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Showing posts with label Denise Rossetti. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Denise Rossetti. Show all posts

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday Seven! (The Lone Warrior)

A new feature on my blog for this year - Saturday Seven!

This is where I'll be pulling seven paragraphs from some of my favorite books - an excellent chance to showcase some awesome scenes. I hope you like them as much as I do! :-)

Today I've taken a scene from THE LONE WARRIOR by Denise Rossetti. Walker and Mehcredi are on a sailing ship hunting for a wizard who killed Walker's people. They're in disguise, posing as master and slave, when another man asks Walker to send Mehcredi to his cabin for the night.
"I have not yet had my fill," the swordsmaster said calmly.
Vezil set his cup down with a clink. "I don't understand." A frown creased his brow. "You're a one-name. What's the problem?"
"This," gritted Walker, "is the problem."
In a single, smooth movement, he rose, grasped Mehcredi around the waist and swung her into his body, her back to the Trinitarian. The other hand flipped up her veil. Before she could blink, the swordsmaster's hard mouth descended on hers.
"Mmpf," she said as their teeth clinked. Her fingers clutched spasmodically at his shoulders. She couldn't breathe. This was kiss, this...this invasion? Godsdammit, she was going to pass out for lack of air. She stiffened, pulling back.
Walker's fingers flexed against her cheek in an unmistakable signal, the pressure of his lips eased and she could breathe again, more or less. Sweet Sister, this was what he meant, a public exhibition. Deliberately, she relaxed, grounding and centering the way he'd taught her in a fighting salle, and he gathered her close again, one palm stroking up and down her spine, the way you'd soothe a nervous cat. She'd promised not to feed him his own balls, except that standing in the circle of his arms on the sunlit deck, she had not the slightest urge to do him harm. His body was so hard, her breasts were mashed against a wall of unyielding muscle, and gods, he was hot, his spicy smell filling her head and making it swim. Every nerve in her body quivering, she pressed closer, tilting her head to offer a better angle. The hilt of his sword pushed into her belly.
Beyond that, she didn't know what to do, so she softened her mouth and let him take the lead. He'd taught her everything, she thought muzzily, had given her the discipline and peace of the nea-kata. Walker had reshaped her life, he could teach her this too. Her fell back against his arm.
Sworn to vengeance. Blinded by love. 
Only one thing can bend a body of steel and melt a heart of ice. 
Walker, an earth shaman, has dedicated his life to the annihilation of the demon warriors who destroyed his desert tribe. As the lone survivor of the massacre, he atones by wreaking vengeance as a lethal mercenary. But his latest captive is a daring and new kind of challenge.
She is the assassin Mehcredi, forced to work alongside Walker as penance for her crimes. Abandoned as a child, Mehcredi has no concept of human relationships, no reserve, no fears, and she boldly walks through Walker’s barriers as if they were mist.
Embarking on a journey of naked revenge—and pure ecstasy—they will discover pleasures once alien to them both. But in their shadow is the most powerful and reviled demon warrior of them all—the Necromancer. He’s vowed to destroy Walker and Mehcredi once and forever, even if he must hold the entire world ransom to do it...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Books Make Great Christmas Presents!

If you're a book lover like me, then you'll know the fun and joy of giving books as gifts to family and friends at Christmas time.

It's even better when you can share your favourite genre with them. And for me, that's paranormal romance!

Here are some books I've read this year that might make the perfect present for a friend or rello!

KISS OF STEEL - Bec McMaster
He craves her like no other…
Honoria Todd has no choice. Only in the dreaded Whitechapel district can she escape the long reach of the Duke of Vickers. But seeking refuge there will put her straight into the hands of Blade, legendary master of the rookeries. No one would dare cross him, but what price would he demand to keep her safe?
Ever since Vickers infected him with the craving, Blade has been quicker, stronger, almost immortal—and terrified of losing control of the monster within. Honoria could be his perfect revenge against the duke…or the salvation he never dared to dream of.

KISS OF SNOW - Nalini Singh
Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness.
Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would’ve been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates the primal heart of him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf.
Then Sienna changes the rules and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other’s secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight…
A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna’s darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home…and the alpha who is its heartbeat…

THE DARK ROSE - Denise Rossetti
Duty and passion are a dangerous combination in the paranormal world of Denise Rossetti, author of The Flame and the Shadow, Thief of Light, and Lone Warrior…
Rosarina of the Garden is the most famed—and desired—courtesan of her time. She is also a spy, the heir-apparent of Caracole’s Spymaster, sent on a deadly mission to Green IV. She cannot afford to trust anyone, least of all a man with his own agenda—and the ability to crack her cool composure.
Technomage Quintus is on Green IV to repair the great Machine that keeps that planet habitable. He doesn’t expect to encounter the Dark Rose again, but he’s determined to make the most of it. She’ll be a most pleasing lover… once he convinces her to accept his offer.
But there is more in play on Green IV than either know. The Necromancer is waiting for the perfect moment to exact his revenge. If Rose and Quin cannot learn to trust each other then the Necromancer will rule—and even love won’t be enough to save them.

ARCHANGEL OF MERCY - Christina Ashcroft
Between an angel and a desperate woman comes salvation - and a raw passion that challenges them at every turn…
When Aurora Robinson attempts to open a rift between dimensions to embrace her true heritage, an arrogant Archangel is the only one who can save her from the jaws of hell. And while she owes Gabriel her life, she’s determined not to fall at his feet-despite the desire she feels whenever they’re together.
After his wings were brutally destroyed millennia ago, Gabriel has no compassion for humans like those who ruined him and betrayed the ones he loved. But when he inexplicably finds himself defying ancient protocols to rescue a woman from a fate worse than death, he is shocked by the searing attraction he feels for a mortal.
As the ancient forces that seek to punish Aurora for her actions close in, Gabriel offers the tempting woman protection at his private sanctuary. But as they both succumb to their desires, they discover an even deeper connection-one that threatens to consume them.

BLOOD KIN - M.J.Scott 
Imagine a city divided. A city where human and Fae magic rests uneasily next to the vampire Blood and the shapeshifting Beasts. A city where a fragile peace is brokered by a treaty that set the laws for all four races…a treaty that is faltering day by day. 
I didn’t plan on becoming a thief and a spy. But options are limited for the half-breed daughter of a Fae lord. My father abandoned me but at least I inherited some of his magic, and my skills with charms and glamours mean that few are as good at uncovering secrets others wish to hide. Right now the city has many secrets. And those who seek them pay so well… I never expected to stumble across a Templar Knight in my part of the city.
Guy DuCaine is sworn to duty and honor and loyalty—all the things I’m not. I may have aroused more than his suspicion but he belongs to the Order and the human world. So when treachery and violence spill threaten both our worlds, learning to trust each other might be the only thing that saves us.
But even if a spy and a holy knight can work together, finding the key to peace is never going to be easy…

FLESH - Kylie Scott
When the plague hit, her neighbours turned into mindless, hungry, homicidal maniacs.
Daniel has been a loner his entire life. Then the world empties and he realises that being alone isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Finn is a former cop who is desperate for companionship, and willing to do anything it takes to protect the survivors around him.
When the three cross paths they band together; sparks fly, romance blooms in the wasteland and Ali, Daniel and Finn bend to their very human needs in the ruins of civilisation.
Lust, love and trust all come under fire in Flesh as the three battle to survive, hunted through the suburban wastelands.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

CRAFT: Weaving character descriptions into narrative

As a beginning writer one of the things I had trouble with was describing my characters, so the reader could form an impression of them, but without resorting to using cliched or boring descriptions or clunky narrative.

Cliched descriptions might include:
  • her lips were as red as rubies
  • he was tall, dark and handsome
  • she had long, red hair that fell to her waist
  • the color of his eyes reminded her of the sky
(and I'm sure you can think of others).

Clunky narrative reads like a checklist of attributes or something you read in an encyclopedia, eg. starting at the head and descending to the toes.

The downfall of doing it like this will do a couple of things to your writing. A heap of narrative inserted into the body of story runs the risk of slowing down the pace. And if it reads like an encyclopedia list of attributes it might also pull the reader out of your story.

But how can you insert character descriptions and avoid this? The best way - check out your fav.author's books to see how they weave it into their books.

Here's a few examples descriptive narrative from some of my favourite author's work.

EXAMPLE 1 - the first comes from Denise Rossetti's THE LONE WARRIOR (Ch.1)
Death padded in pursuit, slipping through the double shadows without a sound. Like the worst nightmare Mehcredi could imagine, except this was all too horribly real. How much longer she could elude him, the man with the hunter's face?
Panting, she glanced over her shoulder at the dark figure pacing behind. As he drifted from one patch of shadow to the next, something pale gleamed where the light of the Sibling Moons tangled in his black hair. Feathers worked into a long braid, and . . . bones?

Were they finger bones?
We're in Mehcredi's POV and she's fleeing from another person - see how we already have an impression of this person from this description yet it's part of the action, not a "laundry list" of features?

Denise has woven the description into the narrative and used a question to make it stand out.
The shock thrilled down her nerves, making her head swim and her vision blur, but her long legs carried her away at a swift, stumbling run, lurching down a narrow alley, deeper into the reeking slum the people of Caracole called the Melting Pot.
 Again - action coupled with a description, this time of Mehcredi - the inference is that she's tall.
Turning to fight never entered her head. Gods, she'd barely scraped through the First Circle tests as it was, and her first real commission for the Guild of Assassins had been an unqualified disaster. No, she wouldn't have a chance.
Mehcredi uses a curse-phrase "Gods", and from the way she thinks of herself we know she's not a very good assassin.
She couldn't hear his footfall, couldn't detect any movement, but his presence behind her was a tangible force. Every cell in her body sensed him with the animal instinct of the hunted—his predatory focus, the grim relish with which he anticipated her death.
See how her impressions of him tell the reader something more about him?
From her left came the frantic click of claws on the cobbles, a soft whining noise. That damn dog! She might as well wave a flaming torch above her head and be done with it.
"Get lost," she hissed, glancing around for something to throw. "Scat!" But the little animal only skittered aside, continuing to flank her.
Mehcredi twisted and doubled back. One hand pressed to the stitch in her side, she reeled around a corner and inevitably, there he stood, waiting pitiless. He wasn't a great deal taller than she was, but much broader. Lithe and strong and graceful, where she was long-boned and clumsy and doomed.
Narrative again, but this time Denise has drawn a comparison between her two characters so we get more of a description of both.
She opened her mouth to shriek, to plead, but long-fingered hands fastened around her throat.
One simple description in an action sentence.
As he slowly increased the pressure, digging painfully into the soft flesh under her jaw, the man smiled, lips pulling back from white teeth.
Same again.
The expression gave him an eerie, chilling beauty. He could have been an avenging angel or a handsome demon. Either way, those elegant brutal hands were the sure instruments of her death.
More narrative and from this we know this guy is good looking.

EXAMPLE 2 - from THE LONE WARRIOR by Denise Rossetti (Ch.1)
"Your skin is fine enough, I suppose. And your coloring is certainly unusual. Silver eyes are rare in the Isles and unknown in Trinitaria." He made his face bland. "You'd bring good creds in a southern slave market."
Denise uses dialogue this time to convey and build a physical description of Mehcredi.

EXAMPLE 3 - from RAPTURE by Jacqueline Frank (Ch.4)

Dae (the heroine) is confronting Magnus (the hero) over how he's to treat her.
"Because of that bitch that bit you?"
That made him smile for some reason. He supposed it was the way she stripped the bullshit away from everything and laid it all out the way it was. He could get used to that. Although he wasn't sure about the rest of Sanctuary.
"Yes," he agreed.
"Well, just keep in mind, I'm a whole new kind of bitch, okay? And I won't bite unless one of two things happens."
"I'm listening."
"First, you don't ever try to cut my balls off just so you can be top dog over me. I won't do it to you if you don't do it to me..."
Listen to the tone of Dae's dialogue - what's the impression you get here of her? Strong, a bit rough round the edges, a woman not afraid to stand up to someone?

The author has done this through the use of dialogue AND she's made it a part of plot in the story rather than as something entirely separate.

So, go dig out one of your favourite reads, analyze how the author inserted a description of their character, then try it out yourself.

Have fun!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

TOPIC: Do you judge a book by its cover? (part 2)

I'm off on a bit of a tangent to my original post "Do you judge a book by its cover? (part 1)", where I interviewed Gene Mollica, the cover artist for my Light Blade series, but the topic remains focused on book covers.

At the recent RWAustralia and RWNew Zealand romance writers' conferences I had the pleasure of talking about books (as you do) with people during the morning and afternoon tea sessions. Sharing information about new books purchased, recommending favourite authors, arguing about the best genre, anything and everything was fair game.

And one of the topics that came up time and again was, what sort of book covers appeal to you (as a reader not writer)?

Both conferences had a bookstore present - Dymocks and Barbara's Books, and with a huge range of covers to peruse, we debated the merits of those that appealed and those that didn't, and why. It was interesting to see what caught someone's attention.

Some liked having just the hero on the cover. Others preferred the headless hero or heroine (leaving the actual facial appearance to the imagination of the reader). Clothing, body positions, backgrounds, detail, settings, author's name placement, title choice, colours, sizing of text ... a myriad of issues and the merits of each element were discussed.

It got me thinking about the book covers of authors I have on my bookshelf. One of the thing I love doing is sitting down in front of them and pulling out my favourite covers (not stories - that's another post).

So, I thought I'd share a half dozen or so of the covers that appeal to me by the element that most appealed or drew me to the book (excuse me if I invent a Kylie'ism/term to convey the concept).


It's all about colour appeal here. These all have a dominate colour (or shades of the same) reflected on the cover.

Placed face out on the bookshelf, all these books would draw your eye to them - UNTOUCHED (Anna Campbell) and LOVER MINE (J.R.Ward), in particular.

SONG OF SCARABAEUS (Sara Creasy) and WARSWORN (Elizabeth Vaughan) have solid colours too, but they also have a certain amount of detail that makes you look again, this time for elements of the story.

Guy Appeal: 

(looks like I have a think for the warrior types not to mention a back view of their shoulders, eh?)

I remember seeing Helen Kirkman's FORBIDDEN on a large poster at one of my earliest RWAustralia conferences and I bought it based on that alone (I was NOT a reader of historical romance then).

Denise Rossetti's THE LONE WARRIOR has another hot warrior type but I also like it for the amount of intricate detail within the picture. It has pieces of the story and the hero's character woven into it.

TUCKER'S CLAIM (Sarah McCarthy) was one I bought from Barbara's Books at the RWNZ conference, only the cover didn't have the blue border around the edge.

It featured only the bare chested hero. What grabbed me was the chest with leather vest, but also the bracelet and necklace he was wearing.

I'm a sucker for a Native American Indian hero (and yes, it's confirmed that I definitely have a thing for the warrior-hero types - LOL). 

Visual Detail (characters & background):

While there's an enormous amount of detail in the characters and the backgrounds of these book covers, neither are overwhelmed by it.

NIGHT'S COLD KISS, Tracey O'Hara's incredible cover, kept me looking for long minutes as I checked out the heroine, her clothing, her body position, her weapon, then my eye was drawn to the background and the details there.

The monotone-like colours made it easy to distinguish detail but conveyed the mood/tone of the book as well.

Christina Phillip's FORBIDDEN is stunning. This is a veritable feast for the eyes and for those who love the ancient historical time period.

Just check out the amount of detail in the clothes, the armor, the jewellery worn by the characters. Then take a close look at the background - it's incredible too.


I love the artist's style in Rowena Corey Daniells' series. The detail, the colours, the connection of the titles - all scream 'fantasy' and world-building in a big way.

So what appeals to you as a reader when you chose a book? Do you chose a book solely based around the author's name?

What if you discover a new author? Is it the cover or blurb that attracts you first? What turns you off?

What draws you into picking up a book?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Talented Aussie & Kiwi Authors

I like a good book - who doesn't?

Nothing beats curling up on the lounge or in bed with a new book off your To Be Read pile and spending a few hours whisked away on some adventure whether it's in a paranormal world, an ancient time period or a contemporary setting.

The last couple of months I've been lucky to read quite a few local authors. If you're looking for some "home grown" talent why don't you check out some of these books?

Mel Teshco writes hot erotic paranormal romance for Ellora's Cave.
Christina Phillips writes ancient historical romance for Berkley's Heat imprint.
Nalini Singh writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy romance for Berkley Sensation.
Denise Rossetti writes erotic paranormal romance for Berkley Sensation and Ellora's Cave.
Helene Young writes contemporary women's fiction (with a twist of romantic suspense) for Hachette Australia.
C.C.Coburn write contemporary romances for Harlequin America Romance.

Have you any "home grown" authors you'd like to recommend to me? I'm always on the look out for new books!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Eleni-fest is On!

Want a great month of writer-ly blogs full of information, interviews and interesting things? How about some great prizes to go with all that?
Yeah? Then head on over to Eleni Konstantine's website and check out her link Eleni-fest. It's on the whole month of October and she's spending it promoting anything and everything to do with writing.
Some of the things she's already talked about include critique partners, the Romance Writers of Australia annual conference "Hot August Nights" and she's interviewed historical romance author Anna Campbell. Anna is giving away a free copy of her latest book Tempt the Devil so make sure you leave a comment by the due date (if you want to know when that is get on over to Eleni-fest!).
Future guest authors/writers include Trish Morey, Anne Gracie, Keri Arthur, Tracy O'Hara, Erica Hayes, Christina Phillips, Rachel Bailey, Elizabeth Rolls, Denise Rossetti, Nikki Logan, Anne Oliver, Mel Teshco, and Anna Hackett. The dates for these are listed on her Eleni-fest page.
Eleni also has a swag of prizes and goodies to give away. Up for grabs at the moment include a copy of Valerie Parv's (et.al) Heart & Craft book and Tracey O'Hara's debut release Night's Cold Kiss.
What a great way to while away the month of October!