Where Romance and History Meet - www.heartsthroughhistory.com/

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Notorious Rake

The notorious rake, rakehell, rogue, reprobate, scoundrel and altogether wicked man. Whatever you want to call him, he has a place in romance. Usually one to make the wicked rake into my hero, my recent release, LOVE WILL BLOOM, is just a little different.

I thought, what if this time, that sinful man who looks at the heroine with bedroom eyes, doesn’t win? What if the more innocent, socially blundering, friendly, yet oh-so-handsome man gets the girl? Enter my hero Dominick Wade… gloriously good looking, a body you want to fall to your knees and crawl after, and still just as arrogant, but with a boyish and crooked grin that makes you shove aside his faults. He’s everything a woman could want, and best of all, he doesn’t have a reputation for seducing and scandalizing young women.

His biggest fault? He’s a world traveling, treasure hunting maniac, with little acceptance of social norms, who has no interest in finding a mate… until, he meets Lillian. Then all bets are off. Only thing is, the devilishly erotic rakehell Sir Trenton also has his eyes on Lillian, and she melts into a quivering heap whenever he comes around.

What’s a girl to do? Ah, decisions, decisions.

What exactly is a rake? He is a man who habitually steeps himself in immoral acts…scandalous behavior. He seduces women, sleeps with more than you can count, and is usually pretty good at it. A frequent flyer of nefarious clubs, a gambler, loves to imbibe in liquor and wine… He may even be connected with stealing the virginity of young maidens and leaving a slew of bastards in his wake.

The rakehell is seen as witty, carefree and oozing sexuality. Young women blush when he looks their way and mothers shove young daughters behind their skirts when he passes.

The term rakehell, according to folk etymology, means someone who stokes the fires of hell making them even hotter than they were before, and believe me, if the man can make you blush or run away guarding your nether parts, I’d say he’s definitely making things hotter! Etymology says the word comes from Old Norse, reikall meaning wanderer, unsettled, or from Middle English rakel, meaning rash, rough, course, hasty. The dictionary says he’s licentious, or sexually unrestrained, lascivious, lewd, goes beyond the bounds of what is proper and moral.

But underneath all that naughtiness, we tend to give our licentious heroes some good qualities, don’t we?

In LOVE WILL BLOOM, the rake Sir Trenton is pretty much all wicked, although he is very talented musically, and he is a substantial patron of the musical arts. I had to give him some good qualities :) And you know what? Even our good boy, sexy hero, Dominick ends up finding a little bit of his naughty side.

What type of hero do you like?


After the death of her parents, Miss Lillian Whitmore travels to London to live with her aunt and uncle, the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk. Sick with grief, guilt and loneliness, and shunned by her aunt and cousins, Lillian is constantly reminded of her ignorance of society customs. Forced to find a husband, she encounters two men who vie for her affections--handsome, poised Lord Dominick Wade and the sensuous rake, Sir Trenton--but the skeletons in Lillian's closet keep her from making a choice.

Expectations are high for Lord Dominick Wade to marry a woman of social stature, but the American beauty has literally wreaked havoc with his senses. Lillian is everything Dominick wants in a companion, lover and wife. Even more rankling is his competition, Sir Trenton, and the influence he holds over her.

Fate will decide this season which love will wither…and which will bloom

View the book trailer and read an excerpt!

Cheers and Enjoy!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Makin' the Bed and Doin' the Laundry

Back before there was a Sleep Center or Laundromat people had to make do with what they had.

Making a rope bed:
If wood and hemp weren't available to make a rope bed, they would make a pallet on the floor. A rope bed consisted of a bed frame made of four posts and four side boards. Holes were bored through the sides every nine or ten inches and rope or cording woven in and out of the holes back to front and side to side making a grid. Then sacking or ticking was used to make the casing for the mattress and it was either filled with straw or feathers from ducks or geese. If straw was used they would take out the old and put in new every year at threshing time. If there wasn’t any grain to be threshed they might take it out and let it air in the sun for a day and then put it back in after they washed the ticking.

