Author Archives: Rita Bay

Feed Your Imagination with Fantasy Book Tour Week 2

Join Champagne authors Rita Bay, Graeme Brown, L.T, Getty, and R.J. Hore in our Feed Your Imagination with Fantasy Book Tour from March 31st through April 25th. Through our tour host, Juniper Grove Book Solutions, we’ll blog, interview, and visit with book lovers across the internet. The schedule for the week is listed below. Our tour central page contains the full schedule and blurbs, excerpts, and buy links for the tour books HERE.

Our tour sponsor, Champagne Book Group (Champagne Books and Burst Imprints), is offering up five ebooks at the end of the tour. Enter to win at the bottom of the tour central page HERE . I’m offering two ebooks (Into the Lyons Den and Finding Eve) each week in a drawing to readers who comment on my blog (two winners each week). Extra entries (one for each) for following me on Facebook or following my blog .


Check out where we’ll be this week

Monday, April 14 L.T. Getty’s Guest Post at Sheila Deeth

R.J. Hore’s Guest Post at The Flipside of Julianne

S.M.’s Book Review of Graeme Brown’s The Pact at S.M. Bysh Author

Tuesday, April 15  CCAM’s Interview of Rita Bay at Mythical Books

L.T. Getty’s Guest Post at The Cheshire Cat’s Looking Glass

Wed, April 16  Denise’s Review of Rita Bay’s Finding Eve at Rantings of a Closet Vamp Princess

Jaidis’s Interview of R.J. Hore at Juniper Grove

Thur, April 17  J. Hooligan’s Review of Graeme Brown’s The Pact at Platypire Reviews

Rita Bay’s Bucket List at Laurie’s Thoughts & Reviews

Friday, April 18


Graeme Brown’s Guest Post & of Rebecca’s Review of The Pact at Spellbindings

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Feed Your Imagination with Fantasy

Join Champagne/Burst authors Rita Bay, Graeme Brown, L.T, Getty, and R.J. Hore in our Feed Your Imagination with Fantasy Book Tour from March 31st through April 25th. Through our tour host, Juniper Grove Book Solutions, we’ll blog, interview, and visit with book lovers across the internet. The schedule for the week is listed below. Our tour central page contains the full schedule and blurbs, excerpts, and buy links for the tour books HERE. teaser Our tour sponsor, Champagne Book Group (Champagne Books and Burst Imprints), is offering up five ebooks at the end of the tour. Enter to win at the bottom of the tour central page HERE . Check out where we’ll be this week.

Mon, April 7

Laura’s Review of Rita Bay’s Finding Eve at Trip Down Imagination Road
Tuesday, April 8 R.J. Hore’s Guest Post at The Cheshire Cat’s Looking GlassGraeme Brown’s Ten’s List at Laurie’s Thoughts & Reviews
Wed, April 9 Jaidis’s Interview of Rita Bay at Juniper Grove
Thur, April 10 CCAM’s Interview of L.T. Getty at Mythical BooksS.M.’s Review of L.T. Getty’s Tower of Obsidian at S.M. Bysh Author
Friday, April 11

Laura’s Review of Graeme Brown’s The Pact at Trip Down Imagination Road


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Growing the Story


This week, Growing the Story. Most stories, including romance, grow around conflict. Conflict occurs when one character is at odds with the objectives of another character or force. Conflicts within the story create tension and interest, especially when the resolution of the conflict is in doubt. Who wants to read a story where a couple meet, fall in love at first sight, marry, and live happily ever after.

Conflict within the story may be internal or external for one or more character(s). In romance, one element of conflict is resolved when two (or more) characters achieve a happily-ever-after or, in the case of some erotic romance and erotica, a happily-ever-after-for-now ending. The romantic hero/heroine’s internal conflict may relate to meeting the expectations of society, loss of freedom/lifestyle through marriage, whether this is “the one,” or making a relationship a success. The external conflict in the romance occurs when the couple resolves their relationship conflicts to achieve their happily-ever-after. The external conflict of the romance may involve other individuals or situations around the couple.

Other conflicts revolve around the setting in which the romance occurs. Whether a high-tech office, a Regency soirée, or a medieval battlefield, secondary conflicts keep the readers’ interest and provide an opportunity for the writer to enrich the characters and show them in other contexts, so that the story goes beyond a simple romance to bring about a satisfying ending.

