Sunday, March 17, 2019

WeWriWa: The Quiet One – PRINCE OF HONOR


It’s always the quiet ones you never see coming. Those shadows in the corner, those whispers at the back of your neck. But don’t confuse calm with passivity because like deep rivers, Turow Terriot, my strong, silent hero in PRINCE OF HONOR, runs deep with potential undertows that can carry you away . . . as bad girl Sylvia Terriot quickly discovers. Though hardened by the demons she carries, she’s always had a tender spot for the bashful Turow who, unlike his rowdy, lusty brothers, saw more than lovely features and sinful curves . . . he saw a future path no one could discourage him from taking – even the lady in question. When his brother, their clan’s king, charges him with bringing the traitorous object of his longing from New Orleans to their Lake Tahoe compound to face a potential death sentence for traitorous activities, will he be forgiven for the crime of passion that bonds jailor and fugitive together for a lifetime? Perhaps not . . .


Turow never saw his brother’s hand coming, the smack to the side of his head ringing his bells. 

“What the hell were you thinking . . . what were you thinking with Bonding, that’s forever, Row, sharing your dreams, your genetics, your families, every damned thing? Would she have jumped just as quickly if Rico or Colin had asked her back into the arms of our family or did you put your little fantasy away long enough to even wonder?” 

He was now. 

“Dammit, Row, I thought you were the level headed one, and now there’s nothing I can do to change this.” 

“I don’t want you to, Cale.” 

His answer surprised them both, but once he’d put it out there, Turow realized the truth in his own heart, that he had no doubts or regrets over what he’d done and wasn’t ashamed to admit it. 

“I love her, Cale, am crazy about her, have been since the first time I saw her and haven’t been able to think about anyone else, don’t want to be with anyone else. She’s it for me, the one.”




PRINCE OF HONOR is the first in my four book “House of Terriot” series, a spin-off of the “By Moonlight” dark shapeshifter books I’ve been scrolling through over the past month or two. These four books, and the brothers they feature, move the action, along with Turow and Sylvia, between New Orleans and Lake Tahoe where, from their secluded family compound, the Terriots have fiercely protected their territory and defended their clan for generations. Prepare for all those rules to be broken . . .


I hope you enjoy meeting (or revisiting) these four couples this spring as I pick up steam writing the concluding book of the series, RISE BY MOONLIGHT. A journey about to come full circle.



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, March 10, 2019

WeWriWa: I need a Hero(ine)! UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS


If I had my way, all my heroines would be kickass Signorney Weavers who can both take and deal it out. But some books and some heroes (and some readers!) require a softer, gentler female to counterbalance their man. Such was the case with Kendra Terriot. She started out in PRINCE OF SHADOWS as a sheltered innocent forced to discover her inner strength to protect herself, her family and her hero, not exactly wimpy or whiney but definitely not in control of her environment. But as queen of her clan in Nevada, Kendra roars into New Orleans in UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS on the back of a motorcycle ready to throw down on behalf of her king who believes himself beyond saving. Here’s the encouraging push she gets from one of those tough girls, her cousin Brigit. 

“I don’t know what he needs from me, Bree, if anything at all.”

Her cousin laughed and reminded, “You charge in on a motorcycle, dragging his brothers behind you all because you sense he might need you. He was a beast before you, a wreck without you, and he thinks he can conquer the world as long as you’re at his side. All he needs is for you to be you and for you to be there.”

Kendra heard his quiet petition echo.

Stay.

“Do you want to be his queen, Kendra, surrounded by his brothers, his problems and his enemies every day for the rest of your life? Do you love him, and yourself, enough to share him with what he has to do to be who he is?” 

“Yes, that’s what I want.”

“Then quit your whining, find him, bang him brainless, and let the rest take care of itself.”

Strength doesn’t always mean physical prowess. It can be in toughness of character, determination in actions, risks on behalf of righteousness. Kendra steps up her game without losing the tenderness of heart her mate fell in love with, even as she challenges his choices and fights for her place at his side when he’d send her back to safety. You go, Katy! Way to shake things up and stand by your man! 


