Friday, May 30, 2014

~ Symposium: Just My Imagination ~

Hello Everyone! Welcome to my May Symposium!

This month I thought I’d asked my friends and fellow authors to introduce someone very important to them...their muses. An author’s muse can be their best friend or their worst enemy, depending on the circumstances. Read on to meet these vital members of our writing teams...enjoy! 

LAURIE ROMA: My muse is a fickle bitch. First off, she doesn’t nicely encourage me or patiently lead me through a plotline. Oh no, that would be too simple. Instead, she tends to bitch slap me with a plotline and the characters all at once. Then the real fun begins when she let’s my characters take over. Now the characters are pushing because they want their story told...and that can be a lot of different voices messing with me all at once. But does my muse help me now? Sometimes. Other times she just slaps me with a whole different storyline and sits back, watching me struggle with wicked glee. Then she will either give me a hard shove in the right direction...or disappear with my characters to who knows where. Maybe they go off drinking together in some fantasy bar for a few days. And if I’m not working hard enough, that’s when she really gets mean and calls out the plot dragons on me. Sound strange? Trust me, it is.

As one of Earth’s greatest leaders, Commander Jax Spartan lives his life by a strict code. Dedicated and alpha to the core, he is the epitome of what every Elite solider aspires to be. Second-in-command Sullivan Archer rules by his best friend’s side, and together they form an unstoppable force that few are foolish enough to challenge. Jax and Archer have always known they’d share their chosen, but their hearts have already been claimed by the woman they’ve vowed will belong to them.

Alliance scientist Serra Lysander is a genius who has kept the planet safe with her inventions. She’s lived a sheltered life, separated from society by her brilliant mind and her overprotective mother. The only time Serra has truly ever felt accepted is with the two men that will cost her everything…

When danger leads Serra straight into the arms of Jax and Archer, they will do anything to keep her safe, even claiming her despite the fact she is off limits. With the future of the Alliance on the line, will their love and dedication be enough to save them, or will they be too late to stop the growing threat from destroying them all?


N.J. WALTERS: You’ll often hear writers talking about their muse, but what exactly is a muse? In Greek Mythology, the Muses were actually sister goddess who presided over the various art forms from music to dance and poetry. In other words, the muse is where artists get their inspiration. Some writers name their muse. Many have a love/hate relationship with theirs. I’ve never really thought about it before. Honestly. I’ve written over seventy books and all I’ve ever done is sit at the keyboard, put my fingers on the keys and type. I’ve often said I feel as though I’m only taking dictation. Is that my muse at work? Maybe. I’ve just come to accept the process for what it is. I find inspiration everywhere and trust that when I sit down to write that the story will be there. Guess I’m lucky to have a muse who is practical and dependable. 

When this wolf comes knocking, there’s no turning him away. 

Salvation Pack, Book 1

When Gwendolyn Jones inherits a Tennessee cabin from a great aunt she never knew, she quits her job and follows her dream to write full time. Meeting a stranger in a local cemetery isn’t a risk she normally takes, but she needs the information on his flash drive for an article she’s writing on werewolves. Later that night, when two honest-to-God werewolves come knocking on her cabin door, they’re definitely not Photoshopped.

Jacque LaForge is on a mission to retrieve a flash drive before it endangers his pack. He never thought he’d find a mate, but the chemistry between him and Gwen is unmistakably off the charts. Now to convince her he’s only trying to protect her from his vengeful former pack—led by his own father.

Gwen’s first instinct to flee only gets her a smashed car and a concussion. She wakes up in a dangerous new world she never thought existed—and in the arms of the one man who stands between her and certain death.

SAMHAIN     AMAZON     B&N     KOBO     ARe

LACEY THORN: What can I say about my muse? She is a snarky bitch with several mental disorders. She lacks focus sometimes and has a very chaotic thought process. I absolutely love her and wouldn't change a thing about her. I took a brief break from writing (two years), and I think my muse is punishing me for silencing her during that time. She's never quiet and always has an idea for another story. This is great considering I once worried about the possibility of running out of new story ideas. Instead I have an endless supply which I doubt I'll ever get through, and isn't that an awesome problem to have?

The legend of the Paka Watu...

Ever since she was a young girl, Abby Lane can’t resist the allure of a cat shifter tribe forced to repress their beasts. On a trip to Africa, she discovers a coveted piece of information—the name the pride leader assumed when he left his home—and she traces his lineage to his descendent.

The sleeping lion...

Utah Pearce can't keep his gaze off the woman who slips into the bar every night. Though not his usual type, she brings out the possessive instinct in him, making him battle with himself as he tries to stay away.


Abby’s research never prepared her for the reality in front of her. The beast is waking, and Utah is changing in ways both exciting and terrifying. He is possessive and dominant, and when he finally claims her, neither of them will ever be the same.


GABRIELLE EVANS: If you ask my mother, she’ll tell you I had an imaginary friend until I was six. The truth is, imaginary or not, Billy never truly left me. The little boy is now a man, and while I can’t “see” him any longer, he’s taken up a permanent residency within my thoughts. Then one day, he brought home his boyfriend, Alejandro, and let’s just say things got a little crowded. Together, Billy and Alejandro make up my Muse. While I’m engaged in everyday life, the boys observe all the things I miss and tell me about them later, emphasizing which parts of the day could produce a great story. It’s not uncommon to find me discussing a plot with Billy and Alejandro—out loud—acting as both of their voices, as well as arguing my own point of view. I very rarely win.

Cursed to bear the sins of his forefathers, Chey Black has spent more time running the forest as a wolf than he has lived as a man. Finding love and breaking the curse during his brief reprieves is nearly impossible, especially when the world he once knew has moved on and forgotten him. So, why bother when being alone is easier?

As a guardian, it’s Quinn Augustine’s responsibility to help Chey acclimate to the changing world and aid him in his search for a true mate. Befriending the gruff wolf-shifter is fine, but attachments only complicate his job. Chey’s chiseled body and roguish charm prove too tempting to resist, though, and before long, Quinn’s protective walls come crumbling down.

What starts as mere animal magnetism soon evolves into something much deeper, but breaking the curse won’t be that easy. Someone seriously wants Quinn dead, and unless Chey can find and eliminate the threat, he’ll be doomed to walk alone forever.


SUSAN HAYES: My muse is a capricious creature that keeps the same hours as my cat. Actually, she and my cat have a lot in common. They rarely come when called, have no respect for my need for REM sleep, and tend to be napping whenever I’d like their company. She (my muse is definitely a ‘she’) can vanish for days on end, leaving me to struggle through the harsh desert of creativity alone and unguided. These are the days when every word comes with a cost in blood, sweat and tears of frustration. When the muse returns though, she arrives trailing streamers of glorious inspiration, rescuing me from the struggle for a little while and carrying me along in a frenzy of productivity. Having her around is intoxicating and often devastating, as she arrives on her own schedule and drives me to stay up far too late, wringing every drop of inspiration from her before she flits off again. 

Two bullets. That’s all it took to change Taggart Wilde’s life. His wounds have healed, but his career as a police officer is over. Struggling to move on, Tag searches for new purpose, and ends up finding it in the most unlikely of places. 

Jolena Miller’s passion is fixing up classic cars. As the owner of her own garage, she has convinced herself she’s happy just being one of the guys, unnoticed and unremarkable…until she meets Tag. 

One look at the curvy little mechanic has Tag’s engine revving, and he is determined to make her his. But just as Jo starts to believe they might have a future together, her ex-husband reappears in her life, stirring up old pains and new problems. When pushed to the edge, can two lonely hearts fight for a future together, or will the past be too much to overcome? 


DIXIE LYNN DWYER: My Muse has multiple personalities and the ability to go from patient and understanding as a therapist, to critical and demanding as a drill sergeant. Either way it helps feed my inspiration and get my rear in gear to meet deadlines. People often ask me where I get my ideas from and how I am able to develop such authentic characters in my books. Well, ask the muse. As part of my creative mind it draws these characters out of me where even I sometimes ask, “where the hell did he come from?” (Shrugs shoulders). “Who cares? I’m in love.” As many authors say to one another, “May your muse be with you.” Mine is with me. I can’t get rid of it, and I definitely don’t want to. Happy Reading all. Hugs!

Diane Mercury’s love of lingerie and lust for one special agent and his two military brothers send her on a life-changing journey she never expected. She was bored, lacking in self-confidence until fate stepped in and gave her a push. Add in getting de-virginized by three men she’s fantasized for nearly a year, and yep, she’s feeling like she can accomplish anything. But she’s no secret agent, not a woman of adventure and danger unless in bed, with her men, Drake, Lucas, and Mark Santos.

So when she’s asked to be part of a photo shoot in New York the last thing she expects is to be shoved in the middle of her lover’s investigation. She’s held at gunpoint, a witness to numerous murders and some foreign terrorist wants her as a prize in revenge against agent Mark Santos. It will take Mark, his brothers Drake and Lucas, along with the agency, to keep their woman alive and bring down a monster. 


VICKTOR ALEXANDER: My muse’s name is Tommy Wilkins. My readers know him as one of my characters from my Tate Pack series. He is gay, extremely flamboyant, and a cross-dresser. He says that he is all man, he’s just a man with “decoration.” He is mated to a wolf-shifter by the name of Anton “Ton” Forrester, they have a dog and two beautiful daughters that they just adopted in the most recent release of the Tate Pack series. He helps me with my writing process by first giving me all of my WIP ideas and because Tommy is by definition someone who marches to the beat of his own drum, my books and writing process does the same thing. He doesn’t really encourage me. That’s not really his style. I can hear him in my ear telling me I need to stop whining and “get the shit done, because the list is long and there’s a lot more to do.

When Dr. Dakota Sevion is drawn to his mate Nishon Moore at the hospital where he works, he is overjoyed, even though Nishon has a son, Isaiah, who is a forziq, which is an instant death sentence and someone from the past is determined to kill them all.

Dakota Sevion loves being the Chief of Surgery at Gelreen Memorial Hospital, because he has unlimited access to blood which is good for him as an unmated vampire. When he's called to the ER for an emergency his life changes forever.

Nishon "Nimo" Moore is a single father of three year old Isaiah, a very special little boy, and when Nimo rushes to the hospital because Isaiah has been hurt he ends up meeting Dakota and finding out that vampires are real. He doesn't handle it well, which isn't good for Dakota who will die from starvation if their mating isn't consummated soon. But that isn't the only problem. Someone from the past is set on killing them all.


ERIKA REED: My muse's name is Dare. Sometimes she is daring and other times she likes to taunt and torture me with her challenges. I believe my muse’s moods can be either pleasurable or stimulating at times. The one thing I do appreciate her for is one minute I can be working on a current project, and the next she is whispering in my ear to jot down an idea she has for a future project she believes will capture the reader’s attention. Dare has been known for slapping a little reality check across my head a time or two. She knows when to give me a little shove in the right direction and when to hold off on something until the time is right to reveal itself. Knowing Dare has been with me from the beginning of my writing career pushes me into trying harder at achieving goals in the future.

Madison Duffey would do anything to protect her three-year-old son, Trent, including lying to everyone she loves to hide the identity of Trent’s father. A single mother with no time for anyone but her beloved boy, Madison’s world changes forever the night the men she’s always wanted blow into town and back into her life.

After one too may concussions on the ice put their future at risk, hockey players Riley and Stormy Masters are trying to decide whether to hang up their skates for good. Now they know the woman that has invaded their every dream has kept a very important secret from them. Riley and Stormy must decide if their careers are more important than the woman and child that has suddenly appeared in their lives.

Will Madison be willing share her heart to double her chances for love and have the family she has always wanted? 


HENNESSEE ANDREWS: My muse is a night owl, and at times I wonder if she isn’t really a reincarnated creature of the night. Most days she is creative, others she is stubborn and won’t talk. I believe she flips me the bird from time, but when she is in a mood, woo hoo, we can create some awesome scenes. She is more than likely spoiled, and likes to get her way, at times taking me in another direction than I intended. When she decides to give me a rush of inspiration, she uses a shovel. Wicked, is the word that best describes her. How sick is it to give me a new book idea when I have three in the fire, and while I’m driving no less! 

There was no way in hell Headon Morris was going to his high school reunion. Memories of why he had to leave home still haunted him, along with the image of one the guy his heart refused to let go of—Evan Marshall. 

A lot had changed in ten years, except Headon’s feelings. Much was left unsaid, and for that matter, unfinished. Going back home for the reunion could help him put the past behind him once and for all. Would Evan even show? Could they pick up where they left off? 

Headon had the blues, the reunion blues, and his decision to attend could change his life…forever. 


OLIVIA BLACK: As a writer, I’m always looking for inspiration for new books, characters, and story lines. Inspiration can strike at odd times – when I’m in line at Starbucks, driving my daughter to school, or even in the middle of a conversation. When it came to my newest series, Belt Buckle Ranch, the books came to me in the form of a dream. The basic premise is based around an older gentleman. He was a rodeo champion in his youth and spent his life traveling around the United States. He only ever wanted one thing, to own a ranch, and that goal was achieved in the form of the Belt Buckle Ranch. Everything else in his life took a backseat, including the five sons he never knew. When I woke up, I was able to see the place and characters clearly and jotted it all down in my journal.

Jackson Murphy is an architect living and working in Los Angeles, California. His entire life is turned upside down when a private investigator hands him a manila envelope. Looking through the contents, he soon realizes that his biological father isn’t the man that raised him. Instead, it's a man named William Rickett. William is very ill and his last request is to meet Jackson. Dropping everything, Jackson packs a bag and heads to Colorado. 

Wyatt Thompson is the foreman at the Belt Buckle Ranch. He’s also been a friend to William Rickett, the ranch owner for fifteen years. When the man passes away, it’s his responsibility to make sure William’s five sons stay at the ranch. His attraction to Jackson is instantaneous, but Wyatt is reluctant to follow his heart when the future is unknown. 


AVERY GALE: My muse is loud, pushy, and often just plain rude. She demands that I take notes and it doesn't matter what I have available to write on or how inconvenient or embarrassing her timing might be. 

