Dec 21, 2014

Midwinter Flash Fiction Blog Hop!

Heya all, I'm participating in the Midwinter Flash Fiction Blog Hop presented by the House of Manlove M/M critique group!

We have a lot of awesome flash fiction stories to keep you warm this winter's day, so take a look at the list of all the fantabulous authors participating this year. Click to go to Inlinkz list

Here is my story, a cute introduction to a couple of the characters in my current fantasy wip "Malrith's Shield." Enjoy!


*****

Winter in Anscien

Sawyer crossed his arms against his chest, staring out into the snowy night. The first snowfall of the season started early, meaning a long, unproductive winter. Snowflakes glistened in the yellow candlelight from his room as they fell around the window. The pile on the ground was getting deeper.
“It’s snowing,” Fithel said, softly closing the door.
Sawyer nodded his head. Unfortunately.
“Well have to postpone the hunt until spring.” Fithel’s announcement made Sawyer cringe. He’d trained for years to hunt dragons and their summoners. How could a simple snowfall stop their progress in its tracks?
Behind him, Fithel’s footsteps echoed in the silence. The hunt never seemed so important to him as it had to Sawyer. Instead, Fithel had performed the king’s duty, while to Sawyer, hunting dragons was more about keeping his own sanity in tact.
“Are you okay with this?” Fithel asked. He stood at Sawyer’s side, now; his stringy dirty-blond hair folded back around his once pointed ear, thin arms straight at his sides, and wearing his familiar emotionless face. Fithel was always the model of perfect attentiveness. Surely a skill necessary for the king’s first knight.
“I’ll have to be,” Sawyer said, glancing over his commander; his first love since he was fifteen. “Not much to do until the first melt, though.”
A slight grin lifted Fithel’s lip. “Sure there is.” He leaned against the wall with his hand on his hip. “We can build a snowman.”
Sawyer raised a brow. “A snowman?” Fithel nodded with a full, toothy smile. His immature suggestion, and the grin on his lips, made Sawyer even more irritated. “What good is such a frivolous activity meant for children? We’re young men now, Fithel. I don’t think—“
“And what is wrong with a little playfulness?” Fithel tipped his head. “It’s never bothered you before.”
“When I was younger.”
“Why not now, then? You’ve been quite different since the becoming of your nightmares. Sometimes it is like I don’t even know you anymore. Are you still Sawyer, who used to frolic in the stream near the castle and who used to wrap himself around me for attention?”
Sawyer let out a sigh. Of course, age had matured him, but so had his dreams. Those dreams of their castle burning under the enormous eyes of every dragon called to attack it. The summoners who not only controlled their monsters, but fought every army with precision and power. Since those dreams, his life seemed to be geared toward one thing—ridding the world of dragons and their summoners.
“I suppose you’re right,” Sawyer whispered. The lighthearted smile on Fithel’s lips wavered. “It is getting late, though.”
Fithel dropped his arms. “Nevermind that. Hurry and dress in your thickest leather. We’ll build a snowman before dark,” he said quickly before rushing out the door.
That was... odd. It’d been a while since Fithel had such a suggestion. In any case, Sawyer took one last glance at the glistening snowfall before hurrying to dress. It didn’t take him long, and when he stepped outside, he met Fithel up to his knees in fresh snow.
“It snowed this much?”
“Didn’t you know? It’s been a blizzard all day. Just now calmed enough to open the doors without snow blowing in.” Snow crunched under Fithel’s boots as he stepped down the staircase to the ground. Or what was the staircase? Sawyer couldn’t tell where the stone steps ended and ground began.
He hadn’t seen such a snowfall since his thirteenth birthday, and even then, they didn't go outside in it. Carefully, he stepped down in the thick white blanket, snow covering up to his calves, then right above his knee. The cold seeped in quickly, but worst of all, he could barely lift his leg to take another step.
“We could build a snowman army—“ Fithel turned to spot Sawyer’s struggle. “Need a hand?” He waded in the deep snow toward Sawyer.
Sawyer reached out to him, couldn’t quite grasp on. A cool wetness built around his heel as he tried to lift his leg. Damn, did he lace his boot tight enough? He stretched out again, attempting to seize hold of Fithel’s hand to free himself. “J-just a little bit...” Sawyer grumbled.
“You can do it,” Fithel gasped, his fingers brushing against Sawyer’s. One more try. They clasped hands, and with one yank...
“Hold on!” Sawyer’s boot slid off as he went barreling down the snow hill with Fithel beside him. He stared up at the gray skies, white flakes landed on his forehead, and his naked foot chilled. It was much warmer in the castle.
Next to him, Fithel’s laughter lit up the gloom. “You oaf.” He slapped Sawyer in the arm. “Now how do we get your boot back, huh?”
“Oh, shut it.” Sawyer rolled over and smacked Fithel back. Although his toes burned from the cold air, he couldn’t help the chuckle. “You pulled too hard.”
“Did I?” Fithel punched him in the leg, harder now. “I’m not the klutz who doesn’t secure their boots.”
“Ow!” Sawyer scooped up a handful of snow. If Fithel continued this spat, he’d get a faceful. “What was that?”
“You heard me,” Fithel said.
A chunk of frigged moisture landed on Sawyer’s cheek, dizzying him a moment. He ran his fingers across the cold, wet spot, his face growing hot with fury. Fithel chuckled hard. “That’s it.” Sawyer threw his ball of snow, clocking Fithel in the forehead, stopping his furious laughing.
With wide eyes, he glared at Sawyer. Scooped up another handful of snow. But Sawyer quickly prepared with a shot of his own. Immediately, they aimed and hit each other. Sawyer’s face and chest was covered in a layer of snow before he could scrape up another handful. Anger brewed through his body. Damn that Fithel.
“Why you...” He pounced to his knees and slammed into Fithel, catching him off guard, and pushing him onto his back in the snow. Barreling in laughter, Sawyer snatched up a large snowball and shoved it in his face.
Fithel spat. Choked. Wheezed.
Sawyer moved his hand. Fithel’s skin reddened; where the snow sat had turned a pale blue. “What—“ Fithel opened his moist eyes.
“You okay?” In that moment, Sawyer’s heart hammered. Had he not pulled away, he could’ve suffocated him. “Guess I got a little carried away.”
Fithel narrowed his brows. Grasped hold of Sawyer’s sides. Suddenly, Sawyer found himself on his back, the cold invading through his leather. Fithel straddled his legs, his heavy weight pressing Sawyer deep into the snow. He leaned in close, hot and intense breath against Sawyer’s cheek. “You’re an ass,” he whispered huskily. “But that is why I love you.”
Sawyer’s eyes widened. He’d only heard Fithel’s confession once before, two years ago in a moment of heated passion. “You truly mean it?” Sawyer asked.
“Of course I do.” Fithel brushed his warm, moist lips against Sawyer’s. “I always have.” He raised his head, a grin on his lips. “Now let’s get your boot and build that snowman.”