In my new erotic romance series, Cupid’s Back in Business, Teddy and Diana, who met on Aphrodite’s Island in Her Teddy Bare and achieved a happily-ever-after-for-now, return to New York to consider a more permanent relationship. Teddy in real life is a billionaire real estate investor and much more. The gym/spa where he first saw Diana occupies the bottom floors of his multi-story business/home. His first task will be to convince author/artist Diana to move in, so he can pursue his permanent courtship with the love of his life. Both will be constants throughout the series. More about them next week.

A note – I HATE cliffhanger endings. Whether as a reader or a writer, I want a SATISFYING ending. There is nothing satisfying about buying a book and reading it through only to discover that you must buy another book to discover the ending, if then. To me, it’s a cheat and should come with a warning. There’ll be no cliffhanger romances in Cupid’s Back in Business or anything else I write.

Next Week, Developing the Characters

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Building a Series: Building the World


The next element in building a story/series is “Building the World.” Authors can take free rein with their imaginations when creating a world. Based on the intended theme, they can fill it with their own visions, values, beliefs, and prejudices or craft a totally different reality in the future or in a different world.

Regardless of what is being created, certain questions common to all societies and cultures must be addressed by the author to make the story believable. What is the society’s explanation of the world? Where did they come from (origins)? Where are they heading (the future)? What should they do (ethics and values)? How should they attain our goals? What is true and false (knowledge)?


In my series, tentatively named “Cupid’s Back in Business,” billionaire real estate developer Theodore C. Bareston III has a secret identity that he’s kept hidden for centuries. In Her Teddy Bare, he convinces Diana Harper that she should give love another chance – with him, of course. In Conquering Cupid, the first story in “Cupid’s Back in Business,” while he courts Diana after they return to New York City, Teddy is moved to embrace his past which lies buried in ancient Greece. But Diana is no fool and a series of “guest” visits raises doubts about her new boyfriend who is reticent to answer her questions. Finally, shadows from her past may imperil her future with Teddy.

As the plot develops and conflicts emerge some of the questions about the world will be answered. It’s not necessary to answer all the questions, especially all at once. No one wants an information dump. Snippets of the world can be delivered in later books. In scifi/fantasy, my favorite series is McCaffrey’s Pern series – a masterful creation of an entire world and culture. Do you have a favorite series?

Next week, Developing the Characters



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Building a Series: SETTING THE THEME


This week in Building a Story/Series, we’ll focus on setting the theme. Why set the theme first? Whether we’re looking at an individual story or a series, setting the theme is a critical component in the development of a story/series. The theme provides the cohesive underpinning for the world that we build, the characters that we develop, and the stories that we grow.

No! No! Some assert that the characters are the center of the story. Others claim that the plot is the end-all of the story. Au contraire, I say. The theme provides the guide for the world we build, how the characters behave and how the story unfolds (plot). Without a theme, stories become disjointed collections of scenes that muddle through to an unsatisfying haphazard ending.

So, what’s a theme? The theme of a book/series is the universal idea or message that stretches throughout the entire story or series. It is often a lesson about life or people. There’s a long list of themes that run throughout stories. Non-romance stories can address many themes–coming of age, fate and free will, necessity for change of power, emptiness of attaining false dreams, good versus bad, greed as downfall, identity crisis, injustice, or materialism as downfall. There are dozens more.

The overriding theme for romance stories is achieving happily-ever-afters (HEAs) or happily for now (HFN). As an aside, I must admit that I need an HEA for a satisfactory conclusion with everlasting love conquering the transitory hookup any day. Romances, regardless of the subgenre, have additional themes. Examples include convention and rebellion, dangers of ignorance, disillusionment and dreams, male and female roles, the heartbreak of betrayal, finding inner strength, losing hope, desire to survive, loss of innocence or love, love and sacrifice, and conquering fear or weakness or adversity.

NewObsessionCover180 x270At one of the conferences I attended, a presenter asserted that authors have preferred themes that predominate their writing which are based on their personal histories. Can’t say that’s always true, but I choose to write stories about conquering adversity to achieve goals. I’m a confirmed optimist who believes in putting the past behind you so you won’t break your neck tripping over opportunities in the present or future. Maybe a more positive way of stating that is embracing the future. What say you?

IntoThe LyonsDen-EBOOK180X281In my first historical, His Obsession (Siren BookStrand, 2012), Emeliese Alexander is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the pirate republic of Bou Regreg. Believing the man she loves is responsible, Emeliese chooses life in a pirate’s harem to survive. The cost is dealing with the heartbreak of betrayal, even after she is rescued and – years later – her husband convinces her of his innocence. In my first paranormal, Into the Lyons’ Den (Champagne, 2012), Marie Maxwell discovers her shapeshifter heritage and – despite her go-it-alone and use-then-discard lovers attitude – finds herself attracted to an aggravating man who is the alpha of the shapeshifting clan.

