Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Joy of Hammocks

Here’s a bit from my historical blog that reminded me of a passage from my book, Boom!

If you want to be a successful writer you have to learn to nap. When we nap, we are resting our eyes while our imaginations soar. We can sort and sift, visualizing our hero and or heroine, creating scenarios for their story.

Napping requires a prone position. We might drift off, just far enough to rescue our creative spirit from the chaos of everyday life.

Where to nap? A bed is the obvious place, or in the living room recliner with the footrest up; a hammock is the best napping invention ever.

Here’s the passage from Boom! Unfortunately, Jessie’s happy sojourn in her hammock is rudely interrupted.

Later, lying in a hammock, reading on her kindle, she lost track of time. She’d loaded the device with romance novels before leaving home. Gary had warned her that the closest bookstore was an hour away, and might not have books in English. Even if she ran out of ebooks, the hotel bar had free wireless internet and she could download from Amazon to her notebook.

As a little treat to herself, she occasionally read a bit of her own bestseller, savoring the thrill of seeing her pen name on the cover page. She even had the blue-eyed hunk from the cover as desktop wallpaper on her notebook computer—just to get the day off to a good start, and the creative juices flowing. Yes, it had been a great idea to come to this remote beach—she was starting to unwind. She hummed the theme from Titanic.

What a wonderful thing a hammock was. Whoever invented it must have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Why did North Americans not make use of this simple device? It was heaven to sink into the folds of the hammock slung between two palm trees and escape into romance for hours at a time. Occasionally, she closed her eyes, listening to the warm wind rustling the palm branches high above.

Suddenly, her whole body went rigid as a snarling black creature flew at her from nowhere and became tangled in the strings of the hammock at her feet. Goosebumps shivered across her skin. A fleeting image of Disney’s Tasmanian Devil flashed through her mind as she held her breath, adrenaline pumping. Three inch long flying black things that buzzed angrily weren’t something she wanted to be anywhere near.

The flight instinct took hold and she struggled to get out of the deep hammock, eyes riveted on the angry thing from hell. The hammock tipped and she fell to the grass, screaming loudly, the kindle grasped tightly in her hand. Breathless and shaking, down on all fours, she watched the winged monster take flight and disappear as quickly as it had come.

Anyone else love to relax in a hammock?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

“OMG Your Photo!”

Enjoy Tanith Davenport's take on publicity photos.

When I first became a writer, one of my favourite parts was the comparative lack of visibility. People may learn my name, but they’re unlikely to know my face. Just as well for them, since I’ve known it for years and it’s not that exciting. Unfortunately, having to pose for publicity shots has brought one fact into sharp focus – my friends don’t think my face is that exciting either.

Believe me, there are few things less flattering to hear when your new photo comes up than “Oh my God, your photo is amazing! It looks nothing like you!” I’m under no illusions about my looks – I have mirrors. I also know that whatever magic I can work with make-up is nothing compared to what a photographer can do with a good stylist and great lighting. But I didn’t expect the difference to be quite such a source of enthusiasm.

I suppose it could be worse. I’ve known people to use someone else’s picture for their erotica rather than risk putting off the public with their own. And I’ve never had any readers actually abuse my photos, as I’ve seen happen to other erotica writers. Just as well really, since there’s not much more I could do to improve them apart from bring a better face to the shoot.

Maybe I should learn to be flattered. It’s obviously meant as a compliment. But please, if you meet me at a festival, don’t tell me I look nothing like my photo. I’ve got green hair – I’m hard to miss. And it is me in that shot, I promise. Even if it looks amazing and nothing like me.

Here's a blurb for Tanith's book Sleepwalker
Tally Haslam has too much to deal with. A herbalist and aromatherapist, her latest creation – an aphrodisiac potion – remains in unsaleable condition as she has nobody to test it with. And, much to her annoyance, she sleepwalks.
Hoping to get away from it all for a weekend, Tally travels to nearby Madigan Hall for their yearly Paranormal Evening—but on the first night she wakes up outside the bedroom of another guest: Kyle Hunter, who has chosen to pleasure himself with the door open. Tally escapes without being seen, but is unable to get Kyle out of her head—especially when she finds herself at the same table at him the following evening.
However, Tally’s world is turned upside down when, at the paranormal dinner, she encounters the ghost of the Blue Lady, who seems determined not to leave her alone—and shows a disturbing penchant, when Tally sleepwalks again, for leading her astray…

