Friday, December 31, 2010

A happy new year

Musie stood as her author walked into the cafe and met me halfway.

Delilah: Happy New Years, Musie. Where's that handsome male muse of mine?

Musie *laughs*: Oh he'll be here in a second. I wanted to say hi first.

Delilah: Well I gotta say you look better at full size rather than the 2 inch terror marching on my chest you usually are.

Musie *looks sheepish*: Thanks and I'm not sorry. Look what we accomplished this year!

Delilah: Nodding: Yep, we sure did. Almost 100 book covers for MuseitUp Publishing and a release today!

Musie: Yeah, and you were worried that Devlin wouldn't talk.

Delilah: He talks a little too much. Like this new gal you stuck me with. I can't get her to shut up, and she won't move.

Musie *shrugs*: I'm working on her.

Mick *walking in*: Hello Delilah! *Gives her a quick kiss on the cheek.* So how's our boy Devlin doing?

Delilah *giving Mick a glare*: You know I won't know for a few days. But I've spread the word far and wide. Okay guys - over the next month a lot of Muse author's are going to visit and you two are going to interview them.

Musie: Oh dear! I have to get coffee, tea, umm..

Mick: Sit down, luv before you run into yourself.

Delilah: LOL! You two are good for each other. *leans over and whispers to Mick* Think this summer we can finish My Lady Death? I think it's a little too structured for Musie and you have experience with suspense stories.

Musie *stomping foot*: I heard that! *crosses arms over her chest and pouts* But you're right I'm no good at those types. Give me hot, dirty, and short and I'm your girl.

Delilah *putting her arms around both her muses's shoulders*: 2011 is going to be a great year. Right? No flitting off on some tangent or leaving me high and dry halfway through a story or with a stack of cover art forms?

Musie: I'll try.

Sexy Heroes of 2010

All from Romance Novels I've read - some I fudged on - they didn't have a book release BUT they appeared in a book released in 2010. I've added some to what I put up on Twitter.

Hero #15 Logan MacRoy from Angela Knight's Master of Fire published by Berkley Sensations

A hero with a destiny he's not quite ready to accept meets a heroine determined to protect him but no fall for him. That never works! The son of King Arthur and Gwenivere he's a handsome sexy man with a ton of honor. Doesn't hurt that he's a vampire too.

Hero#14 Drew Kincaid from Nalini Singh's Play for Passion published by Berkley

Drew is a werewolf that fits outside the pack structure - he's their tracker, meaning he brings roque's to justice. When he falls in with Indigo, a Lt in the pack, she has problems dealing with him being as strong or stronger than she is. Drew's romance of Indigo and his pain at one point thinking he's lost Indigo had my heart aching for him.

Hero #13 Carlos Panterra from Eat, Prey, Love by Kerrilyn Sparks published by Avon

Carlos was first introduced in All I Want For Christmas is a Vampire and I liked the Werepanther from the moment he walked on the page. Sassy, funny and a bit dangerous - YUM! When he falls in love with the one woman he shouldn't, her father hates anything not human, and human it's a heartbreak. He could make her a were-panther with a bite - but he's afraid she won't live through the transformation.

Hero #12 Spade, Baron Charles DeMortimer, First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost published by Avon

Spade has a couple things going for him - sexy and vampire top the list. He's willing to do anything even lie to his best friends to keep his heroine safe. The only reason he's not higher is he's a little too sweet to break my top 10 - maybe next year.

Hero #11 Curran from the Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews Published by Ace

I just met Curran in a 4 day must read everything in this series marathon. A Were-lion and the head of all Shapeshifters in Ilona Andrews' world. He's majorly hot, teases Kate unmercifully until they finally work things out. He'll probably move up once I know him better.

Hero #10 Hunter Fitzsimon from Defeat the Darkness by Alexis Morgan Published by Pocket Star

Here's a hero I first met and new only as PJ Guy. He ran into a battle with a sword, bare feet, bare chested and a pair of flannel PJ bottoms. Then he was severly tortured and killed - good thing Paladins come back from that. Dealing with PTSD he's sent to guard a tiny stretch of the barrier from the bad guys. A tortured hero who'll die to protect his girl - and he does - yeah that's a hero.

Hero #9 Travis Caine from Black Jack by Lora Leigh Published by St. Martin Press

An agent who everyone thinks is dead. Now he plays fast and loose with the rules to get and keep his girl. Sexy too. Black Leather, Motorcycle, guns... yeah.

