The “Write” Place

2 12 2009

Otherwise known as "Starvation Plantation"

Three years ago, my husband and I were lamenting over how much money we were wasting spending on our family vacations and weekend getaways. We decided to purchase a riverfront lot and build a cabin near our favorite fishing spot and start paying for a retreat that would be ours to keep. Just this week we spent our first holiday in our newly built cabin.

Scott and I argue over what to call it: a vacation home, a fishing cabin, a writer’s retreat. Whatever you call it, it’s an excellent place to clear your mind. No cell phone signal in these woods. No DSL Internet access. The only sounds around the home are the occasional fishing boats humming past and the wildlife after dark. If you don’t think wildlife can be distracting, let me tell ya, you just need to step onto our deck after sunset. Coyote fights, shrieking owls, running deer, whistling foxes, and screeching herons–the woods come alive!

I’m expecting to get lots of writing done here and reading too. I pull up a chair on the deck, my laptop balanced on my lap, and a cup of coffee at my side, and let ‘er rip as the sun rises over the river. My morning view is what you see in the picture to the left. It’s not hard to think romance when you’ve got a 360 degree view. Now if I could keep my hubs from watching satelite TV football games inside the cabin…but that’s another post!!

That’s my favorite new writing place. I don’t get to visit it as often as I’d like, but when I do, it should be magic. Estelle wrote in an earlier post about her retreat. I’d love to hear what retreats you’ve been to or about ones you’d like to visit. Where is your “write” place?





Widow’s Peak Contest Winners!

24 09 2009

Hi all, and thanks to everybody for entering.

The winner of the $10 Amazon Gift Certificate is Kammie

The winner of the Autographed Copy of Widow’s Peak is Abigail Maupin

The winner of the Welsh Pewter Necklace is HODGEPODGESPV

Contact me at hanna@hannarhys.com with your Mailing Address and I’ll get your prizes on the way to you.

I’ll keep all your comments in mind as I’m creating the next two heroes in the series. Here’s a peek at Jamie Barnard, Lady Amye’s son and the hero from Book 2, Kissed By A Rose:

Castle Cilgerran loomed underneath the dull gray of an overcast sky. Sir James Barnard reined his horse to a stop and glanced up at the square stone tower standing atop the hill. At last, he neared his mother’s new home. But it would never be his home. The realization took hold like a knife drawn across his chest.

Anger overpowered his exhaustion. The bitter battle with his brother, John, flooded his thoughts and the muscles tightened at the back of his neck. Was it a bit much to call him a covetous, spurious ass?

Abelard pawed the ground and he released the tense grip his thighs held on the horse’s ribs.

“Sorry boy.” He reached forward and patted the silver dappled neck.

Like armor grown too small, a heaviness pressed against him. A deep sigh did nothing to ease the tightness. No reason to put off the inevitable. “Go on, then.”

The horse broke into a comfortable canter.

With Mother remarried, John now held the title of Lord of the estate. He could do what the hell he pleased. Nothing Jamie could do would stop the self-interested fool from destroying the domain their parents had spent a lifetime building. But who was more the fool—John for wasting the fortune, or himself for giving his brother a reason to ban him from the only home he had ever known, Edensmouth.

Rain plinked on his breastplate, and he looked up at the clouds gathered overhead. What had driven his mother to move to this god-forgotten place? What had driven her to marry—a troubadour?

His mood matched the darkening sky, but a laugh escaped his lips. “‘Tis not as if anyone could have stopped her, Abelard. Amye Barnard does what she pleases.” Anxiety twisted his heart into a knot and pulled the ends tight. Had he known of her plan to re-marry, taken the time to come home, there might have been a way to stop her.

A figure burst through the tall pines lining the road. A short tunic covered oddly shaped breeches, but the thick braid, falling nearly to the waist was that of a woman. She watched behind her as if being chased.

A gentle press of his thighs signaled Abelard to stop and he stood in the stirrups. His eyes narrowed as he scanned the thick woods, but could see no one in pursuit.

She ran into Abelard’s flank with a loud thunk and fell to the ground.

The huge destrier considered them under assault. He reared up to trample the attacker.

Jamie nearly tumbled off, but he threw his weight forward and loosed a sharp whistle.

The well-trained animal wheeled away, missing the stunned woman by no more than a blade’s width.

Heart pounding, he slid from the horse’s back. “Are you injured?” he asked, using one of the few phrases of Welsh he knew.

She sat up. Strands of reddish brown hair escaped from her braid and swirled around her face as she shook her head. The strange pants were merely the back of her kirtle pulled forward and tucked into her belt. Dark smears of dirt on her face matched those on the tan tunic, but a beautiful woman hid beneath the wild forest creature.

“Let me help you.” He smiled and extended his hand, but as he stepped forward, she sprang to her feet and backed away.

Her wrinkled forehead reminded him of a terrified rabbit, trapped in the open, with no place to hide, but it made her face seem somehow…familiar. Then without uttering a sound, she turned.

“Stop!” he drew his short arming sword, but his warning came too late.

She ran headlong into two large men.

Look for Kissed By A Rose in 2010.





Wish for the Moon–contest announcement

18 09 2009

The grand prize winner of the lavender spa basket & signed book is Mary Ricksen, and the winner of the 2nd signed book is Jennifer Fedderson. Congrats, ladies! I’ll be contacting you by email for your mailing addresses.

–Sandra Jones
author of Wish for the Moon, available NOW from The Wild Rose Press





Part two–Taming the Beast

18 09 2009
The healing powers of nature

The healing powers of nature

When thinking about what makes the perfect hero, the following comes to my mind: intelligence, courage, compassion, sex appeal, etc.  But for a Beauty & the Beast-themed story, where would the Beast be without Belle? Her influence over him helps him make the change from a miserable creature to a man–complete in every sense of the word.

