Saturday, January 30, 2010

Something Different

When I'm not writing about my jaguar shape-shifters I like to write contemporary novellas. They're a nice change of pace and sometimes that's just what I need to get motivated toward a new jaguar story.

Recently, I got the thrill of my life when my Resplendence editor sent the Coffee Time Romance Review for my story IOU. Savannah graciously invited me to promo it on this blog so here it is:

ISBN#: 9781607350842
November 2009
Resplendence Publishing, LLC
45 Pages
Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Carnal Reunions
Rating: 5 Cups

...I was absolutely stunned at the impact of Paris Brandon’s writing. IOU set a fire that burned from page one through to the end. When these two characters come together it ignites from the first breath and could be the model for every woman’s fantasy. Everyone has that one person from their past that has a hold of a part of them but that never gets a second chance. The Carnal Reunion series is about second chances and what can occur if someone takes a chance. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and recommend IOU because it is a sizzling ride back to the past that everyone should read.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More


The morning after her final exams, Bliss Harper woke up in her own bed wearing only her underwear. She didn’t remember how she got there or why there was an I.O.U. tucked into her panties for one night of “Bad Boy Sex” signed by N. Santucci. She had a ten year plan for success and that didn’t include getting involved with handsome Nick Santucci. No more bad decisions involving handsome men for her.

Nick didn’t think Bliss Harper’s version of bad-boy sex had her waking up with the pizza delivery guy trying to save his family’s business. Better to let her live with her fantasies. Ten years later he’s not delivering pizza he’s delivering deals. The terms are simple. He’s planning on negotiating one night into many with the woman who holds the marker on his heart.


Bliss Harper bit her lip and gazed down at the back of a ten year-old pizza receipt where Nick Santucci’s precise signature was scrawled at the bottom of an IOU for one night of sweaty, dirty, bad-boy sex. She carefully opened the musical card that he’d sent in reply to the photocopied IOU. The tinny strains of a lively nineties dance number, by a local band that had lasted on the charts for about four minutes her senior year, blared. Nick’s familiar scrawl informing her that he’d see her at the Ambassador, ready to pay up, was at the bottom of the card.

Thanks to Classmates R Us, she’d finally reconnected with the one man who’d been starring in her personal fantasies for the past ten years. She usually had better sense, but she’d realized the day her college reunion invitation had arrived that she’d slipped back into her all-work-and-no-play mode. Of course, there wasn’t any guarantee that this weekend was going to change that.

Nick could be fat, bald, married or all of the above. Well, if he was, at least she could finally start fantasizing about someone else when she had her next close encounter with her battery-operated, Saturday night date. And if her luck held, she’d find out what she’d done to make Nick Santucci owe her a night of bad-boy sex. Maybe then she’d start living the life she’d put on hold ten years ago to pursue the success and security she had finally achieved.

The door shuddered and Franny’s familiar knock made her smile, something she’d been doing a lot of since showing up at Karen’s door a few hours ago.

“Come on in, Fran.”

Fran, wearing one of her signature no-nonsense pant-suits strode into the room like an Amazon queen. “When are you going to design me something that makes my butt look good?” she asked, waving her hand at the emerald, toga-styled silk sheath wrapped around Bliss, and caught at one shoulder with a matching tie.

“I’ll make a deal with you. You take enough time off from the think tank to come to New York and get measured, and I’ll make you a dress that will win your butt an award.”
Fran rolled her eyes and then glanced at the open card Bliss held. “What the hell is the name of that song you keep playing?”

“I don’t remember,” she lied, and knew she was caught when Fran pinned her with her famous frown.

“Have you remembered a damn thing about that night?”

“Not much after Elliot broke up with me. I think there was dancing and green jell-o involved,” she shrugged, “after that, nothing.”

“So are you here looking for Nick Santucci as a possible Mr. Right? ‘Cause, honey, Mr. Right could be fat, bald or married—and very possibly, all three.”

Bliss blinked. “It’s scary how much we think alike. And the answer is not just no, but hell no. I think. So, are you not looking for Mr. Right, either?”

“There’s no such animal,” Fran scoffed. “But I wouldn’t mind a few rounds with Mr. Wrong,” she said, and surprisingly enough, she almost sounded wistful.

My Resplendence editor just informed us that the Carnal Reunions anthology will be available in print in time for the Romantic Times Convention! I hope to see you there. Thanks for inviting me to promo this, Savanna;-)

Buy Link:

Friday, January 29, 2010

Deep Thoughts For A Friday...

Good Morning, friends and a happy Friday to one and all!

Today's blog has nothing what-so-ever to do with shapeshifters or the paranormal, but a lot about writing and what's right and wrong. No, I shall not be the moral compass here, everyone has to do that for themselves, but I will present to you, two things I've read about this week which have caused me to ponder while I should have been writing.

First up, J.D. Salinger and the prospect of unpublished ms lying about in his safe. What to do with them now that he has died?

