Category Archives: cheyenne mccray

Hidden Prey is out!

Enjoy a little excerpt of Hidden Prey on this fine release day!

Something soft and firm brushed Tori’s lips and she stirred. A mouth moved over hers in a long, languorous kiss that stole her breath.

2hiddenprey_cheyennemccray_promosquare_outnowShe was dreaming about kissing Landon and it was the most beautiful thing she could imagine at this moment. God, how she wanted to trace his abs with her tongue and her fingers before she kissed him even more deeply.

If he were real right now, she would see the length and girth of his erection before taking it in her hand. She would feel the softness and the steel of it, then lick a path from the tip to the balls and back. She would love to go down on him, take him to the back of her mouth. The feeling would be a powerful one, knowing she had control of his pleasure.

So real. The kiss felt so real. He sucked her tongue before taking her bottom lip into his mouth and lightly biting it and licking the soft flesh, something that drove her crazy.

The kiss deepened and became more frenzied, more urgent, as she answered it with her own kiss. A warm hand cupped her cheek, a thumb stroking up and down, while holding her still so he could kiss her hard and deep.

Her breathing was harder as her body revved up. She needed him. God, how she needed him.

She let out a soft sigh as the kiss ended. Her lips felt moist and they tingled. Her eyelids fluttered and then in the near darkness she found herself looking into Landon’s gaze.

Her eyes widened and she parted her lips to say something, but he put his hand over her mouth. Was something wrong? No, nothing could be wrong. Everything was right, so right. His hand smelled like soap, and she breathed in his scent. He smelled clean like he’d just taken a shower, yet his scent was musky and now familiar.

The light was dim, but she could still make out the desire, want, and desperate need in his gaze. The feeling it gave her was deep and powerful…it was so potent to be wanted. She could see it in the way he looked at her, the way he’d kissed her.

“Shhh.” He skimmed her cheek with his knuckles and threaded his fingers into her silky hair before holding her tight. “I’m sorry.” His voice was husky with need, deeper than usual and almost strained. “I looked in to check on you, but you looked so beautiful that all I wanted to do was kiss you. I don’t know if I can keep my hands off of you now.”

Earlier he’d said he was going to protect her and he wasn’t going to let her go. A strong sensation of him claiming her as his own was heady. At this moment she wanted him to claim her, wanted to be his.

 

Find the links for Hidden Prey at all your favorite ebook retailers here!

Be sure and let me know what you think of Hidden Prey!

Cheyenne

Getting ready for and conquering #NaNoWriMo

Getting ready for and conquering #NaNoWriMo 

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National Novel Writing Month. It’s coming around the corner, and it’s actually a thing, and they have their own website. It’s a pretty neat website and if you’re interested in writing a book in 30 days, I’d recommend checking it out and participating.

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Just to be clear, I’m not affiliated with NaNoWriMo in any way. I do think it’s cool, as long as a writer doesn’t think that’s all there is to writing a book.

A lot of different advice is out there on how to write a book in thirty days. I have written more than one book in a 30-day timeframe and that has been since my early writing days, before I heard of NaNoWriMo.

In my case, I spent an entire year writing my first book in 2000, and I’m glad I did. I wrote and rewrote and rewrote and rewrote that novel as I learned, studied, and honed the craft. I intentionally spent that year developing skills that aided me in having the ability to write as quickly as I have over the years since then. I write fast and clean, and I still revise.

Fast forward 15 years and I have written almost 100 novels and novellas. My current work in progress is my 98th. I have 62 full-length novels in print and 45 novellas of all sizes in anthologies, collections, box sets, and more. I am a hybrid author and have written for St. Martin’s Press, Ellora’s Cave, and have been in anthologies with HarperCollins and other publishers. I chose to go Indie 4 years ago–best decision of my career.

