Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Blog Series: 50 Shades of Luc vs Grey

Luc Saint-Cyr
and shades
I'll be posting a commentary twice each week, Tuesdays and Fridays beginning next week. A client of mine via The Author's Secret wanted to know more about writing and what made the book 50 Shades of Grey(50S) a best seller. I told her there was a combination of things at work and that the writing itself was not what "made" the story. That prompted a challenge to read it and dissect the concepts and writing.

I'll be comparing the hero of 50S to my own hero, Luc Saint-Cyr. Because 50 shades of Luc would be too much for any mere mortal to handle all at once ;) I'll be sharing one aspect of each character per post. Likewise with writing. Luc is in six of my books, so I have plenty of material to choose from. I know him well. I will mostly refer to my book Surrender Love which was the 2010 EPIC eBook Award winner in Science Fiction Erotic Romance.


Likewise, I'll touch on the BDSM aspects. For the most part, I'll be quoting from experienced practitioners rather than using my own writing to illustrate the points here. If the practices described in 50S were to be followed in real life, would they be dangerous or harmful as some have said? We'll see.

My intention is to quote as little from 50S as possible. I do not intend to violate copyright by sharing long passages. I anticipate a sentence or two per post will be enough to show the differences. Look for 50S in the title of these posts. Graphic content will contain a warning at the beginning of the post.

I look forward to hearing from readers as I comment on this book and compare the two heroes.

Click the blue links to pick up either of these books in Kindle format.


Image credit:
"Luc Saint-Cyr and Shades" art by Kayelle Allen
Luc 3D character created Janet Elizabeth Jones 
Cover Surrender Love by Anne Cain

Six Paragraph Saturday - Vhalgenn

The Last Vhalgenn.
Six paragraphs from the opening of my audio book, The Last Vhalgenn. The book finaled for a Fantasy EPPIE in 2008 in the book A Time To... Volume 1 - The Best of The Lorelei Signal 2006, from Wolfsinger Publications. It was reprinted in 2008 by Shadowfire Press as a standalone short story. Both editions are now out of print, and the audio book is the only version available. I'm planning a sequel based on Dahryc, the child whose birth begins the perilous journey the Vhalgenn undertakes.


Duty to king and country shaped Raik's life since birth. Now, to protect them, she must betray all she holds sacred. For if she takes the newborn prince to the queen's homeland for a ritual blessing in the Old Ways, who--or what--will she bring back?
- - -


I couldn’t believe the luck of having caught Orix awake so late. He’d always been one to turn in early. Soft, his father used to say. I knew it for his love of play. My throat tightened with pleasure at the thought and I had to swallow, hard, to force it away. That we were alone amazed me even more. But war has a way of loosening rules, even in Qarth. A wartime’s ransom of jewels glittered on his hands as he reached for a bowl of golden Kellindahrii apples beside him. He bit into one and chewed.
I waited until his smiling mouth bit into the apple again and then I rose, moved to kneel between his outstretched legs and closed my callused hand around his be-ringed one to bring the fruit to my own lips. Meeting his gaze, I bit into the same place his teeth had torn and wiped my mouth with the back of a dusty hand.
“Ah, Raik,” Orix laughed. “You’ve not changed a whit.” He ran his eyes over me, then frowned and moved the candle stand closer to peer at me. “Your leathers are ripped.” He bent forward, fingers tracing the slash a scrim saber had made the night before. The blue eyes bored into mine. “Were you hurt?”
Despite my protest to the contrary, he insisted on making sure of my health with his own hands and untied the bindings of my doublet. Beneath the black leather lay a now sweat-soaked blouse of emerald Qarthian silk, the same color as his standard, which my youngest brother had borne into battle the night before. The silk had been the king’s gift the year before on my birthday: green that exactly matched my eyes. His color marked me as Orix’s as much as my clan’s cheek tattoo. The overlapping petals of the flowering Ddhumach ivy tangled itself around a diadem, the symbol for Hellesbor, clan name of my sovereign.
“The leather’s ruined, Lord. So’s the silk.”
“No matter,” he said, voice low, his gaze still holding mine. He jerked loose the ties at my throat as if he meant to strip me naked and I shivered despite the summer’s heat.

