Thursday, February 26, 2009

I hate to say it, but I am drowning in papers to be graded. So, this blog is NOT a representation of my ability, skill, or anything about me. That’s my disclaimer.
I can only apologize for not posting earlier today!

So, attraction. Today’s focus is on the difference between short-term and long-term strategies. A long-term strategy is one where the individual wants to find the love of a life-time. These individuals prefer mates who are kinder, more affectionate, more responsible, and more loyal. If you are only in it for the short run, you basically only care about physical and sexual attractiveness.

Researchers have often been interested in what type of person chooses which strategy. The main answer is that the people who can, prefer the short-term, especially if you are male. Men of high status and wealth historically have had multiple wives, mistresses, concubines, and less thans. The more valuable the man, the less likely you can hold on to him.

I think this may be one of the attractions to historical, especially regency, romances. The powerful man who is loyal to one woman is a rarity—and all the more intriguing.

Another answer as to what type of person chooses which strategy is age. Young people are more likely to try out the short-term strategy on the road to a long-term strategy. No surprise there.

The third answer is change. After a divorce, people go for the short-term (since the long-term proved itself disappointing). After a change in status, such as an increase or decrease in wealth, an individual is also likely to try out the short-term.

How do we apply all this to our writing? I envision all sorts of plot twists in our futures…when I can find time to write!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Flashing for the Magical Fun of it...

Hi, everyone, just for the fun of it, here's one of my Serial Flashes, begun for New Year's Day ~

Happy New Year... on another Earth, Part 1- 11

Serial Flash in Two Hundred ~ Sylva and Zeke’s story

Part 1 ~

Sylva stroked on the red lipstick carefully. The shade was deep scarlet and it looked like a swathe of gleaming velvet on her lips. “Who needs collagen injections?” she murmured, then surveyed her festively made-up face. Dusky twilight purple shadowed her eyes, highlighting the blue-green color. A shimmer of pale gold brought out her high cheekbones ~ a magical contrast to the glistening pink-gold powder covering her face, her neck, and artfully ending at her propped-up cleavage, displayed by a heart-shaped tight bodice of midnight satin. “Mirror, mirror, on my bathroom wall, who’s the New Years Party fairest of them all?”

Zeke flashed a cocky half-grin at his appearance in the mirror his mother had given him decades ago. The white-gold scroll work surrounding the tall oval mirror contrasted sharply with his tan leather vest and matching pants, both designed for riding his horse into town and as evening wear for the new year’s celebration. His cream-colored silk shirt clung to the muscles of his chest, won by hard work on his family’s ranch empire. And won by the fistfights he was famous for ending, but never beginning. Tonight, by long-standing tradition, he could claim any available woman as his bride.

Part 2 ~

Sylva flipped a smile at her reflection. Stepping back to see herself more fully, she thrust her hip, accentuating the sassiness of her short satin and tule-layered skirt. “Adorably sexy,” she complimented herself. Okay, her thighs were full unlike the stick figure models that had successfully invaded the fashion world. Her calves were shapely, what used to be considered starlet-sexy...especially since she wore spectacular ankle-strap black heels, along with a pair of old-fashioned seamed hose. Tonight, she would strut her stuff with the best of them. Tomorrow, no more job. She was one more victim of the current economy.

Zeke strapped on his pearl-handled revolver. He’d cleaned and oiled it earlier, then made certain it fired properly, shooting several pennies out of the air. Since they’d become non-legal tender eleven years past, he figured that was a damn good use. Leaning down, he slid a dead-aim derringer, one of his grandfather’s designs, inside his fancified riding boot. Decorated with swirls of gold thread and engraved with the ranch’s crest, his new boots were a show of his hard-won status as the Overseer of their horse operations, from breeding to sales. Yep, it was time to settle on one woman.

Part 3 ~

Sylva beat back the worry that threatened to overwhelm her. Pasting a smile on her face, she tossed her strawberry blonde hair a bit. The long length waved over her bare back while her dangly ruby-imitation earrings swung her eye. She felt sexy and sultry. Swivelling her head, she looked at her profile from the corner of her eye. She’d pulled the sides of her hair up, banded it, then attached a tiny glittering rose. As if possessed by a spirit, she faced the mirror, whispering, “I wish I may, I wish might, find my true love tonight.”

Zeke plucked his mahogany leather cowboy hat from the bronze curlicue hook, plopping it on his head. From years of practice, since he’d been knee-high to his father, the broad-brimmed hat settled at the perfect rakish angle, and covered most of his bay-colored hair. The curling waves at the nape of his neck and above his ears were touched by a golden sheen from all the time he spent outdoors. He’d had more than one woman, scarce as they were in these parts, run her fingers through the fringes of his hair, as if she sought real gold. He grinned.

Part 4 ~

Sylva grimaced and shook her head at herself, before whirling away from the mirror, and out the bathroom door. Yeah, that would be the day. True love, ha! She’d tried it several times now, with results more dismal than the prospect of not being able to find job. Refusing to think about what possessions she could sell to get by, she lovingly picked up her long velvet cape. Reversible, the hooded cape was a glorious red velvet on one side and a deep midnight black on the other. Who cared if people thought she looked like a witch in it.

Zeke swung the fringed buckskin jacket off the garment post, and slid into it. It fit his frame perfectly. He’d made certain of that by having it tailored in town, despite his family’s protest and ribbing over his extravagance, as they called it. But hell to the four winds, Brennon outfitted the other young bucks and the ranch gentlemen. All of whom partook of sophisticated entertainments in town, other than Sophie’s Sin Saloon. What did he care if others thought he was too dandified? His quick aim with a fist or gun meant most would keep their comments to themselves.

Part 5 ~

Sylva tucked her evening bag beneath her arm, then carefully locked the door to her apartment. Barely adequate, it was all she could afford. Maybe it was time, to leave the windy city, Chicago. Corruption grew like a weed everyday. And, if she had to be tormented one more time by the garlic-on-steroids cooking smells that seeped into every crack of the building, and saturated her clothing, along with the constant fog of cigarette smoke, she was going to scream bloody murder. Her only humorous consolation...garlic kept the vampires away. But, not the real bloodsuckers lurking around every corner.

Zeke enthusiastically trotted down the private stairway that led to his section of the rambling ranch house, one hand perched on the butt of his pistol. The construction of a grand new wing was almost constant. Currently his sister and her new husband had decided to make the ranch their permanent home, and were overseeing the latest plans. His boots hit the expensive sierra-colored granite floor of the entryway, clicking loudly. His mother had finagled it out of his father, using her seductive wiles toward the end of their shouting-rambunctious negotiations. Glimpsing his father in the side hall, he halted.

Part 6 ~

Sylva halted at the top of the stoop, enchanted. The crescent moon hung in the sunset sky like an enormous lemon slice, only cast in gold. Smiling, she hugged her cloak closer against the windy chill. Sweeping down the short flight of steps, she clicked toward her small car, watching out for the vein-like cracks in the sidewalk. As she stepped off the worn-down curb to cross the street, her ankle wobbled from a pebble beneath her shoe. With a talented balancing act she righted herself, but not in time to avoid the speeding black SUV wheeling around the corner.

Zeke wheeled toward his father, who winked broadly, and grinned. Saluting with his hat, Zeke continued out the door. The crescent moon shone above the tangerine-pink horizon while the planet of love, Venus, blazed brightly. Inside the shelter next to the hitching rail, he saddled and bridled Smoky, one of his favorite riding stallions. Making certain the soft lariat was secure, he swung astride, appreciating the familiar creak of leather. Smoky stretched into a fast walk, then a long trot, eager for a gallop. Without cue the stallion settled into a ground-eating lope. In an hour they would hit town.

Part 7 ~

Sylva froze in terror, the scream in her throat failing to pass her lips. Desperately, as time slowed around her, she looked for a way to escape becoming a bloody broken *okay,sexily-dressed* pancake. The headlights glared like devil’s eyes. The grill suddenly reminded her of a dragon’s face. When a blast of light struck her, then formed into a mirror-bright circle, Sylva dived toward it, not knowing what else to do. The first thing she noticed ~ she’d landed on her butt in a shallow mud puddle. Then she noticed, the air smelled heavenly despite the drift of fresh horse manure.

Zeke reined Smoky down to a slow trot at the edge of town. With excitement charging through him like a bull, he scanned both sides of Main Street, looking for the rowdiest celebration. A woman wanting marriage would be making herself available there tonight. He hadn’t confided in anyone. No, he’d cherished the notion he’d have his pick of fillies without the two local women who chased after him, scaring any newcomer away. As a shooting star appeared, he halted Smoky, taking in the celestial beauty and making his wish for a woman he could love with his whole heart.

Part 8 ~

Sylva glanced back and forth, completely bewildered. Illumined buildings that were no more than three stories, looked as if they’d been the victims of an all out war between an old west movie town and the elongated elegance of art nouveau. Not only that, horses adorned by silver-laden saddles stood at hitching posts while some manner of flying automobiles were parked on rooftops. Where in the freaking hell was she? Swivelling her head in slow motion, she nursed the hope she’d wake up at any moment. Even the music sounded like a strange mix of honky tonk and a waltz.

Zeke fingered his lariat as he urged Smoky forward. From what he could tell, the Diamond Flame had the most action. The piano-tinkly, fiddle-swinging music streamed toward him and the most expensive air cars packed the rooftop. A glint of light caught his eye. Instantly he focused on the center of Main Street, one hand ready to draw his pistol. He blinked, blinked again, an attempt to clear his vision, though it was as clear as a hunting hoot owl. The woman sat in middle of the street as if she’d fallen. Probably those strange ankle-breaking shoes were to blame.

Part 9 ~

Sylva stared at the slow approach of a man on horseback. The luminous glare of lights spilling into the darkness revealed his chiseled lean features beneath the cocky set of his cowboy hat. Had she somehow been transported to a movie set? When he lifted a rope, then began twirling it above his head in ever-widening circles, she glanced all around looking for a calf, or an escaped horse ~ all while the theme from Rawhide played in her head. She wondered if she was in any danger. Should she stay put, or get up quick as she could, and run?

