Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thursday Think Tank: A Farewell to Paws

Some of you may know about a highly greased slider the universe has seen fit to toss my way. My lovely little coconut, otherwise referred to as the fruit of my loins, has managed to develop a severe cat allergy.

Well, shit.

There goes my ubiquitous writer's cat. Or, in my case, tribe of felines.

We have four, and the little beasts are terribly dear to me. I've even managed to get the one who is pathologically shy to start letting me pet him. A very recent development.


So, I have their names on the waiting lists for several local no-kill shelters, and even for the local SPCA. I'm totally downplaying the sadness factor to my daughter...I don't want her to feel guilty for getting sick. I just have to wonder does one get into the zen like state that is the writing zone without a houseful of little furry zen-masters to emulate?


Work in Progress Wednesday-An Unedited Excerpt from: When in Rome

After the rush of getting through security and taking two strides to every one of Alessandro’s as they raced across the airport to their departure gate, making their flight just as the attendants were closing boarding doors Carol settled into her seat to reflect on the morning’s events. She was no saint, but the unusual aggressiveness she’d shown in reaction to Alessandro’s kiss made her stomach ache slightly. After being lovingly teased for years by friends concerning her ‘old-fashioned’ manners with the opposite sex…it was definitely disconcerting to find that this near stranger could elicit such wanton behavior from her.
Alessandro shifted in the seat next to her, clearly uncomfortable. His wide, mobile mouth was pinched tightly shut. His hand on the armrest closest to Carol was clenched against the unyielding surface until his knuckles whitened. The plane moved into position and began to taxi up the runway. A light sweat broke out over his face as Carol watched, and Alessandro swallowed convulsively. Carol reached out, placing her much smaller hand over his. She lightly stroked it.
“Alessandro, do you…have difficulty with flying?”
His eyes snapped to hers, wide and panicked looking. He released the armrest, turning his over to grasp hers. His grip on her hand was tight enough to make her wince. Swallowing again he nodded.
“Si, piccolina…I…it is not…forgive me Carol…I have never flown well.”
There was a pause as Carol filled in the blanks he had left.
“It’s fine to be afraid sometimes, Alessandro. I’m scared of snakes. Everyone’s scared of something. It doesn’t make us anything but human.”
Alessandro jerked. His gaze focused in on her sharply. He gave a soft huff of laughter that broke off when the plane shuddered once as it left the ground.
“Ah, si, human. Well, it certainly couldn’t make me less human, now could it piccolina?”
There was something in the way he said the word that struck Carol as odd. She searched his face for clues as to what meant. A faint flush lay across his high cheekbones. His mouth still looked pinched but his hands were no longer gripping the armrests of his seat. Instead one now gripped her hand while the other clenched his thigh just above the knee. Carol answered his question.
“No Alessandro, it couldn’t. Not in my eyes at any rate.”
The white lines of stress around his mouth eased at that. He angled his body more fully toward her. The wild riot of gold and green in his eyes grew calmer. The hold on her hand gentled, shifted, and he was lifting it up to his mouth.
“Thank you, piccolina.”
Then he kissed the back of her hand, just below her wrist. Carol’s breath caught in chest, frozen there for a long moment. The lopsided smile she was coming to think of as uniquely Alessandro’s crept across his wide mouth. He leaned forward, reaching with the hand that he had been clenching on his thigh. Placing two fingers under her chin he pushed upward, closing her mouth.
“You are tempting, piccolina, far too tempting. You will make me forget myself, si?”
Carol blinked at him. Then she reached above her head, pushed the call button for the flight attendant and twisted the nozzle of the little air vent above her head. It was gonna be a long, hot flight to Italy.


