Run, don’t walk, straight on over to Passionate Squee Contest and enjoy all the goodies 13 authors have provided for your romantic, passionate, wicked Valentine’s Day entertainment.
Each author has shared a scene of passion and love for your enjoyment. On top of that, there’s a drawing for prizes. If you comment on each blog post, that gives you 13 entries. Some of the posts are sweet and passionate others are down right scorching hot and filled with adult content. So, there’s something for everyone.
My post goes live on February 6th, 2017 and it is an excerpt from Bound By Obsession.
I’m so lucky to be an author. Writing allows me to tap into my creativity. It stretches my mind.
(It drives me bonkers.)
I can do a writing binge and type my fingers off attempting to put everything whipping around inside my brain onto the page. But, I can also have terrible bouts of nothingness where words Just. Won’t. Happen.
At my local RWA meeting, we were asked to write a goal that we would try to reach by the end of three months. I chose a goal I think I can achieve which means I didn’t go for something easy and I didn’t reach too high for fear I might just give up. Do any of you feel like that when you set goals?
So, this post is essentially my–> How I am going to achieve this goal (OHMYGOD what did I agree to do) list.
1st up: I will attempt to write 3 thousand words at least 5 days a week.
Next. I will turn off the television/netflix/streaming/tablet– anything distracting– from ten in the morning until 2 in the afternoon.
Also, I WILL NOT SELF EDIT each and every scene I write.
Finally, I will follow a loose outline– so I can’t complain about not knowing what the heck to write.
So, I guess that’s a bit out of order. I think I need to write the outline, before I start the daily word count thing.
Well, then, that should give me well over 20k words by the second weekend of April.
I’d take bets in favor of me completing this goal…and would understand those who’d want to put the money in the HAHAHA Christa you are delusional box. But, I can’t, I think that might be a conflict of interest. Plus, you should keep all your money to buy other things like books. Or just to save it, you know.
Now. It is time to settle in my comfy chair and close my eyes. And, hope a story comes into my mind.
Hint–it’s the Kan Asma Princess Anastasya’s story. And, it is going to be one helluva ride.
Maybe I will add a word count ticker, just to keep me honest.
Here is a little glimpse into the Kan Asma- style Christmas tradition.
I hope you have a wonderful and merry Christmas day!
“It’s time for the blooding.” Mikhail launched from the second-floor banister and did a tight somersault landing on the main floor with hands up like a gymnast. The loud stomp of his boots echoed through the vaulted atrium as he rushing into the kitchen.
“Who’s it going to be this year?” Lucas flashed his fangs. “Should we do a lottery or pull names from a hat?”
Tray waved a long, serrated knife in the air. “This should do the trick.”
Anna slipped through the open doorway, her mate Dimitri right on her heels. “I’m partial to using fangs.” He winked but mostly just for Anna.
Therese shook her head and backtracked through the kitchen moving through the crowded dining room to where her mate waited with a glass of sparkling wine. She sipped it and savored the sweet bubbly Moscato as it danced on her tongue. “You’d think they’d want presents and Christmas Carols. Instead, they are stuck in the middle ages, still.”
Davran nuzzled her throat, a scrape of fang teasing along the pulse points. “They’re predators. It is in their DNA to engage in a blooding.”
“It’s messy.” Therese frowned, remembering last year’s Christmas mess had her rushing from her mate’s embrace and heading back to where her offspring were beginning to engage in a long held Kan Asma tradition.
“Must you field dress that thing in my stainless-steel sink?” she shouted as she dashed into the kitchen.
“Kinda frowned upon to do it outside.” Mikhail cocked an eyebrow. God, that son of hers was a cocky young male. She wouldn’t tell anyone, but, she found him charming and adorable. And, too handsome for his own good. Perhaps he’d settle down soon. She’d have to talk to Ivan about finding him a mate.
Luke twirled a sharp meat prong between his fingers. Therese didn’t have to guess why his mate Katiya avoided the kitchen. No respectable female would want to see the carnage in her normally spotless kitchen. “Ah, we need to get this going, I’m starving.”
“Don’t worry nan, we’ll have it all spic and span again for you as soon as we are done.” This time it was Traian giving her the assurance. Except, last year he’d hit an artery and the blood splatter on the wall had to be scrubbed with bleach.
