#TacoTuesday

Onions.jpg

Image source: redwhiteandblueberries.com

By now most of you know this has nothing to do with food and everything to do with your WIPs or published books! If not, then check out the original post HERE for the purpose. No time like the present to join in – just leave a pingback in the comments below so we can check out your post!

Now for the fun parts…

Writer’s Menu

Onions: Not everyone cries when they cut onions: share an outside-influence type circumstance/object that caused a character to tear up – or – notably didn’t, when they should have.

The moment they stopped moving and the shadows spat them out into an unlit room, Zoe went back to struggling and cursing her abductor. Beyond his enticing scent and the warmth of his unyielding body was the fragrance of a floral sweetened breeze and the kind of heavy, humid heat that immediately brought the deep south to mind. Where they were and why it was dark, Zoe had no clue. She could see through large, mostly undressed windows that it was a moonless night, yet it had just been morning in New York a second ago.

“I’m sorry it had to be this way, little doe,” Hex said at last. “If you’d quiet down, I could explain–”

Fuming one last time, Zoe stopped fighting and screaming. She didn’t need him to explain what she already knew, but she wasn’t about to miss the chance to get free of his hold. After several moments, he slowly pulled his hand away from her mouth. She remained perfectly still, until he released her completely. The second he did, she whirled and doused him right in the eyes with the pepper spray.

He stood there with his lids closed and patiently waited for her to finish, when what he should have been doing, was screaming in searing, tearful agony while begging her for mercy!

Once the can was depleted, he lifted the hem of his t-shirt to wipe the chemical from his face. Zoe tried and failed to ignore the fact that he was finally solid. That the veil of shadows had retreated completely and despite the natural darkness, she was seeing him fully for the first time. Along with the delicious display of hard packed abs and mouthwatering chest he revealed by using his shirt like a towel.

Pepper spray dripped onto the bridge of his nose from his bangs, where the most inhumanly pale eyes of silver peeked out at her. Hex traced his finger over the droplet, then stuck it into his mouth and made a sour face.

“That’s disgusting,” he remarked. “What is its purpose?”

“AAAAAAAGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!” Zoe blew her cool, throwing the spent canister across the room.

~ #WIP Hexed (Hell on Earth, #4)

Reader’s Menu

Onions: Name a favorite book you read where a character was brought to tears by an outside influence (ex: poked in the eye, thick smoke, laughing too hard, etc.) -or- where a character was notably incapable of being brought to tears for any reason.

CoverBlackDogNightsThe first book that comes to mind is Black Dog Nights by Ren Monterrey (a pen name of Karen M. Bryson). This was the second story I’d read in her The Club series, the first being Sapphire Beautiful. “The Club” is an exclusive, highly secure and anonymous company that allows rich men to hire girlfriends, and they each have their personal reasons why they would even need this kind of service. The women are vetted carefully and usually have a desperate, last-resort purpose for even applying for this money-making opportunity. (This might go the other way, as well, but in the books I’ve read, it’s always been a rich man and poor woman).

As unrealistic as that sounds, Ren Monterrey never fails to make her male protagonists uniquely different from any other main male character out there on the market (mine, included! LOL). In Black Dog Nights, Jae Rothko is no exception–but it takes some reading to discover that. By all appearances, he’s just another cookie-cutter wealthy and successful man blessed with gorgeous looks and unparalleled skills in the bedroom that lean heavily toward dominant.

Then we learn that Jae’s issue is medical and incurable. That he’s incapable of expressing emotions of any kind. It’s not that he doesn’t feel them, he just lacks the chemical in his brain that triggers everyone else in the world to display their feelings. Which, tends to have all of his lovers accusing him of being an emotionally stunted Alpha-Hole who just wants to regard them as possessions without any heart. Awww…poor Jae. By the way, that wasn’t too much of a spoiler, so don’t let it stop you from reading, there’s plenty more to the story than that.

I haven’t read all of Ren’s books and while I tend to find some things to nit-pick in each of those I have, they’re all truly good, HEA erotica stories that are definitely worth reading just to get a break from the same ol’, same ol’ when it comes to male leads!

Next week’s ingredient is…Tomato!

Tomato for the Writer: Embarrassment and/or ridicule often play a part in our character’s journey. What was one of your main character’s inescapable, red-faced moments?

Tomato for the Reader: Share a book you’ve read where you were so embarrassed for the main character by something they themselves did or where they were ridiculed so badly, it left a lasting scar impression on you.

 

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#TacoTuesday

Taco Tuesday is back! I’ve missed the last couple of weeks, so for those just tuning in, this is a fun way to share your WIPs or published works on the Writer Menu -and/or- share your favorite books on the Readers Menu. Check out the original post HERE for the objectives. There’s absolutely no time limit for you to join in, just remember to leave a pingback to your post in the comments below, so I can check it out!

This week’s ingredient is…

Writer’s Menu

Lettuce: Share anytime money was used, stolen, given, exchanged or otherwise the main topic of conversation in a significant way.

“Lay on the bed exactly how I instructed last night,” he ordered.

Tessa turned her back to him and started crawling across the mattress, moving things out of her path along the way. Her hand landed on a computer printout that read Receipt of Purchase at the top. She was ready to dismiss it as belonging to the items Remy had just delivered, until she saw her own name. Pausing, she read the whole thing.

Master/Owner: Félix Debré
sub/slave: Tessa Fauns
Auction Price: $10,000 USD x 7 Days/Nights
Total Purchase: $70,000 USD – Paid in full.

It was dated and time stamped for that morning, which meant it had been one of the ‘important’ things he’d taken care of while allowing her to sleep in. Even if she’d been right in her assumptions, going back to the auction had never been an option. Her submission had already been purchased for the entire week.

“What is this?” she asked, turning and holding the paper up for him to see.

He studied her in silence, his expression guarded. “I thought we agreed last night that you weren’t going back to auction.”

“But seventy thousand dollars?” she jabbed the paper with her finger. “Scratch that, eighty thousand, because you already paid that ridiculous bid last night!”

“And if you went back, Tessa, it would be triple that, because I would never let anyone outbid me for you,” he countered with a ring of finality.

Oh, sweet mother of pearl. She’d really never had the option of not being his sub. That insight made her extremely grateful they’d cleared the air, but it still felt strange knowing her own price. Harder to accept he’d be willing to pay more. She wasn’t that fucking special. Not enough to warrant an eighty-grand price tag! That’s what her brain said, but it touched her in other ways she was completely defenseless against. Ways that, just like trying to anticipate his next move, were absolutely reckless.

Not knowing what else to say, she simply shook her head. “That’s just… that’s way too much money, Master.” She was incapable of expressing the depth of that fact.

He smirked in disagreement, plucking the paper from her hand.

“No, my little fox, it’s not,” he debated, mild amusement edged in warning. “Now, lay down and spread your legs, before I’m tempted to show my pet why it’s not in her best interest to question her Master’s spending habits.”

~ #WIP Scavenger (Dark Day Isle, #2)

Reader’s Menu

Lettuce: Share a favorite book/series where money played a significant role in dialogue, the story line, or was used as a thrilling plot twist. (The more unique the situation, the bigger the cool points).

I know I already used J.D. Robb a few weeks back, but since the genres are different between her pseudonyms, I think it’s only fair I get to use a Nora Roberts book this week! (My game, my rules. See how that works? 😀 )

CoverTheWinningHandThe Winning Hand, which was one of the late books introduced to Nora Roberts’s MacGregor series, was by far the absolute best rags-to-riches romance I’ve ever read  – Want to know why? Because, Darcy doesn’t become rich by marrying some billionaire, she simply has a stroke of good luck when she’s at rock bottom.

Stumbling into the Comanche casino in Vegas, after her car brakes down in the desert and no one will give her a lift, Darcy’s only worldly possessions are a handbag and three lousy bucks. She’s hungry, dehydrated and looks like she just climbed out of a dystopian bunker. Some kind of heat stroke dizziness is going on, but she’s dazzled by all the bright lights and noises of her very first casino, more so by doing the first outrageous thing in her entire meek existence, so plunks the last dollars to her name into the Comanche’s biggest jackpot slot machine – and wins!

To make this story even more awesome, Darcy then proves to everyone that she’s highly capable of taking that money and using it to fulfill her dreams without the help of her ex-douchebag boyfriend (who shows up to claim her, and “their” winnings after it hits the news) or even her new love interest, Robert “Mac” MacGregor Blade (the manager and heir of the Comanche casino). She’s a woman who knows exactly what she wants and how to wisely invest her winnings to make sure she gets and keeps it for the rest of her life.

That makes this book one of the most realistic rags-to-riches stories available, because let’s face it – the odds of winning big a the casino are higher than meeting and marrying a billionaire. Especially, a hot-as-hell, half-Comanche-half-Scottish casino running billionaire with a good heart and a lot of…um…stamina resources.

Next week’s ingredient is…Onions!