As the plane touched down in Italy, Carol woke to find some tiny fiend with a jackhammer had taken up residence in her head. Her cotton clothes, which had seemed so practical back in Houston, were limp and wrinkled.
Looking in her carry-on for a mirror to check her appearance she discovered that the one thing she hadn’t packed was, of course, a compact with a mirror in it. Carol cringed.
Stalking through the airport toward customs after deplaning would have felt marvelously dramatic if her head hadn’t been pounding. Carol winced and put a hand to her forehead for a moment. The fingers she pulled away from her face bore suspicious traces of mascara and eye shadow. She kept her pace, grimly determined to show Alessandro the back of her head until her discomfort eased enough to stop being visible on her face, and she reached some place that had a flipping mirror so she could make sure she didn’t look completely like a reject from a clown circus.
Alessandro had been, after that initial show of vulnerability on the flight, terse and uncommunicative. At one point she’d just given up trying to interact with him at all, resorting to having the flight attendant bring her extra drinks.
In the end, she’d downed three vodka and grapefruit combinations, turned her back on him, and fallen asleep with her head resting on the window. Halfway down the concourse a large hand wrapped around her upper arm for the second time in less than two days. While it had felt helpful and sort of sexy the first time, this time it made Carol see red. She whirled around, pinning Alessandro with a fulminating glare.
“I suggest you take your damned hand off my arm Signore Feliano. I believe the Italian authorities look with disfavor upon manhandling women in public…particularly the ones you have no rightful claim to, si?”
Alessandro flinched, rearing back with a look of perplexed hurt washing across his features. It was quickly replaced by one of determination, his thick black brows lowering and his head tilting to an almost pugnacious angle.
“Si, piccolina, they would not look upon this with favor. But before you scream and race off to find the first police man you can find, would you allow me to apologize for my behavior?”
A wash of fierce anger swept over Carol. She gaped up at Alessandro, temporarily at a loss for words. All sound seemed to suspend for a moment, and then it crashed down upon her with the force of a tsunami.
“You…rude, overgrown…”
Carol sputtered.
Gritting her teeth, Carol attempted a gracious smile. She was pretty sure it came out more like a snarl. It felt twisty and mean on her face. Well, really, that was about all the big dumb gorgeous man deserved. How dare he apologize while she was still hung over?
“Come, piccolina, please forgive me. I do not behave well when I must fly. I should have ensured the seats we were given did not adjoin. That way you would have been spared my ill humor.”
Carol ground her teeth some more, even as something in her center melted.
Alessandro didn’t even have the decency to look rumpled or smell bad. He had a thick growth of stubble dusting his jaw, his eyes were heavy lidded, and his lips looked slightly swollen. Here she was, doing her best Quasimodo impersonation, and the damn man had the effrontery to look like sex on legs.
Sighing and rolling her eyes, Carol grunted out an acceptance of his apology. Not her most gracious moment, but the best she could do. She still wanted to trip him or stick her tongue out…something satisfyingly childish would be good. She settled for stamping her foot, and then was mortified by how stupidly girly that must have looked.
Alessandro eased his hold on her arm, sliding his hand down it until he reached her fingers. Lacing their fingers together, he gave her hand a gentle squeeze. A shot of heat raced up Carol’s arm, and down her spine, loosening every joint it passed. She stumbled. Alessandro steadied her without comment. Carol opened her mouth to say something, anything that would make it plausible to pull her hand away.
“Scuzi. Passport?”
Alessandro shook her hand lightly before releasing it.
“Piccolina, the gentleman would like your passport now.”

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday-Delayed by a Day

Hey all.

I was busy with edits all day...Tian's Hero has been sent off to the publisher I hope it will find a home with. It went from 93,005k to 88,446k today. Good times. :)

So the excerpt from When in Rome will be posting up tomorrow morning before noon.

Sorry for the delay.

I will be posting a Thursday Think-Tank as well.

In the mean-time, I've got to get to bed.

Well, as soon as the laundry is finished.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday Teaser

Nom. nom. nom.

Yeah, so riddle me this...if you had this hot baby in your bed, would you suspect him of being a shapeshifter? 

Carol doesn't. 
But then again, sweet Carol has led a wee bit of a sheltered life.

Just as he intended.

Check back tomorrow, for an all new excerpt from my current M/F Paranormal Romane WIP; 
When in Rome

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tuesday Triumph--A day early even...

So, it might seem like a small thing, but today I got to help a child stay at summer camp.

From an adult stand-point, that's not such a big deal. Small potatoes. But to an eleven year old away at camp for the first time ever, it was huge.

I didn't do a lot. Just drove here and there, tried to help the eleven year old's mom stave off a melt-down as she got the run-around while trying to get a signature on the physical form for her daughter.

But, man-oh-man, I got to be an Ordinary Hero.


Go, me.

It felt really nice to help in that little way, and the look on the girl's face when we dropped her back off at camp with all the paperwork straight for her to stay until the end of the week?

That look was priceless.

Another Manic Monday

I love my busy Monday mornings...

Especially when they are busy for all the right reasons. The sun is shining, I just got asked to submit a complete manuscript (ms) to the publisher that I think is the PERFECT match for not only this particular story, but the whole series, and, and--

*breathe Cherie, breathe*

Okay, breathing under control again.

