Monday, December 30, 2013

DOES YOUR BOOK DESERVE AN AWARD?

The 2014 GAYLE WILSON AWARD OF EXCELLENCE, 
sponsored by 
Southern Magic (Birmingham, AL RWA Chapter), 
is open for entries!

The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, sponsored by the RWA chapter Southern Magic, was conceived in honor of multi-RITA Winner Gayle Wilson to award excellence in published romantic fiction.

Fee:  $30 first book; $25 subsequent books

Deadline:  January 15, 2014

Eligibility:  All published authors of novel-length or novella-length romance fiction

Entry:  Books must have a copyright of 2013. Electronic books may be entered when not available in print. Must provide a copyright page produced by the publisher. Non-subsidy/non-vanity/no self-pub.

Categories:  Historical; Romantic Suspense; FF&P; Contemporary; YA; Inspirational; and Novella (20,000 – 40,000 Words)

Judges:  Avid readers of romance, booksellers, and/or librarians

For More Information and to Enter:  www.southernmagic.org/gaylewilsoncontest.html
Contest Coordinator:  Heather Cover, GWContest@southernmagic.org

Friday, December 27, 2013

Interview with Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Winner & Awesome Alabama Gal Christie Craig

Super funny story-teller & NYT bestseller Christie Craig is an Alabama native and a resident of Texas -- the best of both worlds in my book! Her YA writing alter ego C.C. Hunter won the Gayle Wilson Award in 2012 for the first Born At Midnight in her new paranormal series Shadow Falls.



I love Christie's stories and jumped at the chance to interview her for our blog series leading up to the deadline of the Gayle Wilson Award. Here's the Q & A:


You were already a NYT bestselling author so why did you enter the contest?

CC: I always feel as if a contest win will help promote your book.  However, contests also offer you a chance to get in front of some readers.  Those judges were readers before they were judges. And they are readers who might not have picked up your book.   I have snagged lots of fans through contest—judges who read and enjoyed me.    Oh, and being from the south, I love participating in your contest.

Woot! So glad to hear that...and we love you! Now, what benefit did you gain from entering the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence?

CC: Being a finalist always gives you something to promote.  A reason to post something on the social medias.  I think a lot of readers look to this as a sign of quality. Even my publisher promoted the contest win.  They use these wins to in the information they send out to buyers.  Then there is the promotion you get from the chapter as they send out the lists of the winners.  It doesn’t hurt having your name out there in as many places as possible.

Very true! What are you working on now?

CC: I’m working on Eternal, the second book in Shadow Falls: After Dark, which is the spin off series of Shadow Falls.

Yay! Can't wait to read it :) And Christie has generously offered to giveaway a copy of Born at Midnight to one lucky reader who leaves a comment and his/her email address on the blog! So comment away! I'll let random.org pick a winner on Sunday!


And if you're a published author, consider entering Southern Magic's Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Contest. Here's the info below:


The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, sponsored by the RWA chapter Southern Magic, was conceived in honor of multi-RITA Winner Gayle Wilson to award excellence in published romantic fiction.

Fee:  $30 first book; $25 subsequent books
Deadline:  January 15, 2014
Eligibility:  All published authors of novel-length or novella-length romance fiction
Entry:  Books must have a copyright of 2013. Electronic books may be entered when not available in print. Must provide a copyright page produced by the publisher. Non-subsidy/non-vanity/no self-pub.
Categories:  Historical; Romantic Suspense; FF&P; Contemporary; YA; Inspirational; and Novella (20,000 – 40,000 Words)
Judges:  Avid readers of romance, booksellers, and/or librarians
For More Information and to Enter:  www.southernmagic.org/gaylewilsoncontest.html
Contest Coordinator:  Heather Cover, GWContest@southernmagic.org

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tis The Season

We Wish You a 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!




Friday, December 20, 2013

Comment to W!N Beth Cornelison's Newest Romantic Suspense!

Author Beth Cornelison with cover model John DeSalvo
Leading up to the deadline for the 2013 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, I checked in with former double category winner Beth Cornelison. Without further ado, here she is now! 

Q. In 2010, you won the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in two categories. Tall Dark Defender won in the Romantic Suspense Series category, and Healing Luke won in the Contemporary Single Title category. Why did you choose to enter a contest for published writers? 
A. I entered a lot of contests as an unpublished writer, hoping to get on the right editor's desk that would lead to a sale. After publishing, I continued entering for two reasons: getting my books in the hands of readers and general feedback as to how my books were resonating with those readers.  My hope was that saying I was an award winning author would also help boost my 'author cred' for readers unfamiliar with my work. 

Q. What did you gain from entering the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence?
A. Well, two lovely wins!  The giddy little high that comes from the recognition of your work and hopefully, a few new readers!

Q. What are you working on now?  
A. I'm currently working on the last book in a new trilogy for Harlequin Romantic Suspense about three sexy brothers from my fictional town of Lagniappe, Louisiana. Book one in the series comes out in January (The Return of Connor Mansfield) and it is a back-from-the-dead, secret baby, family in jeopardy story. I'll give a copy away to one commenter here today!

Beth Cornelison's latest book could be yours!
 Comment below to be entered in the drawing.   

The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, sponsored by RWA chapter Southern Magic, was conceived in honor of multi-RITA Winner Gayle Wilson to award excellence in published romance fiction. The contest is judged by avid readers of romance, booksellers, and/or librarians. The winners of each category are awarded a bookmark engraved with the author's name and the book's title. Winners will also be included in a full-page RWR advertisement.
The 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence is now open for entries. Novels and novellas must have a copyright or first printing date of 2013. Self-published works are not eligible. For full contest rules, go to http://www.southernmagic.org/gaylewilsoncontest.html
The winner will be notified on Monday! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Interview with Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Winner and Southern Charmer Casey Crow!

I remember reading the list of Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Contest winners in 2012 and doing a Jersey fist pump. Why? Because I spotted Casey Crow's name and her book Can't Fake This as winner of the Novella category. See, I remember when Casey entered the Linda Howard Award of Excellence Contest for unpublished authors. And now here she was a couple of years later, published and winning this prestigious award. I was so thrilled for her! When you meet her she has a smile that's so wide and friendly a person can't help but grin in return. Southern and sassy--that is sooo Casey Crow!

After the interview, make sure you leave a comment because Casey is offering up her award-winning novella Can't Fake This to a lucky reader!

Me: Hi, Casey! Like I mentioned above, I was so excited to find out you won the 2012 GWAoE Novella Category with Can't Fake This.  *doing Snoopy dance* Tell us why you entered the contest.
  
Casey: I'd never entered a published authors contest as Can't Fake This was my debut. It's a sexy story with a twist on the 12 Days of Christmas. From best selling authors I had heard how prestigious the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence was and I wanted to be part of that legacy.

Me: And now you are! How cool is that? Now, when you look back almost a couple of years later, what benefit did you gain from entering the GWAoE? 

Casey: The experience was invaluable and encouraging, especially for a new author. Being included alongside such wonderful and well-established authors was an honor. Winning was truly a highlight for me. And the engraved silver bookmark was beautiful! I don't know of any other contest that gives such a nice prize. 

Me: I've seen them, and yes! They are gorgeous! This year winners will receive a very cool lapel pin. *sigh* So, Casey, what are you working on now? 

Casey: Thanks for asking. I've been quite busy since winning the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. My agent has two books out on submission. HUSTLER'S DREAM is about a Southern socialite pool shark and FEELS SO RIGHT features another Southern belle that happens to be a country music agent. See a theme here? All my heroines are "Sexy, Sassy & Southern".  

My alter ego, Casey Layne, recently released an adorable children's picture book just in time for the holidays. BACK ALLEY PUPSTERS is a twist on Dancing with the Stars. I'm also having a blast writing a young adult entitled DIARY OF A PAGEANT QUEEN. To find out more, please visit www.caseylayne.net.

