Saturday, March 31, 2012

Into the Blue - Sweet Saturday Sample

Happy Saturday!

Today I'm taking part in Sweet Saturday Samples. This sample comes from my book Into the Blue available now at Amazon.

Samantha Jensen walked to the edge of the diving board. The water in the pool looked impossibly blue. Almost cerulean. It called to her. Begged her to slip into its liquid paradise and escape the record high temperatures of the afternoon. The Santa Ana winds had picked up that morning and, mixed with the mid-summer humidity, made it hotter than usual. Unable to resist, she dove in headfirst. Into the blue.

The surge of water against her breasts gave her instant relief. While far from cool, it offered a momentary respite. She moved her body like a mermaid along the bottom and admired the intricate tile work. Above she watched the water ripple. Gold rays from the sun splashed the surface like splotches of paint. So peaceful. So serene. She'd always felt safe in the blue. It was a place she went in her mind as a child. No one bothered her there.

No one made her play favorites.

No one else was allowed in.

~Ann Cory

Friday, March 30, 2012

Silent Kisses and Themes

I'm sort of piggybacking from my post earlier this week on It's In the Kiss. Only this time I'm posting about kisses from the days of silent cinema.

Thomas Edison's 20-second long The May Irwin Kiss was the most popular Edison Vitascope film in 1896. Many considered it scandalous to view two physically-unattractive people magnified on the screen during an extended kiss.

Alexandre Dumas' famous story of a Parisian courtesan, Camille was remade in the silent era in 1917 with Theda Bara.

Corinne Griffith starred as a destitute, wide-eyed, and naive showgirl in Milestone's silent romantic comedy The Garden of Eden .

Two of the most prominent characters in silent romantic films: Rudolph Valentino and Theda Bara.

Rudolph Valentino: The Latin Lover

The charismatic Valentino was dubbed the "Latin Lover" after an illicit tango dance in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. He became a box-office male superstar with his portrayal of a dashing Arabian sheik named Ahmed in a few silent melodramas/costume adventures, The Sheik as well as Son of the Sheik.

Theda Bara: The Vamp

Ohio-born Theodosia Goodman was an unsuccessful stage actress with the name Theodosia de Coppett, until she changed her name to Theda Bara. She became a major star in her first starring role as an exotic, sexually-aggressive femme fatale vamp character in Frank Powell's melodramatic A Fool There Was.

The magic of Greta Garbo and John Gilbert:

Greta Garbo and John Gilbert were two of the earliest romantic screen couples in the silent era. Reportedly, they had Hollywood's first French kiss on screen in a shadowy garden scene, and the first-ever horizontal-position kisses in an American film. Soon after, they were paired in MGM's melodramatic silent film A Woman of Affairs.

For more about early romance, you can click the source where I gathered this information from Here.

Starting next month, along with my regular blogging, I'll also be participating in the A-Z Challenge.

I'd like to say I was forced into it, but really I like a challenge, and it intrigued me. I'm sure I'll be sorry later ;) My theme for these A-Z posts will be Couple Getaways.

Hope you'll stop in and check them out.

Now I must get back to writing! Have a wonderful day :)

~Ann Cory

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Creature Corner - Griffons

Today I'm posting about one of mankind's most implacable foes - the Griffon.

Griffons are large, fierce-looking creatures. Their front half resembles an eagle with large swooping wings that are capable of lifting them along with prey up off the ground. Their back half and tail resemble that of a lion.

They have upright pointed ears, cruel, hooked beaks, and bright glowing eyes.

There are two varities of Griffons: Northern griffon and Indian griffon.

Griffons are well known for their speed, strength, sharp vision, and keen hearing.

The first recorded encounter of a griffon happened in 3000BCE in Egypt.

These odd creatures make their homes high in the mountains, and along rock overhangs. Since they are not fond of heat, the females often build their nests inside a cool cave. These nests are often found laced with gold, emeralds, precious stones and stolen jewelry.

Griffons are monogamous, they mate for life. If one partner dies, the other will never re-mate. Offspring remain with parents for three years. During this time their parents forage food for them. A griffon's preference in prey is a horse, which they can lift with ease, rider and all. Because of their curved claws, they easily pierce, pick up, and fly off with their prey.

Source: Fabulous Creatures and Other Magical Beings

Thanks so much for stopping by!

~Ann Cory

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Hot Read of the Month - What A Gentleman Wants



My March Hot read this month is What A Gentleman Wants by Caroline Linden. Published by Kensington Books.





What makes this book hot?

*The story is full of scorching sensuality
*Marcus Reece, Duke of Exeter
*Marcus Reece, Duke of Exeter (yes, he's worth repeating)
*Hannah Preston
*Sizzling storyline
*Difficult to put down
*Well-written
*Marcus Reece (in case I haven't mentioned him before)
*Perfect for a scintilating escape
*Lush and seductive purple cover

Loved it!



I highly recommend reading.
You'll find What a Gentleman Wants at Amazon for the fantastic price of $4.99

Hot Read of the Month is hosted by Book Savvy Babe

What was your hot read of the month?

~Ann Cory

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pick Up Your Complimentary Copy of Midnight's Sweet Kiss on 3/27

Pick up your free copy of Midnight's Sweet Kiss on 3/27 from Amazon!

Sophie Kurtz finds herself stranded in New York after catching her fiancé kissing another woman.

But thanks to Noah Conley, a knight in shining armor, or rather, a kindhearted, attractive cab driver, her night turns around.


Excerpt

She gave a final look back toward the airport and then scrunched into the cab. Ready or not she was on her way. She hoped Kyle would be thrilled by her surprise. And she hoped he had a real good reason for not picking her up.

“Where to, miss?”

The seductive deep voice from inside the cab sent shivers along her spine. She looked up and met steel gray eyes in the rearview mirror. They were deep-set and hypnotic and trained on her.

“Uh, Miss? I'll need your destination.”

Sophie blinked to break her trance-like stare. “My fiancé's place,” she blurted and felt her cheeks blaze red.

The driver's dark brows arched. “I'm not familiar with that location. Maybe you could give me a street name?”

Heat spread from her neck on up. “Sorry, it's on the corner of 9 th and Davidson,” she replied with a shaky voice.

What was up with the knot of nerves forming in her belly? She might've been with Kyle for the last three years but it wasn't like she'd never looked at another man.

A charming grin tugged the driver's full lips. Even with his body half concealed by the front seat, her senses responded, and not with any subtlety. It was like he'd been chiseled out of a clay mold of perfection. His navy blue shirt fit him snug around the chest, and there was a slight vee in the collar area that made her want to hook her finger there, pull down, and check out the rest of him.

She returned her attention to the mirror and back to his eyes. They scanned the road, moving ever so slight from one side to the other and then for a brief moment at her. His gaze had her transfixed. With his take-me-I'm-yours looks, he could tell her to strip and she'd obey in a heartbeat.

You're taken , she reminded herself and glanced down at her ring. It was a princess cut, though the diamond was larger than she preferred. Kyle insisted on the size despite her preference for something modest. She wasn't naïve. He'd bought it big to impress people with how much he'd spent on it.

“So, I take it you just flew in?”

Again shivers flecked her skin. How did his voice have such a commanding effect over her? “Yeah, I mean, yes,” she said and wondered if he ever made his girlfriend wait hours for him to show up. She didn't think so. For right now, or at least while she stayed mad at Kyle, this dark-haired dream was the ultimate sex god and could do no wrong. Olivia would be jealous.

“Is this your first time in New York,” he prompted.

“Yes.” Sophie sighed, though not because of his question. She was homesick and starting to doubt her decision.

“I thought so.”

“It's pretty much stamped on my forehead, isn't it?” She drew her bangs back to give him a better look.

He chuckled. “Nah. You just don't seem like a New Yorker.”

“Not even close. I'm from Oregon. What gave me away, the scared shitless look on my face?”

“No, but there is that. It's just little things.” He glanced her way and shrugged. “I don't have much else to do from up here, so I try to get a read on people. I'm usually good at it too, but you've stumped me.”

She arched her brow. “How so?”

“You strike me as someone who likes things calm and easy going. You won't find those things here,” he replied.

