Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Dare I Confess?

Okay. I will.

Last night I rented and watched 'Brokeback Mountain,' and I have to confess that I enjoyed it. I got caught up in the relationship between Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist and I found it moving and thought provoking.

Though M/M stories have never interested me, I can't say as I saw this as one. While it dealt with the gay love affair of two cowboys on the surface, I think the story was more about the meeting of soul mates. It doesn't matter what sex you are, when you meet your soul mate, you know it and you strive to have a relationship regardless of the consequences.

My views on soulmates are little different than most because I'm Gnostic, so I believe we aren't sent here to 'find' our soulmates. We know exactly where they are for the most part. When soul mates incarnate together, they usually have a relationship that is so intense it's almost destructive. That describes the relationship in Brokeback.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie, regardless of the fact that it offended my husband's 'male sensibilities' [his words as he stalked into the basement to play manly and violent video games].
I wonder if I would have liked it as much, if it had been about a traditional m/f couple?

If you've seen it, I'd love to know what you thought about it.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Surprise in my in-box!

I was just wondering what to blog about today when this showed up in my in-box!

From Romance Readers Weekly

Romance Readers Weekly Choice Award
This week we are proud to present the Romance Readers Weekly Choice
Award to Jennifer Colgan for Wolfsbane: Aspect of the Wolf available
Now at Amber Quill Press.

"Jennifer's ability to create an electrifying tension between Daniel
and Emilee pulls you into the story. Soon you're right beside Emilee
as they fight to close a portal to hell in her magic shop and work to
save Daniel's brother, Vance. It all leads up to a breathtaking finale
that leaves you aching for more. My only question is... Is another
book for Vance coming soon?"-Romance Readers Weekly

Gotta love the readers!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Adventure and intrigue...

I'm in the middle of Michelle Perry's new book, In Enemy Hands. [Hi Chell!] And I just have to say, wow.

I love an adventure story. This one reads like a movie, it's fast paced, funny and there's that thread of deep emotion running through it that makes you want to turn the pages. I can't wait to finish, but I hate for it to end.

This is my kind of book, not just because I know the author, but I love stories that let me escape the mundane and take me into a world where things happen at a lighting pace, and I get to experience things I never would otherwise like jumping out of a plane without a parachute! [Egads! What a scene!]

This is what reading is all about to me. Being transported away somewhere and falling into the lives of characters who are larger than life. It never ceases to amaze me that books about the mundane seem to be critically acclaimed. I live real life, why would I want to read about it?
Give me an adventure laced with romance any day of the week and keep those maudlin 'coming of age' stories, those 'stick a hot poker in your eye' tales of dysfunctional families ravaged by grief. Blech.

Deliver me In Enemy Hands and let me figure out how to escape. That's a good read!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Beware Scam Agents? No, Scam Agents Beware

There’s been some discussion over at Romance Divas and around the web about scam agents and one in particular whose utter gall and personal lack of morals got a well known writers’ site pulled from the web.

I don’t like to name names or get involved in stuff I don’t know all the facts about, but I have this to say about [and to] scam agents:

Writers talk to each other. They frequent boards and blogs and loops to share their experiences in this business. If you want to play fast and loose with a writer, you may get away with it once or twice, but eventually you’ll choose a victim who is knowledgeable and vocal and has a LOT of friends.

If you don’t believe it, check out this list: 20 Worst Agents. If your name is on it, you can bet it won’t be easy to find victims any more.

For writers interested in learning more, stop by the Romance Divas forum thread and follow the links to the places where this battle is taking place.

If you are interested in finding an agent the best place to look is the listings at Romance Writers of America. With any agent you submit to, look them up in Predators and Editors and never, EVER, EVER pay an agent a fee up front or a fee to read your manuscript.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Excerpt for the Long Weekend!

I hope everybody is getting a long, enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. I'm about to take my kids to go see Over the Hedge, then later DH and I are going out to dinner and to see X-Men. It's a double feature day! [Dang it, I should have made it a double feature excerpt! Oh well.]

Today’s excerpt is from Conjured in Flames, my first print release. Conjured was originally going to be a Bernadette Gardner title, but that little voice in my head said, “You’ve wanted to see your name in print for thirty years, what are you waiting for now?” So I asked my editor if I could change the name on the book. Fortunately the cover art hadn’t been designed yet, but the contract had been signed and had to be reprinted. I hated being a pest, but it meant a lot to me to see my name in print. Now I have three print titles and I’ll never tire of seeing my name on the cover of a book, but I’ve also come to enjoy my alter ego and someday I hope to see Bernadette’s name on a print title also.

The passion that sparks between Lord Rodan and Gillian is like a living breathing thing. … this adventure kept me turning the pages. – Klarissa Kane, Joyfully Reviewed


Swept into another world by the spell of an evil sorceress, Gillian Lawrence finds herself embroiled in a passionate love, a deadly battle and a bargain for her life.


