Friday, January 30, 2009

Knock that off my list

One of my 29th year goals was to start doing more things. I almost NEVER do anything for myself and, among other things, I wanted to change that this year. As we've talked about before on this blog, us women need to start doing things for ourselves more often. This week, I did just that.

I went with a few friends to a bar in Hollywood to see 100 Monkeys perform. I've never done something like this before so I was really excited about it. The lead singer plays Jasper in the Twilight movie and you all know how obsessed I am with Twilight. Anyway, Jackson Rathbone (Jasper) is so very talented. He sang, played guitar and the keyboard. The man can give 'the look' like no other guy I've seen. When he sang he would look at me (probably not looking at me at all but it felt like it) and give me these eyes that seriously made me get giggly. Heat rushed to my cheeks and I had to turn away. It was the craziest thing. I felt so silly but, hey, what's a girl to do? It's Jackson Rathbone with those dreamy, bedroom eyes. *swoon*

The other band was late so we actually got to see a lot of his band. He also announced everyone so he was on stage a lot last night which was really cool. I wasn't sure if I could like his music but I really did. They're all so talented and love music. You can see it when they play. They have great stage presence as well. Very upbeat and keep you entertained the whole time.

I was able to say hi to him a couple times because I was right behind the rope blocking the stage. He seriously performed three feet in front of me all night. It was so amazing. I'm loving the new experiences I'm embarking on this year before I turn thirty. Next weekend, my mother in law is going to watch the kids if she is off and my hubby and I will pack a lunch and spend the day at the beach *sigh* Can't wait for that.

What kind of things do you like to do to treat yourself for all your hard work? Who was the first band you saw live?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

She Swallowed WHAT????

Was yesterday MONDAY? Nope, Wednesday. Woke up to ice and snow everywhere. It was the perfect day to hang out in jammies with plenty of hot coffee but instead I was scheduled for a ROOT CANAL at my dentist.

Now I've already told ya'll how much I hate going to the dentist. Maybe it's the idea of someone messing with my mouth or the fact I don't deaden worth a flip but this is something I put off as a rule.So I got up and slipped and slided across town to make my dental appointment figuring I'd be out of commission most of the day because of what my dentist had planned for me. When I got there, he said there wouldn't be a root canal, they were just going to discuss things and schedule the work on Monday. I'm actually thinking a phone call to discuss things might've been a good idea.

Anyway, since I was there they sent me to the hygenist for teeth cleaning. Didn't want to waste the trip across town in the ice and snow so okay.Everything went fine. The hygenist with fun to talk with and had a great personality. She you floss these back teeth? I, they are too tight and the floss tears to pieces. To this she said...I can do it. She started on the back teeth with the floss then goes...uh oh, oh nooooo. Don't SWALLOW! So what do I do? I SWALLOW. A crown on a far back tooth popped off and went right down my throat. OMG! I struggled up from the chair as the hygenist tried the hymlich maneuver. Did I misspell that? HYMLICH? I don't know. Anyway, there was that and back slapping but the damn thing was GONE. My dentist rushed in to check things out. He said this has only happened to him a couple of times. Lucky me. LOL.

I HAD to laugh. The whole morning had been one mishap after another.I finally pointed at him and said...This is why I don't like to come to see you! Of course, he knows my fear of all things dental and had to laugh too.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 to deal?

I'm in the middle of sending out queries for agents right now. I went into this knowing that it is damn tough to get an agent but probably even more so right now. Your logical mind knows that it will be tough, knows that there is a chance, no, that its really likely that you will get a no thank you. I think in the back of our minds there is always that hope, or belief that we just may be different. Maybe...just maybe the first agent/editor on your list will fall absolutely head over heels with your book. Yeah right. LOL. Not saying that never happens but most of the time we all have to deal with rejection in some way, shape or form. Why doesn't knowing that make it any easier to deal with? Through this two week search of mine I've gotten a couple no thank yous but I've also gotten a request for more material. Guess what's sticking in my head? The no thank yous. It's so hard some times to see past rejection in ANY facet of our lives. Not just writing but from men, friends, a job, our kids. Rejection comes in so many ways, each of them equally hard to deal with.

My question for you is how do you deal with rejections in your life? Also how do you make yourself focus on the positive without letting the negative cloud you over?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Computer Hell

Guess you can tell by the title of this post where I AM right now. LOL. Last night we had some "weather" and the electricity bleeped out for just a second and it seems that was just long enough to MESS with my computer. ARGH!!!!!! Tried to log onto the internet for hours last night and today isn't any better. Now, I've finally gotten a little window of opportunity but I don't know how long it'll last.

I remember years ago when I was first learning computer stuff. These machines just scared me to death because I just knew I was going to do something wrong. Writing on a computer was pretty cool once I got the hang of it though. Someone told me how to back things up so I figured I was doing it right. Uh uh. Not right. So yeah, we had a computer crash and I lost ten chapters of a manuscript...and they weren't short chapters either. Nope, they were about twenty pages each. I remember just CRYING for DAYS. The entire thing had to be re-written. Now I back everything up and lately I've been using the little flash drives. Wow. Talk about easy to deal with.

Guess everyone has computer promblems at some point. What's the worse computer experience YOU'VE ever had? BTW...don't know how often I'll be able to comment. Currently holding my breath hoping my good luck holds but I know something is wrong with this thing!!!


Monday, January 26, 2009

how far will I go?