Boy, wasn't that the truth. “I'm impressed,” she said and smoothed a wrinkle out of her skirt. “I do like things calm and simple, but not stagnant. I thought change would be good, a way to start over. New house, new job, new life.” Each time she listed them it made her more apprehensive.

“Sounds daring,” the driver responded.

“I guess.” She glanced out the window as a reminder of where she was. All the months that she'd readied herself for this move had been bearable because she'd still been home. Now she didn't have that comfort to fall back on.

“To be honest,” she started, “moving here wasn't my choice.” Her eyes widened at the frankness of her own comment and she tried to backtrack. “I mean, at first it wasn't. Now I'm cool with it. My fiancé's work is here and if I want to be with him then this is where I have to live.”

Wow, the way she explained it made her sound like she'd been held at gunpoint. Where was her enthusiasm? This wasn't a life sentence. Was it? The cab shrunk around her while her ring grew three times its already ostentatious size. Was she having her first official nervous breakdown?

“At least you'll have someone to help you through it. That makes a difference,” he offered.

“Sure does,” she agreed and rolled the window down for some much needed air. “I don't mind a challenge.” Since she couldn't even convince herself, she switched the conversation onto him. “So do you do anything else besides drive people around?”

“I drive them crazy,” he joked and started to laugh.

She snickered along with him. Handsome and charming, what were the odds? “I meant, is this a full time gig?”

“For now,” he said. “It keeps me away from desk jobs and starched uniforms. I'm allergic to both.”

“Same here.”A chill ran through her and she put the window back up. Head cocked to the side she asked, “Do you like driving a cab?”

He rolled his shoulders. “Most days. Driving relaxes me.”

“Even in this traffic?” She wouldn't last ten minutes behind the wheel here.

“Yep. It helps remind me to slow down. It's easy to miss things.”

Sophie liked his carefree philosophy. It differed from Kyle's nonstop rambling about how successful he was in his career, and how everyone admired him. He'd spend hours on the phone with her rattling on about business mergers and conferences until her hand tingled from holding the phone to her ear so long. It was nice to hear someone be casual about their job, and not make money the topic of every conversation. She didn't have the nerve to tell Kyle how much it bored her, and often worried she'd fall asleep with him still talking.

In the next breath she felt a tinge of guilt. Sure she was mad at Kyle for not calling to say he'd be late, but it wasn't fair to find fault with him. She'd feel even worse when he explained what kept him. He was going to be her husband soon, and she'd need to show interest in the things he did.

“We're coming up to your stop,” she heard the driver say. His interruption was more than welcome. “Is there somewhere in particular you want me to drop you off at, or right at the corner?”

She grabbed her purse and poised her hand over the seatbelt buckle. “Yeah, the corner will be…”

Sophie's words faded off at the sight of Kyle in a steamy lip lock with some redhead in a tight little skirt, his hands freely roaming.

Her chest tightened.

“I didn't catch that last part,” said the cabbie.

From the corner of her eye she saw him turn her direction, follow her gaze out the window, and then turn back to her.

“Oh.”

~Ann Cory

It's In The Kiss - Kissing Facts


Since I'm still recovering from the flu, I thought I'd post some kissing facts.

Your lips are 100 times more sensitive than the tips of your fingers

A real kiss quickens your pulse to 100 beats in a minute

A long-lasting kiss quickens the pulse and heightens level of hormones in human’s blood so much that it shortens the lifespan by almost a minute

One little kiss burns up to 3 calories. The longer the kiss...the better the exercise!

Men who kiss their wives every morning before going to work live 5 years longer than men who don't. Pucker up guys!

70% of people aged 16 to 24 years had their first kiss by age 15, whereas only 46% of their parents had smooched by the same age

Many women like men in uniform. Statistics show that women prefer to kiss:
39% - military men
37% - lawers
27% - accountants
14% - athletes

An average woman kisses about 79 men before getting married

An average person spends two weeks of his or her life kissing

The Kiss

Who doesn’t love a good kiss? Whether soft and sensual, or body to the wall and animalistic, there’s something to be said about locking lips with someone. In these hard economic times it’s nice to know you can kiss anywhere and it doesn’t cost a thing. You don’t have to go anywhere expensive, either. Steal a kiss out in the rain. Under the moon and stars. As you pass one another in the hallway. Or when you’re all snuggled up together in bed.

Have you ever watched a movie where two people kiss and you think I so want to be kissed like that! Maybe it was a slow, lazy kiss with mouths closed. Maybe it was a clothes-pulling, passionate open mouth with plenty of tongue kiss that got your blood pumping and pulse racing. A kiss is a beautiful expression and there’s really no wrong way to do it. Plus, the more you practice the better you get.

Below are a few facts about kissing and a link to more fun facts:

The science of kissing is called philematology.

Approximately two-thirds of people tip their head to the right when they kiss.

French kissing involves all 34 muscles in the face.

Kissing is good for teeth.

It is possible for a woman to reach an orgasm through kissing.

Sources:

Here

and

Here

Hubby likes to give me butterfly kisses, which inspired the title of my book.


Butterfly Kisses blurb -

Butterfly Kisses - what better way to be kissed?

With the love and support from her fiancé, Bryan, Charlene prepares for an important swim competition. Another win and she goes to the Olympics. Nothing prepares her for the tragedy that follows.

Charlene awakens in the hospital, unable to feel her legs or remember what happened. News from the doctor is anything but good, and her Olympic dreams slip away. Bryan refuses to leave her side and will do anything to raise her darkening spirits.

More than her desire to swim again, Charlene yearns to feel Bryan's signature butterfly kisses grace along her inner thighs.

Butterfly Kisses is available on Kindle

Have a lovely rest of your day!

~Ann Cory

Monday, March 26, 2012

Behind the Motivation

It's a Monday so it's time for a Write Motivation progress report!

What started as a great week, ended with a fizzle. I submitted my novella on Monday and ended up with another 2k on current WIP. I finished Dead Iron and started Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn. However, late Wednesday I came down with the flu. Ugh. There my productivity ended.

Though I will say, Thursday I had a heck of a fever and some twisted story ideas came to me. Kind of scared me, in all honesty. Glad the fever is gone, lol. But enough about that. Onto the goals!

Here are the goals I made for March:

1) Edit minimum 6 pages, 4 days per week
2) Write for minimum 30 minutes 6 days per week
3) Update blog minimum 4 days per week
4) Social Network/blog comments minimum 3 days per week
5) Read minimum 30 minutes per day
6) Study craft minimum 30 minutes per day
7) Eat well, drink water, move body every day

What I accomplished:
1)I sent off the novella. Whew, what a feeling :) Now I pretend that I'm a super patient person and don't mind how long it takes to hear back. Cause, you know, I have plenty of things to work on and keep me busy. No need to check my email countless times. That would be silly ;) (yeah right)

2)I've written 2k on the new story and worked a little on the revisions until ravaged by the nasty flu bug.

3)I missed two blog days. Not bad. This is where writing posts for blogs early on would've come in handy. Ah well, lesson learned.

4)I didn't get to visit near enough people this week.

5)I couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to do anything. Before the flu, I'd finished Dead Iron and started on Voices of Dragons. So many books to read...hope I get to them soon.

6)I need to catch up on my synopsis workshop. We're coming to the end soon, so I'm going to have to get the homework completed and turned in.

7)The whole eat right, exercise, sleep thing pretty much went out the window. I hope to be back on track this week. I miss my routine. After two days of snow (on the first two days of spring) I'm more ready than anything for sunshine, and lots of it.

So, not much can be done. No sense getting upset with myself or dwelling on how much I'm behind. All I can do is pick up and push on. And okay, maybe I check the email a few times more than I should...not about that novella...huh uh. I'm so patient!

I truly missed my #writemotivation! Both the giving and receiving end.

So what is Write Motivation?

Write Motivation is a wonderful group of lads and ladies who are super supportive, inspiring, creative, talented, and highly motivating. They are keeping me on my toes. And if I'm having a low point or what-not, they help boost my spirits :) You can hang with us at #writemotivation on Twitter or stop by the above link to learn more. We'd love for you to join us!

Thanks for stopping by!

~Ann Cory

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Angel With A Blade - Sweet Saturday Sample

Happy Saturday! Today I'm taking part in Sweet Saturday Samples.

