Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Censorship. What does it really achieve?

I was an avid reader when I was a child, and I was twelve when I discovered Judy Blume. I read many of her books, but when it came to Forever, my mother forbid me to read it. Guess what? I read it anyway. I was completely unmoved. I was too young to understand the sexual dynamics and therefore, didn’t much care. I remember when I read the book, I pictured the characters as old. Like, in their late twenties. Because when I was twelve, that’s what all older people resembled.

I read the book and couldn't understand what all the fuss about.

My point here is not that I was a disobedient child who did whatever the hell I pleased (even though sort of I was) It is that my mother’s choice to ban the book only made it more intriguing to me. To me, being censored by my parents was -at the time- as bad as being censored by others as an adult is to me now.

There will always be people who want censorship. The question to ask them is not “why?” or “how can you presume to know what’s best for others?” but, “do you think censorship really helps anything?” Or does it just hurt?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Banned... in my opinion ~ and... He Snorts.

Or, why do people want books banned? There are any number of reasons. There’s the whole moral outrage no-one-should-read-that-book syndrome, for one example. Yet, what is it that underlies this sense of *I need to save humanity from what’s written between these pages*?
From my decades of observation, I’ve come to a few fundamental conclusions. One of them ~ some individuals possess an impoverished imagination. Whether it’s nurture or nature, or both, I can’t always tell. Truthfully, it took me quite some time to realize that, for some people, if they can’t envision what an author chooses to write about, from philosophy to fantasy, then obviously the book shouldn’t be on the library or store shelves.
Now, I arrive at plain ole’ jealousy. Yes, I’ve seen it happen over and over again. Jealousy of an author’s ability to pen a fabulous story, rears it’s ugly head in some people, then morphs into *that book has no redeeming social value*. Get rid of it.
Another interesting, but devastating mental justification occurs, also. Once again, this one took me awhile to get an understanding grip on. It wasn’t until I experienced it, first hand, several times, that it truly sank in.
Simply, when people don’t want to face their own lives and solve their own problems, inner and outer, they’ll take on some cause because it makes them feel heroic, as if their life matters, as if they matter.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not bashing good causes. However, what I am saying is that there are people who use them as an excuse not to live their lives. When this happens, the lives of other people are ruined from their supposed good deeds. These unfortunate souls are so desperate and small inside they can’t see or know the truth. They only ‘see’ and ‘believe’ what they assume is the truth so they can feel important.
Yep, I’ve come to believe this absolutely ~ the road to hell is paved with good intentions. An individual, or a group, may have the best of intentions such as banning a book for the good of us all. I say I want the price of freedom. I’d rather have my ‘delicate’ sensibilities assaulted by a disgusting-yuk book, movie and magazine, etc. ~ than lose my freedom to choose what I read.


If you yen for real werewolf sightings check out this blog report at From the Shadows ~ ~ I found it utterly fascinating.

Yowza butting-powza, the Bull is back... a hero with a real set of horns and the bold balls to match.

For the beginning of this bullie woolie tail see my prior blogs ~

Artist ~ Chaz Truog ~ ~

X-Serial Flash

New Bull in Town

With my adrenalin rising like a tidal wave, I clamber over the fence to head Linda off at the pass, or before she can taser Darius.
Waving my hands frantically, I shout, “It’s okay. It’s okay. I was scared at first. But, he’s acting tame.”
Linda comes to a quick halt before me, her face sweaty-red from exertion. Relieved, she shoves the taser back in her bag.
“Well, who in all holy hell would let that big huge monster escape to terrorize us all?” Linda glares at Darius as if she could use her eyes like lasers and disappear him.

Her impressive breasts heave, definitely a lust fantasy for most men. Crazily, I wonder if Mr. Bull Man is enjoying the show.
Nope, I hear inside my head. I’m enjoying your cute round ass, Shelley.
I blink like a madwoman, then feel as if I’m paralyzed.
“Good God, Shelley, what’s wrong?”
“I think I’m hearing voices,” I murmur.
“Shock. You’re in shock. Let’s go inside. You need a drink. I know I need a drink. We can call Animal Control.” Linda touches my elbow, ready to lead me inside.
“Animal Control. I think he’s too big...” My voice wavers pathetically.

Shapeshifter lovers, check out CAT NIP. It’s a free read by erotic romance author, Gem Sivad ~ ~ also, for the ongoing story, subscribe at ~ ~
Plus, take a peek at COYOTE MOON by Pat Cunningham at ~ ~ Pat’s book has received several top reviews.



Savanna Kougar

~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Author of ~

All Shades of Blue Paradise
Red Lioness Tamed
When a Good Angel Falls
Tangerine Carnal Dreams
Murder by Hair Spray in Gardenia, New Atlantis
Black Cat Beauty
Her Insatiable Dark Heroes
Stallion of Ash and Flame

Monday, September 28, 2009

Celebrate Banned Books Week - September 26 - October 3

The Banned Books Week annual celebration of our freedom to read began on Saturday. This event is observed during the last week of September each year. BBW is jointly sponsored by the the American Booksellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of American Publishers, National Association of College Stores, and is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Lots of heavy hitters in the line-up so yeah, it's a big deal.

Each year, ALA compiles a list of books which were challenged, but not necessarily banned, in libraries. If you want more information about what books have been the most challenged in the past year and in the last hundred years, visit this ALA Web Page and research for yourself.

Why not call it "Challenged Book Week?" I'll quote ALA:

Each year, the American Library Association (ALA) is asked why the week is called “Banned Books Week” instead of “Challenged Books Week,” since the majority of the books featured during the week are not banned, but “merely” challenged. There are two reasons. One, ALA does not “own” the name Banned Books Week, but is just one of several cosponsors of BBW; therefore, ALA cannot change the name without all the cosponsors agreeing to a change. Two, none want to do so, primarily because a challenge is an attempt to ban or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A successful challenge would result in materials being banned or restricted.

This is why booksellers, libraries and publishers, and yes, writers, make such a BIG deal about this week every year. We want to make sure books are available for each individual to read and review for themselves. Some books which I find to be pure crap others find to be pearls of wisdom, etc.

This week is important to me on two levels: because I'm a librarian AND a writer. Not only that, but I write erotic romance and if anything has been subject to censorship over the years, it's been sexuality. Now, I am not about to give my books to anyone under the age of 18 to read, that's not my point. My point is that it is up to the individual - or if an individual is under 18 it is up to the parent - what they read. No one should tell me I can't read a certain book and a parent should only decide for his/her own children not for other people's children. Bear in mind, I am speaking from the perspective of a librarian working in a public library. The rules are different for school libraries, because those librarians stand in loco parentis so their responsibilities are different than mine.

