19 May 2007

Popping up from the grindstone...


"I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they pass by."

I forget who said that, but I need it on a bumper sticker. Or a t-shirt. Or etched on a margarita glass.

There's something motivating about a deadline. I'm on one right now, and I'm in hell.

I'm also in heaven. Why? Because 48 hours before deadline is when my creative juices finally start pumping. The TV's on, my family is noisy, the dogs are barking, but I keep pounding out wordage. Even with a generous deadline - for this one I had 6 weeks to add a mere 2000 words and revise an existing manuscript - I'll noodle around forever, making some progress on the page while my subconscious churns doing the real work in the background.

Finally, about 48 hours before it's due, the words pour out. I'd rather pull out my toenails than do a first draft, but revisions are where I get fabulously creative. Pumping up emotion there, adding sizzle there, toning down the melodrama elsewhere. Maybe it's the former journalist coming out in me, but right on deadline is when I do my best work.

I really hope my editor isn't reading this.

My current baby is a contemp/paranormal/fantasy blend called WILDISH THINGS. It'll be out in both eBook and paperback on Nov. 1 in a SamhainPublishing.com anthology called "Love and Lore." It's their annual anniversary Celtic themed anthology, and I'm excited and honored to be invited to contribute, along with Gia Dawn and Sela Carsen.

It's about a woman name Beith Molloy, wounded in both body and spirit, who journeys to Ireland to get her career as a wildlife artist back on track. A twist of fate lands her with sexy tour guide Kellan O'Neill, who whisks her away on a wild adventure on his Harley. On the surface it sounds like a sexy romp - and it is - but there are also hearts and spirits to be mended, dark pasts to work through, complicated by an ancient, lusty goddess called the Cailleach who basically just needs laid. Once the Cailleach's attention turns to Beith and Kellan, all hell breaks loose.

Hee!

I hope you'll enjoy this fun, emotional journey as much as I had fun writing it. Here's a little snippet of it. It's unedited, so please ignore the typos.

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Unedited Excerpt from WILDISH THINGS, Copyright 2007 Carolan Ivey, All Rights Reserved.

The lift doors whooshed shut, and she found herself enclosed in a small space with Kellan O'Neill.

His scent drifted over her, a pleasing combination of freshly showered man and what she imagined Irish turf must smell like. Clean and earthy. She opened her mouth but shut it again, sensing she would only babble if she broke the silence. And one thing she never did was babble.

She glanced up at the numbers changing at the top of the door, and felt a warm prickle begin at the back of her neck and travel down... Oh, dear. Was he looking at her? Was that warm feeling a the small of her back his hand, hovering just above her skin? For a brief second a series of images flashed through her mind. Her turning into Kel's arms. Kel dropping her carry-on, hitting the lift's hold button and proceeding to press her up against the wall. His muscular arms lifting her off the floor, his broad shoulders sheltering her, one hand cradling her head while the other...
... would never happen. Could never happen. Beith took a deep breath and tried to get hold of herself, hoping he wouldn't notice the light sheen of perspiration which had broken out on her forehead. She closed her eyes and fought a wave of dizziness. Damn those pain meds she’d taken before her flight had taken off from Cleveland.

What was wrong with her? Kellan O'Neill was a complete stranger. She'd never been given to wild, hormone-driven flings with anyone, and she wasn't about to start now. Especially now. She had a demanding career and had always kept herself in complete control, reminding herself of what was really important.

That accident must have shattered more than her bones.

She shifted on her feet, but he seemed perfectly comfortable with the silence between them, as if he tracked her thoughts and had no desire to interrupt them. Well, damn it, she had to interrupt them. She forced herself to think of the scars, and cold reality quickly reasserted itself.

As soon as I get that suitcase, I’m booking a flight home. Then I’ll pop a Flexaril and wake up back in Cleveland, as if this had never happened.

He made no comment about the size of her suitcase as he pulled it off the carousel, but the way he handled it easily with one hand while holding her carry-on with the other made her flush all over again. Fanning herself with the scraps of her plane ticket, she looked around and spied a bureau de change and touched his arm. She snatched her hand away as he turned, flapping it nervously toward the counter. "Isn't that where I get cash?"

"No." He took her arm more firmly and steered her down a corridor. "You'll be gettin' a better exchange rate at the ATM down here." He paused and studied her, that smile growing a little wider. “So you’re stayin’, then?”

Her heart thumped hard two or three times. Grow some balls, woman, Patrick had said.
The words to tell Kellan “no” were poised on her tongue. To tell him, “No thanks, but here’s a little something for your trouble.” She wondered if he’d be insulted, and inwardly winced at what his expression might look like when she pressed the cash into his hand. Well, there was no help for it. She blew out a breath, opened her mouth.

What came out was, “For now. Chances are I can’t get a flight out until tomorrow, anyway.” She snapped her mouth shut. No more Flexaril for me.

His grin widened and she went a little light-headed at its power. She attributed it to jet lag and the meds. As he turned to pull the retractable handle from her suitcase, she thought he heard him mutter, “That’s long enough.”

“Excuse me?”

“I said the ATM’s over here,” he said without missing a beat.

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