Tag Archives: avril ashton

Guest Blogger Avril Ashton

Hey y’all, today I have a very special guest. Avril Ashton has been one of my critique partners for years. One of the really awesome things about being a critique partner to talented writers is being able to read their work before anyone else does. And I can honestly say Avril’s stories do not disappoint. Her latest story, Sinner, Savior is amazing. And here she is, Avril!

There’s this thing that happens to me when I’m writing; every song I hear somehow fits into the story. Whatever emotion the singer is trying to convey somehow resonates with that particular set of characters, with the specific storyline.

The lovely Danica blackmailed me into talking about the top ten songs on my Sinner, Savior playlist (which includes over fifty sounds, by the way). I browsed the entire list and picked my faves, which turned out to be more like fifteen give or take a few, then made those into a playlist. Yes, I am listening to them as I type.

First up, and really the song that set the tone for the entire book is John Mayer’s Gravity. Love. That. Song. Pablo goes through some really emotional ish and every time I had to go there with him, every time we had to take that inevitable journey to the dark side, I’d put Gravity on repeat. In one particular scene that involves a hospital, I listened to it for eight hours straight.

In one heated scene where Dev is pleading for Pablo to give him a chance—give them a chance— Demi Lovato’s Give Your Heart a Break just worked. Dev lays himself bare for Pablo, putting all he feels and all he wants on the table and he asks Pablo to do the same. It’s not an easy thing to do under any circumstance and more than once I felt like a true voyeur, intruding on such intensely private moments.

Trey Songz Heart Attack and Usher’s Climax spoke to the push and pull theme going on in Sinner, Savior. The pain and the pleasure so tightly entwined that they appear to be one and the same. Sometimes they were. The joys. The highs. The lows. And all the in-betweens. Dev wants—knows—he should go, he should leave. Pablo realizes the same, but both men find they need each other. They need to stay. Dealing with that is never a cut and dry situation.

Rascal Flatts. Man, love those guys. I have like five or six of their songs on this playlist, but let’s talk about I Melt and Like I am. I listened to those while In Pablo’s POV as he interacts with Dev. With his heart still broken and bloodied from losing Angelo, Pablo doesn’t get just how much Dev cares. Or why Dev cares. Pablo doesn’t see what Dev sees in him, why Dev could think of giving up his life to be with him. Again, it’s hard for him to accept. With I Melt, well, I guess this says it all: “When you look at me like that…” Pablo moved inside him, slow and steady. “Everything you feel is in your eyes, and I can’t—I can’t look away.”

Love it.

Have you heard of The Weeknd? No? Go look him up on YouTube. That man’s voice is sex, sex flavoured with brown liquor and weed. Just…decadent. And dirty at the same time. Wicked Games, High For This, The Zone, The Morning, What You Need. Those are what I listened to while writing the sex. Familiarize yourself with The Weeknd.

Special mention goes to Beyonce’s 1+1. I turned it on when the guys had their last bit of lovemaking before the Black Moment, before Dev walked out of Pablo’s life. I turned on 1+1 and completely lost myself. I started typing then looked up hours later with no idea what I wrote or what transpired between then, but that song was on and the men had had their mind-blowing sex.

Music is part of my writing staple; I need my computer, coffee and music. It’s just not the same if I have no music. Just not. 

Here’s some more songs; still not the complete list 😉

  • 5 O’Clock by T-Pain, Wiz Khalifa and Lily Allen
  • Alone by Heart
  • And Our Feelings by Babyface
  • Angels Cry by Mariah Carey
  • Arms by Christina Perry
  • Bad Habits by Maxwell
  • Faster by Matt Nathanson
  • Give in to Me Leighton Meester and Garret Hedlund
  • Kissed You by Gloriana
  • Half of my Heart by John Mayer
  • Heartbeat by The Fray
  • It’s Time to Come Home by Matchbox Twenty
  • It’s A Pity by Tanya Stevens (Reggae/Dancehall)
  • Longing For by Jah Cure (Reggae/Dancehall)
  • Love is by Jah Cure (Reggae/Dancehall)
  • Let Me Go by 3 Doors Down
  • Madness by Muse
  • Over You by Graffity6
  • Action by Terror Fabulous and Nadine Sutherland (Reggae/Dancehall)
  • Undone by Hailey Reinhart

BLURB

sinnersavior_msrSinner or Savior? Each man has a choice to make. It should be simple. It never is.

