Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Musings--Tall, Dark and Handsome vs. Golden Boy

My latest blog endeavor, Drive By Interviews on Authors Who Rock (http://authorswhorock.blogspot.com/) has inspired me to ask the question--Tall, Dark and Handsome or Golden Boy? Personally I love them both, but if I had to pick one, it'd definitely be Tall, Dark and Handsome. Where do you fall in this delicious debate?

Exhibit Tall Dark and Handsome:
Benjamin Bratt, Hugh Jackman, Shemar Moore


Exhibit Golden Boy:
Matthew McConaughey, Brad Pitt, Chris Hemsworth


Really, with either choice, you can't go wrong ;)

Cheers,
Cindy

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

WIP Wednesday--SILK AND STEEL part 3


My tale of love and passion in a fictional medieval setting continues. Hope you enjoy today's excerpt. I'm having a lot of fun playing with the fashion and social attitudes of the time and at the same time building a world of my very own.

Today's hunky knight is Gerard Butler from TIMELINE. *drool*

Chapter One
Two years later

Struggling against the smile that tugged at his lips, Ahron watched the lady-thief mill about amongst the commoners. Her burlap robe with hood up, unwashed hair and face devoid of makeup helped with her charade, but the shoes were a dead giveaway. Her cloak was long enough that her satin and wooden chopines barely peeked out from underneath and no one else had seemed to notice, but little escaped Ahron’s watchful eye.

He came most mornings to the marketplace to observe the guards who worked for him, but also to catch the latest gossip from the townsfolk. They were more valuable than gold when it came to information gathering. Three mornings ago, he’d noticed the thief. Not only because she wasn’t terribly skilled at her new trade, but also because—despite her best efforts—he recognized her. Most thieves he would throw in the castle dungeon without a second thought, but he knew why she was stealing and his heart went out to her. Now he came each day to keep an eye on her. Inevitably, a vendor or guard would catch her.

Shout from the owner of a fruit cart proved him right. One of his men trotted toward the unrest, hand on sword, but Ahron intercepted him, stepping out of the shadow of an awning.

“Allow me, Pelot,” said Ahron.

Surprise registered on the man’s face. “Yes, sire. I had no idea you were here.”

“You’ve reacted swiftly to the crisis. I shall make note your fine performance.”

“I am most grateful.” The young knight dropped Ahron’s gaze and backed away.

Sauntering over to the site of the quarrel, Ahron shook his head. The thief wore an expression of utter indignation, declaring her innocence.

“Unhand me!” she insisted, twisting in the wiry merchant’s grasp.

“Not until you unhand my apples.” The man with a pockmarked face tried to reach beneath her robes. The thief squealed like a trapped animal.

“What’s all this about?” Ahron demanded.

“Lord High Constable.” The man released the thief and dropped to one knee. “This girl stole from me. I want to search her robes and skirts, if it pleases ye.”

“Is what this man says true?” Ahron walked around the young woman.

“I have no idea what he’s talking about and I’ll die before I let him use this false accusation as an excuse to violate me.”

“Your speech is much finer than your clothing,” replied Ahron. “Are you of nobility?”

“No.” The woman hesitated, seeming to choose her words carefully. “But I was educated in the castle.”

“My apples, sire?” asked the man.

“Yes, of course.” Ahron noticed the vendor still genuflect and added hastily, “You may rise.”

The man struggled to his feet.

Ahron let his gaze wander over the woman’s form. “I shall search the lady in question.”

“I must object—” she started to complain, but Ahron silenced her with a look.

Turning her away from the merchant, Ahron instructed her to open her robes, then ran his hands over her skirts. Though he struggled to keep base impulses under control at all times, he couldn’t help but notice the swell of her hips and breasts. She jiggled ever so slightly as he put on a show of frisking her.

“Alas, there is no fruit in her dress. At least none that shouldn’t be there.” Ahron winked at the man who gave a forced laugh. Fishing two copper cugats from his money pouch, he tossed them to the vendor. 

“Someone else must have absconded with them. Here’s recompense for your loss.”

“Th-thank you, sire.” The vendor dropped to his knees and snatched the coins from the dirt.

The woman, face scarlet with either embarrassment or ire, began to storm away, but Ahron caught her by her arm. “Walk with me.”

“I’d rather not.”

Dropping his voice, he spoke through clenched teeth, his lips a hairsbreadth away from her ear. “It was not a request.”

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Favorite Aussies!

It's no secret that Australian actors are becoming more and more prominent in American TV and films. So I thought I'd dedicate this blog entry to those lovable men from Down Under!

