Diamond Jubilee at Romance at Random

"The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge." Albert Einstein

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Santa for Christmas is Out!

My short fantasy romance, Santa for Christmas, is here just in time for the holidays! It also makes a fantastic treat for after the holidays when you still don't want the season to end.

Sanclen hates everything about Christmas. Too bad he’s stuck as Santa until he “earns” his repentance. As a banished elf serving many centuries in Antarctica’s Claus Village, he finds spreading holiday cheer to the human masses a process that turns his stomach. But when Santa’s Orb reveals his newest torment – a mandated case he’s to solve – he has no choice but to go into the seething heart of humanity: the abode of a sexy single mother and her child.

Mari can’t believe she found a lunatic hiding in her adopted son’s room. The arrogant man claims to not only be an elf but also Santa. Admittedly, he’s a fine specimen of male beauty. He doesn’t look anything like Old St. Nick nor does he resemble the little toy makers the North Pole is famous for.

After Sanclen spirits them away to Claus Village in Antarctica, she and Sanclen trade barbs and struggle not to fall in love. But he’s running out of time to find out what lies at the heart of his case if he wants to save the young family that has come to mean so much to him.

Have a great holiday!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I'm Talking Characterization at Tabby's Nocturnal Nights

I'm over at Tabby's Nocturnal Nights today, talking about what goes into the making of a character. Please click on over, and tell me how you think great characters are made.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Giveaway, a Fantastic Review, and a New Release!

I have some exciting news about giveaways, reviews, and new releases!

For the review head on over to Jenna's Journal to read her awesome post of Through the Rabbit Hole. If you comment, you'll be entered to win an e-copy of Through the Rabbit Hole and an e-copy of Fey Marked, my new short story for Halloween. Don't miss out on this chance to score two reads!

Fey Marked is also available on Smashwords and will soon be coming to the Kindle store and other various distributors. Here's the blurb:

Nora Barrons has experienced increasingly sensual, life-like dreams of a Sidhe male after his appearance to her at the fabled Hollow Hills as a teenager. That autumn encounter left her fey marked--and violently sick whenever she attempts to be intimate with any man. Now, seven years later, she arrives at the Hills to search for the mysterious Fae and end his hold over her once and for all.

But what Nora finds there threatens to rend the very fabric of her life. With his potent allure, Tillon is hard to resist, and so is his reason for fey marking her. She'll have to decide whether she can accept the mark or turn away from it--and Tillon.

Thanks for reading! And to those in the States, have a great Labor Day!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Happenings

Just a quick update!

Please head on over to Patty Robert's blog, where I have an author interview and giveaway up! While you're there, check out the other awesome author interviews and giveaways, too.

And if you've ever wondered about how basic drives motivate characters, head on over to Tabby's Nocturnal Nights. I blogged about how sex, food, and violence often make for a riveting story.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sweet Saturday Samples: Mists of Eria (Fantasy Romance)

Welcome to another week of Sweet Saturday Samples, where authors share clean excerpts of their works!

This week, my G-rated lines are from Mists of Eria, a work in progress (WIP) fantasy romance. Since there will be sensual and fully-consummated love scenes in the story, the book has an overall rating of R.

Mists of Eria:

But as the few intertwined strands of auburn hair came to rest upon his hand, the remembrance of another such occasion sprang up. A chill of horror danced down his spine.

Memory and dream merged. Rising up before him in his mind was the dreamscape of the woman’s red hair spread across his pillow, along with the memory of a young girl’s hair. Once before, the veil had taken a plait of auburn hair, allowing it to float through the rift and wrap around his hand. Even though that incident had occurred a decade ago and the girl had been but an adolescent, he now arrived at a logical conclusion, one his mind rebelled at. But his assumption made sense. It was so simple, so elegant, so wrong.

To check out more great author samples or to join in next time, click on over to Sweet Saturday Samples (clickable link).

If you liked my sample, you might be interested in my published works. Check them out below!

Through the Rabbit Hole (a sweet romance novella):

Social worker Natalie Danvers never thought she would fall head first into her very own dimensional tear — straight into a fey lord’s lap. The handsome but infuriatingly vague Lorh insists she’s stuck in his land for three weeks and that only she can discover the reasons behind her appearance in TirAnn. Natalie’s convinced this is all nonsense until forgotten memories of Lorh and his siblings resurface and collide with reason. Just who and what is she to Lorh and his family?

Available at (clickable links):

Astraea Press


Barnes and Noble

All Romance

Captive, a sensual short fantasy romance

Emma finds herself at the mercy of someone who shouldn't even exist -- in a reality far removed from her own 21stcentury world. Even though her Elvin captor, Cian, is mysterious and handsome, she determines to keep herself aloof and return home.

This soon all changes as he wages a seductive war on her defenses that challenges everything she’s believed about love and life.

Available at (clickable links):

Books to Go Now


Barnes and Noble

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sweet Saturday Samples

Welcome to the second week of Sweet Saturday Samples, where authors share clean excerpts of their works!