So, just how far will I go to get out of housework? Stabbing myself in the hand ought to do the trick, right? LOL

No, really, I didn't do it on purpose. In fact, life goes on, laundry still needs to be done, it's just a little bit more painful today. What am I talking about? Well, last night I decided to be a dork. I was trying to open a box. It wouldn't open so I grabbed a knife and slid it under the flaps, the knife slipped and I jabbed myself. Unfortunately I grabbed the pointiest knife in the kitchen, and I was in a rush so I really shoved that sucker with a lot of force. I have this very small, rather unassuming spot on my hand, which seems so blasted minor, but this morning I woke up with painful swollen fingers! Using the mouse hurts. Typing isn't comfortable either.

Here's a picture:

As you can see it doesn't look bad, just a little swollen, but boy is it throbbing and my fingers are cold and tingly. (I'm not taking off the bandaid, I can't stand to see my own blood, causes me to go weak in the knees) The hubby says I hit a muscle, which is why it hurts so much. Who would guess such a small hole could hurt though? Sheesh! You know this is going into a book, right? LOL
That's what writers do, we can't help it. Don't tell us about it unless you want us writing about it. ;-)

The funny thing is, my family has a history of injurying hands. My dad, a carpenter, injured his hand several times. One, and the worst, was when a car jack gave out, crushing his fingers. My brother had to lift the car and rush him to the hospital. My other brother once got his hand caught in a log splitter. This was back in high school. His shop partner sort of froze and Bobby ended up having to shut off the log splitter himself and calling for help. My brother Billy got into a fight once and the guy bit, yes bit, off the tip of his thumb. Can you say PAIN? there's lots of nerve endings in your fingertips. Ouch.

So, in the grand scheme of things, this is pretty darned minor! LOL But, I'm a whimp, pain is so not my friend.

This got me to thinking. Does your family have a habit of injuring a certain body part, or are we just strange that way?

(damn, how knew typing could be painful?)

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Bitch Mystique

Had an interesting conversation with two of my best friends the other night and we talked about the 'art of being a true bitch'. They both claimed they were masters of this art but that I wasn't. I was a little offended.Me? Incapable of being a bitch? Really? They even did a little 'exercise' to test the theory of whether or not I could be truly mean.

I'm not quite sure but I think I failed miserably.

I've always been a fairly sunny person, ca
pable of extreme gentleness, sensitive to things around me, and motivated to "fix things" for the people I love. I'm a peacemaker who wants to make everything all right for others but in being this way, does it mean I am incapable of standing up for myself? Probably. Does it make me vulnerable? Maybe. Do I care? Not really. I am who I am.

Now I don't know if we're born with th
e bitch gene. Or is does it evolve through our environment. Yeah, I know. Old argument.Most of the time I'm jealous of those who can come out with just exactly the PERFECT word or phrase that can put a mean, hateful, bad person in their place. I'm one of those who, when I'm hurt or upset, walks away, gets quiet and thinks of the million things I SHOULD have said. I think...GOD...wish I'd said so and so or this and that. Want to kick myself because in my upset the words didn't come quickly to my tongue. In the end, I just feel dumb because I wasn't quick witted enough to tear the offender to shreds with brilliant, snappy words.

So I've been thinking about all of this and wondering if I am somehow lacking. No, I don't want to be thought of as "that bitch". I really don't. A true bitch, one blessed with that mysterious bitchlike quality that seems inborn, doesn't care what others think. They are tough and impossible to push around. Now, I'm a southern girl and I tend to think we have a 'softer' way of dealing with enemies. A slow smile accompanied by the occasional cutting truth. A sly, almost invisible turn of t
he knife when it's least expected, and I've employed those tactics on a few occasions. My kids know my LOOK. They know when I'm on a slow burn that I get quiet...scary quiet. They run for cover or say things like...dang, mom, you scare the hell out of me sometimes.

With me, sometimes is the operative word. Maybe we're all born with just a little "bitch" in us. A safety mechanism. A protective device. I suspect I was born with some of it too. I just don't feel the need all that often. I'm slow to anger. Quick to forgive. And I'm me. All the experiments in the world will only prove to me that I am basically a pretty nice person and that's okay.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Things are lookin' up!

On Monday I was rather depressed. Sometimes I just have days like that. The sun is freaking hibernating and the weather is just damned cold. I hate this crap. Today, a friend sent me this picture (thanks for the laughs, Jen!):

How apt, right? LOL I'm so thankful for everyone who commented and for the friends who always take the time to send me jokes and things. I may not always reply, I get in a hurry with my email sometimes, but I'm always grateful for the smiles.

So, did any of it help? Yes! Tuesday and Wednesday I ended up getting 6,000 words written in my current WIP and I'm hoping for another 3,000 today. Man, I love feeling productive! Even though my daughter is driving me nuts--teenagers, do NOT get me started--I'm still smiling and still intent on not letting myself get bummed.

I took some advice from you all that helped get me over the blahs. I did sit and watch a movie with my kids on Monday. Babylon A.D. with Vin Diesel. It was really good. And last night I could've spent the evening working on the computer (I have another job besides writing that forces me to sit at this computer for hours at a time). Instead I stopped and watched American Idol and then Criminal Minds. My youngest daughter and I love both of those shows. We went in her room, turned out the lights and watched it together. It's so cool to spend time like that with her. It's neat to watch her try and figure out whodunit. Sometimes she's right too. That kid loves to solve puzzles.

So, it became clear that part of my problem is the Winter Blues. I get it every year. It causes me to feel sad for no reason, to eat more than I normally do, to have nearly no energy...heck there's a list of symptoms. I want to know, am I the only one who gets this in the winter? What do you do?

