Thursday, January 12, 2012

Guest Blogger: Elizabeth Kyne: INSPIRATION FROM LIFE

Author Elizabeth Kyne reveals how she used an irritating hairdresser
to inspire her latest novel

When people ask me a question, I have to reply with an honest answer, I just can’t help it. This is usually a good thing, as in: “what have you done with the scissors?”; “I think I left them in the kitchen”, which people appreciate, even if I should have really put them back in the drawer in the hallway. There’s a problem, however, when it comes to the standard greeting: “hello, how are you?”. For some reason, I feel compelled to answer this question in an honest manner. Even though I know the questioner isn’t actually interested in the slightest, and merely wants to hear the words “I’m fine, how are you?”. No, I have to tell them that I’m really frustrated because I got stuck in traffic in the rain, then stepped in a puddle when I finally got to my destination, soaked my foot right through and have probably ruined the new pair of socks my gran gave me for my birthday. 
It’s an irritating trait, I concede, but not one that is generally a problem. Until a couple of years ago. That was a totally miserable period in my life, loads of stuff had gone wrong and I’d spent far too long moping. To the point where I really didn’t want to talk about it anymore. Which is all fine and good until it comes to the dreadful question, “how are you?”. Because not only did I not want to tell them how I was, they didn’t want to hear it either – and yet, I felt compelled to be honest. You see the problem?

By this point you’re probably wondering what all this has to do with hairdressers and writing novels. Well, I’m getting to that.

The hairdresser, you see, is the mistress of the “how are you?”s. She’s also rather fond of the “where are you going on holiday?”s and the “how are the children?”s too. For someone who’s not fine, isn’t going on holiday and has no children, this is all a teensy weensy bit annoying.

And it’s not just hairdressers. It’s nail technicians and taxi drivers and opticians and – well, almost anyone in the service industry who holds you captive for a period of time. Either you play along with it or you dash out of the hairdressers with only half your hair cut or demand to be let out of the taxi half way through your journey. Neither is particularly productive.

So, I take you back to the scenario of a few years ago when life wasn’t going so well. I go out to have my hair cut or my nails done to cheer myself up a bit, and what do I get? “How are you?”. I try to dodge the question by being both honest, yet dismissive with a “not so good, really” in the hope they will leave it at that. But no! They keep returning with their questions to try to get to the nub of the matter. Followed by the stealth move of asking “what do you do for a living?”. Because as soon as you admit you’re a writer, they’re suddenly interested in you and want to hear all about it. The fact that I don’t really want to tell them is neither here nor there.

Which probably makes me sound like a grumpy old person. Well, back then, I was a bit grumpy because of the aforementioned ‘life not going so well’. So I started to analyze my response to this apparently innocent line of questioning and I started to realize that my honesty was part of the problem. Perhaps I should practice the traditional response of: “I’m fine, how are you?”, even though “fine” was a lie. But why leave it there? Why not litter the whole conversation with little white lies to throw the hairdresser off the scent? Why not, for example, answer the question: “what do you do for a living?” with “I’m an account”? Let’s see the hairdresser get interested in that! (with apologies to all accountants, who I am sure are wonderful people).

I never had the bottle to go through with this plan, but I did think about it an awful lot. And I wondered what it would be like if I were actually an account and, rather than dissuade the hairdresser from asking me questions, I wanted to encourage her to ask me about my interesting life. So I imagined a rather lonely account who, on a whim, made up stories of her life just to make things a bit interesting. She would, for example, when asked about her family, decide to say she was married even though she wasn’t. And, to sound even more impressive, her husband would be the most wonderful man in the world who cleans the house, cooks her amazing meals and is fantastic in bed.
Thus, the seed of a novel was born. I called the woman Rachel and I imagined what would happen if she not only told the hairdressers about her fictional husband, but told her friends and her work colleagues and almost anyone else she could think of. To the point where the story becomes so real that it turns into the truth and, one day, Rachel returns home to discover the man she has told everyone about exists and is living in her house. I wrote it up, with the flourish of a couple of sub-plots, and it became If Wishes Were Husbands.

