Tag Archives: romance

Thursday Thirteen: Names by Lillian Grant

Author Lillian Grant is here today with her Thursday Thirteen–and her new release, Speak to Me of Abduction.

Blurb: Stranded in Rio and desperate for cash, Australian backpacker Charlene Paige accepts a minor movie role. When her costar, Hollywood hunk and serial womanizer Jonathon Deveraux, is abducted from the set, she turns to his older brother for help.

Jacob Deveraux is an Oscar winner and Hollywood good guy, but his past has made him a recluse. However, when his brother goes missing, he agrees to help the hapless Aussie who was deceived into taking a movie role so Jonathon could woo her into his bed. Despite being determined to keep his distance, Jacob is increasingly drawn to her.

When it becomes obvious Jonathon’s kidnapping is designed to punish him, Jacob worries his feelings for Charlene make her a target. Despite his efforts to keep her safe, she is grabbed off the street. Can he rescue Jonathon and Charlene, or will he lose not only his brother but another woman he loves?

Buy from Siren Bookstrand!

Lillian is giving away two copies of her e-book! Stop by her site to enter.


What’s in a name?

Picking names for characters is hard work. Picking names for your kids is harder, but I guess they can change them once they’re all grown up.

Thirteen celebrities’ real names.

  1. Woody Allen – Allen Konigsberg
  2. Lauren Bacall – Betty Joan Perske
  3. Nicolas Cage – Nicolas Kim Coppola
  4. Doris Day – Doris von Kappelhoff
  5. Danny DeVito – Daniel Michaeli
  6. Jamie Foxx – Eric Marlon Bishop
  7. Whoopie Goldberg – Caryn Johnson
  8. Cary Grant – Archibald Leach
  9. Boris Karloff – William Henry Pratt
  10. Demi Moore – Demetria Gene Guynes
  11. Chuck Norris – Carlos Ray
  12. Natalie Portman – Natalie Hershlag
  13. Meg Ryan – Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra


About Lillian

Born and bred in the UK, Lillian Grant’s whole life was turned on its head when, at the tender age of eighteen, she met and fell instantly in love with her darling husband. She knew the minute she met him she was going to marry him and, fortunately, he came to the same conclusion less than six months later.
She has traveled the world with her husband and currently calls Australia home. It didn’t take her long to turn native. She became an Australian citizen and dropped the British accent. However, her wanderlust didn’t stop with moving to the other side of the world. With her husband and two sons she has moved from state to state, always ready for a new adventure. She has also visited many destinations around the world.
Her stories reflect her love for travel and exotic locations, along with a quirky British sense of humor. Well, you can’t give up all of your heritage now, can you?


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

Guest Blog: Mina Carter

Please welcome author Mina Carter to the SkylarVerse! She’ll be giving away a copy of her new Summerhouse Publishing release, Vixen, to one commenter on her blog tour–check below for all her stops!


Decisions, decisions, decisions…

Same as anyone else, life for a writer is full of little decisions. Laundry or that favourite show on TV? Workout or the chocolate? Walk the dog or cuddle on the sofa? So many of them, which all build up into a seamless whole that makes up general day to day life. For me, and any writer out there, there’s another, over-riding ‘thing’ that means a lot of these decisions have a third option. TV, Laundry or write? Walk the dog, cuddle on the sofa or write? Workout, choc…okay, that last one doesn’t work so well since most writers I know live on a staple diet of coffee and chocolate. (and cake, but that’s another story)

Writing for me is not an option, it’s something I do to stop the stories in my head driving me crazy (or crazier anyway :P). So that means I have to juggle a fair amount to make sure I do the work thing, then the mom thing and make sure the laundry is done, the fish get fed (and not to the cat), etc etc.

This means I get up at an ungodly hour of the morning (commonly referred to as stupid o’clock) to get some peace and quiet so I can write before work. This is the common writer in its natural state and plumage (i.e.–pj’s and looking like it’s been dragged through a hedge backwards), not a sight for the faint of heart. I also take advantage of a quiet canteen at work and write furiously for half an hour with no net access (which can be more productive than an hour with full net access strangely. I blame twitter for this). My work colleagues think I’m mad but they’re kinda used to it now. Evenings I split my time between writing and family. If I’m in the middle of a book and it’s grabbed me, they know they won’t get any sense out of me at all until I’m done. I’m very lucky that they’re understanding 🙂

Making time for hobbies can be a struggle, but I try to make sure I do. Hobbies are essential as a writer and I’m a very curious person to boot. Most come from looking at something and thinking ‘how did they make that?’, like with corsetry and chain-maille. More recently I’ve taken up target shooting again, which is a bit of a return to an old hobby rather than a new one. My husband shoots as well, so we bicker and try and outshoot each other on a regular basis (I always win but he won’t admit that!)

