Monday, August 31, 2009

Have a Laugh At My Expense

Several years ago, I had a short essay published in an online magazine. It was a true story, and today, I'm going to share it with you. It's the 'sad' story of how I learned that there are no secrets from children.

Much of motherhood flies by in a blur, while other things stand out as pure joy, extreme fear, or intense pride. Or, in my case, absolute mortification.

The day of “the incident', I was sailing through the task of mothering two little boys and thinking things were going very well. They were happily occupied playing in their room and I was actually getting things done. I guess things were going too well. After almost four years, I should have known better.

I also should have gotten a lock box. But that comes later.

Parenting Tip #1: When they’re quiet, there’s trouble.

My husband and I were in the living room reading when my older son, Adam, entered. Being wise – not really – I had spaced my children close together. They are the best of friends. Because of this, my younger son, Drew, entered right behind his brother.

Now Adam has always been bright and mature, and sometimes his tone reminds me of a voice from my past. My mother, in my teen years.

I realized suddenly that he was glaring at me, with his hand hidden behind him.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, setting aside my novel and segueing into concerned mother mode. His hand whipped from behind his back.

“Momma, what extactly is dis.”

“Yeah, ma,” his little brother echoed.

Oh. My. God! I think my eyes rolled back in my head. Actually, I’m surprised I didn’t faint. If ever there was a time, this was it. How on earth did I explain? I had never even admitted to anyone that I had one of those.

As my husband -- who had bought the “dis” by the way -- choked with laughter next to me, I realized that my son held my pink, anatomically correct vibrator in his chubby little hand. His other hand on his hip, he stared at me, waiting for an answer. His brother struck a similar pose. Where is it written that the children get to gang up on their mother?

What they received as an answer was a particularly un-motherly shriek, and a “Give that to me!” That’s when my brain finally clicked back into gear. This wasn’t exactly something I left laying around. The last time I’d seen it, it was tucked safely in the back of my drawer under a pile of underwear. Once I’d put it back there, I returned to the living room and cornered my sons.

“What were you doing in my dresser?” I demanded. I’d told them often to stay out of my bedroom, a directive they patently ignored. I never expected them to go through the dresser drawers.

Parenting Tip #2: Always expect the unexpected.

Adam blinked up at me, full of innocence. “I was lost.”

I think I developed a twitch right about then. It reappears frequently – usually in conjunction with my older son.

Adam received a time out while I wished for valium. Triple strength. His brother went back to his room to play after I’d ferreted out that he was an innocent bystander in the mommy humiliation project. As soon as Adam was released from time out, he asked, “Momma, can I play wid your handcuffs? Why you hab dem anyway?”

Did I mention the water I was drinking and the fountain that resulted? He giggled maniacally, thinking I was just being funny, and begged me to do it again. I shooed him off to play, with the admonition to stay out of my bedroom.

I sank into my chair, my head in my hand. Visions of Adam performing the same “What is this?” stunt in front of company haunted me. What if he brought it up at my mother’s? At least he didn’t know what "dis" was called. I added a lock box to my shopping list.

Nothing more was said about “the incident". I fell back into a state of mommy-bliss. It would take a few more occasions for me to learn mommy-bliss is a dangerous place. Thankfully, none of the subsequent occurrences involved the pink, anatomically correct vibrator or any similar device.

Except for one. Did I mention that it was anatomically correct? Perhaps not. So in case you missed it, it was anatomically correct.

Fast forward to a few days after the first “incident". By now, I was hoping maybe Adam wouldn’t remember his foray into my dresser, that maybe he wouldn’t drag out my personal items in front of guests, and that maybe he wouldn’t be scarred for life. Lord knows, I would be.

Was it too soon for the birds and the bees talk? It was definitely too soon for the sex toy talk. Is there a sex toy talk? I can tell you, at this point, it’s a discussion I hope to never have.

Anyway, as I was dusting, I could hear my dear sons downstairs in the family room. As background, they had on a mommy-screened, child-friendly video. Only they weren’t watching it. Adam had decided to take the sex talk thing into his own hands. While I began to see black spots before my eyes, he talked earnestly to his younger brother.

“It’s not right to cut off penises and keep them in your drawer. . .”

The twitch was back.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Blood Bought

This week, I got the cover for my next Resplendence Book, Blood Bought. I'm absolutely thrilled by how it came out. Here's a little taste of what the book is about:

BLURB:

For months, Jonah Genjhury has hunted Athena. Waiting. Planning. Dreaming. Finally he finds his prickly mate and he knows it’s time to claim her for the Cruentus clan—and himself. Athena, however, isn’t easy to convince. She fights a union with everything in her. In desperation, Jonah makes her his blood slave, binding her to him. But now he must convince his angry slave that she is indeed his mate while an age old battle with the Dragon enemies rages around them. And if he doesn’t convince her quickly, they might both perish.