Dec 18, 2014

What's Coming in 2015!

I hope everyone's Christmas is off to a wonderful start. It certainly went awry in my home. So how was 2014 for you?

This year, I've been a little more quiet than I wanted to be due to personal stuff. It's been a year of discovery and learning in both my personal life and writing life. But we're gearing up to bring in 2015 with a bang.

Next year, expect a few changes to the Azalea Moone backlist and some new, fantastic reads!

Here's the unofficial list of what's to come.


Backlist changes - These books will no longer be available by the 1st of the year:

"Night Shift"
"Once Upon a New Years Eve"
"The Man Who Spoke My Name"

"A Rogue's Power" will no longer be available after June.


New releases and re-releases! - Expect some new stuff, including:

The re-release of "Angel's Redemption"

"Project Wasteland: The Chaos" Book 2
"Project Wasteland" Book 3

"Malrith's Shield" (working title subject to change) A whole new fantasy world that's been a blast to work in. I'll introduce you to a few characters on Sunday with my short piece for the Mid-Winter Flash Fic hop presented by the House of Manlove.


Okay, okay, I know I said this last year, but next year I would like to post more on this blog. I also need to find a place to post other things like gaming, yaoi, manga, anime, etc... Maybe Tumblr?


Curious? Stayed tuned for more good stuff coming soon, including (possibly) a end of the year giveaway! :)



Merry Christmas.



