Monthly Archives: August 2013

Books: Lexi Post!


Lexi Post photo small

Welcome, Lexi! Hey readers, Lexi is going to give away a free ecopy of Masque to one lucky commenter. Show her some love!

What genre do your books fall into or is it a genre blended?

My books are erotic romances and they have all fallen into the Twilight Line at Ellora’s Cave because they have paranormal elements. Each one is a different paranormal. In Masque I had 73 ghosts. In Passion’s Poison I have a poisonous woman who needs sex to expel her poisons or she will die. In Passion of Sleepy Hollow I have a time glitch.

What inspires you to write?

Classic literature. Yup. I write erotic romances inspired by the classics.  In the case of my most recent release Passion’s Poison, I was inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Rappaccini’s Daughter.” Hawthorne is the one who created a poisonous heroine, I just gave her descendent a way to stay alive, which is more than Hawthorne did :-} I don’t rewrite these wonderful stories because, well, they are classics and they are great the way they are. Instead, I create something new with many elements from the original story, but a reader doesn’t have to read the original to enjoy my books. If she does, she’ll simply find another layer to the happily ever after.

Do you listen to music or set the mood somehow to get writing?
I like silence when I’m writing. However, I do live on the beach, so I never have it completely quiet as the waves are a regular backdrop. But for me, it has to be dark when I write. I’m a night-writer. I can envision my scenes while lying in the sun, but the actual writing has to be at night.

Do you come up with the plot or characters first?

Oh, definitely characters! I’m a pantser. I get to know my characters and their goals, backgrounds, motivations and how they will conflict with each other. Then I figure out what the black moment will be. After that, I just start writing and see where the characters take me. They are great. I usually end up with a pretty decent plot and some kind of theme running through the story.

masque_msr finalDo you have a favorite book of yours?
Hmm, that is tough. I think most writers fall in love with their current book. I’m really enjoying my Headless Horseman hero and the spunky Katrina Van Tassel. But Synn was so considerate of Rena’s explorations into new sexual experiences in Masque and Zach is such a hunk of a good guy for Bea in Passion’s Poison, that it would be really difficult to pick a favorite. Maybe once I have 20 books out, one will start to inch toward the top for me.

Who would you consider an influence on your writing?

Jennifer Ashley/Allyson James has definitely influenced my growth as a writer. Every one of her books (and I have read every single one of her romances) I thoroughly enjoy and afterwards gain insight into what she did to make them so amazing. I try to emulate some of her techniques. I have also benefited from her advice on the professional side of the industry as well as from her amazing work ethic. She is definitely my role model.

Tell me something quirky about yourself.

I guess the fact that I always wear a hat would be considered a bit different. It has become my signature. I don’t wear jewelry, so hats are my accessory. I have over 80. I’ve always felt that if a person looks good in a hat then he or she has an obligation to wear it.

What do you aim to make people feel when they read your books?

I want people to get excited by the erotic nature of my books. I also want them to feel the love that the couple has together and to leave the book believing that good can triumph over evil and love can last forever. I want people to be satisfied when they are through, and as one of my readers put it, be left with “a book hangover.”

What’s next for you?

I’m currently working on Passion of Sleepy Hollow. I imagine everyone can guess which classic story inspired that one. That is due out in early 2014. Then my editor has challenged me to write a short book as mine tend toward the 200 page length. I decided I better choose a poem for inspiration if I’m going to write shorter. Right now I’m thinking about Emily Dickinson’s “Wild nights – Wild nights!” It has some real possibilities.

Do you sing in the shower?

Nope. I usually figure out solutions to problems in my books while in the shower. I’ve been known to take one for just that reason!

passionspoison_msrPassion’s Poison is available in electronic formats:


Barnes and Noble

Ellora’s Cave



Lexi Post spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about classical literature. From the early American short story, Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” to the 20th century American epic The Grapes of Wrath, from War and Peace to the Bhagavad Gita, she’s read, studied, and taught great classic literature.

But Lexi’s first love is romance novels. In an effort to marry her two first loves, she started writing erotic romance inspired by the classics and found she loved it.  Lexi feels there is no end to the romantic inspiration she can find in great classic literature.

Lexi lives with her husband and cat in the Caribbean where gorgeous sunsets, warm weather, and driving on the left are the norm. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat (unless she is going incognito).


For more information about Lexi Post:






Books: Andrea Downing!


©nathandehartphotography-andreadowningLet me say thanks so much for having me here, Misty.  I’ve been looking forward to it.

What genre do your books fall into or is it a genre blended?  The first two that are out, Loveland and Lawless Love,  are both western historical romance.  I have a contemporary I’m working on, however.

