Sunday, January 30, 2011

L. K. BELOW - Want to read a free story?

Who can resist a FREE story? Well I'm hoping you can't, because the one I have in store for you is unlike anything I've ever written. In fact, I'm hoping it's entirely unique (but there are a lot of things out there, so who am I to say?). I'm talking about the story I'm offering, His Smoldering Eyes.

When I sat down to write this story, I wanted to write something that I, personally, have never seen done before. That's right, I wrote an erotic romance in verse. Why? Because I can. I don't know about you, but while I've seen an awful lot of mainstream and young adult novels in verse, I have yet to see an erotic romance written this way. If you're looking for something new and fresh, read or download His Smoldering Eyes for free here.

What's the story about? When Michelle meets Rick's smoldering eyes from across the room, she can't resist him.

Now, if you do decide to read it, I'd like to know: Did you like it? Is this format a dying art or would you like to see other stories in this style -- maybe in another subgenre, like historical or paranormal? Talk to me! Let me know what you think, good or bad. You can reach me through email at lbelow(at) Most of all, happy reading!

L. K. Below likes to think of herself as a jack-of-all-trades. Along with poetry, romance of all subgenres, and speculative fiction, she also writes young adult (under her full name, Lindsay Below). Visit her online at

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

GINA GORDON: Finding Time to Write

As a writer with a full-time day job, finding the time to do what I love most can sometimes be difficult.

Under normal circumstances, it isn’t a problem. I have zero children to be responsible for and I'm pretty lucky in the husband department. His obsession with watching sports has finally come in handy. The more sports he watches, the more time I have to write!

But when there is a lull in the sporting world or when life’s everyday obligations get a little hectic, I have to get creative.

Ever try editing a manuscript while preparing dinner? I have. It’s not easy, but depending on the type of meal being made, it can be done.

Instead of catching up on sleep, I write during my very long commute to and from work. It’s damn hard to ignore the gentle hum of the bus that tempts me into falling asleep but I have super-secret herbal help that does the trick.

Recently, I've discovered my secret writing weapon--being out in public. I don't have an office or a room I can call my very own so removing myself from the everyday dullness of my home has worked wonders for increasing my productivity. I have become a regular at the café in town. A few cappuccinos and something sweet later, and the satisfaction of accomplishing my writing goal is the best feeling in the world.

I'm sure I'm not the only writer who squeezes in writing time whenever they can and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels guilty when not spewing words onto a page. In my own little world writing is my life but in reality, that just isn't the case. I often forget that I am a living, breathing being with family and friends and responsibilities that exist away from my laptop. I have to learn to remember that more often and more importantly, I must learn to get over the guilt I feel when I’m not writing.

But something in the back of my mind pushes me to focus on my dream no matter the cost as if trying to make up for the time I spent running away from it instead of toward it.

Making the most out every free minute in a day can make a difference. Any other writers out there? How do you make the most of your writing time?

Gina Gordon is an erotica and romance writer living in Ontario, Canada. Her newest release, The Only Exception, is now available from Breathless Press. To learn more about Gina, visit her website at

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Questions for Clara

As promised, I will be posting three separate short stories for you to read in the next two weeks. But in the meantime, I thought I'd answer a few of the questions I often ask my guests on this blog.

Why do you choose to write about demons?

Demons, I find to be fascinating subjects. As I've mentioned before, they provide the perfect opportunity to reform the main character. Often demons have the biggest sense of personal growth, the biggest shock when their demeanor changes and they fall in love. Not to mention they're damn sexy! Who doesn't love a primal alpha male? I know I do!

How long did it take to do the research for these pieces?

For the stories soon to be shown on this blog, the research for each took about a month, give or take. It went through phases. First, I had to research lore about the specific demon I wanted to showcase. Then I had to decide which parts to build in and which to leave out -- hence how I created my own world for each of these three series. But now that I have the notes, the research for the next works should go a lot smoother.

Why did you choose paranormal romance?

I think, rather, that the genre chose me. I've always been fascinated by worlds just a little different than our own, worlds with a supernatural twist. These were the types of worlds I wrote as a child and young teen. Once I discovered erotic romance, my works took a more...wicked twist. In the future, I'd like to explore sci-fi and fantasy romance, but in the meantime, paranormal has me enthralled with the possibilities.

What is the best (and worst) part of the writing process?

Well, seeing as (at this point), I'm unpublished, that would be all the rejections. They can be very disheartening at times, but I've got friends who continue to encourage me to revise and submit elsewhere, sure that I'll hit it big any time now. They're probably the best part of writing, aside from losing myself in a new story as I write it out. Although the waiting can be pretty nerve-wracking. And I despise editing my work (although it is a necessary evil). Why did I choose to pursue this again? But I suppose, like many, for me writing is a disease. I have to get it onto paper and my friends will continue to encourage me to share it with the world. You can make your own judgement as to my skill when I post my stories in the upcoming weeks.

How long does it typically take you to finish a story?

Forever. Honestly. I write the first draft. Then I fix the plot holes in the first draft. Then I more or less scrap every single sentence and rewrite it to make it perfect and sparkling. It's a time-consuming, agonizing process, but ultimately, I think it's worth it.

Do you have any favorites out of the characters you've written?

I do. When I'm writing a new story, my favorites tend to be whoever features in that story. But that being said, I love Lucky, from my Shadowman series. I love Aglaeca and Kirin from my Legion series, although they are complete polar opposites. Kirin is brusque, whereas Aglaeca is rather gentle. And my favorite heroine is Anna, from my Haven series. She's kickass and awesome. In my opinion, at least. But each of my characters has a special place in my heart.

Which writers inspired/influenced your work?

Sherrilyn Kenyon has probably been my biggest influence. My first introduction to romance was through her Dark Hunter series. Through reading her books, I decided to switch to paranormal romance instead of fantasy.

Was there ever a point in your career where you said, "Yeah, I can do this!"?

I'm not so sure that point's come to pass yet. I mean, I have embarked on this crazy journey of writing and submitting, but it hasn't become quite real to me yet. My first acceptance—seeing my first cover—that will make it real. Right now? I certainly don't foresee giving up any time soon, but there's a part of me that still feels like I'm in a dream. Nonetheless, I hope to get that "Yeah!" moment soon!

Was there ever a point in your career where you almost gave up writing?

Writing? Never. But for years, I hid my novels away in a drawer after writing them, letting only a few privileged friends ever read them. Thanks to their encouragement, I'm now starting about the task of sharing my work with the world. But even if that never happens, I don't think I'll give up writing. I love it too much. Like I said, it's a disease.

How do you come up with your stories?

For me, there's always a "What if" moment. It can come from something everyday, from something I'm reading or watching on TV, or even something I'm researching. But from that what-if, I build a world, and from there, I eventually build a story. I have written the first drafts of quite a few novels, and revised even less of those. But that's where you come in. After I post a short taste of each of these worlds, I want your vote! Which would you like to read? That's how I'm going to focus on future stories.

What do you do to overcome writer's block?

I set it aside and come back to it when the magic returns. If I'm editing or revising, I take a week off. Eventually (because writing is a disease), it comes back to me and I can finish the story.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Angels and Demons, Part 7: Lucifer

The biggest bad of them all is Lucifer. Ahriman, in Zoroastrianism.  Called other things in other religions. He is the baddest of the bad, the head honcho, the Devil himself. 

But what if you want to use him in a novel?

It's more or less a given that the big bad is BAD. Can he be reformed? I encourage you to try, but while his underlings can be, I personally wouldn't mess with his malicious nature. I don't think I've ever read a romance where Lucifer was the hero. The bad guy? Certainly. Maybe one of his underlings or even his son or daughter was reformed. But not him.

Why is he untouchable? Because there always needs to be a big bad in Hell. If not, the whole order of nature disintegrates. How are you supposed to measure evil when the stick you normally measure it against has suddenly become softhearted? While I have seen him front and centre in some books -- in Christine Warren's short story,  Devil's Bargain, for instance -- his starring role has been limited to antagonist or overlord, never good guy. 


-Lucifer: The Wikipedia page

-The  Fallen archangel: Lucifer

Now that I've come to the conclusion of my Angels and Demons miniseries, I'm going to talk to you about my own writing! Check back in the next couple weeks to read three free reads and choose which series you'd most enjoy reading! 


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Angels and Demons, Part 6: The Key of Solomon

One resource that explains a good chunk of demon lore is the Key of SolomonGoetia, also known as the Lesser Key of Solomon, fully explains how to conjure and contain a demon. 

These texts state that each demon (and there are a host of names and their abilities available) is responsible for his own abilities. No two demons are alike. And in order to summon one, you need to be able to recite the proper incantations. 

Here is the diagram which needs to be drawn. The summoner stands in the centre of the circle, whereas the demon will appear in the triangle -- and will be unable to leave said triangle without the bidding of the summoner. 

To call the demon forth, the summoner uses a chant (I've been told to recite it in Latin, not in English as the translation here states it) and after a complex series of speeches to welcome the demon and request its aid, all found at the site, the summoner then recites another chant to dispel the demon back to its plane of existence. 

Whether or not you decide to base your demon lore on Solomon (as opposed to another religion or one of your own creation), it is an interesting read. 


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Angels and Demons, Part 5: Demon Lore

Same as almost every religion has angel lore, so too do they have demon lore. Demons are the embodiment of sin and evil, something to be feared and avoided. Christianity/Judaism has Lucifer's minions, Zoroastrianism has Ahriman's demons -- even Hindu has the Asuras, the demons who continually try to wrest the booze of immortality from the gods. 

Demons symbolize the ever-present something that needs to be fought against, but they also are the perfect "tortured soul" archetypes. If your hero or heroine needs a challenge, converting a demon to the side of good might just be the things. I know demons have featured in more than one of my works in progress. 


-The Wikipedia page

-List of demons (wikipedia)

-Deliriums Realm - a must-see when researching demons

-Demons in Pop. Culture

-Mythical Creatures Guide - demons

-Myth Encyclopedia - demons

Paranormal romances featuring demons include:

Kresley Cole

Dark Desires After Dusk

Kiss of a Demon King

Demon From the Dark

Christine Warren 

The Demon You Know

What are some of your favorite paranormal romances featuring demons?