Book video for The Last Vhalgenn 

Where to find this book
iTunes http://is.gd/itunes_kayelle
Barnes and Noble - http://is.gd/MMkil7

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's Kayelle Allen's Birthday, Nab Surrender Love

Surrender Love. 
It's my birthday, but I don't want to cry. I'd rather give away a book! All day, on this blog and two others, I'll be sharing an excerpt or deleted scene. Leave a comment and you'll qualify for a drawing of Surrender Love in any ebook format.

If you leave your email, I'll send you a puzzle book in pdf just for hanging out. You're welcome to drop in at the other two spots and do the same thing, for two other books.
Romance Writers Behaving Badly
Romance Lives Forever
- - -
In this scene deleted from Surrender Love, Luc hires a decorator to redo the dungeon for Izzorah, and finds out what a small world the Tarthian Empire really is.


Luc Saint-Cyr's android butler knocked at the open door. “Sorry to interrupt, sir, but Ms. West is here to begin work on the dungeon. Shall I show her upstairs, or do you wish to speak with her first?”
 “Might as well get it over with, McDoth.” He followed him downstairs to where the decorator waited.
Dark-skinned like himself, she was taller than average, attractive in a way that bespoke good grooming and business sense. Pleasantries over, he escorted her to the second floor, stopping before he opened the dungeon. Using "lover" in conjunction with Izzorah hardly seemed intimate enough a term for how he felt, but it would have to do.
“I want to create a place where my lover can practice music, or have friends in for parties. He’ll need a studio for his drums, a piano, whatever else he might like.” He unlocked the door. “Ms. Mead says you’ve converted spaces to and from this type of playroom before.”
Ms. West hugged the portable screen she carried. “I’ve worked on the playrooms at the palace, Mr. Saint-Cyr. If the Conqueror trusts me, you can, too.”
He narrowed his eyes. “That is far from true. However, if Ms. Mead trusts you, that’s saying something.” He turned on every light and stood back while the woman walked throughout the room. He tried for a time to envision the pillory, spanking bench, racks of toys, and the oversized bed from her point-of-view, but gave up. What she did or did not think of his lifestyle was her own business. Ms. Mead said the woman had impeccable credentials and understood kink. That would suffice.
The decorator returned, making notes with a stylus. “I’ll need preferences for colors, textures, and the like. Do you have an idea what you want? And do I see you or Ms. Mead for further instructions?” She looked up.
“You’ll see Izzorah Ceeow, my lover. It will be his room to do with as he pleases. He’s been ill, and will be recuperating for a few weeks. This should give him something to do that won’t overtire him. I want him to be involved in every decision he cares to oversee. I’ll sign all the bills. Just listen to him and give him whatever he wants.”
“That sounds fun.” She hugged the screen against her chest. “When will I meet him?”
“As soon as next week, hopefully.”
Luc Saint-Cyr
“That gives me time to draw up some ideas.” The woman cast one more look around her. “I’d like to bring in my droid team for measurements and such. How soon could I do that?”
“See McDoth. He’ll set up access. Your team will need to be accompanied by him at all times.”
“Of course.” She gave him a slight bow and offered her hand.
He accepted, and bowed over it. “A pleasure doing business with you.”
“I’m honored at being chosen, Mr. Saint-Cyr. You’re a legend on Kelthia. I grew up hearing about you from two of my father’s friends.”
He clasped his hands behind him. “Did you now? And who might they be?”
“My dad was in the Thieves’ Guild. He often had Gnat and Flea over for dinner, and the two of them would spin tales about you.” She dimpled a smile. “I’ve often wondered what became of them. Haven’t seen them since I left home.”
“Who was your father?”
“I use my mother’s name for professional reasons. West is already established in the design community. I work for her company. My dad was known simply as the Raven of Kelthia.”
Luc blinked. “You are the Raven’s little girl?”
She blushed. “Not so little any more.”
“No, you’re certainly not. I remember him bragging about how smart you were. I can see he was right.” He gestured toward the door. “Shall we go?”
As she was about to leave his home, she turned toward Luc. “I understand professional secrets where the guild is concerned, but do you mind telling me if Gnat and Flea are alive? When I was little, they seemed elderly. Now that I’m older myself, I realize I had a skewed vision of their ages.” She pressed her lips together. “If you can tell me, that is.”
Those things were public knowledge. Anyone could inquire after them. “Gnat is working. Flea left the guild a few years ago and took over the House of Roget.”
“The House of Roget is a children’s home, isn’t it?”
“Yes. Flea and Gnat were adopted from there by an Arcane Master Thief.” Himself, years, and years ago. The immortal Luc held the door for her. “When I see them, I’ll tell them you asked after them.”
“Thank you.” With a wave of her fingers, she was gone.
Luc shut the door and leaned against it. “Oh hell. That was the Raven’s little girl?” He covered his face with one hand. “I am so old.”
- - -
Surrender Love
Not rebound, payback, loneliness, or great sex, and far beyond love. This is surrender.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sharing the Dream of Success #mywana #MaryKay #amwriting

