News & Newsworthy
July 10th, 2008
This month I’m doing a cross contest with fellow Aphrodisia author Elizabeth Amber, who writes the Lords of Satyr series—sexy historical paranormal.
Check the contest page at my site www.sharonpage.com/contest/ for a chance to win a copy of Elizabeth’s latest book, LYON, THE LORDS OF SATYR. For a chance to win my latest, BLACK SILK, check out Elizabeth’s newsletter group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ElizabethAmber
I’m editing my first Bantam/Dell book, THE CLUB, right now, which has been making me think about the things we take out of stories, or “Outtakes”.
Every writer has them. Some are even brave enough to post them on their websites. On her site, author Kelley St. John has a page called The Cutting Room floor, where she has posted deleted scenes and extra material. I love the idea—I love to see all the “behind the scenes” process that goes into creating a book. I also love to watch the deleted scenes on DVD—I find it really helps me think about storytelling to try to understand why the scene was removed, and how the movie is stronger because of it.
When I wrote the synopsis for SIN, I thought that it would be a great idea to have my artist heroine Venetia draw a portrait of Marcus, the hero. And so I wrote the scene. But through later drafts I realized the scene didn’t advance the plot, and even though I loved the idea and the scene made me smile, I had to let it go.
It’s always tough to make that decision to cut paragraphs or even an entire scene. I can never force myself to do that right after the first draft. It’s usually when I reach the third draft that I am cold-hearted enough to slash where needed!
Here’s a peek at a scene that didn’t make it into the final, published version of SIN. But I loved the scene, so if you’ve read BLACK SILK, some of this may seem familiar…
Fully clothed and he’d never felt more naked in his life. Marcus shifted his hip against his desk. What was she staring at? Why had he struck this pose where he was gazing off into the distance at not at her?
What part of him was she looking at now?
His shoulders? His chest? His thighs? Or worse, was she painting his groin, which of course at some point she would have to do. He couldn’t ask her to leave a blank unpainted hole where his hips and crotch should be, but his erection was tenting his breeches. Thankfully he’d worn black, so the bulge wouldn’t be so blasted obvious, but if he stood here knowing she was scrutinizing his family jewels to record them for posterity, he might just ravish her on the spot.
Hell and perdition, all he’d done was kiss the woman and now he couldn’t put her from his mind. He’d lost a thousand bloody pounds at the tables today.
How many women had he kissed? How many women had he made love to? He couldn’t remember the last, but he couldn’t seem to stop thinking about Venetia Hamilton.
Expecting an admonishment, he turned his head just a bit and glanced at her.
She wasn’t looking at him. Good lord, she was sucking on the end of her paintbrush. Her soft red lips pursued around the painted wood shaft and she studied her picture with a frown. Drenched in candlelight, her hair was a mass of flame. She was adorable as her amber brows drew together in concentration.
“No, indeed, that shoulder is not broad enough,” she muttered in a breathy voice. Speaking to herself, she had a soft, kittenish purr. “Definitely his shoulders are broader…straighter…hips lean and narrow…decidedly trim and I haven’t quite caught the lovely line where they…ooh.”
The soft little sigh at the end was almost his undoing. Blast, he should have posed behind his desk. Was it too late to pull a chair in front?
He was as hard as a pistol and she must be able to see it. He knew she was studying his hips. Which meant she would be working around to the front. Was she assessing him for length and girth? Did he make a good showing compared to her fantasies?
“Could we take a break?” His voice broke the stillness like a cannonball exploding.
She pulled her brush from between her lips and he fancied he saw the tip glistening. The tip of her tongue dabbed the very end, thoughtfully. He gripped the bullnose edge of his desk, tight enough to pop a seam of his gloves.
“You’ve not been posing for more than half and hour, my lord.”
“I’m stiff—” God, had he just said that?
“But it will take weeks to complete the work if we stop every time you are…stiff.”
For readers and writers, do you enjoy the “Behind the Scenes” sections where authors reveal the secrets behind the book?
June 23rd, 2008
BLOOD RED is a finalist in these contests for 2007!
National Readers’ Choice for Erotic Romance
More than Magic for Erotic Romance
Golden Quill for Erotic Romance
Write Touch Award
Passionate Plume Award (Paranormal)
BLOOD ROSE is a finalist for these 2007 contests!
