Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bound to the Prince nominated for Best Fantasy Romance 2011

Dear Readers,

Recently I heard some news that really swept me off my feet - "Bound to the Prince" is nominated for The Romance Review's "Best Book of 2011" award! I'm so excited about this, and couldn't believe it, considering that I only started publishing last August! However, it's a great honor to know that so many readers enjoyed my book. ;-)
So if you liked "Bound to the Prince" and want it to be the best Fantasy Romance 2011, please visit this site and click on "Vote" over the cover (you can easily log in with your Facebook account). Thank you so much for your support!
Click the logo to vote:

I also have a little goodie for you, an excerpt from my upcoming erotic romance, "Virgin Dancer". I hope you like it!

Until soon, with much love,

Excerpt from "Virgin Dancer"
@Deborah Court 2012

Jade, a small town girl who has recently moved to New York to become a professsional ballet dancer, is wildly determined to lose her virginity. She goes to a Lower East Side club and celebrates her birthday with friends - fully intending to choose the most handsome, charismatic man she'll meet there to introduce her to the art of love that night. Instantly she falls for the blonde, tall Swedish sex god who owns the club, pretending to be a pole dancer who wants to apply for a job. But Alrik has secrets of his own, and soon Jade gets entangled in a web of danger, mystery and relentless passion ...


Don't lose your courage now, Jade thought.

In this instant she felt it, the undeniable sensation of someone's gaze on her. When she turned her head slightly, the crowed parted for a moment, and she saw the most stunning male she'd ever laid eyes on.
Much taller than any other man in his proximity, the blonde giant leaned nonchalantly against the black marble block that formed the bar, his strong arms crossed in front of his wide chest. He was broad-shouldered and sculptured with muscle, yet his exceptional height prevented him from looking like one of those bodybuilders Jade had always disliked, finding them too heavy and bulging. He looked as if he had gained that body with heavy physical work, or maybe some kind of martial arts.

Actually, he didn't fit at all into this decadent environment. This man looked strangely out of place, maybe even out of time. The only way she could describe him was as one of those medieval warriors she liked to read about in her romances - late at night, when lay alone in her room in the tiny apartment she shared with Amber, dreaming of a man's touch on her naked skin.

Looking like the epitome of understatement in this club, he was only wearing a black tank and black jeans, combined with biker boots. His golden-streaked hair was combed back, accentuating the planes and angles of his striking face - high cheekbones, a straight nose, a strong chin, and lips that were curved into an ironic half-smile. But the most impressive part of him was his piercing grey eyes, their gaze so intense that her cheeks started to burn when she saw him looking directly at her.

Jade gasped when she felt a liquid fire racing through her body - straight down to the juncture between her legs, causing a strange, throbbing feeling. His stare felt as if he was touching her, keeping her imprisoned until she swiftly turned away. She managed to make Beth remove her tongue from her new guy's mouth long enough to talk to her. "Who's that?" she asked, discreetly nodding in the stunning man's direction.

Beth chuckled, elbowing her friend, who stopped making out with her fellow dancer, too. "Hey, Amber," she said. "Look who Jade has picked - from all of the men!"

Amber followed Beth's gaze and grinned, too. "Oh. Him."

"Him?" Jade said, breathlessly. "Do you know him?"

"Sure. Everybody knows him. His name is Alrik Larsson."

"Yup," Beth added. "The sex god from Sweden. He owns this club. All the women here want to get laid by him, that's for sure. He might be a great choice to deflower you - but I'm not sure if you can handle him, sweetie. He's a bit on the dark side, from what I've heard."

"Beth!" Jade cried. "He isn't my choice. I only asked."

"But he's watching you," Amber remarked. "He's undressing you with his eyes. It's clear that you have piqued his interest.

"And … what did you mean with 'he's a bit on the dark side'?" Jade asked as her heart started to pound faster. She had a sudden adrenaline rush. It was a feeling as if something was about to happen that couldn't be stopped once she had crossed a certain point. Amber was right. The blond giant locked his gaze with her whenever she looked at him, devilishly trying to seduce her with those amazing eyes.

Amber came nearer so she couldn't be overheard. "I know a girl who told me she'd had a short affair with him," she said in a low voice. "I still don't know if she was just bragging, but she sounded honest. She said that Alrik was an incredible lover. He did things to her she wouldn't even have dreamed possible. She says that he liked to be the one in control, and that he could make love for hours. Oh, and that she never had so many orgasms in her life."

