November 2018

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Sunday, November 25, 2018

WeWriWa: Under Your Scars

Sometimes all the things we hide from ourselves and others are the same imperfections that link us to someone else when they’re shared . . . if we can find the courage to take that step.

Kip Terriot, the hero in my recent release PRINCE OF DREAMS, has been bemoaning all the star-crossed reasons Ophelia Brady is wrong for him. Time to hear Phe’s side of things in this week’s excerpt . . .

He didn’t trust her or believe in her, in what she said or how she felt. Apparently, her actions hadn’t voiced it clearly enough. If the fact she’d turned away from her family to aide his wasn’t proof of her intentions, she had no idea how to convince him, leaving her no recourse except walking away . . . if he’d let her after what she’d seen, what she knew. These were desperate, dangerous people - not even people, from what she’d learned in the past 24-hours, but then, she’d started to discover, neither was she. What else could she give to prove that she was all in as far as he was concerned? 

Bottom line, she loved Kip Terriot for reasons that formed an impressive, undeniable list: His goodness, his devotion to family, his compassion for others, his courage and intelligence, his humor, not to mention that tight butt . . . but mostly because of the way he’d accepted her, making her prince the whole damned near close-to-perfect package.

Until now, with hurt and exhaustion pushing an unexpected wedge of uncertainty between them. She could ignore it, or she could confront it. Neither scenario promised a good outcome.

Or she could accept him, the way he’d made her accept herself, for all her flaws.

Can two wrongs fit together to make something very right? They can if those shared scars are seen for what they are, badges of strength and honor and not as weaknesses.

Follow Kip and Ophelia’s dangerous, romantic, sexy and seemingly impossible journey toward accepting what they must about each other and themselves to find happiness in PRINCE OF DREAMS from my “House of Terriot” and “By Moonlight” dark shapeshifter series.

For the next few months, I’ll be sharing excerpts from the books in my “By Moonlight” series while I do a refresher reread to prep for RISE BY MOONLIGHT, the final book in the series. Gotta get all those pesky timeline issues straight through the almost ten years and ten books (14 counting the HoT spin off series). Hope you’ll enjoy taking the journey with me.

While I finish off the leftovers from my Thanksgiving dinner, I’ll be feasting on the tidbits you’re sharing this weekend, fellow Warriors, as we go boldly into December!

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

WeWriWa: A World Apart . . . Alone

We all know what it’s like to be different, to feel different, to squirm in uncomfortable situations not of our making in a foreign environment. That’s where Kip Terriot, my hero in PRINCE OF DREAMS finds himself after last week’s excerpt. What makes that truth harder to accept is knowing that it places an unbreachable barrier between him and the woman he loves.

Ophelia’s concern reduced him, her encouragement rebuilding where he was weak. The only thing that kept him from acting upon the rightness of them being together was the echo of Colin's litany of all that was wrong, because he had no arguments.

They were different, a difference Kip couldn't explain away or skirt around as if it wasn't important. She was a human female, the daughter of the man he was working to destroy and nothing about that added up to them together in any possible scenario.

As the son of their clan's king, he'd questioned who he was all his life, but never had he wondered about what he was until here in this world. Here, he felt unnatural, not only different but unacceptable. He'd been raised to keep a careful distance from humankind, and when close proximity was unavoidable, to follow strict rules - Don't flaunt your strength, don't display your natural abilities, and don't let them see you aren't like them. He'd asked his mother why, if they were so much stronger, they had to be afraid of the delicate human beings. Not to protect themselves, was her puzzling reply, for they had nothing to fear from Uprights, but rather to protect how the weaker kind would seek to use them or eradicate them out of fear and ignorance as vicious, uncontrollable predators instead of embracing them as thinking, caring beings.

As Ophelia Brady would fear him if she saw his true face and form.

What a wretched place to be. One of my favorite songs sums up the future he sees for himself at this point as he struggles to do the right thing for the both of them.

Or is he underestimating her?

I feel his bittersweet uncertainty this week while bundling up in the freezing temperatures, saying goodbye to friends and co-workers I’ve enjoyed while moving on to a new, uncharted future where there are no guarantees. But then how can you reap rewards without first taking the risk?