Here’s how Kendra sees her evolution over the next books of the “House of Terriot” series . . .



And yes, that is my favorite bad boy hero, Jeremy Renner in guy-liner!

I’m mourning the loss of an hour’s worth of a.m. daylight that makes getting up early to write that much harder! Sigh, such is the price of spring.

Happy Writing, fellow 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, March 6, 2019

IWSG: “G versus E”

Our Insecure Writers Support Group question for March is an awesome one! “Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?” My answer: BOTH! And the “Why” is why I’m a writer. 


The whole Good v Evil dichotomy is what attracts me to any story, whether it be on television, the big screen, on my Kindle, or my computer. The pull between protagonist and antagonist is where the rubber meets the road, where both sides have to take a stand based upon what they believe/desire, and their decisions will format the rest of their lives (and the story). I like to put a touch of good/bad in all my characters to give them a richer dimension (stereotypical white hat wearing heroes and mustache twirling villains are boring!). That struggle within themselves, and which ultimately wins out, is what gives heft to any tale.

Frankly, villains give a writer much more creative leeway because they don’t have to play by the rules of conduct and social acceptance. My favorite “villain” quote came from actor Rutger Hauer who stated a truly terrifying killer is a charmer, attractive evil being much more frightening than the obvious. Ted Bundy or Andrew Cunanan ring a bell? I immediately want to know what makes them tick and what turned them into who they became.

I confess, some of my heroes/heroines are often flawed to a point almost beyond redemption (or at least they think they are!). I love dark, tormented characters. Their struggle away from that tempting, destructive edge makes a compelling internal/external arc and page-turning conflict and growth. Some of my antagonists have gone from villain in one book to the hero of their own story. And don’t get me started on anti-heroes – those John Wicks or Clint Eastwood characters you can’t help but root for. Wrongs can be done for a righteous reason just as good deeds can open dark doorways. The fluidity between those things is where the true hero’s journey begins, and the would-be good guy falls by the wayside. The stronger the villain, the higher the stakes. Redemption is a big theme with me. The more flawed the hero, the more he has to struggle against the darkness both within and without. And the twists and turns of POV and storyline to find that right balance is why I can’t wait to get to the keyboard!

How about you?


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 March 6th posting of the IWSG will be Fundy Blue, Beverly Stowe McClure, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Sunday, March 3, 2019

WeWriWa: Sins of the Father – UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS


I couldn’t leave my “By Moonlight” world behind without giving more page time to my favorite dark hero – Cale Terriot. If there’s a Guilt Club for Men, he’s the founding member. The runt of the litter of twelve princes born to a ruthless king, he had the most to prove – to his father, his family, his unrequited love, but mostly to himself. He’s a man with a plan – to provide a better world for the next generation than the one he grew up in. Drawn beyond his clan’s secluded Lake Tahoe compound by the threats facing their shapeshifter kind, he partners with the leaders in New Orleans. To stop a dangerous Shifter designer drug flooding the Quarter by those in the North who seek to control them, Cale enters a deadly underground Shifter fight club where he fears losing his soul to darkness more than his life or his love. Here’s a peek at drives him . . .

His debt, his burden, his to carry and complete alone. No whining about the costs to body, heart or soul. No crying over what couldn’t be changed or repaired. No shirking from sacrifices sure to cost more than he’d ever thought to wager. The blood on his hands would never come clean. There was no forgiveness for his sins—the sins of the father now those of the son. He was lost but he wouldn’t drag those he loved and respected down with him, not while he still had strength and breath and opportunity.

He couldn’t save his people hiding on their mountain top. He couldn’t purge his guilt without a willingness to surrender his life.

And he couldn’t protect his mate if he couldn’t provide her with his heir.

Next week, I’ll give equal time to Cale’s queen, Kendra. This shy innocent has matured since PRINCE OF SHADOWS, coming into her own to protect her love from his own demons. Enjoy this glimpse into UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS . . .


I, for one, am thrilled to welcome the quixotic month of March, that tease. One day winter, one day spring, always unexpected yet the harbinger of better things to come . . . at last.

Happy approaching Spring, fellow Warriors, and Happy Writing!



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, February 24, 2019

WeWriWa: Those Things That Defined Her - REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT


Finding a forever relationship is hard enough, but to have that emotional slate wiped clean then have to rebuild it from scratch with a man who now sees her as a threatening stranger is no easy task for NOPD detective Charlotte Caissie, but she doesn’t give up easily, not on the job and not in her suddenly crumbling personal life.

As the heroine of my over-arcing “By Moonlight” dark shapeshifter series, Cee Cee isn’t always easy to like – she’s tough, guarded, driven by the demons of her past. But her redeeming quality, the one sure thing in her life, was always the love she shared with former mob henchman Max Savoie. Now, with his memories stolen by their enemies, will they be able to find their way back to what they had together?

She spoke of trust like one who didn’t come by it easily, yet she’d allowed him access to her most intimate secrets, to her most private self. Max didn’t know much, but he understood how difficult that must have been, speaking volumes about what they’d shared, or so he wanted to believe. He needed to believe in something, something that would tether him in this cold, isolated spacewalk he was taking in the empty void of his past. Was that something Charlotte Caissie?

Again, caution whispered to him, an intense self-restraint that must have come from somewhere, from some harsh lesson learned.

Don’t let them see what you are, what you can do.

Survival . . . that one forceful need seemed to drive him, the key to all he’d been, to all he was, a deep, desperate, clawing purpose rooted in fears that shadowed his soul, forbidding this trust his supposed mate spoke of, denying the insistent claims that he was safe amongst friends. Why did none of those things quiet the insistence that all was not well, that he was teetering on a precipice of disaster that would carry all he’d loved with him?

If survival was the key, his memories held the treasure of knowledge locked beyond that wall of blankness. He had to get through or this woman, these people, this world he supposedly protected would all be lost, and that meant plunging into a vast unknown with only tentative threads of offered trust to hold him.

While working on RISE BY MOONIGHT, the end cap for the series, I’ve been rediscovering the powerful draw of this unlikely couple. Light vs darkness, a life time of suspicion vs implicit trust, love vs loss, all tightly woven through the fabric of these books. It’s going to be hard to say good-bye . . .


What characters have you read or written that you’ve hated to let go?

Happy Weekend and Happy Writing fellow 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.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

WeWriWa: Hail to the King, Baby! REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT


A decade ago, I envisioned a hero, a larger than life, mysterious, dangerous, silently predatory dark hero leashed by loyalty to the mobster who rescued him when he was a child, then shook up his world with the intrusion of two life-altering events – his infatuation with the fierce NOPD detective determined to arrest him and the sudden awareness that he was not the only one of his kind. From deadly shadows to sudden limelight, Max Savoie became, through the first four books of my “By Moonlight” series, the Shifter King.

Nine books later, Max was still the hero my readers wanted, petitioning me to bring him back. The marketer in me considered another angle to both appease my fans and to coax new readers who’d be leery of jumping so deeply into a series filled with intertwining plot lines. The set up was already there without me knowing it. The leader of the New Orleans shapeshifter clan had been taken by their enemies and put through grueling experiments that blocked his memories of who he was. Time to let him . . . and new readers rediscover who Max Savoie really was in this first self-pubbed book, a clever but tortuous path for the heroine to take in this excerpt from REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT.


She wanted Max, not this stranger wearing her lover’s face who, wrapped in his comforting scent, enticed with a touch both tempting and terrifying. It felt wrong, like the worst sort of betrayal to want what he offered. She wanted her Max, the sly, aggravating mob henchman who’d tangled around her investigations then about her heart, taming her objections with maddening patience and persistence. It was that Max she needed in her life, in her arms, in her bed, sharing the subtle innuendos, the dramatic dangers, the heart-pumping passions that bound them as friends, companions and mates. Her one and only, her forever love who’d defended her, depended upon her, who completed her in every way possible.

This was not him.

He might look the same, smell the same, sound the same but the deep, unique traits that had claimed her guarded heart and battered soul were missing, stolen not just from him, but from her as well. To accept this hollow substitute would be giving up on all they’d created between them. She wasn’t ready to let go of that past they’d planned to build a future upon. 

The man in her living room was an enemy who’d locked the one she loved away in a prison of forgotten dreams, and it was time to smash down those doors to let the real Max free.


Next week, I’ll give Charlotte Caissie equal time as the other half of this romantic duo. Until then, enjoy a teasing glimpse of REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT . . .


Finally, a week without driving peril here in Michigan. Hope you all are staying warm and at the keyboard. Happy belated Valentine’s Day and Happy Writing, fellow 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, February 6, 2019

IWSG: Warning! Graphic Creativity!

Now that I have your attention . . . This month’s Insecure Writers Support Group topic asks what creative outlets we enjoy other than writing.


Growing up with an occupational therapist for a mom, there was nothing crafty I didn’t know to do: sewing, knitting, crocheting. I loved to draw – horses, mainly when I was young. Those pictures led to making up stories to go along with the adventures I depicted on long rolls of paper my dad brought home from work. But those fun activities fell by the wayside when the 9-to-5 then children came along. By then, I was writing novels, and as newsletter editor (for life – I have a plaque from MMRWA that says so!) back in the days of cut, paste, photocopy and mail, I discovered an exciting new outlet – graphic art (okay, there was some teasingly graphic writing going on as well, but that’s another story!). Dinosaur computers had limited text and graphic resources, so I was thrilled when my then-hubby brought home an older version of PhotoShop from the graphic designer at their print shop. Mind blown! Mind you, this was very simplistic compared to what we have now but then . . . borders, arcing sentences, fonts galore! Graphics! COLOR and shading! The young, budding artist in me was reborn. 


That love affair continues now that promotional material is such a huge part of being an author. I adore combining book covers with Dreamstime/Deposit Photo stock art and quotes/promo info on Quotescover and Canva to create my own promo such as social media posts and bookmarks, and to assist in cover and book trailer creation. Just this past weekend while at a Write In, I learned about several more fun ways to play with that information. I’m still a novice who loves taking my words to a higher visual level. And I still have to remind myself, the writing comes first. But this side gig is a blast!


So, what’s your hidden talent?


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 February 6th posting of the IWSG will be Raimey Gallant, Natalie Aguirre, CV Grehan, and Michelle Wallace!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Sunday, January 27, 2019

WeWriWa: The Prince Who Would Be King (Revisited) – PRINCE OF SHADOWS


(I got left off the rotation list last week {I'm putting it down to wind chill!}, so I'm rerunning this post to keep up with the series order.)

I don’t like to play favorites, but I have to admit, Cale Terriot, the strutty, tattooed, rock and roll, bad-boy prince with his scars and attitude, is mine. Give me the thug over a pretty face any day. Keep your Jude Laws and Ryan Goslings. I’ll take the intense and brutish Clive Owens, Jeremy Renners, and Jason Stathams! And there’s something about a tough guy being humbled by the powerful love of one woman that’s hard to resist.

As one of twelve brothers vying for their despot father’s place, there’s only one thing more motivating for Cale than leading his clan away from the old brutish ways of his king, and Cale is willing to do whatever it takes to attain his goal. It’s not the crown he’s after—it’s his childhood love whose family had been branded as traitors to their clan, a gentle female held hostage in a deadly play for power. Kendra Terriot’s only means of survival for herself and her family is to play to a careful courtship game. The one she chooses from their clan’s dangerous heirs will inherit the coveted crown, keeping her their prisoner forever . . . unless she can retain her virtue until rescue arrives. Here’s a taste of their first private meeting as adults . . .


“Did you ever think of me?” he asked at last, his tone quiet.

At one time, she’d dreamed of saying so much to him, but Kendra’s answer was clipped and truthful, “Not in ways that would flatter you.” 

