Thursday, June 19, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Excerpt Altered Destiny

I thought I'd share one of my favorite heroes with you today. Devyn MacGregor, the handsome red-heided Bard leads a double life. By day, he's the meek and mild, slightly bumbling Bard who works for the Qui'arel. But by night, he's the Reiver Lord who fights for the freedom of humankind. In this excerpt, Devyn has just run into, literally, the strange young woman who claims he's her husband.  He's attempting to get her to safety before the Qui'arel discover her but runs into a patrol led by one of their chief warriors. Devyn isn't sure what to make of the strange woman - is she innocent or is she the bait in a trap to capture the Reiver Lord?


Excerpt
Sweet Mai!  Devyn kept his expression bland by sheer will.
The Qui’arel lord, Gabriel, turned to him with a questioning lift of silvery brows.  “Bard?”    “Your pardon, my lord.  She’s a wee bit confused.”  He looked down on the crown of tousled hair beneath his chin.  “She’s not an outlaw, though, I’m fair sure of that.”
“All MacGregors are outlaws.” The man’s smile did not lighten his eyes.  “Your clan has a history of it.”
Devyn’s horse tossed its head and sidled sideways.  He spent a moment longer than necessary to settle it.  “And not all MacGregors are born to the name.”
“Were you born a MacGregor?” Gabriel demanded.

Her fear sang through the temblors of her body as she shook her head.  What was wrong with the lass?  She acted as if she’d never seen a Qui’arel afore.  And, though he wished it could be true, it was damned impossible.  He put his hand on her arm, to offer comfort he told himself but, more than that, to let her know he was there.  That he would do everything in his power to keep her safe.
A sudden gleam entered Gabriel’s eyes.  “Ah, then you are wed to a MacGregor, are you?” 
His gaze shifted to Devyn while he continued to speak to the lass.  “Who is your husband?”
Her knuckles whitened on the pommel but she sat straighter of a sudden.  She took a breath, then said, “Devyn MacGregor.”
“What?”  The word barked out of his mouth.  Of all the things he’d expected, that claim was the very last.  It was a claim that jeopardized all his plans.  “We’re not wed, my lord.  I found her on the coast.  Alone.  The victim of, well, I dinna ken what but she’s confused, maybe a bit addled.”
Behind Lord Gabriel, the other two Qui’arel snickered.  Gabriel slanted a dour look at them until they fell silent.  “Yet, she claims to be your wife.”
“She’s not.”  He made an effort to speak calmly.  “I am not allowed to wed, not without Lady Cuini’s sanction.”
“It is a conundrum, is it not?”  Gabriel returned his attention to the lass.  “Where were you taking her?”
He’d intended to take the lass to the Village.  But with Gabriel’s knowledge of her, that was impossible.  He donned his Bardish smile, the one that said he was as simple as they all believed.  “Why, to Reach Seagate, of course.”
Gabriel continued to watch the woman.  Then, with a cool flat stare at Devyn, he said, “You were wrong, you know.  You do not need Lady Cuini’s permission to wed.  You need mine.”
Devyn stilled, an odd foreboding creeping up his back.
“The woman claims you as her husband.  I ask you now.  Do you accept her as your wife?  Or should she be given to the Bounty?”

“My lord, this is–” Devyn broke off.  If he didn’t accept her, the poor demented lass would end her days as a slave.  He looked away.  But, supposing she was not what she seemed?  Neither innocent, nor demented?  Suppose she was a spy for the Qui’arel purposefully set on that beach awaiting his arrival?  That meant they suspected his identity as the Reiver Lord.  Refusing her would only confirm it.  “This is most kind of you.”
Gabriel shrugged, dismissal firm in every line of his body.  “Is it?  I suppose you’re right.  You may continue on your way.”
“And Lady Cuini?”  Devyn lifted a hand.  “What shall I tell her?”
“The truth, of course.  She will not be entirely happy, I fear, but–” A smile spread across his face.  “That which we see so clearly is often seen just as clearly–but differently–through other eyes.  Go.  Take your bride to Seagate before the Reiver steals her away.  Coreas will accompany you.”
Annie turned her head to look back as Devyn maneuvered the gelding past Gabriel, but he shifted his arms and leaned forward to murmur, “Dinna look back, lass.  ‘Tis bad luck, you ken.”

