Monday, June 28, 2010

Meet Colin Dunlow from Shadows Steal the Light

Here in the green room this evening I’m scheduled to meet Colin Dunlow, lead singer of the world’s hottest rock band, Dumbarton. Who better to interview him than the woman who brought his talent to the forefront, his literary agent, so to speak-- me, Christine London. Little did I realize when I first imagined such a man, he actually had already stunned the rock and roll dynasty with his raw talent. I’m expecting him any moment and we’ve only just begun.


The dark shadow of his sinuous frame fills the doorway as he steps into the room, back stage Royal Albert Hall, London.


Wry lift at the corner of his mouth, eyes gazing into mine with a questioning twinkle, the lines at his forehead deepen as he narrows grey blue eyes. Does he really have the ability to melt me with the suggestion of a smile?


Hands ruffling already tussled blonde mane, his biceps flex, charcoal gray tee rising to expose slim abs, a sparse path of hair dipping into trouser line. The arc of his brows frames mysterious eyes holding secrets and promise. Tendons at his wrists divulge tension unseen in his expression. Could he be as nervous as I?


The apples of his cheeks rise, he smiles in genuine warmth, my heart fills in a flush. Suddenly appearing the little boy, he squints in mock self-consciousness and extends a large hand.


“My name’s Colin. Nice to meet ‘cha. Thanks for stoppin’ by tonight.”


I allow my focus to leave his face in quick appraisal of the room I’d entered just moments before. Guitars rest against the wall held by padded stands at a tilt. The only light sifting in shafts of mote-flecked air illuminated by canisters recessed in the ceiling.


Ms. London: My pleasure.


Colin: Cheers, then.


He lifts an arm directing me toward a pair of stools basking in a warm beam of light in front of a mic dangling from above. I drop onto the tallest, across from him.


Ms. London: Magazines and media alike have reported about your love affair with your fans. You take every opportunity to engage them, shaking hands along stage’s edge, signing autographs even after a grueling concert, joking backstage and appearing on talk shows. You’re a man well loved in return.


Colin shifts on his stool fingers laced together between strong thighs.


I continue.


“This mystery woman of yours. It’s been rumored you have more than the casual relationship with a certain California-based Jazz singer.”


His jaw tightens, a muscle at the hinge twitches.


Colin: I met Miss Lindstrom quite by accident. In an accident actually. Ran into her just down the road. She’s here to help raise funds as Dumbarton is, for charity.


Ms. London: And there’s nothing more?


Colin: The lady lives six thousand miles from here and is returnin’ there soon as her series of events wrap here in the UK.


Ms. London: She poses no threat to your number one standing on the charts? She had one hell of a launch in Los Angeles-- and here tonight.


Colin: I wouldn’t know.


The hollow echo of something metallic striking the concrete floor in the hallway announces we are not alone. Through the backlight of the doorway comes the broad figure of an athletic man over six feet in height. Unlike the casual denim of my interviewee, he is dressed in classic woolen trousers, crisp white dress shirt button down at the neck. The sheen of his fine leather wingtips and the perfect crease bisecting his shin belie his business intent.


“Excuse me, but I need to see Mister Dunlow.”


Colin: “I’m in the middle of an interview, Kyle. Can it wait?”


Kyle: bowing in acknowledgment “Sorry Miss, but my client and I must have a word.”


Colin: You’ll excuse me Miss London. My manager can take it from here. I’ve got someone I must catch.


Ms. London: But I thought we were to—


Colin: I apologize, I really do.


Kyle: looks to Colin in evaluation, shoulders stiff in shunted recrimination. Where’s she gone?


Colin: As far away from the two of us as she can, I’m sure. The stern look of reprimand is undeniable, blanching his face except for the rosy fire rising to his cheeks.

Expediency wars with sanity on Kyle’s face.


Kyle: Go then. He snaps, head jerking toward the door.


Colin rises from the stool shooting a glance pregnant with unquenched anger toward his manager. He turns toward me, nodding his apology and walks out the door.


I look at his retreating form for a long moment reluctantly returning my attention to Kyle.

Ms. London: So…I, uh--”


Kyle: No, no, nothing to worry about miss. Colin told me he was expecting you, but that was before we had that rather amazing debut performance of Miss Lindstrom. His dark good looks remind me of a male underwear model I saw last week in GQ magazine.


Ms. London: I heard. She is indeed remarkable. Is she your client as well?


Kyle: She is.


Ms. London: Has Colin gone home for the evening then? I look to the door again as though my concentration would somehow bring the illusive and magnetic Mister Dunlow back into the room.


Kyle: I imagine, yes. He’s had a long night.


Ms. London: Nothing to do with his recent return from rehab.?


Kyle: Once an AA member, always one. Colin’s the strongest man I know. He’ll remain on the straight and narrow.