Chris Hemsworth

Simon Baker

Alex O'Laughlin

Ryan Kwanten

Jesse Spencer

Don't they just wanna make you holler, "G'day mate!"? Please feel free to add to the list :)

Cheers!
Cindy Jacks

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WIP Wednesday - SILK AND STEEL part 2

Hope you enjoy the second installment of SILK AND STEEL, my medieval erotic romance that is still in progress. I've written 10,000 words and I'm still going strong!

This week's inspiration? Clive Owen from the movie KING ARTHUR. Yowza!


Prologue - Scene 2


The guards stormed the courtesan’s suite of rooms. Merewyn shrieked at the sudden intrusion.

“What is the meaning of this?” she demanded, struggling against the men restraining her. Her black hair hung loose around her porcelain shoulders, a dressing gown barely covering her curvaceous form. Ahron felt a twinge of shame at catching the lady in such an informal state.

“That won’t be necessary,” Ahron told his men who promptly released her.

“Mistress Merewyn, I regret to inform you that you have fifteen minutes to gather your belongings and then we shall escort you from the castle grounds.”

“On whose authority?” She pulled her frightened children closer to her—a boy of six-years old and a girl of eight. The eldest boy stepped between Ahron and his mother, the chiseled features of the boy’s father evident even in his pre-pubescent face. He displayed the same bravery as well.

“Don’t touch her.” Anger flashed in his ice blue eyes—the one feature he inherited from his mother.

Ahron lay a gentle hand on the boy’s shoulder. “You show valor beyond your years, but this is not a fight you can win, son. The queen herself has ordered the exile of your mother and siblings.”

“Exile? That can’t be. The castle is our home.” Merewyn spoke to Ahron, but nudged her son, Owain, to join the others. Two guards caught the boy by his wrists.

“Owain is to stay here,” Ahron met Merewyn’s gaze. Her eyes widened as his full meaning dawned on her.

“No,” she pleaded, clutching at his hand. “No, you can’t take my son.”

“Milady, I have no choice.”

Two more guards restrained her as Owain was escorted from the room. The boy put up a fight, as did his mother, but the efforts proved futile. Merewyn collapsed to the floor, screaming and sobbing. “She can’t do this.”

Ahron knelt down and stroked the woman’s perfumed hair. “She can do anything she likes. She’s the monarch de facto until the king’s will is unsealed. Most likely she will be named to act as regent until Owain comes of age.”

Wild-eyed and shaking, she looked up at her oldest boy. “What will be his fate?”

“I cannot speak to that.” Ahron nudged her to her feet. “But I swear you this—I will protect him as much as I can.”

Merewyn shook her head. “I will not accept this.”

“You must.” Ahron gripped her arm, leading her toward the door. “We must go.”

Dragging the boy from the room, the guards disappeared down the hall, Owain’s objections echoing for all to hear.

Tears streamed down his mother’s face and the other children hid sobbing in her skirts.

Ahron produced a handkerchief from his sleeve and handed it to Merewyn. “I’ll give you a moment to collect yourself and then, milady, we really must go.”

As he led the shattered family from their suites, he hardened his heart against the woman’s pleas. The cries of the children were slightly harder to ignore.
_____________________
Tune in next Wednesday for the first scene from chapter one!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday Musings - Take a Break!

After my most recent drought, I'm thrilled to say that I'm back to my usual 2000-4000 words a day writing schedule. Like anything in life, there are times of great creative inspiration and times when I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel. But I've discovered in the past few years that the dry times are just as necessary to the process as the times that I'm clacking away at the keyboard.

Cindy, you've lost your mind, you say? No really, it's true. Sometimes stepping away from the work-in-progress makes it all the better. How's that? Here's how:

1. Banging your head against a wall isn't going to make that wall move any faster than it does without your self-flagellation. A wise woman once told me that sometimes you have to go around the wall, not through it. If you find yourself stuck in the middle of a manuscript that is going no where fast, take a mental health day. Go shopping. Play video games. Cook a lavish meal. Clean the house (Gack! No, maybe not). Watch TV. Read. Do anything but think about that manuscript. I bet you'll find in a day or two, the solution to your plot puzzle will present itself. And you won't have a knot on your head for the effort.

2. Ever find yourself using the same phrases over and over again? It's easy to do, especially when writing erotic romance (really there are only so many ways to fit part A in to part B, am I right?). But it's also really boring for your reader to go through same descriptions, phrases and crutch words. Taking a break can give you the fresh perspective you need to mix it up a little.

3. A break recharges the batteries. As all authors know, writing can be exhausting, especially mentally and emotionally. If your creative tank is running on fumes, you need to refill before charging headlong into a brand new scene, chapter, umpteenth WIP, etc. Playing hooky for a day or two (or seven) can give you the mental boost you need to dive neck deep into whatever drama is playing out in your mind.

