Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Real Character

By Jana Richards (Guest Blogger)

In a recent interview promoting his new movie, a romantic comedy called “The F Word” (*See below), Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame was asked if he thought the rom-com genre was dead or dying. He responded with this:

Like everything now, there’s a lot of crap out there…And it’s always the same problem: People forget about characters. People forget that whatever you do or say in a script doesn’t matter if people don’t care about the character involved…without creating characters that people care about, they’re not going to be interested and it doesn’t count for anything.”

I couldn’t agree more, Daniel.

Coming up with characters readers will care about is one of the most fun, and challenging, things about writing. I want to create characters who engage with readers, who leap off the page make readers love them.

So how do I do that?

I’ve learned a lot about character building by reading other author’s books. I loved Lisa Kleypas’ strong heroines in her Travis family series. Ella Varner in Smooth Talking Stranger drops everything to look after her sister’s new born son, even though she knows nothing about babies, and is sure she doesn’t want children of her own. At first she’s just trying to find her nephew’s father and make him do the right thing, but she gradually falls in love with the two men who have wormed their way into her life, her nephew Luke and Jack Travis. I loved seeing Ella overcome a hellish childhood and grow into the woman she never thought she could be. I cheered for her all the way.

Another author whose characters I love is Mary Balogh. In Slightly Dangerous, everyone believes Wulfric Bedwyn, the Duke of Bewcastle is haughty and cold-hearted, a man with ice in his veins and around his heart. But in the skillful hands of Ms. Balogh, we discover a man who uses disdain to keep people at arm’s length to protect himself from being hurt. After being rejected as a young man by the woman he thought he was in love with, Wulfric believes love isn’t for him. But when Christine Derrick crashes into his life, she challenges everything he previously believed a well-brought up lady should be. Christine was not what he thought he wanted in a duchess but everything he needed. I loved seeing Wulfric loosen up and fall in love, and despite his extreme reserve, I loved him because I understood where that reserve came from.

Before I write a paragraph of a new book, I do a lot of character analysis. I fill out character sketches to try to figure out who these people are. Along with the physical descriptions, I devise a backstory for each character. I ask questions about their parents and siblings, about the kind of relationships they’ve had with the opposite sex, and about their greatest fears, and greatest desires. From these questions, characters begin to emerge. But I always find that my characters don’t take full shape until I start actually writing their story.

Novels are built around struggle between characters. To get that conflict humming from the very beginning of the book, I like to create characters with a built-in clash between them. For instance, in my contemporary romance A Long Way From Eden, I matched Zane Martin, a man who grew up not knowing who his father was, with Meg Evans, a woman who was forced into an abusive marriage by an unplanned teenage pregnancy. So when his daughter becomes pregnant with Meg’s son’s baby, Zane insists the two young people marry. But Meg will have none of it. She doesn’t want either of their children forced into a unwanted, loveless marriage. They are in opposition from the opening of the book, but as they learn where the other is coming from, understanding gradually turns to love. My hope is that Meg and Zane are characters that readers can really care about and root for.

Characters make a novel sing. Without strong and interesting characters, a novel will simply fall flat on its face. Like Daniel Radcliffe said, it all counts for nothing if readers don’t care what happens to its characters. So I’ll keep working hard to make my characters as interesting, funny, and complex as I can make them.

What makes a character likable for you? Who are your favorite literary characters?

*Incidentally, this movie is titled “What If” in the United States. Apparently the Motion Picture Association of America didn’t like the original title because of the possible double meaning (in this movie the F stands for friend). However, since the film was titled “The F Word” when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013, that title was retained for Canadian audiences. And we’re okay with that!

A Long Way from Eden by Jana Richards

Zane Martin's teenage daughter is pregnant. Meg Evan's son is the baby's father. Because Zane grew up not knowing who his father was, he'll be damned if he'll let his grandchild live with that shame. Meg was forced into an abusive marriage because of an unplanned pregnancy, so she knows that love is the only good reason to marry. Neither Meg nor Zane expects or welcomes the attraction that sparks between them. As they await the impending birth of their grandchild, old wounds open and long hidden family secrets come to light. The young couple build a newer, stronger relationship, while Meg and Zane reach for a love passionate enough to overcome the past--if they're strong enough to trust it...and each other.