Check out this link for the full story -
Why do I find this a quandary? Well, here's the thing, Salinger had not published a thing(that we know of, unless he was using an iron clad pen name) since 1965. That had to be a choice he made, because honestly, is there any editor who would have rejected a Salinger work? But I digress, it is my assumption that he chose not to publish any more of his works, so that makes me wonder, is it then wrong to consider taking his ms, most of which were probably unedited, and put them on display to be judged by readers and scholar's alike?

What if Mr. Salinger had a love of making up dirty limericks for his personal amusement? I know I do... LOL The hubster has received many an Valentine's card with a sassy little poem in it, but I wouldn't want those made public.

Even if it wasn't dirty limericks, would anyone want their pre-edited works published? Or worse, to have someone else fully decide what you may have meant and edit your words? I'm thinking, no.

Perhaps then, if there are unpublished works in his safe, they should be kept merely for the pleasure of his family and not the public eye.

Next up, Confessions of a Book Pirate, here's a link to another article I came across the other day.

This was an interesting article, but this reasoning for the theft of books leaves me cold. Just because you can not hold the book in your hands, does not mean it is not stealing. I will concede that ebooks are a fairly new technology and that we do indeed need to promote understanding, but there was one comment among the many that had me wondering if anything we e published authors do will make a difference. The comment basically stated, "downloading is copying, not stealing."

If that's true, I need to get on it and grab a couple of my favorite authors works and pull the words out, mix them up in my own ms, give it a new title and send it out to the publishers! It's sure to be a money maker!! Oh wait, that's called plagiarism which we all know is WRONG!!

Anywho, I will stop the deep thoughts now and leave you with a fun puzzle...

Who am I
-I am the beginning of eternity
-The end of every rhyme
-The beginning of every end
-And the end of space and time

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What If They Don't Come?

I had to sigh while reading Serena’s earlier post because in the not too distant past, ideas popped in from so many places I had to cull through to find the ones with the most potential.

Not lately, though. I’ve been pulled in so many directions, both personal and professional, that I’m having a hard time coming up with anything new. It seems my muse is on vacation. And with all the rain and dreary weather here in used-to-be Sunny California, who can blame her.

So it’s times like these I take out the old plot cards. I used to do this as a writing exercise, and I’ve been to chapter meetings where we workshopped plots using this very method.

I make up ten cards for each character: hero, heroine, mentors/allies (The Writer's Journey, Christopher Vogler) villain/enemy. I do the same for structure: plot, conflict, black moment, resolution.

Starting with the character archetypes, I use Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes (Tami D. Cowden, Caro LaFever, Sue Viders) to create my characters, and pair or pit them with/against each other:
Hero: chief, bad boy, charmer, best friend, lost soul, etc.
Heroine: boss, Seductress, spunky kid, free spirit, etc.

Then I move on to plot structure, and using the 22 master plot types, I pick between: Quest, Adventure, Rescue, Escape, Revenge, etc

Once I’ve randomly chosen cards for all parts of the story, I lay them out. If something doesn’t work, I think on it for a while. If something really doesn’t work, I pick a new card, and I don’t let myself feel guilty about it.

Another tip I've found helps is to find pictures in magazines to help me visualize. Sometimes stories come from the pictures themselves. A face, a place, a fancy car.

That reminds me…I once had an idea about a girl who bought a car at auction, but found something hidden inside the trunk that some very bad people wanted to get hold of…

Maybe my muse isn’t so far away after all.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The First Anniversary of BLACK CAT BEAUTY

Yep! Maowsa... it was one year ago, today, that my Halloween shapeshifter novella, BLACK CAT BEAUTY, was released. Nope, it didn’t make the deadline for the Halloween-themed stories Liquid Silver Books had put out a call for. Nevertheless, my black cat girl, Sable, is on the prowl and purring her story with lots of cattitude.

Sometimes, it feels as though I can barely get a breath in. Time flies way too fast these days. Nearly as flash-speedy as my hero and Sable’s erotic lover, Devon, takes to the skies... faster than a speeding bullet. Devon not only stars as Super Ace in the movies, he is a superhero in disguise.

One reason I wrote Sable’s tale/tail was for the sheer fun of it. Yep, utterly selfish on my part. Still, I hoped readers would enjoy the fun, too. Okay-yowls, the infamous reviewer, Mrs. Giggles, was not amused, well, actually, she admitted to laughing and not knowing why... however, she couldn’t handle what she called the ‘cheesy’ element of the story.

Sable would slinky shrug, and basically say to the Giggler, to each her own fur coat... and it’s her loss, the silly human... raoorrrr! let the Mae West-seductive party begin... did you bring me an enormous sausage treat, superhero? Or, are you just glad to see me?

