Spring!

Spring has finally sprung, at least here in the northern hemisphere! Well, spring has ‘officially’ sprung, anyway. In Cleveland it’s still cold and snowy, but it’s all uphill from this point forward, right? (Unless we get one of our spring blizzards.) Soon we’ll have flowers and green and sunny days. Spring is one of my favorite seasons. Actually, all of them are my favorite except winter.

Spring being in the air also means the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge is right around the corner! Did you check out my theme reveal this week?

Here’s to bright skies ahead!

Bottoms Up by Kate Deveaux

Today I’m hosting Kate Deveaux and her erotic romance, Bottoms Up. Kate is giving away THREE Amazon/B&N gift cards at $10, $25, and $50. So make sure to comment, check out the other stops on the tour, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway! Kate is also here today to talk about her favorite sexy drink recipes!

Enter to win a $10, $25, or $50 Amazon/B&N gift card

Leave a comment and check out the other stops on the tour for more chances to win!


KATE’S FAVORITE SEXY DRINK RECIPES

Thanks Megan for having me as your guest today.

I’m delighted to stop by and share my latest new release Bottoms Up. It’s a sizzling cocktail themed romance that I hope you and your readers will find toe-curlingly enjoyable.

While I’m here, I’d love to share some of my favorite downright dirty drink recipes. I must confess, just between you and me, it was a total blast to research the sexy drinks Justin serves Lexi and to tell the story of their sensual adventures. Especially as they acted out those concoctions with such naughty little names.

Here’s a little cheeky banter between Lexi and Justin to get you in the mood of Bottoms Up:


Flipping through the pages, she scanned for the perfect drink he could teach her. The French Hooker had gone over so well she wondered what else might be fun. Then she saw it. Sex on the Pool Table. And the Slow Comfortable Screw. Her panties grew damp. Her pussy quivered. She spotted the Bend Me Over. They all sounded so deliciously naughty. How am I ever going to decide?

He appeared, ready and eager, dressed in a nice blue-striped shirt that highlighted his eyes and jeans that made her just want to rip them off. She just stood there for a moment admiring how damn hot he looked.

He wasted no time getting to the point. “So what will it be? Did you pick one?”

“There were a few that intrigued me…”

“A few. Well, I could be up for that.” His amusement rippled into a low laugh. “I thought you might be. Now which one should I choose?”

“Why not all of them?” he asked. “We’ll have plenty of time after dinner.”

Lexi could feel her pulse humming the second he moved closer to her, taking the book from her hand and pulling her to him with one hand, the other still firmly around her waist.

“Sex on the Pool Table? Really, you do surprise me, Lex,” he said with certain admiration.

“I like surprising you. And I will after dinner.” Her newly discovered inner sex goddess was taking the reins. She loved how sexy Justin made her feel. How naughty when he looked at her with that devilish lift of his brow. The same look he’d given her when he’d sunk his finger deep into her pussy and made her knees buckle at the sheer pleasure.

He stared at her, devouring her with his gaze before he pulled her hard against him. “That is, if I can wait that long.”

“You’ll have to. And did you see the other one? I folded the page.” Now she was being downright dirty. And she loved it.

His eyebrows rose when he turned the page. “Bend Me Over.” He read the name of the drink out loud. “I intend to.” His voice sent a ripple of desire from her peaked nipples right to her now moist and needy pussy that wanted him inside her more than anything. On the pool table, on the bar, from behind—whatever he wanted, she wanted. Craved.

“There’s more,” she added with glee.

Turning to the next dog-eared page, he grinned. “Pop My Cherry.” His tone was approving.

“Don’t get too excited,” she bantered back. “I think it might be a little late for that, but we can still pretend if you like.”

A deep groan slipped from his lips. “Not that cherry…”

Her cheeks burned hot as he ran his hand over her bottom, her legs almost buckling at the suggestion.

“You naughty, naughty girl…” He smacked her ass hard.

