Tuesday, April 21, 2015

3T Writing Tidbit

As I start Passion Bites, Book 9 of the Biting Love series, there's a lot of water...and a lot of characters...under the bridge.

Dealing with a large cast of characters can be confusing for the reader. Here's one thing you as a writer can do to make it easier on them.

I gleaned this technique from reading the master of large cast novels, Colleen McCullough (The First Man in Rome, et al.).

TIP #2: Use a memory of this scene's Point-Of-View character (or a letter) at the end of this scene to remind the reader and segue to the next scene and its new POV character.

Example 1.

John staggered out of the dentist's office, rubbing his jaw. "Can't feel my lip. I wonder if my wife is fairing any better at little Johnny's parent-teacher conferences."
/*segues to scene 2*/
Mary clenched her fists under the table of the child-size desk that didn't quite fit her hips. She'd rather be having ten root canals than be here.

Example 2.

(John this, John that. At the end...) John opened the envelope, releasing Mary's distinct perfume, and extracted the thick rag stationery. He paused with it in his hand, wondering how her skills learned as a rich daughter at hundreds of charitable foundation luncheons were transferring to the board room.
/*segues to scene 2*/
"I'm afraid this won't do." Mary's tone was regretful as she set down the treasurer's report, stared down the boardroom table at the assembled men and women, and gently shook her head. "I'm afraid these losses won't do at all." Gentle, but the steel underneath was unmistakable. The men and women began to tremble.

Passion Bites heroine, Dr. Alexis Byornsson has a sister, Synnove. Synnove is now married to master vampire Ric Holiday and actually has a story of her own in book 6 of the series. So I could write "Dr. Synnove Holiday". But frankly, that's just another name for the reader to remember. To add resonance and make it easier to understand Synnove's purpose in this story, I'll default to calling her Alexis's sister.

I'll have another tip next month.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

April 1T Olio

Big news! Serendipity Bites is live, along with the Lusty Linguists' April Fools For Love collection.

PLUS big multi-author bash Thursday, April 9, 2015. If you're on Facebook, check out our April Fools For Love PARTY!

Part of the April Fools For Love collection
Biting Love Short Bites, Book 4

Best April Fools joke ever—falling in love.
AmazonB&N
Coming soon to more vendors!


Serendipity “Sera” Braun wears glasses and a bun to teach during the day, but at night, she adds a breast-plumping vest and dirndl for her job hoisting beer steins at Nieman’s. The big, leather-vest-and-earringed Viking bouncer? He’s bedsheets waiting to get sweaty, but all he does is scowl at her. She’s trying to keep her geriatric stripper of a granny from breaking a hip, but it’s hard when she keeps getting distracted by that sexy, smoky baritone.

Thorvald Thorsson is bitingly lonely—every vampire around him is mating. But his ex-fiancĂ©e rejected him as a killjoy (her exact words were he ate rules and s*** misery), so it’s high time Fun Thor comes out to play. No way he’d pair up with the cute but too-serious little schoolmarm who waits tables at the bar.

Sera bridles the wicked, delicious things she’d like to do with the muscular Viking, suppressing herself until she’s a volcano about to blow. Then they are thrown together in a prank war, and all his potent masculinity is focused on her. He makes her burn to let loose, but how can she and still be responsible for Granny and set a good example?

Warning: A terribly lonely vampire, a conflicted schoolmarm with a caged wild side, nosy roommates and the female version of a bromance, not to mention scorching sex, swearing with the **** filled in, a whole town full of busybodies—and the best April Fools joke ever.

This story contains material intended for mature audiences. Reader discretion advised.

Thanks to P and N Graphics for this amazing cover!

Excerpt here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

COVER REVEAL--Heart Mates (Pull of the Moon Book One)

Heart Mates Cover.jpg
Coming April 28!

Witch plus wolf? They’re allergic. Except no one told their hearts.

Shifters and witches? Forbidden on pain of death. Might as well stick a fork in a light socket. Yet those are the kind of sparks witch princess Sophia Blue feels when she meets wolf shifter Noah in her aunt’s bookstore.

But Sophia is stuck. Her aunt is missing and Noah, the last person to see her, is Sophia’s only hope. If not for that and her aunt’s new, cute little doggie, Sophia would run as far as she could from the sexy, hard-hewn alpha.

Noah’s stuck too. Before disappearing, the aunt hit him with a hex gone horribly wrong—he’s the doggie. By day he’s fifteen pounds of yippity-yip, and with five anti-alpha wolves nipping at his heels, that’s deadly dangerous. Only Sophia can help him, but she has lost her magic.

Then an evil mage from Sophia’s past shows up with murder on his mind, and all Noah’s instincts shout to protect the woman his misguided heart thinks is his mate.

Warning: Sinfully sexy alpha thrown together with a hot witch in a small town. Sass, sparkle, a meddling aunt, snafus, growling, fighting, and oh yeah, sex. Might want to get up to date on your shots. 

AB SKAREG AppleAUKNUK



Enjoy the following excerpt for Heart Mates:
Sophia, looking for her missing aunt, seeks alpha wolf Noah at beta Mason’s garage. 

“I don’t know where Noah is. How could I?” Yet even as Sophia spoke, that snarl of awareness curled up her nape.

Mason said, “He phoned just a minute ago. Said you named him Kin—”

“—someone to help,” a bass voice thrummed from the dark depths.

Sophia spun. That masculine voice, vibrating with power, plucked a long string of deep, throbbing need.

A man emerged from the blackness, gliding into the sharp white light. Her entire belly turned inside out.