I realized I never posted this review from a fellow author on this blog. So, happy snappy roars, here it is ~

~~~ Bekki Lynn’s Review of Black Cat Beauty ~~~

I haven't read a shapeshifter story in forever though I do have a few in my to-be-read files. Savanna first peaked my interest, months ago, with a tidbit about a panther shifting to a human form, I've been salivating with hunger for the story ever since. I knew it had to be different, hot and fun. And I love cats. She did not disappointment me whatsoever.
Well, except for the fact that I didn't want the story to end. I wanted more of Sable's sassiness, quick comebacks and feistiness. Savanna uses references to well-known figures in such a manner that turned the story into a movie before my eyes. Her imagery was amazingly real and well done.
I loved everything about Sable and Devon. Though she didn't want to succumb to his charm and lustful scent, she simply couldn't resist the power of it and once she got a taste, she was his to command though she wanted to claw him to pieces for it. But who couldn't resist a virile, caring, yet demanding man who could serenade you in and out of your mind and have you orgasming beyond your wildest dimensions.
There is so much packed into this short story you'll not believe it. I don't want to give away too much, but if you've experienced a floating sensation while in the throes of loving your mate -- well, Devon will take you on a flight you can't imagine. Throughout the story, I wanted to be Sable and at times I felt like I was.
The chemistry between the characters is sweet and fun while scorching hot. Black Cat Beauty is going on my keeper shelf to be reread over and over. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys shapeshifters and those who don't.


Bekki Lynn

Author of the Servin’ It Up series ~
Psychic Hitch & Last Glass of Wine
Siren-BookStrand Publishing

Night Owl Romance Reviews ~
4.5 Top Pick
~ Black Cat Beauty is an entertaining, quick read. Its plot is complicated given the length of the book, but Ms. Kougar pulls it off. The erotic scenes were well done and fit in with the rest of the story. ~

For the full review claw-click on the button ~ ~


Blurb: A private Halloween party in a gothic mansion hidden in the Hollywood Hills. Add one party crasher, Sable Kiki, a naughty black cat with a sexy wild human side.
Her covert assignment from her devious, always-cunning father: use her seductive wiles to find out the truth from Devon Zant, a movie star on the rise to super stardom.
Posing as the superhero actor, Devon Zant, D’Torr has arrived on Earth seeking revenge for the capture of his younger brother, and to assist in stopping a powerful enemy.
The leviathan warfleet of the Altirrux wants rule of all intergalactic trade routes to Earth, endangering the survival of D’Torr’s race, and all the inhabitants of the rare blue jewel, Earth.

~~~ Sable & Devon invite you to read their love story ~ will a black cat girl find happiness with a superhero? ~~~

BLACK CAT BEAUTY ... She has the claws and the cattitude to prove it... He has the super-powered strength and passion she fights, but needs... available from Liquid Silver Books.


Plus, take a look at COYOTE MOON by Pat Cunningham ~ Can a half-werewolf woman, unaware of her wolf nature, come to love the WereCoyote determined to free her wild side and make her his mate? ~ ~
BEST OF BREED by Pat Cunningharm ~ coming from BookStrand.



Savanna Kougar

~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Author of ~

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

Saturday, January 23, 2010

How Overwhelmed Are We?

I haven't seen the movie "Avatar" yet. The weather's been lousy and honestly, hubby and I prefer matinees and our schedules haven't been lining up. I have noticed how much everyone else has liked it though and it seems like some people are having a hard time these days because they don't live on the planet where "Avatar" takes place (I apologize for not being able to recall the name). Excuse me?

There seem to be some people who are getting depressed because of this. Depression is horrible and I'm not trying to make light of the situation. I'm trying to understand. The only explanation I can think of is that people feel helpless to change the world they live in now. And come to think of it, how many times have you heard someone utter "Why bother? What can we do?" As if "we" are comprised of people without any power.

I have to admit that it's not hard to feel powerless when you see the pictures of the devastation that's befallen Haiti, the current political unrest everywhere, reports about the employment situation, health care; the list goes on. And if I watched it on a continuous 15 minute loop, all day long I might get to the point where I'd like to pack my bags and go live on another planet.

Does anyone remember when you had a half hour of local news and an hour of national news every night? When they actually reported the news and you didn't have to sit through a media commercial given by a talking head or a political pundit with an agenda? And it didn't last all day. And all night.

This is not the first time in history the world has been a mess. It's always been a mess in one way or another. An overwhelming mess. But we haven't always been privy to it 24/7. What's the solution?

The easiest one for me is to watch enough news to find out what's going on, turn off the television and do at least one positive thing to bring the world into balance. That could be anything from separating my recycling to donating my time or money to something I think will make a difference. Sounds simple but I swear I feel a little less overwhelmed when I do something positive.

What about you?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Where Do Those Ideas Come From?

Happy Friday one and all!

So I was reading Pat's awesome post yesterday(if you missed it, please go back and check it out...she has a fabulous voice and I think you'll love the idea she's currently working on.) So her post got me thinking about all the ways stories have snuck-up and smacked me between the eyes...

*Dish washing is an untapped kegger of ideas for me... I don't have a dishwasher so it's the old warm, soapy water and scrubbing central for me, but for some reason, the ideas just flow freely when I up to my elbows in suds.

*Driving anyone? I always seem to get the most brilliant ideas, on the road, but by the time I get somewhere to write them down, yeah, not quite as faboo as I thought...LOL

*Music, TV and movies, all wonderful fodder for my imagination.

* Awhile back, I was riffling ~can it still be called riffling if your doing it online? hmmm~ through pictures the other day and came across the one above and guess what? Yep, it hit me with an idea.

