Monday, July 31, 2006

What Do Writers Read?

I had an idea it might be interesting to poll some of my fellow authors and put up a list of what we’re reading right now. I find I read much slower than I used to, so my TBR pile is huge. I also find that whenever I sit down and crack open a book for enjoyment it becomes open season on Mommy time. Suddenly everyone has to talk to me, stare at me, turn on the TV or have a crisis of some sort that only I can solve. This is why it’s taken me half the summer to read two books. SIGH. Apparently my fellow Romance Divas are doing a lot better in the book reading department.

Here’s the list I compiled:

I'm reading:
Sunset Key by Cassidy Kent
Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Historical romance author Leigh Royals is reading:
Beyond the Vision of Dreams by Stella and Audra Price

Romance author Maria Shanti is reading:
Snowbound by Susan Greene

Angelique Santiago, author of Diary of a Love, is reading:
1. Again by Sharon Cullars
2. Solid Soul by Brenda Jackson
3. Grown and Sexy by Phillip Thomas Duck

H.A. Fowler, author of Sword of Regret, is reading:
the Retrievers Series by Laura Anne Gilman - 1.) STAYING DEAD, 2.) CURSE THE DARK, and 3.) BRING IT ON

Shelley Munroe, author of The Shadow, is reading:
The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe

Venus Press Author, Amelia June, is reading:
Kushiel's Scion by Jaqueline Carey

Dayna Hart, author of You Again, is reading
a) Waking the Shadows by Elisabeth Drake.
b) Ice Cream in the Snow by Diana Castilleja
c) Ties that Blind by Dee Lloyd

Cassandra Curtis, author of Cup of Fate, is reading
The One-Hour Orgasm
How to Learn the Amazing “Venus Butterfly” Technique byLeah Schwartz, Ph.D., and Bob Schwartz, Ph.D. [for research purposes of course!]
and Best Laid Plans by Constance O'Day-Flannery's

L.K. Campbell, author of Gold Star Wife, is reading
Dangerous Alumni by Laine Morgan
To Wicked To Wed by Cheryl Holt

Elizabeth Drake, author of Waking the Shadows, is reading
Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
and On Fire's Wings by Christie Golden.

Forbidden Publications Author, Jelena Burke just finished:
Angel’s Fall by Nora Roberts

That's some collection. Now that you know what all these fabulous authors are reading, you can follow the links to find out what they're WRITING!

Stop by and let me know what you're reading these days. And stay tuned for my next author poll. I need a good question to ask everyone...

Saturday, July 29, 2006

I went to Borders today

And they didn't have a copy of Immortal Lovers on the shelves. That's good! I hope it means they sold the one they had. LOL.

What I did find though were two copies of Annalee Blysse's Starlit Destiny! I took this picture, then moved a copy to the open end of the top shelf where people could see it as they came around the corner. This is my new hobby - looking for my books and the books of my friends and turning them face out on the shelves. I think it does increase sales. Honest.

Today I've got to finish typing up Rogue Theta and put it aside to cool. I have some editing to do and some research to do. I still don't know what project I'm going to tackle next, but it is a nice feeling to know I've completed something.

Congrats to fellow Diva Rose Middleton who just sold t Ellora's Cave! Check out her blog to learn more about her story, Grounded.

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Frog Croaked

No, he didn’t die.

He learned how to make noise.

BTW, this is not at all what the frog looks like, it’s just a cool picture.

Our little class frog, who isn’t so little anymore, now makes a cricket-like sound in the early evening. He does it from under water and the bowl he lives in vibrates a little bit. I assume he’s calling a mate and now I fear there will be a bevy of amphibious beauties lined up outside my den window looking for Mr. Right.

I guess he’s taken his name [Jiminy] to heart. My son’s interpretation of this is that he is getting ready to have babies. I don’t know whether to be pleased or frightened that at age 8, he still doesn’t get that males of the species don’t have the babies. He wanted our dog [a neutered male, btw] to have puppies. I told him it would be easier for Mommy to have a cow.

Anyway, whatever Jiminy is up to, I’m keeping a close eye on him. At six months old, he’s way too young to date, but I’d be willing to let him elope if the right gal came along.