Nov 4, 2014

Editing a novel for NaNoWriMo

Every year, I try to consider writing a novel for NaNo. Well, I already have my fantasy novel "Malrith's Shield" written. It took 3 months, give or take a few days/weeks, to jam out--which for me is damn good time. And it's my first real novel.

Now I'm at the major revision stage. *breathes*

Editing or revising, whatever you want to call it, always overwhelms the hell out of me. I can do simple revisions usually without any problems, but this novel needs A LOT of work! I don't write clean first drafts lol.

So since I've already beat the goal of writing a novel, I'm going to work on editing this novel during NaNo. Hopefully I'll be able to share an excerpt with ya'll in a week or two.

Wish me luck. ^.^


I have my to-do list. I have ideas and feedback. I have my character references, editing notes, and my rough outline. *cracks knuckles*



Sep 9, 2014

Coming soon - Project Wasteland book 1 - and excerpt!

Coming soon!
Project Wasteland: The Forgotten
A new sci-fi by Azalea Moone.

It's a harsh world out there. A wasteland of destruction and chaos. 
Randy Hawkins, a hybrid droid, is on his fifth rescue mission in search for
survivors. Though the land is sweltering and harsh, he finds a troupe of 
survivors, overtaken my disease and filth. Their lead man, Preston, 
keeps them alive by any means necessary.

In this excerpt, Preston has just prepared to gather rain water from an oncoming storm.
It's a chance that might not work out, it hasn't rained in over three years, but it's worth
a shot. They take shelter inside an underground bunker, praying for rain when...

-------------

I laid my jacket out on the table and took a deep breath. What a wild night. But Preston did have a good plan, I had to admit. If he could distill the rainwater, it would serve as perfectly good drinking water for him, and his survivors he was so adamant on protecting. Thunder continued to rumble outside. I wondered if the survivor camp was also getting the rain.
“It’s...” Preston gasped behind me.
I turned around briefly, suddenly realizing the air was hot in the bunker, drying the sticky sweat on my lower back—the area my equipment didn’t temperature regulate properly. Preston’s eyes were wide, staring at my machinery. I couldn’t imagine what he was thinking.
“Go ahead and say it.” I moved back to the table and situated the jacket, making sure the sleeves weren’t bunched up. “It’s disgusting, right?”
“No. It’s awesome.” His excited reply shocked me. “Can I touch it?”
I shrugged. “If you want.”
Footsteps sounded behind me. The warmth of his presence as he stood near made me tremble. His breath was heavy as he ran his fingers across the chrome metal parts of my outer forearm, but I couldn’t feel his touch. “It’s warm,” he whispered. He flattened his hand across what was my elbow and continued inching his way up to my shoulder.
“Of course it is.” The metal infused into my skin and joints was meant to imitate flesh as much as possible, while giving me necessary protection, though I wished I could feel his caress. The metal didn’t replicate touch.
I turned to face him, and he continued his exploration, grazing his fingers against the chrome metallic parts inserted into my chest. His hot breath whisked past my neck, teasing the small hairs there as he stepped around me. I tried to bite back the tremendous need his inspection was causing. The flush in my face growing each second.
Preston’s fingers caressed my naked neck. I closed my eyes and almost quaked as his fingers tickled the backside of my ear. “Nothing here?”
I shook my head. “Invisible. Chips inserted into the brain send messages pertaining to my missions.”
“Unbelievable. I always wondered how you guys worked.” He moved to my back, each time he touched my bare skin, I jolted. But his fingers always found another piece of metal, and the excitement wavered when I couldn’t feel him anymore.

Aug 22, 2014

Summer sale is over. New permanent price change!

This sale is now over. But you can now grab Night Shift and Dark Night Skies book 1 for 0.99 cents at all retail sites permanently!

Grab yourself a book or two at Azalea's summer sale!

Each of these titles are only .99 cents each. That includes "For the Long Haul", bestseller at All Romance Ebooks!


Sale only at All Romance Ebooks.

Jun 23, 2014

2014 AW erotica author's blog hop!

This giveaway is closed. The winner will be announced July 13th!!

Welcome to the 2014 AW Erotica Author's blog hop! For 2+ weeks, learn more about some awesome author's from Absolute Write forums and enter for your chance to win books and prizes!

