Friday, September 25, 2015

My Hero ... A Question from a Reader

Your heroes are quite dark, with a tendancy to violence (sometimes sexual violence) and domination e.g. lysander! Do you find it hard to keep a balance so they are still worthy of the heroine? 

That’s a great question.  I think you are very perceptive to observe that heroes really do need to be worthy of heroines, especially when said heroes aren’t falling all over themselves writing poetry and delivering flowers.

You are also correct that in my novels, my primary heroes tend to be dark and strong.  My secondary leads can vary, such as Robert of Stonehollow or even Jaxx of Interplanetary Slave.  But I think it is intriguing and of literary value to write darkly.  It’s no secret that much of our entertainment throughout history in all forms is dark, often far moreso than what I write.  

Obviously, a line separates the heroes from the villains, even if both are prone to violence and domination.  An example comes to mind in Pirate Barbarian in which we have two very violent and authoritarian men who feel they are right for Jolene.  Yet Jolene’s fiancĂ©, Raul, is clearly a scoundrel and the equally ferocious, Kai, is clearly a champion.  What’s the difference?

Here are a few thoughts that come to mind:

Devotion.  To craft a worthy hero, I think the hero should have a weakness for the heroine.   If the hero adores her (even if he doesn’t admit it), it is easier for the reader to feel he is worthy despite his dark tendencies.  When push comes to shove, my heroes, bad boys or not, have some underlying devotion to the heroine.  We see this in characters like Lysander, Arystan of Warlord and Lucas of Stonehollow.  

Follow-through.  If a hero says he will do something, he does it.  This preserves the heroine's respect (and the reader's).  This is apparent in leads such as Lysander and Xane of Master of the Galaxy.  

Strength of Character.  Having a backbone is important since my novels aren’t about limp fish.  Stories about weak and conflicted heroes are fine but that isn’t the tone one expects in my books.  My heroines won’t usually find the heroes having nervous breakdowns, although I admit they may have moments of self-doubt.   And because my heroines (Arcada, Abigalia, Jolene and Sara to name a few) tend to be mentally and physically tough, this is necessary to keep the equilibrium.

Likeability.  On some level, we love these heroes, even when they are wicked like Lysander and Yoshiro or harsh like Terenth of Interplanetary Slave.  They generally possess some good humor, have a sympathetic background or are just too darn sexy not to fall all over.

Finally, as to whether I as a writer find it difficult to keep the balance, to be honest I don’t.  My characters emerge naturally and without much of a struggle.  I don’t tinker with their personality traits to make sure they stay consistently likeable and heroic.  I think it helps that I write sequentially, letting my characters grow on their own through dialogue and interaction and they often surprise me with how they turn out.  In other words, I don’t have a “master plan” before I write about the “masters” themselves.

Thanks for the enquiry!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Where's the Beef?

Or should I say instead:  "Where’s the Beefcake?"

A reader recently asked me whether I was working on the next book of The Lysander Chronicles or taking a writing break.  The answer is a little of both.  I am deep into the second novel and loving every page.  But I do see that this notoriously hot and sweltering Hawaii summer has passed us by since I released the first book in the chronicles.  

I would estimate that I am at least 80% finished with the second novel although I admit to not being able to work on it steadily since the release of Destiny.  I would prefer to write, write, write and release, release, release but life, as it is, sometimes gets in the way.  Over the summer, I have been involved in several amazing endeavors and I am in the process of one more.  Thus, the middle book has been relegated to my in-between time.

Rest assured though, I am working on it and I think it will be deliciously dark and delightful.  A lot happens in the second book and even I was surprised by where some of the plot lines lead.  Without giving anything away, the females in the story seem to be weaving quite the wickedly tangled web .  I appreciate the support, encouragement and even nudging to bring it to a close.  I can’t guarantee a release date just yet but I haven't forgotten or neglected my most recent foray into the life of the beefcake who is Lysander and his nemesis beefcake, Nicholas.  How could I?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

It Must Be Destiny

I'm happy to announce the official arrival of my new novel, The Lysander Chronicles Book 1: Destiny.  It was thrilling to create and so much fun to revisit some of my beloved characters from Awakenings.

Tasha Temple

From the moment I finished writing my novel, Awakenings, I knew a prequel had to be forthcoming.  But as I began to conceptualize it, a trilogy took shape in my head.  I felt the tale could easily and more completely be told in three books.

Several years ago, one reader revealed that she became a fan of my work because of Lysander.  I love to hear from my readers and here, the seed just took root.  After turning her comment over in my mind for a while, I decided I would really enjoy focusing the trilogy on Lysander.  He is, of course, the consummate evil-but-you-gotta-love-him vampire.