Just to note, CAN'T FAKE THIS is going out of print soon, but it's not too late to heat up your holidays with this super spicy Christmas story. www.caseycrow.com 

Me: Wow! You are super busy, Casey! Thank you so much for taking time out and visiting with us! 

Don't forget to leave a comment for Casey. You could win a copy of the award-winning Can't Fake This!

And if you're a published author, consider entering Southern Magic's Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Contest. Here's the info below:


The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, sponsored by the RWA chapter Southern Magic, was conceived in honor of multi-RITA Winner Gayle Wilson to award excellence in published romantic fiction.

Fee:  $30 first book; $25 subsequent books
Deadline:  January 15, 2014
Eligibility:  All published authors of novel-length or novella-length romance fiction
Entry:  Books must have a copyright of 2013. Electronic books may be entered when not available in print. Must provide a copyright page produced by the publisher. Non-subsidy/non-vanity/no self-pub.
Categories:  Historical; Romantic Suspense; FF&P; Contemporary; YA; Inspirational; and Novella (20,000 – 40,000 Words)
Judges:  Avid readers of romance, booksellers, and/or librarians
For More Information and to Enter:  www.southernmagic.org/gaylewilsoncontest.html
Contest Coordinator:  Heather Cover, GWContest@southernmagic.org

Monday, December 16, 2013

Interview with Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Winner and Fabulous Cynthia Eden!!

When I found out we were going to be interviewing past Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence winners I jumped--like a totally undignified leap--at the chance to speak with Cynthia Eden! I LOVE her books! Doesn't matter what she writes--romantic suspense or paranormal--she is an auto buy for me. And after having the chance to meet and hang out with her on Bourbon Street at Authors After Dark in 2012, I'm even more of a fan. There's nothing better than discovering an author whose books you adore is such a warm, funny, and cool person. Cynthia Eden is not just an amazing author but an awesome person! Why yes, I am gushing... LOL!

So enjoy her interview as much as I did, and stayed tuned for a wonderful GIVEAWAY from Cynthia! She's offering one lucky commentor copies--print or digital--of her GWAoE winning books, In the Dark and Immortal Danger


Me: Cynthia, you were a double winner in the 2010 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Contest in 2010 for your paranormal novella In the Dark and paranormal single title Immortal Danger. Can you tell us why you entered the contest?  

Cynthia: I entered the contest because it has such a wonderful reputation in the industry.  I LOVE that the contest is judged by readers, booksellers, and librarians—they are the ones that know the most about romances! So, of course, I wanted to know what they thought of my work!

Me: Absolutely! I agree 100%. What benefit did you gain from entering the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence? 

Cynthia: I met so many fantastic people as a result of the contest—it was great for networking. It was also a fantastic experience to know that readers were truly enjoying my work…because that is what writing is all about. Creating stories that people will enjoy. Stories that can carry them away, and give them the glow of a happy ending.

Me: You have done that for me so many times, Cynthia! Can you give us a preview on what you're working on now?

Cynthia: Right now, I am just about to start a new dark and sexy romantic suspense story. So I’ve got serial killers on my mind. I’m also starting to promote my new paranormal series with Kensington Brava—my phoenix shifters are going to be in the wild with the January 2014 release of BURN FOR ME.

Me: Phoenix shifters and serial killers! I. Can't. Wait! LOL!! Thank you so much for visiting with us, Cynthia! You rock!

Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win Cynthia's In the Dark and Immortal Danger

And if you're a published author, consider entering Southern Magic's Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Contest. Here's the info below:





The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, sponsored by the RWA chapter Southern Magic, was conceived in honor of multi-RITA Winner Gayle Wilson to award excellence in published romantic fiction.