Hero #8 Mencheres from Eternal Kiss of Darkness by Jeaniene Frost Published by Avon

Mencheres first showed up in One Foot In The Grave, he was interesting but a little stuffy for my taste. Even apperances in later Night Huntress books didn't change my mind. BUT his book - yeah that moved him up to the top 10. Under that stuffy, closed off demeanor is a man who is absolutely 100% convinced that no one can love him. Respect yes. Love no. That gives him a vulnerability I wasn't expecting. As a 4000+ vampire he's POWERFUL but he's willing to die until his heroine shows up. And a man who will do dark forbidden magic to save his girl? Yeah he moves up a few notches.

Hero #7 Gordon Nathaniel Pierce from Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison published by Eos

Pierce first showed up in White Witch Black Curse and I really liked him. Then he became pretty major in Black Magic Sanction willing to do whatever it took to protect Rachel - even though she does have some issues with him. But come on he came back from being a ghost for several hundred years - even if he does need to join the times on women, he isn't afraid of doing a little dark magic if it is needed.

Hero # 6 - Wraith from the Deomnica Series by Larissa Ione published by Forever

Wraith is a Seminus demon and part vampire. He's got a wicked sense of humor, sharp as a tact wit and if you want to find something you call him. His transformation from self indulgent playboy to hero is a wonderful arc.

Hero #5 Rafael from Night's Darkest Embrace by Jeaniene Frost in the Haunted by Your Touch Anthology published by Pocket Star

Okay I like Rafael as a half fallen - yes that means Mom was a fallen angel and Dad was something else - he's a very interesting character, but I've come to expect no less from Jeaniene Frost heroes. He eats full demons, has black wings that for some reason make him even sexier.

Hero #4 Greyhill Danby from Dark Warrior Untamed by Alexis Morgan published by Pocket Star

Grey is a man who grew up in the alleys of London then learned to mix with society. He's a master at dirty street fighting and can be quite terrifying. But even with his belief in eye for an eye justice he is a protector, a fighter and a man willing to give his life for those under his protection. His grief when he thought his heroine had died was heart breaking.

Hero #3 Tony Giodone from The Sazi Series by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp published by Tor

Another fudge - he didn't have a release in 2010 his book was in 2009 but he was in a book released in 2010. Tony has to be my favorite werewolf. An ex-mob hitman, that even one of his friends describes as doing the job because it controls his antisocial tendencies, and turned were-wolf, a three day wolf as he calls himself. He's gritty, a little bad, a little good and has a smart mouth. "Hi I'm Tony and I'll be your assassin today" still laugh when I think of that line.

Hero #2 Judd Lauren from the Psy Changeling series by Nalini Singh published by Berkley Sensations

A psy who has the ability to burst someone's heart just by thinking about it and is constantly causing his mate to redecorate - better to destroy furniture than her, right? His coldness is chilling but he's definitely a hero to love.

Hero #1 Bones from One For The Money by Jeaniene Frost in the Death's Excellent Vacation Anthology published by Ace

Now Bones is usually seen in the Night Huntress novels where he is the resident hero and definitely deserves the title hero. A 200+ ex prostitute, ex vampire hitman turned co-ruler of a huge line. But so devoted to his Kitten. Oh he makes huge mistakes sometimes and that make him all the more worthy of being the top on this list of sexy heroes.

Honorable Mentions:

Zach from Under Fire by Jo Davis
Ian from Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost
Vlad from Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost
Barak from The Paladin series by Alexis Morgan
DJ from the Paladin series by Alexis Morgan

So who are your top sexy heroes? I'd like to meet them.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What present can I give?

Now I'm not a fan of Christmas. There's just too much craziness and disreguard of the fellow man by most in the rush to buy into the retailers demands that we buy everyone we care about a present. But - while I hate the demands of retailers and the attitudes of shoppers, there are some things I do like.

This year I found the perfect card for my best buddy Antonia Tiranth (Tir). It said "Hope you don't mind but I'm regifting you this year" on the outside and "My friendship" on the inside. There are just some relationships that there isn't a gift in any shop that there is something that tells the person how special they really are to you. Tir and I met 7 years ago online and didn't meet in real life until May of this year. We've been writing buddies all that time, in fact got our first contracts 2 days apart. Co-wrote a book together. And January 1st we'll have solo releases from the same publisher on the same day. I'll never find a material gift that adequately expresses my appreciation of our friendship. How do you find one that says - thanks for pushing me to write better, for listening to me when I'm in a bitchy mood, for getting mad at someone who is not treating me right, thanks for being there when I need you? Hmm? Can you think of one cause I sure can't.

Then there are friends that you've known a while but just became friends with. What do I get Lea Schizas for believing in me enough to offer me the Art Director position at MuseitUp Publishing? Or Alexis Morgan who sent me the most precious gift of a hand written note that says "I'm so proud of your success"? Or Bonnie Edwards who congratulates me on each new contract and kicks me in the butt to keep reaching for the stars?