Gun runner Pablo Castillo has cemented his reputation in the gun trade as callous and cold-hearted. Personal feelings no longer matter, not with everyone out to make him a sacrifice on their way to the top. He remains untouchable, until a meeting with a rival gang leader and a new deal brings him face-to-face with temptation.

Dev is the right hand to a sadistic bastard out for blood and glory. He hides his true feelings of distaste for his boss, not the least of his many secrets. He could’ve sworn those secrets were safe, but after meeting Pablo he’s not so sure. The two men come together in a heated affair neither can deny, battling themselves, each other and a deadly enemy bent on spilling blood. Pablo and Dev will have to stick together or walk away from a love neither man expected to find. The choice should be simple. It never is.

At Ellora’s Cave: http://bit.ly/RDZ4wm

EXCERPT

Kissing Dev had to be one of his biggest mistakes.

Pablo stared unseeing out the window of his office. The intoxicating scent of a welcome summer rain filled the air, but he couldn’t enjoy it.

He was back on that boat, under Dev, and loving every second of the other man’s heavy weight. Every swipe of his tongue. Nothing good could come of his dallying with one of York’s men, not when Pablo had that bastard in his crosshairs for trying to take him out.

York had to be taught a lesson—there were some people in this world you fucked with and some you don’t.

Pablo resided squarely in the don’t column.

But Dev. That kiss. It’d been two days and he sure as hell couldn’t forget it, not the taste of Dev or the scent of him.

I need to get laid.

His neglected libido had to be the only explanation for his acting like a lovesick fool. For allowing himself to be taken down by the enemy. Because Dev was the enemy, those firm lips and talented tongue notwithstanding.

Pablo shifted in his chair to ease the pressure in his groin. He’d gone to great lengths to safeguard himself and to get where he was, a little thing like a hard-on for one of York’s men sure as fuck wasn’t allowed to ruin that.

Not by a long shot.

He’d settle some things with his men and finally take that long-neglected trip to Philly to see Levi, get his dick spit-shined and a tight hole to sink into. He had no doubts by the time he got back to Brooklyn, he’d have gotten over wanting to fuck pretty boy Dev.

A knock sounded on the door and he looked up as Mateo and Freddo entered.

“Any news?” He lifted an eyebrow as the men sat on the couch opposite him.

Mateo spoke first, his dark-brown hair falling into his eyes when he nodded. “We think it’s him, but we still can’t be one hundred percent sure. He covers his tracks well.”

Freddo grunted in agreement. “Yeah, slippery bastard.”

“Has to be him.” Pablo got up and began pacing. “He’s stayed pretty much under our radar, but his choice of guns always gave him away.” He’d been on a personal quest to find his mother’s murderer for years and after all the frustration and anger, after debating whether to give up or not, he may have lucked out. He’d stake his life that York’s new client was the man he’d been searching for.

Mateo looked up at him. “Sounds like he’s preparing for something big though, with that amount of ammo. And the AR-15s, man…”

“Yeah.” Pablo was intimately familiar with the assault rifles and the damage they did. “We need to find him.”

“But how?” Freddo asked. “Did you get anything from York’s man the other day?”

Pablo shrugged. “Nothing useful, but I did promise to kill him if he didn’t find out the client’s identity.”

“That could work.” Freddo chuckled and Mateo joined in.

“It sure could.” Pablo sat back down at his desk. “Keep asking around, see if this mysterious client has approached anyone else to act as go-between for guns.” He fired up his computer then looked over his shoulder. “I’m leaving for Philly in a few hours, gotta see a man about some stuff.”

“Need some men?”

“Just one,” he answered Mateo. “No big entourage. We’re trying for a quick in and out.” In more ways than one. “By the way, who’s on York’s man, Dev?”

“Marcus and Fitch,” Freddo said. “They already checked in for the day, said nothing’s moving.”

Pablo turned back to the computer. “I want to know the minute anything does move, got it?”

A chorus of “got it, boss” rang out as the men left the room and closed the door behind them. Pablo grimaced, swallowing the urge to yell at them for directly disobeying his orders and calling him boss. That word sat heavily on his chest as he composed an email, reaching out for help.

He needed answers and in order to do that he had to resurrect ghosts.

He hurriedly sent the email off, fingertips ice cold, and stared at the tiny, translucent trails of water as they crawled along the window pane. He’d be the first to acknowledge he had a shitload of demons waiting to be exorcised, but he’d start with the easiest.

Pretty boy Dev.

A quick fuck from the very talented Levi would remove any lingering traces of Dev from Pablo’s skin and head. He was sure of it.

