Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Long and Short of it...

I don't usually double post, but this subject is something I've been wondering about for a while. So, here are my thoughts about writing short...

So, I have a question, which may take a while to get to, but rest assured, it's in here. When I first started writing stories, I have to confess that I never really considered the length of said story. I had an idea and ran with it until it was done. Now remember, that at this point, I considered a novel, just that, a novel. Though I'd read a ton of ebooks, they were always novel length. I'd never ventured into the realm of shorts or novellas, always choosing stories that were just digital versions of the books I'd buy in the stores. I'm not sure if I equated shorts to stories I'd see only in collections or the kind of stuff you'd submit to magazines, but I hadn't considered short stories in their own right.

After a couple of books were contracted, I was informed (nicely, of course) that shorter stories sold better in e-form. Quite honestly, I was shocked. I mean, to me, I thought readers would want to read a full book. I didn't realize there were such tasty treats out there as the Lust Bites and Novellas found at TEB. Needless to say, I've since written a few of these, though my heart is still in the grand tales. I love epic adventures that allow me time to develop characters and weave intricacies into the plot line. It took me a while to figure out how to condense a thought into just a single event and build the plot around that event.

Okay, getting to the question part...really.

As I've been flipping through some different sites lately, some personal sites, some commercial, I've come across a number of reviews or ratings where the reviewer/rater has given a story a so-so review based mostly on the fact it was too short. There are common comments, such as...the characters weren't as developed as I wanted, and the plot wasn't as intricate as I'd hoped it be, I'd have liked more back-story...

Now everyone is allowed their opinion, and I'm truly not knocking reviews or ratings of books. We all get some great and some not-so-great ones. But I was puzzled by these comments. I mean...what is the reader expecting in a 15,000 word story? It's hardly enough time to introduce a plot, add some angst, get to the 'hot' stuff and resolve everything before one's time is up! So it made me wonder if readers are expecting a fully developed novel shrunk down into a pint-size offering?

Is this true? And if so, are authors falling short or are readers really expecting too much for the reality of the situation?

For me, as a reader, I look at the length of a book and adjust my expectations a bit. I know, if it's a short story that's part of a collection, that it's really going to be more of a snap-shot into the lives of the characters, not a full journey. I still expect a storyline, but I don't anticipate it'll be as involved as a story twice it's length, simply knowing there isn't enough time to get it all in. I want character development, but I don't expect it will be mind-altering in such a short space.

Perhaps it being a writer and knowing that 2000 words can be the difference in the plot being full rather than a bit sparse. That 2000 words can be the ending you've always wanted versus a quicker wrap up than intended. I think I give authors a bit of a break realizing they're working on restrictions imposed by the publisher and that they're trying to give you as rich an experience as they can within a very short space.

So...what is everyone's opinion on this? Do you expect a full novel in a short version? Do you take into account the length of a story before you make any expectations? If short sells better, but every comment is... I wish it was longer... how do authors please their readers if their shorter offerings are looked at as not quite complete, but folks won't buy the larger ones?

I'd also love to know why readers prefer short? Is it having to read on a computer, though with the iPad and e-readers now available, I think this argument will soon be a thing of the past? Is it the desire for instant gratification where you know you can sit down and finish a book in an evening? Does it come down to cost?

Any insight is welcomed. But before I leave you, I wanted to announce that Deadly Obsession is now available in PRINT!!!! Yeah!!! It is, of course, a long book and I'm hoping the option to read it more conventionally will help make it a success, but either way, I'll still write longer novels because I love epic adventures.

Thanks for tuning in. See you all next month.
Romancing adventure at a time.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's Live!

I'm thrilled to announce Worlds Apart is now available through Resplendence Publishing, and most third party sellers this week. It's my new, futuristic erotic thriller and I just love the cover Les made for it. It suits the book perfectly and captured the tone and look of the planet that I was after.

Here's the blurb and a new excerpt. I hope you enjoy it...

Two cultures—one dusty planet. Intergalactic relations have never been so hot.

Starship Captain, Samantha Grier, has only two options—crash land her warship on an unknown planet inhabited by God knows what, or drift through space. She never counted on becoming part of a colony of barbarians, or becoming the center of attention for their illustrious leader…a man more than capable of claiming both her heart, and her body. Too bad not everyone is thrilled by the new sleeping arrangements.

Griffin can’t believe his good fortune. Not only did the humans arrive just as their power grid was failing, but their Captain is a vision of beauty. With blue eyes and fair skin, he knows instantly that she’s his intended mate. But claiming her is the easy part. When brutal attacks bring the two cultures to the brink of war, will he be able to keep the colony together, while maintaining his role as her mate? Or will the tension leave them worlds apart?

Griffin growled at the image that materialized in his head—Sam naked, her thighs spread wide as she worked her delicate finger around her pulsating nub. He could see the look of pleasure on her face, smell the hot aroma of her arousal, as she fought to draw her climax out by sinking her finger inside her, feeling her walls clasp her skin.

