Friday, January 29, 2010

I'm A YES Girl

When I woke up this morning I had this odd sensation of being overwhelmed and it's my own damn fault. I've just realized I'm a "yes" girl. You'd think by the time a person reaches a certain age they'd figure out how to say NO sometimes but I guess that's not in my vocabulary.

So now that you're wondering what the hell I'm talking, I'll fill you in. On Wednesday I read an author interview on a friends blog and something just hit me. This author mentioned having those little bits of ideas and turning them into a story despite not really LOVING it. She is longing to always write the story of her heart. This comment stuck in my head and I've been giving much thought to it this week. I wondered why I am currently struggling with some of my stuff and I've come to the conclusion that I'm not in love with my stories. Because of that, I hesitate, I procrastinate, and plod along like an old donkey out furrowing a field somewhere. Everything I write takes forever and things just aren't flowing as they should. I've had the pleasure of writing books that moved so fast and I loved every minute of watching the story speed toward completion. You know what I mean...that book that practically wrote itself. That hasn't happened to me in a long time and I miss it.

Now back to the YES thing. At the moment I'm committed to a number of multi author series. Excited to be part of the projects but, in the meantime, my own story ideas are pulling at me. I can't write them until I have completed the other books. Now I'm wondering when I'll EVER get back to my own series. It's frustrating but I've done this myself. I've YESSED myself into a corner and won't break free until I gather up some enthusiasm from somewhere deep inside of myself and get the stories finished. Lately, I'm figuring that I'd better learn how to say no.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Events, Cons, Get Togethers and Weekends...huh?

Once upon a time....scratch that

Back in the, no, no

In the early years....yeah, that works.

Okay, in the early years only one (fun) event existed for authors of romance books and their avid readers. The Romantic Times Convention. It was THE event to go to. These days there are tons of events, held all around the country. Which is great, but it makes it really tough to decide where to shell out the money so that you get the most bang for your buck.

I'm going to touch on a few of them today.

Obviously the first one is the RT Con. This year it's held on April 28th--May 2nd. It's in Columbus, Ohio. I had originally planned to go to this event. I've never been so this seemed like a good chance for me, since it's close to where I live. No spending money on airfare and no having to pay for a hotel room. Huge savings right there! However, $500 to register has me hesitating big time. I'm sorry, but that's a lot of money for me to shell out. I was sort of considering at least meeting a few people for drinks or something though. I hate the idea that some of my author friends will be so close to where I live and NOT be able to meet up.

Then there's Lora Leigh's Readers Appreciation Weekend (RAW). This event is held Sept. 9th--Sept 12th in Huntington, WV. Another one that's close to where I live. I would have to pay for hotel, but not airfare. I could drive to this one as well. I've always wanted to go to this event. Lora Leigh is my favorite author ever! She rocks and several of the authors signed up to attend the booksigning are some of my faves as well. It's not quite as pricey at $130 and I've heard it's lots of fun! However, I would want to go as an author and I'm not sure I'd be able to actually attend this event to promote myself or not. Anyone have the answer to that?

Also, there's the Ellora's Cave RomanticCon, which is held in Oct 7th-102th in Richfield, Ohio. Yet another one that's close to me. It's a little more than Lora Leigh's RAW, $275 to register, but I'd be able to save by not having to stay at a hotel--there's $100 right there! Plus, as I was browsing the site, I saw that the EC hunks make an appearance, now there's incentive! LOL Yum!

I'm not an EC author though, so for me to attend it would only be for the fun of it all. However, there are several authors who write for EC that I love. Our very lovely Regina Carlysle being one of them! I wonder, what if I wanted to attend the booksigning part of the event only...would I have to pay the registration fee for that? Anyone know?

Last but not least is the Lori Foster Get Together. This event is held June 4th--6th in West Chester, Ohio. This is the most affordable of the list I've put together. Registration is $50. It's close enough (again) that I can drive, so no airfare, but far enough that I would need to stay at a hotel. Of all the events I've listed, this is the one I've actually had the chance to attend. I've only missed one, the first one. It's a fun, casual time. Readers and authors mixing and having fun. I'm definitely going again this year.

But, I would like to attend one other event this year as well. My question is...which one? There are so many fun events for readers and authors! I love the variety and did you notice how they're all spaced out, so no event overlaps? If I had the money I'd go to all of them! LOL

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What's your process?

Usually I'm not a big stickler about keeping the same writing process for all my books. Some of them I write my blurb and come up with a title ahead of time. With other books I just start writing and come up with the rest of it later. It works for me. Depending on the book or if its part of a series I tend to start it in a different way.

As I mentioned last week I've started working on more than one project. I have my current novella and a YA that I'm dabbling with at the same time. My novella WIP is dwindling down so I'm prepping to start work on the third Malone brother book but for some reason, I can't figure out a title. Like I said, this usually wouldn't be a big deal for me, but for some reason, with this book it is. I'm wracking my brain for a title and getting nothing, but its stalling my getting started with it as well. For some reason I can't start this without a title. Not sure if it's because with the two first Malone brothers I knew my title before hand so my muse is fighting me to do the same with this story or if my mind is just telling me to finish my WIP before I put any work into Shane Malone. I'm thinking this brother might just call for my undivided attention ;).

Is your writing process the same for each book or do you switch it up?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Off and Running

Somehow or other I managed to shake off those blues I suffered from all last week. The sun is shining and Texas temps are warmer than usual. Don't know if the weather shook me back to my old self but whatever it was...YAY! The good thing about bad moods, at least for me, is they usually go away and now I'm back and feeling frisky again.