What inspires you to write?  Aren’t there two forms of inspiration?  There’s the inspiration to sit down and physically write something, and the inspiration of what to write, what the story will be about.  My daughter inspired me to write in the first sense; she believes anything is possible.  So I went and did it with publishing in mind—that is, I had been writing all my life but had never attempted to get anything published.  As for the second sense, lots of things inspire me but mostly landscape and the people who inhabit them. I could write quite a bit about that but I’ll stop there.

Do you listen to music or set the mood somehow to get writing? No, I need quiet when I work but I have to admit the lyrics of some songs often give me ideas for writing.

Do you come up with the plot or characters first?  Both together.  I think I have to know on what journey my characters are setting out, but I need to know who they are before they set out on that road.

Do you have a favorite book of yours?   Too many to mention!

Tell me something quirky about yourself.  Well, I live in New York but I write about the west.  That’s pretty dang quirky to most people!

What do you aim to make people feel when they read your books?  That’s such a great question and it has a lot of answers really.  First, I aim to take them to a different time and place, to give readers an escape.   Second, with the historicals, I also aim to make readers feel that people haven’t changed much, that we still face the same problems and have the same feelings but maybe the methods of dealing with these difficulties are different.  And of course I want readers to feel entertained.

What’s next for you?  I’d like to get the contemporary finished and published and I’ve also got another historical waiting in the wings as well as another book that combines the two.

Do you sing in the shower?  LOL  Uh…no.  Though, come to think of it, if I were loud enough, it might be a dang good method of keeping the deer away.

Thanks very much again, Misty, for having me.  It’s been great fun.


BLURB for Lawless Love

     Lacey Everhart has carved out a tough existence in the wilds of 1880s Wyoming, working hard to build a secure life for herself and her younger brother, Luke. She will stop at nothing to protect what’s hers and keep them safe. Even if it means keeping a secret that could destroy their lives. 

      Marshal Dylan J. Kane is a man who considers everything as black and white, right or wrong.  He’s never seen life any other way until he sets eyes on Lacey. Suddenly the straight and narrow that he’s followed has a few twists and turns. Loving Lacey offers the home life for which he hankers…but can he really love a woman who seems to be plain lawless.


LawlessLove_w7876_750   Lacey thought of fluttering her eyelashes, but it was such a silly thing to do. How could women act like that? She just looked up at the marshal and waited, the possibilities turning over in her mind, flitting through her head but never settling.

     “You wanna tell me what really happened now so we can try to sort this matter? All I can do is promise I’ll do everything in my power to sort it for you, but I cain’t help you less’n you tell the truth. You tell me lies and make me look a dang fool, there’s nothin’ I can do. You understand that?”

     Along with the tiniest nod, she clasped her hands together. She looked up at Dylan Kane and saw kindness in that face, a face she could so easily have loved had things been different. She could sense the heat radiating from his body and knew if she touched his chest, a strength would exist where his heart beat. If she ran her hand down his arms, she would find that same strength in his muscle. How she wanted those arms around her! All her life, it seemed, she had looked after herself, cared for her brother, struggled to make a home for the two of them. What would it have been like if Morgan had not…

     “Lacey?” Dylan’s soft voice brought her back from her reveries. “You ready to tell the truth?” With one gentle finger, he lifted her chin so their gazes met for a moment before they each stepped back from the brink of something neither could control. “Lacey?” he repeated.

     “Yes, I’m ready.”

And don’t miss out on Andrea’s first book, a finalist for the RONE Award’s Best American Historical!loveland_w6692_300<!–[if gte mso 9]>


Andrea Downing likes to say that, when she decided to leave New York, the city of her birth, she made a wrong turn and went east instead of west.   She ended up spending most of her life in the UK where she received an M.A. from the University of Keele in Staffordshire.  She married and raised a beautiful daughter and  stayed on to teach and write, living in the Derbyshire Peak District, the English Lake District, Wales and the Chiltern Hills before finally moving into London. During this time, family vacations were often on guest ranches in the American West, where she and her daughter have clocked up some 17 ranches to date. In addition, she has traveled widely throughout Europe, South America, and Africa, living briefly in Nigeria. In 2008 she returned to the city of her birth, NYC, but frequently exchanges the canyons of city streets for the wide open spaces of the West.  Her love of horses, ranches, rodeo and just about anything else western is reflected in her writing.  Loveland, a western historical romance published by The Wild Rose Press, was her first book and a finalist for the RONE Award of Best American Historical.  Lawless Love, a story, comes out as part of The Wild Rose Press Lawmen and Outlaws’ series on Sept. 4.  Andrea is a member of Romance Writers of America and Women Writing the West.



