Monday, January 10, 2011

Guest Blogger - Elizabeth Coldwell

Today's guest is a fellow Muse author!

I’ve always loved making up stories, and I wrote my first novel, about the adventures of a talking dog, when I was on a school holiday at the age of 11., Don’t worry, I have no plans to dig it out and submit it for publication! My first erotic story, An Unsuitable Man, was the result of the then editor of Forum, where I’d just started working, suggesting all the staff write a story for the magazine. Mine was the only one that was ever finished. That was over twenty years ago, and the number of short stories I’ve had published must be well into three figures now, though not all of them were under my own name. I’ve also had four novels published, three erotic and one paranormal (though I think the genre was still called ‘supernatural’ when it came out, back in 1992!), and I have ideas on file for several more.
I often work on more than one story at once, depending on deadlines, but sometimes an idea really grabs me and I’ll concentrate on that over everything else. Be Good To Your Elf, for example, was pretty much written in one sitting.


But Are Elves Erotic?

So how can an elf be sexy? Aren’t you more likely to come across as silly? That’s what Maddie, the heroine of my MuseItHOT! story Be Good To Your Elf, thought when she first pulled on the costume she was expected to wear in Santa’s Grotto. The tights might be flattering to a girl (or a guy) with good legs, but the hat with the bell on it?

It’s true that if you were choosing a costume to wear for a spot of sexy roleplaying, one of Santa’s elves might not come too high on your list. High fantasy elves are a different matter. The films in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy presented them as athletic, armour-clad warriors fighting against unimaginable evil. Casting Orlando Bloom as Legolas the elf provided eye candy for female viewers who might not otherwise be persuaded to sit through several hours of epic battles, Hobbits in peril and talking trees. It wouldn’t be at all surprising if a character like that persuaded you to unleash your inner elf.

Santa’s elves, howver, don’t usually come with heroic overtones. We’ve become much more used to them as comic relief in a story, sitting at an assembly line in Santa’s Workshop putting together Christmas toys. Look at Dudley Moore, who helped to define the concept of the comedy elf in our minds when he played Patch in Santa Claus. Or, more recently, Will Ferrell as Buddy, the human raised by elves at the North Pole in Elf. Not exactly handsome or heroic characters, you might think. But in real life, Dudley Moore often described himself as a ‘sex thimble’, in reference to his diminutive stature, and attracted a string of beautiful wives with his looks, wit and charm (and possibly his bank balance). And good-natured Buddy may initially come across as a loser, but he wins the heart of Zooey Deschanel – who, it has to be said, looks pretty saucy in her elf attire. Looking at it in that light, slipping into tights and a tunic doesn’t necessarily mean you’re no longer going to be regarded as a potential bedmate.

Maddie initially manages to overcome her selfconsciousness about dressing as an elf because she reckons she won’t bump into anyone she knows, all her friends having gone home for the holidays. It also helps that she very quickly meeets Tyler, a divorced dad who’s also working at the grotto and who is all man beneath his brightly coloured costume. And when she relaxes, immersing herself in the magic of Christmas, it no longer matters how she’s dressed. She and Tyler make an erotic connection, and soon fate is presenting her with the opportunity to spend the holidays in his loving arms.

So while vampires may seem more mysterious, pirates more dashing and Vikings more dominant, don’t overlook the charm of the humble elf. After all, wouldn’t you want to spend time with someone who hands out all the best presents?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Introducing Cristal Ryder

Its my pleasure to introduce Cristal Ryder. She will be here tomorrow to answer any questions you might have.

The whirlwind of being a newly published author struck home late last week. My first release, No Fantasy Required, due out November 8 had been put to bed edit and top of mind awareness wise with my editor and myself. Then I received the great news from Tir that she loved my second submission and right on the heels of her email was one from the EIC at Lyrical Press with congratulations and a contract attached. Woohoo! I’d made my second sale with Lost In Fantasy – Being Ariana. Then while basking in the glow of my wonderful news, I received more. A great review from Happily Every After Reviews on No Fantasy Required. I was thrilled beyond words and higher than a kite with happiness. Oh, and I can’t forget the Lyrical ad in RT December issue, what perfect timing.

