Vixenwriter: A Seduction In Words

 

Sunday, April 30, 2006


       News And Stuff

Ellora's Cave has a number of new series/lines that are open to not as of yet EC authors. So if you're looking for a way in to EC and have some ideas along these lines - give em a try! I've been writing for EC since November 2004 when they accepted Triad - they're a wonderful publisher and I've been very happy with them.

Autumn Animalia Quickie series – Releasing September 2006. Theme is shapeshifters or a strong animal character in the story. Stories must be to your editor for review/acceptance by end of June at the latest, all editing done and final ms turned in by early August.


Wild Winter Quickie series. Releases December 2006. Theme is winter holidays. Stories to your editor by end of September, editing complete by early November.

New erotica line at EC (name tbd): We hope to launch in late 2006, and are accepting submissions now. This will be a line of erotica, not erotic romance. Basically the same sexuality level as E-rated EC stories, the same taboos. But it doesn't have to be a "romance" – doesn't need commitment or an HEA – although it certainly can have romantic elements. The focus is on the sexual relationship instead of the romantic one. Stories can be 10K to 100K.

New Traditional Regency line at Cerridwen (name tbd): Standard sweet Traditional Regencies. Story length 50-75K. Historical accuracy is very important. Only new stories, not reprints. Taking submissions now. Particularly interested in authors previously published in this genre. Planning to launch in late 2006.
NOTE: We already accept Regency-set Historicals at Cerridwen, and erotic Regencies at EC.

2007 Tarot theme stories: Stories can be any EC length or genre. Must specify a Tarot card that is the "theme" of the story. For existing EC authors, submit to your editor a detailed full-story synopsis and 8-10K words. Outside submissions must be full manuscript. (I have a novella in this series, it looks to be a really fun series of stories!)

2007 Ellora's Cavemen anthology series: Submissions close Sept. 30; selections will be made by Dec. 31. Any genre, 10-12K, preferably E rated, send to Martha@ellorascave.com.

New Releases Worth A Look:
Heart of the Woolf
by Kai Andersen - available now from Loose Id

Adrienne runs…

From a threatening voice on the phone,
From secrets buried deep in her heart,
From a killer intent on snuffing out her life,
From a boss who affects her in the most basic way…

Empath Jake Woolf is stunned when Adrienne’s lusty fantasies spill into his mind, yet he is also intrigued and aches to fulfill them. An opportunity presents itself, and he seizes it to make her fantasies reality. Their passion cannot be denied, yet he dreads her learning his secret: he is a werewolf. Then he learns of her polyamorous leanings -- something his blatant were-masculinity cannot accept.

Adrienne’s hard-earned peace is shattered when she receives deadly gifts and threatening messages on her phone. Her first thought is to seek protection from Jake, yet instinct tells her Jake is not what he appears to be. Yet Jake may be the only one standing between her and certain death. Can she risk herself to the heart of the Woolf?

Anya Bast's -Seduced In Twilight releases on Wednesday May 3 from Ellora's Cave. This is one scorching hot menage book! I'll get the buylink up when it comes available but I highly recommend you putting this on your TBB List!

Saturday, April 29, 2006


       Enforcer Receives Five Angels and an RR From FAR!

I just received notice of this marvelous review at FAR from Serena today!

She says in part: "I was blown away by the world that Lauren Dane created in Cascadia Wolves: Enforcer. The characters, the hierarchy of The Pack, and the intricacy of the world itself was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Nina Reyes was the perfect mix of moxy and insecurity. Lex Warden was absolutely too yummy to believe. He was willing to do whatever he could to ensure her happiness. `Watching' these two interact was fun and Ms. Dane's phrasing made me laugh out loud a few times. I cannot wait until the next book in her series comes out. I gladly give Cascadia Wolves: Enforcer a Recommended Read rating and two thumbs up to Ms. Dane for a fantastic book."


Thank you so much, Serena!


       Book Review - Don't Look Down

I was a bit put off by some of the reviews I'd read but I have to say, this is a great book and I'm glad I ignored them and read it. This one is not a traditional romance. In fact, it breaks several romance rules which is just wonderful. It's a team writing project between Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer. I have to admit that I was wary about Mayer, I mean, an ex green beret writing romance? Would Crusie's voice get lost?

Their voices work excellently together. I needn't have worried, Crusie's trademark humor and great dialog is here. She writes Lucy's perspective and Mayer writes JT's perspective. It's pretty darned seamless I have to say. JT is very likeable but he's a guy and clearly written by one, which is refreshing in a romance because we don't often get that perspective and many men who write romance try to do it with a woman's voice, which makes it awkward, IMO.

JT is a dude, totally. He's special forces and all of the scenes with weapons and any kind of tactical stuff is very technical and accurate. I know some people were put off by that, I on the other hand, dug it and feel like if you're going to put stuff like that in your book it should be accurate. It made JT even more sexy, god help me, LOL. Mayer's expertise shows in that aspect and I thought it worked well. There were way more action scenes than you'd normally see in a romance, but again as I said, I think the book broke rules that needed to be broken so good for them.

The sex/chemistry was really well done. But they're adults with responsibilities and that's handled well too. JT and Lucy as a couple was believable and not forced.

Crusie's Lucy is the kind of heroine I wish we saw more of. She's strong and smart and self sufficient but not written so overly "plucky" that you hate her and think she's a dumabass for not accepting help from the hero. When she gets mad it's for a reason and a believable one. When she does stuff you don't wrinkle your nose in disgust.

A few nits to pick because I'm that way - I am a big fan of lots of secondary characters but by the end of the book I had to pause several times to figure out who was what and why. It got to be overwhelming.

There was a bit of a problem with me and the "reason" for the caper. Without spoiling, I'll just say it was a bit thin.

The bad guys? Well, a few of them I thought were "too" bad when they start out as sort of affable jerks. It's a big jump from affable jerk to multi murderer I think. There'd better be a good reason and in this case, I saw none.

