Adventure into Romance with Shelley Munro
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Archive for November, 2010

Farmer Shell

Mr. Munro and I had a busy weekend. Hubby went fishing on Saturday, leaving me in peace to do some writing. Job done since I completed the short project I’ve been working on recenty. Mr. Munro arrived home with lots of fish (guess what we had for dinner?) and we headed off to the farm for a working bee.

We spent a couple of hours fixing fences and trimming trees and vines. We were exhausted by the time we finished and I was covered with sheep poop. A shower never felt so good!

Shell and Farm Bike

This is me on the farm bike. :grin:

I purchased another mushroom farm from the local farmers’ market. The mushrooms taste so much better than the ones we buy at the supermarket. I thought my farm had stopped producing but this morning when I woke up several more mushrooms have popped up. I think they like the extra hot weather we’ve been having recently.

Mushroom Farm

This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago when I first got my mushroom farm. The current batch of mushrooms are really small but they grow quickly and should be to this stage soon.

How was your weekend?

Do I Have To Stay?

Camera Critters

I took this photo at the local A & P show. The donkey was in the kid’s petting area and he looked as if he desperately wanted to escape their wandering hands.

Donkey

To see more animal photos visit Camera Critters

Words of Love

Thursday Thirteen

This month I’ve been writing up a storm. Since I write romance, I seem to be writing a lot of love scenes. Here’s a selection of words you might find in one of my love scenes.

Thirteen Words You Might Find In a Love Scene

1. Whimper

2. Rasp

3. Sensitive

4. Ache

5. Explode

6. Throb

7. Voluptuous

8. Decadent

9. Hunger

10. Ecstasy

11. Contraceptive

12. Kiss

13. Perfect

Since I write a lot of erotic romance I use a few naughtier words as well. I’ve given you a clean selection today.

What are some of your favorite words to write or read in a love scene?

Cash in Hand

When I was a kid, banks weren’t open during the weekends. People would go to their banks on a Friday to cash a check and stock up for the weekend ahead. For a couple of years I was a bank teller and I remember busy Friday afternoons well. I also recall my tired, aching feet after a busy day in the bank.

These days most businesses take plastic—either credit cards or Eftpos cards. (I think you have debit cards in the US). The only time I use cash these days is for bus fares and, the rest of the time, I use my credit card.
This made me curious and I wondered if other people were doing the same as me.

Do you use cash or do you tend to use plastic?

When is it my Turn?

Camera Critters

I took this photo last week at the Clevedon A & P show. He was sitting comfortably and snoozing while waiting for his event to commence.

Show Time at Clevedon

Isn’t he a handsome fellow?

To see more animal photos visit Camera Critters

Celebrity Chefs

Thursday Thirteen

I enjoy cooking and watching the Food Channel. Today I’m giving you a list of my favorite ones.

Thirteen Celebrity Chefs

1. Rick Stein – I like his passion for food and especially enjoy his shows outside of England. His dog Chalky was so cute. I was sad when he died.

2. Rachel Allen – she does good no-nonsense food. Her accent is very cute.

3. Jamie Oliver – I admire his passion for food and his school lunch crusade.

4. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – I like all his River Cottage shows and especially enjoy the snippets of village life and the different customs. He does cook a few weird things though. I can do without cow stomachs. I suspect the cows would prefer to keep them too.

5. Annabel Langbein – is a New Zealand chef currently showing on our screens in the show, The Free Range Cook. She lives in Wanaka in the South Island and the scenery shown in the series is absolutely stunning. I believe the series has sold to many overseas countries so it might be on a TV near you in your future. Here’s the link to her website.

6. Gordon Ramsay – Famous for his temper and F-bombs.

7. Ainsley Harriet. I like both his cooking shows and Ready, Steady, Cook where he hosts guests and other chefs. He’s such a showman with his big, beaming smile and sense of humor.

8. Jo Seagar – Jo is a New Zealand chef. She used to live near us, but moved down to Oxford in the South Island. I hope to get my cookbook autographed when I visit Oxford in December. Here’s the link to her website.