Fear jackhammered through Gillian's body as strong arms dragged her backward through the tent. Her heart fluttered like a captured bird, trying to escape her chest.

"Don't scream. It's me..." Rodan's lips grazed her ear and the flood of relief nearly buckled her knees.

He let go, and she turned in his embrace. She would have kissed him except for the haggard, dangerous look on his face. Strands of sweat-darkened hair hung in his eyes. His lips were pale and the golden stubble on his face was more than a day old.

Her heart lurched and thudded again when he caressed her cheek.

"How did you--?"

"Listen, there's not much time." He stilled her protests by placing his thumb over her lips. "The Saracen are in the forest. They're going to ambush the camp."

She nodded. "I sensed they weren't coming by barge. It had to be a decoy."

"You have to warn Baygard."

"Why don't you? If you've seen them--"

"No. You have to do it. He thinks you're Graciela. You have to prove your worth to him. If he sees me, he'll know I've come to take you back and--"

Of course. How stupid could she be? Gillian indulged her longing and slipped her arms around Rodan's waist. She laid her head on his chest for a moment and soaked in the warmth of his body. When he wrapped his arms around her, she noticed his one-sided grip.

"Your arm." She swallowed. She'd seen him deflect Baygard's weapon. The linen wrapped around the wound looked brown and stiff.

"Later," he admonished. "Now, go to Baygard. Warn him, then I'll take you back to Keragar tonight."

"I can't just go...if I leave the tent, his men have orders to kill me. I have to ask him to come here."

Rodan scanned the meager furnishings in the tent, fruitlessly hunting for a hiding place. "I'll wait on the ground outside, next to the cot."

"Baygard...he's dying. He may not live through the battle even if we win."

Rodan's jaw worked. He glared over her head and through the tent flap in the direction of the general's tent. "If he dies, his men will kill you before the Saracen can get to you."

* * *

To find out more about Conjured in Flames visit:

Thursday, May 25, 2006

So Happy It's Thursday!

Let me start by saying:

Taylor Hicks won American Idol!!
That's so cool. I've been rooting for him all season [even though I don't watch every episode]. He deserved to win because he's different, innovative and talented. I'm glad he could prove that you don't have to be sixteen to be the next big thing in Hollywood. Our obsession with youth is getting out of hand and Taylor proves that it's not how old you look but how old you feel that's important. I may even join the Soul Patrol!
Caution: There may be spoilers ahead.
What an awesome season finale last night! I loved it! The best part was the statue and Sayid's line: I don't know what question concerns me more - where is the rest of the stature, or why does it have four toes? Apparently this island is a lot bigger than anyone guessed before.
The bird was cool too. Hurley: Did that bird just say my name?
I guess the hatch is gone now and no more planes will be crashing on the island. Cool twist, it seems Henry Gale is the leader of the tailees. At least he acted like it.
I wrote 22 pages of Hunter's Mate yesterday. The draft is very rough, but I'm liking how its turning out so far. Today I'm going to edit the AQP story and probably send it off to my CP with fingers crossed that's it not as campy as it seems to me. Though maybe campy is good. Who knows.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I'm No Longer Speaking to Myself

No, we didn’t have a falling out. Me and myself still get along pretty well, but we’ve decided we spend entirely too much time chatting and not enough time getting things done.

You’re thinking, gee – she went right off the deep end, didn’t she?

The truth is, I’ve been out of the shallow pool for a while now and I’ve been treading water trying to figure out how to keep myself afloat.

The problem I have with myself probably stems from being a writer. I always have dialogue running in my head – the ‘voices’ writers all talk about. When the dialogue is taking place between two characters, it’s wonderful, it’s the creative process at its best, but when the dialogue is taking place between me and myself, I’ve discovered it’s more destructive and time consuming than anything.

I started reading Quiet Your Mind by John Selby in an effort to figure out how to tune out my internal monologue and/or dialogue – the non-productive stuff that keeps me awake at night, that makes me stop in the middle of writing a scene and have a conversation with myself about something totally unrelated to what I’m doing. I’ve long thought of this ‘hashing of internal conflict’ as a form of therapy. When there’s no one else to rant to about something that’s bothering me, I rant to myself. The problem is, I do it constantly.

It’s like having an argument with someone, and whether you win or lose, you walk away angry, so hours or days later you come up with ‘and another thing...!’ to add to the argument that’s already over. You play out the conversation in your head and even if you win the new argument you still feel frustrated because you didn’t really have the conversation. Sometimes you’re mad at the person all over again even though you didn’t actually have a new argument.