Washing clothes:

If a person found themselves traveling far from towns, the best way to clean clothes would be to beat them on rocks near a stream. Where they could be dunked, the dirt smacked out of them, and then dunked again and hung up to dry on bushes or rocks.

Did you know that dirt was rinsed and beat out of clothes before they were put in the boiling water? They did this to not set the stains with the hot water. One way to do this if there wasn't a washboard around was a rough board raised on legs. The garment being washed was dunked in water, placed on the board and beat with a paddle, shoving the dirt and water out of the cloth and into the grooves in the board. This was done thoroughly, the garment was rinsed, turned over and beat again, making sure the stains and dirt were gone before they were put in the soapy water and boiled. After twenty minutes of stirring the garments to make sure the soap had filtered through it all, they were lifted out with a square, long-handled paddle and put in a barrel or tub of fresh clean water, rinsed and put in another tub of fresh water, then hung up to dry.

A heavy cast iron kettle was usually used for boiling the clothes. A fire was built under the kettle after a bucket or two of water was added, so as not to crack the kettle from the heat. As the water continued to heat, buckets were added until the right amount was in the kettle and the water boiled. Wood had to be kept under the kettle to keep it hot.

The long paddles were made of pine because it was a light wood. The long handled paddle for stirring the garments had a square handle. This kept the handle from spinning in their hands when they pulled a heavy object out of the kettle and less clean garments were dropped on the ground. The paddle end had rounded corners to make sure the kettle could be scraped thoroughly to get all garments out of the water before it was dumped out.

I can say after reading about how they did laundry I'm thankful for my washer and dryer. Research and digging up how people did things in the past is one of the reasons I enjoy writing historical books.

The latest review for Miner in Petticoats has made my entire month. The reviewer gave it a Top Review Pick and had this to say:

"Miner in Petticoats is rich in character and setting and reading it feels a bit like taking a walk through a history museum. I've read a lot of American historical fiction and felt this story was well-researched. The set up was interesting and believable and the conflict was strong. I felt there was good character development and enjoyed the children's characters."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What’s Hot? What’s Not? Does It Matter?

Last week was a time of several firsts for me. For the first time, I traveled by train, rolling out of a station in Virginia with a suitcase that was at least twice as big and twice as heavy as it needed to be, to take my first cab ride in Washington, D.C., to attend the Romance Writers of America National Conference, also for the first time. I met wonderful writers like RITA nominated Joanna Bourne and Kimberly Killion and far too many others to list for the first time, and talked and laughed face-to-face for the first time with online critique partners I considered my friends long before I knew what they looked like. I met authors who’d just received their first New York call, authors who’d topped best-seller lists, and authors who’ve yet to receive the coveted “call”. I even experienced my first grown-up fire drill. As a teacher, I’m used to herding two dozen kids from a classroom once a month. But when the alarm sounded on Saturday afternoon in the middle of Sherry Thomas’ wonderful session on putting “sizzle” into your characters, I honestly thought it was a part of the presentation until I noticed the confusion on her face.

What was not a first for me was the discussion of what’s hot in publishing. This topic comes up almost anytime authors get together. And I must admit, it’s tempting to want to follow the trends. As I sat in a PRO retreat session with a panel of agents and editors and listened to the words “steam punk” and “urban fantasy”, my mind started ticking away reasons why the Civil War-based adventure I’m plotting as a companion to my first historical, Destiny, might be better if I figure out a way to take my hero out of the Union Army and into the world of “steam punk” (which I vaguely understood after one of the editors gave the movie Wild, Wild West as an example of one aspect of steam punk – ironically, I viewed that movie with dismayed amazement that Kenneth Branagh had reduced himself to playing a sawed-off lunatic with a ridiculously over-the-top Southern drawl, but that’s just me, I suppose). Throughout the conference, I heard pronouncements that westerns are perhaps not dead but comatose, Regency-era historicals are hot (the number of books with the name Mr. Darcy in the title are a clear indicator of this fact), and Scottish medievals are hot (but for some reason, other medievals are not as popular). Paranormals are scorching, especially if you can find a way to stick in a zombie or two. (No, I’m not making this up, and I hadn’t had any martinis before the sessions.) And young adult, well, if someone figures out a way to write a werewolf version of Twilight that doesn’t bring Teen Wolf to mind, they’ll really have it made!