Tanith has been writing for ten years and first got into erotic romance through the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writer’s Scheme. Besides writing, her first loves are rock music and travel. She lives in Yorkshire with her long-suffering husband and cats.
Visit her website  or click here to read an excerpt from Sleepwalker. (Amazon UK link) or Dot com

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Definitely Not a Promo

I was asked to write a blog that wasn't – Buy my book.
Being an author means life is divided into two parts – write the book or promo the book (Capri's Fate). So trying to come up with a non-promo blog almost broke my brain. Then I thought about my latest book – (Capri's Fate) which I am not promoting – and wondered what was different/special about it and it hit me – my sense of humour. (Note: Canadian spelling – not a typo)

I'm a little off the wall when it comes to what I find funny. I've often been the only one in a quiet theatre chuckling at some subtle joke – or worse- sniggering at the lead up to the gag/punch that I see coming.

In my latest – which again I must insist just because I mentioned it -I am not promoting it (Capri's Fate), I wrote in a lot more humour. Humour which I know went straight over some people's heads – this is from responses to book. So I thought I would have some examples of what I find funny and why. Here are some sayings/questions and thoughts I've collected.

Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are flat?
Now this is just pain funny – we all do it. Press the button. Nothing happens. Shake the remote and press harder – it's global human nature and it's silly and silly is funny.

If the temperature is zero outside today and it's going to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold will it be?  Being horrid at math, this question terrifies me until I look at it from a Canadian perspective and the answer is - really friggin' cold! And when it gets to that temperature – all you can do is laugh – but do that indoors or your lungs will freeze. And while you're indoors - read a book. (Capri's Fate)

Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, 'I think I'll squeeze these pink dangly things there and drink whatever comes out?'
Now I'm an erotic romance writer and the possibilities that come from this statement are too numerous to mention. But all of them are just ludicrous (meaning really silly – not the rapper with the same name – which is just ludicrous in its own right)

And lastly

Do I even have to explain why that is hysterical? Or is it just me?

Blurb - What's a woman to do when a voice follows her home and makes mad, passionate love to her?

Corporate business woman, Capricious Gray, is dragged to a sex toy convention by her best friend. Once a shocking, mysterious disembodied voice helps her with her purchases, it follows her home. Passion ensues, leaving Capri torn between lust for her fantasy lover and the desperate need for reality in her life.

Thall, son of one of the Fates, harbors the irrepressible need to be with the woman he's desired from afar for years. In order to make her his, once and for all, he must help Capri get past her fears, including the fear of what he represents - a fantasy.

Can fantasy become a reality for these two lovers?

Excerpt – Set up – Capri and her best friend, Kat, are in an Irish pub and have had a couple of drinks.

"Whole story. Don't interrupt. When we were walking through the displays at the sex toy convention, I heard a voice. He spoke to me, but I couldn't see who it was. He followed me home."

"A stalker!" Kat popped her hand over her lips.

"No. A Fate. Or actually, the son of a Fate." As I continued with my rambling and muddled, but detailed explanation, our waitress deposited round number four. I was half finished with it when I got to the part – "And the sex was so hot, but he isn't real, so I told him to go away. Cause I need a man. A real man. I can't date the air. And now I miss him."

Kat leaned over toward me. Her breath smelled like cream ale. "So, what was it like?"

"The sex?"

"No, the nipple clamps. I really wanted to buy a pair."

"Kat." I fell back against the chair and rubbed my face. "I just told you I met a Fate and had incredible beach sex and all you got out of it was I own nipple clamps."

A frigid chill ran down my back. I glanced up. Every male in the bar was staring at me. Most had that stupid, horny grin on their faces. Why? Because the second I said, I own nipple clamps, the room went dead silent and everyone heard me.

So I did what any self-respecting but totally humiliated woman would do, I ordered another beer.

Kelly-Anne brought it over and smiled. She was practically my bitch by now as I'd been over tipping the whole night. "Patrick said this one's on the house."

"Well you can tell Patrick, I'm not gonna show him my nipple clamps." I glanced up at the other patrons. "Or anybody else."

A case of the giggles hit Kat. She kept trying to tell me something, but would shake with laughter and could only spit out a garbled mess of words. "Yo zed plmps."

