Monday, December 19, 2011

Quiet for a good reason

First there was finals - then I dove right into getting The Envoy ready for print! Which I'm happy to say is DONE. Just waiting for the proof to arrive. Here is the Print cover I did. Just to give you a little tease.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Santa person, myth or belief?

I read an article today about tell/don't tell Kid's the "truth" about Santa Clause today. And it got me thinking.

We tell kids in December to be good or Santa won't come - so they usually are wanting that horde of presents on the 25th of December. But by December 27th Santa is old news and they don't think oh this will effect next years Christmas. Guess what? They're right. How many of you can tell me what your kids did last year on December 27th? Not many. 365 days is a long time.

Ask most kids under the age of 5 and they'll tell you Santa is a person. Ask kids over 10 that same question and most will say myth. Ask me at 48 and I'll tell you belief.

Why is Santa a belief for me? Have you ever had a moment, anytime of the year except the period from Thanksgiving Day to New Years Day, where you went - It feels like Christmas? Maybe not, but most of us have - I've heard people say - this is better than Christmas - a LOT! So for me, Santa is a belief that we will be rewarded for some random act of kindness we did with no expectation of getting recognition or reward for it.

After working 12 years in the retail business, I can tell you I have the "Christmas Spirit" of a dead reindeer - namely NONE. It comes from every single Christmas I worked in Retail - invariably someone screamed in my face on Christmas eve - "You're ruining my Christmas!"First few years it didn't bother me after about the 6th or 7th, listening to carols about the Joy of Christmas, Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards men - then watching how people acted... Killed my "Christmas Spirit". I also saw first hand how commercial the whole shebang was.

Before the retail experience, there were many years I was BROKE at Christmas and just had enough to pay the bills, not buy presents for the people I loved. I hated then and hate now - someone insisting I buy a present to show I care about someone in December. What if I want to get a gift in October that says I care about you/you're important to me? What do I hear - "Oh you should have waited till Christmas to give that."

That is why Santa is a belief to me. He lives in my heart throughout the year. When I can help someone, I do. When I want to buy a gift for someone just to say I care, I do. Then sometimes when things are at their darkest for me - someone sends me something out of the blue just to show they care about me.

And isn't that what Santa is really about? Showing you care? So, why wait till December because retailers, card makers and wrapping paper manufacturers tell us we should? Hmmm? No REAL reason that I can think of - other than we've become so indoctrinated to giving gifts on Christmas - we've forgotten the REAL reason you give a gift - to show someone you care.

So, I keep Santa close all year - cause I don't want to forget that lesson.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

What I do at School

This is gonna take 2 post - but here is the first - my typography final project - 12 pages and 100+ hours worth of work. - and YES, I designed every title and layout in the thing. JUST checked - made a 92 on it!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Little Help Please!

Survey: Please visit the three sites listed and the type pages listed. Return the completed survey to or (seems there are some issues with the south email) by Saturday December 3, 2011 at midnight.

Thank you!


Please visit on or more of the following on each site:


Bookstore Main Page

Book Page

Author Page

Please answer the following questions:

1. On a scale of 1-10 how easy is MuseitUp Publishing's site to navigate?

2. On a scale of 1-10 how easy is Lyrical Press's site to navigate?

3. On a scale of 1-10 how easy is The Wild Rose Press' site to navigate?

4. Which site did you find easier to navigate and why?

5. Which site did you find the hardest to navigate and why?

6. Which site did you find had just the right amount of information on each of the pages?

7. Which site did you find had too much information on each page?

8. Which site did you feel had the best color scheme and why?

9. Which site did you feel had the worst color scheme and why?

10. Which site would you be more likely to buy a book from and why?

11. Which site would you be least likely to buy a book from and why?

12. Which site did you prefer the Author's Page on and why?

13. Which site did you prefer a Book Page on and why?

14. Two of the sites begin on the homepage of the bookstore and one on a general web page, which approach did you prefer and why?