Onions for Writer’s Menu: Not everyone cries when they cut onions: share an outside-influence type circumstance/object that caused a character to tear up – or – notably didn’t, when they should have.

Onions for Reader’s Menu: Name a favorite book you read where a character was brought to tears by an outside influence (ex: poked in the eye, thick smoke, laughing too hard, etc.) -or- where a character was notably incapable of being brought to tears for any reason.

#TacoTuesday

And we’re back for week 4 of building our book tacos. Check out the original post HERE for what this is all about and how you can join in. Remember, it’s never too late, just leave a pingback in the comments so I can read your post! Now, for the next layer…

Writing Menu

Cheese: Share a scene where one of your characters interacts with some kind of camera, photograph or video for any reason. If there are none, then share one of their funniest moments or dialogue pieces.

Pulling his classic beauty into the parking lot of Shades Soirée, Matt eyed the modern building with scrutiny. “Looks high end,” he remarked, as they climbed out. “Not very busy, though.”

He counted a total of five cars on their way to the entrance, which was locked.

“Nightclub only,” Zach tapped the smoky glass to the left of the doors displaying the club’s hours of operation.

“We only need to talk to staff right now, anyway.”

They found the service entrance for deliveries around the left side of the building and pressed the call button.

“Yeah?” A male voice crackled over the intercom a second later.

“MCPD, is there a manager on site?” Matt asked.

Silence followed. Zach elbowed him and thrust his chin upward. “Smile.”

Matt pulled his badge off his belt and stuck it right into the camera lens. “Cheese.”

~ Shades Soirée (Matron City Trilogy #2)

Readers Menu

Cheese: Name a favorite book/series that had to do with photography, acting, reporting or any other camera-related theme – OR – where the humor was so off the charts you found yourself ‘cheesing’ through 90% of it.

CoverNakedInDeathJDRobbI either can’t recall or have never actually read a book where the main character or theme dealt with cameras. However, one of my favorite series, the In Death series by J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) has a sub-character who makes an appearance or two in almost every book, because she’s the only reporter the main character, Eve Dallas, trusts. Not only is Nadine Furst a memorable supporting character, her and Eve’s banter is always humorous, so I think that qualifies.

If you haven’t ventured into Nora Roberts’ alter ego, J.D. Robb, with her In Death series, I highly recommend it. You get the same amazing writing style she’s known for with a lot more edge, steamier sex scenes and a full cast of characters you’ll fall head over heels for. If you like crime novels, murder mysteries and endless snarky banter, these are definitely books for you. Although each novel is a stand alone, and each homicide case is different, I highly recommend starting from the beginning with Naked In Death, because the series deals with the same characters, whose lives and relationships continue to evolve with each new book.

Don’t forget – If you’re reading this, you’re officially tagged!

 

Next week’s ingredient: Lettuce!

Lettuce for the writer: Anytime money was used, stolen, given, exchanged or was otherwise the main topic of conversation in a significant way.

Lettuce for the reader: Share a favorite book/series where money played a significant role in dialogue, the story line, or was used as a thrilling plot twist. (The more unique the situation, the bigger the cool points).

#TacoTuesday

Welcome to week 3 of building our book taco… sorry foodies, this really is still a writing thing. If you’re just tuning in, you can check back to the original post to see what this is all about – and there’s no time limit for joining in. Just make sure to leave a pingback to your post in the comments below, so I can check it out! 🙂

Writers Menu

Beans: Details are a fat free way to fill out your story, whether real or fictitious, what was your favorite place to describe?

I’m completely in love with creating the fictitious world where my Thief of Dragons series takes places, because I get to blend medieval and modern elements however I want. I’m still unraveling new details as the story progresses – here are just a couple of examples from different locations:

Spires pierced the skyline, modern towers battling for most uniquely designed and impossibly tall. Skyways arched over the busy avenues, while glass elevators soared up and down gilded, mirrored facades. A giant, octagonal tower crowned a bend in the road, rising into the clouds with gold filigree trim curving down over the sides like a giant claw from the pointed roof. More gilded metals framed the elevators working at various levels up and down the tinted glass. Due to the curve in the road, it held the largest entrance of all the other buildings, fifteen yards of decorative stonework holding park benches, long planters with flowering shrubs and a fountain people could actually walk through if they wanted.

Toward the top of the building, and on every facet, was the Draea Coat of Arms glowing in colorful display for all the city to see.

