Friday, June 30, 2006

Last Day for My Contest!

If you haven't entered my Soul Jar celebration contest, you still have time! Go to my website for details and e-mail me!

Excerpt Friday will be postponed until Sunday this week! [Or actually Sunday is technically next week...whatever.]

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The best laid plans...

Why is it those trips to the emergency room always seem to interrupt dinner?

I had high hopes last night to knock out a couple more pages of Rogue Theta. I'm over 17,000 words now and still miles to go before I sleep, as it were. But the universe had other plans.

For some still unknown reason, my son broke out in hives yesterday. They started as a slight rash on his cheek and spread all over despite a quick dose of Benadryl. Fortunately they didn't itch, but the temperature of his skin where the rash was spiked up to 102 degrees. Off we went to the pediatric ER where they asked the typical questions about food, allergies, detergents and exposure to strange plants.

None of the above applied - although we're wondering if maybe an infusion of watermelon might be the cause. He's a watermelon-aholic and when there's some in the house, he wants it with every meal.

After two doses of medication he's doing better, though he's a bit cranky and I don't blame him. His reward for being 'sick' is that his video game limit is suspended for the day since he's not supposed to be doing anything strenuous for forty-eight hours. For an eight year old of course that means he gets to crash on the couch and show up in the kitchen for meals. For me, nothing strenuous means I let the checker at the supermarket pack my groceries and we'll eat off paper plates until I have enough energy to load the dishwasher. Ah well. While he dozes between Pokemon matches, maybe I can get some writing done.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Just sitting around in my feather boa eating bon-bons

Over at Romancing the Blog, Jordan Summers’s recent post sparked a discussion about comments people make to writers about writing. Some people think it’s so easy – one day they’ll sit down and write that book they’ve been meaning to write, just like that, as though it’s a weekend project. Others assume once you’ve published that you are automatically rich and famous and therefore don’t need a day job and you can give away copies of your books for free to anyone you’ve ever met.

Among the comments, someone posted that it wasn’t just writers who had to deal with gross misconceptions about their chosen profession, and that’s true. We haven’t cornered the market on annoying questions and strange assumptions, but we certainly get our fair share of doozies.

I’ve mentioned before the penchant for people to assume I write children’s books. There’s also the alarming idea that anyone who writes erotica must have a sordid past and thinks about nothing but sex all day. Sometimes just being a romance writer puts you in that category, as fellow Diva Shelli Stevens found out recently.

While I agree it’s annoying to have people jump to conclusions about EVERYTHING, since it seems to happen to all of us, it may be a function of society or of the human brain to want to feel that we ‘know’ something about everything. We live in a world in love with stereotypes and that’s how we define things. All doctors are rich. All blondes are dumb. All women love shoes. I suppose that makes it hard to blame people for looking for the commonality in everything they see. It doesn’t make it any less irritating, but I think it explains it somewhat.

Here’s some of the jobs I’ve done and the annoying questions I’ve gotten about each.

FotoMat sales associate: “Do you look at everyone’s pictures when you’re bored?”
Well, I didn’t, but let’s just say it wasn’t unheard of.

Secretary at Mercedes-Benz: “Do you get a company car?”
No, they don’t give $40,000 cars to entry-level employees. [I did get to borrow one for a day, though and that was cool.]

Self-employed medical transcriptionist: “I want to make a little money in my spare time, can you help get me started?”
No. This isn’t something you do when you have an hour or two to kill. It’s a time consuming, often difficult job that requires some level of training. Take a class like I did and learn how to grow your own business.

Stay at home mom: “What do you do all day?”
What don’t I do?

“Don’t you get bored?”
I haven’t been bored since 1995. It sounds nice. Can you give me some pointers on how to get started?

What things have you done, besides writing of course, that have gotten you bizarre or stereotypical questions?

In Other NEWS!

Two Voices has been reviewed! Check out this wonderful review at Book Club.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Life Aquatic

No, this has nothing to do with the Bill Murray movie. I just realized today, when my son and I returned from a jaunt to the pet store to buy goldfish food and returned with yet another water dwelling creature to add to our glass [bowl] menagerie, that with the exception of the dog, all our pets are aquatic.

The new addition, a male Betta aptly named 'Bob' by my son, brings the total up to seven. Three brine shrimp [who were named for characters from Hamtaro - though I can't remember which ones at the moment], two goldfish [Cosmo and Wanda], the frog [Jiminy as in the Cricket] and now Bob.

