Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Revisions Done, Book Formatted, Santa's Elf Is Back!

I probably should have been faster getting this information up, but I'm still recovering from the long hours it took to revise, edit and format my updated version of Santa's Elf.


It is the 5th book in the Diablo Blanco Club series...and yes, the 4th book is still in the works, so ...


Please be patient with me.


In the revisions I learned a lot about the different characters and there are peeks at some of the other members of the Diablo Blanco Club.


You can buy Santa's Elf at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and All Romance eBooks

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Here's Wishing You All...

A very Happy Thanksgiving


image courtesy of theworldwidegourmet.com

Monday, November 14, 2011

Guest Blogging November 15th -- and Giving Away A Book!

Just popping on to let everyone know I'll be guest blogging on Fierce Romance tomorrow. I'm talking about pitching and willing to work with anyone interested in polishing a pitch or blurb.


I'll also be giving away a free copy of my latest novel, In A Lover's Silence to one lucky commentor on the Fierce Romance blog.


Feel free to stop by and chat!


Thanks,
Qwillia

Sunday, November 13, 2011

New Books

Yes, Yes, I know, I've been gone for a while...but I do have news...


And before anyone asks, no, I don't have a new Diablo Blanco Club book. Not yet.


But I do have a new book. 


Way back in 2009 I was a finalist in the American Title V contest, but my romantic suspense novel, In A Lover's Silence, was eliminated in the first round. Well, I've gone through and rewritten the book, edited and re-edited it and now I've self-published it.


I've been told that my book, In A Lover's Silence, may turn off romance readers and that it shouldn't really be considered a romantic suspense because of what my serial killer does. 


He kills kids.


I know, it's a taboo subject, especially in romance, but it's something my character will not change. And I can't ignore the fact that in real life, kids are often the easiest victims of killers.


In the story I never show the killer hurting a child, but I do have him arrange the body and explain why and how he kills. So, if that may turn a reader away, I'm sorry...but there's a reason why he does what he does. Besides, it makes a person really want the bastard to get caught. LOL, at least my mom wanted him beaten to a bloody pulp.


Other things I've been up to include uploading my books to All Romance eBooks. So, if you don't want to purchase your books from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, you now have another avenue for getting the book. 


I hope, if you read In A Lover's Silence, you'll let me know what you think of the story.


Thanks and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Didn't Make the Deadline, But I Did Make the Goal!!

So, I didn't make my goal of publishing my romantic suspense novel, In A Lover's Silence, by October 31st, but that was because as I was getting the different versions formatted, I discovered typos. Of course that meant I had to delete all the versions I had formatted, then go back through the whole book to make sure I fixed all typos. Since I was in the middle of the Emerald City Writer's Conference in Seattle, Washington, I didn't get it done as quickly as I'd hoped.


After factoring in conference time and travel time, I was able to complete the editing by yesterday (November 1st). I used late last night and all morning today to finish the formatting and got the book uploaded to AmazonBarnes and Noble, and All Romance eBooks.


As of 6 pm tonight, the book is live on all three sites.


Anyone who reads the book, I'd love to hear what you think of it. It's my first adventure in writing romantic suspense, so I'd love constructive feedback on what was liked and disliked.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Oh the Places I'll Be!

So, it looks like October is going to be a very busy month for me. And the end of September as well. 


Currently, I'm working through the revisions on a romantic suspense manuscript that has been gathering dust for about 6 years. Although it finaled in American Title V a few years ago, it seems my serial killer is just a bit too much from some publishers because he includes children as his victims. I don't have him kill any kids "on stage" but it is mentioned...so, this is going to be self-published. I even have the coolest cover for the book.
coming soon


Isn't it great!? Lindsay Breen did the cover and I'm really liking it.


Anyway, I hope to have it finished with edits and ready for publication by late October. 


Another book I'm working on, which I'm sure fans of the Diablo Blanco Club will enjoy hearing, is Richard and Becka's story. The title for it is: Rogue Master. Ohh, gives me shivers. And my oh my, Richard is sooo not what you think. I've finally figured out the blurb for it (you know that bit on the back of the cover). Check it out:



Richard Bennett has spent his life working toward one goal -- killing the man who murdered his parents. He's mastered the art of Domination, but his only chance to exact his revenge is about to slip through his fingers because he needs the one thing he's never owned before.