EXCERPT:

The woman’s anger, unmistakable rage, radiated across the parking garage and hit Jonah full force as his sports car raced up to the third level. Grimacing, he pushed his body past feeling the pain that had plagued him for the six months since she’d left him. She was his mate and his body craved her, not that she gave a care about that.

No, she’d run rather than mate with him.

His jaw locked as his own anger joined hers. His only solace was in the knowledge that she’d be feeling equal pain, as was her rightful punishment for running from their union and kidnapping the Elder’s mate in the process. A thin smile momentarily curved his lips. Soon all the pain would end and his mate would bear another punishment for her desertion, one meted out by his hand, one he’d sorely enjoy.

The smile faded as she came into sight. Athena Xanthopoulos, his intended mate. Two of the Dragons from the New York clan held her and everything inside him rebelled at another male touching his woman, but it was necessary or she’d run. Athena was good at running as he discovered since she’d fled the Cruentus compound.

The two Dragons, who were in human form, seemed relieved that he’d arrived. Athena on the other hand looked even more pissed off. They had her chained between them as a safeguard. Impotently, she fought, her long black hair flying wildly around her head. Even from this distance, he could see the fury in her dark brown eyes while the muscles of her arms strained against the manacles that held her. Jonah knew she wouldn’t escape her captors.

She glared at his car though he was sure she couldn’t see who was inside, not in this dim part of the parking garage. Oh, she knew… As her struggle increased, her teeth bared in contempt.

“Get out here, you bastard, and call off your dogs,” she screeched.

“Um, honey, we’re Dragons,” the taller of the pair holding her said dryly. “And if you weren’t Jonah’s mate—poor sucker—I think I’d barbecue you.”

“Hey, no toasting my Velree, Levi,” Jonah cut in as he slid from his silver car. He drew a black leather case from the backseat and approached the trio.

“I’m not suggesting toast.” He glared at Athena. “I’m thinking banshee on a spit.”

Jonah shook his head, biting back his chuckle as he met Athena’s stormy brown eyes. Silently, he surveyed her while she just as silently glared back. He’d searched fruitlessly for her since she’d run away. Often he’d arrived just after she’d left wherever she’d stayed, her scent still in the air and tormenting him. The mating call would then twist his insides, the innate need to be with her bringing him physical pain. Did she not feel the same?

She must. In her short-sleeved T-shirt, he could see the mating mark on her left arm that matched the one on his right. How did she control the call? It should be so strong that even the Dragons holding her wouldn’t be safe from her need.

He shoved away that repugnant thought that would cause him to hate his friends who held her. Intent, he headed for directly for Athena, holding her gaze. One thought filled his mind. One thought? No many. Full thoughts escaped him. His head was filled with random images. Her neck, his teeth, her blood.

His.

She was his and it was time she realized it.

Holding her gaze, he stopped opened the case and stopped before her. Her eyes widened at the leather shackles he removed, and she fought as he deftly replaced the iron that had held her.

“What?” she sniped. “You’re not man enough to handle me without tying me up?”

“Sweetheart, I’m not taking any chances of you jumping from the car.” He lifted her wrists to inspect the gashes from the metal shackles.

She pulled away. “Back off, Fang. I’m not dinner.”

“You’ll be whatever I choose,” he replied, content to spar with her as long as she was with him. At this proximity, the need to couple with her increased, but the pain somewhat receded. It was the first relief he’d felt since the mating mark had appeared on his arm.

He shook his head at her continued belligerence when he knew the need was pulsing through her as well. He could see it in the way her nipples pushed against her shirt and hear it in the way her heart was thundering. It certainly wasn’t caused by fear. Jonah was convinced this woman felt none.

His tongue pressed to the bottom of his front teeth and he slightly parted his lips, drawing in a breath. Yes…there it was. Her arousal filled his senses as he tasted the air. The heavy flavor of her desire nearly had him yanking her into his arms and dragging her away. The other Dragons would be able to scent it as well, and she was his! He wanted her as far from other males as possible until he was fully united with her.

Shaking, he pulled himself from the edge of frenzy. This was the mating call driving him. He had more control that this. Gently, he stroked her cheek and his skin tingled at the long-awaited contact.

His skin tingled as he stroked her cheek.

“Get your hand off me or you’ll see what it’s like to be bit,” Athena growled.

“In my dreams,” he murmured. He sighed. “Still a shrew, I see.”

“Jerk,” she said, her voice hardly a whisper as desire darkened her eyes.
He’d played around long enough. Before the thought was half-formed in his mind, Jonah’s arms snaked around her, one capturing her waist and the other banding her shoulders.