I've included pictures of the banned books display I put together for my library this year. I received a bird cage on loan and I caged some books. The slogan I created for this display was: "No matter how attractive or comfortable it is, a cage is STILL a cage. Uncage your mind. Read Banned Books." Many people are surprised when they discover the Holy Bible has been challenged in libraries but it has. Even the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary has been challenged.

Check out the challenged book lists. Have you read any of the books on the list? Are there any on the list which surprise you? Have you read any books on the list which made a lasting impression on you?

Happy Banned Books Week! Go out and read a challenged book this week. You'll be glad you did!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

How do your shifters...shift?

Kira recoiled at the first pull of the moon. Her vision clouded and a blood-red haze covered the lush green leaves and trees of the Guatemalan jungle. Her body arched, scraping her naked back against a tree, willing her stretched skin to give.

This was how the change took her. The terrible heat came next, and then her bones shifted, muscles stretched, ligaments popped. Relief was only moments away. She fell to all fours and closed her eyes.

“Hurry!” She prayed to any god who would claim her.

How do your shifters…shift?

In ASSASSIN’S KISS, my heroine, Kira didn’t know she was a jaguar shapeshifter until a botched exorcism at fourteen. Now at twenty-four, the same jaguar nature that saved her from being a victim has driven her from living on the streets to the Guatemalan jungle, searching for her own kind.

Due to her traumatic first shift, the process has always reminded her of how very different she is. It’s always been a painful and something that she’s dreaded. Kira’s acceptance of her true nature becomes a gradual process, aided of course by the hero, Sebastian, who reveals a third nature that Kira has never seen. Sebastian’s Jaguar Warrior is a fierce hybrid, jaguar/human creature.

The differences between them are as problematic and infinitely more dangerous as those Kira experienced while trying to live among humans and keep her true nature a secret. For this reason, I chose to portray my characters physically shifting on the page.

If you’re an author of paranormals, how do you choose to portray this element of your story? As a reader, what do you expect? I’d love to know!


Buy link:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Worshiped From Afar

Adrian slipped back into the shadows surrounding his gardens. The moon shone brightly over the perfect blooms he had spent years cultivating. Blooms that perfectly matched each of the lovely shapeshifters he worshiped from afar.

First, there was a Gothic gargoyle he'd found years ago, chipping paint from too many attempted spray paintings, hidden in the basement of his castle. The need to clean the stone beauty and place her in the center of a field of cyclamen, a delicate bloom which spoke of modesty and shyness, was a call he could not pass up. Under his determined hand, the flowers bloomed and to his ultimate surprise one dark evening, so did the newly refurbished statue. He'd christened her Crystal, for her eyes glittered like the clear gem in either of her forms.

In the next bed of flowers, Purple Tulips grew clumped together at their bases yet rose to the sky in their perfectly majestic way. They screamed out their royal status and drew in the midnight black jaguar he'd named Serena for the serene way she'd drift into the gardens. Even in her human form she wore the facade of a Princess, perfect and pleasing to his every sense.

Along one side of his garden, grew a length of rose bushes. White to symbolize purity and innocence's. The perfect description of his tawny, black spotted jaguar. Paris, was her moniker, the city of lights. Her beauty shone from within as she smelled the gentle blooms. Never taking one and placing it in her mass of hair, but he hoped someday she'd dare, it would be a sight to see.

On the other side of the garden was his length of Pink roses. The symbol of love and happiness. His roses were visited day after day by the wild cougar, Savanna. Her smiles and true joy in the time spent amid the sweet smelling blooms was evident to all, including the male cat who camped out beyond the edge of his land. There was love there. A deep, undeniable connection. Mates.

Finally, at the rear of the gardens rose high and full the hardy lilac bushes. Lilacs, he knew, symbolized love, particularly first love. Hidden between the bushes was the wolf. She was new to his garden. Only recently had she shown up, but always she lurked around the delicate, but aromatic flowers. He had yet to see her in her human form, but already her name had popped into his head, Francesca. The name of his first love.

His gardens were his place of peace, of hope and of love. When his mercenary past closed in on him during the long hours of the night, he would come here. He would worship these beauty's from afar. He would heal.

Here it is, our final clue for the giveaway. Our favorite flowers. Stop by next week for a chance to win.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The STALLION Runs Free and Wild

FIRST! Shapeshifter lovers, VOTE FOR!!! Serena Shay’s THE CHALLENGE at
SECOND ~ Welcome, Autumn ~ That time of year I find sweetly and serenely bewitching in its beauty. That *shift* from the bright energy of summer to the gentler radiance of Fall. And, of course, Halloween, is just around the corner, a perfect time of year for shapeshifters.

September 24th, Thursday, that’s the magical day. The Stallion finally runs free and wild. My shapeshifter erotic romance, STALLION OF ASH AND FLAME will be released from Siren-BookStrand’s Siren Classic imprint.

9/24/2009 ~ the day breaks down to an EIGHT day in numerology. While the number, 8, is not considered compatible with my personal numbers, it is a good business number and could mean financial success. Well, I can’t deny that, can I?

Still, I’m looking at it this way. TWO is the number of love and relationships. I figure STALLION is ~4x2~ in the erotic romance department of love and sexy passion.... yep, hope and grinz.

Since I haven’t gotten a clear picture of what excerpts to use for STALLION, I’ll just start at the beginning of the story.

First, here’s the blurb ~

Drojovv Zyan of the V’Trailuc Realm is a man-stallion of ash and flame on a mission to save his world’s crucial Earth portal from the fires ravaging the National Forest surrounding it. Pretending to be the tracker, Trail, he settles in a small southeastern Arizona town. When he gets an eyeful of the beautiful ranch owner, Seneca, he stud lusts after the Earth human, a woman he’s not supposed to take as his Mate.

Trail leaves her alone until her brother is in a bad motorcycle accident and she needs a hired hand. Soon both of them are threatened by a whole horde of enemies. At all costs Trail must protect her. His world depends on it, her world depends on it. And his heart comes to depend on it.

Chapter One ~ Her Hired Hand

Southeast corner of Arizona, Spring 2009

Trail rapped his knuckles on the splintery wood of the ranch house’s front door and made a mental note to replace it. The instant Seneca moved to answer, he gathered her fragrance into his nostrils, then let the blazing rose and gingery spice of her womanly flesh course through him. He suppressed his urge to breathe in her scent more fully. He’d decided to help her and, at the same time, make his cover on Earth look real.

Trail had admired Seneca from afar, mainly at the Saturday night dances in town. Despite the raging bulge of his cock every time he did catch sight of her, he knew she was not a woman to give a man a one-night tumble, so he’d always respected her aloofness toward him.

Even now, his balls ached to give her a mounting she’d always remember. One that would make her call out his name, his real name, Drojovv. One that would make her summon him when he ran as stallion, the way of lovers in his realm.