A sexual slave.

When the last woman he'd ever expected to see is left handcuffed to his bed, he's determined to use her to his advantage. Making her into the perfect submissive will gain him access to the man he's after, but place her squarely in the line of fire should his mission go awry.

He's thought of every contingency, but he never factored an unknown enemy or an unexpected possessiveness into his plans.

Now he has to choose between the life of the woman he loves or the man he's sworn to kill.

Does that sound cool or what? Please tell me what you think of it.


Of course, I will be around the web, on Facebook and at the Kinky Ever After blog, as well as Midnight Seductions Authors. But tomorrow, September 23rd, I'm guest blogging at Romance Books R Us. Seems Triss Long, my erotica author from Teach Me, Master, wanted to have a discussion about her books. Check it out and feel free to comment -- http://romancebooksrus.blogspot.com I'll try to respond by Friday evening, but I'll be in Greensboro, NC attending the Writer's Police Academy at Guilford Community College. I had so much fun last year, I had to do it again!


That's where the wild schedule comes in. I'll be in Greensboro until Sunday morning. Then the following weekend, I fly down to Atlanta for the Georgia Romance Writer's Moonlight and Magnolias conference. The weekend after that, Cherry Adair will be in Raleigh, NC presenting an all day workshop at the Sheraton on Page Rd, hosted by the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers. I'll get two whole weekends home before I'm off to Seattle at the end of October to attend the Greater Seattle Romance Writers' Emerald City Conference.


So, you can see I have a busy month and a half ahead of me. Plus I have my goal of getting In A Lover's Silence completed, as well as Rogue Master, the second in my Construction Zone erotica series done, and start work on my YA time-travel Through the Dollhouse.


If you happen to be attending any of these conferences please feel free to say hi! I like talking with readers and authors about writing and books (not just my own, I assure you)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Trying Something New

Erotica.


Triss and Vince's Story
I know, I know. Erotica is just about the sex, but a few months back I posted that I had some characters who only wanted sex, they weren't ready for a relationship. So, when Triss Long, my heroine from Teach Me, Master turned out to be an erotica author, I thought, "Well, isn't that interesting..."


Now, not only do I have Triss and Vince's story on sale at Amazon and B&N,
Chelsea's Story
 but I've got Triss's story about Chelsea up there too. And boy does Chelsea love the construction workers around her apartment. There's more in store for this character. Construction Zone: Charlie is just the first in a group of short stories connected to Chelsea or the construction company renovating/rebuilding the apartment complex where Chelsea lives.


Feel free to let me know what you think of the new story. I'm still trying to get work done on my Diablo Blanco Club series as well as get the romantic suspense and young adult novel I'm working on written, but sometimes other characters get distracting. Which means I have to get them out of the way, before I can move on to something else.


Another note, I happen to be very proud of the cover of Chelsea's book--I did it myself.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Woo Hooo I Get To Travel!

On Saturday, August 20th, I'll be on the road to Wilkesboro, NC.


Meeting with two other authors to do a Meet & Greet, read from one of my books, and sell a few copies.


If you'd like to go, make sure you RSVP Beth Wylde!


See the details below:



Literary Foreplay
Hosted by Beth Wylde with guest authors Qwillia Rain & TBA
Saturday August 20th 3PM-4:30PM
Wilkesboro, NC
Red Carpet Inn Conference room
 
RSVP for the event with Beth at b.wylde@yahoo.com
Seats are limited. Room for 50 people only.
 
The authors will each read a short selection, then there will be time for Q&A. After that there will be a chance to talk one on one with the authors and purchase autographed copies of their books. Remember space is limited so RVSP right away!!
 
At 4:30 a seperate event hosted by Beth will begin and run until 6PM. Everyone is welcome to stay for that as well. For details you can email Beth atb.wylde@yahoo.com
 
Since some of the excerpts may contain adult material guests must be 18+

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Weekly Update

Sucky week, but hey, it works....

Weighed in... down half a pound (yup 0.5) but hey, that's better than being up the 2 pounds I thought I'd be after I went off the plan and hit McDonald's for lunch and Wendy's for dinner on Thursday. Then there were the cookies....yeah, not gonna go there...

