Shiloh Walker

Let me tell you a story…

Shiloh Walker - Let me tell you a story…

#dabwaha Ladies and gentlemen… your mission, should you choose to accept it

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Author-GameOn-Nominee2013

Your Mission:

Help me win.

The Obstacle:

MELJEAN BROOK… she’s a tough opponent.  The good news… she’s in her writing cave and we can do a sneak attack.

 

(1) Riveted v. (16) Blade Song

The Prize:

More Damon POVs…maybe even an excerpt from BROKEN BLADE.

and just to give you an incentive…an unplanned POV.

This is from in Kit’s office…right before things went to hell. Don’t worry… this isn’t too spoiler-rific.

 

She flipped the lock and I felt that low level burn I’d come to associate with magic.  The wards were up. Good enough.

She turned to face me and I did the one thing I had to do…I gave into the urge and I tore that fucking shirt off her. She smelled of another man and I knew it was from work–I knew her job, knew the kind of shit she had to do, but the smell of another man on her skin had the animal inside me snarling.

And it made me ache.  I wanted to be the one who was there for her, helping her do whatever she needed done and I couldn’t be.

But I could do this.  Could touch her now, could have her with me.  Brushing the shreds of the shirt off her, I reached for her and pulled her against me.  She was pale and soft and she sighed under my hands.

“Baby girl,” I whispered, mindless and desperate.  She shivered against me as I pressed my mouth to the mark on her neck.

She felt small but so incredibly strong, soft but steel ran through her core and she drove me out of my mind.  I lifted her up and braced her against the door at her back. She arched against me and I could feel the heat of her, all wet and sweet and that alone had me ready to come.  She moved again and my dick pulsed.  ”Be still,” I muttered against her mouth. Be still or I’m going to embarrass myself…  The soft, subtle scent of her flooded my head, but there was also something else.  The cloying, dark thread of a male.  Magic.  Fowled. Wrong.  It clung to her, pissed me off.   Tearing the sturdy, solid material of her pants away helped.  Getting her naked help even more.  Feeling her wrapped around my dick would be the best thing yet.

“I don’t ever want you wearing those clothes again.”  Not that it was an issue.  The clothes were trashed.

I watched her eyes, that sharp, cunning green, soft now with want…

Damon (yeah, yeah, I know it looks like Dwayne Johnson)

Damon (yeah, yeah, I know it looks like Dwayne Johnson)

Want more?  I’ll write more!  If you help me advance to the next round of the #dabwaha!  Go!  Vote!  Voting here… open 3.21.2013 at 12:00 pm – 11:59 pm CST.

Image from Dwayne Johnson’s Instagram account. 

 

My bribe… or the first part #dabwaha

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If you’ve read NIGHT BLADE already, you can read this now. If you haven’t, read it, then read the bribe.  Trust me, you don’t wanna read it unless you’ve read the book cuz you’ll be confused.  Maybe mad at me.  It makes sense if you’ve read the book.

Really.

So…the bribe…I’ve had the Damon POV for a while, and if I get into the DABWAHA with BLADE SONG, I’ll expand it.  If I do well, I might even write more.

J.C. site

Look for the link that reads DAMON.

Go read it.  Then… if you want it longer… :)  Vote for BLADE SONG please… it’s here.  And you only have a day left.  It’s for the PNR/SF category and the ISBN is 9781617507779.  The author name is J.C. Daniels pen name.  :)

Character worksheets

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I’m working on Veil # 3.   A few days ago, on twitter, I mentioned I’d forgotten what color eyes Morne (the hero of book 3) had.  Then I mentioned something about checking my character worksheet.

Which immediately led to…character worksheets?  A dozen variations of…what’s that, where did you find one, etc, etc, etc

I use a couple of different things and you can make up whatever will suit you.

If you need want something really comprehensive that will hit character details, background and all the way through cover art ideas, plotting, etc, try Lynn Viehl’s The Novel Notebook.

If you’ve never checked out her writing tools, you should…she offers some helpful stuff-even the disorganized mess that I am finds helpful stuff there.  *she’s scary organized*

If you don’t want anything that comprehensive, just make up your own, what you need to hit and then save the file, print it out and fill it in as you need it.

Something like:

Book:

Series:

Character:

Sex:

Race:

Eye color:

Hair color/style/length:

Job:

Special skills/abilities:

Marriages?

Children?