Excerpt

I’m sorry.”

It was the last thing she'd expected him to say. Her head jerked up in surprise. 

"What for?"

He took a couple of steps toward her, stopping just short of touching her. "For pushing myself on you and scaring you. I behaved badly and I'm sorry."

He meant it. Meg was touched that he would take responsibility for what she'd done, but she couldn't let him think it was his fault. "No, Zane. You didn't do anything wrong. It was my fault and I'm the one who's sorry. I shouldn't have gone out to dinner with you."

"Meg--"

She put up her hand to stop him when he would have touched her. "You didn't push yourself on me. I wanted you to kiss me. But then when things got too intense, I couldn't handle it." She looked into his eyes, afraid she'd see pity or contempt, and was surprised when all she saw was concern.

"Don't blame yourself."

She shook her head. "I'm sorry Zane. I don't know if I could ever manage another relationship." She swallowed hard, determined to tell him the truth. "It's not fair to let you go on thinking there could ever be anything between us."
His expression registered a flash of sadness before he carefully wiped all traces of emotion from his face. Meg hated that she caused him pain.

"I see," he said. "Is that what you really want, for me to walk away and leave you alone?"

He watched her intently, like he did the night he took her to dinner. She couldn't look away from his gaze. The look in his eyes challenged her to tell the truth. She fought against it, forcing herself to look away.

"Yes," she whispered.

"I don't believe you. If you can look me in the eye right now and tell me you really want me to leave, I won't bother you again." He briefly touched her face with the tip of his finger. "You'll never have to talk to me, or play piano for me or dance with me ever again. Is that what you really want?"

She tried to say it was, tried to make the words come out, but they refused. "No, that's not what I really want," she whispered.

Zane stepped closer, placing one hand on her shoulder while the other stroked her hair. "What do you really want, Meg?" he whispered, his voice a caress.

"I'm afraid to want anything," she said truthfully, her gaze locked with his. Her body trembled under his touch. "At least that way I can't be hurt."

"Who hurt you, Meg?"

She shook her head, and to her embarrassment felt tears pooling in her eyes. Why did he have to make her feel so much?

"Please, don't push me on this."

Something changed in his face, and he dropped his hands. He averted his gaze for a moment and when he turned back to her, she saw the determination there.
"I don't scare easily, Meg. When you're ready to tell me your secrets, I'll be here."

He turned and went back into the restaurant, leaving her staring at the closed door, her hands shaking. A part of her wanted to trust him, to believe that he would understand what she'd done. She was tired of the lies and secrets. But the part of her that had spent the last seventeen years in hiding recoiled at the idea of trusting another man, even Zane.

About Jana

When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with their Pug/Terrier cross Lou and several unnamed goldfish. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.janarichards.com





Newsletter Signup: http://www.eepurl.com/m3UnT



Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Lisabet!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Learn the Secrets of a Sex Goddess


Want to know how to be irresistible to men?

Read my article in Female First magazine: "Memoirs of a Sex Goddess".

http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/

Even though I'm an author of fiction, I swear every word is true!

And I hope you're still following my blog tour for The Ingredients of Bliss. I have been updating the links on my main tour page as the posts go live. (And by the way, I have a giveaway going on on this page. Just leave a comment and you could win a free copy of the prequel to the new release!)

http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/2014/09/ingredients-of-bliss-blog-tour.html

Our big Facebook party to wrap things up happens on Wednesday the 17th. It will be held at the Totally Bound Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/TotalEBound/

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Snog #141: For Sommer


Today's Sunday Snog is special. We're combining forces today to support our fellow erotic author Sommer Marsden, both morally (yes, we smut-mongers care about morality) and financially. Sommer, who writes deliciously seductive fiction, much of it featuring power exchange, is going through a rough time as her husband battles pancreatic cancer. The ever-vibrant Victoria Blisse has organized today's campaign, encouraging everyone to share some erotic excerpts and to raise some cash to help Sommer and her family.