His was an equine shifter world more advanced in technology than present-day Earth. Since the time of Deluge, after the catastrophic sinking of Atlantis, Earth and his planet-world had been connected by a portal, many of them now. The first portal had been created by renegade Atlantean scientists looking for other worlds to inhabit.

Down, stud, he commanded himself. You’re only here to help a mare in need.

Before she opened the door entirely, Seneca peeked around the edge. The glisten of her bright sky eyes galloped over him. Recognizing him, she opened the door, her gaze meeting his without an ounce of pretense. Still, speculation flickered in their depths. Trail had decided a long time ago her eyes were a type of magic he wanted to explore. However, that could not be his destiny.

“Howdy, Seneca. I’m looking for a job. Mandy saw your ad for a hired hand until your brother can get back on his feet again. I’m applyin’.” He tried a small grin that he hoped looked more friendly than saying, “I want to grab your fine round ass and plunder your mouth until you melt against me.”

“Trail, is it?” She stepped outside, letting the door slam closed. Raising her chin, she eyed him almost fiercely and crossed her arms beneath her plump perky breasts. Hell, she rarely wore a bra, and now her nipples poked her flannel shirt, he knew not for him. The morning chill hadn’t been dispelled by the sun’s ferocious heat yet.

“Yes, ma’am. That’s my handle.”

“Why Trail?” Her tone interrogated him, even though her brows raised revealing her curiosity.

“End of the --” He paused, hoping for an amused glint in her eyes. Nothing. “As in, end of the trail.” Still nothing. “This is where I make my home, end-of-the-trail,” he added.

Trail had the wild urge to grab off his hat and finger the brim nervously like he’d seen in the old western movies he’d watched over and over. Yep, a filly like her would sooner kick his flanks, then race past him. That is, unless he minded his manners.


Her voluptuous dark pink lips formed an O. Trail caught himself wondering if she would respond to him like Maureen O’Hara had to John Wayne when he’d hauled her over his lap and given her ass a good blistering. Or when he’d seized her against him and forced a kiss on her fighting lips.

Stop, he warned himself. Stop thinking like that.

“Well, if Mandy thinks you’re okay, it might work. Are you two an item now? Last I knew she was pining hard for Rick.”

Trail watched her become aware she chatted friendly-like with him. She halted, searching his face. Dominant little mare, he thought, with that stubborn chin and that fiery gleam in her eyes. Yep, she’d nip his withers as soon as look at him.

“Nope, we’re just coffee-drinking buddies. Mandy is still chasin’ after Rick. My bet is she’ll get him roped real soon.”

Seneca nodded, her loose hair taking on a life of its own. He swallowed, watching the long smooth strands of coppery red dance in a lazy rhythm.

Have a Wonderful and Wild Autumn...
May your most romantic dreams come true...


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

STALLION OF ASH AND FLAME ~ coming from Siren-BookStrand, September 24th ~ A man-stallion of ash and flame on a mission to save his world’s Earth portal must save his Mate, a human woman forbidden to him ~ ~

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dolphin Mates and Beach Clues...

image ©
Would he come for her as he’d promised? Maris watched the sleek gray bodies of dolphins frolic in the surf as the sun rose. She dug her toes into the wet sand, clenching them around the grains of earth to keep her grounded as the sea washed over her feet.

It was a year to the day since they’d first made love on this very beach. Maris walked thigh deep into the incoming tide and willed one of the dolphins to turn toward her. To just acknowledge her presence. But as the dolphins drifted into deeper waters, she sighed.

He wasn’t coming. She dropped her gaze, tears sliding down her cheeks. She’d missed her chance. How could she have been so foolish. What they had was once in a lifetime and she hadn’t been willing to take a chance. To believe in love. Maris jumped when she heard a splash then lifted her head, hope filling her chest.

It was him. He strode toward her as sleek as the dolphins who disappeared with the dawn. Maris licked her lips as she surveyed his well muscled torso. Short wet hair clung to his head like a helmet, at least until he shook his head. Water cascaded outward, catching the sunlight and glittering like a rainbow before it hit the sea to become one with it again. He walked into her arms as though he’d never been gone. Their mouths met in a warm kiss of remembrance and passion.

“Dylan, you came,” she whispered when he lifted his head.

“I promised and I never break a promise.” He brushed her hair off her brow, stroking her face with reverence.

“No. You don’t,” she agreed. His loyalty and honor were just two of the reasons she loved him.

“Are you ready to join me in my world, Maris?”

She took a deep breath. A year ago she’d been shocked when he told her the truth. Unbelieving and unable to understand right up until the moment he dove into the water and changed as he swam away from her.

It was only his promise to return in one year. Here. To their beach. That had kept her going. Watching him swim away had left her empty. As if someone had carved something vital from her soul and left her in some half-life. Just barely alive.

“Maris. You know what I am now.”

“I do. But how can I join you, Dylan? I can’t change the way you can. I can’t live in the sea.”

“I believe you can. You’re my mate. I know you are.”

She smiled, kissing his rough cheek. “I know I am too. I didn’t believe last year, but after being without you, I’m as sure as you are.”

“Then why do you fear? Let me show you how.”

Maris watched wide eyed as he stepped deeper into the water and began to shimmer. His body elongated and drew in. His legs moved together and became flukes. She gasped when he completed his change into a dolphin. He gently nudged her and she held out her hands marveling at the texture of his flesh. Smooth and sleek. He herded her toward deeper water so that she was swimming.

The deeper he drew her into the ocean, the more frightened Maris became. He swam out away from her and she stopped, looking frantically for him. He wouldn’t leave her. She knew he wouldn’t…would he?

“No, Maris. I’ll never leave you.”

She turned in the water, reaching for Dylan. He pulled her into his arms, his hands running down her back. His touch soothed, but also aroused her. She kissed his damp neck, loving the salty taste of his skin. He cupped her breast, pinching her tight nipples which sent fire between her thighs. Maris lifted her legs, wrapping them around his waist. Opening herself for him. His fingers slid inside her, stretching her for him.

Maris gasped as the ocean pulled them further out while he fingered her. She clung to Dylan because she never swam this deep. Never this far from shore. But with her mate by her side, she knew that she’d always be safe. Protected.
She rode his hand, arching into the pleasure he gave her. Floating. Accepting him. Who he was and what he was. When he removed his hand she whimpered in distress, but he kissed her. Maris gazed into his sea blue eyes and sighed as he slid into her. Taking her deep, flowing into her like the tide rolling across the shore. It was as good as she remembered...but it was more. She rode him, clinging to him. Wrapped around him. He gasped into her open mouth, driving faster. Taking them both higher.
Maris closed her eyes as he body wound tighter with need and hunger. Her fingers dug into his shoulders, fighting to take him even closer. Their breaths mingled. Harder. Faster. And finally she shuddered, crashing like a wave as her orgasm sucked her under. Dylan groaned and followed her to bliss. They bobbed in the waves, clutching one another as the intensity ebbed to a warm glow.
"We're meant to be together, Maris. Try to change. Just once."
Maris nodded, reluctantly releasing Dylan. She floated on the water, felt herself become one with it. She stretched and suddenly it happened. Her body morphed. Reshaped itself. Her legs melded forming a fluke. Her arms molded to her sides. She looked at the sea around her, seeing through a dolphin's eyes. It was beautiful...until she sank like a stone. Maris thrashed. Tried to master her new body as panic set in. But then Dylan was there, pushing her to the surface so she could breathe like a mother dolphin does with a new calf.
Dylan taught her to swim and to his world. They cavorted. Playing and loving one another. As the sun set, they headed out to sea. To begin the rest of their lives as mates.