Siblings:

Notes regarding character/story:

If I did one like this for Morne, it would be…WARNING, IF YOU HAVEN’T READ BOOK 1 & 2, THROUGH THE VEIL and VEIL OF SHADOWS, SOME SPOILERS AHEAD

Book: Veil #3

Series: Veil

Character: Morne Ramire

Sex: Male

Race: Anqarian Warlord *informal-never fully achieved rank*

Eye color: midnight blue

Hair color/style/length: shoulder length, platinum blond

Job: lieutenant in rebel army, healer

Special skills/abilities: healer, skilled soldier, stronger & faster than the humans of Ishtan

Marriages? N/A

Children? N/A

Siblings: one brother, lost in the end of book 1

Notes regarding character/story:

not sharing these because that’s TELLING!  ;)

Harder on Heroines

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Be warned…today’s post might irritate some people.  Sorry, not my intention-just need to get this off my chest.

Something that has always amused me in Romanceland about reviews, discussions on heroines & heroes, etc…some people are always harder on the heroine. Please note… I said some.  And this isn’t about getting negative reviews.  It happens even in good reviews.  And it’s not always in reviews, sometimes it’s just discussions.

FYI…  I’m going to do very MINOR spoilers-although probably not really, since it’s all mentioned in the blurb.

A case in point… some people have mentioned Sarel from my Hunters books…and this is to me, so I feel it’s fair to use this as an example.  She’s the heroine in book 2, HUNTERS ELI & SAREL.  They loved Eli.  He was awesome.  He was wonderful.  His heroine?  They hated her.  She’s a bitch.  She’s spoiled.  She didn’t deserve him.  Why do they feel this way?  Well… the blurb reads:

After three long centuries of aching loneliness, Elijah Crawford, Hunter of the Council, has finally found a woman. Maybe she can replace the obsession he has for Torrance Reilly, the wife and lover of his best friend.

Sarel is a lean, red-haired, wild-eyed witch with a soul to match his. She has a thirst for justice, and a yearning for a love to fill the void inside her. Sarel has been searching for Elijah. She is here now, prowling his grounds, waiting to get into his house.

Sarel has come to kill him.

She’s there to kill him.  Why does she want to kill him?  When she was just out of her teens, I think 19 or 20, she returns home after being gone quite a while and finds her sister just gone.  The house is a bloody-and I mean literally-wreck.  She thinks her sister is dead.  And she’s a witch, self-trained.  She doesn’t know entirely about vamps,weres, etc.  But she knows Eli had been there, she knows her sister is gone-assumes she’s dead.  In her mind, she sees Eli as her sister’s killer and she wants vengeance. Now once she realizes how wrong she’d been? She’s willing to make amends, even willing to die for it, even though she’s not happy over it.

Had this been a guy?  Sorry, I can’t help but think everybody would have been just peachy keen with the scenario, because some people are just harder on the heroines. Now…that heroine could go through hell and back and try to be strong as Job, overcome more hell than I’d ever want to consider…but if that heroine does anything so human as make a mistake? She gets slaughtered.

The hero? Oh, he’s fine. There are definitely some who will flay a book over a hero being an ass, and that’s perfectly understandable. And don’t get me wrong-if a person doesn’t like the heroine, that’s fine.

It just always amuses me that the hero can screw up, make mistakes and still come out smelling like roses. But the heroines? If they don’t do everything perfect? They judged so much harsher. They are bitches, they are petty, they are shallow, they are immature…ironically, that’s kind of the way some women are about other women. Some judge so much more harshly. We can’t screw up, we can’t make mistakes–we aren’t allowed to be human.

That’s kind of sad, when you think about it. Not sure why it amuses me so much in romanceland, but it does.  Maybe it’s because I still so often see the arguments where we get pissed off when we don’t get treated equal, or when we get pissed that people mock or deride the genre or give it a fair chance.   I just see some serious irony going on, I think.  And irony very often amuses me.

The last and final (sob) Stardoc…

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Sniffle.

Okay… I had a pointed reminder that some people were wanting to hear from me on the last and finalllllll *sob…sniffle… noooooo* Stardoc book.

Dream Called Time.

What can I say about this book?  Other than wailing over the fact that it ended…well, I guess I can say that I think SL Viehl ended it beautifully. Now, bear in mind, she took some serious fricking risks here. But oh…how she ended the series?  It left me with a smile.  It left me happy.  It left me thinking that this was a fitting end to this series… these characters that I loved so much, Duncan, Marel & Cherijo, who had been through so much would have exactly what they needed to be happy…each other.

Am I happy with it?

Oh. Hell. Yes.

Tortured heroines…

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I had a fantastic review over at Kate G’s blog the other day…a guest reviewer, Stacy, had reviewed Hunter’s Need and loved it.   Her review, like this part:

So is up to Duke to teach this tortured heroine that it’s okay to love. Him. “If you can look at my scars without flinching, I can do the same to you” he says to her the morning after an extended lovemaking session. “If you can touch mine and still want me, I can touch yours . . . and still want you.”

This slow, difficult path to love dovetails with the investigation Duke has been sent to help her with. And this is why I love this book, and Shiloh Walker’s writing so much. The mix of the paranormal and the suspense, of romance and eroticism; all of these fuel the other in a beautiful dance that doesn’t let up until the end.

Just thrilled the hell out of me.

Ana’s character wasn’t typical.  I knew that going into the book.  I knew even before I wrote the book…geez, I think I knew that writing Hunting the Hunter, when Duke and Ana first appeared-that was when Duke more or less staked his claim-Ana was his doing, not mine-a lot of the time, I’m more like a narrator for the stories and he knew who he wanted.  Besides, Ana, while her character isn’t typical, she is real.

She’s one of those people that some of us who have screwed up in life can probably relate to-now not many of us, hopefully none of us, have ever turned over a man to be tortured, and yes, she did.  But she also knew he wouldn’t die-she did it to catch the attention of the one group of people she knew would save the life of her young brother.  She was barely more than a kid herself at the time, and the actions she made, she did with her eyes wide open, fully willing to accept the consequences-if they would just save her brother.  Considering those consequences could have easily been death?  She’d spent years under the control of a psychotic, one who had kidnapped her and her brother just to exploit their gifts, and despite that, she hadn’t broken.  She’d done things that left her shamed, but she never broke.

Fast-forward a few years later-her and her brother are with the Hunters, both are getting trained.  Ana has her gift under control so nobody can use her like that again.  But underneath, she knows it’s not enough.  She screwed up, and she screwed up royally and she’s still paying-worse, her brother is paying the price, too.  She’s fine with suffering the disgust she catches from those around her, but she can’t let her brother suffer. She can leave.  Her brother, though, he can’t.  He’s still too young and his gift is too powerful-they are still working with him.  So she does the one thing she never wanted to do.  She walks away from him.

All the bad choices she’d made in her life were centered around trying to care for him.  Does that excuse them?  Nah.  But as I got to know her?  I could certainly understand.

Was she the strong, ultra-pure heroine I know some readers wanted to Duke? Nope.  I knew that going in-I’d heard from a number of people before I’d even written the book that they really hoped I didn’t put them together.  But I didn’t have much choice.  Not if Duke was going to get a book.  She was who he wanted, and if I was going to give him the best book I could, I had to give him who he wanted, who he needed.  So I could either not write the book…or I could write the book with the knowledge that Ana would be a heroine who wouldn’t work for everybody.

I chose to write to write the book.  She’d made mistakes, but we all make them.  She wasn’t as strong as some other heroines in books, but she was trying to find her strengths.  She wasn’t perfect, but I don’t really want to write perfect people.  Perfect people are people I couldn’t relate to…at all.

Partly inspired by…

Did you read The Missing?

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The Missing

The Missing

It’s the paranormal romance I did a year or so ago about a psychic.

If you did…got a question.  There was a character–Taylor Jones–he worked as Taige’s kind-of boss.

Remember him?  Just out of sheer curiosity, what do you think of him as a character in his own book?  I’ve had a couple of people ask and my original thoughts were along the lines of, ‘Are you nuts?  He’s an asshole.’  (and he is-they agreed).  But they wanna know why, what made him that way…etc, etc.

What about you? What are your thoughts, and you are at all curious about his story?  Uh…assuming he even has one…

Perfect people

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I got a headsup from Michelle over the Barnes & Noble boards that she’d blogged about Devon from FRAGILE.

She was discussing the subject of addicts and addictions in romance.  For those that don’t know, the heroine in FRAGILE is a recovering addict-she was abused as a child and ended up hooked on drugs at 13.  Devon certainly had baggage to deal with.  She lives with the addiction, she lives with the memories of her childhood.

Looking back, I see it’s a pretty weighty topic.

But the post at BN.com got me to thinking-I like writing scarred people.

I don’t want perfect characters.  Reading them tends to bore the hell out of me.  That’s not going to appeal to everybody, though.   Just like I don’t want to read westerns, self-help books or anything even remotely political, some readers aren’t going to want to read about scarred and/or broken people.