Anyway, getting back on plan. Focusing on Richard and Becka. If I can get something written I may post a sneak peek next Saturday. Keep your fingers crossed. Richard is turning out to be more stubborn than them Halseys...**sigh**

Have a great day all.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Updates

I've had a check in with my diet consultant since I last posted.... down 1.2 pounds (yay! me!) Should be checking in with her again on Saturday.

Temp job has picked up a bit, interesting assignments, but a nasty migraine had me returning home by noon yesterday. A little rest in quiet before I forced myself to go back out for the massage I had scheduled. That helped with the migraine and the knots in my muscles...

So, sales on Teach Me, Master are doing okay and I've started work on Rogue Master, the next Diablo Blanco Club and the first Operation Zulu Team (OZT) book. May actually be able to finish it before the end of the year (see me crossing my fingers and sending up a quiet prayer...LOL)

Need to get to the day job. Have a great day, and don't forget, Mercury is in retrograde (or at least it was the last time I checked) so think seriously before you act, and don't expect things to go off easily for the next few days or so.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dieting and Writing ... Or is it Writing and Dieting?

The life of a writer is both solitary and sedentary. Meaning, I am alone and sit on my ass for the majority of the day. LOL

Not that I don't enjoy doing both, but these behaviors tend to result in surly attitude and widening hips. The first, I have to admit, I've always had, but the second ... I hate. As a teen I thought I had a weight problem. Now, as a grown up, I realize the weight problem was only physical development -- **shudder** boobs, butt, and hormones! Nothing feels worse than to go from a Size 10 in the childen's department to a Size 14, then Size 16 in the women's section in one summer, simply because "melons" develop on your chest and your waist gets smaller than your hips.

Thirty-two years ago I went from 85 pounds to 135 pounds in one summer. Yes, part of it was reaction to the emotional issues facing me (in the form of my parents' divorce) but the other part was puberty. I hated my body and all the icky changes taking place in it. As a grown up, I've tried to put it all in perspective. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But what I have learned is being healthy is more important than being skinny.

I write about women with full figures because I have that. I may not like the big boobs and 'child-bearing' hips, but nature gave them to me and I'm dealing. Unfortunately, my full-figure has gotten a bit out of hand. I know this not because of the mirror, or the pictures of me, or even the plethora of stick figure advertisements bombarding me with what NY ad agencies consider my 'short-comings', but because my asthma has been out of control.

I'm not new to lung problems...I was born with asthma and have spent countless hours of my life in emergency rooms and doctors' offices over the last four and a half decades trying to treat and manage my asthma. One factor that makes it worsen: excess weight. And, I freely admit, I have a lot of that. About 70 pounds worth.

I have tried numerous methods to manage my weight over the years. As a teen I tried diets and diet pills. No bulimia -- so don't do the barfing thing -- and starvation wasn't my schtick -- I love food too much. In my late 20s I did okay bringing the weight down, but when I moved to Alaska and grew too comfortable, the pounds started piling on again. By the time I moved to North Carolina I'd topped 180. When I tipped the scale at 210 this past Christmas, I was depending on rescue inhalers at least three times a day, if not more, just to get around my apartment and climb up and down the stairs to get to my car.

I decided to get serious. As a self-employed author I don't have medical insurance. Yet. And I'm definitely not into surgery (my weight isn't that out of range) so I went to a diet program offered by a reputable international corporation. If anyone wants to know, I'll tell them which program I'm on. I signed up on June 23, 2011. I weighed 204 pounds.

I visit my consultant once a week, buy my meals, and try to follow the plan as closely as possible. For me that can be difficult since I'm used to not eating. Not because I was starving myself, but because I would forget to eat and my body got used to it. Now, I set an alarm on my cell phone to remind me when to eat my meals and snacks. Eventually I know that I'll have myself trained to eat when I'm supposed to, but until then, the alarms work.

Currently I've lost six pounds in four weeks, better than I've ever done on my own. And I've decided that posting to my blog at least three times a week will keep me more accountable. And I'll also be sharing some of my recipes and home 'remedies' for stuff. Someone I shared information with about growing and hardening fingernails suggested I share the 'remedies' in my blog.