Also, I have some good news. My website's been updated. New blurbs, reviews, excerpts...Thanks to the fabulous Rae Monet. She rocks! Check it out here when you get the time. One thing I want to know if you do check out my site. Is it easy to navigate?

Last but not least, Burn Notice comes back on tonight! Woot! Don't forget to set your DVRs!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Umm...reality shows...really?

When I was a kid I had the HUGEST crush on Brett Michaels, the lead singer for Poison. I can remember going to a Poison concert, when I was much too young to go to a concert but that's a story for a different day, but I went to a Poison concert and cried my eyes out because I was so in "love" with Brett Michaels. I don't know if you've seen it or not but he now has a "reality" show on VH1 called Rock of Love. Um, can you say, ew? Now I sit here wondering how I could have ever liked the guy, juvenile crush or not. And the women? They aren't any better. They're all either half naked or completely naked the whole show, all trying to get one guys attention will he kisses and sleeps with all of them. That's reality? I sure as heck hope not. Now I'm not going to say that I don't get engrossed in it even though I know I shouldn't. Not only this show but the show Mama's Boys I'm totally trapped in too. It's crazy. I know its crazy while I'm watching them but I can't stop! There aren't a lot that I watch and I'm not a strict watcher where I have to see the show every week, but when I'm flipping through the channels and one of these shows catches my eye, I stop and watch. Internally yelling at myself the whole time but still...I watch.

Yeah, I need a life, I know. LOL.

Do you watch any reality shows? Any that you're ashamed you watch or any that you've seen that you just can't believe they put on TV?

Oh, and be sure to stop by After Dark today at 6:00 PM EST for a chat with Parker Publishing authors! There will be hot excerpts and even hotter prizes!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Today we'll watch history unfold before our eyes. I'm so touched. So moved. There are almost no words but I'll try. Roughly a week ago, in an Washington DC eatery called Joe's Chili Dog customers were treated to the a visit from Barack Obama who dropped in to have a chili dog and chat with everyone. He was just a regular guy who loves chili dogs but then, he really isn't, is he? He is the President-Elect of the United States. But on this day, he was a regular guy having lunch. In the 60's during days of civil unrest, blacks couldn't eat with whites and there were riots in the streets over racial inequality and on one particular day, the crowd at Joe's Chili Dog got riled up. They'd had enough. They took to the streets taking others with them on a march to the nation's capitol to protest. So the day Barack Obama came in for a bite of lunch, the diners got really excited recalling the event all those years ago and decided to make another impromptu march. Together, the group marched to the White House and congregated to cheer. They'd only walked a few blocks but they had come SO FAR.

Over the weekend I watched as our new 'almost President' rode a train from Philadelphia to Washington DC. People lined the roads in the bitter cold to wave and cheer. One-hundred and fifty years earlier, Abraham Lincoln had gone by train on this very same route as he marched into history.

History is in the air as crowds gather and people from all over the world are glued to their televisions. Me? I know where I'll be today. I'll be celebrating this remarkable milestone with the people I love. One day I'll tell my grandchildren where I was the day our world changed and hope was renewed. No, don't expect change to happen overnight. It will take all of us to make it happen. At least now, we know we are in this thing together. We have hope.

Monday, January 19, 2009

down and unmotivated

Well, it’s Monday. What more can I say? LOL I’m in a strange slump lately. And for some reason it’s hitting me really hard today all of a sudden. I don’t feel like writing, though I know I have to, I don’t feel like doing laundry, though I know I have to, I don’t feel like smiling even. All I want to do is sit on the couch and watch movies all day with the kids, they’re off for MTK Day.
I had an interesting discussing with the DH this weekend and I’m sure that’s part of why I feel discontent today. I won’t go into details, but it’s one of those discussions where you know things are going to change and you can’t do anything about it. Will the change be a good thing or bad? I don’t really know at this point. All I’m sure of is that it will change. Change is one of the hardest things for people to deal with, I think. It’s that out of control feeling that makes us want to dig in our heels and stop the runaway train. My life feels like a runaway train lately.

Everything seems sort of out of my hands. My writing, my marriage, my house. Even though in my heart I know that I do still have control. After all, no one can change your life without you giving the okay. Nevertheless, I feel like someone else is suddenly driving my life and I can’t figure out how to make them let me take over! What’s my solution? I don’t have one. *sigh* I’m hoping once I dig into my current WIP, the stress will melt away and I’ll forget about all the bullshit, at least for a little while. That often happens when I write. It’s a great way to release all those frustrations.

What do you do when you feel like things are just...disharmonious? Do you have a plan of attack? And I don’t mean stress necessarily, but that feeling that your life is somehow being rearranged and no one even bothered to ask your permission, they just did it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Breaking the Writing BLOCK

Lately I've been talking a lot about writer's blog because I've suffered a bit of it. Think I'm out of the slump now and that's a good thing because I was damn sure ready to pull by hair out! This week I did some writing challenges with friends. Have you ever done that?

It's easy. You jointly email several friends and tell them how much you expect to write that day then we promise to check back in several times to report what we've done. Fun little cyber prizes are given out at the end of the day. I set a fairly modest goal the other day. Eight pages with the promise that I'd receive a cyber-cake of my choice sometime that night. It worked like a charm. I not only made my goal of eight pages but surpassed it and wrote ten PLUS figured my way into how I would end my story. YAY!

