Tag Archives: let’s talk romance blog

Hanging out with Sue Brown


1. Welcome to the blog. We all want to know what’s going on right now with your writing career. What’s simmering in the pot, and what have you recently finished.

*deep breath* The Layered Mask, my first Regency, and Light of Day, the sequel to The Night Porter, got published last week. Stolen Dreams and Complete Faith, the sequel to Morning Report get published in the next three months. Empty Sands, my summer fluff, is half way complete. Various other stories partly completed. Is that enough?

2. If you could date one of the heroes in your books, which would it be? What features make you like him the most?

I would date Rich from Nothing Ever Happens. He’s not the main character, but he is the hero. I’ll say no more about him but if you read the book you’ll understand why.

3. Can you give us an excerpt from one of your books?

Blurb: James Trenchard is a dick. Everyone in Bingwell, Brock, and Bacon says so, and after Ethan’s first encounter with the man, he agrees. Ethan resolves to avoid James but ends up working closely with him and discovers the lawyer’s hiding a secret from the world. Ethan also realizes he’s falling too hard too fast. Ethan has to decide if he should help James and risk getting entangled in the mess James has gotten himself into, or move on. But walking away from love is never a simple decision to make.

Excerpt: 
“Trenchard is a dick. Unless you’re a chick. Then he’s the only one with a dick. The rest of us might as well not exist.”

There was a rumble of agreement around the coffee room at Vince’s vehement rhyming declaration.
Ethan looked around at the other assistants, as they nodded in agreement. As the newest employee of Bingwell, Brock, and Bacon, the largest advertising agency in the city, he had no idea who Trenchard was, or what he had done to offend the senior administrator. He noticed the small, secretive smile that curved the lips of several women in the room, as they stared down into their coffee cups. Ethan had the impression she knew a lot more than she was giving away.

Vince curled his fingers around his cup so tightly Ethan feared that it was going to crack. “Do you remember last year with Antonia from the third floor?”

“Heck, yes.” Paul chimed in. “He was all over her the second we walked in the building.”

“And she went out to dinner with him.” Vince’s tone was bitter. “When I asked her to go out for a drink, she laughed at me. Then Trenchard raised his eyebrow, and she was dropping her panties before you could say slut.”

Paul shrugged. “Yeah, but he’s James Trenchard, Vince. If he asked you out, you’d be dropping your panties even faster.”

Ethan waited for Vince to explode. He was, as far as Ethan was aware, a full-on heterosexual male, albeit an arrogant douche who had the women running for the hills.

Instead, Vince bit at his fingernail, before saying, “Nah, probably not.”

“Who is this dude?” Ethan asked, totally confused.

Vince gave him a look. “He’s James Trenchard.”

As if that was supposed to explain everything. By the way they all nodded again, maybe it did.
From the way they said James Trenchard, Ethan wasn’t sure what he expected. The Messiah, perhaps? In all the years his mom forced him to go to church, no one told him that he’d meet the Messiah at Bingwell, Brock, and Bacon.

* * * * *

In the lobby, as James Trenchard greeted Leanne Cauldwell, the administration director and Ethan’s boss, Ethan stared at him, trying to see the attraction. Sure, the guy was good-looking, almost beautiful even, for a guy in his mid-thirties, with sleek, light brown hair that curled over his collar, and ice-blue eyes framed by long lashes. Those lips wouldn’t look out of place on a woman, except, on Trenchard, they didn’t look effeminate. He was wearing a charcoal gray, pinstripe suit, with a plum-colored shirt and tie. Ethan noticed how well the suit pants showed off Trenchard’s ass. The lawyer seemed friendly enough. Ethan wondered what he’d done to warrant the enmity of Vince Lines.

Up until the moment Trenchard let the door bang behind him, right into Ethan’s face.

“Told you so.” Vince’s nasty whisper floated behind Ethan.

