Sunday, July 19, 2009

Writing Partnerships

I recently joined up with two very good friends of mine to co-author a series for Ellora's Cave and Cerridwen Press called The Tarot Cafe. Randi Monroe and I write for EC, Micqui Miller and I write for CP.

Turning Point, the first book of The Tarot Cafe series written by Randi and me, released on June 26th. It took us almost a year to write that book. We had delays due to family, personal crises, other writing obligations, you name it. If there could be a problem to stop our writing, we experienced it. But finally, we typed The End and were so excited to have finished our first project together.

Micqui and I are plotting out our first book we want to submit to CP. Micqui writes romantic suspense instead of erotic romance, so her books contain lots of characters and plot and suspense. She has one book out now with CP, Morning Star, a very powerful book about a mother's love for her children.

Randi and I are currently working on our next two books we plan to pitch to our EC editor. She's finishing up the edits on one while I work on the first draft of the second one. Turning Point is Randi's first published book, but I'm sure it won't be her last. She's very talented.

I never thought about working with a writing partner, much less two! But I'm having so much fun with them. We work well together and it's great to bounce ideas off another writer instead of having to work out everything by myself.

The Tarot Cafe and its owners, Synda and Leandra, were introduced in my book, Premonition, from Ellora's Cave. You can read the first chapter and a
sexy love scene on my website, And check out our special website,, for info on our books and yummy recipes.

Randi, Micqui and I have lots of ideas for future books. We hope our readers will enjoy the adventures at The Tarot Cafe.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Time Passages

As authors, we have existing, immutable items that mark the passage of time. Our books sit out there, unchanging even though we continue to evolve.

Two things recently occurred to make me think about this.

This week, Ellora’s Cave is re-releasing Kissing Stone. I wrote this story back in 2003 with the intention that it would be one of three in an anthology. On Monday, it’s being released as a standalone story. Without the opportunity to edit or re-write any bits of the story, I made the choice to have the story reissued. Bracing myself, I picked up Kissing Stone and re-read it, hoping I didn't cringe at what I'd put on paper six years ago.

I didn't cringe. I did learn my style’s changed a lot in six years. Kissing Stone is still a good read. I enjoyed reading it, liked the characters, liked the story. But I think about how I would write it today. The dialogue would be a little different and I’d probably throw in a second hero (since most of my stuff these days involves two guys and a girl). I discovered several places where I used words or phrases that I liked, that I don’t think about using today. Parts of the story seem almost “sweet”…though I have to say I think the whole thing is pretty dang hot.

Having re-read Kissing Stone, I can see my early style and how it’s developed into the voice I have today.

This past week, I had another book release—Dragon’s Prey came out in print. This book is two or more years old and it was one of the most difficult stories for me to write. I struggled with plot and characters and my memories of the book are frustration and dread. So, with it being released onto a whole new group of unsuspecting readers, I went back and looked it over again.

Time has smoothed the memories. A few years’ distance and I can enjoy it again. The characters, the adventures, the hot scenes between the hero and heroine are new again. So new in fact, I had to go back and re-read parts because I couldn’t remember what I’d done. That might not be so much the effects of time but aging.

There are still those stories that I go back and read and cringe, wondering how I could have written it. But I think time is kinder with writing than in much of life. At least for me.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

King of Pop VS King of Rock 'n' Roll

Not sure how many out there LOVED Elvis the way my mother did.
She played his 'records' on an old stereo system and sang his tunes
every chance she got. Before I got my own stereo at the ripe age of
twelve, I didn't know other singers existed. LOL
To say she loved Elvis is cutting her infatuation with the man short.
When she was sick and dying of pancreatic cancer, I was fortunate enough
to spend the last week of her life at her side. Every morning when I arrived
she would tell me that she kept hearing Elvis singing to her at night.Towards
the end of the week, she'd had enough and asked me to find the source and turn
it off. But I didn't hear it. I thought the pain meds made her hallucinate so
I simply soothed her soul by saying I'd find it and turn it off. Of course, I
didn't because I didn't hear it. The night she died, I left her room and stood
outside with my family until a nurse called me back in to retrieve her things.
When I entered the MICU, I froze. Out of one of the rooms near her, I heard
Elvis. It was low but since there were no other background noises I could hear it.
I started laughing and crying at the same time. She wasn't crazy on meds, she actually was hearing Elvis. I have a feeling, she's stalking him in heaven :)

To hear Elvis being compared to a pop star kind of knots my gut.
Sure Michael Jackson was talented, could sing and dance, but Elvis
started it all with the sexy shake of his hips.

Got any great Elvis stories?
I'd love to hear them.
Thanks for sharing,
Tara Nina