15. Which site did you feel had the best graphics - not including covers?

16. Which site did you feel had the worst graphics - not including covers?

17. Please give a 1-5 sentence opinion on each site:

- MuseitUp Publishing

- Lyrical Press

- The Wild Rose Press

18. Which site was easiest to find contact information on?

19. Which site was hardest to find contact information on?

20. Do you purchase eBooks?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's Thanksgiving Goodbyes.

Yeah I know it's 9PM. But, it was really hard to find something to be thankful for this year. - My Collie I'd had for 12 years died, Professor scared the Crap out of me Tuesday, my favorite professor left the college - (he wouldn't play their stupid reindeer games), and Wednesday I was awoken to the neighbor knocking on the door saying one of my dogs was out. Went out - luckily found the one the neighbor had seen - then realized my old man was missing.

My old man was Willoglen Demons Begone or Damian. He was a show dog, but always prefered the life of a couch potato. Oh, he'd show for you if you asked - because he wanted to please you but not because he enjoyed it. I've got 2 of his sons and two of his daughters here. One I got back from the show person I swapped her to, because she was downsizing. That little girl went third at the Sheltie Nationals as a puppy in a class of over 100!

Well I went looking for the breeder's phone number - Damian is microchipped, so they'd call her. No luck. But I did find that he has a granddaughter that is a champion, and several great grandchildren that are pointed or about to start their show career. So my old boy is still their contributing to the breed I love, even if it's time for me to leave it. Shelties are barkers and my nerves just can't take it anymore. But I'm thankful that he is left a legacy on the breed. Cause every one of those grandkids and great grandkids have his beautiful head! This is Damian in his prime.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What I'm doing this weekend.

So it's Thanksgiving weekend - which I think means to professors - OH they have plenty of time to work on stuff for me. I worked on Conceptual today - here's the progress.

The Base image:

Better explain the project is to draw a temporary object or idea - I chose life. This is the Well of Souls - and this is where I left it Monday at the end of class. I finished up the stones and moved on to the next page, which is ink wash on Mylar. Death.

The third part - While the wash on Death was drying I put the second sheet of mylar on it and did another ink wash. Clotho - the spinner of the threads of life. I really like how she's coming out of the well.

Here is where I left it for the day. I'll work on it more tomorrow - thinking of adding another sheet of mylar and putting a background on it but not sure, so stopped and will let it percolate in the brain over night.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tiger Picture

Still working on this entry

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

School Work!

So when I'm not being a Cover Artist - I'm a student - this is a piece I'm working on for Conceptual Drawing. This is done completely in 2B Mechanical Pencil.

First the big picture:

What I've been doing tonight is putting in the leaves and grass details - I zoomed in to show you. Grass is made of thousands of tiny little tick marks - the closer together the darker the shadow.

And finally a distance shot.

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Process Part 3

Okay - part 3. WHEW. Until I started doing this I didn't realize exactly how much I did with a cover.

Last adjustment for this image - just darkening and lightening specific points to up his muscles and lighten her skin. I am now ready to call the couple done and take them into the cover blank.

Well what fairy tale would be right without a castle. All I've done here is trimmed out a lot of unneeded sections - like the cliff it was hanging off of and the tourist that were on the railing at the bottom. Looks okay but still not a wow factor.

I duplicated the castle did a few adjustments on it and adjusted the blending mode. Now I'm happy with it.

What's next? Putting in the title and author's name. Every single title I do a cover for starts with a very basic text in white. This will not be the final placement or style of the text - but it's a good starting point. It allows me to go - What should I emphasis in the title? Where's a good spot for it? What type of font should I use?

Stay tuned - finalizing the type and finishing are the last thing.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Process - Part 2

Okay back to work...

Here I did another Hue/Saturation filter just to give it a Tiny bit more depth and I liked how it darkened her hair. Why? Because our heroine is supposed to be a black haired beauty.

Here I played with color balance. I can't remember exactly what I did, but liked the effect.