Please feel free to comment.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Vince Finally Has A Last Name

And George, Gina, and Garrick finally have last names. LOL

It wasn't until I was rereading Meeting A Neighbor's Needs and A Neighbor's Ultimatum, that I realized I had completely ignored giving any of my characters a last name. Not that it was really all that important. The threesome and friends didn't need last names to burn up the sheets and explore all kinds of kinky fun.

But this time, I needed last names. For Vince's story -- if you read ANU (A Neighbor's Ultimatum) you may recall he was the friend who helped Gina decide what to do with her husbands -- I couldn't continue calling him just Vince. And the same went for the three Gs (George, Gina, and Garrick).

My heroine for Vince though, is a regular mixed bag of tricks. Triss Long loves sex -- but only on the pages of her novels. She's a spunky erotic romance writer who **gasp** has never had sex! But Vince is more than happy to change all that.

And so much more.

This book, even if it's only 32,290 words and 112 pages long is a big road marker for me.

It's the first book I have completed, start to finish, in a year. Actually in over a year. In the last nine months, since completing the final draft and most of the edits on Rite of First Claim, my writing well has been empty. Without water or inspiration.

I've had ideas, but nothing panned out. Now, I feel like a success again. I feel energized and ready to take on another project.

Maybe something.... paranormal?

All that matters is THE END has been typed and I'm ready to turn the page to something new. (At least until the edits arrive. LOL **insert smiley face here!!**)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

When You Know You're Taking Yourself Seriously As A Writer

I've recently had discussions with people about my writing and the fact that I gave up a day job with insurance benefits and a 401K to write full time. It isn't a decision I made lightly or without understanding the issues that could arise. I've lived on tight budgets before and considering I'm single with no children (neither two legged, four legged, nor fanged, furry, or feathered) tight to me was fine. Been there, done that and all...

What I hadn't realized until just yesterday, was that I hadn't really started thinking of my writing as a business and a career until a certain, leggy, African-American dynamo opened her big mouth and nailed my ass to the wall. Oh yeah, I'm talking about you Tivi. Uh huh. That's right, it's all your fault and I'm telling everyone about it!

Ms. Tivi Jones , the owner and founder of Creativity Loft, sat my ass down about a month ago and started talking to me about branding...about marketing myself as an author...about color schemes. Me! Color Schemes....Girl, I mix blue-based black slacks with green-based black shirts (I only know this because of a graphic artist friend of mine) and green socks! I dress up in purple pirate shirts and pink box pleated mini skirts with rose colored leather and suede boots!!!  I don't do color schemes.

But I guess I do realize I am a business and I better get started thinking that way. How do I know her lessons got through my thick, Tauran skull? Vista Print.

Yup.

They were having a sale on business cards. Now, me, I've used my own software to create my own business cards in the past. Very nice, simple, clean fonts with just a hint of decoration. And they're sitting gathering dust on my bookshelves, because I always forget to take them with me when I go to conferences. (Probably because they don't say "me" is what I'm guessing now that I've dealt with Ms. Jones.) So I was thinking, hey, if I get one of those snazzy colorful type of cards, maybe I'll be more inclined to pass them around.

Wrong.

Not to say Vista Print didn't have some awesome cards. They did. I was looking through the different ones in the various themes. And every single time I picked one and looked at it closely, I heard Tivi. "Is this your color scheme? Does this reflect your work? Does this reflect you? Is this representative of what your readers expect from you? How would this translate into a Website? Could it work on your MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter pages? Is this the only brand/image you want associated with your work?"

On and on she yammered until there was no fun left in looking at the pictures. Only a litany of "I need to..."s rolling through my head. Oh, what do I mean by the "I need to...."s? Here's part of the list:

1. I need to figure out which color best represent me as an author
2. I need to decide if I'm going to establish a brand based on my Clubs series (oh yeah, readers, I've got more than the Diablo Blanco Club spinning around in my brain--and yes, there are more Halseys out there...damn it!)
3. I need to decide if my author brand is going to be separate or part of my series brand(s)
4. I need to decide which font best suits me (the author) and my series

You get the picture, right? Even worse...it isn't isolated to the business cards. Oh no! Her little lessons kept popping up as I was looking at t-shirts and key chains and other swag I've been considering purchasing for give aways and such.

