Saturday, 30 June 2012

Celebrating Independance Day Blog Hop!

Welcome to my blog! I am helping my friends across the water celebrate Independance Day!


There are loads of great authors in this hop, so make sure you click HERE you never know you may find a new author who becomes one of your favourites!

In the sprit of independance I want to introduce to one of my heroines, Laney St Clar. She is the youngest of 4, with three older brothers.

You would think that she was a pampered and protected woman, exactly what everyone else thinks.....but you would be so very wrong........

Blurb:

Mechanic Laney St. Clair doesn’t want much in life. All she wants is to run her father’s garage as she sees fit, her brothers to stop treating her like she is still their baby sister, and for Heath Marsterson to realise that under all the grease and overalls she is a grown woman, ready, willing, and able to show him just how talented her hands can be.
Heath’s an alpha shifter who knows he needs a mate to help him rule. A strong woman who can stand with him and up to him when needed, a woman who can help keep his pack safe. What he doesn’t need is a fragile human whose family protects her as if she’s made of spun glass. No matter how persuasive little Laney-girl tries to be or how much he wants her, Heath knows she’ll never be strong enough to handle his true self no matter what she says, moans, screams…

Excerpt from Leashed by a Wolf:


Laney watched as he stretched his legs out in front of himself, seeming to get more comfortable. There wasn’t much space between them, less than five feet total.
“Let me list them for you.” Laney raised a hand and started ticking off on her fingers. “You just took me from what can only be described as a large group of human sniffer dogs.” She casually glanced around the small clearing he had taken her to. She couldn’t see any landmarks so she wasn’t sure how far they were, but from the unhinged look on his face she didn’t think they had gone far.
“That is something I’m counting on. Marsterson is a pretentious upstart not worthy of the Alpha title. He stole it from me and I aim to get it back.” Christophe ended his words with a sneer.
“Two. I heard he kicked your ass from here to the town border.” Laney shrugged. She gave herself a silent cheer as the smile faltered on his face.
“I assume you have more on your list?” he asked with a dismissive wave of his hand.
“You seem to have forgotten that I come from a family who really doesn’t like their baby sister messed with.” She pulled down another finger.
“You seem to think I should give a damn about some pointless humans who will be dead long before they realise you are missing.” Christophe sighed.
He threatened everyone she loved. She prayed Heath and his pack would get to her before Christophe could make good on his promise.
Laney narrowed her eyes as she looked at him. He may be a wolf shifter who could kill her with a swipe of his claws, but he had made one fatal mistake. She felt a dangerous calm settle over her.
“Do you want to know the biggest mistake you made?” Laney asked as she gave him the sweetest smile she could muster, the smile Duke called her “viper look.”
“Please share with the class.” Christophe smiled back at her. Laney sat forward, pulling her knees up so she could wrap her arms around them.
“You took me,” Laney growled before she launched herself at the shifter. Part of her mind was frozen in shock at the action, clearly screaming and asking her what the hell she thought she was doing? He was going to kill her! The other part of her mind—the part that had grown up with older brothers—calmly reminded her that she only had one chance at this and if she got it wrong she would be dead.

*****

For your chance to win a copy of Leashed by a Wolf, simply leave me a comment below as well as your email address. The winner will be announced on July 5th!!

Don't forget to hop along the blog tour!

Until next time..Remember: tipping a glass of red wine over your Dom/me's shirt and then pouring a whole bottle of white wine over their head in an attempt to "get the stain out" is just asking to be punished.....don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Final Day with Suzanne Fuller

Today is the last day Suz is here, and because she was so nice and admitted that Simon Bellamy is mine all mine...*well perhaps that bit didn't really happen* I have agreed to let her go....on the understanding she leave us with a little excerpt:

So here is it from North: The Lycans by Suzanne Fuller




The wind blew snowflakes against my face when I reached the road. I slung my hood over my head and was a little shocked at how large it was. Almost like Red Riding Hood's, it hung in front of my eyes and protected me from the cold.
School was only a mile down the main road, and with my bag clutched under my arm, and my head down, I walked briskly. The place was like a damn ghost town, and the fact it was still dark didn't help much. As in Alaska, being this far north and so close to the Arctic meant that soon we would have a month of complete darkness. Although I was a night creature, I understood why there was a higher rate of depression and suicide in places like this. Not everyone was built to withstand the lifestyle. The moon had been full on the night of the fight—which explained why I had felt so agitated—so I knew I had a good chance of getting through my first day at school without shifting. Midnight had been docile for days, and although I longed for her like a missing limb, I hoped she stayed that way, at least for today.
Kiruna Gymnasium was a large one story building made of faded red brick. The black gates were high with spikes at the top, and I couldn't help but think of old European tales of Vlad the Impaler when I looked at them. A shiver went down my spine, and I knew I couldn't blame it on the weather.
The place looked deserted but the door swung open as I approached, as if someone had sneaked in ahead of me when I wasn't looking, but I knew that was impossible. I headed through the high-spiked archway, and walked up to the entrance. I peeked through the small windows and saw an empty, dimly lit hallway.
I wasn't sure if I was relieved or more terrified.
Midnight stirred but remained docile for the moment. I knew I needed to get a hold of myself and walk inside. The library was always the first thing open back in Alaska, and I hoped it would be the same in Sweden. Things were insanely different already. Not only were we part of a pack now, but here high school ends after second year. Kiruna Gymnasium was a college prep school, and although I could have refused to attend I would have felt strange not going. Besides, I liked learning, as long as there wasn't too much math.
I was deep in thought as I walked the eerily empty halls of the strange building, so I never saw who turned the lights off.
What the...
"Who's there?" I yelled, and my voice echoed along the long corridor. I could hear someone sniggering. It felt like they were right next to me, but every way I turned, I was still alone. "Hello?"
I felt something brush against my arm, and when I jumped I felt the same on my throat. I threw my back against the wall, Midnight woke from her slumber, and I begged her to come out until I saw two figures step out from a corner near the far end of the hall. It was a girl and boy of similar height. Their white teeth shone in the darkness as they laughed. The smell of decay burned my nostrils until tears strained my eyes, and I had to blink furiously to see them properly as they approached. And then a funny thing occurred, something that up until this moment had never happened to me—Midnight's teeth and claws pierced through my skin but I didn't shift, not completely. She growled and whined as they got closer but stayed put.
"Calm down, mutt," the girl said. Her accent was very clearly English, and the tone with which she spoke made me want to slap the smirk off her beautiful face. She had golden-blonde hair, formed into perfectly shaped ringlets, and mean dark green eyes that seemed like they could cut through your soul. Her skin was silky looking and pale. I couldn't stop staring at her; although the smell was enough to make me barf, she entranced me.
"I don't think she knows us, Lyds," the boy said. His hair was brown like mine, cut short everywhere but the top where it curled. His eyes were a really pale shade of hazel, and he was almost beautiful himself, if it weren't for the sharp teeth I could see peeking out beneath his top lip.
"What the hell?" I said.
They don't smell like Lycans, but there's something different about them.
"That's a strange reaction…" The girl cocked her head to the side and smirked again. "Coming from someone who's sprouted claws." Her eyebrow lifted, and I looked down at my hands. My nails had stretched and rounded as thick claws.
What the hell's happening?
I threw my hands to my sides and leaned towards her, sniffing. She laughed. "You smell awful," I snapped at them, no longer afraid.
I'm a Lycan god dammit, and unless it has eight legs, it doesn't scare me.
"Could say the same thing for you, mutt," the girl hissed.
The familiar smell of Lycan blood hit me, along with the strange sensation of warmth again. It wasn't just any Lycan blood I could smell, but the very wolf that had pounced on me at the fight for Alpha. The odor overcame the awful stench of death. A deep, grizzly voice, which made Midnight purr as if she were a cat, emanated from down the hall. "What are you doing?" the voice demanded. The boy shrunk behind the girl, who puffed out her chest and beamed at the man who turned the corner.
"Jesper! Come to play with the new pup?" Her voice was cruel and made me want to punch her, or run back home, lock myself in my room, and never talk to anyone again.
"Leave her alone, Lydia," Jesper said, coming to stand between me and my tormentors. He was almost a foot taller than me and his dark blond hair was clipped short to his head. He looked back at me, and I knew then that he was definitely the gray wolf I'd met earlier. His eyes were the very same blue, and I could almost hear his wolf whining.
"Why ruin the fun? You never used to care what I did to the other dogs." She looked me over from head to toe and laughed again. "Have you got a crush?" she cooed, mockingly. Her friend laughed, and Jesper grabbed him by his throat.
"Haven't you two got something to do before sunrise?" he growled. I thought I might slip away while they were occupied, but when I went to leave, Jesper's free hand held me in place.
"Let him go..." Lydia hissed again. Jesper dropped the boy to the floor, where he crumpled in a heap, grasping at his throat and coughing. "This won't be the last time you see us, mutt. Kiruna is a very small place, and winter is upon us. Soon we'll be shrouded in darkness for thirty days. Remember that." She took her friend by the arm, practically dragging him down the hallway and disappeared from sight. The lights flickered back on and Midnight retracted her claws, allowing me to look normal, and human, again.