Gulping, she giggled with wicked delight. “We’ll see about that. Dinner?” she asked, and prompted him to look at his watch. “We wouldn’t want to be late for our first date, would we?”


These are a couple of my favorites from the book!
POP MY CHERRY:

1/2 oz. Cherry Vodka
1/4 oz. Triple Sec
1/4 oz. Orange Juice

Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into glass.

 

SEX WITH THE BARTENDER:

0.5 oz. Coconut Rum
0.5 oz. Triple Sec
0.5 oz. Lime Juice
1 splash(s) Grenadine Syrup
Fill with Lemonade
Lemon/Lime
1 Splash(s) Irish Cream

Mix rum, triple sec, lime juice, grenadine, and Lemonade. Garnish with lemon and lime, then splash Irish cream down the middle.

*Best served behind the bar!

Thanks so much for having me! Check out the book for some of my other favorites, such as Bend Me Over and Sex on The Pool Table…

Kate
Xo


A bartender with a penchant for naughty drink recipes is well known for crafting the perfect concoction for his clientele. Justin meets his match when down on her luck Lexi walks into his bar and he whips up a cocktail especially for her.

It’s not just the booze talking when Justin and Lexi explore his list of naughty drink recipes in more detail — after hours. Night after night, Lexi is drawn back to Justin’s bar for another deliciously dirty creation and another night of extreme fantasy when he shows her how to let go of her inhibitions — One tantalizing drink recipe at a time— Seems it’s definitely Bottoms Up for these two!


EXCERPT:

“So what’ll it be?” the bartender asked.

Lexi was instantly dragged back to the present.

“Uh…I don’t know,” she offered, wondering how a drink could possibly dull the emptiness inside her.

He gave a smile and a confident shrug. “Well then, you’re in luck.”

“How’s that?” she asked half-heartedly, not really in the mood for banter but realizing she was in need of a drink but with no clue what drink she wanted. Just something to make her forget the shitty day she’d had. And the even shittier year.

The bartender with the soul-searching eyes and the cute little smile that even Lexi had to admit was a bit of a mood lifter, leaned on the bar so his eyes were level with hers.

“You’re in luck because it so happens my drink picking skills are legendary.”

“Legendary?” She repeated his claim, aware some would consider her response a flirt, but she felt it was more of a challenge. A challenge to see if he could pick something for her that would make her feel…feel…What the hell did she want to feel anyway?

“Legendary,” he repeated.

Okay, he was definitely flirting. Lexi couldn’t help but crack a smile.

“You’re that confident,” she pressed.

“Ten to one I will pick the perfect drink for you.”

“Okay then…give it your best shot,” she said, beginning to enjoy thinking about anything other than her troubles while she stood still holding onto the bar stool, but not yet taking the plunge to hop on the stool and settle in.

Without her uttering another word, the bartender poured one long stream of silken liquor into a cocktail shaker. Its slow path had a mesmerizing affect on her. She watched while he picked up another bottle and poured another brightly colored liquor into the shaker at the same time. He placed the bottles down and gave her a nod. Her pulse quickened when he gripped the shaker. The condensation on the container made her lips water but it was the flex of his muscled forearms that stirred something else in her. Something she thought she’d long forgotten. Desire.

After a few swift gyrations he uncapped the shaker with a flourish. Then slowly filled the chilled martini glass while reaching for another bottle, adding a final squirt of orange amber liquor to the drink. The effect creating a layered concoction the color of the most exquisite sunset with a deep blue layer on the very bottom while the fiery orange layer almost floated on top.

Satisfied with his handy work he slowly slid the cocktail towards her.

“Try this,” he offered.

Parched with anticipation, her mouth was so dry she wanted more than anything to down the divine looking concoction.

He smiled encouragingly.