So, my question is, which came first, the trend or the marketing? Civil War historical romances are virtually non-existent these days. A few presses, such as the Wild Rose Press, publish novels set during the Civil War, but if a New York publisher has put one out recently, it’s missed my radar entirely. I did an Amazon search on Civil War historical romances and came up with a some small-pub books and a few from Harlequin and Dell that date back to the 1990s. Yet, when I started reading historical romances in the 1990s, you couldn’t walk into a bookstore without seeing a rack of books set during the Civil War. Major authors such as Heather Graham wrote Civil War era books. Then, like a species undergoing extinction, the sub-genre vanished. Why? Were there too many books in this subgenre? Did authors try so hard to churn out Civil War books that they wrote books that weren’t from the heart? Did the quality of stories being produced turn off readers? If I had more time, and wished to truly distract myself from writing, I’m sure I could delve into that question in great depth. I don’t have time to spare for in-depth research, so I’m just going with my gut on this, but I do think that’s what happens. Just as with movies and television networks, there’s a feast or famine mentality. How many reality shows does one truly need? How many versions of Law & Order or CSI are truly necessary to sate the audience’s appetite? With each copycat, the quality tends to suffer just a bit. Think of Jaws. By Jaws V, I was rooting for the shark. Any shark clever enough to actually stalk and kill people on the shark equivalent of a hit list deserves a good meal. How about the Mummy? Loved the Mummy, tolerated the Mummy 2, and questioned the sanity of the producers who bought the script for Mummy 3. I think you get my point. The same is true for books. When everyone’s rushing to produce the “hot” product, some of the product winds up lukewarm at best.

There may be authors out there who can write books solely for the purpose of getting published and making money and do it well, but I believe the vast majority of writers have to pen stories that come from the heart. I’m one of those who has to feel my story. I enjoy reading Regency romances and the occasional paranormal, but I don’t quite have the feel for the mores and social norms of early nineteenth-century England needed to write a convincing Regency romance. My first love is American history, particularly from the Civil War to World War II. As time goes on, I might branch out and explore non-American settings and the Regency period, but for now, I’m drawn to American heroes and American history. The stories flow – the only problem I have is clearing the space in my busy life to get them on my hard drive.

So, as authors, do we follow our hearts or follow the trends? The problem with following trends is this: even if you force yourself to fit the current mold, what’s hot now might not be hot in two or three years, when your book will be due out. With few exceptions, this is a fact of life.

I find great reason to be encouraged to follow my heart. New authors have recently broken through with historical romances set in ancient China (Golden Heart Winner Jeannie Lin’s Butterfly Swords), World War II (Kristina McMorris’ Letters from Home), and late-Victorian England and India (Sherry Thomas’ Not Quite a Husband). The publication of books with diverse settings (with nary a zombie in sight) gives me hope to pursue my own dream and write from the heart.

What are your feelings on following trends in publishing? I’d love to know what you think.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My new toy

What has this to do with Historical romance, you asked. Okay,
let me explain. I recently heard from several writing friends
that their latest purchase was a netbook. I never heard of a
netbook, so I looked into it. Low and behold, it's a little
computer. Not as capable as a laptop, nothing like a tower,
not a whole lot of memory, but for a writer of Historical
romance (thought I'd forgotten, hey!) this is perfect. I
can do e-mail, do some research on the web, and write.

I downloaded my word processor program, and my dictionary on the
little computer, and away I went. It doesn't have a full keyboard,
but what I needed most were the same keys I use on my big keyboard.
I don't need a lot of number, or most of the function keys, so
this is perfect.

