearts. As authors, we must become each character, and see their world through their eyes and from their point of view. Acting as if you are that character will reveal hidden gems and facets of their personalities that will never be revealed simply by writing about them.

The Sheikh’s Crowning is a novella with heat level R, and is available as an e-book on Amazon. It is the latest story in the Sheikhs of the Golden Triangle series. Yasmine wants Rick to give up his dangerous career before she can entrust her heart to him. Rick says he can’t consider being with a princess anyway, and he has no intention of giving up his career. When it seems they are locked into a hopeless situation, a twist of fate blows the lid off their issues and offers them an unexpected alternative.

Sometimes a unique location is as much a character as the people who populate a book. I found this to be the case while writing a holiday ghost romance about undying love called Christmas Spirits. The novella takes place in Winterthorne Castle, nestled away on an estate of enchanted land in Ireland. The castle is elegant, lonely, haunted and yearning for a family to call its own again. It was very much a living, breathing entity as I wrote the story, and I was aware of “being” the castle on several occasions, seeing the characters through the castle’s eyes. “If these old walls could talk…” This is still my favorite story so far, for two reasons: Winterthorne Castle and the theme of eternal love.

Thanks for stopping by Roxanne's blog today! What do you think is most important when breathing life into a new character?

Gemma Juliana lives with her alpha hero, a magical dog, and her teen son in an enchanted cottage in north Texas, where she can be found plotting, writing stories, drinking fancy coffees and sampling as many forms of chocolate as she can find. She loves doing research, spinning new stories, and hearing from readers. Her newest release, Autumn Masquerade, will be available on Amazon in mid-October.
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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Rose Anderson and her Wolf Man

I am pleased to welcome Rose Anderson to my blog. Rose is a multi-published, award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and learning interesting things to weave into stories. She lives with her family and small menagerie amid oak groves and prairie in the rolling glacial hills of the upper mid-west. Rose is a great supporter of fellow authors, always willing to share advice and encouragement.

Great to be here, Roxanne. Since October is the month for ghouls and goblins and things that go bump in the night, I thought I’d mention the unusual origins of one of my novels. My tale concerns an ancient shape-shifting Native American shaman whose world changes around him until one day it ceases to be. Desperate to end his immortal existence, his decision literally throws him in front of Dr. Olivia Rosalini…or rather, her car.

I was recently asked to do a book signing of that novel at a local cafe dedicated to the strange and bizarre in a region somewhat famous for strange and bizarre. The dense woodlands and uninhabited expanses of rolling glacial hills are ripe for creepy urban legends. There locals say they’ve seen something strange at twilight or dusk not too far from my home – a wolf walking upright like a man. As if that isn’t unbelievable all on its own, the Great Lakes Native American oral traditions and accounts of the early French fur trappers mention them too. There was nothing for this writer to do but write The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo!

Wolf men aren’t the only weird sightings in that vortex of strange and bizarre. Apparently there’s more. Another creature some describe as a Sasquatch a.k.a. Bigfoot has been seen there too. Hard to believe? Famous naturalist David Attenborough and a renowned authority on primates, Jane Goodall, both believe Bigfoot exists. And they’re not alone. There’s even a field of study for rumored creatures called Cryptozoology. The word is a combination of three Greek words: kryptos, zoon and logos, which mean, respectively, hidden, animal, and discourse; in other words, the study of unknown animals.

Just two weeks ago I saw a news piece that said DNA testing was being done on Bigfoot material gathered from around the country. I suppose “material” could be anything from hair and scat to a Bigfoot body! Don’t you just love when fact and fancy overlap?

Before I continue, this is really not all that farfetched if you think about it. New species are discovered all the time. Global exploration expanded when man mastered the sea. New uncharted-lands held strange plants and animals never before seen. These native legends, rare sightings, and tales of inexplicable bodies seemingly made of parts, weren’t believed to exist. This skeptic’s list from the past had creatures we all know today: giraffe, kangaroo, tapir, beaver, okapi, panda, duck-billed platypus, Komodo dragon, orangutan, the “living fossil” fish, the coelacanth, and the recently verified Giant Squid – quite possibly the Kraken of mythology.

Then we have creatures on the truly odd list. The most famous of these is the Loch Ness Monster. Even Nessie isn’t too farfetched to believe. Not if we follow the legends. Many large bodies of water around the world have purported Nessie-ish creatures – Lake Champlain has Champy, and the Congo River has Mokèlé-mbèmbé. Then there’s that chupacabra from the Americas... I think I feel another story coming on.

