Cherrie Lynn

Archive for August, 2009

Friday, August 28th, 2009
And He Sold!

In case you haven’t noticed my updated Books page or the sidebar or my Tweet or my post on RD–can you tell I’m excited?–Brian’s story sold to Samhain! Right now we’re calling it Rock Me (though these things tend to change) and it’s scheduled for release on May 4, 2010. I’m thrilled to be working with my awesome editor, Linda Ingmanson, again.

Everything is still in the early stages, of course, but I’ll update with a blurb and other good stuff as soon as I have finalized versions. I think I’m just as ecstatic over this one as I was over the first, but then I wonder, does it ever get old? How could it?

For a couple of unedited excerpts, check out my Excerpt Monday posts for June and August. Same story, only it had a different title back then.

In other news, Unleashed will be out in print in February. I’m now turning my attention to my contemporary paranormal demon/angel story, as yet untitled. I had a few thousand words written, but had to scrap them when there was a change in plot. So I’ve been allowing myself a couple weeks’ downtime while I bask in the glow of my second sale and psych myself up for the new project. I plan to throw myself into it full force September 1; wish me luck.

Oh, and slightly less thrilling but pertinent because I need music to write (and to breathe and to live, for that matter)…I’ve become strangely obsessed with “New World In My View,” by King Britt/Sister Gertrude Morgan, the song that played at the end of True Blood last Sunday. So, so cool.

Sunday, August 16th, 2009
My Writer’s Quirk

I’ve heard of actors who have a hard time watching their own movies and singers who won’t listen to their own songs. Well, I find it very difficult to read my own work once I know it’s out there. This might seem like an amusing little quirk, but it’s almost debilitating, because there’s that pesky editing process to get through. By nature of this process, you are required to face your mistakes head on and deal with them.

I just finished up galley proofs for Unleashed, and it was all I could do to struggle through. I’m always seeing things I should’ve worded differently, thinking of things I should have added, or finding words or phrases I wish I’d left out altogether. Knowing my friends have read it–even my mom has read it–seriously freaks me out. This isn’t because it was my first book; I’ve been writing since I was a kid and I’ve always been like this. So, first book or fortieth, it won’t matter. Once my words have had another set of eyes on them, I have to force myself to read them. It’s even hard for me to read over my posts for Excerpt Monday.

I don’t want to doubt myself. I know I have a lot to learn, and I’ll never learn it all. I think I’m pretty laid back and easy going as writers go. I don’t get in a snit over editorial changes, and rejection doesn’t get me down much at all, if only because I go in expecting it. So I don’t understand why I have to have this one big, weird, almost paralyzing quirk…but it makes me want to crawl under something and not come out.

Saturday, August 15th, 2009
Brian’s Playlist

Music is a huge inspiration to me. I couldn’t work without it. Not only do certain songs help me dig down deep when I need to write a particularly emotional scene, but my favorite way to unwind is to turn up my iPod and drown out the world. This is usually when my ideas come to me, sometimes a new storyline, sometimes a breakthrough for a current one.

I had a lot of fun writing Brian’s story because he likes my kind of music. So I thought I’d run down a list of tunes that either appear in his book, or inspired his character.

“Deep” by Nine Inch Nails — The video is playing when Candace goes to Brian for her first tattoo. The lyrics, along with the toxic dyes in the video… hotness.
“My Curse” by Killswitch Engage —
One particular line in this song inspired a whole scene.
“This Love” by Pantera —
Dark, ominous, angry, kind of scary. If you’re a metal fan in Texas, you have to love Pantera. It’s required.
“Freak on a Leash” by Korn —
Song is about how Jonathan Davis feels in the music industry, but it’s also how Brian feels when he’s dealing with family issues. There’s also a scene at a Korn concert. Since they’re my favorite band, and inspire me on a whole other level, I had to give them a shout-out.
“Dead Memories” by Slipknot —
I meant to include this in a scene in which Brian is reminiscing about a past girlfriend (Candace’s cousin), because it sums up his feelings about it quite well. I never put it in, but it still makes the cut here. Maybe I’ll edit it in later.
“Two Weeks” by All That Remains —
Mainly because I really, really like it. And because the story happens over a course of roughly two weeks, and it’s a rollercoaster. This is the song that’s actually playing in the reminiscing scene mentioned above.
“Bliss” by Syntax —
Because Candace likes it. She thinks it’s sexy. ;)
Cuts You Up” by Static-X — He’s pretty cut up and pissed off about it when this is playing…
“Oblivion” by Mastodon — Because sometimes I would hear a song and simply think, “He would love this.”
“Twilight Zone” by Golden Earring — Mainly for a fun, blowing-off steam scene I eventually deleted. It’s still a guilty pleasure!
“You’re Going Down” by Sick Puppies — Another I never mentioned in the book, but makes me think of a certain face-off that occurs…

