Archive for August, 2010


Nikki’s First Booksigning

Kieralyn here. I’m running between appointments today, but wanted to swing in and talk about this last weekend.

My sources have been reporting on Nikki’s first booksigning for SOUNDS TO DIE BY this last weekend. From what I hear, that woman knows how to gather a crowd.

Noone was brilliant enough to keep count of how many books were sold, and I have no doubt Nikki is working on a system to track that in the future, but the signing was a tremendous success. From the cake, which I hear was delicious, to the giveaways, which included Godiva chocolates, to the warm and genuine support of Nikki’s friends, to the excitement of new readers, the bookstore was hopping with activity. Laughter, boisterous conversation, pictures being snapped, and customers demolishing the cake. I wish I could have been there.

Maybe I’ll make her signing next month on the 18th. Maybe I’ll see you there.

In the meantime, I have to get back to work. Breck’s signalling me with the two finger come hither sign he uses often.

Characters Can Tick You Off

I know it is normally out of character, pun intended, to just chat about our characters, but I thought I would today. I have been working on my next Harmless book, and I thought a few characters would be the first Harmelss menage story. Sadly, on my way home from THE HAPPY PLACE, I heard two songs. One was Colbie Caillat’s I Never Told You. Right there, I knew whatever story was coming to me would be a reunion story. And I realized that it was a reunion story about Devon, a character who has popped up in the present Harmless story. I thought he would be the second guy of a menage. Then, his heroine came screaming to me in Sara Evan’s new release, A Little Bit Stronger. I knew then that these two had a history and I can imagine just what it was. Devon is one of those standup guys and I have a feeling that he walked away to “save her,” but doesn’t tell her anything else. Yeah, that is going to go over so well when she runs into him again.

It pissed me off. Honestly, I was grumpy for about half an hour afterward. I wanted Devon to be part of a Jess/Zeke menage, but there is one thing I have learned through my years of writing is not to force things. I need to go with the flow of writing, what feels right, and as aggravating as it is, I am going to let it happen the way they want it to happen. I might be pissy about it for the next few days…months, but I know now that Devon’s story is one of sacrifice.

Characters have a mind of their own. Granted, it took me a few years to understand that. Being the Capricorn that I am, I like to control. I like everyone to march to my drummer, and you better do it the way I tell you! So, writing really departs from my normal control issues. It took me a few years to realize I have to allow things to happen. If you do not understand how the Capricorn mind works, that is a HUGE step. Ask my husband. As a military wife, I rarely have control over anything, so I drive him crazy over the small things I can control. But, I digress…

When I finally let my characters talk to me, allow them to lead me to where they want to go, my writing grew. I am a character driven writer. I think that you can have the best plot in the world, but it is boring as hell if the characters are boring.  Just my humble opinion. Now, do I let them have control over the plot? Hell, no. What do you take me for, a CANCER? Lord, no. But I do allow their personalities to come through. So, here is my first mini interview with Devon King.

~~~~~~~~~~

Devon King is a man with a lot to be thankful for. He is the creator of Strike Force One, the top selling computer game of 2008, and his newest release, King’s Dominion, is slated for release next spring. The presales are beating every record set before him which has will increase his wealth. With his diverse holdings, no one is quite sure how much he is worth, but it reaches into the billions. He is a gorgeous one, with dark hair, sharp blue eyes and a muscular build. At six foot, he is an imposing figure. He shows very little emotion other than cynical amusement.

ME: So, I understand you used to be in the CIA.

DEVON: Classified.

:::I roll my eyes:::

Me: I was thinking you would be part of my story of Jess and Zeke.

::: One dark eyebrow raises:::

Devon: Not that I wouldn’t join in the fun…

:::I sigh:::

Me: And just what are you holding out for? I mean, you like Jess, that much is obvious and she is definitely into you and computer games. Hell, she is turned on by the fact that you hacked into the FBI database.

:::his lip curls up on one side and I feel the power of it all the way to my toes:::

Devon: Yeah? Well, still not for me.

Me: Then who is for you?

:::Devon’s eyes flicker with regret. But it is gone in the next instant.:::

Devon: Not everyone has a soulmate.

:::With that, he leaves me and totally pisses me off:::

~~~

So, you can see we are going to have a bumpy road together<G>.  But, I just wanted to give you a glimpse into the life I lead with my PITA characters.

