You might know me best for my antics on the blog you’re reading: FODDER FOR FICTION, but I’m also a founding member of a group blog THE ROSES OF PROSE a resource for Women’s Fiction and Romance. And there’s some exciting happenings coming for 2011 over at The Roses of Prose.
We’re Searching for a New Rose!
We’re seeking another flower for our garden. Here are our guidelines:
~A female writer of non-erotic fiction that is geared toward women
~All reading levels, starting at Young Adult
~At least one contracted or published work – self-published works are acceptable
~A genuine interest in promoting reading and literacy
~A genuine interest in mentoring other writers
If you are interested, we’d love to hear from you! Please send us a blurb of
about 200 words telling us about yourself, what you write, and why you love it.
We will choose 10 blurbs that we feel best fit the Roses of Prose, and we will
post one each day during the weeks of December 13-19 and 20-26.
The week after, we’ll let our readers vote for their favorite rose, and the
winner will be announced January 1.
I hope some of my former FODDER FOR FICTION guests and current friends enter. Good Luck!
This week’s Fodder for Fiction Birthday Bash is for Charlotte Bronte. Poor Jane Eyre was excluded from the celebrations at Gateshead. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t appreciate the festivities. This passage makes me feel like I’m spying on the party, right along with Jane! I thought it was the perfect excerpt to share in honor of Charlotte Bronte’s Birthday. Enjoy!
November, December, and half of January passed away. Christmas and the New Year had been celebrated at Gateshead with the usual festive cheer; presents had been interchanged, dinners and evening parties given. From every enjoyment I was, of course, excluded: my share of the gaiety consisted in witnessing the daily appareling of Eliza and Georgiana, and seeing them descend to the drawing-room, dressed out in thin muslin frocks and scarlet sashes, with hair elaborately ringletted; and afterwards, in listening to the sound of the piano or the harp played below, to the passing to and fro of the butler and footman, to the jingling of glass and china as refreshments were handed, to the broken hum of conversation as the drawing-room door opened and closed. When tired of this occupation, I would retire from the stairhead to the solitary and silent nursery there, though somewhat sad, I was not miserable.” Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
(Second Jane Eyre): “There are Mrs. Eshton and her three daughters—very elegant young ladies indeed; and there are the Honourable Blanch and Mary Ingram, most beautiful women, I suppose: indeed I have seen Blanch, six or seven years since, when she was a girl of eighteen. She came here to a Christmas ball and party Mr. Rochester gave. You should have seen the dining-room that day—how richly it was decorated, how brilliantly lit up! I should think there were fifty ladies and gentlemen present—all of the first county families; and Miss Ingram was considered the bell of the evening.” Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Share what you love about Charlotte Bronte. I’d love to hear it.
Come back again next Wednesday for another Fodder for Fiction Author Birthday Bash!
Best to you,
Lisa Lipkind Leibow
Author of Smart Women’s
This week at Fodder for Fiction, we’re celebrating the inspiring poet and author, Maya Angelou. I’m sharing a brief shout of happiness, as described by her. I thought it was a fitting jubilant statement of how happy I am that her work has touched my heart. Thank you Maya! Many happy returns of the day!
“After a few squeaky misses I overcame my reserve and tore my tonsils loose with a yell that would have been worthy of Zapata. I was happy, Dad was proud and my new friends were gracious. A woman brought chicharrones (in the South they’re called cracklings) in a greasy newspaper. I ate the fried pig skins, danced, screamed and drank the extra-sweet and sticky Coca-Cola with the nearest approach to abandonment I had ever experienced. As new revelers joined the celebration I was introduced as la nina de Baylee, and as quickly accepted.” Excerpt, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Join me each week on Wednesdays for another Author Birthday Bash at Lisa Leibow’s Fodder for Fiction.
Best to you,
Lisa Lipkind Leibow
Author of Smart Women’s Fiction
by Betty Ann Harris
Writing Eureka Point, the first book in the series…
My first book in the Special Agent Series, Eureka Point, is a romantic suspense, in which the main character, a beautiful and successful Park Avenue interior designer, must assume a new identity and relocate to a somewhat desolate area far away. Eureka Point is an old Victorian seaport town on the rocky shores of the coast of Northern California. The setting is the opposite of New York, where the main character is from, and represents a new start for her. But the severe rocky coastline, with its cliffs and rough seas relates to the danger that still surrounds her. The setting adds a sense of mystery, suspense, and danger to my story.
The setting is so essential to my story that I don’t think I could write the same story with a different setting. One thing I do as a writer is spend a good deal of time describing the scene and scenery in order to draw the reader into the story.