I do that all the time. I run scenarios in my head, I fret, I worry, I rehearse things that might happen or that did happen but should have gone better. I waste a lot of time with it, too. I argued with my ex-boyfriend for something like six years after we broke up. Granted there was a lot of material to work through – being at opposite ends of the religious and philosophical spectrum can give you a lot to argue about and I did, in my head for years trying to work out all the things I should have said. None of it matters now of course, to him or to me, but I had to get it off my chest so I played out the argument as though it raged on and on and on.

To what end? None, I finally realized. I’m a writer, so I can’t leave anything unsaid. My thoughts go on continuously and they need a place to go. If they just stay in my head they knock on the walls of my brain and drive me nuts. Story ideas have a place to go, but long lost arguments, imaginary worst case scenarios, conflicts that have yet to arise, have no place to go but into the ether and the only way to get them there is to have the conversation in my head.

So John Selby says this has to stop and I think he’s right. It’s like shutting off a radio and trying to keep it off when you’re used to the constant noise, or refusing to answer a ringing phone because you know who’s calling. It’s a challenge, but so far, I think I’ve got something here. Yesterday was a very productive day that seemed not to whiz by leaving things half finished like most days. I finished the first draft of my Amber Quill Superhero story, I sent out a number of queries and received another agent request which I turned around immediately and sent out by snail mail. I worked on Hunter’s Mate for a little while in addition to getting the laundry done and straightening up the house. I didn’t even mind matching the socks last night – [socks are another story all together].

I haven’t shut off my creative voice, at least I hope I haven’t, but I’ve given myself permission to not have arguments in my head anymore, to ignore the impulse to rehash or pre-hash every scenario that could possibly happen. It’s not being prepared after all, it’s only obsessing needlessly.

As you can see, to make up for it, I spewed it here, but if it helps me quiet my mind and get more accomplished in a day that doesn’t include useless thoughts, then it’s worth it even if I’m someday unprepared for an argument that I could have rehearsed for and planned in advance.

Wish me luck and if you see myself, tell it I said hi and I’ll drop it an e-mail now and then.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

How I Met Your Mother

I love this show. Perhaps I’m premature, but I think it’s the new FRIENDS. It’s funny, quirky and the cast is adorable. Plus, how can I show not be great when 16.6% of the regulars have crossed over from the Buffy-verse? [Alyson Hannigan and Alexis Denisoff] I was thrilled to see Amy Acker [Fred Burkle] make a guest appearance in the season finale.

The only problem I have with the show is the voice over – supposedly Ted is telling his kids about how he ‘met their mother’ – which has sort of a Wonder Years charm to it, BUT in an early episode he refers to Robin as ‘Aunt Robin’ which means she’s not ‘Mom’ so therefore it seems sort of fruitless to root for Ted and Robin when it’s already been established that they don’t end up together.

That’s the dedicated shipper in me. I’m always looking for happily ever afters. I see two things happening: One, they conveniently ‘forget’ this little fact and draw the Ted/Robin ship out as long as the show lasts, sort of like Ross and Rachel. They can always redub the voice over for the inevitable DVD version. Two, they create imaginative ways for both characters to fall in love with other people over time so that the Ted/Robin relationship doesn’t mean so much in the future. [I’m easy after all – I went from being a Buffy/Angel shipper to a Buffy/Spike and Cordy/Angel shipper with no problems whatsoever PLUS, though I was a dedicated Sam/Jack [Stargate SG-1] shipper, I’d be willing to change my views and become a Sam/Cameron shipper now that Richard Dean Anderson isn’t a regular cast member anymore.]

I guess what it comes down to is, I need the HEA – any way I can get it.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Another Week Begins...

Mostly it rained in Pennsylvania and it was very cold. My SIL lives down the road from the Emu Farm believe it or not! These aren’t food emus, fortunately, they’re rescued emus, which must take a lot of doing since I don’t think emus tend to run wild in Pennsylvania, or North America, for that matter.

We had a nice day, a long ride both ways and when I got home I was too tired to write, so I played with more blog code [I’m really getting the hang of it, with a little help from my friends at Romance Divas!] and I made my Yahoo Avatar.

Yahoo! Avatars

This is as close to me as I could get. Regular me. And of course, there’s Saber next to me. In real life he looks a little less like Scooby Doo with spots.

I plan to try out a fantasy avatar. What I wish I looked like. LOL.

Here’s a picture of all the cousins on the trampoline. [Yes, I know, trampoline = dangerous, believe me, I was a wreck, but everybody had fun and no one got hurt.] The only kid missing is the littlest one, he’s not two yet so he just watched from the sidelines.

Today I have to run DD back to the orthodontist to have her braces fixed, again. Then I have to go to work.. I probably won’t get any writing or editing done until Tuesday at this rate. A break is good, though. Sometimes I work harder when I’ve had a forced hiatus.