Each author (fifty three of us, last time I went to count!) is doing things a bit differently. Here's my deal.

I've got a sexy kiss (BDSM, of course) from my short story "Body Electric" for you below. Read the excerpt and leave me a comment with your email address. I will enter you to win a copy of my BDSM erotic romance, The Understudy

Meanwhile, I will throw $1 into the pot of donations for each comment I receive.

And if you'd like to donate on your own, just go to http://smutforgood.co.uk. It's easy as pie, and any amount is welcome.

Here's the excerpt. Enjoy! And thanks for visiting.

******
My room was dim, lit only by the lamp on my bureau. I stood awkwardly in the middle of the floor, at a loss, while Ryan reconnoitered. My clit was still tingling from his brief exploration. My juices dribbled lazily down the insides of my thighs.

"I think I see how to manage this. Lie down here."

He rummaged in his case while I arranged myself on the bed. He held up a thick coil of cotton clothesline. A stab of fear distracted me from my arousal. Fantasizing about bondage was fine, but could I really allow him to do this?

"I am going to tie you to the bed, Colette, unless you tell me to stop. You don't have to be afraid. I've done this many times before."

Jealousy flared up, replacing the fear. Who else had he used the way he was using me?

"So, I'm just another conquest for you?" Ryan looked surprised at my outburst. He sat down beside me on the bed and took my hand.

"No, of course not. You know better than that. You know that you're special."

"I'm sure that you tell every one of your women that."

"But it's true. I knew it the moment I saw you. You have a precious gift, a sexual intensity that you can't hide, though you try. A craving for the extremes of sensation. Overwhelming curiosity and insatiable appetite. The rare ability to surrender completely to pleasure."

His touch was making me weak, but I still tried to resist.

"In the stories, the doms always say that. They know how to push the right buttons. They seduce their victims into thinking that there's something magical and deep about their interaction. When after all, it's just sex -- kinky, perverted, but in the final analysis, just sex."

"Just sex?" Ryan leaped onto the bed, straddling my body, pinning my wrists to the sheets with his huge hands. Then he kissed me with a ferocity that literally took my breath away. His tongue forced its way into my mouth and tangled with mine. He gnawed at my lips, mashing them against my teeth. I tasted blood.

I struggled against him for a moment, then relaxed and let his mouth ravage me. With that release came pleasure so acute that it washed away all thought. I was floating in a sea of pleasure: the tingling in my nipples where his shirt rubbed against them; the sparks flashing across my belly from the pressure of his hidden cock; the exquisite contractions rippling through the depths of my cunt.

I writhed against him, unable to control myself, not caring what he thought or what he did. I opened myself to the pleasure and let it take me away.

"'And if the body does not do as much as the Soul? And if the body were not the Soul, what is the Soul?'"

Ryan had relinquished my mouth and was peering down at me. His long black hair half-obscured his blazing eyes.

I gasped for breath. "Walt Whitman. Leaves of Grass." The pleasure had subsided somewhat, but I knew that it lay waiting for me to claim it again.

"Yes. 'Books, art, religion, time, the visible and solid earth, the atmosphere and the clouds, and what was expected of heaven or fear'd of hell, are now consumed.' That's what he was talking about, you know. Sex. 'Just' sex."

I nodded. I knew.

"Let me bind you, Colette."

I nodded again.


******

Don't forget to comment! Help yourself, and Sommer too!


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Teenage Angst Sucks

By J. Hughey (Guest Blogger)

I don’t really feel like blogging today so I’m telling myself how writing can be cathartic. The thing bothering me is something you’ll relate to. How do I know? I’m pretty sure you’ve lived through your own teenage angst, plus you may be lucky enough to relive it with your kids, like I am right now.