Here I wanted to get rid of a really light strand of hair - so I painted over it with black and reduced the opacity to get it right.

Here I had to up the contrast because in making her hair darker I had made all the highlights in his hair go away.

Next time we add Muscle tone - not that he isn't already BUT a little retouching never hurt anyone. See ya next time.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Process Part 1

For some reason folks are interested in my process for creating covers. So this will be pretty much a step by step of how the images turn into a cover - minus the boring tedious details. You can click on the images to see pretty much a full size.

First this cover is for A Christmas Sleeping Beauty by Lindsay Townsend. Will what you see here end up as the final cover? I don't know it's up to Lindsay. I'm just using it as an example.

First I select the image. I usually start with finding the people, because they take longer. For this one I needed a medieval feel to the couple. Thankfully I had bought this months before from Romance Novel Covers The hero needed to be wearing a jerkin so I lucked out! It's hard to find good period pictures of couples. But like all pictures of people it has a few problems - some bumps on the faces, freckles, a surgery scar on his elbow - those HAD to go.

I used the spot healing brush to get rid of those ugly scars, freckles and bumps. Much better. But there are still veins and minor imperfections on the skin. Well these are Romance Novel Characters! They have to be better than real life!! So next step

A little use of the dust filter in photoshop and voila no more veins! Now they look good.

Now I start playing with adjustments. These are very powerful tools in Photoshop so if you want to play with them tread lightly. This is a curve adjustment - where I adjusted the amount of light.

Now I'm playing with Hue and Saturation. This is the first of those levels. See how much deeper and richer the image is getting?

Okay that's it for this post. I'll be back soon with Part 2 - and I'm still working on this couple.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Cover Artist's Confession

Yes, I'm a Cover Artist, I'm even an Art Director with 4 Cover Artist who report to me - well theoretically at least, but sometimes I see a cover and am WOW! How did they do that?

A lot of authors want that "WOW!" factor on their covers, and hey who can blame them. But here's the thing - the covers that WOW my socks off - I NEVER buy the book. I have no real reason I can put my finger on why I don't buy them - well now that's a bit of a lie - sometimes the author lets me down when I sample a few pages, so back onto the shelf it goes. But that CA REALLY did their job. They gave the author the couple seconds of my valuable time to look at their book. It's not the poor CA who fell down on the job. Some of the best books I've ever read had the most God-Aweful covers I've ever seen - but MAN could that author write.

So why does it seem some authors consistently great covers and others are hit an miss? (Come closer and I'll tell you a secret. No Closer. there you go.)

CAs do their best work for authors that let them.

What do I mean by that? Well if you give me good tools, straight wood and clear instructions and I could build a damn fine box. Give me crappy tools, warped wood, confusing instruction - and well you get what you get. Ever heard the story Goldilocks and the Three Bears? Covers are like that - too much author interference in the creative process and the artist is going "WTF do they WANT?" too little and you get the same question. But if the author gives the CA just the right amount of information, and just the right amount of freedom to create art - that's what you get - ART! A cover that will WOW you.

I work in the eBook industry, and frankly I'm beginning to wonder if eBook Publishers don't give authors too much say in their covers. The Big boys have a 30 minute conference call with the author, their agent, marketing person, and the Art Director. Then the author's input ENDS and they get what they get. I've seen covers for NYT best selling authors that do not fit the book at all. Someone was asleep in the meeting me thinks.

Did you know that covers should pay out the designer at around $3,000 to $5,000? If you want to pay me that amount of cash to do the cover - I'll do whatever you WANT on it. But for my going rate of $50 for an ebook cover? Don't think so. I'll take your ideas into consideration but You ain't getting a special model shoot for exact duplication.

Cover Artist are a rare breed of artist. Yes, they are artist in the truest sense of the word - they create things of beauty out of stock photos and pre defined text. They create their art not for the "I made this! I had the concept, I had the inspiration and I created this." Sculptors do that, painters do that but the poor little CA is given their concept by the author. It's not like you can put an old west cowboy on the cover of a contemporary novel (well unless it's a time travel story).