One of my bestselling novels with my first publisher, a book that won a “RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award,” along with other honors, was written in 30 days–not counting revisions. That book was published as King of Hearts with Ellora’s Cave and as Taken by Passion with St. Martin’s Griffin. To be honest it needed another revision, which I gave it when the rights were reverted back to me and I republished it in early 2015. It’s a stronger book now, and even though it won the honors it did, I wish I would have given it that last revision. Maybe I just needed 12 years to think about it. 😉

It’s not easy to write a book in 30 days and you have to know that it’s not going to be your finished product. It’s a draft. Few mega-hit bestsellers were written in 30 days. I personally don’t know any, but there are a couple that make you wonder if they were written in 30 days with no revisions. 😉

Let’s get started. My post is not so much about NaNoWriMo as it is about writing  a solid draft in 30 days.

This example applies to any book, any goal, any timeframe, any month of the year. Break down your manuscript into smaller pieces to make everything more palatable:

  • What length do you want your novel to be? Example: 60,000 words (NaNoWriMo uses 50K as a goal)
  • What is your timeframe? Don’t say “November.” Consider days you may need to take away from writing. Let’s take Nov 1st to Nov. 30th = 30 days, less those you may be taking off, such as Thanksgiving. For good measure, throw in a couple of other days for the unexpected where you might be forced to be away from the computer. Life happens.
  • Break your word count down per day. Let’s say you have 27 days of the 30 to write.  Words per day to obtain your goal  of 60,000 words divided by 27 days =2222 words per day

Easy-peasy right? Here are a few of my recommendations to help you reach your 30-day goal.

–It goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway: you MUST exercise discipline. Sit your butt in that chair and WRITE. Writing is a discipline. People don’t become novelists if they don’t sit in their writing space and start putting down words. Hopefully in a logical manner that makes for a good book. 😉

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From what I understand, NaNoWriMo is about pantsing it–writing by the seat of your pants. I used to be a pantser. Or at least I thought I was. Years into “pantsing” and I realized that all of the storyboarding; post-it note organizing; collage designing; bullet-point brainstorming–all of it was an attempt to organize and outline my thoughts in some manner. So what do I do now? I do brief outlines. Bullet point outlines.

Plan:

I suggest that before you start, you write at the very least a brief outline of what you want to accomplish when you start writing that book. For you pantsers, it isn’t going to physically hurt to write down some ideas in a specific order. (Like I said, I was a pantser for years. I get it.) Easy one-liners written in a simplistic manner as a guide never hurt anyone.

Think of it as someone giving you directions because Siri or your GPS isn’t cooperating. (Like that never happens, right? Ha.) You call your friend who tells you “take your first left, the second right, keep going until you pass a park on the right, before you take another left, and my house is the third on the left.” There you are. SIMPLE. An itty bitty map.

Know what your beginning, middle, and end will be. Have a pretty good idea one way or another. What are a few scenes that you know need to happen to reach “The All-Important-End?” You don’t want to be staring at the screen when you need to be typing words in that once blank doc.

Start writing: 

DO NOT go over and over a scene, trying to make it perfect. This is not the time, and nothing you write will EVER be PERFECT. It is not possible to be perfect. If you are, you belong on a cloud on the other side of pearly gates wearing a golden halo. That or walking on water, take your pick.

The time for editing will be when you reach THE END! Make notes along the way. If you use the notes feature in Word, leave yourself bubbles with comments of what you need to go back and work on. And if you realize about 2/3 of the way through that you need to have something foreshadowed, like the smoking gun, leave yourself a note to fill it in later.

Sometimes I will have 50 to 100 notes to myself on things I need to go back and work in or check to make sure I didn’t forget to put it in. That’s something you can do during the revision process in December after you’ve reached “the end” of the damn book.

Notice I never say FINISH the book. You’re going to write it, speedy rough draft, and then you are going to fix it over the next few weeks.

One more time. JUST WRITE. Don’t correct. WRITE. This is not to see how fast you can write a book, it’s to teach you not to edit yourself over and over and over again. You’ll never get through a book at that rate. Nothing, nothing, is ever perfect.

Did I make that perfectly clear? 😉

Let’s say you’ve jotted down some directions that equal your idea of a brief outline. Once November 1st hits, you’re ready to write those 2222 daily words. You’ve been excited about this for weeks and it’s finally here! Your fingers fly across the keyboard and you’re on a total high. Before you know it, 2223 words are written. Woohoo!