Crane-her-neck tall. A smooth prowl, all muscular grace, extraordinary strength and endurance. A fall of black hair over a high, regal brow. He was total alpha—powerful, deadly and sexy as hell.

Her eyes widened, her jaw dropped and her heart beat hard against her ribs as her hormones plonked “Endearing Young Charms”—and then exploded. Not really, but the full-body shiver and the rush of hot need through her veins was anything but mild.

He stopped a few feet from her, standing with breathtaking stillness. Werewolves were usually ruled by their aggression, so the man’s cool composure was even more striking.

Definitely a were, though. His honed jaw was textured by the rough black morning-after-sex stubble all male wolf shifters seemed to have. Her body splashed with a hot me want of desire.

Their eyes met.

Power shows in the eyes. This man had power, and to spare. She was stunned by irises of pure silver around pupils which opened to her like velvety black pools. She fell in and happily drowned.

“Noah, finally,” Mason said. “I found Marlowe, but he’d already gotten rid of the…” He cut Sophia a glance. “The thing. I read the kid the riot act, made him do some work around here and sent him home.”

“Good.” Noah’s answer was for Mason but his gaze was still locked on Sophia. He took a step nearer, his eyes flashing. “You’re Linda’s niece.”

“Yes.” Nervously, she fingered her pearls. Those gleaming silver eyes knocked her off-balance, drilling into her very thoughts. She sucked in a breath, got a lungful of hot male and nearly imploded when her body zinged like every hormone she had was shouting alleluia.

Damn it, no. He was a shifter. Worse, he was pack alpha, bound to be mated. An ex-witch slavering after a mated alpha?

Smiting was happening for sure.

He glided another step closer, his muscles sliding easily under his skin and clothes. He raised his hand and caught her fumbling fingers, stilling them.

The warm pads of his fingers pressed against her skin were stunningly sensual. Her lips fell open because she was having trouble breathing. She blinked at him.

He lifted her hand from her pearls and brought it to his nose. Finally those remarkable eyes closed as he inhaled. A tiny, appreciative smile curved his lips, as if he were enjoying the bouquet of a fine wine. “You smell amazing.” His voice rippled with a low, sensual growl.

Her body responded with “Endearing Young Charms”. Boom-boom.

When his lids lifted, his gaze had gentled. The wolf within was very strong, but the man controlled it utterly.

A half step closer, him or her, she wasn’t sure who. Their auras kissed. A thousand butterflies jigged inside her. Pure male heat rolled over her skin, edged with virile, wild magic. A tremor hit low in her belly. If she leaned in a fraction of an inch, she’d touch him, flesh-on-flesh…she swallowed hard. Touching him might be like completing an electrical circuit, and she’d be the one fried. “Look, I’m trying to find my Aunt Linda.”

His gaze dropped to her mouth as she spoke. “She owns the bookstore.”

“Yes.” Under that silvery gaze, her lips felt too full, throbbing. The word was hard to form. She licked.

His pupils dilated until his eyes were pure black, riveted to her mouth. “You’re the gor—the woman in the picture.”

What had he been about to say? Gorilla? Gourmand? Gorgeous? “What picture?”

“Your aunt has a photograph of you.” He released her hand to slide a finger under her chin.

All her breath expelled. Without oxygen, she let him tilt her face to one side, then the other. The throbbing in her lips intensified.

His lids lowered, lazy with promise. “Your nose is longer than I expected.”

Wow. Just what a woman wanted to hear. “Thanks.”

“It’s a good nose. Honest. Elegant. I like it.”

Instantly the throbbing was back, but she pushed it away, mirrored it by stepping back. “An honest, elegant snout is still a snout.”

He followed her. “Your nose is unique, like your scent. Exotic. Deeply enticing.”

He was right on top of her. She stared up into eyes glowing between lids slit, not in suspicion, but heavy-lidded with intent.

The intent to kiss her.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

3T Writing Tidbit

As I start Passion Bites, Book 9 of the Biting Love series, there's a lot of water...and a lot of characters...under the bridge.

Dealing with a large cast of characters can be confusing for the reader. Here's one thing you as a writer can do to make it easier on them.

TIP #1: Ruthlessly wield relationships to recall characters. 

Passion Bites heroine, Dr. Alexis Byornsson has a sister, Synnove. Synnove is now married to master vampire Ric Holiday and actually has a story of her own in book 6 of the series. So I could write "Dr. Synnove Holiday". But frankly, that's just another name for the reader to remember. To add resonance and make it easier to understand Synnove's purpose in this story, I'll default to calling her Alexis's sister.

I'll have another tip next month.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March 1T Olio/February 2T Repeat Performance

After a whirlwind February, some of the pressures are coming off--but it's only revealed all the stuff I've been putting off.

Any of you--sound familiar? :)

Nutshell schedule:
  • Serendipity Bites final edits and distribution
  • Passion Bites pre-edits should come back sometime this month
  • Taxes. (Picture needle-sharp daggers hanging overhead.)
  • Preplanning for Mind Mates (Pull of the Moon Book 2)
  • Symphony concert featuring British composers Holst, Elgar, Walton
  • Hot Chips and Sand is finally scheduled for edits in August!

How about you? What's up for March?

Delayed from February 10...
So as I mentioned last month, Lust With A Laugh had just started in January of 2014. It was so squeaky new we hadn't even worked out a schedule. No posts in February. I was still in my writer's cave finishing up Assassins Bites and all the other wildness that would be the second half of 2014. Here's my links:

February 1T Olio

Top 10 Posts Countdown #8

3T Writing Tidbit

Love is Bliss--Guest Leigh Ellwood!

Downbeat Release Tour starts today!