Honesty time, I have authors I ADORE working with. They give me the information I need and then let me create. I have authors I literally CRINGE when I have to work with them, because they are never satisfied and tie my hands behind my back creatively. I'm also a bit of a bitch and can guaran-damn-tee you that if I've had a enough of an author I'll do EXACTLY what they want and not even half try to make it look good. That's what they wanted - that's what they got. (on a side note I can tell it by the sales too)

The CRAPPIEST cover I've ever done is my best selling cover! I'm ashamed of it! I can't even look at it. But, you know what the author has NEVER complained about that cover once and I've tried to make it up to her on every cover since then. (one of these days I'm going to redo that horrible thing for her)

And the worst thing a Cover Artist has to deal with - they rarely get any recognition for creating that awesome cover. Nope, the cover wins award 90% of the people congratulate the author on the award. And you want to know what? We CAs are Okay with that - really we are.

So next time you see a really great cover - hopefully somewhere it will say who the Cover Artist is - and when you mention how great the cover is - instead of Saying "Author Name's cover is gorgeous" You'll say "Cover Artist Name did a GREAT job on Author Name's cover." But even if you don't - it's Okay. Cause we see the results of our work every quarter on our royalty statements.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Anniversary Trip

And it wasn't our wedding anniversary! Nope, DH and I got married in June - but he proposed on Columbus Day Weekend. Yeah, that's next weekend, but I was on Spring Break from college.

Hubby booked a room at our favorite Biloxi Casino - Beau Rivage (Okay so he'd gotten a free night offer but he did upgrade it to a suite! We arrived around 4:30 went up to the room, relaxed, showered and got dressed for dinner. I'm looking in the vanity mirror then turned to hubby and said "Does this outfit need a necklace?" Now anyone that knows me - knows I'm not a jewelry person - but I do like the occasional necklace. He agreed and said why don't we go down to one of the shops and get you one. I'm thinking Yeah, I should be able to find something acceptable at the Everything $10 shop. We hop onto the elevator and ride down. My DH walks into the jewelry shop and says get what you want. So I'm looking finally find a Blue Topaz necklace that's very nice BUT it's (to me) a generic pendant on a chain - ie. It doesn't scream DEL! I'm trying it on when another necklace catches my eye - and it does a River Song "Hello, Sweetie" thing in my head. (Yes I'm a Doctor Who fan).

Isn't it BEAUTIFUL!!!

After I squeed, smiled, kissed and thanked DH - we went to dinner at Jia's. I had tuna sushi for an appetizer - YUMMY best sushi I've ever had. We were at the Hibachi - I had filet and shirmp. Okay I had a filet at the steakhouse BR Prime and it was excellent - but this hibachi filet was like BUTTER! After dinner we spent some time at the tables - didn't win anything, but if you can't afford to lose it don't go. As we told the dinners at the table with us - this was my "Thanks for saying yes 24 years ago" present. I think he did GREAT!

Speaking of River Song - I haven't introduced Congocoons Riversong of Jaguarcoons. So here she is giving her opinion on having her picture taken.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Date Night

Tonight was Date night for hubby and me.

We started at Carrabba's for dinner. Not only is it our favorite place, we've gotten to know the owner and manager, which makes each meal seem like going over to a friends for dinner. We got our favorite appetizer - Crab Cakes. Now I live on the Gulf Coast and every decent resturaunt in town has them - but Carrabba's has the BEST! Then we tried the Salmon for the first time. A nice and really light meal.

Then we went to the bookstore and I got three books to read - which hubby knows makes me smile.

We ended the Date Night going to the University of South Alabama Drama Department's play I Hate Hamlet. All the performances were great! But three stood out. Gray West as Gary Peter Lefkowitz, was wonderful. Your suppossed to hate his character and 1 minute on stage and I hated him! I completely believed him in the part, he played the smarmy, money hungry, hollywood director perfectly. The there was Jean Galloway as Lillian Troy. Now Ms. Galloway is not a college student but she has taught theater at the University of Mobile and was in the movies Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Back Roads, so I expected her performance to be good - but it was stellar. She shouldn't be wasting her time in this town, but in Hollywood playing sassy grandmothers! Finally was Andrew Willis as John Barrymore. He really commanded the stage with a quiet Presence, that made you look away from the main action just to see what he was doing. The best seen was when Ms. Galloway and Mr. Willis were on the stage, just the two of them. I leaned over to hubby when the scene was finished and actually used the word incandescent.

So how was your Saturday night?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Why I switched to ebooks.

There's a lot of chatter about "I prefer real books" just look at Amazon's new commercials for their Kindle. I have an old Sony eReader it's not color, doesn't have wi-fi but works perfect for me. Still I hear the old saw about "real books".

On my trusty Sony there are 42 books by authors like J.R. Ward, Alexis Morgan, Ilona Andrews, Lora Leigh, Jennifer Estep, CT Adams and Cathy Clamp, Joss Ware, Angela Knight, Lewis Carol, Kerrelyn Sparks, Nalini Singh to name some. Last I checked the all wrote "Real books".

Before I made the switch I read print books, cause that was all there was. So, I figured hmm two of those books I know are only in Hard Cover and 40 of them in paperback. So I pulled an equal number from my overcrowded bookshelves.

I couldn't carry all those in my purse. But I sure can carry my eReader. I don't have to hunt down bookmarks, and then don't have to worry about them falling out. The only disadvantage I've found is it is harder to turn to a specific section in an ebook - BUT if you just hit the little bookmark button, it's easy to find them.

Comment from Christine London -

"Love your visuals. They says it all. When our shelves begin to bow in the middle with the weight of our love of words, thank the literature Gods for the e-reader invention. Now I can carefully pick and choose the books that occupy a place on my physical shelves. Like the films I buy on DVD to watch again and again, a great read earns the right to inhabit the limited physical place in my home.

I just bought a Kindle two weeks ago. My dry, tired eyes have never been so happy when I climb into bed at ten p.m. after a long day on the computer. Crank up the font size, pull out the corner bookcover book light, sink into a cloud of backresting pillows and SMILE! It is the most revolutionary benefit to my reading life in my life. Print and paper dust mites banished, I don't even sneeze anymore when cracking a good read.

#1 recommendation for anyone who loves to read? An e-reader. This summer as I travel about the country and Europe the weight restirctions on the airlines worldwide shall not daunt. I have a six ounce e-reader and the world of books at my fingertips.

Thanks for the great post, Delilah.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

From a story I'm working on.

He stopped at the door, tugged the cuffs of his shirt and ran his hand over his hair smoothing it before ringing the bell. From within he heard his date ask someone to get the door. He put his “I’m harmless” smile on as the door opened. Suddenly he couldn’t breathe.

The woman who stood in the door way was enough to bring any man to his knees. White blonde hair curled pleasingly about her face in gentle waves, intelligent blue eyes widened slightly and full pink lips pursed. The sensible blue pantsuit she wore showed off every curve to perfection. He lamented he was taking the brunette, Elle to the annual dinner and not this gorgeous creature.

“Hi, I’m…”

“Nick Clausen.” She finished for him.

He was surprised by the derision in her tone. Had he passed her over for someone else? Impossible. He wouldn’t be that stupid. “I’m afraid you have me at a disadvantage, Miss?”

She shrugged one shoulder and motioned him in out of the cool December air. “Come on in. Elle will be out as soon as she decides what to wear.”

He stepped into the apartment and heard the door close behind him. It was a typical apartment, white walls, nondescript beige carpet. A television sat against one wall on a wood stand, opposite it was a comfortable looking couch. A tiny Christmas tree was displayed on an end table, the only concession he could see to the holiday.