Therese wagged a finger. “You stay away from it, Traian Komar.”
The other siblings in the kitchen groaned collectively.
“Give that to me.” Anna grabbed the knife from her brother and trudged to the sink. “Nan, this is the biggest suckling pig I’ve ever seen. How did you even get it into the kitchen?”
Therese smiled. “Your father, of course.”
Ivan took that moment to march into the room, a scowl on his austere features. She loved her eldest son. He had such a commanding presence and looked so much like his grandfather, the leader of the First Mates. But, trying to find him a gift for Christmas proved nearly impossible. Except for Mikhail. He’d asked her to wrap a Costco bulk purchase of spray starch for Ivan. Oh, that was going to cause a ruckus during the gifting time.
Therese grinned. All her children were in the room with her. They were in the process of preparing the monstrous pig for the roasting. It’d look like something out of a medieval painting soon. By twelve in the morning, they’d have an entire wood pit constructed in the back yard and the pig on the spit. While they teased each other and joked, eating treats and drinking mulled wine, they’d turn the pork until the thing was cooked through.
Then, her favorite part of Christmas would happen. They’d share the dinner together, enjoying the quiet moment of celebrating while dining on the roasting pig.
Then, well, she’d march her younglings right back into that kitchen and start a new tradition—they’d get to clean the dishes and make sure any blood stains were gone by dawn.
Therese left the kitchen, intent on finishing up the final wrapping of her gifts. She loved Christmas because it meant being with her family.
I did it! After a 5 year hiatus–thanks rebellious body– I have started a new series and finished two books in it. The Kan Asma Vampires series is going to be coming soon. This is an exciting moment for me. I feel almost giddy. These vampires are truly like my own family, minus the fangs and biting and stuff.
A few things happened when I wrote those awesome words.
Well, I am still working on the scene from yesterday. I spent a lot of time searching for images and not as much time writing. Before I knew it, my kids were home from school and the afternoon rush had begun.
So today I am not going to go overboard on the image searches. I will only search for one photo and it will be my proverbial carrot to finish the scene I am working on. This “carrot” is going to be highly sensual and embody the scene that comes next.
It involves a tight space. A wall. And the romantic couple engaged in something sensual.
(This should be easy. Easier if I turn off safe search mode, too. Probably could be time consuming. Okay must limit myself to searching for only 15 minutes. Right now it is 12:02. I have until exactly 12:17 to get this post done and back to writing.)
Ready. Set. Go……
Oh and because I am nice, here’s a bonus picture:
Okay. Now I really have to get back to the scene at hand, erm, I mean, the scene I’m writing.
Share your sensual wall kiss images if you can find one that you like–operative word there is 1.
Wow, yesterday’s inspiration seems to have done the trick. I wrote 7 pages and finished the scene that so needed completing. Mind over matter? Or Subject matter over mind? Hmm.
Today we must think of inspiration for one of two scenes. There’s dastardly and bad. And, there’s naughty and sensual. The romance author in me wants to go look at pretty sensual photos of a couple in complete abandon. The realist in me says get to the difficult stuff, first, then you can play.
So, as I drag my feet to Google Image Land, I reluctantly decide we must search for the bad stuff.
Search Tags: Eerie parking garage, man in the shadows, daybreak–hey that’s a no-go for vampires, evil bad guy (who is sexy), men in suits talking–that can be sexy too…
Alright, now on to the searches. Like yesterday I will post my top favorites and get to writing.
On my first try, Google rewrote my search as Erie Parking Garage. Nope Google. We are not in the Midwest here. We are in Los Angeles. I want eerie.
Scratch eerie. Only a few popped up and they were all copyrighted. So, changed search to “scary.” Seems a lot of people post photos on the internet of their scary, almost vacant parking garage snapshots. Here is one that I think captures this scene, well….
Oh yes, something bad is going to go down in the parking garage. But, what we need now is the actual villain. On to the next image search: A man in the shadows.
Oh, I like this one:
And this one:
Okay Sunrise over West Hollywood is a bust. Every photo is not open for sharing and the rights belong to the photographer or stock sites. I found one that works and it is sunrise over Los Angeles. This shall do just fine…
And finally, gentlemen in suits. I am sure there must be something perfectly delicious that would work for this scene inspiration. Let’s search.