This weekend I'm attending a mini-reunion with a bunch of sorority sisters. The whole thing came up unexpectedly but I'm really psyched. I haven't seen some of these women for ten years or so (some even longer). Funny thing, one night I was fiddling around on the computer and UP pops this facebook message. One of my sorority sisters figured out somehow who I was. Yes, I write under a pen name and don't have a facebook account in my real name so it was a huge surprise. Ended up finding out my sorority has a facebook page, I got on over there and BAM, instant connection with women I haven't seen in years. It's fun when things like that happen. Soooo, Friday night we're meeting for drinks and catching up. Can't wait. Have to say the social networking sites are pretty cool. So far I've caught up with these ladies and connected with old high school friends. Don't know HOW they found me under the pen name but hey, I'm okay with that. Just happy to reconnect.

In other news: Desiree Holt, Ciana Stone and myself are beginning a new Texas set series for Ellora's Cave. Just getting started on the project but I'm going... WOOT WOOT....over here. Still working on my cougar story and planning some others so things are hopping.

Don't forget to sign up for my super duper contest at Two Lips Reviews. At the end of the month I'll be giving away lots and lots of goodies to one lucky winner. Enter the contest HERE!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The right investment?

Okay, let's face it, reading IS in an investment. But it's hard to know where to put your money these days. There are so many options!!

Paperback books have always been my first love. Most esp. mass market size. They're easy to tuck into my purse and tote around. The price is usually right--when I buy them from Wal*Mart. But with the invention of ebook readers I realized I wanted to get into the digital age. I bought a Sony ebook reader. At first I liked it. Handy and it can hold a bunch of books. But, to be honest here, I don't care for it. I find that it's not user friendly. I'm not going to take an hour trying to figure out how to get a book loaded. It's supposed to be easy as pie, but that's not been my experience.

Hardbacks are just too damned expensive. I mean, I went out and bought Sherrilyn Kenyon's massive book Acheron and I also bought J. R. Ward's Lover Avenged. But, damn it was hard to shell out that kind of money. It really was!

So, I've been checking out the Kindle and the Nook. They both seem to have great features. Both are pricey, there's no two ways about it. But which to choose??? I'm leaning towards the Kindle. Mainly because I do a lot of shopping on Amazon now and I find they're easier. The last time I ordered books from Barnes & Noble, it seemed to take forever to get them. Amazon ships their stuff out fast, and I've always taken advantage of the spend $25 and get free shipping feature.

None of that really has anything do with ebooks though. I'm in the dark where the Nook and the Kindle are concerned. Which ebook reader do you use and which do you think is the most USER FRIENDLY. Do you find you've saved money by buying ebooks instead of paperback? Do you buy MORE books now than what you would've before, considering they're delivered to your device within seconds of purchase?

What are the pros and cons as YOU see it? Which is the best investment?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Beating Back the Blues

What IS it about this time of year? We all popped some bubbly in anticipation of the New Year feeling all those good high expectations and then we wake up on January 2, look outside at a sea of gray and just want to crawl back into bed. At least that's the way it has been for me. Had a long talk with the hubster about that the other night. He is a lawyer and every January he is hired for more divorces than you can count on two hands. Looks like folks who are splitting up wait until AFTER the holidays so they don't ruin things for the kids. Many have taxes due in January and all the Christmas bills come due. EEK. Talk about depressing. He has been feeling the same way, I think. Tonight we are beginning a little exercise program together. Wow. Wish me luck with THAT. I detest sweating. Just not my thing. Still, this is something we can do together and the encouragment we'll offer each other will be great. We've also decided to start doing more things together and I believe 'dinner out' is in our future tonight. Now THAT makes me smile. I usually like to cook but lately, with just the two of us rambling around, it seems more a chore than something I enjoy. Going out is a nice break.

For me, I think it has been a sense of restlessness. You know how it is. You must get going on things but the weather is oppressive and dull so you kind of feel you're just blending into the scenery. Yesterday, I was BLUE. BLUE BLUE BLUE. So what did I do? I soaked in a hot bath until my skin got squiggly, watched Julie and Julia (cute movie by the way) and took a short nap. By evening I was feeling a bit better. I'm just DONE with January. I'm ready for some sunshine and ready to get excited. I don't feel my new year began on January 1 or even 2 but I'm hoping that with the end of the dreary weather, I'll be feeling my bouncy, cheerful self again.

Today I'm heading out to a baby shower! Awwwww. Nothing like brightly wrapped packages and cute little baby things to help you dig out of a funk. The hope. The wonder. All that good stuff might be just the thing to beat back the blues. What do you do to climb out of a deep, dark funk?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Multitasker or a little crazy? You decide.

I'm working on a novella for my publisher right now. It's due March first so I really need to just get it done. It's a fun story and I'm enjoying writing it and everything, but I have this other story in the back of my head that keeps pushing to the front of my brain. The story wants to be told so badly and I really want to tell it! This one isn't for a specific publisher, no deadline or anything so I really just need to work on my original novella, but its hard when the characters from the second book are screaming in my ear to give them heir HEA.

So, whats a girl to do? Well, I decided to work on both! I already know where I want to go with both stories. Character sketches are done, blurbs are written, the whole nine yards. Now I have to actually write them! I decided since most of my writing is done during the baby's nap time or throughout the day that's when I would work on my novella. If and only if I hit my goal for the day, then I will write a little bit on the second book in the evening time. I did this for the first time yesterday and it worked well. I did my five pages on my novella and the in the evening I wrote three on my novel. Didn't do too much on either. Just enough to make some progress and feel like I'm accomplishing something. I felt pretty damn good about myself by the end of the day! I was like the multitasking queen yesterday. LOL. I'm hoping that will fuel me to accomplish as much if not more today!

Do you ever work on more than one project at once?

Award Show Addiction

Heeeelp! I'm addicted to awards shows. Is there a twelve-Step program for that? Umm. No, I don't think so because the first step of any program is you have to WANT to be saved. I'm fully aware these shows are pretty much a meaningless endevour but I really can't help myself. So the other night, I fixed my popcorn, grabbed a diet coke and put on my jammies to curl up in front of the tube to get my overload of glitz and glamour. I just can't help it. I love to see what the stars are wearing, love to oooh and ahhhh or smack my forehead and say...what the HELL was she thinking???

Normally, my only exceptions to the rule on award show watching are the music awards. Maybe the clothes are just too weird and most attendees look as if they've dressed in the dark. I tend to blow those off and concentrate on the television and movie award shows. Sometimes I haven't even seen these shows or bought a ticket for the featured movies but it doesn't really matter. I just have to watch.

So I tuned into The Golden Globes, drooled (or not) over the way everyone looked and listened to a host of acceptance speeches. I DID find myself wondering something...don't these people think before they speak? I mean, upon winning, one guy (very talented director) announces to the world that he has to pee, others rambled, and yes, some were very entertaining. Robert Downey Jr's (I love him) speech was and funny as I suspect he really is. Meryl Streep won shortly after a muscian with the colorful name of T-Bone. She whimsically said...I want to change my name to T-Bone. T-Bone Streep. Funny moment. Then another actress who wore weird weird ruffles...I'm not kidding, ruffles everywhere...had her dress stepped on my an usher who helped her up the stairs and she bitched and whined about it through her entire acceptance speech and forever altered my opinion of her. Love her show but the actress? Not so much. Not anymore.

So maybe I watch these shows because in a way, they are a train wreck. These people are unscripted, most likely very nervous and you never know what is going to happen.

Next up? The SAG awards and then the show of shows...The Oscar. Should be fun.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Children of the Moon--and a contest!

I couldn't resist blogging about this! I'm so excited to learn that Lucy Monroe has a new book coming out on February 2nd! It's the second book in her Children of the Moon series. The first book, Moon Awakening, was AWESOME. You can read more about that one here:

Moon Craving, book 2, is bound to be just as good. Lucy hooked me on her Chrechte Clan. I wasn't sure I'd like a medieval Scottish werewolf series, but that first book was seriously steamy and totally enthralling. I'm excited that book 2 is FINALLY nearly here!

(and what's not to love about that cover?!)

New Children of the Moon Book from Lucy Monroe

Moon Craving
Feb 2010 - Berkley Sensation
ISBN-13: 978-0425233047
Children of the Moon Book 2

If it were up to him, Talorc—laird of the Sinclair clan and leader of his werewolf pack— would never marry. But when the king orders that Talorc wed an Englishwoman, the lone wolf is shocked to find his mate in the strong-willed Abigail. And after an intensely climactic wedding night, the two fiercely independent souls sense an unbreakable bond…

Deaf since childhood, Abigail hopes to keep her affliction from Talorc as long as possible. And for his part, he has no intention of telling her about being a werewolf. But when Abigail learns that the husband she’s begun to love has deceived her, it will take all of his warrior’s strength—and his wolf’s cunning—to win his wife back. And Talorc will have to face his biggest challenge yet: the vulnerability of a man in love…

Read an Excerpt

Buy the Book

Watch the Book Trailer

As a special thank you to readers, Lucy is giving away a prize pack of pamper yourself products and paranormal romance. All you have to do to enter is send an email with Moon Craving Contest in the subject line to moon_craving at yahoo dot com before February 28th, 2010. The drawing will be held March 1st and the winner will be announced on her blog at

Friday, January 15, 2010

Blogging Fool...That's Me!

I woke up a little late this morning. Late for me anyway...about 9 am. and dang it, my fingers were NUMB. Yes, I've been a blogging fool this week. I've been a blogger for several years now and I've found I really like it. It's a good way to promote yourself, your work and to make new friends and reconnect with old friends. There are lots and lots of ways to promote yourself as an author. Most of us do the social networking things like facebook, myspace, and twitter and yeah, they are fun. I'm especially fond of Facebook (my favorite little time-waster). Still, when I check the stats on my website, I often find I get more visitors from blogs that I either write or blogs where I'm a "guest". So yeah, I'd have to say that of all the form of promotion I do blogging and chatting on some of the many loops serve me in good stead.

That being said, this week has been INSANE. On Wednesday, I was one of author Brynn Paulin's Wednesday Wonder Writers. She has an awesome blog, asked a bunch of cool questions and comments were out the roof. I think everyone was especially taken with my ooky feelings over the Burger King with the creepy plastic head! Ah, yes. The damn King creeps me the hell OUT. Then yesterday, erotic author Madison Scott invited me over to play. She has a kickass new blog and we smacked it with a big bottle of bubbly to get it nice and initiated. Please head over there today and get all the deets on her upcoming BLOG TOUR. Lots of contest prizes...books, books, books.

Today, Ellora's Cave author Tina Donahue is featuring my new shifter/menage Jaguar Hunger (EC) which is VERY nice of her considering she has a brand new bdsm masterpiece out TODAY! Here's the cover! OMG...isn't is amazing??? I can't wait to read this one. It sounds DELICIOUS. Read the blurb and you'll see why.

Buy It Here


A wickedly sensual feast…

Eden DeCarlo may have narrowly lost Miami’s best chef competition and the prize money she desperately needs, but she has caught the eye of dangerously virile Rafael Zayas, one of the judges and a wealthy restaurateur. Despite her vow not to let any man derail her life, Eden’s captivated by Rafe’s imposing masculinity, then challenged by the business deal he offers. He’ll invest in her new venture if, for one month, she can satisfy his culinary expectations and the sexual attraction they both feel.

Dominant and unashamed, Rafe knows what he wants when it comes to carnal pleasure and will spare no seduction to have Eden in all the ways he demands—naked, wanting, submissive.

Within thirty days, he will teach her the delights of yielding to passion, relinquishing all control to him and fulfilling her deepest, darkest and most delicious desires.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

something to warm you up!

I'm really cold today, like my fingers are nearly frozen. Makes it hard to type! So, I decided to warm up...without having to actually turn up the heat. Trying to be frugal, ya know.

In my quest for heat, I stumbled across Taber.

Uh, are you warm yet? No? Well, keep scrolling then.
How about now? Taber warming you up a little? Still a little chilly are you? That's okay, just keep scrolling!

Ah, now that's a bit more like it. I'm almost ready to grab a glass of ice tea. You?

Taber tells me he's glad to help us save money on heating! What a guy, huh? *grin*

Oh, and just in case you need a little boost to keep you going throughout the rest of the day, there's these two hotties! Big Ben...

And Risky Ryan

Cold shower anyone?? hehe!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Getting sucked into the vortex....

That is known as the Internet... I can't imagine how much I would get done if I didn't have the Internet. It's like an addiction for me. Whether its Facebook (which is where I spend incredibly too much of my time.), Myspace, Twitter, yahoo groups, or just plain browsing, it's a time thief. It really is like this deep, dark whole that I get sucked into and literally have to claw myself out from on a daily basis.

As much as it hinders, it helps though, right? Please tell me I'm not just telling myself that. LOL. I use it for research, promotion, submitting. I couldn't be without it, but I'm finding it hard to separate my time with it as well.

So, my question is, is it just me? Do you get sucked into the vortex or have you found a way to manage your time better than I do? How do you do it?

Also, in case anyone is interested, I've written my first young adult book. I have uploaded the first few chapters to Inkpop. I would love for you to check it out. The direct link to my story, Chasing Normal, is HERE. Also, if you enjoy it, you can add it to your "picks". The top five each month get read by HarperCollins editors.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Those Lightbulb Moments

Last weekend, I took a road trip. Yeah, five hours in the car ALONE. My daughter headed back to college and she got a new television for Christmas that she couldn't haul in her tiny car so I loaded it in mine and followed her. At first, I dreaded all that driving ALONE. I'd be bored out of my mind, right?

As it turns out it wasn't all that bad. Now, I'll be the first to admit there's not a whole lot to look at in the South Plains of Texas. It's flat, arrid, lots of buttes, plateaus, miles and miles of barren cotton fields (it's winter, after all). Anyway, you get the drift. I was prepared for a real yawner of a drive but it sure didn't turn out that way. Why is it that some of my best story ideas occur when I'm driving? I'd been stumped on a story I'm writing for the Cougar Challenge series at EC. Drilled is the story of a 40-something woman who returns to her tiny Texas hometown a couple of years after a painful divorce. There she hooks up with a 30-something guy who is drilling for oil on her property. My goal was (and still is) to finish this up sometime this month but I was stalled. The last time I'd checked, the hero had the heroine pressed against a wall with his hand on her breast. That was it. The poor guys hand was probably going numb or something because they were in that position for well over a week and I just couldn't get the dude moving. Something wasn't right but I didn't know what!

So I'm on the road, right? My favorite music is playing from my IPOD and the scenery is just a lot of miles and miles of nothing. Then it happened. Inspiration. As I jammed to the music, words, phrases, action all rolled through my mind like a gift that had just been unwrapped and I figured out how to get my heroes hand unstuck from the heroines boob. Now I can't credit the spectacular scenery for this breakthrough. The solitude had a whole lot to do with it. I've also learned lately that sometimes just sitting in my backyard on a quiet night or early morning will do the trick. So I guess I'm just figuring out that being alone with no distractions helps my brain funtion better and gets the creative energy flowing. Now you'll think I'm crazy but often just the act of doing something boring and repetitious will inspire me or get me over a writing hump. One of my favorite household chores to do during writing breaks it folding clothes. If I hit a minor snag, I get up and fold clothes and usually my brain kicks in and I figure out how to get 'unstuck'.

Some friends have those lightbulb moments in shower or after they've gone to bed and slept for a few hours. Some are inspired during long walks. Where do you find you have those 'lightbulb moments'?

Monday, January 11, 2010

His & Hers

Okay, today I have to ask you all a question. It has zero to do with books and everything to do with being married. Yesterday, my husband went out to the kitchen to do something--I don't even remember what now--but while he was out there he started to clean. Do the dishes, wipe down the counters, put things away. I immediately went into defensive mode. It's so strange for me when someone else does something that I feel I should be doing. I can't let it go either!

The thing is, he was just there and decided to do it. No big deal, right? So, why do I start to feel like I'm suddenly not measuring up as a wife? In our marriage we've always had a very clear idea of who does what. And both of us are comfortable with that. And it's not even like he does the manly things and I do the womanly things. In fact, he's the cook around here. I clean up afterwards. I hate to cook and generally he hates to clean. So, it's a match made in heaven really. But yesterday, when he started doing MY dishes, I nearly flipped out. Not because he was doing them wrong, not because he was in the way and certainly not because he was complaining about the mess. It just felt like *I* was laying down on the job or something. It's a completely ridiculous way to feel and I should just be happy that he chose to help out. Actually, I AM happy. But it still feels strange when he does something that I consider one of my jobs.