This is the first stop in our two week event. I'm here with Anais Morgan, author of Assist Me and other M/F and M/M titles.

Welcome Anais to the blog!


So, is it easier to write action, sex, or emotional scenes?
I think action is easiest. The movement and breaking down it down seems to come naturally for me. I see what’s going on in my head and write what I see. Emotional is the hardest by far because trying to get the reader emotionally invested can be difficult.

Is there a story you want to write but feel the market is too crowded for?
I have a vampire romance during the zombie apocalypse written. It’s one of my favorite stories, and I did submit to some agents and publishers, but was told that vampire romances are dead. I hope vampires aren’t totally burned out because I love reading them.


If you could steal any erotic author’s career, whose would it be?

I don’t want to steal anyone’s career. Their money? Of course. I’ve heard EL James is filthy rich. But I want to create my own brand. Although an author I’ve been reading recently I would love to write like her.


Tell us a little bit about your main character from your WIP:


My WIP is the sequel to my short story, Assist Me. The books center around a vampire family, the Wictreds, that is truly a sadistic bunch. The main character is Mary Scott. She’s a woman that was raised and trained to become a blood slave to the Wictred vampire family. They don’t make survival easy for her. I love toying with her. Once she thinks she’s safe they prove she isn’t, but Mary is a strong woman and grows and evolves with her surroundings. Solomon, one of the vampires, enjoys watching her squirm.


Does your main character have a catch phrase/pick up line?

Solomon doesn’t really have a catch phrase. His pick up line would be “You want to have sex?” But he does call Mary “Virgin” because, well, she is one. It’s a name that is meant to demean but later changes to a way to show love.



What would your main character say is their sexiest feature?

Solomon would say that he couldn’t pick, but may settle on his fangs. He says a vampire’s fangs are like their dick-meant to draw moisture from the girl and a hell of a good time for him.



What would your character say is least sexy?

Solomon is too egotistical to think he’s less than perfect.



Was there a scene (no spoilers) that you enjoyed writing most in your current WIP?

Three things: Vampire, woman, bathtub.



Buy Links:


All Romance eBooks:

Author links:
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/anais.morganluv

Blog:
www.anaismorgan.blogspot.com

Blurb:
This is a dark paranormal erotic romance that contains some scenes and acts that may be triggering to some readers. While this does have a happy ending, please be advised.

Betty is like any fresh-from –college woman: she is in need of a job. She applies and is hired as the personal assistant to Deacon Wictred. All she’s told is he deals in human relations. Far from it.

On her first day, Betty meets Deacon and is immediately taken by his good looks. When he puts her against his door and gives her the best orgasm she’s ever had, this job has more promise than she first expected. But there’s a catch. Deacon is a vampire who makes sure that other vampires always have a blood slave.

Betty doesn’t think she can hand peoples’ lives over so easily, but she can’t quit or she’ll be killed to keep her silence. She is given a piece of advice-Deacon loves a strong woman. She soon realizes that she has more power over her vampire boss than she originally thought.


---------------------------------

Now, here's your chance to win a book by Azalea Moone!

Leave a comment with your email address. One lucky commenter will win the book of their choice from my backlist AND $5 gift bucks from All Romance Ebooks!!

Jun 16, 2014

Summer is coming!

Good grief, after this winter, it's great to announce that summer is coming!

Yes, I know I've been way too quiet here, despite my earlier promise to post more. Honestly, I hadn't been writing much since recently, so I've been living my real life instead.

That's okay. Nothing wrong with that.

But I do have some ideas of what I'd like to post about. One: look forward to the Absolute Write Blog Hop starting on June 23rd. This is YOUR CHANCE TO WIN some fabulous prizes from erotica/erotic romance authors from Absolute Write Water Cooler forums! The first post will be here on my blog, and I'll be interviewing the fabulous Erika Lindsen.

And then... I'd like to start a new weekly post titled "Monday Mindfulness" talking about how authors and readers alike can use mindfulness in their daily lives. Finding mindfulness and using it has really been inspirational for me, and as we all know, life can really throw us curve balls. That's just an idea.

