Last saturday I want to my monthly RWA meeting. It was superb. Debra Dixon spoke and I picked up a copy of her GMC (Goal Motivation and Conflict) book. Fantastic. If you're a writer I recommend it.
I knew something was wrong when Deb stopped to ask if everyone else was hot and the crowd all nodded. I was freezing. By the time I made it home that afternoon I was well on my way to being sick.
My husband (who never gets sick) had the flu a few months ago and missed almost a week of work. Last week my son got it and was out of school for the week. Not the H1N1 - just the regular old flu. Now it's my turn. I'm so bored I feel like I'm about to lose my mind.
So what do you do when you don't feel well enough to do much of anything? For the first couple days I watched movies. One day I decided to read. I picked up "To Beguile A Beast" by Elizabeth Hoyt and blew through it. I hadn't read a historical in probably close to a decade. It took me back to summers in high school when I would sit on Hampton Beach and read one boddice-ripper after another.
Then I starting tackling edits (between naps) for an upcoming release - Under Fire. Coincidentally, it's a historical. WWI, set in Arabia. The original manuscript was written years ago and was once published under an alternate title. Honestly, in giving it a fresh read, I think it needs a lot of work.
I've put aside The Summoning for now since my submission deadline for it is open ended and Red Rose has been exceedingly patient with me while I finished work on The Sacrifice. They are indulging my desire to do some major rewrites on Under Fire so I'm making that my primary focus for the next few weeks. I hope to have a more polished version into my editor there soon.
Once that's turned in, I'll go back to working on the Forbidden Series. I also need to figure out what to do with three short stories that I have. I'm trying to decide if I should submit them someplace, or release them as free reads. Guess I'll tackle that question another day. For now...it's time to nap.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
I hope that everyone has a fantastic weekend! I'm hoping to get in a bit of reading in addition to some writing.
If you haven't read Eve of Darkness yet, Book One of S.J. Day's Marked series, do pick it up. It's excellent. Eve is a fabulous heroine and Cain (yes of Cain and Able fame) is a wonderful bad boy hero. There's plenty of action, plenty of plot, and plenty of hot steamy sex. Although I will warn you - this is a series. When you get to the end of book one, if you're like me you'll let out a scream. Thankfully book 2 will be out soon and I'm a series junkie.
That brings me to my next recommendation. I haven't finished this yet, but it's off to a good start and I've decided to select it for my June Bookclub pick (I pick one book each month). Burning Aliveby Shannon K. Butcher. There's going to be some additional info on this one - which is book 1 in The Sentinel Wars series - in my June newsletter. I'll also be giving away a signed copy. If you aren't receiving my newsletter, you can sign up via the home page of my website: samanthasommersby [dot] com
Lastly, Michelle Pillow let me know of a new release. This one just came out today. I kept trying to include an excerpt, but the words kept melting and sliding right off of my monitor!
Divinity Warriors 2: Fighting Lady Jayne
By Michelle M. Pillow
Jayne Hart has earned her independence by becoming Divinity Corporation's inter-dimensional boxing champion. Life is great, until a dirty fighter knocks her unconscious. Now, abandoned by the corporation in a parallel world, Jayne will use every weapon she has to be free once more. Even if it means running from her sexy new "husband" and spending the rest of her life in a primitive forest.
Ronen of Firewall longs for a woman to warm his bed and his home, but he had no intention of choosing a bride. In an unprecedented move, one chooses him. Never in the history of the breeding ceremony has a woman dared to lay claim. How can he resist the alluring Lady Jayne? She's confident and sure in her decision to be with him—until their wedding night when she's nowhere to be found. But, Ronen is not one to shy from a battle. He will find Jayne and, when he does, he has one particular "weapon" in mind for taming his seductive, wayward wife.
So what are you reading?
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
First let me reveal my bias, I write for an adult audience. My sex scenes are hot and explicit. To me, sex is a normal, healthy part of adult relationships. I can't imagine leaving that part out of the story, or not allowing the reader to experience it fully and completely. I leave the bedroom door wide open so readers can grab a box of popcorn, pick a seat, sit back, and enjoy the entire show.
Although I candidly tell folks that I write erotic romance or urban fantasy with erotic elements. I don't think I write erotica. Why? Because the sex isn't primary, it's not the focus of or the reason for the story. Rather it's something that naturally unfolds as the desire and emotional connection between my cotagonists deepens.
I've seen and read lots of books and articles over the years about how to write a good sex scene, some focusing on the "dos", other on the "don'ts". Today I'm writing about something that I haven't seen a lot of other authors discuss, the importance of a bad sex scene. Now, I'm not talking about poorly written sex, or a specific type of sex that I have judgments about. I'm simply talking about a sex scene in which the outcome is far from ideal.
