Monday, August 31, 2009

Secret Lives of EC Authors

In the weeks (gosh - is it really just WEEKS????) that lead up to Romanticon, Ellora's Cave is featuring the Secret Lives of their authors on their blog, Sex Talk for Wicked Women. Yup, I'm participating in this fun promo opportunity. My secret will be posted on Monday, September 7th. Labor Day. I hope you'll join me there!

When they announced this fun idea, we (EC Authors) were told to provide a tantalizing secret to introduce ourselves to our readers. I think this is a totally cool concept by the way. Yes, it could end up under the category of TMI - too much information - but so far it hasn't. Everyone has provided cute, fun facts. I hope my "deep, dark secret" lives up to the fun. I think it will but I'm not telling. -wicked grin- You'll just have to stop by to find out!


Secrets... Hmmm. It brings so many things to mind, doesn't it. So often a deep dark secret is the focus of a romance. Someone has one and someone wants to know what it is. A hero or heroine has a secret but they're being blackmailed to keep it quiet. Maybe they are ashamed of something they've done so they hide the secret. They may have an alter ego that they hide - Superman or Batman, anyone?

There are so many ways secrets can be used as a plot device in a good erotic romance. What are your favorite ways a secret is used in the story? Any that you absolutely hate? What book have you read recently that you love which features a character with a secret? Share your deep dark secrets with us here at Shapeshifter Seductions.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Blogs - Tell Me Something I Don't Know, Please?


Good Friday morning to all you shapeshifter lovers out there. In the spirit of Crystal's awesome blog on Wednesday, I decided to ask a question that's been on my mind recently. Blogs - What do we like to see in them, what do we not like to see in them and free reads, good, bad or so-so?

Okay, so that's more than one question - anyone with hot, sexy shapeshifting characters, feel free to send them over to spank me! ;)

So I thought I would start by sharing my preferences...

What do I like to see in a blog - Color, life and spunk.

What you need more? Alrighty...
Color - I like to see fun and colorful pictures, it draws me in. If the picture fascinates me, I'm going to read your blog.
Life - We all have them. Interesting things happen all the time, tell me about some of the things that happen to you. Or your reaction to something going on in the world. I'm interested.
Spunk - Have fun with it. Post something silly sometimes, tell me something that intrigues you or freaks you out. Tell me a joke or your favorite drink, shock me even. I'm up for it. :)

What don't I like to see in a blog?
Excessive ranting - Tell me if something makes you angry and I'll listen. Turn it into an every blog occurrence and I'm going to stay away more than I visit. I would guess a lot of people feel that way.

Free reads - I like them. It gives me a darn good idea if I want to buy that authors works. If it's a serial story, like our very own Savanna Kougar is oh so good at, I'll be back to the blog day after day to see what's happened in the free story land. If I come back for the story, I'm definitely going to read the rest of the blog...but hey, that's just me. :)

So now it's your turn, tell me what do you like or dislike about blogs you read and is it a Yea or Nay on the free reads?


Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Promo: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

A few months ago I walked into a Borders bookstore with a $25.00 gift card and a list of three books I wanted. That left me with some money left over to spend, and the strangest thing happened when I thought of what else I should add to my basket.

I panicked. I thought to myself, when my book hits these shelves, what will possess a person to pick it out of all of these?

Ebook authors today have a very small window of “front page” news, but even so I think we have a small advantage over traditional paperback releases in the sense that our books are displayed on the front page of our publishers website for a week, when mass market paperback get about a month stuffed into a shelf at the bookstore among hundreds, maybe thousands of others in the Romance section.

But still, the ultimate question still looms: What’s the best investment of our promotional time?

I thought I’d take a little detour today to ask readers and writers alike (because writers are some of the most voracious readers) what they like on the receiving end of promo.

Readers, does anything have a positive influence on you? Does anything annoy you? I’ve placed a poll here on the page, but I’d also like to hear your suggestions or opinions in the comments area. Writers, what works for you? What do you enjoy doing, and what won’t you do even for a double mocha frapaccino?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Shifter Super Soldier... I stare at his sin-tempting mouth.


Greeting, shapeshifter lovers, I think a little walk on the dark side is in order for this bloggie. Yep, the dark side has many subgenre facets for us fiction writers. For today, I’d like to ask a couple of questions and do a bit of conjecturing.
The super soldier of the future has been featured via the science news of late and, so I’m told, in the GI Joe movie. I’m not a fan of how they’ve transformed good ole GI Joe, so, nope, I won’t be seeing that movie.
However, as an author I get the definite pleasure of living in the ‘what if’ question. So, if I could design a super soldier, a shapeshifter super soldier, what animal qualities and abilities would I include in my genetic-cauldron brew?
Oh, does that open up a universe of possibilities for me. How about you?
Many authors have explored those possibilities and created their own worlds. That’s the wonderful thing about our imaginations and our individuality, we get to pretend to be little ‘g’ goddesses when we write our own version of a shapeshifter world.
Sun Rocket, my heroine in
RED LIONESS TAMED, lives in the far future and does carry the legacy of the Big Cat super soldiers, created early in the twenty-first century on planet Earth, as part of her feline shifter genome. After all, you can create ‘em in the lab, but that doesn’t mean you can keep ‘em in the black ops’ military. Nope, those cat soldiers are smart enough to stray or run away and find their mates.
It’s a given to most of us that genes from wolves and the big cats would create incredible super soldiers ~ their physical senses and their body strength being greatly enhanced. Also, the hunting capabilities of eagles, hawks, falcons would be highly desirable in a specialized group of super soldiers. Yep, the wings, oh the wings. Talk about an urban warfare advantage.
Am I currently penning such a story? Nope, not yet. But, if I were... hmmm...


He soared the afternoon sky pretending to be one of them. They were wise to him, the other Eagles. However, not the enemy below. The hit squad crept through the dense forest surrounding the mountain lake. Their target was the isolated cabin of an inventor and her family. Recently, she’d perfected a portable energy device that could easily power most any home. On the verge of releasing it to an underground distribution network, she’d escaped from another hit team to the cabin. One eye fastened on the squad’s progress, he dived the instant they moved onto the lake bank. Screaming his savage attack, he also warned the family.

So, what about you (everyone included)? Wanna create your own shapeshifter super soldier?
~~~~~~

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 blog ~ ...burning its way through my jeans ~ then, Longest Solar Eclipse... “possessiveness I’ve never known” ~ then, “...sliding up, then down” ~ “What a load of bull,” I challenge. ~ 2013 Celebration... He grabs my waist.
~~~

X-Serial Flash

New Bull in Town

TWENTY-ONE
“I’m not prejudice against any species.” His mouth nears mine. “Especially not a sex-kitten woman like you.”
His lust-roughened voice certainly doesn’t rub this sex kitten’s fur the wrong way. ‘Just one little kiss’ my mind whispers. Yeah, one little kiss. What if he kisses perfectly? What if he kisses better than that? What if he kisses with a passion that sends me into orbit? And makes me... stop!
‘Find out’ my mind tempts. Yes, I almost succumb, holding on with the skin of my teeth.
“I don’t kiss a man... or a bull man before I know his full name.”