Zeke ran his gaze up the woman’s shapely legs covered by saloon dancer hose. The full swell of her hips were revealed by her flipped up skirt. Never more grateful for a pool of light, he stared at the daring display of her bosom, plump creamy mounds that begged for his hands, his lips, his face buried between them. She wasn’t shy about showing them. He surely liked that. As his cock sprang to life and demanded to be unholstered, he lifted his lariat, swinging it above his head. Rapidly flicking his glance around, he saw no competitors for her.

Part 10 ~

Sylva fastened her gaze on the whirling rope, a whoosh of sound cutting through the air. Maybe he was a champion roper with a skill that good. As she began to rise, her hand sank deeper in the mud. “No,” she moaned. The cowboy’s horse stopped in front of her, not thirty feet away. Realizing she showed too much, Sylva smoothed her skirt down with her other hand. Now what? If she tried to get up, she would be even muddier. Sighing with resignation, she twisted...suddenly she felt the rope settle around her shoulders, bite into her bare skin.

Zeke kept his lariat smooth and easy, aiming his gaze toward her face. He wanted to see her beautiful features more clearly, and glimpse her eyes on him before he claimed her as his bride. Unless she wore another man’s mark. But what man let his woman out by herself on this night? The more he saw of her, even as she flattened her stiff skirt, the more he blazed like a stallion for her. She had the most adorable curves he’d ever witnessed on a woman. With focused ease, Zeke sailed the loop toward her, certain of his capture.

Part 11 ~

Sylva didn’t move for a few moments, paralyzed with shock. Outrage flared through her, quick as a wildfire, and she screamed. The instant she reached up to remove the rope it tightened enough to stop her. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” She used her fiercest *don’t mess with me* voice. Whipping around, she saw him swing a leg over the saddle horn, then dismount in one unbelievable motion, all while keeping the rope taut. “And where the hell am I?” Good Lord, his lean defined muscles looked like living bands of steel as he moved toward her.

Zeke felt his belly somersault with pure celebration as he kept her lassoed. She was far more than he’d expected, even with her loud rude talk. Damn, she’d be a little scratching wildcat in their marital relations with that *come get me* attitude. Lifting one corner of his mouth in a grin, he approached. He’d had women all soft and willing. He’d had ‘em ferocious for what he could deliver. He liked both. He wanted both. He was surely fond of her spirit, even if it meant throwing her over his lap and tanning her bottom to teach her lesson.

PART 12 - 59 ~ Kougar Kisses blog or on the Liquid Silver forum in full.

May your most romantic dreams come true...


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance

Monday, February 23, 2009

Reading Aloud

It's not often that an unpublished author gets to read from their work in a venue that has hosted Leonard Cohen and Phillip Glass and is home to the Welsh National Opera.

Last Thursday might have been a pretty blah sort of a day, what with the rain and the hassle at work, except for the evening, when I had the chance to play at being a real author, appearing at the Millennium Centre, reading from my American Title V entry Never Coming Home.

OK, so it was in the foyer, not the auditorium, and the audience was only about forty people, but even so - I had a great time.
It all came about courtesy of Academi - the Welsh literature promotion agency, which sponsors a series of Nights for the Unpublished, at various venues all over Wales. And - you've guessed it - unpublished writers and poets get to read their work - from a stage, with a microphone, and people sitting in front to listen, and everything. Fabulous practice for when I finally get a book published. Well - a girl has to have a dream.

There was an amazing variety of work on show, prose, poems, flash fiction, - but I don't think they'd ever had a romance writer before. And to top it all I got a mention in my local newspaper, though I didn't get to see it until I got home that night.
I might even have had a picture of me reading, if the camera hadn't thrown a sulk at the crucial moment. I did manage to get one of me standing in front of the stage during the interval - so I do have a memento/evidence. And wearing my Love Conquers tee shirt, of course.

I could get used to this kind of life - people actually clapped when I'd finished. I don't think it was because they were glad to see me leave the stage.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

TWO, TWO, TWO ~ The Magic Strikes again....

It’s back in my life... the number TWO is back in a huge and stupendous way.
Like February 2, 2009, which breaks down to 2,2,2 in numerology ~ February 20, 2009 also breaks down to 2,2,2 ~
Yesterday, as in February 20, 2009, I found a Google alert for WHEN A GOOD ANGEL FALLS with a link to an RSS feed ~ ~ featuring The Angelic Magic of February 2, 2009 ~ Volcano’s Angelic Forecast, a blog I originally penned on February 2, 2009 for the Siren-BookStrand blogspot, then featured here, on Title Magic.

NOT ONLY THAT eye-popping synchronicity I received the TWO print copies, ordered from Amazon, of WHEN A GOOD ANGEL FALLS, yesterday on 2-20-2009. Purring-it’s gorgeous...of course. Kiss-kiss, smooch-smooch... admire-admire...

AND, on Coast-to-Coastam, nighttime radio which comes on at midnight here, that night’s show featured the synchronicity of numbers... or constantly seeing 11:11, for example ~ which breaks down to 2+2 = 4 in numerology. See the description below ~

*** Appearing during the middle two hours, authors Marie D. Jones and Larry Flaxman discussed the phenomenon of frequently seeing 11:11 on clocks, and the synchronicities of numbers. ***

Yep, an avalanche of TWO synchronicities yesterday...

