Friday, August 21, 2015

Todays Muse - 

   I've struggled with a new post for a while. Yes, it's been quite a while. 
   Struggling to write without readers through the creation process has been difficult. Over the years I've lost the advanced readers I had due to life, changing schedules, busy lifestyles and the quick response needed from the readers by me. I guess I got too used to sending out a few chapters and having responses within hours. :) When I know something's working and the readers were waiting for more, it kept my imagination and my muse at its peak, ever striving to write faster, better. 
   After losing those readers, I've struggled more, uncertain scene by scene with what could be working and what might not be working. I've scenes stacked upon scenes unused because of it.
   Being honest sometimes about why I'm struggling with a book, or why I'm struggling with scenes and why it takes longer to write the books isn't always easy, even with editors and my agent. It's been a six year battle, and admitting to myself the problem I believe is the hardest part.
   My muse becomes more energized, my imagination broadens, and the characters become eager to show themselves when there's others to love them as they develop. 
I've always said I never wrote alone. That the muse guides the story but my readers help to draw the muse free.
   After six years of struggling I guess I've accepted that I nor that muse, will be satisfied until I find another set of readers with the time and love of the story to read sometimes multiple attempts of a scene, to have the time to discuss the stories, books and characters. It's a search that isn't always easy. My schedule is horrible. Usually late at night, with rewrites based not so much on the readers opinion of the scene, but how fast they come back with that opinion, a feeling that comes from reading them and the anticipation or excitement the reader feels.
   My past group was incredible. They were completely honest in those opinions, and one didn't even care much for erotic romance. I knew when that reader at least nodded at those scenes in a, okay, I didn't skip through it, then I knew I could on. One liked softer heroes, one liked harder ones. Their differences worked in such a way that the characters would open up in my imagination, challenged by the readers, determined to make each one love them. When the book was finished, not all the readers entirely loved it, but I knew by their responses and comments that what I felt was important in each book had come across. And the characters were satisfied. The characters haven't been satisfied in a while. My imagination I think, demands that challenge. The characters demand it. As they develop, grow, to draw out every part of who and what they are, is rather like being unable to see the forest for the trees. 
   As a writer I'm too close to the story and the characters and I know it. I know what each character feels and I think its there, clear to see, but perhaps the scenes that I meant to show it aren't as clear as I believed they are.
   I think all writers struggle with the rituals they have to draw out the books and characters. Mine are advanced readers, another might be not having it seen until its finished. Some have a complete plot to start with, and God I envy those. I can make a beautiful plot, scene by scene, but do you think my characters are going to allow me to follow it? They laugh at my plots once they start developing their own voice and characteristics.
   Especially my heroes. They can irk me to the point that I want nothing more than to show them just how their heroines can bring them down. Sometimes, they irked my readers to that point and the responses I received from their irritation with the heroes was like feeding a fire gasoline where my imagination was concerned.
   So, I'm on an advanced reader hunt. Wish me luck, because that's never easy. :)

Lora Leigh

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Excerpt from ULTIMATE SINS
Release date: August 26, 2014
A whimper left her lips as his hard chest pressed against her breasts, his hips into her lower belly, and the raging erection beneath his jeans angled at her navel.

She could feel how hard he was, remember how hot, how intent he could be while pushing inside the wet, aching depths of her body.

“He almost took everything we cherished, Amelia,” he reminded her, his eyes brilliant in the darkness of his face in the sudden arousal that suffused it. “He nearly destroyed Rafe and Logan and the women they loved, and he made certain he tracked down every woman we may have even considered having as a lover.”

“I didn’t know!” she cried out again as his free arm wrapped around her hips and pulled her up his body until he jutted his hips between her thighs, the denim-covered erection notching against her sex. “Please, Crowe, I would have stopped him if I could have. I swear. If I had known, you would have known.”

“He dangled you beneath my nose like a fucking piece of steak before a hungry wolf, Amelia,” he told her, his tone brutal. “He was daring me to take you.”

She couldn’t think about that; she didn’t dare.

“Please, Crowe. Let me go.” The plea was whispered but no less desperate for its lack of force.

Her loss of strength against him was terrifying. The feel of his body, all lean hard muscle and raging male hunger, was more than she could deny herself.

