The Gypsy Muse – Author Rachel Kenley

September 15, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – A new release – excerpt

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Waves of Pleasure

Yes, I am going to be giving you teasers from WAVES OF PLEASURE for the next few days.  Have a new novel released is definitely a favorite thing for any author.

Today’s excerpt is from the opening of chapter one.  Enjoy!

Drew dove naked into the ocean, unconcerned about the lack of a lifeguard. In early June the water on the Jersey Shore was still brisk from the winter’s chill, but he didn’t care. The water finally hinted at summer and he had been waiting to feel the embrace of the waves since he came back in March. He probably wouldn’t be able to stay in it long, but even a short swim would be worth it.

He loved the salty coldness on his skin and reveled in the slightly illegal swim. Not only was it two in the morning, but if he remembered correctly, skinny dipping was against some ordinance. Somehow, when he was in the ocean he had no worries and any problems he did think about seemed small and insignificant. Maybe when he was back on his financial feet he would start saving for a houseboat so he could eventually leave land behind for good and live on the water. Or at least live closer to the ocean—just not in this area. He had lots of college friends who liked the West Coast. He could go out there.

As he floated and allowed himself to dream of an unanchored life, he felt something brush against him. He didn’t think too much of it, assuming it was part of the undercurrent, but when it happened again and it felt like a stroke from his foot to his waist, he dropped into the water and came up treading.

“Hello? Anyone there?” Spinning around, Drew stared into the shadows, trying to discern shapes. The beach had been deserted when he arrived, but it didn’t mean that someone hadn’t come by after him. When there was no answer but the waves breaking on the shore, he stretched out on his back and resumed his swim.

The caress happened again a moment later, this time gently sweeping over his chest and directly to his cock, where it lingered for a breath before disappearing again. He knew it couldn’t be a wave. The placement seemed too deliberate. But lifting his head he still saw no one. He felt beneath the water but didn’t discover anything. He’d always found swimming naked to be arousing, but this was different. If he didn’t feel the Atlantic around him, he would have sworn he’d been stroked by a woman.

July 14, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – The Movies

Filed under: Thursday Favorite Things — authorrachelkenley @ 12:48 pm
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As has been our tradition for several years, my friend, and fellow writer, Jeffrey C. Pettengill, and I will attend the midnight showing of the new Harry Potter film tonight.  We look forward to these each time they are released (although not the day after during which I am ridiculously tired).   There’s something about being one of the first to see a movie – along with several thousand other people. Still, it’s fun to be there with all the fans, some dressed up some not.

I love going to the movies.  Heck, I love movies period.  I watch them on cable, on hulu, on demand, and on dvd/blueray.  Give me a good story and great characters and I’ll give you two hours or more of my life.  Mostly… it’s the great characters, which isn’t surprising since as a writer, that draw me in. 

I want to see someone or more than one character redeemed.  Tim Allen’s character in “Galaxy Quest”, Jude Law’s character in “Gattaca”.  I want someone to be changed, like Rose in “Titantic” or Red in “Shawshank Redemption”.  I want them to go on an emotional – and occassionally physical – journey such as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” and Luke Skywalker in his “Star Wars” trilogy.  I want to be carried along with them.

And if I can be inspired?  So much the better.

What movies do you lose yourself in?

June 9, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – Music and my iPod

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I grew with a variety of music around me – classical, opera, rock, broadway musicals – and today I still love all kinds.  When I’m writing music one of the things that helps me to get into my own little world.

Mr. Desplat at work

Since I cannot write to music with words (distracts me from my own) I am a huge fan of movie soundtracks because just as they set the mood for a movie, they do the same for me.  The music from Grindhouse/Planet Terror is great for writing love scenes.  Rachel Portman’s work (Emma, The Cider House Rules, Chocolat) has a lightness and joy which carries me along from scene to scene.  I have an outrageous amount by Alexandre Desplat (including his newest, The King’s Speech). I love the emotion he puts into his music and hope each time I listen to it, that I can put the same into my words. 

In addition to having individual playlists from the movies, I have combined lists of just the composer for Desplat, James Horner, James Newton Howard, Mark Isham, Thomas Newman, Angelo Badalamenti (remember Twin Peaks?)and Danny Elfman (for those funky moods!) 

I have a few favorite New Age playlists that are also wonderful – especially for paranormal and fantasy works.  My newest focus is an old favorite, R Carlos Nakai.  I discovered his music nearly 20 years ago on a trip to Arizona.   Finding him again has been a thrill.

My ipod classic. Love it!

Thank goodness making new playlists and shuffling old ones is easy on my iPod – even my classic one, now over four years old.  I love that I can change my mind, my music and my mood with only a few clicks.

Music definitely allows me to be more productive and I love discovering new music that inspires me.  More and more authors are listing their favorite playlists with their books, on their blogs and acknowledging the groups that inspired them (Stephanie Myers can’t write without the group Muse, isn’t that appropriate?)

Do you have a favorite?

May 19, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – My new Droid 2

Filed under: Thursday Favorite Things — authorrachelkenley @ 7:52 pm
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Okay… I admit I’d been looking forward to getting an android based phone and having apps to play with.  Which isn’t necessarily a good thing, because I’m amazed at the time that disappears while playing “Words With Friends”.  That said, I am really enjoying having this new technology.

I never thought I’d check my emails on my phone, especially since I’m a work from home writer and mom, but I admit that when I’m out (and now that it’s baseball season, I’m out a lot of nights) it’s nice to be able to review them, delete the junk, and have only the important ones waiting for me when I get home.

I chose the Droid 2 over the Droid X because of the keyboard, since I am terrible at tapping out txts and search information (and also because even though the screen on the X rocks, it feels HUGE in my hand).  I still love the keyboard, but I am more in love with SWYPE, a great technology that allows me to slide my fingers over the keys without picking them up to spell out words.  Sure some things come out funny and I have to redo them, but over all it takes a lot less time.

I particularly enjoy the Nook app.  It’s great to be able to read if I’m caught on an unexpected line or somewhere without a book.  I love the way the pages turn.  I think the color Nook will be my next technology purchase.

Oh… and I immediately searched and learned how to turn off autocorrect.  Some of the errors I’ve read?  Shudder!

I paid next to nothing for the phone thanks to the plans with  www.letstalk.comand also got terrific prices on my accessories (purple swirl faceplate, screen cover, car charger, and nonbluetooth headset for a total of $35 including shipping) at www.cellularoutfitter.com .

So, do you have a new piece of techology you love?

May 12, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – Other Writers

Filed under: Thursday Favorite Things — authorrachelkenley @ 11:47 pm
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Don't do it alone

I am very blessed. I have a lot of writers in my life.  Several of my closest friends write fiction, as I do, and when I’m going through a frustrating period whether in a new work or in not being able to get anything on the page, they give me support, understanding and a kick in the muse so that I get going again.

I belong to the Essex Writers and Artists Guild in Haverhill, MA.  We are a non-critique (support only) group who meets Thursday nights.  Knowing that they are there to listen to my work or to have the chance to listen to theirs is a comfort and an inspiration.  The emails during the week make me laugh and help me to remember the importance of taking that next step forward.  I do NaNoWriMo with a bunch of them and we go away several times a year on retreat.  It’s wonderful.

I am also a member of the International Women’s Writers Guild, another place of support, encouragement and inspiration.  Their conferences are like a buffet of words and connection.

I’ve met and spoken to writers who are on their own and I can see how hard it is for them.  The internet world does help some to find others and that’s a good thing.  Writing is solitary enough.  We need like minded people, other’s as crazy as we are and who understand our madness.

Where do you get your support?

May 5, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – In praise of naps

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Doesn't it look wonderful!

I admit it – I love to nap.

I should live in a country where they do the siesta thing, because I dont mind waking up early to get things done or staying up late for a variety of reasons, but come 1:00 or so in the afternoon, what I most crave is a good book and my bed.  Two hours later or so, I am ready to go.

Acording to Health Central- some of the most notable figures in history are known to

Shh... I'm busy

have been consummate nap-takers, including Winston Churchill, Napoleon Bonaparte, Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci and John F. Kennedy. What’s more, recent research is providing evidence that a well-timed afternoon nap may be the best way to combat sleepiness, improve work performance, and overcome the late day grogginess commonly known as the “midday dip.”

Personally, since the birth of my kids (and, yes I must admit, subsequent weight gain) I haven’t slept well at night and napping definitely helps me get through the day – and stay up until my husband gets home, which is typically after 9pm. I love that feeling of snuggling under the covers knowing that I am going to get a few solid hours of sleep.  Sometimes waking up is challenging, but as long as I have something specific planned, I’m good to go.

So if you can’t reach me in the afternoon, chances are I’m catching a few z’s.  What do you do during the day to rejuvenate?

April 28, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – Bookstores

Can you look at your bookshelf and remember where you bought the books?  Do you know how you came across the one you’re reading now?  Do you have a great memory of an unexpected discovery?  Then you probably love bookstores as much as I do.

The doom and gloom of the headlines with regards to bookstores is everywhere.  Borders recently closed many stores (and more may be happening), the independent bookstores are almost extinct, and ebook readers are on the rise to the point where this week Barnes and Noble announced their first ebook signing event.  Yes, that’s right – Sandra Boynton will be *signing* her Going to Bed Book using a new app on the B&N color Nook (which I admit to coveting/craving).

But I have to say – I love spending time in a bookstore.  I love wandering the stacks.  I love standing in a section I don’t normally check out, just to see what’s there.  I love when a bookstore has places to sit, whether in a cafe or within the stacksa peace of heaven, so I can be surrounded by the books, pretending I have my own library. I love having a gift card that means I can try something totally new and/or not usually in my budget.  And don’t get me started on the periodical section.  SO much to read and learn. 

What will happen to impulse purchases of something you didnt – couldn’t – plan?  What about the amazing writer you discovered because her book was on the shelf above your current favorite?  How will you find those gems?  What about the non-fiction book that was better suited to you which you found next to the one you came in to buy?

Because the only way to enjoy these things is at a brick and morter bookstore, I am continuing to hope these stores stay around for a long time to come.  Yes, they have to go with the flow of new technology, but they should never completely give up on the sheer pleasure many of us get from the process of looking for a book. 

It’s almost as good as the reading part.

What’s your favorite bookstore? And… if you want to see some of the most interesting bookstores in the world, click here.

April 21, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – Chocolate

Dive in!

Yes, it has to be said… chocolate is wonderful.  Proof of ongoing goodness in the world.  Okay, maybe that’s a little strong, but have you ever noticed countries that are known for producing great chocolates are relatively peaceful?  Seriously – when was the last time Belguim or Switzerland tried to start something?

You can’t be mad when you’re eating chocolate.  Hot chocolate has wonderful calming effects.  And as a gift, it is something I always appeciate *and* thoroughly enjoy.

My heroines frequently have a weakness for chocolate in either one or all of its forms.  We’re supposed to write what we know, aren’t we?  I keep a stash of wrapped dark chocolate pieces in my writing room.  It’s my treat to myself and the better the quality the less I eat in a serving.

And if all it’s feel good properties weren’t enough to recommend it, scientists have found that chocolate is actually GOOD FOR US! (I would have been happy to help with that research).  According to an article I found: Chocolate is made from plants, which means it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. These benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries). Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body.

Good for blood pressure and endorphins.  More antioxidants than strawberries!!  Don’t you love it?

So in this season of chocolate rabbits and other goodies, go ahead and guiltlessly enjoy!

March 24, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – My pens

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Sorry for missing yesterday.  Car repairs – and recovering from the cost – took up most of the day.  Makes it nice to jump into Thursday things I love.  It’s a much better place to focus.

Most writers have their favorite tools, things that help them to be more creative, more productive.  The UNIBALL JET STREAM – BOLD pen is my must have.  It writes sooooooooooo smoothly.  I can tell the difference with any other pen I use and I have yet to find another that I like as much.

Best pen ever!

For the life of me, I can’t remember when or how I discovered them.  It was probably an accident.  I’ve always been a bit of a pen and stationery addict (common among writers, I’ve heard).  I always tried new pens and I assume I came across this one.  And fell in love. 

I was so used to fine points before this, which I never particularly liked, that, I think, using a bold point made a huge difference.  It’s a cap pen which always confuses people when I hand them one to try.  They try to click it :).  After they try it, I usually have to wrestle it back.

Gimme! Gimme!

When I find it it comes in two- and four-packs of black, and four-packs of a variety (2 black, 1 blue, 1 red). Since I, of  course, live in fear of Uniball discontinuing this particular pen, I buy them almost whenever I see them, and keep a stockpile in my pen holder.

What’s your favorite writing tool?
 

February 17, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – My Mug Warmer

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I love my morning cup of coffee and everyone in my life knows it.  I have small gifts from friends and family that say “Instant Human – Just Add Coffee”, “I haven’t had my coffee – don’t make me kill you,” and “I’m only as strong as my coffee and hairspray.”

However… I usually drink only that morning cup.

And frequently, it lasts me for hours (I’m typing this at 10:30 am, and my mug is not empty even though I poured it at 8:30).  For a long time I ended up reheating it in the microwave so that each sip would be warm.  Until a friend gave me the Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer and changed – and improved – the way I enjoy my coffee every day.

The Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer

This lovely gadget, which retails from $8-10 depending on where you purchase it, allows me to have a warm cup of coffee from first sip until the last.  It sits next to my computer keeping the mug just the right temperature, so if I’m distracted from my desk for a while (and who isn’t), when I come back – it’s waiting for me, ready to enjoy again.

It’s simple, does the job is supposed to do, doesn’t take up much space, isn’t expense and makes my life a little happier.

coffee warmer in action

How many things can you say that about 🙂

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