This sample comes from my published sweet historical romance Angel With A Blade.

Hand on the hilt of her sword, she parried and lunged, narrowly missing the dark-haired man’s throat. Again she lunged and again she missed. Her lack of rest since the start of her journey didn’t help.

With a grunt, both men came at her, their swords aimed low to the ground. She leapt as their swords swiped air. Rebecca landed, rolled to her knees and dove to the side. They gave her little time to recover before they stalked forward, backing her into the corner. The points of their swords came too close for her comfort and the one called Barton managed to draw blood along her forearm. She refused to give up or show weakness.

Jaw clenched, she struck forward. Her sword circled and connected against one sword and then the other, the steels clanging together so loudly it became almost deafening. She took a step back out of range of their blades and then parried. Sword tight in her grip, she moved like the wind to strike.

Angel with a Blade is available from Amazon

Thank you for stopping by!

Ann Cory.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Creature Corner Wyverns and Drakes

While Wyverns and Drakes are both cousins to dragons, there are differences between the two.

Wyverns are aggressive creatures, better known in England. These creatures are associated with envy, pestilence, and war, and were known to have spread the plague. Their wings are much like a bat in that they are derived from the forelimbs. They have a distinctive two-legged stance. Wyverns are mainly found in the woods and forest areas. Though they're also found along cliffs. They have eagle-like talons and barbed stings on the tip of their tails.

Drakes are more timid creatures, and typically found in Germanic and Celtic mythology. Their wings are developed from extended ribs, much like a dragon. They're found in remote mountain areas, as well as in caverns where it's said that they're attracted to shiny objects. While they don't breathe fire, they have been called firedrakes due to their toxic blood which is saturated with sulphur salt, and is flammable.

I've not written a story about dragons yet, much less wyverns or drakes, but after having done a little research on them, I may try my hand at it someday. Currently I'm reading Carrie Vaughn's Voices of Dragons, which gave me a little inspiration for this post.

Do you have a favorite book that features a dragon of some sort?

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Ann Cory

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Insecurities and People Pleasing


As part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, I am sharing my continual growth and self improvement that I've embarked on this year.

I will forever be a work in progress. And I'm down with that.

I've always been a people pleaser. Mainly to family, close friends, people I care about, and yes the pets are included. Okay, sometimes my co-workers and the boss, though with far less enthusiasm. After I embarked on a writing career, I found that I had even more people to please. People I didn't even know.

I generally get really good vibes from helping people, and I don't ever want to lose that. But then there's that unhealthy people pleasing. The kind that doesn't give off those sparkly vibes. The kind that wears a mind and body down because you've stopped living in your personal rhythm. I did that. I put myself last on my list. I put my health last. My needs were ignored because I was super good about making others happy. And my hubby gave me grief for this, but I didn't listen. I heard him, but I didn't listen.

I had to make some tough choices after awhile because my health slipped, and I didn't handle some personal stressors well. My doctor sat me down and said, "you're on a fast downhill spiral. I don't want to scare you, but it's fast. You need to make changes now" and you know, I freaked out. I wanted to see my baby graduate. I wanted to go to a convention and meet authors and readers and publishers. I wanted to go to Ireland with my sweetie. All of a sudden some very important aspects of my life were dangling in front of me. The unfinished dreams. The unfinished books. The unfinished story of my life. Scary!

And it was all on me. I had to own that I wanted to please everyone, and make everyone happy. I like happy - it's a good frame of mind to be in :) I like the feeling of making others happy. But there's an expense when you don't add yourself into the mix.

It took a couple years to get myself to a healthier place. It's still a daily battle, but it's a good one. I had to change all sorts of habits from food to exercise to social stuff, to learning to say no. I had myself convinced I was a machine. But I'm not, and since I can't trade in for younger, better parts, I have to take care of the ones I have.

I still struggle with this. I still try and take on more than I can handle. And I still find myself falling into the rhythm of helping others. Do I like to say no? Um, not always, no. Have I lost respect from others because of it? Yes, and it doesn't feel good. Have I lost friends over it? Yes, and it really doesn't feel good at all. Have I lost readers and fans because of it? Oh god, yes. It sucks!

But I'm one person. I have one life. I'm working each day to better myself in my professional life and my personal life. On most days, the really good days, I'm back on the priority list. Heck, I saw my baby graduate. *proud mama* I look forward to going to a convention in the near future. And in a few years I'm going to Ireland with my sweetie.

Do you put yourself on the priority list? If not, where do you place yourself?

Thanks for hanging out and letting me bare my soul!

~Ann Cory

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Secrets in the Annex excerpt

Secrets in the Annex available on Kindle

Can the luck and love of a chimney sweep, be enough to rescue a woman, trapped in an annex that holds many dark secrets?

Kaelyn is a former maid who used to clean the annex for the Ruthferd's. Ever since a terrifying fire broke out in the annex, she has been trapped within the chimney, desperate to get out. She waits for a man to rescue her in more ways than one, and breathe new life into her somber soul.

Rand enjoys his job as a chimney sweep and especially likes to work for the Ruthferd's, a rich and prominent family in central London. He is asked to clean the fireplace and chimney inside the newly remodeled annex, though what he finds inside is more than ash and soot. A smoldering woman emerges from inside the fiery tomb and fuels him with passion.

Through his gentle touch, and her seductive moves, they are swept away in the heat of the moment, and forge a bond that goes beyond a lifetime.

REVIEWS

"...twists and turns and spine-tingling moments.a spellbinding journey of riveting events."
~ TRS, 5 Hearts

"If readers are looking for a short sexy story with a few very enticing twists in the story, than Secrets in the Annex is a book for them."
~ Reviewed by Kelley A. Hartsell

".weaves elements of the paranormal and of historical social issues into the mix, tantalizing readers with glimpses beyond consensus reality."
~ TwoLips Reviews

"...plot pulled me in and held me tightly until the very end.paranormal twists and a bit of history cleverly thrown making it all the more appealing."
- Just Erotic Romance Reviews, 4.5 Stars

"...a mixture of suspense, romance and tenderness...with that bit of something extra to make it stand apart from the rest."
~ Romance Junkies, 4.5 Ribbons

"...an amazing story! I could hear the accents of these characters and feel
the passion between them."
~ FAR, 5 Angels


EXCERPT

Kaelyn had noticed the moment a sense of change had enveloped the house. Was it possible he had returned, and she would be rescued? The smidgeon of hope she'd been holding onto suddenly grew stronger. When she closed her eyes, she saw his hands, and the blinding, white-hot light. The glare had been overbearing, burning deep within her amber orbs. Why had he not come back to save her? Had he not heard her cries and pleas for help? She would take it all back if she could, and lay with him, letting his fingers play across her naked body. She'd allow his lips to wander between her thighs, his hair tickle across her taut belly.

She carried a heavy load of guilt and shame. There were moments he had made her feel special and cared about, treating her in ways she'd never experienced. His tender words about how much she'd meant to him still rang in her ears. They could not have been lies; wouldn't she have seen the falseness in his eyes? In many ways, she'd let their relationship go too far, and yet they hadn't gone far enough.

Kaelyn didn't know whether to draw attention to herself or wait and let him make the first move. It didn't matter one way or the other. What mattered was that her dreams were about to come true; love would be given a second chance.

Fantasies filled her mind of what he would say. No doubt he'd be full of apologies for making her wait so long, and maybe she'd torture him a little. Then she'd make him see she was true to her words. She had waited and still wanted him. Time had little meaning where love was concerned. When she'd expressed her feelings to him, or what she'd believed were her feelings, the wrong person had discovered them. What had become of her self-respect and dignity? In retrospect, it had all become a vicious game; one that ended with permanent scars.

From her black perch, she watched. His physique and the way he carried himself were different. If anything, he was more stunning than she'd let herself admit before, younger even. She couldn't keep her eyes off him as he roamed about the house, his moves stirring up a gamut of emotions. She knew better than to watch him when the missus was around, but she stole looks when she could, just as he had of her.