Daisy, Lucy's sister - the only reason I was able to get past her behavior is because Crusie makes it clear it's an abberation and she starts to straighten out. But when you write a kid into a book and a parent is messed up, it's bound to raise hackles. It raised mine. But again, in the end, Crusie pulled it off but I still didn't like Daisy.

In any case, brava/o to Crusie and Mayer for taking a chance and making it work. Oh and for breaking rules. Cause most rules are made to be broken, especially in romance.

Friday, April 28, 2006


       There Are No Magic Beans

Here's something that should not come as a shock to anyone who's sat down and completed a novel - there are no magic formulas, no spells or incantations to writing a publishable novel. It takes hard work. And ambition and follow through. Not to mention a tough hide and no small about of creativity.

But Tina Adams wants you to think there is a magic formula and she's going to sell all you aspiring romance authors some magic beans for the incredibly low price of just $197.00! What a deal. But wait, you might ask yourself, just who is this Tina Adams and if she has the magic beans why don't I know her name?

Good question boys and girls!

Tina is going to give you her secrets on:


  • What a romance novel “isperhaps she should tell us all given that all nine thousand members of the RWA can't seem to agree
  • What all writers must have before they can write a story Uh, an idea?
  • A simple technique for developing your initial idea into a complete novel concept sitting your ass down and doing the work. There are no magic formulas for this, people. It takes effort. Sometimes the ideas come easy, sometimes they don't.
  • Why the best stories are about characters having something vitally important to do she wants 200 bucks to tell us this?
  • The one question you must answer to “suspend your readers disbelief” and keep her reading your story why should I give my hard earned money to a woman who has poetry with diskus and one book that no one's ever heard of?
  • A flawless method for choosing which point of view to write your story from What?
  • A sentence-by-sentence method for plotting your story Look, you can get this stuff for free and at your library from people who are successful authors
  • The secret to creating a winning six-second sales pitch for your book Yeah, cause Tina's a household name.


Here's the deal - this pisses me off because this woman is pirating the dreams of people who want to be published authors and using their desire to rip them off.

She says she wrote for twenty years before developing this product. How much good has it done her? Are her books on the shelves at your local bookstore? What are her qualifications to claim she can teach you her "magical formula?"

Sorry folks, if there were magic beans, she'd be making more money than Nora Roberts who, by the way writes from 8 - 5 every day - work people. Work and ambition and drive. So get your ass in the chair and write. And write and finish. And crit and re-write and submit. That's the formula. If you want books on craft, check out Stephen King's book on writing or Orson Scott Card's book - these guys have a reason to be writing on writing - ie a body of work to support what they're telling you.


       Six Things Meme

Karen has tagged me. And it's Friday and my brain doesn't feel particularly witty this morning so cool, a meme!

Six Things About Me:

  1. I love cupcakes (I know! Shocking!)
  2. I have many guilty pleasures like watching reality tv and listening to Justin Timberlake
  3. I made up a cheer routine with my cousin Trena and my sister to Loverboy's "Working For the Weekend" just for fun (I was 13). I still know parts of it.
  4. I re-read Lord of The Rings every November
  5. I'm a pantser
  6. I've been with my husband for twenty years

So there you go. Fascinating stuff, snort.

I'm supposed to tag people now and you'll all complain, so how about this? I'm tagging you ALL and you can do it or not.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


       The Long And Winding Road

Okay, got my work done from earlier today and send the manuscript formerly known as Witches Knot to my editor at EC. I hope she likes it. There's a bit of time between when I first wrote it and now. It's changed a bit.

I wrote it first last year. But she said it wasn't romance enough. So I put it aside. I pitched it to my now agent who was lukewarm and brought up some of the same things my editor brought up in addition to the fact that the book is so tied into the Charvez Universe that it would be nearly impossible to make it standalone. And hey, if two people whose opinions you respect say the same thing, you have to listen.

Sigh. So I put it aside and finished up several other projects and went back to it. I streamlined it a bit (too many characters) and adjusted the scenes a bit (I already changed some timeline stuff a while back). I did not take the focus from Holly and her struggle. I think it's important and she's the heart of the book. It is a romance. But it's more than that too and I hope my editor thinks the changes I've made are what she was looking for. I love this book. I want my readers to meet Holly (and Rhett and Lucas too) After this one, I think I'm nearly done with the Charvez witches (not in an ancillary way though, I'm doing a Fae series and a series about the hunters that we meet in Vengeance Due). I want to end with a final book about Lee, Alex and Aidan - Alex has some choices to make.

Tonight it's back to Goddess With A Blade. I want to polish it up and then do a proposal for it. Oh and then on to Sword and Crown which is due June 1. And THEN back to Threat of Darkness and Jayce's story. Oh, and then back to Taking Chase for Samhain. Whoo, I need a hobby (I almost said chubby, god, my mind!)


       Dood! It's Raining Covers!


Lookie here! I just got my cover for Tri Mates this morning. I'm thrilled! It's gorgeous and fits nicely with the Enforcer cover but it's still unique (check the wolf in the background).

More later, I wanted to post this cause it's so purty! But I'm working this morning.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


       Uh, Well, A Bunch of Stuff Stuck Into A Hump Day Post



I got my cover for Giving Chase! I love it. Nice and sensual and my Kyle has a goatee and thank you, Scott for finding a cover shot with a man who has one!

Giving Chase is a contemporary romantic suspense that'll be releasing at Samhain on June 27. I love getting covers! Scott did my cover for Second Chances, too (another cover I love).

And on a totally 'nother topic, why the hell does Tom Cruise wear that leather jacket everywhere? I mean, he wears it to every interview, every press conference. I don't get it. It's not even that attractive of a jacket to begin with. Is he trying to look young and hip? If so, *BUZZZZ* you lose, Tom. You just look like a tool.

