Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Game Writers' Play

I live in an area that while not exactly founded by the Dutch, it is heavily influenced by the conservative Dutch Christian Reformed Church separatists seeking religious tolerance or freedom anyway. There is a church about every block - mostly Protestant with a good number of Catholic thrown in for good measure and with an increasing number of other religions and their places of worship popping up. Given this heritage, religion is a hot button topic here, in any class and situation. Why does this matter? Because I'm taking a mythology class - which has done wonders for my muse's attitude and my imagination - and this week we got to watch The DaVinci Code. Excellent movie. We were supposed to have a discussion about it afterward, however, the entire class practiced restraint and said very little except to answer the prof's questions. The reason - no one really wanted to start that war. Though it was tempting. The question was asked - amid a bunch of other babble, why Dan Brown wrote that book. The rest of the questions were answered, that was not. But I have a guess.

To answer a question.

But what question? The question - well game - most writers - at least the ones I know ask themselves and makes our significant others and non-writing friends and family run in fear or turn around offer inane suggestions that might really work.

What if -- ?

What if the sky were red instead of blue? What if Earth had two moons? What if that box in that you saw in that store that sells trinkets, statues of faeries and dragons, and incense wasn't bought from a store, but was bought at a garage or estate sale in the bottom of a box of junk for a 1.00 and it contained the first evidence that the modern civilization is actually part of some sort of human ant farm, and we're actually in a class room or museum. Or it was unearthed during construction by a bulldozer along with a set of human bones. In the middle of an Ancient American Indian Burial Ground.

What if --?

My friend Caley played that game after reading an article and got a book about elves and world destruction and a diary that ended up in someone's hands. I played it and ended up with a bar. I played it again and got a new world creation myth that has/is/was lost to the fabric of time and a new series idea.

Writers, I think, are by nature a curious lot. We see things that aren't there, we rework a myth and cross it with a legend, secret societies, and a man who thought outside the box and just might have thought he was smarter than ruling people and you get a book that makes people think and creates dialogue among the arguing. For a book I wrote, I created a mythology and a history to go with it. Why? Because it added depth to the story. Because all cultures have myths, legends, and stories.

Why do we incorporate things, people, and places we know, see, hear, feel, and think about into our work? The answer on the exam that the lit teacher asks is something like - to make a point that maybe which only the author knows or because it offers the readers a means to ground themselves and a point of reference. The true answer is because everything and everyone we come in contact with is book fodder - meaning its stored for later use.

So the reason why Dan Brown wrote the books he did? FOr his answer - ask him - he may say I'm full of crap - eh...

It answers a question.

More than that - its what writers do - they tell stories. Occasionally they make you think. Occasionally they elicit a strong emotional reaction. But writers write, because 9 times out of 10, they have no choice.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mistakes for Writers

Over at Writers Evolution we're talking about mistakes writers make this week. Well, the topic is mistakes, I concentrated on writing type mistakes, because no one wants to read about how bad pumpkin pie tastes when you don't add enough sugar to it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Music to Write By

For every book I write, I have a soundtrack that I listen to while writing.

Here is the Soundtrack for Knight of Pleasure the first book in my new series - Smuggler's Cove

1. Some Gave All - Billy Ray Cyrus
2. Tears of Joy - Freeplay Music - Composed by:Pierre Langer, SESAC (50%), Scott P. Schreer, BMI (50%)
3. Journey - Robyn Wyldwood
4. Oak, Ash, and Thorn - Robyn Wyldwood
5. Final Sacrifice - Freeplay Music - Composed by:Patrick James Slattery, BMI
6. Warriors and Knights - Freeplay Music -
Composed by:Pierre Langer, SESAC (50%), Scott P. Schreer, BMI (50%)
7. In Rememberance - Freeplay Music -
Composed by:Patrick James Slattery, BMI
8. Sacred Shabbat - Loreena McKennitt
9. Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad - Meatloaf
10. Legion - Freeplay Music - Composed by:Paul Andrews, ASCAP
11. Dawn Mist - Freeplay Music -
Composed by:D. DiFonzo, BMI, Scott P. Schreer, BMI
12. Kamande - Violaine Corradi
13. Bring Me To Life - Evanescence
14. Haunted - Evanescence
15. If You're Going Through Hell - Rodney Atkins
16. The Bumber of My SUV - Chely Wright
17. God Bless America - Martina McBride
18. Leader Of The Pack - Twisted Sister
19. I Remember - Woodland
20. Health To The Company - Robyn Wyldwood
21. Til The Last Shots Fired - Trace Adkins

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Over at Writers Evolution we are discussing distractions all week, and how we write and work with them. I'm not easily distractable, but I can be distracted with emails, the new addition to the family, eye candy, eye candy at school. Come and see how we deal with distractions.

Rest In Peace

Monday, September 14, 2009

Eye Candy And Title

Today's eye candy.

I'm editing the first book in a new series - Smuggler's Cove although I'm still wavering if it should be Smugglers' Cove. Oh well, probably too late for that debate. But since I can't edit in class, I write. And I started on the second book for Smuggler's Cove, although I do have characters for a couple of non-series books running around, so we'll see what happens. The new Smuggler's Cove book has a title and characters. Now it just needs a backstory and a soundtrack and really good time line.

Monday, September 7, 2009

On Sale Today

Finding Love is on sale today through Total-e-Bound!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Finding Love

My debut release Finding Love comes out Monday, September 7th from Total-e-Bound Books, here is a sneak peak:


A shrill ring sang out from the cell phone tucked in Nick Jackson’s pocket, echoing loudly in his Lieutenant’s cramped office.

Nick yanked the phone out of his pocket, intent on silencing it before asking his boss to let him come back to duty early from medical leave. While he didn’t relish pushing papers, it beat sitting at home alone. Glancing at the display, he swore. Scowling, he flipped open the phone.