My husband and I just had a blowout with our seventeen-year-old son about a curfew he chose to ignore without bothering to text or call. Overall, we are very fortunate parents—no addictions, felonies, or pregnancies so far—but we do expect our kids to toe the line, especially when we are the ones providing the car, the smart phone, and all the usual fun teens expect.

From his point of view, thirty-five minutes after midnight is not so very late. And his mapping program lied to him. And he had an emotional friend to deal with before his departure. And it’s illegal to text and drive. What’s the big deal anyway, Mom?

I get it. I remember those days and I’m sure all of you do, too. Just like back then, I can’t wait for this phase to be over.

Reliving the cusp-of-adulthood angst has infiltrated my writing, sometimes rearing its head as a complete obstacle, like today. Other times, I’m writing it into my characters in Yellowblown™, my New Adult contemporary romance series that follows a college sophomore through the upheaval an eruption of the Yellowstone volcano causes across North America. Not only is she trying to get a life, she is dealt a really crappy set of circumstances that retract her options rather than expanding them at the moment she is contemplating independence. Moving home puts her back into the role of a child while outside forces give her new responsibilities and worries.

A big challenge with parenting—and writing—is keeping the personality you are dealing with in mind. Hubbie and I know our son. We know he is always going to push the envelope, like the old adage if we give an inch he will take a mile. So, we aren’t giving an inch on issues we especially want to manage, with the hope of getting him through his senior year of high school relatively unscathed. As for Violet Perch, my nineteen-year-old lead character in Eruption, I’ve struggled to show her age-appropriate angst without creating a young woman no one wants to spend five minutes with much less two hundred pages.

Teenage angst sucks, and as readers, we don’t want to be aggravated by protagonists the way real people, whether they be our children, other relatives, or the mouthy teen in the discount store can do. A book, we can set aside. Real people, not so much.

How to survive the teen years, both fictional and factual? Shine a light on the positive. I manage this better in my writing than my parenting, I’m afraid. Right now I’m trying to figure out how to break through the wall my son erected at the announcement of his punishment whereas my heroine reacts the way I tell her to so far.

Any words of wisdom for surviving the senior year of high school? A family friend said, “Stick to your guns, but continue to love him.” That seems pretty good, but I’m open to help.

Blurb
I’m in the middle of the perfect college semester, hundreds of miles from Mom, with an awesome roomie and my freshman crush finally becoming a sophomore reality—Hotness! I’m figuring out calculus, I’ve got both hands on the handlebars and the wind of freedom in my hair. What on earth could slow my roll?

How about if the Yellowstone volcano erupts for the first time in 630,000 years, spewing a continuous load of ash (crap) all over North America? Think that’ll put a kink in my bicycle chain?

Make that kinks, plural, because here’s a scientific fact I’ll bet you didn’t know. Nothing ruins the perfect semester like a super caldera. Now that I’ve made you smarter today, maybe you can tell me how to keep my life cruising in the right direction—no to Mom, yes to roomie, double yes to Hotness!—during a global disaster?

My lame name is Violet and, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m not hanging from the side of a cinder cone on the last page of this trauma, but there’s definitely more to come. Unless, of course, humans become extinct and then there’s not. Duh.

Enjoy an excerpt from the day the eruption starts, September 13:

“You’re starting to freak me out,” I said. Boone looked like he was going to tell me someone had died, but he didn’t know anyone in my family, and surely the Dean of Students would not give him the responsibility of passing on bad news after three weeks of talking.

“Sorry,” he said. “I can’t decide if I’m freaked out or not.” He took a deep breath. “Yellowstone is erupting.”

I stared at him, not a flicker of comprehension illuminating my dim-bulb mind. Nothing. “Yellowstone? The place with the, umm, geysers?” Obviously I’d heard of Yellowstone, never been there, not sure I could place it on a map in the murky part of the U.S. between where I lived and Hollywood.

“Yeah. Yellowstone sits over a hotspot that’s been around for millions of years.”