***
Buy links: 
*****
 
I know right! Jaw droppingly good!!!  

I just want to thank Suzanne for dropping by and being real understanding about, you now, the handcuffs and what not!

Come by again soon when I will have more authors and new books to introduce you too!!

Until next time remember: texting and walking....just means you will end up walking into a pole....don't say I didn't warn ya!



 

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Day 2 with Suzanne Fuller

Today Suz has kindly offered, under no duress at all...*innocent look* to come back and chat about characters.....


Hello, all! Glad to see you're back. I'm glad to be back, despite being chained to the desk and my eyelids held open with huge matchsticks. She's one cruel captor, that Cherie! I might have to tell Simon Bellamy on her… ;)

Today I'm here to talk about characters. Their creation, development and eventual take-over. Everyone, like all things writing involved, has their own way of creating those oh-so-important people to carry your story. This is just my way of doing it and my suggestions. So far it seems to work pretty well, in fact, almost too well. Especially when said characters start speaking to you, or demanding things of you. It can certainly make you look and feel crazy!
  
Actually, I was just explaining to a good friend two days ago how characters do this. She isn't an avid reader, nor is she a writer in any way shape or form and she called me "crazy"! But I laughed, because I understood all too well. It's part of the job. As the late-and-great Ray Bradbury said, " You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you."

 Okay, so…where was I? Oh yes, characters. :)

I like to figure out their personality first. Some people see them before they feel them, I'm the opposite. A voice will start speaking to me, and as they do I start to jot things down. For example: good sense of humour, kind, neurotic, couch-potato, etc. I find character sheets a brilliant way to understand your characters (Here's a good link: http://www.eclectics.com/articles/character.html). To be able to write them to their full capacity you need to understand them fully. Not just their physical appearance but what their flaws are, favourite music, favourite tv shows & movies, what clothes they prefer to wear, make-up if any, perfume, cologne, etc. JK Rowling is the perfect example of an author who knows her characters. I once read an interview in which she said she has full back-story of every character inside the Harry Potter world. No matter how major or minor (This of course left me hoping for an encyclopedia…guess I'll just have to keep waiting!).

Next I pull the pieces of their physical appearance together. I find that pictures help. Pinterest is a fantastic (although addictive) place to find character inspiration. I've found many wonderful images using that site, and have also turned a few people to its evil…err, I mean, genius. ;) Another great site would be deviantArt.com. Another bit of useful information regarding deviantArt…they have a section of images that are royalty free (under Resource/Stock Images). Usually the artists only ask that you give them a mention and let them see how you used their work.

If you have all of this done, and those pesky characters still aren't talking to you…do not fret! I've found that interviewing those characters can help. Ask them easy questions first, to get them to appear, then delve into the more important stuff (maybe about the story). If that fails? Don't force it! Forcing yourself to write when it isn't coming to you is almost definitely a waste of time. You'll end up with a bunch of meaningless jibberish that you'll no doubt delete later on anyway.

***

*glares at Suz* SIMON IS MINE ALL MINE!

See writers are a law unto themselves. I think when the voices start that is when the magic happens....with me it starts with a little whisper and the story starts to unfold.

Although I am not as visual as Suzanne, I rarely use images to write and I have been told off a time or two for forgetting at actually describe my characters.

What about you? Do you see and hear your characters??

Come back tomorrow when Suz has kindly offered to give you a little excerpt from North: The Lycons her first release!

Remember: No matter how hard you try to hide it your parents will take one look at your face and know you have done something wrong....it's just a fact of life.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Author Spotlight: Suzanne Fuller

Today I have..er..persuaded Suzanne Fuller to come chat to us for a bit. She is quite tiny and didn't put up much of a fight it has to be said! :D

Suz is a YA Author with new release out right now!

Suz...introduce yourself doll!



Hello, all! I'm here for 3 days, so here's hoping that Cherie doesn't kidnap me for longer. She has that look in her eye…stop it Ms. Nicholls!


Anyway, today I'll talk about some of the processes of writing. There are many, as any aspiring or published author will tell you, but I've been asked to chat about settings. Where the ideas come from and how you put them onto paper/word processor. This is one of the many rules that does not have a 'right' or 'wrong' way of doing it. It's a matter of what works best for you.


Setting the scene is one of those things that I've found scares a lot of aspiring writers. You want to describe the backdrop for your characters without boring your readers with too much detail, or confusing them by not giving enough. The trick to setting the scene, in my own personal way, is to not think about these two things right off the bat. If you do, your mind will be consumed with worry over what your readers will think or say.  Leave that for the read-through and editing stage. First you need something to work with. You can always cut unnecessary sentences afterwards.


Every story I've written there's been a different approach to how I set the scene. In the case of "The Lycans" I dreamt a part of the story. I saw the sweeping blues and greens of the aurora borealis above, the thick lines of tall trees in the distance, with characters stuck in a winter wasteland. It was a vivid scene, one I couldn't forget, and the moment I woke up I knew that they were in Sweden. And so I created the scene I saw, and also researched Kiruna, the most northern city over the arctic line. So, in this case, it was almost easy. My brain had already set it up for me, I just had to follow it, and my character's demands (which, if you're a fellow writer, you'll understand this feeling. You may create those characters, but once they're there they take over.)


Now, not all stories create themselves within a dream like that, for me. The Lycans was a stroke of luck. When a story creates within my head, I close my eyes, tune everything out and let the scene create inside my head. Now, I'm a touch-typist so I can type while my eyes are closed. I almost recommend you learn the positions of your keyboard, not just for quickness, but for times such as this. Doing this allows me to create the world as I see it behind my eyes. I describe using emotions, the senses. This also comes in part with the age-old rule "Show, don't tell".


Sometimes creating the scene and story is easiest and works best when you let yourself have those precious moments to yourself. Whether it be while dinner is cooking, while you're in the bath or even the short time you spend on the toilet. I also find that the right type of music will put you in the correct mood and help those images spill from your mind to your fingers.


I wont waffle on anymore, before y'all fall asleep. :D But please check back again soon as I'll be talking about character development, and finally Riley will pop by and let you into her suddenly hectic life. Thanks for reading!

******

See she is not just a pocket sized dynamo!

North: The Lycans is out now....
 

For more information in Suzanne Fuller find her here





Come back tomorrow......I think I can persuade Suz to say around for a little bit longer *evil grin*

until next time remember: shoving everthing under your bed is NOT considered "tidying your room".....just saying

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Oooo looky!

You may have heard me squealing a few weeks ago when I got confirmation that book 2 in the Shifters of Hillside has been accepted...there was jumping up and down...some wiggling in the middle of the living room...the usual..

But now I am proud to announce that Claiming Clara with be released by Liquid Silver Books on August 13th 2012....and to top that I have now got the most stunning cover!!


I know right!! I was so anxious to get this that when it finally turned up I was amazed! LOVE IT...but then again I am biased....what do you think?

Soo....fancy a little snippet....do ya? Oh go on then....just cause you asked so nicely!

Excerpt from Claiming Clara...unproofed and unedited.
 