Now he'd returned and was close enough that she could smell a subtle peppermint scent, a refreshing aroma compared to the stale smell of burnt wood. Impatience set in, and she fidgeted. Why wouldn't he look up? He knew she was there. Did he think it a game? Had she done something wrong, and he wished to punish her more? It didn't seem right; she'd suffered more than anyone should have to, but now wasn't the time to pity herself or her situation. When he promised to come back for her, she'd taken his word as pure gold. He had to return, he just had to. Surely he would have decided by now, and he must have chosen her. Kaelyn's heart was not something to be given out to just anyone.

She would allot him a little more time. Being a lady meant biting her tongue about things. She longed for him to be like the heroes she read about in books, slipping strong, muscular arms around her petite form to carry her to safety. A thick cock to plunge between her legs while her cries echoed into the night. Waiting was something she'd grown accustomed to, and wait she would. Kaelyn turned to her companion perched beside her. Quietly, she whispered to it, telling it to be her eyes and not let him leave without finding her.

Kaelyn watched the man work, admiring his strength and determination. She couldn't wait to give herself to him, straddle his body and ride him in a selfish fit of pleasure. Moisture between her thighs thickened at the thought. Yes, she would have him, and everything would go back to the way it was supposed to be.

She reached down her body and slipped her fingers up into the moisture. A gasp escaped her throat. It was his fault she would have to get herself off. The cravings of a fierce climax were heightened, and her thighs trembled. Kaelyn stretched her legs and propped them on either side of the chimney wall, the heels of her feet resting on the wrought iron ladder rungs. With thoughts on his cock thrusting where her fingers stroked, she manipulated her clit.

Her breath increased, and she struggled against the need to cough. The soot was thick in her lungs, but she refused to let it distract her. A swirl of heat drove from her abdomen, and she quickened her motions. Kaelyn bit her cheeks as a fierce climax spread through her body. The heady scent of her sex mingled with the ashen smell and made her giddy. Through glazed eyes, she watched the man below, her body continuing its spasms. Soon she would experience his thick length.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Healthy Dose of Write Motivation

It's a Monday so it's time for a Write Motivation check in!

Good productive week. I finished my novella that I'd been polishing until my eyeballs bled. Okay, a bit over the top, but they were definitely bloodshot. And strained. But hey, you've gotta suffer for your art, right? Sure.

I've started a sexy steampunk story, and as of this morning hit 7k. I'm shooting for about 12k. I'm also reworking a previous WIP on the side, because really, I can't ever just work on one thing at a time. No, not me. It does feel good to be writing, creating, finding new characters to torture.

My March goals are as follows:

1) Edit minimum 6 pages, 4 days per week
2) Write for minimum 30 minutes 6 days per week
3) Update blog minimum 4 days per week
4) Social Network/blog comments minimum 3 days per week
5) Read minimum 30 minutes per day
6) Study craft minimum 30 minutes per day
7) Eat well, drink water, move body every day

What I accomplished:
1)I completed the novella, sent it off to my amazing CP's. Wrote the synopsis (if you read my post earlier this week you'll know that was a feat and a half), and will be submitting it off this afternoon. Woot! Feels good :)

2)I've written 7k on the new story and added 3k on the other one that now needs to be revised.

3)I've continued to blog every day. Go figure.

4)I visited many friends last week, which always feels good. I'm not always great at responding on my own blog, but I do try. I will continue to make rounds and visit friends.

5)Lots of reading :) I finished Wicked Lovely, and am halfway done with Dead Ironby Devon Monk. I also got the great honor to beta read a fabulous book that I can't wait to buy when it's published!! Great characters, intense plot, tons of action and emotion, and fun as well. I will be plugging this fantastic book when it gets closer to debut time - along with the fab author :)

6)My synopsis workshop is still going on and I've been incorporating the lessons into my synopsis. I want to learn to write these babies well! Practice, practice, grumble, practice.

7)I've eaten well, had plenty of water, and worked out 4 days this week. The weather has been nasty and the morning brrrr cold. So excited for spring!

So, novella polished, synopsis written, ready to submit. Cranked out half of a new story. Reworking older story. Feels good to be writing :)

I've done all this with the most exceptional cheering squad to help me get through some rough patches. Not sure I would've made it without the Write Motivation!

So what is Write Motivation?

Write Motivation is a wonderful group of lads and ladies who are super supportive, inspiring, creative, talented, and highly motivating. They are keeping me on my toes. And if I'm having a low point or what-not, they help boost my spirits :) You can hang with us at #writemotivation on Twitter or stop by the above link to learn more. We'd love for you to join us!

Thanks for hanging out with me here on my blog! Go forth and show this week that you aren't about to take it lying down!

~Ann Cory

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Smolder Springs - Six Sentence Sunday

Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday!

The following six sentences are from my book Smolder Springs now available from Resplendence Publishing and on Kindle. Enjoy!

Her eyes drank in every visible part from the firm muscles that hugged his arms and legs, to his thick waist and gently angled face. Her favorite feature was the stunning jade color of his eyes—clear and sharp and mesmerizing. She appreciated the dark tumbling mass of hair that fell around his neck but grieved over his choice of attire and how little it revealed his sculpted, sun-kissed body.

All six-foot-two inches of him gravitated toward her, his broad shoulders even more impressive up close. She tilted her chin to look up at him. Talk about a towering inferno.

Ann Cory

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Creature Corner Kitsune, Nogitsunes, and Primed Suspect

Today I’m going to share some facts about a very special kind of fox that has incredible paranormal powers. They are called Kitsunes or Nogitsunes. While the legends and myths of these creatures are most prominent in Japan and China, they are also written about in many other countries including India. Typically a kitsune is depicted as a woman. Often times as a seducer, able to get into the heads of the men they choose, and have her way with them. They are known to be wise and live a long, long life.

A kitsune is not as powerful in their mortal form, but they have far more chances to experience pleasure as a human. They are likened to the Western concept of the succubus – beautiful, seductive, and able to draw life force out of their chosen victim. In some myths they are considered evil, while others depict them as good. Either way they are most noted as tricksters.

Their fox form differs from that of a regular fox in the amount of tails they have. The most powerful, the Nogitsune, can have up to nine tails. They are able to light a fire to see their way in the dark by rubbing their tails together. Other powers include breathing fire and creating illusions. It is said that while in their human form, the women’s faces still take on that of a fox, more often with their cheekbones, narrowed structure and the slant of their eyes.

There are many myths and legends found on the website depicting different types of kitsune. It can make for many hours of reading, which I found while researching about these unique foxes for my story Primed Suspect. Shape-shifters of any kind are always a catapult for my imagination and often keep me up late at night.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Unladylike Behavior at Amazon Today Is Gratis

Today at Amazon, my f/f historical Unladylike Behavior is gratis - won't cost you a thing.

Scarlett Devane finds her status as a princess disheartening and lonely. Headstrong and defiant, she loathes her father’s many attempts to find her a suitor. She believes the men only want her for the fortune and nobility her status can bring them, and shuns any attempt to marry.

She seeks refuge with her sultry chambermaid as they partake in unladylike behavior in the gardens outside the castle. Desperate to be with the one she loves, Scarlett tries to find a way around centuries of tradition.

Excerpt

There was a subtle hint of naughtiness in the air. Scarlett strolled silently as a cat, careful to not awaken anyone. In her satin robe, the summer’s moon drenched her skin. As she lay among the soft meadow grass, the crickets rubbed their legs and played a midnight lullaby. She waited for her lover to arrive and whisk her away to delicious heights of unladylike behavior.

The sky was filled with sparkling trinkets, a jewelry box of precious gems with a story to accompany each one. She wondered which tale her lover would enlighten her with this night.

Her muscles tensed as a rustle came from the rose bushes. Silently she prayed it was only a small animal, and not one of the meddling guards. The brute-like men were always traipsing about, watching over her like she was an unruly child, rather than a woman with sexual needs.

“My lady,” a voice whispered as light as the wind. “I am here to attend to you now.”

Scarlett smiled and pushed herself up, eyeing the delicious silhouette of her lover. “Come out my little seductress, it is safe. I see no guards at this time.”

The sultry dark-haired beauty hired by her father, King Devane, served as her new chambermaid, and had caught Scarlett’s eye immediately. Her former servant had been an old and dowdy woman, rarely doing her work without fussing over one thing or another. After months of tantrums and stubborn pleas, her father gave in and fired the woman. He hoped she’d find someone to be a replacement mother.