Then there are the new friends you just met? All the authors at MuseitUp publishing who were there when I needed them? The folks at who allow me to hide in one of my favorite worlds? The ladies at DJ's blog that encourage me, laugh with me, and cry with me when I need that?

See - there are things I can't buy something that says how much I appreciate those friendships. Even if there was my meager budget wouldn't allow for it. But there is one thing I can give that gives every day of the year - my friendship. With it comes a person to laugh with, a shoulder to cry on and an ear that will listen to all their secrets and never breathe a word of them.

So that is the Christmas present I give to all my friends my friendship. To my readers I give the best books I can write. To my editors I give my cooperation on edits. And not a one of those things cost a penny but their worth is incalculable

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Excerpt and recipe

First the excerpt:

From Ghostly Passions which will be available January 1st from MuseitHot Publishing (Click the title to be notified when it's available:

Dru lay still hoping whomever she was draped over wouldn’t realize she was awake. Her hopes were dashed with the sound of a low masculine chuckle.

“I know you’re awake, lass.”

She sat up and looked at the owner of the voice, recognizing him immediately.

Devlin Ruark.

The artist had not come close to doing him justice. Whoever had drawn him definitely captured the smirk but not the rakish arch of dark brows over the greenest eyes she’d ever seen. His hair was not black as she’d thought but a deep chestnut brown. Wide shoulders tapered to a muscular torso, down to six-pack abs where a line of dark hair trailed below the sheet covering his hips.

A smile curved her lips. If this was a dream she wasn’t wasting it being her usual cautious self. No, she’d be daring, take what she wanted from this dream and the man in it. Dru arched her back in a way that made the sheet slip down to reveal her breast. If the raised eyebrow and flaring of his nostrils were any indication, Devlin Ruark was definitely interested.

“What if I don’t want to talk?” she asked as she rolled to face him. He swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing and his eyes growing dark. “This is my dream and I don’t want to spend it talking.”

He opened his mouth, and then closed it to clear his throat. “I’ve always found talking to be unnecessary in certain situations. What did you have in mind, lass?”

And an easy recipe that makes a great snack Christmas morning.

Sausage biscuits


1 lb sausage

1 cup cheese (I personally prefer sharp chedder in them)

Mix bisquick according to package.

Add sausage and cheese mixing well.

Roll into bite size balls and bake according to Bisquick box.

These are good cold or hot

Thursday, December 9, 2010

There's always something

About a release date. The exitement, the worry no one will buy it, the thrill of that first review. Yeah I'm feeling all of that even with the stress I'm under this weekend. But January 1, 2011 looks to be a really great day. Or at least I hope so.

Why great? Well it's the release date for my newest release - Ghostly Passions from MuseitHot Publishing. I fell in love with Devlin Ruark when he first screamed “Release me, wench!” I didn't even know his name at that point. Then decided to name him after two of my favorite romance heroes.

The other reason it's great is it will be the first time my release date for a solo written book will coincide with my writing buddy Antonia Tiranth's release from the sister house MuseitUp Publishing of her Kellan's Dragons.

But it gets even better! I'm also releasing with other friends - Kat Holmes has a release that day from MuseitHot - The Lighthouse. From the lovely Emily Pikkasso -The Oak King's Daughter - which I won my first ever cover award for. Then there's Ginger Simpson, Frank Scully, Patricia Harrington, and Heather Haven's releases that day. All from the same house and wonderful authors that trusted me with their covers!

See it's really going to be a great day! So January 1st check out the releases and pick up one or two or all of them.

And though she hates it - Thanks Lea Schizas for letting Tir (Antonia Tiranth) and I share this first.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


I often think about this but today found out about a friend of a friend who is wondering what to do about a contract that was changed. Won't give details as they aren't mine to give.

But it got me to thinking NY Publishing NAME, Small Press or ePublishing. Now I love Lyrical Press and MuseitUp Publishing and am extremely happy there. But like all authors I dream of seeing my book on the shelves at the book store. Walking into a bookstore and maybe seeing people picking up my book and showing it to their companion going "You have to read this!"

Now I can't fool myself into believing that I'll be the next J.K. Rowling, John Grisham, and all those other authors that we know the name of. And if I'm completely honest I don't want to be. Don't get me wrong the money would be nice... VERY nice. But I would rather have devoted readers that want my books.

I try to think what would I consider a fair advance from a publisher. $1,000? $3,000? $5,000? What if they offered one and then halved it? Would I still be willing to go forward just for the chance to be on the bookshelf? Truthfully I don't know - I've never been in that situation.

Even hearing bad things from friends of friends - I won't let go of my dream. I may never make it BUT if I don't reach for the stars I might as well turn off my computer and not even try.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Where stories come from #2

So I posted about this once, but thought I'd revisit the topic = since everyone always asks a writer "Where did your idea come from?"