Twitter:  @andidowning

What’s in a name…


The past two weeks, I’ve been working on edits of two historical novels, one a fantasy, the other a straight historical, but both set in similar medieval worlds. Ones with lords and ladies, kings and queens. So I thought this week, I’d talk about capitalization, especially as it concerns terms of address. My reference work of choice for this – as for almost everything – is the Chicago Manual of Style. I highly recommend this work if you want to do any kind of fictional writing.

So as to not confuse you – or myself – I am going to talk specifically about English (be they American, British, Canadian, etc.) entities and not Asian or Middle Eastern. So… here you go.

When talking about a title or office such as government, military, religious or professional persons, the title is capitalized only when used with a name or are used as a name, but are lower case when used generically:

President Lincoln; the president:  President Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address. The president presented a great speech.

General Grant; the general:  General Grant became president. Lee met with the general to discuss terms.

Pope John II; the pope: We got to see Pope John II in person. We saw the pope in person.

Queen Elizabeth; the queen: I saw Queen Elizabeth at her coronation. We saw the queen in the parade.

Congressman Jackson; the congressman: We saw Congressman Jackson at the dinner. We saw the congressman at the dinner.

Bishop Donnelly; the bishop

Reverend Michaels; the reverend

Professor Meltzer; the professor

Dean Boyer; the dean

and so on – you get the idea right? If it’s part of the name, it gets capitalized. If it’s not, it doesn’t. Some people get confused when there’s no name associated with the title, but it’s used as a name. For instance, in the following dialogue:

“What are your orders, General?”

In this case, the name is implied and it is capitalized You are using the title as the name. The same thing goes for family names.

“Hi Mom!”  vs. I need to talk to my mom.  (the first is used as her name, the second is not.)

I love my aunt Mary. vs. I believe Aunt Mary is the eldest of the sisters.


One other area of confusion is the use of “my lord” or “my lady” or other honorifics. Most of these are capitalize, but not all.

the First Lady

the Queen Mother

His (Her, Your) Majesty or Royal Highness

His (Her, Your) Excellency

Madam Speaker

Your Honor

where the confusion come in is the use of lower case in “my lord” and “my lady”, “sir” (as in Yes, sir), and “ma’am” (Yes, ma’am).

Clear as mud, right? 🙂



It’s not that hard…


Peeve for the day – learn the differences! Some of these are repeats, but I’ll repeat them until you get them right. 🙂

They’re – short for ‘they are’ as in “They are (they’re) going swimming.

There – a place: The pool is over there. (see the word ‘here’ in there meaning a place)

Their – belonging to them. We’re going swimming in their pool. (see the word ‘heir’ in there as in someone who’s going to get something)

It’s – short for it is: It’s their turn to clean the pool (It is their turn)

Its – a pronoun, cannot be substituted with ‘it is’: the dog wagged its tail.

Your – a possessive (belonging to you) – That is your dog not mine.

You’re – short for you are: You’re not going to like this (you are not going to like this)

we’re – short for we are: We’re going swimming (we are going swimming)

were – past tense of are: We were going to go swimming, but something came up.

then – a point in time: we’re going hiking, then we’re going swimming

than – a choice: I’d rather go swimming than hiking.

affect – a verb meaning ‘to influence’: The illness affected his body

effect – a noun meaning consequence or result: The illness has had an effect on his body.

few – used for number and countable nouns: There were ten fewer people at the party than we expected.

less – used for quantity, measure, degree and non-countable nouns: The guru gave us less advice than we expected.

farther – physical distance (see the word ‘far’ in there?) We hiked two miles farther into the mountain.

further – virtual distance (cannot be measured) – this argument can go no further.

each other – used when involving only two people: John and I hugged each other.

one another – used with three or more people: The baseball team consoled one another after losing the game.

who – refers to people: I appreciate the person who (not that) cleaned house for me.

that – refers to things: I like the puppy that licked me.


Books: Shelley Munro!


TheBottomLine200x300A Trio of Kiwis

Earlier this year my husband and I went on a cruise around the coast of New Zealand and over to Australia. Most of the passengers on the ship came from America and Canada and the following conversation came up several times with various people.

“I like eating kiwi. They’re very tasty.”

Mr. Munro and I would look at each other in horror before saying, “You mean you like to eat kiwifruit. You can’t go around eating kiwis in New Zealand.”

So, for those of you who are confused I’ll give you some definitions:

A kiwi is a native bird of New Zealand. It’s flightless and nocturnal with a long, narrow beak, which it uses to dig in the ground for bugs and worms. The kiwi is protected—no snacking on these birds—and due to deforestation and the introduction of pests such as stoats, rats and weasels, is becoming increasingly rare.