And so, the first book in The Lysander Chronicles is Destiny.  It is a full-length novel, clocking in at nearly 55,000 words.  The second and third novels are in the works and will tell the story of Lysander, Abigail and Nicholas right up until Awakenings.

I am grateful to all of you who read and appreciate my work and I am always thankful for positive and encouraging comments.  I hope you can immerse yourself in my vampiric world and take delight in how the story unfolds.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Let's Get This Show on the Road!

So ...... it's been a little while but it's about time for another novel, don't you think?  In that vein (no pun intended?), I'm thrilled to announce that I finished the first book in a new prequel vampire trilogy to Awakenings.  I am very excited about the dark, romantic and yet exhilarating storyline and enjoyed writing it immensely.
The new novel is not quite publication-ready but final editing is nearly complete and my graphics artist and I are wrapping up the cover.  I expect (hope) to have it published in e-book form by the end of May with physical books to follow.

I'll have more details about the book (and the trilogy) in the next few weeks, including its name and cover reveal.  It's time to get this show on the road!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Accidents Happen

Happy summer to all of my wonderful readers!

First, I would like to extend a very sincere thank you to everyone who participated in the Q&A contest for Awakenings (and there were many of you).  The correct answer was "A," Lysander saw a single pair of puncture wounds on Abby's neck.  I wonder what those marks could be from?  ;)  My apologies to those who guessed instead that he saw a tattoo of naked vampires having sex! 

I also wanted to update everyone on the progress of my latest novel.  I was in a car accident in late May and due to an unfortunate cascade of events, my writing is on hold at this time.  I definitely plan to get back in the saddle and hope to be publishing my next novel soon.  But for now, I will be taking a temporary hiatus. 

Of course, with the heart and soul of a writer, I have been unable to keep my hand completely out of the literary cookie jar and have recently written in a new and fascinating genre.  Yet the field is so utterly different from steamy romantic fiction, my nom de plume for those works will have to remain forever a mystery.  Rest assured, I will continue writing smoking-hot adventure novels too!
One of our beautiful local beaches this summer.

I hope you all enjoy many warm, relaxing and amazing days filled with sunshine and reading!

Monday, June 23, 2014

It's Game Time Again!

Tasha TempleWelcome to my participation in The Romance Reviews Sizzling Summer Reads Party!  To play, answer this question correctly on June 26 and you could win an ebook of Awakenings!

When Lysander helps Abby remember their sexual relationship, what does he see on her throat?

