Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wicked Wednesday

Hello LIT readers, it is I, Lord Craven-Moore once again, coming out of hibernation to do my part. Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and love and liscentiousness is in the air! least the air I breathe.

In preparation for this event, I've been surfing the net as they say, in search of the perfect gifts for my LIT Ladies. Charlotte has her eye, and her heart set on this black corset from Hips and Curves. I think she would look rather ravishing, and as a fan of corsets, I think she should buy it. Is it only men who are fans of corsets I wonder? Hmmmm.....

However, she laments 'when would I wear it'...ah hum....this is a lady who writes erotic romance for heavens sakes. Where is the imagination? Where is the daring-do? 'But it's so expensive', she responds. And I tell her, in the most ardent of terms possible, that men do not give a bloody damn how much something costs when it is also for their benefit. Men, it seems, forget about pound notes when the female form is tantazlyingly seen through transparent fabric. In this case, money and lust seem to merge into a very satisfactory transaction. In other words, a woman dressed in lingerie, no matter the cost, makes everything all right with the world.

I nearly have Charlotte talked into purchasing this corset even though she finds the cost prohibitive, and the functionality questionable. I offered to purchase it for her, but she went positively green at that mention. It was something about sizing and measurements I believe. Women....I shall never quite understand you. How is your man to buy you a surprise when you refuse to give up your measurements?

So, my Wicked Wednesday question for you is, your favorite lingerie for Valentine's Day, and do you prefer to buy it for yourself as a surprise for your man, or do you prefer to have him buy what he desires to see you in? C'mon ladies,I know you're all so very wicked, and I do so love wicked women. I am a cheap thrill, tease me, tantalize me...

With much love and wickedness
Lord CM
for more lingerie ideas for the voluptuous type, visit

Monday, January 26, 2009

Get "Swept Away" Tomorrow!

Tomorrow (Jan. 27th) is the official release day of LORDS OF DESIRE, which includes my novella Swept Away. I'm *so* excited about this novella, mostly because it marks the beginning of a new phase in my career (the switch from Regency-era to Edwardian-era, not to mention the second pen name!), but also because I'm delighted to have a story in an anthology alongside Virginia Henley, Sally MacKenzie, and Victoria Dahl.

So....the Edwardian era. We've discussed it here before--I think it's a shame that the era has mostly been ignored by the romance industry, mostly because it *is* so romantic a period. It's really the last hurrah of the 'old ways' before World War I ushered in modernism.

But The Great War, looming off on the horizon, does present challenges as an author. Even though my books end long before the start of the War, I'm always cognizant that it's coming. I gave the hero of Swept Away, John Leyden, a limp. Why? Because I wanted to make sure that John would remain safe from the War--in my mind, at least.

Other concerns have come up in the manuscript I'm working on now (for A MIDNIGHT CLEAR, Oct. '09) requiring me to move some events that were to occur in Germany to Switzerland, instead. Any further details would be spoilers, but again, it's because I'm thinking ahead to my characters' futures, long after my book ends. It's strange, because I never had these extraneous considerations when writing books set during the Regency era. Maybe this is why authors have, for the most part, stayed away from this era?

Anyway, here's a brief excerpt. Hope you enjoy it!

Chapter One

“He’s like Mr. Rochester and...and”--Christobel searched her mind for a proper literary example--“and Mr. Darcy, all rolled into one brooding, supercilious parcel.” Yes, that was it. Precisely. “Without the redeeming characteristics, of course,” she added with a sigh.

“Come now, Christobel,” her mother scolded. “Don’t be so dramatic. Mr. Leyden isn’t as bad as that.” She paused, chewing on her lower lip as she often did when dissembling.

Christobel gave her mother a knowing look. “Isn’t he?”

“Well, even if he is,” she relented, “he’s Jasper’s cousin and you must endure his company with good grace. I won’t have you acting childish and snippy—”

“I’ve never been anything but pleasant to Mr. Leyden, Mother. But goodness, you must admit he’s a terrible bore.” In all the years they’d been acquainted, she’d tried to see past his deficiencies--his brooding silences and arrogant attitude coupled with his common birth and an ever-so-slight yet discernible limp--to find something to admire. Yet for all her trying, she’d found nothing in his character to merit more than a passing interest.

This never failed to puzzle her, as he was exactly the type of specimen she was often drawn to. Never could she walk past a starved dog or a bird with a broken wing and not take such a creature into her heart, to see to its care and comfort as best she could. Yet for Mr. Leyden, her brother-in-law’s most devoted cousin, she felt nothing more than a vague annoyance.