Wow, this is the hardest search yet. The images I am seeing don’t fit. However, it is helping me to shape the way I see the scene in my mind with every return of a smiling gaggle of men in GQ suits, hippies and boy bands.
Alright it has been over an hour. Have you felt time ticking away? I have. I must get to the manuscript and do my writing before the day slips away from me. So, I concede, the last tag of three men in suits, talking seriously, is not going to magically appear in any image search I do. So, in conciliation I am posting three photos that are fairly close resemblances to the three males in this scene.
Well then, it is off to write now. Do you have any ideas for image tags that will bring actual results in those searches I had such trouble with? Please share.
I am so close to the finish line with Sevastian and Thalia.
I know what is happening next in the story. I know there’s going to be a supply closet used for some interesting moments between Sevastian and his female. I know that there is still going to be something dastardly afoot. I know what is going to be the turning point of everything the female is experiencing. I know what is going to occur right before I type the words: The End.
But…Those are all fragmented thoughts in my mind.
It is difficult to admit that I have struggled for several years completing this story and the one before it: Mated in Treason. I am sure I could list my reasons here but I do plan on doing that in a separate post…someday. The biggest issue I have come up with is lack of creativity. I WANT IT TO BE PERFECT
Side note: Does anyone else struggle with this perfection affliction?
So, in order to combat this debilitating road block in my writing I am going to post daily inspiration for some of the scenes I am working on. In a way, it could be a bit of a visual teaser and also a way for me to connect with these parts of the story. Feel free to add pictures to inspire me, too. The more the better.
Today I am working on a pivotal scene.
My heroine is a bundle of nerves.
My hero is a bit at a loss at how to fix a situation.
They are relying on each other for comfort and encouragement.
(Right, this media journey might be harder than I expected, I don’t think a Google image search will be turning back anything worthwhile with those tidbits.
Okay, so maybe I should use some tags.
Tag 1: Romantic couple and comfort
Oh Wow. There’s a ton of them. Here are my top three favorites:
Aren’t those lovely? They really define the emotion of the scene I am currently writing.
Those images are quite provoking. The colors and images leap off the screen with different tones and messages but they all say one very important thing: Togetherness.
AHA So, this scene should definitely have more of the H/h sharing an intimate togetherness while they face the road ahead.
Well, then, on to the writing.
See, this inspiration thing just might do the trick.
T-minus 4 chapters to go.
Up next…dastardly things! Bad guys. Bad news. Bad situations. Think about tags for that one and do share. I would love to see your image results for today’s tag… Romantic couple and comfort. And Tag ideas for tomorrow’s visual inspiration.
Thank you for stopping by.
All images were found on a Google image search. No copyright infringement intended.
Vivien Jackson tagged me for the Next Big Thing blog post. Thanks Vivien, it is always fun to play along with these fun activities.
The deets: The Next Big Thing blog post is basically answering 10 questions about your wip.
So, these are the questions I have to answer:
1. What is your working title of your book? Mated in Treason
2. Where did the idea come from for the book? Expanding the world of the Kan Asma Vampires.
3. What genre does your book fall under? Paranormal romance featuring vampires.
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
For Gunnar I would cast Trevor Donovan.
For Nadia, I would select: Beren Saat a beautiful Turkish model and actress.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? By mating in secret, they defied the dictates of their people but now they must decide to accept the consequences or join forces against those they love. (This blurb is a work in progress.)
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I intend to have this series published through a publisher.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Still writing it, so I don’t have an answer to that. I’d say from start to submit-ready about 9 months to a year.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I’m not sure, I’d say there are a few Prime novels from Susan Sizemore that have some of the forbidden lover tropes, and there are many books with paranormal societies that have tight regulations about mating.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book? Gunnar, the hero, gave me a nice look at what he was suffering through and I just had to write what he was showing me.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Mikhail shows up and reveals a little more about his very secretive backstory. Also, there is an across the railroad tracks romance and a huge rift that happens within the Kan Asma culture. Things are really going to get heated between the high born ruling class and an uprising called the Faction.
This has been fun. Anyone who wants to take this blog prompt for their own, consider that my passive tagging style.