“Instead of steaming it’s now erupting? As in lava erupting?” We’d covered igneous rocks in a very general way already so I knew hot liquefied rock below the ground was called magma and, when it erupted, became lava.

“Dr. Potter says nobody knows what it’s doing. It blew this morning. I mean explosively blew. All the local sensors went offline. Satellite pictures show a big brown cloud of dust. Like two hundred miles across.”

Boone’s voice shook a fraction. I put my hand on his forearm. He sat back so he could hold it in his.

I asked, “Do you have friends out there, or family?”

“Not close. Dr. Potter knows I’m from Nebraska. He asked me where—made me point to it on a map. He said my family might want to stockpile supplies, or better yet, leave.” He paused, prompting me to scoot to the edge of my seat. “My house is nine hundred miles away from Yellowstone, Violet.”

“Are you serious?”

“He says if it does anything close to what it’s done in the past, thirty percent of the U.S. is pretty well screwed.”

I rifled through my bag to find my tablet. “Show me,” I said. “I need to see a map or something.”

“C’mon,” he said. He took me to Dr. Potter’s office. The professor ignored us. He jabbed his finger at his cell phone to enter a text message. The screen of his laptop glowed with a cascade of open program windows, and his iPad bonged with an incoming email tone. His finger did not pause when Boone led me to an ancient roller-shade map of the US.

“Yellowstone is here. Dr. Potter drew this red circle this morning.”

That’s not coming off any time soon, I thought as I studied the thick line of scarlet Sharpie.

“The last eruption basically obliterated everything within this oval.”

“When?”

“Six hundred thirty thousand years ago,” Dr. Potter muttered. His trendy rectangular glasses sat askew on his nose. He swept his hand toward his laptop’s screen in a disgusted now-look-what-you’ve done gesture. I circled around his desk to see images more current than the one offered by the cartographic fossil on the wall.

A dark mess of chocolate pudding plopped in the midst of the whipped topping clouds of a satellite loop. The mass burgeoned over the northwestern U.S., dry pudding mix edges caught and swept east by the prevailing winds.

Anyone with a grandpa who blares Weather Watcher on the TV all day knows weather moves east.

Apparently, crap shot into the air by Yellowstone moves east, too.

****

Eruption: Yellowblown™ Book One is offered at the special introductory price of 99 cents for a short time, so grab your copy now. http://www.amazon.com/Eruption-YellowblownTM-Book-J-Hughey-ebook/dp/B00MRHAIRO

If you’d like a chance to win some Yellowblown™ swag made with a series logo and Eruption cover charm, sign up for J. Hughey’s newsletter at www.jillhughey.com/contact.



About J. Hughey

J. Hughey knows what a girl wants. Independence. One or two no-matter-what-happens friends. A smokin’ hot romance. A basic understanding of geological concepts. Huh? Okay, maybe not every girl is into geology, but J. Hughey is, and in the Yellowblown™ series she combines her passion for a timeless love story with her interest in geeky stuff to help Violet Perch get a life, despite an ongoing global catastrophe.

J. Hughey also writes historical romance as Jill Hughey.


Twitter: @jillhughey
Newsletter Subscribe: http://www.jillhughey.com/contact

Friday, September 12, 2014

New Release, Blog Tours, Free Reading - Yes, It's a Newsletter at Last!

Bad, bad girl, Lisabet! You haven't put out a newsletter since June! What a dereliction of your duty to your readers! It's shameful. How many strokes do you think you deserve for that?
Man With Whip[
I'm sorry, Master. I'll make up for it, I promise. I'll be very prompt and very good from now on. And I'll give my readers lots of goodies...!

New and Upcoming Releases

Yes, I admit I've been remiss, but I promise to make up for it in this newsletter, because I've got tons to share with you.

I have three new releases this month, to start with. Today is general release day for The Ingredients of Bliss. The book is now available at Amazon US, Amazon UK, All Romance Ebooks, with Barnes and Noble and other venues coming soon. You really should buy direct from TB, though. That's the only place where you'll get my exclusive bonus chapter, which may very well be the hottest in the entire book (and if you've read any of my excerpts, you'll realize that's hot!)

