Monday, June 29, 2015

Would I Be as Sweet? The Day I Received My Nom de Plume

"Perhaps the only misplaced curiosity is that which persists in trying to find out here, on this side of death, what lies beyond the grave."                                                                                                                    ~Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette

By any other name
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." - Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

In the grand tradition of Mark Twain, George Eliot, and Dr. Seuss, I have chosen to use a nom de plume. I did so not only to preserve some modicum of privacy in our Instagram world but also so as not to embarrass my grown daughters, who might not want their friends to know their mother could write a love scene. (By their estimation, I have had sex exactly twice since two of them are a set of twins.) Often I am asked how I chose the name "Colette," so today I will tell you how the name was bestowed upon me. These events occurred over twenty years ago, and I promise, they are all true.

As with most stories, mine began when my ex-husband went to a party. He called me early the next day in a highly excitable state, which in and of itself is not so unusual except in this case he wanted to tell me about the psychic he had met the night before. By this point, I had known the man for several years, and although at times he could slide into mild paranoia – and I never have been able to convince him that Oswald acted alone – he had never struck me as someone to give credence to fortune tellers, horoscopes, or the like. In this case, however, he insisted that the woman had been spot on with everything she had said about him and me and our girls, although he refused to elaborate. Instead, he said I would have to go talk to her myself. I took her information more to get him off the phone than for any interest on my part of actually seeing her.

A day or two later, I mentioned this in passing to the guy I was seeing – No, he was not my “boyfriend” because, for one thing, he was a DKE, and for the purposes of this story, I shall refer to him as "Leo Bolt." Well, Leo listened in rapt fascination and was quite keen to meet the psychic; so the next thing I know, I’m calling and making an appointment for a “reading.”

The next day we drove for two hours to an old, broken down mobile home in rural East Feliciana, which only served to validate my low expectations. Why would a truly gifted psychic not get the winning lottery numbers – or at least the trifecta at Evangeline Downs? The septuagenarian who opened the door looked more like my grandmother than Marie Laveau. After offering us coffee, she had us sit down at her vinyl-topped kitchen table and took our money. (I believe it was $40 each, which I am embarrassed to this day to admit I paid.) Then she pulled a well-worn deck of playing cards wrapped in a rubber band from the pocket of her duster. (For $40, I would have at least expected Tarot cards!)

Now to say “I am a skeptic is an understatement” would be an understatement. I was the first from a long lineage of Missourians not born in that state, but I still have that “show me” DNA. When I called her and even when we arrived, I would not give her my name. I told her nothing about me or how I had heard of her or anything about my relationship with Leo. For all she knew, he could have been my brother. And so, with no prior history or information, she began my reading by turning the cards over face up on the table with precision and staring at each one for several moments. And it was completely underwhelming.

She said I had children (she could easily have seen the child seat in my car) but couldn’t say how many. She said I was divorced (having children but no wedding ring – not a bad guess) but I would remarry (I was still in my twenties - no stretch there). Then she said in such a derisive tone that I almost burst out laughing, “But not to him!” pointing at Leo. Well, I certainly knew that; and perhaps my body language indicated to her that he was, uh, not my type. She said I would marry a man with dark curly hair and that he was someone I already knew. I wracked my brain but could think of no one fitting that description, and I told her so – and she argued with me! “Yes, you do!” “No, I don’t.” “Yes, you do!” “OK, moving on…”

I think even a non-psychic could have sensed my impatience at this point, and she sighed and turned over one final card and made this pronouncement: “You were a writer in your last life. You were the writer Colette.” That broke the bounds of all plausibility. Why is it only famous

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Our Sexy Man: Mr Darcy - Vampire! Excerpt from PULSE AND PREJUDICE for #MySexySaturday
Greetings, and welcome to another My Sexy Saturday!

We are working our way up to the 100th Sexy Saturday, and it's going to be huge!

This week’s theme is Our Sexy Man!
"This is all about the sexy men in our books. The young ones, the old ones, the middle aged ones, the ones who turn us on like no other. It’s all about the sexy, hot romance they bring to the pages of the books we read and the books we write.
"Again, this theme has no genre, no rules except that the characters we’re talking about are male and sexy beyond all belief."

