Monday, May 21, 2012

Victoria's Blogging on Diamond Celebration JubileeHOP


Queen Victoria
Welcome - I'm Victoria Elizabeth Adams and welcome to my blog - Victoria's Pages of Romance.

With a first name like Victoria – 










Queen Elizabeth I
 And a second name like – Elizabeth – 

Queen Elizabeth II












And being of British heritage on Mother's side – 






And being Canadian.

It's an easy jump for me to be on the Jubilee Blog Hop. I'm a monarchist. Which means I like and accept our monarchy – which means the Queen as the head of our country. We are an independent country. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II does not govern us. We have an elected parliament. Our current lead is Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Generally people love to "celebrity watch".  Just try to count the number of paparazzi that exist on this planet and look at the number of celebrities - actors, singers, rich, famous, athlete and royal. What more of a celebrity is a woman who has sat on the throne of England for sixty years? That's dedication. Sixty-five, in Canada, is the retirement age. Or fifty-five, if you work at a company that has a 55 and out plan. Queen Elizabeth is 86!

Her Majesty doesn't get to retire. She is the Queen and she accepted that duty at a young age and has fulfilled her job description with grace and poise. How did she become Queen? The king died. Her father died and at that moment, the mantle of the monarchy passed to her. What a moment to have to live through. The trauma of your father's death and the numbing realization that you are now the Queen.

Queen Elizabeth's Crown

 She is the 32nd great-granddaughter of King Alfred the Great who was pretty much the first King of England. He lived in 871 to 899.

 In December 2007, Queen Elizabeth became the oldest reigning British monarch. She passed her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, who was 81 when she died. 

In May 2011, Queen Elizabeth became the 2nd longest reigning monarch in over 1,200 years of British History. She will have to reign until Sept 2015 when she'll be 89 to reign longer than Queen Victoria who reigned for 63 years 1837-1901. 

To celebrate the Jubilee, throughout the 10 days of this blog hop, I will randomly pick commenters and send them an ecopy of my contemporary romance – Circles Interlocked. To win – leave your email address and tell me – if you were Queen for a day – what would you do?

CIRCLES INTERLOCKED available at  Amazon KDP - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005S8LI46

Having been betrayed by the man she assumed she was destined to be with forever; Julie Anderson slapped Robert Holiday in an angry ending to their brief love affair. Heartbroken that her love affair didn't end with the fairy tale Happily Ever After, Julie leaves town to pursue her dream of being a dancer. As fate has a curious sense of humor, eight years later, they wake up in bed together. Now it is up to love to fix what time cannot mend.

Excerpt---
Five years - Julie hadn't seen or thought about him in all that time, and now in the middle of nowhere, he stood on the beach drying off from a swim. Droplets flew as Robert shook his hair. His black mane was shorter than the last time she saw him. The wet ends dripped water on his bare, muscular shoulders. Tricia, an old high school friend once said he had the body of a male stripper - time hadn't changed that.
She stepped back onto the beach path, transfixed by the sight of the one person she hated. Her repulsion and loathing of him ran so deep; she'd repressed all memories of him. She thought he'd loved her, and had taken a chance, opening up her heart and body to him. But, instead of returning her love, he proved himself worthy of the gutter from which he'd crawled.
Her body said run, but her feet refused to move as she watched a long-legged, svelte, golden blonde rise from the beach chair. She trickled her fingers down his rippled stomach. His voice floated across the sand. It was a calming sound, which had brought a smile to her face when he whispered words of love and passion in her ear.
Details she thought she'd long forgotten surged forward. She remembered the way his dark eyes smoldered with anger and his sly, innocent grin. His joyous laughter had made her feel the abandonment of a child frolicking in the year's first snowfall. She stepped backward onto the path, distancing herself from the lovers as the blonde undid the strings on her bathing suit top, and let it fall to the sand.

Here's the links to the rest of the Diamond Jubliee Celebration hoppers -






Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Gift for Mother's Day

Mom's gotta love them.

 At some point in our lives we all had one.

