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! 
Oops!

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

Springtime

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!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Battle of the Brain: Left vs. Right

Tasha Temple
Over the years, I've given a lot of thought as to which part of my brain favors me.  Perhaps it's because I have always felt like an anomaly because I love all of my brain.  Before you laugh at that, consider that those who find their livelihood in mathematics and hard sciences are generally thought to have dominant left brains.  And those who devote themselves to art and creative careers are often considered to have stronger right brains.

A review of my cerebral hemispheres leads to me to conclude that I am odd.  Or at least that I swim against the tide.

My "left" brain ....

Tasha TempleIn school, I was consistently attracted to math, science and technology and I studied pre-med.  I devoured calculus, statistics, chemistry, physics and all things related. My life is meticulously organized on spreadsheets, charts, checklists, lists within lists, all orderly and updated regularly.  I have loads of fun doing taxes (no kidding!) and I was even a tax attorney in a former life.  I love anything to do with organization, categorization, complex calculations and the minutiae of numbers.  Did I just mention spreadsheets?  I literally have one for everything and they are color-coded with multiple worksheets.  I could spend all day just enjoying all Excel has to offer.

Then there is my "right" brain ....

Tasha TempleI am a writer by trade and by heart and I've written since I can first remember.  It was the first occupation I ever wanted to have.  I feel the happiest, most content and most fulfilled when I am creating with words.  I will write anything ... all genres, fiction or non-fiction, poetry, musings, commentary, songs.  I always create without an outline, much preferring the free-flowing association of ideas and thoughts as they occur to me.  I see art everywhere in the world and in people.  I try to capture some of it through photography and some through poetry.  I admit I am quite bad at drawing and sculpting but I love everything to do with graphic design.  I am a musician and play several instruments, even pursuing my love of percussion into college and beyond.  I am profoundly happy playing ragtime piano music or tapping on my snare drum in the park for the Fourth of July.  (Let's leave aside the drum set of my childhood with its double-bass pedal for another day!).

I rarely, if ever, combine pursuits from both sides.  I write no poems about differential equations and never map novels on spreadsheets.  I might be a an enigma, but my brain feels balanced, equally weighty and I embrace the cohesion.  It's more like solidarity than conflict.

So, I am strange entity from another planet, I suppose, but a happy one.  I wonder whether there are others out there like me .... :)


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Thank you and an Update

Thank you to everyone who participated in the recent Stonehollow game through The Romance Reviews.  The answer was "B" ... a pretty blonde girl named Jenna is the one who interrupts Lukas and Ellie on the moors while they share their first kiss.  As a teaser (not a spoiler), all of the other answers do appear in the novel somewhere.  So there are terrifying giant, white wolfhounds, a creepy doll that bleeds continuously from its face AND a devious scheming ghost named Sadie in Stonehollow.

Tasha TempleI have so much fun creating the Q&As and spend a lot of time trying to find an interesting excerpt with challenging (and yet obvious) answers.  From my stats, I can tell many, many readers visited my blog to play.  I am very grateful.

I am also appreciative of the participation level for all of my promos and the enthusiasm you convey when you win.  I don't know who is more excited...the winner of a promotion or me!  I have had several inquiries about whether I will offer print book giveaways again.  Yes!  I will likely have at least one book coming out in a second edition so when it does, I will restart them.

My next series is coming along well as I have finished (for the most part) my first book.  It's barely off to editing though and I am writing on the next.  I confess I feel the need to add a few more thoughts (chapters) to the first book when it returns.

Thank you all again as I wouldn't be able to do any of this without you!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Stonehollow Game - Play Only if You Dare!

Tasha TempleAnd now, a bit about star-crossed lovers Lukas and Ellie, thrown together on the Romanian moors for the adventure of a lifetime!


For all of you participating in The Romance Reviews 3rd Anniversary Party on March 14 (where you can win a free Stonehollow ebook), here is the question and enough clues to find the answer!


When Lukas and Ellie share their first kiss on the wild moors of Romania, who or what interrupts them?
 