Sharing my dream... 
My daughter is a Mary Kay consultant, and I was privileged to attend a success event with her last night. I enjoyed hearing the speaker, a retired national sales director. Her words about personal success, having goals, and sharing a dream with others motivated me. I believe the same thing.

I work with others through my group, Marketing for Romance Writers. Each member of MFRW is a writer who owns his or her own business producing books, and I saw again how important it is to encourage them, and help them to be their best. Every time I attend a meeting with my daughter I am energized afterward. The leadership of her unit does a great job of showing the opportunities available with Mary Kay, and the importance of having a dream.

Each author in my group is like me -- a person reaching for a dream. When I was eighteen, I started writing my first book. Over the next ten years or so, the crush of responsibilities and negativity from others convinced me I couldn't do it. I put my dream aside, thinking I'd get to it after I had a family, or after my kids finished school, or after I... (fill in the blank). It seemed I could always find something to put in that blank.

When I was nearing my fiftieth birthday, I suddenly realized how much of my life I'd spent waiting for something to happen outside my control before I stepped up and accomplished what I'd always dreamed of doing. It took me a few years of searching, writing, and networking, but I sold my first book in April 2004, right before my fifty-third birthday. Over the next two years, I discovered there were others like me all over the world who were fighting for that same dream. They had book ideas, stories within their hearts, and dreams they wanted to fulfill, and were looking for confirmation that they could do it. In 2006, I created Marketing for Romance Writers to help a dozen author friends learn what they needed to do. We shared ideas about finding readers, how to create a catchy signature, themes, blogs, promotion ideas, and more. Every week, we gained a new member.

Summer Camp
There are now over 1100 of us in MFRW, and it includes publishers, literary agents, editors, authors, and promotion specialists in many fields. All of us help one another learn and succeed. This July, the group is sponsoring Marketing Summer Camp, a free online conference to reach as many authors as possible with the message that they can accomplish their dreams. Our group's motto is the conference's theme: "Seek, teach, share, learn, succeed." Nearly every week, I receive a note from someone saying how much the group means to him or her and how much they appreciate having someone show them what they need to do, and teach them how to accomplish their goals. I feel privileged to be part of that. I have a group of eight volunteers who help me, and they are all energetic, enthusiastic promoters whom I've picked because, like me, they believe in the power of acting upon a dream.