This week, my G-rated lines are from Through the Rabbit Hole and will pick up from where I left off last time. As for the whole novella, I would say it's rated G, but will label it PG to be on the safe side.

A grin lit the teen’s face, and she dipped her head. “There are many of us, you could say. I am Nara.”

“Nice to meet you, Nara.” Natalie paused. “How many of you are there?”

“With or without Lorh included?”

She gave the girl a puzzled look. “Why wouldn’t you include your brother?”

Nara sent her a smile. “Yes, silly me. Why would I not, indeed?”

To check out more great author samples or to join in next time, click on over to
Sweet Saturday Samples.

Through the Rabbit Hole Blurb:
Social worker Natalie Danvers never thought she would fall head first into her very own dimensional tear — straight into a fey lord’s lap. The handsome but infuriatingly vague Lorh insists she’s stuck in his land for three weeks and that only she can discover the reasons behind her appearance in TirAnn. Natalie’s convinced this is all nonsense until forgotten memories of Lorh and his siblings resurface and collide with reason. Just who and what is she to Lorh and his family?

Buy Links:

Astraea Press
Barnes and Noble
All Romance

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sweet Saturday Samples

Welcome to the first week of Sweet Saturday Samples, where authors share some 'clean' lines from their works!

My g-rated excerpt is from my fantasy romance novella, Through the Rabbit Hole:

A soft laugh sounded, and a gentle hand helped slide the dress into place. She spun around. A young teen stood there, eerily similar to the young girl she’d seen but ten or fifteen minutes ago.

“There are more of you?” She slapped a hand over her mouth, and heat crept over her cheeks. The words had slipped out, but that didn’t make them any more polite.

To check out more samples or to join in next time, click on over to Sweet Saturday Samples.

Through the Rabbit Hole Blurb:
Social worker Natalie Danvers never thought she would fall head first into her very own dimensional tear — straight into a fey lord’s lap. The handsome but infuriatingly vague Lorh insists she’s stuck in his land for three weeks and that only she can discover the reasons behind her appearance in TirAnn. Natalie’s convinced this is all nonsense until forgotten memories of Lorh and his siblings resurface and collide with reason. Just who and what is she to Lorh and his family?

Buy Links:

Astraea Press
Barnes and Noble
All Romance

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Giveaway and a Sweet Saturday Sample

Hi Everyone!

Romancing the Book is having a giveaway for Through the Rabbit Hole. Click on over for your chance to win!

For a sweet Saturday treat, check out Sweet Saturday Sample. Each author listed on the site will be be sharing sweet (clean) lines from their works. On Saturday, just click on an author's link on Sweet Saturday Sample to be taken to that author's blog. Feel free to sign up if you have lines to share!

Note: the books in question aren't necessarily sweet in nature, but the excerpts are.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday--Mists of Eria

When the woman didn’t speak, she cleared her throat. “Do you have any other words of wisdom?”

“No, dear.” She reached out and touched Cal’s cheek. “What ails you can’t be found in a book or online. You would do well to remember that.”

To read more Six Sentence Sunday entries, please visit Six Sentence Sunday.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sale at Astraea, Amazon, and B&N, plus a giveaway!

I have a couple good things to share today!

My fantasy romance novella, Through the Rabbit Hole, is priced at 99 cents for a limited time! Other Astraea titles are also reduced. If you're looking for good summer reads, click on the Astraea link below to discover some new fantastic authors.


Through the Rabbit Hole is also up for grabs on Clean Romance Reviews, along with two other great titles. Enter the giveaway now for your chance to win!

Happy Reading!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday--Mists of Eria

For this week's six, I'm picking up where I left off during my last Six Sentence Sunday. To recap, Cal, the heroine, has just discovered something in her bed that shouldn't be there--something unsettling.

Mists of Eria's Six:

No, impossible.

With a shaking hand, she picked up the hair. There, resting in her palm, were strands of reddish brown curving around longer ones of black. Cal couldn’t be so crazy as to imagine what rested in her hand. The auburn and black strands behaved in a very peculiar manner, because no matter how many times untwined, they reunited moments later. She sat down with a thump on her bed, not moving for a very long time.

Thanks for stopping by! To read other Six Sentence Sunday entries, go to http://sixsunday.com/.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Electricity and an Interview

My electricity is back on! I'd been without it for several days. Don't you hate when that happens? Now, I have to empty out part of my fridge. Grrr... Thankfully, I think everything in the freezer is fine.

I meant to post earlier this week about my spolight interview and giveaway (Through the Rabbit Hole) up on Laurie's Interviews, but nature took that right out of my hands. Here's the link now:


Stop by if you have a moment, but I'm just glad to have my electricity back;)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kary's Top Ten All-Time Favorite Summer Movies

In honor of the days of driving recklessly, living dangerously and working in fast food – this is my first installment of useless summer facts and fun.