A. Terrifying giant, white wolfhounds.


B. A pretty blonde girl named Jenna.


C. A creepy doll that bleeds continuously from its face.


D. A devious scheming ghost named Sadie.


Lukas was so close to her, Ellie could feel tiny droplets of water sensually tickling her skin as he shook his head slightly to clear the rain from his hair.  The loose strands were saturated with water, turning their color to a dusky blond.  Lukas put one hand next to her head, his breathing still labored from their flight, the desperateness of their situation reflected in his cobalt eyes.

His nearness sent heat rising through Ellie’s body like a sudden updraft of steam, fanning arousal in her veins, adrenaline mixing with desire.  She swallowed hard at the sudden quivering in her throat, the urgent sensations at her core, her body alight and tingling.  She found herself irresistibly drawn toward Lukas, his mouth so close she could feel his warm moist breath drifting into her own.  Her heart fluttered wildly at the inevitable touch of his lips.

Lukas had no intention of dying on these desolate crags but knew their chances of survival were grim right now.  If there ever was a last person on earth he wanted to be with, she was standing before him right now.  Ellie was awakening things in him, feelings long dormant, emotions bottled-up and suppressed since they had parted.  He was transfixed by her enigmatic beauty, her fiery brilliance, the passion in her glittered eyes.  He could barely contain the powerful gusts of hunger that shook his muscular frame.  He had felt nothing like it for five long years.

Without another thought, Lukas lowered his mouth to Ellie’s and skimmed her lips with his, savoring her sharp intake of breath as a flare of lust surged between them.  He slid both hands into Ellie’s wet hair and prepared to deepen the kiss, to finally reclaim what was his, what he had been missing.

“Oh god!” Jenna moaned shrilly.

The girl stumbled clumsily to her feet and threw herself at Lukas, wrapping her arms around his waist, nearly knocking him over.  Jenna dragged him away several steps before she sank to her knees again, her hands grasping at his legs. 

“I feel so sick!” she announced, her face pale, tears streaming down her cheeks.  “I can’t run anymore.  I just can’t.  I’m so weak.  I feel faint.  I can’t go on.  Oh, I just know I’m going to die out here.  Oh . . . my . . . god!”

Then Jenna began to heave again, her head wedged between Lukas’s knees.

Oh god, indeed, Ellie thought, pressing her head back against the stone.  She was shaken by the barest of kisses she had shared with Lukas and what it had nearly become.  Did she just imagine what had happened?  What was he thinking?  What was she thinking?  

Good luck and have fun!

Monday, February 17, 2014

My Very First Screenplay

Screenwriter
This is me at about the age when I created the screenplay.
My recent interview with the astute and clever Jaideep Khanduja inspired me to reflect on the early origins of my love for writing.  One of the first projects I created was a screenplay when I was seven years old.

I don't remember why I decided to write a script but I remember inventing detailed speaking parts, background music and even foley artists!  My characters, dialogue and story were completely original, but looking back I think I drew a little too heavily from the influences of Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood.

After I finished writing, I went around the neighborhood soliciting children for auditions. I awarded parts, held rehearsals and goaded the 'actors' into memorizing their lines.  I also designed all of the costumes culled mainly from my mother's endless craft and sewing supplies. 

One of my favorite characters was a speaking tree.  I convinced the tallest twelve-year-old boy with very red hair to play the part. I wrapped a leopard-print beach towel around him (as bark) and had him hold a bright pink parasol (for blossoms).  He did it willingly!  I think I must have had great powers of persuasion back then. 

I cast the youngest kids in non-speaking roles as "villagers." Their parts involved milling around and mumbling to each other at specified intervals, usually when the main characters came into "town."  My little brother even agreed to be one of the villagers.

I advertised the production and convinced the parents (and any other adults I could find) to attend.  On the big day, I set up rows of chairs in our side yard and rigged huge sheets from a clothesline to hide the set.  The show began, I directed the kids, they performed beautifully and everyone received tremendous applause from the audience.

Although the play was a rousing success, I felt the script hadn't been "exactly" followed.  I was very hard on myself and broke out in tears.  I ran from the set, tripped, fell on the patio blocks and skinned my knee nearly to the bone. Alas, the budding writer/director/producer, was too young to realize that simply putting on the show was the best experience of all!