Most of what I've accomplished with my writing, and with this marketing group, has been since my daughter married, and I hadn't shared this story with her. I did that this morning. Seeing her work on goals through Mary Kay makes me proud. She has accomplished a great deal. Her friends and the leadership in Mary Kay are devoted to ideals that I support and embrace in my own life. I'm excited to share that dream with my daughter and watch her make it happen.
MFRW Blog for Authors

I will be sixty-one tomorrow. When I look back, I don't regret the time I invested in my family. I'm glad I was able to be there when my children were growing up. Seeing my children's devotion to their spouses, children, and jobs is encouraging. Attending a Mary Kay meeting with my daughter is rewarding. I know she has opportunities to grow and succeed in her own business, and I have full faith that she will. 

Never set aside your goals. You can do whatever you dare to dream. What are your dreams? Is there something you're waiting before before you step out and act upon your dream? What do you need to change to make your dream happen? Please, share your story with me.

Friday, April 20, 2012

13 Ways You Can Go Green

JustRomance.me Blog Hop
Are you getting off or on the Love-a-Tree Tour Bus? If you followed the banner here, you're in the right place. If you’re just starting, simply click the banner to move to the next stop. Click Love-a-Tree Tour Bus to go to the beginning. Visit the participating blogs and leave a comment on each. That’s all it takes to be entered in the drawing on Sunday for a chance to win E-books, Gift Cards, and/or a Nook Simple Touch. Ready? Okay. I've punched your ticket. Here we go!

I recently read Michael Chrichton's book State of Fear, about global warming as a conspiracy by environmentalist groups. Much of the book made sense, and even knowing it was a work of fiction, I had to give some serious thought to things that I've been told about the subject over the years. But whether you are a die-hard Earth Day going-green fanatic or a conspiracy theorist, the bottom line is that we all have only this planet to live on, and we need to take care of it.

It makes no sense to trash limited resources -- or unlimited ones. Good stewardship is common sense. Why waste a good thing?

How Can I Maintain Resources?

Here are some simple suggestions.
  1. Wear clothing made from recycled material (available at many stores)
  2. Wear clothing made from organic material (natural cotton)
  3. Use recycled furniture (or buy used, or try given-to-you furniture)
  4. Eat free range food (eggs, chicken, beef, fish)
  5. Use less fuel in your car (drive carefully, no jack-rabbit starts)
  6. Use less fuel for your home (get heavier drapes, insulate)
  7. Reducing electricity use (turn off lights, heaters, A/C you're not using)
  8. Keeping items longer (not replacing with upgrades)
  9. Upgrading to better, fuel-saving technology when appropriate
  10. Reduce clean water use (think: would you waste this if you had to carry it in?)
  11. Reduce water use in your yard (lawn maintenance, washing car)
  12. Recycle plastics, glass, metal, and paper
  13. Read eBooks
  14. Read eBooks (saving paper, ink, and distribution costs)

How Green Are You?

Think you already do a good job? Want to find out how sustainable your personal lifestyle really is? Here's a "Footprint Calculator" that will allow you to answer a few questions and give you an idea of how well you manage your green lifestyle.
http://www.earthday.org/footprint-calculator


Okay, I've given you some ideas. Which of these do you think you'd pick? Leave a comment, and then click Next in the upper right corner of the page.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Finding Joy - Update Rownd 2 April 18 #row80

Row 80
I'm updating my blog with info on my latest round of writing. I'm finding that Sundays are harder to update than I thought they'd be. Two weeks ago was Easter, and I was part of a blog hop - and then last Sunday was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, which I wanted to talk about. This coming Sunday I'm involved in another blog hop for Earth Day.

Perhaps Wednesday will be my only update day for a bit. No matter which day I report about it, I have good news.

I've completed over 30,000 words since beginning this challenge, and I'm close to finishing a novel that's been fighting me for ages. I'm excited about writing and determined to complete this challenge successfully. Finding a program that focused on action rather than outcome has made the difference for me.

It's not how many words I can write per day, per session, or per month. It's the dedication to the art of creating them. By not setting a word goal related to numbers, but to time spent in my chair actually writing, I've accomplished far more than a few words per day. I've been able to change my perception about my job (writing), and make it enjoyable again.