~ Thief of Dragons, Episode 13

A grand staircase swept across the space from the right, creating a balcony across the back of the foyer, before curving down the left wall and finishing in a wide, angled welcome. Maplevine was woven through the decorative balustrades, sprinkled with the soft glow of fairy lights. An enormous chandelier hung level with the second story, the very light source behind the stained glass Crest visible from outside. It looked exactly like the fiery bloom of a Dragon’s Breath flower. The chain was molded into the same twisting, vine-like stem, the frosted glass stained sunset orange and crimson for the petals that curved up and then out at the very tips. The stamen spiraled down from the center, each holding a glowing orb of light. The stigma was capped with a multifaceted sconce of crystalline amber, the light dancing in simulation of an actual flame.

~ Thief of Dragons, Episode 16

Readers Menu

Beans: Which book or series had such a spellbinding knack for detail that you feel like you’ve actually been there in person? (You get extra cool points for choosing a book that has never been adapted to film.)

MagicsPawnI haven’t read a Mercedes Lackey book in too many years to count. Epic Fantasy world-building at its finest! I first dove into the Valdemar universe when I was about 15 or 16, and recall having lengthy conversations with some of my other friends and family who were also reading the series at the same time. Actually, you could say we inadvertently became our own Mercedes Lackey book club there for awhile! I accidentally read them out of order for the timeline (starting with The Last Herald Mage trilogy as pictured), but I was never confused, just utterly awed by this astounding world Mercedes had created with Valdemar being the main kingdom. Home to Haven, the city where all bards, mages, warriors, scholars and other talented youngsters would travel to take on their apprenticeship training. It was also the home to the Grove, the mysterious place where some Companions appeared (the horse-like creature on the cover) who could mindspeak with their chosen and were hinted at being reincarnations of previous Herald Mages sometime in the books – can’t recall now.

Like I said, it’s been a long time since I’ve read this series, but they’ve stayed with me my whole life and I can still picture certain events, definitely the places, that formed in my mind all those years ago. One day, I plan to sit down and re-read the entire Valdemar series, and perhaps even the hundreds of other books Mercedes has penned!

Next Tuesday’s ingredient is Cheese!

Cheese for the writer: Share a scene where one of your characters interacts with some kind of camera, photograph or video for any reason. If there are none, then share one of their funniest moments or dialogue pieces.

Cheese for the reader: Name a favorite book/series that had to do with photography, acting, reporting or any other camera-related theme – OR – where the humor was so off the charts you found yourself ‘cheesing’ through 90% of it.

#TacoTuesday

Welcome to week 2 of Taco Tuesday. If you’re just joining in, no worries, there’s no time limit. You can check the original post here to get the objective and start building your own delicious book taco! Now, for our next layer…

Writers Menu

Meat: Main Characters are the ‘meat’ of your story, give us one of your favorite ‘first’ meets between a leading duo (or trio+ all are welcome here!)

The door chimed open, bringing the aromas from the pier, warm ocean air, an abundance of alcohol and…candy. Arching a brow, Kazi put his pencil and sketchpad down, then left his tiny back office. He stopped short just beyond the curtain, unable to move until he’d taken in every centimeter of the curvy brunette eying his prints on the wall. She was native something, her tanned skin natural, rather than sun induced. Her ebony hair was long and looked just as silky to the touch as her partially exposed flesh. Revealed by the white sleeveless t-shirt that stopped shy of her lower back.

Deciding he’d loitered long enough, Kazi entered the main room and had to steady himself again, when she turned to face him. Her toned stomach and sexy navel was the perfect preamble to the sensual flare of her hips. Her beautiful face was nothing but exotic with higher cheekbones, further confirming his suspicions about her heritage. Eyes like pale emeralds locked onto his, a little unfocused despite the clash of fire and ice.

“You, tattoo me,” she ordered, the alcohol-induced slur did nothing to stem the damage her husky voice had on his system.

Before Kazi could utter the single word poised on the tip of his tongue, his drunk, would-be customer stumbled to the nearest bed.  She dropped her purse to the floor, then stretched along the length of it on her stomach.

Odin’s breath, she looked like a centerfold with the way her lower back dipped so deeply before the rise of an ass that defied all reason. The kind that could tempt even the sanest, most faithful man on earth. As a free agent, Kazi wasn’t in any danger of those crimes. He was, however, unyielding when it came to his own rules.

“You’re not getting a tattoo tonight, sweetheart,” he denied her.

“Yes, I am,” she insisted, as she cushioned her head on her arms and let her eyes droop closed. Long, dark lashes cast shadows along her prominent cheekbones. “I want a tramp stamp.”

Kazi grimaced, unable to hide his disappointment. “Why?”

“Does it matter? I have money, so get to inking.”