Anyway, I've been writing lately. Getting all caught up on Project Wasteland book 2 and I'm planning the release for book 1. Oh, and I've been playing around with MMD, making Gintama characters dance and rendering out videos to Youtube. Eh, silly or not, I don't care. I'm a total otaku, so fuck it!

And, just a side note that probably don't matter much to anyone reading this, but I might get rid of my Livejournal. Any other blogging site like LJ (not DW) that I could use for random anime stuff? Or should I post stuff like here? Or maybe I could use my "other" blog on Blogger... LOL

Argh, I have too many blogs!

Mar 24, 2014

Where is spring? Mindful waiting.

Where is spring? Has it sprung for you yet?

Here in Nebraska it has not. Nope. Basically Mother Nature has decided to trick us. The first day of spring it was beautiful. As the weekend progressed, it turned cold again and even snowed on Saturday. Ugh. The grass is slowly trying to green, as the trees are also trying to bud, but Ole' Man Winter just won't let go of the reins.

Oh well... It will come.

And that leads me to my next discussion. So what have I been up to lately? It's been an awfully quiet winter, mainly because I've been struggling with personal stuff. But I do have several upcoming releases that will be officially posted on my website as soon as I have a new computer built. :)

One thing I've been learning lately is how to be more mindful. What is that? Well, you might have heard the sayings: "Stop and smell the roses" or "Live for today." It's the goal of living in the present moment, day to day. We all live in a busy world and that rush tends to run us ragged. You know that "personal stuff" I talked about in the previous paragraph is the reason why I decided to try this mindfulness stuff. And it's been quite beneficial, for the most part.

As author's, I believe we could all use a little more mindfulness in our everyday tasks. I know I'm always so impatient to see a new upcoming release, so I'll concentrate too much into the future to really think about what's happening right now. Or I'm always scared of rejection, even when I've just sent in a manuscript, again worried too much about the future to miss out on the opportunities of today.

Feeling overwhelmed? Try this: In a quiet setting, sit upright in your chair, couch, bed, where ever. Take a deep breath, feeling the air enter your nostrils and your belly expanding, then exhale. Focus on your breathing - sometimes it helps to think to yourself: when you breath in, think "IN". When you breath out, think "OUT". Let any other thought, good or bad, pass by without being judgmental about them. Do this for five minutes.

How do you feel?

It takes practice. I'm definitely not there yet, but the main goal of that exercise is to relax yourself, not calm your mind, but to let the thoughts come and go just as they are without letting them consume you.

Want to learn more? Check out some mindfulness videos on Youtube. The breathing exercise will help with all sorts of situations.

Mar 6, 2014

Trigger Me.... Not!

It's really funny sometimes how authors (like me) completely avoid topics to write about if they are particularly triggery. And it's exactly how readers will chose books that don't trigger them. I have several topics that I won't touch, actually, and those that I will even if they are kind of triggery.

I'm just a very, very sensitive person with those things. One thing that scares the crap out of me is the thought of the apocalypse, but yet I tried to write a story based on that type of scenario. When I first started the idea back in 2012, I decided to wait until that whole Mayan prophesy thing was done before writing the whole thing. This December, I finally got it done, even if it's a little haywire on the why's and where's, frankly because I don't want to think about things like that.

But that's plotting I suppose and it needs to be done.

So I wrote about that one, even though it's kind of scary.

Another example... Last year I must have been in a damn good mood, because my story "Surviving the Fall" available at Less Than 3 in their "If You're Reading This Anthology" deals with a major trigger for me. Strangely. I love the story. Gaw, love it. But it's something that I usually won't write about.

In the story, Austin finds the perfect coat at a thrift store for his date. In the pocket, is a note and a ring, and curious, Austin decides to take the ring to the address on the note. He meets love interest, Luke and finds out, the original owner of the ring committed suicide.

Although I never go into major details, that word is a trigger for me. Hence why I think I must have been in one hell of an awesome mood last year. This year, though, when I went back for one last read through before publication in January, it was suddenly a trigger again.

*shrugs*

I don't know, maybe it's because I've been in one hell of a shitty mood this year. You know how it goes, drama drama drama... LOL

Stories like that are important to write, and readers do love them. But honestly, I'm not sure if I'll ever go into a topic like that again. Hey, it's good to challenge myself, though. Done...

