Thursday, February 28, 2008

Writing from the inside out

Have you ever read a story and felt like the writer had actually been there? I'm not talking about just painting a pretty picture, but the ones that really put you inside the action. I was just thinking about the awesome task of world building and thought I'd ramble on a little bit here:) Maybe task isn't the right word either. That sounds like work and to me this is fun. Of course I take it seriously. I even take the jokes I tell seriously, but I do love what I do.

In the book I'm working on right now I'm trying to accurately relay to the reader what I see when I close my eyes. I read a scene to my husband last night to see if he got the picture. When I was done I didn't ask, "What do you think?" or "How did that sound?" I asked, "Did you see that?"

I believe that an effective storyteller can tell the story from the inside out. People don't just want to know where you are, they want to see the sights, hear the sounds. They want to feel it, taste it and if it's good looking they might even want to touch it. LOL

A great example to me is when I read The Lord of the Rings for the first time. I believed that Tolkien had actually been to Middle Earth. It didn't just sound like bull to me. I felt like he'd just been there on vacation and was telling me all about it.

That's what I want to accomplish. I want people to see what I see. I want to find the right words to help them feel what I feel. And just as soon as I get a clear picture of this next scene, that's what I'm about to paint.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Big Bad Wolf, an excerpt from Red

The following is an unedited Excerpt from Red, Book one in the Lilith Mercury: Werewolf Hunter Series by Tracey H. Kitts. Available Now From New Concepts Publishing.

Putting down my pin, I looked up at the moon. It was half full, peeking from the clouds like a large silvery eye. I had always heard that “the crazies” come out on a full moon. The truth was, they were always out, some of them were just more dangerous on a full moon.

I walked to the edge of the balcony and nearly fell backward when I looked over the roses. Marco was standing under the balcony, looking up expectantly.

“Little pig, little pig,” he began.

I couldn’t help but laugh. “That won’t get you anywhere. Besides, I waxed my chin.”

He laughed then too and the sound sent shivers up my spine.

“What are you doing here, Marco?”

“I wanted to talk to you.”


“Can’t I come in?” he asked, the deep and sexy rumble of his voice did things to me that I couldn’t describe.

“No, you can’t.”

“Don’t you trust me, Red?” he said, pretending to be offended.

“No, I don’t,” I answered, but I couldn’t stop the smile.

“But you like me.” It wasn’t a question.

“I could have you killed for standing here.”

“But you won’t.”

Marco knew I wouldn’t kill him, not that night, not for just standing there. He stepped back slightly, and I got a better look at one of the sexiest men I’d ever seen. I’ve never seen anyone look so good in a pair of jeans. They weren’t tight, but they fit well enough that you knew what you were looking at, and I felt guilty for looking. Alfred hadn’t been gone a day, and there I was ogling Marco, again.

“No,” I said after a long pause, “I won’t have you killed, but I don’t feel like conversation tonight either.”

“Well, I didn’t feel like conversation when you cuffed me to the chair.”

A smile curved my lips as I purred silkily, “Well, I don’t feel like sex either.”

The smile he gave me was nothing short of charming, as he responded, “You know where to find me.”

“Yes.” Unfortunately, I did, which made it more tempting to seek him out, I thought with a smile as I watched Marco disappear into the woods.

Red is the first book in my Lilith Mercury Werewolf Hunter Series. Available now at


Red - "She's torn between the man who saved her humanity and the one who makes her want to embrace the beast."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Process of Creation

No, I'm not talking about the Heavens and the Earth here. But, I have recently created a fictional city called Eden that I am quickly falling in love with. If I had to give a brief description I'd say it's somewhere between real life New York and the fictional Sin City. There's potential danger around every corner, not to mention vampires, werewolves and ... priests? LOL Well, it's a long story or it's going to be once I finish it:)

I realized as I began to work on this new book that it's the process of creation that keeps me coming back for more. Sure, getting a royalty check is nice and having readers tell me they enjoyed my book(s) keeps me high for days. But there's nothing quite like putting it all together, seeing all those little bits and pieces in your head form a real person or place, watching your fantasies come to life in black and white. It's amazing.

Some days I still wonder why I didn't finish my degree and become a sex therapist. But not on the days that I get to write. On those days I know what I was meant to do with my life. When I write I feel that I have worth, that all of my random thoughts have the potiential to become something more. And every now and then I find a character like Viktor (master vampire) who also believes in the tooth fairy. LOL

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Melissa Walker - Featured Author

Violet by Design by Melissa Walker

Sometimes people ask me why I like to write for teenagers, and I always tell them it’s because in those years were the most emotionally raw and honest time of my life so far. Remember your first dance? The day you got your driver’s license (Yes!)? Your best friend whom you’ve known since kindergarten and don’t keep any secrets from? Your first broken heart? Remember leaving that all behind? I do.