They all live in the den, which is, incidently, Saber's bedroom and my office. This way I can keep an eye on everybody. LOL-it just occured to me, I could tell people I work in an office of nine, including myself.

Originally I wanted the goldfish as sort of a distraction, and company for those gloomy winter days when I was chained to my computer writing. I figured having some fish on my desk would give me something to focus on besides the computer screen now and then. The fish sit behind me on the book case now - [too many wires under the desk. DH wasn't comfortable with two gallons of water sitting so close to the computer and laser printer and I don't blame him.] The brine shrimp are on the desk, though. They live in a biosphere, completely enclosed. They require no outside maintenance, which makes them wonderful pets. They zip around their dinosaur-egg sized enclosure eating algae and having 'meetings.' [Sometimes all three of them hang out together in the same spot, heads together, looking like they're having a caucus of some sort.] I suspect they're discussing disestablishmentarianism.

The frog got a place of honor next to the goldfish tank. He spends much of his day now hiding under the large seashell my daughter gave him to serve as his bed. Bob has been placed between the frog and the fish in his own nifty little Betta habitat [$9.99 complete with gravel, plastic plant, food and water conditioner.] He seems rather happy for a Betta.

In between writing, I swivel my chair around to give everyone the 'Mom eyeball' - is everyone still alive? Playing nice? Eating their fish flakes or pellets? Good. Then I can get back to work. Fortunately, there's now no more room on the book case for any other 'habitats' so the 'office' is full.

I'm just glad I don't have to provide retirement plans for everyone.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Can't we do something fun?

Here's a picture of one the flowers I actually grew in my windowbox! I'm so happy they're starting to bloom!

This was the question my eight year old asked me today. This is weekday #2 of Summer Vacation.

It's going to be a long, long summer.

I figured after that, the day would turn out to be largely unproductive, but I managed to do a little bit of editing and then, after dinner, I hid in the basement and knocked out 20 pages on Rogue Theta. I'm so glad I got over the hump between the end of the short story I'd already written and the beginning of the 'rest' of the story I still have to write. I don't feel quite as useless as I did this afternoon.

If I have to get the major portion of my work done at night for the summer, then so be it. As long as I can turn this into a full length novel by the end of August, I think I'll be content. It's not going to be easy, but I'm determined to make the most of this opporutnity to get my foot in the door at EC.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

It's a Diva Day

Busy weekend - I've got tons of catching up to do, but I thought I'd take a minute to plug for a fellow Diva:

Cassidy Kent is one of my fellow Amber Quill authors, a winner of the 2006 Amber Heat Wave and of course, a Diva extraordinaire. Below are the blurbs for two of her sizzling new stories! Check ‘em out!

Publisher: PHAZE

Freesia Daniels, personnel specialist and consummate planner, wasn't prepared to get the boot from her company for possessing a heart. When she decides to return home from Boston to the sunny beaches of Key West to lick her wounds, she discovers her heartbroken past has finally caught up with her in the form of Zachary Gray, her childhood sweetheart. He lures her to his island getaway and lands them smack in the middle of a raging hurricane. Lightning doesn't often strike twice, but this storm might give them both a second chance at love.


When Manhattanite CEO Noel Ford decides to adopt a letter addressed to Santa Claus, he never expects to end up escorting sexy single mother Maura Kelly around the city on Christmas Eve. Because of her son Kyle’s selfless wish for her to find love again after her husband’s death, Maura agrees to spend the day with the handsome stranger, against her better judgment.The spark between Noel and Maura is immediate, but the distance between Park Avenue and the New Jersey suburbs is immense. Are their two worlds too dissimilar to merge or will they be able to bridge the distance with love?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Character Excerpt - Mara Zander

I’ve decided to try something new on excerpt Fridays. I’m going to choose a character, either hero or heroine, to highlight each week, and pick a short excerpt that either shows off their unique personality, or their unique dilemma. [Ooh, maybe I'll even do villians once in a while too!]

Today’s excerpt highlights my heroine from More Than a Fantasy, Mara Zander. Mara’s troubles begin when her fantasy lover literally walks out of the pounding Aegean surf to claim her. The problem is, when he does, he’s not alone.