9. James Martin – I always enjoy Saturday Kitchen and the guest chefs making omelettes as fast as they can.

10. Kylie Kwong – I enjoy Asian influences in my food.

11. Giada De Laurentiis – Giada is one of the few American chefs I will watch. Her smile is wider than…well, almost anything and her recipes are delicious. I especially enjoy her Italian recipes.

12. Ina Garten – the Barefoot Contessa.

13. Nigella Lawson – She’s my all-time favorite. Several of the others have mannerisms that irritate me but not Nigella. Her verbal descriptions of the ingredients and final product are sheer poetry that the writer in me really admires. Her recipes are easy to make and delicious too. I also like the way she enjoys food. Her midnight snacks at the end of each show make me chuckle.

Do you have a favorite celebrity chef?

You’d Better Watch Out…

Dear Mr. Thrush,

Thrush

This is your last warning. If you don’t stop looting and plundering my strawberries…

Strawberries

I’ll take strong measures and shoot you with my supersoaker. You have been warned!

Late Harvest by Suzanne Barrett plus Contest!

My special guest today is author Suzanne Barrett. I’ll turn you over to Suzanne since she’s done a great job of introducing herself.

I’ve been writing since 1989, and the book that got me started into thinking I’d like to do this is LaVyrle Spencer’s Hummingbird. In re-reading that well-worn paperback, I can see writing errors we try not to do today, however, I didn’t understand those things then. What stood out for me was that the book drew me in like no other. I went on to read every book Ms. Spencer published, but I liked Hummingbird the most.

As for the writing, I did the usual things: joined RWA, my local chapter, joined a critique group and attended workshops, and of course bought every writing how-to book to hit the bookshelves. Of course none of those things got me published. It was more plain hard work, studying my writing and the writing of people who did it better than me, and making changes where necessary and still remaining true to myself.

I entered contests, and worked myself up to finalist status and winner in some. Late Harvest was a Golden Heart finalist one year. That opened doors but didn’t get me a contract. I continued writing and submitting. Finally, after nine years, I sold to Kensington…and went on to sell three more books before they dropped the line.

So here I am with Turquoise Morning Press and loving the interaction with a small press and its publisher who is herself a writer. Late Harvest is my first release with TMP, however, I have five more books coming out in 2011. It promises to be an exciting year.

Now about the book:

Late HarvestLate Harvest was a difficult sell to New York because it’s not formulaic. Too dark, my Kensington publisher said. “We don’t like Germans,” my editor said. “We might be interested if you change those awful German names.”

I didn’t want to make those changes. Late Harvest isn’t just about wine-making, but about the late harvest wine called Eiswein–made from grapes picked after a first frost. It is, of course, a German wine and German wineries abound in the Mendocino area. So Cresthaven was born, owned by the von Daniken family from Germany’s Rheingau. When the story opens, Otto, the patriarch is bedridden by a stroke, unable to speak, and the key to the artificial method for making Eiswein lies with Glenna Ryan who fled the winery some five years earlier. Kurt, Otto’s nephew, now runs the winery and he’s determined to bring Glenna back so she can facilitate the production of this precious late harvest wine. But Glenna has secrets she cannot reveal and agrees to return by exacting a promise from Kurt: her expertise in exchange for surgery for her son.

An excerpt:

Glenna moistened lips that had suddenly gone dry. “Do I pass inspection?” Her voice sounded a little throaty.

“You look…lovely, Glenna.” Kurt continued his perusal, one lean forefinger tracing his full lower lip.

Glenna found the movement of his hand fascinating. Her own grew moist as her mouth turned dust dry. She moistened her lips with her tongue and realized that he was staring.

Raising her eyes to his, she deliberately blanked her expression. “Why did you do it–buy this dress? I didn’t need a new gown for the ball. My blue dress–”

“Was a made over,” he interrupted gently. “I asked Mags what you were wearing. I wanted you to–” He paused, searching for a word, “–have something more personal.”

