Judas has never been very popular, not in any incarnation that he and Jesus and the others have lived through. But he doesn’t care about that. All he cares about is following the instructions of God as set forth in the script that they follow. And Jesus. For Judas has secretly loved the son of God for over two thousand years.
But now he decides that enough is enough, and he’s tired of watching Jesus die far too early, and for what? This time Judas is determined to see that Jesus lives a long and happy life, no matter what price he has to pay to accomplish it…no matter if he has to make a deal with the devil himself.
Revelations is a story of what could be, told by those who play it out, time after time after time, unbeknownst to the rest of mankind. They’ve come back again, for yet another round. But this time is going to be different.
It’s not always easy to sit on the sidelines and watch what is happening, to resist the urge to intervene in his best interest. My son’s that is. Jesus. But I do so, because I know it’s for his own good. As well as for the good of mankind. I can’t let my concerns as his father override my vested interest in the fate of man. But sometimes that is easier said than done.
This morning I am not alone. Someone else is with me, someone with his own agenda, although we are not as diametrically opposed as some would imagine us to be. Good and evil aren’t the simplistic concepts some would portray them as being—there are more grey areas there than you might think. And rightly so.
He smirks. Too much for my taste, I have to admit, but sometimes he does have his moments, and he too has a part to play in what is happening in the world of men. Someone needs to fill the role of the villain, after all.
The stage is being set for the third act, the scripts have been handed round, and the actors are taking their places. Will this time end any differently than the others? That depends on my son, on Jesus. I’m thinking this will be the time when he’ll make the change.
“He’ll change nothing,” Lucifer interjects, although I’ve asked him nothing, certainly not inquired as to his opinion.
I glance at him. He’s dressed to within an inch of his life, and wears the most ridiculous sunglasses I’ve ever seen. I decide not to comment on his fashion sense. “I think he might, this time. I think he’s ready for change.”
Lucifer snorts. “It’s been two thousand years, and neither one has exactly caught on yet. Why should this time be any different?”
“Care to put your money where your mouth is?”
He eyes me carefully. “I would, but you see you have this whole mystic omnipotent God thing going on. Personally, I don’t care for those odds.”
I arch an eyebrow. “I may be omnipotent, but Jesus does have free will and he does possess the ability to make his own decisions. You think I’d stack the deck in my son’s favor? Just to win a bet with you?”
“Let’s say I’m taking no chances.” He smiles. “Tell you what, though—give me free rein. Let me do what I want, and you not say anything or do anything to interfere with me? As far as they’re concerned, that is.”
I open my mouth to object, he hastily interjects. “No killing, I swear to it.”
That’s better. I still have some measure of control over the serpent.
“So be it.” I agree, turning my attention back to where it had been, to my son. I’m smirking now. Openly.
O ye of little faith, watch and learn.
Welcome Julie Lynn Hayes! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
Thanks for having me, Harlie! Well, obviously I’m a writer, have been for over forty years, which puts me on the other side of fifty lol I’ve lived most of my life in the St. Louis area, been married twice, have five kids, but only one still at home. I have two cats. My favorite thing to do is write, but after that I enjoy reading, watching movies, long drives in the country, visiting the Art Museum (St. Louis has a great one!), crocheting, knitting, cross stitch and needlepoint. I visit my kids when I can, and hope to do a lot more traveling in the future.
Is Revelations a single title, or part of a series?
Yes and no lol It isn’t part of a series, but there will be other stories that feature the characters. You might call them companion pieces, but they aren’t exactly sequels, and are still in the writing stage.
What were your inspirations for the story?
One of my biggest inspirations was Weber & Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar. I’ve listened to it so often I know most of the words and can sing all the parts (not well, mind you, so only in private). After that, I drew on inspiration from other movies I watched and books I read, and I formulated my own ideas and they became Revelations. I think one of the biggest spurs came from listening to someone talking about the Second Coming and what would happen at that time, his vision of a fire and brimstone God that I found to be rather strange, as I began to think to myself, how do you know there hasn’t been a Second Coming already, a non-announced one? Maybe more?
Please share your setting for Revelations. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
Revelations has no specific setting, not geographically. It all takes place within a small area, including the jail of a small town, and the site where most of the action takes place, just outside of town. But you can see it as you wish, it’s anywhere you want it to be. The characters are what counts, not the setting.
When did the writing bug first bite?