Feb 24, 2014

A Word to the Wise

Warning: Kind of ranty. I'll try to make it fun.

Was it two years ago that I made a post about reviews? Yes, I think it was. Essentially, it said "go ahead, look at your reviews only if you can handle it."

As we've seen time and time again, some people just cannot handle it. That's okay. It's not COMPLETELY TOTALLY NECESSARY for you to read your reviews.

Authors, I'll say that again: IT'S NOT COMPLETELY TOTALLY NECESSARY FOR YOU TO READ REVIEWS!

Everyone gets bad reviews. It's been going on for years, decades, centuries even. On my personal Facebook, I follow Anne Rice (LOVE) and she posts about the bad reviews she's received as well as good reviews all without judgement. She's awesome, and just one author who knows she's not going to please every reader 100% of the time.

One thing I hear a lot of is author's whining that we have feelings, too... We have opinions. What about our freedom of speech? Blah blah blah.

Our "freedom of speech" comes out in the words in our book. And readers have every right to review. They bought the book with their money. They can review bad or good. 1* star: this author's writing is garbage and I'll never read them again. Or 5*****: OMG. I want moar! MOAR!!!!!!!!11111!!!!!1!

And when author's come across that 1* review, it's their right to feel bad, but not their right to make the reviewer feel bad, too. When you whine and gripe about that review, it's no longer about your book, it's about you. It gets personal. Pretty much, your career = toilet.

Instead, authors, feel bad in private. Eat a piece of cake, a bowl of ice cream, or find a private corner of the internet (a writer's support group, or wherever you go) and feel bad. If you're on the internet, do it quick = get it out and get on with your life.

So I'm sure at this point you're asking "Azalea, what's this all about? The recent shit storm from so-n-so?" Yes and no. It's about the shit storm that comes up every few months from authors that can't stand criticism. But it's also about a personal decision of mine not to read my reviews anymore, well, not for awhile anyway. Will I ever read another review? Yes, yes I will.

I got a bad review. Hell, I got a lot of them. I don't whine in public places where everyone can see me. I may post a quick gripe in a private place on the internet, and that's that. I get on with my day. I may talk to my boyfriend about it. But that's that. The end. I keep writing. Whether it sucks, eh, I'm happy so I don't give a shit.

FYI: public internet space = Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, etc. etc.
private internet space = closed critique group, closed forum area, a support group (separate from writing all together), etc.

So a word to the wise:
Authors: IT'S NOT NECESSARY TO READ REVIEWS. But if you do, DON'T whine about the bad ones all over public internet space!!
Readers and reviewers: keep reviewing. Don't let whiners discourage you. You have that right.



Feb 21, 2014

"For the Long Haul" Flash hop #3

Good Friday to you all and welcome to the last stop on the "For the Long Haul" Flash hop. Since Wednesday I've been promoting my newest release by visiting awesome bloggers Shayla Mist and Book Whores United.

This is going to be a very short post, mostly because I didn't plan anything for my blog. LOL

I'm terrible, right?

Anyway, leave a comment at the bottom with your email address for a chance to win a copy of "For the Long Haul". Winners will be drawn on Saturday, Feb 22nd which is also release day!
Update: Sorry for the lateness for the giveaway. Winners will be contacted ASAP!

Feb 17, 2014

House of Manlove Valentine's Flash


Welcome to the House of Manlove Valentine Flash Hop! Sixteen authors = sixteen fabulously hot M/M flash stories for you on this Valentine's day.

Here's my little not-safe-for-work story. Ya might wanna wait until you get home for this. *winks* Links to other participants are at the end of this post.



Valentine Morning Wake Up Call (NSFW):

I turned on my side with a yawn, peering out at the wall ahead. What happened last night? Still groggy, I searched my memory for last night's events. It was the night before Valentine's Day. I met a gorgeous man at the bar and we... My legs were sore, so was my back, and to top it off, my dick hard. I sighed and reached under the blankets to adjust myself. Wow, did I really submit for that guy last night?

He had me twisted in all sorts of positions: on my back, on my side, on my knees, fucking me like a champ. Talk about bedroom acrobatics. I even remembered being against the wall at first. He grabbed my legs and ground against my hardness. Just thinking back to it all wasn't helping my morning wood.