And you know what? I'm grateful for every irritating thought. I have a feeling, my tight budget isn't going to be tight for long. Not with Tivi helping me out and guiding me toward a successful marketing plan.

By the way, I'm willing to share the pain... Ms. Jones will be presenting an online class/workshop for Heart of Carolina Romance Writers (HCRW) June 15th through July 1st. The workshop is on Integrated Digital Marketing. You can still sign up for it -- only $15 for non-HCRW/Carolina Romance Writers members and $10 for HCRW/Carolina Romance Writers members.

You can also work with her directly by checking out her Creativity Loft website and contacting her. (Oops, guess she's in the process of moving, but hey, check her out on Facebook or Twitter) She's in the process of establishing prices for the various service packages she offers. Check her out. I swear you won't be sorry.

Rant over, I'm off to get Vince and Triss back into bed and off to Happily Ever After--For Now Land.

Have a great weekend.
Qwillia

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

So Many Plans, So Little Time

So, I had intended to put together a little contest for my readers in order to celebrate my birthday this Friday, but I may have to put that off until next week. I'm pressing to get a novella finished by tomorrow, Friday at the latest and coordinating a contest is so not gonna work right now. LOL

I do have some great prizes though -- a sweet sterling silver pixie necklace, a maroon, gold, and brown tote bag I made, and a print copy of An Invitation: Ariel's Pet. Once I get the deadlines out of the way, I promise to get the contest up and running. A girl's gotta celebrate her birthday with more than just a vodka-mango smoothie and chocolate chip cookies, right?

Don't forget... The Night Owl Spring Fling Web Hunt is still on until May 15th. Lots of prizes to win. 



There's also the items I donated along with my friend and fellow author, Jennifer Cole, to the Brenda Novak Online Auction to Cure Diabetes.

here's the link to the gift set we're offering:



Here's to a great summer and lots of reading!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

I'm On Another Blog Today

I was very nicely asked to join a group of ladies on their blog, Kinky Ever After.

The subject matter is -- you guessed it -- focused on Kink and BDSM, since that's what all of us write.

Please come check out my inaugural post today. Leave a comment if you'd like.


Have a great day!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Another Peek at My Prize for Spring Fling Web Hunt


I promised to share another excerpt from one of the books I've contributed to the Night Owl Reviews Spring Fling Web Hunt.

This is one of my personal favorites, which is understandable since I've been carrying it around in my head and my files for over thirty years. Mattie Lawrence and Bryce Halsey were introduced in my first published novel, Santa's Elf.

I hope you enjoy it.
Qwillia
(PS-- word of warning this excerpt is Rated NC-17!!)
*****************



“After the binding comes the toys. Not just because I like using them on my lovers, but it'll be necessary.” One hand slipped away from the soft stroking of her nipple to cup first one butt cheek, then the other. “Although you've read the books” -- his grin was wry -- “I'm not seeing you let one of your boyfriends drill your ass, so I'm sure your tight little rose will need a bit of stretching.”

Involuntarily, the muscles in her backside tightened, and Bryce's chuckle grew throaty and raw as he pressed a finger into the crease, rubbing against the strap of her thong, with the soft silk of her dress the only barrier between her flesh and his hand.

“You like that idea, don't you?”

Mattie didn't know how to respond. Yes, she had to admit to liking the sting of the small plug she'd purchased for herself a few years earlier, but to actually allow him to enter her body there…her fingers became difficult to control. She clenched them into fists to keep from reaching for him.

“Then you'll enjoy the next step. After I've stretched you and spent some time enjoying your new territory, Richard will join us on occasion.”

Swallowing, Mattie forced away the new images bombarding her. “You act as if I've agreed to these things already.”

His hand stroked over her bottom before slipping under her skirt to slide over her wet underwear. “Your body seems to find the idea arousing.”

“That I won't deny, but what my mind and my body decide are often two different things.” She wasn't sure she could make herself step away from Bryce, so she was relieved when he chose to do it himself. The temptation to groan at the loss of his touch was stifled, barely.

“If you aren't interested in submission, then why bring it up?” He didn't sound annoyed or angry at her halting of his teasing -- more curious than anything.

