Tuesday, September 20, 2016

My Personality Profile

I've taken a few personality quizzes over the course of my life, and I have to say the Myers-Biggs model pegs me perfectly.


Wondering which of the 16 personality types you are?  You can take the same quick quiz here.


 


Teaser for Desire's Sting

When I was writing Butterfly's Effect, Elaine had a meeting with a man who she really didn't get along with - Richard Mills.  When I was getting the re-release of Butterfly's Effect ready, a young woman named Lisa started talking to me.  



She was adamant that Richard was only an ass to those who didn't really know him.  To those who worked for him, he was everything they could want in a boss.  She demanded that I give her a chance to tell everyone about him - which was all well and good, except that when I actually sat down to start writing the story - she promptly told me nevermind, I could forget it.  She was mad at him and he could go play in traffic.  This intrigued me ... I had to know more.

And so Desire's String was born ...


BUTTERFLY'S EFFECT: Elaine’s relationship with her office assistant went from a normal friendship to lovers, and they are both struggling to find the balance between their professional and personal lives together.  Steve wants to take things public, but Elaine is worried about possible complications.  So he decides to show her who's boss, with a little help from her submissive nature and a sexy new toy in Michelle Houston’s Butterfly’s Effect.

DESIRE'S STING:  As a boss, Richard Mills was everything Lisa could ask for - he stood up for his team, he had their backs, gave them all of the credit and took all of the blame.  But as a man - he was a dick!  As his office assistance, Lisa was familiar with the love 'em and let 'em go attitude Richard had for women.  Too familiar.  It was slowly tearing her up to see other women get the chance with him that she craved.  Something had to change, and if it took her resigning and finding another job to break the hold he had on her heart, she was ready to do it.  It was the perfect solution to a no-win situation - except Richard was hiding a secret from her.  He wanted to do all kinds of dirty, kinky things to her, but worried she was too vanilla to handle the sting of his desire.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Pre-Order is Now Live!!!

The pre-order links for Broken Wings are now live at All Romance and Smashwords and Amazon.

September 27th Gabriel and Nick's story will go live!


Excerpt:

As he surrendered to Nick’s kiss, his eyes started to drift closed and as darkness enveloped him, he jerked. Cold chills broke out over his skin and he drifted for a moment, lost between what was happening and what had come before. Gabriel went to pull back, but Nick kept his hand clasped around the nape of his neck, holding him still. Shifting his face, Nick pressed his lips against Gabriel’s ear.
“Open your eyes. You’re safe here. Just open your eyes.”

Gabriel’s lids lifted, and he stared into the calm green of Nick’s eyes.

“Keep your eyes focused on me.”

Gabriel nodded, and blue gaze locked on green as Nick pressed soft kisses against his cheek, slowly moving back to his lips. At the firm touch of lips against his, Gabriel opened his mouth, accepting the raspy wetness of a masculine tongue sliding into his mouth again. It felt odd to be staring into someone’s eyes while kissing, but at the same time, it grounded him in the moment. Except for brief flashes of darkness as he blinked, he remained focused on Nick – his gaze, his firm touch against the back of his neck, his kiss, the feel of being surrounded in masculine heat.

The very scent of Nick’s cologne seeped into his pores, until all that mattered was the man who was holding him so gently, with such strong confidence. At any moment he could break away; Nick wasn’t forcing him to stay. Instead, his embrace said he was confident that given the choice, Gabriel would chose to stay in his arms. And he was right.

The depth of the kiss changed slowly, until it was impossible for Gabriel to tell where Nick left off and he began. Their tongues were dueling, not for dominance of the kiss, but for sheer pleasure of contact.
As Nick pulled away, Gabriel found himself panting softly, trying to regain his emotional footing. For a brief moment in time, the past had ceased to exist.

All Romance eBooks     *     Smashwords   *   Amazon



Saturday, July 09, 2016

Book Hangover


This can also occur when you are writing. 

