Tag Archives: heroes

Fantasy Man Friday

Friday at last!

Okay, not much to report. I’m still without a title for my current WIP. I’ve decided not to let it bother me…much, lol. I posted a blurb about the story yesterday and asked my readers to help me come up with a title. After I get a few, I’ll post them in a poll for everyone to vote on. I’m not going to dwell on that.

No indeed. Not when I have today’s Fantasy Man ready for your hungry eyes! Since I am trying to find a title for this manuscript and I did give a short description of the story, I figured I should give y’all an idea of the inspiration I have for my hero, Mason Landry. Ready?

With this as my muse, is it any wonder I’ve written 39k words in a week? That’s right. I started this story last Friday and I’ve been hammering away at it every single day because Mason is a total babe. Like Mr. Fantasy Man Friday…with his rock hard abs and that interesting little crease between his waist and hip. And I have to admire a man this sexy who has wardrobe malfunctions. What would be even better, is if those pants would slide off and…okay, maybe I should get back to the manuscript.

Um, happy Friday! lol And please, if this inspires you to come up with a title, I’m all for it (serious ones, ladies, I don’t want to see “Tall, Dark, and Hung” in the comments) 😉

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Author Interview: Nikki Duncan

Morning, folks! Today we have a very special guest! Yes, we have a guest! *happy dance* I’ll admit, I sort of put the thumbscrews on this nice lady because I just had to have a guest author. So without further ado, here she is, Nikki Duncan!

Bio:

Heart stopping puppy chases, childhood melodrama and the aborted hangings of innocent toys are all in a day’s work for Nikki Duncan. This athletic equestrian turned reluctant homemaker turned daring author, is drawn to the siren song of a fresh storyline.

Nikki plots murder and mayhem over breakfast, scandalous exposes at lunch and the sensual turn of phrase after dinner. Nevertheless, it is the pleasurable excitement and anticipation of unraveling her character’s motivation that drives her to write long past the witching hour.

The only anxiety and apprehension haunting this author comes from pondering the mysterious outcome of her latest twist.

What made you decide to become a romance writer? Did a soothesayer say this was the path you’d be taking, or was it something more realistic, like you’re a multi-millionaire with time to spare so you do this to keep yourself busy?

 Well of course I’m a multi-millionaire who spends her days lounging with books and bon-bons. *sigh* Did I not convey that well enough in Orlando?

 LOL, seriously, I’m not sure what made me decide to start writing. I love romance books. I’ve always been word happy. Some classmates in high school used to tell me I should write books. Somewhere along the way it all converged and turned into a story. Of course, then I had to realize it wasn’t a good story and I would need to work on my craft, but that’s another story. lol

 Tell us about your writing journey. How did you go from novice writer, to a published author with two books out (pimp your books!)?

 Ah, see, the other story.

 I wrote that first book, and of course thought it was brilliant. Well, the rejection letters began pouring in and I got the hint. Not so brilliant. L So, I began searching for online classes and stumbled on RWA. Finally, I could learn about my craft in a way that worked for me. WooHoo!!

 So, I studied and practiced and revised and wrote new stuff and got rejected and studied and practiced and revised and wrote new stuff and got rejected and studied and practiced and revised and wrote new stuff and got rejected and studied and practiced and revised and wrote new stuff and got rejected (that’s 4 times/books I did that routine).

 Finally, I was sitting in a hotel room one night with some awesome women and one woman mentioned a story idea she wanted, but no one would write it for her. A friend of mine volunteered me to write the story. Long story short, SOUNDS TO DIE BY came to life. That woman? Crissy Brashear, owner of Samhain Publishing. My Ian became the blind hero she’d been wanting. I was lucky to find an editor within Samhain who loved the story. The rest… Well, it’s not quite history yet, but it was a fun beginning.

 And SCENT OF PERSUASION, my second book is now available from Samhain.

What’s your writing routine like? Do you wait for Mars to align with Venus, or do you have a schedule you follow? Do you set daily word goals?

 Dude, if I waited for stars and planets to align I wouldn’t have finished chapter one of book one. My life is crazy busy, so it’s a matter of planting my tush in the chair and writing. I’ve explained to my family why writing is important to me, and they support me, which makes it a little easier. In the end it’s a matter of making writing a priority.

 If I’m not actually working on a story, I am studying craft or working on plot ideas or putting promo stuff together or reading – which is in a way studying. J When I’m ready to start on a new project – and I’m starting one this week, I tend to sit down and hammer out the first draft in a couple weeks.

 Are you a plotter, pantster, or plantster?

 Plotter primarily, especially on my suspense books. With those, I have more threads I have to keep track of, so plotting helps a lot.

In Sounds to Die By, your hero was blinded as a child. Do you feel that physically – or emotionally – flawed heroes resonate better with audiences?