The blond stepped around him and started towards the kitchen, halfway there she stopped and turned back to him. “Drink? I know you prefer Corona with lime, but we’re fresh out.”

He was about to ask her how she knew that when his date stepped out of the hall.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday.

Hands grasped her hips pulling her tight against a masculine chest. She snake hipped in time to the music. Whoever this was they were definitely getting lucky tonight.

"Quinten had an idea," Jenkins husky whisper sounded in her ear.

Afraid she was dreaming, Leena didn't turn as she answered, "What was his idea?"

He nuzzled her neck a moment sending a shiver of desire through her. Hades, how could she think any other man could satisfy her?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sayings to remember for Writers

Catch phrases are a good thing - they make you remember something or someone. Even writers should have them. Today I'm going to share some of my favorites.

"The creative side and editor side of your brain hate each other. Never let them work together." Angela Knight.

I've found this to be very true. When I'm working on a first draft if I try to edit it as I go - I can't get any further.

"Writing is 10% creativity and 90% editing." Unknown

Once you get the rough draft (creativity) done it's all about the editing - self, self, self, content, line.

"You already know the story, you just forgot it." Delilah K. Stephans.

When you get the idea for a story, you know the who, what, when, why and how of the story. The rest of it is getting it into words. There will be times you forget what's next - but just remember you already know what's next - it is the logical progression of what you've already put into words.

"The Villain is alway the hero of his own story." Alexis Morgan

The hero and heroine may know this guy is EVIL, but he's protecting his business interest, his religion, his power base, his rule, his whatever so doesn't see that in himself. In his mind he's noble and ambitious and doing whatever deeds he's doing for the greater good. Keeping this in mind will definitely make for better, stronger villains in your book.

"Opinions are like A@^#)#$s everyone has one." Unknown.

Point of View to me equals opinions. If I gave a scenerio "A man sighted along the barrel of a pistol." So what is that man doing? Is he getting ready for battle? Is he about to shoot someone? Is he considering buying it? All three of those questions could be answered yes from three different people - but only the man sighting down the barrel knows why. The reader doesn't need to know the thoughts of everyone in the room because the only thought that matters is the one that will move your story forward.

Often I see new authors want to put in every characters POV, it's not needed and can be confussing. Using the example from above.

Ben sighted along the barrel of a pistol. It felt good in his hands almost like it was made for him.

George watched while Ben checked out the pistol and wondered if it was loaded. It was a silly fear, but one he always had.

Jane watched the interchange and rolled her eyes. If George didn't make the sale, they weren't going to have enough money to by the rent.

Ben nodded. "I'll take it."

Now let's see that same scene through a single POV - I'll use Ben.

Ben sighted along the barrel of a pistol. It felt good in his hands almost like it was made for him. He looked over the counter at the two clerks. One of the clerks, a man, looked nervous about something, his eyes shifting to the gun and to Ben's obvious comfort with the wepon. The woman rolled her eyes, probably anxious to close for the night. Ben nodded. "I'll take it."

Lastly, something I've shared with others and have no idea where I heard it.

"A book is like a tree. There are roots and the trunk, branches and leaves."

So how does that work? Let's say you are writing a book that takes place in the past. You do all this research - what people wear, average cost for certain items, who were the political movers and shakers, natural disasters, etc. You fully develop your characters on a character worksheet - so you know (I'll use the hero for this) the color of his hair, eyes, skin, his birthday, his favorite tutor or if he was educated at all, his hobbies, is he good or bad at poker, does he have something unique about him, what his parents and siblings were like, what type of horse he rides and all the other little details. All of that is the roots of the tree.

Then there is the plot, main characters, minor characters and surroundings - those are the plot, surroundings and characters. The plot is the trunk of your tree - it takes all the goodies you found in researching and carries it up to the leaves and branches making a whole instead of bits and pieces. The limbs would be the scenery - because readers need to be able to visualize where the characters are. The leaves are the characters and how they interact.