When I was maybe nine or so. Our teacher was reading a book to us about some kids and the adventures they had and I began to imagine my own story and wrote it, a mystery involving an island and dinosaurs and an expensive diamond perfume (long before Elizabeth Taylor ever conceived of White Diamonds lol). Sad to say, no copy of this story exists any more.
Who are you favorite authors, book/series?
That’s a tough question, because there are so many. William Faulkner, P.G. Wodehouse are two. Charlaine Harris/Sookie Stackhouse, Sherrilyn Kenyon/Dark Hunter, Preston & Child/Pendergast series, Frank Herbert/Dune, Isaac Asimov/Foundation, not to mention great manga/yaoi series: Youka Nita/Embracing Love, Kizuna, Love Mode, Maiden Rose, and much much more. And great new upcoming m/m writers: M.A. Church, Chris T. Kat, Sui Lynn, and others. And let’s not forget graphic novels: Mike Carey/Lucifer, Neil Gaiman/Sandman, Mike Carey/The Unwritten, Joe Hill/Locke & Key
If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?
Oh this would be fabulous! I’ll limit it to live authors, for expediency’s sake. Mike Carey, Joe Hill, M.A. Church, Sui Lynn, Charlaine Harris, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Neil Gaiman, Dan Brown, Christopher Moore.
Better stop there, that’s a full table lol
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
Yes, I love to crochet, knit, cross stitch and needlepoint. I don’t do anything useful, like sew, though. I love jigsaw puzzles and crossword puzzles, the harder the better. And Sudoku.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?
That’s a hard question. I’ve seen a lot of things in my over fifty years. I heard the sound of my first husband being shot to death, although I did not see it. It doesn’t sound anything like in the movies. I’ve heard people talk in tongues, which I found rather strange. It’s hard to separate the strange from the normal sometimes, it all goes into the pool of our experiences.
Thanks for having me, Harlie! And thanks to everyone who stopped by!
Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she’d never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another’s arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and two cats, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. While working a temporary day job, she continues to write her books and stories and reviews, which she posts in various places on the internet. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn’t mind. Marching to the beat of one’s own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, and MuseitUp Publishing, and she has also begun to self-publish at various places on the Internet.
My blog: http://julielynnhayes.blogspot.com
My facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=527332074
Museit Up Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com/
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_222
I think she read my post from last week. Eek…
I’m embarrassed now but what she has to say makes sense. Just don’t want to come off as a Promo Wo in social media.
by Kacey Hammell
Published by Evernight Publishing
Published on September 12, 2012
Erotic Contemporary Romance
Heat Level: Steamy
Length: 25,000 words
**An aRe Bestseller!**
Legal secretary, Olivia Warner enjoys being single and, aside from her closest gal pals, usually keeps to herself. But the night of her thirty-fourth birthday, she and her friends spend a fun-filled evening at a local bar where her friends dare her to approach a man, and spend the night with him. Olivia’s not one to turn down a dare, especially from her old college pals. She only hopes the man in question is in for some good conversation, because that is all she’ll give him.
Darren “Dare” Shalvis has given up on women. He’s tired of being chased for his money, good looks, and prowess in bed. He prefers to meet a woman who, for once, wants nothing more from him than mere conversation. If only the woman asking him to spend the night with her wasn’t his favorite legal secretary.
Accepting a dare has never been so tempting…
“Although at first glance DARE might seem like your typical romance novel (quiet girl meets rich hunk), it’s not. The reason for this is the way Ms. Hammell depicts her characters…author’s description set an image of such natural ease between them that I felt from the beginning that they were perfect for each other…behind the hot sex Kacey Hammell throws in a mystery, which surprisingly comes to play an important role in the development of the characters’ relationship…DARE was a quick, extremely enjoyable read for any moment of the day, if you dare get hot and bothered at any time.”–Bittersweet at LASR
Olivia burst out laughing without reservation.
Dare had heard it a lot tonight and the evening couldn’t be going any better.
Before taking separate cars from Countess, they’d agreed to meet back at her place for a late dinner. She had the job to pick up Chinese food while he had run his own errand.
When he’d walked her to her car and mentioned the need to stop at the drugstore, he saw her turn scarlet even in the dark. It was refreshing to find a woman who didn’t come on strong and found the slightest flirtation blush-worthy. He didn’t know many women like her.
The urge to kiss her nearly choked him. Yet before he could act, she’d whispered goodbye and hidden in her car. But the night was still young and he planned to take full advantage of the fact.