Characters are the most interesting in where they come from.

Take Jett Houston from "Black Velvet" - I was helping my buddy Antonia Tiranth work out a problem with her Rikashi series, she needed twelve characters and only had eleven when up popped this foul mouthed, attitude ridden, alpha in the extreme, sexy Texan. I knew everything about him - his past, why he had the attitude, his Grams... Course he wouldn't go work with Tir, so we ended up cowriting his book.

There's Devlin Ruark from my upcoming Ghostly Passions - Another of those full blown here I am tell my story now men. But I love them.

But my favorite has to be Mel, who is actually named Melody. A biker chick who is the daughter of a muse and a human. She first started peeking out at me when I was listening to Carrie Underwoods "Before He Cheats" a little shy but that's because whenever she sings what she sings about happens. She's a minor character in a series Antonia Tiranth and I are working on... may get her own book soon as she and Rafe decide to open their mouths.

Then there are those lovely creatures. Jayne Crantz has a species in her books "Dust Bunnies" they look like dust bunnies but are incredibly fast and have wicked sharp teeth.

While outside with my husband a bit a go I started sneezing. We always say "A sneezelweazel ran up my nose." when that happens - we've said it hundreds of times but today I started sneezing and told hubby that and suddenly I started wanting to create a world that HAS sneezelweazels.. we'll see what the brain comes up with.

Sometimes a song brings up a story too. Right now thanks to Glee the muse has found "Forget You" and she's insisting there's a story there. She'll find it too if I give her enough time.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Challenge for those with a Twitter Account

Okay I've been doing it - yeah I've missed a few days but... What I'm doing is a #books4Christmas on Twitter. Hoping to remind people that books are GREAT ideas and hey if you're going to give them an eReader load them up with books while you're at it.

So far I've recommended:

Passion Unleashed by Larissa Ione
Vampire Vendetta by Alexis Morgan
All I Want for Christmas by Kerrilyn Sparks
Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
The Envoy by Delilah K Stephans
Dark Needs at Nights Edge by Kresley Cole
Wolf In The Door by Christine Warren
Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Haunted by Your Touch - Anthology
Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
Blood Games by Chelesa Quinn Yarbro
Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
Breathless by Bonnie Edwards
Dark Defender by Alexis Morgan
The Tempe Brennan series by Kathy Reichs
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir - book not movie though the movie is good too.

SO if you have a twitter account start recommending #books4Christmas! I try to do at least 1 a day. As an incentive - if you start doing them email me at with either a screen cap of your tweet OR link to your twitter account and your snail mail addy and I'll send one winner a few little gifts and a copy of a couple of my books and for everyone that does it - I'll send you something too! Bookmarks and magnets okay?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving and Christmas Musings

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope everyone enjoyed thier Turkey and all the fixings. I still don't know why we feel we must have what is basically enough food for a small army on one Thursday a year. But I enjoy the food so really don't complain about it too much.

No, the holiday I have a real problem with is Christmas. I know. I know. I've heard it for years. I'm horrible for not liking Christmas. BUT let me explain why I dislike it.

First there's the fact I worked retail for twelve years and experienced the nastiest of people every one of those twelve years. I can honestly say that in that dozen years I had at least one person scream at me - and usually on the 24th of December - "You're ruining my Christmas." This includes people who spend next to nothing on a gift then when they have it engraved (worked at an engraving shop) the cheap silver plating peeled. Offered this person full credit for what they had spent but NO for thier $12.00 gift they wanted a $40.00 one FREE. Oh I did it but I have never forgotten or forgiven the woman who once she got her way was all "I'm sorry" didn't believe her then and still don't.

Second is the fact that being in retail I realize the absolute commercialism of the holiday. It's not about being with people you care for or showing them you care for them and oh here's something that I know you wanted. No, all the retail businesses have convinced not just the U.S. but the world that during the month of December we must buy a gift for everyone we know to show them we care. We should put ourselves in debt to buy these gifts. Why? What if I know a friend is down or I just want to give them a gift and I have the money to buy it? Should I buy it and set it aside for December? I'd rather give a gift just cause. And personally I prefer gifts that come out of the blue for no other reason than someone wanted to do something nice with no expectation of a gift in return.