Nope, I can’t get away from those NUMBERS... Big Cat yowl! As I was showing my mommy the RSS feed of my blog, it was 4:07pm, which breaks down to 11, then 2 ~ [4+7=11=2] ~ Wowza to the celestial splendors of the Divine.
And speaking of Two-by-Two, it’s been kinda weird to my sensibilities that, so far, my book releases have come in TWOs ~ three times in a row.
Red Lioness Tamed & All Shades of Blue Paradise ~ a week apart.
Tangerine Carnal Dreams & When a Good Angel Falls ~ six days apart.
Murder by Hair Spray in Gardenia, New Atlantis & Black Cat Beauty ~ twelve days apart.

Of course, I have no idea if this will hold. Most probably not since I just sent in a contracted story, but have no others submitted.
Still, statistically I would think this run of TWOs is pretty darn unusual.

What about you? Notice those kind of number synchronicities? Or other ways synchronicity works in your life?

May your most romantic dreams come true...

Savanna Kougar ~

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Studs With Substance - Paul Verrall

I believe the best romantic heroes are much more than his hard muscles and good hair. In fact, I would go so far as to say that an average Joe can be just as sexy as a Brad Pitt clone. This year, I'm exploring this idea by examining men, both fictional and real, who I feel exemplify what makes a good hero.

Today we'll focus on Mr. Paul Verrall, the male lead in the 1950 film Born Yesterday. Paul is a Washington D.C. reporter who is hired by a millionaire junk dealer to make his floozy girlfriend smarter.

I love Paul for many reasons. Foremost, for his wit and intelligence. And who can resist glasses on a man in a suit with a good vocabulary? Okay, and he's William Holden. But also because he truly sees the heroine, Billie. To everyone else, she's just a bimbo girlfriend. People immediately write her off. But Paul has faith in her brains. He's willing to step back and be the catalyst for her intellectual development.

Paul's an almost perfect mix of passion and restraint. He never lets his attraction for Billie take him over until just the right time. He believes in the U.S. government yet is aware that corruption exists and does his best to help fight it. He's an alpha in the sense that he stands up for himself, Billie, and his own convictions. He fights when he needs to. But he doesn't need to control the heroine or their situation. He waits for Billie to make a very important discovery and lets her decide what to do about it. If Paul did it any other way, the happily ever after would have fallen flat.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Those Pesky Characters by Anna Campbell

Anna Campbell - mediu

A sassy sorcery sort of welcome for Anna Campbell, rising star in the romance novel world. Did you know Ms. Campbell’s latest release, Tempt the Devil, is a 4.5 ~ Romantic Times Top Pick?
Impressive to say the least! However, truth to tell, I’m more impressed with the excerpt scene provided on Anna’s website. The best way I can describe her writing, it is pure portraiture ~ as in an oil painting of words. The setting is brilliantly and powerfully described. More importantly, the hero and heroine come to life as if you’re watching a lush historical film. I also appreciated how the hero’s thoughts and feelings were drawn in subtle and dramatic brush strokes. I felt like l lived inside his skin.
Anna, my apologies for the unpolished phrasing... I’m just plain worn out right now. However, I wanted to let everyone know how much I enjoyed the excerpt for Tempt the Devil. And, yep, I’ll be purchasing a copy.

Those Pesky Characters by Anna Campbell

Hi Title Magic girls! Nice to be back here. Thanks for inviting me to come over and title some magic again!

I want to talk, well, beyotch in fact, about characters.

I’m currently in the throes of getting a story off the ground. I’ve got what I think is a pretty good concept. It’s sexy and gives lots of opportunity for emotion and conflict. You know, the standard Anna Campbell gig of let’s torture our characters till they squeal.

Unfortunately, at the moment, my characters are threatening to torture me which certainly is NOT part of the deal.

I have a very odd process – which I think is true for most writers. I’m very much a pantser but I spend an awful lot of time thinking about my story and my characters before I sit down and put anything on paper. I get a germ of an idea at the back of my brain and it stays there stewing away nicely, occasionally getting some onion or garlic or herbs added to increase the flavor. Often I’ll throw in some extra meat for additional oomph. And when the delicious aromas emanating from the back of my head are driving me absolutely mad, that’s when I’m ready to start the story.

So when I come to write, I know my story, right?


This new book, as yet not officially titled although for reasons not immediately apparent, I’m calling it Archie, is giving me grief. I set out to write a story about a buttoned up bluestocking and a bad boy. I’ve never written a bad boy before. The Earl of Erith was meant to be one but he quickly became far too complex and perceptive to fit that description. Kylemore and Matthew were definitely not bad boys. So I thought a bad boy would be fun to explore.

Except my hero, the Earl of Ashcroft, is turning into another multilayered character who threatens to move completely beyond the bad boy persona. How dare he? My heroine Antonia is much tougher and worldly wise than my original conception too! So of course this changes the dynamics I thought would sustain the story, although so far, they seem to have no trouble developing dynamics of their own.

This weird metamorphosis happens to me every time I write a book so I should be used to it. But somehow it’s always a surprise when characters with their own ideas take over my perfectly workable premises.