A question mark of black hair falls into his eyes and he rakes it away with a casual gesture.


I don’t know how much research you’ve done on Colin, but he’s not had the easiest path these last few years since the band has gone global.


Ms. London: More than you know.


Kyle: Then perhaps you are also aware that we grew up almost as brothers.


Ms. London: You’d never guess it looking at you.


Kyle: He’s straighter laced than that rocker exterior would betray. Becoming his manger just seemed natural as he progressed from garage musician to local legend.


Imagining Colin Dunlow as some sort of California beach boy hold up in his parent’s garage with four other spotty teens seems about as incongruous as mid winter sunshine in Peterborough. Both men grew up within a stone’s throw of the quaint English Midland’s town. The middle class bedroom community hardly seems rife with angst and struggle.


Ms London: So what’s your theory?


Kyle: About what?


Ms London: Why your client has gone after a woman he just met.


Kyle: Miss Lindstrom? He chuckles. Not likely.


Ms London: It was written all over him.


Kyle: He’s no allowed. No sooner had the words left his mouth than his face telegraphed regret.

Shoving hands in trouser pocket, he looks to the floor. His sponsor has disallowed it.


Ms London: His AA sponsor?


Kyle: Yes. It’s part of the programme. Got to become strong as an individual before any relationship can be considered. He raises his chocolate brown eyes to engage mine and in an instant I can see into his soul.


Ms London: Perhaps it ought to be you going after Miss Lindstrom.


He looks at me for an uncomfortable moment.


Kyle: She’s my client.


Ms London: Yes.


Shifting weight from one foot to the other Kyle’s demeanor changes from man in control to lad caught sneaking a toad into the house.


Kyle: Perhaps you ought to reschedule this interview for a better time, Miss London. His eyes shift toward the door, then back to mine.


Ms London: Perhaps you should hire a bodyguard to look after your client rather than taking it all on yourself.


Kyle: What makes you think he needs protection?


Ms London: He has become larger than life and with celebrity comes exposure, with exposure—risk.


He lowers his chin, brows squeezing together.


Kyle: Do you know something I do not?


Ms London: Not at all. It’s just that most men of his caliber have more than one threatening nutter following them. Has he never had a problem?


Kyle: None he’s shared.


Ms London: I’ll ring you in the morning, then, to set up a better time for Mister Dunlow.


Kyle: Fine. He begins to turn, but stops to face me.


The ice in his tone throws a wall between us. I hike my bag to my shoulder and stand.

Ms London: Please tell Miss Lindstrom I’d like a few words with her as well. She’d make a great success story.


Kyle: Cheers. A curtain lowers over his features as he extends a hand. Thank you for your interest.


I look into his eyes. Was there a moment of uncertainty behind that cool control or is it the sultry Miss Lindstrom that has set both these men off their game?


Kyle turns and strides out the door.

********************

Shadows Steal The Light by Christine London

February 2011 MuseItHot

Colin Dunlow is caught in a web of alcoholism precipitated by his skyrocketing fame as lead singer of the world’s hottest hard rock group, Dumbarton. When he bumps into legal activist and sultry jazz singer, Jenna Lindstrom, he’s no idea what’s in store. How can he maintain his newfound sobriety whilst navigating a comeback and investigate who might want him dead? All of this and he has an AA sponsor who won’t allow him any serious relationship, not if he wants to live. What’s a rocker to do? Especially when the woman of his dreams hates rock and roll.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