Fee:  $30 first book; $25 subsequent books
Deadline:  January 15, 2014
Eligibility:  All published authors of novel-length or novella-length romance fiction
Entry:  Books must have a copyright of 2013. Electronic books may be entered when not available in print. Must provide a copyright page produced by the publisher. Non-subsidy/non-vanity/no self-pub.
Categories:  Historical; Romantic Suspense; FF&P; Contemporary; YA; Inspirational; and Novella (20,000 – 40,000 Words)
Judges:  Avid readers of romance, booksellers, and/or librarians
For More Information and to Enter:  www.southernmagic.org/gaylewilsoncontest.html
Contest Coordinator:  Heather Cover, GWContest@southernmagic.org

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Celebrating the Gayle Wilson Award with 2-time Winner YA Author Rosemary Clement-Moore

The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence is special to our Southern Magic chapter and I'm so glad to be able to add to the celebration with an interview of Rosemary Clement-Moore who won the award twice! 

Rosemary writes YA with a supernatural twist and is the award-winning author of  seven published novels. She's also super nice and a sister Texan! What can be better? Well, she's sharing her insights into the Gayle Wilson...






(a) You won the Gayle Wilson Award’s Young Adult Category in 2008 and in 2009 for “Prom Dates From Hell” and “Hell Week.” Wow, two years in a row...congratulations! Why did you enter the contest?


The short answer is, I'm friends (and a total fangirl of) the amazing Jennifer Echols who said: Enter this Contest. And I was like, okay. For one thing, The Gayle Wilson, at the time, was one of the few published book contents with a Young Adult category. To set the scene a bit: Twilight was just a blip on the radar, but genre-friendly YA (romance, paranormal romance, etc.) was about to explode with books like City of Bones, Wicked Lovely, Vampire Academy and Simone Elkeles's romances.

The next year, when I entered Hell Week, YA was getting much more attention from the RWA as a whole, the cool thing about the Gayle Wilson is that it's a smaller but well regarded contest so you have a chance to achieve recognition without the intimidation of some of the juggernaut entries in RITA.

(b) The chapter works hard on making the Gayle Wilson a good experience for participants, and it's good to hear from someone who has participated (twice!) what works. Thank you for your kind words. What benefit did you gain from winning the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence?

Prom Dates from Hell went on to final in the RITA Award's "Best First Book" category, and Hell Week won the RITA for best YA Romance. So I'd say the Gayle Wilson Award brought me a lot of luck!



Prom Dates From Hell was my first book, and the Gayle Wilson Award was the first award I won. So obviously I have great affection for the contest. It was a real boost to my confidence when I needed it. 

Writing is such a head game; you're working on your next book while fretting about how the previous one is being received. Now I got to put an adjective in front of my job in my bio: Award-winning author Rosemary Clement-Moore. I couldn't say "best-selling author" (yet) but award-winning is nothing to sneeze at.

(c) So true...and I'm really glad the Gayle Wilson led you to more well-deserved honor. :) Thank you so much for taking the time to share your insights with us Rosemary! What are you working on now?

I am  working on a paranormal romance based on a classic but not-often-used legend. There's a girl, and a crab shack, and a ghost ship... and that's all I can say because I'm so superstitious.  I love to mash up history and legend with smart, modern heroines and twists on the supernatural stuff, and this is definitely that.

Oooh, intriguing! I know I can't wait to read Rosemary's new project...but while we are awaiting, here's your chance to read up on Rosemary's other works:

As it happens, Prom Dates and Hell Week have been reissued as a two-in-one novel retitled "Brimstone."  And Rosemary is generously giving away a copy to a reader who comments. A winner from the comments will be picked at random & announced Wednesday (12/18). Start commenting!

If you are a published romance author and would like to enter the 2013 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, go to www.southernmagic.org for more information.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

All I Want For Christmas Is A Soul Mate


I'm a bit late posting this week due to computer/internet/long week-exhausted brain problems. I could go on but, you get the picture.

I am proud to show off the cover for All I Want For Christmas Is A Soul Mate, a collection of short stories centered around the season of love and joy. Twenty authors contributed to the anthology from Soul Mate Publishing and our book was released November 5, 2013.

My story, Christmas Blessings, brings two lovers back together from an impossible situation. Here's a snippet...