I've done this before and have found it almost ALWAYS works for me. I think that's the thing. You need a motivational tool that works. Whether it's the promise of that nice piece of chocolate or a glass of wine waiting at the end of the line, it gives you a goal. I'm all about having fun with writing because otherwise, what's the point? Making it a funny little challenge helps get me going. Do you have any neat little games that encourage your writing? Do you play well with others or find you don't need that extra little kick in the butt?

In other news, I just got a contract from Ellora's Cave for Highland Beast, a parnormal/shifter story that I hope will be the first in a series. I'm really excited. Turned in my cover requests last night and now am waiting for edits. Naturally, there's no word on a release date but I'll be sure to announce it here once I know.

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

snow days!

I don't know what the weather is like for you all, but here in Ohio, we're buried under. The kids' wish came true, they have a snow day. Yay! Now, to keep them from climbing the walls in boredom. LOL

Here's a few pictures of our snowfall.
This is our back deck, most of this fell yesterday.

This is our front porch. You can't tell but there are steps and a walkway there that I am NOT going to shovel. LOL

another picture, a different part of the deck.
So right now we're in our pjs watching last night's American Idol. I'm getting a late start, clearly, and with any luck the kids will find something to entertain them so I can get some writing done today!
What do you all do when you're snowed in? Any ideas?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Um, yeah, so here I am

Hey, ladies. I'm Nico Valenti, head chef at Luciano's. Kelley asked me if I'd come by and chat with you today. I'm not really sure why but hey, I'd never miss a chance to talk to a group of such beautiful women so here I am.

Not sure how much you know about me and my life but things got a bit sticky for me lately. This group of three women: Tabby, Kaylee and Brianna started coming into the restaurant every Friday night for girls night out. They're a riot and after a while, Luciano, my cousin and I, started spending a little time with them. Recently Luciano went and found himself in love with Kaylee. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for him. Hell, I was one of the ones pushing him in her direction from the get go. I knew she'd make him happy and Luciano deserved to be happy more than any guy I know (yeah I can get a little sappy when I want to but don't think I'll make a habit of it). Anyway, so yeah, I'm happy for him because I knew, before he knew love is something he really wanted.

Me on the other hand, not so much. Honestly life is too damn fun to be tied down to one woman. No offense, I love women and respect them but for me, the whole settling down thing isn't in the cards. I'm young, free and enjoying the hell out of it. Probably not the best thing to be saying to a group of women. Kelley warned me you were some pretty wicked women around here but its the truth.

So things were going pretty great for me. I started a fun little flirtatious relationship going with Tabby, one of Kaylee's friends. Well, truthfully it wasn't really a relationship but more of a I flirt with her but she doesn't give me the time of day kind of thing which let me tell ya, that's the first time that's ever happened and I didn't take to it all that well.

I'm man enough to admit the more she denied me, the more I started to want her. Then like I said, things got sticky. I don't want to give anything away by telling you why or how but lets just say that the flirtatious game doesn't feel like a game anymore. I can't get this woman out of my head and she won't give me the time of day. I'm going so crazy for her that I proposed (not marriage) but I asked her if we could start spending more time together outside of Luciano's but just as friends since that's all she wanted. You heard that right; friends no kissing, no touching, no nothing. Strictly friends. The thing is, now want her even more. She's knocked me on my ass. She's not only the most beautiful woman I've ever laid eyes on but...damn I don't know what it is. There's something about her. She has me wanting to spend every minute of every day with her. Those looks she gives me, simmering with heat and desire, they tell a different story than her no sex rule. There's a wanton living inside that woman and I'm hoping she'll give in and let me lure her out.

Like I said, sticky. This is so different for me. For the first time in my life I'm lost where women are concerned. I can't believe I admitted that in front of Kelley. Do me a favor, Kell, don't tell Luciano. That's all I need is for him to start in on me the way I did with him when he was falling in love with Kaylee.

Shit. Love? where the hell did that word come from.

Alright, I need get out of here before I get myself in anymore trouble. Tabby and I are having another one of our "dates" which aren't really dates at all because we're only friends tonight. Wish me luck, never thought the day would come where I'd have to ask for help with women but, this woman, she has me tied in knots. Damn, did you wicked writers cast some kind of spell on me? I can't believe all the stuff I'm admitting today.

I'm out of here. If you want to know anymore you're going to have to hit Kelley up or check out her new book Unexpected Mr. Right.

Available here

Beautiful Women

The other day I was snuggled up with my seventeen year old daughter watching the movie Mamma Mia! for the third or maybe, fourth time. If you haven't seen it, you should. It's fun and fresh and the music is so wonderfully nostalgic you can't help but sing along. It's all about the bonds we have as women, it's about regrets, and about the way women can pull up their big girl panties and survive when things are rough. In one scene, the three middle aged best friends sing ABBA's Dancing Queen. They laugh and dance and play all over this beautiful Greek Island recalling when they were...young and sweet, only seventeen. Other women join them. Women of all ages and from all walks of life. They came in every shape and size. They sang and played with joy in their hearts and you could almost imagine each and every one recalling when she was seventeen and starry eyed and facing the world for the first time.

My daughter turned to me and said...they are all connected, aren't they? Sometimes my daughter is very wise and I had to smile.

As I think about us all as we take this journey together, I imagine we share similar struggles. Raising kids and sometimes husbands. Managing careers. So when do we become not beautiful? Is it the year after you've had a baby and still haven't lost the baby weight? Is it at the sign of that first wrinkle? I don't know. I tend to think women get even more beautiful as we age. The wisdom and strength is hard won and every wrinkle is earned through experience, loss and laughter.

When I first started writing and reading romance years ago, my heroines tended to be breathtakingly beautiful. So was the hero. They were perfect in every way. Now I look back and just shake my head. Do women really want to read about a flawless heroine? I still recall how captivated I was by Amanda Quick's (aka Jayne Ann Krentz) regency heroines. They were the first heroines I read who weren't absolutely perfect in every way. Some wore glasses. One had a limp from an childhood accident. Another had a crooked front tooth. They were quirky, funny, intelligent and oh so interesting the hero couldn't take his eyes from her. It was like watching the worm in the cocoon turn into a butterfly before my eyes and I've never looked at my heroines the same way since.

These days I make my heroines more average. Sometimes they are 'curvier' and they are never ever supermodel material. Now the hero may still be drop dead gorgeous but he's also man enough to be able to see beneath the surface of his heroine. He admires her intelligence, he laughs his ass off at the funny things she says or maybe her quirky outlook. She makes him happy because she has a kind and gentle heart. In my opinion, that is beauty too and definitely worthy of a romantic heroine.

Monday, January 12, 2009

What's in a cover?

I don't think I've made it a secret that I love art in all it's forms, but today I want to talk about cover art. I browse different cover artists' pages on a daily basis. Rae Monet, Natalie Winters, Valerie Tibbs, Scott Carpenter all have pages that I've saved to my favorites.

The thing is, a good cover artist can really bring your story to life. Authors get a rush when we get a new cover. It's the icing on the cake. I always have my most recent cover as my desktop background and every single time I log on, it's there and it brings me a smile. Authors put so much of themselves into a story and we want the cover to reflect that I guess. We want readers to stop and stare, to get curious enough to read the blurb and maybe buy the book. The cover is the first thing they'll see.

One of my most favorite people has been hard at work creating covers for authors for months now. I don't know how much money cover artists make, but I don't think they do it for the money anyway. I imagine it's like writing, they do it because they're driven to create something with their own two hands. I think that sort of passion should be recognized, don't you?

Which brings me to The Fantasm Awards The talented Valerie Tibbs is a finalist in the "paranormal category"! Is this a cool cover or what? Is it any wonder she finaled??

If you haven't voted already, head over to The Fantasm Awards and vote for Valerie!

And just for fun, here are a few more of Valerie's awesome covers:

I'd like to leave you all with a question. How big a part does the cover play when buying a book?? Have you ever been browsing a site or a shelf at the bookstore and found yourself drawn to a book because of the cover? I admit, I've found new authors because of their cover art. One author that springs to mind is Christine Feehan. I first read "Dark Desire" (yes, I read that one before Dark Prince) because I liked that cover and it made me curious to know more.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I'm finished!

I wrote The End on my work in progress today. It's always a special feeling to finish a book but this time it was different. I've never been as proud do finish a book as I was this one. It's longer than anything I've written, its more emotional than anything I've written, and I wrote it in less time than I did any other novel. I gave myself a strict word count daily to finish by January 15th and I beat my deadline. Man that feels good.

There's more to it than that though. This book is really close to my heart. It deals with something I've dealt with in my life with a family member. So even though I'm scared to death to have the book ever come out, I'm also scared that if no one wants it, it will affect me more than it would have with another book. I know you can't take it personally but writing is ALWAYS an extension of my heart and this book, well lets say its not just an extension but part of my heart. I hope I'm one day lucky enough to be able share it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Badass Blocks and I'm not Talking Football

Can you tell I just watched a football game? Yeah, the big one. Not all that exciting as far as "big games" go. Very defensive. Sorry, I'm rambling. After Anne's funny as hell post yesterday, I figure there's no way to top that so I'm not even going to try. Maybe my brain is numb from the busy week I've had. Just finished a manuscript, got it to my editor and I'm head over heels deep in another that should be completed this weekend so I've been busier than normal.

That wasn't always the case. Last fall, I had an enormous case of Badass Writer's Block. I couldn't think, couldn't write. I was just blah. I suspect I suffered a bit of burn out and I finally gave up and just cut myself some slack. Sometimes we have to do that. Now that the holidays are good and over, I'm back up to speed again. So I guess the bottom line is, blockage doesn't last forever.

Lately I've noticed the loops I play on have been pretty dead and since most of these are writers hang outs, I'm thinking positively and hoping that everyone else is writing, too. Several friends have been going through writers' block and one wrote yesterday to say...YESSSSS, she's finished her manuscript. The first one she's completed in months. I was thrilled for her because it just feels so damn good to get another under your belt after weeks of struggling to get your brain to function.

Wish I had some really good advice for this except to say it happens to all of us at some point. One friend has several WIPS at a time. If she's blocked on one, she simply opens another file and sees if another story/change might work for her. Sounds like a good plan. Much better than mine which is to email everyone I know, shop for shoes or books on the internet, or play solitaire. Um. Not a good method. Others exercise. Okay. That's not for me either unfortunately, considering the size of my butt these days.

One day, I'm certain I'll come up with a neat little trick to jump start a lagging manuscript. I'm optimistic. For now, I'm just happy I'm done with it for awhile and I'm on the road to recovering from my major case of 'brain drain'.

On a personal note: Just learned that two of my stories will be released in seperate print anthologies by Ellora's Cave sometime this spring. Tempting Turquoise includes Amy Ruttan, Elaine Lowe and myself. The other, Torrid Topaz, features Lolita Lopez, Shawn Lane, Kate Willoughby and myself. No definite date yet but I was very surprised and pleased by the news. Not a bad way to end the week.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My exotic and erotic life

As you can guess by the title, I’m discussing the wild and exotic life of an erotic romance author. Okay, so are you ready? I hope so, because what I’m about to tell you is top secret stuff. There’s no going back after this. Once you choose to read this post, you’ll be forever changed.

*takes a sip of merlot* Here goes. In a nutshell, erotic romance authors have the beauty of a goddess, the sex drive of a teenage boy, the stamina of a sixteen year old girl with a cell phone and the smile of a Hollywood starlet. When we aren’t writing we’re being pampered by a stable of men whose only concern is our pleasure. I can’t discuss names, of course, but our men have been known to grace magazine covers. I’m taking my life in my own hands by revealing this truth to you all today.

*pours more wine* Where was I? Oh, right, living in erotic bliss. I do wish to point out that we aren’t greedy women. We’re more than willing to spread the love via the wicked pen. Where do you think those delicious heroes come from? Not the imagination, I assure you. They’re real, living, breathing male perfection. Shh, stop that Blake, I’m trying to write. You can massage my feet later, I promise. Blake, he’s such a darling. He really enjoyed his appearance in Burn. I mean, what man wouldn't when the reward is having two hot ladies to play with, right? He thanked me quite....wonderfully. Back to the big secret. A few things you all might not be aware of. We shop at Vicki’s Secret, we take luxurious bubble baths daily, we sip only the finest wines and nibble on the smoothest, richest chocolate money can buy. Life for an erotic romance author is one big blissful party. Trust me, I should know.

*grins as Blake gets out the whip* Lordy that man has a fine body. Truly spectacular. Oops, sorry, I got a little distracted there. As I was saying, life for an erotic romance author is...excuse me for a second, someone’s calling me.

“I don’t know where your blasted shoes are, I wasn’t wearing them!”

Uh, you didn’t hear that, did you? Crap. Well, I guess the cat’s out of the bag now, huh? I suppose I might as well come clean. Erotic romance authors are, brace yourself, just like you. We’re soccer moms and harried wives. We run errands and do laundry. When we’re on a deadline, the dishes pile up, our kids get irritated with us and our husbands do a lot of groaning. How do we write the sexy scenes, you ask? Well, we use our husband’s as research assistants, how else?! Authors who also happen to be parents are the sneakiest people on the face of the planet. No lie. We come up with code words to keep the spark alive. Can I hear an amen?! When he’s feeling frisky it’s ‘let’s go talk’ or ‘wanna take a little nap, babe?’ When I’m feeling frisky it’s ‘my back hurts, can you massage it, honey?’ Eventually the kids will become wise to our devious ways and then all will be lost. My career as an erotic romance author will be over. In the meantime, if I need a hot scene, he’s more than willing to give me a helping hand. What a brave and selfless soul that hubby of mine!
Oh and if you want more of Blake's wickedness, check out Burn--which just happens to be at #7 on the Samhain bestseller list. Woot!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How did I not know this about myself

So whenever people ask me what my favorite kind of romance books are I always say contemporary, something light and funny. That's also what I write as well. I mean, there is always an intense internal conflict in my books but they are also funny (I hope), fun, and light at times. Right now I'm working on my first book with a true tortured hero. While this book has some of the above mentioned characteristics as well, its still different. The conflict for my hero is much more difficult for him to get over and he's like I said...very tortured. And guess what? I'm totally in love with it. I think its one of, if not my favorite book I've written. With that tucked in the back of my mind, last week I started making a list of all my favorite reads of 2008 for my blog. Again, guess what? They're all books that are a little more serious and a little more emotional. None of the books on my list of favorite reads were the light, funny, reads that I always say are my favorite. How did I not know this about myself before hand? While I still LOVE those fun, light, funny books, the big emotional ones are the books that stick with me much longer. Its funny how some times something just hits you. Duh! LOL. Guess you really do learn something new everyday!

On a side note I have a new book out today. I love, love, love Nico, the hero in this book. I hope that's not bad to say since he is my OWN hero but I do. I almost wanted to keep him for myself.

Since childhood, Tabith Harris dreamed of the perfect love. Instead, she keeps ending up with a broken heart. When she meets the handsome and available Nico Valenti, she doesn't want to waste her time on another broken heart. Tabby's a new woman and the wrong man is no longer for her.

Nico can’t get Tabby out of his mind. Sure, he loved women, loved them all, as often as he could, but he’d never met one that held his interest for long. He had to spend more time with her, even if it was on her terms of a “no sex” relationship.

So, how does a one-night-stand kind of man get to know a woman of changed interests? Can Tabby and Nico meet in the middle long enough to get to know each other, let alone give their newfound feeling a chance?


Nico carried her to the bedroom. Setting her on her feet he didn’t waste any time undressing her. He didn’t want to give her the chance to change her mind. It would kill him. He pulled her robe completely off her shoulders and let it drop to the floor. Her nightgown followed seconds later. She stood in front of him in pink g-string panties and nothing else. “Damn woman, you’re going to be the death of me.”
He couldn’t stop staring at her, soaking her in from her cute, red painted toenails to her frazzled hair. Delicious. Her skin a smooth, milk chocolate that smelled of lavender, begged to be touched. Her rounded breasts were pert, with hard pebbled nipples. Damn he wanted to taste them. And he would. First he needed the dark curls he saw beneath her pink panties uncovered. And he needed her to do it.
That would be her final concession. He had to know this is what she really wanted. That she desired him and wanted to proceed to the next level as much as he did. “Take off your panties.” The urgent scratch in his voice didn’t surprise him.
“Do it, Tabby. I want to watch you ease that sexy scrap of cloth down those long legs. I need to know this is really what you want. No regrets.” She looked apprehensive at first but the looked quickly turned into one of excitement, eagerness. Hooking her matching, red painted fingernails in the strap on the side of her panties she began to lower them.
Hell fucking yeah.
Her slender waist bent and she lowered the g-string down her legs. When she reached her feet she stepped out one foot at a time before straightening to stand beautifully naked in front of him. “Cosi Caldo, cosi bella. Li Voglio.” Nico eased her back on her plush bed. When her head rested on the pillows he started to kiss her. It was a short, demanding kiss before he moved down to her neck, kissing the hallow spot at the base of her throat.
“What…what does that mean?” she asked breathlessly, running her hands through his hair.
“So hot, so beautiful,” he lowered his hand to cup her mound. “I want you.”
“I want you too.” The admission almost sent him over the edge. He teetered there the whole time, but that, hearing those words almost did him in.
Nico rested between her thighs. “I don’t know where to begin,” he admitted. “I want to taste every inch of you, Tabby. How do I decide?”
She sighed, a sexy sigh as her eyes drifted closed as if waiting for him. Nico kissed her lips, “eeny,” her left breast, “meeny,” her right, “miney,” then he eased down her body until his mouth was inches from her core. He lowered his head and licked. “ Mo. ” Damm she tasted good, wet and sweet. This is where he needed to be. He had to start here.

Buy here

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Who Me? Worry? I don't think so

The History Channel is going crazy this week. Yes. It's time to scare everyone with their weeklong series...Armageddon Week. Hmmm. Okay. I know everyone wants to hear that the world will be hit by a fiery comet in December 2012 (the 21st to be precise) and that's going to be IT for human kind.

Well, that's the take I watched right before I went to bed last night hoping to have nice dreams. Umm. What nice dreams? I know you guys have seen these. Nostrodomus' quatrains are examined and they discuss the prophecies of the Mayans and Hopi Indians, discuss the Bible Code and read tea leaves.
Okay, they don't talk about tea leaves but I was on a roll. LOL.

Right before bed I was thinking about all of this and started to feel seriously creeped out. Honestly, it's hard to not watch this stuff. It's fascinating. Kind of like watching a train wreck, ya know?

I've been thinking about this though and have decided I'm not worrying about it because once you start dwelling on these kinds of things it sort of saps the joy right out of you and hey, I'm all about JOY. So this is what I've decided about all of this.

I will treat myself and others with respect. I will try to help others and our imperiled planet as much as I can and live each day in a way that makes me happy. I'll not knowingly hurt others and I will SMILE. So bring the comet ON. I'm not worrying. About it or anything else. Know that saying about living one day at a time? I'm beginning to think there is something TO that phrase.

Happy Release Day to my buddy, Anne Rainey!!! Her naughty story BURN is out today at Samhain. So to honor the occasion, I'm posting a little bit about this flaming hot book.


A Kwips and Kritiques Recommended Read!!"The ménage between Ally, Heather, and Blake is steaming hot!Anne Rainey is an author I never fail to read. Her stories pack a very powerful punch and the heat level is always a raging inferno. Don’t miss out on BURN as this is one hot number that is a guaranteed winner!" --Reviewed by Anne.

Buy Link:

Burn by Anne Rainey
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Red Hots!ISBN: 978-1-60504-352-4
Length: Short StoryPrice: 2.50
Publication Date: January 6, 2009
Cover art by Scott Carpenter

A woman scorned…can be damned delicious!
Ally Ryanaldo and Blake Steele were high school sweethearts, in love and inseparable. Ally always assumed she’d be his wife, raise his babies and live happily ever after. Those dreams were shattered the day Blake left her and his small town life for the bright lights of New York City.

Now, ten years later, Blake is back—and wants to pick up where they left off. Ally has other ideas. Naughty ideas. With the help of her kinky girlfriend, Heather, Ally shows Blake her wild side.
When her little plan backfires, though, Ally’s very much afraid she may lose the only man she’s ever loved—for good.

This title contains explicit sex, graphic language, anal play, ménage a trois (f/f/m), whips and whipped cream