All that being said, I am excited to be back at the desk chair. The break was good, but now I'm back. My characters are chatting away. So please excuse me while I churn out some more fiction for the bad girl in every woman. Seriously, you would not believe the stuff that's going on in my head...lol, perhaps that's for the best ;)

Cheers,
Cindy

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WIP Wednesday - SILK AND STEEL

I've been watching and reading a lot that revolves around the Arthurian legend which has inspired me to try my hand at an erotic romance with a medieval flavor. It's set in a fictional realm called Cherte in the capital city of Lambir. I'm having a great deal of fun letting this story unfold (That's right! I'm pants-ing a bit!). Hope you enjoy the sneak peeks to come over the next several weeks. Tune in every Wednesday for some juicy snippets!

Part of my inspiration was taken from Leontes in the Starz original series CAMELOT. Phillip Winchester is so damn yummy!


SILK AND STEEL
© Cindy Jacks, 2012
All rights reserved


Prologue

Steel gray clouds roiled in the sky above Lambir castle. Cherry trees laden with blossoms shook violently in the wind, petals scattering across the manicured grounds. A few drops of rain began to fall on the knight’s stone windowsill. Duke Ahron of Halsburgh raked a hand through his golden hair, green eyes fixed on the gathering storm, a prayer on his lips that this would be nothing more than a passing thunderhead. The smoke from the still burning funeral pyre that swirled upward to the center of the clouds told him otherwise. Dark days would return to the kingdom of Cherte, he could feel it. Drawing his sword from its sheath on his back, he pressed his lips to the trusted blade as he said a silent prayer for their fallen leader. A knock at his door interrupted his rare moment of piety.

“Enter.” He sheathed his sword.

A courier from court handed him a shallow bow. “Sire, her majesty Queen Cillan commands your presence.
With a terse nod, Ahron followed the servant through the maze of hallways and stairwells that led to the queen’s apartments.

A lady-in-waiting offered Ahron a seat in her majesty’s receiving room. The oaken chair creaked under his weight. Reticent to place his muddy boots on the velvet foot stool, he stood again, pretending to study the woolen tapestry on the wall. It depicted a forest scene, a unicorn kneeling at the center. Torches flickered in the dimming evening light. The scent of the smoldering hickory from the massive fireplace filled his nostils.
Several minutes later another lady announced the queen’s arrival. Ahron fell to his knees, pressing his forehead to the floor.

“Rise, Lord High Constable.” The queen’s voice was thick—perhaps with drink or emotion. Not that he blamed her. She’d laid her husband to rest today. The court magus, Laentus, aided her royal highness’ unsteady gait.

“Your majesty,” he avoided eye contact, “how may I serve?”

“You are aware of the interloper?” she asked.

“I am.” His throat grew tight at the awkwardness of the topic.

“We want her and her unholy offspring put to death, except for the eldest boy. Bring him to us,” Queen Cillan utilized the pluralis majestatis.

Ahron guarded his reaction to the outrageous request. “Your majesty, with all due respect, I have no legal grounds to execute the lady or her children.”

“You call the interloper a lady? Indeed not.” The queen wrinkled her nose, her lips curled in disgust. “If you will not carry out my wishes, we are sure we can find a constable who will.”

“If my queen orders me to carry out her wishes, I will of course comply. But I am concerned for your public image at this…” he considered his words, “uncertain time.”

Laentus held up a spindly finger, his strange silver skin sparkling in the dim sunlight in stark contrast to his midnight blue robes. “It is true, your majesty, that the portents do not bode well for your desired course of action.”

“And you advise us against righteous vengeance as well, Lord High Constable?” Her majesty took a seat in an ornate gilded chair, a hand to her forehead, her eyes shut tightly as if the idea of clemency for her husband’s mistress was too painful to bear.

“Perhaps her majesty might consider banishing her—the interloper. It would be seen as an act of mercy, garner you more support from the public. It would at least avoid outrage.”

“We know they love her.” The queen nearly spat as spoke. “Heathens and simpletons.”

“She was once one of them.”

A pinched expression on her gaunt face, Queen Cillan waved a hand as if to dismiss not only Ahron’s words, but their sentiment as well. “Fine. Exile it is.”

“Yes, your majesty.” Ahron bowed.

“But don’t forget to bring us the oldest of the brats.”

“It shall be done, my queen.”

“Dismissed.”

The diminutive lady didn’t wait for Ahron to make his exit before she swept from the room, her elaborate dress brushing along the doorjamb.
Exile. A tragic assignment to be sure, but at least he’d helped to spare the lives two small children. Ahron thanked the Gods for small favors.
_________________________________
More to come next Wednesday!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Happy New Release--Denyse and Brigit!


Congrats to two of my favorite authors--Denyse Bridger and Brigit Aine! This is definitely at the top of my TBR list. Check out my review later this week.