A rather strange thing happened to me while I was writing this story. I decided on Northern California and just picked a name out of the air. I picked Eureka as the name of the town, but I also wanted to use a lighthouse on a point, so I decided on Eureka Point. When I was researching Northern California on a map, low and behold, there was a town on the coast named Eureka. Friends tell me they think I lived there in former life, or they think I’m psychic. Even though I’ve never been there, I feel such a strong connection to the area.
Several months ago I was at a store where my book, Eureka Point is being sold. The proprietor had just finished reading the book and she asked me when I had been to Northern California. I replied that I had never been there. She asked me how I knew about The Cliffside Inn, a restaurant I used in book. I explained that I had made up the name. And she replied, “Well, I was just there in the summer and had dinner there. We were on vacation and took a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway and stopped there. It was exactly as you described it in the book.” I got goosebumps!
A group of friends and I are planning a trip to Eureka, California in the future. I’ve got to see this place for myself.
Coming April 29, 2010–Agent of Mercy
Book Four in the Special Agent Series
By romantic suspense author Betty Ann Harris
Red Rose Publishing
All About Agent Of Mercy, the Special Agent Series
& Romantic Suspense Author Betty Ann Harris
Agent Of Mercy - New York City FBI Special Agent Sam Blake is working under cover on the Catherine Jones case. Catherine is a mentally disturbed woman who has a deep psychotic hate of men. She finds wealthy, single men and seduces them. Once in her clutches, she steals from them and takes off, leaving them heartbroken and broke, and sometimes dead.
Sam poses as a cunning criminal himself, gains Catherine’s friendship and tries to bring her into custody, only to find himself feeling sorry for her and falling for her feminine charm.
They are both deceiving each other and become engaged in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse. Catherine deceives Sam and takes all the money and flies to St. Croix, the Virgin Islands. But he’s a good investigator and agent and he’s right on her tail.
Meanwhile, Sam’s assistant, Melissa, who had an affair with Sam previously and who is still very much in love with him, is trying to help him not fall prey to Catherine’s charms, and keep him alive.
In the end, Melissa’s love for Sam and her good investigative work pays off. Catherine poisons Sam and takes off with the stolen money, leaving him for dead. But Sam survives and he and Melissa re-ignite their love affair. Catherine is free and living the good life with millions of dollars, but she’s alone and lonely, and thinks she murdered the one man who truly cared for her.
Do you want to catch up on this sexy and intriguing series? Go ahead, get swept away…
The Special Agent Series books are available at Red Rose Publishing at this link: http://redrosepublishing.com/bookstore/index.php?manufacturers_id=68
See the video trailers!
Eureka Point: http://www.photoshow.com/watch/Zi2Hf6bd
My Very Special Agent: http://www.photoshow.com/watch/Mx9nu4ND
The Darkhorse Conspiracy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ou_cXVuXQ0s
Don’t miss the brand NEW Special Agent Series Blog! http://www.specialagentseries.blogspot.com
Author Betty Ann Harris, Bio.:
Betty Ann started her writing career as a poet. She has two published poems:
The English Rose, which she wrote after the tragic death of Princess Diana, and
The Moon Is A Silver Slipper, a quirky little poem about the magic of the moon.
Her first published novella, Eureka Point, a romantic suspense thriller, was released
on December 27, 2007, and is the first book in the Special Agent Series,
which she writes for Red Rose Publishing.
Besides being a writer, Betty Ann has an interest in interior design and
American history. She enjoys gardening and going to or serving afternoon tea.
She’s married and has two grown boys and two adorable dogs.
Please visit Betty Ann’s website: http://www.bettyannharris.com
What are you angry about in the world? What cause are you most passionate about?
What do you enjoy wearing most?
What would the ideal date or evening out be?
Where do you think the best place to be on a Saturday night is?
What does a typical weekend hold for you?
What is your favorite Sunday breakfast?
What product do you use that you will never give up?
What song do you never want to hear again? Why?
Where is the ultimate holiday destination and why?
Who would you most like to meet?
Where would you like to live?
What intrigues or fascinates you?
What is your most treasured possession and why?
What gives you hope and peace?
What destroys your hope and peace?
What symbol best represents you?
Post your results here, if you’d like! I’d love to see your “method writing” in action.
Best to you,
Lisa Lipkind Leibow
Author of Smart Women’s Fiction
by Jane Bekenham
What’s that saying about going as fast as you can? Well, I sure wish I knew it because I am…really. I’m trying hard to fit it all in.
Oh..yes…and then there’s looking after me. I should be doing exercise. I should be watching what I eat. I should have a clean-er house.
Should. Should. Should.
Who is it that puts all this pressure on us?
Well, that’s easy. I know the answer.
Me. Me. Me.
I am woman. I should be perfect.
Ha. Some hope. But heck I am trying. But you know what gets in the way? Writing.
And it’s wonderful that it does.