Now a little about Black Friday sales... Do your homework! It's a little late now but you should have spent September and October pricing the items you want to gift. THEN look closely at those Black Friday ads - are they REALLY a bargin? (Some retail stores bump up the retail price in November so that sale price actually looks better) If you have an iPhone, iPad or Android I seriously recommend downloading the Shop Savvy ap - you will be able to find the best price. It's like I'm a tech person. I love my computers, smart phone, iPod, memory sticks, portable drives... heck hubby knows if he wants to make me happiest not to buy me jewelry buy me tech stuff or take me to the bookstore. So I know tech prices - WELL. Trust me there is nothing tech related that has a decent deal on it this holiday. Oh there are a couple of eReaders but it's more a test by the manufacturers to see how they will sell at that price point. But definitely if you want a Nook or a Sony eReader... $99.00 tomorrow. (Nook at Best Buy and Sony at Wal Mart)

Oh one more retail tip - Best deals are the week before Christmas.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NY Times tracking eBook Sales

So the NY Times announced today that they will be tracking eBook sales and ranking them at the beginning of next year

That's good news and bad news.

Good in the fact that finally someone is giving ebooks the respect the authors of them deserve.

Bad in the fact that they didn't decide to do it until the big publishers got into eBooks.

I have mixed feelings about this issue. Mostly I wish they'd have recognized them sooner, but we can't get everything we want, can we?

Monday, October 25, 2010

How do you decide what to write?

I've heard "write what you know" many times. But what do I really know about Vampires and Demons? About Time Travelers? Honestly, I only know what I've read from other authors.

Let's take Vampires. I am a total fangirl of them and will read almost every book, see every movie and give every TV series a try. I got the idea to write one but really needed to make mine unique. So I took my favorite Vampire books (Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series, Kerrilyn Sparks Love at Stake series, Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark, Lynsay Sands Argenaux series, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Chelesa Quinn Yarbro's St. Germain series) and made a list of the advantages and disadvantages of each. I looked through that list and decided what made sense to me. Then jumbled them all up, put my own twist on them and wrote The Envoy (Available now from Lyrical Press).

Ghost? Well there's more freedom there because there are so many types of Ghost. I watched Ghost Hunters one day they had a marathon. This lovely paranormal researcher and a sexy ghost started taking shape in my head. From that came Ghostly Passions (releasing June 1, 2011 from MuseitHot Publishinhg)

And then I took on Death. While most books whoever is Death is male. But one author, W. Somerset Maugham, wrote a short story "Appointmentin Samarra" in which Death was a beautiful woman. It stuck with me. So I start thinking after rereading Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series. Oh I didn't want to try to touch that one but the idea of the different incarnations having a physical presence? Oh yeah, I liked that idea. Which led to my current WIP! I'm still not sure of the title but the two in the running are My Lady Death and Death and the Detective. In which I also mix in my love of Romantic Suspense novels. I just need to finish it.

So if you want to write - then write. The ideas are all around let your brain mix the ideas around and you'll be surprised what comes.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Why do some publishers do that?

No parties will be named so.

Two publishers have received request for return of rights back and handled it in a very unprofessional manner... They have so far, to my knowledge, ignored them. Why?

I mean honestly. If an author isn't happy at a publisher and request rights back, why keep them? All it does is cause even more animosity in the author. That animosity grows and the next thing you know lawyers are involved, the court system and even the Romance Writers of America (RWA). Not to mention the behind the site bad mouthing that goes on in private emails.

Why not just give them their rights back and let them go on their way? These two publishers have had blog after blog hashing out all the sorted details. To the point in some cases where READERS won't purchase from that company in solitarity with the authors. Now the publishers look bad, the authors that are happy are being hurt and in a few cases chastising those that want to leave.

If an author wants to leave - why keep them? It may be for no reason other than the author has a personality clash with someone, or wants to rework a book to make it better. But they are ignored. Then they get angry. When all it would take is a few clicks of the mouse to delete the books from other vendors and their own website, signing a release of rights, dating it and emailing it to the author - all could be done, I'd guess, in a few hours at most a week with epublishers. Print books probably longer.

One publisher stated, when asked, that they have to go to court about the right revisions. Why? Did they go before a judge when the signed a contract? If they did - okay but if not why do they need to do that now? Why change from 90 DAYS to 90 BUSINESS DAYS? Why are they keeping unhappy authors? In my state we have a right to work program - meaning you can leave your job for any reason you want including "I just don't want to work their any more."

I understand contracts - but if you (publisher) gives a termination clause then live by it. Right?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Meet a sexy Ghost

Today I'm turning the blog over to Devlin Ruark the hero of Ghostly Passions.

Good day. As the lovely author said I am Devlin Ruark and proud of what has happened since my death.

There are advantages to being a ghost. Aye, I've seen things I ne'er dreamed possible. The rise of technology, like this internet. Tis truly a marvel to know instantly what friends in distant cities, even across the vastness of the oceans are thinking or doing. The freedoms enjoyed by all. And most of all I have enjoyed the changes in women's fashions.