Now as far as I'm concerned, the only thing sexier than Mr. Darcy is a VAMPIRE Mr. Darcy! But as I discussed in my post Devil in the Details, Miss Austen provided little by way of physical descriptions of the characters in Pride and Prejudice. "Her physical descriptions of characters were as explicit as Jane – beautiful, Bingley – good-looking, Darcy – tall and handsome, Charlotte – plain, Lydia – stout, Mrs. Gardiner – elegant, Mr. Collins – tall and “heavy-looking,” Anne de Bourgh – “pale and sickly.” I believe the most detailed physical description she reserved for Lady Catherine: “a tall, large woman, with strongly-marked features, which might once have been handsome.” Austen never called them blond or brunette nor named the color of their eyes (Elizabeth’s are merely described as “fine” and "dark")."

Thus, in my adaptations, neither do I. Of course, while writing Pulse and Prejudice, I had Colin Firth in my mind the entire time. If you have any doubt, just take a look at this video by Andressa Santos. He can bite my neck anytime!

In the novel, however, I didn't describe him. Especially as 90% of the novel comes from his point of view, what was I going to have him do? Look in the mirror and say, "Damn, I am sexy as hell!" Of course not! He's a VAMPIRE - he can't look at himself in a mirror!

Hence, I have taken this week's snippet from a scene in Volume IV: Beyond Pride and Prejudice from Elizabeth's point of view. This volume is outside of canon, and she and Darcy have just had an argument at a ball. Still, we do not "see" his physical attributes, but he moves with "predaceous grace" - like a panther on the prowl...for her.
Now that's sexy!

Searching for the ladies’ withdrawing room, Elizabeth soon found the bedroom set aside for this purpose. As she entered, a heavy thump resounded from the balcony. She rushed to the open French windows to investigate and nearly fell back in surprise when she found Mr. Darcy there.
She froze for a moment before remembering to breathe. “How did you get up here?”
“I jumped,” he said as he moved towards her, matching each step she took backwards.

“You mustn’t be here. Someone might find us—” but the door shut behind her before she could finish. She was alone with him, a vampire with the strength of ten men. He approached her with predaceous grace, and the intensity of his gaze launched an array of emotions within her. She thought she should be angry or frightened, but instead she felt exhilarated; and the fury, which had burned in her moments before, dissolved. Her pulse raced much as it had done during their waltz, and the memory of being in his arms caused her to blush again.

     She stopped retreating and let him reach her. “Are…are you weaving a spell on me now?” she said just above a whisper.
     He shook his head gently and took her hand. 

I hope you have enjoyed this excerpt for My Sexy Saturday. You can find the story of Mr Darcy, Vampire... Amazon - Print, Kindle, and AudiobookAmazon UK - Print, Kindle, and AudiobookBarnes and Noble - Nook, Amazon CanadaAll Romamce eBooksOmniLitAll eBook FormatsAudiobook Now Available from AudibleAmazon, and iTunes.
Also, with the upcoming release of my next novel, the romantic noir thriller THE WIDOW, my publicist has started a "street team," so you can join here to be the first to get news, previews, special offers, gifts and exclusive giveaways! Plus you can tell me your opinions or ask questions.

Remember, this is a blog hop, so please continue and visit these other authors for My Sexy Saturday:

Sunday, June 21, 2015

99¢ eBook 3 Days Only! Read Excerpt: THE PROUD AND THE PREJUDICE: A Modern Twist on Pride & Prejudice

Good Morning, dear readers!

A long time ago, I participated in the weekly 6 Sentence Sunday blog hop, but then it kind of faded into existence, which resulted in all sorts of manifestations. Thus, I try to keep up with the "My Sexy Saturday"  blog hop with the dictates of a particular theme when I am able. This week’s theme is Our Sexy Best!
"This theme has no genre, no rules except that the characters know their other half is better than all the rest. They may have had lovers before but nothing compares to the lover they are with."