Perhaps, Christobel realized, it was because Mr. Leyden made his disapproval of her so very evident. How many evenings had she suffered beneath his stare, his brow raised in censure as he watched her across the room while she laughed and coquetted? As if such activities--laughing and coquetting--were inappropriate behaviors for a young lady of her situation.

Christobel sighed heavily as she glanced out the train’s sooty window, the autumn colors blurring into a glorious canvas of reds and golds. What else was an unmarried girl to do at a house party but flirt and enjoy oneself? She shook her head, plucking absently at the folds of her skirt, wishing the train were taking her anywhere but to Edith and Jasper’s home—and Mr. Leyden’s unavoidable company.

There you have it, the opening paragraphs...just a teaser, but I hope it's enough to whet your whistle and make you hurry to your local bookstore tomorrow, LOL! If you'd like to check out another excerpt from the anthology, you can read one here at Sally MacKenzie's web site.

And then, if you can't possibly wait another day, here's a link to buy from Amazon or!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The doors are open....

to a new and wonderful world!
My daughter has a learning disability as well as dyslexia. When I first learned this, I was devastated. Not only as a mother and an author, but as child who escaped into books that made me dream, made me become something I wasn't, or took me to places I could never dream of going to. I grieved for her, and how she would not be able to take joy in a past time that I treasure~at least not without frustration and much help and support.

Everything about reading is hard for her. But she's coping, and learning, and improving. She's such a smart little thing, and wonderfully creative. Speaking to her, you would never know she 'lacked' in any area. But beneath the smiling facade is a girl who would desperately would love to read chapter books.

Her reading ability is not there, unfortunately. But the mind is willing~no~craving that experience. Her friends are all busy reading things that she cannot manage. We've had tears. We've had the "I'm so stupid" conversation, and we've had a breakthrough in technology that allows people with disabilities to delve into books, that at one time, were only for the literate.

I discovered audio books this Christmas for my daughter when she begged me to read Twilight to her. We had seen the movie already, and she knew I was a fan of the series. She loves Edward. Wants to be Bella when she goes to high school. Even though I wanted to encourage her, I didn't want to read Twilight to her, because, well, a book like that is a personal experience. So, I found it on audio and my daughter came to me last night and flopped down on the couch. "Mom, I finished Twilight" she says, and she's so proud,I can see it. "It was so good. Do you think you could find the next one for me?"

This is the moment I've been living for, the time when my daughter would be a voracious reader, a time when she would stop everything and bury her nose in a book.
Fifteen years ago she would have suffered, no only by being labeled in school, but because the technology of the age had not been discovered.

I believe the novel is here to stay. I believe that holding a book in your hands and stroking the cover and feeling the pages beneath your fingertips is part of the reading experience. But to those who cannot read, for whatever reason, they are no longer denied the magical experience that 'paper readers' have long took for granted.

Last night, we went to a little coffee shop uptown. It's a place that's hip to hang out and sip a Chai latte. They have a couple of fireplaces and some comfy club chairs. I usually bring a book. My daughter brought her audio book, and sat across from me, sipping hot chocolate. I saw her smile as she looked out the window, then she pressed the paused button.
"I'm at my favorite part, when Bella first meets Edward."
And I realized then, that my daughter was 'reading' her book-- yet again! And loving it as much as I did, the first time I held Twilight in my hands.

There are some things in this world that I wish weren't invented, but there are some things that I'd never wish away again.

What's your love/hate technology?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wicked Wednesday's Going Global....

Oh la la!!! Tres magnifique!
Hey there, it's hump day, and I think I might have found a couple of hotties who might just see us through to the end of the week! How about some French rugby players! Grrr....
I've decided that I might just spend more time watching SportNet on Saturday mornings if this is the quality of the viewing!

So, let's have some fun here! Let's see how many languages we can come up with. Be creative!

Canadian: They're friggin hot, eh?! I'd let them buy me a double double. (Translation: Hot men and warm coffee with two creams and two sugars, sweet and creamy! You do the math!)

Scottish: Ach! They're nay tae bad, even if they're no Highlanders! (Translation: Put a kilt on them and they'd be the real deal!)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Who Says Chilvary is Dead?

I have one of those husbands who on the outside looks like your typical blue collar guy. He's a mechanic who listens to rock music (with really bad lyrics) while working on the car with a bottle of beer sitting on the roof. He has to be reminded not swear when the kidlet is within hearing range. My guy thinks getting dressed up is a clean pair of 501's and his best Dale Earnhardt T-shirt. My guy pleads with me to take 'the girls from work to see that' when I mention a really good chick flick that's playing at the movies. My guy usually has grease on his hands and facial scruff, (okay, I like the scruff).
My guy is not typical romance hero material. Or is he?
I have to confess, my husband as a knack for giving me gifts I would never think of for myself, or buy myself. You see, we have this inequality between us. I make substantially more money than him (his ego was tormented years ago by this fact. I can write this in a public forum because he's over it) anyway, he hates buying gifts with 'my' money. I tell him its 'ours', but he fails to understand that. So, he puts his extra money away for the Charlotte fund. That, in of itself, is pretty hero worthy. But this latest gift really tops the list.