I was inspired to write No Fantasy Required a few of years ago for my own hero and it grew into this wonderful story of discovery for Kelly and Brian. I love the characters in Being Ariana, the mystery that revolves around them and the journey they take as they discover themselves in a variety of unexpected ways.
I hope you follow me on my journey of storytelling as I pen new stories with passionate and inquisitive characters, in places of intrigue and fantasy where you can escape into. It’s a discovery for me as well, this new world of being published and I’m loving it!
Please remember to visit my fledgling blog and website as they grow along with me.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

What's New In Tir's World

So life has chosen to explode once again. I've started on a new job. Yes, I left the lab and have gone into medical billing. WHOLE new process to learn but I think I'm getting it down. ^.^ So what's new? Well, I've gotten a second book contracted with Muse It Up Publishing, called Cody and The Elf. Here's the amazing cover :

And what am I working on now?

Well, the next book in the Rikashi Series is up on deck. Also, a second book in The Dragon Wars Series. I'm ALMOST finished the first book of the Tarot Queen's Series and there are still two Kings to write about, so lots of ideas flying around.

Del and I are also tossing some ideas around for a new world as well. Keep an eye out!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Brainstorming is the best part of writing - Paty Jager Guest Blogging

Brainstorming is the best part of writing.

I think the gift of having other writers to bounce ideas off of is the best thing about being a writer. Sure you have your main characters fairly anchored in your mind, but by throwing out ideas to other writers and getting all their creative ideas tossed into your mix, it gives you more to think about and make your GMC and characters stronger.

When I started writing Doctor in Petticoats, I had a hero who in previous books hadn't shown a heroic side. My editor didn’t like him and was wary of his story being the next one in line, but I knew it had to be him. He had to become the redeemed character, and besides, I'd set him up from the last book to be the next brother to find true love. ;)

I began tossing my impressions of him and where the story needed to go to my RWA chapter mates. Collectively, they all came back with great feedback into how to work around his middle child-immaturity issues. I had already set him on that path with sending him to a blind school where he would be on his own. No brothers to tell him what to do or to fall back on when he found himself in trouble. At the school he learned to mature, grow and become the hero the heroine deserved.

And best of all, my editor fell in love with him, too!

Blurb- Doctor in Petticoats

After a life-altering accident and a failed relationship, Dr. Rachel Tarkiel gave up on love and settled for a life healing others as the physician at a School for the Blind. She's happy in her vocation--until handsome Clay Halsey shows up and inspires her to want more.

Blinded by a person he considered a friend, Clay curses his circumstances and his limitations. Intriguing Dr. Tarkiel shows him no pity, though. To her, he's as much a man as he ever was.

Can these two wounded souls conquer outside obstacles, as well as their own internal fears, and find love?

“I’m going to look in your other eye now.” Rachel, again, placed a hand on his face and opened the eyelids, stilling her fluttering heart as she pressed close. His clean-shaven face had a couple small nicks on the edges of his angular cheeks. The spice of his shave soap lingered on his skin.

She resisted the urge to run her cheek against his. The heat of his face under her palm and his breath moving wisps of wayward hair caused her to close her eyes and pretend for a few seconds he could be her husband. A man who loved her and wouldn’t be threatened by her occupation or sickened by her hideous scar.

His breathing quickened. A hand settled on her waist, slid around to her back, and drew her forward. Her hand, holding the lens, dropped to his shoulder, and she opened her eyes. This behavior on both their parts was unconscionable, but her constricted throat wouldn’t allow her to utter the rebuke.

Clay sensed the moment the doctor slid from professional to aroused woman. The hand on his cheek caressed rather than held, her breathing quickened, and her scent invaded his senses like a warm summer rain.

Today is the second day on my fifteen blog/twelve day tour. Leave a comment and follow me to all the blogs on my tour and you could win an autographed copy of my June release, Doctor in Petticoats, a B&N gift card, and a summer tote filled with goodies. To find out all the places I'll be, go to my blog- to find the list.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I have been awful

Someone needs to kick my rump once a week to update! So, two big pieces of news. First, I finally got to visit Del! We had a great time, plotting, visiting a place we want to set a story, visiting places she set her upcoming release, Envoy, and just generally hanging out, having a good old time. If anyone wants to see pictures, just hop over to my facebook page.