I use a lot of the experiences I gain from hobbies in my writing. I use the sights and smells of everything I experience to add depth wherever possible. I visit places I can use as settings and take numerous photographs. I’m lucky to live in the middle of the English countryside so you can’t go more than a few miles without tripping over a castle or something. The barrow in Vixen, the second in the Kyn series just re-released by Summerhouse Publishing, was based on a room at Conwy castle in North Wales. There was just something so evocative about the room…it just had to have a story of its own!


Excerpt: Vixen


Whatever else he was, she had to admit he had guts. She wouldn’t want to be shut up in a room with an angry Kyn either. Whilst his pixie heritage might have protected him from being turned into a vampire, it did buggar all to protect him from being dead.

The only vampire warrioress in existence Vixen has spent most of her life proving herself in a man’s world, but she’s never been able to squash some very feminine thoughts where fellow warrior Kalen is concerned. Kalen however, has sworn off love, preffering to deal in lust instead.

But a passionate encounter blows their carefully constructed indifference to each other and when Vixen is kidnapped will they be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to give their love a chance?

She met his gaze as he pulled her into his arms, their bodies moving slowly to the music that filtered out onto the terrace. Slow and seductive, under any other circumstances she’d never have agreed to dance to it with anyone, much less Kalen. Rock and heavy metal were more her style. But the romance of the occasion mellowed her and she relaxed in his arms.

They fit together well, moving so naturally it was as if they were made for each other. She sighed softly, the unaccustomed champagne flowing through her veins. It wasn’t enough to make her tipsy, she was too experienced to make that sort of mistake, but it was enough to relax her guard several notches.

When the music changed to something slower, more romantic and Kalen pulled her closer, she didn’t argue. Instead, she sighed in pleasure and gave into the temptation to lay her head on his shoulder and close her eyes, luxuriating in the feel of his hard male body against hers.
She had no idea how long they stood like that, moving slowly to the music with his arms around her, hers around him. She felt safe and protected, a feeling Vixen had never experienced before. It was a feeling she found she liked. Eventually Kalen stopped moving and murmured her name.

She looked up, blinking as her eyes readjusted to the darkness, only to find he’d moved them farther into the shadows at the edges of the terrace, well away from the ballroom doors. “I’ve wanted to do this all night,” he whispered, tilting her chin up to claim her lips.


Mina Carter was born and raised in Middle Earth (otherwise known as the Midlands, England). After a slew of careers ranging from logistics to land-surveying she can now be found in the wilds of Leicestershire with her husband and young daughter…the true boss of the family.
Suffering the curse of eternal curiosity Mina never tires of learning new skills which has led to Aromatherapy, Corsetry, Chain-maille making, Welding, Canoeing, Shooting, and pole-dancing to name but a few.
She juggles being a mum, working full time and writing, tossing another ball in the air with her cover artwork. For Mina, writing time is the wee hours of the morning before anyone wakes up and starts making demands, or any spare minute that can be begged, bought or conned.
Her first stories were penned at age 11, when she used a stationery set meant for Christmas thank you letters to write stories instead. More recently, she wrote for her own amusement and to save on outrageous monthly book bills. Now she’s totally addicted and needs her daily writing fix or heads roll.

Find Mina and Vixen on her website, Amanzon, and Summerhouse Publishing

Tour Stops:

6/13/11: Black Velvet Seductions Readers’ Blog
6/14/11: The Forbidden Bookshelf
6/15/11: The Skylarverse
6/16/11: My Odd Little World
6/17/11: What Book Is That?