For the new series, I’ve chosen “walking the paths less taken in search of happily-every-afters” as the underlying theme (and maybe the tagline or shortened to “walking the paths less taken”). Each story will feature individuals who depart from the mundane mediocrity of their current lives to embark on journeys along paths less taken. Not all of the paths will be easy or traveled willingly and a humorous element underlies all. All, however, will feature scorching hot romance.  The impetus for the journey will be one of my characters that I’ll reveal next week.

Next Monday, World Building


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Building a Series: THE BIG PICTURE

Series-Big Pic

When I thought about the content of my February posts, I wanted to do something with a romance theme that was also related to writing. I admit that most of my posts on WOTI have been about stories, cultures, and heroes (I LOVE heroes.) rather than the mechanics of writing. For the next month, I plan to share my ideas for developing a story or series. Can’t guarantee that any of it will work for you, so check it out and toss the trash. You’ll also score a few handouts that might land in the trash also.

Each Monday I’ll discuss a topic related to building a series: The Big Picture, Setting the Theme, Building the World, Developing the Characters, and Growing the Stories. Finally I plan to close with Confessions of a Rogue Storyteller in which I’ll share the lowdown on the “You must always” rules of writing which haven’t worked for me and a few that did. I’ll also include a few “rules” garnered from conferences and successful authors that have been helpful for me.

FYI, throughout this month, I plan to develop a series of mythology-based erotic novellas with a common theme. I promise not to get too risqué here. One of the hints that I’m not holding back to the end is the importance of planning ahead. I keep a physical folder of “story plans,” not just a sheet of ideas for stories but plans that evolve over time. I use those individual sheets to update matching folders in the computer under MY DOCUMENTS – WRITING. Each story has its own folder under WRITING. Right now, I have about twelve stories that I plan to write over the next two years with written and computer files. Since I write novellas and novels below 60,000 words with occasional short stories thrown in, that’s not too ambitious.

When Champagne’s Carnal Passions line issued a Call for Submissions for Aphrodite’s Island, I saw the perfect opportunity to write one of my stories that I had filed away in my WRITING folder. When Aphrodite opened the island resort, it had one goal…to give the guests the ultimate in fantasy experiences. Miss ‘A’ established rules which guide the guests in their quest for the ultimate romantic fantasy…one sensual encounter at a time. I took my Coop’s Gym & Spa series plan out of the file and took the couple to Aphrodite’s Island. Her Teddy Bare is a humorous short story published last year which includes a bit of BDSM with a chuckle. Her Teddy Bare is available HERE for $.99. Check out the blurb below.

FINALHerTeddyBare_600x900Diana will be his to serve if only he can convince her to play the game. After dumping her cheating fiancé, Diana Harper accepts an invitation “to attend a private event at Miss A’s island retreat to experience your most secret dreams and fondest fantasies.” Miss A gives “Teddy” to Diana as an “attendant.” Despite his best efforts, Teddy isn’t a submissive and the skimpy gold thong is ridiculous on a man his size. Although she’s not a domme, Diana plays his game to see where it leads. When Teddy offers her profound passion, the best sex ever, and the prospect of love, will she take a chance on another broken heart?

Theodore Bareston will do whatever it takes to win Diana’s love, even though “whatever” includes wearing a thong and posing nude in chains when Diana’s interest in her art revives. As the sexual tension builds and passions explode, can Teddy convince Diana that he is the only man for her?

Next Monday, Setting the Theme for my new series.



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Do You Ever Wonder Where Your Characters Come From, or Why They Come Back?

Ron'sBookWhen you are constructing your imaginary worlds, the characters who inhabit them are as important as the setting. Picture a story with a great location, filled with flat boring characters, and you’ll get the idea. If you don’t care about the characters, or find them interesting, why keep reading? You could probably get away with exciting characters in a dull setting, but let’s face it, the best stories have both.

Where do characters come from? I’ve a recent example from my own experience. I was getting ready to write a sequel to The Queen’s Pawn. After I finished the original novel, I wrote down two sentences for plots I might use if I ever turned TQP into a trilogy. One sentence, one plot idea for another novel. Now that I’ve decided to proceed, the first thing I did was take the germ of the first idea, sit down and write all of the things I could think of that would relate to a book two. When I got that exercise out of my system, it was time to start writing.