However, when you get to those 2222 words for the day (Or whatever your daily goal is!), KEEP GOING. It’s possible the next day you may have something urgent come up with the kids, a pet, your significant other, and you’ll be glad you padded your word count for each day you write. Things are bound to come up no matter how well you plan. LIFE HAPPENS.

A good idea is to keep a notebook with you just in case life happens. If you have to take the dog to the vet because she can’t poop (true story) and you’re waiting for the vet to X-Ray and then flush out poor dog ($300 later–poor wallet) you can write a scene in your notebook.

Odds are you’re going to be sitting in a waiting room for a while. You can use that time toward making your goal. Sometimes you can get the BEST ideas when you physically put pen to paper. Then go home and type the scene into your doc.

The end of November is approaching. You’ve planned well. You’ve been ready for anything that might pop up and try to get in the way. And you type:

THE END

xnanowrimoCongratulations! Now take a day off or five and treat yourself to a pedicure, a nice dinner out, or some other treat.

Then get your ass back to work. It’s time to rewrite that mess you made in November.

Good luck!

~Cheyenne

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Angels of Darkness: Chained January 12, 2016

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A checklist for aspiring erotic romance writers:

A checklist for aspiring erotic romance writers:

TakenByPassion_300YOU, TOO, CAN WRITE EROTIC ROMANCE IF YOU:

  Are willing to sacrifice the time to do extensive research with your partner.

        (Sweetheart, I prefer the velvet lined handcuffs.)

   Get turned on by what you’re writing.

        (Damn. Where’s my partner when I need him?)

   Can make readers believe that you’ve had sex with elves, vampires & cowboys.

       (Wow, you must have lots of experience to write sex like that.)

Can write “those words.”

        (Saying them out loud is not required.)

   Can write sensual and non-cliché dialogue in sex scenes.

        (As in more original than, “Oooh, yeah. Give it to me, baby.”)

   Can create a hero that you would like to have sex with.Forbidden300

        (Honey, can you start working out at the gym & grow your hair shoulder-length?)

   Are willing to read lots of erotic romances to get a feel for the genre.

        (It’s rough, but someone’s gotta do it.)

   Can write sex scenes without worrying what your family & neighbors might think.

        (Um, Mom. Sorry, but you can’t read my books.)

   Can write with an open mind and push the envelope—anything goes.

        (Yes, vampires can have mind-blowing sex with werewolves. Two at a time even.)

   can be creative and forget vanilla sex; instead triple almond caramel cherry crunch!

       inked300 (Ménages, sex toys, sex with faeries, sex while underwater…)

   can make something as simple as eating cheesecake sensual and sexual.

        (Give me some of what she’s having!)

□  can leave behind stereotypes, restraints on women’s sexuality, and shame.

        (When it comes to sex, if it feels good, honey, it is good.)

   can write a solid romance with strong sex scenes, a strong plot, and a HEA.

        (Funny thing how our readers actually love a good story along with all that sex…)

SOLD2_300dpi   can forget “the rules” that you may have learned in traditional romance publishing.

        (Yes, you can write that!)

   and most importantly, you, too can be an erotic romance writer if you

LOVE writing it!

~Cheyenne aka Jaymie

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How Bad Do You Want It?

How Bad Do You Want It?

I have always related to a Tim McGraw song titled How Bad Do You Want It? In the song, Tim’s lyrics express how I feel about making “it” happen.

Tim McGraw

Tim McGraw

Drive. It’s a passion, a fire, an excitement, an intensity that fills you up when you want it big. It’s all about going for your goals, reaching out, grabbing on to them, not letting go, and never giving up.

Never.

Ever.

If you want to make it as an author, or in any other pursuit in your life, you have to want it so bad you can taste it. You need to learn everything you can about your craft and yes, in most cases you pay your dues. It takes everything in your heart and soul to make it happen.

Now go listen to Tim. Two or three times.

Here’s to your own fire!

~Cheyenne

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Angels of Darkness: CHAINED January 12th, 2016

Angels of Darkness: CHAINED
January 12th, 2016

Why We Love Our Alpha Males

Why We Love Our Alpha Males

I love Alpha males. Just what is it about the Alpha male that makes my knees weak and my heart pound?

I’m talking about the man who exudes confidence, the man who is in control of himself and his environment. The power in his stride, his smooth, fluid movements, the set of his jaw.

But also the man who would do anything for the people he loves and would put his life on the line to protect those within his realm or his occupation.

Yes, he’s in control…but the woman he falls for is the one person who can drive him to his knees. The Alpha male isn’t complete, nor entirely happy, until the woman who completes him comes into his life. Then that man will do everything in his power to get her, protect her and keep her.

Trust is very important to an Alpha. He trusts his woman with everything that he is and she trusts him to take care of her, to protect her and to nurture that relationship.

From the time I started writing romance, I’ve heard varying opinions on what an Alpha male is to the reader or the author.

1_aragorn1024I’ll tell you who I think is the epitome of an Alpha male, a man who always makes me absolutely melt: Aragorn from the movie version of Lord of the Rings. (Do I ever lust after that man!)

What makes him an Alpha? He’s a leader among men, a man with valor and honor, a man who would die to defend his people, to protect the ones he loves.

He wields one hell of a mean sword. He’s fierce in battle, will stand up and fight for what he believes is right. But he’s also gentle with women and children, treating them with respect and caring. He has a sense of humor and enjoys a good laugh.

As a lover of romance, I can’t help but melt at how Aragorn would sacrifice his heart and soul for his woman. Even though he loved her, he was willing to sacrifice that love to send Arwen to the Undying Lands so that she would remain an immortal. But she was determined to hold onto their love and stay, and he kept her pendant and her love close to his heart.

And did you see the way Aragorn kissed Arwen at the end of Return of the King? Oh. My. God. What power and possession, letting her know she was his in that one incredible kiss.

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Sigh. What woman wouldn’t want to be kissed like that?

An Alpha male can be the elvin hero in a fantasy, the leader of a werewolf pack, a powerful vampire, a futuristic knight, a law enforcement agent, or the owner of a multi-million dollar corporation. He can be from any walk of life, fact, fiction or fantasy.

When I asked the members of my chat group what attracted them to Alpha males, they had varying opinions, but basically the same theme. As women we are in charge of so many things in our lives. We’re nurturers, caretakers, business women, homemakers, and more. Part of the appeal in an Alpha male is turning over some of the control in our lives, letting ourselves feel loved and protected.

Jennifer summed it up well when she said, “I think I am drawn to Alpha males because….I get so tired of being in charge of everything. Taking care of the kids, the house, being the anchor for everyone in my family…my DH, parents, siblings, friends, etc. I dream about a strong Alpha who wants to take care of me, someone who puts me first. I find that in life I usually have no time for myself and that no one else seems to take the time to pamper me. This is why I love the Alpha males so much; they want to care and protect their mates, to see that they are happy and that their needs are met.”

Sherry’s sentiments were much the same. “Their ability to protect and cherish, while being able to appreciate the strengths of their mates. The idea that you don’t have to be in charge, that you have someone to lean on, who is willing and able to carry or share the burdens of life. Last but not least Alphas are good at making their women feel loved and special.”

Many women also love that bad boy image. As Sheila said, “It’s that take charge attitude. The image of strength and power they seem to throw off in waves. Most of your bad boys have that Alpha thing going on, and every woman I know has had something for a bad boy in her life. Those Alphas have a magnetism about them that just pulls you in and won’t let go, and in truth you don’t want them to.”

What are the drawbacks of an Alpha? Well, quite often he’s arrogant and overprotective. Usually he has to learn to understand the needs of his woman, her strengths, her personality, and the fact that she’s not about to sit down and let him take complete charge. She may enjoy his protectiveness, but she’s no doormat. The Alpha hero also needs to learn compromise and that he’s not the only one in control. In my books, many times it’s the heroine’s strengths that save them from danger, or they work together to battle whatever force they’re up against.

When it comes down to it, there are all types of Alpha males, but the men many of us love are the ones with all of the above characteristics. Strength, power, respect, honor, and love. The ability to show us we’re first, make us feel special, and love us first and always. Alpha may be another way of saying “ideal man”—all man, but with the sensitivity women crave.

And now, I think I’ll go watch Lord of the Rings again… 

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~Cheyenne

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Angels of Darkness Coming January 12, 2016

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