“Because I need to know if I can take on the role of a submissive.” She stopped herself from adding, and if you can accept me as one.

Arms crossed over his chest, Bryce watched her. “I assure you, our marriage won't suffer if I don't indulge in the lifestyle.”

Mattie matched his stance. “And I think it would. It's hard enough when two people love each other and they marry. We're going into this without that connection. If we have to spend the next few years together, we should at least agree that keeping each other content will go a long way toward making sure the marriage lasts.” With a shrug, she added, “And it'll go a long way in convincing the board that you have settled.”

“So what are you suggesting?”

“To give you two weeks to show me what it would be like to be your sub.”

“And then what?” His hands settled on his hips.

“We can begin making the wedding plans.”

The light of battle darkened his green eyes to emerald. Ignoring the unnerving flutters building in her lower belly, she waited for his response.

It wasn't long in coming. “Too long. Dad's retirement party is in just over a month. I want to be married by that time. Giving you two weeks would delay things, and I don't trust the board not to act, especially once the Makepeaces learn we're engaged.”

“Twelve days, then.”

“Three.”

Again, Mattie shook her head. “You've implied that you won't have any problem doing without the BDSM lifestyle, but you've had years to understand it. Three days doesn't give me enough time to figure out what it could represent in our marriage, let alone the rest of my life. What about ten days?”

It was Bryce's turn to shake his head. “Still too long. Five days.”

“Let's split the difference and make it a week,” Mattie offered.

Bryce thought about it and began to nod, but Mattie continued, knowing her next words would either piss him off or amuse him. “And no sex.”

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Can You Learn Too Much?

I spent eight years gaining both a Bachelors Degree of Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in Educational Technology, so you can safely assume I am a true advocate of educating one's self. In my nearly eight years as a teacher I have repeatedly stressed to my students that knowing as much as possible about various subjects is a good thing. That immersing themselves in knowledge can improve their lifelong success, and better prepare them to identify potential obstacles and the means by which to eliminate them.

In this vein, I have practiced what I preached. I allowed my curiosity to guide my investigations into any number of areas from neurology, brain chemistry, Feng Shui, and cooking, to those elements related to writing and publishing. Numerous books, blogs, classes, and discussions have been used by me to figure out how to improve my writing; to increase my promotional efficacy; to build a website; to identify the agents, editors, and publishers with whom I'd like to work. I admit this information afforded me insight into both myself, my writing, and the path I want to carve out for myself in this industry.

With increased knowledge, a person is able to do so much more in his/her life. Teachers who develop new methods of reaching their students and accommodating the individual needs within the classroom, utilize their newfound techniques to achieve success as soon as possible. Educational research suggests it takes a minimum of eight repetitions for a new technique/method to be assimilated by a student. With this in mind, practicing new writing techniques will allow writers to add more tools to their toolbox in order to create their stories; to sculpt characters that seem to leap off the page.

I believe that this is true -- for some writers. But not all.

Case in point -- me.

As much as I love to learn new things, I've begun to realize that, for me, it is possible to learn too much. All this new knowledge I've gained has been both boon and bane for me. It has allowed me to see the things I do well and the things I need to improve. Unfortunately, it has also created a barrier between myself and my creativity. It has built a wall blocking me from the stories waiting to be released. It has established, within me, doubt in my natural ability to develop compelling characters with intricate tales. It has made me hesitate, often to the point of shutting down, when new ideas come to mind. With each stumble, I pull away from my natural inclinations to apply my newfound skills, mistrusting myself more and more, doubting the voice within me that tries to inspire my stories.

This in turn makes the voice within me grow ever more reluctant to talk, to offer suggestions, to open the lines of communication between my characters and my conscious. Which has left me floundering about trying to figure out what is wrong. If I have all these newly acquired skills, it would suggest that my writing should flourish, bloom, expand into the venues I'm aiming for with my career, right?

Wrong.

So, now I'm not back to Square One, but Square Negative One Hundred (in my estimation). I am stuck trying to climb out of the pit all my learning has dug for me, and re-establish a level of trust with my intuition and creativity. All those wonderful new tricks will eventually be used, but not until I've assured myself, my voice, and my characters that I trust them to communicate their stories without my attempting to shut them down because they don't "fit" with my new tools.