Experience tells me I’m better off surrendering to my wild and woolly characters than trying to force them onto the straight and narrow of my original concept. It all ends up being pretty scary – like jumping off a trapeze with no safety net.

Anyway, what I want to know is – am I the only person who has these weird experiences with imaginary people taking the reins in a story? Do you go with the flow or force them back into line? Do you have any household hints on the management of obstreperous characters?

Mew-sings from the Kougar ~
Now, really, the cover art is appealingly handsome, but for the real ‘scorch-me-breathless’ cover art fun check out ~ ~ oh, and meow-delicious, read the excerpt!!!


Avon Books, January 2009

Blurb ~

For Olivia Raines, London's most notorious courtesan, and the infamous Julian Southwood, Earl of Erith falling in love will be the greatest risk of all in this wicked and wild romance from Anna Campbell.

Any man in London would worship her. Yet Olivia is, quite frankly, bored of them all. Despite her many dalliances, she's never felt true passion, never longed for any lover's touch . . . until Julian, London's most notoriously wanton rake, decides to make her his mistress.

From the moment he first sees her, Julian knows he must possess her. And when he discovers her greatest secret, a scandal that could ruin her reputation and end her career, he knows just the way to use this damaging information to his most delightful advantage. He offers Olivia a deal with the devil: he'll keep her secret . . . if she allows him the chance to show her true ecstasy.

But Olivia must be careful, for Julian has a secret of his own: he will not rest until she is completely, shamelessly his.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Perfect Setting


I’m often asked where my story ideas spring from. An interesting face, lyrical tune, or unusual place name can send my mind racing away with a new story idea. But if I had to choose one type of stimuli that inspires me the most, I’d choose places.

When I visit historic houses and ancient villages or towns I always leave dying to use them as settings in my books. Although I write paranormal romance and not historical romance, the sense of history that oozes from the very stones of the buildings sets my blood racing. I’m lucky that living in England I have access to many ancient buildings and acres of mystical countryside. I love walking through a medieval manor house seeing the swords and armor on the walls, walking across flagstone floors knowing I’m treading in the footsteps of people long dead who walked their centuries earlier. Once I have a story idea, I read about myths, legends, and folk law to give me ideas on how to blend paranormal elements with the setting.

My debut book The Magic Knot is partly set in Ireland. My inspiration for the Irish fairy queen’s mansion that features in the story is a beautiful Palladian mansion called Powerscourt. The house stands in 47 acres of gardens within the Wicklow Mountains near Enniskerry, a few miles from Dublin. A castle has stood on the site since 1300. The current structure was refurbished in 1974 in preparation for opening to the public. Tragically, on completion of the work, the house was gutted by fire before it could open. The pictures of the beautiful house engulfed in fire brought tears to my eyes. Due to the cost, only the exterior was restored again. The interior now houses craft shops. Despite this, the house and gardens are magical.

My inspiration for the setting of the Cornish pub where Niall O’Connor, the hero of The Magic Knot, lives is a little Cornish village called Lerryn. My husband and I had a wonderful weekend trip exploring the tiny villages of Cornwall and the beautiful village on the River Lerryn is so magical, I quite believe fairies live there.

Please visit my website to read a two chapter excerpt of The Magic Knot.

Back Cover Copy The Magic Knot

What woman wouldn’t be attracted to Niall O’Connor’s soft Irish brogue and dark good looks? But Rosenwyn Tremain must find her father, and she isn’t going to let a sexy, stubborn Irishman and his motorcycle distract her. Rose’s intuition tells her he’s hiding something, a secret even the cards cannot divine. Her tarot deck always reads true, but how can one man represent both Justice and Betrayal?

Magic. Niall’s body tingles with it when he finds the woman snooping in his room. Rosenwyn might believe she’s a no-nonsense accountant, but her essence whispers to him of ancient fairy magic that enslaves even as it seduces. Her heritage could endanger those he’d die to protect, but her powers and her passion, if properly awakened, might be the only thing that can save both their families, vanquish a fairy queen bent on revenge, and fulfill a prophecy that will bind their hearts together with…THE MAGIC KNOT

The second book in the Magic Knot Fairies fantasy romance series, The Phoenix Charm, is due for release in December 2009.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Compensation Hypothesis, Or The You-Shaped Hole in My Heart

In this, my third installment in the Attractiveness series,
I want to discuss an age-old theory: The compensation hypothesis.
The basic idea is that we humans choose a mate (the term held
in highest esteem by researchers today, I personally think they
are equating us to animals and, oh, by the way, that is what
they are doing) based on what we ourselves are lacking. Hence,
the saying, “I have a you-shaped hole in my heart and you’re
the only one who can fill it.”

Or, as the candy hearts declare, “you make me complete.”

What does the research say, you ask? In the physical attractiveness
department, the compensation hypothesis rarely holds true. Instead,
the matching hypothesis has more support. That is, we are much more likely to choose someone in our league. For short-term liaisons, according to Buss and Schmidt in a detailed 1993 article found in the top-notch Psychological Review,
they found men might go after a highly attractive female but they don’t
really care as much as they want numbers—the more, the merrier. In
the long-term, men find attractiveness to be very important while women
want a man with resources.