Personally, I love it when an author inserts a well crafted and strategically placed scene in which the characters fumble, struggle, strike out, or somehow "misfire". I think it makes characters more real, more vulnerable, and most importantly, more relatable. This is particularly the case when the author is able to show that the hero/heroine can get through the situation with finesse and that, as a result, they experience a more profound sense of intimacy.
There are some important key elements to making this sort of scene work for you.
1. Regardless of the failure, your hero/heroine must stay in character. You don't want the reader to suddenly feel as if two entirely different characters are introduced.
2. Remember that you are striving for vulnerability and reality. The situation should be believable. You don't want it to come off as comical and you don't want to make the reader too anxious or afraid. Be subtle.
3. Use humor carefully. No one wants to be laughed at or feel like they are being ridiculed when they're naked. Remember that your characters are bare not only physically during an intimate scene, but emotionally as well.
4. Keep the sexual tension high and the pacing steady. Lead both your characters and the reader down the garden path and then surprise them by inserting an obstacle.
5. Acknowledge the obstacle. It's better when one of the characters is able to do this rather than relying merely on narrative.
6. Have the characters talk through the obstacle to normalize it. This will show the reader that they have the strength to get through those mundane relationship issues that are necessary to conquer if they're going to have a long-lasting relationship.
What's the most important ingredient of all? The thing guaranteed to turn your imperfect encounter into utter magic? Giving the reader the sense that above all else, the characters are in love. To quote Jason Jordan:
"True love does not come by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly."
Samantha Sommersby is the author of the critically acclaimed Forbidden series, including her newest book "Forbidden: The Temptation." Sam happily spends her days immersed in the world of the Forbidden, a world where vampires, werewolves, and demons are real, where magic is possible, and where love still conquers all. To learn more about Sam's books or to sign up for her monthly newsletter visit
http://www.samanthasommersby [dot] com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles [dot] com/?expert=Samantha_Sommersby
Monday, May 11, 2009
I thought I'd share an article that I recently wrote with you this morning. It's a short little piece about one of my fav subjects - monsters and why we love them. Especially those dead sexy vamps!
As little girls we dread the dark and fear the monsters under our beds. Then we grow up and find ourselves wishing they were in them.
Today there are plenty of sexy shapeshifters, demons, and other dark antiheroes living on women's bookshelves and providing fodder for their fantasies. However, the dynamics that make these fringe creatures so attractive seem to be most clearly defined and celebrated by the biggest bad of them all-the vampire.
Modern creatures of the night may be rooted in classic mythology and vampire lore, but they're different, they have to be. In order for authors to set themselves apart in the genre, they must take liberties. They must create something fresh and unique, while at the same time retaining the familiar. That's the balance that keeps old fans of the genre coming back and attracting new ones.
The tremendously successful Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer is a prime example. Other interpretations include Bram Stoker's traditional one depicted with cape, Laurel K. Hamilton's lace and leather-clad version, Charlaine Harris' down-home vamp with his southern charm and pressed khakis, and my personal favorite, Joss Whedon's duster-wearing slayer-loving Spike.
So why do we swoon over Dracula, Jean-Claude, Bill, Spike, and Edward?
First let's cover the obvious. Vampires are immortal. That means they get to stay young and drop-dead (no pun intended) gorgeous forever. Although their youthful appearance is preserved, they become wise as a result of the passage of time and through a collection of worldly experience. Talk about an intensely winning combination.
Then there's the other really compelling paradox, vulnerable but dangerous. In most scenarios, the vampire was once a human who became an unwilling victim. Relegated to an existence not of their choosing, the vampire has to avoid discovery, sunlight, and the pointy end of a stake while searching for and procuring sustenance. We feel just a little bit sorry for them, even if they are evil, blood-sucking fiends. Now it gets a little weird.
Vampires require blood to survive. Humans are a readily available source of blood. Vampires need us. We like to be needed. We know we're taking a huge risk and that in the end the vampire is probably going to lose control and bite us, right? Maybe even kill us? Yes! And that's actually some of the appeal.
It's not so much that we want to die or be bitten, it's that we like to be afraid. Fear causes the release of endorphins in the brain, a natural opiate. Endorphins are also released during orgasm. So let's take this one step further and assume for a minute that the bite is sexual, the encounter erotically charged. Our vampire is getting hotter by the minute, isn't he?
Now let's kick it up one more notch and talk about reformation and transformation. This is the idea that our big bad vampire is capable of changing his big bad ways and that suddenly he wants to. Why? Because of you. Your love has saved and transformed him. And what can your vampire give you in return? Only eternity together.
What an intoxicating happily-ever-after.