A kiwifruit—note the addition of the word fruit!—is a brown and fuzzy fruit. When it’s cut open the fruit is green and the middle is flecked with lots of black seeds. The kiwifruit was formerly called a Chinese Gooseberry since the vine originated in China. We have grown kiwifruit in New Zealand since the early 1900s and it was renamed in 1959. We also have golden kiwifruit, which are slightly different. The outside of the fruit is still brown, but they’re a different shape and don’t have the fuzz that the green kiwifruit possess. Inside they’re golden with the fleck of black seeds. The taste is different from the green ones. I think they’re sweeter, and they remind me of honey. 

 Kiwi is the affectionate name for a New Zealander. If you were to hear the words, here come the Kiwis you’ll mostly likely see a sports team. By definition, I am a Kiwi since I was born in New Zealand.

Many of my books are set in New Zealand, which means they’re full of Kiwis. You’ll know by now I mean the people. Let me introduce you to the Kiwis in The Bottom Line, the first book in the Love and Friendship series.

Spicing up her sex life sounds exciting…until the fantasy hits the fan.

When Maggie Drummond buys an erotic romance novel by mistake, she gets more than an unexpected eyeful. She gets an introduction to a world that arouses her to a fever pitch: Spanking.

Her boyfriend isn’t interested in pushing his vanilla-flavored sexual boundaries. Then there’s Connor Grey, who haunts her fantasies like a magical genie. As a source of masculine advice for her and her female friends, he’s off limits. The only safe place to explore her fetish is her anonymous blog.

The recent changes in Maggie don’t escape Connor’s notice. Now that her boyfriend has dropped her, he can finally—carefully—make his move. Given his family history, laying a hand on any woman, even in fun, is a line he’s reluctant to cross. But for Maggie? Anything the lady wants.

As Maggie gives in to the temptation to let Connor add some sin to her life, she finds herself juggling lies, half-truths, friendship and sensual delights. Her job is in jeopardy—and she’s falling in love. Exploring her fantasy is one thing, but she’s beginning to question if indulging her own pleasure is worth the cost to everyone around her. Especially Connor…

Available in print and e-book formats.

Samhain Publishing


All Romance e-books

CONTEST: Answer this question and complete the rafflecopter below to go into a draw to win an Amazon Gift Certificate. Which type of kiwi would you like to come face-to-face with right now and why?

Shelley Munro is tall and curvaceous with blue eyes and a smile that turns masculine heads everywhere she goes. She’s a university tutor and an explorer/treasure hunter during her vacations. Skilled with weapons and combat, she is currently in talks with a producer about a television series based on her world adventures.

Shelley is also a writer blessed with a VERY vivid imagination and lives with her very own hero in New Zealand. She writes mainly erotic romance in the contemporary, paranormal and historical genres for publishers Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing. You can learn more about Shelley and her books at these links.








The Plot Thickens, Part II


Last week I talked about Plot – this week, I’m giving you a list of questions to apply to your story concerning plot, characters, and more. If you can’t answer the questions, then perhaps you need to go back and look at your story. Something might be missing, or out of place, or there might be too much of something.


1.      What is your story about?

2.      Who are the main characters in your book? There should be one or two – three at the very most (hero, heroine, villain).

3.      What do they want? What are their internal and external goals and are the goals important enough to carry the entire story?

4.      Why does it matter if your characters do or don’t reach their goals? If it doesn’t matter, you don’t have a story.

5.      When are the goals met? If too soon, you might have a short story, but not necessarily a novel.

6.      How do they meet their goals? They should have to overcome obstacles that make it exceedingly difficult to reach their goals.

7.      Do you have subplots? How do they relate to the main plot?

8.      Is there enough of a story to fill an entire book?

9.      What is the initiating event that sets off the rest of the action in the book?

10.  Does the conflict escalate, with a major complication every few chapters, throughout the book? Is the conflict believable?

11.        Do you use compelling hooks at the end of chapters to keep the reader interested?

12.        Are there enough twists in the plot, especially towards the end, to keep the reader reading?

13.        Do you have subplots? How do they relate to the main plot?

14.        Are all conflicts, problems, loose ends solved at the end?

15.        Do you have a compelling opening sentence? One that draws the reader in and makes him or her want to continue reading? If not, can you make it more compelling?

16.        Where does the story start? Have you included too much backstory?

17.        Do you have a catchy or unique title that is appropriate for the story?

18.        What makes your story unique? What gives it an edge over other stories?