Other Pages To See...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The New Face of Romance

Remember when Fabio was on the cover of nearly every romance novel ever published? Well, maybe that's an exaggeration, but it seemed like he was on the cover of every one I picked up. Then came John DeSalvo. Man, was he ever a cutie. Both those guys have now faded from favor but they'll live on forever, as long as there are old romance novels floating around.

Now, with the tidal wave of self-publishing and e-pub/small presses, there's a new guy in  romance town. His name is Jimmy Thomas and his image is on more than 1,600 romance novels, at last count. He's keeping track and keeps all the covers on bookshelves on his site and the number changes daily by leaps and bounds. How did he end up on so many covers, you ask? Well, you see, Jimmy has a web site called RomanceNovelCovers.com where cover artists (and those playing at creating covers--like me) can purchase stock images--featuring him and a variety of female models in cover-ready poses.

So, in case you were wondering, who's that guy on all the romance covers all of a sudden, meet Jimmy Thomas, the new face of romance. :o)

Two of my future books were added to Jimmy's shelves today. I had a lot of fun making these covers. And the stock images of the couples I found on Jimmy's site made it so much easier to add that special touch of romance. ~~~Devon

Monday, July 25, 2011

New Cowboy Philosophy

"If you've got work to do, stop lollygaggin' and palaverin' over at the bunkhouse. Just get on your horse and get it done."

This is my mantra and I can't seem to stick to it. So, instead of following the latest publishing controversy via internet, or trying to preach to the choir, or worrying over whether any readers at all can find my book (soon to be books) among the vast, confusing miasma of the self-publishing stampede that's taking place as I write this, I'm following my own advice. I'll be back when I have something of substance to say and/or more stories to offer. Meanwhile...

Happy reading and writing!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Do you like angst and an occasional dash of misery in your romance? If so, read on. The following tidbit is from pages 237-39 of Angel In The Rain.


     Deep detonations of thunder rolled across the land. Behind him, the windowpanes rattled in their frames. The sound roused Rane from the state of oblivion he had worked so hard to achieve. With a muttered curse, he coiled his hand loosely around the neck of the whiskey bottle he’d been nursing and stood. Weaving an unsteady path to the window, he shoved aside the heavy drape.
     Lightning slashed through the night’s velvet blackness. He squinted against the sudden brilliance. A heller of a storm was lashing the border country and he’d been oblivious to it.
     He let the curtain fall into place and staggered back. The closed-in room felt stuffy, suffocating. On the unmade bed, rumpled linens bore evidence of spilled food and drink. ¡Mierda! How long had he been holed up here?
     The stagnant air threatened to choke him. He felt for the top button on his skirt and yanked, sending it flying, and then the next one. It wasn’t enough. Still keeping his hold on the neck of the whiskey bottle, he crossed to the door, wrenched at the handle and lurched through the opening.
     Outside, cool dampness washed over his fevered flesh. Runnels of rainwater poured from the tiles overhanging the edge of the roof. Beyond, rain slanted down at a hard angle and danced against the onslaught of a fretful wind. Rane braced against the rough adobe wall and leaned out. The deluge streamed over his uplifted face, drenching him down to his trousers in a matter of seconds.
     Nature’s cold dash was a shock, but at least he felt it. He’d lost count of the number of days and nights he’d numbed himself with whiskey and felt nothing at all. Now, the violence of the storm awakened him from his prolonged apathy, stirred to life the dormant wildness in his soul. Like a drunken demon, he threw back his head and laughed, taunting nature’s fury.
     A spectacular series of forked lightning licked through the blackness, throwing his surroundings into vivid relief. His rented room opened onto the plaza of the tiny border town, the name of which he’d forgotten. Before him yawned the emptiness of a deserted circular road. At its center stood a fountain, a shallow aboveground pool made of mortar and stone. An angel, spectral in the flickering light, her slender arms uplifted to the Heavens, stood to her ankles in the watery basin.
      He braced his back against the wall and waited. The next flash was closer and hung on with a deafening crackle as it ripped through the sky. He had eyes only for the angel. She seemed to mock him with her cold, marble stare. The angel of mercy, her delicate wings glistened with a sheeting cascade of wetness...an angel in the rain.
     Rane clutched at the rough wall behind him, feeling the bite of the grainy clay beneath his nails, and surrendered to memory. The winged angel dimmed before his bleary eyes as he envisioned another. His Angel, standing in the pouring rain. His nostrils flared as he again smelled the fire and brimstone of that long ago stormy night. Like a dim echo, he heard her calling his name. An ephemeral sense of her arms around him, the taste of her rain-washed skin, sweeter than creation’s finest nectar... he remembered.
       God help him, would he never forget!
     A strangled sound of raw torment slipped from his throat. The lightning flashed again with a stuttered cracking that might have been the sound of his own heart ripping from his chest. The angel, remote, unmoving, stared with her indifferent eyes.
     Rane shoved away from the wall and staggered into the downpour. “¡Vaya infierno!” he shouted at the lifeless statue. He drew back his arm and flung the bottle in his hand with strength bordering on madness. The vessel sailed into darkness and shattered explosively when it struck stone.
      He waited, half expecting the wrath of God to strike him down in the mud and streaming water. But there was nothing, only the soft rushing sound of the rain falling around him.
      “Why don’t you stop feeling sorry for yourself and do something about it.”
    Slowly, he turned toward the voice. Benito stood in an open doorway, a dark figure silhouetted by wavering lamplight. Rane dashed the water from his eyes and shook his head at the irony of having his own words thrown back at him.
      “I can’t,” he said.
      “So, what will you do if you do not try?” Benito asked. He lifted his hand. “It’s cold. It’s raining. And you are a sorry sight, amigo.”
     When Benito faded back inside his room and closed the door, Rane hung his head. Battering rain pounded the back of his skull and streamed from his face. If only it could run through his burning heart and cleanse his soul with such ease.
     He turned and lifted his eyes to the angel once more. Mercy, he silently cried. But the lifeless seraph would not be moved to grant him any boons. There was only one living, breathing angel who could help him now. She was far away and tonight he was more undeserving of her than ever.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cowboy Philosophy

Andrei Claude
It's the man that's the cowhand, not the outfit he wears.

You can judge a man by the hoss he rides.

Any hoss's tail kin ketch cockleburs.

Polishin' your pants on saddle leather don't make you a rider.

If the saddle creaks, it's not paid for.

Tossin' your rope before buildin' a loop don't ketch the calf.

It's sometimes safer to pull your freight than pull your gun.

Only a fool argues with a skunk, a mule, or a cook.

There ain't no hoss that can't be rode.
There ain't no man that can't be throwed.

Brains in the head saves blisters on the feet.

The bigger the mouth, the better it looks when shut.

Man's the only animal that can be skinned more'n once. 

The man that always straddles the fence usually has a sore crotch.

You can never trust women, fleas, nor tenderfoots.
**(from Cowboy Lingo by Ramon F. Adams)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Covers, Flowers, and Rabbits

My prickly pear bloomed over the weekend. Here's a shot of one of the beauties that's growing right next to the back of the house. They're a month late this year. They've always bloomed for me at the end of May or the beginning of June. I think all the gloomy, rainy weather we've had delayed them. I love the prickly pear blooms, but they usually only last one day. My plants are all transplants from east Texas, where my mother lives.

In my upcoming western historical, the title, Wild Texas Rose refers to both my heroine's name and the prickly pear that grow wild in Texas. There's a scene where my hero makes up a story for the heroine about the prickly pear being the true yellow rose of Texas. It's a sweet moment and leads her to think there may be more to the rugged cowboy than a tough as leather view of the world.

Hubby was home all three days this holiday weekend, so I got very little writing done. Every time I opened my document and got into it, he came to the door and said, "I hate to bother you, but..." and pulled me right out again. Since today was the last day he had off, I gave it up and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening with him. We sat on the back porch this evening and watched rabbits out in the yard. For the longest time, we've thought we had three resident bunnies living in the brush just across the property line. Then this evening, we had seven in the yard at the same time. Must be mating time.

For the past several days I've spent part of my writing time editing a Regency Historical novella I wrote earlier this year. Part of my problem with being a prolific writer is that when I do finish something, I have to let it get completely cold before I can go back and spot the no-nos. I mention this because I've had my eye on a cover shot for the novella over on Hot Damn Stock for several weeks. Then, today, I received a notice that they were selling all their stock photos for 50% off, today only. So, I hopped over there and bought the shot. Got it in low res--which is all that's needed for an ebook cover--for only ten bucks, and you can't beat that.

Hope you had a safe, happy holiday weekend.