 First off, check out my inspiration for Ian and tell me what it is about my hero that resonates with you?

Hmm, I think it depends on the reader. What I think does resonate widely is giving characters emotional depth. Sometimes that depth comes from flaws or wounds because those make them human. So I guess in a way yes.

Wow, was that a rambling round about answer or what?

Who are some of your role models? I ask because my list keeps growing and growing. Dammit.

Author role models? Wow, that’s a long list and I know I’ll forget someone, which always makes me feel bad, but here goes (people who’ve personally influenced me as a writer): Shelley Bradley/Shayla Black, Candace Havens, Kris Cook, Jax Cassidy, Sylvia Day, Karin Tabke, Jaci Burton, Cathryn Fox, Mackenzie McKade, Melissa Schroeder, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Shirley Jump/AJ Whitten, Jules Bennett

What’s the best part about writing for you? 

Beginning a new project ranks right up there with getting a contract. It’s the excitement of the new path and possibilities.

How did you come up with your Sensory Ops series? How many books will be in the series? Do you have a character named Danica? You should. Danica is a very nice name. 😉

After contracting SOUNDS TO DIE BY I was talking with my editor and she mentioned the possibility of more books. Specifically she mentioned the possibility of doing one for each sense, so there will be 6 books in the Sensory Ops series.

Each book will stand alone and can be read independently and out of order. Only Ian will have a physical disability. SCENT OF PERSUASION is book two in the series and I’ve turned in book 3 to my editor. The third book deals with empaths and I LOVED every minute of writing that book.

Now, as for Danica as a heroine’s name…She doesn’t exist in the Sensory Ops series, but that project I mentioned I would be starting this week? The heroine is Danica Kent. Heather Long helped me come up with that name. It’s a great name and fits my character perfectly. 😉

What’s up next for Nikki Duncan?

Well, I talked a little about this. Danica’s book is a straight contemporary romance. It’s a reunion/homecoming story placed in small town America. She wants stability. He wants adventure. They’ll have to find a balance between the two if they hope to stay together. This one is also going to be HOT HOT HOT!

What’s some advice you can give to pre-published authors?

Keep writing. Allow yourself to set a project aside and start a new one. You can actually slow yourself down if you don’t allow yourself to move on to book 2 and 3 and 4.

And for the really important questions:

What’s your favorite color?

Depends on my mood, but I’m going to go with red/burgundy.

Do you have any hobbies that help you decompress from writing? You know, like skydiving, or base jumping…you know, safe things.

Watching TV with hubby, though I would love to do some of those safe things like bungee jumping or sky diving or learning to shoot a gun.

Favorite hunky movie star (and hopefully you don’t say Gerard Butler because he is MINE!).

You can have Gerard. I would struggle to choose between Gabriel Macht

and Channing Tatum.
 

 What’s your favorite movie?

 My favorite movie changes, but currently I’m on a romantic comedy kick. That’s where I discovered Gabriel and fell in love with him. Specifically, it was the movie he did called BECAUSE I SAID SO with Diane Keaton, Stephen Collins (I think that’s his last name), Mandy Moore, Lauren Graham, and Piper Perabo.

 Of course, I also love RENT, STEP UP, GI JOE, TRANSPORTER, 27 DRESSES and the list goes on and on and on.

I want to know what smexy stars I’m missing out on though! So come on ladies, out with it. Who’s your fave?

Thank you, Nikki! I loved Sounds to Die By and Scent of Persuasion. If you’re looking for hot, sexy romantic suspense, be sure to put these on your to read list!

Nikki’s book SOUNDS TO DIE BY is now available in print. Read more about it at www.NikkiDuncan.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m A Lumberjack and I’m Okay!

Well, I’m not a lumberjack, but I’ve always had this fascination for them. No, I don’t watch Swamp Loggers (although I’ve been tempted), but from the time I was about 16, I was hooked on cowboys and lumberjacks. I had this big plan to move to Alaska and find me one.

Why do I bring this up? Because my brother and his wife went on an Alaskan cruise for their honeymoon (lucky bastard…escaping HELL aka south Louisiana for the cool climes of Alaska). Before he left, my goofy brother told me he was going to bring me back a lumberjack. I just nodded politely because: A. It’s like he’s desperate to get me hooked up/married off, and B. He doesn’t know my likes and dislikes in men. So I told him to have my sister-in-law pick him out. She gets me.

Well, they got home yesterday and my brother hands me an AlaskaMen magazine and a 2011 Lumberjacks of Alaska calendar. I giggled. My little bro followed through! Sort of. Oh I’m sure I’ll have to post something with a sexy lumberjack soon (keep your eyes peeled), but my question is why are they so…mysteriously attractive?

