Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sully's Heart in Kindle (excerpt and reviews)

Now available in Kindle format at

Title: Sully’s Heart
Author: Adrianna Dane
Collection: You Make Me Live AmberPax
Purchase Link:
Author URL:
Publisher: Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure
ISBN: 978-1-60272-154-8
Publisher URL:
Cover Art by Trace Edward Zaber


Sexy rock star Luke Cantrell has everything going for him. He parties hard and has no shortage of bed partners. Except he can’t have the one thing he truly wants. The bad boy of Texas and the golden-haired son of an affluent rancher. Friends for life, but Luke always yarned for more than friendship. With the truth destroy their relationship or will it give them both something they passionately desire but were afraid to reveal? Will Sully understand if Luke finally tells him the truth? Or will Luke lose his friendship forever? It’s a gamble he finally has to take.


“Sully Vance. It’s been a long time.”

Sully shoved the hat back on his forehead and then shifted to dismount, the sound of creaking leather loud to Luke’s ears at just that moment. The branches of the tree shifted and creaked and the hiss of a breeze shuddered across his bare skin.

He was standing here naked in front of the one man he wanted more than any other. And the one he couldn’t have, not if he wanted to keep his friendship.

Luke drank in the vision of Sully as he stepped down from his horse. The Western cut jeans cupped his tight ass perfectly. Long, muscled legs that carried him closer to Luke, wonderfully broad shoulders, and a chest that had obviously filled out nicely since the last time they’d been together.

He pushed off his hat and strode toward Luke. His thick, blond hair was just as Luke had remembered it, streaked by the sun, like a field of shimmering wheat, darkened at the moment with sweat. And his eyes, those deep blue eyes that seemed to take in everything, study it, and understand it. Calm, strong, and alert all at the same time.

He stopped right in front of Luke and looked at him intently. Luke saw things in those eyes, but it couldn’t be what he thought. It wasn’t possible.

His fingers curled into fists of impotence. He wanted to reach out to hug him close, but he didn’t dare. It would ruin the moment.

Ruin everything.

They stared at each other for a long time, almost a gap of years spanned between them as they studied and tried to learn what the time apart had done to each of them.

“Why’d you come back?” Sully wanted to know.

For you, Luke wanted to answer. Instead he shrugged. “Unfinished business, I guess.”

Sully kept staring at him intently and Luke could feel his cock beginning to tighten in response to that intensity. He was going to shame himself, he just knew it. He should just get dressed and hightail it out of there fast before something happened that shouldn’t.

“How’s your old man? I haven’t seen much of him lately, but I got the feeling he’s turned harder over the years. I’ve asked him about you when I’ve seen him in town, but he just grumbles something about you being a druggie and he didn’t talk to you. If you didn’t send the postcards now and then, I’d have worried you were dead in a ditch someplace. But according to the newspapers, you’re doing real fine. I’ve been wanting to come to see one of your concerts, but you know how it gets.”

Luke still couldn’t look away. He had to wonder what else his father had said to Sully.

He’s a fancy faggot, Vance, not someone you should be associating with. Luke wouldn’t put it past his father saying just that sort of thing.

“Yeah, I know. I’ve been wanting to come back for a visit, but, well, there just didn’t seem to be time.”

Another long silence dropped between them. Luke’s gaze dropped to Sully lips. There were so many times when he’d wanted to taste them. He felt his heart hammering against his chest. His nipples tightened as cool air wafted over them.

“I’ve missed you, Luke,” Sully said softly as he stepped closer. “I’ve missed you a lot.”

Luke held his breath. What was he trying to say? He licked his lips, nervous as hell that he was going to say the wrong thing, make a misstep.

“I-I’ve missed you, too. More than you know.” Something changed in Sully’s eyes.

And then suddenly he swooped forward, taking Luke by surprise, and planted a searing kiss on Luke’s lips. Nothing could have shocked him more. He felt Sully’s tongue press between the seam of his lips and plunge deep into his mouth. Sully wrapped his arms around Luke and tugged him close.

Luke was too shocked to respond right away, but then he lifted his arms and wrapped them around the broad shoulders of this gorgeous man and pressed himself tightly into his embrace.