 







 Sometimes we drove them crazy



And sometimes they drove us crazy














 What can you do for mom? Give her a break from her life. Let her slip into the fantasy of someone else's world. Circles Interlocked is free May 12 and 13 for Mother's Day.


Once lovers, a ballerina and a former gang member reconnect but must still face the lie that broke them apart.

 Julie Anderson - a ballerina facing then end of her career and a love life that's colder than ice.















 Robert Holiday - a former gang member now successful ranch owner. Lives his life with a broken heart.














They meet and fall in love and into bed.
His final letter to her.

 Hi,
If you're reading this then something went wrong and I guess I'm dead. Sorry. But that's only one more screw up to add to my list. I've messed things up a lot in this relationship. Why do people who should never be together fall in love?
I should've never met you and I certainly shouldn't have fallen in love with you, but I did. I never stopped loving you once in the years we were apart. Telling you this now seems a little stupid, I guess I should've done it before I let you go back to Langston.
A long time ago - in high school - we had to write an assignment for our last English essay. You and I had broken up and everyone was mad at me for being such a bastard. For my essay, I handed in a poem. Ya me, I wrote a poem. Mrs. Wolmsely liked it - hell, she gave me an "A".
She wanted to read it in class. She was hoping you'd forgive me. Which is exactly what I didn't want. I wanted you to go dance. I wanted you to live out your dream. I'm sorry I screwed up on that. Anyway, this is my poem. I've revised it a bit. It was only two verses long then. I wanted to call it LOVE SUCKS, but I didn't think Mrs. Wolmsely would like that.
She possessed my being -
Gave me a future -
A life.
Our souls intertwined -
Fantasies fulfilled

But
Reality intruded.
One's dream realized
One's destroyed.
A heart broken
The pain -
Where a heart should be
A void existed.
The expanse of days
Became years.
A dream withered.

By chance -
Two faces meet
And smile
Lips touch
Love strikes once more.

My being possessed -
Desires fulfilled -
A dream revived.
A future
With Love!

I don't know why I told you all this. All I wanted to do is tell you I love you, but it seemed cold and impersonal on paper. Please don't grieve for me. Remember our good times together. Forget the bad stuff. Have a happy life, full of love and joy.
With Love,
R

 Is this love affair never meant to be?


Free read of chapter 1 on the tab at the top of the page. And free download at



Happy Mother's Day. 




Thursday, May 10, 2012

Developing Intimacy In Romance Novels p.3


For the past two weeks, I've discussed behavioural scientist Desmond Morris’ proposed steps to intimacy. There are 12, and I finished at #9. This week we conclude our 3 parts series with steps 10 through 12.

Quick review
1. Eye to body – This is the moment of discovery where one of the couple first sees the other.
2. Eye to eye – Eye contact is a very strong bond in humans.
3. Voice to voice – When speaking to the other, both must be in close proximity and this hints at intimacy.
4. Hand to hand/ arm – Allowing someone to touch us is showing acceptance and trust.
5. Arm to shoulder—Each person has to be inside the other’s personal body space.
6. Arm to waist— Very intimate step, which physically draws the couple closer.
7. Mouth to mouth- The first kiss is a major event in a romance.
8. Hand to head- A small gesture, but close to erotic.
9. Hand to body— This gesture is clearly raising the heat level. 

New Ground – Note - The next three levels are included in however much detail you as the writer are comfortable with and what your reader's comfort level is. If you feel awkward about writing a sex scene then build to it slowly. Study what others have written and ask your critique group for advice.

Note - As this is a work-safe site - not a lot of pictures this week.

10. Mouth to breast – This signifies trust and acceptance on the part of the female to allow the male to reach this point of intimacy. Breaking the characters apart at this time may frustrate your readers (and characters!) If there is a need to add that kind of conflict, prepare the reader ahead of time. Have the female still feel unsure about the relationship.
If both partners are committed, delve into this moment and pause just before the actual touch. Have your reader holding her breath waiting.


11. Hand to genitals—Pretty much, if your characters have gotten to this point there is no turning back. The details of the scene can be explicit or low keyed but try and not fall into the trap of purple prose. A penis is a penis!

12. Genitals to genitals—This is the sex act. (I'm so tempted to write – Huston, we have lift off – but I won't).  It may happen behind a closed door or, if it is in an erotic romance fully, described on the page. The reader must feel that the characters are ready for this moment and they should be swept away with the passion.

Or--- it could be a complete disaster which would take the story in a whole new direction.

Personally – I feel there is a step 13 – After the act – the intimacy of the after cuddle or the coldness of the roll over and grab a cigarette will define the next stage of the couple's relationship.


If romance is in your story, follow these steps and the passions should flare between your couples (or trio's if it's a ménage). 




Blog – What's your favourite "sex" scene in a book or a movie? Mine is from a movie called Turning Point. When the 2 young dancers  make love the camera pulls away and focuses on her hands as they dance in the air.  I was younger when I saw it the first time. Thought the hand movements were pretty. Later, older and wiser, I giggled when I figured out what was happening and how naive I had been.  But now, when someone mentions love scenes in a movie, it's the scene I flash on.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mimi Barbour on Victoria's Pages of Romance


Title - Pay nothing for books from Amazon??



Does it work to put your book for free on Amazon? Is it a good idea to belong to a group when your book goes free?

This is what happened to me. In March I joined the Indie Book Collective Lucky Days Free Par-tay along with many other authors. One of the requirements to be involved in this promotion was that I had to put my book "My Cheeky Angel" into the Select program on Amazon. In this way I could manage my promotion for those exact days.

IBC is the brainchild of best-selling author Carolyn McCray.  She is brilliant at what she does…and that is to guide the group through all the steps we needed to take in order to have a successful par-tay. She explained these steps in a series of Webinars where she gave us advice on our categories and covers, how to set up our book descriptions on Amazon and the best way to present the inner workings of our book like reviews, advertising our other work, etc. both in the front matter and the back.

Before the par-tay in March started, My Cheeky Angel was ranking around #240,500. Once she explained how to set my categories properly, within a few days the book had dropped to #140,000. I was shocked, and right then I decided I had made a good choice to be involved with this group. As the days drew closer, her committee of hard-working, very dedicated people had all of us busy setting up cross-promotion for the others in the par-tay and social media blurbs for twitter and facebook, etc.

On the big day, we all came free, and the website she'd designed came live. I watched in amazement as the downloads for my book went crazy. It was fantastic. Then the ranking dropped and on my best day I hit #552 in the free books and was #1 in two different categories and #2 in another. I walked around in shock for days…nothing I could do for myself would have ever gotten me these numbers. And I knew it!

*Amazon does allow for the free downloads to affect the ranking once your book is off the free slot, but not on a one to one basis. It's changing all the time, and the last I'd heard (just a supposition mind you) that every 50 free downloads would be the same a one book sold.*

Once the Par-tay ended I waited with bated breath to see what would occur. And I'm happy to say that the book levelled off for quite some time at around the #5,000 mark and then sadly, it began to climb back up. The last I looked, it was approximately #53,000.

 But…I'm ecstatic to say that I'm now involved in the next par-tay which is happening in two days. Can't wait to see what ensues with my new release "His Devious Angel" which is the second in the Angels with Attitudes series. The first novella of my Vicarage Bench Series, "She's Me" will be available also.

 


I'll report back on what happens as far as the numbers go…but right now She's Me is ranking at #117,244 and Devious Angel is sitting at #82,810. If you're interested to track it with me, you can watch each day of the par-tay and see for yourself what a difference it'll make.




p.s. Crossed fingers, good wishes and prayers are all gladly accepted!
Better yet…download the book!
Xo Mimi





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Welcome to Spring Fling Free Par-Tay,
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Go to our website to see all the great books and sign up to win a FREE Kindle!




Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ideas for Developing Intimacy in a Romance Novel Relationship part 2


Ideas for Developing Intimacy in a Romance Novel Relationship part 2
Last week I discussed behavioural scientist Desmond Morris’ proposed steps to intimacy. There are 12 but I only ran through the first 4. This week, we are moving along – steps 5 through 9.