There is something alluring yet mysterious about wearing a veil. In my first Blood-vine story, Bound By Deception, the heroine Anna has a veil on during the blood-rite ceremony. She hates the archaic practice and yanks the material from her head the first chance she gets.
Fast forward a few books to the current story that I am writing. This time, the heroine Nathalia has no choice but to be veiled. She wears a traditional covering for a while in the story. The customs of her people demand that she conform to the dictates of their culture.
It is also a contentious point for the hero, Sevastian, because the reason she is wearing it is a constant reminder of the circumstances that are keeping them apart.
I thought I would share with you a few snippets from the story that pertain to the veil.
So here we go:
Kholed and Covered
Vastian looked on as she stepped into the antechamber. Her eyes were heavily kholed, the eyelids dusted with a shimmering eye shadow. He grimaced at the sight of Thalia all covered up, completely hidden from his view. The garment cloaked her from head to toe with an embroidered cloth arranged like a heavy robe. One little push and the thing would slide off of her, revealing her to his gaze.
Fucking archaic practices, he seethed. She looked shrouded, like a Bedouin princess. His fingers itched to reach out and tear it off of her, to reveal the youthful bounce of her ringlets and show the sweet dimples on her freckled cheeks.
Then, later in the scene:
“Take the damned veil off.” His growled demand startled her.
“I’m not supposed to.” Could she sound anymore childish? Thalia groaned inwardly.
“You will for me.”
Even though he didn’t speak it out loud, Thalia heard the underlying statement of ownership in his tone. It said, you are mine now, and that didn’t settle well with her. So, she acted like any frustrated girl and shook her head in defiance.
She didn’t even see his hand snap out and take hold of the tie. In a blink of an eye, the cloth covering her face swung loose. Next, the heavy shroud situated on her head was pushed off, the thick material of the hood draped across her shoulders.
“Shit, you’re pale as a ghost.” Vastian’s fingertip tracked across her tear-stained cheek and glanced along her lower lip. “You’ve tortured this spot here with your teeth.”
Thalia shrugged, defeated. “Your mother told me not to cry.”
The symbolism of Thalia being shrouded goes further than an actual covering of her body. Throughout the story there is much secrecy going on and she is in the center of it all. Sevastian and Thalia have a lot to overcome in order to find true love because they are both hiding behind more than the veil she wears.
What do you think about veiling practices? Do you think veiling can be beautiful and sexy? Or, do you think it takes some sort of freedom away? While Thalia is being covered for a religious-type ceremony, it is a religion wholly designed and created for the vampires of the Blood-Vine.
*All images posted are royalty-free and the rights for use purchased from Dreamstime.
I spend a ton of time driving my kids hither and yon. Thursdays kick my butt ’cause I feel like I spend hours just driving back and forth to places. I have been listening to the Love Never Dies soundtrack as a way to balance the non-stop One Direction noise my kids are obsessing over.
Have you heard the song Beneath a Moonless Sky? I don’t think I have ever heard a song so precisely written about the intimate act of loving paired to such a melodramatic tune. My kids hate it for the sheer operatic moments. I love it for the one line where Phantom croons, “And, then I TOOK you.”
Yes, please may I have another?
So, after listening to several of the songs my dancer began to protest and I agreed, simply because hearing that shrill vibrato Christine is belting out can become tiresome after a while…unless we are talking Phantom of the Opera and Past the Point of No Return with Gerard Butler. Hello, eye candy in sexy tight pants and black mask.
But, I digress. To appease my youngest, who has a great deal more flexibility when it comes to music, I thumbed through my CD collection. Since traffic wasn’t being kind, I blindly grabbed for a CD. The one I selected is a play list I made a while back for Sevastian and Nathalia, the vampire story I am supposed to be working on right now.
I started envisioning a scene that has been out of reach for a long time. Just as the picture became clear and things started turning into actual musing, everything went blank inside my mind (Phantom are you in there?) Nope! There was just a blank canvas of white. Oh, and this tall, imposing male was standing there with his arms crossed over his massive chest. He was precisely dressed in an expensive suit. His hair was perfectly styled. The harsh glint in his cobalt gray eyes pinned my inner muse in place. I had to slam on the brakes to avoid rear ending the dude in front of me. Because, I wasn’t paying close attention to the road due to the male’s narrowed gaze and hard-assed expression. I knew in an instant who was hijacking my mental thoughts, so, I confronted him.