In December, I sold the first book of the Annwyn Chronicle series. He was very excited for me and encouraged me to tell him how I cam up with this blending of ideas. I went on in rather lengthy animated delight about how I'm really just a fantasy geek (which he knows and teases me about). Then, I mentioned the movie that changed my whole life, and my reading tastes. It was 1981 and I was 11. My dad, another fantasy geek, took my brothers and I to the movies to see Excalibur. And Oh My God!!! I was hooked. I loved it. I thought of it non-stop. And when those mammoth VHS machines first rolled out, my dad bought one and a copy of Excalibur.

Now, I was already a Sci-Fi/Fantasy geek from Star Wars days, I had already devoured Tolkien, but my interest seemed to turn into a medieval fascination~not to mention romance threads with some steamy love scenes. I got turned onto Highlander, and anything about King Arthur.
During this conversation with my husband, I confessed that I still had the original VHS tape of Excalibur, and what a bummer since the movie is so damn old, and NO ONE watches/has VHS anymore.

So, what did my wrench-head hubby do? He found me a copy of it on DVD and gifted me with it on Saturday night. It was utter perfection. Because outside it was snowing and blowing and the wind was howling. The kidlet was gone for the night with her grandparents, and it was the perfect night for movie watching.

I was thrilled, overwhelmed, and he laughed, hugged me, and said, 'God, you're the easiest woman to please. I totally lucked out'.

It was a great night, the movie just as I remembered, and that scene where Guinevere covers Arthur's head with her gold veil is still so awe inspiring. (I'm using something similar in my series-GOT TO!)

So, what has your man done for you lately that totally gave you the warm cozies, and what oldie movie would you pop into the DVD this second?
As a treat, check out the jpeg image for my Annwyn website. Rae Monet is a total genius!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Confessions of a Romance Writer

Dear Friends, today I'm taking time away from my Roccoco inspired rosewood desk trimmed in gilt to converse with you (while lounging in my silk and marabou wrapper, with matching nightgown)about this business of writing. Between lunching on lobster in New York with editors and agents, and after black tie publisher parties, I do occasionally dicatate a line or two to my personal secretary who jots it all down. While I 'write' books, I never actually write them, that's my secretary's job. I am the artiste, she is the lackey!
This dictation usually comes between moutfuls and swallows of the most decadent chocolate truffles you can imagine. Sometimes my words of brilliance arrive while in the tub, soaking in champagne and perfumed oils. This, dear reader, is a small glimpse into my world as a romance writer.

And Lord Craven-Moore has just whispered in my ear, 'wake-up darling, you've hit your head'. Indeed, I have. That would be this morning, when I was reefing on the frozen car door, trying to pull it open, when it suddenly gave way and brained me stupid....And the kidlet started laughing as I saw stars and the neighbor dude came running over to see if he could help as I landed in the graceful lithotomy position in a snowbank. Oh,yes, glamorous indeed! Where the hell were my smelling salts when I needed them!

Ah, back to lucidity....

The above narrative is just a fantasy about what I once naively thought of as the life of a romance writer. What a git I was!
As I write this, I'm wearing jeans, socks that feel too small (I think my feet have grown) and a t-shirt, that I think has dog slobber on the sleeve (two dogs, both very happy to see mummy after dropping off the kidlet to school) I'm downstairs at the computer (not in my study beause that computer doesn't have internet, because I'm supposed to be a good girl and write on that computer, not surf) My teeth are brushed, my hair is in some semblance of acceptable, and I'm sipping away at a Chai latte in a take out cup~my one indulgence for the day. I'm also excessively obsessesing over deadlines that I have, and alternatively vaciallintg from thrill (yeah, more contracts!) to utter terror (oh, no, will they like it? Can I do it? Oh, gaaaaawd!)

This, is the life of a romance writer. How very ordinary and mundane. But that's it, folks. You see, the whole 'image' of a romance writer is just imaginary, just like our plots, characters and worlds which we've formed in our minds. I wish I had some magic wand to make it all glamorous, but in fact, it's hard work. Harder than I thought it was going to be, actually.

