Don't forget to subscribe to Ambrosia's FREE Ezine for the latest information on all things Indie!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cassandra Dean - The Diamond Series


Hi peeps,


Cassandra Dean here, ready and willing to chat all about historical western romance, Decadent Publishing’s Western Escape and The Diamond Series.


I’ve jumped around in the historical eras a bit, from Ancient Rome to Early Victorian to Contemporary. I’ve really enjoyed visiting each of these periods in history, although I must admit it never occurred to me to explore America’s Old West. I hadn’t thought of writing a western at all, but when my editor suggested I write for Decadent Publishing’s Western Escape, I jumped at the chance. I do love me a bit of Deadwood, and I adore Firefly, so I set about making my own kind of western. The first book of The Diamond Series, ROUGH DIAMOND was the result.


The only problem was…I couldn’t ‘hear’ the western voice! Oh nos, I hear you all cry, and indeed, peeps, it was a Tragedy of Epic Proportions ;) I could 'hear' the Englishness of the hero, Rupert, Englishness, no problems, but the heroine, Alice…her Western twang eluded me.


I didn't know what to do. I bemoaned my troubles to my friend, and she suggested I borrow her Deadwood DVDs. Well! What a brilliant idea on her part! I watched all three series in a little over a week, and suddenly, the Western voice was there. The words flowed, and I felt a little more comfortable about this Western caper.


ROUGH DIAMOND was always intended to be a one shot, but once it was done and dusted, I had a powerful hankering to know why Alice’s friend, Pearl, disliked the coal prospector Ethan Garrett so intensely. Then, my editor asked me if we could pretty please get Pearl and Ethan’s story and FOOL’S GOLD was born!


It was a lot easier writing the second in the series, that’s for sure. The western twang was already in my head, and it made writing Pearl and Ethan’s story a breeze…well, as much as writing any story is a breeze! Now, I have plans to write the third and final in the series. EMERALD SEA will most likely feature a gunslinger and a chorus girl, and it will probably be a mash up of True Grit and Firefly. I’m letting it percolate at the moment...I’ll let you peeps know when it’s done J


Thanks for hanging with me!







Owner of the Diamond Saloon and Theater, Alice Reynolds is astounded when a fancy Englishman offers to buy her saloon. She won’t be selling her saloon to  anyone, let alone a man with a pretty, empty-headed grin…but then, she reckons that grin just might be a lie, and a man of intelligence and cunning resides beneath.


Rupert Llewellyn has another purpose for offering to buy the pretty widow’s saloon—the coal buried deep in land she owns. However, he never banked on her knowing eyes making him weak at the knees, or how his deception would burn upon his soul.


Each determined to outwit the other, they tantalize and tease until passion explodes. But can their desire bridge the lies told and trust broken?


Buy Links









Christmas in Freewill

Christmas Eve, the Diamond Saloon is empty of its people, and Pearl la Monte has a hankering to retire early. A pounding at the Diamond’s door rids her of such a fool notion. Her irritation rises when she sees the prissy, polite-like Garrett standing outside.

Ethan Garrett has a powerful need to gain succor. When the saloon’s voluptuous redheaded singer scowls at him from the threshold of the Diamond, he doesn’t stop to think on how his ire at her has disappeared. Or how he just wants to spend some time in her company.

When a blizzard storms in, trapping them, will they spend their time arguing or find their irritation for each other disguises something more?



Buy Links








Cassandra grew up daydreaming, inventing fantastical worlds and marvelous adventures. Once she learned to read (First phrase – To the Beach. True story), she was never without a book, reading of other people’s fantastical worlds and marvelous adventures.


Fairy tales, Famous Fives, fantasies and fancies; horror stories, gumshoe detectives, science fiction; Cassandra read it all. Then she discovered Romance and a true passion was born.


So, once upon a time, after making a slight detour into the world of finance, Cassandra tried her hand at writing. After a brief foray into horror, she couldn’t discount her true passion. She started to write Romance and fell head over heels.