And the second piece of news, is that Kellan's Dragons, the first in a young adult series called The Dragon Wars is going to be released next year from Muse It Up Publishing! Have a looksie at the fabulous cover (made by our very own Del) and the excerpt:

Tag line - No Parents, No History and Linked to a Dragon that hates me - Am I having fun yet?

Blurb - Kellan Teague, an orphan, is whisked away from the boarding school for psions by Dr. Olivia Hutchins to take part in a military organization called The Program. She awakes to find that she has been Linked, psychically bonded to a dragon named Jericho. Jericho doesn't seem very happy to be Linked and does everything he can to push Kellan away. One of the few people to show her kindness is a guard known to her only as Drake. Kellan soon finds out that both Jericho and Drake have secrets, secrets that hold the key to her past.

Excerpt -

A tremendous roar shook the ground, and something red streaked by from below. The wind of his passing knocked me to the ground, my elbow struck the hard rock painfully. I heard Enoch bellow behind me in surprise. A dark shadow blotted out the sun, and Miri pulled me back just before the dragon could land on me. The sound of his talons scrapping on stone set my teeth on edge. I stared at those sharp talons, and then looked up to see the rest of him. He was huge. Bigger than a house. He barely fit on the platform as he stood on his hind legs, his wings spread, fore limbs poised to strike. The scales on his back shone blood red, but the sun glinted off the gold on his underside. Two vicious ram-like horns curved from above his eyes to point forward. He roared again, revealing his rows of sharp, jagged teeth.

“Oh, good gods. They gave you Jericho.” I heard Miri breathe in my ear, her arms tightening around me.

My head started to ache again from Jericho’s roars and his anger that burned across our Link. I covered my ears with my hands, trying to shut out the sound, but his voice was still in my mind. “Run away,” he repeated.

Enoch curled around me and Miri hissed, but I could see the smaller dragon trembling with fear. Was Jericho nothing more than a huge bully? “Would you stop it! It’s not my fault they stuck me with you.”

Jericho growled, his tail lashing wildly. One swipe of that bladed tail and I was as good as dead. “Is this...normal?” I asked Miri.

The woman looked as white as a sheet and with pursed lips, just shook her head. I scrambled to my feet, taking a cautious step forward. “You’re not going to hurt me.” Of course, I wasn’t really confident in that statement, but if he wanted to kill me, I would be dead. He could have knocked me from the cliff when he flew up.

“What makes you so certain, little girl?”
Jericho lifted his head, arching it back and forth as he spewed yellow flame. My breath caught in my throat. He could roast me alive.

“If you wanted to kill me you would have done it already,”
I told him as he looked at me again.

“You stupid girl—”
His words ceased as another bellow echoed off the stone. A blue and silver dragon streaked from above, hitting Jericho and knocking him from the cliff. A surprised cry ripped from my throat as I felt his pain. I dropped to my knees again, crawling toward the edge, fear clutching my heart. Jericho stretched out his mighty wings, pumping them to gain altitude. The blue dragon kept hot on his heels, his cries a clear challenge. I saw movement beside me and looked at Miri.

“What is going on?”

“That’s Bashemath. Enoch says that he should have been your Link, and he’s challenging Jericho. It’s suicide...”

Why was everyone so afraid of Jericho? I supposed I would find out, eventually. My attention was drawn back to the two dragons flying above us, and the world went white for a minute. All I could see were clouds streaking by and bright blue sky.

* * * *

The hatchling would pay for his audacity. He’d gotten in a lucky shot but unfortunately for him, his talons weren’t yet sharp enough to pierce my hide. It would be the last mistake he made. I twisted my head, searching for the hatchling. I saw Bashemath behind me, slowly gaining as I flew at a leisurely pace. He wanted to challenge me for the girl? Well, he would soon find that I didn’t lose a challenge. A quick twist and I was plummeting toward the other dragon. I would ride him to the ground and watch his body break against the stone.

“No! Don't kill him.”

Damn it! I’d forgotten about the girl. I pulled up, slashing Bashemath’s face with my tail, relishing his scream. “Stay out of this, girl.”

* * * *

I blinked, and I once again stared into Miri’s face, gasping for breath. Miri was patting my cheeks. “Damn, honey. Not one practice session and already you’re that deep in a Link? Not smart.”