I'm reading an anthology, or I was, I think I'm done now, and it makes me think about what a friend said to me about novellas the other day - she said the ending of Sleight of Hand seemed rushed compared to my other books. Of course my other books range from 70 to 100K words and SOH was 23K or so. I love writing novellas, they're fun and as a reader, you have to approach them knowing they're not going to have the same level of detail you get with 70K words. But still, there has to be some level of detail, especially if you write a suspense plot. It's an art I think, writing very short. Some authors kick butt at it like MaryJanice Davidson and Megan Hart. Other authors? Eh, not so much.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


       Wolfishly Good Winners!

Okay folks - here we go...

The Grand Prize Winner is...

Anita Yancy! Congratulations, Anita, you've won an Enforcer tote bag filled with all sorts of goodies!

The Email Winner of a Download of any available title from my backlist is: Luv71child!

The Blog Winner of a Download of any available title from my backlist is: Meljprincess

The loop winner of a Download of any available title from my backlist is: Erin!

Okay folks here's the deal - you have ten days to contact me about your win - laurendane @ laurendane. com with your title and format preference. Any prizes not claimed after ten days will be awarded to another winner.

So there you go! Congratulations to all the winners! I'll be doing another contest very soon.

Lauren


       General Basic Tuesday Stuff

Some days there isn't enough caffeine in the world. Still, I keep on trucking here with my lovely cup of chai. I was told at Starbucks the other day that Tazo wasn't going to make decaf chai anymore. This is seriously disturbing to me. I drink at least four cups and usually six, of chai every day. If these folks knew what I was like with too much caffeine in my body, they'd make decaf just for me.

I saw my cover for Giving Chase this morning. Hee! Scott Carpenter is amazing and I'm thrilled with it. I'll put it up when I get the official okay to do so. They nailed Maggie. Kyle looks a bit young but he has a goatee. Thank you, Scott, for finding such an awesome picture and making sure Kyle had his goatee (I do so love men with facial hair).

Oh! Sudden Desire releases on June 9. Just heard yesterday. I'm quite happy.

I'm actually going to join the RWA at the end of this week. I know, I know. But you know, change from the inside and all that? And I've heard encouraging news about the revamping of the RITAs and the GH so this is good. I suppose being a voice inside is something useful. And many people I quite like are members. We'll see.

Oh! I got a 4 star review for A Touch of Fae from RT Magazine: "The leads are well developed and come alive in this fast-paced novel. Be forewarned: The explicit sexual encounters are hot, hot, hot!" No complaints about this one!

They also said of Second Chances: "An emotional story, clever dialogue and sizzling sex make this an enjoyable story." Overall, it was a good review but they said it was "heavy" BDSM and I disagree. It's certainly moderate but not by any means heavy. I'd quite like a heavy BDSM book given the right storyline, I just didn't write one. Plus, it spoils the ending. Still, I'm not really complaining, like I said, it was a good review overall (I'm just spoiled with all the stellar 5 star reviews for it, LOL)

I finally came up with a title for a book that used to be called Witches Knot but then I named the series that and had to rename the book (book four in the series). I'm not going to say what it is though, LOL, because now I'm supersitious about it. After it's contracted I'll tell you.

Monday, April 24, 2006


       Good Things On A Monday Morning

I received a wonderful review from Talia at Joyfully Reviewed! She says in part: "Cascadia Wolves: Enforcer by Lauren Dane was all I hoped it would be and more. Totally enjoyable until the very last page, I couldn’t stop reading it. Now, if only Ms. Dane will find the Alpha a mate, my life would be complete!" Thank you so much, Talia!

I did write a letter to Borders corporate and I have to say I'm very pleased with the very quick response (less than an hour) of the person I wrote to and within two hours I'd heard back from her again after she contacted the district manager. This says a lot about them at the corporate level.

I heard from my editor at EC this morning and Sudden Desire has a release date! June 9, which is a Friday and not their usual Wednesday release. The quickie series will run the whole month and I can't wait to see who else will be part of the series!!

My chats last week went really well. I have another tonight at 5 pm pacific at Writerspace with the other fabulous EC authors. Come and talk to me.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


       Bookstore Of The Damned

I'm not even going to give more than a few paragraphs to what surely has to be the most poorly run bookstore in the universe, complete with the surliest manager ever. Here's a brief rundown:

I arrive at 12:30 as I've been advised to do by bookstore girl. "Hi, I'm Lauren Dane and I've got a signing here today from 1 - 3."

Bookstore guy. Blank look. "Who?" (Bwah! This is swell already!) I repeat my name. He calls someone. Looks back to me. "Someone will have a table set up by 1."

Me - "Well, where will the table be? I'll need to bring in my books and get set up."

Bookstore guy. Blank look. (me - inward sigh and prayer for patience). He calls someone (sensing a pattern here?). "They'll have a table out here in 15 minutes."

I thank him and grind my teeth and wait.

Manager shows up, shoves a table in my direction, doesn't introduce herself. "You can get a table from the cafe." Turns around and walks away.

I actually laughed at that point it was so ridiculous.

Seriously, after dropping the ball and not even ordering my books and making me go to the expense of overnighting them and then trying to shove me to another day AFTER I'd done promotion and ordered books overnight, the least I expected was an actual introduction and a smile from the manager. I don't think it's too much to ask. They're the ones who made all the mistakes, I was courteous the whole time. It's like courtesy and taking responsibility are dead. I mean, the place sells books, I write them - what a concept!

Suffice it to say, the bookstore SUCKED but for several lovely readers who came by and made my day (two even brought cupcakes!) and the one bright light, Larry the bookstore guy who was totally sweet and made annoucements over the PA about me being there to sign.

Friday, April 21, 2006


       Come and Say Hello!