Next Category of "favorites" from the Seductions crew:

Beach on which we'd most like to be seduced by a handsome stranger

Pamela Salt Cay
Serena The one outside my private bungalow on Maui.
Paris Cancun
Savannah Isolated White Sand Beach in the Caribbean
Francesca Necker Island – a private Caribbean Island

Friday, September 18, 2009

Assassin's Kiss Preview

I'm very happy to announce that Ellora's Cave will release my first full length book, ASSASSIN'S KISS,Friday, September 25. I've been anticipating the publication of this book since joining Crystal, Savanna, Serena and Francesca every week to discuss all things shifter!

I believe in celebrating every chance I can so today I'd like to celebrate my upcoming release by posting a blurb and excerpt. Enjoy!

"You can only take so much away from a person before they either fight or
give up."
Kira Randall

Her only crime was being born. She is the key to a secret that the Jaguar
Council will kill to keep and their ancient enemy, the Brotherhood, will kill to
Kira Randall, a two-natured, jaguar shifter in heat treks to the
Guatemalan jungle, desperate for the sex she craves. What she finds is danger,
death, and Bastian, a blatantly sexual three-natured, Jaguar assassin who
rescues her from the rogues he tracks, only to find she is more dangerous.

Halflings have been forbidden for centuries. Killing her should have been

Torn between his desire for Kira and his duty to protect the Jaguar People,
Bastian can't resist the first touch of her naked flesh or her heated demands.
Until their enemies make it impossible. Caught in a treacherous web of
deceit they race against time to uncover the secret that will save them both.
Their only hope is each other.


The glittering wonder in her gaze stopped him and sanity returned like a blast of cold water from the Jaguar spout. He should never have touched her. He’d told himself that this was for her. He’d never lied to himself before and it pissed him off that he’d done it now.

He wanted to push her away. He never wanted to let her go. It made him angry and she could see it all—the instant of self-loathing and the regret. She unlocked her legs from around his hips. Sliding away from him, she stumbled to the stream of cold water and ducked under it.

“I don’t want to want you either,” she rasped, shivering and closing her eyes before turning away. She scrubbed her skin as if she could wash away what had just happened.

He stepped behind her and the curved, puckered scar beneath her shoulder blade drew him like a beacon. He traced it with one calloused fingertip and she shivered beneath his touch. He cursed the Brotherhood for marking her, the Council for viewing halflings as a threat to be disposed of and himself for being too weak not to inevitably add to her pain.

But he couldn’t make himself stop touching her. He placed his hands over hers as she scrubbed, memorizing her slim arms and small, rounded breasts with their tight dark nipples, the curve of her belly, her hips. She sighed and leaned back while he traced the inside of her leg where his essence mingled with cold water.

She stiffened. “I didn’t think about using protection. You strike me as the careful type.” Her harsh remark turned into a sad sigh and he bit off a curse.

He slid his hand up over her ribs and cupped one soft, plump breast. “There was no need. Halflings don’t—can’t—not with humans or us.” Too late, he remembered the small straw doll tucked away in her belongings. “There was probably a better way to start Jaguar 101.”

She turned slowly, her gaze deliberate and hard. “I’m the one who came looking for the truth. There’s nothing to be gained by blaming the messenger because I don’t like it.”
The defiant tilt of her chin and the shuttering of her water-spiked lashes told him otherwise. He picked up the lantern, bent and swept an arm under her knees, holding her tight against his chest. When she made a feeble attempt to free herself, he gripped her tighter and snugged her head under his chin.

She kept it there while he carried her back to the sleeping chamber, until he opened his sleeping bag and tucked her inside. He turned down the lamp, slid in behind her and zipped them in, spooning around her, cradling her head in the crook of his arm.

“Are you afraid I’m going to escape?” she mumbled, squirming against him.

“There is no escape.”

How Do I Get There....

So I'm starting a new story with an April Fools Day theme. I love a good joke, heck I even enjoy the bad jokes, but when it comes to April 1st, bring it on. Seeing folks pull off really good pranks puts a titch in my grin for days.

I've tried my hand at delivering the perfect prank, but the closest I got was the year my husband and I were dating and I called my mom and told her I was preggers. LOL After a few tension filled moments, the undisputed champ of the April Fools Day prank, my mother, came back with, "nope, but good try."

I have never successfully pulled one over on my mom. She has a killer poker face and an inventive mind for the prank. It got to the point that my grandmother wouldn't even talk to her on April 1st. hehehehe

But I digress. This blog is not about April Fools Day.

Nope, this blog is about starting new stories. As I start this story I am finding that the characters are insistent that their story takes place in Northern Missouri, amidst the farm fields. Huh? Why Missouri? Why not, Minnesota or Texas? I've lived there and know something about those places. The best I can do with Missouri is pull from my teenage memory the many, many drives up and down interstate 35. It sure looked like farm fields along the sides of the Missouri road.

So what's and author to do? Well, first I pulled out my Official Missouri Highway Map, yep, I collect maps. ~cof~geek~cof~ LOL I just love looking at the roads, city/town names and the other fascinating things you can find on a map.

Once I've identified the town or city that fits in my story, I go on line and see what I can find on the place. Pictures, special happenings or anything really that will help me know the place. Well, know it as well as anyone can who has never lived or traveled there.

As a short paranormal story, that will probably be all I need to get the story written, but I wonder, are there places/sites that you go to when writing about a new setting?

If so, I'd love to know where.

BTW - be on the look out next week for the remainder of our Sept contest clues!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Writer, Love Thyself

If you’ve read earlier blogs of mine you’ll know I’m somewhat of a hippie. I must confess I’m kind of a blog whore too. I do not remember where I read this tidbit of advice, but I’m sending the author, whoever you are, a secret thank you today.

A key point of the article was avoiding self-destructive rewards. For instance, finishing that 50 page goal ahead of time does not mean you should reward yourself with ten pounds of chocolate. It’ll add an inch to your waistline and give you a sugar high that you’ll end up crashing from in thirty minutes. =Self Destructive Reward.