Is this just me or do you feel that way too? I think this might be a control thing. I tend to be a control freak when it comes to certain things. Like, I'd hate if someone else did my laundry. In fact, my kids and I were joking about hiring a cleaning service. Why were we joking about? Well, because my daughters both said, 'mom, you'd only clean before she got here, so she wouldn't have so much to do!' Too true! LOL Sad when your kids know you THAT well! Even though I know it'd be great to have someone coming in once a week to do the big things around here, I know in my heart that I'd never truly be okay with it. Mostly because I'd feel like I was somehow slacking.

I know that part of this is how I was raised. My mom was big on all of us kids learning to do laundry, dishes, mop floors and cook. Laziness was not an option. I'm thankful she taught us to fend for ourselves! I guess my question to you is, do you hate it when someone else does something to help you out (simply out of kindness) because you somehow feel as if YOU should have taken care of it instead?

I hate that this makes me seem ungrateful. I truly am grateful to have a husband willing to do MORE this his share. Please don't get me wrong there! But in my heart I'm hoping that if he does it again, I'll be able to simply smile and say thanks, then go sit and relax. Relaxing while someone else is working though? Um...never been good at that! LOL

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wanna Feel all WARM INSIDE? Try a Historical

Considering the US is pretty much swept up in an arctic blast, I thought I'd talk about things that are warm, comforting...much like a hot bowl of homemade soup. You know, cozy, cuddly, warm yer innards kinda stuff. Now what is considered cold in Texas is, admittedly laughable to you folks back east but believe me, we are COLD down south, too. Good day to stay inside, dig out favorite soup recipes or fix up a mug of hot chocolate. If you add a dash of bourbon to that mug, I sure won't tell *wink*.

Cold weather also brings with it the urge to pick up a good book. Now, my preferrences for times when I need comfort are almost always historicals. I have some well-read titles that, frankly, have turned yellow with age. They are worn to pieces but I still read them. My faves? I have all of Amanda Quick's regencies (with some Victorians thrown in). Love her stuff. Her heroines are quirkie but easily identifiable to modern women. They have curious minds, are intelligent, and yes, they are often flawed. I love Lisa Kleypas, Julie Garwood, and many many others. For years, we've heard about the death of the historical and each time, they have come roaring back. So yeah, all those dire predictions are just a bunch of hooey. What ISN'T romantic about taking a trip back to the past and living those days once again in a good book?

Some of the first romances I fell in love with were historicals and my favorite? The Flame and The Flower by the late, great Kathleen Woodiwiss. I was hooked on her and couldn't buy her books fast enough. I followed this with The Wolf and The Dove (medieval), Shanna, A Rose in get the drift. Bought and devoured all of them. When I finally decided to write something of my own, I began with regency. A tough period because, though it was a relatively short time span there was quite a bit happening in those days. Research and lots of it was required. To date, I have two erotic regencies available (Made for Mischief and Chasing Temptation at Resplendence Publishing). I don't write them as often as I'd like because they are so time consumming BUT that doesn't mean I don't love them.

Author Cindy Spencer Pape has a new release today at Ellora's Cave so, if you are a historical lover like me, you won't want to miss this one. I'll confess, she is one of my critique partners so I've read quite a bit of this and it is WONDERFUL. I highly recommend you whip out a credit card and snap this gem up. What better for snuggling in with that mug of hot chocolate, hmm? Buy it HERE!


Regency Scotland can be a lonely place, but Augusta MacLeish has four mischievous younger siblings for company—now if she only had money to feed them! Colin Fordyce has recently inherited an earldom, along with five wards in a remote Scottish castle. When he travels to meet them, he discovers his predecessor was skimming their funds. He also learns the oldest Miss MacLeish is absolutely stunning. A knock to his head leaves him seeing two of the buxom beauty, just as one kiss from her tempting lips leaves him longing for more.

A night spent together forces Colin and Augusta to marry, leaving them all the opportunity in the world to explore the sexual hunger between them. Colin delights in teaching Augusta all the pleasures of the flesh, awakening the wanton lover beneath her ladylike veneer. From Scotland to London, the flames burning between them refuse to be doused, and oh how they will set the Ton on fire.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Welcome our guest-Kathy Kulig

NOTE: Please help us welcome talented Ellora's Cave author, Kathy Kulig whose new book Damned and Desired released yesterday!

Thanks so much, Regina, Anne and Kelley for having me as a guest on your blog.

Shapeshifters in Paranormal Romances are Hot.

Shapeshifters continue to be hot sellers in the paranormal romance genre and there are quite a variety of them: Werewolves, leopards, tigers, bears, jaguars, coyote, various birds, reptiles and dragons. There are also shapeshifers who can change into anything they can touch: a person, animal or object.

I think predatory animals, both real and fantasy, make the best shapeshifters for romance novels because the hero/heroine take on the persona of that animal. Predatory animals show strength, power, intelligence and control—all characteristics typical of an Alpha hero. Even though the Hare is a shapeshifter in the Native American folklore, I wouldn’t use that myth in my story because a rabbit for a hero doesn’t seem very heroic or Alpha-male material to me. Although I did read an erotic romance where the hero was a shapeshifting seal or otter and it was an enjoyable read.