Some of the funniest, scariest, most romantic movies of all time fall under the category of SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER. We all have those movies that remind us of the fun times in our lives – the young times in our lives. This list is a personal compilation of my favorites. Please feel free to add to and incorporate your own selections. The only rule is that the original release of the movie must be between May and August of any given year.

Kary's Top Ten

1. Raiders of the Lost Ark, June 1981 – the ultimate original summer adventure and the gold standard by which all others are measured

2. Ghostbusters, June 1984 – Who you gonna call? One of the funniest movies of all time and the embodiment of everything a summer movie should be

3. JAWS, June 1975 – I still will not go deeper than my knees in the ocean because of this movie

4. Top Gun, May 1986 – is there any woman over the age of 40 who didn't want to be on the beach during that volleyball scene?

5. Pirates of the Caribbean, July 2003 – a new wind blowing for the summer movie genre and the most notable adventure movie in over a decade

6. Batman, June 1989 – the beginning of the superhero's reign over the summer box office

7. Animal House, July 1978 – I've got one word for you "TOGA"

8. Cars, June 2006 – could have included any number of animated films because there are several that are worth seeing even if the kids aren't with you. This one is just my fav but Toy Story, Wall-E, Finding Nemo are all worth your time

9. Independence Day, July 1996 – Space Aliens and Will Smith 'nough said.

10. Jurassic Park, June 1993 – Seriously, I could do a Top 10 on Speilberg alone – The man is a summer movie genius

Other notables that didn't make my top 10 – Star Wars, Grease, Alien, Airplane, Caddyshack, The Blues Brothers, E.T., Risky Business, Return of the Jedi, Vacation, The Karate Kid, Back to the Future, Dirty Dancing, Bull Durham, Big, Apollo 13, Men In Black, Armageddon, Gladiator, Transformers, Iron Man, The Hangover, Inception

Here is a website that lists top movies by release dates. Take a stroll and reminisce. Spend a little time then leave me a comment letting me know which movies spark a memory or add a new selection of your own.

And most importantly – HAVE FUN!!!! It's summer time.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday--Mists of Eria

The six this week are from my WIP fantasy romance, Mists of Eria. In them, the heroine, Cal, just awoke from a startlingly real dream and tries to convince herself everything is fine and normal.

She had more important things such as school, her part-time job, and family to worry about. Insanity, whether real or imagined, was not a priority on her list. Psychosis would just have to wait its turn like everything else.

Throwing off the blankets, she went to make the bed. When Cal pulled the sheets and comforter up, she noticed something on her pillow. None of her friends had hair that…

Thanks for stopping by!

For other Six Sentence Sunday entries,visit Six Sentence Sunday.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mega Author Blog Hop: Trip Around the World Winners!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and participated in the Mega Author Blog Hop! I meant to post the winners list last night, but Blogger wouldn't let me sign in to do so.

The winner of my first place prize is: Kristi! The second place winner is: Leanne! I've already contacted the winners by email, but if for some reason the email goes astray and the winners are reading this, don't hesitate to contact me. I love to hear from readers anyway!

Thanks again!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tuesday Tale--Ice Cream Prompt

This week I'm participating in Jean Joachim's Tuesday Tale. The prompt is about something smooth and creamy I love to eat--ice cream. Read on to see how I incorporate the cold stuff into my tale. Click on Jean's link above to read more fantastic ice cream tales. Felica Rogers' tale is the next in line!


Gabe Preston watched as the ice cream left a tantalizing trail down the smooth skin he’d been checking out for the last ten minutes. The woman savored her treat with a childlike intensity, that pink tongue darting out and taking smooth licks. Now and then, her tongue would dip down and gather any stray drops before they could escape.

His gaze roved over her. Lord, there was nothing childlike about her figure, though. Tight black jeans and a little t-shirt hugged her lithe frame, reveling curves in all the right places. He stifled the urge to unfasten the top button of his polo shirt. What was she doing to him? This was a café, not a bar to trawl for women.

The lady tilted her head, and her eyes met his. A broad smile covered those delectable lips, stealing the breath from his lungs. She peered up through long lashes that he knew covered sparkling blue eyes. Her arched brows resembled the wings of--

He scoffed at himself. What was he? A poetic teenager? Gabe had long stopped being swayed by a pretty face after he’d seen how the size of his wallet could influence women. Some modicum of intelligence and kindness were essential. He didn’t know if she had either in abundance.

The ice cream cone wavered in her hand, and as it fell, alarm flared in her eyes. Her long auburn hair covered her face as she dove after it. The ice cream landed with a splat or the floor. Before he knew what he was doing, he was out of his seat and across the aisle to her table.

She glanced up, and her mouth trembled into a pout. “Oh dear, I lost my ice cream.”

Her voice flowed over him like a waterfall’s caress. Her accent--why couldn’t he place it? He’d traveled the world on business and pleasure enough to recognize most people’s.

Gabe reached into the pocket of his chinos and redrew a folded handkerchief. “We can get you another one.” He held out the piece of fabric.

She followed his gaze down to where her ice-cream covered fingers rested on the table. Rubbing her fingers together, she seemed fascinated by the melting substance.