BOOKSIGNING TOMORROW, APRIL 22ND! Come by the Borders Store at Southcenter (17501 Southcenter Parkway, Ste 200 Tukwila, WA 98188 Phone:206.575.4506) from 1 – 3 p.m.! Please come by and say hello. I'll have Frangos!!

Due to circumstances beyond my control (and I'm really trying to deal here and make this a learning experience) I'll be the one dealing with the sale of copies of Triad. So it'll be cash only. Sorry for any inconvenience that may cause! Still, it's not too much cash and you can have chocolate and say hello. So there. If you already have a copy, bring it down and I'll be happy to sign it, too.


       Thankful Thursday on A Friday.

I forgot to do a Thankful Thursday post yesterday so I'll do one today instead.

Do you know who I love? My agent, Laura Bradford. She's so wonderful and has given me so much guidance and help with revisions that it amazes me. And I appreciate it and she's wonderful and I appreciate her and plan to send her chocolate because she deserves it for reading Wolf twelve hundred times.

Anya Bast rocks. Well on a lot of levels but specifically she wrote this great piece on synopsis writing that I saved a while back and I think it really helped me as I was writing the dreaded synopses last night. Gorgeous and smart too, it'd be easy to hate her if she wasn't impossible not to adore.

Kelly Jackson at Ellora's Cave/Jasmine Jade who went above and beyond the call of duty and took pity on my freak out and put twenty copies of Triad on a UPS truck with moments to spare to overnight them to me so I'd have books to sign tomorrow.

My readers who've been so supportive and kind to me. Thank you for the notes about my books. They make my day.

My husband, who I don't tell thanks to enough but really, where would I be without him and his support? Thank you so much for believing in me and helping me to make this dream a reality.

I'd thank my kids but they're working my last nerve right now. Maybe next week.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


       Oh! Wanna Chat?

I'll be chatting tonight at 4:30 - 5:30 (pacific) at Ecataromance with several other wondeful Samhain authors.

At 6 pacific, those minxes the Maverick Authors will be chatting at Novel Talk. Come talk and maybe win something.


       On How Lauren Deals with POV

Just a little ditty about point of view. (and a note up front - one of the reasons I don't write about craft very often is that we all do things differently. Doing things differently doesn't mean there's a right or a wrong way. This is just how I do things. There are lots of ways to approach writing. A number of them way better than how I do it. Nonetheless, this is my perspective)

I am not a purist. Up front, I don't like rules. So I don't use them very often. As anyone who's read my books knows, I write in multiple POV. Some people hate that. Some people love that. Most people don't notice if it's done right.

Sometimes a scene calls for a single POV for a reason. Sometimes, it calls for multiple POVs for a reason. For me, it's always about what I want to reveal.

Anyway, I'm just finishing revisions on a book that had a MM scene. At first, I wrote it in the POV of both men and the woman in the shadows watchinig them. As I read back over it, it was jarring. My agent thought so too.

So I thought about it and decided to write it entirely from the POV of woman in the shadows. Because then the scene is really about the person holding the book and watching. And as most of my readers are women, I liked the idea of having a woman's perspective on a scene where two men are having naughty parts touching. It adds another level to the voyeurism of the scene overall.

Essentially, for me, POV was a tool, not a hindrance. Not a rule.

And as always, your mileage may vary because this is all about the individual writer and we all do things differently for a whole host of reasons.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


       Cascadia Wolves: Enforcer Is Now Available!





Nina Reyes is a just barely reformed grifter who has left her past and her criminal record behind. That is until her brother shows up on her doorstep with some rogue werewolves out to kill him.

Nina gets further drawn into the web of intrigue when Lex Warden, Cascadia Pack's Enforcer, comes to her for help and she ends up needing his protection.

There are missing viral agents, the werewolf mafia, death threats, arson and a whole lot of scorching sex and acerbic wit between them.

Welcome to the Northwest and Cascadia Pack.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


       The Calm Before The Release

What a lovely List Mom day I had today. EC readers are so wonderful! 11 and a half hours of chat and I'm exhausted but I had a great time. I also have a dozen new books on my TBB list after all the great excerpts. I tell you, one of the best reasons to host a LM Day is to get all the great excerpts from the EC authors, LOL.

I'm thinking that I may do it at Samhain when Giving Chase releases to see if I can get great excerpts from the fabulous authors there too, LOL.

So tomorrow is my third book release with EC, my fifth book release in a year. I'm incredibly thankful that I've been able to do all of this. There are moments when I still can't believe this is actually my life. It's pretty freaking cool.

I love Enforcer. I believe in it as a good book. In my opinion, it's my strongest writing yet. The characters are people I really like. I think their chemistry is real and hot and I like that they make me laugh. I hope you all like it too!

I'm off to go work on Wolf. Y'all have a great night.


       Hey! Come And Play

Anya and I are rocking the Cave today! Please come and join us!

Monday, April 17, 2006


       That Sound You Just Heard

Was me falling over. I just finished my newsletter and sent it out, cleared out the bad addresses and put in the new ones that subscribed since last month. And now I have to go deal with the KITCHEN THAT ATE CLEVELAND (honestly, how does it get so darned dirty? How many times a day must I do the dishes?)

My 20 month old decided that playing in the toilet was a super fun idea (and you really need to hear that in a cruise director voice) and as I was cleaning up that mess, she thought she needed to pull the roll of toilet paper she ruined out of the trash. You know, some days I feel like a baby herder.

I've eaten way too many jelly beans today. I don't even like jelly beans. Each time I put another one in my mouth I think, "ugh, god! Why did I just do that? I won't do it again." until I do it again. Even now my nose is wrinkled. I'm weak.

I'm doing revisions. I hate revisions.

Enforcer is due out on Wednesday. Anya Bast and I are having a List Mom Day tomorrow at the EC Readerboard so please come and say hello.

I was going to write about revisions today, but the same 20 month old who is driving me nuts decided to be awake between 1 and 4 this morning so it's not like i've got anything coherent to say.