In The Villain’s Mind with Lana Quinn

When I was thinking about who should blog for me this week, I remembered Lana mentioning an interview she’d been working on. You may remember Lana’s guts for going after the tough stories. She’s the one who brought the trafficked women case to Kieralyn’s attention in SOUNDS TO DIE BY. She also put herself in the path of the Valentine killer to help the FBI stop the serial killer. She’s gutsy, and I think in comparison to the serial killer, this interview will be easy for her.

Thanks for having me back, Nikki. This is one interview I want to see broadcast far and wide. This is one criminal who doesn’t need to be on the streets. Madame V almost cost some close friends their lives, so I was eager to get this opportunity. She wasn’t easy to pin down for the interview, and she wasn’t what I would call cooperative, but I am pleased with the end result.


Lana:    
Madame V, thank you for meeting with me. May I call you, V?

Madamve V:     I had little choice, and no. You may call me Madame V. (I’d been warned she was a hardass. You should see the snarl curdling her mouth. And yes, I meant curdling, because this is grossly beyond a curl.)

Lana:     As you wish. (With a name like Madame V it’s easy to tell she’s a dominant personality. May as well give her a little something.)

Madame V:     Great. (She stands, signalling an end to our story.) I wish this over.

Lana:     Sorry. (I point to the empty chair.) Your ass is mine for the next hour if I choose to take that long.

Madame V:      I don’t like you.

Lana:     I’ve heard that before. (Believe me, the feeling is mutual, but I’ll not allow her to bully me.) Let’s move on.

(Madame V only stares at me.)

Lana:    How did you get into the business of being a madam?

Madame V:    I’m a business woman. (She sits back down, holding herself as if she is running a boardroom.) I saw a need I could fill and went for it.

Lana:     Have you ever escorted your clients, or do you leave that to your…staff?

Madame V:     I’ve done everything I’ve ever asked my girls to do.

Lana:    It would be great if every boss was like that.

Madame V:     I am better than most. 

Lana:    (And humble.) Tell me, does that mean you yourself have seduced men for the purpose of killing them?

(Madame V jerks forward in her chair and points a finger at me. She’s filed the tips of her nails to a sword’s point, but I’ve seen worse and refuse to back away.)

Lana:     Seems I’ve hit a tender chord.

Madame V:     I am not answering that.

Lana:     I’ll take that as a yes. People with nothing to hide have no reason for evasions. (Her lips purse together and enhance the lines of sour rage puckering her face.)

Madame V:     Ask your next question.

Lana:     (She isn’t going to like this one either.) You had a young woman working for you. Lori. Did you have her killed when she refused to kill for you?

Madame V:     (She raises a fist. I tilt my head and smile, daring her to hit me. She lowers it shakily to her lap.) Bitch, I don’t like your insinuation.

Lana:     It was a straight forward question. Is this evasion another unspoken agreement.

Madame V:     No. I did not have that double crosser killed. Death is too good for her.

Lana:     Wow. Do you feel that strongly about all the women who cross you?

Madamve V:     I’ve no tolerance for it.

Lana:     You must hate Kami and Ava.

Madame V:     If I ever get the chance I’ll kill both those whores with my own hands.

Lana:     Well, I guess it’s a good thing I have a record of that. Going after a Fed can’t be a smart idea.

Madame V:     (She stands again, breathing harshly.) This interview is over.

Lana:     I have everything I need. By the way, if their posing as call-girls to stop a murderer makes them whores, what does that make you?