I can download my WIP into a flash drive and copy to my big computer,
where I can print, edit, and all the other things you'd do on
a full-sized computer or laptop. Additionally, because it's wireless,
and light weight, it can go with me. I finished part of a chapter
at the doctor's office, as I waited my usual forty-five minutes.

I ended up in the hospital for several days and the netbook allowed
me to write another chapter between the blood pressure, medicine
and other endless procedures.

Because it's inexpensive, I didn't mind spending the money for
the little thing. If you often have to be away from your
computer, and don't want to lug a heavy laptop around, you
might want to consider a netbook. I'm certainly glad I have
one. I've almost completed my medieval sequel to "Heartsong"
because of my new little toy. Hooray!

Allison Knight

Monday, July 13, 2009

Washington DC

Welcome to Washington DC.

This week is the RWA National Conference, this year held in Washington DC. Luckily, I’ve been able to visit our Nation’s capital several other times. It’s a wonderful place to visit and to have a history lesson, and I’d like to tell you about some of my favorite sites.

There are no Revolutionary War memorials in Washington DC as the city wasn’t founded until July 16, 1790. The new Constitution called for a national capital but didn’t specify a place. Working our a compromise between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson the southern sitewas chosen (to placate the southern states) on the agreement that the federal government would assume the war debt carried by the states (to placate the northern states). The first talks of this compromise was at a dinner hosted by George Washington, who chose the actual site.

There is, of course, the Washington Monument, but the best place to learn about George is to visit Mt.Vernon which is only a few miles outside of Washington. I love Mt. Vernon, and by visiting you get a better feeling of George Washington, the man, not the cardboard hero that Parson Weems history made him seem.

Another early president is represented by the Jefferson Memorial. It’s beautiful and elegant (as Jefferson would have liked) sitting by itself on the Tidal Basin. And I’m fond of it because my son got married on the west lawn of the memorial just this last March.

Several sites are devoted to the American Civil War. Most recognizable is the Lincoln memorial with the larger than life statue of Abraham Lincoln. Since I was born in Illinois, Lincoln has always been part of my personal history.

And while some don’t realize it, Arlington National Cemetery is on the grounds of Arlington House, the home of General Robert E. Lee and his wife, Mary Anna (Custis) Lee. Arlington House is currently under going a restoration. The original gate to Arlington Cemetery is now the Women In Military Service For America Memorial, dedicated to the women who served in all branches of the military. The Memorial was dedicated on October 18th in 1997. I’m a charter member so I always include a visit when I’ve been in Washington DC.

There is the World War I memorial, and the newer World War II Memorial, which has a large central fountain with one end dedicated to the war in Europe and the other to the war in the Pacific. Since my father fought in the Pacific, my mother and I have made an trip to visit.

After a lot of controversy, ‘The Wall’ as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is called was dedicated. An American flag flies twenty four hours a day over the memorial. Several of the guys I went to high school with served in Vietnam, as did my husband. I’m lucky enough that I don’t personally know any of the name listed on the wall, but the first time I visited, I cried the whole walk. Those were the men and boys I grew up with.

On this trip I’m finally going to get in a visit to the National Cathedral on Wednesday. And of course Monday and Tuesday will find me in the Smithsonian or other museums around the mall.

Washington DC is a great place to visit and see our history. Hope you enjoyed some of my favorite site. Have you been? What’s your favorite memorial/site?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wren Chapel at the College of William and Mary

This summer, I have the pleasure to attend my nephew’s wedding at the chapel in the Sir Christopher Wren Building, the oldest college building in the United States. Today, the College of William and Mary is obviously much larger than this one building. Construction of the Wren building, known then as simply “the College” began in 1695, before the city of Williamsburg was founded. Not many buildings (in the U.S.) can boast being built before then and are still in use! And not many colleges can say they've cancelled classes because 'the British invaded.’ (According to the college’s website: http://web.wm.edu/about/wren/wrenchapel)

The design of the chapel is similar to that of many collegiate chapels in Great Britain. The pews face the aisle rather than the front. The paneling is of native pine and walnut. The royal arms of Kings George I and II are displayed on the front of the gallery. The crypt beneath the Chapel houses several distinguished Virginians--Sir John Randolph, his sons John "the Tory" and Peyton, Bishop James Madison--as well as Lord Botetourt.

