Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Simon Complex

Whenever I see a slightly negative review or someone gives me their (unsolicited) opinion on one of my stories, I'm forced to grab onto my chair with both hands to keep from leaping at the monitor. The truth is that some people really do see themselves as Simon Cowell's twin separated at birth. They can be brutal with your story and they're pretty sure they know your characters better than you do.

What do I say to those individuals? Thank you. First, thank you for even bothering with a nobody like me. Second, thank you for giving me something to think about. Third (and this is the most important), thank you for giving me the incentive to push forth and make a name for myself in the world of writing.

Of course, that's not my first reaction. Remember when I said I wanted to leap at the monitor? Well, it's not because I want to give them a big ol hug. LOL Yeah, my initial reaction isn't to grin and go on my merry way. But eventually you settle down and you look at what the person said. Any author worth their salt knows it's important to use those critiques to their advantage. Sometimes the comments/opinions are pure nonsense, but I would be lying if I said I didn't gain at least a little insight into each and every review, reader email, or fellow author's tips.

This post isn't because I got a bad review recently. It's because of something entirely different. Someone said something negative to me personally. I doubt this person even realized what she said. At first I got a little mad, then I decided to use it as incentive. Funny how someone can inspire you when they're really trying to do the exact opposite. LOL

So, to all the Simon Cowells out there. We thank you for the accidental inspiration. *grin*

And now for some other inspiration...yum!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Conventions: Do you or don't you?

With RT coming to a close this year, and after talking with a few friends about their experience I thought I'd throw the question out there to you today. Do you or don't you go to the bigger conventions every year? If so, what do you get out of them? Personally, I've never been to RT or RWA. I would love to go, it just hasn't been in the cards for me yet. I'd love to be surrounded by so many people who live and breath romance novels like I do. I'd love to meet readers and see what they want in their books. I'd love the chance to chat it up with an editor or an agent and you know, maybe throw my name out at least a hundred times (lol. Just kidding...kind of). I'd love to pitch. To see some of my favorite authors and to take advantage for the numerous workshops.

But the price? Wow. It's a little steep so I wonder, is it worth it for most authors? I don't know.

I have go to smaller conventions or get together. I went to Lori Foster's get together both last year and the year before. I had a blast both times. Hers are more centered around readers so I didn't have the chance to attend workshops but she always has editors and agents there for pitch appointments. I love her get together and the registration fee was only 35.00 when I went.

Playing around online yesterday I have a local conference being given my a local, RWA approved agent. She likes things so she limits it to the first fifty to register but her price is only 250.00 and that's for everything: hotel for the weekend, conference fee, attending all the workshops, etc. She gives editing workshops where you edit some of your MS and takes pitch appointments. I'm bummed I found it so late in the game because I'd like to go.

What kinds of conferences do you attend, if any? Have they been productive for you? Inquiring minds want to know!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

When Inspiration Fails

Well, unfortunately inspiration didn't strike on my weekend trip. I tried. I really did! Thing is there are just too many other things going on that need my attention these days. So I've come to the realization that in my quest to finish my manuscript I've neglected things. Figure THIS must be the reason the plot of my next book isn't forming easily in my brain.

So this week, I'm just going to take off and not worry about it. I tend to be hard on myself if I'm not being productive with my writing. Lately, I'll remember something around the house that needs to be done and I'll tell myself I'll get to it as soon as I've finished "this chapter".

The weekend went great and my daughter has found a nice roomate and a place to live this upcoming fall when she heads off for college. One more thing in the gigantic list of things that needed to be taken care of. I realized over the weekend that my life was spiraling out of control because of all the 'stuff' that I've been neglecting. So I'm planning to take this one week and get some things dealt with. Today and Thurdsday, repair guys are coming to the house to do some things. Yesterday, I got a check up and Wednesday, I'm taking my daughter for a dental visit. I'm going to get some stuff DONE. I honestly think this is why I can't come up with a new plot. I mean, it's there hovering in my head but sometimes we just have to do other things.

Life outside the writing world is screaming for my attention. Yeah, it's a major drag but there is no more putting it off! Keep thinking once my mind is clear again the words will come and I'll be back to doing what I love.

In the meantime, there are appointments to be made, floors to clean, and groceries to be bought. Real life just has to intrude. It's inevitable. So rather than fight it, I'm going with the flow and taking care of business.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Driving me to drink!

Okay, the title of this post isn't entirely accurate, but it's close. LOL This weekend my oldest got her temps. She's been practicing on the back roads some with her dad and she's slowly getting the hang of it. Sunday, after church, we let her drive us part of the way home. She started closer to town, more traffic. By the time we got home my heart was in my throat and I was simply beside myself with fear. No, she didn't do anything crazy or wild. She did very well and she's taking this very seriously. She listen's to her dad's instructions and keeps both hands on the wheel and her eyes on the road.

The thing is, it wasn't her driving that made me want to lock her in her room. It was the fact that soon my baby will be out there driving. She'll be on the road with everyone else and dad won't be beside her, ready to grab the wheel in case something goes wrong. I guess it hit me all at once. It was all I could do to make it to the bedroom before I broke down. I didn't want her to see me upset.

