Diamond Jubilee at Romance at Random

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

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/.