The guy was a dick, no doubt about it. Not a word of apology for almost rearranging Ethan’s nose, then Trenchard ignored them all as they used the elevator to the tenth floor. Ethan stared at the lawyer’s back with dislike, his top lip curling as James Trenchard openly flirted with Ethan’s boss.
Ethan felt sickened, the way Trenchard’s hand rested on her lower back as he guided her toward the conference room. What was worse, Leanne “Lay-one-finger-on-me-and-I’ll-bust-your-balls” Cauldwell was positively blooming under Trenchard’s sleazy charm. She had just giggled—giggled—at something he said.

But as the lawyer showed Ms. Cauldwell into the large, airy room, he looked over his shoulder to the men following them, Ethan included.

“Your boys get prettier every year, Lulu,” Trenchard said conversationally. “Especially that large one. He’s so young.”

The large one, of course, had to be Ethan; he cleared most of the men by at least half a foot. And he wasn’t fucking pretty. Especially not with a door imprint on his face. Unimpressed at being reduced to the level of a thirteen-year-old girl, Ethan rolled his eyes at Vince and Paul.

He noticed Ms. Cauldwell hadn’t even bothered to look at her team. “You batting for the other side this year, James?”

“I bat for everyone,” Trenchard said, then showed his perfect, white teeth.

Ethan imagined Trenchard sinking them into Ethan’s shoulder, even as he sank his cock into Ethan’s body.

Ms. Cauldwell snorted. “I bet you do. Well, my boys are pretty and clever, so don’t you forget it. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re just for show.”

Trenchard swept a glance appreciatively over the small group of men; his gaze lingered on Ethan’s face. “Oh, I won’t underestimate them, Lulu; I definitely won’t.”

And didn’t Ethan just know Trenchard was talking to him. He wanted to punch him in the face.

“I don’t think your boy likes me very much.” James confided to Ms. Cauldwell as they sat down.

“Mr. Williams has good instincts,” Ms. Cauldwell said.

Ethan resisted the urge to preen a little.

“I’m sure he does.” Trenchard drawled.

The rest of them spread around the table. Ethan didn’t know how it happened but somehow he ended up on the opposite side of the table from the lawyer. His temper rising, he avoided looking at the man’s smug face; instead, his gaze fell on Trenchard’s hand wrapped around a fountain pen. Long fingers tipped with well-manicured hands—strong hands. Ethan wondered what they’d look like around his dick. Flushing guiltily, Ethan looked up, to catch Trenchard smirking. Hastily averting his eyes, Ethan caught Ms. Cauldwell staring at them with a resigned expression.

“For heaven’s sake, put him down, James.” Ms. Cauldwell sounded more resigned than angry as she tapped her fingers on the table impatiently.

Trenchard leaned back in his chair. “I haven’t touched him, Lulu.”

Ethan wondered if he was the only one who could hear the yet.
“He’s off-limits. Mr. Williams, if you could actually concentrate on our meeting?” Her tone made it clear that it wasn’t a question.

His cheeks grew even hotter. Ethan muttered his apologies. He could feel the amused stares of all his colleagues except for Vince, who glared at him from farther down the table. Ethan looked up to see Trenchard still gazing at him, as if he were a succulent piece of prime rib.

Ethan was grateful when the meeting actually started, which diverted attention away from him. As the meeting progressed, he was unwillingly impressed. Trenchard knew his business. Nothing got past him as he went through each file. Ethan managed to acquit himself adequately when it came to his turn, answering all of the lawyer’s questions competently. Some of his colleagues didn’t fare so well. Ethan winced as Trenchard shredded Vince for a mistake that cost the agency thousands of dollars.
By the end of the meeting, he was feeling more relaxed and able to handle himself. That complacent feeling lasted until he felt a warm foot travel up his calf. From the angle of the foot, it could only be Trenchard. Ethan was pinned like a butterfly on a board as the silk-clad foot tiptoed its way higher, until it rested neatly in his groin.

Trenchard’s mouth moved as skillfully in his detailed discussion on why the agency would get screwed by Disney if they used a phrase in a technical manual as his foot did in its detailed exploration of Ethan’s groin.

Unable to move, unable to say anything, Ethan bit his lip as his traitorous cock sat up and begged for attention. He couldn’t even shove Trenchard off without drawing attention to himself. There was absolutely nothing he could do, as slowly, inexorably, he drew closer to climax. Just as his balls drew up tight, screaming for their release, the foot disappeared.