Besides its service as a college with classrooms and living quarters for the students and faculty during the Colonial period, during the American Revolution (the Battle of Yorktown) the building served as a French hospital. In 1861, Confederate troops used the Wren Building for quarters and later for a hospital. Once Union forces took control in 1862, the Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry burned the building to prevent Confederate snipers from hiding there. Its walls became part of the Yankee line of Williamsburg’s eastern defenses. According to the official website, "the invaders looted the chapel crypt, prying silver ornaments and valuable furnishings from the coffins." However, I wasn't sure who the invaders were--Yanks or Johnny Rebs. Either way, the building has quite a history!

Being a history buff, I can't wait to see it (and of course witness my nephew's wedding!) I’ll post pictures when I return!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It's All in the Details

I'm in England today, in a small Devon village called Drewsteignton, so I've scheduled my blog to appear today. I hope it works, because I'm not near a computer and won't be able to check. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Okay it’s time for a quick pop quiz. What do you call a tool for cutting peat? What is St. Brigid’s Day, and when? And what’s the traditional color for an Irish bridal gown? (Hint: It’s not white.) And what’s the origin of the Irish Hunting Horse?

Not so long ago, I didn’t know the answers to any of these questions, but I needed this information – and lots more – in order to write my first novel, In Sunshine or in Shadow, which is set in post-Famine Ireland. It all came down to researching details, details, and more details.

But that was just fine with me. As a former journalist, I’m used to fact-checking. I love researching, digging to find elusive facts, peeling back the layers to find just the right reference for each character. But what I also discovered was one of the most important things in writing historical romance: not only finding the information, but weaving it into the story so it doesn’t detract from the plot.

For instance, in In Sunshine or in Shadow, my hero, Rory O’Brien, is haunted by the ghosts and secrets of his past. In one particular scene with my heroine, Siobhán Desmond, I originally had pain slash through him “like a knife”. It was a good line. But it’s one that’s been used dozens, if not hundreds of times. It wasn’t unique enough. So I thought about how I could change the wording to make it unique to Rory as a character.

I decided to use an Irish reference. Since I had no idea what a peat-cutting tool was called, I Googled it and came up with a site that explained not only the traditional method of collecting turf in Ireland, but a description and pictures of the tools that were used.

In another scene, Rory and Siobhán are alone together and he’s explaining the fine art of shooting craps. It’s a scene filled with sexual tension, but it’s also a good description of the game — at least, I think it is — and it also explains much of Rory’s youth on the streets of New York. Again, I had to weave in details, but again, they had to be accurate. Back to Google, and this time I supplemented my research with a trip to the casino.

The origin of the Irish Hunter was another spot that required detailed research. The Irish Hunter is stronger, faster, and easier to ride. There are several good books on horses, as well as several Internet sites, but thankfully, I have a horse expert in the family to whom I can pose all sorts of “horse questions.” Thus was born Rory’s dream of breeding the finest strain of Irish Hunters in Ireland.

Cutting the Turf Everything you want to know about cutting the turf.

Irish Culture and Customs All sorts of information from Irish weddings, superstitions, recipes, and more!

Gambling Times Planning a visit to the casino? Stop by the craps table.

The Irish Hunter

Answers to quiz:

1) slane

2) Feb. 1. It’s the beginning of the spring planting season.

3) Blue

4) The Irish Hunter is the result of crossing good weight-carrying mares, the Irish Draft and the Cleveland Bay, with Thoroughbred stallions.