Glenna tensed. “I would have looked acceptable even in my made-over dress.” She noted the instant thinning of his mouth, and she pasted on a bright smile. “I’ve grown quite socially acceptable in recent years.”

A hardness crept into his eyes. “You were–are always acceptable, as I suspect you know. God, Glenna. Can’t we just….”

The smile left her lips. Once again she dragged her gaze upward. “Call a truce?”

“No, I–” He slapped the magazine down on the table, then stared intently into her face for what seemed an interminable moment. “Yes, why not? Just for tonight, Glenna, let us pretend we met only this last April, when you came to work for me.”

Glenna found herself mesmerized by the smoky depths of his eyes. Warm and friendly on the surface, but underneath….Underneath lay a deep hunger. She saw it, and felt it as a wave of desire shook her.

In a voice that was little more than a thready whisper she said, “Yes, I’d like that. Tonight is our first…” Her voice trailed off. She couldn’t say it.

“Our first evening together, Glenna. And California’s entire wine community will be watching.”
He made a quarter turn, offering her his arm.

Purchase Late Harvest

CONTEST: Suzanne is giving away a Kindle download of Late Harvest to one lucky commenter. Ask her a question or make a comment and you’re in the draw.

Plain Tuckered Out

Camera Critter

Hubby and I visited the yearly Clevedon A & P show yesterday. We had lots of fun checking out all the animals, the stalls and, of course, the food and wine area. I couldn’t resist taking this shot…

Tuckered Out

To see more animal shots visit Camera Critters

Writing Romance Is Like…Adopting a New Puppy

My guest today is fellow Samhain author, Erin Nicholas. Erin Nicholas has been reading and writing romantic fiction since her mother gave her a romance novel in high school and she discovered happily-ever-after suddenly went a little beyond glass slippers and fairy godmothers! She lives in the Midwest with her husband who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books, her kids who will never read the sex scenes in her books, and family and friends who say they’re shocked by the sex scenes in her books (yeah, right!). Over to Erin.

Thanks Shelley, for letting me stop by on my blog tour!

PhotobucketSince November is the anniversary month of my first published book, I decided to go on a tour and chat and give stuff away!

The “theme” (I use the term loosely) is Writing Romance Is Like…
And every blog stop has a difference comparison that will give you some insight into who I am, how I write and my slightly weird sense of humor. Oh, and you can win stuff! Every commenter gets entered for a chance at a book from my backlist. And if you really want to have some fun: follow me around to all the stops on the schedule (on my website) get the answers to the questions (on the form on my site) and then e-mail them to me by December 15th to get entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com or MyBookstoreandMore.com. Come join the fun!!

And now…
Writing Romance Is Like… Adopting a New Puppy:
There are fun, sweet moments interspersed with complete craziness and huge messes

We adopted a puppy once. OMG. I had no idea what I was getting in to. I never had a dog as a kid (insert proper sympathetic groan here—parents were strictly cat people). Puppy was not potty-trained. Puppy also chewed on everything, seemingly never slept and chased my cats… in short he was a puppy. Ugh. He was naughty and soon went to live with our friends who love dogs and have the experience and patience needed to train and raise Puppy into the semi-sweet dog he is today (honestly he’s still kind of naughty but their capacity for tolerating naughty is way bigger than mine!).

But writing is like that. There are those moments when the dialogue turns out perfectly, when the resolution comes together perfectly, when the hero is absolutely perfectly heroic. But then… there are those moments when everything seems out of control, when you write a whole scene and realize it’s a mess (ie: rewrite… yuck), when the heroine’s reaction is flat, when the hero’s dialogue seems stilted. It’s enough to make me wonder if I can just give it to another writer to “raise” :smile:. Some might say this happens because I don’t plot. I don’t think that’s it. Or maybe it is, but I’ll never admit it—or change it.