A number of my stories involve shapeshifters or a twist on an ancient myth. In my series Demons in Exile, the shapeshifting trait comes from an ancient Norwegian shapeshifting ability called Eigi Einhamr (not one-skinned) where a person can shift into any animal by putting on the animal skin and willing to become that animal.

I also incorporate Native American mysticism. Several years ago I read books by Lynn V. Andrews: MEDICINE WOMAN and JAQUAR WOMAN and have been fascinated by the Native American myths and traditions ever since. I once met a shaman because of a published article I wrote on lucid dreams. The shaman called me a Rainbow Warrior. Not quite sure what he meant but I think it was a compliment.

Release date: 01/06/10 at Ellora’s Cave
ISBN: 978 14199 24699

Blurb: She’s a demon, he’s a shapeshifting leopard. From their first meeting in the Arizona desert, passion ignites and trouble begins. As a demon, Sakari Lock must harvest lifeforce energy through sexual seductions to sustain her exiled world. But when Sakari meets Brad, she breaks the number one rule of Anartia—Don’t get personal with your quarry.

Physician’s assistant Brad Montag is drawn to Sakari’s lustful advances with a blazing desire he can’t explain, unaware of how dangerous she is. No matter how enticing, she’s a complication he doesn’t need until he can conquer his past and regain control of his shapeshifting abilities. Sex this wicked and good can only lead to disaster.

When immortals from an alternate dimension try to free their exiled world, Brad is caught in the middle of a battle that could destroy not only him, but the land he loves.

Footsteps approached in his direction and he estimated they stopped only a few yards behind him. And there he was with his bare ass hanging out for all the world to see.
A woman laughed.
Slowly, Brad turned around pulling a corner of the fur diagonally across him to cover his engorged penis. The adrenaline pumping through his veins had the added affect of giving him a hard on.
“Do I dare ask?” A woman stood there smiling at him, her hands propped on her hips, giving him a mocking grin.
She was stunning. The one-shouldered white dress clung to all her luscious curves and a gold braided belt crisscrossed the bodice accentuating her breasts. Her outfit, her sleek black hair and exotic eyes gave him the impression that she’d stepped out of a Cleopatra movie where she was playing the starring role. He nodded in her direction and answered with an equally smart ass retort. “Toga party, right?” What else could it be?
“No,” she said irritated.
“What are you doing out here?” he asked.
Maybe she was one of those New Agers meditating or something. What was she doing out there all alone surrounded by the vast expanse of flat desert and dusty sage brush? And why would she approach a naked stranger in the middle of the night? Either she had a lot of nerve or was completely mad.
She appeared to think for a minute. “Taking a walk but now I’m late for work,” she said.
He gave a short laugh. “Work? Where do you work?”
She didn’t answer. Something in her eyes made his need for sex even worse, despite the urge to shift.
She shot him a mischievous look. A flicker of something passed through her eyes and his balls drew up tight. Moving closer, she reached out a hand and touched the fur. “What kind of animal was it?”
“Did you kill it?” Her nails caressed the fur and he thought about her doing the same to his balls and he shivered with desire.
“No, it was passed down in my family.”
She nodded. “Then it must be special.” She regarded his bare shoulder and ran her delicate fingers over a twisted scar. “How were you injured?”
“In the service.”
Nodding again, she continued to glide her hand over his chest. Sure she was turning him on but who the hell was she? He backed up a step, giving her the hint to stop.
She crossed her arms over her chest, the position accentuating her cleavage. An unusual stone pendant hung at the cleft of her breasts. She fingered the pendant and smiled. Obviously, she didn’t mind him looking at her.
Beneath his fur his libido was kicking into gear. His penis was hard and fully erect, partly because of the adrenaline pumping through his veins but also because of the lascivious fantasies coming unleashed concerning the woman. His aroused state was her fault. She had interrupted him in the middle of a transformation.
Holy smokes. He could smell her too. He’d been close to shifting so his senses were acute. The delicate scents of earthy soaps, female musk and desert breezes made her even harder to resist. He was overly aware of his nakedness and had a sudden urge to toss the fur on the ground and draw her down. Oh, yeah, that would be hot and insane.
Images of the two of them naked on the leopard pelt formed in his mind. Flesh against flesh, his hand slipping between her thighs and feeling her warm, slick pussy ready for his aroused cock. Yes, he would opt for hot sex with this beauty instead of a wild romp as an animal. Tarzan and Jane in the desert.
She smiled and looked at him quizzically, then cocked her head, nodding toward the fur that was covering his groin area. “What’s that all about?”
“The fur?” How did he explain the fur? Screw it. He wasn’t going to explain anything. “Why are you out here alone?”
She didn’t seem at all intimidated by his directness. “I was going to ask you the same question.”
Neither of them offered an explanation.
She frowned and broke the uneasy silence. “I’ve heard of people who have a fetish to dress in animal furs. They’re called furries.”
“Ah, no. This is nothing like that. It’s not a fetish.” He wrapped the fur around his waist and secured it so his hands were free.
“Okay. Tarzan and Jane?”
He shook his head in disbelief. Was she on the same wavelength? “It’s a bit difficult to explain.”
She took a step closer. “I don’t have time for an explanation. I’m late for work.”
“So you said.”
“Goodbye.” She turned and started walking away.
“Wait! Can I give you a ride?” He stepped forward and nearly lost his fur.
She smiled as he quickly covered himself. “No, thanks. I have transportation.”
“A car? Where?”
“Have to go.”
“Will you be back?” he asked.
She shrugged.
“Can I see you again?”
She frowned, looking around. “Not safe.”
Now we’re getting somewhere. “Not safe for you?”
“No, for you.”
“Tell me why.”
“See you.” An amused expression flitted over her face. She turned away from him and jogged into the darkness.
Brad wondered if he’d ever see her again. When he didn’t hear the sound of a car after several minutes, he stepped into his boots and started off in her direction. After walking around for quite some time, moonlight reflected on a patch of white cloth beneath a tree. His heart leapt to his throat. No!
He investigated and found her dress neatly folded with the gold braided belt and her gold sandals. What the hell? Disappeared like down the rabbit hole.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

How Much is Too Much

I might have blogged on the topic of menage before but I couldn't resist doing it again since I have a new shifter menage out today at Ellora's Cave. So thanks to Kelley for switching days with me so I could blab about it.

