The Virgin Heroine?

When I began college eons ago, I became friends with a group of ladies and gents that I still hang out with. At the time we met, we were all virgins. Every single nerdy one of us.

By the time we graduated, only two virgins remained. Unlike the rest of us waiting for our moment to bloom in the eyes of the opposite sex, they had made a conscious decision to not have sex before marriage.

darceystraighthairSo here’s where my life experience affects my enjoyment of smexy reading material. The Virgin Heroine who is old enough to legally buy alcohol.

In order for me to buy into this woman’s story, I need the reason she’s a virgin. I don’t even care what is – self-esteem issues, daddy issues, religious view point, whatever! Secondly if she’s now going to have sex with this guy then I need to why as well. And sorry it can’t be lust at first sight.

This is a lifestyle choice we’re talking about. Like being a vegetarian, you don’t look at one burger and say to hell with this. This is years of hearing – “Say, girl, you wanna come back to my place?” And the answer being – “No thanks.”

Of all the heroine romantic archetypes, I think the virgin is trickiest one to write for contemporary writers. I applaud those who have done it well and keep me seeking out their stories. And I’m asking for support as I put the finishing touches on my own virgin heroine’s story. Look for it over the Christmas holidays!

Happy Reading!

Typed The End…Part 2

Cocktail partyAllergies have slowed the work down this week and I didn’t accomplish as much on my second week, but I did accomplish some things. Here’s the wrap up:

The first thing, that I’ve done is to create a writing schedule that will take me to the end of the year. Along with that came a promise to myself that I was going to complete it. Here’s schedule and where I am:

  1. Anthology Submission to Hot Ink Press for an upcoming project called Naughty Bedtime Stories – Received an email that it was received and is under review.
  2. Holiday Short Story – The second draft is going very slowly. I’m trying a new technique and while I think it will produce a better work, it’s taking a lot longer.
  3. Second Shifter Novella – The first draft stalled on Wednesday and I haven’t gotten back to it. Must work on this this weekend.

I also know that I have to get back out there and start connecting with readers and other writers, so I have a few blog hops coming up and some writers lined up to visit the blog very soon.

Happy Reading!

Typed ‘The End’ – Now What…Part 1

Cocktail partyIt’s been a while. But I’m back in the blogoshere and the writing world. However, it’s not easy to jump right back into late nights, no Candy Crush and marketing, marketing, marketing!

So I’m easing into it, instead of running full steam ahead.

The first thing, that I’ve done is to create a writing schedule that will take me to the end of the year. Along with that came a promise to myself that I was going to complete it. Here’s schedule and where I am:

  1. Anthology Submission to Hot Ink Press for an upcoming project called Naughty Bedtime Stories – This has been submitted and now I’m waiting. If not accepted then I’ll rework and find a new home.
  2. Holiday Short Story – I have a first draft completed at 11,000 words and will begin working on the second draft next week. Plan on submitting this one to Secret Cravings before the September deadline. If not accepted then I rework and self-publish this one.
  3. Second Shifter Novella – I have an outline completed for a follow-up to A Scent of a Woman which will be released by Evernight Publishing in a few weeks. First draft should be completed next week. Please, please let them accept this one!
  4. The Rose Gold Collection – A Loving Affair is in first draft form and Dulce Means Sweet is in outline form. Just got to get started. Choose cover art, contract an editor, hire a proofreader…

That’s the schedule. Check back with me next week for an update.

Happy Reading!

Almost There – The Scent of a Witch

I’m on the fifth draft of my first paranormal romance and I think I’m almost ready to turn it over to one of favorite editor’s, Khriste Close of Scribe Ink Editing. This is a novella so I’m working through this one extra hard because I want to make sure that all the questions are answered in less than 30,000 words and it has the feel of a longer work. I don’t want to miss a thing.

And I think I’m finally ready to share a little bit of the story, so here goes! This is the first meeting of Ada Trevors and Ewan Hathorn.

The Scent of a Witch

yay-10013652“She’s new.” Ada pointed to a female bartender at the smaller bar near the entrance. The shapely blonde poured a line of shots for a group of guys. “Whoo,” she yelled out after throwing the first one back like it was water. “Who’s buying the next round?” Her laugh-filled holler rang in the air.

“Maybe you should buy the next round for her.” Ada nudged Russ, disrupting the fourth check of his watch in the last thirty seconds. “She seems approachable.”

“We’re leaving.” Russ glared at her.

“We have three minutes. Go talk to her.” Ada pinched his thigh as she’d done when she needed him to focus on course work in college. “Do it or I’ll start tickling.”

“That’s not necessary.”

“Huh?” Ada released her hold on Russ’s thigh and looked up at the man who had appeared at their table. Of course she wouldn’t have heard him approach. The band was playing at an earsplitting level and the guys surrounding the side bar were laughing just as loud, still she jumped a little at the sound of his voice.