Friday, July 3, 2009

July 4th, a Day to Reminisce

I'm proud of my country, and I always spend the 4th of July enjoying my country and the people. On July 4, I like to dwell on the good points.

As a historical romance writer I enjoy researching for my stories. While researching Texas history around the time of the Civil War in preparation to write my novella, "Are You Going to the Dance?" I found some interesting tidbits.

To begin with, two-thirds of the Texans in the Confederate army were enlisted in the cavalry. In an article, "Civil War," by Ralph A. Wooster, published in The Handbook of Texas Online, he quotes Lt. Col. Arthur Fremantle of the British Coldstream Guards who said of the Texans' fondness for the cavalry, "It was found very difficult to raise infantry in Texas, as no Texan walks a yard if he can help it." And Governor Clark is quoted as saying that "the predilection of Texans for cavalry service, founded as it is upon their peerless horsemanship, is so powerful that they are unwilling in many instances to engage in service of any other description unless required by actual necessity."

In "Are You Going to the Dance?" the hero of the story is the leader of a mounted militia unit in charge of protecting the people of the town where he lives. This brings up another point. Not all men in Texas were required to join the Confederate army.

My great great grandfather and many people in the German communities of the Texas Hill Country believed in preserving the Union. My great great grandfather came to Texas from Holland to make a home in a land where he believed he could have a better life. He raised mules and took them north to the Union Army. If he had been caught by the Confederate army, he could have been shot. In his article Wooster relates instances in which Union sympathizers were shot or hanged in Texas. One such incident is referred to as the Great Hanging at Gainesville. My great great grandfather's town voted to form local militia units rather than send men to the Confederate army. His son joined the local militia unit and took part in protecting their own town.

There are many battles both on land and sea mentioned in Wooster's article. The Battle of Galveston in 1862 is one. For writers, most of the battles provide amazing conflict and background for fictional characters of those times.

He also mentions how people lived during the blockade imposed by the Union Navy: the shortage of material and paper, coffee, medicine, daily provisions, and the need to grow more corn. With most of the Texas men in the Confederate army spread out across the country, from the Rio Grande to Kentucky and North Carolina, their wives and mothers struggled to take care of their homes, farms and businesses.

The officers, who led those men during the Civil War, continued to be leaders in Texas, New Mexico, and other states at the end of the war and in years following. Some of their descendants are people I know or have known in my town.

In the anthology, NORTHERN ROSES AND SOUTHERN BELLES, the stories take place during and after the Civil War in many different places.

As described on The Wild Rose Press web site, "In a country torn asunder--from the Canadian border to Texas, from Maryland to Arkansas, from the battlefield of Antietam to the Red River Campaign--brave men and loyal women see their lives turned upside down. Peril lurks behind every tree and near every homestead, but the hard-fought love of a man and a woman surpasses all. Six talented writers provide stories of romance and danger centering on Union and Confederate soldiers, spies, blockade runners, renegades, and battlefield nurses during a period of corsets, hoop skirts, and gentlemen callers."

Offered by The Wild Rose Press, the anthology will be available soon on July 31! Please visit my web site at www.JeanmarieHamilton.com for an excerpt of "Are You Going to the Dance?"

Have a safe and Happy 4th of July. :-)
Jeanmarie Hamilton

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Why I Write about Hotties in Kilts

By Nicole North

Have you heard the saying, “a man in a kilt is a man and a half?” Well, that’s the first reason I’m drawn to these unusually clothed guys. This statement also makes you wonder what exactly is a man and a half. Hmm. Lots of possibilities. Another question on a lot of people’s minds is what do they wear under those kilts? Nothing, if they consider themselves true Scots. I think that intrigues most women… the guy is “going commando" or "regimental” and what if a fierce wind blows through? We get a treat!

