Monday, March 24, 2014

Don't Buy My Books



Not today.

Today, I want you to buy fellow romance author Jackie Barbosa's books.  Late last week, Jackie lost her seventeen year old son in a car accident on the way to school.

I will never be able to comprehend the pain she and her and family are going through.  There's nothing I can say, nothing truly meaningful any of us can do when someone suffers this kind of shocking, tragic loss.  The best we can do is stand nearby, in spirit, and just be.

And this week especially, we can buy her books.

A whole herd of romance writers are banding together this week to spread the word about Jackie's wonderfully sexy books, and let you know that if you haven't tried them, now's a great time to check out this prolific writer.

Jackie writes scorching historical romance, urban fantasy, and erotic contemporary romance. You can find her books, with excerpts and links, here: http://www.jackiebarbosa.com/books/ 

A memorial fund has also been set up in her son’s name. Details to donate can be found here. Any and all donation amounts are greatly appreciated. 

Here are some of her hot sexy covers to get you excited about finding a new favorite author to love!

Carnally Ever After

The Lesson Plan




Thursday, March 13, 2014

First Kiss(es)

Not mine.  Nope, it's 20 strangers who were asked to kiss for the first time on video.  The initial awkwardness is palpable.  So is some of the passion that follows.

I know I've neglected the blog horribly of late.  Consider this my peace offering.
 



Enjoy.  

Then go kiss someone you love.  


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Magic of Showers Or; The Shower and The Artist

It's a pretty well-established fact, that a lot of people get their best ideas in the shower. 

It's true for me.  Maybe not the best, but certainly an awful lot of good ones.

Dopamine is part of the reason, no doubt.  Anytime you can get a good dopamine shower, you'll be happier all around, and nice hot H2O showers tend to trigger the release of dopamine.

Additionally, they say (you know, 'them') negative ions have an effect on us.  They show up wherever there's water and attach to things like dust particles and negative ruminations about why multi-billionaire dollar international hedge funds can get away with a multitude of nefarious, self-serving crimes, while you can't go five miles over the speed limit to get your cat to the vet before she has her kittens in your lap and get away with it.  (You ruminate on this stuff too, right??) 

The ions drag attach to all this and drag it down, down to the ground, leaving the air fresher and your mind more capable of handling barking dogs and multi-billionaire dollar hedge fund managers and all the other impurities life slings your way.

And of course, for many moms, showers are The One And Only place we can get five minutes alone.

Sort of alone.  It's good enough.  This is powerful stuff, people.  Wet Alone Time matters.

But the real reason showers work is probably far more mundane, and far more important.  We're stationary.  We're reflective.  We're quiet.  We're not inundating our brains and senses with stuff.  Shiny, Bright, Sparkling, Noisy, OMG Look At This Funny Cat! stuff. 

There are no new ideas bombarding us in the shower, which is why you can get so many new ideas in the shower.

Reflective time matters.  Wandering minds matter.  A lot.  But we're so often plugged in and turned on, getting 'input' by bad music and good music and bad news and good news and other people's ideas about how to feel and think and be with it all.  There's always some heartbreaking new tragedy and some inspiring new triumph and it's just exhausting if you slow down and actually notice it all. 

Which we generally don't.  More often we run through it all, like a kid with a bubble wand.


But in the shower, there's nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  Just you and your mind.  Your quiet mind and your wet body.  And the ions, of course.

So for me, shower time is pretty sacred.  No technology, no kids, just me and the ions.  And all those ideas.....

Do you get ideas in the shower?  Or is somewhere/something/someone else your idea incubator?


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Time Travelling Writer


That's me these days.  Back and forth in time between several stories: a medieval, a Elizabethan, and a contemporary.

I'm liking it a lot--I don't like being stuck, so when I've hit a wall on one story, I can flip to another and still be productive.
Note: This is not me.


If I can't write on any of then, that's a big red flag there's something else going on.


Such as, I'm avoiding something.  Or I need a break.  Or I've  been buried beneath a pile of undone laundry that's just taken over the house.  Zombie laundry.


Whatever.  It's always something.


I used to think that me being stuck was a bit of a cop-out. I had a rather linear interpretation of being stuck: it meant I wasn't trying hard enough.


Well, really now.   How unwriterly of me, how unimaginative.  There are a hundred reasons I could be stuck.  (To wit, the zombie laundry pile.)

Note: The empty creative well.  Deep, huh?
I now know that sometimes you truly are stuck,  that "Can't" doesn't always mean "Won't" and that sometimes, the creative well has simply been depleted while your head was bent over the keyboard.


Got to make sure it gets refilled.


Fortunately, a change can be as good as a break, and that's where time-travelling comes into play.


Oil painting, 1620's by C.C. van Wieringen 
At present, I'm researching and writing about the major political players during Edward III's realm as well as import and export customs during that period; Elizabethan timepieces and the saltwater-logged stragglers from the Spanish Armada who washed up on Irish shores (did you know that happened??  Yes, it did!!); and financial fraud and money laundering schemes of the 21st century.

It's good to travel.


When you read my stories, I hope they make you feel like you're travelling too! 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Summer Doldrums

Summertime doesn't lend itself to full-depth writing, at least not for me.  School is out and so is the slip-n' slide.  Kids are everywhere, as are blue skies, green forests, and salty water.  I heed the call.