He felt his lips pull back of their own accord as he lowered his mouth to her shoulder, scraping the mark he’d left just a few weeks earlier. A muffled cry strummed through the air, her head tilting away to grant him access. He threaded his fingers through her hair, holding her open.

“Did my naughty little mate just confess she pleasured herself while I worked just moments away, hot and hard at the knowledge I’d miss tasting her sweet sheath?” He shook his head as he teased the hole of her sex with just the tip of his finger. “Dangerous choice, little one. One that won’t go unpunished.”

Her surprised shriek filled the room as he twisted her in his arms and lifted her up, tossing her over his shoulder before heading for the door. He nodded at Sirena and Cain as they walked into the room, ignoring the scathing glares they gave him. They still didn’t approve of his choice of mate, but he wasn’t in the mood for explanations.

He turned left out of the doorway and picked his way through the intersecting hallways, smiling at the way Sam cursed under her breath. She obviously hadn’t expected him to carry her off like the barbarian her crew often accused him of being, but she’d pushed him too far. Watching her bite back tears as the pain of their separation all but tore her apart was more than he could stand. After today, she’d understand the depth of their bond.

Sam huffed and crossed her arms on her chest when he finally placed her on her feet at the edge of the sofa in their room. A small crease lined her forehead, and her foot tapped restlessly against the floor. “Just what in the hell do you think you’re doing?” she said, unlocking her arms so she could palm her hands on her hips. “In my world, men don’t throw a woman over their shoulder like a bloody sack of potatoes and march home like some conquering hero.”

Griffin matched her accusations with a step forward. He could tell by the slight twitch in her mouth that his dominance excited her, though he knew she’d never willingly admit it. He reached out and cupped her chin, stroking one side with the pad of his thumb. “You can claim you want your independence... that you don’t enjoy when I take control, but your body says differently.” He inhaled, closing his eyes at her sweet scent. “You smell delicious. Now come with me, and I’ll show you what happens when you deny me the right of pleasuring you.”

“But—”Her voice cut off into a delighted squeal when he hoisted her into his arms and carried her into the bedroom. A brilliant smile lit her lips, accentuating the cute dimple in her chin. He covered the four strides to the bed, sitting down on the edge with her still cradled in his arms. She grabbed for his neck when the bed gave beneath his weight.

“I’d never let you fall,” he said, brushing the lose strands back from her face. “But I’m afraid I can’t allow your actions to go...without recourse. After all, you reached your pleasure...” he held up his hand, stopping her protest, before continuing. “However unsatisfying it may have been.” He smoothed his fingers down her chest, stopping between her breasts. “Now be a good girl, and take your...punishment.”

Sam’s eyes widened when he fisted her shirt, tearing it off before twisting her forward, repeating his actions with her pants, as he laid her across his legs. She wiggled against his hold, stilling when his fingers traveled the length of her ass.

“No, Griffin. You are not going to spank me.”

“I can see you’re still intent on denying what your body so clearly desires.” He swiped a finger through her crease, gathering her cream on the tip. He hummed as he sucked the digit clean, dipping down for another pass. “How many times must my hand connect with this beautiful flesh before you admit what I know to be true?”


He chuckled at the authoritative tone to her voice, all the while her body clamored for his touch. He curled over her back, kissing her neck. “Trust me.”

Thanks for visiting,


Romancing adventure at a time.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Arriving in PRINT—for the second time...

Yes, here it is Friday, May 21 and I haven't had time yet to blog about my new print release, Deadly Obsession. I know...I love e-books and still buy all of my pleasure reading books that way, but I'd be lying if I didn't say there was something epic about holding your own flesh and blood.

Okay, so the book isn't of flesh and blood, but I am, and damn, I love holding it. On Monday, May 17th, Deadly Obsession hit the actual TEB and AMAZON, and I couldn't be more thrilled.

And for those of you who don't know what it's about, it's book two in my 'Til Death series and one of my favourites. Here's the blurb and an excerpt...

He's blurred the line between reality and fantasy, bringing Brooklyn's imaginary world to life...and only one man stands between him and his deadly obsession.

Brooklyn Matthews is an erotic romance author whose life is anything but 'Happily Ever After'. With her marriage on the brink of disaster, it's time to face the truth...Gage doesn't love her, so why make them both suffer. But when she's viciously attacked during a routine book signing, she realises she's been given one more chance to get Gage back into her life. And she's not above using sex to do it.

Special Agent Gage Matthews can't believe his life has gone from spicy to sour in the space of a heartbeat. And all it took was one mistake. Now, six months later, he's ready to sign away a decade of his life and while he isn't above righting a wrong, marrying Brooklyn wasn't wrong. But when an obsessive stalker puts her in the hospital, repeatedly threatening her life, will he simply play the role of the gallant knight? Or will he prove love, sex and happy endings aren't only for the pages of her books?