Aye, for a man still young it is a true pleasure to see the young lasses visit the beaches. First in dresses down to their ankles then move to what they wear now. Mere bits of fabric and lace that barely cover their bodies.

Which brings me to the disadvantages. While I would love to follow them along the beach I am trapped in my home. Ne'er to step a transparent foot past the threshold. For 230 years it has been so. But if that were the only disadvantage I would be happy. Nay, and forgive me dear ladies for speaking of something that should be private in your presence, the worst of it is to be unable to feel any sensation in the part of me that makes me a man. Aye, tis my deepest shame that in being a ghost I have become unable to rise to any occassion.

But enough about my sm.. deficency. There is another difficulty in being a ghost. The damned Paranormal Researchers as they call themselves. Always trying to prove I am here or worst yet drive me from my home! I'll not stand for it. If the God Almighty saw fit to leave me here until he comes again then no man or woman will part me from my home.

That is part of the problem, there is a new one coming here soon. Heard her speaking to the upstart that thinks he owns my property. I did not see this woman, but she did have a pleasing voice. She will be here in June. I wish the lovely author who told our tale would tell me what to expect.

"Not on your ghostly life!"

See? Not a word. I fear what is coming. She has titled my story Ghostly Passions so that must be good - correct?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Cover!

I have to take a minute to show off my beautiful cover for my June 1st Release from MuseitHot Publishing. Isn't it Gorgeous!

Devlin Ruark has been trapped in the same house for 230 years. He's faced a British hangman, numerous paranormal researchers, but he doesn't know what to do with the newest researcher.

Determined to prove that ghost do exist, Druscilla Hutchinson has returned to the house where she saw her first ghost. With the Electromagnetic Particle Scanner she developed she hopes to give a ghost a more substantial form.

When the EMP Scanner produces an unusual side effect, Devlin and Druscilla have to decide whether to talk or take advantage of the situation.

I have to admit I love this sexy brash hero and logical heroine. I hope you readers do to. I'll have excerpts later.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Be the Captain of your publishing career

I've learned a lot since I signed my first contract. Mostly it's you have to take the good with the bad. Oh, you get angry and may even swear - I do. But it's part of the process. But here are some of the lessons I've learned.

1. Never take one person's word for how a publisher is. They speak only from their experiences. I've heard horrible things about a publisher - only to find them a true delight to work with. I've heard excellent things about a publisher - only to find them a nightmare.

2. Trust your gut or if female your woman's intuition. It will rarely steer you wrong.

3. If you do sign with a publisher and aren't happy - try another one. Publishing books is like finding the perfect resturaunt. Your friend might love resturaunt A - but you have had bad experiences and prefer resturaunt B. Example - my husband loves McDonald's and we have one that we go to all the time. Not that there is anything wrong with anyother McDonald's in town - but we've developed sight recognition with the staff and feel more comfortable there... well at least until there latest remodel and there are no comfortable booths...

4. If you are happy with your publisher - don't expect everyone else to love it.

Bottom line - it is your writing career. You are the captain of that boat - do not give over control to any single publisher, editor or individual. And another cliche that I've learned to appreciate - don't put all your eggs in one basket. Cause if the basket breaks - you have one heck of a mess to clean up.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Upcoming releases!

I decided to dip my writing toes into the erotica pool. I have three upcoming releases I want to tell you about.

Demons Be Gone - His name is Demon. Her name is Angel. When they meet sparks fly.

Ghostly Passions - He's been dead for over 200 years but seeing the sexy Paranormal Investigator that is investigating his home brings him back to life...

Afternoon Surprise - He's a lawyer. She's a professor. The zing is gone from there sex lives but a surprise visit brings back the zing.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cell phone or iPod Touch Wars

Now this really doesn't sound like something for a writer's blog - but it is my blog, so I guess I can write about anything I want. :)

I want to replace my old cell phone. I've determined what I need and what I want and what I can truthfully live without. #1 on my list is internet - good internet. But then I looked at it again and my old phone isn't that bad... SO I've got a couple options.

1. I can get an iP0d Touch - 32GB of music, video, audiobooks AND has wi-fi capability.

2. I can upgrade my cell phone and get a Samsung Vibrant - more on the monthly bill but not that much more, since I already pay for internet on the phone I have.

The initial outlay doesn't bother me as they are pretty close to the same price (after I take advantage of a special on one and great pricing on the other) what has me debating is - increased monthly bill. Internet is a must. With being epublished and other work online, I need the internet.

The iPod Touch has the advantage of no extra monthly outlay - BUT I don't always take my iPod with me. I do take my phone.

The Vibrant has the advantage of it would go everywhere with me, have Kindle on it and okay so Avatar is on it too (BTW I like the movie) - BUT has the disadvantage of that monthly bill increase.