The love affair exists to this very day.


Cassandra lives in Adelaide, South Australia.




Sunday, June 16, 2013

Writers Block Article – Defining the Protagonist.

Writers Block Article – Defining the Protagonist.

There is one primary question we must ask and answer throughout every aspect of a story. Why do we care? (we, you. I, they, you get my drift.) This must be asked in parts. These parts are as follows.

1: Why do we care about these characters?

2: Why do we care about this story?

3: Why do we care about this chapter / paragraph / sentence / WORD?

If we don’t care, we don’t need it. If it’s useless babble that repeats and repeats and repeats the same thing over and over or is word filler that doesn’t ascertain to your terrain then CUT IT.

Today however we’re just going to discuss character building and defining.

Building your character to make people CARE. If they love or hate them they must CARE. Rule one to rule one, All rules that apply to your main characters apply to your sub characters.

If you’re unsure on building a specific character be it your first, millionth, main or sub, Put yourself in their shoes. Become them. When you become them you learn to think like them. Who are they and in turn who are you? Are you bad good or walk that fine middle line? Your actions or your characters actions define who they are in a story. Remember to be emotional. Be passionate. Feel everything intensely even if your character is laid back and mellow. If you know and feel what they do then you will not just understand how they react then you won’t get stuck near as often. If he’s real mellow and laid back, PROVE IT- FEEL IT – EXPLAIN IT or as we like to say in the show me state SHOW IT.

Make them special unto themselves. Make sure there is a reason for every action and reaction your character makes for them. Every single person is so different. Be careful not to make your characters all too similar where each would have the same response in a given situation. If everyone is afraid of spiders  (reacts the same to different events, loves the same, talks the same, eats the same, has the same smirk, the same blazing intense eyes) your readers won’t care about them as much because they’re all the same. If everyone is cut like Fabio what makes one guy look better than another?

Jill may run screaming from the spider, Jack may crush, Jane may pick up and let it crawl all over her. But if Jane isn’t freaked out by the spider, why does she freak out so easily over Jack jumping out of the corner and yelling boo? If your character has a strong personality you must not drastically change the characters personality unless your character is growing up and redefining their persona.  Jill may start out horrified of spiders. Then John comes along and sits her down and shows her his pet tarantula and how sweet the thing is. How it tickles so gently when it crawls, how affectionate it is and loves to be pet. Maybe the spider saves her life. Then by the end of the story she may just have a new respect for spiders and now due to a personal character growth and development, is no longer afraid of spiders. Not every character will change and develop but you want at the very least your main protagonist to grow and develop. Think of it as a coming of age journey. Good and bad happens, we live, we love, we hurt, we learn we change. If they do not change we risk our readers feeling jipped. They got so invested with this girl who was afraid of spiders, she was shown how wonderful they are, that they eat the mosquitos they hate so much, they saved her life and by the end of the book she still runs screaming from a daddy long legs. What was the point? Why did they get invested? Why do they care?

Teach our characters things. Have Jill teach Jack how to cook. Have her teach him how to kiss. This is a part of growth development. This attaches your readers to your characters because we all learn every day. Plus if your characters are too perfect, people will actually care much less than they would a flawed character, even one who can’t seem to get the hang of tying their shoes no matter how hard they try.

Now every character needs two things.

1: GOALS / WANTS If your character isn’t striving to achieve anything, be it to date the super model or to tie his shoes on his own one day, readers attention span tends to drift off. So ask, what do they WANT? Ask this many times. Ask this as the story whole, ask this as the chapter section, the paragraph, the sentence. Make your characters want. We all want so your characters should too. Even if they’re rich and have a perfect love life, they must want for something. Even if it’s a glass of water, they must want. WHAT IS THE GOAL?

“But Jace, how do I know if what the character wants is what my readers would want them to want?”