March 12th—Seattle—Quill and Ink Bookstore

Brooklyn Matthews sat behind the table, pen poised between her fingers, brushing a stray lock of hair behind her ear. She stared at the crisp, blank page, listening to the woman ramble on about her sister and how much they loved reading her books.

“We’re your biggest fans,” the woman said in a heated rush, threading all the words together in her haste. “We’ve read all your books. I like Sarah’s Secret the best, but Marg, the sister I was telling you about, she thought Badge of Honour was better. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it too, but I still think this is your best work.” She paused to gulp down a large breath of air. “Do you have a favourite, Ms. Matthews?”

Brooklyn looked up from the flap of the book. She’d tuned the lady out ten minutes ago, and other than her name, hadn’t heard enough to even hazard a guess at an exceptional answer. She smiled, twirling the pen around her fingers. “Am I making the dedication out to you?” she asked. “Or did you say this was for your sister?”

The woman hesitated, giving Brooklyn a puzzled look, before flashing another exuberant smile. “For me…please. As I was saying, Sarah’s Secret is my favourite novel of yours.”

“That’s very kind of you to say,” replied Brooklyn, scribbling the same, sentimental words across the white paper. She signed her name, closing the book as she handed it back across the table.

The woman giggled with joy, clutching the treasured pages to her chest, as she rose from the seat and headed for the door. Brooklyn looked around the small store, relieved the steady stream of eager fans had dissipated. She sighed and glanced at her watch. Only half an hour before she was scheduled to meet Gage at the lawyer’s office, and she definitely needed a breather before she’d be ready to face him. She rose from the padded, wooden chair, fidgeting with her hair again, before heading towards the back of the store. At least, she could steal a few moments of quiet in the woman’s restroom, even if it meant listening to the steady drone of elevator music playing across the intercom.

She ducked down a small hallway, skirting a discarded bucket and mop. She turned left at the end, but stopped at the entrance, staring at the muck splattered across the floor and the large, yellow sign blocking the doorway.

Out of Service.

She stepped back, reading the black, block letters with a sigh. She backtracked to the hallway, opening the door to the men’s room. The only male employee had scampered off on a break, and she doubted the manager would care which restroom she hid in.

“Hello?” She stepped inside, ignoring the predominately male scent lingering in the air, and headed for the sink, eager to spray a handful of cool water across her face. Of all the days to have a book signing, today was by far the worst. She never would’ve agreed if her agent hadn’t conned her into it, subtly reminding her how well her books did when she mingled amidst her fans. While it was usually one of her favourite activities, her heart just wasn’t in it today. She looked down at her left hand, noticing how bare it looked. She feigned a smile, telling herself it was all for the best…Gage didn’t love her, so why make them both suffer?

She wiped a tear from her cheek, feeling others sting her eyes. She hadn’t seen Gage in the past three weeks, and it’d been over six months since they’d made love. She lowered her head, remembering their last encounter. He’d been angry, and had touched her in a way she’d never forgotten. Her heart clenched wishing the memory was one to cherish rather than forget. It marked the beginning of the end.

She stifled a sob, biting her bottom lip for strength, when something cold brushed against her back. She looked in the mirror just as the blade pierced her shirt, sinking into her flesh until the hilt locked against her skin. Her chest constricted as her throat clamped around a scream. She locked her fingers around the porcelain rim as an arm reached around her chest, pulling her backwards. She slammed into a man’s chest, feeling the knife twist in his grip.

“Did you think you could escape me, Sarah?” he slurred, brushing the side of his woollen mask against her neck. “Did you really think I wouldn’t find you?” He slid his hand under her shirt, cupping her breast as he gazed at her reflection, inhaling deeply. “What an intoxicating scent,” he mused, plumping her flesh, rubbing his erection against the cleft of her buttocks. “You smell good enough to eat, precious.”

Brooklyn stared at the mirror, her body frozen, as the pain buckled her knees, leaving her sagging in his arms, the shaft of the knife holding her up. He was a full head taller than she was, with large shoulders and strong arms. He was covered in black, from the ski mask on his face to the sweater and pants hugging his body. They were tight, clinging to every inch of his muscular frame. She looked into his eyes, watching the brown colour turn black with desire. And though she couldn’t see his mouth, she knew he was smiling.

“This is only the beginning, Sarah. And if you survive, you’ll prove you’re worthy of my love.” He pulled the knife free laughing as she fell to the floor. “Don’t disappoint me, Sarah. I’ll be waiting.

My next release is this coming Tuesday and I'm thrilled. Worlds Apart will hit Resplendence's website on the 25th, and I'll be posting an excerpt and blurb here then. I hope you join me.



Romancing adventure at a time.