Jade swallowed. "Maybe I had better look for someone else."

"Don't worry, Jade. He was a perfect gentleman. My friend said that he never harmed her, and didn't do anything she didn't wish for herself. He seems to be very good at pleasuring a woman. This man could teach you a lot about sex, girl. Only problem was that she fell in love with him. When he noticed that, he didn't meet her again. She said that he gets cold as ice if a woman develops any feelings for him. Definitely no boyfriend material."

Jade narrowed her eyes and tried to avoid his gaze. "Well, this sounds great! He might be just what I was looking for, after all," she murmured.

"Go girl!" Beth said. "You have to grab the opportunity."

"But … I've no idea what to say to him!" Jade said.

"You'll think of something," Beth answered. "Will you go now? 'Cause if you don't, I'll shout out to all the men on the dance floor that you're looking for someone to take your virginity."

"Oh Beth, you wouldn't!"

"Don't dare me, girl."

Jade took a deep breath. You wanted this. Now go for it. Don't be such a coward. It's not a big deal. After this night, you'll never see this man again, anyway.

Straightening her back, she raised her chin and crossed the dance floor, walking directly towards him. But when she had passed the dancing crowd, he was gone. Frustrated, she leaned against the cool marble of the bar, closing her eyes for a moment. She felt so ridiculous right now. It just wasn't like her to be so straightforward. Why couldn't she just meet someone and fall hopelessly in love, instead of staying a virgin forever?

"Are you looking for someone?" a deep voice said, right over her shoulder.

Wincing, she turned and saw that the Swedish sex god was standing right behind her. Being so near to her, he was even more striking than from afar. She was taller than many men, but still her eyes were on the same level as his chest. The height difference made her feel petite and feminine for once, a feeling she wasn't used to. Slowly, she raised her head to look him in the face. Towering over her, he looked incredibly powerful, and undeniably male. His golden beauty was almost too seductive to look at. This was too much.

"I …," she breathed, swallowing. Then, unexpectedly, an idea came to her mind.

"I'm … an exotic dancer, and I'm here because of the job," Jade said. "I've heard you were looking for new dancers," she added, nodding towards one of the strippers on the pole.

He stared at her for a moment before he smiled, a lopsided grin that made her heart flutter. "That's very interesting … because right now, I don't need any new dancers."

Well, then I might have heard wrong. Sorry," she said quickly, starting to turn around. This man was too much for her to handle, Beth had been right.

His big hand closed around the bare flesh of her arm. It was a gentle touch, yet she found herself unable to move. "Wait," he said, and his deep voice sent shivers down her spine. "Don't go. Actually, maybe I could use another dancer. Would you like to show me some moves?" He spoke perfect English, but with a melodic quality that only added to his exotic attraction. And heavens, he smelled so good.

A smoldering heat spread inside her belly, going straight down into her core. "Yes," she said. "I think I'd like to do that."

He led her to a back room with a private elevator. "Let's go up to my penthouse," he said. "I have a pole there. My name is Alrik, but you probably know that, if you came to apply for a job. What's your name, beauty?"

She didn't know why, but her endearment made her shiver with need. "Jade," she said, staring at him without even thinking about telling him her last name.

When he pressed the up button, Jade felt like running away for a moment. This is it, she thought. It will really happen. When the door slid open, she hesitated. This might be her last chance to leave. Besides, could she simply follow this man to his private rooms? She didn't know anything about him.

He had noticed the changed expression in her eyes and smiled. "There's nothing to fear, fair Jade. Don't look at me like I'm the big bad wolf who wants to eat you. I only want to see you dance and talk about a possible job - unless it's you who has other intentions?"

Jade didn't have the faintest idea what to answer to that, so she simply followed him into the elevator. With this step, she probably crossed the last boundary that kept her from staying in her innocent state. This man was a born seducer, and she was his willing prey. However, she wasn't naïve. There could be no doubt why he took her to his private rooms. Surely he had some kind of back room or office in the club which they could have used for a demonstration of her dancing skills?

They played a game with open cards, and she wanted him to win, although she shouldn't show it to him too openly. He stood so close to her that she could feel the warmth of his body. He quickly typed in a code, then the elevator moved up to the 34th floor, as she noticed on the display.

Alrik's penthouse was furnished with subtle, tasteful luxury. They stood in a huge, open room that provided a 360-degree, breathtaking view of the city. It was clearly a man's apartment. No curtains. Everything was black and white. There was a large living room area with a giant flat screen and a large, comfortable leather couch, and beside it a built-in dancing pole that reached from the high ceiling down to the floor, which was covered with a thick white carpet. The other side of the room was dominated by the largest bed she had ever seen - of all things, a curtained four-poster made of dark oak. It didn't seem to fit to the rest of these lodgings. Doors led to a kitchen, bathrooms and to a office.

"Nice flat," she said, feeling incredibly stupid. He simply laughed, shrugging. "I'd be as happy in a cabin in the forest. I'm not often at home anyway. Now would you like a drink before we begin?"

"Heck, yes," she murmured, feeling her color rising. She hoped that he meant dancing, for now.

He went to a polished cupboard in one corner, busied himself there for a while and came back with a tulip-shaped glass, which was half filled with a clear liquid.

Jade didn't even ask what it was, and downed the welcome drink in a single gulp. Instantly, the alcohol burnt her throat, and she cringed, coughing. "What … the hell is that?" she croaked.

Alrik laughed, flashing perfect white teeth at her. "You shouldn't have drunk it so quickly. It's Aquavit, a traditional Swedish snaps. It's similar to vodka."

Jade tried to regain her countenance, and raised her chin, looking up into his smoldering eyes. For a moment, she thought he'd kiss her, as his gaze wandered over her face, lingering on her lips.

"Dance for me," he said hoarsely.
She went over to the pole while he lay down on the couch, propped up on one elbow. His stormy grey eyes had taken on a predatory look as they followed her every move.
Jade dropped her handbag to the carpet before she grabbed the pole with both hands, slowly moving around it. Alrik seemed to like what he saw, for his body seemed to tense. "Begin," he commanded. "But first you'll remove that enticing dress you wear. And open your hair for me."
Slowly, she reached up into her hair and removed the pins, one after the other, until the bronze curls fell freely over her shoulders.
"Beautiful," he murmured. Jade was beginning to really like this. She opened the zipper of her dress and shrugged it down to the floor, stepping out of it and kicking it to the side with her stilettos.
"Damn," he said, when she revealed her lean, athletic dancer's body. Dressed to the occasion, she wore tiny red lace panties with a fitting bra that pushed her breasts up and together. She had been blessed with a nice pair, but she'd never given it much thought until now, seeing the awed look on Alrik's face. Slowly, she began to walk around the pole ...

All rights reserved.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Writer's Block and how to overcome it

Today, I'd like to speak about a phenomenon that every writer knows and fears: The all-famous "Writer's Block". All authors know this frightening state of mind. You sit in front of your computer for hours without writing a single word, just staring at the screen. You just can't. Your head is a complete vacuum. Instantly, you find yourself doing all kinds of stuff that keeps you away from that horrible blank screen:

- You read gossip and entertainment blogs.
- You check your Amazon page every hour, checking the ranking of your book and having a bad conscience because you know that you haven't published anything in a while.
- You remember that you need to re-watch all episodes of Lost, Moonlight and True Blood. Oh, and Star Trek - The Next Generation, too. Still in love with Data.
- You scan recipe books you haven't touched in years for new ideas about what to cook (even if you absolutely hate cooking, in my case).
- You start cleaning (now this isn't the worst thing to do while having writer's block - at least you have a clean house afterwards).
- You start plundering your chocolate drawer (not so good).
- You listen to Benedict Cumberbatch reading Keats one more time (get the mp3 here).
- You paint your toenails blue.
- You make yourself a sandwich with every ingredient you can find in the fridge.
- You brush your cat five times a day. (And I really don't mean this in a dirty way. I actually have a cat!)

Having done all that, you still haven't brought a single word to paper. Isn't there any hope for your next book ever to be written? After all, you need to feel what you write.

So is it possible to overcome writer's block? Is there any cure?

Oh yes. For me, music is the key. In the past, I've tried out all kinds of music to see what inspires me most when I'm writing. As a very welcome side effect, this caused triggers. In the meantime, hearing certain songs almost instantly brings me in the right mood to write a scene connected with the feeling that particular music awakes in me.

Surprisingly I don't feel like writing romance when I hear typical "romantic" music. For instance, I've written nearly all the erotic scenes of "Bound to the Prince" while listening to "Mr Brightside" by The Killers. I don't know why myself, it's an uptempo song, not a ballad. Maybe it's simply the line "Now she's touching his chest, now he takes off her dress. I just can't watch, it's killing me," subtle but very effective, and it totally works to get me into "the mood."

For action/fighting scenes, I use Skillet's "Rebirthing", and for dramatic, romantic scenes "Always" by Bon Jovi, or "Dear Jessie" (Skillet). Mythic, mysterious scenes can only be properly written with Loreena McKennit's "Mummer's Dance" (I wrote the whole last chapter of BttP listening to it). Movie soundtracks are an awesome way to create feelings, too - especially when you've seen the film many times and know the music to scenes you felt passionate about.

Whatever triggers your emotions, use it! So kick your own ass, sit down and write. It doesn't have to be Pulitzer Prize material, you know. It's just for you. If you really write from the heart, your readers will be sure to love it because they'll feel that your words are true. You could say it's a telepathic connection, but it's so much more.

It's magic.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Story: One Night with the King's Hair

Dear Readers,

Today I'd love to share a little fun story with you. I wrote it quite some time ago - it was inspired by two of my favorite movies: "One Night with the King", and "Hellboy 2 - The Golden Army" (both featuring awesome actor Luke Goss). Don't expect any deeper sense, but basically it proves three things:

a) The importance of a good hairstyle, especially when you have frizzy curls like me ...
b) that I have absolutely no idea how to use photo editing software (Thank God I found myself a great cover artist!) ... and
c) that I possibly had more than just one glass of wine before writing this, so please forgive me if it's somewhat silly.

Ok, here it is, enjoy. ;-)



One Night with the King's Hair

Once upon a time, there was a very handsome and powerful Persian king, Xerxes was his name. The king had everything a man could wish for – a kingdom bowing to his will, a palace, the most beautiful female slaves and concubines, well taught in the art of love, treasure chambers filled with silver, gold and the most precious gemstones.

But one thing he had not – a maiden so beautiful, so pure and able to bake raspberry cakes, that she was worthy to be his queen.

And what was even worse, he was in dire need of a good hairdresser. That’s why until the present day Persian people say “I have a Xerxes today”, when they really mean, “I have a bad hair day.” Despite his wealth and power, all the hairdressers he summoned to the royal palace weren’t able to tame his unruly curls, and none of his courtiers who had really good hairdressers would give him their phone numbers, even if he threatened them with penalty of death.

So the young king was very sad and lonely. He was standing on his balcony at night, looking up to the stars and asking himself when he would meet the girl of his dreams.

Hair 1

One day the king sent out his messengers through all the land to find the man with the best hairstyle so he should come forth and give the king his hairdresser’s phone number. This man would be called a hero of the kingdom, heaped with riches, and from this day on bear the title “The Savior of the King’s Hair”.

The king’s messengers rode out to find this hero, even in the most remote provinces. But their task was not easy to fulfill. There were many men with exquisite coiffures, but not one of them wanted to tell the messengers their hairdresser’s phone number.







After so many failures and still no maiden who wanted to marry him with his ugly hair, the king’s patience was wearing thin.


Feeling somewhat better now, the king still was very lonely, even after spending a night with all of his 365 royal concubines (Despite his legendary stamina, this left him quite exhausted - usually there was one for every day of the year). But fate had a surprise in store for him. The very next evening, the king was sulking all alone on his balcony again, when suddenly …


Yes, yes, coming!” shouted the king, while he descended the 2568 steps leading down from his balcony to the palace gates, wondering what his late visitors wanted to sell this time. But when he opened the gates …


It was Prince Nuada from the elven lands, and he had come to teach the king how to wear his hair. King Xerxes was amazed about the prince’s unlimited variety of hairstyles …




So the king was merry and eager to learn how to do the new hairstyles himself. But the king’s hair was so curly and unruly that he still didn’t manage to tame it, no matter how hard he tried. He desperately needed professional help. But when he asked Nuada for his hairdresser’s phone number, the prince wouldn’t tell and could not be moved to change his mind.

This time, the king did not order to execute the stubborn prince. Instead he ordered his servants to take all the hair conditioner in the palace and give it to the poor, so not even a single bottle was left in the palace chambers where the prince dwelled. Nuada remained steadfast for a while, but soon his former silken tresses looked dry and frizzy. Finally, when none of the women at court could look at him without frowning anymore, he broke his silence.


Xerxes sent for the prince’s hairdresser at once, and to his utter astonishment …


The king was overcome with joy and instantly fell in love with the pretty little hairdresser. The very next day …