I said, “What the hell are you doing, Ivan?”
Both his eyebrows went up and his glower could have frozen sunshine.
“I’m not afraid of you, Mister Vampire hard-ass,” I added with a harrumph.
“You should be.” That was all he said but the edge to his words would make a lesser being shiver in dread.
As a side note, I know I should be freaked out, the bastard does bad bad things to people he doesn’t like or who disagree with him.
Instead of cow-towing, I shrugged my shoulders and tried to be charming. “So, what brings you here, into my head, while I am musing dreamy scrumptious Vastian?”
He licked his lips, like he was wondering what I might taste like and how long it would take to sink his razor-sharp fangs into my teenie tiny human neck. Instead, he took two long steps and stood right next to me. Mental-me, had to look up and up some more just to glance into his austere face. His mouth quirked at the corners as he stared at me all cool and aloof.
Someone needs to put him in his place, I think to myself: Like a mate. That thought gets doused with ice cold water and is replaced with annoyance when he grabbed my virtual chin and forced me to look at him more fully. “What?” I managed to squeak out, though my lips make a little moue and the sound is garbled.
“I didn’t like what you did with Traian. I’m not happy with your thoughts for Sevastian either. He’s important in ways you don’t yet know. Mating him will… add complications.”
Since Ivan is a character in my own head, you’d think I would pop off a one-liner and tell him to knock his shit off.
But, since I DON’T know what is going to happen next in the story, I wonder if Ivan might just give me a hint by his protesting.
Right, big breath and ask….”What, you don’t like him going house shopping with Thalia? You have something against them living in Flintridge?”
He remained motionless, deadly calm. The tips of his fangs were barely noticeable but since I was watching him talk, I got a gander. His thumb traveled along my jaw to my cheek while he scrutinized me.
Then, he shook his head. “Nathalia won’t be able to handle the truth.”
WHAT? What truth? Crap. I thought her part of the heart ache was done. What the hell did Vastian do?
“I’m not telling you.” He simply breathed the answer. Damn, I must have spoken that last query out loud.
“Ivan.” I stomped my foot and the car lurched a bit. And, well, hello there little Prius driver. Sorry I scared you and you can lay off the horn now thanks. “Ivan, damn it. You have a strangle hold on my muses. Let them go. You freakin bastard.”
He lifted that long, muscled arm and my heart beat a little faster knowing that he could zap me with his mind bending powers and I could easily end up in Fantasy Land. But, he simply shook his pointed finger in my face and tsked. Asshole I thought. He’s fuckin with my mind. It must be him keeping me from writing the vamps. SOB needs a kick in the ass.
“Better watch it, Ivan Komar- the Kartal- I can just as easily write your story. Don’t think you want everyone to know where you hid all those bodies…..”
Oh, score. He let go of me.
“Don’t go there with Vastian. He’s important to my cause.” His warning rang loud as a bell toll.
Go where? I pondered again. Come on, throw me a bone. “I am going there Ivan. So, why don’t you just stop playing puppet master and let my muses go free?”
One side of Ivan’s mouth kicked up. “You know I am not the one in charge. That’s Aleksi. But, in this, he and I are on the same page.”
Me, blink…smirk…aha! “Very well then. I will take this up with Aleksi. I’m sure he and I can come to a solution.”
“I wouldn’t count on it.” Ivan pivoted on his heel and strode into the vast white canvas. A few beats passed and he stopped. Peering over his broad shoulder, he pinned me with a heated stare. “You know the scientists would love to get their hands on Nathalia. Her father is searching for her.”
Me…lamblasted. “Huh?” was my stellar reply. But, wait, her father is dead, was my mental rebuttal. HOW do I not know this, aren’t I the author? Sheesh.
“Let that be a warning.” He slashed his hand through the air and on a blink vanished.
And that leaves me with more questions then before. All I could think of was that I could be relieved that Ivan didn’t mention Gunnar at all. If he knew what I was doing with that male and his mate, all hell would break loose inside my head. Ivan is going to be soooo pissed.
Freaking Ivan. Someday, he is so going to get his comeuppance.
Now, back to writing the story!
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