In shock at his denied orgasm, Ethan watched in horror as the lawyer pushed back his chair and stood.

“I think we’re done for the day, Lulu. Good work, everyone.” Trenchard’s gaze swept around the room. He gave a brief smile. “I believe there is lunch in the boardroom. I’m sure the sandwiches aren’t too stale.”

Everyone stood, except Ethan; he clutched his pen so tightly it was in danger of snapping. So close to coming, a puff of wind could’ve set him off.

“Mr. Williams, are you coming?” Ms. Cauldwell raised an eyebrow at her associate’s lack of motion.

Most likely, he thought desperately, as he gave her a wild-eyed, “Yes, ma’am.”
“I’ll leave you to collect the files, then you can join us in the boardroom.” She pushed back her chair, not giving a hint that she knew of his predicament.

“Yes, ma’am.” He repeated himself, not moving a muscle. Trenchard, the bastard, left without even a backward glance at Ethan.

Paul gave him a puzzled look but obediently handed over his file, the others following suit.

Angry as fuck, Ethan grumbled, alone in the conference room with a pile of files in front of him, his erection hardly subsided since that bastard left him hanging. He wanted to get his cock out and jack off. Get it over and done with. Only he couldn’t do that, so he had to wait until his boner had gone down enough for him to walk without a limp. He’d be lucky if there was any food left by the time he got there. Ethan ground his teeth in frustration.

When he finally could show himself in public and walk into the boardroom, his prediction proved accurate. The food platters were empty, the only things left a few pieces of limp watercress. Ethan groaned inwardly. It would be late evening before he had a chance to eat again.

“Here.”

Someone thrust a plate into his hand. Not expecting it, Ethan dropped the pile of files in his arms. The sandwiches miraculously stayed on the plate. The room went silent for a moment, then everyone burst into laughter.

“Dear me, Lulu, you really picked a good one this time.”

Ethan could hear Trenchard’s mocking tone over the laughter. He sank to his knees to pick up the files, but not before putting a sandwich in his mouth, just in case they got taken away. Paul immediately joined him, reaching out for a file that had slipped farther away.

“I’m so sorry, Ethan.”

“Huh?”

“I saved you some food. I should have waited until you’d put the files down.”

“So you should, Mr. Vicini. It seems Mr. Williams can’t manage two things at once. Multitasking is obviously not one of his skills.”

Ethan looked up to see Trenchard standing over him, that stupid, mocking smile still on his handsome face. Glaring at the lawyer, he got to his feet, files in hand.

Throwing caution to the wind, Ethan leaned forward and lowered his voice. “I am perfectly capable of managing two things at once, Mr. Trenchard, just as you seem to be. It’s really a shame you’ll never have a chance to discover that for yourself.”

He took satisfaction in the fleeting look of disappointment that crossed the lawyer’s face.

His boss watched them from the sidelines, wearing a peculiarly satisfied expression.

“I think I’ll take the files back to the office, Ms. Cauldwell.” He didn’t really care if this was against protocol.

She nodded, that odd look still on her face. “Good idea, Mr. Williams.”

He took another sandwich from the plate Paul still held; he was hungry, after all, then left the room, thankfully without tripping, a shred of his dignity still intact.

As he left, he heard his boss say quietly, “One for my team this year, I think.”

James gave a short laugh. “Not on your life, Lulu. This is just the opening salvo. Williams is just a kid. He could never stand to play with the big boys.”

And didn’t Ethan just hear the emphasis.

Ethan was a short hop from dropping the files and walking back in to plant his fist in James’ face.
“Honestly, Lulu, you’re going have to up your game if you think you’re going to beat me.”

“James, one day you might just get what’s coming to you.”

“Never gonna happen.”

Humiliated and furious, Ethan stabbed at the elevator button. The guy was a lawsuit waiting to happen. Who the fuck did he think he was? If Ethan didn’t need his job so much, he might have called the bastard’s bluff. Except he wouldn’t have, because God, that foot had felt good on his cock.