I mean really, a picture of a fortune cookie and all of a sudden I'm jotting down notes for an idea....

Isn't writing cool!!

How about it, anything weird give you a great idea for a story?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

1 + 1 + 1 = Story

1 + 1 + 1 = Story

By Pat Cunningham

I can’t remember the book or the author now – it was either Damon Knight or Ben Bova, I was writing SF then – but one of the many how-to-write texts I studied in my early writing years offered this advice: for a good story, you need more than one idea. A single idea is a sketch, a scene, a vignette. A story needs at least two ideas to play off each other. Not too many or the story gets muddled – I’m looking at you, Pirates of the Caribbean 2 – but enough to provide weight and depth, and give the characters, and the readers, something to sink their teeth into.

I got to test this theory recently when I was inspired by a TV show and started fiddling with plots. I found several ideas that fit together and gave me plenty of grist to put my characters through all kinds of angsty hell. Isn’t that’s why we write in the first place?

Idea #1 – a couple months back I guest-blogged on the bizarre ideas my mind keeps throwing at me, like where a shapeshifter’s clothes go when they change and would a vampire’s fangs be considered concealed weapons by the police. One question dealt with a vampire’s sex drive; can the undead get it up? This led to the theory fresh blood in a vampire’s veins makes them horny, and sooner or later some enterprising brothel owner would catch on. Originally I’d planned to write about a prostitute and the vampire she falls in love with, but … well, you’ll see in a minute.

Idea #2 – I try to write every day. When I don’t work on a WIP, I jot a few lines in a notebook. Sometimes it’s flash, sometimes it’s a scene or a character sketch or a dialogue exchange. Recently what came out of my pen was a bit about a human who’d been raised by vampires. That’s not a story by itself, but if added to something else …

Idea #3 – okay, this one’s embarrassing. It stems from that TV show, and the fan fiction that’s grown up around it. I’m familiar with fanfic – I’m a Trekkie from way back – as well as the interesting phenomenon known as slash. So I went poking around on a fanfic site, and – well, as the pistol-packin’ preacher said, Holy shoot. I don’t remember Trek slash being quite that graphic. There was stuff on there that would make Ellora’s Cave editors blush. And so MUCH of it! You wonder where these guys find time to actually fight evil. Inspired, as it were, by this, I decided to try my hand at a M/M story. I couldn’t use the TV characters, of course, but there’s nothing to stop me from “casting” the actors in the roles. I find it’s easy writing dialogue when you can hear a particular voice. (I put Stone Cold Steve Austin in a novel once and his dialogue just flowed. Not bad for a wrestler.)

Adding the three ideas together, I had my plot and characters: a young human man, raised by a nest of vampires, who becomes a prostitute in a bat brothel and the object of affection of one of his male vampire clients. Both come with hefty baggage, especially the vamp (idea #4, which I can’t divulge because it’s a plot twist) which they have to wade through to reach their HEA.

None of these ideas could really sustain a full story, let alone a novel, on their own. Put ‘em together, though, and I just might have something. I’m still working on the draft. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

By the way, I’m not going to say which TV show it is. Bad enough I start laughing whenever the one actor comes on screen because I can’t help thinking, “Hey, it’s the man ho.” I don’t need any defamation lawsuits. Writing as a profession is risky enough.

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 ~ ~
Pat Cunningham’s next release is BEST OF BREED ~ coming soon from BookStrand Publishing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Running Free Time

I just realized today that I missed the first release anniversary date of MURDER BY HAIR SPRAY IN GARDENIA, NEW ATLANTIS ~ on January 15th . It’s not surprising, though, given everything I’ve gone through and been involved with recently.

What is eery to me, however, is that *not* only is this the date for the solar eclipse that lasted for 11 minutes and eight seconds, establishing a record that won’t be broken until December 23, 3043 ~ but, my futuristic novel takes place in the year, 2051, after catastrophic weather and land changes. A little too close to the horror going on in Haiti currently.

Here’s the first line ~

The evil cloud of hair spray dominated the air in guest room 666 at Gardenia’s only motel, The Eternal Magnolia – so named because it was surrounded by a park-like acre of Magnolia trees, saved despite the cataclysmic weather, wars and land changes on Earth.

Running free time... or taking off the bridle. If you’ve ever been around horses, often, when you take off the bridle to put them in their pasture, they will take off running with the sheer joy of feeling free, unbound. That has always been a sheer joy for me to behold. I’m certain it’s one reason a lot of us love watching the wild horses run.
Why we care so much that wild horse herds remain free.

I think we’ve lost that in our society these days... running free time.

As a kid I would run the neighborhood with my sisters and with the other kids. Truth is, though, I rarely felt I had enough running free time. This feeling, this deep frustration, only increased the older I got. Even though, I avidly wanted to learn and enjoyed going to school for that reason, I also felt imprisoned.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt way too restricted, way too stifled by the structure and expectations of our society. And, the restrictions have only gotten worse for the current generation, in my opinion. Much worse. I look around and wonder what is the real price we pay in our souls for all this ‘ultra safety’?