Sonnet 130 (William Shakespeare)


Lips (apdk via Flickr)

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

Thursday 13: Ten-cent words (6/9/11)

Click on the links for longer definitions, etymology, and pronunciation guides

  1. Amaranthine (adj): everlasting, unfading; purplish-red in color

  2. benighted (adj): unenlightened, morally ignorant

  3. bloviate (v): to speak pompously

  4. callipygian (adj): having a shapely buttocks

  5. catachresis (n): misuse of a word, giving it meaning it doesn’t have or stretching the meaning of the word

  6. cimmerian (adj): dark and gloomy

  7. cognoscenti (pl. n): connoisseurs of the arts, those having specialized knowledge

  8. concupiscence (n): ardent sexual desire

  9. epizeuxis (n): immediate repetition of a word for the sake of emphasis

  10. eristic (adj/n): controversial; one who derives enjoyment from creating contention and argument or from playing Devil’s Advocate

  11. flagitious (adj): a villainous person

  12. gibbous (adj): moon more than half-full

  13. gyve (v/n): to shackle or bind (my favorite!); shackles

What’s your favorite ten-cent word?

Join in the Thursday 13 Madness!

Thursday 13: To-Do (6/2/11)

Thirteen Books I Need to Read RIGHT NOW

1. PG Forte: In The Dark (So I can read the sequel, Old Sins, Long Shadows)

2. Kate Pierce: Simply Sexual (Yes, I’m behind on the whole series. And Simply Carnal is almost finished!)

3. Shiloh Walker: The First Book of Grimm

4. Deidre Knight: Butterfly Tattoo

5. R.G. Alexander: Possess Me

6. Jennifer Crusie: Bet Me (An oldie but a goodie. I try to read this, or one of her other old works, every year.

Reminds me why I wanted to write.)

7. Suzanne Brockmann: Time Enough For Love (I’m behind on her new books, too, and this one has been making puppies eyes at me

from the shelf.

Another author who inspired me to write)

8. Eden Bradley: The Dark Garden (and everything else she’s written. And her Eve Berlin books too!)

9. Jennifer Haymore: A Hint of Wicked

10. Juniper Bell: Go Wild

11. Kelly Jamieson: Power Struggle

12. Joseph Campbell: The Hero With a Thousand Faces (nonfiction, all about the mythic structure and the hero’s journey)

13. Anything Dawn Daydrmzzz recommends! (She’s the reason my TBR is toppling over)

What’s your must read for the moment? Not that my pile can handle more, but recommend some good ones!


Join in the Thursday 13 Madness!

Annabel Lee (Edgar Allan Poe)

Castle on the Sea, Spain

Castle on the Sea, Spain (Aza Raskin, Flickr)

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love–
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me–
Yes!–that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we–
Of many far wiser than we–
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

Guest Blog: Starla Kaye

Today I’m hosting Starla Kaye, who was kind enough to do an interview with me! Her newest book, Their Lady Gloriana, is out now from Black Velvet Seductions. She’ll be giving away a piece of Medieval-style jewelry from one commenter on her blog tour–check below for all her stops!


Who or what influenced your writing once you began?
When I first became more seriously interested in writing, I joined a couple of writers’ groups: Romance Writers of America (RWA) and a local group of romance writers. Being around other writers in my same genre helped me focus on the writing. Sharing all of the ups and downs with people who also experience those is good as well. Since then I’ve also become heavily involved in a multi-genre fiction writers’ group.

What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever taken on? Did you succeed?
I decided to try my hand at writing medieval romances last year, which was a new sub-genre for me. Any time you write in another time period there are many challenges. You have to do a lot of research to learn about the culture at the time, what the lingo was, get a general feel for how things were said, the clothing, the food, the common day-to-day things, and so much more. With a medieval, I also needed to know what castles of the time looked like and what they contained. I needed to know what the countryside around the castles was like. I could go and on. Basically you, the writer, have to step into that long ago time period, “feel” it and present it in such a way that the reader will not only believe it but also “feel” as if they, too, are there. Since I had done so much research (and have been in love with medieval romances for a long time), I decided to write several stories. The first two medieval novels were sold and published last year by another of my publishers, Blushing Books. Their Lady Gloriana is my newest medieval novel published with Black Velvet Seductions. And I will be coming a follow-up story on the second hero, Rowan.

What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
You can’t sell what you haven’t written. I think that says it all. You can have a gazillion ideas rolling around in your head, but if you can’t sit down and actually write them…well, that is all they will ever be: ideas.

If you get writer’s block when you’re writing, how do you get around it?
I work on multiple projects at all times. So when I get stuck on a particular project, I work on another one and let the other one’s problems bounce around in my head for a while. Sometimes it just helps getting away from the computer for a while. I like to walk outside and the fresh air and change of scenery help clear my head. Other times I launch into the amazing crazy-lady-cleaning mode, and I’m always glad to be done with that.