Kazi heard the bitter anger in her tone. Bad breakup? Cheating husband? He was torn between an unexpected need to defend her honor and the urge to hit someone simply for being that insurmountably stupid. Gods, he couldn’t get the smell of cotton candy out his nose!

“And what is it that you would have tattooed there?” he asked, though it wouldn’t change the outcome. She wasn’t getting a tattoo by him this night or any other she decided to stumble into his parlor drunk.

If it was a man’s name, Kazi was going to bash someone’s face in, honor and stupidity be damned.

Lifting her head, she looked at him with a murderous curve to her absolutely edible lips. “Mistletoe. So the whole world knows it can kiss my ass.”

~ Moon Tides (The Úlfrinn series)

Readers Menu

Meat: What was the most unique, hilarious or epic ‘first’ meeting of Main Characters you’ve ever read in a book?

His Hostage coverI can’t name the most unique, because the book isn’t out yet and I don’t do spoilers – BUT – the same author brought her two Main Characters, Hal and Evie, together for the first time in an epic way in His Hostage. Anna Adler’s debut novel was my first introduction to ‘meet-by-abduction,’ rather than abduction after the fact or even an abduction that was premeditated. As a ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ kind of kidnapping, Hal and Evie’s first meet was an instant thrill that kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering what was going to happen next!

Once again – if you’re reading this consider yourself tagged!

 

Next Tuesday’s ingredients are Beans!

Beans for the writer: Details are a fat free way to fill out your story, whether real or fictitious, what was your favorite place to describe?

Beans for the reader: Which book or series had such a spellbinding knack for detail that you feel like you’ve actually been there in person? (You get extra cool points for choosing a book that has never been adapted to film.)

#TacoTuesday

tacoshells

Disclaimer: This post has absolutely nothing to do with food – sorry foodies!

Welcome to a new kind of blog hop, engineered by moi for anyone who wants to join in. This is for fun, creativity, mostly cuz-we-can and designed to work for both readers and writers!

Objective: Every Tuesday I will introduce a new ‘ingredient’ until we have the biggest and best tacos in town. The only things you need are your own WIPs, published works &/or favorite books you’ve read. Answer as a writer, a reader or both, it’s completely up to you. There are no rules against using a different manuscript for each week’s writer answer, but please make sure to tag them with the story’s title so your followers know which books to look out for!

Here we go…

Writers Menu

Taco Shell/Wrap: Share a moment when a supporting character played a part in keeping your protagonist held together, even if it’s in memory.

“The problem is the whole in so deep already, though,” Reyna admitted, once she’d caught her breath. “I mean, he’s everywhere! He even knows my boss, for crying aloud. There’s no place in my life where he’s not already involved.”

Serena paused and softened, giving her a sympathetic look. “You mean like me and Maddy?” she pointed out. “Do you think it was any easier for us? You’re my best friend and his sister. We all grew up together, our parents used to barbecue together. We went to the same schools, the same family outings. Even if we went out separately, the other turned up there or was friends with those who were there. Do you know how long it took for me to get up the nerve just to admit to myself how I felt about him?”

Reyna opened her mouth, then closed it. She’d never thought of it that way before, but Serena was absolutely right. Madison had already been such a huge part of every part of Serena’s life, just like Corbyn was turning out to be in Reyna’s.

“The hardest part was getting past the fear that I would lose everything I loved, everything I’d known, if we didn’t work out. You, your parents,” Serena continued. “At the very least, that nothing would ever be the same again.”

“How did you do it?” Reyna asked quietly, desperate for any kind of wisdom her friend could bestow.

“I just did,” Serena shrugged. “I knew that if I didn’t try, if I didn’t give him or myself that chance, I would regret it for the rest of my life…”

~ Hearthstone Alpha (The Úlfrinn series, #1)

Readers Menu

Taco Shell/Wrap: Which book have you read with a memorable supporting character, and why did you like them?

itbiotc-front-coverMargo from In The Best Interest of The Child, by Felicia Denise. I loved every moment she was on the page, because her character came across with such a genuinely supportive personality. Even though Olivia hadn’t let her in all the way with her traumatic past, Margo was still there for her, without hesitation or judgment. She brought laughter, a shoulder to cry on, advice and even a good ‘shove’ in the right direction whenever Olivia needed it. I really hope we get to see more of her in the second book. (hint-hint!) 😉

This probably goes without saying…but

IF YOU’RE READING THIS, CONSIDER YOURSELF TAGGED!!

 

If you do participate, please remember to leave a ping-back in the comments below, so I can read your post. Happy Tuesday Muses!