Friday, November 25, 2011

Translating Innate Talents into Writing Success

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with good food, great company, and lots of laughter and good cheer! My Thanksgiving was fabulous. We spent it with some close friends (who are like family), rather than my huge extended family. It’s been a rough year for many and that includes both our friends and us. It was an excellent time to celebrate the good and important things we do have and most have little to do with material things. I came home this evening feeling content and well fed. 

Hope you did too!

My guest today is historical (set in the Georgian era)romance author, Emery Lee. Her discussion centers on being thankful for her writing career and the steps that lead up to it. She also includes a link for the Clifton Strengths Finder test and how she uses her strengths in her writing. 

My writing career has been a very roundabout path. In fact, even five years ago, I could have more easily imagined myself as a Jeopardy contestant than a published author. A writing career is something I could never have imagined in my wildest fantasies. How did it happen?

Since this blog is very much about writers’ journeys, I thought it would be interesting to share a very unique personal experience that served to guide my path as well as validating my decision to pursue a full time writing career.

Five years ago, as an initiative to more fully develop the potential of its workforce, my former employer required all management level employees to complete a talent assessment tool.
The stated purpose was to evaluate each managers’ natural talents in order to promote personal and career success. I was highly skeptical when I completed the on-line questionnaire, but upon receiving the results, I was stunned.

EMERY LEE’S FIVE KEY “THEMES” From Clifton StrengthsFinder
People strong in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
People strong in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
People strong in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.
People strong in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.
People strong in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.

Wow! What a wake-up call! These results implied I’d wasted twenty years of my life in a completely incompatible job! No wonder I was miserable!
But what did this REALLY mean?
While I had already begun writing my first novel at this time, as purely a creative outlet from my stifling job, these results served to validate that writing was the right path for me. This is how I translated my individual themes into my writing career:

·       Strategic means I have the ability to think a story through, to examine it from all angles – to plot with complexity.

·        Achievement means I have an innate need to always finish what I start or die trying.

·        Responsibility keeps me on deadline.

·      Input applies fabulously to historical fiction as this theme allows me to spend tireless hours researching even the smallest details for my stories.

·      Intellection – the love of thinking allows me to give myself over completely to my imagination

Realizing these individual strengths/themes has helped my writing career by enabling me to focus on what I do best, and in doing so, I have discovered more personal satisfaction that I have never known before. 

  • Whether you be a writer or not, what are some of your strengths and how do they help you to be successful?

FORTUNE'S SON available now in print and ebook.

Love is the ultimate gamble...

Seasoned gambler Philip Drake knows every trick and uses most of them. After years of infamy, he's ready to accept the mantle of respectability with his earldom-- until a devastating racing loss and the threat of debtors' prison force Philip right back into his gaming ways...

Susannah, Lady Messingham, is a woman with a past who refuses to belong to any man again. But Philip's skill catches her eye and she persuades him to teach her how to win at the tables. Their new partnership turns into an exhilarating high-stakes game that entangles them in terrifying risk and unimaginable rewards...

Immerse yourself in the risky side of Georgian England with a pair of lovers who aren't afraid to risk it all on a toss of the dice...


Emery Lee is a lifelong equestrienne and history buff 
who loves nothing more than a romantic story that also provides 
food for the intellect.

Her debut novel THE HIGHEST STAKES is an epic tale of star-cross 
lovers set in the high stakes world of 18th century horse racing. In 
FORTUNE’S SON, Emery spins a web of drama, passion, and deceit
deep in the world of high stakes gaming.

You can find Emery: Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads 


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

LISA RENEE JONES—The Fun And Oh So Sexy Sterling

Warning: A sizzling excerpt included

My guest is romance author, Lisa Renee Jones. You'll remember she visited us back a ways with a delicious new paranormal Zodius Series and her first book of the series, The Legend of Michael. I loved the book. It was fresh and oh so fun to read. 

Lisa uses quite a bit of humor in her stories and I love the humor between the guys and the heroines also have a healthy dose. Of course, given the circumstances and their battles, the characters need that humor. 

Lisa, using a Dr. Pepper Commercial, gives us a visual of Sterling's sense of humor. Yeah, it made me laugh.