Gabe narrowed his eyes. What was she doing? Wasn’t she a bit old to play in her food?

He cleared his throat and offered the handkerchief again. “Ahem.”

The woman tore her eyes from her hands and stared at him, her face glowing. “Would you?”

Confusion hit him. Would he what? “I don’t know what--”

She interrupted him. “Get me another one?” The woman clapped her hands together and cast him a hopeful glance.

Doubts about this lady’s eccentricities crept in. Was she all there? “Er, yes. Don’t you want to wipe your hands first?”

She inclined her head regally. “I think I will.”

As he handed her the handkerchief, her fingertips brushed his. Electric sparks zinged up his arms, cascading down to his toes. The woman froze, and then the moment passed.

Gabe crammed his hands into his pants pockets.

After wiping her fingers meticulously, she sat the fabric down on the table. “Thank you, Mr…?”


She folded her hands primly together. “Thank you, Mr. Gabe.”

He shook his head. “I go by the first name of Gabe. The last name is Preston.”

“I am Anha.”

A grin curved his lips. “Just Anha?”

A mysterious smile floated over her face. “Just Anha.”

Image: Naito8 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Check out my newest release published by Astraea Press:

Through the Rabbit Hole
Social worker Natalie Danvers never thought she would fall head first into her very own dimensional tear — straight into a fey lord’s lap. The handsome but infuriatingly vague Lorh insists she’s stuck in his land for three weeks and that only she can discover the reasons behind her appearance in TirAnn. Natalie’s convinced this is all nonsense until forgotten memories of Lorh and his siblings resurface and collide with reason. Just who and what is she to Lorh and his family?

Barnes and Noble
All Romance
Astraea Press

Last Day of Mega Author Blog Hop!

Hi, everyone! This is the last day of the Trip Around the World: Mega Author Blog Hop. Don't miss out on your chance to win some great prizes!

You can start the hop here (if you haven't already done so):


Thanks to everyone who's participated so far!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Pirate's Six Sentence Sunday

Ahoy, me hearties! Kary's Six Sentence Sunday.
This six is from my current work in progress The Pirate Princess.

The noble Prince Petra is on mission to rescue his betrothed, a lady he highly regards but does not love. Restless and unable to sleep on the south seas, he paces the darkened deck and meets with the sharp point of a pirate's sword.

Petra turned to meet the intense gaze of two bright green eyes and his heart leapt within him at the feral quality of her presence. The siren’s raven hair blew in jagged wisps across her face. A mist surrounded her as if the heat she emanated transformed the damp sea air to steam.

Her vision roamed his body like hot hands and her voice slid into his mind like a lover’s fingers through his hair. “Oh, I don’t believe you are a sailor. Are you?” She used her sword to cut the ties of his tunic and fold it back to expose his heaving chest.

Hope my six leaves you wanting more. Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment and let me know you visited. For more great Six Sentence Sunday posts click HERE.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

For this week's six, I'll be taking the lines from my current WIP, Mists of Eria, a fantasy romance. Cal, our heroine, has seen and dreamed of things that shouldn't be possible. She's been like this since childhood, but has learned the hard way that she can't share her tale.

Pressing a hand to her still aching forehead, she bent over to retrieve her bag but froze at what she saw. The floor underneath the bag, underneath her feet, rippled. The whole floor swelled into a mass of waves.

She jerked her legs up onto the bed, her heart plummeting through the floor. As she whimpered, her eyes stayed fixated on the floor.

A flickering, glittering mist formed on the ground, overtaking the strange ripples and leaving her blind while it slowly crept over the bed.

Thanks for stopping by! To read other Six Sentence Sunday entries, visit here.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day -- Six Sentence Sunday From Kary

Happy Mother's Day!

Here is a little bit of magic from my current WIP -- The Pirate Princess. Marchant, the commander of the armies of Komissa and renowned cadabout, has protected Brislyn, the spirited daughter of the Duke her whole life. During a celebration in honor of Brislyn's 19th birthday, March searches for the missing girl and finds more than he believed he could.

As March descended the path to the beach, the lively celebrations dimmed in favor of the whispering tide. As he suspected, the girl sat alone on a rock admiring the beauty of the sunset.
Finding her safe, he moved to return to the party -- and the earl’s daughter -- but stopped short. Bris began to play her lyre and sing; his feet sank in the sand. The lilt of her charming voice reverberated through him as if he had been deaf to music, to beauty, to love until that moment.

Hope you enjoyed. Please leave a comment. You can find more great postings here.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Astraea Press--15% off Mother's Day Sale

Head on over to Astraea Press to find a great read and then enter CELEBRATEMOM during checkout to save 15%! Come on, you know you want to:) There's something for everyone--YA, romance, mystery. A perfect gift for the mother in your life who likes to read.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Givaway Update--and Winners!

Because of the thoughtful comments I received about my sweet post, I decided to give away two copies of Through the Rabbit Hole. I wish I could give everyone who left a comment one! The responses were well-thought out and articulate--a joy to read.