“Bard,” Gabriel called.

Devyn halted the gelding, his stomach clenched into a painful knot.  “Aye, my lord?”
“Where have you come from?”

“Just now?   From Beanwich Cove.  And before that, Stiller’s Freehold.”
“Have you seen anything unusual?”
“No, my lord.”
Gabriel nodded in dismissal.
Devyn wondered what Lord Gabriel was searching for.  The Reiver Lord?  Or something else? 
“Who are they?  What are they?” she whispered.  “Elves?”

His harsh laugh startled the horse, which shied for a moment until he regained control.  He hesitated, waited until Coreas fell behind them on the narrow trail.  “Dinna say you’ve ne’er seen a Qui’arel afore?”
“No, I haven’t.”
“Ach, well, it’s a wondrous odd place you come from then.”  Devyn fell silent.  When they reached the narrow road, he hesitated.  Between one breath and the next, the lass had ruined a plan set into motion years ago.  Why?  For fear of the Qui’arel?  Not likely, if she didn’t know who and what they were.

“Bard?  Seagate is east,” Coreas said.  “Turn right.”
“Aye, your pardon.  I was just lost in thought for a moment.” Devyn followed the road, north and east.  The lass sat stiff and straight, obviously trying not to touch him.  Yet the gelding’s rolling gait kept her warm, shapely arse rocking against his eager roger.  He must be as barmy as she was.

Somehow he had to find a way out of the trap.  He needed the liaison with Cuini.  He needed to preserve his secret identity.  He did not need a woman living with him, spy or not, who might discover his secrets.

“If they’re not Elves, what are they?”  Annie asked quietly.
“Why did you tell Lord Gabriel I was your husband?”
She was silent so long, he thought she wouldn’t answer.  Finally, she spoke, keeping her voice low so their guard would not hear.  “Those, what did you call them?  Kee-arell?”
She fumbled the name.  Devyn didn’t care.  “Aye.  Go on.”
“A lot of weird stuff has happened to me.  Stuff you wouldn’t believe.  For now, I’d rather stay with you.”
He frowned.  “Me?”
“I...I think I can trust you.” She twisted to look into his face.  “I can, can’t I?”
The air of familiarity struck him again.  Who was she?  Why did he find her so appealing?  Then another thought struck him.  “You asked about the moon.  Why?”
Disappointment flickered in her eyes.  She turned, faced forward and said, “It exploded.”
A peal of sadness rang in his soul.  The lass had surely lost her mind.  “Nae, it didna explode,” he said gently.  “You may trust me on that.”\
“But nothing else?”

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Praise for Altered Destiny
"ALTERED DESTINY is a rousing tale of despair, hope, love and courage. ...I recommend ALTERED DESTINY."
Vi Janaway, Romance Reviews Today


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Friday, June 06, 2014

Freaky Friday - Of Men, Monsters, and Inspiration

I'm Lynda K. Scott and I'm a monster reality show addict. There, I said it. I watch all the Sasquatch/Big Foot/ Devil Dog/ Mothman/ Yeti/ Wolfman...well, you get it. I watch them all. Okay, I don't actually watch them but the show is on and I listen to them while I'm either working or surfing the net.

Listening gives me more insight I think than just viewing them on the flatscreen because I can hear the sincerity in their voices when they very seriously announce that Squatches beat on trees or gabble monkey talk or yell as if being tortured by an even bigger, badder Squatch.

A different group of 'researchers' run around in the dark woods looking for various cryptids (yep, these good old boys even used that word) and giving off details like the technique a devil dog uses to scrape flesh off a calf (a living calf...who didn't die from the wound that caused a huge scar on its back and sides), or how it's unwise to stare at the Mothman, or how a river dragon sucks up heat from a cabin's chimney.