Here is my caution to anyone out there working on learning the craft of writing: Be careful how much you take as "gospel" and how you apply it.

Qwillia
**This was also published on my Quintessentially Qwillia blog on Savvy Authors**

Friday, April 15, 2011

Night Owl Reviews Web Hunt Prize Peek!


As part of my contribution to the Night Owl Reviews Spring Fling Web Hunt, I put up a print copy of An Invitation: Ariel's Pet and Diablo Blanco Club: Unfair Advantage.

Then I got to thinking, if you've never read my books before, why would you even want to win them, so.... I decided I'd post a short excerpt from Ariel's Pet today, and another short excerpt Unfair Advantage on Monday, April 18th.

Oh, and keep your eyes out -- May 13th is my birthday and I'm thinking I'll be giving away a prize or two on my blog...more details later, after I get them all ironed out. (This year is extra special to me since my b-day falls on a Friday!!)

So, here you go, a quick look at Ariel Valerian and Dane Reese, my heroine and hero of An Invitation: Ariel's Pet.

Enjoy!
Qwillia
****************************

Ariel's body went stiff, her chin came up, and her arms folded over her chest. Every particle of her being seemed to vibrate with displeasure. She looked up at him, bright blue eyebrows arched. “Who's the chef around here?”

“You are, I'm—”

“Just because you wormed your way into handling some of my sister's duties, don't get ideas about horning in on my territory,” she warned as she fidgeted, shifted her feet, and settled her hands on her hips.

I knew it wouldn't last. Dane resisted the temptation to roll his eyes at her pugnacious attitude. “I'm not. I merely thought sea-salt-and-black-pepper chips would add an extra kick to that sauce you made,” he suggested and kept his tone cool and reasonable.

“As long as you remember who's in charge here.”

“In the kitchen, yes.” He crowded closer to her. There didn't appear to be any rationale behind her animosity. It could be her determination to avoid any kind of change. It could stem from the resentment he knew she carried because he was the one to coax her sister away from the café for a month. No matter what the cause of her anger, he'd be damned if he would back down now.

Her gaze narrowed. “And out of it.”

Dane shook his head. “Sorry, doll, but only in the kitchen. I run the rest of this place until your sister gets back.” The fire that flared in her eyes probably matched the one in his gaze.

“You are not in charge.”

“If you have any complaints, talk to your sister,” Dane offered, his arms crossed over his chest. “I have no doubt she'll side with me when it comes to who should run the financial side of your café.”

“Why do you think that? Because you've played on her interest in sexual submission?” The flash of varied emotions in her gaze disappeared, replaced by icy disdain. “And I would contact her, but you seem to have forgotten the rule about no communication with the outside.”

“Ah, so Alayna did discuss the rules with you.”

“Rules?” Ariel scoffed. “Prison sentence is more like it. Thirty days trapped at your mansion with no way to contact anyone.”

Dane shook his head, marveled at Ariel's dogged misinterpretation of the facts. “Not trapped or without a way to contact anyone. Alayna chose to accept the rules for her training, as a submissive is expected to do—”

“Without the right to think for herself, without being allowed to—”

“Again you show your ignorance of the D/s life.” The deepened pitch of his voice silenced Ariel. “Negotiation is key between a Dominant and a submissive. Nothing happens until both parties agree and expectations, limitations, and safe words are in place. You have this fanciful notion that Alayna languishes under a whip, bound and helpless beneath the control of some faceless, nameless man.” Dane leaned forward, and his tone dropped to a whisper as he held her gaze. “Maybe because that's a particular fantasy of yours? Fostered by a lover who tempted you to push the boundaries you desperately cling to?”

Resolved to make the little shrew see the errors in her thinking, he continued. “There is a difference between BDSM and D/s, Ariel. Dominance and submission do not require bondage and discipline practices. They are an exercise in trust and control. Leather, whips, ropes to tie a partner up—those can be part of the play, but at its core, a D/s relationship is about an equal exchange of power.”