Yes, Mr. Trenchard, you are a total dick.

~~~~~
4. This is an age old question that every author has to answer about 20,000 times. What got you into writing, and how old were you? Thirty-nine and eleven months, waking up to see Captain Jack Harkness kissing the real Captain Jack in Torchwood. Watch the clip on Youtube. You’ll soon see why I was writing three days later.

5. If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you do with your life? No idea. I found my niche.

6. Do you have a day job that interferes with your ‘real life’ as an author? I’m still finishing my theology degree so not at the moment. Between my family, my degree, looking after a sick family member and life… everything interferes.

7. Tell us something unique about yourself that we don’t know. Um… um… I started to play the trombone as a kid… bloody useless at it.

8. Bacon or ham? Bacon sandwich with Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae sauce.

9. Chocolate or Jelly Beans? Chocolate: hands down my favourite food.

10. Now that we’ve gotten to know you, we need to know where to find you so we can stalk, I mean visit you.

Shamelessly objectifying men here: http://suesdailymale.blogspot.com/

Talking about my writing and promoting books here: http://suebrownsstories.blogspot.com/

Rambling about everything else here: https://www.facebook.com/suebrownstories

 

Everything I Wanted to Know About Writing I Learned From My Cats


An insomniac has tons of times to think about writing (when one should be writing) and what they have learned and how. I honestly think that my cats taught me most of what I need to know.

1. Steady and cunning get you what you want. If you don’t have a cat and have never seen them stalk a fly/ladybug/moth you’ve missed out on a lifetime of lessons. They will sit as still as can be and stalk that thing till it’s just in reach. And eight times out of ten, they get what they are going after.

Just like writing! You have to be steady in your course and you will achieve your goals. You have to make sure that you keep the eye on the prize. If you don’t get it the first time keep on keeping on, it WILL happen.

2. Know who you can lean on. Cats are particularly finicky over who they will ‘sit’ with. My cat Thor will walk up to me, and nudge the laptop from my lap, curl up, and fall asleep. He only stays there long enough for a cat nap, but he knows that he can do it and won’t be chastised for it. Our cat Belle will only lay on you when you are laying down and near sleep, when she feels safest.

In writing you need to know who you can go to for critiques, ideas, and a good pick me up. There are some out there that you can’t trust, and those that would be hurtful to your ‘mojo’. You don’t want to ask someone to critique your work if they are going to say, “Seriously? You think you can write? That scene where they are in the cafe SUCKS!” After something like that, you may never write again. If you can find a friend who will look at it and say, “You did a good job, but I think some work could be done on the cafe scene. I was a little confused when she walked out. Can you tell me more?”

3. When life gets hectic go to another room and vegitate. When the kids are running around, I’m cooking, my fiance happens to be working on computers or filling up the wood stove, it can get hectic in the house. The cats then know it’s time to head upstairs into the bedrooms or hide in the living room when everyone is in the den.

When I write, I can’t do it around the family with the kids screeching, the dog barking, the dishwasher and washer going (man that last spin cycle is LOUD). I have to take myself out of the hectic atmosphere and go somewhere where the romance can flow. I hide in my room where my office is, some like to go to the library, or a coffee shop. You need to figure out what is right for you and go there, do that.

Realize that you can get an inspiration for writing from anywhere, so keep your eyes open and keep writing.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It by AJ Best



There are many sites that have great articles regarding various methods of promotion. Hopefully some will spark your imagination and give you some ideas that you may not have previously considered.  You may use one of their ideas and spring board it into another or your could possibly spin it in a totally different direction. Remember if you don’t like it, then do what David Bowie said and make Changes! The whole point is to get out there and research.  If you’ve found this article then you are taking a step in the right direction.  Bear in mind that I don’t promote or work for any of these promotion websites, but I do read their articles on a regular basis.  I find some of their facts, ideas and marketing ploys interesting but some of the information has absolutely no bearing on what I’m working on at the moment.