I've got a blog tour for the book going on now, sponsored by Totally Bound.
Today, I'm featured at the website, with a tell-all interview about the book. Tomorrow I'll be over at Kathy's Book Reviews and More. The whole tour schedule is on my blog and I'll be updating the links as they go live. There's also a giveaway on the tour home page, where you can enter every day and win a copy of Her Secret Ingredient, the prequel to the new book.

Bangkok Noir Cover
Today is also release day for the new Excessica edition of my BDSM erotic thriller Bangkok Noir. This book is definitely not romance, but if you enjoy suspense laced with steamy BDSM sex, check it out. It has received several five star reviews at Amazon.

Finally, last week saw the release of Cheyenne Blue's lesbian anthology Forbidden Fruit, which includes my story "The Last Stone. Some rave reviews already for this book, too. And in case you missed it, there's a blog tour on for this book as well. You can win a bunch of F/F fiction by the Forbidden Fruit authors. Go to the tour home page for details.


Speaking of reviews, Ashley Lister gave Rajasthani Moon an enthusiastic one at Erotica Revealed this month. He writes:
Not only does Lisabet have a sophisticated command of detail that brings each narrative to life, she also has an astute focus on plot that allows her to create and combine genre tropes as she tells a specific and enjoyable story.
Read the whole review here.

Other News

Since I've left you unattended for so long, I've added a long, lusciously romantic story to my free stories page. Goldberg Variations is a tale about family, music, sex, and sharing. Check it out. And while you're there, sample some of the other offerings you'll find on free reading page. They are all neatly categorized and range from transgressive and intense erotica to almost sweet romance.

I started working on the The Gazillionaire and the Virgin, but then I got distracted by a new story about a trio of lesbian witches, set in Gloucester, Mass. I think the witches are going to make me finish their tale befor I can return to my high-powered Silicon Valley executive and her (yes, her) brilliant but virginal swain.

Those of you who follow my blog already know that I post a kiss excerpt almost every Sunday, as part of the Sunday Snog blog meme. This Sunday is a bit special. We're doing a Snog for Sommer, an event to support our fellow author Sommer Marsden, who's helping her husband battle against pancreatic cancer.

snog for sommer button

I will be giving away prizes plus committing to donate in response to every comment I get. You can donate, too. Just go to SmutForGood.co.uk.

For my September VIP readers contest, I'll be giving away a copy of The Ingredients of Bliss - with the extra chapter! Only people on my email list are eligible though. If you want to join, just send me email at at lisabet [at] lisabetsarai [dot] com with the subject line "VIP subscription" and I'll get you signed up right away. I'll announce the contest rules on the mailing list next week!

Lisabet's Pick of the Month

My September pick of the month is Bitches Be Writin', Alisa Anderson's blog. Alisa was my guest at Beyond Romance last week, with a great excerpt. Then I discovered she was hosting my blog tour this week. I just hopped over and found she's featuring another of my favorite author, Cecilia Tan. Definitely a lady who shares my tastes!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ingredients of Bliss Blog Tour



Totally Bound's exclusive blog tour for my new release The Ingredients of Bliss is on now! We're giving away a bunch of great prizes, including a copy of the new book.

Here's the schedule:


10th September
Long and Short Reviews
http://www.longandshortreviews.com

11th September
Bitches be Writin'
http://bitchesbewritin.com//

12th September
Totally Bound
www.totallybound.com/lisabet-sarai-exclusive

12th September
Book Reviews and More by Kathy
http://www.bookreviewsandmorebykathy.com/

13th September
Carly's Book Reviews
http://carlysbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/?zx=206c516842d22076

14th September
Coffee Time Romance and More
http://coffeetimeromance.com/

15th September
Fallen Angel Reviews
http://www.fallenangelreviews.com/

16th September
Literary Nymphs
http://literarynymphshotlist.blogspot.co.uk

17th September
The (Really) Naughty Corner
http://elizabethcoldwell.wordpress.com/

Also, on the 17th we'll be running a huge party on Facebook to celebrate the release, with lots of surprises and fun.