Mara has lived her life in the shadow of her powerful father whose dedication to keeping her safe from his political enemies has gone to extremes. Though she works at an office in New York City during the times her father allows her to have a personal life, her true calling is art. She paints to escape her loneliness and to allow her imagination to run wild. Sometimes, it runs a little too wild, as she discovers one sultry afternoon on the beach.

[Warning: This excerpt is rated mild-R for language]

"Uh...Poseidon?" Mara squeaked out the words. Crushed against his hard abs and bulging pecs, she could barely breath. While she had to admit it felt wonderful to be trapped in a strong man's arms, she couldn't help but wonder at how realistic the dream had become. A tremor of fear rippled across the back of her neck, making the fine hairs at her nape tingle. "You're the God of the Sea?" Dream big, she'd always told the art students she tutored on weekends.

"No. He's no god," the dark one said. "He's merely named for one."

"I'm as powerful as a god. Would you care to find out how powerful I am?" The blond squeezed Mara harder. His cock indented the flesh of her thigh and it felt like a branding iron. She arched against it, unable to help herself. When he laughed in her ear, her blood began to cool, though.

"You're frightening her, Poseidon. Let her go."

"She wants to be frightened. She wants to be chased and captured and held down...don't you, pretty one?"

"Maybe later...right now, do you think you could let go, just a little bit?"

He let go.

She wobbled while the blood rushed back into her upper torso. "Thanks."

Poseidon crossed his massive arms over his chest and glared at her. "Are you losing your nerve? When your fantasies come to life before you, you shy away?"

"Uh...I've never actually had a fantasy come to life in front of me before, so I don't have much frame of reference. Can you give me a minute to process?"

* * *

To find out more about More Than a Fantasy visit:

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Jennifer Crusie on Cordelia Chase

I found this fabulous essay by Jennifer Crusie about one of my all time favorite characters, Cordelia Chase. Ms. Crusie said in so many words what I believed from the moment Cordelia lifted off her winter-white slippers on the highway and ‘ascended’ to a higher plane at the behest of turncoat demon guide ‘Skip.’

Cordelia was robbed. Fans of Angel were robbed and probably Charisma Carpenter was robbed as well. What a terrible way for a kick-ass heroine like Cordelia to go down, ruined, turned evil for no good reason other than she was the guiding force in Angel’s life, and then given a bone in season 5, a sweet, sad reprisal of her role as something almost completely unique in television land – a character who EVOLVED.

Yes, Joss Whedon is my master, but I still can’t forgive him for ravaging Cordelia and stripping her of her innate Cordelia-ness in Season 4. Angel had every right to mourn her [in fact he should have mourned a little harder, IMHO], she was a completely unnecessary casualty.

If you’re a Cordelia fan, check out the essay. It tells it like it is.

Update: Now that I've posted this, it seems Jennifer Crusie's website is temporarily not available. Or maybe it's just me. Either way if you want to read the essay, keep trying, it's well worth it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Revolving Door of e-Publishing

This week three e-Publisher’s closed their doors after only a few months in operation. It’s a sad fact that this business is terribly cutthroat. The competition is fierce and there are only so many consumer dollars to go around.

The upside of e-Publishing is that it’s a growing business. NY publishers are starting to take their cues from trends they see in e-Publishing. E-Published authors are being snapped up by NY agents and publishing houses and many are continuing to publish stories with their favorite e-Pubs out of loyalty and the need to stretch their wings and produce stories that just won’t fit into NY molds.

Readers are clamoring for these stories – let’s face it, a lot of what is out on the book shelves doesn’t sell too well, yet month after month stories in fading genres are turned out for publication while innovative new authors are told their ground breaking stories will never sell. [I believe at one time bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon was one of them!] E-Pubs offer books at better prices to readers who want instant satisfaction – no driving to the mall, no waiting in line at the book store. They offer shorter stories for when you want a quick read to entertain yourself- ever just have an evening when you’re dying for something to read and none of the books in your TBR pile appeal? I have.

The downside of e-Publishing, as too many young companies find out, is it’s darn hard work. You can’t just slap up a website and start advertising for submissions. You can’t just put out any old story, pair it up with some sexy cover art and start cashing in at the bank. I’m not disparaging those entrepreneurs who have given it a try only to find out they just couldn’t make ends meet, but I do think the expectations are much higher than the reality. The money will roll in, right? Look at the big names – Ellora’s Cave is regularly featured on the cover of Romantic Times, their paperbacks are available in bookstores everywhere now, NCP is celebrating their tenth anniversary this year and Triskelion just became the second e-Pub to be recognized by Romance Writers of America [after EC]. They make it look easy, but it’s not.