National Readers’ Choice for Erotic Romance
2007 Passionate Plume Award (Paranormal)
June 21st, 2008
I booked my flight to London yesterday, which means that my planned research trip to England this October is now a reality! It turned out that several members of my RWA chapter planned to go at the same time, so we’ve made it a joint trip and are renting an apartment. Now the real preparation begins! I have books on Jack the Ripper to read, and Regency locations to list so I can see them, and I’m also hoping to do some side excursions. Plus I’m looking forward to going to bookstores. What if I actually saw myself (i.e. a book of mine) in one of the stores? Boggles the mind. It’s like that scene in a Dirk Gently book by Douglas Adams, where a time-traveling professor claims that he hates to run into himself when he’s gone back in time. He never knows where to look.
I must admit it’s tough to follow up Pam’s amazing post of yesterday. I thought her comments on covers were really interesting. And I have to admit that I’m drawn to pick up covers like the one on The Edge of Impropriety. The elegant, historical female image is eye-candy for me—it looks like chocolate in a classy, lavish wrapper, and I cannot wait to delve inside.
I’ve also just received the artwork for my upcoming cover for THE CLUB, my first book with Bantam/Dell. It took my breath away. Naked male shoulders were involved, and I do have a weakness for male shoulders.
I have to get back to the kids—I’m late posting and we have a truck-load of books to return to the library. The kids are antsy to replenish the supply, and I sure can’t deny them when they are so excited about books. So I’m posting an excerpt from my upcoming book HOT SILK. This one will be out in October—this excerpt is a little different. In HOT SILK my heroine originally makes love to the wrong man. Not a case of mistaken identity, but misplaced love. She thinks she is in love and discovers she’s not. How will romance readers react, I wonder?
“Only if you take the blade from your heart.”
“I will plunge it in if you leave me now. If you do not touch me. I cannot live without your touch. I could go to another woman. I know you are thinking that. I could bury my heavy, aching cock into her and fuck until my brain explodes and all the while I would be in pain because I wanted you. Do you have any idea what bloody torture that is?”
“I think I know.”
“I want to marry you, Grace. All I need is a yes. One simple word.”
“Yes.” And there was no turning back. She hungered to touch him, and, once she did, she had to go forward.
If she touched him, she had to agree to do everything a husband and wife were intended to do. Slowly, she pulled off her glove—a white, virginal, and utterly irritating scrap of satin. She reached out, touching her fingertips to his chest, his skin hot and damp beneath her touch.
“Take the knife away,” she breathed. He was drunk and his hand cupped her bottom—a place a man’s hand had never been—but she was afraid he would crush her to him and stab himself by accident.
He was young. Spoiled. Passionate. Wild.
Hers. With one simple word.
“Yes,” she said again, to ensure there was no mistake, and she released a sigh of relief as he tossed the blade back to the desk. But in the next instant, he slid her skirts, petticoats and all, up her thighs. He pulled her drawers down before she could squeak, held her as she stepped out of them.
“You smell of lust, Grace. You stink of it and I love your smell. I want to cover my hands in it, my cock in it.”
His earthy words made her more wet, more creamy and slick, and she could smell herself, flushing as she did so.
“Now, hold up your skirts for me and let me explore.”
She obeyed and his hands slid around her naked inner thighs. His palms were strong, a little rough, and as he squeezed her skin she feared she’d fall to the floor.
“Stand up, Grace,” he commanded in a growl and his hands skimmed higher, up and up to the juncture of her thighs, to her hot and sticky quim. “Part your legs for me a little more.”
She did, aware of the wetness leaking down her inner thighs.
“Ah, yes, good girl,” he murmured, and his look of fierce hunger softened with his heart-breaking smile. “Lovely, soft curls.”
His fingers combed through them and she squirmed. Her quim felt tight and achy and hot and she was wriggling to ease the tension.
“Is your clit hard now? Would it like to feel my fingers stroking it? Would you like me to rub hard?”
She had no idea. A strangled, confused groan slipped from her lips. His bold erotic talk was what she wanted but not entirely what she’d expected. She was to be his wife—she’d thought he would be sweet. It would be sensuous and they would not speak—
Like a statue, she stood, unable to move, and his long, strong fingers slid into her cleft. It felt so good, it felt—
June 5th, 2008
Finally, I am about to launch into a sex scene on my current WIP for Aphrodisia. I got a title for it this week—BLOOD DEEP—and a release date. It will be coming out in June 2009. Honestly, this always freaks me out a little since quite a bit of the middle of the book is still just a gleam in my eye.