One quick drink Lexi told herself. All she’d wanted was one drink. Not to hang out with a flirtatious and sexy bartender. All she was looking for was a reprieve from the scorching summer sun. Something to quench her thirst. And numb her despair. A brief respite before getting back to what she needed to do. Clean out the apartment and hand in the keys. And thanks to being laid off that morning, she now added finding a job to her growing ‘to do’ list.

Reaching for the glass, Lexi lifted it up to her lips, her gaze meeting his when her lips touched the rim.

“Bottoms Up,” he said with an undeniably sexy tone.

“Bottoms Up, ” she replied, trying to stifle her grin. And trying her best not notice to that he was still watching her. She tipped the glass and took a long sip. Yum. Sweet at first, then a surprising kick when the liquor layer melted down her throat — coursing past her tonsils and warming a spot right between her breasts. Her eyes teared from the potency of the drink.

“You like it,” he announced with satisfaction.

She nodded, and took another sip, this time the cool frosty layer lingering in her throat, ready for that warm shot of liquor to follow. Intriguing.

“Perfect,” she answered, showing him just how much it hit the spot by downing the rest of it in two more sips.

His eyebrows arched and he flashed a heart-melting smile. That was if she had a heart to melt, she chided herself.

“Go on, hop up, I’ll make you another.” He motioned for her to sit.

What now? Stick to her plan, one drink, pay her bill and be gone back into the heat? She watched him pull a martini glass from a cooler, the clear glass immediately frosting up even with the cool air conditioning keeping the bar bearable compared to the sweltering temperature outside.

She watched as he went about making another drink. Shit, how did this drinking in the afternoon thing work? Sure, she’d hung out in her share of nightclubs, into the wee hours with her friends, but this was different. She checked her watch. Four thirty in the afternoon. Heat of the Tucson day. Temps reaching one hundred ten degrees about now or even hotter. Heat or no heat, the last thing she wanted to do was walk back out that door and face life. The realty was it was easier to sit on the bar stool with this sexy bartender and forget about all her troubles.

That’s the spirit. To hell with reality!

Lexi nodded her approval and unhooked her foot from the barstool rung, settling herself up on the seat. She knew she definitely needed another of whatever it was that warmed her from the inside out and made her bad day begin to seem a little less bad.

He put the finishing touch on the drink and then passed it to her.

“Thank you,” she said and glanced along the bar. A waitress waited impatiently at the end of the counter for their orders.

“I’ll get to those in a sec,” he assured them, but his attention remained on Lexi, expectantly, while she took another delicious sip and then another.

“It’s really very good,” she agreed, lifting the drink in toast. “Bottoms Up,” she added and took another sip. He gave a chuckle that made her blush. “That’s the name of the drink…?” she queried when he seemed to be enjoying a little humor that escaped her.

“Oh, that’s not the name of the drink,” he said, with a slow knowing smile that made her hand tremble as she clutched her glass. ‘Bottoms Up’ is the name of the bar,” he corrected her. Motioning with his head to the large pink neon sign over the bar that had somehow escaped her in the short time she’d been there. ‘Bottoms Up’ was spelled in winding script with a flourish at the end that looked distinctly like the bottom of a sexy ass.

Lexi’s cheeks flamed, feeling silly and embarrassed. She quickly took another sip. The cold rush of drink stung her right between the eyes. Ice cream headache. Over the rim of the glass she caught his sexy grin. Like he was enjoying her discomfort. Mortified, she looked down, placing the empty glass back on the cocktail napkin, noting the “Bottoms Up’ emblem on it with a sassy drawing of a martini glass in the shape of a sexy round derriere.


BUY LINK:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Bottoms-Up-Kate-Deveaux-ebook/dp/B01N9O15UX


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kate Deveaux is a contemporary erotic romance writer and die-hard romantic. A former wedding planner, she has always been “in love” with love! Kate is currently working on several fictional stories – each filled with sexy romance, heroines who are no shrinking violets and heroes who make your heart skip a beat. She currently resides with her husband in the U.S. When Kate is not busy writing, she can be found on the tennis court –yes, there’s even ‘love’ in that game too.