I’m sitting at a table in a curling rink, drinking coffee and staring at my notebook. The first sentence is important and so is the opening scene. It’s one thing to know the central plot pivot, it’s another to get the blasted novel rolling. After a few false starts (I’m basically a pantser, not a plotter) I decided I would open by having the hero summoned to a meeting with the queen. Fair enough, someone had to come and get him. Basically a simple walk-on part and a character who might never be heard from again. I decided on a squire rather than a servant. What happened next was that the hero and the squire, on their own, started up a conversation as they walked through the castle. By the end of page two I knew the squire had graduated from a background actor to someone who may take on a supporting role. Who knows where that might lead him, and certainly nothing that appears in my notes.

When do characters you thought you were finished with re-appear? My fantasy detective series of novellas, The Housetrap Chronicles, is based on the adventures of the central character. Each novella is written as a stand-alone story. I have rather mad way of doing these. I create a bit of a mash-up for a title, then sit down and design the plot based around explaining the title. I was working on the fourth in the series (Murder in the Rouge Mort) and needed a protagonist, villain, to give my hero Randy grief. Back in book two (Dial M for Mudder) he was faced with a devious curvaceous assassin. Why not bring her back? Completely different plot. No sense in wasting a good bad character. She did quite well in her repeat performance. Along the way I added a couple of villains who may also re-appear someday. They were just too nasty to dispose of completely. I’ve finished volume six and I notice more characters re-appearing. That’s one benefit of doing a series. I also notice others, who were bit players, maybe with only a line or two, coming forward to demand more time on stage. Makes writing interesting.

Have fun with your characters. They can make the page come alive. Just don’t let them mutiny and take over the ship completely!

Just released this week, the first print Volume of The Housetrap Chronicles containing: Housetrap, Dial M for Mudder, and House on Hollow Hill


Medieval-style fantasies: The Housetrap Chronicles:
*The Dark Lady Housetrap Hounds of Basalt Ville
Knight’s Bridge Dial M for Mudder **Murder in the Rouge Mort
The Queen’s Pawn House on Hollow Hill **Treasure of the Sarah Madder

* Two sequels Dark Days and Dark Knights scheduled for release in March and August 2014
** Murder scheduled for release in July 2014, Treasure scheduled for October 2014


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SYFY Shows Return & New Ones Make an Entry

imagesThe countdown is on! Tonight, my two favorite SyFy shows premier. Lost Girl AND Being Human are back and I am counting the hours. If you remember, Lost Girl’s season ended with a car accident without us knowing who comes out alive. Being Human ended with several open ends, the main one being if the dead chick would rot or not. They’ve been pushed back an hour and a new show, Bitten, has been added at 10pm. Previews say the female lead is the only female werewolf. We know, of course, that Being Human has at least two. I hate it when world building collides, especially on the same night.

imagesCA9LILQBHelix debuted last week featuring a deadly disease that breaks out in a research station in Antarctica (?). Two scientist brothers who are at odds (one brother caught his wife in bed with the other brother which ended a marriage and a friendship) end up on the station with the wronged bro trying to rescue his infected bro. Ex-wife who is also a scientist is on the scene and finally apologizes for her adultery as a lapse which she regrets but claims it’s basically his fault for ignoring her. In the last scene, the infected bro has his tongue down her throat which is how the disease is spread. Don’t know if the microorganism is sentient or what but it seeks to spread. The frozen monkeys are the stuff of nightmares. Not sure if I’ll follow this one.

Hiatus always brings disorder, but a plethora of new shows eased it somewhat. Haven’s December cliffhanger was interesting. I’ve seen no hints of who in hell the movers and shakers are in the town. I’m ready for a resolution, but will need to wait until the next year.

Almost_Human_FOX A couple of new shows popped up on the big channels. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow features an Ichabod Crane who is some sort of resurrected savior who strives to rescue the world from a modern-day Armageddon. Washington Irving would likely have a stroke. On a very positive note, Almost Human has been an interesting treatment of the robot/human interaction. In the series, the outdated model robot assigned to the lead cop is considered a bit dysfunctional. Their interaction brings to mind Asimov’s Robot Series which he started writing way back in 1939 which I LOVED.
Next week, I’ll share my plan for a new series and my other writing goals for 2014.