I guess the blog stands as an example of great writing, because even though I cannot remember the name of the brilliant author who penned it, her message stuck with me. I was famous for skipping out for an afternoon break of Starbucks green tea frappuccino. With whipped cream, of course. A Snickers bar from the nearest vending machine. Or one of my favorites, 38 grams of sugar in the form of a sweet, fizzy, caffeinated soda.

My pants stopped wanting to button. And I felt like crap. So I took that author’s message and slapped myself upside the head with it. I stopped stuffing five cookies into my face when I got home because I was so hungry, and started making my own trail mix with my favorite ingredients. Now I’m consuming good fats and healthy oils in homemade snacks and not feeling hungry. My pants no longer hurt.

A lot of stressful stuff has been happening to me lately, and today I took that author’s message again. Instead of the bagel and cream cheese I wanted to have for lunch, I had a salad with apples, walnuts and cranberries. Yeah, I’m a little hungry now, but I know when I get in the car later today, I’ll munch on Crystal’s Trail Mix. : ) So I’m good. And no carbohydrate crash this afternoon for me.

Here’s my recipe for Crystal’s Trail Mix. I want to make special note about Flax seed. Just Google it and you’ll see how healthy for you this little seed is. I went to my local health food store to try it thinking “This is probably one of my good intentions that will make my tongue want to curl back into my throat,” but it turns out this crunchy little seed tastes delicious, and makes a perfect, delicate compliment to Crystal’s Trail mix.
1. Walnuts
2. Almonds
3. Raisins
4. Flax seed
5. Pumkin seed (raw)
6. Sunflower seed
7. Peanuts
8. Dried pineapple

If you have a favorite non-self-destructive reward, please share. I'd love to try it.

Cover Art for Stallion of Ash and Flame

Here it is, the cover art for my next release, STALLION OF ASH AND FLAME, coming from Siren-BookStrand, Fall 2009.
It used to irk me big time when the cover of a romance novel didn’t portray the heroine and hero, or the story, correctly. Why? The image was stuck in my head as I read and I had to keep readjusting my mental pictures. Yep, being visually oriented, this was no fun.
So, for my sake, and mostly for the sake of my readers, I do my best to make sure the cover art for my books reflects what is taking place on the e-pages and print pages, accurately.
When I blogged at The Romance Studio recently, I talked about how the cover art represents STALLION OF ASH AND FLAME ~

The hero, Trail... well, there he is on the cover. He looks Apache, even though he’s from an equine shifter world. His race shares the same ancient ancestors.
The heroine, Seneca... there she is, the woman Trail stud lusts for, but has never approached because she’s not a one-night stand and that’s all he can give her. His race is not allowed to mate permanently with humans.
The fiery stallion... Trail is on a mission to halt the raging forest fires that threaten the portal between his world and Earth. Not only can he shapeshift into a stallion, he can also phase into a flaming state that devours any furious blaze.
You can imagine Seneca’s mind-jarring shock when she first sees Trail as a stallion of flame, even though he’s rescuing her from the bad space-alien guys, at the time. Yep, the suspenseful plot is paranormal and complex.
Trail and Seneca’s love story is a contemporary that takes place in southeastern Arizona, where there are caves, mountains and a national forest. This setting is crucial to the plot for several reasons. Trail’s portal is located inside a cave. Seneca has discovered a pair of ancient amulets inside another cave, hidden deep in the lower elevations of a mountainous area. And the assortment of bad guys are using the forest for their own nefarious purposes.


THE NEW BULL IN TOWN will be chargin’ and snortin’ back with his Serial Flash story... probably, next week. Unless, I find out the release date for STALLION OF ASH AND FLAME, or there’s some other authorly interruption.
Shapeshifter lovers, check out CAT NIP. It’s a free read by erotic romance author, Gem Sivad ~ ~ also, for the ongoing story, subscribe at ~ ~
Plus, take a peek at COYOTE MOON by Pat Cunningham at ~ ~ NOW rising on Siren-BookStrand’s bestseller list.



Savanna Kougar

~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Saturday, September 12, 2009

At Last!

Did you ever have a book that just wouldn't leave you alone? The characters were insistent about telling you their story and the plot came to you at odd times, waking you up or making you dig for a pen and any scrap of paper so that you could get an idea down?

Assassin's Kiss was just that kind of book. I just found out last night that it will be available from Ellora's Cave September 25! Here's a sneak peak at the cover and blurb. I hope you enjoy it!

“You can only take so much away from a person before they either fight or give up.”

Kira Randall

Her only crime was being born. She is the key to a secret that the Jaguar Council will kill to keep and their ancient enemy, the Brotherhood, will kill to possess. Kira Randall, a two-natured, jaguar shifter in heat treks to the Guatemalan jungle, desperate for the sex she craves. What she finds is danger, death, and Bastian, a blatantly sexual three-natured, Jaguar assassin who rescues her from the rogues he's been tracking, only to find she is more dangerous.
Halflings have been forbidden by the Jaguar Council for centuries. Killing her should have been easy.
Torn between his desire for Kira and his duty to protect the Jaguar People, Bastian can’t resist the first touch of her naked flesh or her heated demands.
Yielding to a dangerous, forbidden passion, they are caught in a treacherous web of deceit as they race against time, fighting their way through a growing list of enemies to save the same Jaguar People who would condemn them. Their only hope is each other.

Assassin's Kiss
by Paris Brandon
Copyright 2009
Coming Soon from Ellora's Cave


Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Dream Car Is Faster Than Your Dream Car...

Serena eased into the 1966 Ford Mustang Convertibles low seat and pulled her long flowing hair into a ponytail so tight she was sure it could be deemed a new type of face lift - not that she'd mind shedding a few of the past years. She turned the car over and felt the rumble of the beast pulling at the reins. She was determined to win this race and gather up her awesome new win, a copy of Writing Romance—The Ultimate Guide on Craft, Creation and Industry Connections. She'd take home the studly shapeshifting alpha holding the take off flag as well. It never hurt to have a reading buddy!

As she looked down the line, first up was Crystal in her 1960 Corvette Convertible. It was a thing of beauty, sleek and small, ready to shoot off the line and try for the lead, but the big gorgeous Vamp and the stone hard Guardian in the back were going to weigh it down. If she got the wheels to spin, it would be all over but for the crying. Good thing she had two broad shoulders to do it on.

Next up was Paris in her Silver Rolls Royce. The car was a definitely a sweet ride, and the mechanic that tagged along was clearly a smart idea as he tinkered under the engine. Paris was bound to have quite the time during the race with that hard body in the back with her, but Serena doubted the chauffeur had what it took to win a drag race.

On her other side sat Savanna in her Shiny Red Stealth. Yeah, the lady Kougar had wings and she was definitely going to fly. The cars racing body screamed winner, but the large lovely cat in the seat next to Savanna could make it hard to drive. Serena had her work cut out for her there, but she had faith that her drag racing skills.