So, there’s a general idea of what my soundtrack was like for this book. I must say, I’m really having withdrawals after finishing it! I miss seeing it open on my desktop. I have no plans to write Brian and Evan’s sister’s story at the moment, but I might have to someday, just to revisit these characters.

Monday, August 10th, 2009
August Excerpt Monday

Excerpt Monday Logo

Welcome once again to Excerpt Monday! Click the banner to learn all about it.

In celebration of my finishing Sweet Rebellion (working title only), this month we’re returning to Brian and Candace–go back to June for an introduction to them–and a hot little exchange they have after falling asleep watching a scary movie together. I hope you enjoy. :)

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The clock on Candace’s bookshelf revealed in glowing green numbers that it was after three a.m. “It’s so late.”

Brian stood and stretched his tall, lean physique in a way that reminded her of a sleek black panther. “I shouldn’t have crashed on you. You should go on to bed.”

She scrambled up next to him. “No, I mean, it’s late, and you’re sleepy, so, um…you don’t have to go.” She became lost in the flickering light from the TV reflected in his dark eyes. “I hate to think of you out driving right now. I would worry about you.”

“Trust me, I’ve been out later than this.”

He must think she was still a naïve little kid. Maybe in some ways she was. She was operating on auto-pilot here. “I’m sure you have, but I’d like for you to stay.”

“I really shouldn’t.”

“Why not?”

He just looked at her, a puzzled line appearing between his eyebrows.

“I’m not asking for anything,” she said in a rush. “I—”

Her voice gave out. How in the hell could she think she was ready for this, any of this, when she didn’t even have the guts to tell him out loud what she wanted?

She was a colossal failure at playing the seductress, and the humiliation bit hard and deep. If she struck out now, she would never be able to face him again, the only guy she’d ever felt…this…for.

Maybe it was twisted that she was contemplating exploring territory her cousin had mapped before, but that had become nothing more than an unhappy circumstance in her mind. Michelle had only seen him first. Michelle would probably do the same thing, were their positions reversed. Michelle would certainly know what to do in this situation, with a man she desperately wanted standing in her living room in the middle of a lonely night. She’d take him, make him hers, make him crazy with desire for her.

“You’re not?” he asked darkly, and her heart kicked against her rib cage. The look in his eyes terrified her far more than any movie ever could have, but it was a thrilling, exciting fear. Like the last heart-stopping second before the plunge of a roller coaster.

“Well, y-yes, I am, actually.”

He took a step closer, and another, until he was only inches away. So close she could’ve reached out and slipped her hand under his shirt. Or put her arms around his waist to pull him closer.

She couldn’t look up at him after her confession, focusing instead on the splotchy patterns on his shirt. The effort of keeping her breath steady and even was fast becoming a losing battle.

When his hand came up and his fingers brushed her cheek, she couldn’t help closing her eyes at the exquisitely gentle touch and leaning into its warmth.

“Candace,” he said softly. “You’re incredibly beautiful, and I—” He gave up with a sigh. She opened her eyes to see him lean his head back for a moment. “I would be fool to leave.”

He thinks I’m beautiful. She trembled, searching his face for any emotions that might cross it. His jaw clenched as his gaze locked on his hand lying against her cheek. Was that despair? Indecision? He gave her skin a light stroke with his thumb, sending tingles down her spine. “But this isn’t what I had planned when I came here. I promise you that,” he said.

“That’s okay. I didn’t have it planned, either.”

“But I don’t think you were opposed to the idea, were you?”

“Were you?”

“I’ve told myself it’s not going to happen with you, yes.”

Her heart withered in her chest. “Why not?”

“Because you’re you. I can’t explain it any better than that. I think about you all the time, but whenever I do, I feel like a scumbag.”

“What do you think about?”

His sensual lips twisted. “Are you really going to make me answer that?”