It’s part of the process for me (I haven’t always been this enlightened, trust me!) In fact, I go into new books knowing that I’m going to write at least two scenes that I’m never going to use in the final book. I go into new books knowing that I’m going to spend at least a week hating it and thinking it’s the worst drivel ever. I go into new books knowing that at some point I’m going to be convinced that I should just scrap the whole thing.

But, even the messy scenes that I don’t use help me work out who these people are, why they are that way, how they react to things—and why. Knowing them helps me—eventually—give them their story. Because ultimately it’s all about who they are.

Just like with Puppy. The messes and craziness taught me who I am: not a dog person (please don’t hate me… I like dogs as long as they live with someone else). Puppy taught me that you can’t change someone else and that a good relationship is about accepting who they are and finding a way to make it work (it just so happens that it worked best for us to live apart — not the ideal comparison with romantic fiction, I’ll grant you! :smile:)

In the end, the messes are okay, the craziness works… the cat-chasing is still not cool.

Join me at my next stop! November 15th at Nikki Duncan’s blog

Just Like ThatExcerpt, Just Like That (a messy scene :grin:)
Erin Nicholas

She quickly turned her attention back to the ceiling fan, which made a lot more sense than the riot of sensations that this virtual stranger was stirring up. “I said that I haven’t been with a man who gave me an orgasm.” She tried to turn the screw but it wouldn’t go in straight, just as she couldn’t ignore the way his touch seemed to tingle up her bare leg and a very specific spot higher.

“Have you had an orgasm with a woman?”

She wobbled, the screw hit the table again, and his grip tightened on her leg. “Excuse me?”

Sam stroked his hand up and down her calf. Slowly. Completely ignoring the screw this time. “If you haven’t had an orgasm with a man, it was an obvious question to ask if you have with a woman.”

She took a deep breath, trying to focus on what he’d said versus the feel of his hand on her. They were talking about orgasms. Right. And women. Wrong.

She frowned. “No, I haven’t had an orgasm with a woman.”

“Too bad.” He gave her a bone-melting grin. “I had some pretty good images going.”

“I’ll bet.” She shook off his hand and bent to pick up the screw where it had bounced.

“But you’ve had one by yourself, right?”

She tossed her hair over her shoulder. What the heck? He knew plenty about her already. Which ensured that she was going to make a point of never seeing him again. “Yes. Several in fact.”

“Good.” He nodded, apparently pleased with her answer.

“Good?”

“No woman should go without orgasms completely.”

She couldn’t say why exactly, but that struck her as funny. She grinned. “If only everyone was so certain about their beliefs.”

He winked at her and it hit her that he was good-looking. And she needed to never see him again.

She straightened and fit the screw back into the tiny hole. Just then she felt the heat of Sam’s hand on her calf again. She braced herself for the stroking that commenced. What she wasn’t prepared for was the fact that his hand kept traveling up. And up.

She narrowed her eyes, concentrating on fitting the tip of the screwdriver into the star-shaped notches on the screw. But when her eyes drifted shut as Sam’s hand passed her knee and continued up, taking the hem of her skirt up with it, it was very difficult to see anything at all.

Move forward. Move out of reach.

Her legs had no idea what her brain was talking about. Why would she move away from such exquisite feelings?

You cannot do this on the dining room table—that’s probably been in the family for generations—of a sweet little old woman who you don’t even know.

Still, her legs pretended not to hear.

When Sam’s lips met the skin in the middle of the back of her thigh, she felt the heat shoot straight up between her thighs and her knees wobbled.

Then his tongue touched the crease at the back of her knee and she melted.

Literally.

She vaguely heard Sam gasp, “Danika!” but the next true sensation she was aware of was the sharp pain from where her knees hit the table, stealing her breath, and the hot knife that was seemingly dug into her right wrist.

She thought about gasping, or screaming, or swearing loudly, but her chest wouldn’t expand.

Holy crap. That hurt.

More on Erin
www.ErinNicholas.com
NineNaughtyNovelists.blogspot.com
ErinNicholas.blogspot.com
http://samhainpublishing.com/authors/erin-nicholas



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