He studied her, his emotions masked, then came the surprise of his unfurling smile as he confessed, “Everything I’ve done has been for you, to make you my queen.” 

“I trusted you.” She turned away from the sight of him, her eyes flooding with pain as she demanded, “Were you there when my father died?” 

“I was,” Cale confessed, then when she shuddered and covered her face with her hands to shut out the horror of what he’d become in her eyes, he added in a tight throated whisper, “but I didn’t agree. I would never hurt you, Kendra.” 

“You don’t think my parents dying hurt me?” 

“I was eleven years old. . . what was I supposed to do,” he asked, his words vulnerable and searching, “die with them?” 

She closed her eyes and saw him clearly standing in the carnage of the MacCreedy living room, a soulless reflection of his own father as he watched her being led past him without a flicker of response, and her answer was a wooden, “Yes.”

With Kendra at his side, Cale knows he can become the kind of ruler his clan needs, but first he must learn how to become the kind of mate she desires by proving he’s not the beast his beauty fears . . . especially once her unrequited love (and his fierce rival) returns to free her. The only way to win her respect could mean surrendering his throne. The only way to win her heart could mean letting her go . . . even if she no longer wants to be saved. 


Next week, it’s back to Max Savoie (the returning hero in my WIP) in my first self-pubbed book, REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT.

If you have the inclination, jump over to visit me at Paranormal Romantics where I’m talking back to basics in Kicking it Old School.

A 1-degree visit for an oil change certainly got my weekend going! Stay warm, fellow 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.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

WeWriWa: “Taming of the Shrew” meets “Goodfellas” in BETRAYED BY SHADOWS


Reluctant hero Giles St. Clair doesn’t need a problem like Brigit MacCreedy to babysit. How much trouble can the head-strong beauty get into in two weeks? Kidnapping . . . manipulation . . . seduction. A preternatural clan war!With her family’s lives on the line, Brigit will do whatever it takes. The only thing in her way is a man she can’t bully or beguile. . . a Human, putting himself between her and her powerful enemies in a battle he can’t win. Enjoy this week’s taste of BETRAYED BY SHADOWS . . .

Giles St. Clair liked things arranged in neat, straightforward columns, days of the week, morning/afternoon, day/night, black/white, right/wrong, good/bad, and when something didn’t fit or fell into a gray area, that was when his life got complicated. Better to keep things simple so he wouldn’t have to dwell on them too deeply, something he’d learned from Jimmy Legere. 

Living under the mobster’s roof had taught him a lot about the world, generally, that it was a cruel, merciless place, but there was beauty to be found even in the meanest of circumstances if one looked for it hard enough. Jimmy called beauty the silver lining that quickly tarnished. 

Jimmy had been no philosopher, but he’d managed to see right to the truth of things, the same way he’d read the naive college boy Giles once was. Things were usually exactly what they seemed, and no amount of wanting and dreaming would ever change that. 

Brigit MacCreedy was one of those beautiful things that would appear in his harsh, ugly world to make him want and dream again. Watching her was like watching a sunrise, like seeing those first bright spring flowers pushing through the dead remains of winter. She was like poetry and music that teased the heart and transported the mind, but only for a moment because he knew the second he got closer, the minute he looked deeper, that surface loveliness would begin to dull and darken, and things would get complicated. 

So, he’d watch from a distance and appreciate what he saw without having to put her into one of the two basic categories that arranged the way he viewed everyone he met, a lesson his own father taught him: There were good guys and there were bad guys.

Self-sacrificing promises, deadly secrets, and dangerous pasts collide at a bayou crossroads in this “Taming of the Shrew” meets “Goodfellows” tale of consequences, redemption and finding love in all the wrong places in this e-only Book 7 of my dark shapeshifter “By Moonlight” series. I’m rather heartbroken that I don’t have the book trailer available for viewing since it was the first I’d scripted, but the text survives in the paragraph above. 


I’m using the loooong holiday to stow the last of Christmas away and keep up the momentum on the final “By Moonlight” book after a jump start at last week’s critique group weekend. What are your plans?

Happy Weekend, fellow 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.