I had a difficult choice making a selection but this time for a different reason: ALL of my novels have that special moment! How could I choose from just one?  So I put it to a vote on the Austen Variations Facebook group to choose one of my Pride and Prejudice adaptations: Modern or Vampire. Pulse and Prejudice won by a nose (or a fang), and here is that My Sexy Saturday if you care to check it out.

I did, however, feel badly for those who voted for the modern adaptation, and so I promised that I would post an excerpt from The Proud and the Prejudiced based on that theme today.


“I think you are in love with me, Alice. You’re just afraid to admit it.”  
In that moment, she knew he was right. She was in love with him. Desperately. Madly. Violently.
He moved within her in a slow, languid tempo, punctuating each stroke with a soft kiss as if intending to tattoo the moment on her memory. He had not lied. He had said he would make love to her, and this could be called nothing less – not sleeping together or having sex or intercourse or screwing. With each thrust, he pushed her deeper and deeper, with the well of emotion overflowing until a tear trickled from her eye. He didn’t ask why, only wiped it away with his thumb and kissed her lips again.


The Proud and the Prejudice will be available for 99¢ on eBook for 3 days only!  So get your copy today!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sexy Best - A Snippet from PULSE AND PREJUDICE: The Confession of Mr Darcy, Vampire
Welcome to My Sexy Saturday!

This week’s theme is Our Sexy Best!
"This theme has no genre, no rules except that the characters know their other half is better than all the rest. They may have had lovers before but nothing compares to the lover they are with."

Once again, I have had a difficult choice making a selection but this time for a different reason: ALL of my novels have that special moment! How could I choose from just one? I really love the moment in my upcoming romantic noir thriller The Widow, but I think I will draw out the anticipation on that!

So I put it to a vote on the Austen Variations Facebook group to choose one of my Pride and Prejudice adaptations: Modern or Vampire. Pulse and Prejudice won by a nose (or a fang); and since this is supposed to be a "sexy" snippet, I have selected six lines from Volume IV: Beyond Pride and Prejudice, which begins immediately after the second proposal and is where I venture off on my own and have a little bloody fun. (I did feel badly for those why voted for Modern, so I have a sexy excerpt from The Proud and the Prejudiced here.)

If I may be so vulgar as to quote from a recent review:
"The last few chapters got a little steamy and it was incredible! Colette was able to add a touch of sexiness to Austen and pulled it off with class; it was an addition to the story and didn’t bring down the quality of the novel. Austen gets a little sexy and I kind of want some more of it! If you are a Jane Austen fan like I am, then this is book you need to add to your collection. A spinoff done right, what more could a bookworm ask for!?"

As I warn readers who prefer Darcy and Elizabeth to remain chaste, skip Volume IV altogether and go from Volume III to the Epilogue.  I would also suggest that you not read this sexy snippet! For everyone else, enjoy~

The prior three days without Elizabeth had been torture. When she had emerged from the rain and stood in the library, he thought at first she might be a mirage. Her eyes were full of love and longing, her words as sweet as her lips. 

Had he stopped at tender kisses, he might have been able to control his lust; but she yearned for the kind of kisses he wanted to give her. 

Within moments, the last fragments of his resolve had shattered; he must have her. He would take her, body and blood, two divergent desires converging here with this woman.

I hope you have enjoyed this excerpt for My Sexy Saturday. You can find the story of Mr Darcy, Vampire, by clicking here; and don't forget to enter the Goodreads contest for a beautiful hardcover edition at the top of this blog.

Remember, this is a blog hop, so please continue and visit these other talented authors:

Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Good Ol Sexy Time: Excerpt from ALICIA'S POSSESSION for My Sexy Saturday
Welcome to My Sexy Saturday!

This week’s theme is A Good Ol Sexy Time.
"This week’s theme is A Good Ole Sexy Time and think about things like the Dukes of Hazzard or maybe Nashville or the Appalachian Mountains. This week is about…well…normal people. You know, the boys next door, the good ole boys, the boys of summer and everything in between. There is nothing more sexy than a man at the beach or getting done with his chores or doing his best at any task."