PS: If you need more to read, I’m blogging today over at Star-Crossed Romance, the new Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Paranormal Author’s Blog. Drop by and say hello and learn the secret to The Da Vinci Diet!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

On the go...

Gotta run today. We're heading out to PA to visit SIL. My FIL is probably going to be moving to Florida and he wants to get everyone together, I guess to announce he's selling his house. It should be a nice day, the ride will be beautiful. My son is feeling better fortunately, and everyone else seems to be fine.

Since I don't have time for a full entry, I'll leave you with another inspirational picture. This is Joe Flannigan, of Stargate: Atlantis, the inspiration for Max Hart of Fresh Blood.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

A Little Bit of Everything and an Excerpt

Well, yesterday was a bust. I ended up not going to work and moved my day up to Monday. My son started complaining on the bus stop that he didn’t feel well. He suffers from acute schoolitis now and then so I figured he was faking but he complained of stomach pains and he was clammy so I let him stay home. To make a long story short and skip the nonsense I went through with my mother, it’s a good thing I decided to stay home with him because he ended up being violently ill all day.

Fortunately, he feels better today, though he’s not 100%. I suppose something is going around the school. That’s where it always starts. Tomorrow we’re supposed to trek to Pennsylvania to visit my SIL in her new apartment. I hope everyone is well enough to go.

On to lighter topics – I’ve been slacking with my excerpts. Bad me. Today how about a character study?

Jake Beaumont [who looks remarkably like David Boreanaz] from Bonfire of the Vampires is my version of the tortured vampire, leading a double life, in love with a human, Abby, and afraid she won’t be able to deal with the reality of his vampire existence. In the Bonfire world, vampires aren’t exactly soulless. They are different, but not necessarily evil. Jake is one of the good ones, but the depths of his goodness are about to be tested when he discovers he’s not the only one with a devastating secret.

FIVE ANGELS! My, oh my – if you want a twisting, turning, tantalizing plot, Bonfire of the Vampires is for you! – Michelle, Fallen Angel Reviews


Abby saved Jake’s life once, when he was human. Now that he’s a vampire and she’s a vampire killer, will she be willing to put her heart, her soul and her very life blood on the line to save him from herself?


Her lips were warm and yielding and her body molded perfectly to his despite the thick coats they wore.

Jake looked into Abby’s eyes and the regret he saw there made him want to scoop her up and carry her back into the house.

He’d been so close to asking her to stay the night. He wanted her so badly it made his teeth itch. Not to mention what it did to other body parts.

He broke the goodnight kiss and cool air rushed over his lips, evaporating the flavor of her.

“Can’t Eleanor take care of the alarm?” Jake hated to sound like he was begging, but he was.

Abby blinked snowflakes from her lashes and smiled up at him. “It’s Christmas Eve, Jake. She’s got little kids. Besides, the store is on my way home. I just have to go set the alarm. I can’t believe I forgot it again. It must be a mental block or something.”

“Let me come with you.”

She shook her head. There was that hint of sadness again. Obviously she didn’t want to leave any more than he wanted her to, so why was she insisting?

Tonight they finally seemed to have broken through the wall they’d built between them, the one that formally separated their friendship from anything deeper. They were finally getting somewhere, and the damned burglar alarm at Treasure Trove ruined it.

“I really need to go, Jake. It’s all right. I’ll call you tomorrow.” She stamped the gathering snow off her boots and turned toward her car. Exhaust billowed up in the frigid air forming a fog that rolled down the driveway. Huge wet flakes swirled through the headlight beams that illuminated the interior of Jake’s spacious garage.

He opened the driver’s side door for her. “How about you come by for breakfast, say 9:30?”

“Why don’t you come to my place, and I’ll cook?” Her offer was tantalizing. Alone at her place, alone at his, it didn’t matter where they were as long as they were. He’d put this off too long.
“I’ll be there.”

“Goodnight, Jake.” She brushed her lips against his jaw and he caught her and held her for a moment. Three years of moments like this flashed through his mind. They’d come so close so many times. He was tired of almost. Why couldn’t he just tell her he wanted more than this? “Merry Christmas,” she said as she slipped from his embrace.

She slid into the car seat and moments later the little Toyota rolled down the drive, its tires crunching the snow flat, red taillights disappearing in the blue night.

Tomorrow he would tell her, he decided as he turned and stomped back into the garage, dislodging snow from his shoulders like a white shroud. He’d tell her everything and pray she would understand. Would she still want him if she knew the truth? It was a chance he had to take.

* * *

To find out more about Bonfire of the Vampires visit:

Friday, May 19, 2006

Like I need more books

I know it's excerpt Friday, but I haven't decided what book to post an excerpt from yet, and I've got to go to the office today. [It's raining also - it always seems to rain on the days I go to the office.]