You see, as writers, we’re in the business of making stuff up. It’s practically the dictionary definition of fiction (except, expressed in more precise and formal language). But it doesn’t mean that real life cannot be our inspiration. Indeed, it is fiction’s job to not only entertain, but to reflect real life to a greater or lesser degree. By taking a scenario and dramatizing it, we can examine life in an entertaining way with, perhaps, greater depth than stating the facts would on their own. And, of course, have a bit of fun. 

Rachel re-invents herself when she moves back to her home town of Aylesbury; with a new job, a new house and a new haircut. But people’s eyes glaze over when she tells them about her life as a forty-something singleton who works in accounts. So why not spice things up a bit? Why not tell her new hairdresser and her new friends about her fantastic husband? Everyone wants to hear about Darren, the man who cooks her amazing meals, cleans the house and takes her to bed for orgasmic sex three times a night! What a shame he doesn't exist…

…Until she comes home one night and finds Darren sitting in her lounge. And everything she said becomes true: from his sensuous food to his skill in bed. So real, that she believes it.

Not as if living with a perfect is man is… well, perfect…

She can’t find anything because every time she puts something down, he tidies it away. Then there’s the shock of the credit card bill from buying all that gourmet food. Not to mention the sex! Three times a night is great at first, but sometimes all she wants at the end of the day is a sandwich and some sleep.

Then Rachel decides that Darren has to go - and that’s when her troubles really begin.

Elizabeth Kyne takes the absurdities of the modern woman's quest for love and turns them into an enjoyable romp. She finds the comic in everyday situations, from buying a dress to experimenting with hair dye at home. While, underneath, she comments on the pressure to find the perfect husband and how that quest is doomed for us all.



Elizabeth Kyne trained to be a radio journalist and spent her early working years reading news bulletins and writing for magazines. Later, after learning the meaning of “mortgage” and “gas bill”, she decided to do the sensible thing and drop the freelance lifestyle to get a proper job. The job, however, all went horribly wrong and she returned to her first love of writing, and worked on several novels before finding success with “If Wishes Were Husbands”.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January Newsletter

Hi Everyone,
I hope that you are all having a great beginning of the year. Does anyone have any plans?
I have nothing major planned except attending FandomFest in Louisville, KY in June & Authors After Dark in NOLA in August. I am sure these cons will be a ton of fun.

Now the reason for the announcements, well, I figured I haven’t done an official newsletter in a long time. So my New Year’s resolution is to do a monthly newsletter and roll it into a blog. I’m horrible at keeping a blog. Honestly, I’m not sure how interesting my life is considering I work from home all day doing my day job, taking care of my two dogs, and of course the husband. And the characters from whatever I’m working on at the moment are always raging in my head. Then again I could bore you with their conversations. It can be quite funny, at least to me at times.

The plan for the year is to write 12-15 books depending on their lengths. My writing goals for the month are normally 40K for a book, or 20K for two short length stories. It all depends on what ideas hit me. I hope to have my horror novel Death’s Dance completed. Two more stories in the Hell’s Gate series. Maybe another Lupine Gorge novel which the first one is Three Fur All.

We will see what the New Year brings.

Read below for some sneak peeks for what is to come this year.

Hope you all have a great year.

Dark Blessings


Dreaming of You will be available again January 4th from Purple Sword

The Dragon & His Houseboy will be out January 14th with Sugar & Spice Press.

Hell’s Gate: Amelia will be out January 18th with Purple Sword

A Cat for All will be out January 20th from Amira Press

My Storm Riders Series will be available again starting in February with Sugar and Spice Press.
The Devil’s Tavern Series will be available again as well later this year with Purple Sword Publications. I am very happy about that since the press they were originally with went under.