No one is more aware than me that this is one of those parent issues that I know I'll have to come to terms with. Whether I like it or not, she's going to be driving soon and I'm going to have to have faith that she'll be okay. That she's smart enough to drive safely. That we raised her to use her brain. I guess it didn't help that right when we got home I checked my email and saw a traffic alert that a major highway was closed due to a bad accident. All I could think was someday Kati will be out there.

I guess my question to you all is, how do you get through it? What helped you deal with this type of fear? I'm trying to think positive. I've prayed about it. I'm reminding myself that she's a smart girl. I'm aware that I can't control everything. But I'm still just terrified. Help!

Friday, April 24, 2009


My big question today is: where do you find inspiration?

This is a particularly good question for me because I just finished a manuscript and got it sent to my editor a few days ago. Hitting the send button is a weird feeling. At least I think so. Since my editor is in Australia, she was up and working as my day is coming to an end. It was around 1:30 a.m. and I'd been writing all day. My brain was sluggish to say the least and after I hit that button, I just felt kind of numb. I always have that reaction when I sent a story off. Maybe it's because I know it's time to wait and I'm not the most patient person in the world. Maybe it's because I'll be learning soon whether she loves my characters as much as I. I just don't know.

The numbness is still with me today and I figure I need to come up with another project. Don't know exactly what that will be yet. Have some ideas but they haven't quite "gelled" yet. I'm seriously considering a follow up to Feral Moon, a paranormal shifter story featuring panthers. Still unsure about that.

Today my daughter and I are heading up to see my son who is in college in Lubbock, Texas. We live in west Texas and will drive west then north through what is known as the "South Plains". And PLAINS it is. The entire area is flat and desertous dotted with buttes and plateaus. Pump jacks from producing oil wells, windmills, and cotton fields stretch out as far as the eye can see. Others might find this long, lonely stretch of highway boring as hell but for some reason, I never have. Looking out over the land, I always imagine Indians lining those plateaus looking down at me. I imagine them racing their ponies across the plains as tumbleweeds and dirt devils whip around all over the place.

It's inspirational. I found myself thinking that today while I'm driving that lonely stretch the stories will come to me. That's certainly the place for it. At least for me. Sometimes I get my story ideas while sitting alone in my backyard during the spring and summer. Sometimes it happens while I'm mindlessly driving somewhere. I've heard of others who wake up in the dead of night with a story screaming in their heads. That's happened to me a few times but not often.

So where do you get your inspiration?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wet, baby!

I have no idea why but I'm in a wet mood. *grin*
So, I searched and found some wet pictures I thought you'd all enjoy.

(now who do you love?!)

I LOVE Jason Statham! Damn, he's hot!

Gerard. He needs no introduction, am I right?

Does anyone else have the need to lick something...?

Criminal Minds: Morgan...I love Wednesdays. LOL

I've always hated Speedos...and yet...

Makes you want to get up close, eh?

Seriously, this is the right amount of chest hair...

You're welcome. :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pet peeves...I know you have them!

It's that time again where we like to give you all a chance to vent. I know every couple months, okay a little more often than that but I know I can't get away with it as often as I'd like. LOL. Anyway, everyone couple months I have a whole load of stuff I need to get off my chest. For me it's that time again. Things have been festering and I figure its time to let them out before they bubble over. I swear, I'm not an easily annoyed just might seem like it.

Okay, I hope this doesn't come out wrong. I know this person. Let's just call her Jane. Well Jane has never, in the years and years I've known her, mentioned that she liked, planned or did write. But ever since I became a published author, any time I mention anything about my writing she decides she's going to do it too. I mentioned writing a short story to submit to Spice Briefs. She asks a couple questions about how long they are, etc. After I tell her she says, "That is so cool. I'm going to do it too! Wouldn't hurt to make a little extra money" Let me start by saying I'm not trying to say she can't do it. She may be a fantastic writer, who will make it big. She may have a hidden love of writing that I never knew about but it does drive me crazy that she quickly "decides" she's just going to write, when she's never written before, and automatically get published to "make extra money". That makes me feel like she thinks what I do is the easiest thing. Like anyone can just say, "Hmm, I'm going to write a story, submit it to NY and get published" and it will just happen with no research, no practice, no years of rejection. Yes that may happen but not every often. Writing is hard and not everyone can do it but I don't feel like some people realize that. It actually hurts my feelings. Writing is hard damn work! We put our hearts and souls into it and that means something to me....okay....going to end gripe number one before I go on and on.

On to my list of pet peeves. LOL. Bad drivers annoy the heck out of me. It drives me crazy to see people swerving around the road while talking on their cell phone or eating and I'm dodging them with my two little girls in the back seat. Hungry? Pull over. Get a phone call? Ignore it. Really, it shouldn't be that hard to understand.

People who are ALWAYS late. I'm not saying I'm never late but I'm talking about the people you have to tell to meet you at one if you want them to meet you at two. I think it takes more work to always be late than it does to be on time. YOu know yourself. YOu know how long it takes you to get ready, etc. Plan and be there. If a person is late every time I do something with them it tells me they don't respect me or my time. Like they think I have nothing better to do than wait. It may not seem like I live that exciting of a life, but I value my time, however I may spend it. LOL.