“What?” I waved my hand; whatever she was saying wasn’t important. The fact that two dragons were getting ready to kill each other was more important. “Someone needs to stop them.” I looked up, watching Jericho as he soared across the sky. The other dragon struggled in his pursuit. I tried again to reach Jericho, but he was deliberately keeping me out now.

“Kellan, honey, there’s nothing you can do to stop this,” Miri said, her hand on my shoulder. “There isn’t anything anyone can do.”

I shook my head. There had to be something. I couldn’t let Jericho kill the other dragon. Not because of me. A shriek of pain turned my attention skyward again. Jericho had the blue dragon in his talons. They were falling at a frightening speed. I thought briefly about trying to create a shield to slow their fall, but hitting the shield would hurt as much as the ground. I was helpless. Bashemath attempted to retaliate, snapping at the golden scales under Jericho’s neck. I couldn’t stop the cry that came from my mouth as I put a hand to my throat. I felt every bite. It shocked more than hurt, but then Bashemath’s tail ripped through the webbing of one of Jericho’s wings. My arm felt on fire, and the pain drove me to my knees with a scream. I vaguely registered Miri’s arm around my shoulders as I attempted to reach Jericho again.

“Please don’t. Stop, please.”

Friday, April 2, 2010

Again with the disappearing act

UGH Looks like my resolution to update the blog once a week is going by the wayside. Sorry about that guys. Everything has been pretty crazy the last month. I'll try to do better. I've dipped my toes into the editing field. Here are the ones I'm working for:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Could you fall in love with your captor?

Thanks to Ms. T for allowing me space on her blog today. I'm excited to announce the coming release of White Heart, Lakota Spirit from Moongypsy Press in April. If that seems far off, just take a minute and consider it feels like yesterday that we took down our holiday decorations. Some people still have up their lights. *smile*

Here's a short blurb to help you understand the story before I post the excerpt:

A normal morning turns to disaster when a small war party attacks Grace Cummings’ family and slaughters everyone but her. She's dragged to the Indian's camp filled with hatred, anger and fear, but through the help of another white woman in camp, learns the Lakota way. When white soldiers invade the camp and presume to rescue Grace, she must decide where her heart lies.


Papa scraped the last speck of egg from his plate and set it aside. “I s’pect Kev and me’ll find gold any day now. People are discoverin’ it all around us. When we make our strike, we can find some land and build a real house. It’s sure to happen soon… afore summer is past and the weather turns cold. In fact, Sassy, you and yer ma might want to start gatherin’ fair-sized stones and rocks for our fireplace.”

He pointed to the lean-to, still in progress. “In the meantime, Kev and I will finish our temporary shelter, so we can spread out a bit.”

No more climbing in and out of a wagon to sleep. Grace clapped. “Oh, Papa, that sounds so good.”

She sobered and flashed the look that always won him over…the half-pout, wistful gaze. “When we finally settle in our real house, it will be near a town, won’t it? Otherwise, how do you expect me to be courted out here in the middle of nowhere?”

“I’m not so sure I want you to be cour...” He jerked around and looked over his shoulder. “Do you hear that?”

“Hear what?” Kevin asked.

“I hear it, Papa,” Grace chimed in. “Sounds like yelling.”

Her father stood and scanned the horizon. He pointed. “Look. There!”

A group of riders emerged from a dust cloud in the distance. The yelling grew louder as they came closer.

The furrows in her father’s brow frightened Grace. “What is it, Papa?”

He darted for the wagon. “It’s Injuns! Hurry! You two women get inside and keep low. Kevin, get yer rifle!”

Grace’s heartbeat quickened and fear clutched her chest, making it hard to breathe. She’d heard about savages, but never saw one up close. She didn’t want to.

Her mother stood frozen in place. Grace grabbed her hand and pulled. “C’mon, Mama, we’d better do as Papa says.”

They ran around to the back of the wagon, and her mother boosted her up and over the closed tailgate. Grace dove inside, her mind filled with horrible thoughts. Would she get scalped or worse…were they all going to die? All the while, piercing yells sliced the air while thundering hooves pounded the ground.