Jen Keating is a trouble magnet. She has managed to attract the attention of a crazed Central American sex trafficker who stalks her with ruthless determination. Add to that the two gorgeous Navy SEALs who have a knack for pulling her out of the fire, but are angling for something more, and a wacky neighbor who isn’t at all who she appears to be. Jen is living proof that trouble can find you in even the most unlikely places. But the real danger Jen fears is taking a chance on love.

Sam and Sage McCall whisked Jen out of harm’s way a year ago, and then after one incredible night together she took off without looking back. Now they’re sent to pull her out again and this time they don’t plan to let her walk away. However, they aren’t the only ones intent on making her a permanent part of their life. Can they keep her safe long enough to convince her to give them a chance?

AMBER LEA EASTON: My Muse is the chattering of a mountain stream, the rustling of pine needles in the wind, the light reflecting of red rocks in the distance at sunset, the feel of sun soaking into my skin. My Muse is constant and irreverent, never caring about interrupting with her steady flow of ideas and insistence that I stop what I'm doing to listen. She both whispers and shouts with inspiration, always urging me, "" I humbly obey, my fingers clicking on the keyboard telling stories born from a place far greater than what I can see.

Jessica Moriarty appears to have it all—a successful career as an architect, a loyal group of friends, a gorgeous apartment, and an on-again-off-again affair with Boston's most eligible bachelor. Behind this “perfect life” façade, Jessica hides the loss she feels over giving up her dream career as an artist, copes with a destructive relationship with her alcoholic mother, and struggles with heartbreak over a lost love. 

Jacques Sinclair only needs his cameras, a backpack, and a good pair of walking shoes. A world-renowned photographer, he is a man without boundaries. Despite fame and fortune, he still yearns for the woman who shattered his heart when she vanished from his life five years ago.

A chance meeting brings Jacques and Jessica back together. Reunions aren't always planned or welcomed, but chemistry has a way of revealing what is denied. Ensnared in a web of sabotage and conspiracy—carefully constructed by people who want to control their lives—Jacques and Jessica struggle to trust each other, break free from the status quo, reclaim their love, and build a life of extraordinary possibility.


S.C. WYNNE: My muse comes from watching people. I don’t have any one person who inspires me. My inspiration is basically anyone who catches my eye. I love men. I love the male psyche. Obviously good looking men are appealing, but it’s more than that. Heroism, protectiveness and the fighting spirit in certain men makes my stomach warm. You see it in fire fighters and cops. You see it in everyday life when a man is loving and affectionate. These are all the qualities I like to acknowledge in my characters. And when I see a movie, or hear a song that makes me feel something deeply, I immediately want to write that character and the entire story unfolds in my head. My first M/M book was published by Loose Id and is called Hard-Ass is Here. It’s a story about Taylor Williams, and his new hard-ass boss, Phillip Daniels. 

Senior Analyst Taylor Williams knows there's a embezzler at Peterton Financial, and he's been doing everything he can to catch the crook. Unfortunately the numbers keep adding up to him being the thief. 

When corporate sends in Regional Manager, Phillip Daniels to catch the crook, it's obvious he suspects Taylor right off the bat. Phillip is gorgeous, sexy as hell and a hard ass. But when it comes to sexual attraction logic can't compete. Even though Phillip suspects Taylor might be the thief, he can't keep himself from bringing him into his bed, time and time again. 

Will the numbers add up to a happy ending for these two?


CASEY MOSS: Ah, my muse. He can be a bit of an imp. I once ‘saw’ him as a professor type of fellow. Sandy brown hair, built and tall, wearing a pair of blue jeans, a white dress shirt and one of those tweed jackets with the patches on the elbow. He loves to give me ideas for stories late at night—so much so that I’ve taken to working between 10 PM and the wee hours of the morning. He also likes to give me new ideas when I’m in the midst of a story. The taskmaster actually makes me stop and jot down the new material, too. Suffice it to say, I have a bunch of stories I cycle through and work on. It sure keeps things interesting and keeps me busy, which is good since I have a couple of pen names to deal with. :) And, I’m here today to share a story one of my pen names recently had released.

The world has broken out in wars. Las Vegas has been ravaged by chemical warfare and is now home to several clans and creatures.

Welcome to I-D-8 Entertainment’s newest game: Clans of Vegas—Endless Night.

Friends and family have gathered for a crunch time playtest of C.O.V.E.N.. When a horrible thunderstorm hits, everyone’s sucked into the game for real. In the MMORPG, Hope Collins is kidnapped by Buzz and forced to submit to his whims. Her boyfriend, Alden, has to delay his quest of defeating a clan’s prince to save her, but time and circumstance don’t seem to be on his side. Faith Collins is bombarded by strange dreams brought on by Buzz. Her boyfriend, Tavis, learns to dream walk, but can he help break the spell she’s under and save her before she’s lost to him?

C.O.V.E.N. is more than just a game. It’s a whole other world.


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