Last...well not last but the last one I'll mention for today is bad manners. I try my best to each my children to be respectful and it drives me crazy when I see adults in the grocery store or wherever who are not as polite as my five year old daughter. When someone almost runs her over with a cart, and my child says excuse me yet they don't, there is something wrong with that picture.

Exhale breath, Kelley. LOL. I'm getting a little worked up here. What are some of your pet peeves or big things that drive you crazy? Come on, this is your chase to get it off your chest!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Sometimes the most seemingly impossible things happen and you're left just shaking your head. Anyone see the movie Slumdog Millionaire? It was a good movie...very well done in my opinion but I had a lot of trouble watching it. All the poverty and the abuse of children. The slums. The filth. Nope. Not a movie I would ever watch again.

Yesterday a story surfaced about the little girl who was featured for a large part of the film. I remember thinking when I saw the movie how absolutely gorgeous she was. British director, Danny Boyle, cast children who actually live in the slums of Mubai. Yes, this beautiful little girl lives in a slum with her father who, it was reported, tried to sell his little girl for $300,000 the other day. Nothing has been proven yet and the father of the little girl is protesting that he had no intention of selling his child but he did meet with someone who offered to buy her.

The story mentioned a British reporter, posing as a wealthy Saudi, made the offer and he claims the girl's father was interested. More news came out later about this whole thing when the movie company who made Slumdog Millionaire discussed how these children were paid for their appearance in the movie. Because the children's parents were so horribly greedy and grasping, the studio execs decided to establish trust funds for these kids...something they can collect when they are "of age", schools were paid for, etc. Very nice. The movie executives believed these parents would squander the money so they put protections in place to assure that when they were adults, they would recieve wonderful educations and money. Some of the parents of these kids bitched fairly loudly that they wanted money and the whole trustfund thing was unfair.

Apparently the notion that his child would be provided for in adulthood wasn't enough for this little girls father. Investigations are ongoing on this deal but, I swear, if they find this guy guilty of attempting such a horrific thing I hope harsh justice is meted out. This whole thing is sickening.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Nalini Singh--rocks!

So, some of you recommended I read Nalini Singh's books, since I'm so in love with Lora Leigh's Breeds. Well, I picked up the first book in Singh's Psy-changeling series "Slave to Sensation". I loved it!

A few things. I did love the world building. I feel anyone, even those who aren't big on shifters, will enjoy this book. The hero was totally alpha and the heroine was intelligent, strong and not at all TSTL. The heat level isn't Lora Leigh hot. That was my only complaint with Slave to Sensation. The title leads you to think this is going to be a scorcher, but it's really not. However! There's enough tension between the hero and heroine to make you sweat! You won't be left wanting!

What does a person do when they read a book they love? A book they couldn't put down no matter how bad the house looks? Well, they go out and buy the whole series, of course. LOL Seriously, after reading the first one, I checked the author's website and realized there's already four other full length books out there just waiting to be read. Cool, huh? Yeah, I ordered them all. They should get here by the weekend. Yes!

What am I talking about? In order, I present to you Nalini Singh's Psy-changeling series:

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation”— the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was….
Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy co-existence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion—and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities—or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation…

Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous-aching need...exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her. Changeling Vaughn D'Angelo can take either man or jaguar form, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar's instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith's sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silenced-and keep her from Vaughn...

As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now a defector, his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins—cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna… Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted—and had her mind violated—by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives…

Clay Bennett is a powerful DarkRiver sentinel, but he grew up in the slums with his human mother, never knowing his changeling father. As a young boy without the bonds of Pack, he tried to stifle his animal nature. He failed...and committed the most extreme act of violence, killing a man and losing his best friend, Talin, in the bloody aftermath. Everything good in him died the day he was told that she, too, was dead. Talin McKade barely survived a childhood drenched in bloodshed and terror. Now a new nightmare is stalking her life--the street children she works to protect are disappearing and turning up dead. Determined to keep them safe, she unlocks the darkest secret in her heart and returns to ask the help of the strongest man she knows...

Clay lost Talin once. He will not let her go again, his hunger to possess her, a clawing need born of the leopard within. As they race to save the innocent, Clay and Talin must face the violent truths of their past...or lose everything that ever mattered.

Separated from her son and forced to create a neural implant that will mean the effective enslavement of her psychically gifted race, Ashaya Aleine is the perfect Psy--cool, calm, least on the surface. Inside, she's fighting a desperate battle to save her son and escape the vicious cold of the PsyNet. Yet when escape comes, it leads not to safety, but to the lethal danger of a sniper's embrace.

DarkRiver sniper Dorian Christensen lost his sister to a Psy killer. Though he lacks the changeling ability to shift into animal form, his leopard lives within. And that leopard's rage at the brutal loss is a clawing darkness that hungers for vengeance. Falling for a Psy has never been on Dorian's agenda. But charged with protecting Ashaya and her son, he discovers that passion has a way of changing the rules...