What does writing give me? A little chance to escape into fantasy, a world where there aren’t baby burps, or sick to wipe up, (hopefully), or where there’s no mundane tasks of sorting through the bills, making sure there’s something everyone will eat at the dinner table tonight.
Writing takes me away from all that. My heroes are handsome, successful, and tortured –life’s tough, they can’t get it too perfect. And my heroines. Well, do they know about doing the dishes, vacuuming or trying to find clean clothes amidst the pile that’s not folded. Nope. All they have to worry about is getting that hero to love them truly and deeply. Wouldn’t that be bliss?
Actually, I’m not sure it would. Because then I wouldn’t see my daughter’s delight when I had to pick her up at the airport yesterday, or hear my hubby say, ‘thanks for a nice dinner.’
But no matter that writing doesn’t give us these things, for most of us, we are addicted, we can’t give it up. Like readers, we have to find out what happens at the end of the story where writing. When we tell our friends that we have no idea what’s happening they look at us as if we’re a bit loco. It’s true. We probably are. I think we have to be to spend a zillion hours at the computer writing until our backsides end up permanently scarred in the shape of our chair, when we’ve realised it’s 4pm and we’ve forgotten to shower, or do…anything, but write. It’s that addictive. And I wouldn’t give it up for the world.
Why? Because I love my characters. Truly.
So the housework can wait. The family, well, they do understand that they come first, and God bless them, they’ll let me finish the page I’m on before they interrupt me.
So the exercise will wait a bit longer, and so will the dusting, but the full body massage I treat myself to monthly, and the pedicure too. They can’t wait. They are as important to me as writing. They keep me sane, healthy and take me out of my cave for a few minutes of each month. And they remind me to be kind to me. That I don’t have to be perfect, but I can treat myself.
Because…I’m worth it.
In books Author Jane Beckenham discovered dreams and hope, stories that inspired in her a love of romance and happy ever after. Years later, after a blind date, Jane found her own true love and married him eleven months later.
Life has been a series of ‘dreams’ for Jane. Dreaming of learning to walk again after spending years in hospital. Dreaming of raising a family and subsequently flying to Russia to bring home her two adopted daughters. And of course, dreaming of writing.
Writing has become Jane’s addiction – and it sure beats housework.
I am pleased to welcome to Fodder for Fiction, the very talented Laura Breck, author of Secret Vegas Lives!
One of the primary goals of my writing is to give readers a world into which they can escape the stress of life. And a fun read for lounging on the beach or cuddling up with a blanket and a cup of tea. ~Smart Women ~Sexy Men ~Seductive Romance.
Another goal is to make a difference in the world. That is why each of my books will sponsor a community program, and a percentage of my proceeds will be donated to that organization.
I’ve contracted two books with Red Rose Publishing, and the first, Secret Vegas Lives, is currently available. The second book, Scandalous L.A. Desires is scheduled for a 2010 release.
I live in Saint Paul, Minnesota with my family, and although I work a full-time job as a financial analyst for a professional sports team, I write every evening and weekend.
I hope to be a full-time writer one day soon, and I take classes in every aspect of writing, marketing, and publishing. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, Midwest Fiction Writers, Wisconsin Romance Writers of America, ESPAN, and Elements of RWA.
Mistaken for a blackmailer, socialite Valerie Kane will do anything to keep sexy Italian crime writer Antonio Daniato from publicly exposing her, and Antonio is wickedly intent on seeing how far Valerie will go to protect her reputation.
Bestselling author Antonio Daniato sets a trap to capture his blackmailers, and is surprised when well-known psychologist Valerie Kane stumbles into his arms. She swears she’s not involved, but he threatens to expose her unless she reveals her accomplice. When she bares her soul to prove her innocence, Antonio is fascinated by her honesty, but shaken by the intensity of his desire for her.
Surrendering to temptation, Valerie defies her family’s wishes and risks her reputation to let hot blooded, enigmatic Antonio into her life. But she uncovers evidence that he’s staging the blackmail scenes as research for his next book – and casting her as the blackmailer. When she confronts him, it’s his turn to convince her of his innocence.
Their outrageous sexual attraction keeps them in each other’s arms, but mutual distrust prevents them from admitting their deeper emotions. When the true blackmailer threatens to reveal Antonio’s double life, Antonio yields to his guilt and chooses to let Valerie go. But Valerie discovers his secret, and will fight for Antonio against an addiction whose hold on him may be stronger than their love
Hey, That’s A Great Idea!
Real life situations play a crucial role in my fictional writing. The idea for Secret Vegas Lives, my first published novel, came from a friend at a Vegas bachelorette party. “You should write a book about this,” she said. Heading home on the plane, I outlined the plot.
The story revolves around our hero’s life, and especially his secret. I love Antonio Daniato because he’s such a flawed, egocentric character. He’s a wealthy crime novelist who knows he’s a bad boy, and doesn’t care to change. He’s happy with his one-nighters and his decadent thrill addiction. Until he meets Valerie, and sees what he’s been missing.