OK, well, I don't really write about the "boys next door" - and certainly not "good ole boys"! In my upcoming romantic noir thriller The Widow, the hero is an undercover DEA agent. In The Proud and the Prejudiced, Peter Walsingham is a famous movie star. And in Pulse and Prejudice, the vampire Darcy is, well, Mr. Darcy!

Alicia's Possession does have a police detective, which is about as close as I could get to a "normal" person doing his job.  Enjoy~

Mason gripped her upper arms, forcing her eyes to meet his. He knew he’d made a mistake the moment her warmth bled through the silk of her robe and into his palms, sending a ripple of sensation up his arms and down his body. "Why did you lie about knowing Judith?" he asked, his voice low and gravelly but not in the terse tone he used to intimidate a witness. No, she might not recognize it, but he could hear his lust cradling each syllable.
She squeezed her eyes tight as if to prevent her tears’ escape, but instead it forced them down her cheeks. “I wasn’t lying. I don’t know her. I don’t remember her. I don’t remember anything.”
He lifted one hand from her arm and brushed the tears from her cheek with his thumb before running it across her bottom lip. Her eyes remained closed, and his chest rose and fell in rhythm with hers. He leaned in close enough to inhale her breath.
“Don’t,” she said without force.
He shuffled his feet forward the few inches required for his body to brush against her breasts. “How can you not remember?”
“Th-the accident.”
He brought his mouth down, barely touching hers, his tongue tasting the salt of tears on her lips—those lips he had wanted to kiss from the first moment they’d met.

About Alicia's Possession

After recovering from a freak car crash that put her in a coma for two months and left her with no memory of the accident, wealthy socialite Alicia Pageant becomes convinced there is a connection between the seemingly mysterious disappearance of the neighbor across the lake and the bizarre occurrences inside her own house; but everyone—including the investigating detective—thinks the woman’s head injury left her unable to distinguish reality from fantasy.

As Detective Mason Crawley investigates this “suspicious incident,” Alicia’s palpable sadness and vulnerability awaken his instinct to protect her and lead her into the light; but when her story begins to unravel, each new piece of information creates more questions than it answers. He begins to wonder if he is falling in love with a woman who is a witness to a cleverly-concealed crime, dangerously delusional, or a murderer.

 Available in Print, eBook, and now Audiobook

This is a Blog Hop, so please continue and visit these other sites for more sexy snippets from My Sexy Saturday...

If Orange is the New Black, then Black is the New Red! How To Escape from a Bad Dye Job

Greetings dear readers!

It's back! I don't know about the rest of you, but I became addicted to Orange is the New Black (truly like heroin) last year when my daughter finally forced us to get a Roku so we could see the amazing things on NetFlix (like House of Cards). This actually led us to several arguments because she likes Alex and I think she's a narcissistic sociopath.

When I started watching, I didn't understood how it worked -- that all of the season's episodes are available at once -- and I binge-watched my way through every episode only to be shocked and nearly despondent when I realized there were no more episodes! I don't know what it is about this show that is so habit forming -- I mean, it is quite shocking, and my husband is not allowed to watch it! That's why I'll have a new season marathon while he's at work.

This blog, however, has nothing to do with this or any other TV show. This is something that happened in my real life, and I bet I'm not the only one who has had to deal with this:  A BAD dye job.  And I mean my hair, not like getting dye packs thrown in when you're trying to rob a bank!

Natural Color
So my natural hair color is a dark brown auburnish shade, and as I have aged and those little sneaky grey hairs started popping up, I began dying my hair to match my natural color.

Well, then when I was getting ready for a public appearance at a conference and booksigning, I thought to myself it would be fun to go a little redder.  I really should not take my own advice. It came out BLACK.  I mean seriously dark - and nothing like indicated on the package! I mean, look at me, and look at that "shade guide."  That's supposed to come out some kind of serious red!

Instead, it came out extremely dark. Now this picture was taken in the sun, so it doesn't look nearly as dark as it actually turned out to be because, to look at me, you would have said I had black hair. Now does THIS look like any of the "color results" in the "shade guide"?