But, let’s not get bogged down by that discussion, pro and con. More to the point, I believe one reason shapeshifter novels hit the right ‘spot’ for many readers is because there is that sense of freedom and animal wildness... that precious running free time we’ve been denied and all crave at a basic level.

Unbridled... I’ve read that race horses do best if they’re not in a constant state of being trained, but are given a space of time to run free. No discipline. No bridles. Just time to stretch their legs, look at the horizon and choose to run, feel inspired to race the winds.

As a writer, I’m feeling the need for some running free time. To simply pen wild and free, not worry about editing and revising and polishing, not concern myself with the proper and perfect crafting of a story. I don’t want to feel *Oh no! I’ve used ‘that’ particular word too often in the story! Oh heavenly days, and heaven forbid.*

I want to simply loose my imagination, race with my thoughts... be uninhibited with whatever I’m feeling and my characters are feeling. Go with it. Go with the flow. Race with the wind.

However, there’s a problem. One I can’t seem to get past right now. I no longer know how to run free. Take off the bridle and I’ll put it back on, metaphorically speaking, for all of you with strange images in your head right now.

Perhaps, I’ve over-disciplined myself, pushed myself too much. Restricted myself and expected too much. Over-trained... though, some would say I haven’t trained enough... whatever. The fact is, I’m trapped.

Though, to make it clear, as I edit and polish BRANDED BY THE TEXANS, I’m not longing to race away. Not at all. No, I’m enjoying the process, overall. As I read through Kylie’s story with her three Texans, Dillon, Dono and Dash, yep, I’m having a dang good time, to use the parlance.

No, it’s about writing another story just for the sheer fun of it. Giving myself some running free time.

So, how are you feeling? Ready buckle down and get to work? Or, would you like some running free time, too?

Hey! Shapeshifter lovers, here’s Pat Cunningham’s cover art for her next release, BEST OF BREED, coming from BookStrand. Pretty cool and definitely shifter snazzy, don’t you think?
Plus, take a look at COYOTE MOON by Pat Cunningham ~ Can a half-werewolf woman, unaware of her wolf nature, come to love the WereCoyote determined to free her wild side and make her his mate? ~ ~



Savanna Kougar

~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Author of ~

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

Monday, January 18, 2010

How much shapeshifting is too much…or not enough?

My paranormals have featured shapeshifting wolves but my characters don’t run around as their alter egos very often. So sometimes I wonder if they spend enough time in their wolfy forms. How do you know how much is not enough or too much? I think this varies from book to book and author to author.

I try to have my characters change at least once, but is once enough? My characters are humans first and animals second. Their animal nature permeates their human selves but it isn’t all that they are about. They change if they feel inclined or being an animal is more convenient than being human. They also choose their animal form if it’s more suited to a particular situation.

It’s not that you never see any animal aspects of my shifter characters. I created my shifters so that when they mate during a female’s heat cycle, their fang’s elongate and other human parts of their anatomy change somewhat too. I let you guess what might change. :evil grin:

Their animal background figures into their speech patterns as well. For example wolf shifter children are referred to as pups and female shifters may be referred to as a bitch. For my shifters, the term is descriptive not derogatory. Their families are called packs and wolves within those packs are alpha, beta or omega, depending on their temperament.

Fellow writers…do you have your shifters make the change to their alter egos often or occasionally? How do you decide what’s enough? Readers, how much shifting do you enjoy in novel featuring shapeshifters? Lots, none or just a bit?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sun or Snow?

My winter has been nothing like Savanna’s, but the moderate cold and drizzle of California still has me longing for warmer locales. I’m a sun worshipper by birth, and I love the balmy, sultry heat of the tropics. Being a Pisces, I would love to live in Florida where endless waterways and clear open oceans beckon my soul. But alas, hubby says “not a snowball’s chance,” because of the hurricanes. So we’re here in overpopulated California where, contrary to popular songs, it does rain and earthquakes mysteriously rattle us two days in a row at almost precisely the same time each morning.

Though at the same time I can’t deny I love skiing simply for the connection with frosty nature. There’s something ethereal about standing alone on top of a mountain (on the easy run leading back to the lodge where the hot doggers aren’t) listening to the wind whisper mournfully through the treetops and a gentle, pattering symphony of snowmelt dripping off the trees all around me.

Which is your favorite? A romance about cozy, snowbound lovers in front of a crackling fire, or scantily clad hero and heroine dancing under the stars in the warm evening of a sultry, romantic getaway?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Planet-World of the Snow Leopards

Yowls, after yesterday’s five hour, stuck-in-the-snow ordeal, I’m ready to immigrate. But, how about to another world?
Yep, my intergalactic brethren, if you are benevolently interested in the human inhabitants of Earth, don’t bother landing on the White House lawn. Don’t bother with ‘Take me to your leader’.
No, I advise you, upon your arrival, to come directly to all of us little folks. I’ll be waiting.