My heroine, Dr. Valerie Kane, is an eminent psychologist who is at the wrong place at the right time, and is mistaken for a blackmailer by Antonio. Besides working as a psychologist, Valerie also volunteers at a shelter. I added this element to my heroine’s life because I’ve partnered with The Shade Tree Shelter of Las Vegas, and I donate a portion of the proceeds of Secret Vegas Lives to them.
The Shade Tree is a wonderful shelter for women, children, and their pets. So many women in abusive situations will not leave their pets behind, and they remain at home, endangering themselves and their children. Domestic shelters around the world should take note of The Shade Tree’s success. When I envision a child uprooted from their home seeking comfort from their pet, it makes me a little weepy. Read more about the shelter on my website.
Here is a spicy scene from Secret Vegas Lives that I hope you’ll enjoy. Antonio took her hand and rubbed circles on her palm, looking at her with those beautiful brown eyes. “It will be good, Valerie. We will be fabulous together. Say yes, baby, and I’ll have you moaning for hours.”
She was lost in his gaze, could barely draw a breath. Her womb tingled with anticipation, her mind befuddled by the image of her lying under him. Moaning for hours.
She had to snap out of it. She raised an eyebrow. “Does that line really work?”
He released her hand. “None of my lines work on you, do they?”
She sighed. Did he honestly have no idea that his smoky glances and wicked suggestions turned every inch of her body into a tingling time bomb?
“Not really,” she lied and steered the conversation to the blackmailer.
They compared his and Betina’s lists of suspects and came up with possible scenarios. For the next hour, Valerie didn’t notice the waiter frequently refilling their wine glasses, until she started slurring her words. She was tipsy.
He must have realized she drank too much and moved their glasses to the edge of the table. The waiter walked by, and Antonio said, “Two cappuccinos, please.”
“Thank you.” She fanned herself with her napkin. “I didn’t realize how much I drank.”
“You’re a lot of fun when you loosen up.”
“Loosen up? Thanks. Makes me sound like an uptight bitch.”
“Whoa, bella, let’s keep this pleasant, okay?” His smile was teasing.
“I don’t usually drink this much.”
He stared at her.
She asked, “What are you thinking?”
He rubbed his chin. “I’m going to use this scene in my next book. Two people, drawn to each other sexually, but kept apart by their suspicions of each other.”
She shook her head and regretted it when she felt the room spin. “Your books are not romantic at all. You should introduce a love interest for your cop-hero.”
He lifted an eyebrow. “Everyone’s a critic. Okay, Doctor, how should I make my books more female friendly?”
She looked at him; his face seemed to float in and out of focus, just like in her dream. A light bulb went on in her brain, and she leaned forward. “I have an idea.”
“I do, too, but we’ll have to go back to my place —”
“Uh uh. About the book. You could make it more romantic by having the cop dream about one of his female co-workers. Then build a romance from there.”
“Might work. What would he dream?”
Her own dream replayed in her mind. “She’s in her office, and he barges in wearing riding leathers, sunglasses, boots…”
This was dangerous, but she didn’t care. She smiled seductively. “She watches him take off his sunglasses, his leather gloves and jacket. He’s wearing a white shirt, jeans, and leather chaps.”
His eyes held a serious look, and he shifted in his seat.
She leaned closer. “She gets up from her chair and saunters toward him, wearing nothing but a slinky black —”
“Stop.” His brows drew together. “For God’s sake, Valerie.” His hand fisted. “You push me too far.”
She sat back, sobered by his warning. She closed her eyes. What was wrong with her? He was intensely into her, and yet she deliberately enticed him.
With the wine spinning her brain, she‘d allowed desire to launch her out of control.
She couldn’t meet his eyes. “I…I’m going to the ladies room.” She jumped up out of the booth — too quickly. The room shifted. She blinked to focus, walked hesitantly to the back of the restaurant, and found the dark hall leading to the restrooms. As her hand touched the women’s room door, an arm came around her and pulled her back against a solid wall of muscle.
“You are poison.” Antonio wrapped his arm beneath her breasts. He pulled her backward into an empty meeting room and closed the door behind them.
Sometimes ideas for my books come from dreams, some pop into my head while reading other books, and once in a while, as with Secret Vegas Lives, someone blurts out an idea at a completely unexpected moment.
Please leave a comment, and one lucky person will be drawn at random to receive a goodie bag of my promo items.
Thank you so much to Fodder for Fiction for having me here today. Ms. Lisa Leibow is an amazingly talented writer, and I am privileged to be one of her blog sisters at The Roses of Prose, Authors of Women’s Fiction and Romance.
Secret Vegas Lives is available at RedRosePublishing.com