I hate to see companies disappear after only a few months of hard work in this business. I hate to see authors left in the lurch, having to scramble to find homes for the stories they put their blood, sweat and tears into. It would be nice if these were the last e-Pubs that ever go under and all the others that still exist today go on to become Fortune 500 companies, making themselves and their authors rich and famous – but that won’t happen. More will come and more will go and it’s heartbreaking.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Winding Down / Winding Up

Why does it seem like the beginnig of summer is one of the busiest, most hectic times of the year? These should be the start of the lazy, hazy days - lounging by the pool, picnic lunches, quiet evenings relaxing in the yard - instead it's last minute ceremonies, meetings at school, messes to clean up, chores to do, schedules to rearrange - it's exhausting.

Just another reason why I'm an autumn girl.

Anyway, my hands are still giving me trouble. The doctor of course has no clue what might be wrong, but sent me for blood work. Hopefully that turns up an answer. I'm taking an anti-inflammatory which is having a minor effect. At least I can still type and write. I finished another round of edits on Hunter's Mate yesterday and today I plan to prepare to submit it to a CP. I've added quite a bit to my existing manuscript of Rogue Theta and now I'm ready to forge new territory and follow my characters deeper into their story.

With the kids on half days, it's not going to be easy to get caught up. The house is a mess and a half - and I'm back to that 'where do I begin' feeling that I hate. If I start on one project, that means something else isn't getting done.

Ah well, I'd better just dig in and start something - like fixing up the frog's habitat since he's going to be around for a while. I found out yesterday this type of frog can live five to fifteen years! If I'd known that I'd have made him sign a lease before moving in. Sheesh.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

To all you Dad's out there - have a good one.

My DH took the kids to see the movie CARS today. They enjoyed it and it got them out of the house for a while so I could catch up on stuff. I'm falling so behind with things I need to get done around the house - plus since Saturday morning I've had stiff joints in my hands which is making it very had to get things done. I don't normally run off to the doctor at the least little discomfort but this is really bothering me so I think I may have to. I don't have a lot of faith in doctors - for good or bad - I think the medical insurance industry has destoryed the medical profession. Most doctors are nothing more than gatekeepers who collect money for the insurance companies. Patients are on their own. It's a big decision for me to call a doctor for myself because most of the time I come home feeling just as bad and twice as frustrated with their namby-pamby advice to 'take Tylenol' or 'lose weight.' As if skinny people never get sick and Tylenol is some kind of wonder drug. I could get that kind of advice from a book.

Unfortunately there are two things I can't function without. My hands and my eyes, so if my hands hurt too much to do anything, I need to find out why.

Wish me luck.

Don't forget about my contest! I've had a great response so far - there's still plenty of time so be sure to get your entry in to win a free download of the book Bree Sennett is reading in the excerpt I have posted at my website.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

New Contest!

I’m thrilled to announce The Soul Jar is is finally available!

To celebrate - I’m running a CONTEST!

In the excerpt I posted a few weeks ago: HERE, my heroine, Bree Sennett, is interrupted from reading a book she purchased in the airport. I briefly describe the cover of the book in the excerpt. Does it sound familiar? Can you tell me what book Bree is reading?

You can also read the excerpt on my Website, too.

I’ll draw a winner from all the correct entries to receive an electronic download of the book Bree is reading! [Hint: You can find it on my website or on my here on the blog.]

E-mail me your answer at

I’ll announce the winner on July 1st! Good Luck!

Friday, June 16, 2006

In Honor of Bill...

There will be no excerpt today, just a few updates.

I finished my second draft of Hunter's Mate and I'm ready to start editing. It comes in at 32,500 words but I'm hoping to push that a little higher in edits.

Good news/bad news: The story I submitted for EC Cavemen Anthology was rejected HOWEVER - I've been asked to lengthen it and resubmit. The editors felt the writing was strong but the concept deserved a much longer story. While I'm disappointed at not making the anthology, I'm overjoyed at getting the chance to resubmit to EC and expand the story which I did feel could have been longer. It was my original plan to expand it upon rejection by EC, so I could not have asked for more really, plus I found out now in June, instead of having to wait until December.