Recently I blogged about THE STORM THAT IS STERLING and Sterling’s addiction to M&M’s and Dr. Pepper. I shared some really fun clips from M&M’s most inappropriate commercials. One of the things I love about Sterling is that he is a true Renegade.  He’s been hurt and beat up emotionally and he survives this by jokes and a willingness to do anything he can to protect the world and save others. See, he doesn’t feel like he saved people in life that have been hurt. His mother died in childbirth. His father died in war. His grandmother became an alcoholic right after his mother died in childbirth. But he isn’t bitter. He has the biggest heart.

He’s also an expert hacker and that got him in a little trouble, which got him the attention of the Army where his father was Special Forces. They wanted him for his skill and for his daring. And he needed a family.

So to celebrate Sterling’s daring – I thought I’d share a video that celebrates Sterling’s addiction to Dr. Pepper, his woman, and his humor.

Do you love it? Want to win a copy of Sterling? Just tell me you stopped by!

Happy Holidays everyone!

The Storm That Is Sterling

Sterling Jeter has remarkable powers and has shown himselfto be just about indestructible. But beautiful, brilliant RebeccaBurns knows that even a Super Soldier needs comfort, and somuch more…

But she can see that deep down, hes just a man… 

Sterling and Rebecca’s teenage romance was interrupted,but years later the heat between them flares back to life.Even though it endangers everything they’re fighting for, it’simpossible to resist picking up right where they left off…

Lisa has chosen to give us sizzling excerpt from THE STORM THAT IS STERLING 
You can read an extra excerpt by following the link below this excerpt.

Erotic images rushed through Sterling’s mind as Becca walked toward him, anticipation for the moment this gorgeous, sweet, yet incredibly sexy woman would touch him. She stopped in front of him, her gaze lift­ing to his, simmering heat expanding between them. He swayed slightly, then silently reprimanded himself, despite the very male, very caveman-like desire to reach for her and say “mine.” He knew that wasn’t the right move. Just as he had known what to order for her at that restaurant, she didn’t feel she had choices, like she was spinning out of control. Well, she was going to have them with him. Whatever she wanted, she needed—he wanted and needed.

Slowly, her lashes lowered as she pressed her palm to his chest. It was soft, cool—a contrast to the fire licking at his limbs, spiraling between them. She splayed her fingers, flexing them against his skin before trailing one finger downward to his lower abdomen, and then flat­tened her hand on his skin again with the promise she wasn’t going to stop there. And man, oh man, did his cock know it. He was standing at attention, thrumming with anticipation, his heart pounding in his ears.

Her fingers walked a path downward to the base of his erection, and then she caressed straight to the tip. His cock jerked instantly with the pleasure.

Becca sucked in a breath and tried to pull her hand away, her eyes seeking his. And before he could stop himself, he stole a little piece of that control he’d vowed to relinquish to her. His hand closed around hers, wrapping her fingers around his cock. “Don’t stop,” he ordered, barely recognizing the husky voice as his own.

Her teeth scraped her bottom lip, and he all but moaned. Lust licked at his limbs like a four-alarm fire. That soft, amber gaze of hers so often full of innocent uncertainty flickered to his face, innocence no longer there. Instead, her eyes shimmered with a combination of desire and hestation. And then, blessed be, her hand tightened around him.

“Oh yeah, sweetheart,” he said hoarsely, releasing her hand, allowing her that freedom of choice, as long as it involved her hand on his cock.

“You like that?” she asked, more teasing than confirming.

“Just to be clear,” he said, his voice gravely and af­fected. “You pretty much can do anything you want to me… and I’ll like it. Aside from the use of teeth, that is.” Amending quickly, he added, “If used in limited capac­ity, of course, teeth can be kind of sexy and remain on the table for acceptable use. And being a scientist and all, I know you have an experimental instinct. Feel free to go with that. Just let it ride.”

Read an extra excerpt HERE:

And THE DANGER THAT IS DAMION is coming in May 2012!

Award winning author, Lisa Renee Jones, has published more than fifteen novels in several different languages, spanning multiple genres of romance – contemporary, romantic suspense, dark paranormal and erotic fiction. In each book the hero is dark, dangerous, and sexy. She debuted for both, Nocturne and Blaze, on the Bookscan bestseller list. You can find Lisa on TwitterFacebook, and her blog for regular updates. Lisa now has a Fan Page at Facebook.