All this may be true. But I question the sources since the very existence of these creatures has yet to be proven. And all these critters are apparently nocturnal. Hence the need for these 'researchers' to prowl the woods at night. Mind you, I'm not a hunter but I can guarantee no self-respecting monster is going to hang around in an area where 5-7 men are shining lights and yelling at each other. No, the cryptid will giggle for a moment then slink off into the dark and continue on their own business. That's what I would do if I valued my life and privacy.

These shows are pure entertainment with very little real facts. I understand that and watch (listen) to them just to have them inspire story ideas. But I wish, I really do, that they existed. As long as they weren't interested in eating me ;-)

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Thursday, June 05, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Altered Destiny

Do you know what time it is? It's time for a Throwback Thursday! This weeks throwback will be from my novel Altered Destiny. Altered Destiny has its own strange story. It was written out of sheer frustration with the publishing industry. All around me, I saw books being published that were similar to my Heartstone which languished on an editor's desk. So I started taking different elements from recently published books...dragons, elves, hot Highlanders and combined them all. After I had several chapters, though, I found that I had a pretty damn good story! I entered it in contests and, what do you know, it won or came close to winning! I decided to finish the story but, of course, when I did, the market for dragons, elves and hot Highlanders had slowed to a simmer. I offered it to my then publisher who went belly up almost immediately after I signed their contract. After a fight to get my rights back, I decided to publish it myself. To be honest, it's done very well. And the hot Highlander is still one of my very favorite heroes.


Prologue


2010 AD, Virginia Coast, United States

     It took a certain amount of courage to leave a safe and comfortable life, to leap into the void, and risk failure.  Liane Gautier-MacGregor sighedone sigh was all she would allowthen faced the slow, even swells of the Atlantic.  Normally, she loved the solitude of the narrow beach but, tonight, it echoed with loneliness.
     Dreams, lies, broken trust.  She shrugged; they were all the same.  Take her ex-husband.      Please, she added with a snarky smile.  For a long time, she’d thought Devyn was the man of her dreams.  “Which just goes to show,” she said, shrugging.
Far out to sea, a pale line of fog rose out of the ocean depths.  High above the fog, a star pulsed in the indigo sky.
   “Star light, star bright,” Liane began, then paused, unsure what to wish for.  A blast of cold air shoved her backward.  Pulling her jacket together, she braced herself against the wind.  What did ex-husbands and the weather have in common?  Can’t count on either of them.  Glancing at the star again, she muttered, “It’s probably a satellite anyway.”
    From atop the bluff, the dull thump of her ex-husband’s car door, followed by the BMW’s throaty growl echoed off the trees and cottage walls.  She turned to see the top landing of the sea stairs.  Twin beams of light speared the darkness then angled away.
She was alone.  In the dark.  On a deserted beach.
   Liane shivered.  Gautiers were never afraid.  At least, that’s what her father had always said.  She drew in a breath of salt-laden air, then turned to carefully retrace her footsteps.  She could see them clearly in the moonlight and for a moment wished she could as easily retrace her life’s footsteps.  Go back to a time before her marriage, before she’d become such a huge disappointment to her parents.  To herself.
   A wave lapped over her left foot, filling her shoe with icy water.  She jumped sideways before the next wave hit.  Waves shouldn’t reach this high on the little beach.  She puzzled over it for a moment.  Maybe a storm was coming?   But the sky was clear, filled with stars and a brilliant full moon.
   In fact, her wishing star, or satellite, twinkled even more brightly.  “Star light, star bright.  First star I see tonight.”
   She chuckled.  Well, it was the first star she’d noticed that night at any rate.  “May I have, may I wish
   She paused again, and thought.  “What I wish tonight.”
   The BMW’s engine noise faded in the distance.  She shivered at the sudden stillness.  “I wish for a new beginning.”
   Okay, so that was going to happen anyway now that her divorce was final.  "I wish for a good new beginning."
   Vague, that was too vague, she decided.  Maybe-- "I wish that I'm brave enough to succeed at a new beginning."
   Fear of failure, fear of success...it didn't matter what you called it.  The fact was, she was a coward in so many different aspects of her life.  And so much would be different if she had been a tenth as brave as her mother or father.  Her head lowered as grief rolled over her.  Her chest tightened, constricting her breath.  But, her head jerked sideways in a negating gesture, she wasn’t brave and her parents were dead because of her cowardice.  Because she’d let her father drive when he wasn’t familiar with icy roads.  She cast a sad, longing look at the star.
   Her wishing star jinked sideways, then elongated.  Was it a comet?  So much for wishes.    “Should have wished for a telescope.”
   As she watched the comet-star, a buzzing, tickling sensation swept over her.  Her scalp tingled, her hair lifted.  She looked around uneasily as the wind died.  Even the waves, so restless moments ago, hesitated, stuck in mid-curl.
   Her gaze, drawn to the sky, settled on the not-star as it sped toward the moon.  Liane’s throat filled with dread as, with a flash of blinding whiteness and an utter lack of sound, the moon exploded.
   She gasped in terrified awe as fragments whirled silently through the sky.  Get inside! screamed the primitive part of her mind, inside, inside, inside.  Obeying the silent command, she sped toward the sea stairs but the wind came at her like a battering ram.  She stumbled, fell back, and caught herself as her shoes filled with cold ocean water.  The tide surged, slammed into her knees. 
   With a supreme effort, Liane dragged herself forward then
   The sea, the beach, the moon and starsall spun in rapid circles around her.  A queer, sideways slide, a wrenching shift, threw her off-balance. 
   From somewhere came her ex-husband’s startled yell followed by the deep mechanical growl of his BMW.
   She flailed as a kaleidoscope of color burned across her eyes and drummed through her skull.  Swept up, she clawed empty air.  Tiny zaps, electrically charged, sizzled over her, around her, through her.  Then, as if a giant hand reached out to snatch her from the maelstrom