The roots of your book are the things you as a writer need to know but the reader doesn't - they'd just get bored with it. The days of writers getting paid per word are long gone. The readers are interested in the tree they see above ground - trunk, branches and leaves. (on a side funny - it just occured to me that we say branches when they are on the tree and limbs when they fall off)

Hope these help you in your writing.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

This is from the start of Witchly Passion - which is kind of a sequel to Ghostly Passion. So enjoy.

Though she loved Dru like a sister, her Paranormal Investigator best friend could not give directions to save her life. Kara chuckled as she remembered the time that the two of them had gotten lost looking for a specific Mickey D’s where Dru’s latest crush worked. It wasn’t like both of them hadn’t grown up in that city and should know where it was and Kara had known. But, Dru had insisted they take a shortcut that the boy had told her about. By the time they had found the place, he’d been gone for an hour. With another girl. Kara always wondered if the slime bucket had given Dru the directions on purpose knowing her lack of direction.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Two For Tuesday

Today I'm featuring The Envoy - my July release from Lyrical Press. (okay it's technically 3 but the last two are only a sentence each)

As Diana’s footsteps faded, Francisco examined the three males in front of him. Long
suppressed training instinctively took over far more easily than he was comfortable with. Their
attire of baggy hoodies and low riding pants could hide a multitude of weapons. The confident
swagger each thug exhibited as they moved to surround him indicated they didn’t think him a threat. He easily picked out the leader by the not so subtle hand signals the man was giving his companions and stepped toward him. Mentally, he quickly identified the three as Boss, Righty and Lefty.

“You shouldn’t have interfered, man,” Boss growled. “Now we’re gonna have ta mess you

Francisco spread his arms, elbows slightly bent and palms up. “You are welcome to try.”

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Here's today's six sentences. Form one of my works in progress.

“Be careful Adam Spencer death stalks this city. Be cautious, you don’t want to meet her in a professional capacity.” She turned and started back down the row then looked back over her shoulder to meet his gaze. “Your family, they didn’t suffer.”

He couldn’t speak as she continued away from him and stepped behind a large oak tree. Forcing himself to move he hurried after her. Rounding the tree he scanned the rows of headstone but there was no sign of the woman.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Muse Author L.J. Holmes Speaks

Before I begin, I want to take this opportunity to thank my generous hostess, Delilah K. Stephans, for inviting me to guest on her blog.

When I asked Delilah what she wanted me to talk or write about here, she said whatever I want. Giving a writer with an inner muse as quirky as mine free reign is a dangerous thing---So, my daughter, Best Selling Author Kat Holmes, stepped in to direct the inner me.

"Talk," she said, "about what motivated me to write the stories I either already have up for sale, Santa is a Lady, or those about to be released, Forever With You, on February 1st, The Pendulum Swings, on March 1st, Twilight Comes on May 1st, and In From The Cold, June 1st. (I know...a daunting process-)

The easiest place for me to begin, is the one thing you are all going to realize right off the bat

...EVERY one of my stunning covers have been created by my hostess, Delilah K. Stephans, who just happens to be the absolute best artistic genius in all of the Milky Way Galaxy.

There is something else that each of these books have in common...they have elements of the life I have lived and are, therefore, semi-autobiographical...that is not always a good thing, since I seem to be rather hung up on having too many of my heroines share my biggest character flaw---a little girl voice that would make Minnie Mouse

envious while everyone else clamors for one of those huge conical amplifiers my Great Aunt Agatha plastered

against hers whenever I was around.

Now that you know one of my darkest secrets, I guess I should tell you about my books, how they came into being, and which parts come from Lin's

(L.J Holmes) pre-authorship.

Santa Is A Lady is my debut at Muse It Up Publishing...and well, everywhere else too. (Yep, I'm a bonified Newbie.)

I hadn't intended for my first ever release to be a Holiday themed story, but all other themes were closed. Not being into a Valentine Theme, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Arbor day, (how DOES one write a Holiday theme about a tree?), or even Halloween and Thanksgiving...I was left with only one celebratory day...