So, naturally, I call my daughter (even if she does like that psycho Alex) to tell her my situation. I did not want this dark, dark hair!  I didn't think it went well with my complexion. And plus it wasn't red!

She told me how to deal with a bad dye job, and I am passing her knowledge onto you, my dear readers.

What you need:

Vitamin C tablets
Dandruff shampoo
Mortar and pestle or bowl and muddler
Shower cap

Seriously, I cannot believe how easy AND effective this was. I have really long hair, so I used several 1000 mg. Vitamin C tablets. I only had a tiny mortar and pestle at the time, so I crushed them in a bowl with a muddler until I had nothing but powder.

Then add enough dandruff shampoo to make a loose paste.

Next, really scrub it into your hair. Be sure to get it all over. Then pile is on your head and cover it with a shower cap for 20-30 minutes.

 And that, my dears, is it!  Rinse it out, dry your hair, and you are no longer serving a sentence with black (or orange) hair!

Then I was back to my natural (dyed) color, which is a reddish brown.  Once again, this photo was taken in the sun, so it really isn't this light. And it is a marked improvement over the black hair I had after the dye job! I hope some of you will benefit from this in case you're ever sentenced to several months with the wrong hair.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Maria Grace Returns for Coffee with her NEW Release, MISTAKING HER CHARACTER

Coffee with Colette
Good morning, dear readers!  
It is always a special treat when Maria Grace stops by for Coffee! Not only does she always bring a wonderful new variation on our favourite Jane Austen novel, but she always has some interesting tale about her writing process -- or perhaps I should say "tail" because there is usually some critter involved, from hummingbirds to donkeys! Today is no exception.

This is Maria's third visit, and I am almost surprised she came back! 
We recently spent the weekend together, along with fellow Austen Variations Author Jack Caldwell, at the Jane Austen Literary Festival; and I was continually giving offense. Don't let the grumpy bird fool you; Maria is always smiling and laughing. If I may be so bold as to reference her third novel, she does not just have All the Appearance of Goodness; and there is no mistaking her character - she truly is completely charming. And talented! When she told me about her latest release, I was blown away by her creativity; and now it is here! Aren't you lucky you don't have to wait?

Mistaking Her Character

I’ve had the privilege to visit here with Colette on previous occasions and I usually bring with me a bevy of hummingbirds, my muses in feathered form. This time is a little different. The hummingbirds morphed into something quite different for this project.

The creature you see before you, quoting Jane Austen, is technically a Blue Fairy Wren I met on a trip to Florida. We just call him Grumpy, for obvious reasons. A picture of Grumpy, with his favorite Jane Austen quote sits on my desk and watches me write. He reminds me not to temper my characters when they become disagreeable, that they in fact, can make a story more interesting if I let them carry on.

I did just that with my most recent tale, Mistaking Her Character and found my disagreeable characters taking over my storyline. I had an outline. I knew where the story was going, who the villain would be. At least I thought I did. But I listened to the grumpy bird and things turned inside out. The character I had thought to be a passive, but generally nice person turned out to be quite the opposite and the supposed villain was just an annoying secondary character.

Needless to say, this took the story is a very different direction and my poor outline lay forgotten as I chased after my story with a pen and paper in hand, screaming “Wait for me!” I followed the plot into unexpected places, emotional abuse, drug addiction, chronic illness and misuse of power and through it all my heroine and hero managed to hold on to their dignity and their principles and rise from the ashes for their happy ending.

Here’s an excerpt of the journey my grumpy bird led me on.

Excerpt Catherine loomed in the parlor doorway, her features gathering into her darkest, most menacing scowl. “A word, if you please.” She turned on her heel and disappeared into her lair.

Elizabeth dropped a small curtsey and rushed into the parlor to brave the dragon in all her fury. If only she had remembered to bring her sword in her workbag.

Lady Catherine ascended her throne, a stony mask of creases, gnarls and shadow firmly in place.

Was that the scent of burning sulfur in the air?

“Your ladyship?”

“You think I am ignorant of what you are about, young woman?”