Here’s a scene from my new book, Violet by Design, out in March. It’s about a small-town girl who grows up tall and gawky—and ends up becoming a successful model. And even though Violet lives in the fashionable world of runways and playboys and couture, she’s still 18, with a hometown and best friends and memories that are hard to part with.

This is a quick look at the scene when Violet’s leaving home, and saying goodbye to her best friend, who is heading off to college:

After leaving Julie’s, I drove over to Roger’s to deliver the mix CD, which I called “Last Goodbye” after our favorite Jeff Buckley song (and because I’m completely over-the-top like that). I handed it to him and he said, “I will cycle each and every one of these songs through my myspace profile, in tribute to you.” Then he pulled me into his chest and we just stood in his driveway hugging. I could feel his sweater getting wet as I teared up, and I stepped back and sniffled, saying something about how I didn’t want to ruin an Original Penguin. He looked at me for a second and then pulled me back in without saying a word. We hugged for a good 10 minutes in total silence before I finally got in the car drove away.

It sounds weird, but I’m not just going on vacation or away for summer camp—we’re all leaving now. And although I don’t doubt that we’ll be friends forever, I know it’ll never be the same as it was when we were growing up at home. And I feel like that time ended, like, today.

· Paperback: 224 pages
· Publisher: Berkley Trade (March 4, 2008)
· Language: English
· ISBN-10: 0425219402
· ISBN-13: 978-0425219409

I needed a laugh real bad

So, here it is. Seventh Sanctum has something that is called a Writing Challenge Generator. (among other things) This site is great for a laugh and occasionally a real live idea. I could easily waste hours getting bits and pieces of comical characters or trying to come up with a story that fits these guidelines

"The story is set in a desecrated temple. The story takes place in mid-winter. The story must have a duck in it."


It's very creative and lots of fun. When you get a chance, take a look:)

But my all time favorite part of the site is the Humorous Monster Generator.

Have fun:)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sleep At Last

Thank God Almighty. For the past two nights I have slept (as the expression goes) like a rock. Not only am I relieved to finally have rest, but I was running out of appropriate bedtime stories. Trust me, you do not want to fall asleep reading the Tell Tale Heart. My husband gets up in the middle of the night, something creaks, I jump up, thinking that some old man's eyeball is underneath the floor. LOL You get the point.

I've never figured it out, but from time to time I just get insomnia. So does my mom, always has. Anyway, I'm about to start for the day on my current work in progress. Though I've not yet decided on a name for the book, it involves a luscious master vampire that I am really enjoying getting to know. I find that it is easier to get into his head, even though I just created his character about a week ago, than some of the characters I've known for years. He just ... comes to me. But, that's a good thing:) I can't wait to finish the book, find it a home, and share it with my readers. You're going to love him too. His name is Viktor.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Beast Within

Okay, I'll be the first to admit it. I love a hairy chest. But, lately I keep dreaming (when I actually sleep) about Beast from X-Men. Maybe it's the lack of sleep or the caffeine. I must say though he's right up there with Wolverine on my list of sexy superheroes. My attraction has nothing to do with his looks (although I do like that shade of blue) and everything to do with his intelligence. I find intelligent men very attractive. An intelligent man who could probably rip me in half? Even better. LOL

Contest Winners!

First, I'd like to say thank you again to everyone who joined us last night for the Shot Through The Heart Valentine's chat. Now as promised, here are the winners.

Fav Bad Boy Contest - Caitlin Hoy

Caitlin, your free PDF download of Object of My Affection is on its way:)

Wicked Fantasy Contest - Amy Toohey

Amy, if you email me the address where you'd like to receive your furry pink handcuffs and signed copy of Object of My Affection on disk, I'll get it to you asap:)

Thanks again to everyone for participating and to the winners, I hope you enjoy your prize:)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sex Aids on Retail Shelves?

It doesn't really bother me personally. But I can see how this could potentially offend a lot of people. Here's the article to which I'm referring.

I'm all for being liberated and do not personally have a problem with the situation. My only drawback to having more obviously sexual products on the shelves would be having to explain them to my son. I've seen most of these products in Wal-Mart, right at the end of the shampoo isle. I normally strike up a conversation on our way to get shampoo so as to keep him from getting distracted, thus wondering to the end of the isle and saying, "Mom, what’s a Little Gem for?" LOL Actually, they don't sell the Little Gem vibrator at Wallyworld, but you get my point.

The article also talks about the ban on certain products in Alabama. I don't live too far from the state line and have known several women in AL over the years who are pissed about this issue. I mean, who wants to go all the way to Panama City to buy a vibrator?

I do think that as a society we need to stop being so embarrassed by issues dealing with sexual health. For instance when a lot of people hear that there are sex scenes in my books they say something along the lines of, "*gasp* how can you write about stuff like that?" Stuff like what? Sex is a part of life.