I had no idea where to go with it, but then, as if somebody on Cloud Nine

decided to hand me a gift, our local news announced a "professional" Santa had just been arrested...five full days before Christmas.

Back when I was working my way through college, I worked store security at one of the big retailers

for a year. I got to see what Christmas means to "Business".

What, I found myself wondering, would a small business owner do if her Santa was arrested five days before Christmas? How would she go about replacing Santa when all the graduates of Santa University, and yes, such a place does exist, were working elsewhere? Who would she trust? Who could she badger into donning the jolly elf's red suit?

Her best friend, of course...but what if said best friend had MY Minnie Voice?

Santa is a Lady flowed like water over smoothly rounded stones in a creek-bed, and was released to some pretty amazing, at least to me, reviews by really spectacular renowned literary voices.

Santa is a Lady is available at Muse Publishing's BOOKSTORE.

I'm a person with an awful lot to say, so I have continued submitting to Muse Publishing and now have books that fall in both their Mainstream Wing and their Muse It Hot,

as in scorching the flames right off the nanobytes side.

My second release Forever With You, is a short story about a young woman on a quest...getting her custom designed cabin built in record breaking time.

Can Keith Patterson, the owner of Patterson Construction Coryne hired have the skills to meet her deadline...and damn it all...does he have to look like a center-fold magnet?

Forever With You will be available from Muse It Hot on February 1st and it has a surprise ending you won't see coming...I promise you that.

What motivated me to write Forever With You? I love the mountains and have a secret fantasy to one day have enough money to actually build my dream cabin in the middle of nowhere, from the ground up.

I love history...especially ancient history. I also love the possibilities of Time Travel...These loves inspired me to write

The Pendulum Swings to be released from Muse It Hot on March 1st.

What would happen if an ancient Roman slave wakes up in a modern day hospital, in the body of someone else with no memory of who she is or was? And how would you survive it in a body that everyone , your husband, your staff, all who knows its real owner loathes? How do you cope? Is it a temporary leap in time, or are you stuck forever.

I especially loved writing this story and adored the seductive fireplace that was interviewed at the following link: CLICK HERE At the very least, it'll make you smile.

On May 1st my Muse It Up release, things get darker with Twilight Comes.

This story is based on events that took place in a neighboring town. When senseless tragedy strikes people we thought we knew, we can't help but try to decipher a rhyme and reason. Twilight Comes, another short story, is my attempt to understand and rationalize what is unimaginable. The story will stay with you long after the last word has faded from your screen. I know this because I am still haunted by the events all these years later.

And now we come to my June 1st release. In From The Cold is a cougar story that made me laugh while I was writing it...and cry too.

Mari Donovan is fifty and very happy in her disdain for anyone cursed with the "Y" chromosome. She has spent twelve contented years creating her mountain haven. Her only neighbor is in his nineties and not even an overdose of Viagra is going to make him stoke Mari's inner fires...but then he has the obscene rudeness to up and die...leaving all his worldly goods to Mari, with one exception...she must sell the curmudgeon's cabin directly across the graveled road from her.

She's determined it will not be sold to any male not intimately courting the Grim Reaper.

But Fate has other plans.

He's 35, deliciously built, and too annoying by half whether chopping wood shirtless, or daring to sneak off to HER lake and swim in the suit nobody should be blessed with upon their birthday.

No longer is her libido sleeping, and God does that tick her off! Only one thing for it...she's gonna have to jump his bones, do the deed, get him out of her system and slip back into her pre-bone-humping contentment.

Best laid plans ALWAYS bite you!

That's it so far. All the stories that I have covers for from Muse's Cover Art Goddess and my generous hostess, Delilah K. Stephans.

Reviews of my first book Santa Is A Lady are available at my Horn Tooting Blog

I can also be reached via e-mail

Thanks Delilah for your quality every one, and for this opportunity to do my Yakky Doodle imitation here as your most appreciative blog.