Saturday, May 30, 2009

Snippet Saturday

This week we're all about the kissing, the first kiss, that is. I'm working on a proposal for a hot Regency historical and posting the actual second kiss between my h/h, Sebastian and Frederica. They have a history together, but Sebastian, the dog, does not remember it. Freddie is interested obtaining some experience and real estate from Sebastian, and is determined to do Any Wicked Thing to get it. Real estate is always an excellent investment, and Freddie is a practical girl, except when it comes to Sebastian. Enjoy, and don't forget to visit the other authors below to taste their first kisses!


She’d been a naïve child the last time she’d seen him naked, and had been hopelessly impressed with every decadent scrap of him then. If the planes and angles of his face caused her heart to stir now, his body had more than lived up to its early promise. He was broad and well-muscled, without an ounce of fat. He looked as though he could defend her from ghosts or dragons or anything inconvenient. Except for himself.

Oh, she was naïve now. And for what? The uncertain roof over her head? But it was too late. She took another step forward. And then another.

He pressed his thumbs to her cheeks, his fingers resting lightly on her temples. His pupils were huge, black as his soul---if he still had one---ringed in dark, fathomless green. She longed to touch the bump on the bridge of his nose, the only imperfection she could detect in his shadowed face. He was whispering something scandalous, but she couldn’t listen for watching his lips move. Then he smiled and slanted them over hers, the soft strength of them warm and insistent. Her mouth opened in protest and his tongue traced the seam of her top lip slowly, as if he were measuring by touch, calculating the inches of pink. He did the same to her bottom lip, shocking her with his gentleness.

When they’d last kissed, he’d tasted of too much brandy and smelled of sweet smoke. Tonight there was the merest hint of wine. His clean skin was scented with the rose petal soap she had made herself from the overgrown canes that tumbled over the outer wall. What should have been feminine had been converted into something else altogether---he’d captured the briar as well as the bud. She hoped to steady herself with a deep breath, but instead was swept away to the wild roses and the heat of last summer. Her skin beneath the pressure of his fingertips tingled as he drew her closer, his mouth skimming effortlessly over hers, brushing, savoring. There was nothing to do but meet his tongue and shiver as he tore her defenses down lick by wicked lick.

She felt herself sway, and reached for something to hold on to, although she was still sweetly trapped between his hands. She should touch him, if only to feel his smooth brown chest or span his narrow hips or tousle his curling dark hair. But there was no safe place to touch as he brought her to him, his velvet mouth angled expertly so that even the corners of her lips received attention.

Frederica had dreamed of kisses like this, though doubted their existence. How odd that her oldest friend and newest enemy was the man to prove her wrong. He lulled her into discomfiting comfort, banishing all thoughts with the steady skills of his tongue and teeth. His fingers slipped through her hair, loosening the braids. Her scalp tickled as he massaged her head and she felt a wash of heat down her neck. Her nightgown was suddenly too heavy, too warm, her arms useless at her sides, her knees weak. Sebastian seemed to know the exact moment of her capitulation, broke the kiss and lifted her from the floor.

“I’m going to carry you upstairs now.”

Frederica nodded. She could not have spoken if her life depended upon it. Her hand went to her swollen lips, still so sensitive that her own fingers sent shoots of longing through her. He held her as if she weighed nothing and climbed the circular stairs. His room blazed with light---too much light. The tub was still centered in front of a roaring fire, the dropped towel on the carpet. The least he could have done before he came downstairs to slay her was wrap up in it. No mortal woman could withstand his male beauty for long. It had taken just one kiss---one consummate, carnal kiss---for Frederica to lose every shred of sanity.


Lauren Dane Cynthia Eden Vivi Anna Sylvia Day Moira Rogers Mandy Roth Anya Bast Viv Arend Beth Williamson Elisabeth Naughton Michelle Pillow Jaci Burton Taige Crenshaw McKenna Jeffries Victoria Janssen Shelli Stevens Maggie Robinson Juliana Stone Sasha White Maura Anderson Shelley Munro Jody Wallace Eliza Gayle Kelly Maher

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Scot Free

As far as I know, I am not Scottish or Irish---I am completely un-Celtic except if you go back about 1,000 years. Like our president, I'm a mutt. My mother was from Austria. Her father's parents were Italian but he was born in Hungary. Cue the gypsy violins. My maternal grandmother was a Viennese girl. We're waltzing now. My father's family was almost entirely from England---and traced themselves back to the Mayflower, of course---except for his maternal grandfather Anthony Miller whose family came from Germany. It was considered such a blot on the family escutcheon (perhaps because of two world wars)that this Germanic connection was always hushed up. No oom-pah music, please.

However, I get to be an honoray Scotswoman. Bring on the bagpipes! My husband's family emigrated to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia from somewhere in Scotland in the 1800s. Eventually they wandered down to Maine, changing their name from Robertson to Robinson to ditch their Canadian roots. When we visited Scotland we came home with a bolt of the Robertson plaid which serves as our Christmas tree skirt. It was originally intended for pants, but John decided the wool was too itchy. :) Even though he's got great legs, a kilt was never considered.