Other than the deep freeze they’d experienced earlier, the paranormal tracking equipment used by the guides registered no other unusual activity, but Lila’s body did. And only one person had ever made her react like this, even though she’d come to terms with the hand life had dealt.
She had accepted Levin’s death and moved on, if living the life of a robot was considered moving on. She focused on work and went out with friends but never anyone special. No man could ever hold a candle to Levin. They had planned a future together she would never forget.
Concerned, Chrissie turned back to the spot where Lila had become stock-still, and placed both hands on her shoulders. “Lila? Are you sure you’re okay? Maybe this was a mistake. We can leave if you’d like.”
Lila blinked and realized everyone stared at her. She shook the fog from her head. “I’m sorry. Let’s go on.”
“Yes Lila, let’s. I have something to show you.” A hand slipped around hers and laced their fingers together, tugging her gently forward. A strong hand that fit hers like a glove.
So familiar. 

All I Want For Christmas Is A Soul Mate is available from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/All-I-Want-Christmas-Soulmate-ebook/  so curl up with a good heartwarming story and enjoy the season.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year filled with love and happiness.
Visit me at:
                                                               larynnford@gmail.com                                                                      https://www.facebook.com/larynn.ford

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Comment to WIN 2012 Romantic Suspense Gayle Wilson Winner Adrienne Giordano's Book A JUST DECEPTION

Author Adrienne Giordano
2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Winner
      Hi Everyone: 
      I'm so excited to share author Adrienne Giordano's story about her 2012 Gayle Wilson book A JUST DECEPTION winning inthe Romantic Suspense Category. She's a fantastic author and an all around super person whom I've had the privilege to know for over four years. 


      

     Adrienne, you won the 2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in Romantic Suspense with A JUST DECEPTION. Why did you enter the contest?

2012 Romantic Suspense
 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Winner
From the time I started entering contests as an unpublished writer, I’ve always had great luck with the Southern Magic contests. My first three manuscripts were finalists in the Linda Howard Award of Excellence contest so I knew from experience the contests were well run. In fact, in 2011 my manuscript Little Secrets, Big Lies won the romantic suspense category of the Linda Howard Award of Excellence contest. I sold that book in 2011 and it was retitled A Just Deception. The book was published in 2012, so I entered it into the 2012 Gayle Wilson contest. It wound up winning the romantic suspense category. My Southern Magic fun fact is the same book won the unpublished and the published contest in consecutive years! I’m extremely proud of that accomplishment.

      As a former overall coordinator of the Linda Howard Award of Excellence, it warms my heart to hear such high praise about the contest's benefits. It strives for excellence in judging and offers excellent feedback. As a former finalist and winner in 2012, I plan to enter my first published book in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. I know how the Linda Howard benefits it's finalists, but what benefit did you gain from entering the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence?

 I think overall it’s a highly respected contest so it’s a terrific highlight to my resume. J The other benefit is a purely selfish one. In 2012 the other finalists in the romantic suspense category were Brenda Novak, Roxanne St. Claire and Donell Ann Bell. When I saw who I was up against, I was convinced I’d never win. Honestly, I couldn’t believe my name was even on the same list as these amazing authors. As a writer who had faced my share of rejections, it was an incredibly emotional moment for me. I still have the list posted on the wall across from my desk. It’s great inspiration!

That's an impressive list! I'm so glad you have found inspiration for your writing by being a part of this 2012 Romantic Suspense finalists. Tell me, what are you working on now?

I like to keep busy so I have a few things in the fire. I have a new romantic suspense series with Misty Evans about to launch. The first book (Stealing Justice) in the series releases on January 14. It was my first co-written project and I loved the process of working with another author. While working on book two in that series, I’m also working on the first book in a romantic suspense series that is set in Las Vegas. Fun! I also have two Intrigues coming out in 2014. I like to tell people I’m throwing a wide net. J

Thanks so much for sharing your story, Adrienne. I can't wait to read the books you're casting out there, Adrienne. Congratulations again on your 2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence win and all the best to you in your writing career! And one lucky commenter is eligible to win a copy of Adrienne Giordano's Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence winning book A JUST DECEPTION. Leave a comment and you're automatically entered to win! 