Coming in July!

Though DarkRiver sentinel Mercy is feeling the pressure to mate, she savagely resists when Riley Kincaid, a lieutenant from the SnowDancer pack, tries to possess her. The problem is not simply that he pushes her buttons; the problem is that he’s a wolf, she’s a cat, and they’re both used to being on top.

But when a brilliant changeling researcher is kidnapped from DarkRiver territory, Mercy and Riley must work together to track the young man—before his shadowy captors decide he’s no longer useful. Along the way, the two dominants may find that submitting to one another uncovers not just a deadly conspiracy, but a passion so raw that it’ll leave them both branded by fire…

Thank you ALL for recommending her to me. I've found myself a new auto-buy author! I love moments like that!

Friday, April 17, 2009

You Just Never Know

Earlier this week it occured to me that we really, seriously have a lot to learn as human beings. We've blogged about this topic here before. I'm speaking of making judgments of others based on how they LOOK. Are we, as a society, ever going to learn?

I have never in my life chosen my friends on the basis of what they look like or how much money they have or if they hold positions of power. Beauty, as we are taught in every church in the world, is in the HEART. Maybe it's time we started believing that. Several of my friends have posted about Susan Boyle and we are all singing her praises...and rightly so. Seldom do we see Simon Cowell so flumoxed or see such a relatively hateful audience make a 360 degree turn and literally fly to their feet to cheer. If you haven't seen this video yet, please take a look. I tried to post the video here but the codes have been disabled for this particular clip.

When I saw this video, I teared up. I thought...oh, how WONDERFUL! It gave me the biggest thrill to see this 'everywoman' take the stage and triumph as she did.

I was so interested to learn more about this woman so I did some reading. She lives in a small village in Scotland. When she was in her early 20's she was enrolled in a London Acting Academy but returned to her village to care for her sick mother. Her mother passed away a few years ago and now, Susan lives alone with her cat, Pebbles. She is unemployed but does lots of charity work for her church and the neighborhood kids are known to call her names. When she had the chance to audition for Britain's Got Talent, she took her chance. Her big shot. She wanted to do it for her mom who'd wanted good things for her. Susan went for it. Yes, she is 47. So what? It just took her a little longer to get the chance to reach for her dreams. Does anyone believe that dreams are only for the young? You would be mistaken about that.

I hope you don't mind my sharing and I'm certain by now, you've seen this but I just wanted to share my thoughts.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Giggled and loving it!

You're probably wondering why I've posted a picture of the famous chararacter from the movie Psycho, huh? Norman Bates. Ah, no one can do insanity quite like him.

Then again, I've managed to pull it off without even trying. Cool, huh?!

At least that's what Mrs. Giggles tells me. The following quote is in reference to my recent Samhain Publishing release, Turbulent Passions (contemporary romance with psychic elements): "Aries is a little too creepy for my liking. He exudes a most disquieting Norman Bates vibe" --Mrs. Giggles

I read that and couldn't stop laughing. I even read it to my mom, and she got a good chuckle out of it too. I love it! Norman Bates! Who knew I could create such a creepy secondary character? I think I've missed my calling. Clearly I should be writing thrillers.

The thing about reviews is that there's always at least one that'll raise your eyebrows in surprise. You'll either be pleased as punch, angry as hell or just downright baffled. This time I was both pleased and baffled. Mrs. Giggles gives Turbulent Passions a 75 and overall she liked the story and wished it'd been longer. All in all I walked away smiling. And I get to hold the unique honor of having Norman Bates as a secondary character. How cool is that?!

My own take on Aries is a little different, as you can imagine. He and his twin sister, Sapphire, posess some very cool psychic powers. They've lost both their parents in a car accident and the only family they have left is each other. Aries is understandably overprotective, obsessed with keeping her safe, and feels responsible for her as only a brother would. In the end he realizes the error of his ways and everyone lives happily ever after. I suppose to understand his situation you'd have to read the book yourself. Is Aries Norman Bates creepy or is he simply fixated on keeping his twin alive?

Here's an excerpt for you. In this scene, Aries learns that Sapphire has a strange man in her home and Aries is concerned.



Aries waved a hand toward the table. “Please, sit.”

The stranger closed the distance, waiting to seat her before taking his own chair.

“Such a gentleman, Sister.”

“Kiss off, Brother.”

Aries grinned and sat in one of the two remaining chairs. “Do you remember anything at all?

How you came to be on our land, for example?”

The stranger dragged his fingers through his hair. “No, nothing. It’s infuriating as hell, too.”

Aries nodded. “I can understand. The mind is a very fragile thing. It’s important you don’t push too hard, or you risk losing the memories forever.”

The stranger squinted at Aries, as if bothered by something. “You two seem to know a lot about the brain. Are you scientists or doctors of some kind?”

Sapphire smiled. “Can I tell him about our upbringing?”

“Yes, but be careful. He’s very curious, and that bothers me.”

Sapphire turned to the man seated at her left and attempted to explain without giving too much away. “Nothing quite so important. Our parents were believers in all things natural. Metaphysics was a way of life for us growing up.”