I have quite a few things lined up for today, and the coming week. I get the pleasure of my friend MW's company this morning while we run an errand., and then I get to come home to finish up the fourth round of edits to The Soldier & the State Trooper, the story I have contracted with MLR press. Once that is done I need to get busy with the pre-edits for my story that the above mentioned PERFECT publisher (for Tian and The Akanti anyway) requested. Then check up on the search for new homes for my kitties, cause the kidlet has developed allergies.

:( I know, very sad.

Oh, but isn't kidlet, like, the coolest word ever? I totally lifted it from my friend Hell. She has the bestest new words.

Right, back to the list.

After that I need to get started on the packing.

Yep, y'all heard me right, packing.

Cause I'm moving to the sweetest new apartment, not even six blocks from where I live right now, and my new landlady is a peach. The new place is just as big as where I am now...well nearly as big...well, actually prolly the same size just laid out differently, and it is way cheaper rent-wise.

Plus there's heat in all the rooms, something the place I've been living in for the last 4plus years did not provide.

Did I mention the winters get rather chilly here?

Um, and I have a self imposed deadline of a week from this Friday to finish writing my new M/F novella/novel, When in Rome.

Add in the day to day stuff, like my fitness walks, prepping for my first post spinal surgery 5k race/walk, laundry, pet care and maintenance...and yes, Cherie is a having a delightfully Manic Monday.

See y'all tomorrow, luvs.

Gotta make hay while the sun shines, ya know.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

This Week's Tale

I've been mired in a sickbed all week, alas, and doled out no goodies for all of you.

Mea Culpa, sweeties.

How's about something pretty to look at to make it up to you? And, oh, do you know/remember this pretty pixie?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fabulous Friday Five: Rawr

What makes you go: Rawr? Is it androgynous beauty? Raw, rugged manliness? That sweet air of the boy next door? A smexy fitness freak? Or perhaps a fella that could rope you and then ride you hard? tell. I'm gonna show you mine...take a sec and show me yours. Tag, you're it!

Here's five hotties that make me go mmmm, mmmm, mmmm.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday Think Tank: Aussie or Wassie?

This lovely lad is either an Aussie...or he bloody well wants to be. Rawr.

I dunno,, but, I'd so go down under with him.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday-Teasing without Telling



I have to hide out in the writing cave today so I will have something of worth to turn over to the betas, and time for them to turn it around, as well as time for me to go over their suggestions and fix up my lovely's still vewy, vewy secret, but how's about a little teasing without telling?

Character 1 is sweet and shy, though he looks like a rough and tumble man's man.

LOL. I said man's man about gay romance. I am so corny.

Character 2 is chock full o'smexy goodness. Like a Twinkie.

Tee-hee. I did it again.

Character 3 is older, authoritatively smoldering in a take-me-now kinda manner.

Yeah, I said take-me-now.

I will tell you this. Something in the story is glittery, and pink, and utilized with great flair and panache.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Manic Monday

Today's mania circles around a few different topics. Family stuff (and if you're family you know what that is, 'nuff said), making appointments, helping Jamie the Magnificent Moderator of Eros Writing ( the kick-ass by invite only critique group I belong to) post pics...I put up pics of cute het couples I know to inspire a fellow author who writes heterosexual I'm working on my HJD story like mad. Mad I tell you, mad.

No. Really.

I've been filling out apps for some of the familia stuff (I am a flake, so that is quite difficult for me), taking long walks (fitness first-Michelle Obama), and trying to get a sec to work on my WRITING...the writing stuff will start this afternoon.

S'okay. Mondays are usually 15-18hr days.

O.O  Really.

Have a spanking good week kiddies.

I'll be busy writing my little fingers off so I have something new to post for you on WhIP Wednesday...
Cherie Noel

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sweet Sunday Excerpt: A Challenge

So, I'm still working on the vewy, vewy secret short for Goodreads.

Nearly there.


I still can't reveal it though.

So, I thought that for this week, I'd take the first challenge that one of y'all post, and write a little scene for you. If you post something up by 8pm EST, I'll do my best to have a scene written for you before midnight.


You're it.

Oh, and everyone who enters a challenge will get an answer and a scene by the end of the month.

The most intriguing challenge will get to be a guest character in whatever story springs from their challenge. :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday-An Unedited Excerpt from: When in Rome

I don't think I posted this one before...I can't actually post what I worked on for the last week, because...I can't dammit. Not til after it comes out on Goodreads.