Velree,” he murmured as his hand threaded through the hair at her temple and tilted her head to the side, revealing the vein that throbbed from her struggles. She tried to fight him, but his unbreakable grasp held her still. He insinuated his knee between her legs as he angled his body to hers. In the position, none of the self defense moves she’d mastered and he’d been warned about would work. He held her more helpless than the chains.

She shivered as his tongue flattened and dragged over the vein. “Can you already feel me inside you?” he murmured. “Is your body even more wet knowing the one who will master it has now captured you?”

“No,” she whispered hoarsely, but he knew it was a lie. She quivered against him and her body heated with her lust.

“Mine,” he replied, his lips brushing her skin. His teeth sank into the soft flesh at the base of her neck to punctuate his declaration. Euphoria filled him, as her blood sank across his taste buds, the flavor of his Velree, the one woman destined just for him.

Athena moaned, her body arching into him, as the aphrodisiac from his bite flowed through her body, making her wild with her pent-up need. It would have affected Jonah as well, if he hadn’t prepared against it. He could not afford to be weakened by the lust for his mate.
Shuddering as he pulled his mouth away from the Nirvana of her blood, he took a step back. It took a moment for him to collect himself. Finally, he was able to look at the men who still held Athena who was now writhing and crying out in her mindless need. Jonah looked away quickly, knowing he was an inch from giving in to her.

He nodded to the men then led the way to his car, where he popped the trunk. He hated to put his mate there but it was the safest place for her at the moment. She was so far gone with her desire, she would barely notice anyway.

“Jonah, I need you,” Athena whimpered.

Levi pulled him back when he took a step forward to answer her pleas.

“Soon enough,” Levi whispered.

Jonah nodded as the trunk was shut. He’d bitten her and fed his Dragon who’d waited so long for his mate. It sealed the contract. She was his. Bought with blood.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Looks Like Snow

Okay…it’s not that cold. It’s in the low sixties, but the nasty rain that’s been coming down all day is so fine, it looks like sleety snow falling. I actually did a double take today. C’mon… It’s AUGUST!

This has been the coldest summer I can remember in about fifteen years. Same sort of scenario that year. About two hot weeks, and the rest of the summer cold cold cold. I recall it clearly because those two hottest weeks were the two weeks before I had my son who, by the way, was two weeks late. Then the rest of the summer I had to eschew the cute summery newborn clothes I had and bundle up the kid in fall-type clothes.

He survived to be a sarcastic, mouthy pain in my neck. I survived to ground him. Do you know the most annoying thing about teenagers? They make your mother’s voice and words come out of your mouth—those things I PROMISED I would never say. You know, because I would be SUCH an understanding mother. I’d understand the subtext and angst of the eye roll and, BOY, do I. So I tell my son NOT to roll his eyes at me, and you know what he says? I wasn’t rolling my eyes. I was looking somewhere else.

Mm-hmm…

Yes, so he’s lived through another cold summer. Barely. School starts in nine days, twelve hours and thirty-nine minutes. But, hey, who's counting?

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Great Ones

I'm posting over at Writer's Evolution today about writers who've influenced me. Stop by if you have a chance.
~~Brynn

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dragon's Blood

Guess what’s available at Resplendence Publishing today!!!

BLURB:

For centuries, there have been legends of Vampires—the fault of one careless dragon. But humans only know part of the story. Walking amongst us are Dragons—Shape-shifters who feed on blood.


Reluctant Dragon Elder Janos Aventech’s vacation in New York is about to come to an abrupt end. Riding on the subway, he stumbles across a Dragon mate—one of the few human women with whom his people can unite and be truly happy. And his people’s enemies are out to get her. As his attraction to this woman grows, he knows he must find her mate and see her safely into that man’s arms. It’s destined. But as every minute passes in her company, Janos begins to see he’ll never willingly let her go, mate or not.

If only she were his mate…

On the subway, Scarlett couldn’t stop staring at him—then he turned crazy. When he essentially kidnaps her off the train, she knows she should be irate and terrified. Instead, she finds her initial attraction growing. But what’s all this stuff he’s spouting about mates and enemies? She only wants to return to her life, not get caught in the middle of a war. But it’s too late for that. She’s destined for a Dragon’s bed, and in Janos’ arms, she can only hope it’s his.

EXCERPT:

Scarlett snapped shut her phone. Janos took it from her limp fingers. He opened the back, flicked out the battery and, before she could stop him, slid out the SIM card then snapped it like a brittle match.

“What are you doing?” she demanded, outraged that he’d dare to destroy her property. And he was cutting off her most effective means of contacting the outside world. Maybe going with him was a very bad idea after all. Her mother had always told her as a child that danger lurked in pretty packages…and he sure was pretty.

He tossed the two pieces, the battery and the useless phone into a nearby trashcan. Then taking her arm, he started down the sidewalk again. “If you want to be invisible, you can’t send up beacons about your location. Your phone is like a homing signal, and trust me, it’s very easy for the wrong people to get their hands on it.”