Author Website: http://www.katedeveaux.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kate-Deveaux/349294291841235
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/KateDeveaux
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/katedeveaux
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/7126956.Kate_Deveaux
Google Plus: https://www.plus.google.com/104114173171800541171/
Join Kate’s Kitten’s, the official STREET TEAM of Kate Deveaux:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1561963064047158/

Enter to win a $10, $25, or $50 Amazon/B&N gift card

Leave a comment and visit the other stops on the tour for more chances to win!

Blogging From A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal

This is my third year doing the challenge, and it’s time to bring the truth.

For the Blogging From A to Z Challenge I’m doing you all a huge favor and filling you in on the 26 Things To Hate About Writing.** I’m hoping by the end of April, I will have convinced all of you not to indulge in the wild insanity of becoming a writer. If I can save even one person from offering themselves up in sacrifice to the mad and fickle word gods, I will have done some good in this world.

Here’s 26 things that are just the worst about writing:

A – Authors
B – Books
C – Creating Characters
D – Dialog
E – Edits
F – Fantasy Worlds
G – Grammar
H – Homophones
I – Inconsistencies
J – Jealousy
K – Killing Your Darlings
L – Language
M – Message
N – Notes
0 – Originality
P – Plot
Q – Quantity
R – Readers
S – Self-Publishing
T – Transitions
U – Unfinished Manuscripts
V – Viewpoint
W – Word Count
X – Xeriscaping
Y – You
Z – Zero Days

Take heed! Hear my warning. Do not let yourself fall prey to this insidious pastime called writing, for down that path is nothing but tears, aggravation, folly, and disappointment. Not to mention: deadlines! Plot holes! Poor character development! Awful dialog! Rejection! Grammar mistakes! Bad reviews! Oooooh, it’s enough to chill the blood. WRITE AT YOUR OWN RISK.


**Disclaimer: If you haven’t figured it out, this theme will be pure satire and simply a humorous way to vent my writing frustrations. No offense is intended to anyone. Please, become or continue being a writer. It’s awesome, I swear. It’s super…duper, awesome…heh heh.

A Summer’s Enchantment by Kathleen Ann Gallagher

Today I’m hosting Kathleen Ann Gallagher and her contemporary/paranormal romance, A Summer’s Enchantment. Kathleen is giving away a $10 Amazon/B&N gift card. So make sure to comment, check out the other stops on the tour, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/B&N gift card

Leave a comment and check out the other stops on the tour for more chances to win!


Cassandra Wales, an independent and dedicated registered nurses is determined not to let her recent breakup to break her spirit. She moved in to her quaint cottage in The White Mountain Region of New Hampshire, and decorating is her top priority. A few clangs and whistles wasn’t about to scare her off. Nothing a little magic or a touch of sage couldn’t handle. She never expected to find an elderly woman, accompanied by her hot and sexy grandson, Jake, at her doorstep with an unusual request.

Jake Connor is an ambitious, up and coming lead singer in a rock band. When his grandmother has a dream about her late husband, and she asks him to drive her over to their first home, he doesn’t question her motives. Instead, he meets the woman of his dreams. How can he expect her to take a back seat while he pursues his big break in the exciting world of rock and roll?

Cassandra can’t resist Jake’s magnetism, yet she has her doubts about a man who has women begging for his attention. Can he be the one she has been waiting for or will their different worlds put a halt to their budding romance?


EXCERPT:

His tight-fitted, short-sleeved shirt lifted, giving her a clear view of his six-pack. He probably had women lined up at his doorstep. It wasn’t like her to gawk at a guy. The array of emotions she was experiencing made her woozy. She was attracted to a total stranger and she enjoyed it. All thoughts of her decorating project took a back seat to her raging hormones. Her focus was supposed to be on her new home, not a hot, sexy guy in a great pair of jeans. She took a deep breath in an attempt to get it together. He inched closer, and she got a whiff of his sensual cologne. Steadying herself, a silly thought popped in her head. She envisioned him kissing her. Wishful thinking on her part, but she’d never admit it. Jake didn’t have to do or say another thing to pique her interest. He’d done that already.