“Loosely it means that which transcends physics. In other words, my parents believed in things beyond the norm. Faith healing, crystals, astrology. You see?”

“So that explains the unique names. No Johns and Janes for you guys, huh?”

Sapphire found herself laughing. “No, but I’d wished to have a more normal name. When I was a kid, being Sapphire wasn’t always easy.”

“I can imagine. But your eyes…” He cleared his throat, then said, “Well, the name is very fitting.”
“Thank you. I wish I had a name for you.”

“You and me both, sweetheart.”

Aries growled low. Sapphire felt it the instant he was about to unleash his power on the unsuspecting man sitting next to her. She’d already become infatuated with him and she desperately wanted to explore those feelings further.


“He shouldn’t be so free with the endearments. He has no rights over you.”

“And did the women you bedded in town have rights over you?”

“You go too far, Sister.”

“Excuse me?” the stranger asked as he regarded them both with curiosity.

Sapphire froze as she realized Aries had spoken aloud. He never made a mistake.

“Twins,” Aries quickly explained. “Sometimes we can look at each other and know what the other is thinking.”

“Right, I’d forgotten. You two sure don’t look anything alike. She’s so small and you’re so…not.”

Aries laughed. Actually laughed. It was such a rare occurrence these days, it startled them both.

“So, I get that sapphire is a gemstone, and with her blue eyes the name is plenty appropriate, but what about you?”

“Aries. The astrological sign. It denotes a person with strong power of initiative who is independent, has a good temper and likes to win.”

Sapphire covered her mouth and attempted to stifle her laugh.

“Well, that’s why Mom and Dad named me Aries, isn’t it?”

“You left out jealous, loses interest easily, temperamental, has a hard time showing feelings.”

Aries rolled his eyes as if bored. “Thanks for the astrology lesson.”

“Any time.”

“You two do this often?”

“What?” they asked in unison.

“The bantering back and forth. It’s pretty entertaining. I never had a…”

The stranger stopped and his square jaw tensed visibly. It bothered her to see him so lost. Sapphire placed her hand on his arm. “It’s okay. It’s just another mind leak. Soon the crack will widen and all of it will come flooding back.”

The stranger looked at her hand as if mesmerized. Something undeniable and magnetic seemed to pass between them. Her body flooded with warmth and the juncture between her thighs was suddenly dripping with need. She didn’t quite understand what she was feeling, but she had some idea. And she didn’t need her brother there ruining things.

Aries stood, as if sensing her desperation. “It’s getting late and I have things to attend to before bed.” The handsome stranger stood and held out his hand. Aries took it and nodded. “She’s my only living relative. I’ll always watch over her, so tread with caution, stranger.”

“You have my word.”

“I’ll have more than that should you choose to hurt Sapphire. Know this: There is no place on earth I could not find you.”

To her surprise and admiration, the stranger dropped Aries’ hand and walked around the table to stand face to face with him. Looking her brother straight in the eyes, he vowed, “Your sister will come to no harm while I’m here.”

Aries nodded as if satisfied.


“I’ve searched his mind. I didn’t find anything to cause me alarm. And he genuinely likes you. Actually, like might be too tame. The things he’s thinking…damn, I feel like I should stand guard or something.”

“I’ll have your head on a stick if you even think it.”

“You’re one scary lady.”

“Remember that come morning, okay?”

“What’s going to happen in the morning?”

“Shut up and go, will you?”

Aries laughed aloud and left. She locked the door behind him and set the security alarm, before turning to the stranger. He stood in her kitchen, all his focus trained on her as if she were a juicy steak and he a starving Doberman.

Oh, my.

So, you tell me! Is Aries creepy or just overprotective and annoying, as most brothers tend to be...?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My first time

For those of you who don't know, I have a another identity. My naughty side, Madison Scott has a confession to make.

Yesterday was my first time. Yep, you read that right everyone, until yesterday I was an erotic romance virgin. Well…let me rephrase, I’d dabbled before. Engaged in a little foreplay that I never shared with anyone else but soon, that wasn’t enough. I wanted more. I pushed aside my desires for a while but they were never far from my mind. Then, Ty started to speak to me. He wanted his story. He needed the perfect woman but the thing about Ty is, he likes it really HOT. I couldn’t deny myself any longer. I’d found the perfect guy, and the perfect woman followed right behind. It was time for me to go out on that first date. I pushed my virginal fears aside and set out to tell Ty’s and Maggie’s story. After I finished, I’d had a blast but I still wasn’t satisfied. I knew the only way I would be satisfied was to share Ty and Maggie’s story with the world. I was scared but figured I’d gone this far, might as well take that next step. Imagine my surprise when I got that second date, I sold to Liquid Silver Books. After that, yeah, I was satisfied but there was still that little part of me that was scared to go all the way. I mean, would everyone else enjoy themselves as much as I did? I wasn’t sure but finally, yesterday, I went all the way. I watched with anticipation as my first erotic romance went up for sale. And guess what? It didn’t even hurt. It felt damn good as a matter of fact. So good that I might have to do it again. Ty has two brothers who are just as naughty as he is and I have a feeling, I’ll enjoy myself just as much with Ethan and Shane, as I did Ty.