I’m sure you can imagine I did not get an answer to that last question, not that I expected one. Would have been fun though. And I think you can see from her answers why I want this interview published. Madame V does not need to ever be a member of society again.

Finding Your True Self in The Most Suprising Places-Cynthia Myers

Harmless #2

 

If you could time travel three years back and find Cynthia Myers, you would not recognize her. I was a woman who did everything just right. Had the right friends, went the right schools, dated the right men. But, the odd thing was, for me, everything felt…wrong. No one else seemed to recognize it. They went along as if nothing were amiss. And, I did too. I was raised a good Southern girl. Do as your told, make your family proud, don’t make waves. Well, at least in my family. Later, I found out that a good Southern girl stands up for herself. But, I didn’t. I was even engaged to be married to a man I didn’t love and really couldn’t stand to have touch me. Max didn’t gross me out or anything. It was just that in bed we were not compatible. I felt nothing. 

I am sure you are thinking that should have told me something. You didn’t know my life. I had spent most my life feeling numb to the world, and the two men I had sex with did nothing for me. My mother was very conservative and any sexual talk was not to be had. In fact, I would worry about asking her because I really didn’t want to hear the phrase, “just lie back and pretend to enjoy it.” ICK. Anyway, it wasn’t until I broke it off with Max that I started to feel something. First, was fear. My father was downright furious. My daddy is scary when he is mad. He didn’t see my marriage as a love match, but more of a business transaction. Even saying that now makes me feel icky. I started to feel as if I were being prostituted out for the good of the family. As if I were in the Middle Ages or something. 

My one act of defiance cost me Max. Thank God. He and Anna finally admitted their feelings to each other and I was off the hook. And, thanks to my second act of defiance, going to their wedding, I met the man who would change my life. 

Chris Dupree was the best man and a tall drink of sweetness. He was gorgeous, had one of the great Nawlins’ accents, and he didn’t live in the area. I had never had a one night stand in my life. Of course, it turned into happily ever after for me, so I am glad I took the chance. One thing I found interesting that night was for the first time in my life, I enjoyed sex. Really enjoyed sex. And it was because I took charge. It took me awhile to figure it out, and for Chris to teach me just why I needed it. I started to take risks in my own life after that night. I moved out of my parents’ house. Well, okay, my father kicked me out, but still. I got my first real job working for Anna as a baker, got a birthday tattoo (thank you Anna for going with me) and then I took a leap. I moved to Hawaii, to Chris. Six months before that, I would have told you that you were crazy if you suggested all these things would happen. 

While I think being sheltered by your family can sometimes be a good thing, it can also be oppressive. If you don’t allow your child to be themselves and be happy with who that is, you run the risk of hurting your child. If I hadn’t found my true self, I wouldn’t have been able to fall in love with Chris. I wasn’t confident enough, didn’t love myself and who I was enough, to love another person. Thanks to Chris, my acts of defiance, and one night of harmless pleasure, I found my way to  my true self. 

Cynthia and Chris’ story is A Little Harmless Pleasure, now out in digital and print from Samhain publishing. They are also featured in my free short story, A Little Harmless Kalikimaka.

I was lucky to catch the heroine from my latest work in progress with a little downtime. I’m not sure of her state of mind. I’ve left her in a vulnerable situation.

You know what’s fun about being one of Nikki’s characters? There’s never any telling where she’ll be inspired, or how that inspiration will extend to us.

Hi. I’m Danica Kent, one of the most recent voices in Nikki’s head. I’ve been told I look like Malin Ackerman (thanks to salons and braces). I’m a doctor who recently moved back to my home town of Whispering Cove, Maine, and I still have a crazy mad crush on Braydon Mitchell – the boy who’s attention I couldn’t get in school. It’s time for our ten year reunion, so classmates are trickling back into town and the game of catching up is on.