Many hours later, balls wrung dry, Levi’s scratches still raw on his skin, Pablo stood under a scalding shower in a nondescript Philadelphia hotel, Dev’s face dancing behind his closed eyes, regretting that promise.

 

Author BIO/Links

l always wanted to have a sexy bio, one to reflect who I am, but after drawing a blank, l could only come up with: I eat cake and I read books…ooh, and I write ‘em too. No one liked it and after massive peer-pressure and pouting, I managed something more…suitable?

A Caribbean transplant, Avril now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y with a tolerant Spousal Equivalent. Together they raise an eccentric daughter who loves reading and school (not so much school anymore). Avril’s earliest memories of reading revolve around discussing plot points of The Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys with an equally book-minded mother  

Always in love with the written word, Avril finally decided to do the writing in August of ’09 and never looked back. Spicy love scenes, delicious heroes, and wicked women burn up the pages of Avril’s stories, but there’ll always be a happy ending; Av remains a believer of love in all its forms.

Visit: http://www.avrilashton.webs.com

http://www.avril-ashton.blogspot.com

Friend Avril on: http://www.facebook.com/writeravrilashton

http://www.twitter.com/#!/AvrilAsh

Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4623203.Avril_Ashton

Authorgraph:http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/AvrilAsh

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The Next Big Thing

 Writing is a peculiar business. *ponders* It makes for strange bedfellows as well, but that’s probably the best part of it. You never know who’s going to float into your life and impact it. One of those influential people is someone I met recently. I saw this lady I thought was another one of my editor’s authors (I kept doing that) and waved her over. Next thing I know, Lea Barrymire, Cara Carnes and A.M. Griffin and I were cutting up as though we’d been friends for years instead of just meeting.
Lea, who you can visit here, is a talented author of muy caliente romance. She tagged me in this game called The Next Big Thing. The great part about this game is it gives readers and writers the chance to explore new authors and get to meet them. I hope you’ll check out more about Lea, the other people she’s tagged, the people I’ve tagged and those who tagged her. See? Lots and lots of connections!
 
And now for my part in this crazy game. *crackes her knuckles*
What is your working title of your book?
I actually have three current works in progress. Today though, I’m working on Primal Flavor.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I’d be lying if I told you where I came up with the idea. Ideas just sort of pounce on me, not the other way around. I was probably doing something completely unrelated to writing and though, Hm, I need to write a book about an overprotective, man-whore of a chef who can turn into a tiger and has issues seeing when his “charge” is all grown up.
 
What genre does your book fall under?
It’s a paranormal shapeshifter erotic romance. Say that ten times fast.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Ooh! Um…tiger shifter…big tiger shifter. I’d have to go with Chris Hemsworth for Zach and Lauren Ambrose to play Ginny.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Um, I think I just said that…An overprotective, man-whore, tiger shifting chef finds big trouble in the human he’s always treated like a little sister when she decides it’s way past time to grow up.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m hoping it’ll be picked up by Ellora’s Cave. Fingers crossed people. Fingers crossed.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Uh, I just restarted it. For the eightieth time. But if my word count holds true to past books, I can probably have the first draft written in 3-4 weeks.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I don’t really know. Maybe the Shelly Laurenston Pride books? But I’d never compare myself to her. She’s awesome. I heart you, Shelly!

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The series is based on a small south Louisiana town and I guess I drew inspiration from growing up and living down here. There’s so much craziness, it’s kind of hard not to write about it.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

You’ll pee your pants reading it. No, that’s not something people want to do. Um…it’s a fun book, I think. With humor, heat and a man who makes food sexy. What more could a woman want?
 
And now for the authors I tagged. Be sure to look for their The Next Big Thing blogs the week of November 26, 2012
 
 
 
Message for the tagged authors and interested others:
Rules of the Next Big Thing
***Use this format for your post
***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)
***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.
Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:
What is your working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

Be sure to line up your victims in advance.

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For the Moms

Today I’m over at Avery Flynn’s blog with another giveaway of Immortal Love (Olympus, Inc.) and Avril Ashton’s blog with a book and gift card giveaway! This has been an exciting release week for me and it’s only the third day! My fellow authors are awesome people. I can’t seem to thank them enough for helping me promote my newest release. Love you guys!

Mother’s Day is this month and I’ve decided to put a mom twist on What’s Playing Wednesdays. Next month isn’t going to be about dads though, sorry to disappoint!