Once settled at her place, they instantly dived into their food.
He watched her smile between bites, and fought the impulse to take her lips with his. Olivia didn’t have Angie Jolie lips but they were still lush and fuller—cherry red and wet—than most women’s.
As she pushed more food into her mouth, her lips wrapped around her fork—she’d given up trying to master chopsticks, which they’d both found hilarious—Dare imagined her mouth around his cock as she sucked him deep over and over again.
“You know, chopsticks are dangerous.” Olivia’s voice brought him from his musings.
“Dangerous? I’m not sure about that, but if you say so.”
After he watched her struggle with them for fifteen minutes, Dare agreed to some extent. She was very different from other women he knew. Some never relaxed enough to laugh at themselves the way she did. Most were self-conscious and obnoxious.
But the more Olivia tried, the worse her coordination became and the more they cackled about it. Dare couldn’t recall a time when he’d had such a great time with a woman. Olivia was easy to be around. He also hadn’t felt so laid-back in ages. Most dates were full of tension and what-ifs. But with her, perhaps their honesty and knowing what the night held put them both at ease.
Dare knew she was a bit nervous, but the underlying sexual tension was electric. There was still a calm atmosphere as minutes ticked by. He was happy with that but wished he’d taken the initiative before now and asked her out. He really enjoyed her company.
“Yes, dangerous. Twice now, I’ve nearly poked my eye out with those things.”
He held up his own chopsticks, having mastered the craft years ago. He eyeballed the unintimidating weapon and then scrutinized her, brows raised. She looked serious. He had to hold in a laugh. “Perhaps you’re not feeling them.”
She frowned. “Feeling them? They’re in my hand, Dare, how can I not be feel them?”
Pleased she now used his nickname—it had never sounded so sweet—he shook his head. “No I mean, feel them. Hold them gentle, yet firm. Let your fingers slide against them like a caress.”
He lifted his hand higher, slid his fingers gently, and moved the chopsticks with grace and ease.
Dare watched her gaze darken as it followed his movements, and her cheeks flushed. He never thought showing a woman how to use chopsticks would be arousing, but desire was clear in her gaze.
She couldn’t have any idea just how hot she looked when turned on. His cock thickened. His pants grew uncomfortable and tightened over his burgeoning erection.
Shifting on the couch, he set the box of chow mein and his sticks on the coffee table, and leaned toward her.
“Olivia,” he whispered.
She stared into his eyes. The deep green of hers deepened, and her breath quickened. “Yes?”
He took the box of chicken fried rice from her hand, set it on the table, his gaze never leaving hers. He cupped her cheek, drew her closer to him, their lips an inch apart. “Do you know how many times, how long, I’ve wanted to kiss you?”
“Hmm,” came her incoherent reply. Dare didn’t need further encouragement.
Lowering his head quickly, his lips rubbed hers, left and right, sweet caresses that kicked his blood pressure into high.
He had never tasted anything sweeter. Her mouth held a hint of mint from the tea she’d made earlier. He would always associate the flavor with her. And he wanted more of it.
His tongue traced the seam of her lips. He nudged her backward until she lay against the couch. He shifted closer and lounged next to her.
Her fingers tangled in his hair, and she tugged him closer still as her tongue swept his mouth.
Dare groaned. Sexually aggressive women were a turn on, always had been, but with her the excitement went up a notch. Her hesitancy mixed with aggressiveness was more than pleasing. This woman could turn a man inside out. Her touch and taste were addictive and sweet.
If Dare wasn’t careful he’d fall for her…hard.
I adore Kacey Hamell. I love her voice, her characters and they plots that pulls together for her characters. The sex between her characters is hot and has a point. Its never thrown in there for the sake of another sex scene. That said, I was a little disappointed in a couple of aspects of Dare. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the book but there were some issues that were never explained in the end.
What do you do when your college best friends dare you to pick someone out at a bar and sleep with me? Well, other than wanting to slap said college best friends, you pick out the man who you know from work in passing. He will do for now. Plus, seriously would he even be remotely interested in her. A dare for a Dare is what she got. One night turned into the entire weekend. Neither expected to fall for the other in that one weekend but it happened.
Back at work on Monday, Olivia is charged with leaking information out of the law firm. With Dare looking at her, he doesn’t back her up. Told to leave until further investigation she goes home to her girlfriends, vodka and mint chocolate chip ice cream (my favorite). Heartbroken and shattered by what she thinks is Dare not believing in her, she realizes that her dare is over.
