Thursday, March 27, 2014

Behind the Book -- Love Has Many Voices

Witch, princess, monster, or minstrel – Holly Sutton could speak in a million voices. A whirlwind of casual creativity, a magnet for every kid within calling range, she made a handsome living doing TV cartoon voice-overs. Her life in Thousand Oaks was ideal – except for Jonathan Lockwood, her stuffy neighbor. A banker, he might have been the model for Scrooge – if Scrooge had hazel eyes and a body designed to die for. So why had Holly agreed to accompany him to San Francisco’s most elegant hotel? And why was she suddenly trying to make herself over in his image? They were worlds apart and ne’er the twain would meet … unless they could learn to speak in the voice that understood the intimate need that bound them beyond every difference – the very special voice of love. 

I’m a big fan of the classic cartoons. Looney Tunes/Merry Melodies are my favorites and I still see the animated films that come out. And who can ever forget Mel Blanc, the man of a million voices who made Bugs Bunny and so many others life?

I knew I wanted the heroine of Love Has Many Voices to be a voiceover actress. This petite woman could go from a chirpy woodland animal to a stiff-voiced computer voice to a sultry female that gave every red-blooded man ideas. That she looked more like a pixie says a lot for her talent. Even if said red-blooded man is a by-the-banker. Did I happen to mention that not only was Holly cute as a bug but she wore braces when Jonathan first met her? Oh no, she isn’t your typical romance book heroine.
But that’s what made her fun to write. That and her more than lovable dog, Ralph who was known to moan and softly howl when a neighbor’s toy poodle was in heat. It didn’t matter to him that he was probably ten times her size. After all, it’s what the heart wants that matters. Ralph was also based on our dog, Mac, who was in love with a neighbor’s toy poodle, Gigi, who rejected him at every turn.
Holly and Jonathan were opposites in every way.  That didn’t stop them from falling in love even if Jonathon feared his deep secret could tear them apart.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Searching for that Pot 'O Gold!

“Be vewy vewy quiet, we’we hunting lepwechauns,” Horace intoned, creeping along the lush grass covered path. He ignored the birds perched in the trees overhead, although he did growl when bird poo plopped on his head.

“Dude, you have got to stop watching cartoons,” Puff muttered, nudging him with his ear.

“Those cartoons are classics,” the gargoyle informed him, looking at the paths branching off. “We need to go left.”

“We go right,” Fluff argued.

“Hello!” Puff rolled his eyes. “We stay on this path for three more kilometers.” A small map hung from his ears.

“Dude, didn’t you ever hear of GPS?” Horace hooted, flicking his claw at a map corner.

“Dude.” Sarcasm dripped from the word. “Did you ever hear how our magick and electronics don’t mix?”

“Plus Krebs wouldn’t let us use his,” Fluff muttered. “He said we already ruined four of them and he didn’t intend to see us screw up a fifth.”

Horace came to a stop and stared at Puff, tipping his head to the side so far he almost fell over. “You dummy, it’s upside down!” He snatched the map and turned it around.

“Why’d you do that? Now we have to go back the other way!” Fluff smacked his brother slipper with his ear and flipped around. “And look there!” He pointed upward where a colorful rainbow hung in the sky.

The threesome already knew their destination was the end of that rainbow.

“We’ve got to get there before someone else finds it and demands the leprechaun give up his gold.” Horace rubbed his claws in gleeful anticipation. He already had plans for his share. Big screen Hi Def TV topped the list.

“How do we know he even has a pot of gold?” Fluff asked, starting to slow down.

”Because if someone gets the gold, the rainbow disappears,” Horace told him.

“Are you sure? My feet hurt!”

“We don’t have feet, dork.” Puff hip checked Fluff.

“Doesn’t matter, something hurts. And there’s rocks here,” he whined.

“Quiet. We’re getting closer and we don’t want the leprechaun to hear us,” Horace warned them. He began to wish he’d done this hunt on his own. But he needed Fluff and Puff’s magick along with his own just to get them to the Emerald Isle. Maybe he wouldn’t have to split the gold three ways. Rabbits can’t count all that well, can they? He vowed to keep a mega gargoyle share.

Lilting sounds of a flute reached Fluff and Puff’s ears first. They mined shushing Horace and the trio fanned out along the path finally reaching the center of the forest where they came upon a small glade covered in perfect four leaf clovers.

Bands of brilliant color ended in a large cauldron holding a dazzling amount of gold coins.

“Gold,” Horace whispered with awe, his eyes glowing avarice.

“We can buy a chocolate company,” Fluff breathed, staring at the pot.

“We can buy the world.” Puff was close behind.

Except seated on a nearby rock was a three-foot high red bearded man dressed in an emerald green jacket and breeches with a green bowler perched on his curly mop of rusty red hair. His round cheeks glowed red as he played a lively dance tune on his flute.

Horace tapped a clawed foot in time to the music.

“Mine, all mine.”

Ours,” Puff reminded him.

“Why’re ye here disturbing Seamus’s playing, magickal ones?” The leprechaun looked up from his playing.

“For your gold.” Horace stepped forward with the slippers on either side of him.