I've e-mailed the two winners, Amy and Mary Anne. Any feedback from them is appreciated, but not expected:)

Six Sentence Sunday

My six this week are from my recently release fantasy romance, Through the Rabbit Hole, from Astraea Press. The hero, Lorh, had just introduced Natalie, the heroine, to a rather odd denizen of his otherwordly garden.

“Your hand, it’s in one piece?” His teasing voice came from above her head. She spun toward him so quickly she nearly got whiplash, but halted when her nose almost hit his chest. Yikes,
when had he gotten so close—and so tall?

He picked up her hand, which by now lay limply by her side, and made a show of inspecting it. “Your hand, my lady, is fine?”

Thanks for stopping by! To view other SS entries, please visit http://sixsunday.blogspot.com/


Barnes and Noble

All Romance

Astraea Press

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sweet Romance and a Giveaway!

I’ve just had a sweet or clean fantasy romance released from Astraea Press (read below to find out how to win a copy). In this age and market, sweet romances often seem a thing of the past. Erotica is everywhere, which is fine. But what if that’s not your cup of tea? It’s not mine, not so much because of any moral stance, but because I don’t like the heavy reliance placed on sex as a plot device.

Sweet romances do exist, though they’re kind of the ugly duckling of their older sisters--erotica and mainstream romance. Sweet romance writers can get as much negative heat as explicit writers from the public. I daresay they receive more than their fair share from certain sectors. Not only are they writing romance, but they’re not including those all-important sex scenes that titillate readers. How dare they! Most people think if they pick up a romance, it must have the requisite bedroom scene every chapter or so.


Sometimes the most sensual moments come from the two characters standing together, almost touching. The tension is thick, both wanting more but knowing it’s not the right time or place--or maybe even the ‘right’ person. It’s this inner push-and-pull I love to see. If the bedroom scenes pile up or come on too strong, these kinds of moments get smothered between the sheets.

I’m not bad-mouthing more explicit works, but sometimes I want to read something focused on the romance, the growing relationship between hero and heroine. Unfortunately, too many sex scenes, especially graphic ones, leave me wondering where that very romance is. Yes, I get that sex is an important part of a committed relationship. But I don’t like when that aspect makes up a third or a fourth of the book. One or two scenes I can skim over, but when I have to skip pages and pages to get to the ‘good’ parts -- those touches and glances -- I feel cheated.

The bedroom door doesn’t even need to be fully closed. But I prefer not to have a play-by-play description of what each body part is doing, especially every few chapters.

What do you prefer? Or can you read all heat levels without a problem?

For more posts on sweet romances, check out Kay Springsteen's blog. She has a great series on the subject going on.

Giveaway Details:

Leave a comment about this post and be entered to win a PDF of Through the Rabbit Hole! Important: If you're not a follower of this blog, please either follow this blog or leave your email address so I can reach you if you win. Winner will be chosen at random and announced on Sunday.

Here's the blurb:

Social worker Natalie Danvers never thought she would fall head first into her very own dimensional tear — straight into a fey lord’s lap. The handsome but infuriatingly vague Lorh insists she’s stuck in his land for three weeks and that only she can discover the reasons behind her appearance in TirAnn. Natalie’s convinced this is all nonsense until forgotten memories of Lorh and his siblings resurface and collide with reason. Just who and what is she to Lorh and his family?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Author Interview at the Astraea Blog

I was interviewed for the release of Through the Rabbit Hole. Below is the link. Stop by and leave a comment if you have a moment!

Astraea Press: Terrific Tuesday: New Release Through the Rabbit H...: "Lisa Kumar debuts here are Astraea Press with a book that is far from Alice and her Wonderland. This hole leads to a Fae realm as original a..."


Monday, April 25, 2011

Through the Rabbit Hole Release!

Through the Rabbit Hole has been released a day early on the publisher's website! Amazon, Barnes and Noble, plus a few other places, should have it in a day or two.

Here's the blurb: Social worker Natalie Danvers never thought she would fall head first into her very own dimensional tear — straight into a fey lord’s lap. The handsome but infuriatingly vague Lorh insists she’s stuck in his land for three weeks and that only she can discover the reasons behind her appearance in TirAnn. Natalie’s convinced this is all nonsense until forgotten memories of Lorh and his siblings resurface and collide with reason. Just who and what is she to Lorh and his family?

For those interested in a link to the book on the publisher's website, click on the cover art at the top left of this post.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

My six this week are from Through the Rabbit Hole, my upcoming release from Astraea Press. The heroine, Natalie, has just arrived in another dimension, where she is told some rather upsetting news by the fey hero, Lorh.

“Three weeks?”

Grasping her hand, he pulled her up, not answering. She trailed behind him, and when she had all but given up on him responding, he spoke. “Three weeks to decide where your dreams rest. If they don’t lie here with me, you will go back to your world with no remembrance of this one or the people in it.”

She stumbled at his words, her mind hazing over like a
foggy mirror.