Bio:
USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery.  She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane's Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction. For more information on Adrienne's books, please visit www.AdrienneGiordano.com. Adrienne can also be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AdrienneGiordanoAuthor and Twitter at http://twitter.com/AdriennGiordano. For information on Adrienne’s street team, Dangerous Darlings, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/dangerousdarlings.

If you are a published romance author and would like to enter the 2013 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, go to www.southernmagic.org for more information. 



                                                                                                               

Friday, December 06, 2013

Introducing Chenoire, and the Three-Legged Stool

After a "soft reveal" yesterday, I'm happy to share the cover for a "secret project" I've been involved with and that's now out in the world--well, it's out for preorder and will be out in the world on December 18.

First, meet "Chenoire." (And can I hear a "yum!") It's about a young ornithologist, Faith, who is trying to save her academic career by studying the effects of the Gulf oil spill on the birds of rural St. Bernard Parish, east of New Orleans. She's been suffering from depression since losing her twin sister in an auto accident, but when she stumbles into a sexy guy named Zackary Prejean and the mysterious crossroads community of Chenoire during the middle of gator-hunting season, she has to snap out of it or die trying. Only then she learns something more dangerous....



"Chenoire" is part of a new venture announced on Wednesday called StoryFront, so it seemed like a good time to talk about these changing publishing times in which we live. I once thought "New York" was the only way to go, Big Publishing being the One Ring to Rule Them All (gratuitous Lord of the Rings nod).

But in the last few years, it seems to me the authors most able to survive all the changes taking place in publishing are the ones who can 1) Write a freakish breakout hit that will either have housewives buying whips and chains or teenage girls lining up for "Team Studboy" T-shirts; or 2) Diversify and work their backsides off.

Since #1 seems awfully precarious, not to mention unlikely, #2 seems much more practical. Now admittedly, I'm still very new to this whole book-writing thing, so those of you who've been around it longer than I, bear with me. I still wake up most days wondering when I'm going to, well, wake up, only to find endless Saturdays spent with drunken football fans stretching into my future (gratuitous day-job nod).

Still, with my admittedly limited experience, I now think of publishing as a three-legged stool. New York's still the holy grail in many ways, and I've been fortunate in that regard. But small publishers offer a lot of advantages, and I now see them as the second leg of that stool. Which brings us to StoryFront, a new publishing imprint that gives short-story authors a new forum to publish their works of less than 20,000 words and gives novelists a chance to try their hand at a creating new worlds, experimenting in a new genre, or promoting interest in the novels by setting shorts in their novel worlds.

For me, "Chenoire" was a way to share some new characters set in my much-loved South Louisiana in an inexpensive Kindle download. It's a sweeter paranormal romance than my Penton books, and it's less violent than...well, anything I've written. [Very oblique nod to the day job, which seems to inspire violent thoughts and badly behaved villains.]

(The third leg of the stool, by the way, is self-publishing, an area into which I haven't yet ventured but very likely will at some point if I feel I have the right project and the ability to jump the "discoverability" hurdle self-pubbed authors find themselves facing.)

Will StoryFront be a successful venture? I don't know, but I'm always ready to experiment...which is how I ended up writing serial novels, but that's another story for another time. Some people, and I've historically been one of them, are not fans of the short format. I'm learning to enjoy writing them, though, as a quick dip into a new world and a way to challenge myself into layering depth into fewer words.

Do you like short stories and novellas? If you're a reader, do you read them? If you're an author, have you dabbled in them? Leave a comment, and I'll pick a winner to receive a copy of "Chenoire"!