“Oh.” She forced her lungs to expand with air. “It’s okay. I think about you too. A lot. And I always wonder what Michelle would think, which makes me feel guilty, but I can’t stop myself. She’s with someone else now and seems really happy, so I don’t feel so bad anymore.” Another deep breath. “I’ve missed you. I don’t want to go back to missing you so much.”

“Sweetheart,” he murmured. Then he did what she had been fantasizing about from the moment he’d touched her: he slid his hand further along her cheek, into her hair. Past her ear. Until his fingers threaded deep and tight into the strands and he palmed the back of her head, bringing her closer until their lips hovered a breath apart.

She made a whimpering sound she hated herself for, and his other hand came up to smooth her hair away from her face. Trapped against him like this, she was powerless. Consumed by him. His breath on her lips, his scent filling her nostrils. The warmth of his hands and his lean body against her. But it was the hard column of his erection pressing into her abdomen that left her in ashes.

He wanted her. It was all the evidence she needed, all the encouragement. She transferred her weight to her tiptoes, closing the distance between his mouth and hers in one small movement. Her heart leapt for joy with the simple, soft contact, and she reveled in the silky scratch of his goatee. The brush of his warm, dry lips opening against her own. But it felt too tentative, too cautious. It wasn’t what she wanted. She wanted to-hell-with-the-world passion. She wanted him to feel everything she was feeling, the delight and the terror. How to break the dam?

She meant to put her arms around his neck, but where they went was under his shirt, to the hot, firm flesh beneath. His muscles tensed beneath her touch and, taking that as a good sign, she didn’t retreat but explored further. Tracing the subtle ridges of a six-pack, then the well-defined pecs above. He stiffened and moaned as her fingers passed delicately over the hard circlets of his nipple rings, and that was all it took.

The hand at the back of her head fisted in her hair and she had the crazy thought that this was a Jekyll and Hyde kiss. Reserved and almost passive one minute. Monstrous the next. His mouth claimed hers in a burning rush and she bent back beneath the onslaught, buffeted by sensation that had her gasping against him every time she could come up for air. His tongue invaded her mouth and coaxed hers into a sinuous dance behind her teeth.

She pulled her hands away to clutch fistfuls of his T-shirt and wrench it upward, desperate to finally bare his flesh to her sight. “Take this off,” she pleaded against his mouth. He broke the kiss to peel off his shirt in one fluid motion, tossing it on the couch as she marveled at the TV-lit expanse of skin he revealed. God. It would take hours to lie down and inspect the detailed markings on his arms. She would love to have that kind of time with him.

Smoothing her hands over his skin, she wondered if he noticed how they trembled. When she dared a glance at his face, his eyes were closed, his head tilted back. The star on his left pectoral was a beacon for her lips, and she leaned forward and brushed it delicately.

His hand clenched again in her hair and the hard line of his jaw rubbed over the top of her head. She flickered her tongue across his skin, savoring his answering groan. The rush of power was heady and intoxicating, and she gasped when he pulled her head back by her hair to brand her lips again with his.

Oh…Jesus. She’d never been kissed like this before. There had been the guy who tried to swab her tonsils and the guy who seemed to be trying to draw blood with his teeth and the guy who did it just right, but didn’t make her feel…this. Brian’s taste invaded her mouth, sensuous and dark and everything she had ever imagined. No, it was more. His tongue touched and teased hers until she melted away and leaned her knees into his in an effort to remain standing. The liquid ache in her sex had drained all strength from the waist down. She needed him to catch her before she fell. She was sliding…

His arms swept down around her waist, strong and solid. “I got you,” he murmured, one hand sweeping down to cup her ass and lift her against him. She took the welcome opportunity to wrap her legs around him, grinding her crotch against his erection. It felt huge. Oh, holy hell.

“Where?” he whispered, still sliding his lips over hers, scrambling her thoughts. Her trembling redoubled.

She managed to nod toward her bedroom door.

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Links to other Monday Excerpts:
Note: I have not personally screened these excerpts. Please heed the ratings and be aware that the links may contain material that is not typical of my site.