"... Sully's Heart is a heart-stopping tale of two men who have the same problem. ... Sully's Heart will warm your heart with their love and sizzle your nerve endings with the heat they have together when they hit the sheets. I highly recommend this entrancing story..." --Raine,

4.5 Ribbons!! Adrianna Dane has quickly become one of my favoriate authors because of her heartfelt storylines and memorable characters... In SULLY'S HEART readers are treated to an inside look at what drives Luke to behave in such a self-destructive manner and what it takes to save him. ... I really enjoyed the intensity of this storyline and quickly read through the whole book just because I had to know how things turn out between Luke and Sully... --Chrissy Dionne, Romance Junkies Reviews

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tone of Story and Word Choice

When you write a story, do you take into consideration the genre you are writing?

For example, what words do you use to a horror story?

What about a mystery?

In horror, do you simply use that tone in the specific scene where a ghost appears? Where a monster makes its appearance and maybe kills a victim? Where does build up begin?

When do you start to seduce your reader into the ambiance of a horror or a mystery or a romance?

The same is true for the eroticism of a story, wouldn't you say? Word choices throughout the story give it the texture and tone for the genre, not just the number of A-into-B sex scenes, or a murder scene, or the swashbuckling warrior scene in a fantasy. It is the whole ambiance.

Would you disagree with that?

When I describe a mountain (such as in Breathless Peaks), a pair of gloves (Skin Tight), a painting (Caution: Wet Paint), in an erotic romance, that item is imbued with sensuality. That is part of the plot. In a mystery, in a horror novel, what are your word choices for bringing a reader into the emotion of that story from the very first page?

From Breathless Peaks:

They both called to her--both wanted her total attention. The feeling was like being drawn to two possessive lovers--neither one willing to let her go. Neither one giving an inch. No matter how far she ran or how deep she tried to hide, they wouldn't let her be. Not really. She'd always felt their presence.

There were times when she thought she'd won, but those times were fleeting. Like a sharpened nail of silvery metal, she was drawn by a powerful magnetism she fought against daily. She was weary of the fight. She wanted to simply let go and go back. To bend to their will, to give them what they wanted. What she needed.

If she went, would she lose her sense of self? Would they press her between them and suffocate the life from her?

Every time she thought about them, her heart beat faster, raced like a ticking bomb, ready to explode. The heat of remembered contact coursed through her like an avalanche that she couldn't fight and she was swallowed whole, buried alive. Not any more. Not now.

She loved them both. More than she should. Both left her breathless, always wanting more. Needing it, and nothing could change that.

From Skin Tight:

The fit was tight, so very tight. Just the way she loved it. Slow and easy. Curving and sheathing until there was no space left to breathe. She sighed as she stroked her fingertips across the glove's supple leather, tracing the outline of each of her enclosed digits one at a time. She inhaled the item's earthy aroma, allowing it to wend its way through her.

Karli loved the scent of finely tooled gloves. And these, oh these, were perfect. They were so tight a fit, she could see the outline of her nails through the stretched fabric. Yet the leather was so pliant there was no problem at all fisting her hand, and her knuckles peaked with shiny definition.

"They look gorgeous on you, Ms. Logan. Almost like a second skin." The saleswoman smiled. This expensive pair would undoubtedly mean a very good sales percentage for the woman behind the counter. "I knew they would," she gushed. "That's why I called you right away. I hoped you'd get the message. I said it was important."

With difficulty, Karli looked away from her gloved hand to smile at the girl. "The service did get the message to me. And I appreciate the call, Wendy. You take very good care of me." Of course, the call had been vetted through several different people before it ended up in Karli's hands, but at least it had reached her. In a gesture of appreciation, Karli's gloved hand pressed the back of Wendy's bare one. She could feel the warmth of the woman's skin even through the boundary of the elegant glove.

No man's cock had ever fit her pussy as tightly as her fingers fit into these gloves. The press and scent almost had her orgasming on the spot. She bit her lip, then soothed the wound with her tongue.

"You have such elegant hands, Ms. Logan. This style looks just wonderful on you." She looked around the small shop, then back at Karli. "Actually," she said in a confidential tone, "I set them aside until you could come in to try them for yourself."

Karli flexed her hand again, enjoying the feel of confinement, the stroke and give of the leather. She wanted to touch herself so badly, to baptize them with her juices. To feel the leather against the soft flesh of her inner thighs.

Caution: Wet Paint:

"It's a very...riveting piece, isn't it? Do you know the artist?"