But there is far more to a hero who wears a kilt than just his clothing. If the story takes place hundreds of years ago in Scotland, he’s a tall, strong warrior who fights for what he believes in and what he loves. His duty is to defend his clan, his lands, his country, and protect the woman he loves. Honor and loyalty are of primary importance to him. He is noble but at times playful. That delicious Scottish accent rolls off his tongue, seducing both the heroine and the reader. He can handle a sword or a woman’s pleasure with equal proficiency. He has passion in spades. Sometimes that famous Scots temper might escape his control and have him spouting Gaelic curses or chasing after the enemy with a sword. The land of myth and legend is his home. He has experienced the harsh realities of life--the feuds, battles and oppression--but chances are he also believes in fairies and magic. Perhaps his soul and body are battered and damaged from the battles he’s chosen to fight, and maybe he has lost all faith in love. But when he finds it, we enjoy watching him touch and accept love like something fragile and precious. Love can heal wounds of the soul and break curses.

Excerpt from Devil in a Kilt, Secrets Volume 27 Untamed Pleasures
Copyright © Nicole North, 2009
All Rights Reserved, Red Sage Publishing
Gavin glanced out the window at the Highlands and the first faint trace of dawn peeking over the eastern mountains.
It won’t be long.
A yell echoed from down the corridor, the ravings of a madman. His father. One day that would be Gavin, talking to ghosts and shadows. But likely when he sank to that level, he would have no roof over his head. Or else his sparse clan would lock him in the dungeon to die alone. Since he had no heir, his greedy, grasping cousin would become laird. His clan would rejoice when their devil laird was dead.
"Damnation! Alpin willna unseat me. The craven whoreson." Draping his plaid around his waist and holding it in place, Gavin strode from the bedchamber and down the corridor toward his father’s room.
"There ye are, lad," Crocker said, his sparse gray hair sticking out in all directions. "Thanks be to God. He’s a right lunatic this morn. Asking for ye, he is."
"What the devil is wrong with him?" Gavin stepped inside the chamber.
"I dinna ken."
"Gavin! Gavin!" his father screeched from the four-poster bed as his body writhed, his long gray hair tangled. "The lass. Ye must look for the lass. Ye must marry. For the sake of the clan. For the sake of yer very soul."
"What lass?" No lass for miles around would so much as glance in his direction. He used to have to drag them from his bed and send them on their way. Now, he couldn’t pay one to give him an hour’s pleasure.
He would like as not turn them to stone, or they would end up possessed by the devil, as he was thought to be.
Gavin waited for his father to tell him which lass he referred to, but the older man now lay still with his eyes closed, apparently asleep. Mayhap he’d meant the lass from Gavin’s arousing dreams. But she wasn’t real, and he’d never seen her face.
Fingers of dawn light gleamed over the mountains and Gavin’s animal nature surged forth, beyond his control.
"Damnation! When will it end?"
He moved toward the open window, helpless to resist the call. Just as he reached it, a moment of pain sliced through him. His body transformed, and great glossy-black wings appeared where once he had arms, and talons on his feet. Taking flight from the window, he became one with the wind, the Highlands and the bright colors of dawn.

Book trailer video for the anthology.

Available for preorder from Barnes and Noble and Amazon!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

OMG! I'm finished...

Those are the words every author loves to say, but how long do you bask in the glory of "OMG! I'm finished"?

Well, I've been basking in it for about a half-day and I'm already looking at the calendar wondering when I can finish another one. Really, that's bad. I need to let my creative juices replenish the well that is bone dry. I need to play a little. Visit a few blogs. Socialize on my networking communities. Prepare for conference. Well, really what I need to do is get ready for the launch of my next book, but that's an entirely different blog...

I should probably go back through it. Right? I should consider writing an epilogue. Right? At what point can I let them go and accept that my characters really are living their HEA? This feeling of closure isn't comfortable to me right now. I don't want to let go. I like them. I like where they ended up and I want to stay and play a while. Let's face it, we went through Hell to get to the HEA, why can't we play there awhile?

As you can see from the brevity of this post...I'm all out of words...

So help me out here...At what point do you start brainstorming another book? Or are you one of those authors who has stacks of ideas filed away in your head?

Kimberly Killion
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