Tag Archives: Rita Bay

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

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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

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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)?

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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

RITA BAY’S WEBPAGE & BLOG / FACEBOOK / TWITTER

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Building a Series: SETTING THE THEME

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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

RITA BAY’S WEBPAGE & BLOG / FACEBOOK / TWITTER/ AMAZON

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Building a Series: THE BIG PICTURE

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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.

RITA BAY’S WEBPAGE & BLOG / FACEBOOK / TWITTER

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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.

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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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Goosebumps Month ends with Free True Paranormal Stories

Closing out Goosebumps Month at Rita Bay’s Blog (http://ritabay.com) with several authors contributing more true stories of the paranormal. Today, CELIA BRESLIN sent shivers up my spine with her family’s true tale of “The Banshee’s Wail.” Already posted are LYNN RAE’s true story of her OJT scare at a haunted museum and ALLSION KNIGHT’s true story of her home that the previous owner (deceased) wouldn’t leave. Also meet new Champagne author ALAN KEEN who dropped by “An Author’s Desk.” If you haven’t been following Goosebumps, there’s a dozen or more free and true stories of the paranormal contributed by authors..

Finally, Goosebumps ends with my account of the four under-five-years-old neighborhood helpers who assisted with carving the pumpkin (a terrifying Screamin’ Demon), cooking the pumpkins seeds, making pumpkin bread (recipe shared), and making caramel apples. Halloween features a pic of my home in all its terrifying Halloween grandeur.

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Visit Rita Bay at Rita Bay’s Webpage & Blog
“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
“Ely’s Epiphany” Secret Cravings Publishing, December, 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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New Release – Finding Eve

FindingEve-EBOOK 180x280Celebrating the release of Finding Eve (Lyons’ Tales #2), a shapeshifter paranormal from Champagne books. It’s a stand-alone sequel to Into the Lyons’ Den. When Eve observes Marie Maxwell—Atlanta’s most sought-after event planner—through the bars of her cage at an exotic animal sale, she has flashes of a different life – a life in which she was something other than feline.

 Can a feral cat ever return home? Nicholas Lyons, chief physician to the Lyons clan of shapeshifters, has mourned the death of his promised lifemate until a rogue shapeshifter reports having seen her at an exotic animal sale. Accompanied by Marie Lyons who is no stranger to the dark side, her new lifemate Anthony, and the imperious Lady Bat, he embarks on a frantic search for Eve through the dangerous world of exotic animal trafficking.

Eve, whose first memories are of recovering from an injury at an isolated animal refuge, has lived through a succession of owners in a world filled with cages and cruelty. When Eve meets Marie at the exotic animal sale, she begins to have flashes of a different life – a life in which she was something other than feline. Her last sale, however, has landed her as prey to exotic animal hunters and the clock is ticking.

Click cover or links to buy Finding Eve ($1.95) at Champagne Books or Amazon. Check out my books at my WEBPAGE

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Shared Whispers: Nimue’s Daughter by Rita Bay

Shared Whispers is an anthology of short stories from an international group of fifteen authors who are published by Champagne. Whether romance, suspense, mystery, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, or science fiction stories, romance is the common theme.

My contribution was “Nimue’s Daughter,” a contemporary Arthurian apocalypse tale. I enjoyed researching the old stories, then creating my own Arthurian tale in this century. The picture on the right is a representation of the story which involves Stonehenge and the Wild Hunt (Some really uncool paranormal folks from the ancient tales who you definitely don’t want to meet on a dark night). I’m sharing an excerpt in which Nimue & Myrddin (Merlin), who has just been called by the priestesses from his long sleep, meet for the first time (this century).

Nimue ran out the door as the car stopped. “Mother, where have you been? I was so worried. There are disturbances all over the country. I can’t believe you left without telling any …”

Her breath caught at her first sight of the man. He didn’t meet her standard of male pulchritude but he was so attractive that she was compelled to stare. Wavy black hair worn a bit too long, ice-blue eyes that hinted he knew everything about her at a glance, and an endearing, crooked smile. Perhaps she needed to change her standard of male pulchritude.

He appeared a bit thin and perhaps a little confused. She knew all of her mother’s friends and he was not among them. A stranger, then, that Mother had brought home in this dangerous time.

“Mother, Aunt. I’m glad you arrived home without incident.” She hugged each in turn.

Aunt Rhiann, her adopted second mother who was occasionally risqué, gave her an extra squeeze and whispered, “Look at him, Nimue, ain’t he a fine one.”

The man had moved closer and still hadn’t taken his eyes off of her.

“Who is our guest, Aunt Rhiann, and why is he here?”

The question seemed to put off Aunt Rhiann. When she hesitated and looked toward Mother for rescue, the man held out his hand. Nimue grasped it and wished she hadn’t. Attraction vied with lust. She tried to pull away. He held tight, then branded her hand with a sizzling kiss. She wanted to scrub her hands clean, to deny what had passed between them.

“Good day, Nimue. I am pleased to see you. I am Myrddin, late of Avalon. I am here to battle the Armageddon.”

Click cover or HERE to buy Shared Whispers for $3.95.

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“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
“Ely’s Epiphany” Secret Cravings Publishing, December, 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 Hero-“ine” in the Making

Rosie the RiveterAs USA celebrates Labor Day, we celebrate a “hero”-ine in the making. This poster which later became an iconic representation of the struggle by women for equality and workplace rights dates from WWII.  The “We Can Do It” poster was created by J. Howard Miller in 1942 for the Westinghouse Company’s War Production Coordinating Committee to attract women into the traditionally male workforce for the war effort. During WWII, the percentage of women in the workforce increased from 25% to 37%, while women in aeronautics jumped from 1% to 65%.

The poster was based on a United Press photograph pic of Michigan factory worker Geraldine Doyle.  During the 1970s and 1980s, the Miller poster which was not well known in the 1940s was rediscovered and became famous as “Rosie The Riveter.”  Maybe this is how legends and heroes are born.

You can check out the Saturday Evening Post 1943 version of Rosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell and my Labor Day potato salad recipe on my webpage.

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