“Sheriff Daniels, to what do I owe this surprise? And how in the hell did you get this number?” Craig Daniels was the sheriff in his hometown of Harbour Springs and a friend from high school. One of the few straight friends Nick had retained from that time.

“Nick, the dojo was broken into a couple hours ago—”

“So call why are you calling me?” Nick demanded.

“We can’t find Tristan. He isn’t answering either of his phones, and you’re still on the lease,” Craig stated flatly, his voice giving away his regret, one cop to another.

Nick’s heart stopped, and he dropped into the seat behind him. “What do you mean you can’t find him?”

“Just that, Nick. He’s not at the house, not at the dojo, and not answering his phone. And his sister wants to file a missing persons report. She claims he hasn’t been answering his phone for a couple days.”

“Amberlee’s involved? I’ll be there tonight.”

“There’s storm coming in.”

“It’s winter. There usually is.” Nick snapped shut the phone and ran his hands through his hair. Unadulterated fear coursed through his veins, demanding he return to Harbour Springs immediately. His mind raced with myriad details that had to be accomplished if he wanted to leave within the hour.

“What happened?”

Nick looked up, stunned to see Lieutenant Tony Simmons sitting on the corner of his desk, the door closed, concern etched in the hard edges of his eyes. It was a look Nick had seen before, the look of a concerned father when one of his kids screwed up or was in trouble.

“Um, Tristan, my ex, is missing. I need to go home,” Nick answered, stumbling through the words.

“In that case, take the time you need, keep us posted and your request to return to work early has been denied,” Tony answered easily. “Go home and find him.”

* * * *

Had it been a week since that call? Nick looked from the Glock in his lap to the sleeping form on the bed. They’d found Tristan McTavish, his boyfriend—no his ex-boyfriend—that night in an abandoned one-room shack seven hundred metres behind the log cabin Nick and Tristan had once shared. Tristan had been disoriented and shaking, his body over-sensitised.
Nick rubbed a hand over his face, trying to scrub away the memory. Tristan had been chained naked to a wall, his face encased in a leather hood, a wool blanket thrown over him. A space heater had been turned on, but it hadn’t been enough to warm the shack, and hypothermia had set in.

The phone on the nightstand next to Nick began to vibrate, pulling him from the memory.

“What’s up, Craig?” Nick asked, peering at his watch.

“Gamma Hydroxybutric Acid.”

“GHB? That’s what was in the baggie?” Nick jumped to his feet and padded out of the master bedroom not wanting to wake Tristan. “Are they sure?”

“Yes. There weren’t any traces in Tristan’s blood or urine, but it only lasts about twelve hours in the system.”

“Well, that explains the amnesia. What about the rape kit?” Nick asked, checking all of the locks on the doors and windows.


“I don’t think rape was the intention. It would have been easier to rape him at the house,” Nick said, returning to Tristan’s bedroom. “We know he put up a fight once chained. They might have used the drugs to get him to come along peacefully.”

“Makes sense. There weren’t any prints in the cabin or on the cuffs. Which means the attacker either used gloves or—”

“Or doesn’t sweat enough to leave them,” Nick finished, returning to the wingback chair he and Craig had moved into the bedroom when Tristan returned home from the hospital. “Probably gloves. Maybe thick winter ones. It would add to the confusion, especially if Tristan were to remember anything from then.”


“Plenty to think about. Thanks.”

Nick hung up the phone and propped his feet up on the ottoman.

The results confirmed what he’d suspected, someone was terrorising Tristan. The question was why. The quick search he and Craig had done of the house when he’d first arrived in town had yielded a box containing several photos and a bloodstained shirt. The shirt was Nick’s, but he knew the blood wasn’t. He’d been in uniform when he’d been shot, but Tristan wouldn’t have known that. Everything had been sent to the lab in Grand Rapids for analysis, priority had been given, but there was no guarantee when they would get back the results, or if there were anything useable.

The photos were more than a little disturbing. They were of his apartment, him in the hospital, leaving the building when he’d been shot, and at the station some time beforehand. For that one, someone had had drawn a bulls-eye target around his head. The notes he and Craig had found ranged from a simple demand to leave town to more graphic promises of torment and torture. Logically, he knew everyone was a suspect. The first to enter his mind were Tristan’s father and three of his brothers – Paul, Mike, and John Jr. He couldn’t dismiss a jealous lover or jilted one. He still wasn’t sure if Tristan had a boyfriend or lover, but he felt certain he did. Of course, it could be Amberlee, also, using the missing person routine as a ruse. He still couldn’t pinpoint a reason. If someone were trying to win Tristan’s affections, there were much easier ways, ones that didn’t include Nick. Why bring an ex-lover back into the picture, even if they were after him, it didn’t make sense for Tristan to be a target.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Insert Cool Blog Title Here

I had this great blog post planned out and was writing it in my head on the way up to the hospital, but as soon as I got to my destination I found myself surrounded by cute male docs and nurses and now I can't remember what I was going to post, but I'm sure it was brilliant.

It's been one of those weeks - school starts next week, I need to finish the edits for my WIP so I can start the next one - which might be a Christmas type one, I haven't decided yet. But the characters for the second book in my new series are screaming at me to hurry up - oh well, I'm not complaining.

Lesson I learned this week - there are no inconsequential details in your books.

And in other news Finding Love comes out next Monday - watch for an excerpt.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tuesday and Such

I know it's Tuesday, so I'm over at Writers Evolution discussing heroine's, which should be interesting because I currently don't write heroines - I write m/m erotic romance. Hmmm.

Anyway, welcome Stephanie Michaels to the line up.

And it's only 7 days until Finding Love is here. Excerpt coming soon!