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Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The DESERT BREEZE PUBLISHING EXCLUSIVE BOOK CLUB!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Where I Get My Inspiration For My Heroes
When I post a hottie of the week for my blog, I enjoy reading the comments and of course, I love sharing my favorite hotties. Some of them have been the inspiration for my male characters in my romances.
The first one to come to my mind is Matthew McConaughey. He was one of my early blog hotties and was the inspiration for one of my characters in my newest release Whitney in Charge. One of Whitney's romantic interests is Jack Hensley. Whitney's older sister Regan tries to hook her up with Jack by saying how he looks like Matthew McConaughey. Both Jack and Matthew share light brown hair with a bit of wave to it, and sexy blue eyes. Jack is taller than Matthew but both have a rangy handsomeness.
David Conrad inspired the looks of Dr. Seth Whitman in my upcoming (January release) inspirational romance, Marrying Mallory. In fact, I'm drooling right now just thinking about my former blog hottie. If you don't recognize the name (come on, you have to know drop-dead gorgeous Conrad), he's on Ghost Whisperer and plays Melinda's husband. I seem to have a lot of heroes with black hair. Ben Spencer, another guy Whitney dates, and Steve Collins in Never the Same have black hair, too. Hmm…wonder if it's because my husband has black hair and that's why I'm drawn to that hair color for a lot of my male characters.
My hottie in my inspirational romance, No Greater Loss, is Luke Brunsman. He's not based on a movie star, but on my husband Tom. Both men are good-looking, spiritual, caring, strong, loving, and funny.
Although I've never made collages for my books, I know some authors use them for inspiration while writing the physical description of their characters, setting, and stories. One author said that when she makes the collages, she has few revisions. Even though readers have told me how real my characters are to them, I'm considering making a collage for my next book. I think this will be a great tool for inspiration whether I'm gazing at a hot guy picture for my main male character or useful in keeping focused on the story line.
As a reader, what do you like in your hero? Are there any special traits or a certain physical appearance you prefer?
I hope you buy my ebook, Whitney in Charge because reading it will provide escapism into another world where two hot guys are crazy about the very desirable Whitney. Believe me, Jack Hensley and Ben Spencer come to life on the pages while they pursue Whitney.
Whitney Benson is tired of her older sisters’ attempts to fix her up with every single male they meet. Shannon and Regan cross the line when they arrange for her to go skydiving with the simple excuse that more guys like to float in the air than women. Whitney needs to find something else to keep them busy.
When she suggests that the three of them start a family business, the fun begins in their small town. And she thought being a TV producer in New York had been exciting.
Without going skydiving, Whitney meets two eligible bachelors, Jack and Ben, who constantly battle for her affection. Which one will she choose? Both men make Whitney realize, even a heart shattered by her husband’s death, can once again be made whole.
But did she have to fall off a cliff to learn that?
When the fireworks went off to celebrate a Reds homerun above the Ohio Rive, the crowd roared and clapped. Whitney let herself be caught up in the enthusiasm, jumping up from her seat to clap and whoop, cupping her palms around her mouth. She sat down, laughing, enjoying herself more than she had in a long time. When Jack had invited Whitney to go to a baseball game on Wednesday, she’d hesitated even though she loved going to the stadium. They’d just gone out Saturday night. She wanted to take things slow and easy. But, in the end, she’d said yes.
And she was so glad she did.
Who was she kidding? She wanted to wrap her arms around him and kiss him until neither one of them could think or breathe. But she couldn’t smother his lips with hers during a baseball game. She took a quick glance at Jack. Regan was right – he did look a lot like Matthew McConaughey. She wondered if McConaughey also loved baseball.
Jack tugged on her visor. “Hey, you look pretty cute in this cap.”
She took a bite of her nachos and cheese. “I like the eating part a lot at games.”
Jack glanced at the boy sitting a couple rows in front of them munching on a box of popcorn. The delicious aroma of popcorn and butter drifted up to them. “I might have to buy popcorn, too.”
“Please help me eat the nachos first.”
He dipped a chip in the cheese, popping it in his mouth. He smacked his fingertips between his lips, licking off the melted cheese and salt. “I wish you hadn’t paid for the beer.”
“You bought the tickets. I wanted to pay for something.” She licked warm cheese off her finger. “So did you rescue any cliff climbers today?”
“Nope. I only rescue beautiful women on Mondays.”
“I’ll have to remember that. Since the pool’s open now and if it’s not too cold, we can go swimming after the game.” Why did she blurt that invitation out to him? Could she handle him if he got too intimate? She hated taking a step forward, then a step back again, but she was just confused about what she wanted from Jack.
“I’ll have to go home to get my trunks first.”
“I have several suits in different sizes.”
Jack smiled at her. “Do you collect trunks from your guests?”
She laughed. “No. Unless my mom did. People used to drop in a lot, and she’d invite them to go swimming with us. They didn’t have their suits. Mom bought a few girls’ suits and women’s and men’s in different sizes.”
“Bases are loaded. Bring them home.” Jack patted her knee. “Isn’t this fun? I love the Reds.”
“You’re right. This is fun. I’m glad you─”
“Hey, the kissing cam’s on us.” Jack wrapped his arm around her shoulder and pulled her close, covering her mouth with his.