However, to creatively use my ordeal by snow, I wrote the following scene ~

Planet-World of the Snow Leopards

Nervous to the max, yet determined, Seshlyn picked up her large shapeless bag that held her most personal possessions. If it had been a creature the poor thing would have been strangled by now.
Forging ahead, she entered a makeshift hallway designed to funnel all the applicants like her to the appropriate Briyth counselor. Once she’d made the next right-angle turn, she saw a woman intently placing information into her plasticine tablet device.
The instant Seshlyn’s foot hit the floor inside the small room, the Snow Leopardess woman turned, or actually, swayed her body around. She motioned to the simple chair in front of her work table.
Automatically, Seshlyn sat, and told her belly to stop fluttering. It felt like wild winged things fought to escape. Lowering the bag beside her, Seshlyn attempted not to stare since her counselor was gorgeous in an utterly exotic way. As the Briyth seated herself, a welcoming smile curved her wide lips, the color of white pearls.
So far, Seshlyn had only observed this feline morphing race in their most humanoid form. She hadn’t seen them sport their lush fur coats or their long tails. Still, their pale ivory skin reflected their coat patterns, the muted charcoal-black spots placed exquisitely and unique to each one. Now, the woman’s triangular ears pricked forward enhancing the dark neon blue of her eyes.
“I am Jurllofa of the Ice Mountain Clan. I am here to guide you through the process of immigrating to our solar system worlds.”
Wondrously, Seshlyn regarded her. “You speak my language.”
“Yes, we prefer to use the native tongue whenever possible. I believe I have all the data I require for you, Seshlyn Kij, Wand Priestess. However, for my own edification, why are you designated as a Wand Priestess?”
“It’s my way of magic.” Uncertain, shy, Seshlyn hesitated, “of bringing forth those things my people...” She choked back a sob of pure emotion. “I worked with the natural energies of my world.”
“Ahhh, I believe I understand. It is similar to a spiritual way many of us practice. Yes, it is difficult leaving one’s beloved world, is it not?”
“It is... I wouldn’t except for the Ice Age overtaking the hunting and agricultural lands of my people.”
Compassion flickered in the woman’s eyes while one of her ears angled backwards into a softer position. “I think you will do quite well. As you are aware, many of our planets lack enough females. The lovely purple-tinted coloring of your skin is prized by many of the breeding males, as well as your more delicate frame. The auction will be quite the triumph for you in gaining a husband of prowess and status.”
Seshlyn winced inside at the thought of being auctioned off as a wife to some unknown husband. Yet, what other choice did she own? Her world could no longer sustain her, especially since her powers were considered to be insignificant compared to other women. “I hope I can add to your solar system worlds.”
“You will. Now,” Jurllofa stood in one languid movement, “let me settle you aboard our galactic passenger ship.”
Seshlyn rose to follow and mentally said a sad farewell to her land. Tears welled up in her eyes.
“Have no care.,” Jurllofa kindly crooned in a purr. “Many of your sisters in race are aboard and we have every convenience your kind enjoys.”
Upon re-entering the small area that reminded Jurllofa of a cage, she was unsurprised to find Ranthor waiting for her.
“What do you think?” Her favorite cousin arched a black brow, his gaze close to euphoric.
“I believe she is perfect for your oldest brother. Indeed, I will send him a special communique apprising him to bring his heaviest coin to the auction.”
“A wife is all Zroxor needs to rise in ruling authority.”
“Yes, by appearance, she is to his ferocious-mating appetite. More importantly, the power runs through her, strong and melodic as the winds of our land. However, I believe she remains unaware of the ability that is hers to command.”
Ranthor gave an absent nod, his far away gaze contemplating their future. “That power will become Zroxor’s to command, as well.”

Take a look at COYOTE MOON by Pat Cunningham ~Can a half-werewolf woman, unaware of her wolf nature, come to love the WereCoyote determined to free her wild side and make her his mate? ~ ~



Savanna Kougar

~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Author of ~

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

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Is It Getting Colder?

Baby, it's cold outside! Winter has never been my favorite season. I can remember watching my little brother and sister drag their sleds up hills just so they could fly down and scream at the tops of their lungs. They had a ball. Their coats would be unzipped, scarves around their necks dangling and their stocking caps half-cocked and you could just see the joy in their eyes, hear it in their screams.

All I could think about was that I knew my mom was making hot chocolate and would be calling us in for a break to warm up and I suspect, from the distance of many years, check to make sure we weren't suffering from the ill effects of the cold. It never crossed my mind that this wasn't the normal way to behave. You watched out for those who might be suffering or needed help.

Yesterday, I read that Wal-Mart, instead of donating unsold merchandise like coats and hats and gloves to homeless shelters, cuts them up. It made me sick. They are behaving like predators in the wild. In the animal world you expect savage behavior, tearing apart those weaker so that your species survives. Is Wal-Mart so afraid that someone else may benefit financially, they're willing to ignore the plight of those less fortunate? Seems pretty cold-blooded to me.

At this time, I haven't seen any statements from Wal-Mart, either to defend their actions or amend their policy. I've seen plenty of outrage from others. If corporations as big as Wal-Mart behave this way and don't feel the need to explain or change their ways, what does that say about where our civilization is headed?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Workshop Time!