Happy change of seasons, fellow Warriors! Go forth boldly in pursuit of your dreams.

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

WeWriWa: His Brother’s Keeper

Sorry I missed my last weekly installment from PRINCE OF DREAMS. Frustration and stress from my interim job ground out every last creative spark. Fortunately, it led to great news I’ll share after today’s 8-10 line excerpt which follows hero Kip’s sobering conversation with his older, world-weary brother, Colin about a future with the girl of his dreams . . .

"Why can't it be like that?" Kip argued on behalf of his fragile hopes. 

"Because the rest of the world doesn't want to see us happy after all the things we've done." Hands on his knees, Colin pushed up to his massive height, concluding, "I've got no other answer, for either of us." 

"That sucks." 

"Yes, it does." 

The bitter truth in his brother’s grim words forced Kip to demand, "What does that leave us with?" 

"Duty and honor, battle and blood, and a bonfire to release our souls." Colin sighed his heavy conclusion, "And a battle's about to begin in my back yard so you stay clear, you hear?" 

"What are you into, Col?" Kip asked, heart pounding as he looked beyond his own selfish woes to the dangers of their current situation. 

"Retribution, little brother, and it's going to be a bitch."

Not what a young Romeo wants to hear. Watch for Kip’s reaction next week.

With two weeks off before the start date of my dream job and a three day Write In this weekend, I’m letting the stress roll off to say “Hello again” to book 15 (and the final chapter) of my shapeshifter series. 

I have a lot to be thankful for this month!! How about you, fellow Weekend Warriors?

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

IWSG: The Creative Writers’ Evolution

Our Insecure Writers Support Group theme for November is “How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?” So glad you asked!!

I was born thinking outside (and around) the box of “what was” to the “what could be”. Perhaps because I’m a Gemini, creativity is the balance between my worlds of learning and imagination. As a child, I loved to embellish, to expand, to ask “What if?” I drew, I told stories, and eventually as a young teen, I began to write them down, a process that has never stopped evolving.

When I signed my first contracts in the ‘80s and ‘90s, my active role stopped at the acceptance of my manuscript. The publisher did the rest of the packaging and selling, and I was stuck with their interpretation of my work. There weren’t a lot of things an author could do at that point except spend time at signings and money on advertising. Then bookmarks became the big thing. When I designed my first bookmark and won a Romantic Times promotion award for it, a whole new layer of writing involvement opened, expanding hugely when I sold the first three books of my “By Moonlight” shapeshifter series to Pocket Books. When my editor solicited my involvement in the marketing of those books, an unexpectedly exciting level of ‘creative’ writing was born. I got to write the backblurb and teaser copy, plan and approve cover concepts and venture out of my techno-phobic world into posting a New Orleans-set research travelogue on Pocket’s debuting blog (This was big stuff for someone who wrote their first six books long hand and typed them on a Smith Corolla manual!).

My next big step was designing (with the help of my intrepid artist/critique partner pal Patricia Lazarus) my web site. Choosing graphics, making the logo, picking colors and fonts and backdrops and pictures . . . I fell in love with that deeper layer of expression. In college, I backed my English major with Communications and History minors never guessing the role they’d play in my future career. As much as I disliked public appearances, I adored helming behind the scenes promotional efforts (now with the aid of my intrepid virtual assistant, Florence Price!). Venturing into self-pubbing, there were covers to design, blogs to write complete with graphics and video support. I jumped enthusiastically into piecing together book trailers and playlists, banners and newsletters (finally!), each new texture adding an extra creative thrill of enjoyment to the actual butt-in-chair-hands-on-keys effort of writing. I’ve even learned to enjoy giving speeches . . . with lots of visual aids! If I hadn’t become a writer, these fulfilling avenues of expression would probably have remained dormant. But now they’re enough to keep both my creative Twin sides busy and fulfilled!

How about you? I can’t wait to discover your creative secrets, my fellow IWSG pals!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.The awesome co-hosts for the November 2nd posting of the IWSG will be Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Ann V. Friend, JQ Rose, and Elizabeth Seckman!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG