Monday, October 31, 2011

Boo! Bah Humbug!

Okay. I don’t like Valentine’s Day. Why should I? No love on the horizon. Thanksgiving just means I have to spend several days in the kitchen. Christmas means I have to spend lots of money. And several days in the kitchen. Actually, all holidays require lots of money these days.

And apparently kitchen time.

July 4th? Well, that means I have to go out into the crowd of people in order to watch the fireworks display. And on a hot Carolina night, that’s just not fun. At least not anymore. Easter? Now that used to be a cute holiday because of the kids. I loved to dress them up and hide eggs for them and watch as they toddled around with their baskets to find them. Loved the expression on their faces when they discovered their Easter baskets. Then they got wise to the BUNNY and suddenly baskets became jewelry and video games. AND I spent a lot of time in the kitchen. We don’t do Easter anymore except for chocolate bunnies.

The only holidays I really celebrate are Christmas, Thanksgiving, and HALLOWEEN.

So what about Halloween? Today is the day, of course. I have a pumpkin. We carved it last night and roasted the seeds. I have autumn leaf garlands displayed at my front gate. Tonight I’ll have a few candles lit outside along with the pumpkin.

And the doorbell will ring. And ring. And ring. And ring. And ring.


It’s cold and rainy here. Not sure how much of a damper that will put on trick or treating. I noticed lots of churches this past weekend held fall festivals. Some had trunk or treating. When my kids were younger they went to the school festivals. I was in charge of creating many many fall festivals complete with haunted house or maze.

Halloween used to be a fun holiday for me. My absolute favorite. I went all out with decorating—just like I did for Christmas. But I’m cynical these days. You’d think that Halloween would be a great holiday for cynicism but it’s not. My kids want me to go to a haunted thing with them tonight. NOPE.

So what’s up with me and holidays in general? They used to be fun and now they all just seem like work. Except for Valentine’s Day. That just seems like the waste of a good day to me. LOL

Saturday, October 29, 2011

How Not To Write a Sex Scene

So, your romance story is going well. Your love interests have met, sparks have flown, and things are starting to get steamy. It’s clear that sex is in the offing, and now you have a conundrum. What kind of sex scene do you want to write? You could take your time and craft an original scene that advances your storyline while still being steamy and sticky. Or, since your deadline is looming, you could decide to just crank out a boring, derivative, completely unsexy scene just to boost your word count and get your submission in on time. If you picked option 2, this entry is for you!

Tip 1: Remove all emotion and concentrate on rote actions.

Focusing on how your characters are feeling while they’re making love takes up valuable time. Instead, just write out the things that happen, one right after the other. Make sure to use short sentences that are as non-descript as possible. One suggestion: Make an outline that lists the important things you want to happen, and then just copy and paste that into your manuscript.

Tip 2: Skip all references to foreplay and lubrication.

Foreplay wastes time. You just want to get down to the nitty-gritty – get it in, get it off, get it out. Writing all that kissing and gentle caressing to work your characters into an erotic frenzy is just wasted effort. Skip it. Also, don’t spend time writing your characters using any kind of lubrication. A little spit will do if you absolutely insist on having something, but really, if you’re under a time crunch, just don’t bother.

Tip 3: Anatomy is optional.

A careful writer will make sure when writing a sex scene that the bodies involved are actually capable of performing the acts they write. But you don’t have time for that, so think nothing of having a character brace himself with both hands, and somehow still have a hand free to stroke their partner. No one’s going to be reading it that closely anyway, right?

Tip 4: Rely on either clinical terms or flowery euphemisms.

There are plenty of words that you can use to describe the body parts involved in the sex acts you’re writing about. But for the easiest route to get to the other side of your scene, you have two options. Option one is to just ignore all of that and stick to the clinical terms – the ones you learned in sex ed class. What more do your readers need than “his penis entered her vagina”? Option two is the opposite: stick to the least descriptive and most flowery terms possible. Because once his purple-headed warrior invades her nether crevasse, you know you’re almost home.

Tip 5: Use epithets to remind your reader about your characters.

This is especially important in same-sex scenes when you don’t have the luxury of different pronouns to distinguish your characters. Keep letting your readers know things about your characters, like their hair and eye color, or their occupation, so that they don’t get confused about who the scene is about. And if your collection of “John”, “Steve”, “the cop”, “the blond”, and “the redhead” makes it sound like your sex scene has five people in it, that just means you’re doing a good job.

With these tips, you should be able to blow through your sex scenes with ease, so long as you remember not to think too hard or try to make them in any way enjoyable! Good luck!

Disclaimer: This entry is for parody purposes only. Please do NOT do any of these things!

Where you can find S.L. Armstrong:
Twitter: @_slarmstrong

Where you can find Storm Moon Press:
Twitter: @stormmoonpress

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Halloween!

It's almost Halloween and I have my DVDs of Scream 4 and Halloween all cued up and ready to go. Tonight was the annual rewatching of It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and tomorrow I will wear my Snoopy Halloween shirt and a pair of festive Halloween earrings to work. I have a LOT of Halloween earrings. Can ya tell Halloween's my favorite holiday?

I'm still writing furiously to meet my deadline and getting ready to promote next week's release of Hot Text from Ellora's Cave. I'm also holding a contest as part of the Bewitching Blog Hop on my own blog (click HERE) with prizes up for grabs including a chance to win a $10 AMZ/B&N GC and an ebook copy of Bad Kitty!

So I will leave you with this adorable picture (I have no clue where I got it so if it's copyrighted, I'm sorry and clueless and will take it down asap) and a question:

How do YOU celebrate Halloween? Or if you don't, tell me about something you do on your favorite holiday!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Now it all makes sense...

My writing group asked us to compile a list showing the number of books we've written this year. It's so we can all celebrate at the Christmas party and hoo and rah for everyone. Honestly, I feel like I've been tripping over myself to get things written and turned in. It's not been pretty. However, I was pleasantly surprised. I've had eleven books release so far and four more will release before the end of the year. That makes a whopping fifteen books. Not too shabby, Mia, now quit beating up on yourself. There are also two titles that are waiting for contracts and release dates. So technically, I wrote seventeen books this year. I'm no Desiree Holt, but I'm getting there.

I released Feral Lust at Resplendence yesterday. I loved writing this one because it let me get back to my roots. My pre-Mia, pre-Katie roots to a time when I wrote Regency romances. Oh, my heart fluttered so happily. However, I couldn't be Mia or Katie or that other person, if there weren't some change ups. So Feral Lust is a male/male regency shape shifter erotic romance. With BDSM elements. Who knew I had that in me? I  didn't! Here's the cover. Pretty, yes? I'd like to point out that I don't normally show cover art to my children (O_o) but when I zoomed in on the guy in the background, my older daughter said, "Mom, why does that man have a nipple on his thing?"

I tipped my head and sure enough! There's a "nipple" on pants-wearing-guy! I had NO IDEA that Regency era men had cock-rings. *blink* *blink* Ah well.

Anyway, if you're interested in winning a copy of this book or any other book I've ever written, go HERE and leave a comment with a valid email address to enter the drawing on Bronwyn Green's blog. November 16th, Katie is out and proud with a m/f contemporary adaptation to Twelfth Night (Shakespeare), titled Twelve Nights. OMG that one was fun. It practically wrote itself. I think that's what happens when someone *ahem* Shakespeare *ahem* writes out the plot for you. Makes plotting less a bad word and more a suggestion. Here's the cover for that one. I'm not crazy about it. Heck, the girl in the book isn't blonde or busty, hello, she must pass for a man realistically. However, the cover god likes his women plumped up and a bit Barbie'd, it seems.

That same month, on November, 25th, I have a super short Mia coming out from MLR press. That one's titled, Good Will Shopping and is in honor of Black Friday. I've never worked with MLR and it was an interesting experience. Most likely, I'll do it again.

December has a releases from Katie only. As yet unscheduled in December is Staking Their Claim, a menage m/f/m Novella of 52k coming out at Siren. Then I get to return to the Regency era for a m/f shape shifter story, entitled Prey Tell.

So you see, it's been a busy but productive year and now I know why I've been such a schlump about posting, responding to emails, and generally being available. I have a few more projects up my sleeves for the beginning of next year, which should start off with a bang. I have some surprises that will either piss people off or make them laugh and I can't wait to see which direction the fire burns!

Remember to enter the contest at Bronwyn's blog if you want a chance to win one of 42 titles by yours truly. Have a great week!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Need A Hero!

I've been thinking a lot about this lately. You already know what I think about perky boobed, naturally blond, size two heroines. So I'm looking at the flip side of the coin now. Even ask the great Desiree Holt her opinion and she actually agreed with me. Here's the deal. Heroes. Or more specifically heroes from my romance books or others. What would I do if I gorgeous, built like a tank man came into my life. In my head I'd jump him while stripping and thanking God for my glorious luck! In reality I'd probably wet myself while running the 100 yard dash. Because really who can deal or live with that kind of perfection? Which is why my men *in books* are somehow in someway always flawed. Bad temper, snarky sense of humor *though I don't consider that one a flaw*, scars, I even have one with a compulsion problem or some other physical imperfection making them more than good looking manikins.

Men who are men really do it for me. I don't want a guy who spends more time on his hair than I do, which considering how little I do, doesn't amount to much. I once dated a guy who had more stuff in the bathroom than I did. More bottles, more lotions and other crap. Really? I mean I'm a girly girl all the way and the only reason I don't spend more time on my hair is because I have naturally curly locks that do whatever they want anyway. However I also don't relish the idea of a man with a beer belly, dirt beneath his nails and body odor.

What does all this mean? It means I and most women I know, want the perfect combination of the two. A man's man who can change a tire, but also know his way around the finer things in life. I don't think the two or mutually exclusive either. I've seen them. I know they exist...somewhere. Maybe they're kept on some type of nature perserve so they won't get hurt in the wild. Hurt by desperate women foaming at their shining lipstickes mouths at the perfection they're missing.
If they're out there would you mind letting me visit? Just to see them. I promise not to feed them or try to grab their remotes. I'd even promise not to touch, but we all know I'd be lying :)

So let's answer the question every man ask! Let's tell the world what we really want!! We want men to be men until we don't. Then we want them to be able to read our minds, listen to our problems without trying to solve them and for once put the lid down on the toilet seat. Is that really too much to ask?

Now let me have it! Hit me with your best shot and fire away!! Yeah, I've got song title running through my head so don't ask.

The person with the best answer gets a free copy from my backlist. Now get to it!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Keeping the Faith

This very long, meandering blog is cross-posted at both Romancing The Muses and Three Wicked Writers Plus Two because a) I think (hope) it is useful for the readers of both sites and b) me coming up with two blog posts this week=impossible. My apologies.

I've told the story often about how I worked on my first book for 16 years. Nope, that's not a typo. I started it the summer after freshman year of high school, and finally in 2011 the story it evolved into, Insatiable, was published. I was 35 when it hit the virtual shelves. (If you're wondering about the difference in years, there were several where it sat on my hard drive, unedited, while I worked on other projects.)

Way back when, I didn't get how a person wrote a book. Putting in a cohesive beginning, middle and end, keeping things entertaining, adding in a strong conflict, ensuring there was a character arc…wha?!? I didn't get it. So I kept starting my story over again, sure I'd found a better way to write it. The book even had a different hero for about ten years.

I learned how to write with that book. After every craft book I read, every article, every time I put down a Nora Roberts book and said, "damn, I want to do that," I returned to that story. And as much as I dreamed of one day being a "real writer",  deep down, I honestly didn't believe it would ever happen.

Until it sort of did.

Truthfully, I don't know if I consider myself a real writer yet. There are all sorts of internal benchmarks that qualify that status to me, and I don't think I've hit them. But I can at least say that people I don't know have paid money to read up my made up stories and whoa, nelly, that's the most awesome thing ever. I regularly pinch myself that I've even come this far. So many people I know aren't happy in their jobs and work just to make the ends meet - and while I do have a day job, writing has never felt like work to me. Yes, it's hard. Often. But it's what I love to do, what I wished for…and experiencing even a fragment of my dream has been unreal.

Reminding myself of all this also allows me to let up a bit on the pressure I put on myself. I finished my first book in 2007. Since then I've finished 11 more short stories, novellas and novels. I've started probably another 10-15 more that are in various stages of completion. I've come so much farther than I ever expected when I couldn't even figure out how to get past that saggy middle. And how did I do it? It's simple, but so difficult. I sat my butt in the chair and kept going.

The doubt crows circled, I kept writing. The rejections came in, I kept writing. Even when a new shiny plot bunny scampered up to my desk and demanded I write his story now, I kept writing. That was the only part of this process I could control. And through writing, through pushing through the sticky parts and the boring parts and the scenes that seemed to go for 100 pages without a point, I learned. I developed a voice and a style and eventually the drive that had been buried under all the self-doubts started to rear its persistent little head.

I'm not one of those people who has a million degrees and has found success in ten different careers. Writing is my THING. This is the thing I need to succeed at, the thing that keeps me up at night. And though everyone's definition of success is different, I'll know it (I hope) when I get there.

The reason I didn't have enough brain left to write two blog posts this week is because I sort of agreed to write a novella in 2 weeks. Thanks to edits on other books, that two weeks has become one. Who knows if I'll make that deadline, but that I even have a fraction of the tools needed to make that possible is very cool indeed.

I just wanted to hopefully encourage some of the newer writers out there with my story. Sometimes it seems like everyone got on the bus way before you did (happens to me all the time) but we're all still learning and growing. Writing is something you can always improve at, but I'm not sure you can master it. There are always new benchmarks to hit, new goals to strive for. And we're all striving together.

To sum up this very long-winded and possibly pointless post - in the immortal words of U2's Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me… it's all about "believing in yourself almost as much as you doubt." Struggling to tip the scales in your favor is a day to day fight, at least for me.

Do you have a THING? Doesn't have to be writing or even something you want to do for a career. Sometimes our hobbies are our things, and that's awesome too. I'd love to hear about that THING that brings you joy and passion and makes you want to do your best.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A little writer encouragement.

Many years ago I was a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA). I loved it. It was the first time I knew there were other people out there like me. Not just "others" but many others. A room filled with others. Just that knowledge gave me the creative boost I needed to finish my first book. It was that group who encouraged me when my book sat on Dorchester's editorial desk for two years, and that group which encouraged me to resubmit it to them when we suspected they'd lost it.

They were the ones who helped me formulate a query, and it was they who sat down with me to create my first synopsis. And they were great. They were. If you wanted to be published in the New York market.

Now I'm not picky. After two years of waiting for Dorchester and their policy of no double submissions (can't send the same book to multiple houses at the same time), I finally began writing again. I submitted both that book and the new book to an epublisher. I thought, what the heck? Maybe my writing sucks really hard and Dorchester, that huge publishing megalodon, had stepped outside of it's normal business practices to worry about upsetting me in a rejection letter. I thought (I'm ashamed to say), like most of the RWA crowd, that if the "real" publishers wouldn't take my work, then maybe it was "good enough" to sell to the "for now" publishing houses on the internet. I hoped that if I had publishing cred, ANY cred under my belt, that New York would take me seriously. I WANTED it. I would have had New York's baby if it had asked me.

Somewhere along the way, I realized something. Firstly, my writing needed a lot of work. Secondly, Dorchester wasn't doing so well anyway. Thirdly, epublishers have a labyrinth of edits they go through for every book (the reputable houses fight their stereotype, hard, and put out excellent work). Fourthly, by the time I registered that I was a published author, I was already receiving my first royalty check (for those of you who are curious, a little over $50 for 32 copies sold the first month. More than I had the month before). And, fifthly (what a weird word that is), RWA disdained eAuthors.

I was devastated.

I, and any  mention of ePublishers at the meetings, got the lifted lip sneer. I was told by supporters, "it's okay for now, but you need to get published." Because ePublishing was not considered true publication. In fact, there was an RWA war going on at the annual gathering about who would be "allowed" in as a published author. About what works were considered "published" and were they actually published if an epublisher had distributed them? Group loops and super secret off shoots of the Professional Authors Network (PAN) openly scoffed ewriters on the discussions.

And that's where I drew the line. Because I've discovered that ePublishers are awesome. I don't think New York is bad. I don't think they're better or worse, they're just different. I know that when I write a book to the best of my ability, submit it to my epublisher, it will get thorough edits and be released in roughly three months. New York takes longer.

I know my percentage of royalties is higher through epub than print, and I know that if I get steam built up behind me, I can have books out every month from a single publisher if I wanted to (which currently I do, btws), and I know that New York won't do that for me.

Why, Mia? Why are you telling us this story of internal intrigue in the publishing community?

I'm glad you asked. Because, fair readers, I moved to Michigan and found a group of writers that DARED to support epublished authors equally and actually broke away from RWA (if you didn't know, this is where you gasp loudly and dart glances around the room). Yes, RWA is changing their tune, but in the meantime, I've put out over 41 books, something listening to RWA would have discouraged. This amazing, daring group of women GRRWG (Grand Rapids Region Writers Group) is putting on a mini-conference this weekend in, you guessed it, Grand Rapids.

This talented group is made up of writers who have nearly all become published after breaking off. I say nearly, because the group continues to grow and new, unpublished authors, come in all the time. The awesome resource has roughly one book come out a week on average. And these women and men are putting on a "I Always Wanted To Write A Book" conference at the Downtown Grand Rapids Radisson on the river this Friday and Saturday, Oct 21-22. Here the LINK.

The most important thing we can do for each other as writers, is support one another. It's about encouragement when the rest of our families and friends don't get it. It's about being safe to discuss your chosen industry without judgment or condescension. It's about acceptance into an industry with a lot of prejudice on how you got there.

If you live nearby, or have a chance to, I highly recommend coming. Registration is open through the day of conference.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Take on RomantiCon 2011

Oh hush I know I'm late with this, but I was sick. Desiree Holt gave me the monkey pox! And as I've just crawled off my deathbed quite the whining, my head already hurts :)

NO, I didn't go to another BDSM club. I'm probably banned for life as it is.

The first friendly face I see when I walk into baggage claim? The sexy & funny Eve Savage! Damn did she look good. Hated her a little, in a good way, at the moment. We squeal, hug and started the very staid business people at CAK. Grab my luggage & we're on the road in her very smooth rental Dodge Charger. Of course my luggage took up the entire trunk & poor Eve was forced to shove hers in the back seat. That's the show of a good & loyal friend!
We swung by the hotel to pick up Nic Austin then went to grab lunch before the crazy started. Had a wonderful lunch with my girls. We paid, made our way out the door when a crazy ninja with amazing taste in clothes and outstanding hair, grabs my arm and starts talking a mile a minute. My first impression? "Why do all the crazy people find me?" Turns out it's Elece, my lovely and dangerous royal assassin and with her as her fearless companion Lady Lick and Snip ie Cassandra. I'd been ambushed by the best and most insane of my ladies. Should I have feared the rest of the conference? Hell yes, but in my naive stupidly I remained blissfully unaware.

Get to the hotel, we won't go into my check-in process. When did they let demons check people in? Huh, anyway room was okay and it adjoined Nic's so I did my happy dance & went to the bar!

The next few hours are blurry & I blame Eve. Well, Eve Savage & Patty Marks. Patti kept encouraging me to "go, get more wine. Drink it down!." Sneaky woman!! But the EC labeled wine was YUMMY!! Didn't get to try the root beer, but there's always next year, right?

Friday I was workshop girl & I had a blast. We did 31 Flavors of Sex or what I like to now call What gets your groove on? Ladies, you made it one of the best workshops in the conference. It had to be considering Raelene sent someone in to keep us quiet. That never happens I mean look at her workshops. She's no innocent miss.

Saturday...ummm I'll take the 5th & blame Elece and her delicious case of chocolate wine. I drank it down in an amazing glass with Princess on it and some pretty glitters and sparkly stuff. I love my RHB gals. They understand the Shiny Kingdom and our motto of more is better!!

Spending time with Reginia is always a happy time because she keeps me laughing. Smart, funny and blond the woman is a deadly combo!
Even the parties each night seemed to get better and better. Not to mention the very hot & very sexy Cavemen. They made each night more fun than the last with their smooth moves on the dance floor and their even smoother glib tongues off the dance floor. Smooth talkers each and every one of them.

Can I say this is my favorite conference again? Here it's all about the readers & I love it because hey I'm a reader too!! And that makes RomantiCon all about ME!! Every day there were new fun surprises , gifts & give-aways. Smiling women everywhere I looked except when I blocked their view of the Cavemen. Then the hussies got mean!!

Spending time with Elece, Margie, Jordan, and Cass was a hair raising ride through insanity. Thanks, ladies, & when can we do it again?

It's official now. No more will I attend writer's conferences. I'm all about the readers!! They have more fun, better prizes, & hotter men. Yummy! So you won't see me anywhere, but RT, RomantiCon & possibly the reader thing in Dallas. Anyone else want to recommend one for me? One you love going to? Spill it, talk to me & share the love!

Until next week,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Toys 4 Us....Coming Soon

If you are a follower of Facebook, Twitter, and the blogs out there, you might already know about the upcoming Toys 4 Us series. These ebooks (seven total) will be coming to ebook stores everywhere on November 1. Must admit that trying something new is often scary and this foray into self-publishing is exactly that for me. Dipping toes into uncharted waters here.

Toys 4 Us came to fruition during a long weekend retreat at Desiree Holt's place in the Texas Hill Country. Seven great friends got together and after bottle after bottle of chocolate wine and a rowdy sex toy party we hatched the idea to write Toys 4 Us. The series revolves around seven best friends of all ages and backgrounds who attend a 'toy' party and leave with their purchases stuffed into a pretty pink bag with the Toys 4 Us logo emblazoned on it. For each woman, finding just the right guy and just the right scenario to USE these toys becomes the goal.

Authors of the series, including myself, are Nicole Austin, Desiree Holt, Allie Standifer, Brenna Zinn, Samantha Cayto and Cerise Deland. Each book is hotter than a Texas summer and priced right at .99 each (for the first month only). I have to say it has been challenging. No, not the writing of the books. That was easy when compared to launching a project like this. Coordinating advertising, cover art, a website, promotional ads, finding very good editors, etc. has proved to be the real 'trick' but somehow we managed it all nicely. Maybe it is coming together so smoothly because we're all such great friends to begin with. Can't imagine doing a project like this where personalities rubbed the wrong way. Nope, I couldn't and wouldn't deal with that. We smilingly move through every project with loud agreement all the way around. Hmm. Think we should do this again sometime? I sure do.

Want to learn more about the series and the fabulous contest to win a Kindle Fire? Head over to our beautiful website and learn more.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ain't Life A Beach?

Well, not exactly. LOL Yeah, I followed my dream—finally—and I am here on the beach. I don’t know what the eff I was thinking when I moved. Really—I don’t. Somehow I think I got so caught up in it all that I believed life would become magical and perfect.

It didn’t.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not homesick. I LOVE being here. I’m happy here. Happier. And I know things are going to fall into place the way I want them to. See??? A positive attitude is half the battle, isn’t it? And I’m positive things are going to work out.

So what am I griping about? A whole bunch of things. My sister told me that she is going to buy up the rabbit’s foot market and give all those little bunny feet to me to me. LOL

First up? We arrived at our new home late afternoon. I’d never seen the house with the power on. It’s a rental. I had decided I didn’t want to own anything anymore. I want to be able to pick up the phone when something leaks or shorts out and call someone to fix it. I’ve been too responsible all my life. Time to become a slacker. HA!

So we walk into the house and I immediately notice stains on the freshly cleaned carpet—was too dark to see them before. The refrigerator was dirty. The bathrooms had not been thoroughly cleaned—pubic hair in the downstairs shower. Yeah, that’s what I said. The sliding glass door was filthy—hand prints all over it and something sticky, too! Basically, the house was a bit dirty. So we had to break out the bleach and smell good products before we even unloaded. When you pay a $1,500.00 security deposit, you expect to encounter a very clean property. At least I did. Sighhhhh

So after two hours of four women cleaning, we started unloading the moving truck. We got about a third of it completed before it was simply too dark to continue. I made a beer run and the pizza arrived. And we were all exhausted. We slept on air mattresses that night. The beds were still in the truck. No problem.

The next day is when I discovered the garbage disposal didn’t work and there were dripping faucets. Nothing to worry about right away for sure. Eventually, a new disposal was installed and the drips were repaired. Next, the dryer stopped working. I reported that right away to be informed that the washer and dryer were not a part of the lease. HUH? I didn’t argue. Didn’t scream. Didn’t tell anyone off. When I got home, I checked my lease. The washer and dryer are most certainly included in my lease. I called the realtor and was still denied a repair. They forgot to check the box that indicated the washer and dryer were not included and their mistake still costs me.

Well, it’s like this…I would never have signed the lease without the washer/dryer being included. I HAD a perfectly good washer/dryer. But I sold them because there was already a set in the house. So I have pretty much demanded the repair but nothing is happening. Which means I will have to play hard ball. I was so hoping I could just live quiet and easy once I moved. No stress. HA! Am I crazy or what?

Then I broke my ankle. Slipped down the stairs while carrying a laundry basket. Yep, I’m washing clothes here and hauling them to the place up the street to dry them. Inconvenient, but I was still maintaining my cool—until I had a broken ankle that is. Now stress is my middle name. My girls don’t like dealing with laundry and argue like crazy when I tell them it has got to be done. And that brings me to another story.

My girls. They’ve both lost their minds. There is something about this place that has shifted them into a higher level of lack of maturity. They have both become very lazy. Now they were never perfect. Not by any means. But now they just don’t think they are supposed to do anything. My old house was one level. This house is two. I’m downstairs. The kids all sleep upstairs. I have NO reason to go upstairs—except for the day I figured I’d look for extra dirty laundry. Yeah…and broke my ankle.

The boy’s room is in pretty good shape. He vacuums daily. I hear him doing it. I see him bringing down his trash. Room looks okay except he is not the best at making his bed. But the girls’ rooms? Oh God! Big messes.

The weekend before I broke my ankle, the boy had a friend come down from NC to spend the weekend. No problem. His friend is polite and a good kid. That same weekend, the oldest girl’s best friend and four of HER friends came down for a visit. PANDEMONIUM. Beer pong table. Vodka stored in my freezer. And I found out that two of the guys that were in my house were Facebook friends of the best friend. She’d never even met them before. I HAD STRANGERS SLEEPING IN MY HOME!!!!!!!

Needless to say---no sleep for me. And it will NEVER happen again.

The latest thing to happen? The AC went out. I had NO AC for two days. It was NOT fun and I ended up with a really bad rash due to the boot I’m wearing for my ankle.

So, do I like where I’m living? Did I make the right decision? HELL YEAH!!!! I love it here.  Am I writing? Not yet. I am editing some, though. Because of my ankle, my time at the desktop is limited. My foot hurts if I don’t keep it up above hip level and I can’t do that because it hurts my back. Sighhh…

And I can’t walk on the beach because of the ankle either. But that’s okay. The ankle will heal and I’ll be on the beach soon enough. Unless I break the other ankle, that is.

Wish me luck. I think I need it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Welcome our Guest, Elizabeth Black

What Are You Afraid Of?
Elizabeth Black

It's Halloween. What are you afraid of? I have my fears, although some might seem a bit odd. Since it's the season of All Things Scary, tell me what scares you. Here's a short list of what scares me.

* Heights
* Falling to my death (related to heights)
* Abandonment
* Rejection
* Failure
* Success (related to failure)
* Big, hairy spiders. They growl. They eat human flesh. Ick!
* Clowns
* Deep murky water where I can't see what's swimming around me.
* Needles
* The Dentist. I just went so that fear is very real to me right now.

How about you? What scares you? Tell me in comments.

And now, an announcement about my latest book…

Don't Call Me Baby goes on a special fall sale starting Wednesday, October 12. Buy it for $7.99 for the Fall Special! Keep an eye on my Facebook page and web site for updates and details.

Here is my blurb for Don't Call Me Baby.

Don't Call Me Baby is a fast-paced, quick-witted, sexy novel about a young woman exploring her sexuality and the cultural morés she collides with on a daily basis. It's 1983 in Maryland and Catherine Stone is sex on wheels. She plays the field the way men have done for aeons. Not content to strive for her MRS degree like so many young women her age, she seduces men of all stripes - married college professors, theatre students, virgins, complete strangers who intrigue her. She has already cost one man his job.

But she asks herself lots of questions on her search to enjoy her sexuality. Why don't other women enjoy their sex as much as she does? Why do so many women and men look down on sexually free women, calling them sluts while sexually free men are called studs and Lotharios? She bucks at the double standards! Catherine has made no commitment to any man. She's free to explore and she gladly does so. No man can tie her down and no woman's judgment will stop her from playing the field to her heart's content.

Does she meet her match in a new man who introduces her to sexual bliss she had never before experienced? When she tries multiple partners and bondage for the first time as a submissive, she believes she's found the sexual bliss she is looking for - and with a man who not only introduces her to the fineries in life but also cares about her like no man ever has before.

Please visit my blog, web site, and Facebook page for updates, buy links, more excerpts, and reviews.

Don't Call Me Baby Web Site Page


Amazon Kindle



Elizabeth Black - Blog and Web Site

Elizabeth Black - Facebook

Here's an excerpt for your reading pleasure:

Catherine Stone looked around the amusement park and rides but saw nothing unusual. It was the end of another hot and humid day in Maryland during the summer of 1983. The sun had set behind the trees, casting shadows across the park hiding the car she sat in to some extent. Catherine wished it were a bit darker outside, because she was in constant fear of getting caught, but it was a hot June evening, so that was too much to ask for. Besides, the possibility of getting caught thrilled her, made the encounter all the more exciting for her. Every horn blowing and car pulling in made her hair stand on end. Will this be the cop who pulls us over? Can we get away with me sucking him off here yet again?

She unzipped Brian's trousers, and slipped her hand inside. Reaching into his briefs, her fingers wrapped around his growing cock and it jumped at her touch. Brian is so predictable. All he ever wants is for me to suck his cock. Good thing I demand a good, expensive meal after these trysts, or I'd get nothing out of them. She pulled his cock out of his trousers, feeling the organ spread out in her palm.

“Oh, that feels good. I love it when you stroke me off.”

She stroked his shaft, gripping him harder as her hand reached the base. Every time she squeezed, his cock jumped in her hand. She liked the way it looked and felt in her hand. Purple with arousal and thick with veins, the well-formed head glistened with pre-cum. In her years since starting college she had enjoyed many different types of cocks and Brian's was especially hot because it was so big and he was uncircumcised. She liked the look of hard cocks. When they were hard they were so sensitive. A twist a little too far this way or that way could hurt, yet she knew from what past lovers had told her, the pain felt so good. She liked pulling Brian's cock too far; just to get a painful, yet aroused reaction out of him. Although she felt impatient, she relished the fact that she was a good lay. Her blowjob skills had improved greatly over the months, and she could also make Brian come very quickly with her hand jobs.

As she gently rolled back his foreskin and stroked his growing shaft, she cradled his balls in her other hand. She liked the way his cock grew to nearly twice its size, when all she did was brush her fingers against it. It felt hard yet sinewy, like a garden hose full of water. She enjoyed the effect she had on him, and she relished her power. Sex was a heady power surge, and Catherine could not get enough of it.

Brian's cock was big; longer and thicker than other cocks she had the pleasure of sucking and fucking. Plus, at his age of fifty-eight, he stayed harder for a longer time, and it took him much longer to come than men her own age of twenty-two. Catherine never faked orgasms. She liked sex so much that she had no trouble coming every time she fucked. When she didn't feel like coming, she simply said so. Faking an orgasm was something she never even considered doing.

Tonight was one night, however, that she wished Brian would hurry up, come, and get it over with. She hated their trysts at the park because she got little if anything out of them. She would much rather stay in a nice hotel and spend the evening fucking without feeling any pressure, but that was not to be this evening. She needed to be at Silver Spring College in the morning for her new summer job. So here she sat, sexually unsatisfied and feeling a bit used wondering when she was going to meet a man who could satisfy her insatiable sexual needs.

Little did she know that several men, including a father and son, would please her over the upcoming summer weeks, including one man who was her match.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Winner of Bad Kitty release day contest!

And that winner was elaing8, who has already received her prize. Thanks so much to everyone who commented! I loved hearing your Halloween/holiday memories.

So though this blog is supremely late - to say this week has been crazy is an understatement - I'll leave you with a question to ponder. Next week's post will be up on time or bust!

Since it's the most spooktacular month, horror movies: yay or nay?

For me it's both yay and nay. My all time favorite movie is the original Halloween from 1978, which I've been watching since I was about five. Yes, I liked to sneak up in the middle of the night and watch spooky movies...and I never had nightmares, though I regularly had them when not watching scary movies. Go figure. Anyhoo, that's my favorite. I also love the original The Fog, the original Prom Night (the 70s were my decade in movies and music) and the Scream movies. They're campy more than scary but I really enjoy the heck out of them and just bought the 4th installment, which I've already seen in the theatre. But I don't like gory movies. I've seen the Saws, the Texas Chainsaw Massacres, the Wrong Turns (which I actually kind of liked, though it was extremely creepy) and I'm not a fan. I don't like mindless chopping up of body parts. Just not for me. But I like some good suspense, especially this time of year.

Your turn. Do you enjoy scary movies or are they not for you?

Till next week!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Due to unexpected illness Allie Standifer will not be posting this week. She's very sorry to disappoint everyone, but promises to be back next week as sarcastic as ever.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

EC Romanticon Report

What can I say about Ellora's Cave Romanticon 2011 except that it was funner than a barrel of Cavemen and one event I would never, ever miss. I arrived at the Cleveland airport and stepped outside to meet the other ladies who would be sharing a ride to our hotel in Akron. My first thought upon arriving straight from the Texas heat was AHHHHHH. I got a serious 'head rush' over that and immediately wanted to dance around all over the place. NIIIIIICE. Then Del Dryden arrived along with Laura and Tina from Two Lips Reviews (such awesome women).

Arrived without a hitch to the hotel (thanks to Greg from Western Reserve Transportation) and immediatly ran onto a group of readers and friends...namely Elece, Cassandra, and Margie. Later I met AJ, Michelle and Jordan who are also part of the crazy crew. We danced around and hugged for a bit then I headed to my room before checking in. I swear, it's always this way...HOMECOMING. I think my HUGGER got all HUGGED OUT because I just love these people. I saw, and got a hug, from Caveman Angelo on the elevator...lucky me and headed out to set up my goodies (and Desiree Holt's) on the swag tables. Lordy! So much stuff. Table after table was filled with more cool things than you can imagine and I could only wish that I had half of the other writers' imaginations regarding promo items.  My pens, bookmarks, magnets, etc. looked rather pitiful in comparison but thankfully my stuff was mostly gone by the end of the convention. Beyond the swag room was an area where vendors sold everything imaginable and OMG...some of the jewerly was amazing. Best bud, Nicole Austin, bought the most gorgeous dragon bracelet. Color me envious!

Speaking of Nicole...yes, I certainly hooked up and hung out constantly with the Sassy Seven (yes, we're a Throughout the convention, I ran about the place with my roomie, Desiree Holt, and Cerise Deland, Allie Standifer, Sam Cayto, Brenna Zinn (don't let the beautiful, sweet face fool you...she is a WILD WOMAN) and of course, Nic, who is the coolest woman on the planet. And let me not forget my new, fabulous friend, Eve Savage (who puts the C in Crazy). I EVER love these women!!!! And guess who else I saw???? Mia Watts. Now Mia and I have been the best of friends for YEARS and I adore her. Witty, fun, beautiful (inside and out). I also met one of the queens of BDSM...Brynn Paulin. I got to hang out with Jaid Black and met the adorably, precious Cindy Jacks (I see another new bestie on my horizon because I totally clicked with her). And Kaenar Langford...what can I say? The woman keeps me in stitches and I adore chatting with her.  I talked with editors whom I'd never met and you know who you are (the nicest ladies anywhere) and some editors whom I'd met and LOVED from Romanticons past. And the Cavemen...what can I say? There was a whole new crop this year. These guys were not only the best eye candy in the hemisphere but gentlemen, fun-loving, and eager to entertain. And readers...oh boy was it ever nice meeting them, too. So sweet, friendly and huge EC fans! I loved meeting each and every one.

Night one featured a Meet and Greet. Beautiful set-up with wine bottles featuring specially made EC labels on each bottle. We were invited to swill as much as we wanted while catching up with friends we hadn't seen for a year. Fun. Fun. The next day began with workshops. I was a part of several of them and have to say, very nervous, but they went off without a hitch and I believe everyone attending had fun and maybe learned a little bit. Friday night's party was a 'prehistoric' theme with partiers wearing their best "Pebbles and Bam Bam" fashions. Saturday's party zipped straight to the future and sci fi/steampunk and futuristic stuff took center stage. Awards were handed out that night. My buds, Nicole, Desiree and Mia all were honored with statuettes. YAY THEM!!!!! Bet they could hear me screaming.

Speaking of screaming, I returned home with my voice GONE...just GONE! Have I told ya'll I'm a big talker? Well, yes, I am. To me, it always seems that when I go to Romanticon I have a gazillion things to talk with friends about and not nearly enough time in which to do it. Boo Hiss. Needless to say, I loved every minute of Romanticon 2011 and I'm eagerly awaiting sign up date so I can do it all again in 2012.

Desiree Holt, Cerise Deland and Regina at Saturday night's dinner. Awwwww. I'm feeling the love.
Isn't Cindy Jacks a cutie? Talented, too. We became fast friends at Romanticon. Note she wore a costume and I didn't quite 'get there'. LOL

I have a few more pics but they really aren't that good. Yes, I suck with a camera and I'm surprised mine doesn't just explode when I touch it. I'm still in the process of stealing pics from others though...bwahahahaha. I have an entire album that Nic made and I'll have to find some to share with you.

Anyway, it's back to real life now. siiiiigh. What is it they say? All good things must come to an end? So until next year, I'll have to cool my heels and keep writing while waiting for the next Romanticon to roll around.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bad Kitty's release day! And contest!

First of all, my apologies for not posting last week. I've been doing Candace Haven's Fast Draft class, and while my speed has yet to reach Fast Draft status, I've added close to 20 thousand words in a week. Not bad. I've got another couple weeks of the class to go, so I'll be writing my fingers off for a bit longer. Which is why I didn't post last week. I completely forgot it was Friday, then when I realized, I didn't have enough words left to string together to make a coherent blog. Is it just me or when you write a lot do you find yourself running out of words too? At any rate, with a new release and much Fast Drafting to be done, words must be found. So here I am.

To make up for my lack of a real post this week, I'm offering up an ebook copy of ANY of my books, winner's choice (including Bad Kitty) to a random commenter. All you have to do is tell me your favorite Halloween - or favorite holiday - memory, since Bad Kitty is set during two Halloween parties, a year apart. I'll just say it now...I LOVE Halloween. I've been wanting to write a Halloween story forever and ever and that's how Bad Kitty was born. Depending on if there's interest from readers, I might write the story of Patrick's twin, Easton, for next Halloween. So let me know if you'd like me to!

Meanwhile, here's Bad Kitty's blurb and buy link...and don't forget to tell me about your special Halloween memories. Or if you don't like/don't celebrate Halloween, any special holiday memories work...even your birthday! The winner will be announced in my post next Friday.

Bad Kitty blurb:

Reformed bad girl Nikki Carson has spent the past year trying to forget her boss's Halloween party and the unbelievable sex she had with her boss's hot twin, Patrick Nolan. Patrick hasn't mentioned that night since, much to Nikki's endless disappointment.

Years of following in the wake of his womanizing brother cause Patrick to wonder if Nikki even knows which twin she slept with. He can't believe she could possibly prefer him over her slick, polished boss. That doesn't mean he's been able to stop fantasizing about taking her again. Against the wall. On the floor. Everywhere.

It's Halloween again, and trick or treat takes on a whole new meaning when Nikki and Patrick go for round two. Especially since Nikki's come prepared with a Domme kitty costume meant to drive Patrick wild. And this kitty's ready to show her claws if she doesn't get what she wants...

Bad Kitty buy link:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Post Con

I'd like to say that what happens at conference, stays at conference. In some ways it really does, but in others, I just can't wait to share stuff.

Regina - My darling friend was there in full spectacular force. She's awesome if you didn't already know it. I've known her for years, have visited with her at home, talked to her on the phone many times, and the woman is as true as she can be. I adore her. I also adore her uninhibited zest for life, her kindness, and her spunk.

Allie - Saw her twice. Didn't get to talk to her much, but she was in excellent company so that can only speak well of her. ;)

Now for the rest of it.... PICTURES!

Angelo. So Strong. So great at (un)screwing. He was the wine bottle guy.

Angelo. Poor boy lost his pants. Alex is next to him. But alas, Angelo, your "after" is just as nice as your "before".

Workshop in acting out your scenes. We had a serious lack of men available. I think we need to request that the Cavemen attend this session next year. Ellora's Cave? You listening??

Same class. Showing why a 6'5 man and a 5'2 woman can't realistically screw on a kitchen table.

Can you tell that I loved this class? Here the author had written that the heroine was on the hero's lap like this, getting spanked "seductively" while the heroine sucked him off. HUGE *ahem* miscalculation.

I couldn't resist. Kaenar Langford wore spikes. They were begging for condiments. And. They were yummy. Also, I don't think this looks like me. My lips disappeared in this picture and I cut my hair off. Ah, well.

Mary. A fan who spent nearly every meal with me and my author friends. She was a stitch. Resembles Cleopatra, right?

It never fails that I feel like writing during a conference. I'm always so inspired. I do this in Dr. offices too, but if you put paper sheeting down in front of me, do you really think I'll be able to resist working through a manuscript? Pshaw!
And this, dear readers, is why you need to come next year.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Where to start?

To be honest I'm still recovering from Ohio & can't string two intelligent sentences together.Plus the fish from Saturday night is returning to kill me...over and over again.
Instead I'll rely on the old stand by of a picture being worth a thousand words.

Okay so the rest of them won't post or are being difficult. Blogger is killing me!! I can't post more pics or even the ones that are already on here. I'll keep trying but its looking like next week is it for the tell all on my naughty RHB :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Apologies

My plan today was to give everyone the scoop about Romanticon. Yes, it was AWESOME and AMAZING. But my tall tales will have to wait until next week. My mother had an unexpected and very serious surgery yesterday so I'll be camped at the hospital for awhile. Please forgive me and I'll see you all next week.