Four and a half Guinness Draughts in you and it doesn't take long for the infectious giggling to invade your body. I wiped the tears of laughter from my eyes and started singing, "When Irish eyes are smiling. De da de dum, I don't know the words. But when Irish eyes are smiling…de dum de de da dum dee." I held that last note for several seconds. And proudly I might add, I was only a little off key.

"Okay. Okay. I got it." Kat placed her hand on her chest and tried to control her breathing. "You said nipple clamps!" She burst into hysterics and knocked over her empty beer glass.

"Time to go." I stood and swayed. My knees buckled. The chair pad rose up and met my butt. No, reverse that, I sat down.

Buy Links – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/309990

Where to find me - Blog - http://myeroticnotions.blogspot.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/daryl.devore
Facebook Author Page - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Daryl-Devore/280168402052520
Twitter - http://twitter.com/daryldevore
Google+ - Daryl Devore
Wattpad - http://www.wattpad.com/user/DarylDevore
GoodReads Author Page - http://www.goodreads.com/DarylDevore
Amazon Author Page - http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004TJ1354

Daryl Devore lives in an in old farmhouse in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, two cats, a large salt water aquarium full of fish and some ghosts. Her daughter is grown and has flown the nest. Daryl loves to take long walks up her quiet country road, or snow shoe across the back acres and in the summer, kayak along the St. Lawrence River. She has touched a moon rock, a mammoth and a meteorite. She's been deep in the ocean in a submarine, flew high over Niagara Falls in a helicopter and used the ladies room in a royal palace. Life's an adventure and Daryl's having fun living it.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Welcome to Victoria

Let me take you on a tour of the beautiful city where I live.

I love Victoria so much, I used it as the setting for my novel, Boom! Listen to Your Heart.

Victoria is an unusual Canadian city, primarily because of its geographic location. It’s actually located in a sub tropical region. I have palm trees growing in my yard! It’s also one of Canada’s oldest cities, rising to prominence during the Klondike Gold Rush.
Lining up for licenses to go to the Klondike

Miners wanting to go to the Klondike had to obtain a license in Victoria.

Tourism is one of Victoria’s main industries, mainly because of its climate, but also its history. It was at one time reputed to be more English than England. It’s also been called the city of “the newly wed and nearly dead" because of the large number of people who retire there.

The iconic Empress Hotel is a recognized symbol of the city, a national historic site. Click on the link to read more about its history.
While I’ve enjoyed High Tea many times there, I didn’t use the hotel in my book.

Nor did I include the famous Parliament Buildings. And having my hero and heroine take a ride in a horse drawn carriage might have been a good idea!

Well known places I did use include the Lieutenant Governor’s mansion and Craigdarroch Castle, both located in Rockland, a well-to-do neighborhood of Victoria. This is the area where I set the MacLure mansion that is the focal point for the suspense part of my story. Samuel MacLure was an architect and you can read more about the homes he designed here.
Government House
Craigdarroch Castle

Other landmarks I used include Russell’s book store, a well known bookseller on Fort Street, and Simply the Best, a small store on Broad Street where you can buy an amazing array of high quality merchandise, including Mont Blanc pens (my heroine purchases one).

I’ve often enjoyed great pizzas at Romeo’s, a mainstay of Victoria’s Italian eateries. I set one of my pivotal scenes there.

And of course you can’t have a story that moves from Victoria to Vancouver without including BC Ferries.

The main thing I like about my city is its size. It’s the capital city of British Columbia, but because it’s located on an island, it hasn’t fallen victim to urban sprawl. Everything is within easy reach, including the bigger cities of Vancouver and Seattle. Traffic jams are rare and short lived. It has a small town feel with a big city’s opportunities for culture and entertainment.

If you’ve never visited, we’d love to welcome you, and if you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of visitors who’ve enjoyed our city, come on back.

My hero and heroine, Michael and Jessie would be proud if you experienced their city through the pages of their love story.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Eight Books for 99 cents!

I am excited to be one of the featured authors in an anthology of romantic suspense books, eight in all available on kindle for only 99 cents. The Ultimate Romantic Suspense Box.
Nancy Radke is one of my co-anthologists. Today she is talking about her featured book, Courage Dares.

Thanks for inviting me today, Roxanne.
Courage Dares was born out of a summer spent working in a forest fire lookout, which I did with my husband, and a course in winter survival that my husband took. For their "field trip," they used snowshoes and hiked into the Cascades and spent the night in their tents. We owned a backpacker's tent that was large compared to the others, and my husband was the envy of his group. One man did not follow the leader's advice and became hypothermic. They got him warmed up just in time.