Currently Reading:

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
Vampire Shift by Tim O’Rourke
The Exodus Gate by Stephen Zimmer
New Moon by Stephenie Meyer  (Yes I admit I like the Twilight Series. I find them like popcorn at times. Have to be in the mood to read them though)

Movies on planning to watch:

Underworld: Awakening- Love the first three.

The Dragon & His Houseboy – M/M

Saeran’s dreamed about retiring from his lifestyle as a male prostitute for a while. But would catering to a dragon shifter be the best thing? Dragons are known to bite now and again.

Barro is enamored with Saeran and his luscious body. Inviting Saeran back to his house to be at his beck and call seemed the logical thing to do at the time. When Saeran accepts, he is overjoyed and can’t fight the growing attraction between them.

Saeran becomes more to Barro than the houseboy he originally planned on. The question is, what exactly is Saeran becoming? They open their hearts to one another, and all secrets are revealed


“That really isn’t the way to treat a book. They are precious commodities.” Saeran picked up the tome. He walked it over to his benefactor, who had his back turned to him.
“Who gave you the right to speak to me that way?” he snapped.
Saeran laid the book on the desk and placed his hand on Barro’s shoulder. He turned and growled. The look on his face was that of an animal. His lips were pulled back in a snarl, showing his sharpened teeth. His black pupils were slitted and Saeran could see the small circles of scales along his face. Barro raised his hand ready to strike, but when the recognition of seeing Saeran set in, he lowered it.
“What are you doing here? You shouldn’t be here right now.”
“Because being around me now means I’m either going to shift or I’m going to destroy something.”
He stepped closer and placed a hand on Barro’s chest. His skin burned and his heart beat rapidly against his ribcage. Barro growled but didn’t shove him away. His muscles were tense and he was on the edge of losing control. Saeran pressed his lips to the other man’s throat and licked a line up his jaw until the stubble scratched his tongue.
“Don’t do that.”
“Make me stop.”
Barro clutched his shoulders, but he didn’t force him away. Instead, Saeran sucked in his Adam’s apple and felt him relax a little. The dragon’s fingers bit into his shoulders, but he ducked under the shifter’s arms and then ran his hands over his back. Saeran began to massage the tight muscles. A small groan worked from Barro’s mouth.
“You should sit. I can do this better. Trust me.”
The dragon shifter sighed and then consented. He sat in a low back chair. Saeran rubbed his neck, feeling the coiled and knotted muscles. He pressed his thumbs along the ridge of the shoulder blades and worked the skin until he could feel the muscles loosening underneath his fingers. He pushed and worked them for a few minutes, moving Barro’s head to the side so he could get a better angle to massage the tense areas of the other man.
“That feels good.”
Saeran dragged his nails down Barro’s back and concentrated on other areas where he was holding tension. The more he touched the other man, the more his cock stiffened at the thought of being next to him. Barro might have been attracted to him for no reason, but Saeran saw the authoritative man who could satisfy his desires. Then he remembered how the day before this respected man had been down on his knees giving him a blowjob. True, they had been interrupted, but it still had felt wonderful. He shivered to think about it and wondered if it would be a repeat occurrence. He moved down the bottom of his back and began to lift up his shirt when Barro pulled away.
“I wasn’t thinking about doing anything kinky, just to rub your back. Tell me you don’t enjoy it. Tell me if you want me to stop.” Saeran kissed his the column of his neck and flicked his tongue over Barro’s ear. The tang of salt and smoke settled on his tongue. He continued to kiss his throat, enjoying the taste of his new employer.
“I don’t want you to stop, but you should. The servants could walk in at any moment.”
He ran his fingers through the other man’s hair and titled his head to the side, but kept on kissing him, drawing the flesh between his teeth. He nipped harder until Barro shivered underneath his touch. Saeran dragged his hands down the shifter’s chest and then over his groin. As he suspected, the other man’s dick was already hard, showing him that the dragon was aroused. His desire was taking over. He bit Barro’s ear and ran his fingers over the man’s shaft. He worked him through the material of the man’s pants until Barro gripped his hand, squeezing his wrist, but he didn’t stop him.
“Do you want more?” he whispered.
            “Tell me what you want.”