Fellow Diva Kristen Painter has some good news. She just landed the Knight Agency as her agent. Kristen is one of founders of Romance Divas and a multiple contest finalist.

If you'd like to read a post about heroes - hop over to the Star-Crossed Romance Blog where my article "WHO is the Hero" is up.

I'm off to start working on my rewrites for Ellora's Cave!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

In Memoriam

William R. Johnson, Ph.D.
June 8, 1971- June 9, 2006

We got some bad news yesterday. Our old friend Bill, shown here giving a recitation at our wedding 14 years ago, passed away on Friday, one day after his 35th birthday.

Bill was quiet and soft spoken, the kind of person who listened more than he talked, but when he did talk he always had something interesting to say. He knew stuff. A lot more than he let on, and a lot more than anyone would have guessed. He was the unassuming type, a behind the scenes kind of guy who didn’t want credit for his hard work. My heart breaks for his family – his Mom and Dad, his sister, his niece and nephew. He’ll be sadly missed by those he left behind, but I don’t mourn for Bill because I know he’s gone home where we will all meet him again one day. He’s happy and healthy and enjoying all the wonders of the universe.

Blessed be, Bill. I’ll see you on the Other Side one of these days.

A brief remembrance from our mutual friend:

Bill always struck me as very mature for his years. I remember a whale watch at Cape May that I went on with him, Judi, Reen and Steve back in 1993 or '94. And I have a mental photo of Bill, Tom and I and some other Avenger folk at a Wild West place in northern NJ. I'm sorry I lost touch with him, except for sporadic emails, in recent years.Tim-----Rahadyan Sastrowardoyo

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Ain't Technology Grand?

I used my cell phone to snap this fabulous picture at Borders Books & Music in the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey yesterday.

Then I e-mailed the picture to myself so I could load it to my blog. Note, Immortal Lovers is two books away from La Nora! Of course I turned the copy face out so some unsuspecting romance reader would be intrigued by the gorgeous cover art and buy it. I didn't have the nerve to go up and say, "Hey! This is my book! Would you like it autographed?" I just can't do stuff like that yet, maybe one day I'll be able to.

For now, this was enough.

This and another agent request for a partial of Matchmakers, made yesterday a pretty good day.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I'm a Samhellion!

Apparently that's what Samhain authors call themselves - and I'm a new Samhain author!

I sold The Rebound Guy to Samhain Publishing!

I got the e-mail yesterday and mailed off the contract today. I'm totally jazzed to join the ranks of some stellar authors:

Jaci Burton
Sela Carson
Jaycee Clark
Ciar Cullan
Lauren Dane
Lora Leigh
Laine Morgan
Josie Okuly
Michelle Pillow
Mandy Roth
Shelley Bradley
Shiloh Walker
Sasha White

And those are just a few!

In other news:

I sent The Adventures of Molten Man, No. 1 off to Amber Quill today. I changed the title to make it sound like a comic book issue - that's the venue I'm going for. Now I've got to pick up speed and get Hunter's Mate 2nd edits done and off to a CP so I can start work on something else. I really would like to have something prepared to pitch when I go to NJRW this year - I mean, why not take advantage of the chance to meet an editor or agent face to face? If I don't have something ready, it won't be the end of the world, but I'd really love to be prepared. Last year, I picthed something that was just an idea and nothing ever came of it. Though I don't beat myself up over it, because the story turned out to be something I just didn't want to write for a publisher I wasn't sure I really wanted to work with, I'd really like the opportunity to make this year's conference work for me. Last year's experience was in no way a downer - it taught me the confidence to walk into an appointment and not act like a complete dunce - the fact that I didn't turn it into a contract - oh well. This year, I want to shoot for a higher star so I've got to get serious about a few proposals and get cracking on a full length novel now while I still have the time to prepare.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I'm the 5th Grade Frog Mommy


We won the 5th Grade frog.

This guy is actually a toad, but his expression is priceless. That's pretty much how I looked when I found out we'd 'won.'

I could just about die from happiness. If only DD were a little bit older, I’d send her out to buy lottery tickets. She’s the luckiest kid I know. She was student of the week her first week of 1st grade, she’s won Lucky Sticker Day [it’s a school lunch program thing] twice and at the Valentine’s Day dance, she won the teddy bear door prize.

Now, a frog.

I’ll be weeping quietly at my desk for a few hours, thanks.