TWENTY-TWO
Bull crap, I realize. We’re nearly kissing now, our lips so close the breath of my words must be caressing his mouth. His eyelids are half-mast, his smoky eyes utterly virile in expression. Not to mention the baseball-bat weight of his cock seems to be growing. Oh, god.
“Shelley.” My girlfriend’s voice carries toward us. “Where are you?”
The bull man boldly seizes my lips. He kisses me with a commanding prowess I’ve dreamed about, but figured didn’t actually exist. My arms throw themselves around his strong neck and cling. Our mouths wildly rub together in a frenzy of passion.
~~~~~~

Shapeshifter lovers, check out CAT NIP. It’s a free read by erotic romance author, Gem Sivad ~ http://gemsivadauthor.blogspot.com ~ also, for the ongoing story, subscribe at ~ http://textnovel.com ~
~~~
Plus, take a peek at COYOTE MOON by Pat Cunningham at ~ http://bookstrand.com/product-coyotemoon-14959-330.html ~ NOW rising on Siren-BookStrand’s bestseller list.
~~~~~~~

HAVE A WONDERFUL SHAPESHIFTING END OF SUMMER

~ MAY ALL YOUR READING DREAMS COME TRUE ~


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
~~~~~~

Monday, August 24, 2009

Selling the Fairy Tale

I must admit my naughty little vice. I watch The Bachelor/Bachelorette on ABC. I can not tell a lie. When they first advertised the show...MANY...years ago now, the feminist in me rose up and I swore I would never watch a show with one guy having his pick from 25 obviously desperate women. I stuck to this vow until right before the final rose ceremony of the first season when - well - they got me. ABCFamily aired a marathon run of the season so far and I got caught. I've watched it on and off ever since. Okay, mostly on. I admit it.

You know what this show has taught me? You must know WHO you're marketing to and do it right or you lose the audience. It doesn't matter whether you're writing romance or making TV - even reality TV. After years of watching this show it is obvious to me the production staff doesn't know their market. They THINK they know their market, but they really don't.


Why do I think this? Who am I to judge a production staff that's managed to stay on the air for a bunch of years in a very cut throat business? I'm a fan. Fans get to judge - a thing to remember as an author.

Why do I think they do NOT know their market? Because of the "drama" of the last few seasons. There has always been "drama" on the show which frankly, I could have done without. But ultimately, I was looking for the HEA at the end.


This is where The Bachelor/Bachelorette has screwed up...big time. They aren't delivering the happily ever after the audience is so hoping for. You sometimes get the happy for now ending, but ultimately that hasn't been satisfying because the couples invariably break up.


The show had one golden moment. Fans know whereof I speak...or whomof...Trista and Ryan. Perhaps for the show it might have been better if they hadn't had one HEA because then the audience would not expect a HEA at the end of every season. But they did. The couple lived the fairy tale. And are still living it - married with kids.


So how did they do it? They had a mature heroine and a sensitive hero. Ryan was one of those gamma guys. Normally I like me an alpha but Ryan had me sighing too. Of course Ryan was alpha where it counted for us alpha lovers because he was a hunky firefighter. Excellent casting. Ryan wasn't out there beating his chest with the "manly" men most of the time, but he was the strong silent type that many of us go for. In fact, the production staff managed to stack the deck with a group of men who were cute and for the most part fairly nice guys. And the guys that weren't nice, I don't remember cause I think Trista must have dumped them early in the game. Smart Trista - unlike the latest Bachelorette Jillian but I'll discuss that later.


So they had one super fantabulous HEA then dud after dud after dud. And no, I am not exempting the episodes of The Bachelorette. Production managed to cast likable heroes and heroines for their Bachelor or Bachelorette "characters". People the audience connected with. People the audience rooted for. Good for production and their marketing sense.


Take the last two "seasons." Jason (The Bachelor) and Jillian (The Bachelorette). OMG - sad. Just sad. Jason was cast after having his heart broken on the previous season of The Bachelorette (who broke up with the guy she chose before The Bachelor started). He was an all around good guy. A single dad. Women melted over him. I thought he was pretty cool so I was kind of interested in watching how he'd do as The Bachelor. The answer? Not so hot. Everything seemed fine until you got to "the final rose." He had two women left - Melissa and Molly. Both were very nice women. He'd chosen well. I had not watched ALL the episodes of this one, but as I watched the final show I was pretty sure he'd choose Molly. Don't know why I thought that, but I did.


So what happens? He tells Molly he's fallen for Melissa. She tells him she doesn't understand and that he'll regret not choosing her. She isn't threatening to him, just absolutely positive they should be together. (Unlike past episodes where women were slightly scary - stalker scary if you get my drift). After he walks Molly to the car he comes back inside and starts crying. Sobbing his guts out. At that moment, I knew he'd chosen the wrong woman and if most viewers will admit it they'd say they knew it too. NO man will cry over a woman he doesn't love. No freaking way. I can only guess someone on the production staff wanted some drama and "encouraged" him in another direction.


Why do I say that? Because when the "after the rose" show aired, Mr. Nice-Guy broke up with Melissa on air and asked Molly for a second chance. All of America was up in arms. The poor guy probably was afraid women would come after him with torches and pitchforks. Seriously. Myself, I felt it would be better not to break up in public but he was locked into a contract that required it. Better for Melissa to find out before they walk down the aisle. The production staff wanted drama not the Happily Ever After and completely misjudged their audience. Why? Because they do not know their audience. Romance authors could have counseled them, but they don't appear to be listening.


Jillian, the most recent Bachelorette made it to Jason's final four. America loved her so she was chosen to be the next heroine. Poor Jillian. We think we torture our heroes and heroines? We've got nothing on ABC's The Bachelorette. At least romance authors guarantee the hero, the heroine and the reader a happily ever after. Poor Jillian had so much drama this season it's a wonder the girl didn't suffer from a heart attack.


One guy was there solely to advance his country music career and she KEPT him even after one of the other guys (one of the DUMPED guys mind you) came to her and told her the bad boy musician had a girlfriend now living (sorry - just had to allude to Mr. Rochester - but Rochester had far more character than this guy). Country music guy should FIRE his manager who told him to play the shell game on Jillian. Every male country music artist has a ton of FEMALE fans. Yeah, they sing cheating songs, but in the songs they are the victims done wrong. Not the doers. Jillian kept the jerk around until the final four.


She finally gets her "happily ever after" but then in the last few weeks magazines are coming out with stories that Ed cheated on her during their time apart. I most sincerely hope this is just tabloid crapola - for her sake. But with this show's track record, I'm just not sure.


Where the show consistently screws up in both The Bachelor and/or The Bachelorette is who they cast in the pool of possible mates for the person handing out the roses. Time after time they choose men and women in those pools of candidates who frankly needed therapy more than they needed to find love. Bad casting. Very bad. Anger management issues. Drama between the women, chest beating between the men. Bleh.


This casting would have been fine if the audience had been looking for a train wreck - you know the basic common denominator in reality TV. The only thing that was interesting watching this part of the show was from an anthropological perspective. Talk about your scientific experiment. Get a group of women and men confined in a tight space while they fight for a mate. Like I said, the scenario is great if you study anthropology but lousy if you're watching for a happy ending and that's my big contention here. They don't know WHO their audience is.

The audience that watches this show isn't your usual reality TV audience. They don't want a train wreck, they want romance. Whether they read romance or not, they are romance readers. The audience for this show are women 20-50 (give or take a few years on either side) who believe in love triumphant...or they WANT to believe in it. They want the hero or heroine to find the love of their life and at the end of this public courtship they want a marriage proposal. When it doesn't work that way they get disgusted, discouraged and disheartened.


The Bachelor/Bachelorette production staff needs to find a group of romance readers or romance authors and use them as consultants. If you had readers or authors pick the group of candidates for your hero or heroine, I can very nearly guarantee you that the show would have a
happily ever after. There would be another Ryan and Trista story and once that happened the ratings would sky rocket just like romance sales have.

Then the final rose would really mean something.





Saturday, August 22, 2009

Shapeshifter Chic


When your shapeshifters aren't covered in fur, hide or feathers, what do they wear? As with any character that we develop, our shapeshifter's have definite personality traits and those traits will be reflected in the type of clothing they wear when they aren't howling at the moon, sharpening their horns or waking up hungry for a little O positive.

Granted, our character's attire is determined to some extent by the time period and setting but, and this is just my humble opinion, I think their clothing is an excellent indicator of what went into making them the people/shifter/vamp that they are.