I hope you'll participate. To encourage you, I'll also do a giveaway on this post.  I'm offering a copy of Her Secret Ingredient, the prequel to The Ingredients of Bliss.

This contest is a bit different from the usual. You can leave a new comment every day. (I can tell from the dates/times on the comment.) So you have seven chances to win just from this blog post! I hope that while you are here you will also follow the link to today's tour posts. (And enter there, of course!)


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Writer…Or, Procrastination Central

By Jorja Lovett


One of the biggest problems I face as a writer is concentration. Not ideal when you're self-employed and mistress of your own destiny. There are so many distractions out there it's almost impossible to stay focused.
I mean, there's the research for a start. Unfortunately I don't get paid for the hours spent ogling half naked men for 'inspiration' or else I'd be a millionaire by now. Damn you Pinterest!

Working from home, although preferable to actually going to work, puts so many temptations in the way of a writer. The television and the fridge are my personal nemeses. I can't seem to write more than a chapter before I find an excuse to reward myself with an episode of my favourite show, or some chocolate.

Procrastination also stretches to social media activities. Authors are told to build up their online presence and become accessible to readers. Cue lengthy, very important, Twitter chats on the importance of a hero's beard. Then there's the sharing of cover art, and cat pics, on Facebook, which invariably leads to playing the Odd Socks game. A curse which can only be broken once one has run out of lives and matching pairs of socks.

Usually at this point of the day guilt will then set in and there's a vague attempt at actual housework. Whoops! Is it lunchtime already? Well then, I'll stalk my inbox for news and check my book sales.

Once all other avenues have been exhausted, it's finally time to write. I'm old school, and I like to make things harder for myself. I write longhand first, and, when I eventually decipher my own handwriting, I edit as I type. It's probably twice the length of everyone else's process but it seems to be the only way I can work. For no logical reason, the words flow better for me with a biro and a reporter's notebook than by typing straight into a document.
So, my pen is poised, but wait, I need to refresh my memory with what I had written yesterday. And you can't read without having a cup of tea…

Ah yes, I was leading up to the big love scene. 
 
Now, there are said to be two types of writers – plotters and pantsters. Naturally, I claim to be neither one, nor the other. I'm something of a hybrid. Generally, I have an outline of the story, or scene, before I begin writing. However, my characters have a habit of hijacking my plans and steering the plot in a completely different direction from the one I'd laid out in the synopsis.

Before I commit pen to paper, I mull over the scene I want to create. Never underestimate the power of mulling. 
 
'There was a heartbeat before Nate captured her lips with his.'…leads into the hot sex scene which will be completed another day since it's time to cook dinner.

And there you have it, the reasons my book releases are so sporadic - my brain is prone to unsanctioned vacation time without me. At present, I have two half-finished manuscripts. One is a contemporary romance between a wedding planner and a jaded Earl-in-waiting. The other, is a shifter ménage. Hopefully I will finish one before Brain decides it's time for another trip to La-La land!

Until then, I will leave you with details of my latest release from Totally Bound, Pyramid of Passion. Available on general release from September 12th.


*Childish representation of Brain courtesy of Jorja Lovett – Age 38*

Oh, almost forgot! Leave me a comment on your favorite method of procrastination, and I'll throw your name into the hat for a book from my backlist. Don't forget to include your email address!

Blurb:

Rosie Carter can’t decide—should she act on her feelings for her real-life co-worker or lose herself in the fantasy of her Ancient Egyptian lover?

Rosie Carter’s cleaning job at the museum is far from boring. She starts her night shift by finding the security guard, Nick, screwing a redhead in the office. Running from her attraction to him, she distracts herself with the newly acquired Ancient Egyptian exhibit.