Belle is a hero in her own right. Much like the heroine in my time-travel romance, Wish for the Moon.  Optimistic, buoyant, and friendly, Carrie Greer is the complementary opposite to Matthias Thorne’s reclusive beast. She’s an expert herbalist and small business entrepreneur. But her biggest obstacle in life is the only thing she can’t change: her health.

Carrie is an epileptic.

My sister-in-law Jennifer was a helpful source of inspiration for writing about Carrie. No shrinking violet herself, she has battled and endured her disability her entire life. Her multiple treatments and their side-effects have caused Jennifer setbacks but never changed her positive attitude.

Southern “belle” Carrie is determined to find the rare herb chronicled by medieval monks as a cure for seizures–an herb long-thought extinct until its rebirth during archeological excavations on Matthias’s property in Wales.  Little does she know the fearsome welcome that awaits behind the crumbling ancient walls.

Her physical appearance contradicts her attitude. Though she may appear frail, she has the stubbornness and heart of a Celtic warrior, herself!

Wish for the Moon

Wish for the Moon

Read an excerpt below:

With his hands on his hips, Matthias gave the attendants a sour look, and they scampered out immediately.

“Matthias,” Carrie crooned softly, “you know you’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

“And what’s that supposed to mean, Miss Scarlett?” he drawled mockingly.

She grabbed his hand and pulled him down to the bed, grinning. “It means, if you’re nice to people, they’ll be nice to you.”

He lifted a brow. “And how many men have you commanded?” His hands closed around her waist as he lowered a kiss to her neck.

Dying to touch him, she loosened his tunic and ran her fingers underneath the fabric, skimming

across his skin. “One.”

Win a Soothing Lavender Spa Basket plus a signed copy of Wish for the Moon!!!

Win a Soothing Lavender Spa Basket plus a signed copy of Wish for the Moon!!!

As today is the Official Release Day of Wish for the Moon, I am giving away a fantastic basket of lavender spa products which Carrie would heartily approve of, along with a signed copy of Wish for the Moon in a drawing. All you have to do to get your name in the drawing is to answer the following questions and/or post a  comment:  What characteristics do you like to see in a heroine/hero? In your opinion, do their imperfections make them less heroic or more? If you read last Monday’s post, Taming the Beast pt 1, and commented on both parts, you’ll get two entries in the contest today! Double the chance of winning!!

I’ll post the winners this Saturday at midnight.  Good luck!

Sandra

–author of Wish for the Moon, available now at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.





Taming the Beast

13 09 2009
Wish for the Moon

Wish for the Moon

Our month-long discussion about heroes continues….Plus, a MAJOR new contest!!!!

Beauty & the Beast is my all-time favorite fairy tale. In real life, it’s a common fantasy–a girl who hopes her love will be the thing that tames a beast. I admit I love a great brooding hero with lots of faults–a character who’s perfectly imperfect! But hey–let’s face it, some men are hopeless, unchangeable, and all the love in the world won’t make them turn from their bad ways. Their women are left frustrated and brokenhearted.

I thank goodness for the world of romance novels where we can escape the hard reality of life and embrace a fantasy where the hero can begin as  a cold, stubborn cad–who melts like snow in July on the hood of a black Corvette for the lady who holds his heart. Take the hero of my new time-travel romance, for example.

Let me introduce you to Matthias Thorne. As far as looks go, he originated completely from my imagination. Sorry, there’s no single actor for me to thank for his creation. Let’s just say in real life he would look a little like Gerard Butler meets Johnny Depp and have a clipped accent like Alan Rickman.  Once a young romantic knight, Matthias became dry, reserved, and miserable over the course of time–due to the circumstances that drove him from his home and his family, and into a life of solitude. Now you tell me, is he unworthy of love? Or does the heart of chivalry beat deep within the warrior, waiting for the right woman to warm his cold exterior?

Read an excerpt below, leave a comment, and I’ll enter you in a drawing to win a copy of the book which is being released this Friday. Come back that day when I blog about heroines, leave another comment, and you’ll receive 2 entries to win a prize basket containing some lovely soothing lavendar spa products!!

Silhouetted by lamplight, Matthias Thorne stood with his back to them, bracing his hands on the stone mantel of the hearth. His dark hair fell in waves to his shoulders. Beneath the tight white fabric of a damp dress shirt, the muscles of his broad back were plainly visible. As if a dark sorcerer contemplating the fate of the world, he stared into the black pit. Finally, he spoke, “What is it, Nigel?”

The caretaker turned the stereo volume down. A lump formed in Carrie’s throat. “I found this lady on the grounds, sir. She says she knows you.”

Thorne glanced sharply over his shoulder. His eyes glinted. “What the hell are you doing here?”  The room echoed under the weight of his barked demand. He rounded on them, his mercurial glare passing over Carrie.

The gatekeeper answered, “I found her near the gatehouse. Her bicycle is parked by the road, sir. She says all she wants is to see the grounds. I can show her around and let her straight out, if you like…”

Thorne waved a dismissive hand in the air, silencing poor Nigel. The man could do more communicating without talking than anyone she’d ever met. He strode toward them, a gothic nightmare. Light and shadow fell across his face as he drew near, and his eyes gleamed with outrage. He obviously wasn’t used to people challenging his orders.

Thorne stopped in front of them. “That’s exactly what Miss Greer came for, Nigel. I’d rather not give her the satisfaction,” he replied smoothly.

Is this man truly incorrigible…or a beast about to be tamed?

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Best Wishes,

Sandra

Wish for the Moon available in print and ebook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and The Wild Rose Press.