The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo
Book 1 – Ashkewheteasu

What does an immortal Native American shaman do when the grave he’s sworn to watch over for all eternity disappears under urban development?
His purpose of guarding his wife’s burial mound gone, Ashkewheteasu seeks to end his immortal existence. In his despair, he assumes the form of a wolf and steps in front of a moving car and into the life of Dr. Olivia “Livie” Rosalini. The veterinarian saves the animal’s life, and in the process saves the man within. Unbeknownst to Livie, the dog she’s taken into her home and grows to love is a magical being seeking to win her heart as a man.
While Ash is learning a new world filled with new love, friendship, and happiness, an old menace makes plans to steal it all away; just as he had 3000 years before.

Excerpt (Ashkewheteasu finds his wife’s burial mound destroyed)

A large curious field mouse scurried over the top of the burial mound. He watched the people, his gaze pulling time and again first to the fire-haired young woman leaving with the others, then to the slightly older woman who’d stayed behind to spread a blue covering over the soil with obvious care.

Sensing the people were gone, the mouse drew a deep breath. Suddenly his form changed from mouse to rabbit, from rabbit to fox, and then from fox into a wolf with unusual black markings on its face. This higher vantage allowed him to check the area before continuing. Confident he was alone, his legs lengthened as he slowly shifted from wolf on four legs to a wolf on two. His muzzle shortened, as did his ears. A moment later he stood as a man.

His throat tightened as he walked amongst the tables and pails. A small bone caught his eye and he bent to pick it up. He stared a long while, seeing but not seeing the hand it belonged to so long ago. It was his task to watch over this resting place, and his task alone. Coming here later than usual today, there was nothing he could do to stop the white man’s destruction. His eyes filled with tears as his fist closed around the finger bone. Slumping to the ground, he sobbed in anguished sorrow.

There was no sense to this. What kind of people disturb the dead? Couldn’t they see this was sacred ground, a resting place? Composing himself, he wiped the tears from his eyes before reverently setting the small bone back in the opened mound.

Twilight fast approaching, he faced the setting sun, his palms held up to the sky. He hadn’t spoken for a very long time and doing so now, his voice sounded dry and strange to his ears. “Sky Father I have failed, I beg your forgiveness!”

Kneeling, he pressed his hands to the ground. “Earth Mother, I beg forgiveness. I have failed in my task…”

Rising, he turned his back to the sun and held his arms out wide. “Wind Spirits of the East, I beg forgiveness for this failure.” Turning, he croaked, “Wind Spirits of the South, I beg...”

He rasped his plea to the remaining directions and the spirits who dwelled there, and then addressed the mound and the body that lay within, “Aiyanna my love, my heart. I have watched over you through time but I can watch no longer. Please forgive me, I have failed you….” His throat choked close. Swallowing hard, he whispered to the earth that half-covered his wife, “Again.”

Kneeling beside the dirt-encrusted bones, he pulled the cover away to expose them fully. The small bones of the baby he knew laid with its mother had dissolved in the acids of the soil. Gently digging through the loam between the exposed rib bones, his fingers found the bird stone, its cord long since returned to the earth. Holding it now, he remembered...

Buy Rose’s books on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Rose-Anderson
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Friday, October 4, 2013

Latest Release

Boom! Listen to Your Heart is now available on Amazon for 99 cents for a limited time.
Here is a blurb:
A near-fatal heart attack changed Michael Atherton’s life. He learned from it, changing his lifestyle. Healthier and in great physical shape, Michael tries to come to terms with long-buried cravings and desires unleashed by his near-death experience. His wife does not share his inclination to what she refers to as disgusting erotic shit, and they divorce. Now alone, he explores the emerging Dom side of his personality.
But a good Dom needs a Submissive to complete him.

Jessie Halliwell’s debut novel, His Willing Slave, catapults her to the New York Times Bestsellers List. Only she knows that her knowledge of the Dom/Sub lifestyle comes entirely from research and avid reading of erotic novels. Recognizing she has suppressed her Submissive cravings through two unsuccessful marriages, she creates an ideal Dom/Sub relationship between the hero and heroine of her blockbuster novel. Will she find her own Perfect Dom?
Set in the intimate city of Victoria, Canada’s garden paradise, and the lush country of Panama, the story takes Michael and Jessie on a roller coaster ride of emotions as Michael’s work as a private investigator unwittingly puts Jessie’s life in jeopardy.
If you enjoy contemporary erotic romantic suspense with a touch of humor, you’ll love BOOM!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mary Marvella on Writing Sexual Tension

Welcome my first guest author, Mary Marvella.
Great to be here, Roxanne.