A. Two small puncture marks.

B. A tattoo of naked vampires having sex.

C. A half-moon birthmark under her ear.

D. So many pairs of puncture marks, he can't count them all.

Read on for the answer!
Lysander loved her like this.  She was challenging him.  She was the Queen, all powerful, and he was King only so long as could break her, dominate her, be stronger, in control.  If he ceased being able to force her surrender, she would replace him.  Fortunately for Lysander, he felt his position rather secure.
So she wanted to be broken tonight.  He could do that.
In a flash, faster than the normal eye could see, he crossed the distance between them, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her savagely to him.  The sequins on her dress felt rough against his skin as he ground himself hungrily into her curves.
Abby resisted, pulling away, refusing to engage him. 
“You’ll have to do better than that,” she sneered, her eyes flashing defiantly.
Lysander snarled, drawing back his lips to reveal his sharp eyeteeth as he tightened his strong grip over Abby’s narrow waist and jerked her again, harder.  She let out a small gasp as he forced the air from her lungs.  He dropped his hands to her buttocks, squeezing them tightly for a moment and then spreading them apart under her dress.  He growled instinctively.  He would return to that later.  If she wanted to dominated, she would be . . . fully.
He slid his hands up her back, wrapped them in her long, yellow hair and wrenched her body away from his.  She hissed, writhing, held in place only by her hair, pain searing through her scalp as she strained against his merciless grip.  Lysander held her cruelly, shaking her until he finally forced her to still.  She stopped struggling, panting, eyeing him venomously, waiting for him to give her an opening.  Abruptly, he stepped into her again and pulled her hair down viciously, forcing her head back.
Her neck was covered by her high collar, but he bent her back so severely, her breasts pushed through the diamond in the front of her gown and he lowered his head to them, snaking his tongue into her cleavage, raking his teeth over them, still holding her head locked backwards.
She whimpered a bit at the position, her neck starting to feel uncomfortable, but instead of letting her up, he shook her again and then drew one hand over her breasts, dragging his nails into them hard enough to leave small trails of blood.  Enough of the dress, Lysander thought, as he ripped the fabric and in one fluid movement, shredded it open in front, tearing it away at her waist and tossing it aside.  The collar separated from the gown.  It was an interesting effect, he thought, admiring Abigalia naked from the waist up, the sequined red collar still around her throat. 
He released his grip on her hair, bringing his hand to the back of her neck, squeezing tightly and forcing her to look at him, his blue eyes searing into her gold ones.  Her eyes were now shining with lust, an animalistic need within them, something he was more than willing to meet.  He crushed his lips to hers, viciously, barbarically, their tongues battling each other, as he swallowed her down, scouring her palate, tonsils and throat, his kiss actually painful.  He could feel their teeth scraping against each other as their mouths wrestled and then he clamped down hard on hers, driving his eyeteeth into the inside of her lips, tasting blood, not a steady flow on which to feed, but a punishment, trapping her, holding there as he let her warm fluid bathe his mouth.  She whined in the back of her throat.
He finally released his bite and pulled away from her slightly.  Her eyes were angry, wrathful as she smarted from the pain.  Lysander grinned, running his tongue slowly over his lips, sucking at the remnants of her blood, smacking his lips with obvious enjoyment.  If Abigalia thought that was painful, she was in for a big surprise. 
He reached to her waist and ripped the rest of her dress from her body, leaving her in nothing but the red collar and her heels.  His eyes blazed into hers, darkened with desire, as if he had suffered a famine and she was the feast on which he would slake his gluttony.  Then he advanced, exuding dominance and power as he backed her up to the bed.  She snarled a little, showing a hint of her eyeteeth, but her gold eyes were locked to his and she was mesmerized by the bestiality she saw in them.  He stopped, reaching above her with his hand and swept aside the gossamer curtain before he picked her up and threw her hard on the circular bed, watching the red satin caress her pale flesh as she slid across it.  Then he leapt at her, flying through the air, intent on landing on her body, ready to take her.  He felt the cool smoothness of the sheets under his torso and then empty air.  Abigalia was gone.
Lysander growled, a real growl, gliding from the bed and standing up in one movement as if an illusion.  He scanned the room.  The minx.  So she wanted him to chase her.  Fine. 
“Abigalia,” he hissed.  “I am coming.  I will find you.”  He swooped around the bed, seeing nothing and then slipped quickly behind the sofa, expecting to see her crouched there.  Nothing but the young woman’s lifeless body. 
He was starting to grow impatient.
“You are playing with fire,” he breathed, circling the room.  He knew she hadn’t left the chamber.  He could sense her here.  “And that fire is me.”
Suddenly, he knew where she was.  He bent his knees slightly and then leaped into the air, landing lightly on the metal circle around which the filmy bedcurtains hung from the ceiling and looked into her startled gold eyes.  She tried to fly off, but he caught her, plunging through the hoop and landing on the bed, throwing her under him.
“Too late,” he snarled, straddling her, bending low over her body. 
He unsheathed a small knife from his belt and brought it up to her face.  Her eyes widened, a wild gilded look in them, as he twisted the blade so that it caught the torchlight, savoring the fear and respect he saw in her eyes.  Then he brought it to her throat and ran it carefully up her collar, slitting the fabric before he pulled it from her neck and tossed it aside, re-sheathing the blade. 
Lysander rolled his head, his teeth fully extended, almost roaring with lust as he returned his eyes to her.  That throat.  He could see two small marks on one side.  The marks of her turning would be there forever.  But he could puncture her and feed.  Sometimes she would let him.  Those marks would heal.  There was nothing sweeter, no indulgence greater, on earth, in heaven or hell, than the blood of a Queen. 

Thank you for playing and I wish you all the best of luck!

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Tasha Temple
Springtime is in full bloom for nearly everyone in the Northern Hemisphere and for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, well .... I wish you a mild winter.

Tasha Temple
A hot bunny?
I don't know where the time has gone. The last time I looked, I was taking down my Christmas tree and now Easter is upon us.  At least it's the season of hot chicks and cute bunnies.  I am thankful that in Hawaii, the Easter Bunny can actually lay its eggs outside, rather than in the snow as the poor snowshoe rabbits must do in Alaska.  Whoever heard of collecting eggs in three feet of the white stuff?  I've been there, done that and I much prefer green grass and palm trees.  Maybe next year an Easter Mongoose will visit and lay jelly beans on the beach.  Picking up candy in the warm sand sounds really good to me!

I have had some readers asking when my next book is coming out.  This seems to be a notoriously busy time of year for me and I find myself juggling more and more things  I am writing enthusiastically although not nearly as often as I would like.  But I am progressing and things are definitely moving along.  I am enjoying the storyline of my new novel(s) immensely and look forward to sharing it very soon.

Happy spring!