So help an author out. Which do you think I should get.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Words and when they came into usage

It's one of the things that fascinate me as an author. One of my favorite books on the subject is English Through The Ages by William Brohaugh. It's great when you are writing a period piece or maybe a ghost story to go back and find what words would he use for something. Then there's slang and euphamisms - which I'm still looking for a good book on the subject.

In my latest book - during edits the editor wanted me to change a word. I pulled out my English through the Ages and looked up the work I used and the one she wanted me to use. The one I used was in the vocabulary as early as 1500 - the word my editor wanted me to use entered the vocabulary in the late 1800s. The character was from 1780. BUT without William Brohaugh's book I would probably have gone with the editors word - without knowing it was period incorrect.

Words are the backbone of a writer's tool kit. Dictionaries and Thesauruses are essential I recommend having at least 3 different ones of each and and bookmarked. Besides, if you write hot scenes... it's fun looking up different terms for different things.

Another tip - make friends with writers around the country and the world. Slang is different in every part of the country and every nation. So, make sure you get it right - nothing will turn off a reader faster than the use of slang from a character that lives in their area.

So, if you know of a good slang/euphamism book, let me know.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Contract!

Can't believe I forgot to blog about this!

Over a year ago I started a little piece of erotica fluff ... a Paranormal Investigator and a Ghost. I finally finished it and sent it off to MuseitUp Publishing. It was accepted and has a June release date with their MuseitHot line

MuseitUp Publishing is a new ePublisher BUT the owner Lea Schizas has been around the ePublishing industry as long as I have been publishing. She's smart, savy and has probably forgotten more about marketing a book than I'll ever learn. She's so smart in addition to giving me a contract - my sixth! - she also offered me a job as the cover artist for both houses!

Now since I'm the only CA there, don't worry I love being the only one, I need to put my nose back into Photoshop and knock out a few mockups today. In addition to going and getting new glasses!

I redid my office minus the UFHT (Ugly ____ Hot Tub) that took up 2/3 of the room. I'll post pictures once it's all set up and the moving mess is cleaned up.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Heroine Hair Color

Okay strange topic to talk about today but it was on my mind.

When I started reading romances almost all the heroines had blonde hair. The bad girls seemed to have dark hair or red hair. Now the tide has turned. The dark haired and red headed girls seem to be the heroines and the blondes are the bad girls.

What brought this about? Is it because of the actresses of today? Think back. In the past the past blondes like Marilyn Monroe were the ones that filled the silver screen. Today we have Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox and Julia Roberts fill the seats at the movie theater.

But what about those of us with mousy brown hair? Are we forever relegated to being the best friend?

What do you think?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Release Day!

Sometimes when you write books come quickly the words flowing and before you know it you are typing "The End". But, there are others books that along the way teach you things, that crawl into your heart and you are fearful of others rejecting them - publishers, reviewers, and most importantly readers.

The Envoy was that book for me. Started in 2006 I finished it in November of 2009. My wonderful editor at Lyrical Press, Pam Tyner, loved it and it was quickly contracted. Then there was the editing process and today it is out there for others to read. And the same old fear is stalking me today. What if people don't like my baby?

The Envoy is my first and to date only attempt at writing my favorite genre - Vampire Romance. Diana is so closely based on my past jobs it's not funny. It's set in my hometown - which did make getting photo references easy.

If you pick it up, please let me know your opinion -- even if it's negative.

And as a friend reminded me I forgot to add a link!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

eBook Piracy take 2`

Hmm this week seems to be the week of repeating earlier topics. Today I want to talk about eBook Piracy - again.

So I talked about how eBook piracy effects the authors - the bottom line if they don't make money writing they stop writing. Publisher's don't make money they fold. If you want to read that entry it's here.

Now to continue that theme. Not only are you taking money from the author and the publisher. I've heard the excuses "I can't afford to buy the books I read too many." "They're making tons of money (not true) so it won't matter if I download it." (Guess what you aren't the only one downloading the book there are hundreds of you. One author did the research and one of her books had been downloaded over 1,000 times.) "I just download to try it out if I like it I'll buy it." Yeah, yeah, yeah all us writers and our publishers are living in mansions and have servants to clean and it won't hurt if we get robbed - WRONG assumption. For my case I live off social security and disability - my royalty checks are enough to go out to dinner once and that's about it. BUT there are others that feel the financial effect of each and every illegal download. Folks you probably never thought about. Who? Copy/Content Editors, Line Editors/Proofreaders and Cover Artist.

Now in the big New York houses I'm sure those folks get a salary but for the sake of this entry I'm not talking about them. I'm discussing ePublisher staff. Each group gets a tiny percentage for their hours of work and/or expenses.