Now, picturing my grandmother trying to figure out what some of these products are for, that's a different story. LOL Personally, I'm glad to see The Red Light Special making it's way to store shelves.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Morning Musings

Nothing puts me in the mood to write more than a cool rainy day, which is exactly what we have here in Northwest Florida this morning. I know a lot of people get depressed when the sky is grey and overcast, but I love it. I love the rain and the sound it makes when it hits the tall pine trees outside my window. I love the puddles it makes on the ground. It's almost like an over pouring of natures emotions.

So, here I sit, coffee in hand and I'm about to start working on a new story. Actually, I started making notes a couple of days ago:) I can't wait to finish the scene I have in mind. I have no idea yet what to call this story. However, the hero keeps intruding on my thoughts. The story begins with these line, "The black-cloaked figure waited silently at the end of the path. And as he waited, his hunger grew."

I can see him now, the hood of his long cloak pulled up to cover his long dark hair. His silvery grey eyes glinting in the faint light of the moon. And the cool wind, blowing past my face, brining with it the scent of his cologne. Ahhhh. I love vampires.

Don't worry, there's a hot werewolf in this story too. I have no idea what I'm going to do to him yet, but I have plans for my vampire. *insert wicked laugh here.* LOL

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Upcoming Contest and Chat

Shot Through the Heart

For readers looking for something more than chocolate this Valentine's Day, Thursday, February 14th, there's something wicked you don't want to miss.

Join Authors
Tracey H. Kitts
Annmarie Orgeta
Angelia Whiting
Janet Lane Walters
Shawn M. Casey
Donna Michaels
Rayne Forest
Desiree Lee
And Melanie Grant from The Essence of Romance

They'll be posting on three yahoo groups simultaneously.
New Concepts Reader's and Author's Group
And Forbidden Fruit

Join the fun
Thursday, February 14th
As they give love a bad name

Don’t forget to join one or all of these groups to participate. You must be 18 or older.

I could have slept late

That's right. I could be enjoying one of my favorite things at the moment, sleep, but I'm not. I'm sitting here typing and watching the sun rise. AGAIN. I'm not worried about anything, yet I cannot seem to shut my mind off. (Thinking and worrying are not the same thing to me.) I went to bed at 1:30 this morning and was up by 5:30. That just isn't healthy.

My problem is I think too much. I'm constantly going over new ideas in my head. I keep wondering if there is something more I can do to promote my books. I think I ate too much salad dressing last night. I wonder if sleeping without a bra just this once will make my breasts sag. Then it jumps back to my books. Do people really enjoy what I write just because I do? I'm a reader too, do I count? I write because I cannot imagine not writing. It's simply who I am, it's what I do. Am I wasting my time? WAS that salad dressing too much? Should I be on meds? LOL Why didn't the sleeping pill work and why can't I rest?!

F***ing insomnia!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Paranormal Romance

It's a difficult genre to write in my opinion. Not because of the writing itself, but because of the category. For one thing, it's not exactly romance. Sure, some of it can be romance, but most paranormals don't fit the standard definition as set by the industry.

The word paranormal itself simply means something out of the ordinary. And romance just means that at some point a relationship is involved. Something else that is common in paranormal romance is what is called the "happy for now ending." This is becoming more and more common in the industry, however, some readers are confused by it.

A lot of people feel that romance should have the traditional happily every after and that everyone should ride off into the sunset with his hair gleaming in the light and her blue eyes sparkling with newfound joy. Why am I suddenly picturing Prince Charming from Shrek? LOL

I'm sorry, but no one runs across a field of wildflowers in my stories without having an allergy attack.

I was reading an article recently that made a lot of sense to me. It was talking about paranormal romance and the "in-between" genre that it is. Essentially, what a paranormal romance novel consists of is an adventure for women. Women just happen to consider a relationship part of the adventure.

The word part is the key. In most paranormals the relationship isn't the entire focus of the story, it's a side line. I believe that every story should have a satisfying resolution. That doesn't necessarily mean that the main character gets married or ends up pregnant, or that all of her dreams come true. To me it means that her dreams now have the potential to come true. She is one step closer to her goal, whatever that may be.

For example, I write a series. In that series, there is a resolution at the end of each book, but not necessarily everything is "perfect." Though the series has been largely received in a positive light, someone said that book one left them, "sexually frustrated."

My first thought was, "This is a novel, not a jerk rag, why the heck are you reading it if that's what you were looking for?" Of course, I didn't say that. In fact, I didn't respond at all. I just feel that many people's perception of romance is wrapped up in sex. My series gets more sexual as the story goes, but it is labeled as "not a traditional romance." It is also not labeled as erotica. Certainly if it were sold as erotica and had very little sex in the first book, I could agree with the comment.