When I go back to work on Andrew and Gemma's Scotland-set book, I will listen to Celtic music and look at gorgeous pictures. The location of the book plays more of a role in the plot than anything I've ever written, although the proposal for Any Wicked Thing comes close. I'm having a ton of fun researching castles and medieval life. Sometimes I find it hard to get back to the 21st century.

Have you ever visited a castle/Scotland? Do your characters sometimes seem more real to you than the people you work with? Do you wish you could ditch your Real Life roots and stick to fiction? Where is your family from?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Snippet Saturday

Lauren Dane came up with a cool way to network, promote and share excerpts from authors' works. She invited a bunch of writers in different genres to participate in a round-robin every Saturday. They all will follow a single topic---and we know that even if they're writing about the same thing, everyone's voice is completely different. This Saturday's theme is "Defining Moment." The authors below have all posted a writing sample on their blog. Next week is "First Kiss," and I'm hoping to join the crowd and lipsmack away. In the meantime, please visit as many of the sites below and enjoy the snippets!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Castles in the Air

I've sent my revisions off and started a new book. A proposal, actually, for the second Berkley Heat book. Berkley Heat is, as the name implies, a hot line, which means I must cast my demure, shy, ladylike with pearls self into the corner. This gives me the opportunity to stretch my boundaries and give cause to my grandmother to spin in her grave. (Actually, now that I think of it, she was in an urn in my father's basement. Not quite sure where she is now. Oh dear.) I have settled on a seduction theme, although it will be unclear as to who is seducing whom. Paradise-soon-to-be-renamed is rather dark, but Any Wicked Thing/His Last Mistress (can't decide on a working title) is apt to be lighter. I've decided to go all-out and have a devilish duke and a crenellated castle on the Yorkshire moors. We'll see if my editor likes it or says ho-hum.
For a brief period of time, I considered an 1890s Maine-island-summer-colony-Gibson-girl-tortured artist book, but I worry that the era and location are not what's expected of historicals. And most everything else I've written is late Regency or 1820s England. What's your favorite historical period to read/write about? Would you pick up a historical that was set in Maine, or anywhere in the United States?

Oh, and thanks to Tiff, I have the perfect Sebastian Goddard, Duke of Roxbury to drool over! Even if his book doesn't get written, one picture is worth a thousand words. *g* Please advise: Any Wicked Thing or His Last Mistress?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


My husband teases me that I'm got a family of squirrels in my head, chattering and pelting each other with acorns. It's perfectly true I feel very distracted. For someone who's a pantser in real life as well as writing, all of a sudden I've got to think of the future and organize the squirrels into formation. A cadre of them have taken revision notes from my Berkley editor Kate Seaver and are attempting to arrive at the same place in the manuscript by a significantly different route. Several artistic squirrels are contemplating favorite colors for a website design (Yay Frauke! Coming eventually: A few distinctly grumpy rodents are still doing laundry and cleaning the toilet and going to work every day, counting the days until summer vacation on their tiny paws. Some are working on proposal ideas for another Heat book. There is one mangy, desolate little furball who is curled up in a corner, forbidden to even think about Gemma and Andrew until Hart and Eden get squared away and sent again. And to top it off, they're all on nut rations, because the squirrels were getting awfully fuzzy. They've been drinking Slim-Fast instead of pina coladas and they are not in a celebratory mood. They're not rabid yet, but it's getting close, although collectively they've lost 5 pounds---a mere drop in the bucket of fuzz.

So writing a blog post becomes a challenge. There is not much to say except the squirrels are leaping from tree limb to tree limb, hoping they don't crash to earth. Squirrels don't bounce.

What are your squirrels up to?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Here are two very special people I'm going to spend my Mother's Day with. Whether you're a mom or someone's precious baby, have a lovely day!

A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart. ~Author Unknown

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Not Hidden Anymore!

I bet you've been checking and checking, saying to yourself, Maggie posts once a week. She's dependable, like a good bowl of oatmeal with cream and brown sugar and maybe even a pat of butter. Where the heck is she?

I've been lounging about like these ladies to the left, sitting on exciting news. Congratulations to Tiffany Chalmers, Vixen Extraordinnaire, on the sale of her exotic, delicious Hidden Beauty! Much better than oatmeal! Tiff is St. Martin's Press's (look at all those esses and apostrophes) latest author. We're pretty excited in the Pleasure Gardens, so drop on by and wish Tiff the best as she begins what will be a long and luscious career.

As for me, I have been madly ripping apart the last seventy-five pages of Paradise (eventually to be re-titled). I said somewhere it's been like drowning kittens. But when I'm done I hope to have a stronger third act. My perfect hero Hart's bad boy side is finally showing itself. I always knew he had it in him. *w* My Courtesan Court trilogy is also making the rounds, so synopses had to be written and a few things tweaked. For a day I was working on four books simultaneously and I'm happy to say my head didn't explode.

What secret have you been keeping? What's making your head explode? Tell all!