In Other News

Last night I finished the first draft of Rogue Theta! I never thought I'd get it done. Of course it still needs work, but at least I've got a completed product to work with now. As usual, once I finish one thing my mind jumps ahead three steps. Should I write a couple of short stories just to practice my craft and have some fun now, or should I get to work on those proposals I wanted to have ready of the full length novels I want to write? Should I move right into the sequel so I have it ready just in case there's the oportunity for a two-book deal? Or should I get to the sequels from my other titles like Wolfsbane and the Bonfire vampire series which still has two stories to tell? Arrgh!! So much to write, so little typing skills.

Oh, and one more person said, "I thought you were writing children's books..." I could just weep. I'm definitely buying the T-shirt - No, I DO NOT write children's books. I write 'BED' TIME stories. Ooohh - hey, that's not bad...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

How To Ruin Your Writing Career (Step 2)

The first step toward destroying a perfectly good or even somewhat mediocre writing career was discussed in my post about the teenaged author who met her tremendous deadline and earned a whopping and undeserved advance by plagiarizing the work of another author and then excusing her crime by saying she had a photographic memory and ‘unintentionally’ copied whole paragraphs time and time again from someone else’s book. Kudos to her for providing a perfect example of how to royally screw up.

Here’s another one:

Step Two of How to Ruin Your Writing Career comes from a lesser known author [she has one book published so far] who wrote a scathing letter that was published in this month’s Romance Writer’s Report [the newsletter of Romance Writers of America.]

I won’t name the author here, because I feel mentioning her name will only give her publicity she doesn’t deserve, but for anyone who is interested, her name and the text of her ignorant and ill-informed missive can be found in the following places:

This post at Smart B*tches.

This post by HelenKay Dimon

This post by Kate Rothwell

Kudos to this author for providing yet another sterling example of a writer behaving badly. Not only has she spewed bigotry and hatred and impugned the very morality of other writers, she’s set up her own code of acceptance into RWA, listing the target demographic of the ENTIRE romance industry as: college-educated, married, middle-class, monogamous and moral.

Ain’t she just a peach? I have half a mind to post on her blog and ask her to define more specifically her definition of moral, since I’m college-educated, married, middle-class and monogamous – I just want to make sure I comply entirely with all her high and mighty standards before I go out and buy another romance novel, or write one for that matter, or pay my yearly dues to RWA.

Like tons of other authors today, I’m penning a response to RWR, not only taking this author to task for her vitriolic assault on the rest of us, but taking RWR to task for printing such garbage and fueling a fire within the organization that we thought had died down to a small ember.

So, once more congratulations to the author in question for letting her friends, fans and fellow authors know how narrow-minded, mean-spirited and completely ignorant she is. I’m sure this will help her sales tremendously. Good job!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

OMG! Yummy!

Somebody whose blog is listed in my sidebar had this picture of Josh Holloway up the other day. I stole it. I’m sorry. I had to swipe it because...well...can you blame me?

I commented on that blog too, so if you recognize the pic from your post, please let me know and I’ll link back to you in my next post.

The reason I had to swipe this pic is because Josh Holloway, Sawyer from LOST, is the inspiration for Nick Garrett in The Matchmakers. Sans sweat stained T-shirt and perpetual seven-day stubble, picture Josh in a denim workshirt and sexily tattered jeans and there you go. He’s enough to make my Fae heroine Callie give up her wings. Wouldn’t you do the same?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The nuts and bolts of writing

I’m blogging over at Star Crossed Romance today about world building. Check it out and let me know how you build your worlds.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Ranting About Romance

Here’s a question based on a lively discussion that’s come up on Romance Divas today.

Do romance readers like most of the books they read?

It seems like a silly question. Why would they spend so much money on romance novels if they didn’t enjoy them? Why would romance have the largest slice of the publishing pie if no one really liked to read romance novels?

The poser of this question, or rather the person who made the statement that most romance readers don’t like most of the books they read, is gauging her opinion on the abundance of bad reviews out there, such as those posted on and on the many review sites. Granted there are reviewers who in essence make a living or make a name for themselves by trashing books. Some writers avoid submitting their work to these sites for fear of getting ripped to shreds [raises hand!] and other, braver souls do so with trepidation that is sometimes rewarded with the rare good review for outstanding work.

You’d almost think there were a lot of romance-hating romance readers out there.