That's been the greatest result of this challenge so far, and the most unexpected. Finding joy.
- - -

Sunday, April 15, 2012

How Did it Feel Aboard the Titanic - 100 Yrs Ago

The Titanic
HMS Titanic
As a child, I was fascinated to learn that a huge ship called the Titanic had sunk and cost 1503 people their lives. The idea of it sailing without enough lifeboats, and possibly with some of the people locked in the hold and not permitted to escape shocked me. I could not imagine how anyone could be so cruel to another person.

When research helped reveal the truth, that the ship's gates had indeed been locked, dooming poor passengers to their death, it haunted me. Less than 32% of the total passengers and crew survived. How many might have, if they'd been given a chance to fight for their lives? How did it feel, being behind locked bars, while the ship sank with no way to escape?

My father had been born a few days after the Titanic sank, the same year, so I had his birthdate as a reminder, but  I had been too moved by details of the tragic event to ever forget.

Now, one hundred years later, the media coverage is probably more intense than it was back then, when the disaster actually happened. So much attention has been focused on the event, that I think we tend to forget the human aspect of the sinking.

What was it like? One can barely imagine the terror of being in the midst of the sea and having your safety snatched away in the dark. Fill your tub with water as cold as you can make it, and dump in ice. The seas that night were home to icebergs. Climb into the tub, fully clothed, and see how long it takes before you begin to shiver. Then think about the fact that out there in the ocean, there is no bottom to touch -- if you want to live. You can't climb out when you're tired. You have to stay there, keeping yourself afloat on whatever you can find in the water. Sharks did not swim that far north - it was too cold for them. Most people died within minutes of entering the water, and most, but not all, sank to the bottom. Some floated in the sea, and were later pulled out and taken ashore for burial. One hundred-fifty were buried in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

As a result of this ship's sad tale, maritime law changed. Safety regulations sharpened, and the event made people swear to never let such a tragedy happen again. There have been sinkings since, and deaths, but Titanic still ranks among the top ten disasters at sea, in regards to lives lost.

For more on disasters at sea, you may want to read these articles:
 Was the Sinking of the Titanic the Worst Sea Disaster
 Worst Cruise Ship Disasters

image credit (HMS Titanic): public domain / Wikipedia

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Update Rownd 2 April 11 #row80

I didn't report on Sunday because I had an Easter themed blog up for a hop. So today covers an entire week.

The challenge is turning out to be a wonderful encouragement for me. The people have been helpful and kind, and I'm gaining discipline in my writing.

At 2pm, I get offline and take one solid hour without interruptions, and write. It often stretches into longer periods. During that hour, I create new work. The other time periods are for editing and tweaking.

It isn't as hard to write as I thought it would be. For whatever reason, I thought it would be hard for me to be creative while a clock was ticking, but I've been surprised each time the alarm goes off and the time is up. I'm always eager to get back to it once I reset the alarm.

I'm enjoying writing again, and that is the biggest surprise of all. I've written four chapters, edited multiple pages, written six blog articles, critiqued three chapters for my crit group, and created a video for my company. I also studied a book on how to write non-fiction. A productive week, and one whose lessons I look forward to repeating. Thanks to the Row80 crew for putting this idea into practice.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Deleted Scene: Khyff and Fawni Dine with Family

For Women Only.
This was cut from For Women Only. I always liked the scene, but it didn't add to the story, so it ended up on the cutting room floor. I saved it for a rainy day, and decided it would work on my blog. So, here's an inside peek at Khyff and Mehfawni on her homeworld as they're getting ready for dinner with her family. Unknown to Fawni, her grandmother has threatened to kill Khyff, which is the real reason he is afraid of the woman. He can't tell her or he'll blow his cover. Tight situation for him.
- - -