Every touch of his tongue to mine drew moisture to my vagina. There was so much I wanted to do to him. I wanted to taste his cock. To suck on him until he begged for mercy. I wanted to ride him, hard, and drive us both over the edge.
Blake pulled back, his eyes blazing with arousal. “I want you, baby. This has been the longest damn week of my life. Don’t send me home.”
He sounded so desperate. I understood, because I was just as greedy for him. “I want you, too.”
He closed his eyes briefly and let out a deep breath. “Thank God,” he muttered. “Where’s your bedroom?”
I stepped out of his arms. “First, I want to prepare a few things. You can wait in the living room.”
“You’re killing me, Ally.”
“Please. I’ll only be a few minutes.”
He sighed, and left the kitchen. I strode to the refrigerator and grabbed a can of whipped cream, before heading to the bedroom.
A few minutes later, I was ready for him. I walked into the living room and held out my hand. He rose to his feet and smiled. When his big, calloused fingers laced through mine, I quickly led him down the hallway. As I reached the bedroom, I went straight to the bed and switched the lamp on its dimmest setting. When I turned around, Blake’s eyes were still on me. I trembled at the wild gleam in his gaze.
He’d never been like this before. In a heartbeat, I knew I’d seriously miscalculated. The man standing in front of me was an adult male with an adult’s needs and wants. And Heather wasn’t here this time as a buffer.
Blake came to me and stroked my arm, bringing gooseflesh to the surface. His gaze touched everywhere at once. “When I saw you touching and playing with Heather it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. But I’m glad to have you alone. You’re so much prettier than I remember.” He looked me over, stopping on my breasts. “Your breasts are bigger. Damn, just look at you, baby. I could gobble you up right now.”
I didn’t know what to say. For a moment, I just stood there and wallowed in his praise. It was good to hear compliments from him. The deep tone of his voice turned my blood to liquid lava.
“Before things get too carried away, I wanted to ask you something.”
“Anything, Ally. You can ask me anything you want.” He seemed to think about that statement and added, “Except no more threesomes.”
“Will you let me experiment a little?”
His eyebrows shot up. “Again?”
Instead of explaining, I reached over and picked up one of the scarves tied to the bedpost closest to me and waved it in the air.
“You want to be tied down?”
I shook my head. “No. I want to tie you down.”
Blake licked his lips and ran a hand through his hair. He eyed the bed, then pinned me with a suspicious glare. “This isn’t some sort of trick, is it?”
It was my turn to frown. “What do you mean?”
“You don’t plan to exact some sort of revenge by tying me to your bed and then leaving me there to rot why you go off to have sex with Heather?”
I laughed. “No. Nothing like that. She really is in Florida. No worries there.”
Still he hesitated. “You know me. I like to be in control. And I really want to touch you. If I’m tied down, I won’t be able to. That would really suck.”
I held firm. “This is the way I want it, Blake.”
Several seconds passed, before he said, “For you, baby, I’ll do it.”
I sucked air into my lungs as he started to strip out of his shirt. Some small part of me had hoped he’d say no. I’d be off the hook. But he was submitting. I was so out of my league.
As he pushed his work boots off and unzipped his jeans, my eyes fairly bulged out. His cock was much bigger than I remembered.
Oh, my.

Yummy! Doesn't this sound GREAT???

Monday, January 5, 2009

Global Warming, the hot topic

Okay, on the way to school today my daughters and I were discussing Global Warming. According to the EPA, since the mid 1970s, the average surface temperature has warmed about 1°F. And unless we all change the way we live, greenhouse gas concentrations are very likely to continue to raise the Earth's average temperature over the next century. In fact, looking at it in a negative light, the EPA says: The average surface temperature of the Earth is likely to increase by 2 to 11.5°F by the end of the 21st century, relative to 1980-1990, with a best estimate of 3.2 to 7.2°F.

What brought this topic on? Well, snow days of course! They were both complaining about the lack of snow days so far this year. (Today was their first day back after Christmas break). But it did get me to thinking. We've had the most mild winter here in Ohio. It's been so strange. Today it's to be in the thirties. Looking outside it could be early spring for goodness sake! That's not to say we won't still get a load of snow. February--March could bring nothing but snow. Ohio weather has always been just a little strange. Nevertheless, I still think this has been the craziest winter yet. Heck, I wouldn't even call it winter!

So it got me curious if any of you have noticed a difference since you were a kid? Do you remember the winters being colder?

I'd swear we used to get tons of snow growing up. Didn't we?? We went ice skating, sledding, the works. We were always outside freezing our butts off, playing. And the only time we had a 'snow day' was if half the state was buried under a foot of the fluffy stuff. These days the kids get a two hour delay if we get an inch of snow. Two inches and I swear the state is in a state of emergency. And you tell them to go outside, it's nice out, get some exercise. They look at you like you're crazy. "Mom, it's freezing!"

And as to those oh so wonderful snow days the kids want so badly...I keep trying to tell them not to count on those, because even if we do get some snow days this year, the school will just take away Spring Break. But, they're kids. All they see is the now. LOL

***Also, don't forget my HOT HOT menage (f/f/m) releases tomorrow, Burn

Friday, January 2, 2009

Another Year

Well, I'm obviously beginning the New Year by being LATE!!!! ACK! My son has been here for a long visit and left a bit ago and these sorts of things always bring chaos with them.

I had set myself a goal of finishing a manuscript by the end of yesterday and guess what? I didn't finish. First one thing, then another and I reckon I'd just set myself up to fail. It all started simply enough. I have trusted writer friends and we often email scenes back and forth. Do you have a group like that? Most of us do. Anyway, I've been roughly 20 pages from finishing up when I sent off a scene and the general discussion hero's name needed to be changed. No big deal right? Well, first I searched out Scottish surnames on line and found one I liked. By the time that was done, I did a find and search deal that took care of the change in about five seconds. Easy, breezy.

What I didn't count on was that replacing "Black" with "MacAdam" would cause a whole new set of problems. A black tee shirt became a MacAdam tee shirt. Black hair became MacAdam hair. Can you hear me screaming? LOL. I began to think that NOTHING is ever easy, ya know? Funny. In the act of going back and changing/fixing, I began to self-edit. I know you've done it too. Everything becomes like a giant jigsaw puzzle that had no end in sight.

Now that the holidays are officially over and my self-editing nightmare is resolved, it's back to work. Hopefully, this will be finished soon but if it doesn't happen overnight, I won't stress about it. Stress is for the birds and the world will not end if I don't finish by the self-imposed timeline. How's that for starting the new year off with a calm attitude?

Are you a big goal-setter? Do you find yourself banging your head on the keyboard in despair if you don't make your goals? What are YOUR writing plans for the New Year?