There are a lot of songs about moms, some of them are funny, some are dark, some are sweet. I’m going to try to hit a little of those three starting with today’s offering by Three Dog Night. Yeah, if you’re a fan of classic rock, you know what song I’m talking about. “Mama Told Me Not To Come” is probably the classic “I should’ve listened to my mom” song.

Isn’t that the way it goes though? Your mom tells you things and you ignore her advice, then you’re stuck in a situation you really wished you weren’t.

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Remaking Ram Jam

Le sigh. Well, the blog tour is over. *sniff* I’m actually kind of sad. It was fun meeting so many new people and learning their thoughts on things like kick ass heroines and things like that. I’m also glad in a way because it frees some of my time for writing and beta reading. Did I mention I have a smoking hot story to read by my friend, Avril Ashton? Oh yes, this thing is so hot, my hard drive has threatened to melt!

But that’s not why we’re here today. No, today we’re here to talk about music. That which soothes the savage beast. The summer remake series has been so much fun, I don’t want it to end! But I suppose I’ll have to bring it to an end this month *sniff* Then I’ll have to come up with another theme…maybe a different theme every month. Something! Don’t worry, I’ll figure it out.

Now if you don’t know who Ram Jam, don’t be upset because you’ve heard their song. I know you have. You have to have heard of “Black Betty”. You know, that wild, dueling guitar anthem of the 70’s. Well, I don’t know if it was an actual anthem, but it should’ve been. It’s one of the most kick ass songs from the 70’s…okay, not counting Black Sabbath’s stuff or AC/DC or Sweet or…you get the idea. It was originally recorded in 1933, but that Ram Jam version is just…wow.

Whatever.

Anyway, this song is near and dear to my heart. And I have no idea why. When I hear it I think of my aunt. I don’t know if this was something she listened to, but I hear it and I remember her wearing those short shorts she had, her halter top, and the long, flat hair. Or her big bell bottom jeans and her fuzzy t-shirt with her feathered hair. Crazy, huh?

I also think about the movie Kung Pow! Enter the Fist. Yes, I know, not exactly high-brow entertainment, but I love it! And I can totally see the evil one kick butt while this song plays. *Makes a note to watch the movie again soon*

In 2004, a band called Spiderbait remade this song. Actually, a lot of people have remade it. I just took a peek at the list and was floored. It’s a popular song! So which do you prefer? The 1970’s version of the one from 2004?

The sort of, not really original:

One of the most recent remakes:

 

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Cajun French: Grattons

Before I get into the Cajun French lesson of the day, I have two, no three announcements to make. First of all, the winner of an ARC of Fated by Rebecca Zanetti is…Lara Dunning! I have to say, I loved that interview and all of the fun comments. I hope to have Rebecca back some day…perhaps with her next release? We’ll have to see.

The second announcement is that today is your last chance to win a hand painted Mardi Gras mask made especially for my release of Ruby: Uncut and on the Loose. I’ll be over at Avril Ashton’s blog for an interview. I’ve had so much fun on this blog tour and I hope you have as well. It’s been an absolute pleasure! Now go comment for a chance to win! 😉

Last, but not least, I have a release date for the 2nd Veil book, Succubus-in-Waiting. It’ll be released March 8, 2011, which is Mardi Gras! Woo-hoo, party time! Probably not, I don’t party like I used to, but that’s okay! I’ll spend it online goofing off instead 😉 There’ll be another blog tour with  yet another giveaway for that book, so be on the lookout for those dates. If you’d like to have me over, just drop me an e-mail!

Okay, now to the really fun part of today’s post. Cajun French. I think my next book’s release date has put my mind in Mardi Gras mode. The first thing that popped into my mind was how much I adored my one Mardi Gras experience in Gheens, Louisiana. It’s a one-road community and we used to laugh that the world revolved around Gheens, but they sure know how to put on a Mardi Gras celebration.

Now, there’s a lot of preparation that goes into this event. Hogs are butchered which sets up the best tasting heart-attack-on-a-table  you’ll ever have. Most of you know fried pig fat as cracklins. We call them grattons (pronounced gra-tons, roll the gra and it rhymes with batons). If you’ve never had grattons straight from the pan, you haven’t lived.

When I say heart-attack-on-a-table, I mean it because the batches of grattons are tossed onto a protectively lined table and a box of salt poured over them. You want them when they’re hot. *stomach growls* I haven’t had fresh grattons in years. The closest I’ve come is when a vendor brings in a batch from two hours away. They’re slightly warm and still kind of soft, but nowhere near as good straight out of the pan.

It doesn't look appetizing, but mais! They're like crack!