NOW THIS IS WHAT I CALL A HONEYMOON

Hello, my name is Cassandra Hall but most people call me Cassie. Well, most people except my mother, that is. She thinks it’s common to abbreviate names but that’s my mum; pretentiousness at its best. My good friend, Viviane, says I should tell you a little about myself. She thinks it will help me grow as a person. Thing is, I suffer from a complete lack of self-esteem. Don’t be so wet, I hear you all cry. How can you lack self-esteem? Ok, so I am considered beautiful; I know that but believe me, it can be more of a hindrance than a blessing. Take my childhood, for instance. It was no fun being dragged around endless, boring beauty pageants. Funny how my school chums envied me my fun and ‘glamorous’ life. What’s fun about not being able to play out with your friends because they might play rough and bruise you? How about being kept indoors when the sun shone for fear of damaging my alabaster skin? {Mother’s words, not mine}. No birthday parties for me. Too much processed food and sugary drinks. Do you know I have never tasted a Big Mac?
I never wanted to be a model. That was my mother’s dream, not mine. The biggest triumph of my life was not growing over 5ft 3. You know why I hated it so much? No one ever sees beyond this supposedly perfect shell. I have so much more to offer. I’m as intelligent as the next girl. I don’t want to be anyone’s mannequin. I want to be loved for the person inside and not because I make a great accessory for some macho guy with an inflated ego. I’m talking about my fianc√©, of course – or rather – ex-fianc√©. Yes, he dumped me – five days before the wedding. Humiliation doesn’t come close to describe how I feel. In a way, I am to blame. I convinced myself I loved Martin. I didn’t. I know that now. I was using him as an escape from under mother’s stifling clutches. Talk about from the frying pan into the fire. Martin is worse than mum. All he ever wanted was a woman who would worship him and hang on his every word. I couldn’t become the woman he wanted, I suppose. He says the wedding is only on hold. He needs some space. I wish he’d fly off into bloody outer space.
So here I am, in London, on my own. It was supposed to be my honeymoon. My mother said I was stupid to come but I had to get away. I couldn’t bare all the insincere sympathy, not to mention my mother’s pained and too accusatory expression. She blames me for not trying hard enough with Martin as she blames me for not succeeding in the fashion world. Well, she can go to hell and take Martin with her. They think Cassandra Hall can’t survive without them? They’re wrong. As it turns out, Martin did me a favor. You see….I met someone ….
How can I describe James? Kind, funny, sincere, gorgeous {that goes without saying} but most important – James sees beyond my beauty. He can see deep into my soul. Did I mention he is a brilliant photographer? You should see his work. His wildlife shots are stunning. Truth is - I love him. Ok, so it’s only been a couple of days but isn’t that how real love is supposed to be? Hey, don’t scoff. Arrows through the heart really can happen.
There is one teeny problem. James is not free. He and Alex are on a break, he says, but he doesn’t hold out much hope for them.Anyway, nothing is ever written in stone, is it? Sorry - I'm giggling here. Written in Stone. Viviane says thats a great title for a novel. She's written one about me, you know. I hope I get my man in the end. I hate unhappy endings. I digress.
Thing is, James tells me he feels such a connection to me. I understand him. That makes me feel so good. I suppose I ought to feel guilty about Alex but she shouldn’t push James and try and make him be anything thing else but the sweet, caring, sexy man he is. She doesn’t understand him as I do. I am tired of not getting what I want. I deserve this chance. Now, if only I can make James see me as more than a friend. Viviane says I shouldn’t sit back and wait for him to make a move. After all, it’s the millennium. We women should take control of our destiny but I am so scared. What if he only sees me as a friend? What if he doesn’t want me? What if…….

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Mermaid’s Favorite Beach Memories

Hello. I’m the main character in the book, Tears on a Tranquil Lake, written by Marsha A. Moore. My name is Ciel. I’d like to share a few favorite memories of my adventures.

Terrified when I first was turned into a mermaid, I hid under this pier. I didn’t know where to go. Humans on the beach would have been scared by my appearance, or captured me to display as a freak. Alone -- no friends, no food, no shelter from the chilly winter night air in Tampa. All I wanted was to be human again. I needed to find that merman who turned me into a mermaid. Luckily, a pirate captain discovered me and, although I thrashed to swim away, he forced me into his dinghy and took me back to his ship, The Black Hawk. If not, the cold nighttime surface waters would have made me very ill. At that moment, dying seemed a good solution to my problems. I am grateful to Captain Raphael for saving me.

That pier has many memories for me. Later, after I returned from traveling to Tortuga with the pirate ship, I found my merman, Meris, at this location. We had missed each other so much, our reunion was amazing. Braced by the wooden supports, we held tight. His magical kisses touched my soul, while his hands caressed my skin. He made love to me like no man could.

Also, as a tropical storm approached, I clung to that pier for shelter. The storm picked up and a huge wave pulled me away and tossed me upside down. When I came back up, The Black Hawk rounded a turn of the shore, making home port on return from a long sailing adventure. I feared for the safety of ship and crew, but had to dive deep underwater to avoid the tempest. While it raged, I hoped Raphael escaped harm and remembered the wonderful times we spent . . . too many to describe here.

This one – I love this one! Meris taught me how to use simple merfolk magic. By the end of the lesson, I commanded motions of hermit crab “people” through this sand castle world. What a fun afternoon!

This picture takes me to happy memories, when Meris gave me the gift of his black pearl. He selected this romantic spot, where we lay between the dunes, surrounded by bright yellow flowers with the surf rolling in before us. I’m wearing it now, threaded on a satin cord as a pendant. It means so much . . . but you’ll have to wait until February 1st, when the book comes out, to find out more.



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Monday, June 21, 2010

Ghosts, Murder & Plastic Surgery


Hi my name is Rachel Westmont and I'm the heroine in The Lighthouse. I'm a nice person. I grew up in California. Had a pretty ordinary life. That is until Kat Holmes decided to hijack me and put me in some of the worst situations ever.


First, my no good ex, a plastic surgeon no less, leaves me to marry some air-headed cheese puff. Then, my aunt dies and leaves me her little lighthouse on a tiny island off the coast of Maine. At first this seems like a godsend. I'd never known my aunt and though I am sorry she died, the inheritance came at the perfect time to get me away from bad memories. So at first, I was really happy about this.