Kira, the jaguar shifter heroine of my new erotic paranormal romance, has been living hand-to-mouth on the streets for the past ten years after escaping a botched exorcism at fourteen. Her wardrobe and belongings are thrift store and dumpster finds that make most people avoid acknowledging her. She blends in and she likes it that way. Because if the wrong people find her they might just put her back into a cage.

What aspect of your character's personality is revealed by their clothing choices? Better yet, how important do you think your characters clothing choices are? I'd be interested in knowing;-)

Hugs,
Paris

Friday, August 21, 2009

It's "That" Time Of The Summer...


Oh my, but the days are long, the peace long gone and if you're a parent or even in close proximity to a school aged child, then you probably know just what I'm talking about. The "I'm so bored, I have nothing to do, but I am not going back to school!" part of the summer.

Yep, Darling Diva and I have reached the nexus of our time together. I have to say though that she held out far longer this summer than last. We're down to just a few weeks until the blessed event I like to call Serena's Heaven returns. Nine months of quiet writing time, going back to the heath club time, WRITING time!!

My shifters have been whining in my ear for weeks wanting to be heard, wanting their story finished, begging to have their triad worked out in a highly exciting way. I however have been playing games, watching movies and sharing my one overworked computer with a nine year old computer hogger. (oops, I take that back, I'm the computer hogger of note in our house, but DD is definitely - in training!)

Anyway, I've begged Rick/LeAnn/Trent to hang in there with me for a few more weeks and I've promised my dragon lady shifter several snippets of ideas will be jotted down. I've also worked out an agreement with my Easter themed jaguar shifter short to not run away and I will work on him soon.... Whew!

Now what are the odds I can get a few words done now...while DD is entertaining herself? Hey, I'll take anything I can get at this point! hehehehehe

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Stupid Things to Think About *for shifter authors*


Pic from ~ http://mordantorange.com/images/comics/misc/werewolf.gif ~

Shapeshifter lovers, Pat Cunningham returns during the dark of the moon with a *what do you do with your natural fur coat?* in today’s cell-phone camera society? When anyone could catch your shift and upload it to mainstream media or put it up on YouTube for all the world to see.

STUPID THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

By Pat Cunningham

In writing paranormals – or SF, or fantasy, or any combination thereof – world-building is essential. What are the rules of your universe, and how do they affect everyday life? There are the usual questions to be answered, like how does the population cope in a world where vampires and werewolves and demons walk the streets, and what to do when you find yourself in love with one, as so often happens in our genre.

Then there’s the really silly stuff, the hey-wait-a-minute questions that tend to hit when you’re bored or it’s late at night or you’re right in the middle of a tense action scene. Yes, I do lie awake at night thinking of these things. Such as:

The police have captured a vampire. The vampire’s not carrying weapons, but he still has his fangs. Would he be considered “armed and dangerous”? Do long, pointy teeth count as a concealed weapon? If he’s caught attacking someone, is that simple assault or assault with a deadly weapon? Plus he’s got that rare but specific medical condition (acute and fatal allergy to sunlight). Is he covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act? If you insist on a daytime trial, or lock him in a cell with a window, are you violating his civil rights? Does he even have rights? Technically he’s dead. The person he used to be is legally deceased. Does he still have to pay taxes? (I wish I could remember the author and the title, but I know someone wrote a sequel to Stephen King’s “’Salem’s Lot,” in which the IRS investigated why an entire town stopped filing their tax returns. Even being undead isn’t enough to get you off the government’s hook.)

Now imagine you’re the poor court-appointed defense attorney assigned to Mr. Fangs, trying to get charges reduced. Let me know how the story turns out.

Do werewolves wear wedding rings? Or watches, or any kind of jewelry? If so, what happens to it when they change form? If a female werewolf wears makeup and shifts, does the makeup stay in her fur? If these are traditional werewolves and only change with the moon, then you’re okay because they can plan ahead. However, I’m seeing a lot more of the shift-at-will variety (I write that kind myself) and these questions aren’t always addressed. Either the wolves need some magic so their clothing appears and disappears depending on their form, or they’ll end up looking pretty silly no matter what shape they’re in.

How do you insult a werewolf? “Bitch” and “son of a bitch” won’t cut it. Those are descriptions, not insults. “Dog” works better because of the servile connotations. Call a were a dog and you’re questioning his wolfhood. Humans are apes, or primates, simians, or anything in the monkey family. A Jane (as in “Tarzan and”) is a female werewolf who runs with human males. It’s the werewolf equivalent of “slut.”
How do vampires, ahem, get it up? Doesn’t that require a heartbeat and a functioning circulatory system? Or maybe they (ahem again) engorge by drinking others’ blood. So there’s your vampire with a massive hard-on and a victim in no shape to help him out. Surely some enterprising madam would catch on and provide facilities for freshly-fed vampires. After all, there’s no chance of the girls getting pregnant or diseased (undead, remember) or even bitten because the john just ate. Just a brief but intense bout of incredible sex, no strings attached. You folks who write erotica, feel free.

While we’re on the subject of the world’s oldest profession, I was watching the History Channel the other night. They had a show about sex in ancient Pompeii, which was rife with brothels, sex shops and prostitution. The top brothel was called the Lupanare, or “House (Den) of the She-Wolves.” I know what I instantly thought of. Anyone else?

There ought to be enough story fodder in there to keep me busy for months. How about you folks? What little everyday bits of trivia exist in your created worlds that could lead to a unique plot? All it takes a little imagination, carefully-applied logic, a bit of boredom and a really twisted mind. And they wonder where writers get their ideas.
~~~~~~

Coyote Moon

Blurb ~

It's that time of the month -- the full moon -- when Willy Alvarez's moods go wonky and her dreams fill up with wolves. A time for hungers she doesn't dare fulfill because they lead to violence. She's resigned herself to a manless life, then Cody Gray arrives.

Cody is cute, funny, charming, and a werecoyote. His nose knows what Willy doesn't: she's half werewolf. He's convinced this repressed half-human she-wolf is his perfect mate. Now he just has to convince her. And quick, because her long-lost pack has learned about her existence, and they've come to town to claim her...


COYOTE MOON by Pat Cunningham at ~ http://bookstrand.com/product-coyotemoon-14959-330.html ~ NOW full-moon rising on Siren-BookStrand’s bestseller list.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Guest Blogger Mel Tescho


Our guest today is Mel Tescho, who celebrates her debut release from Ellora's Cave this week. Welcome Mel!


How did you celebrate your first release?
Stone-Cold Lover is my first release which just happened to coincide with the RWAus conference in Brisbane. Stupidly enough I woke up with a raging hangover from the cocktail party the night before, so it wasn't exactly the way I anticipated feeling on release day!

Most authors are also avid readers. Is this the case with you? If so, who are some of your favorites? Have any influenced your writing?
Before I started writing I was most definately an avid reader. As a young child it wouldn't have been uncommon for me to be reading late at night and into the early hours of the morning under my blankets via torchlight. I think lots of readers fall into writing and then find they don't have anywhere near the time to read. For me, I love both reading and writing, but I think the latter fills more of a void. My favourite books would be paranormal so some of my fav authors would be Kelley Armstrong and JR Ward. An Aussie author I've started reading quite a bit of is Keri Arthur, and many up and coming authors who also happen to be good friends: Tracey O'hara and her Dark Bretheren novels with book one Night's Cold Kiss, Erica Hayes and her Shadowfae chronicles. If you enjoy shorter novels and dragons, Anna Hacket's Savage Dragon is a great read. As for category you can't go wrong with Robyn Grady, Rachel Bailey, Amy Andrews, Sharon Archer, Helen Bianchin... too many to list!! I don't know that any one author has influenced my writing, think it's more a case of life experiences and a dash of my own voice to make it unique.

Do you find it difficult at times to write love scenes?
I imagined I was quite good at love scenes until I was picked up by Ellora's Cave and I realised just how wrong I'd been! But I think it's the same as anything, you have to practise practise practise but always feel comfortable within yourself and what you're doing.

What are you reading now?
I'm reading Destiny Kills by Keri Arthur and Needful Things by Stephen King.

Tell us a bit about your new release.
Stone-Cold Lover is about a heiress who appears to have it all - except Cray, her gargoyle guardian. One night stands no longer hold any appeal, she wants him and will do just about anything she can to get him.

Which book was the hardest to write and which the easiest?
I'd have to say my very first book, which will never see the light of day (a category btw) was by far the easiest book to write. With no idea about deep pov, show not tell, head hopping and all the other rules, I simply wrote the way I wanted to, without any rules to hold me back. By far the hardest is a single title I'm co-writing with Kylie called Believe. It has doctors, drugs, pyschics and more, and involves lots of research for credibility.



* * * * * *


Stone-Cold Lover By Mel Teshco available at Ellora's Cave
Heiress Loretta Shaw is notorious for her loose morals and sexual needs. Trouble is, it's taken her one too many one-night stands to realize that no man can extinguish the sexual fire she feels toward her guardian, Cray Diamond.

A long-ago curse made Cray immortal—a gargoyle, a guardian, who is impelled to protect a human chosen by the curse. He is imprisoned in stone during daylight hours but dusk returns him to flesh and bone to carry out his immortal duty.

That Cray can shift between human and living gargoyle at night bothers Loretta not one bit. She's seen him naked many times and her desire for him—in any shape or form—knows no bounds. She's tired of his resistance. He's her gargoyle…and she wants him in her bed.

For more about Mel visit her at http://melteshco.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

2013 Celebration... He grabs my waist.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the recent one year pubbed anniversary of my 2012 Fantasy Erotic Romance Novel, WHEN A GOOD ANGEL FALLS. In a new scene I’ve written Sedona and Volcano, my heroine and hero, celebrate the first day they met, one year later, on December 21, 2013.
Here’s a beginning snippet and if you’d like to read the whole scene click on over to
HAPPILY EVER AFTER for my blog ~ Romance and Rooms ~ It’s the open road. It’s the sky. It’s the galaxy.

Sedona felt like a temptress as she leaned forward and hugged Volcano tightly. The shape of his super-cycle seduced her bare thighs while the black celestial leather of his jacket wickedly teased her naked breasts. Somehow the carnal cherub had convinced her to go skinny dipping in the sky.
~~~