"This is not a good idea, Khyffy." Mehfawni fastened his shirt and slid her hands across his chest. "My grandmama will be there. I know she frightens you."
"Do I have to sit anywhere near her?"
"No. I'll put you between me and my father. Tovar will be across from you. But we don't eat at a table the way humans do. We sit on the floor with our feet down in a pit. The table is quite low. Our utensils are like yours though. Sharp knives, a spoon, a piercer to pick up food with. Like a fork with two tines. Napkin. But we're not as dainty as humans." She kissed his chin. "We burp after we eat. It means the food was good."
"You burp?" He shook his head. "You're such a lady. I can't imagine that."
"Me?" Mehfawni covered her mouth and giggled. "I'm a warrior, Khyffy. Trust me. I burp. I thought you were too polite for such things."
"Too funny." He rubbed his nose against hers. "I manage an awesome burp now and then. Usually when I'm around other guys."
Her father's voice sounded through the door. "Dinner time."
"Come on, Khyffy." She took his hand. "Let's eat."
- - -
Antonello Brothers 2: For Women Only (a Tarthian Empire Story)
Genre: Erotic Science Fiction Romance, Action Adventure, Multicultural, Interspecies
Loose Id: http://www.loose-id.com/Antonello-Brothers-2-For-Women-Only.aspx
Kindle http://tinyurl.com/fwo-khyff-k
Print http://tinyurl.com/fwo-khyff-p
Barnes & Noble: http://is.gd/forwomenonly_bn
Fictionwise: http://is.gd/forwomenonly

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Fun Character Easter Eggs You Can Make

Character Easter Eggs! 
While I pondered how to decorate my blog for Easter, I cruised through one of my favorite photo sites, RGB Stock. They provide wonderful free images for blogs and other sites, and the selection is vast. When I typed Easter in the search box, it gave me hundreds of choices.

Mehfawni
I chose a set of four eggs, downloaded the image, and created four separate frames from it. The results are displayed here. If you'd like to create your own, here's the link to the original egg frame image.



Instructions

I opened mine in Photoshop, copied each egg and pasted it into a new document. I then used the Quick Selection tool to select the inside portion of the egg (which in the original is white and shaded), and deleted it. I checked the edges carefully to ensure I'd made a clean deletion and hadn't left white edges.

I then moved the egg image to the top of the document to have room for the names at the bottom. I set the blending layer to drop shadow on the egg layer to create a 3D effect. I then opened images for the characters, and set each to the size 4.25", and dragged them into the egg frame. After adding text to match the egg color, I saved the document at 50% size. Each is about 610x870, small enough to go in a blog, but big enough to see detail. For example, the Kin characters Mehfawni and Senth, have catlike eyes. Rah has cat's ears.
Senth

If you decide to make some, feel free to leave a link in the comments! I'd love to see how yours came out. Click any egg in the article to open full size. I created a set for three couples from my books.

Khyff and Mehfawni from For Women Only

NarrAy
Antonello Brothers 2: For Women Only (a Tarthian Empire Story)
Khyff is a master of pleasure with a tortured soul. Can Mehfawni redeem the man her people destroyed, or will he destroy her for trying?


Loose Id: http://www.loose-id.com/Antonello-Brothers-2-For-Women-Only.aspx
Kindle http://tinyurl.com/fwo-khyff-k
Print http://tinyurl.com/fwo-khyff-p
Barnes & Noble: http://is.gd/forwomenonly_bn
Fictionwise: http://is.gd/forwomenonly

Senth and NarrAy from At the Mercy of Her Pleasure

Luc
Antonello Brothers 1: At the Mercy of Her Pleasure (a Tarthian Empire Story)
When NarrAy steals a kiss from Senth, he steals her heart, but how much more are they willing to take -- for each other?
Loose Id: http://tinyurl.com/atthemercy
Kindle:
http://tinyurl.com/atthemercy-k
Get an electronic autograph for the Kindle version of this book at
Kindlegraph.
Print:
http://tinyurl.com/atthemercy-p
Barnes & Noble: http://is.gd/atthemercy_bn
Fictionwise:
http://is.gd/atthemercy


Rah

Luc and Rah from Surrender Love (A Tarthian Empire Story)


Not rebound, payback, loneliness, or great sex, and far beyond love. This is surrender.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fun New Software for Zip #amwriting

Pro Writing Aid
I've been enjoying a new piece of software called Pro Writing Aid. It's my favorite price: Free. You need at least 200 words for the program to work, but since I'm working on a novel, that isn't a problem for me.