Good Friday Morning!

Being short on both time and brain power this morning I thought perhaps some of our readers would be interested in a workshop coming up at Passionate Ink in February...

Have a great day, everyone and Keep Warm!!

Title : The Art of a 3-Line Pitch
Date : February 15, 2010 – February 20, 2010
Presenter: Cindy Carroll
Cost: Free for Passionate Ink Members; $5 for Non-members

What’s your three line pitch?If someone asks you need to be able to tell them what your story is about. For queries or agent/editor appointments the three line pitch works well to get your story across. This workshop will help you hone your three line pitch so you can grab the interest of readers, editors and agents.

Topics covered:What is a three line pitch? – what it is and what it isn’t.
Parts of the pitch (assignment) – what it should includeStaying on track – how using a three line pitch can keep you on track.

Feedback provided for student assignments

Cindy Carroll joined RWA in 1992 and started out writing novels but turned to scripts when an idea for one of her favorite television shows wouldn’t leave her alone. That first attempt, and her second teleplay for the same show, garnered her honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest 76th Annual Writing Competition in the screenplay category. She graduated from Hal Croasmun’s screenwriting ProSeries intensive in June of 2008. Her interview with David Rambo, writer/producer for CSI appeared in the summer special edition of The Rewrit, the newsletter for Scriptscene, Romance Writers of America’s screenwriting chapter. Currently working on the rewrite of her second feature, Cindy is also developing two new television pilots.
Visit her at:

Members register by sending an email to with “WORKSHOP – 3-line Pitch – PI MEMBER” as the subject. In the “message” section, include Your Name and Email Address.

Non-members register by paying, either online or by sending a check.
To Pay Online : Using PayPal (, send payment to with “WORKSHOP – 3-line Pitch” as the subject. In the “message” section, include Your Name and Email Address. Cost: Free for Passionate Ink Members, $5 for non-members PI Members send an email to workshopcahir @ with FREE WORKSHOP - # Line PItch as the subject. Include your FULL name and email address.

To pay by check, print this page and send with a check toPassionate Ink Workshopsc/o Robin L. RothamP.O. Box 2412Norfolk, NE 68701

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Thievery Reaps No Rewards

I don’t know if it’s my short career as a published author, or if piracy has recently mushroomed out of control, but it seems like it’s everywhere and only getting worse. I’m on an email loop dedicated to authors fighting piracy so I’m informed about more instances of it than I could find myself with my little google alerts. Yesterday I was alerted to iOffer, an ebay-like auction site with over 12,575 auctions for ebooks, most of them collections of several titles to hundreds of books in each. These aren’t forums where pirates load up their books for free, these are thieves scanning our books and redistributing them for their own profit. It is an astronomical slap in the face to authors everywhere. Perhaps the biggest offense is made by iOffer and ebay themselves, because they take no responsibility for what is going on on their own sites.

I guess I’m writing this today because I want to point out that we authors aren’t alone in our victimry. Yes, I just made that word up. Another favorite hangout of mine is Deviant Art, and one of my favorite artists, Ana Cruz, found out last year a publishing house stole one of her images and used it on the cover of a book. (I’ll point out that on DA there are art galleries and resource galleries: images specifically used for stock, labeled as such. The images in the art galleries are identified as private, and are watermarked on full-view. I’ll also point out this is a Portuguese publisher none of us have probably ever heard of.)

Ana, aka Lunebleu, has been forced to hire a lawyer and pay thousands out of her own pocket because even after being notified they were using a stolen image, the publisher still insisted on using it, claiming they had found it on a free images site. This publisher obviously has the morals of a scum-sucking bottom feeder because any professional with a sliver of integrity would do the right thing once they learned the image was stolen property.

In reading Ana’s blog, I see she suffers the same emotional pain as writers do; depression, anger, the loss of motivation and the urge to dump it all in the loo. But in the end she keeps going because she loves her art, just as we as writers do.

Is there a moral to this blog? A point to end by? I guess it’s this: Piracy sucks and if you’re a pirate... well, you can finish the rest yourself.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Yowls and Howls, Ten Trends for the New Year, 2010

Happy Shapeshifting New Year!

I couldn’t resist this gorgeous picture discovered when I was image-searching for another blog. Here’s the info ~

... “In June the society also unveiled the first museum here dedicated to San Diego’s rich African-American history. Open every daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., it’s well worth a visit.

Although small, the permanent exhibition installed on the museum’s walls communicates a number of intriguing tidbits. Arranged chronologically, it points out that, at least mythologically, the first inhabitants of the “island” of California were black Amazons “decked in gold and pearls with strong bodies and ardent courage” and governed by a Queen named Califia (aka Calafia). The 1510 Spanish romance novel that recounted all this helped motivate the first Spanish conquistadors..."

Yowls and Howls, Ten Trends for the New Year, 2010

Meowsa and shake those tails... straighten those antenna whiskers... here it is, my Krazy Kat predictions...

Yep and purrs, let’s go spanning the globe, or the cosmos, for those *romance novel* Shapeshifting trends lurking on the not-so-far horizon...