A Cat For All -  MFMM
A mysterious man beckons Orianna to the hotel bar. Ryker confesses he and his two mates, Dallas and Pierce, want her to return home with them.
To keep Pierce satisfied, Ryker invites a strange woman into their lives. He struggles with Orianna because she’s their natural enemy, a vampire. As the bond cements between Orianna and Pierce, he discovers Dallas falling for her too.

Orianna is abducted and all three men dash to rescue her from the local pride leader. If they don’t get there in time, there will nothing left of their new mate except ashes.

All three left the room and then walked down to the first floor where she was. Pierce knocked softly on the door. No one answered. Ryker gritted his teeth because Orianna didn’t answer. He listened and didn’t hear anyone stirring on the other side. He tried again with a little more force.
“Do you think she ditched us?” Pierce asked, trying to hide the disbelief in his voice.
Ryker leaned closer to the door and inhaled deeply. “No. She’s in there. Her scent is fainter, but she hasn’t left.” He banged on the door again. “Orianna, open the door. We’re going to check out. Are you coming with us or not?”
Still no movement. Irritation rolled through him. His cat kneaded the inside of his brain, telling him it was not happy with the way this morning was turning out. The cat hadn’t decided if it wanted Orianna with them or not. Now it was frustrated with the turn of events. He figured she would be ready by now.
            Dallas pushed him out of the way. “Let me try, but block the door. You don’t want the sun to get on her.” He dug into his pants and pulled out a lock pick set.
            “Where did you get that?” Pierce asked.
            “Never leave home without it. You don’t know when you’re going to need it. Gotten me out of a few situations.” Dallas smiled and then worked on the lock until it opened. Ryker watched with fascination because Dallas always surprised him. There were things about his mate he didn’t know. He always kept his past a secret. After a few quick turns and a sudden click, the door popped open. Dallas pushed the door open.
            Ryker stood in the doorway. He immediately thought of all the vampire movies he saw where a vampire’s lair was dank and smelled like decay. He shook the thought off because he knew it was a musty hotel room. The interior was completely dark. A blanket covered the window. The small shaft of sunlight that sliced into the room from the door landed on the bed. Orianna lay motionless. Pierce tried to push through to get to her. When Ryker moved, the sun hit her arm. The stench of burnt meat filled the room. A lick of flame appeared on her skin. She sat up in bed and uttered a piercing scream that deafened him.
            “Oh, shit!” Pierce rushed in and nearly shoved him to the floor. Orianna had leapt from the bed and was huddled in the darkest corner of the room. Her arms enveloped her face, and she was shivering.
“Shut the door,” Pierce shouted, grabbed the sheet from the bed, and wrapped it around Orianna.
The room was plunged into darkness. Her hollow gasps filled the room and sounded like broken bellows. Only three heartbeats sounded in the room. Hers was silent.
“Are you okay?” Pierce asked, stroking her hair.
“I-I think so,” she responded. “What are you doing here? I expected you last night, and you didn’t show.”
“We got a little distracted,” Ryker answered. “We came up here to get you so we could bring you back to the house, but it appears we have run into a complication. It slipped my mind.”
Orianna glared at him and held up her blackened hand. “You think! The sun isn’t just a complication. It’ll deep-fry me into oblivion if I step foot into it. Just go on without me. I’m more trouble than any of you want to deal with. I’ll leave at nightfall and be on my way. You won’t have to see me again.”
“No!” Pierce cried out and pleaded with the two men. “You can’t just leave. You have to come back with us. Ryker, tell her. She’s our mate!”
Dallas cleared his throat and knelt on the floor by them. “No, love. She’s your mate. To me, she is nothing more than a beautiful woman with an intriguing scent.” He put a hand on Pierce’s shoulder and squeezed.