Reminder - The couple I am referring to, for simplicity’s sake, is a man and a woman.  This plays out with either half of the couple starting first. I started with the male.
Quick review

1. Eye to body – This is the moment of discovery where one of the couple first sees the other.
2. Eye to eye – Eye contact is a very strong bond in humans.
3. Voice to voice – When speaking to the other, both must be in close proximity and this hints at intimacy.
4. Hand to hand/ arm – Allowing someone to touch us is showing acceptance and trust.

New ground - 


5. Arm to shoulder— hand to hand while close isn’t as intimate as wrapping an arm around someone’s shoulder. Each person has to be inside the other’s personal body space.
Classic example – teenager in a movie theatre – yawns, stretches and his arm accidently falls on girl’s shoulder. The next moment is crucial. Does she pretend to ignore it and allow it to stay? Does she giggle and smile at him? Or does she slap it away and throw her popcorn in his face?
Freezing this moment and letting the boy sweat it out while the girl ponders can create a nice moment of tension.

6. Arm to waist— Very intimate step which physically draws the couple closer.
To be able to wrap an arm around someone’s waist, the two people must be physically very close. This in itself implies intimacy. Allowing someone into the “zone of personal space” is an important moment.
And why specifically arm to waist? Because quite often in this position the couple’s hips will bump or rub together. The hips are in the pelvic region and that’s where the “action” happens. So allowing this contact signals future intentions.
If the female is feeling overwhelmed, rushed or is plain angry with the male, a quick pull away will clearly signal her dissatisfaction.
If the female doesn’t pull away, there is an opening to move to step 7

7. Mouth to mouth- The first kiss is a major event in a romance.
In a YA, this may be the first kiss for both people. The tension of nerves and fumblings to “get it right” will predict the future success of the couple. To go to the opposite genre, in an erotic romance, the sexual tension created by this moment could rush the couple through to step 12 in a matter of paragraphs.


8. Hand to head- A small gesture.

This can be portrayed as a romantic tender action or a dominating action – where the man is attempting to claim her as his.
Switching to a movie for a moment. Think of your favourite romantic movie. The scene where he places his hand/hands on her face/head and pulls her closer. That is a tiny moment with big importance. I always get a shiver when it happens. I think it is the eroticism of that gesture.  So while it may seem like an insignificant thing – it is a vital step. Linger on it. Let the reader revel in the moment.
The female’s reaction is crucial. Does she pull back from his touch or nestle her cheek into his hand? Or does she respond by placing her hands on him, possibly running her fingers through his hair. That would intensify the heat of the moment to slightly short of scorching.


9. Hand to body— This gesture is the clearly raising the heat level.
Yes, we mentioned body parts – hand to shoulder, arm to waist, but this is a more intimate touch. Does he caress her arm? Run his fingers up the side of her thigh.
It is also a great place to let the tension be interrupted by an outside source. He gazes into the heroine’s eyes. He trickles his fingers up her thigh. He leans closer to kiss her trembling lips. And the phone rings. Her husband walks in. The aliens land.
As an author, you’ve built the tension then snapped it with a twist. This allows you to rebuild the tension and push the couple even closer. There could have been some hesitancy on the female’s part and pushing the ultimate moment further away will give her time to explore her feelings about the hero.
Next week, the final steps to creating intimacy in a romance novel.

Was there a shiver moment in a romantic movie where you secretly wished it was you on that screen about to be swept away with passion? For me, it is usually that scene where the hero and heroine are facing each other staring lovingly into each other’s eyes then he reaches out and places his hand on her cheek. I usually sigh into my popcorn.






Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Blog Look - No Cost Book


Happy dancing over the new look to my blog – so in celebration my latest – Circles Interlocked - is free today on KDP.

Once lovers, a ballerina and a former gang member reconnect but must still face the lie that broke them apart.

A free read is available on the tab above.


This is a wordle.  It is art made up of the words from the story.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ideas for Developing Intimacy in a Romance Novel Relationship part 1


A lot of you will sigh – not this topic again. But every so often writers need to be reminded of the basics. If you write romance in any genre then how to get your couples to fall in love is a pretty basic element.