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 blog ~ ...burning its way through my jeans ~ then, Longest Solar Eclipse... “possessiveness I’ve never known” ~ then, “...sliding up, then down” ~ then, “What a load of bull,” I challenge.
~~~

X-Serial Flash

New Bull in Town


NINETEEN
Before I can’t speak at all, I manage, “I don’t even know your name.”
Then, it hits me, yeah sorta pun intended, like a baseball bat to the head. “Your name isn’t Bull Durham, is it?”
That sends him back an inch, his too-handsome face, that is. Not his bat-like smoldering cock. No, it’s permanently attached its pulsing length to my hip.
‘Swing, batter, swing’ throbs through my head. Oh, god. Where’s Susan Sarandon? She could distract him with that *show off my ankles* full-skirt, with her Southern sultry *I’m available* gaze.
“You don’t look like Susan Sarandon,” he rasps.

TWENTY
The span of his hands settles more firmly around my waist. “You’re much sexier, Shelley. Your brand is much hotter on this bull.”
His thumbs slip beneath my tank top, searing my flesh, yet feeling strangely cool at the same time. “Ever play baseball?” I croak.
“My name is Darius.” His thumbs tease a tiny swathe over my belly while his fingertips stroke the small of my back, certain of my seduction. “I’ll wait for a full introduction, once we’re inside. Once I’ve kissed those sex-kitten lips of yours.”
“Shouldn’t that be bossie-the-cow lips?” I stare at his sin-tempting mouth.
~~~~~~

Shapeshifter lovers, check out CAT NIP. It’s a free read by erotic romance author, Gem Sivad ~ http://gemsivadauthor.blogspot.com ~ also, for the ongoing story, subscribe at ~ http://textnovel.com ~
~~~
Plus, take a peek at COYOTE MOON by Pat Cunningham at ~ http://bookstrand.com/product-coyotemoon-14959-330.html ~ NOW rising on Siren-BookStrand’s bestseller list.
~~~~~~~

