Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kaylea at Naughty Author Chicks

I'm over at Naughty Author Chicks today talking about my latest release, Cover of Darkness (have I mentioned how much I love this story?). I'm giving away a digital copy to one commenter, so stop by if you're interested in entering the contest.

I'll be checking in periodically, but less so between the hours of noon to 4 pm PST, because we've got a very important hockey game going on here in Vancouver today (a little match for the gold medal between our boys and the Americans). GO CANADA!!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Release Day!!!

Today is the official release date for Cover of Darkness! It's available in both digital and print formats from my publisher. Hope everyone loves Bryn and Dec's story as much as I do, and I hope it keeps them up late turning the pages because they just have to find out what happens next.

Blurb:Targeted by a terrorist cell, Bryn McAllister survives a bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut only to be left to die in a desert cellar. When she is rescued by Navy SEAL Lieutenant Declan McCabe and his team, Bryn must rely on the handsome officer to get her to safety. But just when she thinks the nightmare is over, family friend and legendary CIA operative Luke Hutchinson recruits her and McCabe to help track down the terrorist mastermind responsible for the attack.

With Bryn determined to see the terrorist brought to justice, Dec joins up to protect her, prepared to do whatever it takes to keep her safe during their dangerous mission. Battling the explosive attraction between them, Dec fights to keep his distance from her so he can do his job and keep her alive. But when plans falls apart and Bryn is captured, he must make the agonizing choice between his duty as a SEAL and the life of the woman he loves.

We’re not going to make it.
Instantly Dec grabbed her and pushed her into a darkened doorway, shoved his gun in his waistband and lifted her leg to wrap it around his hip. She gasped, grabbing his leather jacket to steady herself, staring up into his shadowed eyes. What was he doing?
They waited, listening, their bodies pressed so closely together she could feel his chest move as he breathed. His body heat warmed her, his fresh scent enveloping her. A minute ticked by. Two. He didn’t ease up from her. She quivered against him, part fear, part arousal, and his body responded.
She held her breath and stared into his face, their gazes locking.
A muted voice floated through the darkness. “A woman…dressed in a dance costume. Did you see her running this way?”
Arabic. A muttered reply followed, then the footsteps resumed. Closer with each passing second. What were they going to do? She tightened her fingers on his shoulders.
She swallowed, afraid even though he was protecting her with his body. Or rather, because of it. “What?”
“Go with this, okay?”
He didn’t give her a chance to reply, just took her face in his hands and leaned down to cover her mouth with his. She gasped, and he took advantage by angling his head, sliding his tongue along her lower lip before stealing inside.
Her fingers clenched as she arched upward, a moan of confusion escaping as he explored her mouth with skill. Shouldn’t they be running?
His mouth was so warm, and he was so good her eyelids fluttered down. A thumb swept over her cheekbone. His other hand trailed down her throat and over her shoulder, sparking electricity in its wake. She made a murmur of protest, not understanding how she could be responding to him, under the circumstances.
The treads on the sidewalk grew louder, but he continued to kiss and caress her as though they were about to fall onto a bed somewhere, as though they weren’t in mortal danger. She shook in his embrace, torn between wanting him and the fear they would be shot dead any second.
When his hand slid down over the curve of her breast, she gasped into his mouth, eyes flying wide as those footfalls grew louder and louder while her body trembled under his touch.
“Shhh,” he murmured against her lips. “Kiss me back.”
Footsteps echoed. Their pursuer was almost on top of them now.

Happy reading!
Kaylea :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Good Old Hockey Game

Went to the men's quarter final Olympic hockey game last night featuring Sweden vs Slovakia. I wasn't thrilled about the prospect initially, since hockey's really not my thing (OMG, don't tell anyone!), but we started out the night at La Terrazza, a fancy Italian place downtown that my dad loves. The food is amazing, and I actually set a scene from Relentless there.

Had an awesome meal with great company, and as we left Wayne Gretzky (yeah, The Great One himself) walked in. My husband's eyes just about popped out of his head, and then Chad Kroeger (lead singer of Nickelback) came in. There were all sorts of hockey legends in the place last night, and hubby grinned like a little kid all night.

The atmosphere downtown was really cool, because a lot of the core is closed to traffic and there are tons of people walking around. 'Course it might have had something to do with the fact the Canadian men's team trounced Russia to move onto the next round as we were eating dinner :) There were a lot of happy Canada fans out last night, and once again the patriotic fever sweeping the city was neat to see. At every corner, blue jacketed volunteers (lovingly nicknamed Smurfs) were there to guide the crowds, offering a smile and a helping hand. Where the heck are they during the rest of the year? It was so nice to see so many smiling, happy people out.

And we topped all this off by watching the game from a private box suite, complete with all the food and bevvies we could have wanted. The crowd was friendly, hubby thought he'd died and gone to heaven, and I have to admit I wouldn't mind seeing another hockey game that way :) All in all, a great evening and I'm glad I got the chance to experience it.

And now, because I couldn't resist, here's a clip from an old beer commercial that was really popular a few years back. Go Canada!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Savannah Stuart: Worth The Risk

If you like smoking hot paranormals, check out the second book of Savannah Stuart's Miami Scorcher series, Worth the Risk, now available from Ellora's Cave. I swear, the cover Gods love her :)

Werewolf Marisol Cabrera has one goal in life: to kill the man who murdered her entire pack. When she meets alpha werewolf Stephan and realizes he’s her mate, all her carefully laid plans dissipate in seconds. By all accounts, she should hate Stephan and everything he stands for. After all, he’s a dirty arms dealer doing business with her mortal enemy. Unfortunately, every time the dominating wolf gets near her, she can’t deny her growing attraction for the last man in the world she expected to want.

Undercover DEA agent Stephan Lazos is about to make the biggest bust of his career, but everything that can go wrong, does. Considering he’d given up hope of finding his mate decades ago, he never expected to discover her in a Miami nightclub while on the job no less. She saves his life and his cover when he almost changes in the middle of a crowded room, but that doesn’t mean he trusts her. The clock is ticking and if he doesn’t figure out what secrets the sexy vixen is keeping from him, he might not just lose his job, but his life in the process.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Karlene Blakemore-Mowle: Fallout

Please welcome fellow TWRP author Karlene Blakemore-Mowle, here to talk about her first release, Fallout. She's a ball of fire with a super friendly personality, and I hope you'll check out her work once you get to know her a bit better. From the land down under (lucky thing), here she is!

KC: Tell us a bit about yourself.

KBM: I live in Australia on the Mid North Coast of NSW…for those of you who aren’t familiar with Australian geography, it’s on the east coast half way between Brisbane and Sydney.
I’ve lived all over the place. From the outback, in mining towns, to the coast and on The Great Barrier Reef. I have been incredibly lucky to see so many special places in Australia.
As a child, I moved a lot with my Dad’s work, averaging about three years a town, and remember vowing I would never move once I was married and had my own kids! Ahemmm… Not sure what happened, but I ended up moving about every eighteen months!!! Now I am back living in a small rural town on the river where both my parents were born and bred, and loving that I am a part of a place my own parents grew up in. I’ve always loved history and there’s something about knowing an old building in town was where my parents used to attend Saturday night dances as teenagers, or driving past a house that my Grandparents used to live in, that really intrigues me.

KC: I love that you're so close to your roots there. How long have you been writing? What have you learned along the way?

KBM: I started writing when I found myself newly married and stuck at home. I used to devour Mills and Boons by the shopping bag full and eventually became frustrated by never seeming to get enough of the kind of books I enjoyed—you guessed it, involving military men! So decided to write my own. Unfortunately Mr Mills and Boon didn’t share my opinion of my story being the greatest story ever told (I don’t understand why? I mean, I had absolutely NO clue what I was doing!!) I then decided to do a correspondence writing course before having children, which effectively put an end to my writing… Children apparently need feeding at all times of the night and day and demand your full attention – something that could have been pointed out to me BEFORE I thought it was such a great idea to do!!!!
Turns out, I was much better at being a mum than I was at romance writing and I went on to have three more…I’m a good breeder.

KC: *snort* :)

KBM: I did eventually go back to my writing on and off for a few more years, until about three years ago I got serious just after my fourth child and sat down to produce five manuscripts!
What I have learnt along the way is… NEVER give up- it gets damn depressing when you keep having rejection slips posted back, but I think I reached a point where I knew deep down in my heart, my stories were good. Then I just decided if they made me smile- then that was an achievement. I mean lets face it, we’re all readers first and foremost or we wouldn’t be writing, and if I couldn’t stand reading something I wrote, why on earth would anyone else?! It was icing on the cake that the editor I now have picked up Fallout and agreed with me!

KC: I need to know for my own sanity, because now I feel really lame--how is it possible that you're a wife and working mother of four, and still find time to write books?

KBM: See there’s your problem! Sanity. It helps if your children have sucked all the sanity from your life!!!!
The ability to block the sound of children strangling the life from each other while one is whining that they’re hungry and another is complaining that their mother is ruining their life- is an asset…More often than not, I just take what ever opportunity I’m given- childless-- to write. I can do five minute sprints if I have to, and then wait until everyone else is in bed and write at my leisure…. I usually just get up at 5am and write while it’s nice and peaceful.

KC: How did Fallout come to be written?

KBM: Fallout was one of the newer books I’d written and seemed to just come out of nowhere!
I have a very good friend who is a police officer and he had been telling me of a really close call at work when he walked into a house and found himself, quite literally, staring down the barrel of a gun. This got me thinking. I usually write about military and most of my previous hero’s have been military men and yet here was a police officer who faced almost identical dangers in their daily life…in our own country! This too got me thinking (I sometimes think quite a lot!) What if I had a military man, who meets his equal in a police officer? We’d have two very disciplined people, both very capable and highly trained, who dealt with life and death situations in their careers. How would they react to each other? Who would be the more dominant personality? Would it make the sparks fly if they were forced to depend on each other in order to survive?

KC: Tell us the story about how Fallout became contracted with The Wild Rose Press.

KBM: I sent it to The Wild Rose Press on a last ditch effort to see what happened after it was rejected by a leading romance publisher…AGAIN! And found an email in my inbox from my now editor, who did something amazing- she actually took the time to tell me where this story was going wrong and better yet—what I should look at to fix it! I sat down immediately, took her suggestions and from then on- after a few more emails back and forth she emailed me and announced we had a contract!
I am still overwhelmed by this woman’s generosity, and patience to take a few minutes of her time to make her suggestions, it was all the help I needed to finally make my writing click and it still brings a lump to my throat when ever I think about it.

KC: I loved how edgy and confident Tully was, right from the opening page. How did you develop her as a character?

KBM: She was a very different character for me to write. Usually I have…not sissy heroines, but softer? I guess the opposite to my hero’s in order to bring out the hero’s softer side they may not usually show to anyone else. With Tully it all came back to that original idea of having two strong personalities who did the same demanding, dangerous work together. She developed along the way. I had to go back after I finished the story to give her a bit of history, an explanation of why she is the way she is- otherwise I think she could be received as a little cold, but I hope that I’ve given her enough depth to be likeable even if she is a very strong character.

KC: Jake is a former military man (which I love, but you know that already). Tell us a little about your uh..."unusual" (but totally cool) interest in the military.

KBM: Isn’t it funny how people sometimes question this? I’ve always had a soft spot for the military- I think it was my upbringing. My Dad and one of my brothers have been in the Army and I guess some of my Dad’s most admiral qualities have been things he’s acquired from his Army training. He has a confidence and a discipline- a very solid, dependable quality about him that I naturally relate to military men. Of course having lived in a military town, I’ve also realised they are just men, and there are the good, bad and dickheads in every society!
I have a deep respect for our military, and other armed forces around the world, as well as the police. I’ve been raised to respect and appreciate what these people do for us and how much they sacrifice in doing so.
What’s not to love about them?!

KC: I love that you kept an Aussie flavor in your writing, with the spelling and some of the phrasing. Did your editor ever ask you to change any of it? I kept imagining Jake speaking with that awesome accent that all us North American girls go crazy over.

KBM: LOL I love Accents- and isn’t it funny how no one ever thinks of their native accent as being sexy!
When I realised The Wild Rose Press was an American company, I did expect there would be some changes. I was waiting for it! But I was surprised when it was decided to leave a lot of it in there- surprised and pleased, it’s nice to not have to adapt everything to the US markets! In Australia, we have pretty much everything you guys over that way have- the TV shows the movies, the sitcoms- there’s not a lot we can’t relate socially-wise to North America, but it is surprising that for English speaking countries who share a common ancestry even- there can be so many differences in so many other ways! Australian’s seem to remain a bit of a puzzle, and by leaving a lot of the phrasing and things in there, I hoped it might go a small way to allowing people to become familiar with Australianisms.

KC: Tell us about your newest work, Summer Storm.

KBM: Ahhhh Summer Storm!
This is my favourite book! I’ve had this baby for ten years. It’s undergone more transformations than Michael Jackson’s had plastic surgery! But the core thing that has always stayed true has been the characters, and I just adore them.
Tate Maddox is a Force Recon Marine and he’s on the run for a crime he didn’t commit. Summer Sheldon is an Australian ER Nurse and is blackmailing Tate to rescue her sister, a photojournalist who has been kidnapped in Cambodia!
If I never had another thing published ever again- I can rest easy knowing this was the one that I always dreamed of seeing in print. It’s my pride and joy and I just love it.
I’ll fill you in on all the details once I know more- all I received from my editor was- “It’s a contract- go and celebrate!”... So I am!

KC: As you should! So what are you working on right now, and what are your writing plans for the future?

KBM: At the moment, I’m working on a single title Australian rural romance. It’s a little different to what I’ve been writing, this one centring on a family in rural Australia but it has romance and suspense as elements…and a policeman as the love interest (I know, I can’t help it! There’s always a uniform involved.)
In the future, now that Summer Storm is being published I have a linked series connected to this being, Willow Quest— Summer’s sisters story and another hunka-spunk Marine, Peter Delaware. A third book is also started, centring on a third member of Tate’s unit, but I’m not sure if that will eventuate. My editor may have cracked under the pressure of correcting my horrendous punctuation by the time Summer Storm and Willow Quest have landed on her desk and may actually threaten me with physical harm if I try to plonk another book on her desk!

Thank you so much for having me here and letting me ramble on about my writing.

KC: I was glad to have you! Best of luck with this release and I hope we get to see many more works from you in the future :)

To purchase Fallout, click here.
Karly would love to hear from you, so check out her website and drop her a line to say hello.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Feeling Torn

I'm over at Writers Gone Wild today talking about self-doubt and mother's guilt :) Oh, happy day! Come on over and let me know I'm not the only crazy one.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Oh, Canada!

Canadians are usually pretty quiet and low-key in terms of patriotism. Take for example our Canada Day celebrations. I live just a few miles from the US border, and on July 1st the city of White Rock puts on a fireworks display over Semiahmoo Bay, right across the water from Blaine, WA. It lasts about ten to fifteen minutes, and some people wave little flags and take the time to reflect on how lucky they are to live here and be Canadian.

Three days later on the fourth of July when Blaine has their celebration, the fireworks display lasts at least half an hour, and you can practically see all the people out waving flags from this side of the bay. Americans have huge pride in their country, and I wish Canadians had more. But I suppose that would mean us being un-Canadian like, eh?

What's my point? The opening ceremonies for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games were held last night. Personally I was very disappointed by the way Canada was portrayed to the rest of the world because it focused on a few minority groups without properly reflecting our multiculturalism. Contrary to the typical stereotype about our country, 99.99% of us do not live in igloos and don't live in snow up to our necks throughout the year. We are a hell of a lot more than First Nations people. Canada is an immigrant nation, formed by the people who come from overseas to seek a better life and make their homes here, whether a hundred and sixty years ago crossing the Atlantic in a wooden Coffin Ship as my Irish ancestors did, or arriving today at an airport from the earthquake stricken nation of Haiti.

People all across Vancouver and the province of B.C. were revved about showing the world who we are, and a shocking wave of patriotism has hit the region. Our house is practically the only one on the street without a Canadian flag (I'm going to rectify that real quick), and it's a surprising but welcome change. There are more flags up now than there will be on Canada Day.

Because of this, the whole display last night at the ceremonies left me feeling let down and even a bit embarrassed, with one major exception. A poem by Canadian poet Shane Koyczan, someone I'd never heard of before. You can bet I'll be paying attention to his work now. In less than three minutes he did more for portraying the image of what Canada is and who Canadians are than anything else in the entire three hour telecast. From today's edition of the Vancouver Sun, here's his incredible poem that still gives me goosebumps.

We Are More
by Shane Koyczan

When defining Canada

you might list some statistics

you might mention our tallest building

or biggest lake

you might shake a tree in the fall

and call a red leaf Canada

you might rattle off some celebrities

might mention Buffy Sainte-Marie

might even mention the fact that we've got a few

Barenaked Ladies

or that we made these crazy things

like zippers

electric cars

and washing machines

when defining Canada

it seems the world's anthem has been

"been there done that"

and maybe that's where we used to be at

it's true

we've done and we've been

we've seen

all the great themes get swallowed up by the machine

and turned into theme parks

but when defining Canada

don't forget to mention that we have set sparks

we are not just fishing stories

about the one that got away

we do more than sit around and say "eh?"

and yes

we are the home of the Rocket and the Great One

who inspired little number nines

and little number ninety-nines

but we're more than just hockey and fishing lines

off of the rocky coast of the Maritimes

and some say what defines us

is something as simple as please and thank you

and as for you're welcome

well we say that too

but we are more

than genteel or civilized

we are an idea in the process

of being realized

we are young

we are cultures strung together

then woven into a tapestry

and the design

is what makes us more

than the sum total of our history

we are an experiment going right for a change

with influences that range from a to zed

and yes we say zed instead of zee

we are the colours of Chinatown and the coffee of Little Italy

we dream so big that there are those

who would call our ambition an industry

because we are more than sticky maple syrup and clean snow

we do more than grow wheat and brew beer

we are vineyards of good year after good year

we reforest what we clear

because we believe in generations beyond our own

knowing now that so many of us

have grown past what used to be

we can stand here today

filled with all the hope people have

when they say things like "someday"

someday we'll be great

someday we'll be this

or that

someday we'll be at a point

when someday was yesterday

and all of our aspirations will pay the way

for those who on that day

look towards tomorrow

and still they say someday

we will reach the goals we set

and we will get interest on our inspiration

because we are more than a nation of whale watchers and lumberjacks

more than backpacks and hiking trails

we are hammers and nails building bridges

towards those who are willing to walk across

we are the lost-and-found for all those who might find themselves at a loss

we are not the see-through gloss or glamour

of those who clamour for the failings of others

we are fathers brothers sisters and mothers

uncles and nephews aunts and nieces

we are cousins

we are found missing puzzle pieces

we are families with room at the table for newcomers

we are more than summers and winters

more than on and off seasons

we are the reasons people have for wanting to stay

because we are more than what we say or do

we live to get past what we go through

and learn who we are

we are students

students who study the studiousness of studying

so we know what as well as why

we don't have all the answers

but we try

and the effort is what makes us more

we don't all know what it is in life we're looking for

so keep exploring

go far and wide

or go inside but go deep

go deep

as if James Cameron was filming a sequel to The Abyss

and suddenly there was this location scout

trying to figure some way out

to get inside you

because you've been through hell and high water

and you went deep

keep exploring

because we are more

than a laundry list of things to do and places to see

we are more than hills to ski

or countryside ponds to skate

we are the abandoned hesitation of all those who can't wait

we are first-rate greasy-spoon diners and healthy-living cafes

a country that is all the ways you choose to live

a land that can give you variety

because we are choices

we are millions upon millions of voices shouting

" keep exploring... we are more"

we are the surprise the world has in store for you

it's true

Canada is the "what" in "what's new?"

so don't say "been there done that"

unless you've sat on the sidewalk

while chalk artists draw still lifes

on the concrete of a kid in the street

beatboxing to Neil Young for fun

don't say you've been there done that

unless you've been here doing it

let this country be your first-aid kit

for all the times you get sick of the same old same old

let us be the story told to your friends

and when that story ends

leave chapters for the next time you'll come back

next time pack for all the things

you didn't pack for the first time

but don't let your luggage define your travels

each life unravels differently

and experiences are what make up

the colours of our tapestry

we are the true north

strong and free

and what's more

is that we didn't just say it

we made it be.

He nailed it. We are a country willing to help; we have a military that's now small, but with a proud history of service in war and peacetime; this is a place where people are free to maintain their beliefs and heritage yet still call themselves Canadians.

Here's the poet himself, telling it like it is.

Thank you Shane, for telling the world what we're really about. My hat is off to you.
Go Canada!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Military Special Ops Research

I'm over at Skhye Moncrief's blog today discussing some of the research I've done on military special ops for Cover of Darkness and the rest of my series. Pop over and say hi!

Monday, February 8, 2010

More About Belly Dance

In keeping with my belly dance theme prior to the official launch of Cover of Darkness, I've interviewed a very talented B.C. belly dancer and instructor, Wendy Williams, of Get Bent Yoga and Belly Dancing in Penticton. I was lucky enough to take a workshop with her two years ago, and we learned some tribal techniques that were awesome. I'm looking forward to learning more about that style, plus the workout I got with Wendy left me sore for days. It was awesome :) Get Bent teaches three styles of belly dance: Bollywood, Tribal Fusion and Modern Egyptian. I asked Wendy to describe the three styles for us so you're not confused (and FYI, most of what I know is Egyptian style). So without further ado, here's Wendy.

WW: Bollywood Dance:
Get Bent created the Bollywood Belly dance style by bringing in Classical Indian Dance Teachers, as well as Punjabi and Ragisthani Choreographers, to share the arms, eyes, posturing, music and of course, costuming. Using all that information as influence, the hip, torso and traveling movements have stayed rooted to belly dance, but the "top" is loaded with Indian dance. Bollywood music has a quicker and bigger tempo. Done to Bollywood movie music. Bollywood performances usually incorporates theatrics and story lines. The costumes are very bright, loud and sparkly. They move in all directions and are full of texture.

Tribal Fusion Dance:
Tribal Fusion at Get Bent is very isolated, slinky and intense. Rachael Brice's work-

KC: Sorry, had to interrupt. OMG, I love Rachel Brice!

WW: Her work has been an influence. It's done to industrial, modern, heavily mixed music. The dance brings the audience attention to the torso, and the ability to isolate and control the body. The costumes are dark with a contrasting colour and focus on movement and straight lines. No noise (coins etc). The whole focus is to highlight to isolation of the body.

KC: Just a side note for my audience, but Rachel Brice's abs and muscular control over them are mind-boggling. (More about her in an upcoming post)

Egyptian Dance:
Modern Egyptian is commonly referred as the Ballet of Belly dance. It is the classic elegant, light and flirty style. Traditional Egyptian and, more commonly Arabic music are used. Arabic music has more of a modern sound and is easier for audiences to relate to. In classes Get Bent dancers also train with drums, and zills as the middle eastern rhythms learned in this style are a foundation for all other styles. Egyptian is pretty and soft. Also very graceful. The focus can be on technique, but mostly it's just a simple and pleasant dance to watch. These costumes are very put together. The skirt and top are usually a clearly matched set. There is lots of beading and again, minimal noise. This style is not commonly used on stage, but in more intimate restaurant locations.

KC: What got you started in belly dance and then Tribal style?

WW: Get Bent started 8 years ago in Alberta. My mom belly danced - I absolutely did not.(We had many arguments in the living room while she tried to teach me) There were a few people that wanted to have a belly class, and at that point the studio was offering yoga and other dance classes. My mom couldn't teach but I was good at it, and I couldn't dance but she was good at that, so we decided to do it together. She would demo and I would explain and break things down. It worked surprisingly well, and I also learned how to dance. It was a very interesting few years.

KC: Tell us about your company.

WW: As previously mentioned, Get Bent has been around for a while. There are three programs here at the studio. 1. Adult classes - Yoga, Belly in the three styles, Salsa etc. 2. Youth and Teen Programs - Belly, Cheer, Drama 3. The Get Bent School of Performing Arts

The School of Performing Arts is of most interest to serious dancers. There are five troupes. People audition, and once accepted, they then spend the year learning dance techniques in the three styles, learning many elements regarding how to perform, and they also rack up the performance experiences.

Tour Group - This is the stage production that travels throughout BC. The tour show is 45min, and we partner with a local group in every city we visit. The tour is put on by the Get Bent Active Arts Society, a non profit organization that uses the tour to bring a high caliber show to smaller communities that perhaps don't have the exposure to this style or level of dance. By offering workshops it can help increase the instructor skill and talent base in each community. The society offers the opportunity for funding to teachers and students of all communities and active arts disciplines to improve their craft. It's a great way to have youth exposed to arts. Belly dance is so good for young girls. Delivered correctly, it can be such a valuable tool for self esteem, self respect, and artistic development. If anyone is interested in a donor/sponsorship package, the studio can get you in touch with the Active Arts Board. 1-250-462-1025.