Oh, but the best part is, DS brought home his lottery paper – to win one of four 2nd Grade frogs. Gotta’ love this kid, he says to me, “Mom, I don’t WANT a frog.” Thank goodness.

I suppose I should be happy the 5th Grade wasn’t raising hamsters or ‘gulp’ tarantulas.

In other news:

I've already booked my room for the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference
October 6 -7, 2006 in Iselin, NJ

I had a blast last year - I learned sooo much! I met some Divas [waves to Liddy Midnight and Jess Michaels], had a great editor interview [even though it ended up not amounting to anything I kicked butt] and just overall had a great weekend. I can't wait to go this year.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Still waiting

I'm still waiting on the official release of the Soul Jar. I'm going to try again to post the cover art:

Woohoo! It worked. Yummy, huh?

Friday, June 09, 2006

New Release Excerpt

Today’s excerpt is from The Soul Jar [Available later today from New Concepts!] The Soul Jar is actually the end of a much longer tale that begins 3000 years ago in Egypt. Originally I submitted this as my offer for NCP’s Relic II anthology, but it ended up being released as a standalone. [For some reason Blogger isn't letting me upload my cover art - but trust me, it's faboo!]


Trapped in an alabaster prison for three thousand years, the souls of two ancient lovers await their freedom. Reunited after a bitter betrayal, modern fortune hunters Bree Sennett and “Chance” MacKenzie will risk their lives and their love for the fabled Soul Jar and its long-hidden secrets.


“Do you know the legend of the jar?” Chance said when he finally felt Bree begin to relax.

Her shoulders drooped a little and she lowered the book she’d purchased as a shield to help her avoid long stretches where they might have nothing to do but talk. She sighed and turned her attention to the dark sliver of window visible next to the seat in front of her. “I know some.” She picked up her book again, ready to hide behind the colorful jacket where a blond man and a redheaded woman embraced amid stylized flames of passion. Chance reached over and gently touched her arm, drawing down the barrier. He couldn’t bear the silent treatment any longer.

“Two lovers, forbidden to be together by the rules of Egyptian society, had their souls torn from their bodies in a dark ritual. The souls were captured inside an alabaster jar and sealed for eternity, preventing them from crossing into the afterlife.”

“I’ve heard.” Her voice was low and a little sad.

Chance didn’t dare look over at her, but instead concentrated on the spot where his fingers caressed the warm flesh of her arm.

“According to a scroll found buried in the tomb where the jar was unearthed, the lovers both belonged to a powerful magistrate who might have been an illegitimate brother of the Pharaoh Seti II. She was a concubine granted to the magistrate as a gift for services rendered. He was a royal guard who lost his heart to the beautiful slave. When she was given away, he couldn’t bear their separation, so he helped her flee before her new master could claim her.”

Chance paused here. He began rubbing the pad of his thumb over the silky skin on the underside of her wrist. He felt her pulse flutter and heard her breath quicken. How many times had he kissed that sensitive spot? He thought of other places where her skin was just as smooth, places he’d claimed and ravaged with his lips and his tongue. When he spoke again, his voice was husky with desire.

“The guard took his beloved to a small village where they hid from their master among sympathetic peasants. He claimed her there--made love to her and married her--in their hearts, since no proper religious leader would have blessed their union. By the time the magistrate found them, she carried his child.”

Bree made a small sound in the back of her throat. When Chance casually let his knee brush against hers, she didn’t move away.

“The magistrate was an angry, jealous man who resented what he thought was a meager gift for his considerable services to the king. A disloyal body slave was useless to him, especially one used by another man. Rather than kill the traitorous pair outright, believing their souls might somehow find eternal rest, he conscripted a wizard to prepare a punishment worse than death.”

* * *

To find out more about The Soul Jar visit:
This is my author page at NCP. Soul Jar will appear there shortly and it will also have it’s own page over the course of the weekend.

Stay tuned for details on a contest I'll be running to celebrate the release of The Soul Jar!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Bloggin and Braggin

I've been trying to blog for two days. Seems Blogger is a bit on the fritz - very frustrating.