Clara couldn't take her eyes off the work of art. She felt the heat of a summer sun on her naked body. Sable brushes skimming across her skin, between the lips of her pussy. She squeezed her legs tightly together, trying to deny the erotic sensations that quaked through her.

"Clara, did you hear me?"

"Yes, Maggie, I heard you. It wasn't created by one artist--it was two. You know one of them."

Spread your legs, Clara. Show us your desire. Clara shivered as the ghostly demand echoed inside her head.

"I do? Who is it?"

She felt fingertips stroke gently across her inner thighs. The warmth of a bonfire against her back. The rough texture of a flannel blanket beneath her.


Maggie turned to look at Clara, her mouth agape.

"I didn't know he ever did work like this. It doesn't look like any of the stuff you have on display at the gallery. Who was the other artist?"

"Samir Zahi." Prince Samir Zahi to be correct. Samir, whose mouth had tasted her, lips hot and demanding on her breasts. Her nipples burned for him as she studied the painting, yearning to feel his mouth on her flesh once again.

And in Body Parts foreshadowing a sense of darkness and mystery:

She studied the exterior of the powerful stone structure. It was built to last the ages and much too substantial to simply be called a house. Right out of a gothic novel, it was one of the most opulent pieces of architecture Korrie have ever seen.

Within seconds, the sun shifted behind a dark cloud and cool darkness settled over the property, shadows grabbing at the structure. And at her. She again looked up to study the architecture and this time her gaze settled on the towers. Just below the spires in the left column she noticed the blackened stone and boarded-up brace of windows. From the early photos, they had once held handcrafted stained glass.

It was a terrible tragedy when the Ransoms perished in a devastating fire that destroyed a great deal of the laboratory on the top floor of the mansion. It was reportedly one of their experiments that had gone horribly wrong. Most of their research papers were destroyed as well. At least that’s the rumor.

That’s what it said in the file. She should know because she was the one who’d conducted the interview with the retired newspaper reporter. One of the many reasons she wanted to come here ﷓﷓ to discover the truth. To walk in their shoes, so to speak. Now was her chance.

The lack of sun set a pall over the house, making it look like a fixture out of one of those old horror movies. A shiver spread up her spine, like tiny fingers gripping and tightening around her flesh. What experiment had the Ransoms been working on when they perished?

Does explicitness equal erotic in every scene?

Does erotic equal a full sex scene on every page?

Does revulsion equal horror in every paragraph?

Does violence equal mystery in every act?

Or is it the word choices we use as wordsmiths, throughout the story, that draws the emotion and keep the reader enthralled?

Can you segment plot from atmosphere, or intimacy from relationship, be it mystery, horror, scifi, fantasy, or erotic? If you do, is that story still firmly planted within a specific genre?

Just asking...


Friday, January 02, 2009

The Writing Mind

fountain pen
Originally uploaded by [phil h]

Currently reading "Bullies, Bastards & Bitches: How to Write The Bad Guys of Fiction" by Jessica Page Morrell (ISBN: 978-1-58297-484-2).

This morning I happened to be talking with someone on the phone about how a writer's mind works differently sometimes. After we hung up I turned to reading another chapter from this writing craft book and these few sentences struck me.

"Every writer has his own way "in" to the story. Some plan, some dream, some piece a story together like a puzzle as bits of inspiration slip into consciousness. For most writers, plot and conflict are so entwined with characters that one cannot be known without the other."

I think I tend to start out being the puzzle piecer type of writer. I have a program I keep open called "RoughDraft" and I jot down bits and pieces of characterization and plot as they come to me.

I think we all know that each writer creates differently but sometimes validating our writing habits and the differences in the writer's mind helps to remind us.

I'm using this picture from flickr this morning because I love writing with a fountain pen. A number of years ago I purchased a box of miscellaneous stuff from an auction back in a small town near where I grew up--Richmondville, New York. Some of the contents of the auction belonged to a newspaper publisher. At the bottom of the box, crammed into a crease at the corner, was an old Parker fountain pen. I cleaned it up and I purchase the ink for it (it doesn't take cartridges) and use it often, especially in my journal writing.

There's intimate ritual to working with a fountain pen. Especially an older pen that needs to be filled and cleaned and cared for. A fountain pen holds secrets, shares secrets, tell stories. It's not a throw-away pen; it's a companion through the writing life and deserves respect.

I use Sheaffer Skrip peacock blue ink, special ordered online from Pendemonium.