Have a good day!


       Given To Fly (with all my love to Pearl Jam)

Goddess With A Blade
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
16,000 / 100,000
(16.0%)

Got some more progress done before I had to put it aside and get back to Wolf, which I'm about 20 pages shy of finishing revisions on (thank god, LOL). I'm actually researching police procedure and some forensic stuff right now so I can write about it more effectively. I've written a different universe and so Rowan has access that a civilian wouldn't normally have but I still need to write the medical and physical details correctly.

I also need to get Wolf done so I can turn back to GWAB with total attention. (well what passes for total attention when I've got three kids hanging off me chattering about Mario, Super Mario and Pokemon)

I'm rambling. My daughter decided she'd wake up for three hours from 1 - 4 and I'm rather incoherent today. Off in search of caffeine.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


       Goddess With A Blade

Goddess With A Blade
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
13,000 / 100,000
(13.0%)

So I'm doing something new. This is not a romance. This is a mystery with heavy erotic elements. I love this book. I want to write it all the time and I get annoyed when I have to break away to work on other things. Although I shouldn't admit that because I'm supposed to be revising something for my agent and my editor at EC is expecting something from me June 1. But I can't look at the revisions another moment so I put them aside for the weekend and I promise Ann that I'll finish Sword and Crown by June 1.

I need to call the Seattle Police Department and see if someone will talk to me about police procedure.


       Writing Sex (also crossposted at Writer Babes)

I've heard the opinion often enough that what we write is porn or nothing more than sex scenes strung togehter one after the other for no logical reason.

Writing sex is hard, er, difficult. It's not a matter of sitting down and typing the same intercourse scene over and over. Although I have read those books and they bore me to tears. Writing a good sex scene, one that the reader has to stop at the end of because she's tingly and a bit out of breath, is much more difficult than most other things about writing. Because sex in a book should have a purpose.

Now, sometimes that purpose is to get your heroine off. And that's okay. But the best thing about a sex scene is that sex is rife with opportunity for depth of emotion. You can have major breakthroughs for your character, big emotions communicated without a single word spoken, deep insight into the main character - a good sex scene will leave you more than tingly, it'll communicate something to you.

There's a scene in Emma Holly's, Personal Assets that is probably one of my top five favorite sex scenes ever written. Bea, the heroine of sorts, is under David's desk and someone is in his office so she has to be quiet. Okay, so you know what happens next, that's obvious of course. But Holly takes the office sex cliche (and I'm going to write about cliches later in the week) and puts a twist on it.

With David's cock in her mouth, we see how much Bea yearns for this man who appears unobtainable to her. Her yearning for him is so huge that it takes your breath away as you read. And we're in David's head and we can see how tempted he is but also how conflicted as well.

All in all, I think the depth of yearning by both characters against the backdrop of this scene where neither can speak of it for a whole host of reasons is a great example of writing good sex.

What about you all? What are some of your favorite scenes and why?

Friday, April 14, 2006


       Story Seeds (Cross Posted At the Writer Babes Blog)

I was talking on the phone with my mom yesterday and filling her in on the storyline for my WIP, Goddess With a Blade. At one point she said, "how do you come up with all this stuff?" And I explained to her how this particular story came about and she laughed and said she thought I was left on their doorstep by elves.

For me, inspiration can strike anywhere. For GWAB, the basic story came to me on a recent trip to Las Vegas. We went to two different strip shows, The Thunder From Down Under (which, come on ladies, I can't lie, was the best damned time I've had in a while!) and Bite.

Now Bite is pretty high on the cheeze scale. Really, the entire point was breasts but there was juggling and flamethrowing and other crazy stunts to try and disguise the fact it was about breasts but whatever. Anyway, the concept is that they're all vampires, the women are the harem of the "Vampire Lord" (and we'd so hoped he'd be hawt. He did have green glowing contacts though). The Vampire Lord lost his beloved and so every night at 10:30 in the Stratosphere hotel, he trolls the audience to find her.

Anyway, I started thinking about vampires and how in a lot of modern fiction, they're often portrayed as good. I wanted to do something different.

The story started to brew then and I kept adding bits and pieces until I worked out an outline. I'm fairly superstitious about my WIP so I'll just say that really, the book doesn't resemble that cheezy strip show, but it gave me the basic seed and I ran with it.

For Triad, I was in New Orleans with a friend to see Pearl Jam and I fell in love with the city. The music, the magic in the air, and I started to think about the city as a character in a book, and then Lee came to me and her family later on.

Sometimes it can be a song lyric, a scent, an ad in a magazine (that Matthew McConaghey Stetson ad has inspired me a lot!). I get a lot of inspiration when we go on trips. The different surroundings always jolt my creativity and I'm always studying people and places for story ideas.

This is a sort of ramble. Other people work differently. I am by no means claiming to be an expert on this or that my way is the only way to write (I have a thing about authors who are so rigid that when they talk about writing, it's always in a tone that says if you don't do it their way you're wrong or bad)


       A New Contract

I forgot to mention that I've just contracted Cascadia Wolves: Tri Mates with Ellora's Cave! This is the second book in the series and takes on Tracy's story, the youngest Warden sister! It's also a menage.

It'll release later this year sometime, I'll know more as the process moves forward!

Thursday, April 13, 2006


       Blogger Love

"If it weren't for Brook's story, this would have been an F book, but even that one left me a little unsatisfied. It made me feel like a teenage boy receiving a handjob from my girlfriend in the front seat of my Camry, about to bust a nut, only to have her dad come out to the porch with a shotgun, looking for her slutty ass. Make of that what you will."

And that my friends, is why I love It's Not Chick Porn book reviews.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


       Author Photos And Thanks Oh, And A Plug

I sent off an informal author type photo to my agent today to go with pitch packets. I'm doing professional ones but not in enough time for these pitches. Anyway, my husband, sweet man that he is, was my photographer last night and the one I finally chose was the last one he took as my children made me laugh.