Visit Rita Bay at Rita Bay’s Webpage & Blog
“Ely’s Epiphany” Secret Cravings Publishing, December, 2013
“Finding Eve” Champagne Books, September, 2013
“Nimue’s Daughter,” Shared Whispers, Champagne Books, September, 2013
“Search & Rescue” Secret Cravings Publishing, July, 2013
“Her Teddy Bare” Carnal Passions, May, 2013 “The Aegis” Champagne Books, April, 2013
“Into the Lyons’ Den” Champagne Books, August, 2012 “His Desire” Siren BookStrand, May, 2012 “His Obsession” Siren BookStrand, April, 2012

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NaNo Winner!!

2013-Winner-Facebook-ProfileWhooHoo!  Climbing out of my NaNo hole. Last week, I finished NaNoWriMo (50,000 words in November) and downloaded my reward. The real treasure was finishing one novella (a Georgian Regency historical) and completing two-thirds of a shapeshifter novella. The Alpha’s Prey has taken longer than most of my books to write. The Alpha’s Prey is the last in my Lyons’ Den stories. All the ends must be tied up and a satisfactory ending of the series revealed which takes some time. Below is a totally unedited excerpt of The Alpha’s Prey, so don’t judge too harshly. My goal is to finish and polish the story this month, then submit it to my editor extraordinaire at Champagne, Nikki Andrews. Fingers crossed.


After a tedi0us plane flight in a Triple Seven freighter loaded with a helicopter, van, and the team’s gear, Cynthia Lyons craved a workout in the gym of the Wolf’s Lair Resort. She needed to get her heart rate up and work out the kinks. In her line of work it paid to be in top physical condition.

She walked past several hunks working out on the machines and free weights. Every one of them eyed her like she was a piece of candy they’d love to sample. Most men salivated over her blond, tanned looks. She was used to that, even occasionally took one of them up on an invitation. Not any of those using ‘roids, though. Besides stinking, some of them were crazy.

She set the treadmill with a view of the lake for a tough workout and started her warm up which was ideal for thinking and planning. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed a man adjusting the treadmill next to her and beginning his workout. She smiled to herself. Few men could keep up. This one wouldn’t last five minutes on the level he’d selected. She casually raised the setting on her machine, he quickly followed suit.

Five minutes passed, then ten.  Still, he kept pace with her. She was acutely aware of his scent which wasn’t covered up by deodorants, or worse, aftershaves or colognes. It was earthy, almost feral, not unlike the People. Like most of the People, she was curious, sometimes to a fault.

She slowed, then stopped, stepped off the treadmill, took a towel from a stack nearby, and started to wipe down. The man continued his ass-busting pace. He was handsome in a dark, rugged way. His coal black hair curled around his shoulders. He was built just the way she liked her men—tall and well-muscled but not bulked up. Unlike most men, he might not land on his butt in a fight.

When she looked up, he was smiling at her. “Like what you see?”

She returned his smile. “Very much. Unfortunately, I’m here on business.”

“A pity. I had my mind on pleasure.”

Visit Rita Bay at Rita Bay’s Webpage & Blog
“Ely’s Epiphany” Secret Cravings Publishing, December, 2013
“Finding Eve” Champagne Books, September, 2013
“Nimue’s Daughter,” Shared Whispers, Champagne Books, September, 2013
“Search & Rescue” Secret Cravings Publishing, July, 2013
“Her Teddy Bare” Carnal Passions, May, 2013 “The Aegis” Champagne Books, April, 2013
“Into the Lyons’ Den” Champagne Books, August, 2012
“His Desire” Siren BookStrand, May, 2012
“His Obsession” Siren BookStrand, April, 2012

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A Foundation Myth: Romulus & Remus

Romulus_u_RemusBack to Mythology and Foundation Myths. While the Trojan hero Aeneas was considered an ancestor of the Romans. Rome’s foundation myth was centered on the twin brothers, Romulus and Remus – his descendants.  They were the children of the Vestal Virgin Rhea Silva by the god Mars (some say the Hercules). Abandoned to die in the river Tiber by their evil uncle (Amulius), they were rescued and fed by a she-wolf, then raised to adulthood as shepherds. When they discovered their identity, they killed Amulius and restored their family to the throne of Alba Longa.

Story goes that the brothers decided to found their own city but could not agree on a location. The result was a fight which ended in the death of Remus. The city was built on the Palatine Hill and took the name of Romulus. Sister Marian Alberta taught us that Rome was founded on April 21st, 753 BC, so we’ll go with that date ‘cause Sr. MA wouldn’t lie. The image, called the Capitoline Wolf which is in the Capitoline Museum in Rome, represents the wolf nursing the twins Romulus and Remus.

Next week, How Romulus Grew the City.

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