Scarlett knew no one could ever replace her mother.

From Alicia’s first day, the two began with mild flirtations and suggestive whispers. A force neither could explain drew them together, and through it they developed a close bond. The basic tasks expected of the chambermaid gave way to exciting opportunities for exploring desires and convening together outside the palace walls.

It was only in the night, far away from the castle, when she could fully experience the maid’s true handiwork.

~Ann Cory

Creature Corner: The Selkie and The Nagas

Today I’m blogging about Selkies. Selch or selk(ie) is the Scots word for seal. Selkies are also referred to as water kelpies or seal people. I find them quite mysterious and I’m working on a story now about one. If you aren’t familiar with Selkies, then please read on.

It seems the legends of these unique creatures or spirits originated in Scottish and Irish folklore. Selkies are seals who have the ability to shed their seal skin and take human form. They are considered gentle, and I’ve just always considered them magical.

For many years I lived along the Oregon Coast. In one particular area along Gleneden Beach, many seals would come ashore and bask in the sunlight. I used to close my eyes and pretend I was alone on the beach, just strolling along when a male selkie would emerge from the ocean in human form, with droplets of water cascading down his muscular body.

Male Selkies are known to possess seductive powers. With their dark hair and eyes, and devastatingly handsome good looks, they are able to seduce a woman with ease. Most males seek out human females for companionship. I have a feeling I could overlook the webs between their fingers and toes. I have a feeling I’d be too distracted by everything else.

Female Selkies are somewhat the opposite, often being quite shy. They don’t go looking for a mate, even when they’ve come ashore and discarded their skin. If a mortal man happens by and captures her skin while she’s in the form of a woman, the she can be forced to become his dutiful wife. If she ever finds her skin only then can she return to the sea.

To me, Selkies are simply fascinating. I enjoyed the reference to selkies in the movie Ondine starring Colin Farrell.

Another interesting creature is known as the Naga.


This week I’m blogging about Nagas. The term Naga means serpent. Nagas are able to shape-shift into a human, or into a snake. Sometimes they can become part human, part snake, and sometimes they can be part mermaid, part snake. Often times they fully change into a snake and can become so large they can devour an elephant. When they are in snake form, they tend to resemble cobras or pythons.

Nagas or snakes represent rebirth, death, and mortality in that they are able to shed their skins and in a sense be reborn. Nagas were known to keep to themselves, typically living in underground cities or deep in the jungle, rather than out in the open with humans. They are found mostly in tales from India in much of the Hindu mythology. It is said Nagas feared unicorns.

While many fear snakes and consider them evil, the Hindus consider Nagas as nature spirits – protectors. In North India, there are communities who claim to be direct descendants of Nagas.

When I came across this type of shape-shifter, it got my imagination working overtime. Beautiful as the snake women were, my mind went a different direction. Something more powerful and masculine. The idea of a man (and we’re talking about a devastatingly handsome man here) cursed to become a Naga by a ruthless Naga queen seeped into my dreams and a story was born. My short story Snake Charmer from Ellora’s Cave can be purchased on its own, and it’s also included in the Glamorous Garnet print anthology.

Ann Cory

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Creature Corner: The Mare and Windigo

In Norwegian myth, there is a terrifying female shape shifter called the Mare. She is known as a tormentor, mainly of men, and only wreaks havoc at nightfall. Though this shape shifter takes on the form of a horse, she is able to enter a dwelling through a keyhole or a wall crack.

Once inside she mounts the chests of her victims, making it difficult for them to breathe, causing extreme pain and frightful dreams. In America she is known as the nightmare.

In daylight hours she roams in the form of a woman, usually someone’s wife or mother, without any characteristics or markings to distinguish them as anything but human. While they can shift into other creatures, it predominately chooses to become a horse.

It’s suggested that a horseshoe hung over the bed, or another type of iron/metal object, can discourage the Mare. Should she not find a human to victimize, she will torment livestock by riding them roughly. To keep livestock protected, it is best to tie a bell around their necks, or hang metal around the barn.

I believe the Mare has visited me. I've woken with my chest heavy, gasping for air, and near tears from a terrifying dream. Maybe I should consider investing in a horseshoe. Mare be gone!

And onto a seasonal, subarctic maneater with a heart of ice - otherwise known as the Windigo:


It is said these ruthless creatures were humans at one time, who became possessed cannibals. With trees used as snowshoes they roam forests of the north, hunting for human flesh. Blizzards follow their path of bloody destruction.

They’re described as tall giants with gaunt forms, glaring eyes, and a shriek that paralyzes its prey. In seconds the ice creature rips out all vital organs and feeds. Even the creature’s own family is considered prey.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not run into one. I’m uncoordinated when it comes to walking in snow, so I doubt I could run or get away from some demon-like thing that has the munchies. Then again, I'm not a fan of snow so I can't imagine why I'd be out walking in it to begin with. But I've said that about other things, so who knows ;)

In my research little is said about how to escape a Windigo. You can attempt to throw excrement at the creature to buy some time, but flinging poo wouldn’t be my first choice.


~Ann Cory

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Insecurities and Synopsis Writing


As part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, I am sharing my continual growth and self improvement that I've embarked on this year.

I will forever be a work in progress. And I'm down with that.

Though I've been writing for a number of years, I have a number of weaknesses to overcome. The important thing to remember is that a weakness can turn into a strength. It just takes time, work, dedication, and practice.

This week I'm putting a spotlight on synopsis writing. Now, I consider blurbs and log lines fun to write. A synopsis - not so much. I need practice writing them so that they're engaging and succinct, detailing the characters, plot, and important inciting events.

Mine reads like a book report. A somewhat dull book report.

And I don't get it. Because I'm super jazzed about my book. I LOVE my characters and the crazy ride I've put them through. I'm proud of the lessons my characters learned, and for their growth throughout the novella. But do you think I can convey that in my synopsis?

How can I spend months writing a book and not be able to clearly express what my book is about? Why can't I make it exciting and bursting to be snatched up by a publisher or editor?

This month I'm in a workshop taught by Sally Walker to help me gain some confidence in this area. My big hope is that weeks, or maybe months from now, I can scratch writing a synopsis off my list of weaknesses, and add it to my strengths :)

Do you find synopsis writing easy? Do you have a proven formula? Someday I hope to say YES!


~Ann Cory

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Creature Corner - The Tengu and The Leshi

If you're ever looking for inspiration, you need only look to the many shape shifters and monsters out there in mythology and folk lore. Today I'm going to talk about two different types of shifters. The Tengu and the Leshi.

The Tengu(a group of high-flying demons) are found in the mountainous areas of Japan, often dwelling in cedar or pine trees. There are two tiers of the Tengu: Higher Tengu and Inferior Tengu. The Higher Tengus wear red bishop-like robes and a small crown. They take human form and are often seen with white hair, red faces, and holding a feather-made fan. They travel as independents, rather than in a flock as the Inferior Tengu does.

The lesser tier of Tengu is described as having small wings and sharp claws on their toes and fingers. Often their clothes are made of leaves and wear black hats on top of their heads. Both types of Tengu have long beaklike noses. It is expected of the Inferior Tengu to carry out the nasty orders and demands of the Higher Tengu.

These shifter demons are known to be the spirits of the unforgiving dead. They have a fondness for playing malicious and practical jokes on innocent travelers. The Tengu most enjoy taunting Buddhist monks. In fact they will lead a monk astray, bind them to a treetop and offer them food that isn’t food at all, but excrement. How appetizing!

They are also not beneath stealing children and hiding them from their parents. When the children are returned, they rarely regain their senses.

Awareness and adhering to the rules of the Tengu will greatly increase your chance of travel without incidence. It should be understood that the Tengu own all the trees in the mountains, and are to be propitiated for any wood taken. Woodcutters offer rice cakes if they chop down a tree. A lack of respect could cause the Tengu to start avalanches or worse.

I guess a good rule of thumb would be to start packing rice cakes if I’m out walking the mountains and forests of Japan. And here I thought a water bottle and trail mix would be a better choice.