Last up, Francesca in her Koenigsegg CCX. Holy Moly, how fast would that gorgeous work of art go? Zero to Zoom was Serena's best guess, but she was keeping the faith in her wild pony. That and word on the street was Francesca might have had a bit of a run in with the law lately, which if asked about sweetly, maybe she would share that "secret life" with us one of these Monday's. Perhaps, Serena would whip out the hidden siren she had with her - you know for a little bit o' driving fun and scare Francesca off the course...well she could hope anyway. ;)

As the Dream Cars reved and the sexy alpha shifter raised the flag, a sight most enjoyable to all around, they were ready for anything. Going for broke. The flag fell and the five sexy bloggers were off. Neck and neck they flew, each working it to the best of their ability. The finish line was in sight,
Just. A. Little. Further....

Happy Friday everyone! I thought this might be a fun way of sharing more of our secrets....but you tell me, just for giggles, who do you think won that race?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Release Celebraton!

My second book released yesterday from Loose Id. In conjunction with this release, I’m holding a new contest at my website. Two winners will receive a $20 Amazon Gift card. Drawing will be held September 30th. Winners will be drawn from names on my mailing list. Visit my website to sign up today!

Accidentally cast through a magical portal to an enchanted prison with slave girl and a vampire fugitive, a Guardian warrior must come to terms with their situation, and the irrefutable past he shares with his vampire enemy.

Here’s a sneak peak to whet your appetite.

      They stood in what appeared to be an ancient hall. The ceiling was high in here, the open space sucking up the heat from their meager fire. Two massive doors that were probably the manor’s main entry stood in the shadows far at the other end. Some splintered wood, which might long ago have been furniture, was piled off to the left, and a stone stairway led up the side of the wall to the second floor.
      A crumbling decorative suit of armor stood near the hearth. In its metal hands were a lance blade and sword. Past it, another set of doors closed off the great hall under the second level.
      It looked eerily like something he remembered from his childhood, but that place had been high in the snowy mountains of Transylvania, a country that didn’t even exist today.
      As if to taunt his worries, the wind howled ferociously, rattling the high shuttered windows on either side of the hearth’s stone chimney. Earlier today, San Francisco had been clear and sunny.
      “I do not know.”
      “Great. Wouldn’t you agree we better figure it out?”
      His rage flared. “There is no ‘we’; there is only she and I. You do not fit into the equation, bloodsucker.”
      The vampire advanced. His brown eyes flared with a glint of red. “I didn’t ask to come along on this little picnic, Guardian.” He spat the identifier as though it tasted bad. “In case you don’t remember, I was trying to save your ass when you wriggled your nose and zapped us here.”
      “Boys. Boys!” The girl jumped between them, one hand placed in the middle of each chest. A jolt of powerful energy shot through Balin, rattling the thin foundation he’d managed to reclaim.
      He blinked away the shock and found himself glaring off with the vampire, the girl’s tiny frame pinned between them.
      “Oh my.” She giggled. “This is nice.”
      They both rocked backward at the same instant.
      She blew an exasperated sigh and pulled Balin’s coat back around her shoulders, then pushed her arms through the sleeves. “Well, that was fun. But it didn’t help matters.”
      “You saving my ass?” Balin shouted, incredulous.
      “While you were spitting up your teeth, I was stopping Boragnis from slicing off your head.”
      “You mean while I was saving her, you were interfering.”
      “Stop!” the girl shouted. “We have more important things to do than fight between ourselves.”
      “You will never convince me you didn’t want that creature to kill me.”
      “What he says is true.” The girl’s voice turned to a whisper, but it was enough to stop Balin cold. He focused his attention back on her.
      Her gaze dropped to the floor, and the smile that had lit up this dreary place faded away.
      “Boragnis considered me his property. He’d made arrangements to…to buy me from Spike.”
      She looked up at Balin. Tears swam in her eyes. A metal band tightened around his chest.
      “He was reaching for your throat with his claws extended, when…” She turned and glanced at the vampire, and Balin felt something lurch inside. “He saved us.”
      He glanced up at the vampire. The bloodsucker watched him back with silent contempt.
      For the first time, almost grudgingly, Balin noticed the difference between this vampire and other creatures of the night he’d encountered.
      The man’s eyes had glowed red with fury only moments ago, but now they were back to a normal chocolate brown. His skin was fair, but not deathly pale like so many vampires. The beast drew in a tight breath and let it out slowly, visibly curbing his anger. He wore modern clothes, and his hair was stylishly cut, though a little long around the collar.
      “Why would you do this?” Balin asked, not completely believing it.
      “I have been hunting the Bulgarian vampire for nearly two hundred years.”
      “You take me for a fool.”
      The vampire snorted. “That you believe your Guardian Mouseketeers are the only authority policing vampire kind not only proves your ignorance, it proves your arrogance as well.”
      “The Guardians are an ancient sect that have been in existence almost as long as vampires. We would know if there were others.”
      “You think we don’t watch over our own?” The vampire turned his gaze back to the fire. “Not all vampires are criminals.”
      “You try to convince me of honorable intentions because more than likely, outside those doors, we’ll encounter an angry mob who wants your head on a stake.”
      “Stop it,” the girl interrupted, frowning. “He saved your life. Whether you like it or not, you owe him. At least you can be civil.”
      Her disapproval cut like a knife.
      Digging the blade deeper, she went on. “Let me tell you something about vampires. There are good ones among them. I don’t know this man, but he hasn’t done anything to hurt me. Or you either.”
      The creature glared silently as the wind rattled the very bones of the castle.
      “Why don’t we take a small step by learning each other’s names?” she said in a calmer voice. “I am Gladiolas. I have been at the Palace for…since two thousand six. What year is it now?”
      Something inside Balin broke. “Sweetheart, you never have to go back there.”
      She smiled, as though she also believed he was a fool. “I have no place else to go. Besides, it isn’t so bad. There are those who are unkind, but look at the world we live in. At least with the vampires, I never get sick and I never grow old.”
      “That beast was poised to kill you.”
      She shook her head. “No. He wouldn’t have killed me. My greatest fear was that he would take me from the Palace.”
      Balin drew her to him. She curled against his chest and wrapped her arms round him. Her soft body pressed intimately against him, igniting a selfish flood of desire that sent the blood rushing to his cock.
      Four hundred years without female companionship, and he finally discovered someone who ignited his desires, only to drag her through a magical portal to an uncertain future with an evil traveling companion. Worse, this angelic beauty, with whom he’d felt an instant link, wanted to go back to her vampire captors.
      “I know you were trying to help me as well, and I appreciate what you did.” She eased away and bestowed a magical smile. “Shall I call you Hero, or will you tell us your name?”
      He glanced up at the vampire. The man quickly looked away, a tic working in his jaw.
      “I am Balin Renforth. Ninth Lieutenant in the Order of the Guardians of San Francisco.”
      “Guardians. I’ve heard whispers about them. Is it true you can transform into stone?”
      “I have many powers,” he said, flicking a warning glance at the vampire.
      “Don’t forget to tell her about your ties to ancient Ireland.”
      So the bloodsucker knew. Balin guessed it was obvious to anyone familiar with their world. “Perhaps another time,” he returned in a low growl.
      Gladiolas turned to the vampire. “Your turn.”
      “Fitch Galloway. Vampire Secret Service.”
      Balin barked a laugh. “Right.”
      “My office is in the White House. Where’s yours?”
      “You expect me to believe you’re sanctioned by the president of the United States?”
      “I don’t expect anything, except you’re gonna zap us back to San Francisco.”
      An unearthly roar rattled the very foundation of the castle. Both men instinctively stepped closer. Gladiolas reached for them and found herself locked in a protective embrace of strong arms.
      “What the fuck was that?” Fitch said.
      “I’m scared.”
      Another roar thundered, frighteningly close, immediately on the other side of the wall. It sounded like the T. rex dinosaurs from the Jurassic Park movies.
      This unearthly wail was followed by growling, snarling, and very undoglike barking. Whatever it was, there were several of them, and they were fighting right outside the castle.
      The three of them stood frozen in horror, listening as the cacophony increased in tempo and ferocity, then drifted away as the creatures galloped off, still locked in their battle.
      “I don’t like the sound of that,” Fitch said.
      “Nor do I,” Balin agreed.
      “I’m scared,” Gladiolas said again and suddenly felt dumb for it. Maybe she was a fragile little waif.
      “Where the fuck did you take us, Guardian?” Fitch grimaced. “What? What’s that look?”
      “I can’t be sure.”
      “Why don’t you tell us anyway?”