“Your credit card. It’s on the house.” The man held a gold card between his long fingers and smiled.

“Cool.” Russ jostled in the seat next her, indicating that she should move.

Russ’s bounce to get out of the booth rocked her body from side to side on the springy cushion, but she remained otherwise motionless. Her gaze locked with that of the man in front of them.

He was as out of place as she was in the bar. Among a crowd of button down cotton shirts and jeans, he wore an olive green suit that fit his lean body like it had been sewn into place. He was the first man she noticed all night because stood with a wide stance of absolute confidence not some imagined, alcohol-induced swagger. And an unfettered smile stretched her own lips upward.

“Thanks” She managed to take the card from his hand and shove it into what she hoped was her purse. “We appreciate it.”

It wasn’t that he was strikingly handsome – his brows were too thick and dark for his parchment colored face, his chin ended in a point and his smile revealed incisors that appeared sharper than normal. It was his eyes that held her in place. Looking into the dark orbs rimmed in a flaming gold was like looking into a pond in the moonlight – playful beams of light mingled in the shadows creating something beautiful and slightly dangerous. Her heart skipped a beat then two then three as she searched the depths of his eyes for her reflection in them.

For a moment she thought he sought the same. That was until he spoke again.

“Management hopes you have enjoyed your evening but you are being asked to find entertainment elsewhere.” His voice was deep and smooth, devoid of the Texas twang she encountered in the small town, like it was meant to be heard accompanied by a saxophone. She could have listened to him talk all night.

Only if he hadn’t just told her to get out.

“What?” Ada gulped the last of her now tepid beer, trying to find relief from the heat that overtook her body with the speed of a forest fire. Asking her to leave or not the man was quietly but deftly triggering her libido. “Wh-why?”

He raked his long fingers through his midnight black hair which hung in a straight line inches from his shoulders and groaned.

Ummm

She could also bear to hear that deep throated sound all night. Of course it would be better if her hands were twisted into his silky looking hair and her naked body was writhing beneath his.

Shit, had it been so long since she’d been with a man that good grooming and a sexy voice had her body humming a symphony? Maybe.

And just maybe she imagined the slight rock of his body backward and the gentle purse of his lips as if he were following her thoughts down the same licentious path.

Late January 2014 Update

Late January 2014 Update

I’ve promised myself that I’m going to be on track this year for writing. And I’m already off to a bad start.

The monthly update is late!

031859083-woman-call-lying-beside-manIn January, I started work on my first paranormal romance, a novella, tentatively entitled The Scent of a Witch. It has gotten some good feedback from my beta readers. Now, I’m working to get it wrapped up to send to an editor before I submit to a publisher.

I’m a little hesitant to release something different. I’m a new writer and I’ve only written contemporary romances to date, so how will this be received? I don’t know, but why not start my year with some excitement?

I’ve written a story I enjoy with the elements I like in the paranormal romances.

The heroine: Ada Trevors, professor of anthropology, is spending her summer in the canyons of West Texas searching for the truth behind the Ap-Muea legend. Stories of a man who can change into a puma have been told for centuries in the region and she has reason to believe that they based partially in fact.

The hero: Ewan Hathorn is Ka’lai. He reigns as the chief magistrate of the five clans of the Ap-Muea who roam the canyons. As the Ka’lais before him have done, he must protect their way of life and keep their existence secret even if it means silencing a beautiful woman.

The setting: The canyons of West Texas – second only in size to the Grand Canyon.

yay-10013652The puma: I had fun researching this animal. A few quick facts for you – Pumas, cougars, mountain lion and panthers are all names for the same animal. The Cherokee held the puma as a sacred. The Apache held that the puma’s wail meant death. Pumas screech and hiss instead of roaring. Males often spit at each other. They are primarily solitary animals.

The language: This was great. I got to play around with developing an Ap-Muea language. Shortly, you’ll learn what Najuo jina lako means.

And the witch? Well that’s a secret.

What Brings You to the Blog?

For November there was not a lot of posting going on. I was busy with NaNoWriMo. (Which I finished! See the badge below.)

2013-Winner-Square-Button

So what kept readers visiting the page – the great authors who stopped in to share their work and these insightful search engine terms:

  • erotic short stories – You’ll find some great authors on this site!
  • any fiction fanfiction authors out there that writes interracial romance stories /african american male caucasian woman – Michel Prince has a great story called Silly Girl
  • male romance authors - Post by Stacy Deanne
  • interracial multicultural romance book site – There’s plenty of that on here.
  • read after party by vallory vance – Thank you!
  • shifter romance – Just had Elodie Parkes and Kassanna on the blog.
  • هارد سكس (I wish I knew what this meant!)
  • sexy boyfrend tag! - Kevin Miller :)
  • dragons ward by leteisha ward – LeTeisha Newton stopped in to chat.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be lining up guests and promise to be back sharing my writing neurosis with you on a regular basis!