 Those are grattons. It’s a much cooler word than cracklings. When I hear cracklings, I always think about Clash of the Titans when Calibos says, Release the Kraken! And as much as I’m all for eating squids and octopi…it just doesn’t compare to grattons.

So, the next time you’re at the store and you see a bag of cracklings, you can now call them grattons and have everyone stare at you. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to drool over the thought of a table of grattons with no one to share it with 😉

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What’s Playing Wednesday

It’s time for another What’s Playing Wednesday. Before I get to that though, I have to announce the winner from yesterday’s giveaway over at Jillian Chantal’s blog. The random.org generator was quick today, picking comment #1. The winner is….Lynn Rush! Lynn, drop me an e-mail with your physical address and I’ll ship your mask to you this weekend 🙂

There’s still one more chance to win one of the masks painted exclusively for Ruby’s book. Tomorrow I’ll be over at the amazing Avril Ashton’s blog with another interview and giveaway. Be sure to stop by for the last giveaway for this blog tour.

Oh, and I’m also over at the FF&P blog talking about secondary characters. Stop by for my goofy historical romance scenario!

Now for what’s playing on Danica’s Magical Music Player. Last week’s song was one of those heart-felt love songs. Some people said it was depressing, others said they simply had to add it to their playlists. I was hoping the Magical Music Player would give me a more upbeat song, but it didn’t. I think it’s still stuck in the big hair band days because today’s song is none other than Silent Lucidity by Queensryche.

This song came out in the late 80’s, but it’s such a powerfully emotional song. I loved it, but not as much as my sister did. She was pregnant with her eldest when this song came out and every time she heard it, she’d start crying. Not because she was sad, but I think it was because she felt the stirrings of maternal love and protectiveness.

Now every time I hear this song, I picture my eldest nephew as an infant with his sweet little face and great big eyes. I see him as a toddler, as a little boy with an annoyingly high-pitched scream, as a sassy teenager, and as a handsome young man with a crazy sense of humor.

This song is for Patrick. I love you, Patty-melt.

Do you remember this song from the 80’s? What do you remember about it?

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Where’s the Love

It’s Valentine’s Day. To a single person, this means it’s just another day. Since I’m single, I had to actually look at the calendar to see that yes, it is Valentine’s Day. It’s also Monday. How romantic could that possibly be?

I’m wondering if Valentine’s Day should be moved to the Saturday or Sunday before the 14th, that way couples can spend an entire day together instead of having to wait until the working hours are over. I’m not bitter about the holiday, far from it. I like the idea of a day for lovers. I am a romance writer after all.

Luckily, I have no bad memories of past Valentine’s Days. All of my relationships have taken place between the spring and winter. Hm, how weird is that? I suppose it’s a good thing though. Otherwise, I might hold a grudge against the day.

As for my romantic views, I’ve mentioned many times before that I’m not a sappy romantic. Yes, I write romance and there are moments of high drama, but for the most part, I avoid the sticky sweetness some consider romance.

I love flowers, but I like to get them for an accomplishment instead of just a day you’re supposed to receive them. It’s almost an obligation for a lover to send flowers on Valentine’s Day. How is that special?I prefer to receive flowers when it’s something life-changing. Like release day, or a milestone birthday, or a publishing contract.

I adore chocolate, but I won’t wait until today to get them. Oh, hells no. There are times when a woman needs chocolate and waiting for one day out of the year to get them would be my idea of torture.

Jewelry is nice, but I don’t wear any except my tongue ring and my thumb ring. Those aren’t terribly romantic, places for jewelry. I did receive a heart-shaped locket necklace one year and I treasured it. Until the petals fell off the bloom. Now it sits in a jewelry box with all of the other things I don’t wear.

Sitting in front of a fireplace would only make me want to throw things in it. I have a touch of the fire bug and I love to build fires (legally, of course). I’d be too easily mesmerized by the flames to pay attention to my lover. Unless he was Gerard Butler. Then I’d make him sit in front of the fireplace so I could see both him and the flames 😉

Romance me with books, with intelligent conversation, laughter, and a nice meal. I don’t need all the trappings most consider necessary for this day of the year. They’re too quaint, too normal for my tastes.

What do you consider romantic? Are you a traditional romantic, or do you like something different?

Before I let you go, just a little reminder that tomorrow I’ll be over at Jillian Chantal’s blog with an interview and giveaway. Then on Thursday, I’m over at Avril Ashton’s blog for another interivew and giveaway. These are the last two on the tour, so I hope you’ll stop by for a chance to win!

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