Don't get me wrong. I write about sex. In the last book I wrote, there's quite a lot of it. However, sex is not romance. And romance is not always a perfect love story. Life isn't perfect, so I don't feel that stories and characters should be either. I realize that many people, myself included, read to escape reality. However, if a story is too far removed from reality, to me it loses its believability. Bad things happen to good people sometimes. It's called conflict. And if a story doesn't have conflict, then what is it about? Why should we read it? Why should we care?

These are just my thoughts and opinions. You don't have to agree with them. However, I write the kind of stories that I would want to read. I like strong women and men who are looking for an equal, someone to challenge them, not just to mate with them. I like something to challenge my mind and make me look for extra batteries. LOL

To me paranormal romance is truly an adventure for women and I look forward to writing more of them.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Chris Redding - Featured Author

Be the Chihuahua

By Chris Redding

My degree is in journalism and for about 5 months I actually worked in that field. Did I crave the hard news? Nope. I loved the feature stories, but I went at them with no less vigor than I did the breaking stories.
Frankly, people’s jobs are interesting. I once spent a half an hour on the phone with a guy named Ted E. Behr (no joke) talking about effluent. It was fascinating because he found it fascinating.
What does that have to do with being a Chihuahua?
Well I always warn my interviewee that I will keep asking questions until I either get an answer or understand what the person is telling me. I liken it to those little dogs that grab onto your pant leg and won’t let go.
Gotta admire the little guy’s persistence. He’ll hang onto your pant leg and he only weighs eight pounds.
And I think this is a great attitude on many levels for a writer.
First you have to be persistent and finish the damn book.
Then you have to learn all you can about writing and how to make your gem shine.
And of course you have to submit. No matter how many rejections, you have to keep polishing and keep submitting. Until someone says, “yes.”
You must write another book. And another. Until you write one that someone wants to publish.
And when it is published, you have to get out there and network with your readers. You have to do signings. You have to do workshops.
You have to be persistent.
Especially because lots of people around you won’t be. I’ve seen writers come and go and never get published. And it wasn’t because they couldn’t write, it was because they gave up.
So be the Chihuahua.

Chris Redding
The Drinking Game August 2004
The Corpse Whisperer August 2007

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

It's time for some Pillow Talk!

I'm featured today at Michelle Pillow's Author Blog:) Stop by and check it out.

Friday, February 1, 2008

My Happy Dance:)

As promised, like you were waiting for it (LOL) here's my happy dance! At first, I wanted to post this to celebrate my new book contracts, but now it's more of a celebration to have my computer working properly again and to be recovering from the flu:) Either way, life is good and here's my happy dance.

No Parent Left Behind

I have had a terrible cold since Monday. Today has been the first day that I could sit at the computer for a few minutes without burning up with fever. Needless to say, I could use a laugh. So, when I found this in my email this morning I knew I had to share it. If I laugh much more I won't be able to stop coughing. Enjoy:)

These are real notes written by parents in a school district. Spellings have been left intact.

1. My son is under a doctor's care and should not take PE today. Please execute him.

2. Please exkuce lisa for being absent she was sick and i had her shot.

3. Dear school: please ecsc's john being absent on jan. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and also 33.

4. Please excuse gloria from jim today. She is administrating.

5. Please excuse roland from p.e. for a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip.

6. John has been absent because he had two teeth taken out of his face.

7. Carlos was absent yesterday because he was playing football. He was hurt in the growing part.

8. Megan could not come to school today because she has been bothered by very close veins.

9. Chris will not be in school cus he has an acre in his side.

10. Please excuse ray friday from school. He has very loose vowels.

11. Please excuse Lesli from being absent yesterday. She had diahre dyrea direathe the shits.

12. Please excuse tommy for being absent yesterday. He had diarrhea, and his boots leak.

13. Irving was absent yesterday because he missed his bust.

14. Please excuse jimmy for being. It was his father's fault.

15. I kept Billie home because she had to go Christmas shopping because i don't know what size she wear.

16. Please excuse jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it monday. We thought it was sunday.

17. Sally won't be in school a week from friday. We have to attend her funeral.

18. My daughter was absent yesterday because she was tired. She spent a weekend with the marines.

19. Please excuse Jason for being absent yesterday. He had a cold and could not breed well.

20. Please excuse mary for being absent yesterday. She was in bed with gramps.

21. Gloria was absent yesterday as she was having a gangover.

22. Please excuse brenda. She has been sick and under the doctor.

23. Maryann was absent december 11-16, because she had a fever, sorethroat, headache and upset stomach. Her sister was also sick, fever an sore throat, her brother had a low grade fever and ached all over. I wasn't the best either, sore throat and fever. There must be something going around, her father even got hot last night.