That gave me a background for a cliff-hanger suspense story. The heroine, Mary, has heavy emotional issues. As a child, she saw her mother stabbed to death, then her father was recently killed when he tried to stop a jewelry store robbery (which took place in the book, Stolen Secrets). With so many issues on the heroine's part, I needed a strong hero. His issue was that he had never lost. His teams always won, he was top in his class, he was a fighter pilot. So every time he thinks he's rescued Mary, and gotten away from the killers who kidnapped them, he fails. He doesn't give up, but only because that isn't an option. He has to fight through this new feeling of not being able to win.

The Box is available at this price for a limited time only. Click on the link above to get yours today and enjoy great stories like Nancy's.

Nancy's Bio:
Nancy Radke grew up on a  ranch in SE Washinton State. She attended a one-room country school through the eighth grade. She learned to ride bareback at age 3 (Really! It was a common practice.) She spent most of her childhood exploring the Blue Mountain trails that bordered the ranchlands. These long rides provided plenty of time to make up stories. Her first novel was set in the Blues, and is entitled APPALOOSA BLUES. TURNAGAIN LOVE was the first one published. It rated a four star review from Affaire de Coeur.

Her next book was CLOSED DOORS, a novel about a man who couldn't read. This was especially interesting to Ms. Radke, as she taught remedial reading, sixth grade, and other classes as a school teacher. All her stories are linked by characters who know each other from book to book. Also her books have a theme.

She has gone through survival and outward bound training, including long-distance ocean swimming. Facts from this training shows up in COURAGE DARES and SPIRIT OF A CHAMPION. Her western ranching background shows up in the pioneer series, The Traherns, and APPALOOSA BLUES.

Boxed set of #1-4 of the Sisters of Spirit novels. This gives you four super reads, ranging from a simple love story in Turnagain Love to a life and death struggle in Courage Dares. All are sweet, contemporary romances with lots of action but without the language or sex offered by many authors. These are safe to give to teenagers, grandparents, and anyone wanting pure romance.
Want a clean, funny, sweet romance? Grab TURNAGAIN LOVE, #1 Sisters of Spirit Sweet, Contemporary, Humorous.
Can’t get enough of those Turnagain Love characters? Pick up CLOSED DOORS, #2 Sisters of Spirit Sweet, Contemporary. 
Looking for a little mystery sprinkled in with the romance? Investigate STOLEN SECRETS, #3 Sisters of Spirit Romantic Mystery.
Want more sweet romances, this time with a strong suspense element? Try out COURAGE DARES, #4 Sisters of Spirit Suspense, sweet, contemporary.
Want a James Bond-ish thriller, set in a different country? Snatch up SONGS FOR PERRI, #5 Sisters of Spirit Romantic suspense, mystery, contemporary.
Want more of the Stolen Secret characters trying to uncover a mystery? Try TENNESSEE TOUCH, #6 Sisters of Spirit Romantic mystery, contemporary.
Can’t get enough of those sisters? Follow Stormy in SPIRIT OF A CHAMPION, #7 Sisters of Spirit
Pick up APPALOOSA BLUES, #8 Sisters of Spirit, set in Northeastern Oregon. Sweet Romance.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Advice to Your Younger Self - Melissa Keir

I saw this picture on Facebook and had to share it with my friends. It really hit home with me. I wasn’t an outgoing person growing up but I did like to shock others. I always justified that if people were talking about me, then they weren’t talking about my friends or family. When I look back on my younger years, there’s a lot I’d love to tell myself. There’s also so much I’d love to change. I was in such a hurry to grow up and move on with my life, that I didn’t appreciate the small things happening around me each day. I wasn’t always kind nor did I always do my best. Yet, now when I look at where I am today, I’m happy with my life. Maybe it took all those mistakes to get me to this place. I love writing and being an author. I enjoy helping other authors and reading their stories. I’ve made some wonderful friendships and have a happy homelife. My children are well-rounded and moral with a great sense of themselves. I suppose I would tell myself to slow down. Life is not a race. What would you tell your younger self? Remember to only use two words!