HAVE A WONDERFUL SHAPESHIFTING SUMMER

~ MAY ALL YOUR READING DREAMS COME TRUE ~


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
~~~~~~

Monday, August 17, 2009

Our State Fair...

"Our State Fair is a great state fair
Don't Miss it, don't even be late"


I live in Iowa and in the month of August everyone...EVERYONE...becomes obsessed with the Iowa State Fair. Iowa's state fair has such renown that it was OUR state fair which Rogers and Hammerstein immortalized and NOT the Texas State Fair (contrary to the 1962 movie version). It took Hollywood to move the locale so the story was someplace they thought was "big" enough to impress people. I guess Iowa is boring to those folks. I would dispute that though.


Iowa is a nice little state (even if our politician are looney from time to time). And indeed, our state fair is a GREAT state fair. The Iowa State Fair has animals in plenty-from the Super Bull to sheep to pigs. This year the big news is a record breaking Angus Bull named "Big Black" weighing in at a whopping 3404 pounds.

(Steve Pope/Iowa State Fair)

Food is a very big deal at the Iowa State Fair. You can get anything you want on a stick. Pork chops, lamb, chocolate covered bananas, apples, cheese, deep fried twinkies...you name it - and it can be purchased on a stick at the state fair.

I admit, this column doesn't really have anything to do with shapeshifters or writing or anything paranormal, so I'm not sure why I'm writing about it except... August is fair time and whether you attend or not, conversations and thoughts invariably involve the state fair's highlights, so if you ever set a story in Iowa in August be sure to mention the fair.

Are other states as obsessed with their state fairs? Tell me. What's the attitude where you live?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Inquiring Noob, Wants To Know...




To all the impatient characters clogging up my brain,
Please take some time to make a line, consider it a train.
Tallest to shortest, richer to poorest I do not care which
Please settle down and wait your turn; Vern, stop calling me a bitch.
I know you all have stories to tell, each one is important to me
Be you cat or dog, bat or hog or some strange concoction in between.
I’ll hear your tale, just stop your wail and please, please let me be!


Well Aug 10th has come and gone. I’m now the proud mama of a newly published book, THE CHALLENGE. However, I neglected to take into consideration that once my baby was out there, the rest of my very eager characters would come a-calling.


Many of the ideas that sprang to life during my writing, re-writing, editing and re-editing of THE CHALLENGE, are now back vying to be the next story up on the block, even though I’m currently working on the next story in my Jaguar series.


While grateful that I even have ideas, the roar of requests has me wondering, how do other authors handle this? Do your characters bombard you with write me next requests? And if so, how do you handle it? Do you write only one story at a time or try to spread your focus and write more than one at a time?


Inquiring noob, wants to know??

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Welcome Rebecca Royce!

Hey all you Shapeshifter fans out there, please help me welcome the wonderful Rebecca Royce. She's here today to tell us about herself and her wonderful new series The Westservelt Wolves.

Hi Rebecca, welcome to Shapeshifter Seductions...


How long have you been writing and who are your publishers?

I have been writing my whole life. I can remember being a little girl in my fourth grade classroom and making up stories about adventures where a monkey was swinging from the tree outside our classroom window. But, I only started trying to write for other people to read when I was pregnant with my second son. He is about to turn 2 so I guess it was almost three years ago.

I have been fortunate to be contracted with Liquid Silver Books and Eirelander Publishing.

What led you to writing?

You know, I just felt compelled to write, like I HAD to write. It didn't really feel like a choice, just something I MUST do.

What do you enjoy most? Any writing hurdles that you were surprised by?

I love the beginning of every new chapter. Its like a fresh chance to make the story even better. But, I also find it hard to write the first words in every chapter. It takes about ten minutes for me to start each time. Funny, right?


What are you reading now?

Pamela Palmer "Obsession Untamed"


What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Social Worker


Tell us a bit about your new release.

Ashlee Morrison has a secret obsession—with a dark and mysterious male. The only problem is that he’s a wolf and she’s becoming convinced that she’s insane for thinking about him. But Ashlee’s wolf is no ordinary canine, he is Tristan Kane, third son in the royal family of the Westervelt Wolf pack.

Trapped in his wolf form by his evil father’s men, he has desperately sought a way out of predicament and is shocked to find that the beautiful, sad red head who has come to the wolf cage cannot only hear him, but awakens in him the knowledge that she is his mate, the other half of his soul who he has sought for thirty years.

Ashlee is unaware that she is half wolf-shifter but agrees to accompany Tristan back to his pack to seek answers to her past and understand her future. But as Tristan and Ashlee grow closer, familial betrayals will threaten to destroy the fragile love they have started to build.
With the odds stacked against them, Ashlee and Tristan will either embrace their love to save the Westervelt Wolves or be lost forever to despair.


Do any of your characters from previous books appear in your latest?

This is the first book in a new series so the characters that show up in this book show up again but in this book they're all new.


Do you use more than one element of the paranormal in your works?

In addition to the shifters, Her Wolf has witch craft and premonitions. But, future books, will contain a lot of elements from the paranormal.


Have you written a series?

I have written two series. This one, The Westservelt Wolves, follows wolf shifters. Love Beyond Time, coming December 4th 2009 from Eirelander Publishing is the first in another series, this one about mythical creatures called The Outsiders whose job it is to keep balance in the universe.


Do you have a favorite book or author that has influenced your writing?

Reading the books of Christine Feehan and Nalini Singh make me want to write better because they are so perfectly crafted.


Which book did you spend the most time researching and why?

The book I'm writing right now, which is meant to be the sequel to Love Beyond Time, took a lot of research because I wanted distances and places to be correct.


Anything else that you’d like readers to know about you?

I really am living my dream and so grateful for everyone's support.


What was the craziest thing you ever did to promote a book?

To promote a book? I guess interviewing my own characters. LOL.

Learn More about Rebecca at
www.rebeccaroyce.com
http://paranormalromantics.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Write What You Know

There’s a lot of schools of thought on this topic, and I stick to the idea that you don’t have to be a rock climber to study rock climbing, hence you can still know rock climbing and still write about rock climbing.

To further elaborate on my entry I Am A Hippie on my personal blog, Crystal’s Erotiblog, otherwise known as The Great Zero Comments Blog, I freely admit I have turned into somewhat of a hippie in my growing years (okay totally into a hippie). This is probably what I’ll look like when I’m fifty.

Okay maybe not quite, but I have to admit I’ve adopted some habits others might find strange in my effort to save Mother Earth and myself. Sometimes individually, sometimes in a joint venture. For instance, I use organic shampoo because I am both concerned about what kinds of chemicals I douse myself with, and concerned about what I pour down the drain into my local ecosystem. I read the nutrition label of everything I’m going to eat with a critical eye. Because we have a swimming pool and a corner house with more lawn than you’d ever want, my husband and I keep five gallon buckets in our showers to catch all that cold water while we’re waiting for the shower to heat up. Quote: “No need to waste, and I’m not paying extra for water if we get fined for overusage.” Yes, dear. As long as you lug it to the washing machine for me, we’re good.

I realized, in thinking about this post, that my love for organic food had crept its way into my manuscript when my hero discovered my heroine’s refrigerator is full of natural and organic products.

I guess all my characters are hippies too.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Prince of a Stallion


Heroes, of the romance novel variety, have been in the spotlight recently. Of course, when are they not? However, at The Romance Studio ~ Heroes are the main event during their Summer Event. Yep, head on over and vote for your fave. No, my heroes are not contenders in the TRS event ~ they’re contenders for the heroine’s heart only because this author had no time to enter them ~ so no worries about who your choice is. It’s about having fun.