Click the title under the logo to try it out. It opens in a new window. No worries about your material ending up anywhere else. You can clear the page when you leave, but it doesn't keep any information if you don't.

Below is its analysis summary of this article. Click the image to see it full sized.

Click to view in larger size.
Once you paste in your material, click Analyze, and watch the magic happen. This program gives you words that are homynyms, shows you alliteration, sentence length variations, diction issues, sticky sentences (cumbersome or full of phrases), and much more. Each section is shown in its own neat window. Click the tab sections on the left to open the page and see the text.

I keep my document open and make changes to it while referring to the website. When I'm satisfied, I copy, clear the old data, paste the new, and analyze again. Sometimes I find things that it notes are not really "issues." For example, it tags the word "said" as a dialog tag, even if I'm not using it that way in context. I might have written, "She said you were wrong." That's not a tag, but the software only catches the word said. It also picks up growled, whispered, and other such words. These can be helpful catches. Just be aware that now and then, it may be taking them out of context.

Nothing beats a good critique partner or beta reader. Mine are worth far more than gold. But in a pinch, this little program is a great help.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Rownd Two Throwback Twitter Party #Row80

Retro Turntable.
When I heard this was Rownd Two, I kept looking at that word and wondering what was wrong with it. Finally realized it was not Round but Rownd and that bothered me. I'm one of those writers who has to make things perfect before moving to the next step. Which is why I need the ROW80 program. It helps me move on and stop looking at the step I'm on now. Click here for more on ROW80.

I tend to edit and nitpick rather than create. Well, this afternoon I wrote about three pages of a hot scene because I was able to stop playing with details and just get the words on the page. Knowing I had to commit a solid hour to writing made a huge difference. When the timer went off, I was stunned. I was just getting into it! Can't wait to get back and finish the scene.

Today's theme is for the Twitter party is retro. I picked a turntable as my image because I have turned around the way I do things. I am a fairly modern person, so a retro theme idea was not easy for me. I write Science Fiction Romance, and I'm usually the one who tries new software and programs first. My friends come to me to figure out how to make things work. ;)

So here's how to do a ROW80 Twitter party for those of you who want to know! What is a Twitter party?  This is where we all stop in to the #ROW80 hashtag all day long and play and party together—sharing news, pictures, music, and merriment. It’s going to be a great time! Come over to Twitter, put in the hashtag, and then visit all the fun sites that feature throwback themes and talk about writing. That's it. Hard? Nah! Fun? You betcha.

Look for me on Twitter. I'll be the one in the 70's glam garb. Try not to get glitter on yourself, okay? ;)

Do you need a way to get past writer's block, or solve a problem? What is it? What's holding up your writing?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Beginning the Row 80 Challenge Kayelle Allen 040212

Row 80. 
I'm beginning the Row 80 Challenge today. What is that? It's the writing challenge that knows you have a life and doesn't expect you to drop out of it to get something done. Find out more here: http://aroundofwordsin80days.wordpress.com/ 

I don't do NaNo. I'm happy for those who do, but I don't write well under that kind of pressure. Besides, if I say I'm going to write 1000 words a day, and I write a great scene that's complete and ready to go but it's only 728 words, have I failed? I don't think so. So, no, I don't do X-words-a-day-or-bust writing challenges. They don't appeal to me. If they float your boat, go for it.