Seamus laughed as he set down his flute and hopped off the rock, dancing  around the pot. The buckles on his black shoes gleamed the same color as the coins that overflowed their container.

“Ye shall not have my gold, creatures,” he sang out, dancing a jig.

“It’s in the rules,” Horace argued. “We demand your gold. You give it to us.”
“You have to catch me first!” He laughed, continuing to dance. He snatched up his flute and began playing again.

The game was on. Horace, Fluff and Puff fanned out ready to catch the elusive leprechaun. But the little man hadn’t lived these many thousand years without tricks of his own. The gold was his and he wasn’t about to give it up.

Magickal keepaway began and an hour later, Horace was panting with fatigue – after all the gargoyle was more used to lounging around Stasi’s lingerie boutique than doing any form of exercise. Fluff and Puff weren’t doing much better since their idea of activity was taking vigorous naps.

“I told ye!” Seamus chortled, dancing away from them.

But Horace was determined. Damn it, he had that TV all picked out! And a Bose sound system. He ran at Seamus like a linebacker but tripped and skidded through the grass as Seamus winked out of sight and appeared nearby.

“Enough, I have no more time for this marlarky,” Seamus announced. “Ye didn’t even offer me a pint.”

“Then give us the gold!” Horace yelled at him.

The leprechaun stared at the gargoyle. “Ye three didna do me right. Ye three didna leave me sight. Ye three must pay the piper and see the light.” He picked up his flute and played a variety of notes that seemed to fly in the air like glowing gnats and buzzed around the trio.

“Hey!” Horace swatted at the intruders, but they only swarmed closer.

“No!” The slippers wailed as they were likewise attacked.

Just as suddenly, their assailants were gone. And so was Seamus and his pot of gold.

Fluff and Puff stared at each other; their razor sharp toothy mouths wide open. “We’re green!” They turned to face Horace who looked down at himself.

“What the –“ The gargoyle practically wheezed. “I’m – I’m –“

“Gold.” The slippers whispered the word with the reverence they usually only gave to licorice root and chocolate.

Horace threw his claws up to the sky. “I look like an Academy Award!” he wailed, before looking down. “Don’t even think it,” he growled, as the slippers advanced on him with the same intensity Elmer Fudd used in tracking Bugs Bunny. “What are you doing?” He fought the net that covered him as the slippers tipped him to the ground and began slowly, but steadily, dragging him out of the glade.

“Do you know what gold’s going for now?” Fluff asked his best bud as they made their way.

“No, but we can check once we get him home.” Puff ignored Horace’s curses and threats as they hauled their booty back to the magick portal that would send them back home. “We should probably pick up some bleach too. Green isn’t a good color for me.”

Just remember – if you catch a leprechaun and demand his pot ‘o gold make sure you have a dram of whiskey or a pin. Otherwise, might end up green or gold too!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Behind the Book -- Sudden Impulse

He tightened his hold on her hand and slowly pulled until her face was inches from his. "Your heart rate just sped up and your skin is grow­ing warmer at the thought of our lying on the grass and making love."
She tried to keep her breathing steady. "For a businessman you have such an incredible imagina­tion," she finally forced out.
He smiled. "Is it? Think about it, Kelly—the two of us lying down here on incredibly thick grass, my slipping off your clothes, you taking off mine. Our having the chance to discover what we've missed. While moonlight is great for making love, sunlight is much better."
Liquid desire rushed through her veins as she visualized all he was talking about, arousing her until all she could think of was his body merging with hers. "Ben," she managed to say, "I told you before that it's not a good idea. I'm very confused about what's happening between us, and I'm still trying to understand something I've never experi­enced before."
"When I'm around you I discover it's not easy to go slow," he said, lowering them to the grass....

What if you were told you only had a short time to live? What would you do? Would you worry that you not only hit your ex-husband, but he lost a few teeth in the process, and now he wants to sue you for damages? Any reason it should bother you if you’re going to die soon?  
If you’re Kelly Andrews you’d leave Los Angeles behind and take off for a tropical island and buy a waterfront tavern because it’s the exact opposite of anything you’d be expected to do.
But hiding out isn’t all that easy to do when Australian Ben Wyatt is tracking the woman who creates hand painted silks and designs that he wants for his boutiques. The man isn’t easy to resist and seriously, who would want to.
I wanted a book with a heroine who was convinced she only had a short time to live and was determined to make the most of that time. The Elaine in the book is based on my good friend and fantastic author, Elaine Raco Chase. As always, I insert the mention of chocolate with yummy Goo Goo Clusters that are so good they’re sinful.
I wanted a heroine who finally realized hiding away wasn’t a good thing and a sexy hero who was determined she have the kind of life she deserved. Setting the on a tropical island seemed just right and the perfect background for romance.
Sudden Impulse was one of the three Bantam Loveswepts I wrote and I hope you enjoy Kelly and Ben’s romance. It’s available at Amazon and Smashwords right now and will soon be available at Barnes&Noble for the Nook.
Visit the islands with its sea breezes, exotic flowers and just the right man for those magic nights.