Sunday, November 28, 2010

Oh, to be a writer

In school we hated it or rather loathed to be told what to write. But as we aged came the wisdom to know that writing is an unique artistic form and when done well can entertain generations.

I don't know where I was during the grammar part of education. I think I must have been zapped up by alien space travelers and whisked away. For I am so very dyslexic when it comes to commas, semicolons, and dangling participles. (Don't they have medication for that?) Anyway, my family was and is still surprised that it's my dream to write stories. Why? Because what is published today leaves me wanting in some respects.

I crave action, adventure, romance on a grand scale. Take me to another world, another time, transport me to the heroine's point of view,and let me hear the strong voice of the hero in my mind. If I find myself as a writer yearning to see these things in the next sentence or next chapter of my own work, I think I've done it well.

Then, today I had to laugh at myself. A dear friend brought be back to life by sending me "MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY" all ready on UTUBE. Please watch. Perspective writers, please listen. Children the next time you see your mother, do not laugh in her face - behind her back is acceptable.

Thank you.

(You may have to cut and paste. You want to be a writer)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Welcoming Victoria Grey and her latest release!

My new release, Angel in My Arms, is the story of Amanda Emerson, a Union spy undercover in Richmond, and Union officer Steve Dunham, the man she enlists in the daring rescue of a double agent from a Confederate prison and imminent execution. As the danger surrounding them thickens, every moment he’s with her jeopardizes their lives, but they discover a passion that’s worth the risk.

Meet the hero and heroine:

Steve Dunham, the hero in Angel in My Arms, is built like a Viking, has a twinkle in his eye, and he’s got guts. Best of all, he’s the kind of man who’s had his share of women, but when he falls, he falls hard and forever. A seasoned Union operative, he faces danger on a daily basis, but when the woman he loves is threatened, he’ll stop at nothing to keep her safe.

Amanda Emerson, the heroine, is a sable-haired beauty who joined up with a nest of Union spies living in Richmond. She’s skilled at deception, but when she falls for the handsome spy she’s drawn into their latest scheme, there’s no way to hide her feelings. Amanda’s gutsy and tender, a woman who doesn’t even realize how beautiful she is. She doesn’t want to fall for Steve – their love puts both in danger – but some tides are too hard to fight.

What’s Next:
I’m currently finishing Against All Odds, a sequel to Angel in My Arms. The story features Kate Sinclair, a beautiful Union spy who’s part of the Richmond spy ring, and Will Reed, a Confederate officer whose love for Kate draws them both into a web of treachery and betrayal more dangerous than the fields of war.

Other Works:

If readers enjoy Angel in My Arms, I hope they’ll check out Destiny, Steve’s partner’s story. Jack Travis is a by-the-book Cavalry officer until he receives unusual orders: kidnap the daughter of a powerful United States senator. His captive is intelligent, headstrong, beautiful – and forbidden. He risks his neck to protect her. But how can he protect her from himself?

Contact me at:

Here’s an Excerpt:

Amanda closed her eyes and savored his possession. How could anything feel as good as his lips against hers? With his arms wrapped tight
around her, she felt as though nothing could penetrate the tender shield of his embrace.
Wanting him was wrong. He was little more than a stranger. A man she’d teamed with for a mission. He was supposed to be nothing more.
But he’d filled her heart.
His handsome face captivated her all the more for its tiny imperfections. A small scar on his chin. The small bump at the bridge of his nose that told the tale of a long-ago break. Another scar, much more recent, on his jaw that looked to be the result of a man’s ring connecting with his flesh and bone.
He was a warrior. Her warrior. Fierce. Tender. Courageous. Protective.
“You’re so beautiful, Mandy.” His lips trailed the column of her throat.
She nestled against his broad chest. He smelled like bay rum and pine and leather. She’d never realized how tantalizing the scents could be. Mingled with his natural essence, the blend of aromas touched something deep and primal within her. She couldn’t resist the scent. Or him.
He took her hands in his. A sly smile curved his mouth as he studied her. “Such sweet temptation. The question is where to begin.”
She’d wasn’t an innocent, but she’d never experienced the heat of a man’s gaze drinking her in as though she were a fine wine to be savored. When Steve looked at her, she felt wanted.
Ridiculous. He couldn’t possibly love her.
But he hungered for her touch. That would have to be enough. After all, she didn’t love him.
Keep telling yourself that, Mandy.
She couldn’t love a man she barely knew.
Even if she longed for his scent. For his touch. For the moment when he’d claim her.
Even if she prayed he’d come to his senses and leave her before the rebels captured him and dragged him away to prison. Or a noose.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A worthy advisary

There's nothing I enjoy more than a good villain, unless it's besting a good villain. Often when we right we are so consumed about what our heroine or hero looks like we leave our bad guy or girl to the reader's imagination. Not good. As a writer you want your reader to boo and hiss at the villain just as one would at a penny opera. So, put on your thinking caps and give your readers that mental picture.

His attributes should be as interesting as your hero. Remember not all villains are dark and swarthy. Some may be blonde, blue eyed and cunning. Perhaps they are skilled at getting into a woman's bed or coaxing the information from her lips by plying her senses with kisses and flowery speech.

When I wrote A Ranger's Honor, I wanted a card shark. He needed to be just as glib as Rhett Butler and as dangerous as a rattlesnake. Instead of giving him a dark appearance, I wanted him to be like the blond Adonis with a cold heart. So I painted this lovely picture of a man bent on acquiring an empire off the misfortunes of others. Here is an example of Yellow Jack Anderson the notorious card shark of Cold Creek, Texas.

“Your coffee, sir,” he replied, tipping the metal pot, to poured the cup full, and then disappeared.
In the silence, Yellow Jack spread the white cloth napkin across his pinstriped trousers, smoothing the linen from left to right while making sure both sides were equal. His manner was impeccable. Yellow Jack detested an unkempt man. He knew what image he wanted to give and dressed the part. A second glance out the window caught his reflection. Again, the instinctive motion to smooth any hair out of place took over. He looked good - like a white man, not the half-breed his linage indicated.
A movement stirred and caught his interest. Yellow Jack watched as a wagon moved toward the deed office. His eyes narrowed as they focused on the occupants - a woman with a blue bonnet and a man in work clothes. A pastoral scene artist would claim. Under Yellow Jacks glare, they exchanged words. The farmer leaned over, and beneath the brim of her calico headdress, no doubt, left a kiss. How touching, he thought.
The right side of his cheek twitched. Fools, he wanted to laugh. They wouldn’t stay long. The soil may bend to a plow, but it would not hold the seed past the second, the third or fourth year. This was cattle country, not farmland. Even now, the great cattle companies of Texas were finding it hard to eke out a measurable living in the dry climate.
“Sir, your food.”
Yellow Jack lifted his hands, allowing the man to deposit the platter of steak, eggs, and potatoes before him.
“Thank you,” Yellow Jack murmured, picking up the knife and fork.
Again alone, he pressed the sharp edge of the knife to the darkened meat. A faint tinge of blood oozed to the surface. His tongue darted out, ready to taste the warm red liquid. His nostrils flared at the odor, a smell he would never forget. Spearing the meat, Yellow Jack’s thoughts turned to ways to alleviate the widow from her land. Yes, the game was afoot. With Frank Prentiss gone, nothing seemed to stand in his way.

From A Ranger's Honor by Nancy O'Berry.
Who ever your villain becomes, do him the dignity of bringing him to life! A good villain is a work of art.

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