I'm going to complete a ms called Surrender Trust by June 15, 2012. I have written 77,712 words so far. I am halfway through chapter twenty-two. This will be a big book - a full sized novel. It's a sequel, and the middle book of a trilogy. I've been fighting with it for three long freaking years.


My specific, measurable goal
I will write five days per week, for one hour per day. I do not have a goal of X number of words, because within one hour I might write ten perfect words, a thousand that need huge amounts of editing, or five hundred that aren't too bad and can be tweaked on the next go around. The point is to spend the time writing. If I'm on the internet, I can't accomplish the goal. If I'm playing spider solitaire, it's not happening. I can't email friends and write the book. So that's my goal. Take it or leave it. 

I'm committed. I've worked on this book for so long that it worries me. There are times when I think I'll never get past it. Right now, I can't quit and go work on other things, because of contracts and obligations. Scared? Yes. Worried? A little. But I refuse to quit. So there.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Six Paragraph Sunday - Mehfawni


Mehfawni Ruh.
Ambassador Mehfawni Ruh is on Tarth to meet with the Conqueror, Empress Rheyn Destoiya, but first, a little time out for fun. The empress has arranged for her to visit The Chocolate Works, a male strip club. For the backwater Kin princess, this is a whole new experience, and one she's not altogether sure she's going to like.
- - -

Dreena leaned toward Mehfawni and gestured her closer. “The next act” -- she yelled over the escalating racket -- “is my favorite.” The place erupted in cheers, applause, whistles and shouts. “These guys are cousins and the youngest is hotter than a firestorm. His name’s Rooshkah and he’s mine.” She shrugged. “On nights I can afford him, anyway. Wait’ll you see this guy!” She stood and cheered.

“Ladies” -- announced a deep voice from the darkened stage -- “and all the rest of you wild animals out there” -- more screams punctuated the words, -- “the Chocolate Works proudly presents: Kin in Captivity!”

Kin dancer
The pounding rhythm of Kin drums rose. No other sound in the world matched their rich bass. Back home, only married males played them in public. The day of his wedding, when her brother Dallon joined their father and other married males in the clan for the ritual performance, she’d wept with pride for him. Here, fists pounded on tables in time with the sacred beat. As if the rumbling booms did not signal a call to the council fires of her family. Or call her to worship the creator, to join her clan in singing the ancient praises; or were a thunder of joy to announce the happy birth of a child. The other Kin delegates, representatives of her people, clapped their hands and laughed. Mehfawni’s ears laid back.

The stage began to lighten, revealing two colossal-sized Kin males dressed in white leather studded with blue beads. They stood with their backs to the audience, a long, thick chain linking their slave collars. They faced each other and then drew apart, revealing a third Kin, this one shorter. Their chains also linked him to them, connecting the three in a loop. The two tallest pulled at their chains, bodies grinding to the thundering drums.
 
Unable to break the links alone, the two in front teamed up and snapped the chain between them. The third Kin fell to his knees, clutching and tugging at his slave collar, head tossing, unable to free himself.

The two darker-haired males circled him, hips thrusting to the ponderous throb of raw sound. Each went down on one knee with the youngest cousin between them and, one at a time, wound his chains around their fists and freed him. Screams of delight rose in a crescendo of sound.
- - -
From For Women Only
Khyff is a master of pleasure with a tortured soul. Can Mehfawni redeem the man her people destroyed, or will he destroy her for trying?
Warning: this book contains smokin' hot sex, humor, and angst. This combination has been proven to be addictive. Author assumes no responsibility for the reader's battery consumption in adult toys while reading this book.
Genre: Erotic Science Fiction Romance, Action Adventure, Multicultural, Interspecies
Loose Id: http://www.loose-id.com/Antonello-Brothers-2-For-Women-Only.aspx
Kindle http://tinyurl.com/fwo-khyff-k
Print http://tinyurl.com/fwo-khyff-p
Barnes & Noble: http://is.gd/forwomenonly_bn
Fictionwise: http://is.gd/forwomenonly