But that quickly changes. Actually, it starts to change my very first night in my new home. Things keep falling off walls and the room keeps getting uncomfortably cold. As if that isn't bad enough I start to see dead bodies lying on the ground and then disappearing. I'm starting to think this place is haunted.


Okay, I can handle things moving and maybe seeing a body or two when I'm freaked out, but then someone tries to kill me. I mean, just how much can this sadist Kat Holmes keep throwing at me? I swear she's bloodthirsty. Don't believe me? Well you should because under her watch the body count will grow.


But, I give her credit for one thing. Into this mayhem she tosses one hot, sexy hunk into the mix. The local sheriff, Craig Lewis is a mouthwatering morsel. And he gets even more so when he goes into protective mode. But still, I have a creepy feeling crawling up my skin that things around here are going to end badly for someone. I just hope it's not me or the sheriff.


I won't know that however until January 01, 2011 when my tale The Lighthouse as told by Kat Holmes is released. I don't know if I can stand the suspense.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Be Good To Your Elf--cover


Be Good To Your Elf by Liz Coldwell coming out December 2010 now has a cover, and what a grand holiday cover it is. Thank you to our cover artist, Delilah Stephans, for another amazing cover.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Why I Chose Lighthouses!


My first book with Muse, The Lighthouse is set to release January 01, 2011. And some people have asked why I chose to set my story at a lighthouse. Well, several reasons really.


First and most important, I love lighthouses. I even collect little statuettes of them. I have one set up for the year and one set of holiday lighthouses for Christmas time.


Next, a lighthouse just seemed like the perfect setting for a ghost story. There are so many stories of strange things happening at lighthouses. Light keepers vanishing into thin air, weird sounds, strange lights on the water and so on. What better place to set up a tale of a ghost and of murder?


And lastly, well I just can't resist a location, real or fiction that screams paranormal story. And again, lighthouses say ghosts out loud.


I actually loved doing the research for this story. It wasn't work. I enjoyed every second I spent reading books on the history of lighthouses throughout the world. I wish I had a time machine and could go back and see the famous lighthouse of Alexandria before it was destroyed. That must have been something spectacular.


So, in the end, the reason I really chose to set my story at a lighthouse? Well, I just plain love them. And who knows what kind of story my muse will conjure up next. Maybe vampires, or dragons. We'll just have to wait and see.:-)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Poem

Back in 1999 I wrote this poem. Mind you, I hate poetry and do not under any circumstances write it anymore. But this one was just so powerful it became a favorite. I warn you though, it's very dark and deals with harsh subject matter. So here it is and I hope you like it.

HEARTBEAT
by Kat Holmes
A heartbeat
A steady beating rhythm
A heartbeat
A sound in the night
A heartbeat
Adrenalin rushes
A heartbeat
Pounding fast as a drum
A heartbeat
A terror pervades
A heartbeat
Hell is visited
A heartbeat
The terror passes
A heartbeat
The nightmare leaves
A heartbeat
Slowing its pace
A heartbeat
Numbness sets in
A hertbeat
The terror will come again
A heartbeat
It's time to end it
A heartbeat
A face ashen in the mirror
A heartbeat
Weariness etched in the eyes
A heartbeat
Swallowing the pills whole
A heartbeat
Never again to be raped
A heartbeat
No longer does it pulse
A heartbeat
Now and Forever Still
Remember, I did warn you it was dark.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Promo Dont's!

One question I see a lot of is how to promo. There are many ways, but there are some things you shouldn't do. I'm a contracted author here at MuseItHot, but I'm also a multi-published author already with another house. I belong to both houses author and reader loops. The author loops are just for the authors and staff of the publishing house. The readers loops are for authors, and everyone else.

The readers loop is one of the many tools we writers use to communicate with the public and let you know what we are up to. It's a great tool....most of the time. If you belong to a loop you get emails for every post done on the loop. And let me tell you, it can be way overdone.

There is an author with my other house, whom I will not name, who drives me insane. This author will over promo. Yes, it's possible to over do it. For one book, this author will run 20 different promo ads all at once. And this author does an individual post for each promo all at the same time. So I get 20 emails in my inbox all at once.

It's gotten to the point I won't read any email from this author anymore. I just automatically hit delete now. So this author's whole reason for doing promos is not working because I just get rid of the emails. So while promoing your stuff is important, it's also vital not to drown your readers in basically what you'd call junk mail.

I'm an author, but I'm also a reader and I view the promos as a reader. I can honestly say I won't read this author because the mass promos, which I get from them every single day, annoy me to the point that it colors my view of the author.

So go ahead and promo, even on the readers loop, just keep it simple. A single, well written ad can, and often does, more good than a truckload of ads all bunched together. Happy promoing folks!