Realizing her mother hadn’t followed, Grace rose up on her knees and peeked outside. A pack of whooping Indians rode round and round the wagon, their voices creating a din of eerie screams while bullets exploded. The hair on Grace’s arms stood on end. She covered her ears, crouched against the sidewall and prayed the savages would go away.

Shots rang out from beneath the wagon when Papa and Kevin returned fire. Fretting over her mother, Grace peeked out again. Mama shrieked and grabbed for the gate, but a mounted marauder pumped a bullet into her shoulder. She fell, silenced for the moment, but tried to struggle to her feet. The Indian shot her again.

Grace’s screams echoed in her own head. “No! Oh God, Mama,” she yelled at the top of her lungs. “Mamaaaa...”

Overpowered by hopelessness, Grace looked on as the painted rider stopped next to Mama’s fallen body and emptied another round into her. A stream of bright red trickled through the dry dirt, and her beloved mother lay motionless. Bile rose in Grace’s throat. She collapsed into a cowering heap, silenced her sobs with her hands, and clenched her teeth to keep from screaming. God hadn’t intervened so maybe the ordeal was all a bad dream and Mama wasn’t really dead. But, the shooting and whooping continued. Pounding hooves sent dust seeping into the wagon and Grace sputtered. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t awaken from the terror.

The gunfire suddenly ceased. She listened for the awful war cries but heard nothing but stony silence. Terror brought her breathing in ragged gasps. Were her brother and father still alive? And what about Mama?

Grace wanted to look, but feared what she’d see. Were the Indians gone? Summoning courage, she forced her eyes open and lifted her gaze even with the edge of the tailgate. Her heart seized when she found herself nose to nose with a scarred face covered with paint. Hate-filled eyes glared at her, and in his hand, a wooden club with dangling feathers loomed directly over her head. In fear for her life, she recoiled and covered her mouth to stop the scream rising in her throat.

A second face, not as old or menacing, peered in at her. The younger Indian grabbed the arm of the other and said something indistinguishable. They both stared at her.

Tears stung her eyes then drizzled down her cheeks. “Please, don’t kill me, please.”

The angry one grabbed her arm and dragged her over the splintered tailgate. A piece of wood pierced her side. She grimaced, scrunched her eyes closed, then hit the ground with a painful thud. Was this the end for her?

The savage stood over her, burning her with his hateful glare. Why? She didn’t know, although she’d heard stories about the Indians’ anger over the miners being in the Black Hills. But to kill over gold? That couldn’t be why. It just couldn’t.

Looking past him, she noticed others still mounted; beyond them the body of her mother. Through blurred eyes, she glanced back to the younger man then scanned beneath the wagon, searching for her papa and brother. Their lifeless bodies lay sprawled next to one another. Her heart ached at the needless loss. She no longer had a family.

She glared up at the Indian whose bright, lightning-bolt markings did little to hide the evidence of his encounter with a sharp blade—a jagged scar ran from his ear to his chin. Well-deserved, she supposed. Despite her grief and trembling legs, rage overcame her. She jumped to her feet and pummeled the chest of the one she believed responsible. He reeked of death.

“ savage. I hate you, I hate you,” she yelled.

The younger man grabbed her wrists; the look in his eyes warned her to stop. She lowered her head and stared at the ground. Her falling tears sprinkled the sparse grass and glistened in the sun.

Again, in a language she didn’t comprehend, the two men spoke in raised voices. The older one shoved the younger one away, grabbed Grace’s hands and trussed them together with a long piece of rawhide. Yanking hard on her tether, he pulled her toward his horse. Once mounted, he glowered at her with piercing eyes beneath a brow creased from years of frowning. He nudged his horse forward and led her like a pack mule, slow and steady at first.

She flashed a pleading look back at the younger one, but he mounted his horse and averted his gaze. Why didn’t they just kill her and get it over?

She quickened her pace to keep from falling. Her bare toes struck an occasional rock, and she winced in pain. Now she wished she’d listened to Mama and worn her shoes. Mama! Her wonderful, beautiful Mama. Through tears, Grace forced herself to glance back for one last look at the loved ones she’d never see again.

Again, thanks to my hostess for allowing me to post here today, and consider yourself invited to drop over to my blog. Tiranth is a welcome guest there, along with a wide array of authors writing in all genres. We're "Dishin' it Out."