There is such a tricky line in writing for yourself and yet writing for your audience. I say this. Write for yourself but live for the readers. There are a billion stories in the world and that’s a low ball estimate. The shitty thing is all main plots have already been written. The difference is YOUR VOICE. (we’ll get to that more later) As long as the story speaks to you and you feel that character and you understand that character, their needs, desires, pet peeves and reason for being, so will your reader.

2: Adversaries and Nemesis. There must always be a challenge be it plot driven or character driven, meaning they could have an evil villainous enemy or maybe it’s a rival, someone they’re always competing against even if they’re friends. It could even be a non-character. Let’s say my character is conspiracy nut, well his enemy is gonna be the government. Let’s say he’s a rock climber, his adversary is Mount Everest and every time he tries to climb something goes terribly wrong. Maybe they just can’t pay the bills. They need something to challenge them, something to contradict their every move, to make things hard. They need fate to slap them down every time they get close to their goal. It’s difficult to actually torture your characters too much. Turn them into emotional wrecks, beat them down, abuse them, use them, you can even kill them. The more struggle a character goes through the more people grow attached. We all struggle and we all have hardships. If your character has no hardships then how can the reader relate to them?

Now there is a point where you can bore your readers by this. If you have a character with bad guys after him and he keeps getting the shit beat out of him every other day, they begin to expect it and get tired of it. So your character getting jumped every other page by a gang of thugs is going to get old. Mix it up. They get jumped, then the nurse in the hospital thinks he lives a bad life so he doesn’t deserve his pain meds, then he gets out and the cops are on his ass instead of the thugs. Bad things can happen around every corner but it shouldn’t be the same event rewritten in a hundred different ways. You can have the same type of incident multiple times but it must be changed up.

“But Jace, my story is about a boxer and going through different boxing matches. How do I keep from repeating the same event in different ways?”

I’m going to add something outside of bad guys enemies and challenges, let’s add sex to this. “My story is erotic. How do I keep it mixed up and interesting when I have fifteen sex scenes in one book?”

There are different methods. One way I’m going to discuss to me is the simplest and one of the most intriguing and effective. Teasers. One scene starts off with the first half of the match or sex scene where they’re getting really heavy into it, it’s getting real hot, then bam. CUT SCENE. Next try starting out your boxing match at the start of a scene already in the fight or already screwing each other’s brains out. You can do the last segment of the scene starting on the first line of the chap. “Chapter three: Jill moaned loudly as the orgasm ripped through her body and Jack collapsed on top of her.” “Chapter three: Pulling his fist back, John landed the blow to end it all square on Jack’s jaw, knocking him out cold.” I recommend always starting or ending, don’t just show the middle with no climax in any capacity. This tactic when done properly is very intense and instigates more questions from the reader, asking who what when how where and omfg did that just happen?! I have to read more so I know! An orgasm is great but done fifteen times in a row, meh how can each time be the best ever? The best part of a sex scene is the climax yes but not always an orgasmic climax.



If you liked this and would like to see more, check out the writer’s block at Ambrosia Arts



Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Bitter Reunion A Clearwater Novel J. N. Johnson

The Dead-ringer


I speak not of a stand-in, substitute, or look-alike

Rather the one who rings the bell on her burial night


She's buried alive and trapped in her pine box

She awakens to find the nightmare, He knocks


"In my clutches I have you," so proudly says Fear

"Go ahead, ring the bell! It won't save you my dear."


She hoped and she prayed, she prayed to be saved

To Fear she refused to be enslaved


Tugging quite fiercely on the string wrapped 'round her finger

She rang, and rang, and rang...the poor condemned dead-ringer


Fear looked down upon her. He grinned and laughed quite smugly

He shared with her his thought that he held ever so snugly


"Up above the ground, you see, just above you and me

A graveyard guardian there should be, but alas he has left his reveille


Your bell is ringing, but falling on deafened ears

The man above us, you see, has died it appears


Oh, how ironic!...but how sad you must be

That the dead man is above and you're below with me


Truly, this I'll relish, a pleasure so divine

To share in your last moments as you know you are mine!"



