Monday, November 28, 2016

People Watching - Christmas Shopping Edition

People are endlessly fascinating. As writers, we become expert people watchers and I had some fun this weekend while doing some Christmas Shopping.

Here are some folks who may or may not show up in a future story!!

  • the lady who, on Nov 27!!!, announced to everyone at the checkout that she was officially done her Christmas shopping. Her smug smile carried her through the front doors of the store while the rest of us in line either glared at her or whimpered after her with envy
  • the man wearing leather and chains with tattoos covering his hand whose toddler couldn't keep steady on his feet with all the crowds, so he hefted him up to his shoulders and softly sang Jingle Bells with him while they made their way through the store
  • the elderly couple pushing a cart through the store and chatting about Every. Last. Item. on the ends of the aisles. They held up traffic in the busy store, but, while I watched, not one person got annoyed. In fact, one teenager overheard part of the conversation and stopped to tell them that, yes, that pair of fuzzy slippers would be perfect for a twelve-year-old
  • the two women, busy chatting on their cell phones, who rounded the ends of the aisles and crashed right into each other, both of them dropping their bags and their phones. Just like a cartoon. Luckily, they straightened out the mess without too much trouble
  • the elderly woman who shoved me to the side so she could look at the jewelry I was checking out for my mom. When I stumbled (and nearly knocked down the display!), she sent me a glare and told me I should learn to be more careful. I froze a second before I started to laugh. She shoved her nose in the air, sniffed disdainfully, grabbed a necklace, and stomped off
  • the mom who pulled out a softball sized lump of some kind of homemade Playdoh while she stood in front of me in a checkout line. Her son's face lit up and he shaped and pulled and twisted quite happily while they waited for their turn to pay. Brilliant!
How about you? Spotted any great characters lately?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Layna Pimentel

Please welcome my friend & erotic romance author Layna Pimentel to the blog today with information (and a giveaway) for her latest release! 
- Layna Pimentel -

When betrayal hits the Highlands once again, the duty falls upon Laird Colin McIntyre to rid his country of those in league with the English. What he doesn’t expect is to fall in love with the most unlikely of allies.

- Contest -

Win a $25 Amazon eGift card. Contest ends November 30, 2016 11:59 PM.

Published by Liquid Silver Publishing. Copyright © 2016, Layna Pimentel.
ISBN: 978-1-62210-360-7
Historical Romance | Scottish
171 Pages

Laird Colin McIntyre is faced with a dilemma. Wed the daughter of his enemy or watch the destruction of his clan. However, he’s captured before he can declare war. Time is of the essence, and if he’s to escape, his only chance rests with the hope that his men arrive before the wedding.

Abandoned by her guardian, Beatrice finds herself stationed as a servant in the keep and ordered by Laird Sinclair to tend to Colin, who is being held against his will. Inexplicably drawn to the Highlander and his kindness, she vows to help him escape, but at what cost?

With their fates intertwined, will Colin and Beatrice finally be free of Sinclair's reign of terror? Or will they be driven apart once again by an invasion led by new enemy forces, never knowing how much they’re meant to be together?

Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo 
Liquid Silver Publishing

- Excerpt - 

“Are ye angry with me because ye think I’m going to pass ye off to another or because ye want more of the pleasure I gave ye last night?”
Beatrice hadn’t the slightest clue how to respond to his question. In fact, she had no idea how to feel at this moment. She desired him, but she wanted so much more than to become a leman. Up until her exile, Beatrice had hoped to one day marry and have children, and no one in the Highlands would have her.
“I’m not sure why I’m angry, if ye must know. I have no idea why I thought giving myself to ye was a good idea.”
“If yer talking about the lad, I had no idea ye still cared for him. If yer worried that I will hand ye off to another, I will not do so unless that is what ye want. And I have no idea where ye seem to think I would have made ye my leman. I do not want one at all. I haven’t got the time to keep mistresses about, but I do have need of a wife.”
Beatrice stilled in his arms. “A wife?”
“Aye, a wife. How do ye suppose I will have heirs? Immaculate conception?”
“I see,” she said, unsure of where this discussion was going to end.
“Right now is not the time to discuss these issues. Even a laird has to take time away from bed to tend to important matters. I will return to the keep, and Giric will escort ye when yer ready.”
“Why must I go? Yer affairs are exactly that. Yers.”
“My affairs also include you, from the moment I made ye mine. So, ye’ll join me at the keep within the hour, and do not keep me waiting.”
Colin lifted her off of him and placed her back on the bed. She watched him dress just as quickly, splash some water on his face, and walk out of the cottage.
Lord, if they didna have the audience outside of the cottage, she’d have yelled at him soundly and remind him that this was her home and not his.
But Lord, how she adored that man and the very body he possessed.
Beatrice left the bed to see what clean water she had left in the pail. Luckily, she had enough to clean herself up and make herself presentable before Colin and Lady McIntyre.
By the time she met Giric outside, a small group of soldiers had joined him.
“Are ye ready, Beatrice?”
“I thought I was only to be accompanied by ye?”
“The laird thought it would be a good idea to have more just in case there were any lingering soldiers loyal to the Sinclair.”
“I see. Well, if we must, then let us be on our way. I canna imagine he’d be happy if I kept him any longer.”
“Just a word of advice, lass. What the laird wants, he usually gets. So ye might not want to incite his anger.” Giric leaned in and whispered, “Unless yer wanting yer backside spanked.”