I had to spend the last two days doing computer clean up. Astonishing how you can run out of space on your computer. Well, not so much if you don’t delete an email for four years. Sigh. And unfortunately I had to do some tidying (against my will). The computer finally stopped letting me send emails—rather like a strict nanny giving me a few lashes with a cane.
And yesterday morning we (my hubby and I) inherited furniture from an author friend of mine who is downsizing, so we now have a dining table and chairs and a new sofa. The kids were stunned—they’ve pretty much ruled the main floor of the house. There just never seemed any point to getting furniture when we had toddlers—not for two kids who only scribbled faster with the pencils when you shouted “NO!”
So with all the upheaval, it’s been tough to find time to write. But I tried a new trick with BLOOD DEEP. I’ve decided to write the last line of the book first. I attended a terrific writing workshop given by Harlequin author Molly O’Keefe, and she pointed out that a story essentially rushes to its last line. So this is the way I now view BLOOD DEEP. It is hurtling toward that last line—the line that sums up the romance, the happy ending, the theme, and the growth of the characters. I’ve found that once I have that last line (or something hopefully close), even if I have nothing else on the story, not even a title, I suddenly “get” the story. Yesterday, I was thrilled because I also wrote the last line of my short epilogue. It may not be the final “final line”, but it summed up (for me) what the series is about.
As a reader, do you get that sense of a story racing toward that one final line when you read? Are there any books that have left you remembering the last line? Do you ever sneak a peak at the last line while reading, or even while you’re in the bookstore?
And the image above is my cover for my next Aphrodisia, HOT SILK!
May 17th, 2008
Like many of my fellow crumpets, I’m working to a deadline—trying to finish revisions for the end of the month. But I’ve had to take a “break” this long weekend to do galleys (in Canada this is a holiday weekend, the Victoria Day weekend. Since it usually falls around the 24th and heralds the start of cottage season, it’s often called the “2-4″ weekend.)
That’s why I’m blogging late. Also, I had a day at the office yesterday and my daughter was invited to a “sports evening” at a friend’s house. I always admire people brave enough to extend an open invitation to an entire class of 7 year olds!
I’d like to give away a copy of BLACK SILK—it’s one of my favorites, and just garnered my first RT Top Pick, which I was really thrilled about. The question is from the following excerpt:
Maryanne watched her raven-haired Lancelot elegantly climb into the basket. Of course, he could do it easily—he had endless legs and wore trousers. Just as she stared helplessly at it, he scooped her effortlessly into his arms. In a froth of hems and petticoats, she was hoisted over the wicker wall and into the basket. As her feet touched the floor of the basket, it came up to meet her. “Ooh!”
The flame illuminated the sculpted planes of his face, his wicked grin as the balloon went up. The basket tilted to the right. She clutched the side. “Goodness.”
Swansborough laughed. “But as you each take on orgasmic flight, you must remember to hold on tight,” he quoted. He wrapped a hand around the stays that secured their small basket to the enormous balloon and kept the other near the fire box and the ropes that worked the vents. Below, illuminated by the torches, she saw the men gripping the tether ropes, feeding them through gloved hands.
A lurch to the left, and she tumbled back against his lordship. His large body pressed against her, his arm locked around her waist, and she felt safe—though if the basket tipped, they’d both fall. Why should the thought of falling to their deaths together, sharing disaster, make her feel better?
“Magnificent, isn’t it?”
With her hands gripping the basket, she stared down.
Far below, the torches looked like tiny candle flames, and she could no longer see the men. Men who thought she was going to rut with a viscount here. Men who thought her a courtesan.
The Serpentine caught the moonlight, water rippling in the sweet breeze. Dark trees bobbed and swayed, the leaves silver, and the park was a stretch of dark velvet.
She gazed up. Stars dotted the violet skies above the park. And London’s lights were spread out before her. “It’s beautiful.” The basket swayed. “And terrifying.”
The Question—Where are Maryanne and the hero, Dash, Lord Swansborough going to make love?
I’ll check in on the comments over the weekend, and select a winner on Monday. So on Monday I’ll post in the comments for the winner to drop me an email, just so you know where to look!