Who is your favorite character from one of your stories and why?
I’ve had a lot of characters that I enjoyed and miss. When I finish a book and it gets published, I sometimes feel like I’m saying good-bye to an old friend. I have to admit that the three main characters: Thomas, Gloriana and Rowan in Their Lady Gloriana are some of my favorites. Their tragic, complicated pasts and their wounded souls touched me. Their determination to survive and forge onward humbled me. And their special love for one another made me understand how many different kinds of love there are in the world and to never judge someone else’s situation.

What do you do to set the “writing mood”?
This is something that varies depending on where I am in working on a story, the mood I’m in, or the situation around me. When I’m first lining out a story by creating some basic character sheets, a loose plotting outline, and some initial research, I like to work in my office at my husband’s firm. I have two big monitors there and can see many details at once, all of which are then saved to a flash drive to be put on my laptop. After I’m actually writing, I take my laptop to wherever fits my mood for the day to work. Sometimes I go to the coffee shop in Barnes & Noble, or to Panera Bread, or just sit in a lounge chair on my patio. Sometimes I go to pretty settings such as a park or our Botanical Garden. If I’m working at the office or at home, I like to have country western music in the background. It is something I like and that I can also easily tune out. If I go to one of the public places, I like the atmosphere around me, the quiet conversations, observing the way people interact with one another, etc.

What are you working on at the moment?
As I mentioned earlier, I work on multiple projects all the time. I’ve just finished the research and plotting stage and I’m ready to start writing my follow-up book for Black Velvet Seductions, For the Love of Rowan. This will obviously be another medieval romance with some ménage elements. I’m writing my second short novella, Starting Over, to, hopefully, be part of Decadent Publishing’s 1 Night Stand M/M series. My first short novella with them, Maggie’s Secret Wish, will be released soon as part of their other 1 Night Stand series. And I’m writing a heavier-but-light (it’s complicated) Dom story for Blushing Books. And then there are my Blossom (an imaginative, romantic cow) stories, which are my way of stepping out of my normal writing world stories.

What is your favorite quote and why?
Live, laugh, love. There is something so simple about it and yet says everything.


Excerpt: Their Lady Gloriana

Lady Gloriana could barely draw in a breath. Her life with Geoffrey had done this to her. He’d battled down her self-worth, her dreams of having a happy family, and her natural zest for life. She needed to find the strength to face this new marriage to this war-hardened warrior. She had to make him respect her. Most of all, she had to endure relations with him until he got her with child.

The great hall rang with the sounds of joyous reunions. She heard the deep tone of an unfamiliar voice. It rang with authority, with power, much like Geoffrey’s voice had. Yet something about it drew her instead of repelling her. Something about it called to her woman’s place and she felt warmth spreading there. The reaction surprised her.

Her focus moved to the raised dais. Two such different—and yet the same—men stood there drinking cups of ale. Neither smiled. Both seemed to study her.

Gerald guided her to the dais. “Lady Middlemound, my lord.” He nodded toward the two powerfully built men. “Lord Montrose, my lady. And Sir Montgomery, his first knight.”

“Thomas,” Lord Montrose said and stepped down in front of her. He towered over her by at least a foot. His breadth and brawn made her heart race. Yet she didn’t feel intimidated by him.

Then the other man stepped down. As she glanced up, he gave her a crooked smile. “And you may call me Rowan.”

She felt her heart race even more.


Starla Kaye has worn many hats professionally and as a writer. She works part-time with her husband (who believes he is the model example for each of her heroes, “yes, honey, of course you are”) in an accounting firm. A gerontologist by degree, she volunteers in the community with a very active group of senior adults, who provide her with story ideas for senior adult romances she occasionally likes to write for fun. She is a multi-published author on-line in e-book and Print-On-Demand book form, writing as both Starla Kaye and S. K. Fero for Black Velvet Seductions, Blushing Books, Decadent Publishing, and Red Rose Publishing.

Tour Stops:

5/17/2011 Launch Party at Goddess Fish Party Pavilion
5/18/2011 Erotica for All
5/19/2011 Book Junkie
5/20/2011 Cali Cheer Mom
5/23/2011 The Forbidden Bookshelf
5/24/2011 Blisse Blog
5/25/2011 Beyond Romance
5/26/2011 The Skylarverse
5/27/2011 Sugarbeat’s Books
5/30/2011 Worlds of Possibilities
5/31/2011 A Chick Who Reads