Liane reeled in broad daylight, the sun beating over the waves and blinding her with its brilliance.

Chapter 1

“They that rise wi’ the sun hae their wark weel begun.”


260 AQ, Virginia Coast, New Alba
     Dizzy and off-balance, Liane had a single moment to gape at the suddenly day-lit beach before a man-shaped wrecking-ball slammed into her, dumping her into the chilly surf.  “Erp!”
     “Guh!”  The man sprawled on top of her.  A frothing wave crashed over her, filling her nose and mouth with the briny taste of seawater.  The man levered himself up and gaped at her through a pair of startling green eyes--her ex-husband’s green eyes.
“Blethering hell, woman!  Where did you come from?”  He leaped to his feet, staring at her with an equal mixture of irritation, astonishment and concern.  He offered her a hand up.  “Are you hurt?”
     The last thing she wanted to do was touch himunless she had a two-by-four in her handsso she ignored him.  She stood, brushing her wet clothes with sharp flicks of her hands.  Movement from the corner of her eye had her turn in time to see a dark bay horse scaling the bluff.  What the hell was a horse doing here?  For that matter, she turned to her ex, what was he doing here? “What are you doing here?”
      His green eyes narrowed.  “I might ask you the same, lass.”

    His Scottish burr startled her.  So did his clothinga red and black kilt, a blue coat, unbuttoned to reveal a snowy white shirt, wetly plastered to his chest, argyle socks over silver-buckled boots.  Her gaze settled on his bare knees.  Even if he was a two-timing snake, Devyn had gorgeous knees...for a man, she added grudgingly.  Sneering, she said, “Cute outfit.  Where’d you get it?   Scots R Us?”

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Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Editing Techniques

I'm in the process of editing my novel, Rider, which has been sold to Entangled Publishing (Yay!) My lovely editor has gone through and pointed out areas where I needed to make corrections; grammar, plot, characterization. I can honestly say I enjoy the editing process. Yeah, I know, I'm weird. ;-)

But I thought I'd share how I do it.