OMG, the scene when Dare shows back up at her apartment and her girlfriends are there is priceless. The dialogue is hilarious, snarky and somewhat emotional for all of them. He has to convince them that he is not there to hurt Olivia but to explain and beg for forgiveness. Candy and Holly are definitely forces to be reckoned with. *hint* *cough* *more please*
Here’s where it gets muddled for me…when they are finally being honest with each other, Dare doesn’t mention that he is filthy rich. It is mentioned at the beginning of the book but dropped in the end. I mean, if they are going to be honest, that he needed to tell her that. Just a little thing for me but overall, buy this book, read it and love Kacey Hammell has much as I do.
About the Author:
The writer: Canadian author, Kacey Hammell is a multi-published erotic romance author who writes mainly in the Contemporary Erotic/Romantic Suspense genres. She is a true romantic at heart.
The Wife and Mom: Born, raised and still living in her hometown in Ontario, Canada, Kacey found true love with her husband. As a Mom of three, Kacey has made certain that each of her children know the value of the written word and the adventures they could escape on by becoming book-a-holics in their own right.
Readers can learn more about my books/contact me via …
a Rafflecopter giveaway” title=”Rafflecopter Link” target=”_blank”>Rafflecopter Link
Prize is 1 eBook copy of “Rub Me the Right Way”. Contest is tour-wide and open internationally. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Ends Dec 19.
Rub Me the Right Way
by Kelli Scott
Published by Decadent Publishing
Contemporary M/F F/F Erotica
Contains Elements of Comedy, Light Bondage
Heat Level: Sizzling
Length: 7,000 words
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/245386
Heather Bowen is an uptight, stressed out insomniac in desperate need of a massage or a shrink or an orgasm to cure what ails her.
On doctor’s orders, she starts with a massage to work out her knotty/naughty kinks. At the hands of a talented massage therapist, Heather gets a full body rub down. And more. Next stop—a psychiatrist to get at the root of her anxiety and sleeplessness. But is she ready for Dr. Simon’s controversial treatment?
What begins as prescribed therapy becomes a wild fantasy ride of erotic discovery that makes Heather question her sexual orientation along with everything she believed about her carnal desires.
“You all ready, Heather?” Tasha called out, probably worried about how long it took me to get undressed.
I shoved the drape of the dressing room aside. “Absolutely.”
She led me to the room across the hall as if through a slow motion dream. She was that graceful and lithe and willowy. Tranquil sounds filled the space. Waves lapping at a sandy beach.
She patted the massage table. “Up or down?”
“Excuse me?” I didn’t know there’d be a quiz.
Perusing the clipboard, she asked, “First massage?”
“That’s right.” Then couldn’t help but add, “I’m a massage virgin.”
“Well, we’ll see what we can do to remedy that.” She smiled, not taking my comment offensively, unless she was a really good actress. “Would you like to start face up or down?”
“What do you recommend?” I stopped myself from repeating the virgin reference.
She skimmed the clipboard again. “Lower back pain. Tense, knotted muscles. Insomnia. Headaches. Stress. Let’s start face down.” Looking up from my long list of afflictions, she asked, “Would you like me to step out while you disrobe?”
Would that be rude? “Of course not.” I scoffed. “We’re both women, right?”
Tasha turned her back, preparing her oils or instruments or whatever. With her attention elsewhere, I slipped out of the robe, hung it on a peg, and hopped on the table quick like The Flash, hauling the sheet over my nakedness, which I still wasn’t sure was appropriate. Oh, well, what the hell? She’d just have to deal with it. I planted my face in the face donut and waited.
The acoustics transitioned into raindrops on a tin roof. Occasionally a clap of friendly thunder rumbled in the distance to mix things up. She positioned me like a rag doll, placing my arms at my sides on the outside of the sheet.
“Comfortable?” she asked.
“Yes,” I mumbled.
I fixated on her delicate bare feet, her toenails painted a fuchsia color. The fringe of her sarong nearly tickled the floor as she gracefully glided around. A silver chain encircled her ankle. How I wished I could be more like her. Free-spirited. Serene. Bohemian.
“Be sure to tell me if I rub too hard.” She rested her palms on my skin, and I tensed.
“I am,” I protested.