KC: Yeah, belly dance is amazing for self-esteem! Worked wonders for me, let me tell you (remember, I told you writers are introverts! Belly dancers don't have that luxury, so it forced me well outside of my comfort zone).

Tell us about this YouTube footage.

WW: This clip is a promo for the 2009 season. It just highlights some of the pieces and shows the variety of costumes, music and performance style.

KC: Who are your favorite dancers?

WW: Nath Keo from Sacred Centre Dance Company would be my absolute favorite. After belly dance became a focus for the studio and the system of the school was started, myself and the other faculty made the decision to come together and form our own style and grow our own ideas to the fullest.

For the first three years we did not watch videos of other dancers, we didn't go to shows of other groups, we didn't study with anyone but ourselves. It was really tough because the community of belly dancing is so fun - but we wanted to get settled with our style and branding before "venturing out". The idea being that we would develop our own style free of influences. By bringing in specifically select teachers -Usha Gupta-(Kathak Classical Indian Dance), we formulated our own clear vision, only being exposed to what we though we should include. That time has of course long past, and as mentioned before Rachael Brice's work has become an influence to the tribal style. I enjoy her performances a lot.

KC: Any suggested DVDs or CDs for interested belly dancers out there?

WW: Get Bent has a great multilevel DVD. 1/5hr class. Different levels, 5 routines, easy to follow. Voiced over discussions about dancers as they perform Their strengths, what makes them special etc. There is also a rhythm section of musicians so anyone can dance by yourself and not follow anyone. Contact the studio for more information. Ahh....shameless marketing....

KC: Tell us about your upcoming performance/workshops.

WW: Right now the Society has booked us for:
Penticton - The Hamlets -1 show Feb 24th
Penticton - Clealand Theatre -1 show March 6th
Victoria - Metro Theatre -2 shows on March 13, workshop on the 14 - Sacred Centre Dance CO.
Duncan - Garage Showroom -show on the 15, workshop on the 16 - TBA
Creston - Creston Hotel/Resort -1 show March 20th
Cranbrook - Stage Door - Workshops April 9 and 10 (plus show)
Kelowna - TBA -1 show April 24
Vancouver - TBA
The workshops vary, depending on what the local group we partner with thinks is the best fit for the community. This season the options are:

Bollwood: Bollywood song and dance can be best described as enthusiastic, high energy and for everyone whose ever seen a Bollywood movie…..Cheesy. Bollywood Belly dance is Get Bent's trademark style. It is energetic, vibrant and exclusively taught at Get Bent. Bollywood Belly dance is a truly unique blend of Belly Dance, Bhangra and Classical East Indian Dance.

Arms and Posture - Stretch and Strength Arms and posture are the defining factor that elevates top performers. This can only be achieved when there is adequate knowledge of the structure of the upper body and a clear understanding how these muscles groups function and affect the posture and presentation of dance.

Yoga for Dancers Even the most basic of yoga practices will benefit dancers, however, as with any intense and specific exercise there is a risk of injury due to over use and muscular and postural imbalances can develop. Having a yoga practice that addresses these concerns specifically can be of even greater benefit to improve technique and physical development and to keep injuries to a minimum and injury recovery time to a maximum.

KC: Thanks Wendy! Best of luck with your tour, and I hope I get to take another workshop with you. I love the way you kick my butt ;)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Vancouver 2010: The "Winter" Olympics

I'm over at Writers Gone Wild today, talking about the uh, not so "wintry" Olympics. Drop by and say hello!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cover Of Darkness is Here At Last!

At long last, the second book of my romantic suspense series with The Wild Rose Press is available. Cover of Darkness is in print right now, and the digital release will follow on Feb. 26th. I'm so excited! It feels like forever since Out of Her League was released, and I can't wait for everyone to meet the rest of my cast of characters.

This is Bryn McAllister's story (whom you met in Out of Her League), and while I realize I'm slightly biased, I love her to bits. She's definitely an alpha female that knows what she wants, and she's not afraid to go after it. You'll see what I mean ;) Click here to purchase the print version. I hope you enjoy it!

Happy reading,
Kaylea ;)