First pass: Grammar 
I seem to be the queen of the coma splice so I had a bunch of those to correct. And there were issues about capitalizing certain words. These were all easy to correct since I accepted my lovely editors wisdom in almost every case and made the appropriate changes ;-)

The interesting part is that as I made this first pass, I took note of the comments left in the margins. Comments about plot or characterization or description. I didn't make any changes at the time because I wanted them to settle in my back brain and simmer for a spell.

Second pass - Plot, Characterization and Descriptions.
It's amazing to see what others think as they read Rider - what they like, what confuses them, what they think would make the story better. I'm generally from the school of 'The Editor Is Always Right' so I don't have a problem with fleshing out the story.

Even though I've listed it last, I start with any description problems since those are easiest to fix. Sometimes I forget that readers can't see the image I have in my mind and it's good to have someone point out that they're missing exciting details.

Once I'm done with Characterization, I move on to Characterization. I do this because my plots generally hinge on character so I need that firmly grounded.

Finally, I correct any plot problems. These aren't huge problems but sometimes need a little tweaking especially as I'm a Fly Into The Mist type of plotter.

Simple? For me, it is. I don't know how others would take to this. In fact, if you have a different way, please share your techniques. I'm sure we all could use the inspiration :-)

Have a Blessed Day!

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Heartstone

Thought I'd share an excerpt from Heartstone today. Heartstone was my first paranormal romance written as a challenge from my romance writing friends. Imagine my surprise when it finaled in RWA's  Golden Heart contest! 

Set Up: Keriam Norton has adopted what she thought was a stray dog. She doesn't realize the dog is Eric d'Ebrur in his canid form. He's come to Earth to find the Heartstone, a mystical artifact that Keriam inherited from her mother, in a last ditch bid to save his planet and his galaxy from the Gawan. 




Excerpt

     When the Stonebearer went upstairs to bed, Eric shifted to his true form and, scowling, scratched an insect bite on his naked hip. This primitive world could try the patience of a Starfarer, let alone that of a warrior. The Stonebearer hadn't bothered locking the doors. She'd left windows open. Obviously, the woman lacked an ordinary sense of precaution.
     He made a circuit of the lower floor, securing both doors and windows. When he heard water running upstairs, he took the opportunity to wash his face and hands in the kitchen sink. The long, thin noodles and thick, spicy sauce she had prepared for dinner had tasted remarkable but had been messy.
After he dried his face and hands, he fetched a glass from the cupboard and poured himself a glass of wine. He couldn't explore upstairs until she was safely asleep.
     The Heartstone had to be here, in this house. Somewhere.
     Logic said she would keep it close.
     He sipped the wine, padding into the front room to stare out the wide windows. The inky night glittered with sporadic flickers of light. Some kind of flying insect, he supposed, performing some sort of mating ritual.
"I'll fight the Gawan with sword or blaster, fang or claw," Eric had told his grandfather and Benamont I'sadhe. "But I will not take a wife."
     Eric pursed his lips. Supposedly the woman upstairs was his long lost Gar'Jael, his soul mate. If one believed in that sort of nonsense. Eric didn't. And even if he did, he had no room in his life for a mate of any kind. He intended to destroy the Gawan before they destroyed everything he held dear.
     For that, he needed the Heartstone.
     Not a wife.

Available from Mundania Publishing: http://www.mundania.com/book.php?title=Heartstone

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Birthday Celebration!



 I have a birthday coming up in April and one lucky member of my newsletter will receive a birthday prize!  A variety pack of Body Essential Oils!


   You can join the newsletter by clicking the link below.

   If you haven't heard, I've sold Rider in a 3 Book deal to Entangled Publishing! To celebrate that, I'll be offering a prize (or maybe a couple of prizes) near its release date. We're going to rename Rider, which was always just a working title and I can't wait to see what we come up with ;-)

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

From Linda Wisdom - Behind the Book -- Sudden Impulse

Behind the Book -- Sudden Impulse
                      by Linda Wisdom


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 imagina-tion," 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 story 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.