I bet you’re not here to hear about the fun of seeing the shock on people’s face when they realize I am the dark haired geek who forgot how to talk around Braydon. But the reunion and Braydon sort of inspired this post. See, recently a wicked questions went around in Nikki’s world and inspired her to mess with Braydon and me.

The question: Where’s the craziest place you’ve ever had sex?

One response: I want to do it on the deck of a boat with the sun shining on our skin.

Another response: I’ll take the boat beneath the glitter of stars.

I’ve always had a fantasy about boats, and I’m not too picky about day or night as long as there’s not an audience. Did I mention Braydon lives on a 40′ sailboat? And Nikki is a masterful schemer. 😉

So tell me, what is the craziest place you’ve ever done it. Chat it up and maybe I can talk Nikki into giving one chatter a sneak peak into our story. I don’t want you watching, but you can read about it after the fact.

A Wedding at Disney or A Wedding on the Beach?

Kieralyn Beckett is here today. She’s talking Disney adn weddings. Guess we know where her mind is these days.

Of course my mind is on weddings. I’m preparing to marry my hero and it takes time to do these things correctly. Did you know you could get married at Disney World? We’re talking a real Cinderella wedding with the horse drawn carriage to deliver you to your prince. I think that would be very cool. Ian on the other hand wants something a little more understated. He says he’s partial to the small wedding on the beach.

So, I’ve set aside my Disney wedding fantasy and have tweaked his quiet wedding idea a little. But don’t tell him what I’m planning quite yet. He still thinks it’s all going his way – silly man.

He does know I have a friend designing a dress for me. I’ve asked her for classy, fun, and practical for a beach wedding, but still elegant. No small order, I know. She’ll also be working on the bridesmaid dresses and we’ve agreed it would be cool to incorporate their dress colors into mine somehow.

Thsi is my basic dress only the sash around the waist is a little deeper purple than the pillow behind her. The bridesmaids will have the same basic dress in the same purple, only there’s will be a little shorter (starting mid-shin and tapering down to the ground in the back.) And of course, I’ll get to have those lovely purple flowers in my bouquet.

What do you think?

Downtown Disney Isn’t Magical For the Blind Man

I talked Ian into blogging today. When I was in Florida this week, he and Kieralyn joined me for an afternoon in downtown Disney for some shopping. And we all know men aren’t really keen on shopping to begin with. Ian seemed to be even less keen than most. He tries to blame me. It was really Kieralyn who got crazy carried away. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

I will give Disney props for making things easier on a blind man by having a Braille map of the place, but that’s where the simplicity ended. For that, I do blame you, Nikki.

You and Kieralyn both failed to mention she was a compulsive collector of all things Disney. And why, why, would they put that Christmas store right inside the gates where they drop people off? You women LOVE Christmas. Even your friend Heather, who I’d thought would be level-headed got giddy and excited and oohed and aahed over things in that place.

The Christmas store. The hunt for anything Peter Pan. The hunt for Donald Duck. The kids running around the toy stores hopped up on the thrill of wanting another toy and another and another. The dads arguing with the moms, begging them to please not bankrupt them with yet another toy. Me begging Kieralyn to please not bankrupt us, or buy so much there was no room for us in the car.

You know she is still trying to sort out everything she bought? I can’t walk in the house without bumping into more Disney things she has spread out. And I think I’m a little grateful I can’t see the mess. I wouldn’t like it at all.

I’ll give you this much, though. You know how to pick a restaurant for lunch. That crab was amazing. And the spread they gave you with crackers? Kieralyn has made a large batch of it for us. That alone probably made the trip worthwhile. But I’m not about to go back real soon.

You’re right, Ian. That lunch was amazing. And don’t worry about the Disney goodies. Kieralyn will have them sorted out and put away soon. She’s as OCD as I am that way. And at least she’s making you that spread. That was great. And even with your torment, you were a blast to hang out with. It’s always fun to catch up with you.

SOUNDS TO DIE BY, Ian and Kieralyn’s story, releases in Print today! Buy it now!