The Gold of Valor catches her eye—a pendant bestowed on the Pharaoh’s soldier, Edifu. Its mystical powers transport her into the bedroom of the man himself, who thinks she’s a gift from the gods and worships her with his mouth, his tongue…

When Rosie wakes up back home she thinks it’s all been an incredibly erotic dream. Until it happens again. She rediscovers the joy of sex and a newfound confidence with her hunky warrior, but she’s caught between her fantasy life and reality. When co-worker Nick starts to show his true feelings toward her, Rosie has to decide what it is she really wants.



Excerpt
Rosie stood in awe as she was transported into a scene reminiscent of a lavish Hollywood production. With her path lit by a burning torch mounted on the wall, she could see the compact gallery had expanded, its neutral décor now a vibrant yellow adorned with colorful painted frescoes. A large bed filled the floor space, its wooden posts carved into what looked like animal paws. Like poor Alice down the rabbit hole, Rosie grew curiouser and curiouser and stepped forward to investigate.
A dark figure rose from the depths of the bed and sent her scrabbling backward onto a wooden chest. She landed atop it with a thud.
I’m so sorry to intrude. I don’t know how on earth I ended up here.” Wherever here may be. Have I sleepwalked mid-shift? Am I dreaming?
One way or another, weeks of sleep deprivation must have taken their toll. How else could she explain her appearance in someone else’s bedroom with no knowledge of how she’d got there? Unless the combination of cleaning chemicals she’d used had created some sort of hallucination. She could have mistaken their smell for the heady incense that filled her nostrils and gave her that woozy effect she got after a few glasses of wine.
The occupant’s hulking silhouette left her in no doubt about his gender. Especially when he leaped from the bed, naked. Oh my! Rosie didn’t know where to look. So she started from the shaved head and worked her way down.
Dark eyes, black kohl lined in the Egyptian fashion Rosie recognized from history books stared back at her. She followed the muscular trunk of his long body, as smooth as his head, down to the impressive cock swinging freely between strong thighs. Out of politeness, she averted her eyes, then to make sure she hadn’t exaggerated, took a second look.
Common sense screamed at her to get out after finding herself alone with a naked stranger. But she remained seated, frozen to the spot. The vision before her too surreal to fear.
The living statue of masculinity knelt at her feet, with an arm across his chest and his head bowed. “Goddess Anuke, you honor me with your presence,” he said.
He sounded so sincere but Rosie fought a bubbling laugh. Dressed in her navy uniform, she didn’t see how anyone could mistake her for a goddess. “Sir, I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else.”
My queen, mere moments have passed since I beseeched you for guidance on our forthcoming battle with the Hittites and traveling on the light of Ra you have appeared in my chamber.” Confusion shined in his almond-shaped eyes.
She stood up. Bless. She’d apparently stumbled into a mental hospital. A small sigh escaped her lips at the waste of such prime beefcake. “I am not a goddess or a queen. I’m just plain old Rosie Carter.”
The ‘patient’ rose to his feet and gave her an up-close and personal view of his anatomy. She found his appendage strangely hypnotic. With only experience of her now ex-husband as a lover, she could see exactly how much she had missed out on.
Hmm. Your strange attire would indeed appear ineffective armor for the goddess of war. If you are not the goddess herself and she has not sent you, then perhaps Qadesh? Such a gift from the goddess of sexual pleasure would surely increase a mortal’s prowess on the battlefield tenfold.” He drew a thick fingertip from the hollow of her throat to the zipper on her smock. Rosie had gone from goddess to sex toy in one fell swoop.


Author Bio:

Jorja Lovett is a British author with both Irish and Scottish roots, which makes for a very dry sense of humour. Writing since she was old enough to wield a pen, it wasn't until she joined her crit group, UCW, that she pursued her passion seriously.

Now, with Joe Manganiello as her permanent muse, if she can leave the pause button on her Magic Mike dvd long enough, she hopes to spend the rest of her days writing steamy romances.

You can stalk Jorja here: Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter