Monthly Archives: July 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

This is my first foray into the six sentence Sunday crowd. Today’s selection is from my newest release, Ain’t No Bull (The Veil 4).

This scene is when the hero, Grant, sees Izzy for the first time. Poor minotaur, he doesn’t know what he’s in for!

Grant watched the Amazon walk away and nearly swallowed his
tongue. She had no idea she was being observed by a shifter, so there
was no reason for her to walk like that. His heart thudded in his chest.
If he had to put music to that walk, it would go something like, boomchicka-
boom-chicka-boom. Her hips rolled and her round ass twitched
with every step. Without conscious thought, he shifted back to his
human shape.

Ain’t No Bull out now!

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Fantasy Man Friday

Happy Friday everyone!! Well, it looks like we have a winner for the PDF version of Ain’t No Bull…and it’s…Xandra James!! Xandra, drop me an e-mail at danica(dot)avet(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll get your copy to you. Thanks everyone who participated! Keep tuned because there will be more giveaways coming up. Speaking of which, in case you weren’t aware, I’m hosting a giveaway of an autographed copy of book 3 in the Veil series, Lifestyles of the Fey and Dangerous on Goodreads this month. Be sure to check it out!

Now for the really important stuff (sorry Xandra!). Fantasy Man Friday…I spent a lot of time thinking about Grant, the hero of Ain’t No Bull. It was all for research, I swear! I mean, how can you write about your leading man if you don’t,  you know…think about him almost obsessively? *cough*

So naturally, I turned to the internet for inspiration and…I came across a picture of a delicious man that makes me remember a particular scene in Ain’t No Bull that involves a sofa, a half-naked man, a peeping Amazon, and naughty thoughts *cough* I’ll let your mind insert the rest of the scene (or you can just read the book to find out!) tee-hee! Here he is…

Okay, so he isn’t sitting on a sofa, but he looks like he just did something naughty (or is about to) doesn’t he? I mean…I could definitely do naughty things with this beautiful man that would require him to shower again *cough*

Happy Friday everyone and have a fantastic weekend!

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Cajun French: Cousin

I know, you’re probably all like “She’s going to teach us how to say something we already know?” Nope. I promise, there’s a different way to say this word, but before we get to that, I have a few announcements to make.

First off, I’d like to announce the winner of Michele Zurlo’s giveaway. Wyndwhisper! You’re the lucky winner of the Daughters of Circe trilogy! E-mail me at danica(dot)avet(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll hook you up with Michele. Congrats!!

Secondly, the giveaway is still open for the 4th book in my Veil series, Ain’t No Bull. Just leave a comment here telling me if  you like the remake Marilyn Manson made, or tell me about your big dream and you’ll be entered to win! The winner will be announced tomorrow on Fantasy Man Friday.

And last, but not least, today is my first day blogging with the gee/k/ink crew. I’m kind of nervous because um, they’re like uber cool. It’s like being invited to sit at the popular kids’ table back in high school…which um, never happened, so you can imagine my trepidation! I think I played it cool though, so if you’re feeling nice and all, stop by to say “hi”!

Now we can get to today’s lesson. Phew. Y’all still here? Okay then!

Jillian Chantal had asked me how two Cajun men would address each other a few months ago and I had to ponder on this a bit. Most of the time, I hear “pahdnah” (partner) or “brah” (I’m sure y’all know this one). However, it didn’t feel right. Then I happened to overhear an older Cajun man speaking to someone on the phone. The minute I heard him say it, I knew it was the right word.

Cousin (pronounced koo-zahn soft n) is a term of address for male friends or male…well, cousins, LOL. Cousine (pronounced koo-zene) is the feminine form of the word. I’ve never heard cousine, but cousin I certainly have.

If you’re writing male Cajuns who interact with each other, you do not want to have them call each other cher (sha). I mentioned this before.

Cajun men are laid back and affectionate at times, but they’re very macho. They have this sense of arrogance that I can barely begin to explain. If you watch Swamp People, you’ll probably notice that all of the men tend to think no one can do the job as good as they can and they’re very vocal about it. No one can cook as well as they do. No one can hunt as well as they do. (You get the idea) That’s the typical mindset here. Most are naturally macho, so to have one Cajun man call another cher is like calling another man “love” or “sweetheart”. It just doesn’t work unless they’re in a very intimate relationship.

So back to cousin. It’s a casual term, thrown out in a greeting to form a quick bond. Like calling someone cuz. Example:

Hey, cousin! Comment ca va?” (translation: Hey, cuz, how are you?)

In addressing a female, you would use cousine instead.

So, do you think this is something you can use in your writing or everyday life? And I told you it wasn’t pronounced the same! Tsk.

*If you have any questions about Cajun French, or culture, feel free to e-mail me at the address noted above.*

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Remaking The Eurythmics

Happy release day to me…Happy release day to me…Happy release day to meeeeeeee, Happy release day to me! Y’all are totally singing along, aren’t you? Sorry for the earworm.

But in case you didn’t realize, today is release day for my fourth Veil book, Ain’t No Bull. Yay! For those of you who have been following this blog for a while,  you’ll recognize this story as the Amazon and Minotaur romance. Yes, I know. Minotaurs? Seriously?  You bet! My hero is a minotaur. He’s half-man, half-bull. Sometimes. Other times, he’s a bull. And still other times, he’ s smexy blond with a naughty smile. *le sigh*

Anyway, this isn’t all about my book. Today is also a continuation of the summer remake series. Going along with the topic of writing and release days, I picked today’s remake because writing is a dream for me. I always aspired to it, but never thought it would go anywhere. Imagine my surprise when it did and it seems that some people actually like the stuff I’ve written. *blinks* I know. Weird, huh?

So today’s remake is “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)”. Originally performed by the Eurythmics in the early 80s, this song got a remake in the 90s by a highly unlikely band. Yup, I’m sure you all know who I’m talking about. Marilyn Manson remade this song, making it darker, edgier, and altogether more disturbing than it originally was. It’s kind of interesting how Marilyn Manson has remade so many 80s hits. Were you aware that they’ve remade “Tainted Love” and “Personal Jesus”? I guess good ole Marilyn is a big fan of the 80s, but then again, who isn’t when it comes to the music?

Since today is my release day, I’ll be giving away a PDF copy of my newest book, Ain’t No Bull, to a lucky commenter. You can answer one of two questions: What do you think of the remake? Or what’s your dream?

The original:

The remake:

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Release Day Eve

Okay, I’m excited. Can you tell? The fourth book in my Veil series, Ain’t No Bull, comes out tomorrow. I love release days. I do. Although I could do without the nausea and persistent feeling of impending doom that hangs over my head the morning I wake up on release day.

But enough about that. You still have time to enter to win a copy of the Daughters of Circe trilogy from Michele Zurlo. Just go to yesterday’s post and leave a comment about which strong woman in history you admire most.

Today is actually the birthday of one of the women I admire most. My mom. I talk about her a lot here on the blog because she’s influenced so much of my life. She’s behind a lot of the inspiration for my kick-ass heroines because she’s the strongest, most admirable woman I know. No, she isn’t an Amazon and she doesn’t carry a sword, dagger, whip, or machine gun (at least I don’t think she does. Her purse is kind of big though, so there’s no telling what’s in there). She isn’t a heroine in the traditional sense and that’s what I love about her.

Life isn’t easy for some people. It knocks them down, drags them behind it like a cowboy being dragged through town behind a horse, and then spits them out. But the people you have to admire are the ones who get up, dust themselves off, and go out looking for trouble all over again. That’s my mom. Not that she looks for trouble, but things haven’t always been rainbows and unicorns for her.

But she never fails to remain strong for those who rely on her. I can remember a friend of mine asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I told him, “I want to be strong like my mom.” My answer hasn’t changed in nearly twenty years.

Happy Birthday, Mom. We may pick on you mercilessly, but we love you endlessly.

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Guest Blogger: Michele Zurlo

Please give a warm welcome to the lovely and talented, Michele Zurlo! (Giveaway details at the end of the post.)

I’ve long thought women got the short end of the stick where history was concerned.  I find it difficult to believe that women all of a sudden became forces of nature for short bursts in the late 1800s, the early 1900s, and again in the 1980s.  History presents a bunch of housewives sitting around who suddenly decide they want the right to vote or they want equality in the workplace.  It can’t have happened like that. 

I think women have always been a strong force.  Pioneers, immigrants, and farmers weren’t just men.  They were families made up of both genders who worked equally as hard to forge lives.

History also isn’t kind to the losers. Rarely are two sides presented.  We see the Pilgrims coming to Plymouth Rock, but no word about the people who already lived there.  I grew up reading romances about Lords and Ladies, but the part about the oppressed and uneducated serfs was completely glossed over.

With that in mind, I became fascinated with the idea of Circe who survives in the historical record as a spoiled brat sorceress from the Odyssey who threw a fit when Odysseus wanted to leave. She put a spell on him and turned all the men into pigs.  He had to overcome her ‘evil’ and return home to his wife.  The Odyssey was full of tales of his female conquests, but the point of the voyage was to return home to his wife.  I came away from reading that incredulous that Circe got a bum rap when he was obviously the pig in the relationship.

Then I began thinking of the What Ifs.  What if Odysseus lied?  What if Circe was a good person who was the victim of a grave injustice?

So I took that premise and ran with it.  Here’s the mythology I developed:  Circe, the daughter of the sun, lived in paradise with her four lovers and their sixteen daughters.  The Sun, upset his daughter took human lovers, condemned her to only have female offspring.  Circe took it in stride, as did her lovers. 

When her daughters grew up, they pined for loves of their own.  Eventually, shipwrecked mortals washed ashore. Those who survived fell in love with the daughters and lived peacefully on the semi-mythical island.

Because these men were adventurers by nature, they weren’t content to stay forever on an island paradise.  One day, Desiree’s three husbands built a boat.  They sailed out to sea and inadvertently revealed the existence of the island and of the magical women who resided there.

The sailors, aghast at the very idea of a powerful woman, invaded the island and killed all the inhabitants.  Circe’s last act was a desperate curse to save her family.  Her lovers were charged with watching over their daughters.  To Soren, she gave shapeshifting powers.  He became a werewolf and took responsibility for their daughters’ husbands.  Caiden became a ghost so he could keep track of their daughters’ spirits as they went through the cycle of death and reincarnation.  Teigh became a shadow man with one foot in both worlds.  He bridged the span between werewolves and the reincarnated witches, often helping soul mates find one another.

The daughters endured a cycle of reincarnation where they were charged with finding their soul mates.  Once thirteen magical souls reunited, and Circe found her men, then the curse would be broken and immortality would be restored to them all.

Time and desolation took their toll.  3000 years later, only two daughters remained.  In the first book, Torment, Torrey finds Shaden, her soul mate.  Though memories of their previous lives are supposed to return once she grows up, something goes wrong and Torrey is left with no memories.  Shaden, gifted with the extra long lifespan of a werewolf, has already found her once this lifetime.  His brother, cursed with a compulsion that drives him to seek and take power, killed Torrey in her previous incarnation.  Shaden must help her remember their love so they can be together.

Torment buy link from BookStrand: www.bookstrand.com/torment

Torment buy link from Amazon for Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/3p7yvug

In the second book, Desiree, the title character has the opposite problem. She remembers too much of the tragic past, and she allows it to color her perception of what she needs to accomplish. She finds her three husbands, Marius, Demetrius, and Flynn, and seduces them.  Her goal is to become pregnant and achieve the thirteen necessary magical souls through her daughters.  Throughout this installment, the history of how the curse came about is revealed.  Marius, Demetrius, and Flynn were the adventurers who caused the problem in the first place. She has to find it in her heart to forgive them, and she must forge a new relationship with them that will stand the test of time.

Desiree buy link from BookStrand: www.bookstrand.com/desiree-michele-zurlo

Desiree buy link from Amazon for Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/6jzn98u

In the final installment of the trilogy, everything is set to rights. Riley, introduced in the Torment as Torrey’s half-sister who was kidnapped by Shaden’s power-hungry brother, stars in this one.  After a decade on the run, Soren, Shaden’s brother, finds her in time to save her from a mugger.  He announces his rehabilitation and his dedication to loving her. Their union triggers a visit from Teigh, known to werewolves as the Shadow Man.  Riley recognizes him, but she doesn’t remember him.  He is the first to call her Circe.

Riley, Soren, Teigh, and Caiden must overcome the final obstacles keeping them apart in order to break the curse that’s held them in limbo all these years.

Riley buy link from BookStrand: www.bookstrand.com/riley

Riley will be available in all eBook formats in late July/early August.

This trilogy was fun to write and I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.  Drop me a line at Michele.zurlo91@yahoo.com to let me know what you think.

In other news:  Yes, Justin, the first novel in my new series, Safe Word: Oasis, has a green light from Loose Id.  It’s scheduled to come out this fall. 

Here’s an overview of the plot: Unhappy in her marriage, Trish contacts Oasis, a fantasy-fulfillment service, and asks for a man who will make her the center of his life.  Her husband spends all his time working, and he feels like a familiar stranger.  Justin doesn’t know how to recapture what he once had with his wife.  When he stumbles upon her request for a Dom who pretty much looks and acts just like him, he resolves to be the man who fulfills his wife’s dream.

It’s a sensually sweet and sexually scorching look at how to rekindle a romance that’s gone a little stale.  It’s also a return to my BDSM roots.  Readers who have written asking for more books in the Awakenings series will love Yes, Justin because I bring that same sense of character and depth of emotionality to the pages of this story.  While I’m not ruling out another Awakenings book, I am focusing on this new series right now. 

To celebrate the recent release of Riley and the conclusion of the Daughters of Circe series, I’m giving away one set of this trilogy to one lucky person.  That’s right, one person can win Book copies of Torment, Desiree, and Riley.  Just share your opinion on the most courageous thing a woman [real or fictional, famous or not] has done to earn your respect or admiration.

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Fantasy Man Friday

I have a very special guest on Monday, so y’all need to stop by. Michele Zurlo, author of the Daughters of Circe books, will be stopping by for a guest appearance. She’ll be giving away e-books of her trilogy, so be sure to comment for a chance to win!

Also, my 4th Veil book is being released on Wednesday next week and I’ll be giving away an e-copy of Ain’t No Bull. It’s going to be a week of giveaways and much hotness, so prepare yourself!

The good thing about this week, is that it’s over. Yup. It’s finally Friday and it’s time for another gorgeous Fantasy Man. There are some things in the work for a very special Fantasy Man Friday, but until I know for certain, I’m keeping it a secret for now.

So, there’s nothing to do for the next eight months when I start gearing up for the first FF&P Conference in New Orleans, the Silken Sands Conference in Pensacola, and RT in Chicago next year. Oh yes, I have to plan these things a year in advance. So if you’re attending any of those three conferences, hit me up and we’ll chat!

Now for the best part of my Friday posts…the Fantasy Man. Rar. I was thinking I needed a man wearing his underwear and that’s all…then I remembered I had this little hottie on my hard drive.

I could totally go home today and have this taking up space on my sofa and be happy about it. You know what I mean? In fact, I might have to hire a guy like this to do just that. Of course, he’d have to take out the trash, cut the grass, watch the dog, clean litter boxes, check my oil, and be prepared to keep my bed warm, but I don’t think he’d mind too much. What do you think?

Happy Friday y’all! Have a safe and fun weekend!

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Cajun French: Maman

I know. You were all bummed because there was no Cajun French lesson last week. I apologize! I’ll make it up to you, I promise.

In fact, this word is one that dawned on me to use last week. I was speaking with the awesome Sable Grace duo about Cajun French, heritage, and geography at Nationals. I was asked how we address our mothers and grandmothers here in south Louisiana. We mostly use mom and mama for mothers and ma-maw (ma-mawn) for grandmother.

However, there is one word that I use without even realizing it but I don’t use it in reference to my mom or any of my grandmothers. I think they’d probably hit me if I did. The word is maman pronounced “muh-mahn”. The ending is a nasally sound with barely any inflection on the n. Maman is a grandmotherly lady, or an old lady. Yeah, the women in my family do not like to be called old. (Although my mom has been trying to convince us for the last five years that she’s a sweet, little old lady. *snort*)

Anyway, when I use the word maman, it’s not in a good way. Take for example shopping with my mom when I was a teenager. The styles then were all grunge. I wanted baggy T-shirts, baggy jeans, and Chucks. She wanted me to wear blouses with *shudders* flowers on them. I’d try them on for her because she insisted, but I’d always come out of the dressing room saying the same thing:

I look like an old maman!

I even said it at Nationals without trying to insult anyone. I know the styles for today’s dresses are lots of flower maxi’s or Empire waists, but there are some dresses out there that take that cute, innocent thing too far and venture into “old maman” land. I was glad to see there weren’t any women there wearing them, but I had to be careful because someone might have a dress like that at home. At least on the interwebz, I’m safe from slippers, flip-flops, sandals, and purses flying at my head.

The usage isn’t even limited to clothing and fashion. It could be an attitude. Let’s say you know someone who goes to bed at 7 p.m. every night, never has any fun, never goes anywhere, complains about the neighbors’ dogs barking…oh no, this is starting to sound like me! *cough* 😉 Anyway, a young woman who acts much older than their age could be said they “act like an old maman“.

So that’s this week’s lesson. Do you think you’ll be able to use this word? Or, you can confess to Tante Danica…when you’re home, you act like an old maman, don’t you? It’s okay. I do too. I like being in my house and in bed for 9 at night *cough, cough*

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Remaking Queen (and David Bowie)

It feels kind of funny write a blog post the day before it’s due. I didn’t blog much at all last week because of Nationals and I found that I missed it. I guess this really means I’ve turned into a blog whore. I can only hope y’all enjoy the blogging as much as I do.

Last week we had Cake taking on Gloria Gaynor and I knew before I put the post up that everyone would vote for Gloria. I can’t really blame them because she was pretty awesome. That’s a song that will definitely survive. Ha!

Continuing with the summer remake series, we have Queen featuring David Bowie. I remember when the song, “Under Pressure” came out. It was such a great song. I was a big fan of both David Bowie and Queen so when they did this song together, I was powerless against it. It’s a deep song, yet catchy as well. Two emo bands came together a few years ago to remake it and I think they did a good job. Sure, it isn’t David Bowie and Queen, but who is?? My Chemical Romance and The Used remade this song and okay, I like it a lot. What do you think?

The original:

The remake:

 

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Nationals Wrap-up

I know, it’s been several days since you’ve heard from me. In fact, if you actually want to hear my voice, you’re so out of luck. Nationals destroyed my voice and I sound like I have a secret to share with everyone. I don’t. Not really.

Nationals was fun. No doubt about it. I met so many new, wonderful people and was able to meet up with people I met last year. I didn’t grab the wrong bag at the airport this year, but I did almost get on a first-name basis with the security guards at the hotel. No, not in that way. I sort of locked myself out the hotel room safe, then two days later had a door that wouldn’t lock. They were very nice, by the way.

I wish I could talk about everything that happened, but that would mean this post would be about five pages long. Hence the reason I still have the non-existent voice: I keep having to re-tell my conference stories to relatives who stop by. I actually saw one of my critique partners do a top 10 list, so I think I’ll follow in her steps. Ready?

10 of the best things that happened at Nationals (in no particular order):

– I saw gorgeous men (there were a couple of cover models there. More on that later).
– The food (when I ate) was excellent.
– I finally met my critique partner, Daisy Harris, in person and she’s just adorable.
– I also met my agent, Nalini Akolekar, in person and she’s wonderful and thinks I’m a bizarre woman. It’s a good thing, trust me.
– The hotel was beautiful.
– Jillian Chantal took mercy on me and walked with me through Times Square because I was afraid someone would whisk me away (and no, it wouldn’t have been Gerard Butler).
– I had a lot of fun people watching.
– The Gathering (FF&P party) was a lot of fun with great food.
– I had drinks with several up and coming Avon authors with books out, or just about to come out. They were a lot of fun.
– I met my publisher and several Siren authors for drinks. A wonderful time was had by all.

10 things not so great about Nationals (in no particular order):
– I stubbed my toe in the women’s bathroom and had to beg a band-aid off of someone to stop the bleeding.
– I was locked out of my safe and then couldn’t lock my hotel room door. Thank God for security men.
– The elevators were completely whack.
– The shower was one of those “gentle rain” type shower heads when I really needed to have the hot water beat me half to death every morning.
– Starbucks closed too early and were stingy with their chairs.
– The smoking area left a lot to be desired and I’m almost positive my butt will never gain back it’s normal shape.
– New York shuttle drivers are insane and should probably not have licenses. In fact, it might be better for the entire city to be closed off to vehicles for the safety of tourists with heart conditions.
– Chicken is a four-letter word now and I never want to eat it again.
– Could someone please tell me why they don’t turn the a/c units on “arctic” when there’s a book signing with over 500 authors? Anyone?
– Internet charges should never be that much at a hotel like that.

So, that’s what I got out of Nationals. If you haven’t been, you should definitely go. Of course, now I’m debating on whether I’ll be going to Anaheim next year for Nationals or Chicago for RT. I’m thinking RT might be a wild ride. What do you think?

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