Thanks for stopping by! To read other Six Sentence Sunday entries or participate next week, go to http://sixsunday.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 22, 2011

Colorful Writing

Have you been feeling Blue? Yellow-bellied? Red-faced? Green with envy?

While these examples are cliche, using color to describe characters and the world around them is almost mandatory for a writer. But finding new and innovative ways to use color in writing is a challenge.

One of the most interesting things about color I've learned was through my studies in the theater. There are three primary colors of light -- red, green, blue -- that create every other color in the light spectrum.

Similarly pigment also has three primary colors -- red, yellow, blue -- which create every color in the spectrum.

The major difference between pigment and light is this: In light, all the colors combined create white but in pigment all the colors combine to create black. In light, black is the absence of any color where in pigment white is the absence of any color.

Throughout history, world cultures have linked colors to various emotions and life events. This symbolism can help us paint our pages with imagery. For example, when we’re considering what characters might wear, the colors they prefer might be symbolic of their station in life or the condition of their psyche.

Check out the chart on color symbolism below. Many things in the list won’t come as a surprise, but maybe a few will.

Color Symbolism Chart
Excitement, energy, passion, desire, speed, strength, power, heat, love, aggression, danger, fire, blood, war, violence, aggression, all things intense and passionate.
Joy, happiness, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, sunshine, summer, gold, philosophy, dishonesty, cowardice, betrayal, jealousy, covetousness, deceit, illness, hazard.
Peace, tranquility, calm, stability, harmony, unity, trust, truth, confidence, conservatism, security, cleanliness, order, loyalty, sky, water, cold, technology, depression, appetite suppressant.
Energy, balance, warmth, enthusiasm, vibrant, expansive, flamboyant, demanding of attention.
Nature, environment, healthy, good luck, renewal, youth, vigor, spring, generosity, fertility, jealousy, inexperience, envy, misfortune.
Royalty, spirituality, nobility, spirituality, ceremony, mysterious, transformation, wisdom, enlightenment, cruelty, arrogance, mourning.
Security, reliability, intelligence, staid, modesty, dignity, maturity, solid, conservative, practical, old age, sadness, boring
Earth, hearth, home, outdoors, reliability, comfort, endurance, stability, simplicity, and comfort.
Reverence, purity, simplicity, cleanliness, peace, humility, precision, innocence, youth, birth, winter, snow, good, sterility, marriage (Western cultures), death (Eastern cultures), cold, clinical, sterile.

Power, sexuality, sophistication, formality, elegance, wealth, mystery, fear, evil, anonymity, unhappiness, depth, style, evil, sadness, remorse, anger, underground, good technical color, mourning, death (Western cultures).

Which ones surprised you?

Here's a great website with interesting and helpful information. Everything you ever wanted to know about color and more is here.

Tell me -- How do you use color in your writing?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

This week's six are from my soon-to-be-released novella, Through the Rabbit Hole, from Astraea Press. Natalie, the heroine, has just landed in the hero's lap.

His would’ve been a sinfully handsome face, but for the fact he didn’t look exactly human. Oh, the eyes, nose, and mouth were there and in the right proportion, as was the general shape of the face. But the eyes glinted with an abnormal light -­-­ a purple iridescent light -­‑ under strongly arched brows.

Brown hair that should have been normal wasn’t. It held too many varying shades of red and gold, running the spectrum back and forth between the two. He should’ve looked like some poster boy for hair color gone bad, but he didn’t.

Hope you enjoyed my six! To read other Six Sentence Sunday entries or join in on the fun, go to http://sixsunday.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Galleys and Perfection

To me, the words ‘galleys’ and ‘perfect’ are mutually exclusive and don’t get along well. Why do I say this?

Well… When I received my galleys for Through the Rabbit Hole, I thought reading this final proof for mistakes would be easy. Uh, no. Perfectionism had to rear its ugly head. Yes, I did catch typos and extra/missing words, but the toughest part was overcoming the urge to change everything.

I’ve edited the story numerous times, but still cringed when I saw certain words in the galleys. How could I have overlooked them while going through my billionth editing round? Had they magically slipped in and took up residence when my computer went to bed for the evening? Does this sound familiar?

How about the following? “Why, oh why, did I write the sentence/paragraph/story this way? That way would’ve been so much better because of this reason or that!”

Not the most pleasant of feelings, but I think most writers ‘have been there, done that’ at some time or another. So when should we halt this madness?

For me, the galleys presented the perfect opportunity. I didn’t want to have a mega-long list of requested changes, so I grabbed my perfectionism and locked it up. Yes, it’s still screaming behind bars, but I’m not listening…too much. I’m a big girl who realizes nothing will be perfect, no matter how many times I change it. The time to let go had come.

I restrained myself to marking down true errors and repeated word choice. In the end, I had sixteen requested changes. That still felt like a lot to me, but my editor, Stephanie, assured me it was not -- and that my obsession with change was normal.

So writers are ‘normal’ in their obsessions, who would have guessed that?