The intensity of his stare sent shivers down her spine. “Look, I know this is sudden, but how’d you like to meet me a week from Friday at Shark’s, on Willow Drive? We’re heading the bill and I’d love for you to hear us jam.”

He reached out to touch her arm. “Say you’ll come. Please? No pressure, but my grandmother is waiting.”

He gave a boyish grin. His sensuous full lips tempted her to imagine a romantic interlude. Her head spun. Never in her life had she found a man so tantalizing. She let out a playful giggle, feeling the butterflies in her stomach grow.

“I’d love to hear you play again.” A real date might be better, but a slow start sounded good for now. The unexpected invitation nearly floored her.

“Can you make it this Friday night? I promise to spend breaks with you.” He kept his eyes on her, making his request hard to resist.

“I think I can make it.” “You think? Try to be there. I’ll sing a song especially for you.” She felt the heat on her face.

“Okay, I’ll do my best to make it. It’s nice of you to invite me. Thanks.” Her heart pounded in her chest. She couldn’t believe she had made a date with a man she met briefly, right in front of her house.


BUY LINKS:

(A Summer’s Enchantment is 99 cents during the tour!)

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Summers-Enchantment-Kathleen-Ann-Gallagher-ebook/dp/B06WVDLCCJ/
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-summers-enchantment-kathleen-ann-gallagher/1120113766


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kathleen writes contemporary and paranormal romance in her home in New Jersey, where she lives with her husband and their two fur babies, Luc and Chaz. She spent years working as a registered nurse in an emergency room. She is also active in Community Theater. She has three children and three lovable grandsons. Her favorite romantic getaway is Cape May, New Jersey. You might run into Kathleen on a beach down the Jersey Shore, wearing a straw hat and sipping on an iced tea as she plots her next romance novel.

Kathleen loves to hear from her readers. You can find her here.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5188505.Kathleen_Ann_Gallagher
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKathleenAnnGallagher/
Blog: http://kathleensplacetoreflect.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kathleenwrites

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/B&N gift card

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Our Favorite Toys

I was trying to come up with a topic for today’s post, and as I sometimes do, I asked my cat what I should write about. As she always does when I ask her what I should write about, she said “me.” Well, maybe it was closer to me-ow, but I got the point. So, why not?

My cat has a flippin’ lot of toys:

Sorry, I don’t have enough to share…

I say this as though she went out and spent her own money on an exorbitant amount of cat toys. No, I bought them for her, because I spoil her. She also gets a Kitnip Box every month, adding to her collection. My son is an adult now but my apartment sometimes looks like I have a toddler because of the toys everywhere.

The thing is, as many toys as she has, a few are her favorites. Whenever she wants to play she almost always picks the same ball or plushie, and she loves to maul anything with feathers attached to it. My son sometimes engages her with the lesser-played with toys, but she always ends up going back to her favorites. I’m sure they smell like her and she finds them the most interesting and entertaining.

As writers, we have our favorite ‘toys.’ That is, plots we love to write variations of, character types we enjoy working with, and formulas we feel comfortable sketching out. Also, the genres we tend to work in. Even with a huge box of ideas to choose from, we pick our favorites. Sometimes we try out a new idea, or something we don’t usually toss around, but it’s not always as rewarding to play with as the one that squeaks, or the one that rattles, or the super squishy one that’s fun to chew on.

Is this a bad thing? No, not at all. Many authors are known for the plots and types of characters they write. Some authors even bank hugely on the fact that their readers fully and eagerly expect them to bring the same toy to play with, if in slightly different colors with different jingles and whistles on it. They want the same plot and formula, and the author knows how to build it, twist it around a bit so it’s not identical every single time, and keep readers coming back for more.