Again, Thank you for your consideration

Jennifer Lynne Calhoun

(Pen: J. L. Calhoun)

DOB: 03-11-1979



Bitter Reunion

Lilly Myers ran from Clearwater ten years ago to start a new life as a nurse, leaving all of the pain and anguish of her broken heart behind. The last thing she ever wanted was to return home and face the grueling questions about her sudden disappearance. But the invitation to her ten-year classreunion and the growing need to see her family has her reluctantly boarding the first plane back. Unfortunately, in the small town of Clearwater, nothing stays buried for long. Lilly quickly finds herself facing the past she’s longed to leave behind and the man she’s tried hard to forget. Joshua Taylor has spent the last ten years managing his outfitters business, but it was never enough to keep his mind off the girl who got away. He’s always hoped the love of his life would return home and forgive him for the night she found him in another woman’s embrace. Mending fences along the way Joshua is prepared to do anything he can to prove his worth to Lilly. Now a hurt and angry Lilly is within arm’s reach, and Joshua is prepared to fight for her, even if it means facing danger head on. Can love blossom from such a bitter reunion?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Mergers & Acquitions - Sorcha Mowbray

Mergers & Acquisitions: Shannon’s Take on Dalton

Do you all know how hard I had to work to establish myself as a partner in Pearson, Keane, & Zulinsky? I mean Jeff and Craig are great. But, I had to work twice as hard to earn each and every one of my clients. I had to prove not only that I was capable, but that I could out negotiate, out maneuver, and outsmart every man I’ve worked with.

And then Dalton Granger rolled into my office.

I mean, how unfair is it that the hottest man I’ve ever seen has to demand that he would work with me—and only me—or he would take his business somewhere else? Once he became a client he became off limits. I have my standards. I’m not shopping for a husband. Hell, I don’t even have time for a boyfriend.

But I can’t help but want that man. Something about him makes me weak in the knees. Something about him makes me want to run screaming for the hills because he is dangerous with a capital D. I guess the real question is, if given the opportunity would I take it?

Summer Seduction Blog Hop

By the way, in August Silken Sheets & Seductions, my group blog site, will be hosting the Summer Seduction Blog Hop. If you’re an author or book blogger and you’d like to join in details can be found here We’ll be offering up some sexy prizes and lots of books, so come join the fun!

Mergers & Acquisitions (The Edge)

Shannon Pearce is an acquisitions specialist who helps businesses buy other businesses. Her latest project has left her fantasizing about her provocative client with nothing but BOB to ease her ache. After closing the deal successfully she is faced with another proposition of a very personal nature.


Dalton Granger can’t get his very sexy acquisition specialist out of his head. For weeks he has been tormented by the idea of not only having her in his bed, but at his mercy. What dom doesn’t fantasize about a sensual, submissive woman? But, can she let go long enough to relax and give him the control he craves? If she does, will she dance along the edge of passion with him and push her own boundaries?


ISBN: 978-1-61333-502-4

Genre: Erotica – BDSM

Heat level: 5

Pages: 15

Word count: 5,735

Cover art by Fiona Jayde

Formats: PDF, ePUB, LIT, PRC, HTML



Sorcha Mowbray is a mild mannered office worker by day…okay, so she is actually a mouthy, opinionated, take charge kind of gal who bosses everyone around; but she definitely works in an office. At night she writes romance so hot she sets the sheets on fire! Just ask her slightly singed husband.

She is a longtime lover of historical romance, having grown up reading Johanna Lindsey and Judith McNaught. Then she discovered Thea Devine and Susan Johnson. Holy cow! Heroes and heroines could do THAT? From there, things devolved into trying her hand at writing a little smexy. Needless to say, she liked it and she hopes you do too!