As my thoughts drifted, the bed moved beside me and I jumped. Turned around to a pair of sleepy eyes staring out at me, the man's lips lifted into a happy grin. "Good morning."

I bounced up, the blankets falling around my waist. "You're still here?"

"Yeah. You invited me to stay, remember?"

Of course, I didn't recall saying that. Must've had too many beers, or maybe I was just too tired from all the fucking last night. "Really?"

He scooted closer and brushed his hand against my back. Damn, what was your name again? "If you want me to go, I can."

"You don't... have to." It was different waking up to someone beside me. Almost comforting. And on Valentine's Day of all days. I leaned in to his touch, feeling all sorts of giddy. “You can stay.”

“Good, cause I don’t think I can drive with this hangover.” He wrapped his hand around my shoulder, easing me back down on the bed.

I chuckled and stared up at the ceiling, then at him. He had to have been a few years older than I, telling by the white hairs in his perfectly shaped goatee. Not my usual type, but his embrace was so warm and soothing. I rolled to my side and cuddled close to him, the closeness helping to relieve my hangover, but the longer I laid there listening to his breath and heartbeat, the more uncomfortable my morning hard-on became.

He must’ve sensed it, or else wanted to play, because he brushed his fingers against my naked arm, down to my side and against my ass, causing me to writhe inside. I let out a groan, and he eyed me with a devious smile. “Still horny?”

“You wish,” I mumbled.

“So what’s this?” He raised a brow as he rubbed his palm against my boxers.

I squirmed, pressing my hardness closer to his hand, then caught myself but it was too late. He squeezed my shoulder tight, keeping me close to his chest, while his other hand went to work on my cock.

With a gasp, I muttered, “It’s just—“ His fist went taut around me, stroking my prick wonderfully from the base to the head. The wipe of his thumb across my glans made me sink closer into his chest.

He worked me feverishly, stopping once to let me breath, then again when my hand found his hard cock underneath the blankets. When I brushed my fingers across his tented boxers, his body twitched. He gasped a lustful moan. “S-sure you want to do that?”

“Why not?”

He gazed at me with intent, eyes sparkling in the pale morning light. “Well, I don’t know about you, but...” he paused to move away and sit up on elbows, leaving me cold. “I’m still sore from last night.”

Scooting closer, I brushed my lips against his and whispered, “So? A little pain has never stopped me before.”

He flashed a grin. “Really?”

“Uh huh.” I pressed my lips to his, drinking in his heavy breath still spiked with alcohol. The need had me wild, the same as last night, and I eased myself on top of him, straddling his lap and grinding against his hardness. Damn if only I could remember your name, I’d scream it.

We kissed for what seemed forever. Running my hand across his muscular chest made him tense and squirm, exciting me even more. When I reached his abs and circled around his side to his back, he broke our kiss. “It’s Valentine’s Day, you know.”

“Yeah.” I breathed him in, seeking his lips again, but he chuckled instead.

“Can I tell you something? You’ll never believe this.”

“What?”

“I was... kind of scared when you came over to me last night.”

I cupped my palms against his cheeks, staring into his serious gaze. “You were?” He nodded his head, and I added, “Why?”

“Well, I um...” He swallowed, clearing his throat in the process. “Seen you at the club before. Didn’t think I was your type.”

Of course, I’d never noticed him there maybe because I was too busy flirting with the younger studs. I sucked in my bottom lip.

“When you spilled your drink in my lap, I guess I finally decided to try talking to you.”

My cheeks went hot. “Glad you did.” I brushed my fingers against his chest hair, around his nipples and back up the line. Strange I’d never considered an older man before. I should have—should have noticed him—because now I know how warm and comforting it was to be in his arms.

“Me too.” He kissed me again, our tongues mingling together, breaths heavy. Wrapping his arms around my neck, he held me there, large hands clasped behind my back. My hard-on was gone, but there was something different than lust creeping up on me, now.

After several gasping breaths and moans later, he broke away again. We chuckled at the sudden grumble from his stomach. “Can we continue this after breakfast?”

“Yeah.” I scooted away from him and sat on the edge of the bed.

The bed dipped and he grasped my shoulder as he swung his legs to the floor beside me. “If you have pancake mix, I have an excellent recipe.”