The Leshi (Leshii) is a guardian species found in Russian forests. These shifters are known to be mischievous and tricksters. They’ve been seen in many forms – the most common a tall man covered in unkempt black hair. The Leshi have also been seen with cloven-hoofed feet, a tail, devil-like horns, and carrying a whip to signify he is master of the forest and all animals within it. This cunning shifter can also take the form of a large tree or a small blade of grass, or as any number of animals including a hare, bear, raven or wolf.

The Leshi likes to mess with the heads of people, and will call out to travelers who pass through the forests in a friendly voice, leading the unsuspecting folks in circles until they’re lost. Those most likely to fall prey to the Leshi’s antics are woodsman and hunters. Depending on the Leshi, they may only play tricks on the victim, or they may tickle the victim to death, or cause them to become ill.

While many of the tales about the Leshi make the shifter seem tame compared to many other types of shifters, there are stories where a woman is taken captive, later returned mute and moss-covered.

If one should run into the Leshi, it’s suggested to turn clothing inside out, put the right shoe on the left foot and the left shoe on the right foot. Fire will also work as the Leshi fears fire.

Since I’m terrible with directions, I’m afraid I’d definitely get tricked by a Leshi and get hopelessly lost. Being tickled to death may not be the worst way to go, but it’s not ideal either. Actually, I think it’s kind of twisted, lol. I think I’ll stick to the forests nearby where I’m much more comfortable.

Next Tuesday I'll be sharing two more shifters. Hope you'll stop by :)

~Ann Cory

Monday, March 12, 2012

Oh So Motivated


It's a Monday so it's time for a Write Motivation check in!

I had a great week but found I had to pull a lot more hours trying to get the current WIP all polished and ready to submit. As a result I got up very early and wrote late into the night more times than I care to. It worked okay, but I don't think I can sustain that. Being almost finished (I'm thinking Tuesday at the latest) I will be glad to move onto the other WIPs that have had to wait on the sidelines.

My March goals are as follows:

1) Edit minimum 6 pages, 4 days per week
2) Write for minimum 30 minutes 6 days per week
3) Update blog minimum 4 days per week
4) Social Network/blog comments minimum 3 days per week
5) Read minimum 30 minutes per day
6) Study craft minimum 30 minutes per day
7) Eat well, drink water, move body every day

I accomplished:
1)I spent each day doing deep edits to get the novella polished. I definitely went beyond what I'd set for myself, which was supposed to be the healthier route to go. It's sort of a double-edged sword. This coming week I'd like to spend more time writing.

2)Between two WIP's I've written 10k, which is fine, but really I spent the most time on edits so I didn't expect the number to be high.

3)I've blogged everyday this week. Guess I have things to say for a change? We'll see how it goes.

4)I spent some time schmoozing. I visited more friend's blogs this past week which made me feel good. I always feel terribly rude when someone stops by and I don't return the favor. It's just good manners, you know? My momma did teach me better. I will continue to make rounds and visit friends.

5)Lots of reading :) I finished Changes, A Blue so Dark, Hostage, and am halfway done with Two Minute Rule by Robert Crais. I read A Blue so Dark in a day - terribly hard to put down! Great YA!

6)I'm doing a workshop this week on synopsis writing, because I don't do well with those at all. I need to change that. Always learning :)

7)I've eaten well, had plenty of water, and this week I made the extra effort to workout. I did yoga one day, and interval training 3x's this week. I promise to keep this up. Especially with warmer weather on its way.

I am not a fan of turning the clocks forward. Just saying. Nothing good comes from losing an hour.

So this week I should have the WIP polished and sent out to Beta readers and CP's. I hope to spend more time writing, and yes...working out. Like it or not I need to make my health a priority. *sigh*

So what is Write Motivation?

Write Motivation is a wonderful group of lads and ladies who are super supportive, inspiring, creative, talented, and highly motivating. They are keeping me on my toes. And if I'm having a low point or what-not, they help boost my spirits :) You can hang with us at #writemotivation on Twitter or stop by the above link to learn more. We'd love for you to join us!

Thanks for stopping by! Wishing you a goal-busting week ahead!

~Ann Cory

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Her Warrior Heart - Six Sentence Sunday


Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday!

The following six sentences are from my sensual romance book Her Warrior Heart, published by Resplendence Publishing.


Raina went to remove the flask from around her neck when the sky darkened at an alarming rate.

She jerked her chin up, squinting at the immense shapes circling. “No,” she cried and motioned to Torin. “Quick, hide what you can!”

A mass of harpies loomed overhead and swooped down, their disfigured hands ready to grasp hold of anything they could. Their ear-splitting shrieks pierced the air.

Her Warrior Heart is available from Amazon and also from Resplendence Publishing

~Ann Cory

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Vampire Hunter: Blood of the Vines Releases June 11th

Vampire Hunter: Blood of the Vines Book One - releases June 11th from Liquid Silver.

Blurb:

Tracking ruthless bloodsuckers isn’t all bad, especially when there’s a man around that slays your heart.

Once a vampire, now a vampire hunter, Regan Fellows walks a fine line with her reputation. Unable to afford her favorite Italian leather outfits, she takes any job she’s offered. When the owner of The Vines, a popular nightclub, asks her to investigate strange goings-on within her establishment, she doesn’t refuse.

Her investigation takes a disturbing turn as Regan explores the labyrinth of rooms within The Vines. She discovers blood-filled carboys, discarded bodies, and shadows that follow her every move.

But blood, bodies, and shadows aren’t the only problems. Sexy bartender, Garrett Reynolds is a bona-fide distraction, and flawless at the art of breaking down her resistance. Even in the midst of tracking a ruthless horde of vampires, Regan can’t deny him. And that attraction puts her in more danger than any job she’s ever accepted.

This is the first book in the Blood of the Vines Trilogy

Excerpt

Regan Fellows walked swiftly along the desolate streets, dodging broken glass and rain puddles, her eyes intent on the night prowlers. The downtown dive was nearby the location she’d been asked to meet up, the place the young woman on the phone had called The Vines. Burned out streetlamps made it difficult to see clearly, and an onslaught of garbage coated the sidewalks. It seemed a place where the trash walked and fit right in.

A bitter wind nipped at her cheeks as she picked up the pace. She pulled the collar of her leather jacket up further as a shield. Her new Italian black leather pants with matching jacket seemed to hold up well for the late autumn weather, though she should’ve thought twice about the skimpy top. Her nipples pressed tight against the lace of her bra, making her wince.

At the corner of Fifth and Halsey, Regan stopped. An obscure wrought-iron sign dangled in the breeze that read The Vines. For a supposed popular nightclub, it looked seedy. Her stomach knotted. A new job always wreaked havoc on her nerves, especially when she ended up in some sordid place. Those who knew about her line of work were often the ones she needed to be wary of. She acknowledged the dangers of her job, but she needed money to afford her fetish for high quality Italian leather.
With a deep breath, she turned the knob and entered.

She followed a winding metal staircase down into a sea of writhing, undulating bodies on a red-lit dance floor. The bass of the music vibrated so deep it shook each step. At the bottom step, a petite redhead greeted her, a tray of drinks balanced in her hand. “Welcome to The Vines. Have a seat wherever you can find one.”

Regan nodded and pressed the faux flap of skin around her neck.

“Thanks. I wondered if you could help me. I’m looking for a woman by the name of Selena. She asked me to meet her here.”

The waitress primped her corkscrew curls. “Sure, I’ll let her know you’re here. And you are?”

“Regan. She’s expecting me.”

Curls bobbing, the redhead nodded. “I’ll let her know. It might be a few minutes before I can flag her down. Have to serve customers.”

Regan shrugged. “No worries. I’ll wait at the bar.”

She tracked the young woman until she disappeared into the crowd of dancers, and then made her way to the other side of the room. Hands groped her body as she passed, some lingering longer than others. Already the temperature in the room had spiked ten degrees.

At one time, this scene would’ve worked for her. Back when she’d been naïve and curious. Addicted to the euphoric high of nonstop sexual energy as she danced naked with strangers. Wrecked in body and soul for a single drop of their blood.
But this wasn’t her scene anymore.