Behavioural Scientist – Desmond Morris proposed these steps. In non-scientific language what he discovered was there are 12 steps/phases two people go through on the way to becoming a couple.

In this article I am going to run through stages 1 thru 3.  As a writer these are not hard and fast rules and some phases can pass quickly. How fast they “fall in love” or “fall into bed” then depends on the author.  Meeting in a bar on page 1 and having sex by page 3 can work, if the author generates enough heat in a short time between the characters. In other romances, it can take 15 to 20 chapters for the characters to get to the moment where one confesses their love for the other.

The first few phases are important. The two people (for simplicity’s sake, I will use a man and a woman) must become aware of each other.  This plays out with either half of the couple starting first. I started with the male.

1. Eye to body – 
This is the moment of discovery where one of the couple first sees the other.

A gentleman sits at a table glancing around a smoky crowded bar. A woman stops to chat with friends a few feet away. The man sees her. His gaze floats up and down her body. He’s looking for a potential mate/lover/one night stand. He’s checking to see if she fits his standards. 

 If she has a third leg growing out of her back and is covered in oozing sores, she’ll probably be eliminated as a candidate. If she passes inspection, he is ready to move on to phase two.

2. Eye to eye – 

Eye contact is a very strong bond in humans.

The man will try and make eye contact with his selected target. If he catches her eye - 1 of two things will happen – she will accept his look or reject it.

The woman sees the man is looking at her and she must, almost instantly, make the decision to accept his look or not.

A rejection on her part could be a roll of the eyes, toss of the head or turning her attention back to her friends. The male then has the option of giving up or reattempting contact.
An acceptance of his look can be brazen – a staring contest between the two or a shy peek, look away and peek again.

In our scenario, he catches her attention. She meets his eye contact and doesn’t look away. Success – the two people are aware of each other and have given the signal to move to the next step.

3. Voice to voice –
They need to get past a huge barrier here. Eye contact can be made across a football field. But to hear someone speak a person must be closer (using a bull horn doesn’t count!) and moving close starts to hint at intimacy.

He approaches and speaks – this moment is important – does he have the smoothest pick up line ever said or does he blow it with “What’s a nice girl like you….”

Her reaction again can be accept or reject.  If she rejects, he starts back at number 1. If she accepts and responds to his greeting then usually there is an introduction. The simple act of greeting and saying the other character’s name is very intimate. Our name defines us and allowing someone to use greet us by our name forms a subtle bond.

This is a prime opportunity to let the character’s personality shine through – good or bad. While the characters are “testing the waters”, the reader can discover personality quirks.

4. Hand to hand/ arm – 
Allowing someone to touch us is showing acceptance and trust.


This first touch can easily be hurried by having one of the partners trip into the other or be pushed etc.  If the male is pushed forward and falls towards the female, she can catch him and help him stand. But if she rejects the contact, she can shove him away from her.  Or let him hit the floor.

If she or he is allowed to rest a hand on the other’s arm, it displays to onlookers that these 2 people are becoming a couple. They are starting to mark their territory.

Each step does not have to be marked out nor take a chapter to evolve. A man and woman at a party. A third person introduces them. In a moment they go from eye to body, eye to eye, hand to hand and voice to voice.  They stand facing each other as they are introduced. This is eye to body and eye to eye. They shake hands (hand to hand) possibly lingering at this moment while they greet and say each other’s name (voice to voice). Boom – in 90 seconds they are through 4 steps.

Tiny moments in a story that can help drive the romance forward.  Next week, I’ll discuss the next steps in building intimacy in your romance novel.

 Is there a first meeting moment in your life that’s not too embarrassing to share?
I really didn’t get a chance to go through steps 1 to 4 with my husband. We met in a judo class. It was during warm ups. A person went around the group and “threw” each person based on the command from the teacher.  Simple put downs for newbies. Future husband walked up, grabbed my shirt and I hit the mat. And to this day when people ask how we met I say – are you ready for it – you know it’s coming – I fell for him.