As far as personality goes, the compensation hypothesis is still less true
than the matching. We tend to be attracted to someone like us on the outside
and inside. Both Freud and Jung argued we seek characteristics like our
idealized image of our opposite-sex parent. Bottom line, someone like us.
Part of this, Alexander and Buss argue, is that we need a long-term ally.
And the best clue that we may have found someone who will stick with us over
the long-term similarity, not opposites attracting.

The sex might be important, but will you be kind and share your resources with me over the long haul? Now, that’s what we look for in the long run.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The New Magic of the Musical, Hair ...

Hi, everyone. The song, AQUARIUS from the muscial HAIR is being magically revived on this upcoming Valentine's The astrological vibrations sung about in this *bring in the New Age* well-known least, to my generation...are occurring once again...ushering in the New Age of Love.
Also, I have a Happy Valentine's announcement. WHEN A GOOD ANGEL FALLS is now IN PRINT !!!

Volcano’s Angelic Forecast

Angelic Forecast ~ XXIII

My head spins, my eyes are performing pinwheels. Being a romance author, I’m definitely on Valentine overload with possibilities and commitments... and where, oh where is my Cherub?
“Go ahead.” I hear the Heavenly One’s whisper in my ear.
“Go ahead?”
“Maybe,” I say. “What about the Aquarian Age of Love upon us now? You know, from the musical, Hair ~ and the song, Aquarius.
“When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars...”
The Cherub sings in my ear. “Yes, Valentine’s Day in the year of 2009,” he continues, “this alignment event occurs again~ the Aquarian portal of Love. The opening, the beginning, the transcendence... it’s all about love,” he grandiose finishes.
“All you need is love. The Beatles,” I add my little piece.
“Share,” the Heavenly One prompts again. “You wrote it.”
I nod, acquiescing...yet, knowing he is right.
From my Kougar Kisses blog ~ February 7, 2009

Valentine’s Day ~ A New Age of Love Big LOVE-ly Cats, the Kougar sniffs and paw-tests the forecast winds arriving as the official age of Aquarian Love on February 14, 2009. The events on the world stage this week will be a synopsis of what is to come for several years. More than ever, good will clash with evil and this will be witnessed on every level of society. Good will shine as evil will glitter all the more brilliantly as it show its face more and more.
Perhaps, the wisest strategy is to remember >>> do not cast your pearls before swine ~ the exception being Miss Piggy <<<<>>> do cast your pearls before those you love and accept pearls from those who love you ~ maoow-rubbing-purr, that pearl necklace is lovely, darling, thank you, smooch-smooch<<<>

Angelic blessings from Volcano & Sedona

It’s a red-letter day as in an early Valentine’s Day gift for me ~

Winter Solstice, December 21, 2012 – The end of the Mayan Calendar

Blurb: What happens when a world weary, worn out incarnated angel, Sedona, who believes she is merely human has three choices after her old van breaks down? Let the Nazerazzi squad of the North American Union capture her and force her into a FEMA concentration camp? Walk out into the Arizona night desert, let the wildlife have a good meal, with the hope her death will be quick? Or does Sedona trust the mysterious stranger suddenly before her? Handsome as sin and all in black, he emerges from the darkness astride a super-speed black motorcycle.
Is he her savior from the brutal hell of end times, or is he a roving cult member of the New World Order, hunting his next blood sacrifice?
Sent from heaven to help her save humanity, Zerr Dann knows the Divine is playing its last card on Earth.