But I love it. And this is what I want to do. For years to come.
So, after that diatribe, on to the real reason of my post!
I'm currently forming a world for a new series I have coming out with NAL under a different name (that's another post). The world is Annwyn, and it's the Celtic Otherworld where all sorts of lovely and devious creatures live alongside us boring mortals. The series is dark and sexy, with Celtic, Druid, Gothic overtones. Gargoyles, Shadow Wraiths, Sidhe and fallen angels, Annwyn has creatures that will lure and entice you!
I'm excited to get started on the series. I'm already in love and lust with the hero of the first book, a night Sidhe who shifts into a raven. He's built (what romance hero isn't) with all kinds of interesting markings over his body, and cool eyes (one pewter colored, the other gold, both rimmed in violet) that can form alchemical magic, not to mention seduce a woman at fifty paces. All is set for the world and the series, but now it comes down to business. Promoting. Reaching readers. Getting a website.....grrrr.

So, I thought I'd come to you guys for a little help as I know you're all savvy readers, and you always go to author websites. What draws you there? What do you think of newsletters? Help or hindrance? What do you like in newsletters? Most of all, what do you really hate when you visit an author's website?

For your troubles, I'm offering up a copy of Addicted to the post that tickles Lord Craven-Moore's fancy!!!!
As an aside, the pictures are a few of the things that inspried the Annwyn Chronicles, which is the name of the series.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wicked Wednesay.....Well, hellooooo there!

I just discovered a new hottie yesterday! I caught the last hour or so of the movie P.S. I Love You on cable--and my jaw hit the floor when this guy came onscreen (yeah, imagine that--someone who looked good enough to distract me from Gerard Butler!). Had to do some quick internet first I thought he was Javier Bardem, but the Irish accent was throwing me. So, a quick trip to , and voila, the hottie had a name! Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Hellooooo, there. Turns out he's American, not even Irish. Huh.

But the best part?! I think I *finally* found the inspiration pic for the hero of my NASCAR romance, Damon Tieri, a hedge fund manager who falls hard for a (female!) racecar driver. I might have to go back and give my clean-shaven Damon a beard--or heavy stubble, at least.

Anyway, thought I'd share! And now I have catch the beginning of P.S. I Love You at some point, because it seemed like a really sweet movie.

Oh, and feel free to caption the pics, if you're so inclined. Who knows, I might decide to part with more prizes!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Golden Globes, Anyone?

First off, you'll have to excuse my recent slew of totally NON historical-related posts--the manuscript I'm currently working on is for the Harlequin NASCAR line, so I'm currently out of 'historical mode' and knee-deep in (clean!) NASCAR goodness at present. It's been an interesting shift, since the last manuscript I completed was an erotic historical novella for Harlequin SPICE--lots of explicit sex, frank language, etc. But the Harlequin NASCAR line is the polar opposite, at the 'sweet' level, with all the love scenes taking place 'off stage.' It's been an interesting challenge to create sufficient sexual tension between my characters while keeping the 'physicality' to kisses.

However, by next week I'll be immersed back in the world of Edwardian England, so I promise to get all 'hot historical' on you again real soon!

In the meantime, anyone besides me catch the Golden Globes last night? I promised myself I wouldn't watch--I really needed to be writing, not sitting in front of the television for hours. But ultimately, the lure was just too much for me, and I turned it on about 20 min. into the show. I confess--I LOVE awards shows. I love to see the dresses, to check out the current trends (clearly velvet is the au courant thing for men right now--I bet Lord Craven-Moore just *loves* velvet!).

And the Golden Globes are particularly fun, mostly because they encompass both TV and film, but also because of the casual nature of the format. I love watching the celebs during breaks, chatting away with one another. For some weird reason, I really like to watch celebs interact with one another.

My picks for best dressed woman? Salma Hayek. Megan Fox. Kate Winslet. A lot of people didn't like Jenna Fischer's dress, but I loved it. Olivia Wilde. Evan Rachel Wood. Oh, and Miley Cyrus--I *loved* her dress. I would totally wear it. Best dressed man? Colin Farrell. He *rocked* his tux--I loved the plaid waistcoat (and thanks to the Colin Farrell Fansite for the above picture!). I also really liked Tracy Morgan's white dinner jacket. And I confess, the beard and dark hair didn't do it for me, but I actually liked Sting's interesting ensemble.

Best acceptance speeches? Again, Colin Farrell, and yeah, I admit my prejudice, because I *love* him (so talented, so wicked and naughty!), but his acceptance speech for "Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical" (for the brilliant IN BRUGES) was so endearing, so cute and funny and just plain *sweet* that I have to give him major props (I loved his crack about the votes being counted in Florida, LOL!).