Here’s a little taste….Maggie is about to have her first time too. She isn’t a virgin but for the first time she’s letting all her inhibitions go. She’s giving herself over to Ty and the satisfaction she knows he will give her.

Tyson Malone is being stalked by a ghost. Between bouts of calling him Sugar Lips and Hot Cakes, the apparition makes it her goal to get Ty together with his sexy neighbor, Maggie Jacobson. Unfortunately, for her, Ty doesn’t do the relationship thing. He does sex with a no relationship clause. One look at Maggie is all it takes to know she’s a relationship kind of woman.

Maggie is tired of living her life the way others dictate. When her mom leaves her a journal left behind by a grandmother she never met, Maggie is inspired. This brave woman lived her life by her own set of rules and Maggie is ready to do the same. After moving to a new town, she meets Ty, a man who inspires her in a whole new, very sexual way.

Taking control for the first time in her life, Maggie propositions him with a no strings affair. Soon they begin a journey to sexual satisfaction and bringing her fantasies to life.
KINKS: outdoor sex, masturbation/voyeurism, food play, light bondage, dirty talk

A pushy ghost and a gorgeous redhead--a man doesn’t stand a chance!

A knock at the door jarred her from her thoughts. “Come in,” Maggie called out while she finished slipping into a pair of tennis shoes. No one else would be at her house at six AM but Tyson. A click sounded followed by a creak. “Hey, you.”
His brow creased. “Why didn’t you make sure it was me before yelling to come in? Better yet, why isn’t the door locked?”
“Pfft. This is Last Chance. Half the people in this town probably leave their doors unlocked.”
“Just because they’re stupid doesn’t mean you should be. You’re a woman living alone. Lock your doors.”
His order should have angered her but for some reason it made her heart do a funny little flutter instead. He worried about her and dumb as it was, that made her feel good. Maggie stood up. “I usually do leave it locked. I knew you’d be coming over so I unlocked it a few minutes ago.”
“Next time wait until I get here. Anyone could have been at the door.”
Maggie shook her head. Men! Always had to be macho. “What are we doing?” She knew he planned to take her camping but other than that he hadn’t given her many clues about their day. After she’d told him some of her fantasies he told her to be ready this morning for a trip. Somehow sex would be tied in. She just wasn’t sure how.
“The river.” He didn’t elaborate any further. His voice turned husky as his chocolate eyes raked her up and down. Goosebumps pebbled on her skin following the trail of his gaze. “I tasted you all night, Maggie. The scent of your arousal clung to my body damn near giving me a wet dream when I thought about what it felt like inside your slippery walls.”
Wetness seeped from the folds of her sex soaking her panties. Tyson wrapped his arms around her, surrounding her in his warmth.
“Did you think of me when you were all tucked into bed, baby?”
Had she ever. “Yes.” His hands squeezed the round globes of her ass. “Oh!”
“Did you do more than just think about me?”
How did he know? Come on, Mags. Tell him. Don’t get cold feet now. “Yes.”
“What did you do?”
“First I--”
“No, Maggie, show me. Don’t tell me.”
Her pulse pounded. Her core throbbed with the need to come. For Ty. To show him she could be wild, untamed, purely sexual. Maggie kicked her shoes from her feet and dropped her shorts and panties. Her limbs trembled in a mix of anticipation and fear.
“Look at that pretty pussy. Did you touch yourself, Maggie? Did you sink your fingers into your cunt?”
“I pretended it was you. I wanted it to be you.”
“It will be me but not right now. I want to see you push your delicate fingers into your hungry little kitty cat. Can you do that for me, baby?”
She never would have thought she could do something like this but looking at Tyson she knew she could.

There was an error in production of Satisfy Me. There are extra characters, @ and # littered throughout the book. This is being fixed and the new copy will be on Liquid Silver Books Website this evening. For those who might have already bought it, they'll send you a new download link this evening as well.

Suggestions Please?

I've been so caught up in my writing these days. Yeah, it's a good thing. I'm roughly twenty pages from finishing the third of my shifter stories which is tentatively called Ringo's Ride. Have to admit, I'm feeling a little burned out at the moment and I'm dying to sink my teeth into some good books. Right now I'd love nothing better than to curl up somewhere with my e-book reader and just get lost for awhile. Do you ever get that way?

Admittedly, it's been awhile for me and maybe it's because we get so "into" building a career than we forget to stop and remember why we got into this gig in the first place. I love books. Love the written word and I love nothing better than to dive into a story and forget my troubles.

The other night, when the Amazon thing was heating up, I went over to Amazon and honestly, I don't vist their site very often. Guess I've been living in a cave or something because I didn't know J.R. Ward has another installment of The Black Dagger Brotherhood coming out in hardback at the end of the month. Thinking of picking it up but I'm still unsure. I also looked at a number of Lora Leigh titles. She's mentioned here a lot and I'm ashamed to say I've never read her work. Baaaaad Regina! I noticed she has a LOT of series. Which ones do you guys recommend? Figure it's time to stock up.