At the bar, Regan plopped on a stool and admired the selection of wine bottles along the shelves. Not much of a drinker, she’d never really learned the fine art of tasting wine, though she’d enjoyed several specialty Italian wines once on a weekend Tuscan getaway.

Regan turned and eyed the dance floor packed with obscenely beautiful people all outfitted in black. They danced like a raging sea, bodies gyrating and grinding to the hypnotic music. Aroused, a carnal yearning brewed inside her.

One couple eyed her with a scintillating stare. They caressed their bodies, not averting their gaze from her. Desire flickered between her thighs. She spread her legs and palmed the crotch of her leather pants. The dancers moved their hands as well. Trembling, she felt their hands reach between her legs, beneath her pants, opening her wide. She gasped, certain she’d climax right there.

Breath labored, Regan wrested her gaze away, and the erotic stimulation ended. Deep breath in, she fanned herself. She’d have to be on her guard or get lost in the night games taking place.

Damp and red-cheeked, she faced the bar, finding an attractive dark-haired, green-eyed bartender smiling back at her.

Her pussy throbbed.

“What’s your poison, beautiful?”

Regan swept her gaze along his broad shoulders, strong chin, and deep-set eyes. His voice matched his sex appeal. Speechless, she struggled to come up with the name of anything, let alone a drink.

She straightened and cleared her throat. “Anything would be fine, I’m not picky.”

“Good to know.” He selected a large-bowled goblet from a crystal glass rack that hung above the bar and set it in front of her. Her body tingled at the ease with which he moved.

He ran his tongue along his bottom lip and stared intently. “We carry only the finest vintages here.”

She squirmed on the stool. His voice, his hands, his piercing eyes heightened her arousal. Rarely did she find herself tongue-tied in the presence of a man.

“Whatever you recommend will be fine. I trust your expertise.”

Hell, she’d trust his hands all over her body.

His smoldering gaze deepened, igniting her body like it was kindle. The tip of his mouth curved upwards as he rolled his sleeves to his elbows.

“Very well. A glass of our finest red. Only the best should slip between your lips and coat your tongue.”

She squeezed her thighs at the decadent words. Powerless to look away, she watched the corded muscles of his forearms strain against his flesh as he uncorked a bottle and filled the goblet midway. The deep, ruby liquid swirled with sinful flare.

“Why don’t you start with this and tell me what you think.” He slid the glass closer to her and winked. “Consider this one on the house.”

Lips trembling, she mumbled, “Thank you.”

Their fingertips touched as she went for her glass. The brief contact resurrected her arousal, and her throat thickened. Now, more than ever, she needed a drink. As if to taunt her more, Handsome leaned across the counter and propped his chin in his hands.

“Enjoy.”

His masculine scent assaulted her senses and she fought to hold the goblet. Provocative thoughts of pouring the wine down her body and watching him savor her skin with his tongue took her mind hostage.

Regan inhaled the wine and swished the glass as she’d seen true connoisseurs do. Her pulse quickened. The heady aroma, dangerously familiar. She glanced at the dark-haired hunk and admired his chiseled features. He didn’t give the impression of someone she needed to worry about. She tipped the goblet, the rim against her bottom lip. A thin stream of liquid swilled forward, her taste buds, craving.

Behind her a voice shouted, “You reckless son of a bitch! Don’t serve her that!”

Regan didn’t have a chance to turn around. The goblet flew from her hands, spiraled through the air, hit the back wall and shattered.

(copyright 2012)

Ann Cory

Friday, March 09, 2012

Celebrate Your Accomplishments


How often do you celebrate your accomplishments?

How big do those accomplishments have to be for you to celebrate?

If you only celebrate the big stuff, you may be missing out on some key factors to staying motivated and productive.

When you cross off another goal for the day, do you pause long enough to pat yourself on the back? Do a victory dance? Cheer? Or do you just focus on what you have left to do.

A great motivator to some serious goal-busting is honoring yourself with a reward. It can lead to a healthier and more positive outlook.

I like to reward myself with time. I feel I never have enough. And in the past I tended to put off doing things for myself. At the end of the day I'd be proud of all that I completed, but lacked that extra boost. Now I take that reward time and turn it into reading time.

Perhaps you'd rather spend that time doing something else. Taking a bath. Having a true tea time complete with pretty tablesetting, a teapot, and finger sandwiches. Time where you're unplugged and meditate. Time for a walk. Time in the garden. Time to listen to music. So many rewards. So healthy.

Don't wait for the big stuff to celebrate. Honor the small things you do in a day. Maybe it's writing 250 words. Maybe it's writing a book blurb. Maybe it's commenting on a friend's blog, or taking time to show support for someone else. These are all valuable, and your time is valuable.

What do you do to celebrate completing your goals?

~Ann Cory

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Penny Serenade Won't Cost You a Penny Today at Amazon


Penny Serenade: Tokens of the Heart Book One won't even cost you a penny today at Amazon

Blurb -

When Audrey Kessler opened her new age shop, Tokens of the Heart, she never expected it to be such a success. While her life is all about being neat and orderly, she hasn’t found much success in the other areas of her life. Mainly love.

Enter Dominic Blume, a jack-of-all-trades, who in one day manages to capture her attention and draw her ire. Preferring to play things safe, Audrey does her best to focus on her business and ignore the way her body ignites whenever Dominic is near.

But when she needs a strong, warm body to comfort her after a traumatic event, Audrey worries that she has succeeded too well at keeping Dominic away.

Excerpt –

Her mind whirred. The man was bad for her nerves. On one hand he had an incredible face, voice, and body. He smelled damn good, and his seductive smile made her entire being shudder. On the other hand he didn’t know the first thing about communication. His words spilled out, without any filters. She speed walked around the store, finding herself too wound up for the peaceful ambiance she’d created. The music was all wrong. Heavy metal rather than Celtic harp would be more her pace at the moment.

A string of obscenities lay at the tip of her tongue and she was starting to sweat from walking so fast. She needed to find a way to catch her breath and be calm. If she threw herself into her work, thoughts of Dominic, wanting to touch Dominic, and wanting to kiss Dominic, would disappear.

She grabbed a notepad off the counter along with a pen, and wrote down the amount and colors of Betsy’s bracelets that needed to be restocked, especially in lapis blue. Audrey groaned. Great, the lapis blue bracelet, another thing that reminded her of the day the tactless wonder walked in.

No sooner had she jotted down numbers, a streak of light shone into the store, followed by Dominic himself. She groaned again, this time to herself. Wouldn’t he ever leave her alone? She’d never seen him before and now she couldn’t escape him.

Through gritted teeth she asked, “Can I help you?”

“I feel the need to apologize, again,” he said. “Err, repeatedly.”

“It’s not necessary,” she grumbled. “If we stay out of each other’s way then there won’t be a problem.” She’d have to find a new place to go for lunch, which sucked on many levels, or she’d always be looking for him.

“Listen.” He reached out to touch her arm and stopped before his fingers made contact. Curling them into a fist, he put his arm back down to his side. “I’m not in the habit of saying sorry, to anyone, but I can tell you don’t think much of me, and I’m to blame for that. I have a feeling you’re going to hold a grudge against me because of what I said about the pennies.”

Audrey shrugged. She was feeling very out of her comfort zone around him. Words escaped her.

He walked over to the penny display and turned it slow. “These really are something. It’s a clever idea.”

She folded her arms. “Don’t be condescending.”

“I’m not trying to be, I swear,” he said, leaning his god-like body against the counter. “Yesterday I only had one thing on my mind and that was getting the best gift I could for my niece. You can’t fault me for not knowing you made them. Hell, I didn’t even know your name.”

She opened her mouth to argue, but he made a good point. His comment about the pennies wasn’t even the issue anymore, and she knew it. She was angry for having made him out to be perfect at first glance and then felt betrayed by her own high expectations. It was easier to blame him than her lousy quick judgment.

“It doesn’t matter,” she said, looking past him.

“I can tell it matters.”

“I’ll get over it. I’m good at that.” Audrey could write a how-to book on the subject if she wanted.

Dominic straightened and took a step closer. “Can we consider starting over? I’d like another chance.”

If he knew how much he aroused her in that split-second with the way he moved and his words, he’d use that to his advantage.

She clicked her tongue. “I’m not interested.”