So here's some more Carol and Alessandro:

Once the bags were stowed in the trunk and Marcello had very sheepishly ensconced them in the rear of the limousine Carol considered what she wanted to do with her new found knowledge.
The gorgeous Mr. Alessandro Feliano wants me…me, ordinary little Carol Caruso! Holy shit Batman, this caper is getting very tricky!
Alessandro shot her a look up from under his lashes as he lounged elegantly back against the leather seats of the limo. His nostrils flared again, and he swallowed hard before he spoke.
“Well piccolina, you are assured now, si? I think you need still to set your brother’s mind at ease though, do you not? Will you call him from your phone or would you prefer to use the car phone?”
Alessandro shifted in his seat as he spoke, stretching his legs until they nearly touched the opposite seat and twisting his torso to face Carol. The motion brought him close enough that once again she could smell that scent which was so uniquely him.
Like the bite of wind through a winter forest…
She was wrapped in the cool green scent, completely enmeshed in snow and pine and freedom. It took a moment to register that Alessandro was still speaking to her. It was even longer before she remembered that she should answer. By the time all this filtered through Carol’s deliciously overloaded senses and processed through her brain Alessandro was watching her with a bemused smile sitting crookedly on his face.
“I’ll just call him from my phone…he, sometimes B doesn’t answer strange numbers.”
As she dialed Brendan’s number and explained that her alarm had been patently a false one she felt Alessandro’s eyes moving across her face, and down along her throat to her shoulders. They lingered on her breasts like caressing hands before sliding sinuously along her belly. By the time she finished talking with Brendan it felt as if Alessandro had carefully and slowly stripped each piece of clothing she wore from her flushed and trembling body. She raised her eyes to Alessandro’s to find him watching her with an expression of such intense hunger she flinched back against the side of the car furthest from him. His pupils narrowed, and he leaned toward her with deliberation. His voice came with the same measured pace, all bass delight rolled in the hard candy coating of his lovely accent.
“Forgive me, cara. I cannot…perdonatemi, ah, forgive…you understand, si? I find I cannot help myself.”
As he spoke his big hands were reaching out and laying hold of Carol, pulling her across the seat and into his lap. The rasp of the leather against her soft cotton lounging pants sensitized the skin of the backs of her thighs and ass. He gripped on hip, his thumb resting along the crest of her hipbone while his broad palm curled warmly over the firm rounded flesh at the side of her hip. His long fingers lay on the upper curve of her ass pressing inward as he sought to pull her closer. Alessandro’s other arm was braced diagonally along the length of her back with his remaining hand fisted in her hair. He was careful to tug gently as he positioned her head with that handful of hair.  
Carol meant to give him a piece of her mind. She did. What came out instead when she opened her mouth was a hungry moan. She meant to brace her hands on his shoulders and briskly push herself off his lap while she told him exactly how unprofessional he was being. She did. In contrast, her arms somehow ended up curled over the tops of his broad shoulders, twining around his neck as she carded her fingers through the rough silk of his midnight black hair.
He nibbled at her lips like they were the first rare and succulent fruits available after a decade of winter. Carol moaned, pressing herself more fully against his firm, thickly muscled body. Alessandro released her hip, sliding that hand up along her side until his hand reached her face. With his long fingers cradling her cheek he pressed lightly down on her chin with the pad of his thumb easing Carol’s mouth open in slow increments. Alessandro made a low pleased sound at the back of his throat as he pushed past her lips, exploring the shape of her teeth and testing the warmth inside her mouth.
Carol lost all sense of time as she suckled his tongue. Learning the taste of him was wintergreen and something indefinable, Carol tightened her arms around his neck. She bit at his lips, wiggling around until she was straddling his lap, gripping his hips with her thighs. Wintergreen was her new favorite flavor.
I have to have more…
*Whir, shush, whir*
The sound of the privacy partition being lowered between the driver and the back of the limo didn’t register until Alessandro lifted her carefully away and set her back in her own seat.  Marcello’s voice came quietly through the half open window space.
“Mi scusi Signore Feliano…we have arrived.”
Alessandro nodded, turning his eyes back to Carol as the privacy partition slid shut. His crooked smile appeared again. His eyes were briefly screened from her perusal as the thick black lashes above them meshed with those below. Then his dark gaze was on her again.
“Come, piccolina, we must hurry to catch our flight.”