I often get a story hangover, where when I finish one piece I can't work on anything new for a couple days.  

Overcoming Obstacles

I have posted about Overcoming Obstacles (specifically dyslexia and aphantasia for me) over at the Inside BWL Blog.  Check it out!

http://bwlauthors.blogspot.com/2016/07/overcoming-obstacles-by-michelle-lee.html

The Neurobiology of Writing


Friday, July 08, 2016

Belle's Love Triangle

If you think that Belle's love triangle = Belle, Gaston, and the Beast
you would be wrong! :)

Let's be serious - Gaston and the Beast were subplots.
The real love affair was with the library!






After all ...


Thursday, July 07, 2016

Broken Wings Teaser 1

BROKEN WINGS, the first in my The Dogs of War series, is finished.

Now I am working on the editing stage. :) I am hoping to have the editing done, and rewrites finished up, and the story to you by end of August.

"Cry Havok and let slip the dogs of war" 

While war was hell, it was the aftereffects that slowly eats away at the soul. For Gabriel O'Roarke and other like him, truer words have never been spoken. Returning to civilian life after surviving events that should have killed him, he struggled to adjust and find himself again. Suffering from PTSD, he is without hope, until a chance encounter with a fellow soldier changes things.

 Can a broken submissive, grief stricken at the loss of his friends and teammates, damaged by months of captivity and torture, learn to fly again?

In the mean time, how about a teaser?


Tuesday, July 05, 2016

All Things T-Shirts

I have amassed a collection of "I want" T-shirt images.

These are just a few ...

  



 






Labyrinth:

 Stargate:


 Teaching:



Sci-Fi:


Birds: 



Monday, July 04, 2016

The Chemistry of Fireworks (redux)

Three years ago (wow how time flies!) I posted about the Chemistry of Fireworks.  At that time, the post was just a quick note about how different elements produce different colored lights in the night sky.

I always wanted to expand upon that post ... and this year's 4th of July seemed like the perfect opportunity.  I found quite a few good infographics and some wonderful websites to help me along the way.  My sources are cited at the end.



"Fireworks generate three very noticeable forms of energy: a tremendous release of sound, bright light, and heat. The tremendous booms heard at ground level are the result of the rapid release of energy into the air, causing the air to expand faster than the speed of sound. This produces a shock wave, a sonic boom." 1


"Excluding propellants or special effects, the points of light ejected from fireworks, termed 'stars', generally require an oxygen-producer, fuel, binder (to keep everything where it needs to be), and color producer." 2 

The color of a firework is determined by the elements used in its "stars".  What happens is, when these elements lose energy during the explosion of the fuel, that energy is emitted as light.  Each element emits a slightly different wavelength of energy, and therefore a slightly different color of light results.

Taking you all the way back to high school chemistry, this is the Periodic Table of Elements and the aqua colored boxes are those elements that produce the spectacular colored firework we enjoy during celebrations.



"There are two main mechanisms of color production in fireworks, incandescence and luminescence.

Incandescence: 
Incandescence is light produced from heat. Heat causes a substance to become hot and glow, initially emitting infrared, then red, orange, yellow, and white light as it becomes increasingly hotter. When the temperature of a firework is controlled, the glow of components, such as charcoal, can be manipulated to be the desired color (temperature) at the proper time. Metals, such as aluminum, magnesium, and titanium, burn very brightly and are useful for increasing the temperature of the firework.

Luminescence: 

Luminescence is light produced using energy sources other than heat. Sometimes luminescence is called 'cold light', because it can occur at room temperature and cooler temperatures. To produce luminescence, energy is absorbed by an electron of an atom or molecule, causing it to become excited, but unstable. When the electron returns to a lower energy state the energy is released in the form of a photon (light). The energy of the photon determines its wavelength or color." 2


"The [incandescent] colors are produced by heating metal salts, such as calcium chloride or sodium nitrate, that emit characteristic colors. The atoms of each element absorb energy and release it as light of specific colors. The energy absorbed by an atom rearranges its electrons from their lowest-energy state, called the ground state, up to a higher-energy state, called an excited state. The excess energy of the excited state is emitted as light, as the electrons descend to lower-energy states, and ultimately, the ground state. The amount of energy emitted is characteristic of the element, and the amount of energy determines the color of the light emitted. For example, when sodium nitrate is heated, the electrons of the sodium atoms absorb heat energy and become excited. This high-energy excited state does not last for long, and the excited electrons of the sodium atom quickly release their energy, about 200 kJ/mol, which is the energy of yellow light.

"The amount of energy released, which varies from element to element, is characterized by a particular wavelength of light. Higher energies correspond to shorter wavelength light, whose characteristic colors are located in the violet/blue region of the visible spectrum. Lower energies correspond to longer wavelength light, at the orange/red end of the spectrum." 1




The Technical Details:

Click on the image to follow a link to the NOVA
 website for a break down of each part and how it
works.
"In making fireworks, the metal salts are put into stars, small clay or dough-like lumps or cubes 3 to 4 cm in diameter. Stars consist of a blend of oxidizing agent, reducing agent, coloring agent (metal salt), and binders. When ignited, the stars produce both sound and light effects. The appearance of a firework is determined by its stars, which are made by hand and carefully packed into cardboard compartments within the firework shell, where they await ignition by a time-delay fuse. 

 "From lift-off to color release, a carefully choreographed sequence of events takes place, producing the desired effect. The power needed to lift each firework into the air is provided by the highly exothermic combustion of black powder, a slow-burning combination of 75% potassium nitrate, 15% charcoal, and 10% sulfur. Said to have first been used in China about 1000 years ago, the recipe for black (or coal) powder has undergone little change since then. This formulation explodes at a rate of about 3 meters per second, classifying it as a low explosive. In fact, when it burns in the open air, black powder’s heat and gas dissipate quickly. The key to fireworks’ success is to trap the heat and gas in the bottom of the shell, which is positioned in a launch tube or mortar, until the trapped gas pressure builds to such a force that, when it escapes, it hurls the firework high into the air.

 "A firework is ignited by lighting the main fuse. That simultaneously starts both the fast action fuse, which quickly carries the flame down to the lift charge, and the time delay fuse, which continues to burn upward toward the cardboard compartments containing the stars, even as the firework is hurtling skyward.

 "Fireworks are classified as both a low and a high explosive. The initial lift charge that sends the firework into the sky is a low explosive. The burning charge undergoes rapid decomposition, but not detonation. The firework can be thought of as flying through the air powered by a fast burning wick. Where the wick ends, it meets the high explosive components of the firework. In this second stage there is an instantaneous detonation producing both a loud explosion and a bright flash of color.

 "The black powder lift-charge is calculated to exhaust itself precisely when the slow-burning, time-delay fuse reaches the first compartment packed with light-producing stars and black powder. This happens when the firework is at the very apex of its upward flight. Simultaneously the fuse sets off sound-producing explosives and detonates the stars, initiating color emission. If the timing of the fuses is off, however, the firework may detonate early, too close to the ground, or late, when the firework is falling back to earth.

 "When an aerial firework explodes, its component stars fly off in all directions. However, when viewed from a distance, these aerial fireworks seem flat, as though they were displayed on a screen. We do not easily perceive that some parts are coming toward us, while others are moving away. We have a hard time seeing this, because we don't perceive the normal clues that tell us the direction in which something is moving. Normally, when an object moves toward us, it appears to grow larger, and when it moves away, it appears to grow smaller. However, the stars in fireworks are so bright against a dark background, that we can't get an accurate impression of what size they are; their intensity saturates our retinas. We can't tell if they are getting larger or smaller, so we judge them not to be moving either away from us or toward us. Therefore, they look flat. If, however, we could see them from directly below, we would observe that the stars move in all directions away from the central explosion.

"When watching fireworks, we see them much sooner than we hear them. That happens because light travels about a million times as fast as sound. The speed of light is 300,000,000 meters per second, but the speed of sound is only about 340 meters per second. If you are watching fireworks that are about a kilometer (1000 meters) away, the light takes only 3 millionths of a second to reach you. The sound takes about 3 seconds. You can tell how many kilometers away fireworks are exploding by starting to count seconds as soon as you see an explosion. Stop counting when you hear the explosion and divide the count by 3. This gives the distance away in kilometers." 1


1  http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu/chemweek/fireworks/fireworks.htm

2 http://chemistry.about.com/od/fireworkspyrotechnics/a/fireworkcolors.htm

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Forget the drinks ... I'll take a book

Saw a cute image the other day with this text on it.

You know how people buy drinks for girls in bars?  

Why can't people do that in book stores?  

Like ... if I'm looking for a novel in Barnes and Noble, and some person walks up to me and strikes up a conversation and offers to buy the book for me, there is a lot better chance of that working out in their favor.


I have to say, I agree. :)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Classic Video Games Reimagined as Romance Novels

As I have mentioned in the past, in addition to writing I also create cover art.  As such, I sometimes look for tutorials for techniques I want to learn, new places to find images, etc ... occasionally I come across some real gems.  One of those was five classic video games reimagined as romance novel covers.

These two are my favorites - but you can check out the others, as well as the whole article about them, here.



Collector of Hearts, starring Link and Zelda


Fierce Moves, starring Ken and Ryu from Street Fighter


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Someone's Gonna Get Wet


Yep, I am a geek ... and I am proud of it. :)  I find this funny! 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sexy Love Scenes

I am a child of the 80's.  So many of the movies I watched growing up that actually had sex in them, were more sensual than in your face erotic.  And yet - holy shit they were hot!

I know, this may be odd for an erotica /erotic romance author to admit - but while I love reading sex scenes (the hotter the better), when it comes to watching a show, I prefer a soft, more subtle and sensual approach to things.

Two of them immediately come to mind:

The first is from a movie I am sure pretty much everyone has seen at least once - DIRTY DANCING.

There was just something about the innocence of Baby as she explored Johnny's body.  It was just so sensual.

I admit I STILL get a little giddy inside when I watch that scene.  It is soft and sexy and despite all of the stories about those two not liking each other, etc - they pulled off one hell of a scene together that even 30 years later sizzles.

The second scene that comes to mind, I doubt many will know.  It is from the movie MY CHAUFFEUR.

Again, we have a similar dynamic - 'fairly' innocent young woman (although less so than Baby) and a more mature man.

In this case, they kind of love to hate each other.  He is an ass, she is a little weird, and they end of stranded together and things heat up.

(And yes - that is the original Flash Gordon actor.  BONUS - Penn and Teller were also in it).

If you are interested - My Chauffeur is available on Amazon. :)

One of my favorite lines ... "Uh oh, we've been bad."  "Oh very bad."

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Dogs of War (i.e. what I have been up to!)

About three years ago, a character started talking to me.  But this character was unlike any other I had previously met. As you all know, I normally tend to write fairly light characters.  The world is serious enough.  Yet Gabriel was tormented.  He suffers PTSD.

To do his story justice, I started researching PTSD and the more I researched, the more depressed I got. So Gabriel fell silent.

He finally started talking to me again, and then my own life started getting chaotic.  There was a change in jobs, some health issues, and some major losses in my family.  In short, the last couple years have been rough.  He fell silent again ... as did all of the other characters in my head.

About a month ago, he started talking again ... and I am finally ready to unveil his story which is almost ready to be released. :)  What's more, the other characters that have stories still waiting to be told are finally starting to talk to me again as well.  So I am back to writing, and I am hoping to not fall off of the radar again.  My release schedule will still be very sporadic, but I am hoping to work on the plethora of stories filling my head (as a minimum) each week.

Coming soon ...