Available now at XOXO Publishing http://www.xoxopublishing.com/Products/index.php?route=product/product&path=91&product_id=257



PAS DES DEUX – Two very different stories of love and passion. In Brigit Aine’s enchanting tale, Her Secret Admirer, love is being discovered, with all its magic and mystery and hope… and in the second movement of the Duet, The Conversation Cards, two people already involved in their passionate love affair learn new things about each other, and reaffirm their bond.
 
Pas des Deux: Her Secret Admirer – Love is often found when it’s least expected. Cindy is working hard at making her business a success, and at her side offering solid support is Will. When she arrives home one evening to find a Valentine Love Coupon taped to her door, a romantic game of dreams and hope begins as her Secret Admirer begins a courtship that will win her heart long before she knows his name…
 
Pas des Deux: The Conversation Cards – Two modern lovers, living often separate lives, discover that making time for their relationship isn’t always easy. A whimsical, spur of the moment purchase of a Valentine novelty evokes an open and honest conversation that makes their secret getaway an even more romantic rendezvous, and renews hope for a future that is the stuff of dreams…
______________________________________

New Release - ANOTHER MAN'S WIFE


Another Man's Wife
By: Cindy Jacks

Available today at Ellora's Cave! http://www.jasminejade.com/m-683-cindy-jacks.aspx 



 After the real estate market crash, Rebecca’s money has run out—and so has her husband, leaving her alone with their son and a mountain of debt. She moves in with her sister while trying to dig herself out. When a handsome neighbor rescues her from a torrential downpour, she finds herself the object of an attraction too powerful to resist.


Jack is an aspiring writer who has a way with words and a way of making Rebecca moan his name. Each love letter he leaves Rebecca enchants her, each afternoon they spend making love draws her deeper into a relationship she can’t define. But with all her son has been through and a husband who’s missing in action, Rebecca may never be able to give in fully to her passion and desire for Jack, to think of herself as anything other than another man’s wife.






An Excerpt From: ANOTHER MAN’S WIFE
Copyright © CINDY JACKS, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Jack paced around his apartment, unable to quiet his mind. What had he been thinking, kissing her?
“She’s married, you idiot,” he said to his reflection in the hall mirror.
Technically she was. No, not technically— Legally. Actually. Stupid, stupid, stupid. The word reverberated around his brain, a mantra of self-recrimination. He stalked into his bedroom and pulled a leather-bound journal from his desk and did what he always did when faced with a problem.

March 29

The kiss was stupid. Not the kiss itself—the kiss was spectacular—but that I did it at all was dumb. Rebecca’s married (sort of), a mother, she’s struggling to keep her head above water. She asked for my help and what do I do? I complicate her life even more. It’s no excuse, but I couldn’t stop myself. From her long hair to her round, fleshy ass and that little belly she tries to hide, but that I find sexy as hell. A woman is supposed to be soft. I want to kiss every inch of her. I want to push myself inside her and make her moan my name. And now I know what she tastes like, what her skin smells like. All I can think about is that soft, perfumed skin pressed against mine. Sinking into her wet pussy. Burying my face in her plump breasts, kissing and suckling. Would she whimper or moan? Would she let me go down on her? Would she go down on me?

A shiver racked him and he had to adjust himself lest his zipper bite into the head of his cock. “Stop it,” he admonished himself, again repositioning his throbbing erection. “Yeah, stupid, I’m talking to you,”

I don’t know what to do now. Do I apologize? She told me not to, but sometimes women say one thing and mean another. Does she hate me? She looked upset when I left. I hope she doesn’t hate me. Maybe I should just ask her.
* * * * *
March 30

Rebecca,

Don’t hate me. Please don’t hate me. I know the situation you’re in and I know that the last thing you need is another complication. But I also know that when you smile, my mind races, trying to figure out a way to keep that smile on your face. When you speak, I have to concentrate really hard to hear what you’re saying, not because I don’t think what you’re saying is important, but because all I can do is watch your beautiful mouth. I couldn’t help myself today. I had to kiss you. I don’t know if you’ll understand that, but it’s true. I had no choice. And I think you feel the same way. I felt you kiss me back. I think you like me…at least I hope you do. I hate to admit it, but it would kill me if you tell me to leave you alone. So don’t say that, okay? I’ll keep my lips to myself from now on. Just don’t hate me.

XOXO,
Jack

After reading Jack’s words, a smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. She drew a sheet of paper from a drawer. Though she could call him or wait until he got home to talk to him, something about replying to him this way seemed more intimate, more appropriate than if she addressed him face-to-face. On the paper she wrote a couple of sentences, then folded it and skipped downstairs, slipping it under his doormat. A spring in her step, she ran upstairs.