1) Probably, no growling-surprise, it will be a BIG HOWLING year for everything WOLF, WOLFEN... werewolf, wolfie shifters, half wolfs, wolf hybrids... ya know the vampire and werewolf mating that seems to be so popular. White Wolves will gain an ascendency that they’ve never enjoyed before. Perhaps, because there’s an Ice Age looming and glooming up the future. Blending in with the ice and snow will become very important.

2) Look for... if you can find them in the jungles, roaming the savannas and slinking along the mountain cliff paths... the BIG CATS will continue their steady rise in popularity. There will be some innovative storytelling that evolves around our beloved Big Felines because the imagination will rule when it comes to cat shifters in romance novels.

3) The CHEETAHS are racing toward a top position. Being the favored Big Cat in Ancient Egypt, nope-mew, not the Lion, they’re likely to be featured in Egyptian-themed romance novels. All things ‘ancient history’ will come more to the fore, yet *not* remain as history. That is, the ancient cultures will be on another world, a future world, or whatever ‘world’ a writer dreams up.

4) DREAMING... steamy and dreamy, dream weaving, dreaming the future, dreaming of the past, dream catching, making dreams come true... that’s another major theme in this coming year’s romance novels, especially in the shapeshifting genre.

5) Since 2010 is THE YEAR OF THE TIGER... get ready, set and roaring-go. Pen those Tiger shapeshifters into existence. Who can resist them, anyway? Those gorgeous stripes, that sleek, yet massively muscled body. The strength and ferocity of the tiger has always been associated with the warrior or warrioress, so that’s a likely romance novel scenario. So, create your own fresh take.

6) What about the more wacky or unique trends? Turtles, snakes or serpents, rats and wombats... they’re coming... pun intended and not intended. Yep, the writers are jumping onto and over the experimental ledge. Enjoy all that sexy serpent hissing.

7) DRAGONS, those flying hunks of burning love, may be taking a respite this year. Though, you can never tell with them. They’ll lead you to believe they’re snoring away, dreaming of edible virgins inside a deep dark cave, while really sneaking out the hidden exit and soaring above, their flame aimed and about to blast you into a burnt sacrifice.

8) SPLENDOR THY NAME IS PHOENIX... from the muses and the ashes rises this mythical bird of flame and resurrection... and so the Phoenix, in various incarnations, will keep rising. And so will every breed and kind of legendary magical creature... yep, look for unicorns sporting those mighty striking horns.

9) Bark and yip-yip, what about all those other shapeshifting canines? Foxes, coyotes, dingos, dogs, half-breeds... poodles. Yep, I’m betting, if it hasn’t already occurred, Muffy and Pierre will be barking and prancing their way onto the scene, promoting the idea that good grooming is always important despite any adventurous mishaps. The wilder canines are likely to be featured in connection with Native American or Celtic lore, or other beautiful and wise pagan traditions.

10) HORSES and WINGS ~ Horses will be racing for the lead, and gradually gain a larger share of the shapeshifting readership. The magic and magnificence of horses, their natures and their majestic power, will be much needed in our world. As storytellers, we give the world what it needs emotionally, the stories the heart and soul needs. Horses, Pegasus, and all those winged beasties will carry the readers above and beyond their troubles. They’ll take them on exotic and erotic adventures. Which would you choose? Eagle, falcon, hawk, an owl sorcerer or sorceress, a thunderbird... or some other incredible creature that wings into your imagination and says ~ write about me, for I am yours.

It’s all about taking flight, on the ground or in the air... a flight of fancy.

So, what has this Krazy Kat forecaster missed? What are your top ten trends?

CONGRATS to Pat Cunningham. She’s received another *5* review for COYOTE MOON. I didn’t grab the details, so, Pat, share them with us.
COYOTE MOON by Pat Cunningham at ~ ~



Savanna Kougar

~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Author of ~

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

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Joy Of Non-Fiction

I have always loved to read. I couldn't learn fast enough and once I did, nothing in print was safe from my grubby little paws. For years, much of my spare time has been spent devouring fiction. When I found new authors, I gravitated toward their books first but I always had time (or made time) to look for an interesting book.

As an author, I do the obligatory research I need for my projects but I've found that sometimes, reading a non-fiction book that has nothing to do with my WIP will spur an idea for my current story or suggest a new one. This happy accident has also led me to rediscovering my passion for learning something, simply for the sheer joy of learning.

I just started reading "Guns, Germs, and Steel The Fates of Human Societies" by Jared Diamond. The first paragraph intrigued me by asking the question of why history unfolded differently on different continents (assuring me this book was not about racial differences). It may spark an idea for a story, it may not but I'm looking forward to reading Diamond's book and that's exciting.

Becoming excited about anything is the first step in getting my creative juices flowing again. What about you? Do you have any special interests that might spark an idea or start the flow of creativity?

Friday, January 1, 2010

To you and yours from all of us here at Shapeshifter Seductions....
May all of your New Year dreams and aspirations come true!
And to my fellow blog mates, may you sell this, that and much, much more! ;)
Happy New Year.