I decided to post the about the books I'm reading or going to be reading and push off the excerpt until Saturday again - or maybe later tonight.

I just got the second installment of the books I bought from Amazon the other day. I went on a little spree because:

1. It was Mother’s Day
2. I needed more books to add to my towering TBR pile

I bought:

If You Could See What I See by Sylvia Browne [Which I’m reading now and halfway through]

Fantasy Lover by Sherillyn Kenyon [It’s time I found out what all the hubbub is about]

Quiet Your Mind by John Selby [Because I really need to quiet my mind]

Bones: Buried Deep by Max Allan Collins [Because I love the TV show. I really should actually pick up a Tempe Brennan novel by Kathy Reichs]

In Enemy Hands by Michelle Perry [Hi Chell! We miss you at RWG!]

Now if only I had more time to read. Yesterday I finished the first draft of my Amber Quill story. Endings are so hard and this one, like most of my first draft endings is a little weak. Hopefully I can tweak up in the second draft.

I also wrote more on my Hunter's Moon sequel, Hunter's Mate. I think it's going to be a fun ride. Can't wait to get more done.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

There’s No Place Like Plrtz Glrb

It's been my goal to visit a few Diva blogs every day and find out what's up with my sisters [and brothers] in crime. The problem with visiting blogs and leaving comments is those wacky little test boxes that contain those unpronounceable little ditties like:




You have to copy these letters exactly, which wouldn't be so hard if they weren't printed in Dali script - that melty, slanted, squashed way that makes them truly impossible to read. I understand this prevents automated responses, but they drive me nuts because half the time I get them wrong. I can't tell "l" from "1" or "q" from "g" and it's very frustrating. I comment anyway and I stare at the screen and try to puzzle out what I'm seeing and cross my fingers hoping it's correct.

I know, I'm guilty. My blog requires this little eye test too, and it is necessary, but I wish the computer geniuses who can think up ways to make automated posts and annoying viruses would turn their attention to something really useful like security codes humans can read but the computers can't. Is that too much to ask?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Butt in Chair...

The writers I know talk about this a lot. The most important tool a writer posseses is the chair that sits in front of the desk. If your butt isn't in the chair, your head isn't in the game so to speak.

So today I sat my butt in the chair. [I also did laundry but that's like breathing. I can't NOT do it.] I reread the first 42 pages of my Amber Quill Super Hero Story [the second one] and put another 24 pages on paper. I've almost reached the end, thank goodness. This one has been tough to write. I'm not sure how much market there is for erotic comedy, and this is pretty tongue in cheek - though not much tongue in other places.

I also have a handful of pages written on my sequel to Hunter's Moon. I'm really excited about that one and I can't wait to be able to concentrate on it completely.

The day is almost over - as far as my writing time goes. The kids will be home soon so I want to see if I can finish this final conversation before the bus gets here. Butt in chair.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

It's time for a little inspiration...

My tastes run toward the traditional, I think, when it comes to casting my heroes. I like the clean cut look, a guy with a little panache.

Today's inspiration is Billy Zane. This picture inspired a hero a haven't written yet but his story is taking shape in my mind.

More to come...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

I wanted to post yesterday but Blogger was being uncooperative. To all the moms out there, have a good one! Kick back, read a book and demand to be taken out to dinner, or at least have dinner prepared for you. That's what I'm doing.

Yesterday, I actually relaxed! [That's a big deal for me. I hardly ever relax]. After I made the beds, did the dishes and cleaned the fish tank, I pulled out my candle maker and made a candle. The new mold I have is very cool, but I can only make one candle at a time. That's okay. It's a lot easier than the old way. I think I'm going to make another one today.

We went out to dinner - International Buffet - one of my favorite places and then DH took me to AC Moore so I could spend the birthday gift card I got from our friends Jeff and Jessie. Thanks guys! I decided to buy stuff I wanted but didn't need so I got more candle wax [because I absolutely don't need any more candles or wax] I got some wax tarts for scents, and I bought two battery operated tea lights. I also found a free crochet pattern for market bags and I bought enough yarn to make two of them. Now I just have to figure out how to read the pattern and get the instructions right.

Today the kids drew me pictures. I'm going to order a bunch of books on Amazon, make my candle and start my crochet project. Maybe later I'll work on my Amber Quill story, but I may just kick back and take it easy all day. Then by tomorrow I'll be raring to get back to work.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Excerpt Friday on Friday!

Renna’s Sacrifice was my 2005 Amber Heat Wave winner. My first contest entry, I had no delusions that it could possible win in a competition against so many other excellent erotic romance writers. The story is short, and I think the narrative has a lyric, almost historical quality to it, even though the genre is science fiction.