Samantha Sommersby is the author of the critically acclaimed Forbidden series, including her newest book "Forbidden - The Temptation." Sam happily spends her days immersed in the world of the Forbidden, a world where vampires, werewolves, and demons are real, where magic is possible, and where love still conquers all. To learn more about Sam's books or to sign up for her monthly newsletter visit http://www [dot] samanthasommersby [dot] com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles [dot] com/?expert=Samantha_Sommersby
Friday, May 08, 2009
Forgot to mention this important news! Thanks to the Amazing Audrey I now have a series bible for the Forbidden universe that I can share with all of you. It's available on my website (FREE!). There are some spoiler warnings - so beware if you haven't read the entire series.
I think Audrey did a fantastic job. Please check it out along with the other updates.
samanthasommersby [dot] com
An article that I wrote for an eZine was released earlier this week. I thought I'd share it here. The source is cited below.
I'll be spending most of today trying to meet my daily word count on The Summoning and obsessing about my book-signing tomorrow afternoon. If you're in the San Diego area - stop buy. I'll have some of my Temptation Blood Bath (Bubble Bath) on hand!
When I first conceived of my book series I knew that I was going to be faced with a challenge selling the idea to my publisher. There are so many wonderful series out there that use vampire mythology. I realized that somehow I would need to make mine different, to set it apart in the readers mind.
Although I planned to use traditional lore, I also planned to create some rules that are unique to the Forbidden universe. For example, traditionally vampires are portrayed as strong, powerful, creatures of seduction. I wanted my vampire hero to be a little more relatable, more accessible to the reader.
Most urban fantasy is written from the point of view of the female protagonist. That first person POV allows for a very immediate, intimate, and intense reading experience. There's no better way to let the reader inside a character's head and heart. That's the reason that I decided to write the series from the point of view of the heroes.
Was it difficult at first? Yes! Up until that time I'd primarily written from the third person perspective. Making the move to writing in first person meant that I, in effect, needed to become more of a conduit or a channel for the hero's voice. The first challenge was finding that voice. The second was holding onto it. My background as a psychotherapist became invaluable. I started out by creating a psychological profile for the hero. This included a family history as well as his personal history.
I realized that in order to be successful I'd have to solidly know my hero and what makes him tic. I'd need to fully understand his motivation, what he wanted, what he feared, and what inspired him. It was my belief that once I knew the hero inside and out, his story would begin to unfold. His responses and reactions would become inevitable. And his voice would just...stick.
People ask me on occasion how I deal with writer's block. When they do I cringe. I've always become easily absorbed in stories, especially my own and now that I write in first person POV that's even more true. It feels more my world, more my narrative than ever before. In addition to my own stream of consciousness I can access Byron's, Dell's, Jake's, and now Wesley's. And sometimes, it's not so much about accessing it as it is about turning it off and coming back to the present.
Just the other night I realized quite suddenly during dinner with some friends that my husband stopped talking mid-sentence. When I looked at him he smiled, then he leaned over and whispered, "You were off plotting, weren't you?" Busted. I was guilty as charged.
"Wesley?" he asked.
I turned bright red and nodded.
See? I'm not psychotic, I just hear this guy's voice in my head.
Samantha Sommersby is the author of the critically acclaimed Forbidden series, including her newest book "Forbidden: The Temptation". Sam happily spends her days immersed in the world of the Forbidden, a world where vampires, werewolves, and demons are real, where magic is possible, and where love still conquers all. To learn more about Sam's books or to sign up for her monthly newsletter visit http://www.samanthasommersby [dot] com
Article Source:http://EzineArticles [dot]com/expert=Samantha_Sommersby
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Join author Samantha Sommersby this Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at Mysterious Galaxy!
Mysterious Galaxy Birthday Bash
Book signing with authors Kage Baker, Alice Henderson, Jeffrey J. Marriotte,
Jim Butcher, Shannon Butcher, S.J. Day, Samantha Sommersby,
P.J. Haarsma, Sina Grace and Kris Saknussemm!
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Ste #302
San Diego, CA 92111
Time: 3:00 pm
Samantha will be sharing the author spotlight with S.J. Day and then signing her latest release:
Forbidden: The Temptation
I wanted to post about this for all of you paranormal junkies out there - like me!
This is a great way to learn about new series and was the brain child of author Moira Rogers. Go Moira!
There are a total of 50 books being given away - each of them the first book in a different series. Why? To get readers like us hooked, of course. She's even calling it "Get Hooked on a Series." You also have the opportunity to join the mailing list of the various authors. I have to admit that I've just spent far too much time browsing authors websites and checking out books that were new to me.
You can check the contest out at: http://moirarogers [dot] com/?q=node/348
Now...back to working on The Summoning!
(I hear CAM cracking her whip!)
Saturday, May 02, 2009
Warning: This book contains raging winter storms, truly inspiring sex, a kick-butt heroine, and one very hot, dirty-talking cowboy...who's sometimes furry.
To enter you must (1) be on Sam's newsletter mailing list and (2) send in your entry via the contact form on Sam's website. Provide your snail mail address along with the phrase "I want my own Were!".