His jaw slackened. “Then you’ve already made your mind up about me.”

“I didn’t say that,” she said in a rush. “I just know myself,” she explained, feeling like an idiot. “Anything you say will of course sound better now, but it won’t erase what you said before. You could’ve knocked anything else in the entire store, but you ridiculed something dear to my heart. I said I’ll get over it, but it will take time. The hurt can’t be removed with smooth talk or a charming smile.”

His lips curled in a tantalizing way. “Do I have a charming smile?”

She paused. How had that slipped out? Blurting wasn’t her style. Flustered she looked around the store, trying to focus on something that would guide her. Nothing did. She’d been very close to having everything together in her life before Dominic. It made sense that things would be better if she stayed clear of him. Not knowing what else to say, she glanced at the clock. “Look, I have a ton of work to do. If you aren’t going to buy anything, then you should leave.”

“I’ll leave,” he said, his tone serious again. “I promise.”

The sooner the better, she thought.

“How about that drink later?”

Along with learning some tact, the guy needed to learn to take a hint. She shook her head. “I don’t drink.”

“Do you do dinner?” A twitch of something, smugness? crossed his lips.

“I don’t close until seven,” she answered with a bitchier-than-planned tone. “I usually heat up something in the back around six and munch on it. Thanks anyway.” She wondered when he was going to leave.

“Dessert? I’m a big fan of cake.”

Audrey thought back to the cheesecake at the café and her resolve weakened. “Oh yeah? What kind of cake?”

“Any kind, though I’m partial to white cake with butter cream frosting.”

She nodded. “Sounds good, but I’m a sucker for cheesecake.”

“Noted,” he said and pretended to take out a pad of paper and write it down.

Dessert conversation over, she returned to her frown. He’d almost made her forget to be irritated.

(copyright 2012)



~Ann Cory

Morning Pages to Start Your Day



Last year I started doing what are called "morning pages" from The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. Morning pages are when you write three pages every morning about the first things that come to mind. Whatever they are. Even when you don't think you're awake enough to form a thought. You don't have to worry about punctuation, spelling, or whether it makes sense or not. That isn't what the exercise is about.

The idea is to purge scattered thoughts and allow more headspace to focus and be creative. Sort of a feng shui for mind clutter. And I am a big supporter on getting rid of clutter, I just didn't think about it in the creative sense. You get those thoughts out before you start working on your WIP so they don't creep up on you, or stifle you. It really does work.

In the first week I didn't know what to write, so it ended up being a bunch of nonsensical stuff, venting about the neighbor's dog, my grocery list, and random thoughts. The second week I wrote about my work in progress. I argued with myself on the direction I wanted to take the characters, who to kill, who to save, and how many POV's I planned to have.

I'd say by the seventh day it all clicked for me. Morning pages became a habit. I found myself in this funky zen zone and watched my word count increase each day. Ideas for a series, books in new genres, and complex plotlines emerged - and I'd been worried the well had started to run dry. Now I can't start my mornings without writing those three pages. I don't write more or less than the three pages, though there are days when I'm sorry to have to stop at three, but there's no need to go beyond that.

I also find that morning pages are a calm way for me to wake up. I keep the notebook beside my bed with a pen and cliplight. The alarm goes off, I grab my stuff, silently groan that I can skip a day - but I never do, and write. Typically during the first page I'm barely able to keep my eyelids open. By page two I've settled in and notice that I'm waking up. At the end of page three I'm refreshed, awake, alert, and ready to work on my book.

If you've never tried morning pages, I'd recommend giving it a week. Be open-minded about the process. Write three pages at the start of your day and see if you find a boost in creativity. Of course it may not be your thing. No one way works for everyone. But give it a shot. I didn't realize how much the pages would impact my life. New and healthy habits are always a plus!

~Ann Cory

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Insecurities and Support


I just joined the Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, as part of my continual growth and self improvement that I've embarked on this year.

Though I've been writing for a number of years, I have a number of weaknesses to overcome.

One of those weaknesses is what I discussed about yesterday in my post Writer's Retreat. And a reason why I signed up for this unique group.

I am a work in progress. Each and every single day.

Many people think that I'm outgoing, confident, motivating, and fun. I can be, but most of the time I have to pump myself up first. I used to freeze up at chats. Sometimes I still do. I'm not very good at talking about myself. Interviews are a challenge. Of course I want to talk about my book, I wrote it to share with the world, but to talk about myself...not so much.

The positive side about admitting a weakness is that with work, it can become a strength. I do much better than before. I've worked hard to join in more, sign up for blog events, take part in special groups with like-minded people, and hang out at the social network sites. Is it easy? Nope. But I've never done anything the easy way in my life.

I believe that I can overcome my shyness. It's work that I don't mind doing.

What about you? What's one of your insecurities?

~Ann Cory

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Writer's Retreat

When you’re somewhat of a recluse, aka shy, it isn’t easy being in the spotlight. With all the social networking and places to be for an author, it can be overwhelming. There are times when someone writes me and asks – girl where have you been?

Where?

Unplugged. Not online. Possibly hidden under a blanket or under my desk, maybe rocking myself in a broom closet full of dolls who talk to me, you never know.

Sometimes I have to retreat. Sometimes I have to be okay with not sharing news with the world. I’m a big fan of privacy. At the same time I acknowledge that in this career, I need to be accessible. Most days I don’t mind so much.

I remember when writers had a certain mystique. They hid out in the creepy but cool attic hunched over a spiffy typewriter, plunking away, pausing once in awhile to swear and fix the ribbon. They wore a mask of anonymity. I like that. I support that. Mystique is both a cool word, and cool.

Except now there's little mystique in these times of promotional circuits, personal blogs, guest blogs, platform building, author branding, critique groups, writing groups, chats, workshops, seminars, conventions, and social networking. For a somewhat shy person like me, it’s daily work to keep myself afloat out there. I take a deep breath and plunge in that deep end as often as I'm able. Even though I can't swim, am afraid of water, and am allergic to chlorine. I still do it.

When I do retreat – it’s to recharge and refuel. A time to gather myself and prepare myself for the next round.

To stay sane and out of that broom closet, I’ve joined groups such as Write Motivation and Write Campaign. I know there's support and helping hands to pull me out of that deep end when I've lost my momentum.

Still, there will be the times when I have to retreat. And I'm okay with that. I'm not totally alone. There are the dolls...

~Ann Cory

Monday, March 05, 2012

Motivated Monday


It's Monday and Write Motivation check-in day! I've stayed busy and productive and am very proud of all that I've accomplished.

My March goals are as follows:

1) Edit minimum 6 pages, 4 days per week
2) Write for minimum 30 minutes 6 days per week
3) Update blog minimum 4 days per week
4) Social Network/blog comments minimum 3 days per week
5) Read minimum 30 minutes per day
6) Study craft minimum 30 minutes per day
7) Eat well, drink water, move body every day

I accomplished:
1)15 pages deep edited and 15 pages edited. I'll need to go back through the more recent 15 pages and do a deep edit on them. But that's for next week :)
2)Between two WIP's I've written 15k
Hmmm, what's with all the 15's? Weird trend
3)I generally blog 5x's a week, but give myself some room if I'm unable to do that. I've blogged everyday except Sunday this week. I try and stay unplugged more on Sundays.
4)I pop up somewhere each day, generally I keep it to small intervals of time. Too easy to lose myself in it, so I use a timer.
5)Lots of reading :) I finished Shameless, Tithe, Poison Study, and am halfway finished with Changes by Jim Butcher. Can't read enough - wish I had more time!
6)I've been in a workshop all week - so that gets counted toward my craft study. A new one starts today! Very excited :)
7)I've eaten well, had plenty of water, the exercise thing is not quite going well, but I'm working on this.

So - goals were met. Add to this that the Sapphic Planet Anthology released in print - so I've been busy promoting it. Stay tuned for a blog hop with the contributing authors :)

Write Motivation is a wonderful group of lads and ladies who are super supportive, inspiring, creative, talented, and highly motivating. They are keeping me on my toes. And if I'm having a low point or what-not, they help boost my spirits :) You can hang with us at #writemotivation on Twitter or stop by the above link to learn more. We'd love for you to join us!