“Oh, sounds good.”

We both reached down to grab our jeans from the floor. He chuckled again as he stood and pulled them up to his waist. “Okay, so this might sound crazy, but... what’s your name again?”




Here is the list to follow everyone's stories:

1. HeloiseWest: http://velvetpanic2.wordpress.com/
2. Jena Wade: http://www.jenawade.com/blog/
3. Amelia Bishop: http://ameliabishop.wordpress.com/
4. Mina Kelly: http://www.solelyfictional.org/
5. Kimber Vale: http://kimbervale.me/
6. Shiloh Saddler: http://shilohsaddler.blogspot.com/
7. Eva Lefoy: http://writery.wordpress.com/
8. Azalea Moon: http://azalea-moone.blogspot.com/
9. Dakota Trace: http://alittlebitofnaughty.blogspot.com/
10. Jade Crystal: http://boundbybloodblog.com/
11. Crane Hana: http://www.cranehanabooks.com/blog/
12. JT Hall: http://jthallwriting.wordpress.com/
13. ND Wylders: http://ndwylders.blogspot.com/
14. Evelise Archer: http://sexyforreview.blogspot.com/
15. Skye Jones: http://skyejonesromanceblog.wordpress.com
16. Kate Lowell: http://thebluntinstrument.wordpress.com/

And the dates when you can read at each blog:
Feb:
14th: Jena and Heloise
15th: Amelia and Mina
16th: Kimber and Shiloh
17th: Eva and Az
18th: Dakota, Jade, and Crane
19th: JT and ND
20th: Evelise, Kate, and Skye
 

Jan 23, 2014

Wintertime... Can I just hibernate please?

Yes, in an attempt to write about other things than "OMG here's my next book", today I'll be making a post about winter.

In the most simplest statement: This winter fucking sucks!

There, said it. It's cold here in Nebraska. Nope, not snowing. Just cold. Cold, fucking cold... Oh and windy. Might as well have a tornado cause that's how windy it's been. If it's not cold, it's windy. Where's our snow? Over on the east coast. You guys can send some this way any day, please. I know, I know, you can't push the storm front west, but if you could, maybe box some of that snow and drop it on my porch, that would be awesome.

Hey, it'll give me something else to look forward to than the usual cold and wind. LOL

Look, it's so cold, even my kitty needs a blanket!

He's been doing this all winter long. I've never seen a cat who likes being covered in a blanket.







Anyway, along with winter comes the "winter blues". It's boring. Nothing to do. My creativity is slightly stifled, too, but I did go through some situational crap that added to the blehs. And while I haven't been writing much, I have been editing and taking care of other business.

And that concludes this terribly random post for the day.

Jan 3, 2014

Mucking Around in Photoshop - Text Styles and Effects

I love playing around in Photoshop. I'm not a guru, or an expert, but self-trained with tips and tricks by my live in boyfriend. Every now and then, I get a wild hair to play with cover art. Sometimes I go basic and sometimes I want specific details.

One thing I've been playing with is text styles and effects. I was inspired by Jordan Castillo Price and his use of text styles for cover art. We don't see this often in book covers, lately. Most titles are somewhat basic, using simple gradient overlays or font for desired effect. Heh, a lot of the book covers I've made in the past are basic. For example:


Miles Away uses a simple font with blue and white gradient overlay. Basic is always good, though. There's really no need for so much effect in, say, a contemporary. But for a horror, sci-fi, or even fantasy, sometimes you want a more striking effect.

For my current WIP "Project Wasteland", I've been playing around with text styles. There are tons of tutorials out there on how to make a striking logo or title, and many of those can be used for commercial purposes (just make sure any texture you use is cleared for commercial use, too).
 


Here's one I've been tweaking. I'm not particular to this design, mainly because it doesn't match the original vision, however it's an example. What helps is to have a base image to go by. My base was the same font in a bright orange color - yeah, way too halloween-y. LOL

Even when not using special effects for book covers, it's still fun to just play with them. When you're looking around at tutorials, make sure you're not leaning toward styles inspired by games, movies, books, etc for commercial covers. There are tons out there.

What do you think about using effects on book titles? Yay? Nay?