Kate Winslet's speech for "Best Actress in a Drama" for RESERVATION ROAD was definitely a bit too rambling and over the top (was she really *that* surprised?! I knew she was going to win!), but it seemed so heartfelt and sincere that it made me cry, especially when she showed her love to Leo. Tina Fey cracked me up. And Mickey Rourke....well, what can you say?? I don't think I've ever heard anyone use the word "balls" so many times in an acceptance speech (and he used it fondly, too!). I'm still totally shocked that that huge, bulking scary looking guy is the *same* man as the hottie from 9 1/2 weeks....but from what I've heard about THE WRESTLER, he totally deserved that win, so Go Mickey!!

So...anyone else watch? If so, who gets your best dressed nods? Any favorite moments?

*Edited to add a link to Moviefone's "Best/Worst Dressed" slideshow!*

*Edited again to add a link to video of Colin's cute acceptance speech!*

I'm not a Miley fan, but I really want that dress!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wicked Wednesday--Caption This!

Just some Wednesday eye candy for make it fun, let's play 'caption the pic.' So...what's he's thinking, while striking this soulful pose? (It's Rob Pattinson, by the way. My current obsession!).

Let's try another...

I'll leave you with this last one, Rob with his Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart. Hate to break the spell and include one with a girl--but I just love this photo. It's SO romantic! Wait, are we allowed to be romantic on Wicked Wednesday?!

Now send us those captions (you can caption just one, or all three) in the comments! I'll allow Lord Craven-Moore to help me choose the most clever one, and I'll send the winner a prize pack--a signed copy of TO LOVE A SCOUNDREL and a coverflat for my upcoming February release, LORDS OF DESIRE, and maybe some other fun stuff, too. Good luck!

***WINNERS ANNOUNCED: Lana and Sarabelle! Please see comments for instructions on claiming your prizes!***

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Comfort Reads

Well, it's that time again. The decorations have been taken down and put away, the resolutions have been made (and partially kept) and it is now officially the bleak winter. I happen to like winter. Listening to the wind whip around the house and watching the snow fly on a black night is so inspiring to me...well, once Mr. Featherstone stops grumbling about it.

There's something about the winter that makes me feel all nostalgic. This is usually when I dive into my keeper shelf and look at those special books while reorganizing them by importance. I usually pick a few and read them. They feel like old friends, and I immediately know why they are on my keeper shelf as soon as I start reading. They give me the warm cozies, and bring me back to the time when I could spend hours and hours reading and wishing that I would one day get my book published. Now, I am published, and those hours of reading have been traded for writing, revising and researching. But I still find time to find some new favorites to add to that all important keeper shelf.

Almost all of Lisa Kleypas' books are on my shelf. So too is More Than a Mistress by Mary Balogh. I have some of Laura Lee Gurhke (I hope I haven't butchered her name) as well as JR Ward and Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld series, and of course, Karin's hunky Norman Knights, The Bloodswords.

What is more interesting to me, is not the authors on my keeper shelf, but the themes contained in the books. Besides sexy books that a dark and emotional, I love certain themes. I even try new authors because of themes. I like the ugly duckling turned beautiful swan in the eyes of the hero, I like the friends for a lifetime but have hidden their love. I like plump heroines, and tortured heroes. I like the longing from afar, especially if its the hero doing the pining.

So, that got to me thinking. Do you pick out books by themes? If so, what are your favorites? What are your least favorites?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year, New Gifts!

Happy 2009, everyone! Had to share the picture above--it's my Christmas present from my husband (a beautiful tapestry!). I can't tell you how much I love it--it's perfect, right down to the rod. Definitely a nice surprise! We finally got it hung today, and I can't stop walking by to admire it. Just goes to show how well my hubby knows me!

On another topic, I'm looking forward to a far more productive 2009 than 2008--my number one resolution this year is to write more, every day. I really need to force myself to 'go to work' every day once my kids leave for school, stay off the 'net, and write regularly during 'school hours.' My number two resolution is to get back to exercising. I joined a gym last summer and have been exactly once since. Not good.

I was actually diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis this past fall, and it's been a struggle. Most days, all I wanted to do was climb back into bed and sleep the day away. And that's pretty much exactly what I did. But I've been on medication to treat the RA for a little over a month now, and I think I'm finally starting to feel the effects--my joints definitely hurt less (though my fingers remain clumsy--drives me nuts!), and I think the overwhelming exhaustion is beginning to lessen.

Thus making it possible for me to work toward those resolutions. Hopefully.

How about you? Any resolutions this year?

Even the dog likes to check out the new tapestry!

Thursday, January 1, 2009