This book had me in stitches in the beginning. I remember my first massage and what the hell do you do? Bra/panties on or off? I’ve always had a woman give me a massage, never a man. If I want a man to massage me, I have one to do that at home…for free. Anywoos…everyone knows how much I love Decadent’s The Edge series. Its short, sexy, arousing and oh so naughty.
Heather is one stressed out woman. No man in her life, workaholic and wound up tighter than a $2 watch. When ordered to a massage therapist from her doctor, she is not ready for the type of massage that she is going to get. Oh my *blushes*…what happens on that table is delicious, naughty and I’m hetro. She, herself keeps telling herself, I’m not a lesbian but after that table massage, she starts to question it.
Next up is the real doctor visit and what a visit it is. This is where the true comedic elements/snark come to play. Does she slap the crap out of him or play along? The dialogue between Heather and the doctor are priceless and I didn’t know if I wanted to slap him or get on my knees. *wipes brow*
Overall, if you are looking for a quickie that features f/f and the m/f with a touch of D/s, I highly recommend it. Fair warning…the twist at the end I never saw coming. He he!!!!
Left for dead in an enchanted forest, Kelli was raised by wolves, which explains her thick coat of fur and keen night vision. As an adolescent, she was exiled from the pack due to her love of well-done steak smothered in ketchup (her penchant for blackened beef has also caused her ejection from several fine eateries). On her own, she roamed the streets, eating from dumpsters and sleeping in abandoned dog houses. Cold, starving and destitute, Kelli turned to the oldest profession—writing. Since her fall from grace, she has penned several smutty stories for which she has received many accolades. And despite her limited vocabulary, inability to punctuate properly and her well-documented spelling disability, Kelli has collected some awards (some of them for her writing). But what she wants most in the world is to return to the enchanted forest and her pack. As soon as she figures out north from south and east from west, she will do just that.
Visit Kelli online at:
Twitter – http://twitter.com/#!/kelliscottbooks
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/#!/kelli.scott.5
Shelfari – http://www.shelfari.com/o1515080679
Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004MNCIPQ
Coach Taylor really needs to give me a good motivational speech. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been kicked, pointed at, laughed at and generally ignored in the romance community as a writer. I really don’t think people realize that I do have a book coming out next month. I’m in author loops, reader loops, on Facebook and nothing. I have signed on with a tour company for January. What am I doing wrong?I have privately emailed authors on what it was like when their first book came out and the advice and thoughts varied.
I’ve been told you are never any good until your second book. Don’t worry about it…just promo, promo, promo. Most people don’t pay attention to your first book; build up your backlist; and my personal favorite…some authors just might be jealous. Jealous? You’re kidding right? Who would be jealous of me? I wr0te a spicy, (not erotic) SHORT story with a twist. Its not a series; I didn’t sign a multi-book deal or get an advance, so what’s up? Its not with a big 6 publisher either. So what gives?
I think part of the problem is that my name is not recognizable. Yes, Harlie is a reviewer but she is also a writer now that will be published in December. She is working on her current WIP with a vengeance so she can start sending out query letters. As one writer told me, you have the biggest challenge that I didn’t have…getting people to see you as a writer and not a reviewer. I never thought of it that way. Most people love my reviews but it stops there. I know of another reviewer out there that is now published under a pen name and I don’t think she is having the same issues that I am having.
Often I have thought, well I’m just not one of the cool kids. You know, the reader/fan/reviewer that goes to all the conferences and meets all the great romance authors out there and has fun. Well, up until June of this year, I worked 40 hours weeks, had a family to take care, a husband who works every other weekend and lived in the sticks. Didn’t really allow me the time to just run off to a convention/conference all the time. Yes, would I like to go to one? You betcha but I have to plan it out like an invasion. I have a plan now so that I can go to my RWA Chapter meetings without the logistically problems. Plus, our son gets to see his grandparents and cousins. I will definitely be at my chapter conference in March. Again, it all comes down to logistics.
This post is not a bitch session but one that I would like some thoughts on. I’ve applied and been rejected for author blogs that had openings. Yes, sad isn’t it? I do have a Manic Reader page. Well, I will once I can upload my cover and stuff. (technical glitch on their end) And before you say it…NO, I do not have a “brand” for myself. My current WIP is a RS with paranormal elements. No sex, barely any kissing. So, as you can see, my writing goes from one end of the spectrum to the other. *sigh*
Really Coach T? A little motivation would be nice. And no even Riggins wouldn’t be that much of a help.