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hellhounds a frenzy of passion

Know anything about Hellhounds?
No, I’m no expert. I’ve only recently come under their spell as shapeshifters. After all, it’s that time of year.
I admit it. Halloween already has its devilish claws sunk inside me. Why? I’m not a big horror movie fan. In fact, the ‘nightmare on elm street’ side of Halloween doesn’t do it for me.
The freedom of running around at night as a kid, of being able to dress up in way that loosed my inner beast and my joy... yep and howls, that did it for me, and still does.
There is something about Halloween, that day, that time, which is deeply, truly magical, a thinning between their world and ours, as some say.
I have always been fascinated and enthralled by anything and everything paranormal. The more I study, the more I understand, and the more I ‘get’ precisely why Halloween is essential to our psyches.
At heart and down to my soul, I’m a wild woman. So, of course, some of the ways Halloween is celebrated in our culture, calls to my nature... the call of the wild, if you will. I think that’s true, to varying degrees, for all of us.
Yes, all of this is leading back to Hellhounds or my Hellhound twins, my latest heroes in a WIP I’ve titled, Kandy Apple for Halloween. It’s a paranormal romp of a story with the heroine being a witch who doesn’t know her true heritage, since she was adopted and hasn’t been able to discover anything about her bio parents.

Here’s an X-snippet ~

Zol and Zin dropped Geraldo as Hades waved his arm transporting him to his first ‘hell’. They watched his barbed bloody body vanish before shifting back to their human forms.
Not returning them to the Twilight Mirage yet, Hades rubbed his short black beard, immaculately trimmed, of course. His gaze examined their nether region. “Might I suggest you two find a nice witch and indulge in fleshly pleasures upon your return, or soon after.”
Glancing at each other, then down at the particularly rigid state of their cocks, Zol and Zin had to agree.
“Perhaps,” Hades continued, a divine light gleaming in his eyes, “it’s time to consider settling down. You’ve earned it, Zolivar and Zindale, permanent residency in the upper world.”
How about you? Any Halloween stories brewing. Or have they already been brewed and about to be published?
As a reader, what kind of Halloween romance books do you enjoy the most?


Yowza butting-powza, the Bull is back... a hero with a real set of horns and the bold balls to match.

For the beginning of this bullie woolie tail see my prior blogs ~

X-Serial Flash

New Bull in Town

Somehow our mouths know how to magically dance with each other.
It’s him, the bull man, who finally breaks our fervent deep kiss.
“What?” I murmur. As fast, I remember my girlfriend is here. “Barn,” I weakly suggest to him, sliding my arms away from his neck.
“Close your eyes, Shelley,” he smoky-rasps, in what has become my favorite male voice.
“Becoming a bull again?” Still, I close my eyes wondering if it’s somehow a secretive process. What doesn’t he want me to see?
I feel him step back, the loss of his large burning cock makes me groan unhappily.

Linda’s shrill scream carried through the air, sounding like a siren.
“Shelley, get out of there. Run. Run.”
I whip my head around as I automatically press against the fence. Linda runs toward me, her long blonde hair flying out behind her Stetson. She’s frantically digging in her humongous leather bag for something.
“I got it! I got it!” Linda waves her taser triumphantly, racing toward me as fast as her fancy cowboy boots allow. The dust churns behind her.
Rapidly, I glance back just to make sure. Yep, Mr. Bull Man is, once again, a glorious looking longhorn. He snorts.

Shapeshifter lovers, check out CAT NIP. It’s a free read by erotic romance author, Gem Sivad ~ ~ also, for the ongoing story, subscribe at ~ ~
Plus, take a peek at COYOTE MOON by Pat Cunningham at ~ ~ NOW rising on Siren-BookStrand’s bestseller list.



Savanna Kougar

~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Author of ~

All Shades of Blue Paradise
Red Lioness Tamed
When a Good Angel Falls
Tangerine Carnal Dreams
Murder by Hair Spray in Gardenia, New Atlantis
Black Cat Beauty
Her Insatiable Dark Heroes
Stallion of Ash and Flame ~ coming from Siren-BookStrand

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Tweaking Your Workstation

Lately, I've been dealing with a chronic lower back condition and having to come up with creative ways to manage writing on a daily basis. I thought a new chair might help but I'm actually typing this blog while standing up because it seems, that wasn't the answer.

The source of the problem needs to be dealt with and I'm undergoing a six to eight week treatment that will help but in the meantime I have to deal with this and it started me thinking.

How many of us actually have a situation that we need to work around? What special little "tweaks" have you made to your workstation to make it more comfortable? Have you tried ergonomic keyboards, voice recognition software or anything else that helps you in your day to day writing career?

I'd really be interested in knowing,heck I might even be able to adapt it to my little problem;-)

Have a safe holiday!

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Five Favorite Fearsome Flix On Friday...

So I thought today being Friday, I'd have a little fun and share the top five scariest movies I've seen. And yes, I was a bit stumped for a topic this week, but this will be fun too!