As a writer, Melissa likes to keep current on topics of interest in the world of writing. She’s a member of the Romance Writers of America, Mid-Michigan RWA, and EPIC. Melissa is always interested in improving her writing and believes in helping other authors. Author spotlights, book features and interviews are a few of the ways she showcases other authors on her blog.
Melissa doesn’t believe in down time. She’s always keeping busy. Melissa is a wife and mother, an elementary school teacher, a book reviewer, co-owner of a publishing company as well as an author. Her home blends two families and is a lot like the Brady Bunch, without Alice- a large grocery bill, tons of dirty dishes and a mound of laundry. She loves to write stories that feature “happy endings” and is often found plotting her next story.
Melissa loves hearing from readers!
http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMelissaKeir (fan page)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ay Chihuahua!

I often introduce pets as characters in my novels, and Boom! Listen to Your Heart is no exception. This time the hero owns two Chihuahuas.

Actually, his ex-wife owns them, but he still takes care of them from time to time. The dogs bring the hero and heroine together in the book—sort of!

Jessie gets roped in to “rescuing” Minnie and Maxie from Michael’s back yard when the ex-wife fails to take them to a kennel as promised, and Michael is on holiday in Panama. She’s never met Michael (at least she doesn’t think she has) and doesn’t like dogs, but Michael’s brother is her literary agent, and so she does it as a favor to him.

Trouble is she feels sorry for the dogs and overfeeds them. Consequently when Michael returns, he has to forfeit a large entry fee for a dog show. Minnie and Maxie no longer qualify for the 6lbs weight limit!

Jessie names the dogs Binky and Bonky because their dog tags provide only a phone number.

Here’s an excerpt when she first goes to Michael’s house to pick up the dogs. She has successfully disarmed the alarm that she didn’t expect, so her nerves are on edge. She goes in search of dog dishes.

When a search of the kitchen proved fruitless, she hesitantly opened several cupboards, looking for something to put dog food in. Whoever this guy was, he seemed to live a bare-bones existence. There were three plates, mugs, a couple of small cooking pots, a frying pan, beer and wine glasses—that was about it.

She glanced around, hesitant to pry into the rest of the house. The dogs yipped, yapped and growled. They’d sensed someone was in the house. She peeked into what was probably meant to be a cozy den. A large home gym that looked like a medieval torture device, a stationary bicycle, and a rack laden with weights almost filled it. The room even smelled like a gym.

“Huh! A jock! Might have known,” she murmured derisively.

French doors led on to the patio and the backyard. Two dogs had their paws up on the glass, teeth bared, snarling menacingly. She snorted a giggle—Chihuahuas, for goodness sake. What kind of man had two Chihuahuas? Not exactly a manly dog.

She’d sooner walk on hot coals than venture into that yard without dog food. The dishes were just outside the door—licked clean.

She hurried back to the kitchen and grabbed the bag of dog food. She fumbled with the foolproof re-closable bag, finally ripping it open. Some spilled on the floor. “Shit!”

She poured food into the frying pan, holding her breath against the unpleasant odor. Then she ventured to the French doors, unlocking one quickly and yanking it open. This evidently surprised the dogs. They jumped back, ears perked. She leaned out to put the pan on the ground, grabbed the empty dishes, and retreated back into the den, slamming the door.

The dogs attacked the food, tails wagging. Jessie swallowed the lump in her throat, her heartbeat thudding in her ears.

She walked back to the kitchen in a daze, and slumped on to a kitchen chair. “Cheap vinyl,” she murmured. “This man has no taste.”

When her breathing slowed, she washed out the dog dishes, filling one with cold water, the other with more food. She ventured back to the French doors, trying not to spill water. Every scrap of food had disappeared from the frying pan. The Chihuahuas waited expectantly, snarling when they caught sight of her, though they didn’t look quite as vicious.

“Hello, puppies. Did Daddy leave you all alone? The uncaring jerk.”

She put the water dish on the floor and opened the door a crack. Before she knew what was happening, the dogs had squirmed through the opening and rushed into the den, heading straight for the water dish. Who knew little dogs had such strength?

They drained the bowl dry in two minutes while she put the food dish outside. “Poor things. You were dying of thirst.”

Two doggy heads swivelled to look at her, ears pricked up, sharp teeth bared—miniature hounds from hell. Fear constricted her throat. It was ridiculous. Combined they were no bigger than her purse, and she was afraid of them. If only she knew their names. She swallowed hard and bent to offer her hand for them to sniff, hoping they wouldn’t tear off her fingers. They barreled past her on their way to the food dish.