Menage is a super hot genre these days. I was talking with a writer friend a few weeks ago and she'd been talking with one of her editors about menage. The word was that menage is hotter than a smokin' pistol and readers liked more than two...more like four or more in a bed with one woman. Hmmm. My reaction was one of wide-eyed wonder. REALLY? More than two guys? Most of us know that menage is a common fantasy for women. The idea of being 'loved up' by two guys who only want to cater to your every sexual whim is rather appealing, isn't it?

Most of you know I write a lot of shifter stories. The High Plains Shifter series features m/f action. No menage (except for one scene in Lone Star Lycan and it didn't involve the h/h). My first menage was Feral Moon and includes action between the heroine and three men (including the hero) but it was primarily a ceremonial thing when the other two guys were involved.

Am I making a lick of sense? Damn, I have a nasty head cold so bear with me.

Back to menage in all it's forms. I love a good menage story but I'm also one who likes a lot of emotion. I like layering my characters like an onion, peeling off those layers to get down to the bare bones of what the hero and heroine are thinking, feeling, and experiencing. How can you do that in a menage? It's definitely more tasking for a writer to do that. I mean a book shouldn't be all about how to insert part A into part B and then part C. It gets tricky. I take my menage stories, at least so far, into the paranormal realm where all things are possible and even accepted as the norm. It's my opinion that it's much harder to do if you have, let's say, five guys in the bed with your heroine. Really. That's just next to impossible to achieve. Now, if you are going strictly for titillation and to hell with emotion....OKAY. That's not how I roll however.

What are your thoughts about menage? Do you enjoy a no-holds-barred experience with a bakers dozen men? Or something else? I know the trend is to get down and dirty but I just don't know if my style of writing lends itself well to more than the standard two men in a menage.


And while you are pondering the importance of this topic, I'd also like to mention that I'm a featured author at Two Lips Reviews. That crazy crew asked me some pretty tough questions and some embarrassing ones, too. But then, I knew to expect that with this bunch! I'll be up for inspection through the month and they are sponsoring a contest. I'm giving away a big box full of signed books, a beautiful Tarot card set, playing cards and other promotional goodies. But you have to head over there to enter. Click HERE and sign up.

Here's my smokin' hot cover and a blurb and link to buy Jaguar Hunger. I'm hoping to make this a series but I'll want to see what readers think before I dive into another so, please, if you pick this up, feel free to share your thoughts. Are you hungry for the Big Cats? Tell Mama Regina all about it.

Buy it HERE!


Noah Littlehawk and Aaron O’Malley have searched long years for the mate they will share, a jaguar female to fulfill their lives and ease their loneliness. What begins as a job soon becomes much more when they meet Violet. Her quiet intensity calls to them. Her body makes them yearn to claim her with the savage hunger of their species.

Death comes for Violet Carson like a speeding train. She knows the shift from woman to beast will rip her apart without the help of jaguar mates. As heat and lust overwhelm her, two men step from the shadows to claim her body and soothe the fire that consumes her. But a human predator waits and he won’t rest until he possesses her, body and soul.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Favorite reads of 2009

I read a lot of books in 2009. I'm the type that gives myself time to read every day. I have to, if not I go a little crazy. LOL. It's my way to wind down after the day. That one thing that is mine and mine alone after a day spent caring for the hubby and kidlets. I read some great books, some okay books and some books that just didn't do it for me. These are my favorites of the year. They weren't all released in 2009 but that's when I read them :)

He wanted all of her—and did she ever let him have it...

Vic Savian knows what he wants when he sees it. And what he wants is his sexy neighbor, Niall Chandler. When he finds her in the hallway of their building being harassed by an aggressive suitor, Vic steps in—and finds himself greatly rewarded...

Sleeping with her gorgeous neighbor—when she didn't even know his last name—was the craziest thing Niall's ever done. Now, she can't seem to get enough of Vic—or the uninhibited passion he stirs in her. Suddenly, with his help, she's opening to sensual pleasures she's never known before. But when Niall's past comes back to haunt her, will she and Vic let themselves venture beyond the bedroom and explore the possibility of the love that's in their hearts?

author website

A friend of my recommended this book to me. It's an awesome erotic romance. Hot, hot, hot, but also emotional which is right up my alley! It's the only book I've read by this author, but I plan to get my hands on more!

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

author website

This is a YA while I know that's not every one's cup of tea, this is a fantastic book. I devoured the whole thing in one day and then promptly brought a copy for my friend and had it mailed to her. It's sweet and takes on some hard issues, like young men in gangs. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a sweet romance.

In a frozen wilderness steeped in darkness, the lines between good and evil, lover and enemy, are never black or white but drawn in Shades of Midnight.

Something inhuman is stalking the frigid Alaskan wilds, leaving unspeakable carnage in its wake. For bush pilot Alexandra Maguire, the killings stir memories of a horrific event she witnessed as a child and evoke in her the inexplicable sense of otherness she has long felt within herself but never fully understood . . . until a darkly seductive stranger with secrets of his own enters her world.