She’d forgotten how they had a kissing camera to zero in on couples and when it happened, the pair usually waved or kissed each other.
She enjoyed kissing Jack back and hated it when he stopped. “You didn’t need to stop because the camera’s no longer on us.”
“I don’t want to spoil you.”
It occurred to her why he wanted her to switch T-shirts before the game. “You gave me a Reds’ t-shirt to wear to increase our chances of getting on the kissing cam.”
He shrugged. “Ben already got you on TV when you fell. I had to get you on TV again. I didn’t want you to think I’m a slacker here. And I managed it without you falling out of your seat.”
“We can’t have you being a slacker.” She glanced down at her red shirt. “Do I get to keep this shirt?”
“Only if you get me a baseball cap like yours?”
“This one was my dad’s, but it’s a deal.”
Friday, August 7, 2009
Title: Woman of Honor (The Kingdom of Arnhem Book 1 )
Author: Nicole Zoltack
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing Inc.
ISBN : 978-1-936000-03-6
Genre: Fantasy; Romance
Reviewed By: Lynn 7/29/09
Arnhem 1155 AD
Aislinn of Bairdhe wants to honor her brothers death by becoming a lady knight and maintaining her family’s prestige in the knighthood. At the age of 7 years Aislinn is at the right age when one starts the training as a page. As she makes her journey to the castle to consult the King to let her train as a knight. King Patrick grants her wish to begin her training. With many years of training looming ahead of her, she has to put up with the ridicule of the other pages just because she is a girl, and the worst one being Prince Caelan who also is training to become a knight.
As the years slowly go by Aislinn and Caelan go from being antagonistic to each other to becoming close friends to falling in love . As their training continues towards their upcoming knighthood, the underlying threat of war with the Speicans is always close at hand. Aislinn is committed to serve Arnhem and become ths Kings Champion. When its time for Caelan to take over the occupancy of the throne, can Aislinn who now is a Lady Knight stay committed to Arnhem or will she give her heart and her life to love.
This then is the story of a young girl who has a dream and embarks on the journey to bring her dreams to realization. It always amazes me how Authors of fantasy books can come up with the names of their characters. This was such a interesting read to watch the characters mature from children to young adults. This book kept be interested from the very beginning . For a fantasy book to hold my interest it has to grab me at the very beginning and this book did just that as in my mind I kept urging Aislinn on to make her dream come true.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Woman of Honor by Nicole Zoltack
Woman of Honor by Nicole Zoltack
Publisher: Desert Breeze
Summary: Aislinn of Bairbhe dreams of becoming a lady knight to honor the death of her fallen brother. To her mother's horror, King Patrick grants Aislinn's wish and she begins her long years of training.
Despite the mockery of the other pages, and the disdain of Prince Caelan who also trains to be a knight, Aislinn commits herself to her dreams and embarks on a journey of self-discovery and bravery. Through the years, Aislinn and Caelan grow from sparing classmates to good friends. They both know that someday Caelan will marry for the sake of the kingdom, but even that cannot keep them from falling in love.
The threat of war with the Speicans is a constant threat, and one that grows more frightening as she and Caelan train toward their eventual knighthood. Aislinn has committed herself to serving Arnhem, and has promised herself as King's Champion when Caelan claims the throne. She is willing to give up everything... her childhood, her life, even her heart for Arnhem. No matter the pain, it brings.
My Review: Woman of Honor by Nicole Zoltack is a beautiful sweet romance with a touch of fantasy. The author uses a lyrical cadence in her descriptions. At first, I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy reading about a young girl, but to my delight, I did! Ms. Zoltack created a story that allowed me, the reader, to experience a different world through a seven year olds eye all the way through womanhood. The depiction of the surroundings, as well as the struggles Aislinn has in her travel to knighthood is well done. Tender moments sprinkled throughout kept the story warm and inviting. Aislinn is a heroine worthy of her ambitions. I was reluctant to stop reading for sleep because I wanted to know how the story progressed and if Aislinn succeeded. The supporting characters and accurate details gave a lovely view of life in medieval times. Ms. Zoltack took the time to build, layer by layer, a magnetic plot. Woman of Honor concludes nicely with the commitment of Aislinn and Caelan. The behind closed door intimacies seem very appropriate for this coming of age love story.
Ms. Zoltack did an excellent job giving a personality to Caelan through Aislinn’s eyes but as a reader, I want and expect a little of the hero’s point of view. What I missed was the thoughts and narrative of the hero, Caelan. Even with that said, I still found their journey to be wonderfully romantic.
With the exception of wanting a little more insight to the hero’s thoughts, I would recommend this book. Nicole Zoltack provides a well crafted story that focuses on emotion and anticipation. Not only a book that a young adult would enjoy, but a woman of any age who wants to enjoy romance and a strong heroine and how she gained her strength. In the future, we will see Nicole Zoltack ranking with many of the top authors we have come to love over the years. We will have a section of our bookcases or hard drives waiting for her newest release. I will certainly read the second installment in this series, Knight of Glory, due out in April 2010 because I enjoyed Ms. Zoltack’s writing and Woman of Honor that much.
Rated 5 Delightful Divas and a Recommended Read by Em Epe!