In other news, I have another new print release. Torrid Topaz, an anthology from Ellora's Cave, hit the shelves yesterday and I'm fortunate to be one of the featured authors with my paranormal menage Spanish Topaz. I've been really fortunate lately. Tempting Turquoise came out in print a few weeks ago and I've recently learned the Mistletoe Magic series (written with Desiree Holt and Cindy Spencer Pape) will be arriving in print later this year. My book Hotter Than Hell will be included in Flavors of Ecstasy IV (an Ellora's Cave Caveman) and Tempting Tess will be part of an Oh Yum anthology (older woman/younger man) soon. Thanks for letting me share this news with you!

Here's the Link to buy Torrid Topaz!

When rancher Cash Carter gets sexy Graciela Fuentes back in his bed, he vows to keep her there. Whether it’s through the lure of hotter than hell sex or the intrigue to be found in an ancient topaz-studded dagger, he won’t let her go again. His body burns for hers but once she touches the handle of the dagger and Miguel de Castillo, a man from another time, manifests before them, Cash realizes Gracie’s soul may belong to another.

Miguel longs for a reunion with his long-dead bride and when he finds her soul residing in the body of the very modern Gracie, he’ll do anything to get her back. It becomes a race against time as Gracie gives her body to both men in order to reunite the lost lovers, hoping against hope she doesn’t lose her life or her love in the process.

Monday, April 13, 2009

discrimination or a glitch?

The first thing I thought of this morning when I saw the Publisher's Weekly article about Amazon's new crappy sales ranking system was this particular scene from the hilarious movie Office Space:

The frustrating thing is...this is reality. Whether Amazon truly is experiencing a glitch in the system or they're actually excluding 'adult' titles from the searches and sales rankings, the fact remains that it's a sucky situation. And I can't figure how they're deciding what's good and what's naughty. Lora Leigh's "Coyote Mate" has a sales ranking, yet Kate Douglas' latest "Wolf Tales" doesn't. Er, huh?
Of course this new 'adult' policy doesn't include horror. Nope, that's still acceptable to the public. Again, torture, blood, death is a-okay, while sex and love is to be hidden away like an ugly little mut. Whatever.
What it all boils down to, is a whole bunch of BS if you ask me. I'm tired of erotic romance authors constantly getting the shit end of the stick. And if you want to help change the situation sign this petition.
Because I'm still trying to get caught up after a busy weekend--Spring Break & Easter--I haven't had time to look at the various blogs/sites discussing this shitty situation. But it's been brought to my attn that this seems to be largely aimed at gay titles, and not just romance, but non-fiction. Dear Author has an interesting article as does Cnet Does it change the tone of my post? Not really. I'm still pissed. Discrimation tends to do that to me.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter

Any fun plans? We're having a couple people over. I'm making a ham and scalloped potatoes and we're having a little Easter egg hunt for the kiddos! Have a very Happy Easter!

Happy Easter

Friday, April 10, 2009

Grim is good for some

There's no doubt about it, we are living in tough economic times. Home foreclosures, job losses, you name it, we've got it. Lately I've been noticing though that not every business is suffering.

Yesterday a friend and I were chatting. She'd just read an article in the New York Times about the rise in sales of ebooks despite the decline of other goods and services. I asked her for the link to the story but she couldn't find it. Bummer. I've been really interested in this. Every month I get checks in the mail and I haven't seen a decrease in sales. Have any of you?

Oddly enough, I had the television on to MSNBC, my favorite news channel. They were running a segment about businesses that were seeing huge growth. One of those was BURPEE. They package and sell seed. More and more people are planting vegetable gardens in the hopes of saving a few bucks at the grocery store. Even Michelle Obama has planted a nice little garden at the White House.

More people are going out to bars and alcohol sales have picked up. Another business that is on the rise is CHOCOLATE. Not necessarily the pricier, top of the line stuff like Godiva but plain old Hershey's, Snickers, etc. Yep, things might not be good but I dare ya to take a Hershey's Kiss from a depressed woman! Not gonna happen. And apparently we're eating more of it.

Guess what else they mentioned!!! ROMANCE NOVELS. Harlequin is a company that announced rising profits and I'm sure the other publishers have seen the same. Now we readers and writers of romance already know that diving into a great book can take us away. We get lost in the plights of our favorite heroes and heroines if only for an hour or two. Must say it was very neat to see the racks of romance novels they showed on the segment.

In the year ahead, it will be interesting to see what we depend on most for our comforts in these grim economic times.

WAIT! I found the link to the NY Times article. Posting it late. Sorry.