“What are you? A cop?”

He snorted. “Hardly. But I’m not one of the bad guys, either. C’mon.”

“Why should I believe you? This could be a trick. You could just be taking me to them.”

Janos growled low in his throat.

“The most difficult…” he muttered under his breath. His dark gaze pierced her attitude, deflating it like an old balloon. “These people don’t play games. If I was one of them, you’d already be dead. They don’t wait for privacy, they just kill. And the longer we wait, the more danger you’re in. That one, the one you saw on the train…by now he’s contacted his comrades, and I can promise you they’re headed here now. They want you dead, and they’ll see it done this time.”

“But there was only one other man…” she said weakly.

“There are many. Two might have attacked you before, but there’s an entire army, and they all want you dead. Now you can trust me and let me help you, or…I can force you to come with me. Like it or not, you’re under my protection.”

An army? They wanted her dead? Why? She’d never hurt anyone! “I don’t… Why do they want me dead?”

“Because of who you are to my people.”

He was so matter-of-fact it sent panic racing through her. “What—”

Exploding brick and glass beside them threw her into Janos. His arms went around her like iron as she looked over her shoulder. A swarthy man with glowing blue eyes stood no more than twenty feet away—no! He wasn’t standing. His feet were six inches above the ground while he levitated. His fingers glowed the same blue as his eyes and balls of light surrounded his palms.

What was he?

Janos growled, his arms tightening. He seemed to grow taller…and thicker, muscle building against her body. Stunned, she glanced up at his face. A gasp tore from her, ripping from her tight throat like razor blades. Blackish green scales—she could only describes them as scales—cascaded over his face like dominoes tumbling over one another. His head changed shape, becoming more triangular, sharp teeth protruding from his mouth, his nose disappearing. The scales tumbled down his body, covering even his clothing. She screamed when wide leathery wings curved high above his shoulders. As she struggled to get free, they wrapped around her, surrounding her entire body and holding her as tightly as his arms.

They blocked out all light, allowing her to only see Janos’ face above the wings enclosing her. But it wasn’t Janos’ face it was… something reptilian.

An impact knocked them back a few feet, and ever through the wings, she felt the energy sizzle over them. Janos roared. While she watched, wide eyed, he opened his mouth. A harsh rumble ground against itself beneath her ear. His chest expanded then his torso curved slightly down, bending her with it. Suddenly, his belly hollowed and a blast of fire shot from him. The light of it blinded her. As the streak of flames continued, the pressure of his wings stole her breath, crushing her into darkness.

“Dragon…” she whispered, the sound lost in the fury above her. “But dragons don’t exist…”

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

All Hail FlyLady

Have you heard of her? I have to say, I rely on the FlyLady system to keep my life in control. Between the day job and my writing, it’s really easy for my entire household to tumble into an avalanche of chaos. FlyLady defines chaos as Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome. Yep, exactly that kind of chaos.

When I can’t write, I use that system as well. She advocates the use of a timer to get things done. You can do anything in 15 minutes. So on those days when I absolutely can’t make myself sit down and write, I set the timer and focus for 15 minutes. After all, I can give my writing at least that, right? That’s usually all it takes too. Once I get going, I can write for a couple hours.

Anyway, thanks FlyLady for helping me keep my head together.

On another note, I got a couple reviews on Stealing the Bride. Here excerpts from both:

Brynn Paulin is an amazing author. Her talent is out of this world. Every story is sexy and fun to read with a bit of drama and a lot of passion. Stealing the Bride is another homerun by a first class author. This is a not to be missed story, by a never to be missed author. I can not wait to read whatever is in store for us next. (Kimberley ~ ecataromance)

Every bride gets jitters just before the big day but for Mara those discomfited feelings are more intense and she doesn’t quite understand why. Jacob and Daniel know that Marco is all wrong for her but they were afraid to approach her themselves. Her communion with nature trip gives them the perfect opportunity and provides readers with plenty of hot, sexy scenes to leave you a bit envious. Jacob and Daniel are absolutely loveable and there’s no doubt about their sincerity toward Mara. With STEALING THE BRIDE Brynn Paulin gives readers extremely likeable characters in a difficult situation that quickly spirals out of control but still maintains a humorous feel to the storyline. (Chrissy ~ Romance Junkies)

Huge thanks to both Kimberley and Chrissy!!!

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of having one of my books re-released. Boy Toys which was originally in the Brit Party anthology at Total-e-bound is now available as a single title from the same publisher. For those who might be unaware, this is a story connected to the Circle of Three series.
br />Did you know I’m running a contest right now? It ends September 11, so enter soon. For more details, check out the end of my July newsletter. You can read it here.

~~Brynn