We feel comfortable with the things we like to write, the things we’re good at writing, the things we understand in our heart and can turn into stories. It’s okay to think outside the toybox too, and find something new to play with from time to time. And what if all the toys are your favorite? That’s okay too. Have a blast!

But if you just like the one with feathers, pounce on it!

Ghost Touch by LA Dragoni

Today I’m hosting LA Dragoni and her paranormal romance, Ghost Touch. LA is giving away a $15 Amazon/B&N gift card. So make sure to comment, check out the other stops on the tour, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Enter to win a $15 Amazon/B&N gift card

Leave a comment and check out the other stops on the tour for more chances to win!


For fifteen minutes each night a portal opens in Tamara’s barn and a horde of ghosts spills into her yard. She and Dex work together to find a way to help Cal and the thousands of spirits stuck in the void to cross over. When she learns she has the ghost touch—the ability to touch the ghosts as if they were corporeal—and she accidentally helps a little boy cross, she believes it might be possible. But not all the spirits play nice and when they learn they can sip energy from her ghost touch, they become greedy putting her life at risk.

Each time Cal has to pull her from the mass of ghosts, her touch restores him more and more until he is at danger of being stuck on earth—forever, which is very enticing to Tamara the better she knows him. Will she and Dex figure out how to help the spirits cross and if they do, will she be able to let Cal go?


EXCERPT:

“Dex!” she shouted again, leaping forward and running toward the door. A stabbing pain of cold sliced through her upper arm when she knocked against the ghost with the shovel in his hand. He stopped to stare at her with a surprised expression on his face. She pushed forward, ignoring the increasing pain as she jostled up against the ghosts.

A knot of ghosts hunkered together where she last saw Dexter. She pushed through them, her warm touch surprising enough to make them jump back. Dex lay crumpled in a quivering ball at the center of the group. Tamara kneeled beside him and clutched his shoulders.

“Dex! Are you okay?” He didn’t respond, just rocked to and fro, mumbling incoherent words. She shouted. “Dex! Can you hear me?”

His gaze finally lifted, a wary look colored with terror.

“Oh my God.” Tamara wrapped her arms around him. His body was ice cold. She pressed as much of herself against him as she could and buried her face in his hair. “I gotcha. You’ll be okay.”

Then she became aware of an ache worming through her muscles and realized hands pawed at her, clutched her, and were trying to pull her away. She raised a furious glare at the eager crowd of ghouls and snarled. “Stop! Leave us alone.”

However, hunger showed in the eyes of those who’d been dead a short enough time to still have them. Actions became more insistent and then combative. The group shoved and swayed until she worried she’d be crushed beneath them when they fell. She kept her arms wrapped around Dex, hoping to keep the spirits off him, but many simply reached through him to get to her. He shuddered violently and had grown quiet.

Each individual touch drained her of warmth and energy, yet they continued to grope at her arms and back, tug on her hair and clothing. She grew weaker and weaker until the edges of her vision dimmed and she could barely feel the boy she was trying to protect.


BUY LINKS:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1G7ZpC4
Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/152052157X?ref_=pe_870760_150889320
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ghost-touch-la-dragoni/1122871133
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/ghost-touch-2
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1053760714


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

LA Dragoni isn’t too particular about who falls in love or where they fall in love. She simply considers it her job to capture the story about their love. Whether it’s paranormal, mythical, or time travel, LA will be there to divine their story for you. She lives in Central Oregon with her husband and children, but haunts ghost towns and cemeteries up and down the west, in search of the next adventure to sift through her storytelling brain.

www.ladragoni.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ladragoni
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LA_Dragoni
Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/czuyuP

Enter to win a $15 Amazon/B&N gift card

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Never Say Never

I’ve been writing for a lot of years. Way, way too many years (I’m old, folks). Sometimes it’s funny to look back on those years and reflect on the attitudes or ideas I had at any given time, and how that directed my work. I believe when you write, and stick to writing for a long time or maybe even your entire life, you’re always growing, learning, and evolving. New attitudes and ideas come along, your skills grow, and you try more new things than you ever imagined you would. It makes sense, because there’s very few creative and artistic people who stay stuck on one theme forever. You expand. You branch out. You give your ‘nevers’ a try.