Sent from Boston on a mission to investigate the savage attacks and stop the slaughter, vampire warrior Kade has his own reasons for returning to the frigid, forbidding place of his birth. Haunted by a secret shame, Kade soon realizes the stunning truth of the threat he faces–a threat that will jeopardize the fragile bond he has formed with the courageous, determined young woman who arouses his deepest passions and most primal hungers. But in bringing Alex into his world of blood and darkness, Kade must confront both his own personal demons and the even greater evil that could destroy all he holds dear.

author website

This is one of my favorite paranormal romance series. I fell in love with Dante in book too, fell harder for Tegan in book three and loved the books in between. Now I have Kade who is battling Tegan for my heart. Kade is a HOT, hero who wants to take care of his woman, but he doesn't deny the fact that she's a capable woman who can take care of herself too. Gotta love that in a man...err...vampire. LOL. This is a great series and Shades of Midnight was one of my favorite books in it.

Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father—the one responsible for ruining her mother's life. Then she's captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.

In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She's amazed she doesn't end up as his dinner—are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn't have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat

author website

WOW!!!! This was by FAR my very favorite read of the year. In fact, all four books in the series are on my list but I figured I didn't need to post them all here. I picked this book up after it was recommended to my from Stacy. I read all four books that are currently released in one week. I neglected my dinner duties a bit but Cat and Bones were SO worth it. I laughed out loud countless times in the series. Cat and Bones not only have great chemistry but their banter is fantastic. Bones...what can I say about this hero? I think he's probably my number one hero off all time right now. He's sexy, strong, capable, tough, a great sense of humor and he loves Cat so much it made my heart twitter. There's great action in the books and Cat is a wonderful, kick-butt heroine who doesn't sit around and need to be taken care of. Love that about her.

And as a side note...there is one scene, chapter thirty-two in book two that is the hottest vampire love scene I have ever read...I almost need a glass of water just thinking about it.

There you have it. My list of my favorite reads of 2009. Any books you read last year that you want to rave about? Inquiring minds want to know!

Those 2010 Goals!

Okay, the holidays are over. We've ate and drank WAY too much. Spent time with family until we're ready to strangle them all. We've done the shopping, movies, return lines until we're blue in the face. Now it's time to get back to normal. It's always sort of bittersweet for me. The tree is coming down today. The kids are back to school. The hubby is back to work. And I'm getting back to writing. I'm excited to be able to write. I'm ready to dive right in to this ms and get this sucker finished up. But, I already miss my kids and my husband! Hearing/watching them play Rockband, knowing that we don't have anything pressing to do and can just be lazy all day...yeah, I miss that. But life must go on.

So, I was sitting here thinking about my goals for 2010. I hate the word, resolutions. It just doesn't do a thing for me. But goals, now that I can wrap my head around. Usually my goals are simple. Lose weight and get rich. Easy as pie. LOL This year I'm attempting to be a bit more realistic.

I have a writing goal. What writer doesn't, right? LOL So, anyway, I want to finish up the full length ms I'm working on now, that's my first goal. And it's a big one! After that I want to get started on a short story that's been brewing in my head for several days now. Once that's finished, I plan to...and this is the biggie...write two more novels and two more short stories this year. Already that feels daunting! Ack! BUT I think I can do it. IF I stay focused!

My personal goal. I want to lose that last 10lbs. It's not a huge amount, it's just that it's been hanging on...and on...and on. LOL Actually, scratch that. What I really want is to continue eating healthy and exercising. This is a really big deal for me, because I tend to kick myself off my diet once I start to feel good about myself. It's like I sabotage my own diet! What's up with that?! However, several months ago, when I started eating healthier and working out regularly, I decided NOT to look at this thing like a diet. I know, people always say, 'it's a lifestyle change'. Truly, I never realy looked at it like that. I would watch what I ate, lose a few pounds, then go right back to the chocolate and chips. This time I was determined to GET HEALTHY.

I think it all started when I began having anxiety attacks...on a daily basis. It scared me a little. I realized that maybe what I needed was a healthier eating plan. I began by cutting out greasy stuff, diet pop, junk food. I replaced chips with green peppers, I was eating a few candy bars a day, and managed to cut that down to a small square of chocolate once a day with my morning coffee. That led me to cutting out other things that I KNEW was bad for me, like beer and heavy starches. Changing sausage to turkey bacon. That sort of thing. Now I have a nice little menu that works for me. I allow myself one sweet a day, so I don't feel deprived. I get the protein, dairy, fiber and vegetables I need, rather than a bunch of empty calories that used to leave me ready for a nap around 1pm every day.

The thing is, my diet wouldn't work for anyone, but me. I played around with it until I figured out the right combination FOR ME. We all have to pick our own exercise routine, our own eating plan. I was always trying to conform to someone else's diet plan and I think that's why I always failed.

The payoff...I haven't had an anxiety attack for a long time. And I lost 25lbs, stretched over several months, and I have more energy than I've had in years. For me, it was never about looking better, it was about staying out of the damn hospital! No offense to the doctors out there, but I'd rather NOT visit you all if I can help it! LOL

So, that's my goals. What's yours?

Also, while we're at it. Anyone who leaves me a comment and bravely shares his/her own goals is entered to win one of my ebooks, winner's choice! I'll pick one winner tomorrow and announce it here!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

The Three Wicked Writers wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. Thanks for making 2009 so great around here. We predict more fun to come in the coming year.