Minneapolis PI Marta Hjelm failed to prevent a preventable murder. Her guilt has brought her right to the edge of burnout and dropout. But a prize specimen from her ancient past—her cheating ex-husband—appears out of nowhere with a gig too good to turn down. One last job, Marta figures, can’t hurt.
But hurt it does, as Marta tries to make sense of a terrorist plot at a major ad agency. In the dead of a long, bitter Minnesota winter, Marta struggles to survive attempts on her life. To understand her conflicted feelings toward an ex who wants her back, and toward the man who healed her when everything was dark. To make peace with the ghost of a victim she should have saved. And to crack open multiple conspiracies that lead to murder and smoking ruin.
Snuggled tight in the heated basement garage, the ad agency’s Lexus started like a charm. I touched the button on the remote door control, and drove up and out into the brutal January night. I turned right, through the back parking lot, and right again, around the end of the building, into the front parking lot, past my frozen Mercury Marquis.
A minute later I was curving north and east at a good clip, toward Wayzata, feeling like a rally driver. The sky was a deep azure, clear as glass and full of the stars you don’t often see in the city.
It was the first time that day I’d felt relatively on top of the situation. Sure, plenty of things were screwed up.
My boyfriend Rick needed calming down and getting home, where he belonged. I’d had to go to work for people I didn’t like, for a cause that gave pause. And my reaction to seeing my ex Terry again made me a little queasy. What’s up with that? I asked myself. But clear them all up—and I had no doubt that I would—and things looked a lot better.
I tooled over a narrow bridge, went left, then right, the lake only a dozen feet away. The headlights caught the glitter of ice on the road. I lightly tapped the brakes, but didn’t feel them catch. No anti-lock kicking in. Doing something wrong, I thought, as my heart accelerated and my gloved hands squeezed the wheel harder.
I feathered the brakes again—a reflexive, fluttery tapping of my right foot, from teen driving days—as I came onto the ice. I was going way too fast. Again, nothing happened. The Lexus kept rolling.
Turning the wheel left, I could feel my heart coming up into my mouth.
The tires refused to find a purchase on the ice and the car began to yaw sideways.
I kept feathering the brakes, then pressed hard. The pedal went to the floor with a forbidding “thunk.”
The road curved left again, but the Lexus kept going straight.
A puny steel-cable guard rail came up fast as a shot and the front of the Lexus sheared through it with a percussive roar.
I was briefly airborne over eight feet of steep shoreline, starting to scream, when the car nosed down.
The frozen lake rushed toward me, brilliant in the headlights, like a wall of dirty, corrugated granite.
Writing from the other side of the gender divide
We’ve all done it—looked at a person of the opposite sex and wondered what in the world makes him/her act the way he/she does.
I had the chance to delve deeper into that mystery when I created Smoking Ruin. The book is written in first-person, from the point of view of a female PI.
My protagonist, Minneapolis PI Marta Hjelm (pronounced “Helm”), is facing a perfect little storm of trouble and danger. She wants to quit PI work and join her boyfriend Rick in his photography business. But he’s not so sure that’s a good idea. A last big job comes her way courtesy of her bad-boy ex-husband—who clearly wants her back. And once she delves deeply into the case—with her primary client murdered in a horrible way—the unknown killer comes after her.
The mystery part of this equation is fairly straightforward, in the manner of detective stories everywhere. But how does a male author like me go about getting into the head of this woman who’s facing terrific personal and professional challenges? Well, most authors put a bit of themselves in each of their characters. And in many respects Marta is me—with a whole lot more guts and gumption. She’s kind of tired and cynical. She’s a snarky observer of social foibles and is often baffled at the illogicalities of the world. She’s nearly middle-aged and out of shape and feeling not very attractive. She’s dogged and loyal—a work horse, not a show horse.
When I was writing Smoking Ruin, I was fortunate to have a technical advisor on the female point-of-view—my wife. But once I wrinkled out those inauthentic moments in the story (“Sorry, hon, a woman would never think that.”), the women who have read the book have uniformly liked, even loved, Marta. With an early version of the book I toyed with the idea of turning Marta into Martin—thinking a male PI might sell better. A female friend who had read the manuscript was appalled. “Don’t you dare!” she snapped at me. “Marta’s not a man!”