For those of you who write, when do you give up polishing your masterpiece?


Image: m_bartosch / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday Again for Kary

This excerpt is from my current work in process, Pirate Princess. Lady Brislyn of Komissa has been abducted from her castle and thrown into the cargo hold of a mechant ship. Marchant, Commander of her father's army, had moments before proposed marriage. Though the twenty-year-old girl loves him, she refused his offer, still hurting from his rejection of her five years earlier. I hope you enjoy:

The Captain screeched out orders, and the beating of foot steps pounded overhead. Finally, the sound of the mooring ropes being hauled onto the deck and the creaking of the old wooden ship as it floated from the dock left little doubt that Bris drifted at sea. It was too late. Tears streamed down her cheeks into her mouth. She might as well get used to the salty flavor, because she would have plenty of it. Even if he was now looking, March wouldn’t know where to find her.

For more entries by talented Six Sentence Sunday authors or even to join in on the fun yourself next week, check out their site http://www.sixsunday.blogspot.com/.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Favorite Color Is Purple

A few months ago a writer friend of mine told me that she thought she might be ruined forever to reading because of her writing. I thought I understood what she meant, but I don’t think I really did at the time. Now I do.

We, as writers, can get so bogged down with style and craft issues that the actual power of our words can be forgotten. I’m not saying toss every rule aside, but I am saying don’t lose the passion of the words just to fit inside a stylistic box. It’s great to have guidelines – not hard and fast rules. Writing is still an art, first and foremost. If you never practice with words considered purple, how can you ever learn to use them well?

I came across this passage last week, and it struck me for two reasons: The first is that the power of the words gave me chills. The second is that if this had gone to an editor in today’s publishing world, it would have most likely been edited out in the first round.

Do yourself a favor and read this passage out loud:

The castle of Cair Paravel on its little hill towered up above them; before them were the sands, with rocks and little pools of salt water, and seaweed, and the smell of the sea and long miles of bluish-green waves breaking forever and ever on the beach. And oh, the cry of the seagulls! Have you heard it? Can you remember?

The first sentence would not only be criticized as too long but would be labeled as “purple.” And dear God, the POV police would lock the author in prison and throw away the key for the last two sentences. When I read this out loud, I get tears in my eyes. I don’t have to know why they are on a beach or what the GMC is. I don’t care that the second independent clause is passive voice or that the author broke out of third-person past to address the reader directly. I only have to close my eyes to see the beach, smell the briny sea, hear the lonely cry of the seagulls, and the waves washing up on the shore because I am right there with them.

In some ways I, too, am ruined to reading and in other ways my eyes are just opened to it. I don't want to get so ingrained in the mechanics of my writing that I miss the opportunity for something great – something that will give my readers chills or bring tears to their eyes. This is, after all, why I write.

This passage is from CS Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. If you have not read it, I recommend it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lisa's Six Sentence Sunday

Welcome to another Six Sentence Sunday! The six this week is from my upcoming release, Through the Rabbit Hole, from Astraea Press.

Here's a little background info. When Natalie tumbled through a dimensional tear, she fell into a fey lord's lap. To her bewilderment, here's what the initial conversation sounded like:

“You’re human, little bird.”

Her eyebrows drew together. She’d been expecting a threat or demand, not an observation. Just who and what was he?

He smiled, the grin creeping across his face like a ray of light. “We have legends about round-eared humans.”

Hope you enjoyed. Thanks for stopping by!

Drop by http://sixsunday.blogspot.com/ to see more great entries.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The First Round--of Edits, That Is

No, I wasn't talking about the first round of alcohol, though we may have a virtual round later. What I'm referring to is first round edits.

Last night, I received mine for Through the Rabbit Hole and am happy to say they're aren't as scary as I thought they might be. Sure, I have to fix an odd turn of phrase occasionally and add or subtract a word or comma every few pages. But these are all easy fixes that make my heart jump for joy. No major overhauls required--phew!

I know, who likes to see their manuscript (MS) marked up in red? Probably no one, but as long as the suggestions/revisions are on the mark, they serve the author well. And my edits from Astraea Press were right on, down to the last dot. For those of you familiar with critiques, edits aren't that much different. In fact, I think if your MS has been through serious critiquing, the edits will be a lot less painful.

What I love about Astraea is if I don't agree with an edit, I'm encouraged to give my reason(s) why. Now, I don't think I will need to do this, because I agree with all the edits thus far. But isn't it nice to know that as authors, we still have quite a bit of input over our work?

Now how about that cyber round?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kary's Six Sentence Sunday

Happy Six Sentence Sunday from Kary.

This is an excerpt from my current work in progress, The Implanting, an epic fantasy romance. Abby has just returned home from a month long journey. Shortly after her arrival, she overhears a conversation in which Petra, her best friend and confidant, declares he’s in love with her. The revelation surprises her, but not as much as the feelings it stirs in her own heart.