1. Copy/Content Editors - for their tiny percentage these wonderful ladies and gents read each story assigned to them, mark what can be made better, correct punctuation, and to make sure the house style is maintained. They do this not once but a minimum of twice and some books take three or four or more times. That's HOURS and HOURS of work.

2. Line Editors/Proofreaders - now some publishers pay these ladies and gents a flat fee and that's great... but some don't. The Line Editors/Proofreaders are "fresh eyes" that check the story for things the Copy/Content Editors and Author missed because of having read the story too many times.

3. Cover Artist - I bet you're wondering why this is highlighted, well I'll tell you. In the ePublishing world the artist purchases the images that are used. The images range from free to $15.00 each and each cover has usually 2 or more images. Then they put together the images and make the text fit the book. Not every cover any artist does is an OMG! cover and yes, some are ick. But no matter WHERE the cover fits on the spectrum they are out that money. Then you come along and upload the book with the cover they spent hours on, covers they paid for the images out of their own pockets and the poor artist gets nothing. Not Cool!

So now you have slipped your stingy, greedy, self intitled little hand into 5 peoples wallet and stolen from them. I know, if you're a pirate you are rolling your eyes at me. But think about this... I walk into your job and take whatever I feel like and walk out without paying. How would you feel? Just remember that's exactly what each publisher, author, copy/content editor, line editor/proofreader and cover artist feels when you push that "Download file" button.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Research is important!

In addition to writing I also line edit. Recently I was given a manuscript to line edit. Within the first chapter I found several factual errors. Things that a modicum of research could have corrected. So I decided to post another blog on doing your "homework".

Remember you never know what your readers experiences are.

1. If you have a character who is a doctor and he/she makes a diagnosis - you better have researched that disease until you know every symptom, what the usual presentation of it is and what could be a really unusual presentation. You need to know the test that are used to diagnose it, the treatment for it and if you can find someone that has a loved one with or has the disease. Nothing better than first hand knowledge.

2. If you are writing a soldier with TBI or PTSD make sure you know the differences, the treatment, the prognosis, the VA disability rating percentages and the pension they recieve for it. Talk to a soldier, or your local VA office or VA psychologist.

3. If writing an artist - learn about the field. What are the different techniques, the different disciplines, the different materials. Take a drawing class or go to your local college and talk to an art professor.

4. If you are writing a student - go by your local college's registration office and ask for a bulletin that will have the requirements for every major they offer. It will also give you the summary of each class. If you decide that you need a scene where the character is in class find out when it's offered and approach the professor about sitting in on a class one session.

5. Writing a police officer? Talk to one. Pick up the "Howdunit" series.

6. Writing something where a character uses a sword? Go visit stores that sell them. Feel the weight or if you can afford it buy one then hold it for five minutes. Feel the burn it puts on the back of your arm, your wrist.

7. If you write science fiction make it believable.

Monday, April 26, 2010

New books coming soon!

Over the last couple of months I've signed two contracts with Red Rose Publishing for a couple of eroticas. My first time dipping my foot in that genre - but they turned out well, so I'm happy.

I think I mentioned Demons Be Gone which is set in Las Vegas the hero is a Cambion - half human/half incubus. His name is Demon and when he meets an Angel sparks are sure to fly.

The newest one is an idea I've played with for several years, but finally got the courage to write. Robert and Michelle Cavanaugh have been married 10 years and the zing has gone from their sex lives so they decide to put it back by fulfilling each other's sexual fantasies.

But before those release - The Envoy releases July 5th from Lyrical Press. If you like vampires this may be the book for you.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Interesting Coincident

Thanks to watching "Who Do You Think You Are", that new genealogy tv show on NBC, I decided to try and see what I could find out about my Dad's family. As I was going back I found that I have a Great Grandmother named Sara.

That in and of itself isn't what made me go wow - what did was the fact my Great Grandfather was her second husband. Her first husband died in the Civil War. So, now you're going ok why are you writing a post about that?

My first published book was Sarah's Story - Time Displacement Corps Book 1. Sarah went back and was living in South Alabama prior to the Civil War. My Great Grandmother was in South Alabama during that time as well. Opposite side of the state but there.

When I wrote the book I had no idea about Great Grandmother Sara. Just a strange coincidence.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow! in Mobile, AL

I know for those of you who get it every year it's not a big deal but in Mobile, AL the last snow was 12 years ago. But I took pics of my babies in the snow!

This is Star.

This is my boy Damien in the snow - he's one of the oldest dogs but still never seen snow.

Next is all the boys - Mikey is 11 years old - he's the Collie.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Envoy has a cover!

The Envoy is a book I worked on off and on for three years - so getting the cover today made the fact it was going to be published even more real. Isn't it pretty ?