Heroes were also featured these past two weeks at
THE PINK BLOG or Lindsay’s Romantics. Truthfully, I had my eyes wide-opened in several ways about the romance novel hero.
Not only did I learn more about the craft of writing THE HERO, thank you, ladies ~ I learned at a much deeper level why women, as individuals, want the type of heroes they want. Whether it’s the KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR, the BAD BOY, the GOOD GUY, the WOUNDED/DAMAGED HERO or the ANTI-HERO... or, whatever fusion of those ‘types’ turned them on as a writer and reader.
Interestingly, the ALPHA HERO and the BETA HERO were somewhat absent in these authors’ blogs.
Not being a ‘label-liking’ person, I’ve always simply written THE HERO that does it for me and my heroine. Prince Ziocese, my hero in
TANGERINE CARNAL DREAMS, is a perfect example.
Inspired by Serena Shay’s blog ~ Shapeshifter Males: 7 Reasons He's The Mate For You? ~ and inspired by the fact that Zio’s erotic love story was released on August 8, 2008... well, here’s the Anniversary blog I wrote for My Prince of a Stallion.


Eight Reasons the Heroine Refused the Hero...

8-8-2008 ~ That was the release date for
TANGERINE CARNAL DREAMS, my stallion shifter, sci fi sizzling romance ~ so this is my novella’s One Year anniversary. Yippee and whinny!

The story opens with my heroine, Corporal Katta, pursuing a bad guy who has framed her father. She’s in an old space cruiser headed toward Yemisque, a tiny planet-world where the tangerine light acts like an aphrodisiac. Little does she realize the stallion-man who has chased her half-way across the galaxy is waiting.
Prince Ziocese, the hero, is In Pursuit. This is the traditional courtship of his people. The men will chase the wife of their dreams no matter how long it takes until they win her. Okay, Zio is also enjoying the carnal playground, the way of his race until they actually claim their Mate. Yep, being the virile studs they are.

Zio first sees and scents Katta when he enters the wrong room at a spaceport hotel, on the way to being with another woman. He’s utterly enchanted, especially since she’s bathing in a translucent pink tub.
I never wrote that actual scene of Zio and Katta’s first meeting... so, why not now?


Eight Reasons His Future Wife Refused Him

Anticipating a rolling romp with the elf-like Bregril seductress, Zio shoved the crystal entry card into the tiny slot. Within moments the opaque force field lowered and Zio knew the female he scented was the same women he’d watched leave the spaceport bar. He’d trained his lusty eye on her deliciously round curves and on her beautiful athleticism as she’d disappeared from view.

Lamenting the woman hadn’t stayed long enough for him to saunter her way, Zio committed the uniquie signature of her scent to his memory. It would be easier to track her later. Had she remained, he would have nibbled her ear with words, convincing her out of that intergalactic military uniform she wore, one that was also specific to her world.

For some reason he didn’t understand, unless the Bregril woman wanted a threesome, he stood inside the luxuriously appointed room, inhaling the officer woman’s honey musk scent and knew she bathed. Moving closer, he fully indulged his flaring nostrils, drawing in her flame-wild fragrance, partially due to her fire-shooting ability. Some in her race possessed the power to shoot lightning-like blazes from their palms.

It had been whispered about the galaxy, though, that when they were immersed in water, the power was dampened and nearly useless. If this was some kind of nefarious setup against him, he hoped that was true. Not all of his business trades were considered legitimate by any number of worlds.

Zio wasn’t prepared for the sight that met his gaze once he rounded the long sweeping pearlescent wall. Entranced, he stared.

She lay supine in the pink translucent soaking tub. Her mane of fiery goldspun hair tumbled in waves down the side and pooled on the clear platform, a most splendid loveliness. Her strongly formed face was also a sweetness that tugged at his soul, despite his raging arousal.

Obviously in a deep state of relaxation, her eyes shut, she didn’t move a muscle. Folding his arms, he leaned against the stout pillar that formed the edge of the wall. Gradually, Zio ran his gaze down the length of her body, seeing only one arm and her leg dangling outside the tub. Her skin was the color of sun-shimmering ivory and he glimpsed the shape of her round sumptuous curves through the florescent pink of the bathing tub.

Stars straight to Eros, even the way her calf was formed belonged to a Love Goddess. Suppressing his urge to snort ownership like a primitive, he straightened approaching her.
Almost immediately, she opened one eye. One brightly jeweled eye the same color as the sky above his family lands.

“I didn’t request the attentions of a gigolo.” She spoke in universal galactic, her tone commanding.

“Are you certain? I’m quite accomplished in the carnal arts.” Zio halted, giving her time to become accustomed to his physical appearance.

“I’ll just bet you are.” She trained her gaze like a weapon on his standing bulge, yet remained languid in posture, not moving.

“Would you like a demonstration of my prowess?” Zio eased closer and sank to one knee before her. Her gaze, ferocious with warning, raised to his face as he smiled with his male charm. To be singed by her hand would be worth it, if the whispers were wrong.

“I’d like a demonstration of you leaving my room. I’m quite accomplished in the use of a pistol phaser.” With deceptive slowness she lifted her arm from the water, the tiny weapon held in her palm. “Your career as a gigolo could be temporarily abated.”

Zio didn’t doubt her intention or her aim. He didn’t doubt his next words, either. “Most gorgeous woman in all the galaxy, please, be my bride.”

Her eyelids fluttered. Staggered, she regarded him seriously. With her training in the detection of truth, she would know his utter sincerity.

“I must decline.” Her softly spoken words held a stern note and she didn’t lower her pistol phaser.

“Eight reasons why I should become your husband. Counter them and I will leave. For now.” Given her high intelligence, Zio decided engaging his future Mate in this manner would let him remain with her for a longer time.

She blinked once, then brought the pistol higher, his bare throat her target. “Eight reasons, I’ll play your ridiculous game. But if you don’t leave, your voice box is mine.”

Who would have known his chosen woman would be a warrioress? Zio had certainly never considered such a wife. Now the thought excited him unbearably and unbridled his savage passions.

“First reason. My kind are monogamous.”

“A definite plus in a husband. Your kind, against my view, aren’t allowed on my home planet.”

“Second reason. My kind are faithful. No philandering ever.”

She hesitated for several moments, her breath quickening. It beat his heart faster. “Another plus. However, bonding by genetic disposition is not necessarily love.”

“Third reason. I’m fun to ride as a stallion and as a stud.”

The corner of her mouth threatened to quirk upwards and a hint of amusement shone in her eyes. “There are other stallions to ride on my world. And I’m not interested in living with an arrogant stud.”

“Fourth reason. I have the means to take care of you, to provide your every desire.”

“Is that so? How would I know that? True, your garments do display a certain level of wealth. However, that hardly guarantees your words.” She eyed him, her expression as intense as a no nonsense mare.

“Fifth reason. My endurance will be to your liking in our marital pleasures.”

A small smile possessed her kissable, temptress-full lips. “Endurance is one of my requirements in a husband. Since I’m not willing to give up my home world, your studly endurance doesn’t count.”

“Sixth reason. My heart already favors you. Ours will be a marriage of love.”

The misty softening of her eyes for the barest moment had Zio ready to lunge for her and capture her as his. Only his promise to her kept him immobile.

“My heart is not easily won. If you want a loving bride, choose another.” Emotional pain as he’d rarely witnessed flared up in her eyes, only to be swiftly hidden.

“Seventh reason. I dance extraordinarily well.”

She raised one redgold brow. “By yourself?”

“Alone, and as your partner. You will find it a delight to dance in my arms.”

“A delight? That is tempting, I admit. Still, who do I dance with on my world? I’m betting a year’s pay, you’re nature as a husband is possessive.”

“Primal and possessive.” Zio reined in his rearing ‘nature’. “Is it Corporal, your rank?”

“Your eighth reason. I’ve been on a long draining assignment and my patience is hanging by a thread. Or should I say, by a horse hair?”

“Eighth reason. With one touch I will bring you down to your knees, your passion for me as scorching as the flames you shoot.”

She studied his face, speculation flickering in her eyes along with something else, embers of awakened desire. “Maybe.” Her voice was tight with restraint. “With one touch of my thumb I will bring you down to the floor, writhing in agony and clutching your throat.”