I think for an informal picture it turned out well despite the white above my head there behind me. I would be wearing glasses but the flash kept glaring off them. I prefer the black and white version of this shot but I keep hearing from folks that they like the color one better. Shrug. I sent my agent some copies of both. She knows what works better and I'll leave it up to her.





It's odd that anyone would actually care what I look like. I mean, it has no bearing on my book or how I write at all. But still, it's a factor and so okay, like everything else, I'll deal and put my all into it.

Thank you to everyone who has commented here, at my loop, at the EC loop and via email to congratulate me on winning Ecataromance's romance book of the year with Triad. I am really touched by the outpouring of affection from all of you.

Lastly a well deserved plug for Tawny Taylor, whose book, Stolen Goddess releases today from Ellora's Cave.

Check out this blurb! When Kylie Mannings answers the door on Halloween evening, expecting a couple of toddlers in pumpkin costumes, she quickly learns that candy bars don't make the most effective weapon against kidnappers. In quick order, two thugs have her overpowered and unconscious. To her chagrin, she wakes up nude, tied to a bed, and the prisoner of a strange man. A powerful, very sexy man who insists she's his wife and some kind of goddess. Uh…hello? She's pretty sure she'd remember a little thing like being married. And a goddess…puhleez. If only she could convince her whip-wielding captor of his minor confusion.

Xur Phoenix has gotten his wife, the Goddess of Celestine, back at last. But much to his surprise, she claims she doesn't know him. Whether her supposed memory loss is genuine or a part of another sexy role-playing game doesn't matter. With her bound and helpless, a victim of her own darkest desires, he'll refresh her memory in no time. For her own safety, and his sanity, she needs to remember who her Master is—and fast!

Unfortunately, with a killer on the loose, there's bound to be a few more surprises for them both
.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


       Wow. I'm Totally Floored...

AND THE WINNER IS...

Winners of the Prestigious Ecataromance.com Ebook of the Year awards have been announced

Hiram, Ga - April 10, 2006 Ecataromance.com is thrilled to announce the winners of their prestigious Ebook of the Year contest for 2005. The competition this year was tough. Votes were plenty. And the selection of ebooks was fabulous. But only one book could win the title of best Romance Ebook of 2005. And the winner is:

Triad by Lauren Dane (published by Ellora's Cave)

About the Book: Lee Charvez is a witch in a family where all of the women are born with inherent gifts of power. She is a witch dreamer, she has the ability to walk in dreams and the subconscious and to work magic there. There is only one Charvez witch dreamer each generation and she's the strongest in generations.

She meets the man of her dreams, literally, when she bumps into Aidan Bell outside their apartment building in New Orleans. He's a three-hundred-year-old vampire with the face of a wicked angel, and he has no problem with claiming her as his own. As if that isn't miraculous enough there's another man, a powerful wizard, Alex Carter, who makes their partnership into a triad. Problem is, there's no time to sit back and enjoy her newfound loves because there's a demon out to destroy the source of her powers, and her entire family in the bargain.

Visit Lauren online at: http://www.laurendane.com/

Visit Ellora's Cave and buy Triad today: http://cataurl.com/JdiVq

Visit Ecataromance.com today for a complete list of winners by subgenre. Http://www.Ecataromance.com

Ecataromance.com is the premier Internet community for lovers of romance ebooks. Established in early 2004, Ecataromance.com has just celebrated it's second birthday and we're excited to be able to give readers a place to congregate and meet their favorite authors. We offer a large database of reviews, interviews, excerpts, author profiles, contests and other features of interest to ebook readers.

For more information visit: http://www.Ecataromance.com

Monday, April 10, 2006


       Come See About Me

I'll be hanging out at Love Romances all day tomorrow, April 11. Please come on by and sit a spell. Chat. Read some excerpts. Maybe win something.

I need to get an author photo taken. Wow. I have some casual stuff but as I'm trying to sell myself as a professional author (and not some chick with one too many shots of tequila in Vegas or a mom covered in cracker spooge), I guess I should get professional shots. With make up on and everything. Oh but no feather boas, I promise. Man oh man do I want to fly out to Pennsylvania and have Scott Church do my photograph. Not the nekkid stuff! But he just has this way of photographing women that I adore. Megan Hart did a shoot with him last week and he did a great job (and she's already lovely so he had the raw materials). We have an agreement that when I sell my first big book deal and Anya does, we'll fly out and meet Megan do and a Maverick photo shoot. Hee!

But for now, I need to find someone good and reasonably priced in the Seattle area to take some lovely, dignified and yet not overly so (cause hello, me?) all Lauren Dane type author shots. I tell you, two years ago, all this stuff was just a dream and now I'm living it. I'm so lucky.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


       Phew!

Wolf
Zokutou word meter
100,000 / 95,000
(105.3%)

Originally, I had 88,000. After the second major revision, I had 92K but thought it would end up at about 95 thousand. I just finished the last one and I broke 100K. Still the same book, the same major storyline and theme. Just more intensity between the characters, oh and some more secks, LOL

Holy moley, I wrote a hundred thousand words. *falls over* I need to be done with this book for a while. I still love it and the characters but I have now crossed most officially into, "please don't make me open that file again."

I need to write something now. Well, not right this moment, my brain is mush at this particular moment, but tonight when I sit down to write, I'll open up Threat of Darkness and work toward finishing it. And then Sword and Crown and then back to Taking Chase. In between all of that, I'm hoping to get edits for Giving Chase and Vengeance Due as well.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


       Grammatical Mistakes That Drive Me Nuts

Generally, I'm not that picky about stuff. As a writer, I often break grammatical rules in dialog for instance. But generally, I see several errors made repeatedly and they drive me up a tree. I am by no means a grammar goddess. I make mistakes all the time (hello, queen of the comma splice here) but I want to improve them!