So, to kick it off, your hosts:

Mel/Alexia Reed, Urban Fantasy (R)
and
Bria Quinlan, Rom Com (PG)

AJ O’Donovan, Poetry (PG13)
Stephanie Draven, Paranormal Romance (PG 13)
Heather S.Ingemar, Dark Fantasy/Poetry (PG13)
Babette James, Fantasy Romance (PG 13)
Cynthia Justlin, Romantic Suspense (PG 13)
Kaige, Historical Romance (PG 13)
Julia Knight, Fantasy Romance (PG13)
Ansha Kotyk, Middle Grade Adventure (PG13)
Adelle Laudan, Contemporary Romance (PG 13)
Jeannie Lin, Historical Romance (PG 13)
RF Long, YA Paranormal (PG13)
Caitlynn Lowe, Epic Fantasy (PG13)
Shawntelle Madison, Paranormal Romance (PG 13)
Crista McHugh, Contemporary Erotic Romance (PG 13)
Bria Quinlan, Rom Com (PG)
Leigh Royals, Historical Romance (PG 13)
Megan S., Paranormal (PG13)
Dara Sorensen, Historical Paranormal (PG 13)
Bethanne Strasser, Historical Romance (PG13)

Melissa Aires, Futuristic Romance (R)
Melissa Blue, Contemporary Romance (R)
Jax Cassidy, Contemporary (R)
Christina DeLorenzo, Furturistic Sci-Fi (R)
Maya Doyle, Parnormal Romance (R)
Ginny Glass, Paranormal (R)
Amber Green, Romantic Suspense (R)
Cate Hart, Paranormal YA (R)
Kinsey W. Holley, Erotic Romance (R)
Ali Katz, Erotic Paranormal Romance (R)
Aislinn Kerry, Fantasy (R)
Inez Kelly, Fantasy Romance (R)
Mel/Alexia Reed, Urban Fantasy (R)
Rebecca Savage, Romantic Suspense (R)
Fae Sutherland, Contemporary Erotic Romance (R)

Stephanie Adkins, Paranormal Erotic Romance (NC 17)
Evie Byrne, Erotic Historical Romance (NC17)
Ella Drake, Erotic Contemporary (NC17)
Dawn Montgomery, Erotic Paranormal Romance (NC17)
Lauren Murphy, Erotic Romance (NC 17)
Kim Knox, Erotic Paranormal Romance (NC17)
Emily Ryan-Davis, Historical Western Romance (NC17)
Kirsten Saell, Erotic Fantasy Romance (NC 17)
Jeanne St. James, Contemporary Romance (NC 17)

Saturday, August 1st, 2009
And He’s Done.

When I was writing Unleashed, I had no idea the hero’s younger brother, Brian, would start speaking to me. (Holy unlikely romance novel hero, Batman!) He’s loud, inked, pierced, foul-mouthed, and basically doesn’t give much of a damn about anything. In Unleashed he’s only really onstage for one scene. He was cleaned up a bit during final edits and another of his scenes was deleted altogether, so my vision of him is probably a lot harsher than the readers of that story know.

After I finished the book, and attempted to work on other things, he kept barging in on my thoughts. I kept trying to shove him out. I tried to tell him he would be too hard to redeem. Then I realized something about Brian: when he sees something he wants, he’s unstoppable. It occurred to me that I mentioned he’d gotten something he really wanted at the end of Unleashed, and it opened up all kinds of possibilities for him to prove himself.

It was easy to see what kind of heroine a guy like him needed: a sheltered virgin princess. That’s what he calls her, anyway. Candace is someone who can bring out the softer side in him, and almost from the first moment she gets her hands on him, he’s a mess. He keeps up appearances, but inside, he’s in turmoil. It fascinated me to watch how differently he interacted with her. With his friends and family, he’s an impossible smartass. With her, he’s gentler. She grounds him. He muses late in the story that she’s the eye to his hurricane. I love that. 

I guess it’s true the bad boys fall the hardest. There were scenes in which he made me cry, and he always made me melt. I can only hope I’ve transferred this couple to the page as vividly as they exist in my thoughts, but then that’s true of all the characters I write.

So, as usual, Brian got what he wanted, as last week I typed The End on his story, all 88,000 words of it. I wrote most of it in two frantic pushes: one in late April and another in July. I hadn’t planned on it being so long, but that’s okay. I’m almost done with the polishing process, and I’m really excited about it.

Wish me luck in finding him a home. I hate the phrase “It’s the book of my heart!”, because they should ALL be from the heart, or else what are you doing this for? But this one just might be a little closer than others.