~~~~~~

NOTE: The Bull will be back!!! Snorts and stomps ensue.
~~~
Shapeshifter lovers, check out CAT NIP. It’s a free read by erotic romance author, Gem Sivad ~ http://gemsivadauthor.blogspot.com ~ also, for the ongoing story, subscribe at ~ http://textnovel.com ~
~~~
Plus, take a peek at COYOTE MOON by Pat Cunningham at ~ http://bookstrand.com/product-coyotemoon-14959-330.html ~ NOW rising on Siren-BookStrand’s bestseller list.
~~~

HAVE A WONDERFUL SHAPESHIFTING SUMMER

~ MAY ALL YOUR READING DREAMS COME TRUE ~

Savanna Kougar

~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

~~~

Katta & Zio invite you to read their love story ~
TANGERINE CARNAL DREAMS...a fire-shooting fierce woman...a shapeshifting prince of a stallion...and the tangerine aphrodisiac winds on a world far away...Available from Aspen Mountain Press ~
http://tinyurl.com/6vu6hm ~ http://aspenmountainpress.com ~
~~~~~~

Monday, August 10, 2009

Going Viral...the good and the bad


I've entered the video world. Our recent guest, the delightful, deLovely Fran Lee very kindly created a book video for Protect and Defend, my shapeshifter novel. I wanted to have something created in time to send to Ellora's Cave so it will run at Romanticon. Fran was a trooper! In spite of my being kind of picky (actually, I think I was a pain) she created a gorgeous montage of images featuring my book cover (which was created by the talented Dar Albert).

I'm kind of picky (imagine that) about the music though. I decided to find royalty free music to use. Now, let me explain...royalty free isn't free music. It is a composition that you pay for so you can use the rights to the music however you'd like. But let's be clear...I paid http://www.stockmusic.net/ for a blanket license. I really like the piece I found, called Rescue from the Ocean by Dmitriy Lukyanov.

Why the emphatic commentary about buying the music? Okay - disclaimer...mini-rant ahead. E-piracy. Actually Piracy makes it sound cool. Like Long John Silver and treasure maps. Let's call it what it is...stealing. Swindling. Fraud. Theft.

Do you know there's a dude over in Sweden who actually ran for a European Union seat on a "theft is good" platform? He founded the Pirate political party. I kid you not. What's worse is people voted for him. A LOT of people. He WON a seat. According to a Reuters article "The party wants to deregulate copyright, abolish the patent system and reduce surveillance on the Internet." In other words, this party wants to take away my right to own my own intellectual property. That sucks.

You know, I'm all for open source code and stuff like that, but there's a huge difference between the voluntary sharing of something (fiction, music, software, art) by the author of the work and someone taking an item (fiction, music, software, art) and uploading it somewhere for everyone and his brother/sister to download without regards to the creator's wishes. That's the clean way of referring to it. Essentially, these people uploading my books to pirate sites are stealing from me (and other authors and creative people when they do it to them). They might as well have run up behind me on the street and grabbed my purse. Broken into my home and stolen my stuff or hotwired my car.

Electronic piracy is one of the negative aspects of "going viral." People lose control of what belongs to them. No matter how much they might want to call it back (like a public diatribe against an ex on YouTube), they can't because everyone has heard about it, seen it (Paris Hilton having sex, anyone) or they've downloaded it for their own enjoyment.

I know friends who have lost money to piracy and I've lost money because those books that would have SOLD to someone and earned me royalty money to live on while I keep writing have been given away. And not by me. No. Someone uploaded my book to a pirate site and I get nothing from those downloads. I'm gaining new readers, I hear you say? Am I? Those readers who liked my books and downloaded them from pirates in the first place will probably do the same thing with my next book...and the next...ad nauseum. The best I can hope for is word of mouth advertising, but if that word of mouth is praising the pirates instead of my book, I gain nothing. I LOSE.

As a result of the e-piracy, I'm not going to give e-books as prizes anymore. I don't believe it's my loyal readers who are doing this...but there are always trolls out there. People who hang out somewhere (blogs and web sites) looking to profit off others by winning contests. So to you loyal folks out there - this isn't directed at you, unless of course, you've uploaded my book (or someone else's book) to some site thinking it was no biggie. Now you know better. It is a VERY biggie so PLEASE take it down. Today.

Some may ask what's the difference between e-book sharing and a library. Property ownership. Yes, the library may lend the book out to many many people to read, but they get that book back in the end. If they don't get a book back, they level fines against the borrow (in most cases) and/or charge replacement costs if they don't get the book back at all. The book has been paid for. The writer gets their royalities from the sale. To be very clear...the library did NOT buy ONE copy then scan it, make 50 copies, and put them on the shelves because they needed 50 copies for lending purposes but didn't want to pay for them. One copy purchased. One copy lended. One copy returned. If two books are needed, two are purchased. Stawman killed.

So, my Anti-piracy rant is at an end...for now. Back to the most excellent video Fran created for me... ;-)

The song that I purchased was a little longer than the original montage that Fran created, so our long-suffering heroine Fran added to it and tweaked it a bit. She rocks better than the Rolling Stones and Aerosmith rolled into one! The video is "just right" now (says Goldilocks) and it really works - at least I think so. LOL

Now, what we all want is for our videos to go viral...one person plays it then links to it and someone else links etc until we're all infected. So here's to going viral - in the GOOD way. Hope you like the video. Let me know what you think!







Saturday, August 8, 2009

Something Different


There is a disturbing trend in marketing these days and what's even more disturbing is that anyone not recognizing it probably won't give it a second thought before absorbing its subtle ugly message.

I tend not to pay much attention to advertising unless the commercial tickles my funny bone. However, there is nothing remotely tongue in cheek or otherwise funny about a candy commercial featuring peanut butter cups that spells out in really big letters that sharing is nice...but stupid.

This is an acceptable marketing ploy? Since when?

Did it start with reality shows that featured babies falling down and men being clobbered in really painful places, all while a host encouraged the audience to laugh? Or vicious people who get to say really spiteful things to contestants and have an audience respond favorably to their behavior? Are these the new alphas or simply the minions of alphas?

In the fictional shape shifting worlds that we build alphas are the dominants as they are in nature, they are the strongest, and as such are given the responsibility of protecting the pack, den or pride, their mate or mates, offspring, etc. They get the perks because they do the heavy lifting (so to speak).

But our alpha heroes look out for those less fortunate while the villains in our stories take advantage of them.

Whose responsibility is it to teach kindness? Sharing what you have with others less fortunate? I say it's everyone's responsibility. Every action has a consequence. The candy company can probably withstand my not purchasing their product. But do I need to be doing more? Do I need to be protesting this vehemently?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Shapeshifter Males: 7 Rreasons He's The Mate For You?





The other day I came across a blog about 7 Traits Of Irresistible Men. I liked much of what the author had to say and had to agree with her, if a man knows how to wink...yep, I'm pudding! Check it out here if you like: http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/sex/7-traits-of-irresistible-men-491994/

So, in the intrest of just cause I wanted to and I felt like being silly, I decided to do one of my own.

"Shapeshifter Males: 7 Rreasons He's The Mate For You?"

Enjoy!

1. He's Got The Look.

You know the one. His dark lashes lower over eyes so expressive they stop you in your tracks. They promise you one thing and one thing only. The sex will be long, hard and completely necessary and you'll fall asleep in an utter state of completion. Yep, you know that look!

2. He Is The Definition Of Calm.

When the bad guy appears or the ex girlfriend is pounding at the door, even if the world itself was ending, he would be facing it head on, stoically and with a touch of bring it on his lips. He leads often, but knows when to follow and no matter how many times you lose your composure, he's always there to pick you up.

3. His Shoulders Are Wider Than His Waist And His IQ Is Higher Than His Shoe Size.

Now this one may seem a little self absorbing, but hear me out. When looking for the right shifter to help protect the den and to bless you with the strongest offspring, a female needs to be aware of such things. You need a strong male, but also a smart one. It wouldn't do to have your mate eat your young now would it.

4. He Sports Some Body Art.
Body art you say? Tats on his delicious bod? Heck yeah! For one thing they are uber sexy, but for another, if he can take the needle, he can take on whatever painful stuff is sent his way.

5. His Scent Will Make You Beg.
Its not about cologne with this shifter, no siree, for this male it is all nature and the way Mother Nature intended him to smell. Odds are his scent will be the first thing you notice about your man. It will probably be the thing that links you to him and no matter what the smell, he will have you on your knees, promising him the world.

6. He Is Affectionate.
Does he cuddle? Touch your face just to see you with more than his eyes? Will he hold your hand when you go places, even if it's only to the bedroom? How about telling you he loves you in all the little things he does. Yep, affection is a strong must.

7. He Laughs Loud, Hard, Often.
Our hero must also have a sense of humor. He must be able laugh, to play and to take himself only so seriously. Make us smile and his work is half done.

So what do you think? Is this a good list for our shapeshifting heroes? Can you add more? Show me your 8,9,10... What traits make a shapeshifter male the mate for you?

Have a great weekend!


pssst...before I go, I just wanted to share... The Challenge release date is this coming Mon, Aug 10th! Squeeeee Yep, excitement abounds at my house. ;) So here is just a snippet at to why Bastian is the shapeshifting male for Marina...