Speaking of winning, by the way, did you know the members of the Southern Magic RWA Chapter, including myself, are giving away piles of books this month? Seriously, you could win 34 books! There are some awesome authors in this chapter and some awesome books in this pile. After you leave your comment below to enter the drawing for "Chenoire," click here to enter the Rafflecopter drawing for the big giveaway, and hop over to some of the author websites to check 'em out. Contest ends Dec. 16.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Victorian Slang in Rakehell by Debra Glass

rakehell_msrI’m thrilled that my latest erotic historical romance set in Victorian England, Rakehell, is slated for release December 18, 2013.
I adored writing my hero and heroine, Adam and Primrose and especially my most delectable secondary character ever, Benedict Lashwood (whose story will be released sometime in 2014).
A lot of research goes into dressing and undressing my characters, and I enjoy perusing websites and books to learn about the fabrics used to make the all important chemise and what sort of ties were used to lace up a corset. But my favorite research went into creating Victorian era dialogue for Rakehell’s characters.
The word Rakehell, itself was used at the time. The free online dictionary offers this definition:
Noun
1.
rakehell - a dissolute man in fashionable societyrakehell - a dissolute man in fashionable society
profligate, rake, rip, roue, blood
debauchee, libertine, rounder - a dissolute person; usually a man who is morally unrestrained

At the beginning of the story, my hero definitely fits all those descriptions . . . and then some!
Links to some of my favorite Victorian slang sites:
Victorian Words You Should Be Using
http://mentalfloss.com/article/53529/56-delightful-victorian-slang-terms-you-should-be-using
More Victorian Words You Should Be Using
http://mentalfloss.com/article/53673/15-more-excellent-victorian-slang-terms-you-should-be-using
A Victorian Slang Dictionary
http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/01/29/a-dictionary-of-victorian-slang-1909/
Victorian Slang Glossary
http://www.tlucretius.net/Sophie/Castle/victorian_slang.html
See if you can pick out 19th century vernacular in this excerpt from Rakehell:
Chapter One
London, 1898
“You ain’t one o’ them singers o’ Psalms are ye now?”
Primrose didn’t know which of her senses assailed her the most. She flinched at the grating sound of the woman’s East End accent and struggled against the urge to avert her gaze from the soot-covered face, the soiled and gaping bodice of a threadbare frock, the almost maniacal gap-toothed grin.
The bitter almond stench and brown smoke of opium hung heavy in the air, compelling Primrose to plunge her hand into her reticule and retrieve a handkerchief with which to cover her nose.
“Wotch yerself, Trudy!” a second woman blared and then raked her hand under her nose as she sniffed mightily. “That’s a regular lady yer addressin.’”
Trudy scoffed. The fetid air she huffed set a strand of her greasy brown hair in motion. “She ain’t no lady, Betsy. By the sound of her she’s an American!”
Betsy slapped at her compatriot to shush her. “Don’t mind her none, ma’am.” She grinned with pride. “I knows a lady when I sees one.”
Primrose straightened, refusing to retreat behind the two burly stable hands she’d brought from Scarborough Hall.
Clad in a loose-fitting suit of gray, a sallow-skinned Chinese man with a long rat’s tail of a braid slithering over his shoulder approached. He bowed slightly. “You here to partake?” he asked in thickly accented English.
Primrose nervously wound the drawstring on her reticule around her fingers. He’d just asked her if she intended to smoke one of the opium pipes!
In looking around at the odd conglomeration of classes lolling on pallets and shelf-like beds lining the walls like corpses in the catacombs, she wondered if other ladies, such as her, came to this squalid place. Here, there existed no distinction between the haves and the have-nots. The fine hairs prickled at her nape. “No,” she said blurted. “I was told I might find…Lord Black here.”
“Ah, Lord Black! Good customer,” the little man said. His thin lips stretched into a smile. He stepped aside and gestured toward the back of the squalid den. “Lord Black in back.”
Primrose gulped. She’d ventured quite far enough into this den of iniquity. Acrid bile rose in her throat at the very idea of entering further. Fear that she might not ever see the light of day again bedeviled her, but she willed it away. If Black was indeed in this awful place it was up to her to drag him out.
His most recent brush with an untimely end was incentive enough to retrieve him but today, Primrose had a more pressing reason to return Black to Scarborough Hall.
She glanced back uncertainly at Mathers and Hawkshaw before she lifted the hem of her day gown off the grimy cobbled floor and started toward the rear of the den. On her left and right men of the peerage and the lower classes alike lay in all states of undress alongside naked women Primrose could only presume were prostitutes. One couple was actually copulating out in the open for all to see. Not that anyone seemed to care. Still, Primrose shielded her peripheral vision with her hand.
Most of these people were under the spell of the demon drug. In spite of propriety, the sight of the woman astride the man’s…privates…magnetically compelled Primrose to peep between her fingers. Warmth flooded her and she quickly squelched her immoral yearnings. “Such vile and wanton behavior,” she snapped under her breath.
Toward the back, terraced berths filled with all manner of people, mostly sailors with their heads thrown back, their chins tipped up, their dulled gazes turned on the newcomers.
Was it any wonder Black had been beset by bandits?
She flinched, recalling the headline brought to her attention only yesterday. Lord Black Foils East End Burglary and Attempted Murder.
But were it not for the news she probably would have never found him.
From the black shadows, red lights waxed and waned in the bowls of the pipes.
This place must truly be hell and its denizens the very devils spoken of in the good book. Primrose swallowed thickly as she peered closely at a man to determine he wasn’t the one she sought. If this is hell, then why do their expressions indicate such rapture? She shook off the sinful voice in her head and silently prided herself that she had never fallen prey to such hedonistic desires.
“My lady?” Hawkshaw asked softly as if he might rouse some of the demons from their opium-induced stupor. “That him?”
Primrose squinted as she stepped toward what appeared to be a man lying on a silk bed between two completely nude women whose limbs draped possessively over his. One of the long, narrow opium pipes lay discarded at the side of the bed.
She hadn’t laid eyes on Lord Black in the five years since their wedding night. But even in this sordid place, her heart fluttered as she recognized her husband.
But for the nasty bruise over his left eye, he looked content—so unlike the last time she’d seen him, his expression stormy and black, his hair wild about his swarthy face, his amber eyes glittering like the garnet pin secured in the folds of his snowy neckcloth. In his wedding finery, he’d been devastatingly handsome.
Naked, even after all this time, he was magnificent.
Dark hairs wisped across the muscled plane of his chest, growing thicker and wilder as they formed a tight trail leading from his navel downward. Primrose pursed her lips as she looked her fill at his flaccid phallus, lying so innocently in its nest of curls.
Her breathing hitched as she recalled how that particular part of his anatomy had looked on their wedding night. Erect, proud—and terrifying.
Then she’d been but a green debutante, barely old enough to marry and wholly unprepared to become a wife.
Well, she was different now. Older. More mature. Better acquainted with the depths of deception men would go to in order to advance themselves in the world.
Lord Black hadn’t changed. That was obvious. He was still a rakehell and a rogue.