I think this has changed since becoming a parent.  I'm fairly certain I wrote with the same general velocity during summers as during the cold, grey days of winter.  It was much more about whether the muse was showing up than if the kids needed me to help carry the raft for them.

I think this is a good thing, for lots of reasons.  I think it's good to flex and change, to disrupt my routines for no reason but maybe a little fun. I might, sometimes, just the teeniest bit, get a little too work-focused.

It's also good because getting away from work and yes, even getting away from story, also feeds hte ceatove fire.  I'm the kind f girl for whom like begets like--writing begets more writing, eating tiramisu begets eating more tira-- 

Well, you get the point.

But there's also space for, well, space.  For all the loves of my life, which includes family as much as story.  Room for all the angles of who I am, which if friend and wife and mom. The past few summers have been all about deadlines, and my family got shortchanged in a major way.

It happens. It's the business. 

But this summer, I'm letting the other parts get top billing, and writing is taking a bit of a back stage. The stories are percolating, especially when I lay in bed at night or, if I have time, first thing in the morning, before I crawl out of bed.  I write down ideas, some days even take a few hours to work, btu it's all split up by jogs down the block after the ice cream truck and trips to the beach and bike rides on trails. For the most part, I'm letting the stories do their own thing this summer without a lot of interference from me. 

I'm pretty sure the stories will be all the better for it.  I'm fairly certain I will be too. 

I hope your summer is a shaping up to be time for you to follow the loves of your life, too! 
We'll catch up in the autumn!






Thursday, April 11, 2013

DECEPTION Selected as Romantic Times Magazine's Historical Hero of the Year!

I'm very, very honored that Kier, the hero of Deception, has been selected as RT Book Reviews Magazine's K.I.S.S. Hero of the Year award winner!

This is an award given to the "knight in shining silver" hero in an historical romance, and I'm not only honored, I'm also surprised.  I truly didn't expect it.

First of all, Kier is a con man to the marrow of his bones.  Since he's been thirteen years old he's been scamming and scheming, at first by necessity, then because he's so very good at it.  And he doesn't stop just because our story begins--he's working the long con in Deception (as are several others), and nothing will stop him, not even the woman he used to love.

He's not typical hero material.

But then, Deception isn't a typical medieval romance.  It's more suspense-y, or thriller-y.  Less about knights and chases across the countryside, more about dirty money and corruption.

And so, the RT Magazine nod is a highly rewarding one.  I'm very grateful.   I'm sure Kier is too.  Confused, but grateful.  Sophia, I know, will be shaking her head, lifting her eyebrows gently at Kier, as if to say, "You fooled even them, you fool."

And as if they wanted to help celebrate, Amazon has DECEPTION on sale right now!  Print copies are almost 20% off.

Enjoy!

PRINT: http://www.amazon.com/Deception-Kris-Kennedy/dp/1439195919/
KINDLE: http://www.amazon.com/Deception-ebook/dp/B0061O0XCO/

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Minstrel in Disguise trick

One of my favorite parts of writing big, plotty stories is figuring out how the characters are going to circumvent the system or beat the odds to accomplish their goals.  

Often that means luring in the bad guy, escaping from an attack, or gaining access to a guarded castle.   

If you wanted to break into a guarded fortress, how would you do it?  


Sure you could send some poor soul to crawl up the privy chute, but can we all agree that's a last resort for this romance-novel invasion?  

How about the usual methods?  You could bribe someone, or maybe even seduce a door warden or a gardener or some other castle personage.   

Oh, but the time it would take.  The bribing, the seducing, the kissing, the convincing . . . .  

It'll never work.  You need in now

How about the minstrel disguise method?  Now we're onto something.  You just saunter up with your lute and juggling balls and offer to tell some tales, play some music, and share some news from far off places in exchange for room and board and a few coins.

Voila, we're in.

 Tricky.   Effective.  Like the ancient Trojan horse, your desires become the vehicle for your own demise.

Is there anything more romantic than that?  In a sad, tragic way.

Once inside, you could do any number of dastardly things: kidnapping: poisoning: spying: making a nice, juicy treasonous offer to the lord, one he'd never have listened to otherwise (at least not in public).  

Or you could just wander casually over to sally port door and open it, letting your armed comrades, who've been waiting in the woods outside, pour into the darkened castle and take it over.

Or you could do what Aodh Mac Con does CLAIMING HER.  He's not masquerading as a minstrel per sé.  And the heroine definitely does not open the gates out of any desire or greed, but rather a sense of honor and a lack of options.  

Still, it all unravels pretty quickly.   Good fun ensues.  

How about you?  How would you gain access to an enemy castle?  What tricks are up your sleeve?

(The image above is from http://digitalkey.biz/projects/siege-at-carrickfergus-castle/.  The site says: "
Siege! is a mobile app that uses interactive role play to bring the the 1315-16 Bruce Siege of Carrickfergus Castle to life. Produced in collaboration with NIEA, and funded by the Arts Council’s Creative Industries Innovations Fund,  the game uses interactive role play to explore Anglo-Norman military strategy and defensive architecture (see gallery). The app will contain atmospheric audio and video medieval re-enactments, and will use GPS to embed the game’s narrative in the grounds of Carrickfergus Castle to create an engaging and immersive learning experience.")