Renna’s Sacrifice is a delightful story, well paced, and beautifully written. Its romantic charm intertwines delicately with the steamy sex, and will leave you feeling quite satisfied as a reader. - Laura Davis, Coffee Time


Longing for freedom, Renna roams the moonlit hillsides where she meets Benar, an acolyte from the Temple of the Sun God. When her destiny is revealed, she is faced with a terrible choice: Defy the ancient rites and plunge her ordered world into chaos, or give up the man she loves and sacrifice herself to another.


One evening, by the silvery moonlight, she followed the tall, shadowy figure through the trees and came upon a place she had never known existed.

A pond with a flat surface mirrored the brilliant sky. On the far shore he sat on a rock watching her. That night be became more than a shadow.

Renna saw his masculine form, all sinewy muscle and long legs. His hair was blacker than the sky and his eyes were dark. Around his head he wore a golden circlet that marked him as a disciple of the Sun God.

Renna had been taught by the Sisters that the men who worshiped the Sun God had often warred with the Sisters. She had been told they lived on the far side of the valley and would not dare venture near the Refuge, as an age-old treaty forbade it.

She had wondered, as she stared at him across the calm surface of the pond, if he would do penance for his nightly jaunts, just as she did for hers.

They watched each other across the water until moonset. Then Renna hurried back to her room on legs that were sore from exertion. The Sisters wondered in the morning why she walked so slowly to the breakfast table. They worried that she might be ill.

On the next night when Renna arrived at the pond, he was not perched on his rock. She feared he'd gone already. Perhaps he'd grown bored with their wordless exchange. But when she turned to leave, she found him standing before her.

A strange feeling shot through her at the sight of him up close. His skin glistened with droplets of water and there was humor in his eyes.

He shook his head. "You shouldn't be here."

"Neither should you."

He smirked at her quick response. "What brings you out here each night?" he asked.

"At first it was to escape the rules of the Refuge for a while. Now, I come to look for you."

"It's the same with me," he said. "Are you a Priestess?"

"No. A ward. They took me in as a child and I live their life, but I'm not one of them. Are you a disciple of the Sun God?"

He nodded.

"What is this place? I never knew it was here."

"This is a sacred pool," he said. "On certain nights, if you stare into the reflection in the water, you may see visions."

Renna's eyes widened. She'd never known someone who saw visions. "What visions have you seen?"


Renna gasped. His voice sent shivers down her spine. Beneath her shift, her flesh pebbled at his revelation. She let her cautious glance skim down his body and back up to his handsome face.

"You saw me?"

"Many times, even before you found this place. I've wondered when I would meet you."
Renna crossed her arms over her breasts to combat the ache she felt there when he looked at her. "Why would I be in your visions?" She cocked one eyebrow at him and grinned.

"I don't know. I suppose over time, I will find out."

* * *

To find out more about Renna’s Sacrifice visit:

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Racking up Rejections

From July 2003 when I submitted Flight of the Valkyrie to a publisher for the first time, until March 2005, I'm almost embarrassed to admit, I had not received a rejection letter.

The Big R is a badge of honor among writers, like a paper purple heart. You've been wounded in combat and you have the commendation to prove it [and probably some kind of scar to go with it.] I didn't have one.

In that respect I was incredibly fortunate. I submitted eleven manuscripts in that time and every one was accepted. [Flight never received a rejection from that first publisher, though I tend to assume that Big R does exist somewhere and was perhaps ultimately lost in the mail. No biggie since it's now available from New Concepts, but still.] I'm not bragging. In fact, all this acceptance did make me question my talent just as much as a rejection would have. After all, could it be that my publishers weren't picky enough to reject me? [Yes, I'm anal that way. Sorry, can't help it.]

No need to fear acceptance any more. Now that I'm submitting to agents I can officially join the Big R club. I have rejections from four of the six agents I've queried with The Matchmakers so far. Two still pending. I'm not discouraged. I have other agents on the list to try and several publishers for my next round.

Does rejection make me question my talent? Hell, yeah. But it's teaching me a lesson, too. It's easy to give up, to get demoralized and ask myself why I'm doing this. I could be earning a steady paycheck, plugging away in the office, getting paid vacations and sick days again like I used to, socking away money in my pension account... Or I could be paying for postage with change from the couch cushions and staring at a blank computer screen while my muse plays hookey all day. Hmm - weighing those options now...

One thing I'm not going to do is keep a file of my rejection letters. I know some authors do, to remind them of the tough times they went through to get their careers off the ground, to keep themselves humble [maybe even to gloat later on when that multi-book deal comes through]. I'm not saving them - [unless I get one with some really helpful advice in it.] I'm putting them in the recyle bin and moving on. Some day, when I'm the keynote speaker at a writer's conference and someone asks me, "How many rejections did you get before you had your big break?" [And someone will, I'm sure.] I'll just shrug and say, "I stopped counting after four."