Happy Reading and Writing,

~Val

November 2013 Update

I’m deep in the heart of NaNoWriMo 2013 and 5000 words off pace. No matter all my careful planning, LIFE struck.

Work – The company I’ve worked for for the past seven years was bought out officially in October. This past week, the first wave of layoffs occurred. Six hundred employees were told they no longer had a job. And none of them were given the reported 7.2 million dollars that our former CEO received. So it was hard to write this week.

Home – Spanish tests, low math scores and science fair projects. I’ve been super busy with my girls. And my son is a maniac often waking me up at three in the morning to announce that he has to go potty. He doesn’t want my help or anything, he just wants me to know. Of course, I can’t go back to sleep after that. At least the hubs is satisfied with the football season. Geaux Saints!

In the midst of it all, I managed to complete 25,000 words and I’m halfway done with A Loving Affair. Have I shown you the inspiration for Lenore.

Here she is!

(How sexy is forty?)

Mature Black Woman on a Boardwalk (2)

 

Back to writing, I have 25,000 more words to finish in less than 15 days!

My First Dallas Romance Writer’s of America Meeting

magic pen (series C)I finally did it and attended a meeting of the Dallas’s chapter of Romance Writer’s of America. I was so nervous going in. I carefully planned my outfit, cooked breakfast and lunch for my kiddos before I left the house for the 9:30 AM meeting. With all my fastidious planning, I was three minutes late.

I shuffled over to the first empty seat I saw and sat down. So now I add embarrassment to nervousness, because the President was already talking. I nodded ‘hi’ to the women at my table and got a few nods in return.

Then I focused on the President.

Some interesting things I learned about the group awards:

For the self-published, you must earn $1000.00 in sales for a particular work to get a ceremonial flower. As a self-publisher, this got my attention. First that the category was mentioned and secondly, that it based on a monetary value. To me that says that the better marketer is an actual author, but that’s just me.

There is a pin given to members who have received rejection letters since the last meeting. Yay! The group recognizes the work it took to get that rejection letter – the long hours of writing and the tiny droplets of blood squeezed from your eyes when trying to think of the right word.

Next up were the speakers and I loved their presentation. Even though I don’t write or necessarily read romances based on mythology, they may have hooked me. Kelly Lee and Sasha Summers write romance using two different perspectives of Greek mythology. Ms. Lee links the supernatural into an urban fantasy and Ms. Summers writes as if the historical legend is the reality.

Next up in the meeting by the request of the speakers was to develop a romance based on a myth. I was too shy to share at the meeting but here is mine for the Vallory V readers:

The Greek myth says that the cursed hunter Narcissus, son of a river god and nymph, falls in love with his reflection on the bank of a river and stares at it until he dies.

The one who so cursed him was Nemesis, the spirit of retribution against those who showed arrogance before the gods.

And Narcissus was an arrogant, beautiful man.

Here’s my twist – a river spirit is also in love with the handsome man staring down at his reflection. She disrupts the stillness of his reflection until it is no longer recognizable. In those few seconds before Nemesis can act, the hunter glimpses the most beautiful thing he has ever seen – the spirit, Astrapi.

He dives in after her.

Happily ever after? Not quite, Nemesis is pissed!

I was so happy with myself and couldn’t say a thing.

We continued with the rest of the meeting and I left.

I would like to go back to the next meeting because it sounds just as informative. Do you want hear the but?

No one said ‘hi’ to me.

I’m over myself I’m going back. If no one ever speaks to me, I’ll get some great ideas for writing!

Happy Reading and Writing and Meeting ~ Val

 

 

 

Hump Day Hook – Christmas 2014

It’s time for the Hump Day Hook! A group of authors sharing a small bit of their WIPs or already released works. Click the icon to discover your next great read!

humpdayhook

This RAW snippet comes from a WIP novella, I hope to complete by Christmas submission time in 2014 so by the end of June or late July 2014….August 2014 if I limit my publishing options. In this exchange, Ada Haynes is checking into a bed and breakfast in her ex-husband’s home town of Willow Springs, GA during the Christmas holiday.

photo_66781_20111209“Well, I used to visit this area with my ex-husband and we always ate there.”

At the word, husband, Mr. Ballard cocked his head to the side at a sharp angle that swung his hair into his suddenly nquisitive eyes. “Is that right?”

Willow Spring was a small town tucked high in the mountains of Georgia. A local husband most likely meant that she’d been married into one of the few residing African-American families. She hadn’t.

Ada let his mind tick over the possibilities, unable to contain the width of the smile straining her against her cheeks. She’d always enjoyed the shock of someone finding out that she’d been married to a member of one of the town’s founding families, Tolbert McCrae. “And the lights in the square, do they still have those?”

Happy hopping and wish me luck! The next stop is Elin Gregory.