An apostrophe means two things: Possessive, as in, "Susan's coat was red" here the apostrophe denotes the coat in the sentence belongs to Susan.

Or it marks a contraction. That is to say, the merging of two words: "It's raining today" Here the apostrophe splices the word it and the word is.

YOU DO NOT NEED AN APOSTROPHE IF THE WORD IS PLURAL UNLESS THE WORD IS PLURAL POSSESSIVE!!!

This drives me nuts and I see it all the time. "The ducks on the lake looked happy." You see? It is not "The duck's on the lake looked happy." or I'd be saying, "the duck's what? Their bills? Their feathers? Their mothers? What?"

Irregardless IS NOT A WORD. The word is regardless.

Your - indicates possession - "Your hair looks nice."
You're is a contraction of the words you and are - "You're smiling a lot today!"

I've seen these errors countless times in books and also used by writers all over the place. If it's in IM, I don't care. Heck, I usually have a kid on my lap when I'm online. But it's inexcusable in a book or on your website. If you see any errors like this on my website PLEASE email me so I can fix it. I think I need chocolate now.

Friday, April 07, 2006


       JK Rowling On Weight

I have a daughter. More than that I'm a woman. The emphasis on weight and body size in our culture can be so harmful. A friend of mine posted this elsewhere it's from JK Rowling's blog and it's a great article and I thought I'd put it here too. Because I want us all to love ourselves.


For Girls Only, Probably

His bemusement at this everyday feature of female existence reminded me how strange and sick the 'fat' insult is. I mean, is 'fat' really the worst thing a human being can be? Is 'fat' worse than 'vindictive', 'jealous', 'shallow', 'vain', 'boring' or 'cruel'? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? I'm not in the business of being judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain...

I went to the British Book Awards that evening. After the award ceremony I bumped into a woman I hadn't seen for nearly three years. The first thing she said to me? 'You've lost a lot of weight since the last time I saw you!'

'Well,' I said, slightly nonplussed, 'the last time you saw me I'd just had a baby.'

What I felt like saying was, 'I've produced my third child and my sixth novel since I last saw you. Aren't either of those things more important, more interesting, than my size?' But no – my waist looked smaller! Forget the kid and the book: finally, something to celebrate!

So the issue of size and women was (ha, ha) weighing on my mind as I flew home to Edinburgh the next day. Once up in the air, I opened a newspaper and my eyes fell, immediately, on an article about the pop star Pink.

Her latest single, 'Stupid Girls', is the antidote-anthem for everything I had been thinking about women and thinness. 'Stupid Girls' satirises the talking toothpicks held up to girls as role models: those celebrities whose greatest achievement is un-chipped nail polish, whose only aspiration seems to be getting photographed in a different outfit nine times a day, whose only function in the world appears to be supporting the trade in overpriced handbags and rat-sized dogs.

Maybe all this seems funny, or trivial, but it's really not. It's about what girls want to be, what they're told they should be, and how they feel about who they are. I've got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don't want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I'd rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before 'thin'. And frankly, I'd rather they didn't give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons. Let them never be Stupid Girls. Rant over.





Thursday, April 06, 2006


       An Early Review of Enforcer

Angel at Romance Junkies was kind enough to send me an early look at an as of yet to be published review of Enforcer. I LOVE to open my inbox and see stuff like this!

She gives it 4 1/2 ribbons and says in part:

ENFORCER is a fantastic story that readers will find hard to put down once they start it. Lex is dangerous with an intense sensuality that will make your heart stop. Nina is one tough lady who is not intimidated by Lex and his alpha attitude. This couple is a perfect match in every way and their sparks are constant both in and out of the bedroom. Love scenes are wonderfully sensual and the heat is enough to make you turn up the air. Lauren Dane knows how to weave a tale of adventure and romance that takes the reader on an emotional journey. I cant wait to see whats in store for the next book in the CASCADIA WOLVES series.


       Oh Let's See!

I ordered business cards and bookmarks today. I'm so excited. I've had business cards before you see, but they were for the law firm or agency I worked for, never for me. And these are just gorgeous and of course, designed by the everwonderful Frauke at Croco Designs (who also designed my website, this blog template and my newsletter as well as my banner ads - can you tell how much I love her?)

Anyway, I got them from Printing for Less on a recommendation from Kate Douglas and so far so good. They've been quick, amazingly helpful, their prices are reasonable and if the product is as good as I hear, I'll be ordering other things too in the future.

I'll be at Love Romances all day on the 11th! Please come and hang out with me for the day. The more the merrier. Plus I'll be posting excerpts for my upcoming books and giving away swag. (and who doesn't like swag!)

Oh and word of the day - Pagina = your lady parts - which I prefer far more than va jay jay. Cause I'm all about edumacation and shit. No, really? I'm just goofy.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


       Read

Oh! A few places to check out today - Booksquare has nice things to say about Ellora's Cave including a really wonderful response to the article linked below and in her entry.

MSNBC has a story about erotic romance.


       Hump Day Blather

Let's see, what exciting stuff do I have to share with y'all? Hmm. Oh! I totally added a past fling with the pirate guy from Thunder from Down Under in Goddess With a Blade! I didn't use his name or anything but heh, he certainly inspired part of the book so I had to give credit where it was due. I named the vampire lord actor dude at my version of the vampire theatre, Marv. It makes me giggle. I also used the poodle line because I like to think I'm clever. It's really lucky for me that you all tolerate me.

Oh and in news that makes me blush, I actually watched the Flavor Of Love "Reunion" show this last weekend. Oh. My. Listen I have to say that the entire staff of VH1 as well as me and anyone else involved in the making or watching of this show should be embarassed. It's the worst kind of entertainment and I could not tear my eyes away for a moment.