Book Description:
Lady Primrose Black has a dilemma. Her father-in-law’s dying wish is that she reunite with her estranged husband and produce an heir. She hasn’t laid eyes on Lord Black since their wedding night five years ago, when he left Scarborough Hall in a rage. Nevertheless she is determined to find him, knowing once she does she will have to use every method at her disposal to entice the rake she never stopped loving.
Viscount Adam Black harbors dark needs and he will accept no less than his wife’s complete and utter surrender. Each sensual encounter leaves Primrose wanting more but as she submits to her husband’s every decadent desire, she resolves not to lose him again. For the secret that drove Adam away still haunts him. And this time it could prove fatal for them both.
Inside Scoop: This nineteenth-century heroine explores her naughty side in this Victorian romance with BDSM elements.
A Romantica® historical erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
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About Debra Glass
RTP1140742Growing up in the south where the air is thick with stories steeped in legend and truth, Debra came by her love of romance novels honestly. Well…sort of. At an early age, she pilfered from her grandmother’s extensive library and has been a fan of the genre since.
A full time freelance writer, Debra especially enjoys combining history, mystery and a touch of taboo to weave stories with unforgettable, haunted heroes.
She lives in Alabama with her sexy real life hero, a couple of smart-aleck ghosts and three diabolical black cats.
For more information, visit her website at http://DebraGlass.com