Pretty packages

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So at my signing on Saturday, I was talking with this guy.  He’s not exactly a romance reader, although I think he was intrigued with CHAINS. Had a very cool accent, too.

We got to talking about books.  He’d read the back of HUNTER’S EDGE-loved the warning.  The warnings from Samhain tend to amuse a lot of people.  This one reads:

Warning: Some violence. Some sex. Some bloody violence. Even a little bit of bloody sex. Not all of the sex is between the hero and the heroine, even though every time that happens, the hero closes his eyes and thinks of England Angel. Not exactly a traditional romance, but I promise it does end HEA.

It amused him.  He asked about how I write vampires and made mention of a book he’d read.  It had vamps.  He hated it.  But it wasn’t the vampire aspect.  It was the characters.

I love her.  She’s so wonderful.

I love him.  He’s so wonderful.

They just luvs each other soooooo much, but nobody ever hears why.  Are the characters just in love with a pretty package?

I think it’s something we, as readers, do see in romance sometime.  I’m probably guilty of it at times, although I do try to make my characters more than just a pretty package. I try to make them real.  Give them strengths and weaknesses.  It’s one of the ways to portray a character as real…even the vamps, weres, witches, whatevers.  There has to be something real to them, something we can connect with.

Duke, the hero in HUNTER’S NEED is afraid of flying.

Duke didn’t like flying.

He hated it.

The first class seat with its wider width, abundant leg room, friendly staff and the discerning menu wasn’t going to do a damn thing to change the fact that he hated flying.  Fuck, he was already on edge because of Ana.  Getting on a plane was the last thing he needed.

“Drink?”

He tore his gaze away from the seat in front of him and focused on the flight attendant.  She gave him a friendly smile, flirtatious and inviting .  He glanced at the cart in front of her, and decided, no.  Getting on a plane wasn’t the last thing he needed.

Getting on a plane and getting drunk was the last thing he needed.

Despite knowing it wasn’t the wisest course of action, he debated on whether or not to get some whiskey.  The burn of it might ease some of the tension inside him.

It wouldn’t last, though.  Shifters just burned through it too quick.  Although he could spend the next eight hours getting drunk on the Council’s tab, anything that was going to screw with his control was something he had to avoid.

He shook his head and focused once more on the back of the seat in front of him.  Arms crossed over his chest, legs stretched out in front of him, he stared straight ahead.  Straight ahead, because he didn’t want to risk catching sight of one of the windows.  Damned planes.  Too confining, too noisy—too fucking high in the air.

“I don’t much like flying either.”

Duke didn’t bother glancing at the woman sitting next to him.  If he did that, he might see the window.  See out of it.  See the ground way too far below.

Not one to take a hint, the woman leaned in, pressing her breasts against his bicep as she laid a hand on his arm.  From the corner of his eye, he could see her face and the mask of concern, but he could also smell her—smell her interest, not specifically in him, though.  Just a fling.

“The trick is to find something else to think about,” she said.  “So you don’t worry.  There’s nothing really to worry about, you know.  Air travel is so much safer than car travel.”

Safer…yeah, as long as they stayed in the air.  He could survive a car wreck, but even a shifter wasn’t going to be able to make it if the plane suddenly went crashing down to earth.  It didn’t really matter in his mind that it wasn’t a likely possibility.  Didn’t matter that he’d flown hundreds of times and landed safely each time. He’d used to hope that serving in the army might help his problem with flying, but it hadn’t.  The only thing frequent flying had done was just make damn sure he had to come face to face with his fear on a regular basis.

The heroine, Ana,isn’t a fighter.  She’s not an ass-kicker, she’s not a Hunter…she works as an office assistant.  She’s psychic but her strongest ability is one that tends to have a bad effect on Hunters.  Basically, she casts a null area around-blunts out the instincts of paranormal creatures, hides their presences from each other.  Since the Hunters rely on their instincts to track down the bad guys, this makes trouble for them.  She’s also unsure of herself, she worries a lot, she hates confrontation-and of course, Duke is all about confrontation.  ;)

With these two, it was easy to build some depth to their characters, just because there was already so much to work with.  It’s not so easy with others.  But it’s something I need to make sure I continue to work on.  As a reader, there’s nothing that bores me more than reading a book where either or both of the characters are just pretty packages.  There has to be more to them, a lot more.  Otherwise I don’t want to read it.  I don’t want to write a book that has a reader tossing it aside for that very reason.