New York Times Article

Thursday, April 9, 2009

...and then if fizzled

Take a good look at the dude in the picture. Okay, did you look? Well, does he look familiar? No? Maybe just his expression, that savage hatred as he screams at the computer. As soon as I saw that picture I thought, 'Hey! He must be a writer like me!' LOL

This is the way I've felt lately. The last few days it's been hell trying to get anything written in my WIP. I kept asking myself why? Why am I hitting this wall every single time I try to write a few sentences? Then yesterday it hit me. I'd written myself into a corner. I couldn't get onto the next chapter because the two previous chapters were a friggin' mess. So I sat down and started revising and revising...and revising. I spent the entire day redoing the screw up. Once I had it fixed, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. I started to write and ended up getting 13 pages written. YES! Finally, I'm back on track and this story is starting to make me proud again. Oh, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking so today is going to be another 13 pages, right? Wrong. It's Spring Break so my kids are off school. LOL

Why does this always happen? Just when you get your head all straightened around, all you want is to write and write and write, but life gets in the way. Eh, that's okay, I'll find time later. Today and tomorrow are for my kids. We've been waiting for these two days to come for months now. My youngest daughter has the day all planned out, too. First the park, then we're going to do some shopping. Tomorrow more shopping and the movies. Yeah, the manuscript can wait a bit. My kids come first.

The good news is, I know what I want to write. The scene is once again in my head and the jumbled mess has been cleared away. Whew.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Those HOT romance hunks

I've been feeling a little down lately so I thought I'd talk about something we all love, men! LOL. I'm talking those sexy heroes in the romance novels we all devour. When I'm reading a book, the hero is instrumental in whether I love a story or not. I have to relate to the heroine in some way and I have to like her but I have to love the hero. Not sure if all readers are that way (or maybe I'm the only one who is man crazy) but it's true. All of my favorite books, those books that are on my keeper shelf, are books with a hero that I fell head over heels for. He stole my heart right along with the heroines. It's hard to say what my "type" is because a lot of the heroes I love so much don't fit the same mold. Some are easy going, some are tortured, some have big bucks while others are those sexy working men with callused fingers and faded blue jeans (*sigh*). Somehow or another he has to make my heart go pitter-patter. He has to make me fall in love with him.

I'm the same way when it comes to the heroes I write. I try to write a man that women can fall in love with. I have fun writing the heroes in my books. Trying to figure out how they would think, how a man would think and then half the time make them do the complete opposite. LOL. That's what's so endearing, IMO. When the hero is lost with the heroine. When he doesn't know whether he's coming or going and he almost always screws up.

A couple of the heroes I've written always stand out in my mind. One of them is Nico, from my novel, Unexpected Mr. Right. I love him because he's so confident, and sure of himself. He's a ladies man through and through yet Tabby gets him upside down. Even though Nico is in unfamiliar water, he never runs. He may not know what the hell he's doing, but Nico knows women and he sure is going to figure out what it is she stirs inside him. Plus he's fun, he's jokester and he brings that to Tabby's life.

Another is Ryan from my novella, Enjoying the Ride, in the What White Boyz Ride anthology. *sigh* I just love Ryan. He's a man, he's rugged, sexy. He has money but you'd never know it. He's a worn pair of blue jeans, cold beer kind of man. He's laid back, easy going, and loves to smile. He made me smile while I was writing him.

Do you read more for the hero or heroine? What kind of heroes do you like to read? Who are some of your favorite heroes you've written if you're a writer, or read if you're a reader?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Friendly Nudges

Let's face it...most of the time writing is a lonely business but it honestly doesn't have to be that way. Yes, the story you are writing is in YOUR head and a thing of YOUR imagination but there is no reason why we have to suffer alone. Like most of you, I've gone through barren periods when I'm feeling bone-dry of ideas and frustrated with a story that seems to be going nowhere.

I know a lot of writers turn to groups like RWA and yes, they have their place, but in the day to day experience of trudging through a story and struggling to finish that work in progress nothing is better than counting on friends to pull you through.

My latest work in progress is actually going pretty smoothly. Working on the third in a shifter series I'm doing for Ellora's Cave. The story has pretty much unfolded in my head. I've developed my characters and their motivations for behaving as they do but lately, I've had days that I just DON'T want to DO THIS. Yep. Laziness. Someone needs to chain my butt to the chair and keep me supplied with coffee so I can finish it up. I'm sooooo close.

Over the weekend I did a little writing challenge with a writer friend. Mano e Mano or it that Chica e Chica? She needed motivating in the worst way and so did I. I was game to do anything to keep my motor revved. We got on-line Saturday morning and told each other how many pages we hoped to write that day and then every few hours (during breaks) we'd check in with each other. Worked like a charm for us! Late that night, we even sent each other little scenes we'd done. It turned out to be so fun, we decided to do a 'challenge' on Sunday too. Personally, I finished up a chapter, headed into another, wrote a smoldering hot sex scene, and ended the weekend with a super duper feeling of accomplishment. I know for a fact, my friend felt the same way. She saw great progress and ended the weekend re-charged and ready to continue on.

I also work with a small critique group involving two other Ellora's Cave writers. Both are talented, fun, and great friends. We have a very unstructured deal going on. We send scenes back and forth (at any random time because we are random, free wheeling gals) and just check each other on small issues like....does this dialogue sound natural? Is my hero a total ass here? Or just a....sooooo, this is what I came up with today!

Guess my point is, we all have to do whatever works for us. I tend to like a more relaxed thing. Life is FULL of pressure! In the end, it's up to us to find ways to stay motivated and writing. Some may need a more structured type of writing nudge but this works for me.