  • http://www.1stturningpoint.com, What I love most about this site is that email reminders when they have posted new articles.  I swear some days I would forget my name if I didn’t have my driver’s license to refer to. Now where did I put that wallet? So, that alone makes this site worth it for me, but wait…there’s more!  These articles are written by authors such as Rowena Cherry and Amber Scott and include great topics such as Email Promotion and Marketing.  This is a wealth of knowledge handed to you on a silver platter, what more could you ask for? Oh, I know I could ask for chocolate, a million dollars, a three book contract and a cabana boy!
  • http://www.epicauthors.com/,  This is a great networking site.  Though it is important that you know that you will need to join EPIC to reap most of the benefits that they offer, but you can access their blog and various articles from the main page.  It’s definitely worth your time and effort for to take a look around.  Make sure if you decide that you are going to try joining EPIC that you check out their membership criteria.  There are two levels of membership and you may qualify for one or both of them.
  • http://pumpupyouronlinebookpromotion.blogspot.com/, From what I’ve seen there are some decent tidbits here. And the fact that I am a bookaholic and they have contests also has absolutely no bearing at all in my choice to put them in this article.  Honestly it was totally random.
  • http://www.bauuinstitute.com/Marketing/IndieMarketingBooksWriting.html, I’ve already found one of my pet peeves brought out into the forefront here and they said I was RIGHT!  Isn’t nice when you can find someone else who can validate you when you think know you are right?  They have great, to the point, information that is very quick and easy to access.  For finding out more about my pet peeve you need to see me in a couple of weeks when I say Gather All Your Friends Around.
  • http://writersdigest.com/article/101-websites-2009-general,  Now you need to remember something here, just because I or some other guy on the net says that this site or the next is the best, guess what?  It might not be the best for you. Only you can determine if a site has any relevance to you at all.  We all think that we are giving out the best and most relevant information to our friends and colleagues, but just because it works for me doesn’t mean it will work for you.  So make sure that when you are reading up on things that you take the “latest and greatest” (even when coming from me) with a grain of salt or twelve.
  • http://www.amazines.com/Publishing/article_category.cfm?catid=37, Another site that has countless topics that helps me feed my reading ADD.  I can read about nearly endless topics and get new ideas almost daily.  Unfortunately, as with most of of the places I love to visit, I don’t have time to go there every day and most of the time not even every other day.  But it’s great to know that when I need or want them, I can look at their left side bar and pull up my topics and off to my knowledge bank they go!

Search the web for sites that you are going to like.  Just because these references do something for me, doesn’t mean that they are going to do something for you.  So, search out different promotional resources.  Follow their advice, or don’t.  Use their ideas or change them.  Jump into the water with both feet, the water’s just fine!

Writer’s Block – Fixes…or not!


I’ve spent an entire week trying to figure out what I’m going to put down for this post. I really hate when I get a writer’s ‘brain fart’. I’ve talked to author friends and told them that they can get through their block and given them GREAT advice (if I do say so myself), but implementing that advice is harder than I thought.

1. Sit down and write anything. Type out exactly what you are thinking.

‘OMG, this post has to make sense to someone. What if I make a total fool of myself? What if….my brain just fried. Now what do I do? Um. Help?’

2. Go to my favorite site for motivation: http://writeordie.com/ Put in 500 words in 10 minutes. Have it in Kamikaze mode and Evil grace period. So this is what comes out of that:

I’m trying to get the writer’s block from my head and to the paper. Do you think that I am going to be able to break it out of my head and onto the paper? Will it work? Can I do it? OH, flashing red lights, focus. I can do it. Yes, I can. I wonder what my brain is doing wrong….maybe it’s not my brain.

3. I tell my friends not to be too hard on themselves. (So much for that advice for me!)

Come on AJ, why can’t you pull something good from what you have in your brain? Maybe you don’t have a brain. Why do you write anyway! You suck.

4. Writing is a job not a hobby – set aside time. (My hardest solution.)