Dane was sure Ariel didn't realize her expression was a mixture of disappointment and envy. He knew she would heatedly deny any desire to be in her sister's place, to experience the training Alayna was undergoing, but her gaze and the tone of her voice betrayed her curiosity about it all. Or perhaps his increased interest in controlling her was coloring his analysis. “What has you so angry, Ariel? That your sister asked me for help to navigate a new world? Or that she's doing something for herself for the first time in ten years but didn't include you?”

She blanched at the observation, and Dane cursed his impulsive comment. Retracting it would be useless; he watched the cool mask Ariel consistently adopted around him slip into place. It reflected her refusal to listen to reason. At least from him. This only seemed to exacerbate the fact that his ability to maintain a professional attitude toward Ariel was a facade. One that crumbled easily when she pushed him.

“You have some sauce on your face.” She pointed toward his chin.

He reached up to wipe away the gooey spread, wary of the keen look she gave him. It made him wonder what form of retribution she might concoct.

His suspicions grew when she stepped in close and gripped the tie he'd loosened earlier. “You may have my sister thinking you're needed here, Master Reese”—she tugged his face closer to hers—“but we both know it isn't true.”
Taking her time, she smoothed the tip of her tongue along his chin and licked away the smear of sauce before swiping upward to his cheek.

The damp track of her mouth removed any of the spread. “Be careful who you try to push. I'm not Al. And I have no intention of ever calling you my master.”

And that's where his problem lay, Dane admitted as he watched Ariel scoop up one of the covered containers on the prep station and carry it to the walk-in cooler. In that moment he realized those were the words he wanted to hear. My master. His imagination readily conjured images of Ariel kneeling before him, her bright green eyes ablaze with desire, her naked body dewed with sweat as she trembled at the cusp of orgasm, requiring only his touch, his words, to slip over the edge.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Night Owl Reviews Spring Fling Web Hunt Is About To Start!!

From April 1st through May 15th you can gather the clues and enter to win some of the over 100 prizes up for grabs, 
including autographed copies of two of my books: Diablo Blanco Club: Unfair Advantage  and 
An Invitation: Ariel's Pet

Click on Web Hunts for rules and how to enter.

Come join the Spring Fling!!


Monday, March 28, 2011

Core Stories

I am an author of erotic romances and I tend to incorporate elements of the Dominant/submissive lifestyle into my stories. The choice isn't one based on popular trends, marketing, or monetary goals. It's organic to my characters and how they live.

I also spiral around a story. You know those cool shots in movies -- the kind that almost make you dizzy -- where the image is far away and the camera slowly zooms in as it circles around the person or spot. From all those angles and distances you can get a pretty good idea of where the person is standing, what direction they're headed for, and, if the shot is meant to foreshadow coming events, what obstacles the character is bound to face. That's how I work through problems. How I get to a story or an idea. I spiral in -- sometimes I spiral out -- but this often results in lots and lots of talking AROUND the problem instead of addressing it head on.

With that in mind I was discussing some issues I've run into with my writing with a friend of mine the other night. The subject of core stories came up. And when I say core I'm not talking the plot or genre, I'm talking about the type of story that is at the center of an author's work. Some examples -- and please keep in mind, I'm not touting myself as any expert of specific writing genres, this is merely my observation and opinion: If you look at the works of Shakespeare -- his tragedies are often about secrets and revenge; his comedies about mistaken or hidden identities and secret plans. Which means, at the core, his plays were focused around secrets. JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood primary focus (in my mind) is family and keeping it alive. Many of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories and poems were focused on death but deeper down you could say (again, my opinion) that he related in his stories the impact of death and grieving upon those around the victim and his/her killer (a lot of the stories I've read by him dealt with murders).

Keeping this in mind, I examined my own writing. At the core  I write about relationships. It doesn't matter if the characters indulge in the D/s lifestyle or not, their behaviors towards one another will tend to take on that mannerism based on who and what they are at their essence. I also discovered and accepted (and that was the hardest part -- the accepting) that I will always write erotic (unless I'm writing Young Adult) since the sex is a key communication device between my characters. By doing this, I've empowered myself to write what I want the way I want without feeling like I have to chase some elusive "style" or "subgenre" to gain an audience. If I stick with my core story and put on the page the story my characters tell me, I'm being true to the writer I am. And that's the most important thing, at least in my eyes.