She had ached for so long.

Ached for his touch. Ached for the perfection of pleasure she had found in his arms so many summers before.

“Let you go?” His head lowered, his lips brushing against the line of her jaw. “Do you really think that’s going to happen, Amelia? After all this time, after the effort he went to in teasing me with you?” Strong teeth nipped at her jaw before the warmth of his tongue eased over the little ache. “Dared me to take you. Have you considered why? Have you considered the punishment he had in store for you if I ever dared to take what was so subtly offered and he learned of it?”

She couldn’t—

“Please don’t do this to me.” Her head fell back against the wall, tilting to the side as his lips moved slowly down the sensitive column of her neck.

So slowly.

His tongue licked against the nerve-ridden flesh, his teeth scraped against it, sending pleasure racing with fiery force along her tender nerve endings.

He was going to break her in ways Wayne had never been able to break her. He would destroy that last dark, hidden place where she had stored the most important memories, the deepest depths of her love for him.

“Don’t do what to you, sugar elf?” he whispered, one hand sliding beneath her skirt to her bare thigh as his hips rolled, the hard wedge of his cock pressing against her suddenly swollen mound. “Don’t pleasure you the way I’ve been tempted to pleasure you? Don’t take what I was offered every fucking time you stared up at me with those pretty eyes?”

A moan escaped her lips as he gripped the flesh of her neck in his hard teeth, his tongue lashing at the skin there with exquisite hunger. He refused to give her a chance to catch her breath, or a chance to deny him. Just as he refused to allow her to place any distance between them.

“God, I’ve hungered for you.” His fingers slid farther along the inside of her thigh, finding the elastic edge of her panties and rubbing against it erotically. “Have you been hungry for me, Amelia? Have you been wet for me, baby?”

Wet for him? She had been so wet for him over the years that it had been all she could do to keep her panties dry.

His fingers slipped beneath the elastic edge of the silk-and-lace panties and found the slick heat covering the swollen lips of her sex.

Amelia froze, her lashes immediately rising, focusing on Crowe’s as he lifted his head and stared down at her.

Lust burned in the dark depths, predatory and filled with a heat that seared her to her soul.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

For everyone who has been waiting for ULTIMATE SIN'S...
St. Martins has made the prologue and first chapter of this final book to the series available at amazon. MADE TO SIN gives you an early look into the characters and the battle they face.
But, never fear, ULTIMATE SINS isn't far behind.

Release date: August 26, 2014
Ex-Marine Crowe Callahan has only one obsession in life:
Amelia Sorenson. She is the only one who has ever gotten under his skin. However, she is also the daughter of his family's sworn enemy: A man who has sought to destroy the Callahan's for generations in order to further his own nefarious agenda.
When Amelia put herself on Crowe's side and in Crowe's bed, she became her father's enemy as well. When Wayne Sorenson escapes capture, both Amelia and Crowe know its only a matter of time before he resurfaces to exact his revenge. Now Crowe will claim Amelia in order to bait a killer and end things once and for all. But can he protect the woman he can't see to live without from one of the deadliest enemies he has ever known? And will he survive if he can't?

Crowe was stubborn.
Amelia was angry.

If there were ever two people who could have closed themselves off to each other, then these characters could have had plenty of excuses.
More than once Amelia turned her back to me and refused to talk.
About every other page Crowe resembled a breed with his snarling and gnashing of teeth.
But as the story came together, I saw all the elements that were missing with the three before it. I should have begun with Crowe's book perhaps.
As the eldest, Crowe remembered moments with his parents that came back to the haunting cruelties thrown at them.
As the daughter of the man determined to destroy the Callahan cousins, Amelia had the most to lose of any of the heroines. Together, the price they could have paid if their enemy had won, would have torn their souls apart.
Amelia was a heroine who understood torment in ways Crowe could have never imagined.
Crowe was a hero who had learned early, learned young, to meet evil head on and fight fire with fire.
He wasn't always nice, but where Amelia was concerned, he always loved.

August 26, 2014 will see the release of this title, and the end of a series that - seriously - caused me to lose hair. Simply because I pulled it out by the roots in complete frustration.
Crowe made up for it though, and more. He and Amelia together made me sob in heartbreak and smile at an ending even I hadn't anticipated.