I’ve really lost the battle with this one. I sit down to write and nothing comes out. So I get distracted by email, Twitter (yes, I’ve gotten sucked back in), Facebook, cleaning, family, music, eating. If I were at what I call a ‘real’ job, I would have my butt in the chair doing what I was supposed to be doing. Why do I not consider writing a real job? It is, but I’ve been kicked so often lately that sometimes writing hurts. I think back on the recent rejection letter for my story forgiveness, and hear all they have to say and wonder if they are right. I know they aren’t. My friends who have read it say they aren’t. But why does the horrible mean things that people say about your work stick, and the good things don’t? I guess that’s the same thing with life. It’s hard to realize that you can do it.

So, it’s time for me to stop making excuses and sit butt in chair and write. Even if I think it sucks (which it might) just write. That’s what edits are for. To fix spelling, plot holes and other inconsistencies. No writer I’ve ever known has a perfect MS from the first draft, no one I know who has been contracted has ever had to skip edits. It’s OK to make mistakes, and it’s even better if you take the time to realize them and fix them.

What keeps you from writing the way you should? What do you do to overcome it when it happens? I’d love to hear from you!

*****

AJ Best can be found and harassed at http://www.ajbestwrites.com. She tries to make sure that there is a touch of real life in every one of her stories. Feel free to drop her a line at ajbestwrites@gmail.com.

Let’s Talk About Sex with AJ Best and Salt n Pepa


I’ve always been one to put a song with every topic or sentence in my life. So when this topic hit me in the head, a some came with it.

Sex Scenes SUCK!

Calm down – I have nothing against hot sweaty bodies writhing with with passion. Their nakedness sliding against each other, flesh to flesh, body to body.

Actually, I love sex, just ask my fiance. But he’s one of the reason I don’t like sex scenes. Imagine this situation:

AJ sits at her work computer, tucked quietly away from the family in her upstairs writers cave. The door closed, esentially saying:

I’m writing, GO AWAY!
Unless you are bleeding, and that’s still ifffy.

He edges her ass to the end of the silken sheeted bed. Her damp core leaving tell tale spots of the desire that has been plaguing her dreams.

“Hey honey, what’s for dinner?”

I haven’t looked.”

You have an idea?”

“I haven’t looked. I don’t know what we have.”

“Me either.”

**heavy pause**

“So, you gonna come look?”

I’m writing.”

**pause again**

“How about now?”

It’s at this point that I throw in the proverbial towel and give up. I put the computer to sleep and head off to fix dinner.

Dinner done, I’m headed back to my comfy balance ball. It sits a whole lot better than the stupid office chairs.

Her damp core leaving tell tale spots of the desire that has been plaguing her dreams.

…..

…..

Come on guys, there’s sex to be had.

What did you have for dinner,” he says huskily thinking about a nice juicy t-bone steak.

It doesn’t matter what I had, you guys are HAVING sex! Now get to it.

Did you have desert? I love desert,” She says, her fingers playing in the soft curls leading to his flacid manhood.

“Oh, I love chocolate cake, and whipped cream. There was this one girl I used to date,” he muses with a far off look in his eyes, “boy did she taste good with some whipped cream running from her pert breasts,” he sighs.

“What, my breasts aren’t good enough for you now? You were seconds away from putting your throbbing member into my damp core. And are you trying to say that my breasts aren’t pert? You don’t think ‘I’ would be tasty with whipped cream on me?” she blasted at him while pulling the sheet up around her breasts.

“That’s not what I was saying at all. You are the most beautiful woman in the world. I just brought up Tonya because we were talking about desert, and I wanted you to know that I like desert too.”

“TONYA? You’ve slept with her? I can’t believe it. The things I learn when we should be having sex. It’s a good thing that AJ went to dinner and we had to wait for her. Can you belive the mistake I would have made? AJ? Get me out of here, I don’t want to look at him again,” she stormed out the door sheet in hand covering her more than ample breasts. As she slammed the door the sheet caught and you could hear her muttered curse all the way down the hall.

“You see AJ, this is why I’d rather masterbate, you chicks are just too moody for me.”

I’m quite sure that I can make sure he never has to have sex again, I weild the pencil that rises or lowers his sail.

DAMN INTERUPTIONS!

*****

AJ Best can be found and harassed at http://www.ajbestwrites.com. She tries to make sure that there is a touch of real life in every one of her stories. Feel free to drop her a line at ajbestwrites@gmail.com.