The sight of a stunning redhead on stage attached to the steel suspension bar stopped him dead in his tracks. With her head bowed, he couldn’t see her face, but her incredible body and the vaguely human scent had his pulse racing. He knew her. Fear raced through him. Fuck, he knew her. Hope nearly buckled his knees. Please, please don’t let me kill the son of a bitch touching my mate.

“T and A are good, Hoss, but seriously, I’ve got that right next to me here on the floor,” another alpha bellowed. “I’m going to need a bit more enticement to give you my hard earned money.”

“Bid high enough, Terrence, and maybe I’ll have her treat you to a blow job. Sound good. Now who’ll start the bidding?”

At Hoss’ words, Bastian watched her head rise, disgust unmistakable as it skittered down their connection. His roar stopped the room cold. Every person in the place turned to look at him; many backed up and moved out of his way. Hoss, too stupid to be afraid, stood with a big dumb grin on his face. Bearing down on the man who was trying to auction off his mate, Bastian’s forearm and hand rippled. Short black fur slid from his pores while muscle popped beneath the skin. His fingers fused together to become a paw. Razor sharp claws slid into place. He reached out and swiped Hoss across the chest. The impact sent him flying off the platform onto the bar floor.

“Never touch her again.” The menace in Bastian's voice was clear. “She is off limits to you, to all of you.”




Thursday, August 6, 2009

Full Moon ~ Running with the Pack by Pat Cunningham


Pic from ~http://naturescrusaders.wordpress.com/2009/03/07/ ~

INTRO ~ Fate and synchronicity seems to be toying with me these days... probably, that’s true for all of us. How ultra cool is it that Pat’s guest blog ~ Pat is the author of COYOTE MOON ~ hit on the day of the full moon and, also, the day of a partial lunar eclipse?
Yep, it just happened. I certainly didn’t plan it that way since I’m way too busy for that kind of planning.
This is the third eclipse in a short frame of time as I posted about in two of my prior blogs titled ~

Longest Solar Eclipse... “possessiveness I’ve never known”
&
Lunar Eclipse, Triple Cross


I did a bit more research on what the significance of this third eclipse is from the perspective of Astrology. The upstart: BIG WHAMMY CHANGES AHEAD on every level of our lives as we spin upon dearest Mother Earth. From land and weather changes to drastic changes on the world stage ~ or the old way is falling and the new future for freedom is rising. The conflict between these two forces is likely to play out for a long time and in dramatic larger-than-life ways.
More significantly, our lives are likely to know many upheavals as this conflict plays itself out. What is our opportunity? Since this Full Moon Eclipse is in the sign of Aquarius, any and every effort you make toward freedom will be rewarded. This is the moment to create the future you’ve always dreamed of, to take those steps that bring you ever closer. And to dream the dream into existence.

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As animal lovers, I thought a lot of you might like a peek at the realities of wolf pack life. Plus, Pat’s understanding and research is great information for all of us romance authors who run on the shapeshifting wild side.
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Running with the Pack

By Pat Cunningham


I’ve always been an animal lover. As a dog person, I picked werewolves as my supernatural being of choice when I moved into paranormal romances. Fortunately I live in an area with a unique research opportunity – the Speedwell Forge Wolf Sanctuary of PA, right up the road from me, so to speak, in Brickerville, Pennsylvania. The Sanctuary consists of 25 acres and is home to 40-odd wolves, divided into packs/family groups, each with its own roomy run. I stopped in recently for one of their weekend tours and picked up some info and anecdotes to give my howling heroes and their world some verisimilitude. As I discovered, even with wolves truth can be weirder than fiction.

First off, the biggest wolf in the pack doesn’t necessarily become alpha. The sanctuary has a family of four eastern timber wolves, all zoo born. Because the pup was bottle fed and received better nourishment growing up than his parents, he’s the largest of the group. That doesn’t mean Pop can’t make Junior submit when he’s of a mind to. Attitude more than size is what makes an alpha wolf. The smaller wolf dominates the larger because he’s got the drive and the mindset. The Dog Whisperer is right – it’s all psychological. The muscular six-foot werewolf might find himself taking orders, and having to like it, from his 5’2” mate. That could make for some funny scenes.

We’ve all got this picture of alpha wolves clawing their way to the top of the pack and ruling with an iron paw. That ain’t necessarily so. The sanctuary’s pack of thirteen gray wolves is led by Murphy, possibly the laziest wolf on the planet, according to his keepers. Murphy does nothing and makes no effort to maintain his leadership. The pack follows him because they like him and they want to. His brother Winston could probably kick his butt and take over the pack, but he just isn’t interested. As beta, Winston does the heavy lifting in pack administration. He keeps the others at bay while the alphas feed, then determines who eats next and in what order. If your alpha hero’s smart, he’ll have a loyal beta to watch his back so he can focus on running the show.

Another myth blown out of the water is wolf monogamy and the idea of the alpha male in charge at mating time. When a gal’s in season, the keeper said, the boys take notice, regardless of her rank or theirs. “She gets up, they get up. She walks off, they follow. She stops, they stop. It’s hysterical to watch.” She, not the males, decides who’s going to father her litter. She picks the wolf she deems most likely to sire the strongest pups. If that turns out to be the alpha male, and it probably will, so be it.

As long as there’s no alpha female on hand, the pups might even make it. Alpha females tend to kill other females’ litters, both to secure their own pups’ survival and to demoralize possible rivals, to keep them too depressed to challenge her authority. If your story needs an antagonist, you need look no further than the literal queen bitch determined to hang onto her position. And hide your kids.

At the other end of the hierarchy exist the omegas. You can’t really call it living for them because they have to take everyone’s crap. The omega in the gray wolf group was easy to spot: the tips of her ears had been chewed off and the end of her tail was missing. The keepers had to move her into a separate pen or the pack might eventually have killed her. She shared her new home with two other wolves and seemed a lot less stressed. Got any werewolf omegas? Might they be harboring resentment and plotting against your alpha hero?

Finally, take this one for what it’s worth. Glacier is a big handsome gray wolf who comes from a showbiz family (his grandfather played Two Socks in “Dances With Wolves”). He’s also something of a diva. Glacier has been known to go off and sulk if he isn’t the center of attention. His last girlfriend had to be removed from the pen; Glacier bit her because he was jealous that the keepers were petting her more than him. Glacier shares his pen with Chipper, a diminutive male who’s suitably submissive enough to satisfy this prima donna alpha. “We think he’s gay,” the keeper said.

And on that note, I’m heading back to the keyboard. Happy writing!
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Coyote Moon

Blurb ~

It's that time of the month -- the full moon -- when Willy Alvarez's moods go wonky and her dreams fill up with wolves. A time for hungers she doesn't dare fulfill because they lead to violence. She's resigned herself to a manless life, then Cody Gray arrives.

Cody is cute, funny, charming, and a werecoyote. His nose knows what Willy doesn't: she's half werewolf. He's convinced this repressed half-human she-wolf is his perfect mate. Now he just has to convince her. And quick, because her long-lost pack has learned about her existence, and they've come to town to claim her...

COYOTE MOON by Pat Cunningham at ~ http://bookstrand.com/product-coyotemoon-14959-330.html ~ NOW full-moon rising on Siren-BookStrand’s bestseller list.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tip#1 for the New Author: The Revision Process

Or, What I Wish I Had Known

I’ve just completed my third set of revisions and after much frustration and a little bit of fingernail chewing, I thought I’d pass on this tip I wish someone had told me.

I write for two different houses, which is common among ebook authors. The confusing part is remembering whose house styles require what. For instance, one of my publishers has a strict rule that internal thoughts are only italicized if there is no character tag, and the other house says internal dialogue is always italicized, accompanied by a tag or not.

When I set about working on my first edits, within the first couple of pages I found notations from my editor on issues that I didn’t know how to fix. I got a fearful welling of tension in my chest. Uh oh. What was I going to do? Write her a bunch of stupid questions like the total newbie that I was (am)?

I grabbed an empty notebook and wrote the first issue down down. Before I’d gotten to “The End,” I had a full page of notes in the book which has since come to be called “Crystal’s Big Book of Revisions.”

I had forgotten some of the things I noted at the beginning, but seeing them itemized in a list made it easier to knock them out one by one without having to start at the beginning of the manuscript and do a third sweep of the remaining revisions. It also made it easier to go about the research to answer my questions to myself in one sitting, and then fix them all in the manuscript.

1) Use a notebook to itemize issues in your manuscript as you go through your first revision.
2) Create a separate page, or section if need be, for each book and each revision number.
3) Don’t get hung up on the tough issues. Keep the progress going and come back to the problem points after you’ve had time to think.
4) Unless your publisher gave you a guide to their style rules, create a page or section for “house styles” so you have a reference for each revision, especially helpful if you write for more than one house.
5) Take a break every hour, at least, and get some fresh air. You’ve earned it, so don’t feel guilty.

6) Unless you’re a teeny bit crazy like I am, try not to schedule to releases in back to back months. I got veeeeery lucky when revisions one and two on book one and two came in on alternating schedules. Usually my luck never goes that well and if it hadn’t... well I don’t want to think about that. Even alternating, 6 weeks of revisions back to back nearly drove me to the breaking point.

And notebooks can be handy at other times, too. I keep a small one in the car for the very reasons Liz Massey blogs about the top 10 reasons to keep a writer’s notebook

Okay all you writers out there, if you could offer just one tip to the newly contracted author, what do you is the most important tip?