I think any good writer should be able to bring off first-person in the opposite gender. Simply create a real human being with the personality and history and character that’s required for the story you intend to tell. That human being can be based on you or someone else you know or a totally fictional creation. Then start tweaking the gender details. If you’re a woman, ask your husband, boyfriend or male friends for technical advice; if you’re a man, ask the women you know.
What’s really important is that you know your character, like your character, and believe in your character. I know I’m awfully fond of Marta Hjelm and I hope readers who pick up a copy of Smoking Ruin will be, too.
Other books by D. R. Martin
Johnny Graphic and the Etheric Bomb, a kids’ ghost adventure; website at johnnygraphicadventures.com
The Karma of King Harald, a canine cozy written under the pen name Richard Audry, to be published in early December; website at richardaudry.com
D. R.’s Goodreads author page is at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5874298.D_R_Martin
You can contact D.R. at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m excitd about this blog hop. I can finally reveal a little bit about my story that is coming out soon. The book is tenantively titled, The Couple. There are some light BDSM elements in it and the use of silk ropes are involved.
When I researched the different types of knots that cowboys use, I didn’t realize how many there are that they use. Trying to figure out what type my cowboy would use in the bedroom and the barn was tricky. Plus, I had to make sure that the knot used, wouldn’t hurt the heroine in anyway. Again…wow!
Just Google cowboy knots and you will know what I had to go through.
Here is a snippet from my story using the knot. Enjoy.
He pulled back and lifted the silk ropes until he knew they were in her line of vision. Her eyes widened and a small cry left her lips.
“You have given me no choice but to tie you to the bed.”
Silk rope in hand, he moved up next to her head reaching for both of her hands and tied them to the pine spoke in a bowline knot. She could move but not easily. Her legs remained untied but those would be next.
Pleased with his handiwork, he moved back between her thighs leaning over her so they were face to face. “Sweetheart, if you think that I’m going to let you come anytime soon, you are sadly mistaken. I plan on wringing as much pleasure out of you as I can.”
I know, right? I didn’t go the BDSM route with the rope, I went the cowboy way. Rope is a cowboy’s handcuffs. Rope is always around, easy to use and as more give so the person tied up doesn’t get hurt.
Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my little snippet. Good luck with the giveaway and don’t forget to follow the blog for the rest of the week. The links are at the bottom.
Hi Harlie and all you fabulous readers out there *waves* Thank you so much for having me today! My debut book, Hard Core, released this week so I’m very excited to be here! Thank you so much for sharing it with me!!
In honor of my release I am offering a copy of my debut romantic suspense, Hard Core, in either ebook format or signed print copy to one lucky commenter so please leave me a comment with your EMAIL and gift choice to be entered to win!!
Writing is a solitary career. As writers we lock ourselves away in an office for hours upon hours and escape into foreign lands with people we are learning to know. It’s a wonderful job and I love it, but sometimes it gets lonely being alone all the time with no one to talk to but fictional characters. Which is why I have certain things that motivate me!
The first thing on the list is my characters! Without them I’d have no story, no reason to write, nothing to write about. I love going on their adventure and meeting them, discovering their journey to happy ever after with them.
Second would have to be the setting. I love to research new settings! Dream of these exotic places my characters will travel and hope to someday travel there myself
Third would be chocolate! LOL. Yep, gotta have chocolate. It’s a great motivator! I always have a special bowl of chocolates in my office.
Oh, and can’t forget music. I often listen to music when I write and have playlists for each book. The playlist depends on the story. I mostly listen to rock (Octane is my favorite station). But I do have some classic rock and pop. Like I said, depends on the story.
How about you? Do you have anything that motivates you when you write? Or even when you read? A special candle or chair or music? I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks so much for having me today, Harlie!! I just want to send out a big THANK YOU to all my readers out there! Without you I wouldn’t be here. My wish is to one day meet each and every one of you so I can personally thank you for your generosity and support!
All my best,
Hard Core/Romantic Suspense
Tag: He takes lives. She saves them.
A supposedly hassle-free job for mercenary Cristian Slade becomes a mission of mercy when he saves a life instead of taking one. Slade’s new mission might be his most dangerous yet, because the danger is to his heart.
Tragedy has sent esteemed surgeon Alana O’Grady to a remote a remote Nicaraguan island where she immerses herself in the lives of a native American tribe, using her talents for goodwill instead of wealth and prestige. But life turns upside down when her work requires she protect a rugged mercenary who commands her attention when she’s awake and dominates her dreams while she sleeps.