Valentine’s Day, will it still be around in 2013 ~

Sedona & Volcano invite you to read their love story ~
WHEN A GOOD ANGEL FALLS ~ Where angels fear to tread, 2012 Earth...Is a stranger on a superspeed motorcycle her savior from the brutal endtimes? ~ available from BookStrand ~ ~ ~ An Author Discovery by Lindsay Townsend ~ ~
Volcano’s Angelic Forecast for this week ~ ~
~~~ Now available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon ~~~

May your most romantic dreams come true...

Savanna Kougar

~ Run on the Wild Side of Romannce ~

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday's Guest - Qaey Williams

Today Title Magic meets Qaey Williams - finalist in American Title V

Qaey's entry for the American Title contest was a romantic suspense, set in Alaska, but she also has another identity, as Qwillia Rain, when she walks on her wilder side, writing for Loose Id, publishers of erotic romance. Her latest, Diablo Blanco Club - Unfair Advantage came out at the end of January. (A hot romance that is definitely for the over eighteens.) The book got 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies.

Fellow ATV finalist Evonne invited Qaey to talk to Title Magic about her writing life and tell us a little about her dual personalities.

In my regular life I’m a teacher. I walk into my classroom—three rows of five tables with two computers on each—and wonder, ‘what in the world am I doing here?’ After a Dr Pepper or two, the first class or two of the day, and a heated discussion with a student about the merits of using a spreadsheet program to organize data for the Science Fair, the question becomes moot.
Because I KNOW I was born to teach. It’s been a part of my nature all my life and only required the formal instruction gained through university to hone my skills. I love learning knew things and imparting that knowledge to my students. I’ll never really know if I’ve inspired any of them, but I do know I’ve made the effort to show them another world for them to explore.
In my other life, the one spent staying one step ahead of serial killers, enticing old high school crushes to have a little fun, and helping a savvy submissive show the Dom she was meant to be with just what he’s been missing, I write. I stare at the blank screen of my computer and spin amazing fantasies of interesting lives, thrilling adventure, and sexy encounters in my mind and pray that when they come out on the page they’re at least half as intriguing to the reader as they were in my head. The refrain ‘what in the world am I doing here?’ is even louder in this particular venue as in my regular life, but when associated with my writing life, it’s easier to ignore.
Because I’m learning that I was meant to write. I don’t ever remember a time when I couldn’t or didn’t read. Books were an integral part of my home life from early childhood. The stories on the page, the characters spun in the words, all created a landscape that was fascinating to explore.
When I write, I let my mind wander as a story is developing. I allow the people in my mind to flesh out their history to me. At times, I grow impatient with their secrecy and try to inject what I think happened, but they’re quick to correct me.
In many ways, I believe I was also born to write. Especially romance. I love a happy ending. One that satisfies the need to see two people trust in their emotions and the feelings of another to make the world they inhabit complete.
To be completely honest, I’ve been writing for thirty years. I know the stories from my youth were simplistic and juvenile, but considering I was eleven or twelve at the time, it was only natural. I never really thought I would ever see my work published. Yes, I dreamed and fantasized about a huge book contract that would lift me into the ranks somewhere close to those authors I adore and admire: Linda Howard, Mary Jo Putney, Johanna Lindsey, and so many others. But, I also knew the reality. Just like for every famous actor in Hollywood there are tens of thousands of pretty people looking for their break, I knew the likelihood of publication were slim.
When the rejections came in from different editors and agents, it only reinforced my understanding that success might not be in my future. Still I continued to write. I practiced my craft. I analyzed stories, read manuals, listened to other authors, even took a class or two on creative writing in order to improve my skills.
There were times I walked away from the characters whispering to me. I ignored their stories and got on with the day to day grind of living. The voices quieted and I settled into my routines.
Then, I moved to Alaska and the voices started up again. Instead of ignoring them, I picked up the pen and began to jot down what they had to say. Comments turned into dialogue. Dialogue turned into scenes, and by 1996 I was back to writing again.
I wasn’t dedicated to it. Every few days I’d write down an idea. Maybe scribble out the particulars of a scene, but nothing concrete. By 2000 I’d turned to writing my romance novels as a means of stilling the thoughts in my head at night. Typing out the conversations, the lovemaking, the arguing and making up, I purged the frustrations and pent up emotions from the day onto the page at night. And I liked what I was reading.
I liked it so much I even got up the nerve to submit it to publishers. And I was rejected. But this time, I knew this was a calling for me. It couldn’t be ignored anymore.
So I wrote.
I wrote story after story. I rewrote some stories so many times they were no longer recognizable as the original story they were. And I kept submitting them. And, yes, I continued to gain rejections, but now they really didn’t matter. I was writing. I was having fun. And I liked the people coming to life on the pages.
On Halloween morning 2007 it happened.
I received an email from an editor with Loose Id, LLC asking about a book I’d submitted—a Christmas themed story about a woman curious about her toymaker boss who just happened to be a Dominant. Within two weeks I had the contract in my hand and the little voice in my head was cursing a blue streak. The gist of the comments being, ‘what in the Hell have you gotten yourself into?’
That same voice was still vocal last week as I put stamp to envelope and mailed off my fourth contract with Loose Id, LLC, but this time it was more along the line of ‘okay, so which story do I work on next.’ The ‘what the Hell are you doing?’ comments were there, but they were easier to ignore this fourth time around. LOL.
The notification that I’d been selected as a finalist for American Title V thrilled me to no end. Being the first one eliminated sucked. I freely admit I was deeply disappointed, but I haven’t given up. I won’t give up. I like what I do, both in my regular life and my writing life. I don’t think that will ever change.

Qwillia currently has three books released with Loose Id.
She shares her website with another author, Jennifer Cole. Feel free to browse through the pages, if you're over 18.