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I'm Blogging at AQP

Since I'm dedicating this week's Friday excerpt to Renna's Sacrifice I decided to blog about it over at the AQP author's blog. I posted a short excerpt there, and will post another, longer one here on Friday.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Creative Quagmire

Lately I've been struggling to drag myself out of a creative quagmire. I'd been feeling a little lost, kind of bored with my plots and not sure what direction to go in.

For some reason, that's cleared up a little bit now. I don't know exactly what did it. I just completed edits for The Soul Jar [scheduled for release in June from NCP] and that seemed to kick start my muse. I really loved writing that story and it was good to revisit it. Receiving a request for a partial of The Matchmakers also boosted my confidence a little bit. This one less than 24 hours after sending out the query. Fingers crossed!

I'm taking the night off to watch sit coms and put my feet up. Tomorrow, back to work on another Amber Quill anthology story - and Wednesday I'm blogging at Amber Quill Authors' Blog - gotta' come up with something to talk about...I'm leaning toward meatloaf.


Friday, May 05, 2006

I almost forget, it's Excerpt Friday!

Friday snuck up on me again! Today's excerpt is from Hunter's Moon:

Hunter’s Moon was my first published story, my first contracted story and so far, my personal best seller. I’m still amazed by how well this story has done and the wonderful feedback I’ve gotten from readers. I do plan to write a sequel to it-it’s on my very long to-do list and I hope to see the idea of the Sha-Shiri taken much farther than there was room for in this story.

4 ANGELS The love scenes [in HUNTER’S MOON] are very hot, …– in fact, they are among some of the best love scenes I’ve read this year.
- Jean,
Fallen Angel Reviews


He’s never been with a human female, she’s never been with a man she can trust. Alliana and Adam are from two different worlds and when he’s stranded in hers, she begins to realize it might be time to take another chance on love.


Once again a mass of conflicting emotions, Alli padded down the stairs to the kitchen. She was disappointed to find it empty. The door to the basement was locked, as was the front door. The entire house was dark and silent and Adam was nowhere.

Panic gripped her when she found the door to the mudroom standing open to the back garden.

He’d gone outside.

Worry and anger rose in her as she slipped her feet into an old pair of moccasins she kept in the mudroom. He had to know how dangerous it was to go prowling around outside, even in the dead of night, unless he’d already managed to transform completely into human form. The thought disappointed her.

She wanted to watch him change because she wanted to remember his real form, his exquisitely smooth skin and his feral countenance. The human body he’d patterned was fine--a handsome face, a perfectly formed body, but something in her responded so viscerally to his Sha-Shiri form. She was afraid that when he changed again, he would become nothing more than another man to her, a form she’d spent a long time mistrusting and hating.

She could accept Adam in his alien form because he was something she had never experienced before and therefore carried no bad memories. She realized if she could watch him change she might be able to overcome the aversion and maybe she would always see him in her mind as he truly was.

The back door clattered shut and Allie made her way through the garden. The back gate stood open and she let her gaze follow the path that led up the hillside and away from her property. In a copse of trees halfway up the slope, she saw it.

A green light glowed from within the tightly spaced birch trunks. Adam had to be there. The light was the color of his eyes.

Alli took off running. She hit the old road at a sprint, ignoring the fact that the moon hadn’t risen yet and she could barely see. When she was halfway up the slope, she called for him.

There was no response. Alli pushed her tired body to its limits and ran until the cool September air burned her lungs. When she finally reached the tree line, she steadied herself against one of the pale trunks. She fought the urge to double over to ease the stitch in her side.

There were shadowy forms moving through the trees, their outlines blurred against the brilliant glow from within.

Alli ventured deeper into the tight copse of trees and she stopped, stunned when she heard harsh voices conversing. The dark shapes slid in and out of her field of vision but even though she couldn’t see anything clearly, she knew exactly what was happening.

Adam’s companions had returned for him. He said they wouldn’t, but they had come anyway, despite their laws. And he had gone to them.

Of course. Why would he pass up a chance to go home?


“Alliana!” His voice reached her through a surreal haze. She felt suddenly lightheaded, foolish and alone.

A voice she didn’t recognize shouted. “Lead the human away now before she sees us.”

“It’s too late.” It was Adam’s voice. “She has seen us. But she won’t alert the others.”

“She will expose us. We should never have come back for you K’vshtin. Now we could all be in danger because of this creature.”

Alli tripped over a root and fell to her knees. The pain jarred her senses and she looked up into the sneering face of a Sha-Shiri. It wasn’t Adam. This one looked cruel and hard. His skin was steel gray and his eyes were a cold, glittering blue.