Here we go...

1. The Shining - Seriously, my man Jack, possessed or did he just go stark raving coo coo, talking to ghosts in that big lonely old hotel and terrorizing his wife and child with an axe...chasing ~shudder~ them. Ick and dang scare me some more!! Let us not forget that he was also a struggling writer! I too have my days like that, but Heeeerrree's Serena! just doesn't have the same ring to it!

2. The Exorcist - Devil possession, painful crucifix action and head twisting split pea spewage did me in. This was of course after about the fifth attempt at watching it. I made it through once and never looked back. There is something about possession flix that scare the holy bejeezus out of me.

3. The Amityville Horror - Now we have house possession. Glowing eyes in the windows and repeated risings at 3:15 in the morning. I still freak if I should happen to wake up and need to pee anywhere around that 3am mark! LOL I blame it all on my dad. An eight year old child has no business seeing this movie at the theater, even if mom couldn't use the free ticket!! ;)

4. When A Stranger Calls - I have to admit here that I never made it past the initial fright of the cops telling the babysitter that her crank caller was calling from inside the house. Eep, some sicko killer is in the house with you calling from a different phone, while you are there babysitting someone else's children. Oh man, covering my eyes and ears here! This was another movie I was probably to young to watch. :) I do however remember getting several crank calls back then and it always brings this movie back!

5. Salem's Lot - This movie both horrified and turned my young self on. It was my first Vampire experience and the I want to suck your blood, alpha, I'll kill you if you get between me and my woman thing erm, yeah - I have a hard time seeing vamps as bad guys. ;)

There ya have it, my top five scary movies. What do you think? Did these scare you? Intrigue you?

What movies top your scare-o-meter?

Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Contest! and Contest Hint #1

This month Shapeshifter Secuctions is having a contest. We’ll be giving away a copy of the San Francisco Area RWA chapter’s Writing Romance.

Writing Romance—The Ultimate Guide on Craft, Creation and Industry Connections

  • 50 Inspiring Articles

  • The process, craft and business of writing by some of your favorite published romance authors, as well as a few of the industry's leading editors and agents.

  • A Complete Resource List
    RWA chapters, SFA-RWA member authors, and RWA-approved publishers and literary agents.

  • Success Secrets
    How to craft a compelling story, find a great agent, and more!

Our contest will run through September. Four times this month, one of our posts will include a short list of our member’s favorites. At the end of the month, one of those tips will be the answer to our question (just to see if you’ve been paying attention)

Our first list of favorites is:

Favorite Color:
Crystal ~ Mauve
Serena ~ Purple
Paris ~ sunset orange
Savanna ~ violet
Francesca ~ red

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Roaring Arghhh... the Computer Age

Pic from ~ ~


When computers and everything interlocking with our cyber systems works, it works very, very well. When it doesn’t work, it’s sheer damn claw-attacking hell.
So, I don’t know. Is it my computer? Some horrendous virus or glitch or whatever? Or, is it some problem with the servers, my internet provider? What?
I couldn’t access Earthlink and Internet Explorer is acting like it’s on a permanent vacation. The email only worked for awhile, then went kaput. I couldn’t get the Firefox browser to work consistently.
Yep, I’m in webbie isolation and cut off as far as communication, given my location on the tame prairie.
The stupid diagnostic said something was wrong with my modem. What? Gee, I know nothing about these things, but if that were true why does my dial-up still work?
Oh, and I did purchase a backup modem, not realizing you actually have to install it inside the computer. Yeah, well, if I’m desperate, I’ll give it a go.
It’s a conspiracy I tell you! Make enough things convenient, even easy, then rip the tech rug out from beneath all of us un-savvy innocents. Don’t bother providing me with today’s version of R2D2.
Where’s my shifter hero? He could take a huge vicious bite out of those responsible... whoever THOSE are. Heck, give me a powerful vampire with fangs like small scimitars and a bloodthirsty temper.
As tough as I can be, at times, I can’t take on the whole world by myself.
Yep, I need my hero just as my heroines need their heroes in certain crucial ways. *Needing someone* has become a dirty word in our culture, often. Sure, there’s over-dependency and there are those who take advantage of others because of their neediness.
However, the bottom line truth is, we all need each other. Lovers need each other. Heroes need their heroines. That’s the way this world was designed. It’s the way we are designed as physical and spiritual beings. Romance novels beautifully reveal this truth over and over again. And that’s one reason readers snap them up. It’s also why many of us write these type of stories.
To take this into the realm of our shapeshifter romance novels, I think there are many reasons why shifter heroes and heroines star in their own subgenre now. In this day and age, feeling powerless over what is ‘generally occurring’ in the world, has become a way of life.
For example, a shifter hero can be more powerful. He can have psi-super powers. He can be faster. He can be bigger, better able to take care of his beloved heroine. Plus, in my book... yep, the ones I write... power is always sexy. Especially power used in heroic ways.
As just an ordinary human woman, gee, what I wouldn’t give for the right shifter hero, right now, to help me with the whole computer thing. Or, any hero. Heckie-doodle, R2D2 is kinda cute in a snuggly droid way.
Simply out of my own experience, as I look toward the future, it’s my belief heroes who are super strong beyond what we call human, will become more and more popular with readers. Actually, I believe that will also be true about heroines. As in the kickbutt heroine or the heroine who has, say, super psychic gifts. Of course, these are merely generalizations. Strength comes in many forms. Wisdom is one of those strengths I truly admire. It’s never enough to be smart. IMO, true wisdom always carries the day.
Nope... *that’s no bull* this week. Blame it on the deficiencies of modern day tech.
Oh, and forgive this kinda helter skelter blog, but it’s all my brain was capable of coming up with.
On a happy snappy note! I’m in the edit cave working on my next release from Siren-BookStrand, STALLION OF ASH AND FLAME ~ my stallion shifter contemporary suspense. Except for the great and strange comma dilemma... everyone seems to have their own idea of what correct placement is these days... my revisions are easy peasy compared to past edits... so far. Always, the dreaded, so far. Though, I am on the final chapters.
I have to say, too, it pleased me and my ego no end that my editor particularly liked the ending of the story and also remarked she had a hard time putting the story down. Now, if readers have a similar response, I’ll be floating in author heaven.

Note: For those authors and aspiring authors, out there, it is true. What one acquiring editor doesn’t like and puts down in a negative way, another editor will like and enjoy. That’s what happened with STALLION. It was also a blessing because I got a better deal.



Savanna Kougar

~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Author of ~

All Shades of Blue Paradise
Red Lioness Tamed
When a Good Angel Falls
Tangerine Carnal Dreams
Murder by Hair Spray in Gardenia, New Atlantis
Black Cat Beauty
Her Insatiable Dark Heroes
Stallion of Ash and Flame ~ coming from Siren-BookStrand