Qaey/Qwillia can be reached through her author email--

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Confessions of a Publishing Noob - Research Junkie

I am a research junkie. It's scary how fast it can get out of hand. One interesting fact leads to another, and so on, until you're learning about the migratory patterns of butterflies when you started out looking for 1880's men's fashion.


Okay, so I have a bit of a focus problem. So that's why I gave myself a finite amount of research time before I started writing on my current WIP, Boss Lady. I've learned from experience that if I don't give myself a deadline, I'll lose myself in library stacks and online databases, never to be seen again.

I spent the whole month of January learning about the late nineteenth-century American west. Pretty much from scratch because all I knew about the era was confined to the John Wayne movies I watched with my Dad as a kid. As much as I admire The Duke, he wasn't exactly what I was going for with Boss Lady. I've learned a lot about the culture that I didn't know before, as well as the clothing, transportation, history, and my favorite, the lizards of Arizona. I now know that Bisbee started out as a mining town and that it was once reported in the Tombstone newspaper that a couple of ranchers stumbled across and killed a real Native American thunderbird.

That's when my research validated my idea. I love it when that happens! And the more I researched that thread, the more substantial my plot got. It doesn't happen often that I get to start writing with a solid foundation. I don't know the ending yet, but I usually get a clearer idea of my destination as I go along.

See y'all next month! Or in 30,000 words. :-)

The Angelic Magic of February 2, 2009

Hi everyone, it occurred to me that since this week’s forecast ~ usually only on the Siren-BookStrand blog ~ is so demonstrative of synchronicity and the magic of numbers, the Title Magic blog was the perfect place to share it.

Volcano’s Angelic Forecast

February 2, 2009

Angelic Forecast ~ XXII

“Okay,” I murmur, “the 2's definitely have it. Here.” I feel astounded to say the cosmic-least, as I stare at THE NUMBERS. All the numbers.
“Two, the magical and mystical I love you.” The Heavenly One has popped out of the ethers beside me.
“It must be all about love,” I say, entranced by the sight of Venus, hanging high above the western horizon, and so amazingly bright in the night sky, I can scarcely believe it.
“February, the second month, ushers in new horizons for love...for being loved.”
Suddenly a glistening shower of itsy bitsy pink hearts fall before my eyes.
“Early Happy Heart Day,” I croon softly. “Red?” I ask.
“Perfect for a TWO day,” the Cherub jovially says. He whooshes his upturned hand toward the ceiling. Miniature gleaming red hearts stream from his palms and float downward, whirling among the pink hearts.
“What’s perfect for the Year of Two?” I hope for more spectacular tiny hearts.
“Roses.” The teasing tone of his voice lets me know his answer is serious and not serious. “Roses are flowers of the heart. A person’s heart always dances at the sight and scent of a rose. Even if they are unaware, the vibration occurs.”
“Roses help open the heart to love,” I say thoughtfully.
“Roses live to bring more love upon the Earth.” Confetti-like hearts shimmer downward, joining in the playful spin of the pink and red hearts.
“Wow,” I whisper. I feel utterly enchanted. “What if all our human hearts mingled in such a lovely way?”
“That is the true opportunity.” The Cherub’s tone is all-wise.
“I see.”
“You do. Throw more hearts into our globe of hearts,” he encourages.
Shrugging, I think, why not? Lifting my hand I act as if I’m tossing them out. I gasp as snowy crystalline hearts flow from my palm for moments, spiraling in a gentle wave and whirling inside the hearts’ globe.
“You did know this is your 22nd forecast.”
“It is.” I face him. His countenance is alight, joy and good humor in shining in his purple eyes. “Twos are the messenger vibrations for the new era of love upon us.”
I smile, since I’ve always been in love with love.

For this week, look for the love shining through the darkness. This is not a time to ignore any darkness which may visit your life circumstance. No, it is a time to become deeply aware of the darkness. It is a time to understand, as you can, what is behind these dark points and dark places. It is a time to share with those you trust. Thus, you will see the light shining, ready to heal, ready to overcome, and ready to open your life up to new possibilities. Through the darkness lies your newest and best possibilities. For, the light of love awaits.

Angelic blessings from Volcano & Sedona

The New Covey Cover Awards: Entry #26 - When a Good Angel Falls

Title: When a Good Angel Falls Author: Savanna Kougar Cover Artist: Jinger Heaston Genre: Fantasy futuristic, erotic romance. Links: ~ ~ ...
The New Covey Cover Awards - ~

Valentine’s Day, will it still be around in 2013 ~


Where angels fear to tread, 2012 Earth ~
Is a stranger on a superspeed motorcycle her savior from the brutal endtimes?

Blurb: Winter Solstice, December 21, 2012 – The end of the Mayan Calendar
What happens when a world weary, worn out incarnated angel, Sedona, who believes she is merely human has three choices after her old van breaks down? ...more

Author Discovery by Lindsay Townsend, BookStrand author of FLAVIA’S SECRET and A SECRET TREASURE ~ ~

WHEN A GOOD ANGEL FALLS ~ adventure fantasy erotic romance ~ available from BookStrand ~ ~ ~

Kiss from Savanna Kougar...
~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~

Monday, February 2, 2009

Confessions of an impatient reader

Bad habits when reading - we all have them - skipping ahead in the story, with a finger tucked in the page where you 'officially' stopped reading; taking a quick peak at the end of the book to make sure that it does turn out the way you expect. I justify that one by telling myself it's analysis of the writer's style - I'm not just reading for pleasure I'm also taking note of how she/he gets to where the book finishes. You know, technical stuff.

Oh yeah?

The other bad habit, which I blame firmly on the writer, is following one plot thread through the book, instead of reading it the way you're supposed to, one darn chapter after another. You know the thing - several plot strands are going on and the author has done what it says in all the manuals - have the chapter end on a cliff hanger. In this case, leaving one plot strand to go off to a completely different part of the forest. No way - you get me interested in whether A is going to fall into a clinch with B and and then try and waltz me off to somewhere else and I'm simply not having it.

Writing this I realise I'm an extremely messy and undisciplined reader.

So - do you do as your supposed to, or do you have bad reading habits too?

Confession is good for the soul.