Monday, September 20, 2010

Procrastinators Unite...Later

First and foremost, CONGRATULATIONS to Jennifer Jakes! RAFE'S REDEMPTION is going to be published by The Wild Rose Press in e-book and print formats. This manuscript was a 2010 Golden Heart Finalist, and we are all so very happy for Jennifer.

Now, for a little inspiration to get us all moving forward on our writing journeys:

I do love to write. Writing has been a steady force through a few ups and downs, but let's face it--sometimes, a girl just has to do a little...ahem...research to get inspired. Some might call it procrastination. Some might question the necessity of searching through semi-nude male photo after semi-nude male photo, but take it from a pre-published author--in the end, it will be worth it. And as for how it helps in the here and now...well, do I really have to expound on those benefits?

For example, my current WIP is about two competing chefs. Who can really resist a man in an apron? Especially if he's wearing little else and catering to my foodie needs. So I painstakingly pored over images, hoping to get some sizzling pictures to inspire my hash-slinging hero until I finally found just the right ones. Here are just a couple of the too-hot-for-my-kitchen top chefs I came across:

Rocco Dispirito

Sam Talbot

Jeff McInnes

Bryan Voltaggio

Oh, my, is it hot in here, or is it just that chefs wear too many clothes? But what exactly is the cure for procrastination of this sort? The need to give my fully visualized characters their HEA, of course.

Okay, okay, I've "researched" enough.

But before I go, any other chefs warm your burners?

Happy writing!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chocolate Anyone?

Men are like chocoloate. They come in different packages and flavors. Some you want to try more than once and with others, one taste is more than enough. They can be nutty, sweet and full of so much crap their true flavor is hidden.

They entice us, thrill us, infuriate us and make us love them even if we shouldn't or don't want to; much like our male characters.

Discovering a new man, or male character is like discovering a new chocolate indulgence. He catches your eye with his smile, gorgeous eyes or captivating gaze and you want to unwrap him and enjoy all his flavors. Here is one of my favorites to unwrap.


Pierce Brosnan: Hot, hot and more hotness. He's inpired most of the characters in my books with his dark hair, and who could resist those Irish eyes and sexy smile. Like Sean Connery, he gets better with age.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The inspiration of covers...

We can all say that as children we lolled around in the grass, feeling the heated rays of a summer sun warming our skin while we transformed puffy white clouds into wild mustangs or castles from far off lands. The truth is that penchant for creating something from nothing has never left us-especially for writers.

The writer inside of us loves to create, to shape and mold, until the story that has been trapped inside emerges. Now that doesn’t mean the story is perfect-sometimes far from it-but it is the inspiration for that story that has pushed us to that level.

So what gets your gears working? What is your inspiration? A few of you have already shared it.

For a romantic suspense or dark paranormal writer it could be the barren landscape of a cemetery at night, where solemn headstones stand as moonlight and mist conceal, yet reveal its ominous presence. For a sweet inspirational writer it could be something as simple as a bouquet of roses or the sight of a couple holding hands as they walk down the street. Even a historical writer feels her writing presence awakened by certain things, the gentle strain of a sweeping waltz, the smell of sandalwood and soap or a picture from the past could trigger her instincts.
But for some of us a picture says a thousand words.

Any Romance writer, be it erotica or Rom. Suspense has seen her (or his) fair share of covers out there. Some of them are tame and some push the envelope of being too much to handle.
As a fan of covers (that don’t show faces-like Lisa Kleypas’s new historicals) I like to break down the whole picture, step back and all. The glimpse of the man (usually shirtless) is enough to send my creative writing juices flowing. From his sculpted jaw, defined chest and clean cut muscles to his penetrating gaze (if you can see it), that is all it takes for an image to form in my mind of my future hero-flaws and all.

Who wants to ignore a hot cover anyway?

Getting a glimpse of the hero in the flesh is enough to spawn fantasy upon fantasy. With his strong hand clasping the heroine’s hip in a fierce grip, his whole body screaming “She’s mine” as he holds her close-well, hell-that’s pretty damn inspirational to me! The reader can almost taste his possessiveness as he stands there boldly declaring how much he wants her for his own. Usually in life I don’t care for overbearing, assertive men. (Clayton Westmoreland from Whitney, My Love comes to mind) They annoy the heck out of me, but throw them in a book and BAM! My interest is piqued to say the least.

I consider my inspiration to be anything visual. And usually if I’m stuck on a scene and can’t get my gears going, I pick up the nearest cover, drool a bit, then return to my current WIP, hoping that in the future my covers will be an inspiration to somebody out there.

So, fellow angels, clue us in on your inspiration, be it visual, therapeutic, routine or hanging out with friends. What gets you going? What makes your fingers tingle or your palms itch to write? Share your secret, maybe it can inspire us all!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I was looking for something to watch on TV the other night--I don't even recall which night it was--when I tuned-in to PBS, which was carrying a performance that included Dmitri Hvorostovsky, a Russian baritone. The music was wonderful and the view, even better.

There he was, silver hair and all, looking very heroic. I'd love to post a picture, but it defies my limited abilites to capture it and post it here--I've been trying. So I'll just give you the link to his website.

Pop over and give the photos a look. You'll see costumes, certainly, but on the third page of photos, you'll be able to see why I say--he's Giles in 20 years. Giles is the hero of my second book.

Check out the video, too. It's not for the faint-hearted, but it's worth it. Spectacular voice.

W magazine once called this (now) 40-something Siberian native "opera's reigning--and perhaps its one and only--hunk."

Take a look and you'll see why.