Taking her in his arms, his face descended to hers. He hesitated, and when she didn’t pull away, made full contact with her lips. His mouth moved insistently, like a gentle wind against the new growth of barley. The mint and lemongrass scent of his skin infused her senses, and his arms around her waist conveyed security but not confinement.
Her mind scattered like apple blossoms in the breeze. Was this why she’d come?

Hope you enjoyed and thanks for stopping by.

You can find more great entries by going to the Six Sentence Sunday blog site at http://sixsunday.blogspot.com/.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Great Beginnings

Recently I attended a workshop with Anna DeStefano, best selling, Romantic Times award-winning author. Her session called Plotting through Character Development showed her personal technique for plotting her story by first developing character growth. With Lisa’s recent post on creating memorable characters this seemed a good topic to continue discussing. To any story, but especially in the romance genre, characters are key.

Here is an excerpt from the session:

Where your characters come from is half the battle – Add punch to the character’s present by motivation from the past.
As authors we know story pacing thrives on the here and now, but much of the characters motivation is anchored in the past. Just because the reader never sees all the details of the character’s back story doesn’t let you as the author off the hook. You must know where your characters come from in order to predict where they will go and make it believable.

Characters are built. They don’t just happen – Your characters are reborn each time you learn more about what they need
The focus of each scene from the character’s perspective is change. Each scene should bring about a change that moves them towards their turning point. If you know what your characters need to reach their crisis then you can turn up the heat with plot elements and torture them.

Work hard for those surprises – Revisions are good for spontaneity
Bang out the first draft then go back for intuitive spontaneous character revisions. Interesting, fully rounded characters rarely emerge in the first draft. Character depth usually takes a trip or two back to conquer.

• Commit to the process of understanding your characters better.
• Know your own patterns and weaknesses and put them to use in your characters
• Play to your strengths where your writing gift will thrive but remember change is good. Stretch a little with each new project by picking a character you’ve never explored.
• Dare to go in a different direction in your character’s growth.

I found this session personally helpful because without realizing it, character development is how I plotted my first book. By using these suggestions to fill in the gaps of my own lack of knowledge, my next project will go so much more smoothly.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Hi, Lisa here! This is my first week participating in Six Sentence Sunday. The lines I'm sharing are from my short fantasy romance Captive, which is epublished with Books to Go Now. In the story Emma has just been kidnapped by the seductive Cian. The poor girl didn't even know about the existence of other dimensions -- or elves -- until she caught the eye of the handsome Elvin male. Now she's scared of but seriously tempted by the foreign Cian.

Now on to the juicy part!

When he discovered the curve of her cheek next, she closed her eyes. The scent of pine and sandalwood tickled her nose, and her senses flared to life. Pin pricks shivered over her skin. Time and perception coalesced, as if she’d been born just to experience this moment.

The heat of his lips took up the path his fingers had left. “W…what are you doing?”

Hope you enjoyed!

For more entries by talented Six Sentence Sunday authors or even to join in on the fun yourself next week, check out the site of Six Sentence Sunday.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Through the Rabbit Hole Cover Art

I'm excited to have the cover art for Through the Rabbit Hole, which will be coming out from Astraea Press! The cover artist is the talented Elaina Lee. Without further ado, here's the cover!

The Writing Tree

While driving, I often think of writing-related matters. For some reason last week, I thought of how climbing a tree -- or even the tree itself -- is like writing a book. In the winter trees are bare, branches sticking out like spindly arms without any leaves to clothe them. But I reasoned, are these limbs like the structure we hang our stories on?

But how is writing a novel like climbing a tree -- or the tree itself? Well, a tree grows, as we all know. From a sapling, it starts out fresh and green. As the tree matures, it becomes stronger. Once the tree has developed enough stability to withstand our weight, we can begin the upward climb. Many people don’t make it past the first few limbs, or even the first one, and give up in defeat. For those who persevere, the first few branches might not seem to be that high from the ground. We can climb these sturdy limbs with minimal effort.

But once we go higher, our comfort level drops, and the branches become more delicate. We have to constantly watch for missteps, testing each limb to see if it will hold the weight of our story ideas. One branch may look perfect, but once we’re on it, we can see it’s not the place for us. The limb may be too shaky, or not close enough to other branches to allow easy movement. So we search out another branch that will take us toward our goal--of climbing the tree to the top and back down. Along the way, we have to jump from limb to limb as our plot-points change, sometimes going up a branch, sometimes down two.

Depending on the person and story involved, climbing can be very easy or extremely hard. And just like a cat that gets stuck in the top branches, we can shoot to the top on an idea, only to realize there’s no way to get back down.

Plot twists, conflict, characters -- they can all lead us astray, leaving us stranded in the tree we’ve built for our story. Sometimes, we can gingerly retrace our steps down. Other times, we need to be recused -- whether by a critique partner or by time and objectivity. But with enough patience, we will make it to the top and back down -- in one piece.

Writing is all about the journey. From the inciting incident at the bottom to the conflict at the top, and then back down again. Apparently writing is like a tree -- and climbing that said tree -- to me. What is writing to you?