The Dogs of War: 
BROKEN WINGS 



"Cry Havok and let slip the dogs of war"

While war was hell, it was the aftereffects that slowly eats away at the soul.  For Gabriel O'Roarke and other like him, truer words have never been spoken. Returning to civilian life after surviving events that should have killed him, he struggled to adjust and find himself again.  Suffering from PTSD, he is without hope, until a chance encounter with a fellow soldier changes things.

Can a broken submissive, grief stricken at the loss of his friends and teammates, damaged by months of captivity and torture, learn to fly again?



Sunday, June 19, 2016

Maidens, Butterflies, and Sexy Women

After a lot of writer's block, frustration with characters not behaving, and life generally getting in the way of creativity - I have managed to get back into writing again.

To celebrate, I am re-releasing the last of my previously published works.

HER MAJESTY'S MAIDEN

When Margaret Dudley joined the ranks of Queen Elizabeth I’s gentlewomen, she never expected the whirlwind of changes that occurred in her life.  Expecting to retreat to the background, to serve her sovereign with integrity and devotion, she never dreamed she’d find herself embroiled in a world of jealousy, lust, and betrayal.  Or that she would experience a love that surpasses all.










BUTTERFLY'S EFFECT

All work and no play?  Not in their office.

Elaine’s relationship with her office assistant went from a normal friendship to lovers, and they are both struggling to find the balance between their professional and personal lives together.  Steve wants to take things public, but Elaine is worried about possible complications.  So he decides to show her who's boss, with a little help from her submissive nature and a sexy new toy in Michelle Houston’s Butterfly’s Effect.







PRIVATE EYES

Exhibitionism and Voyeurism.  The thrill of watching … and being watched.  Enjoy them both in this collection by Michelle Houston.

The camera catches the inner soul to a person, catching the hidden emotions we are too afraid to let others see.  Daria is one of those people, and just for a brief moment, she lets Lynsay see her how she really is in The Window of the Soul.

Tempted is the best way to describe Elaine’s reaction to leather; especially when it was hugging the tight curves of a woman.  She prowled the clubs, secretly thrilling in the view.  What she hadn't expected was to run into one of her former students - a former student with an interesting ultimatum.

Stacie's lover Amy has arranged things so that she can indulge her exhibitionist streak in a safe environment - from behind the safety of peepshow booth windows.  She gets to be center stage, putting on a show with her lover, without the risk of getting caught.  It’s an exhibitionist’s dream, being watched by every Peeping Tom, Dick and Harriett.

All three of these are now available at All Romance eBooks and Smashwords


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Is it possible to have too many books?

My husband teases me (sometimes not so affectionately) about my bookshelves.  And my stacks of books.

I am a voracious reader - I average about 100 pages an hour, and anywhere between 5-10 books a week.

I take a book with me everywhere - the doctor's office, to the DMV, the bathroom, you get the idea.  I read both print and ebooks ... My tablet is full of books.

I buy print books new and used, and borrow from the library (generally when I want to try a new to me author).

I have two copies of all of my favorites - a print and an ebook.

I have books ... everywhere ...



For one of my anniversaries, my father-in-law built me a seven foot tall, seven foot wide bookshelf, with the shelves perfectly spaced for books.  It fits great on my landing going upstairs.  It's also full.

As are the bookshelves in my bedroom, in the hallway leading to my room, in my living room, etc ...

So I am always on the lookout for creative ways to house my plethora of books.  Here are a few that I have found and would love to have the ability to create.


FURNITURE



STAIRS



READING NOOKS



(This one used to be a closet)

(This also used to be a closet - and not only is it filled with books, but the doors are also bookshelves.)

(Another door/bookshelf - looks like maybe a library behind the door.)


GUEST ROOMS


Now in my search for creative book solutions, I have come across some other ideas for guestrooms, extra storage, etc.





So what do you think ...  Is it possible to have too many books?

Any book shelf ideas to share?  

~ Michelle