Clara sipped her beer. So what if she put the bottle down with a little more force than normal? It didn't mean that she was angry. Why would she be angry? After all, it was her decision to end the relationship.
Just because less than forty-eight hours later, her ex was sitting on the other side of the bar with some of his boys and a tiny blonde-easy to kill if Clara thought about it-full human sitting on his lap, didn't mean she was angry or hurt. Oh no sir, she was happy he was moving on.
“So, on a scale of one to ten—ten being uncontrollable pain—screaming and asking for his mother, how much pain do you want to inflict on Wall right now?”
Clara turned to Laney Marsterson, alpha female and Clara’s sister-in-law.
“I am thinking eleven maybe twelve.” Clara told her honestly.
“Do you want me to let Heath off his leash? ’Cause you know he’s wanted to get his hands on Wall since he walked in on you telling me what happened.” Heath was Clara’s alpha and, more worryingly, her big brother.
“No, I shouldn't be angry. Logically I know I broke up with him, he didn't do anything wrong. But there's a part of me that wants him crying into his pillow, not out on the town with some cheap dime store hooker!” Clara growled, causing Laney to look at her in surprise.
“You know as alpha queen bitch I can totally order him back to the pack house minus plastic fantastic if you want me to.” Laney said it with such a straight face Clara couldn’t help but laugh.
“Yeah I can see him really loving that!” Clara said when she finally had control of herself.
“So you want me to pull rank?”
Clara thought about it, but as much as it hurt to see him with another woman, it was no more than she had expected. She was the one who’d broken up with him. Wall had every right to play where and with whomever he wanted.
“No, it’s fine. I’m a big girl I can handle it.” Clara winked at her sister-in-law just as a shadow fell over her. Cara turned and looked up at her big brother.
“What can you handle? Is it Wall? I saw him with that blonde barfly. I warned him what would happen if he hurt you.” Both Clara and Laney made a grab for Heath as he started toward the other side of the room.
“No!” Clara said as she grabbed her big brother’s arm.
Laney jumped in front of her husband and placed a hand on his chest.
“Whoa there wolf-boy, no one said you had to go all Neanderthal. Clara is a big girl, she can look after herself,” Laney spoke calmly.
“She is my little sister.” Heath growled.
“Yes, she is.” Laney nodded. Clara rolled her eyes. She loved her brother more than anything but, by God; he was a pain in the ass sometimes.
“Wall made her cry that means I get to smash his face in.” Heath smiled, showing his fangs.
“I don’t need you fighting my battles,” Clara insisted.
“I decide what this pack needs and he needs his face rearranged,” Heath commented matter-of-factly.
“Is that right? You decide what this pack needs?” Laney gave him a small smile.
Clara let go of her brother’s arm when Laney gently tugged her hand away.
“Yep, that’s right,” Heath crossed his arms over his chest. Seriously, her brother, who had fought for the Alpha role, taken control of the pack, and fought to keep it safe, was such a big dork sometimes.
“Well, can you tell what I need?” Laney winked at him as she stepped closer. “My Alpha,” Clara barely heard the last.
She clearly heard her brother’s deep growl before he reached down, grabbed Laney around her waist, and threw her over his shoulder. Without a backwards glance, he strode toward the exit.
Laney pushed herself up with a hand on Heath’s butt and gave Clara a thumbs up. Clara laughed and waved as they left the building.
She may have a healthy fear of her sister-in-law, after all, the full-human woman had taken on and stood toe to toe with a very powerful older wolf, before helping Heath kill the psychotic man, but she loved her all the same.
Clara dropped back into her seat and picked up her beer bottle. As she took a sip, she glanced back over to Wall’s table. The woman on his lap was giggling loudly at something he had said.
Maybe I should have let Heath give him a beating—if for no other reason than to get that plastic limpet off him.
 
(C) Cherie Nicholls 2012

I loved writing Clara and Wall's story and I know several of you asked for it! See I do listen!

The first book in the series, Leashed by a Wolf is out now if you want to be introduced to the Alpha's of the Hillside pack, Laney and Heath.......


Buy Links:
Liquid Silver Books
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com
All Romance Ebooks

Come back on Monday when I have a brand new YA author, Suzanne Fuller, visiting....although she may need some persuading....and you know how I love to persuade!  :D

Until next time remember: Waiting until your Dom/me has a group of friends round, and standing in the middle of the room demanding to know "who made you boss?" just ain't smart......don't say I didn't warn you!