What's up? I'm 75 pages into the second draft of Hunter's Mate! Yesterday we finally got to see X-Men - which was OK, but the good part is, like most movies, it sparked my imagination for a few story ideas. [Like I need more, right?] And we saw the trailer for a movie called "My Super Ex-Girlfriend." Now the movie looks pretty dumb - Uma Thurman as a neurotic, jealous, overbearing super hero [or maybe super villain?] who torments the poor guy who tries to break up with her. I give it a thumbs down and predict it will flop - BUT - the upside to it is, there seems to be a resurgence in super hero themed stories. If everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, that may be good news for the Super Hero themed Amber Pax I'm writing for. We also saw the trailer for the New Superman movie, which doesn't look half bad.

Now the bloggin is done, it's time for the braggin.' I've been popping over to Fictionwise where Wolfsbane, Ken'Ja and More Than a Fantasy are now available and I discovered they're all on the Amber Quill/Fictionwise best seller list!

Best Sellers for Amber Quill Press

Based on data gathered within the last 20 days. Icon explanations1. After Class by Megan Hart [Erotica/Reference]2. Forbidden Fruit by Caitlyn Willows [Erotica/Science Fiction]3. Draconus by Grace Draven [Erotica/Fantasy]4. Wolfsbane: Aspect of the Wolf by Jennifer Colgan [Erotica/Dark Fantasy]5. Ken'Ja by Bernadette Gardner [Erotica/Science Fiction]6. Take It On Faith by M. L. Rhodes [Erotica/Romance]7. A Most Unsuitable Bride by Jane Toombs [Romance/Historical Fiction]8. Sequestered Passion by Adrianna Dane [Erotica/Romance]9. The Wizard's Staff by Lani Aames [Erotica/Fantasy]10. More than a Fantasy by Bernadette Gardner [Erotica/Fantasy]
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June 7, 2006

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The way to a man's heart...

Is through the remote.

Yesterday we got the new TV my husband has been wishing for. It's a flat screen, LCD, HD ready, digital cable compatible, picture in picture, wide screen you name it bell-and-whistle gadget that had him squeeing like a girly-girl.

What is it about television that gets a man's motor running? Is it all the buttons and controls? The glowing lights and bright colors? The sleek silver and black console or the dozen wires that have to be hooked up just so in order to get both sound and picture at the same time?

Don't get me wrong, I like TV and I especially like this new one which looks very snazzy and shiny and goes very well on the new entertainment center, but it doesn't make me squee.

In fact, no matter how cool your TV is or how many channels you can watch at the same time, it doesn't change the fact that there's STILL NOTHIN ON!

He hooked up his new toy and we admired it, turned it on and sat down to watch ... The History of Pompeii. Interesting but not a true test of the TV's potential. We put in a DVD of Star Trek: Voyager, and in between caught a few minutes of "Miss Congeniality 2."

Boo ya.


I'm ready for Fall. I have a new TV and I want something good to watch, gosh dangit!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Just another day at the office

I'm back to work today - plugging away at first round edits for Hunter's Mate and really enjoying it. I got two chapters done so far and I see all the places I need to fix. In my first drafts I usually hint at subplots that don't begin to take form until edits, so now I'm figuring out what truly motivates my heroine. Turns out she has a lot more going on than just a bad day [or year] at work.

I also went out and got spiral bound copies of Flight of the Valkyrie and More Than a Fantasy made. I like having hard copies of my e-books on hand and now I have a complete set on my shelf. It's fun to take the stories out now and then and flip through them. I must confess, I've always enjoyed reading my own work. I wonder if that's normal for writers.

I hear actors say they love what they do but they hate to see the finish product, so many of them can't stand seeing themselves on screen. I admit I can relate. I'm sure if I were an actor, I'd hate watching myself on the big screen. But writing is different - it's not us we're looking at, it's our characters. I love to read my own work - Iand I suppose that's a good thing. If I'm pleasing myself with what I write, chances are I may please someone else too.

I also bought some plain file folders and I transferred some paper work for each of my published stories to these folders rather than to the file jackets I keep the unpublished works in. This makes more room in my top file cabinet drawer for works in progress and makes things look a lot neater.

So much for my work day. Now off to make dinner, but first I'm going to plant the miniature dragon garden my DH bought for my son over the weekend. DS thought it was cool, but doesn't actually want to plant the seeds because I guess that's boring, so it's become my project. Maybe the school frog can live in the dragon garden this summer - DD brought home the lottery slip to enter into the drawing to 'win' the 5th grade class frog at the end of the year. She's the lucky type so I have no doubt her name will be pulled out of the hat and I'll become a frog mommy. [Weeps] Just what I need.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Guity Pleasures

Meet me at the Star Crossed Romance Blog today to talk about your guilty pleasures - sc-fi, fantasy and paranormal ones, of course.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Substitute Excerpt

Today’s excerpt was supposed to be from The Soul Jar, since it was scheduled to be released today, but due to some technical difficulties, all the June 2 NCP releases are being pushed back a week. I will be hosting a contest in connection with The Soul Jar, so I’m going to hold off the excerpt until next week.