My critique partners always told me I should write erotica. That always made me laugh. I write love to tease my characters and my readers. Make 'em beg is my motto!

My characters must want each other to the point of pain before I let them make love. I don't enjoy meeting a hero who looks at the heroine's legs and wants them wrapped around him while he makes her come three times. Nor do I like a hero who sees the heroine and thinks her lips are perfect to giving him a blow job, YERK!

When a hero sees the heroine sliding a popsicle between her lips over and over again, then he can imagine her doing that with a certain part of his anatomy. Or when the heroine slides that popsicle inside her mouth over and over again she can imagine doing the same with the hero's extra appendage. I used none of the erotic words, but did you get the point? Now, I could draw out the action and make it clear he has wanted her for a while before he wants the blow job and that she has seen that appendage she wants to taste.

Cara sat at the bar nursing her Martini. She glared into the mirror at Bill across the room, talking to Suzanne who rubbed against him like a hungry cat. Had he so quickly forgotten what they had almost done last night or was he planning to use his talented tongue on a new woman tonight?
Bill couldn't believe he didn't want to take advantage of Suzanne's obvious offer to get laid. Having her rub her tits against his arm and chest should have made his johnson hard.
He looked toward the mirror and spotted Cara. Would she be willing to pick up where they left off last night? He moved toward her, holding her gaze in the mirror. When she took the tooth pick from her drink and sucked on the olive he nearly swallowed his tongue. He wanted to share that olive and her soft, full lips, to taste olive and Cara, or just Cara.
Her eyes dared him to come get her and he planned to do that very thing. When he stepped close enough to touch her, he took the glass from her hand and put on the bar. He plucked the remaining olive from the toothpick she held, touching her fingers with his.
"Want to swap olives?" he asked. Pressing his lips to hers, he ...

Do you want to know what he does? Will he use his tongue? Will they swap olives? Will he nibble on her bottom lip? Will they kiss at the bar? Will he put his hands on her breasts? Not in the bar, but he will imagine doing it!

Protective Instincts began as a romantic suspense. I wanted the characters to really want to have sex, so I made certain they didn't manage to do what they wanted. When my beta reader and my critique partners begged me to let them do it, I did!

Sam wanted to relax for a few minutes. He’d stopped by to see the bar his old friend opened. Jesse had done all right for himself. He was startled to see Brit and Julie walk through the double doors. Teach looked scared to death.
While he’d done chores at his parents' farm, he thought about the way he’d been drawn to the teacher since he’d met her up close.
All day he’d helped his dad and brother repair fences and paint. He’d tried to work himself hard enough to forget how much Brit aroused him. The strain of wanting to approach her on a physical level, knowing how inappropriate that would be, strained his control.
In the shower, after he’d worked up a good sweat this afternoon, he’d thought about her. His body betrayed him as he imagined kissing her. Even after he’d turned the shower to cold, his mind left him hot. As he ran his Saturday errands he saw her face everywhere. And here she is now, in the flesh.
In his mind she was in the flesh. He hadn’t forgotten his view of her charms when he’d helped her to the bathroom after the attack. And now he sat in the shadows watching Brit feel her way back into the real world. He needed to let her do this without his help.
Mary Marvella

They met because he had premonitions and she was in peril. But you will never believe why they fell in love. Paranormal romance at its best. After mourning the loss of her husband, Brit Roberts manages to pick up her life as a teacher for a rural Georgia High school. Things are fine until anonymous phone calls turn creepy and her life is endangered.
Sam Samuels isn't just the father of one of Ms. Robert's students, he's a man with premonitions so strong, they make him ill. So when he meets his son's teacher and pain kicks in, he knows something's awry but can't put his finger on it until he interrupts an attempt to rape and kill the teacher. Sam makes it his personal goal to protect her, only he didn't count on falling for her. Someone wants Brit, and now Sam, dead too. Could the death of her ex husband be part of the reason? Can Brit and Sam navigate a relationship despite both of their headstrong natures?

 Kisses I had no idea I was writing an erotic romance when I wrote Protective Instincts!