I’m serious! Is it the whole “me-big-strong-man-you-small-sexy-woman” vibe I picked up from all those romances I read? It has to be. I mean, these are guys who cut down and haul trees around for crying out loud! They have to be strong. And I do love a man with a well-developed torso…*daydreams* Oh I know, I know, they aren’t all walking sex gods, but it’s nice to pretend they are. Sort of like when I see cops in BDUs…*drools* There’s just something about those pants that makes me want to shout “I need to be handcuffed to your bed!” and the sad part is, I don’t even look at their faces.

You probably all think I’m horribly easy, which I’m not…but my id does have a big mouth and it tends to take over where men are concerned. So let’s list what “does it” for Danica, shall we?

1. Men in hard hats (keep me away from construction sites)
2. Men in safety harnesses wearing hard hats (if you haven’t seen a man walking around with those straps around his groin…you’re missing out!)
3. Men in BDUs (I love Mardi Gras for this alone…forget about the beads, where are the cops?!)
4. Men in Cowboy hats/jeans/nothing else (Thanks to Lorelei James I have a whole new appreciation for cowboys)
5. Men who cut down trees otherwise known as lumberjacks (Burly, dirty, able to pick up Southern women with one hand…hubba hubba?)

But who am I kidding? This list could be expanded six times over. I’m a woman who appreciates the male body, sweat, sometimes smell, and strength. Now that I’ve had my say, is there one particular man who flips your Twinkie? You see a man dressed x way and you immediately start daydreaming? Don’t be shy, tell Tante Danica everything!

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Alpha Fantasy, Beta Reality

I just read a post by Romancemama at http://southernsizzleromance.wordpress.com/ and she had MY man on it. Tsk, tsk, Romancemama. Gerard is mine, all mine!

Ahem. She did bring up an interesting question though. What I read isn’t necessarily what I want in real life. This is the point where I explain that the females in my family are dominant. It’s a fact of life. With the exception of two or three, the women rule.

So here I am, a single, stubborn, Southern lady with Alpha tendencies. Does this mean I read stories where the heroine is a dominatrix? Nah. I’m not into that. I actually prefer a good, solid Alpha male hero. I’m sure if I came across such a man in real life, I’d probably want to lay him out. A little Alpha is fine, but when I’m reading…

I want him to take the choices away, corner our intrepid heroine, and make mad, passionate love to her. Rip her clothes off, tell her how much he wants her, and love her and only her. That’s the catch. He does this, not because he does this to all women, but because the heroine has him so stirred up, he can’t help himself. This is what I read ‘bodice rippers’ for. It’s the idea that this strong, independent, naughty male can’t live without her. Does she have to save him from his demons? Nah, not necessarily. Demons are what make the hero dark and passionate, the perfect foil for her lightness.

This is what I love about romance. If I read a book where the hero is wishy-washy, or not aggressive enough, that book goes in my ‘get rid of’ pile. This doesn’t mean I want the hero to rape the heroine. I want him to coax her, seduce her, make her just as wild for him as he is for her. That’s a good romance. Throw in some humor (dark, light, goofy, doesn’t matter), a villain, and I’m so going to read that book.

How about you? Do you prefer your heroes and heroines to reflect real life, or do you step outside reality? I’m not talking science fiction, or paranormal, but the Alpha male versus the nice guy you date/marry. What’s your preference? Do you have an alpha male?

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Veterans Day

Today is the day we honor the military men and women who fought for the freedom so many of us take for granted. If it weren’t for these men and women, the entire course of history would be changed. I hold a BA in History and I’ll admit, US History was never my favorite area of study. I’m more of a Medieval England, and Renaissance and Reformation girl, but that doesn’t mean I can ignore the sacrifices made by our vets.

My grandfather was with the US Army Air Corps. It was the branch of the Army that eventually became the US Air Force. He was on his way to Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. He was a mechanic, working on the planes that carried Fat Man and Little Boy across the Pacific. When I asked him about his time in Hawaii (what an exotic place to be!) all he would tell me, was he danced with Grace Kelly (for 2 minutes) and hated pineapples.

My stepdad was a Navy Seabee during Vietnam. When I graduated from high school, instead of going on a senior trip like most of my friends did, I went to my stepdad’s Naval Seabee Reunion at the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Mississippi. It was the first time some of these men had seen each other since the war. My brother and I were the only non-spouse, young people there and they treated us like their own. We watched films from their tour and I heard stories about my stepdad he’d never told us. It was an eye-opener.

I admire the men and women who join the military. We all should admire and thank them. They’re all that stands between us and chaos. These are the people who fight for the rights we take for granted, they rescue us when natural disasters hit, and they die for us. For you, for me, for future generations. Never take them for granted, never forget that they carry the burden of their years in service for the rest of their lives, don’t forget their families who pray for them to come home.

So to all: Happy Veterans Day, thank you for your hard work and sacrifice on behalf of me and mine.

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