“A female? You’ve taken a female as a mate?” The gray one hissed something unintelligible as Adam appeared and folded Alli into a protective embrace. She clung to him instinctively but her gaze was on the gray one.

“How do you know?” Alli demanded. “And what business is it of yours anyway?”

“She understands us? What else have you told her, K’vshtin?”

“We should leave, Sa’tarlis,” another voice pleaded. “If this one found us, there will be others.”

“K’vshtin--we will have to kill her to protect ourselves.”

“No!” Adam let go of Alli and rose in front of her. He raised his claws to the gray one and snarled. “She will not expose us.”

“Humans cannot be trusted,” Sa’tarlis replied. “Get in the ship now and I will dispose of her quickly.”

* * *

To find out more about Hunter’s Moon visit:

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Six things...

Annalee tagged me so here are six things about me:

1. Raspberry is my favorite flavor – after chocolate of course. I love black raspberry ice cream, raspberry iced tea, raspberry flavored chocolate and I just discovered Berries and Cream Dr. Pepper which is to DIE for!

2. I hate balloons. Not silvery mylar balloons. They’re cool. I hate latex balloons. I have since once exploded in my face when I was about four. I can’t stand to be near them and hearing them being blown up by those tanks they use in stores actually gives me an anxiety attack. I shun parties where there will be excessive balloons because I can’t enjoy myself. I’d rather be in a room full of snakes.

3. I would never bark at a dog – it’s been my experience they don’t really like it when people bark at them, but I do meow at cats, who don’t seem to give a crap one way or the other what people do.

4. I almost never drink milk. I’m lactose intolerant and I never really liked milk to begin with so now I have an excuse. I put it on my cereal, but it’s probably been over ten years since I’ve had a glass of plain white milk. I don’t even drink chocolate milk anymore.

5. I couldn’t light a match until I was about 25 years old. Seriously. Don’t laugh. My parents were uber-protective. I wasn’t allowed to play with fire or sharp objects until I was in my teens. I had to teach myself how to light a match and I still can’t light a cigarette lighter. My mother cut my meat for me...oh probably until I got my driver’s license. The first time I was allowed to use a steak knife, I cut myself, hence cementing my mother’s belief that I could not be trusted with a blade of any kind. My daughter is 11. She cuts her own meat. Maybe next year I’ll let her play with matches.

6. Germs don’t scare me. Hey, we’ve all got them. They’re all over the place and they can never be eradicated. We might as well get used to them. I’ve learned over the years that our immune systems were designed to deal with germs. The more we come in contact with, the stronger our defenses. I like antibacterial soap as much as the next mom, but it doesn’t pay to be fanatical about it.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I'm not the only one ranting

For more on the plagarism scandal, check out today's post at Romancing the Blog. Not only did the author in question steal from someone, she also apparently thinks romance novels are 'trashy.'

I'll just roll my eyes and get to work. I've GOT to catch up on some writing today.

Monday, May 01, 2006

How to Lose a Literay Career in Ten Days

Over at Romance Divas we've been following the embarrassing story of a teenaged writer from New Jersey who landed herself a half million dollar book deal apparently by plagiarizing the work of another author and calling it ‘unintentional internalization.’

Here’s some of the story at USA Today. I don’t want to mention the author’s name or the name of her book, because frankly, I really don’t want to give her any more publicity.

All I really want to say is she should be terribly ashamed. Her age is no excuse for stealing someone else’s work. Yes, there are only so many plots and everything has been done before. ‘Coming of age’ chick-lit teen sagas are a dime a dozen these days and you can’t fault someone for wanting to jump on the bandwagon with their own tale of slightly post-pubescent woe, but if you read this Boston Globe article, you can see that this is a lot more serious than just a similar plot.

True, if something works in the literary world, just like in Hollywood, the adage is, beat it to death. When a book or idea takes off, everyone wants their own version on the shelves, but this is ridiculous. It’s a slap in the face not only to the author who was stolen from, but to every hardworking writer out there who frets over this very thing – will my story seem too similar to someone else’s? What if someone thinks I copied this idea? The shame would kill me. I often refrain from reading books in my own genre because of this very concern and I’ve adjusted my own plots when I’ve inadvertently discovered similarities. Great minds think alike. Great writers don’t need to copy.

No one wants the shame to kill this young author, but I’d be happy if the shame of her unconscionable actions kept her name off the book shelves forever. Her publisher, editor and agent should drop her like hot...well, hot crap, and someone should gently but firmly tell her to pursue a career in contract law where she can learn to appreciate the value of intellectual property.

In the literary world, plagiarism of this magnitude is akin to treason. It should not be forgotten and swept under the rug. I hope everyone involved with this disgrace fully understands how badly their credibility has been damaged and how much they've hurt the hard working writers out there who struggle to get that first contract, that first advance, and sweat bullets to produce a wonderful, unique story.