Flav actually looked pretty okay except for the gold teeth, which I will never for the life of me understand the attraction of because it looks awful and uncomfortable. But anyway, again with the digress - moving on.

Of course you must know they brought back all the "contestants" and showed how they all ratted each other out and every gross open mouthed kiss by Flav where he just dived into their mouths. Eeek! Oh and all the fights. And I really hate the phrase "cat fight" puhleeze. Are these women angry pussies? Nah, they're just skanky chicks looking to make a career out of something and lucky for them reality TV is their playground.

There was big time cooch shot action by "Hottie" and a lot of standing up and holding back of hair and yelling. Not sure about the hair thing, that's what I do when I'm gonna hurl. And don't think I wasn't looking at that wastebasket and glad my hair was in a pony tail because all these women proclaiming love for a total stranger wearing a giant clock around his neck made me all queasy. I kept hearing Megan yell at me, "GET IT IN THE CAN!"

But of course, I really watched to see the Pumpkin/New York showdown. Pumpkin outskanks anyone in the cast, which is a monumental achievment I must admit considering these women. So there was more hair holding back by NY and some odd body movement stuff and she jumped at Pumpkin (who needs to DO HER ROOTS! Jeez, she's going on TV, do your damn roots!) several times and Pumpkin, bless her slutty little heart, ran to hide behind the other women on several occasions.

All of these women kept delivering insults to each other about llooking like a tranny. And you know, I think transvestites have more self respect than hoochies who are past the pull by date at 23. Oooh, did I just say that? I think I did!

And surprise, things didn't really work out between Hoopz and Flav. I was shocked I tell you, shocked! But they're best friends apparently and he totally gave her one of those kisses when she walked on stage which had me going for a bit (and not in a good way, hurk hurk).

So...wait for it...they're doing another season! Bwah! Oh television gold.

You see, I'm sure you all imagine I sit around and read Proust but instead after a day with my kids, I'm only able to watch crap on TV. Well, not literally but I wouldn't put it past Fox for next season.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


       Just Thow Your Hands In the Air!

Woooo! I just heard from my editor last night that EC wants Sword and Crown, my fantasy novella based on the Queen of Swords tarot card to be a part of their tarot themed series in 2007!

I would say I'm really excited about this, cause I am, but I always say that (well because I always am) so I'll say why instead.

S&C is my first fantasy story. I love to read the genre but I haven't written any of it until now. This one is rife with magic and as it happens Rhea, the heroine, practices sex magic (yeah baby!). Another wonderful point in this book's favor is that Anya Bast and I are linking stories through a secondary character in my book, Rhea's sister, who will be the heroine in her book. It's wonderful working with someone I like so much.

Monday, April 03, 2006


       Stepping Outside the Box

I've been pretty spoiled since I started writing seriously. I've pretty much known that I'd find a home for my erotic romance. I could break loads of traditional romance rules but still be within the larger framework of romantica.

But when I was in Las Vegas this idea for a book came to me and this one isn't really a romance at all. There's no HEA in the traditional sense. She's not going to end up engaged or married to either man she's with in the book. The book is about her, first and foremost.

I do think the book has options in some of the new erotic lines (cause it's erotic, no denying that). But I'm writing without a net and for the first time in a while. That's at once exciting and really freaking terrifying. But it's a good thing because this book had to be written. It's riding me hard and insisting.

I'd get bored if I couldn't be challenged and so I'm going to ride this out because I believe in this story and also the importance of stepping out of predefined boxes. We'll see how I feel in six months, LOL.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


       The Beauty of Heroes

Kate Hill, who is marvelous enough to compile our Night Whispers Authors Question of the Week asked about writing heroes recently. I began to think on this and about male beauty in general. The continuum of masculine looks and appeal is so broad for me. Black, white, Asian, young, old, gay, straight - I don't care because I love em all.

For instance, I won't put up any more pictures of my secret celebrity boyfriend Clive Owen because all you need to do is look back in my archives to find him. But he encompasses a lot of my favorite male qualities.

Here's another favorite. The dashing, sophisticate. He loves women and even though he never seems to settle down with one for long, he seems to be held in high regard by his exes. The ever handsome Cary Grant of our time. George Clooney.





And then there's Lenny Kravitz. Oh the rocker bad boy. I miss his dreds. His skin is gorgeous, his body is HAWT and he's just gorgeous from head to toe.

And Ai Papi! Eduardo Verastegui makes me all tingly. He's just one of the many reasons to check out the foreign film section in your local video rental store. Tall, dark, handsome, mysterious - check out the eyes.




And then there are men that, oh I don't know, just have something indefinable. Brad Pitt is this man for me. I don't even usually like blond men. When I think about him I'm usually like, eh. But then I see him in a photograph or a movie and he makes me want to jump my husband, like right then. He's cocky and has a great sense of humor. I know, I know, I'm not going into the whole Angelina thing, but a man who likes being a dad? Sexy.


Now I don't watch CSI often enough but here's one of the reasons I do... Gary Dourdan. Holy moly, the man is hot! Handsome, suave, I love to watch him act. Yum.


I'm supremely annoyed that I can't seem to find any good pictures of Chow Yun Fat, who is beautiful. So to console myself...
I lied, but I looooove him so.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


       Woot! My Muse Owns Me!

Last night I finished my edits for Sudden Desire and found myself free for a few moments to choose a project from my "hurry up and write me" file. I opened the file for Taking Chase, the follow up to Giving Chase but then I wanted to write something down about the Vegas story I've been chewing on since I returned two weeks ago.

And I started writing and I've actually, gasp, outlined the damn book. This story is eating me alive. I am her bitch and loving it. I wrote the opening scene and it made me so happy and giddy with energy that I couldn't sleep for a while after I'd shut everything down. So I guess I'll be writing it, LOL. I'll talk about it more as I write. Right now, I don't want to jinx it.