Doctoring Cristian puts her entire tribe in danger from the man who’s hunting him. Is it her professional oath or her unprofessional attraction to him keeping her from sending him away to heal on his own? Alana’s fire warms Cristian’s heart, but he’s a hardened assassin and has no business falling for someone like her. Can they fight hard enough to keep what they might have together?
Content Warning: Sexual content.
Prepared to start an IV, she picked up a needle. She had it in position when his other arm shot out and he clamped her wrist in a bone-crushing grip. Startled, she met his panicked gaze.
“I said no needles.”
Her heart banged against her ribcage as she let the needle slip out of her hand. It hit the floor with a small ting. Alana opened her hands in surrender, her patient’s fingers digging into her flesh. For a man half-dead, he had amazing strength.
“Okay,” she said to placate him. “Relax, I don’t have it anymore. It’s your choice, but I recommend you let me start an IV for meds.”
“No. Just fix me.”
Alana pinned him with a no nonsense stare. “I’m not impressed with Superman heroics.”
Face pale and drawn, he said gruffly, “I’m not Superman. Learned not to trust people with needles.”
Her fingers were going numb. “If I remove the bullet without pain medication or anesthetic, you’re going to be sorry.”
He studied her. “You’re really a doctor?”
Alana bristled. “Technically, yes.”
She didn’t have time to explain herself with the amount of blood seeping from his gunshot wound. “I went to med school. You can let go of my arm now. I won’t use any needles.”
He looked down and immediately released his grip. She rubbed her wrist to soothe away the ache. “Can I get to work now, or do you want to question me more about my credentials while you bleed to death? I don’t have a blood bank, so you’re screwed if you lose too much.”
Her blunt statement received a curt nod. She normally didn’t talk to her patients like that. Her patients didn’t normally countermand her either.
“Do it,” he said.
“I don’t need them. Just get it over with.”
Stubborn, stupid, or both? Insane, yes, but there wasn’t time to argue with him.
“Okay. The offer stands if you change your mind.”
She doubted that, but didn’t comment. Instead, wiped her forehead with her forearm, and picked up gauze pads to clean the wound.
“Here goes,” she warned and dabbed his skin.
Her patient didn’t move or even wince as she cleaned the angry wound. Either he had a will of steel or he’d passed out again. Hopefully, the latter. Sweat rolled down her back as she finished cleansing the area around the bullet entry. Red flesh puckered with the first signs of infection. In this environment infection was guaranteed.
With a steady hand that would have made her father proud, she picked up her instruments and took a deep breath.
“You still with me?”
He murmured a response, turning his head slightly so he could see her. The stark beauty of his profile, despite the bruises, struck her again. The lines of his face were chiseled, unforgiving. The kind of man she’d glance at twice if she passed him on the street.
A man associated with a criminal.
“Still here, Doc. What are you waiting for?” Husky with pain, his deep voice brought her out of her thoughts.
She gave herself a mental shake. “Want something to bite down on?”
A small, wry smile touched his lips and his lids closed. “You won’t hear a peep out of me. Just fix me, Doc.”
“I can hit you so you’ll sleep through it,” she muttered.
That drew a low chuckle from him. She didn’t expect him to have a sense of humor. He seemed too…hard. His chuckle turned into a grunt of pain. “You probably hit like a girl.”
Alana grinned. “Yes, I do. Rest assured it won’t feel like it.”
“Appreciate the offer, but, no.” His words slurred together, his muscles tense as he fought his body’s demands.
“You got a name, Superman?”
His head rolled to the side, his chest rose and fell slowly. She thought he was out but he murmured, “Cristian.”
“Nice to meet you, Cristian.”
Then she dug into the wound for the bullet.
Jennifer Lowery grew up reading romance novels in the back of her math book and on the bus to school, and never wanted to be anything but a writer. Her summers were spent sitting at the kitchen table with her sisters spinning tales of romance and intrigue and always with a tall glass of ice tea at their side.
Today, Jennifer is living that dream and she couldn’t be happier to share her passion with her readers. She loves everything there is about romance. Her stories feature alpha heroes who meet their match with strong, independent heroines. She believes that happily ever after is only the beginning of her stories. And the road to that happy ending is paved with action, adventure, and romance. As her characters find out when they face danger, overcome fears, and are forced to look deep within themselves to discover love.
Jennifer lives in Michigan with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.