I’ve had a lot of ‘nevers’ through the years. Things I said I would NEVER do. Things I would NEVER write, or try, or dabble in, or accomplish. Here’s a few of those things I said I would never do and then did them anyway:

  • Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Many times I said I would NEVER get published. Oh, how I languished, and despaired, and felt inadequate and overlooked. I’d never have a book published. No editor would ever want me. No one would ever read my brilliant masterpieces which were actually awful at the time. Well, check out the sidebar of my blog now.
  • I said I would NEVER write romance. This was back when I was younger and trying to be a horror author. Like way too many people, I dismissed romance as fluffy, silly writing that ‘wasn’t real,’ and was just trash and drivel. Never mind it’s the biggest-selling genre in books since…the dawn of time, possibly. I was young and full of myself and never seemed to realize I was constantly writing romance into my stories anyway.
  • At one point in my life I went through an intensely spiritual, religious phase and swore I would NEVER write horror again because it clashed with my moral point of view. I tried switching to sci-fi during this time and I was really, really bad at it. I don’t know what was going on with me, but eventually I moved on, or outgrew it, and got back to writing about vampires.
  • Hilariously, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group question for this month was about whether or not you’d ever gone back and rewritten an old piece of work. I said I hadn’t, and swore I NEVER would because I feel that looking forward is the best direction. Well, guess what I’m doing right this very moment? Revising an old story for an anthology call. D’oh!

NEVER is a block, a wall, a stone in the road that trips you up. It keeps doors closed and opportunities undiscovered. I’ve found that just because I have a writing ‘never’ today, it might be quite flexible tomorrow. And since I know I tend to dispose of those nevers eventually, I’m trying hard not to create them in the first place anymore.

What about you? What NEVER have you kicked aside and done anyway?

The Gang’s All Here

For most of the first part of this week, I was down with the flu. Ick. I always seem to fall prey to the flu or a cold in late February/early March. I don’t know why, it’s a strange cycle for me. Even if I do my best to avoid sick people during that time frame, it finds me. Anyway, being sick meant lots of down time, and I thought to myself since being sick frees you of all obligations, maybe I’d get some writing done. Ha!

Instead, I binge-watched the first two seasons of Shameless on Netflix. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, it’s a dark comedy about a seasoned, neglectful (and wholly irredeemable) alcoholic and his six children (ranging in ages from 21 to 2) who are left to fend for themselves since he and his ex-wife have essentially abandoned them. The oldest, 21 year-old Fiona, becomes her siblings’ surrogate mother and fights hard to make ends meet and keep them from ending up in the foster system. And the show is, in a word, hypnotic. It’s also very, very adult, if you’re considering watching it, so be warned!

The thing is, I LOVE ensemble casts. Whether it’s in TV, movies, or books, I like a big, robust roster of characters who interact with each other but also have their own storylines. From the Lord of the Rings trilogy, to Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, to heck, Star Trek, I love a world populated with fleshed-out characters, not just background and side characters. My own Siren Song series is pretty much an ensemble cast, but I wish I had written it in third person omniscient, so I could have followed the lives of some of the other characters more closely. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll re-write it that way.

That’s not to say I don’t like stories that focus more tightly on just several characters, because I do. But a huge cast of characters feels like I get more bang for my buck, that I get many stories instead of just one.

How about you? Do you like lots of characters with lots of stories, or would you rather write/read a more tightly-focused character study?

Have a great weekend!