Instead, I thought I’d put up an excerpt from Wolfsbane: Aspect of the Wolf. Wolfsbane has been getting some attention lately as both the Readers Weekly Choice at Romance Readers Weekly and as the #4 Best Seller on the Amber Quill list at Fictionwise. Wolfsbane is my first attempt at a werewolf story and it won’t be my last.

5 Kisses! The antagonism between the characters brews into delightful soup as they discover a genuine like for each other and a lot more. Ms. Colgan’s prose is well paced and tight, with a slight thrum of excitement beneath the surface. The dialogue is crisp and the sexual tension palpable. The clever twist near the end highlights some brilliant slight of hand that left this reviewer wide eyed with a grin.— C.C. Ellis, Romance Divas Reviews


Between one fateful full moon and the next, Emilie Swanson and Daniel Garrison discover a little aspect of the wolf will ignite a passion they can’t ignore.


Emilie felt the cold, black emptiness of the netherworld envelope her as it had once before. She'd vowed the first time to never again put herself through this torture, yet here she was, rooted to the center of the rune circle in the back room of her shop, caught in the throes of evil as Chester Creek's portal to hell struggled to open beneath her feet.

* * * * *
Despite the cold, desolate hollow that crawled up into her gut, she managed to tighten her grip on the potion bottle.

A blur of movement passed through the corner of her limited vision.
She tensed. Had something already escaped from the portal?

The demons that the warlock Creek had brought forth had been small, wrinkled, hairless creatures with gnarled fangs and bat-like ears. Personal-sized nightmares, the kinds of things children feared lived under their beds or lurked in dark basements and dusty attics. The mischief-makers had proven fairly easy for the coven to catch, however, but alone and immobilized by the terrible cold from below, Emilie would be easy prey if one had gotten loose.

Daniel? Where had he gone?

Something brushed against her hand. She found the strength to jerk away from the chilling touch. The words of the incantation she'd memorized formed in her mind, and she spoke them, slow and deliberate, as she squeezed the potion bottle in her fist.

Malachus in severus!
This incantation forms a seal, what lies below to banish.
Bind the power that stirs within
And make the portal vanish!

A screech, like nails raking across a chalkboard, ripped through the room. An icy gust of fetid air followed. Emilie repeated the incantation, louder this time, as the wailing from below rose in pitch.

Malachus in severus!
This incantation forms a seal, what lies below to banish.
Bind the power that stirs within
And make the portal vanish!

In response, the portal convulsed beneath her. Emilie's knees buckled. As she fell forward, she slammed the potion bottle onto the floor with all her remaining strength. At the moment it shattered against her palm, hell hiccuped.

The black liquid oozed onto the cracks that had formed in the floor and mixed with candle wax, crystal dust and her blood. The conglomeration solidified into an unbreakable seal that formed a black sunburst pattern across the floor, obliterating the circle of Chester Creek's satanic runes. One by one the candles guttered as the dark marks faded.

Emilie smiled at her handiwork. Not bad, she thought, just before a bomb exploded behind her eyes.

The world went icy black, and she passed out.
* * *

To find out more about Wolfsbane: Aspect of the Wolf visit:

Thursday, June 01, 2006

"The End"

I finished the rough draft of Hunter's Mate! Of course it will need a lot of work in rewrites, but I'm thrilled with what I have. I can't wait to get started on the polishing - but I'm going to force myself to let it sit for a day or two before I jump in. I've always believed I should let my work 'cool' for a while after each stage. It gives me better perspective.

Now I need to decide what to work on next. I'd like to get at least another short story written before summer vacation begins because with the kids around there's not a lot of uninterrupted writing time. I can edit all I want, but the real concentration time is hard to come by. I SHOULD allow myself a couple of days to just relax before I get involved in anything new, but I know that won't happen. I'm too wired and I feel like I'm on a roll. The more I get written now, the more stuff I'll have to work with in the middle of the summer while I'm sitting on the patio watching the kids swim.