- About The Author -

Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Layna discovered her love of reading at an early age. She’s a bestselling author at All Romance eBooks and a multi-published author of historical, paranormal, and contemporary erotic romances. When she isn’t devouring salacious romance novels or writing, she enjoys hiking and researching ancient history, mythology, and weaponry. She lives in Northern Ontario with her husband and two daughters. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Crystal Collier & Symbolism

Please welcome my blog-buddy Crystal Collier here today to share her new book
and some little known facts about her books!

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?

BUY: Amazon | B&N


Thank you Jemi for having me here today.

Symbolism is a powerful thing. People say they love my covers, so today I thought I'd share some of the hidden (or not so hidden) symbolism in them.

In Moonless, there are two clocks. One is in the Greek alphabet--to represent an ancient or timeless gift. The number of clocks on the covers of these books indicates where the story falls in the series timeline. Moonless starts in 1768. Sequentially, this is the middle time era in the story line.

Close ups. You'll notice that progressively we get a larger and larger perspective of Alexia, as her life, abilities, and vision expands. In Moonless we are up close, viewing what Alexia sees in the mirror the night her world is thrown into confusion. (The night she abruptly changes from ghastly to beautiful.)

In the animated version of the book, the title is constantly changing color, just as Alexia's life and perception of her world is constantly in flux.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. My cover designer said this one was a total accident. He was fixing something when one of the clocks landed in the wrong place. He sat back and thought, "Huh." The mistake stuck.

In Soulless, there are three clocks. This story starts in 1771, the latest dot on the timeline. If you'll notice, the main clock is backwards, as Alexia learns how to reverse the clock. The small clock is handless, symbolizing her power that waits to be controlled.

She holds a sword for obvious reasons, since the war between the Passionate and Soulless has begun. And, as you'd assume from the dress, there is at least a wedding...thus the church stairs in the background.

We are further back from Alexia. She now understands her world and the part she plays in it, but she's not done learning.

The title bleeds smoke, just like the Soulless.

This was the cover my designer struggled with the most. He made 3 breathtaking mock ups, but they were all wrong--like the wrong genre. (He was in a mood.) I decided to give him a hand and hopped on a stock image site. I created some (very) rough mock ups to give him my thoughts, and that was all he needed.

You'll notice in Timeless, the grim background has disappeared, replaced by space. Alexia's hands are now the clock hands, and if you look closely, you'll see that she is controlling time.

There is only one clock. This story is in the mid 1200's, and thus the first in the timeline.

The clock is metaphysical. It only exists in our perception.

The title is broken, or rather, shattered. I'd explain the symbolism behind that one, but I don't want to give anything away. (And no, it's not what you're thinking.)

My cover designer had this one conceptualized the first time he heard the summary for the book. He ignored any suggestions I offered, saying, "I have this." He certainly did. This is the most beautiful cover in the series if you ask me, which is appropriate considering the way the series ends.

And there you have it. Do you see symbolism in book covers? Do you see it in life?

Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese.

(Email address is required for awarding prizes.)

Thank you for visiting Crystal! I loved learning about the cover - it's all in the awesome details!
I don't always see the symbolism in the covers until AFTER I've read the book - love finding those details then.

How about you? Do you enjoy finding the symbolism in covers?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The IWSG & Yay I'm a Writer!

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.

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

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

November's Question: What is your favourite aspect of being a writer?

Another tough question!

There's so much I love, but I really love the thought that, one day, my characters will be 'alive' for someone else.

For me, reading and writing are all about the characters and their emotions. The people in the books I've read have often become real for me, starting with Anne of Green Gables way back when. If the characters' emotions reach into me, then those characters become people.

If I can write characters who truly come alive for a reader or two, that would be incredible!

How about you? Is it all about the characters for you, too? What's your favourite part of writing? Or reading?