But I just don’t think that’s the case. Readers love romance. Romance fans are loyal, joyful people who see the merit in reading a story about love that has a happy ending and ultimately makes them feel good. Romance readers [I was practically born a romance reader, btw] keep going back to the book store not to weed through tons of crappy, mediocre stories that are churned out by hack writers, but to find those gems from the writers they’ve grown to love. They come back to be reminded that we can imagine, if not create, a wonderful world where love does conquer all and two people can ride off into the sunset toward a rosy future.

Sappy? Okay, maybe a little. But the world is full of violence, hatred, war, anger, pollution, crime. We need a little sap as the balm to our emotional wounds sometimes. Romance heals, in my opinion. It serves a purpose. It gives people hope that they can forge a lasting relationship under less than ideal conditions. People read romance because they need that hope once in a while.

The publishing industry is full of hopeful writers who want to give readers that hope. What’s wrong with that? Some do it well. Some don’t. Some do it with a level of finesse that very few can hope to achieve, but we all try. Why?

Because we love romance novels. Period.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Day In The Life

Despite actually writing only 400 new words on Rogue Theta, I consider yesterday a productive day.

While DH took the kids to the Pokemon Tour on Long Island, I used my copious block of ‘Mommy Time’ to:

1. Make a crock pot stew for dinner
2. Make brownies for dessert
3. Go to the Post Office to track down my missing agent proposal {No luck.}
4. Prepare a replacement for my missing agent proposal
5. Prepare a proposal for yet another agent
6. Reread all of Rogue Theta and decide it’s much better than I thought it was
7. Make the decision to continue on with the plot as I had planned

For a rainy, thundery Saturday, that’s not bad.

If I could get that much every day, I’d be golden.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Another lazy hazy summer day

Rather than post an excerpt today, I thought I'd put up a few of my favorite quotes. Like cooking in the summer, I just want something quick and easy. These are some of the ones I like the best:

"I've heard it all, you know. I grew up in a house with three generations of witches, so nothing shocks me. What is it? Embarrassing warts? Scum in the bottom of your cauldron? Can't get your broomstick up?" ~ Emilie Swanson, Wolfsbane: Aspect of the Wolf

"I prefer to be reduced to ash, that way it’s easy to clean up. How about you do it right here in the foyer so Martin can use the Dust Buster on me?” ~ Jake Beaumont, Bonfire of the Vampires

"If you could just take this off, I promise, very sincerely, not to kill anyone." ~ Gillian Lawrence, Conjured in Flames

In other news:

I’d like to congratulate fellow Romance Diva Elizabeth Drake for her 1-shot reviews from Literary Sass. [The less shots you have the better]. Elizabeth’s Waking the Shadows really wowed them over there! WTG Nonny!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Let's talk about sex

Everyone else is doing it, so I figured I’d bring up that all-consuming subject. Why? As an erotic romance writer, of course sex is the driving force in many of my plots and almost all of my character interactions – in CERTAIN stories, mind you. As a romance author first and foremost, I also write about characters who aren’t always in a state of sexual arousal.

I’ve been noticing in the romance novels I’m reading recently [not erotic romance mind you] that even though the hero and heroine don’t actually get horizontal until much later in the book, or very close to the end, they do think and talk about sex almost constantly. Nearly every scene seems to be sexually charged, sexual thoughts interrupt the characters’ actions – and while I can suspend my disbelief from the rooftops if necessary [let’s face it when you’re a fan of the vampire with a soul whose heart belongs to a vampire slayer who lives on the hell mouth, you have to accept a lot of wild ass stuff], I find I draw the line at instant, visceral sexual arousal.

Maybe I’ve been out of circulation too long. I don’t know. I mean I’ve seen hunky guys that have made my jaw drop, but I find it hard to swallow that a heroine can meet a hero under suspicious circumstances [a dark, stormy wine cellar, for example, or a demon bar, for instance] and within seconds she’s wondering what he could do to her with tongue. Conversely, the hero, who is busy saving himself and the heroine from evil vampires, bio-terrorists or an army of carpenter ants [whatever big bad is starring as the villain in the book] he’s stopping every few minutes give serious consideration to tearing off her clothes and indulging his suddenly raging desire.


No, really. I love love at first sight, and the hot steamy, sultry relationships that sizzle from the moment two people lock eyes – but I still think there are circumstance under which it’s inappropriate to be thinking about sex – specifically when you’re immediately engaged in eluding a murderous evil of some sort. During a break in the chase, getting hot and heavy is one thing, but when a hero is using one hand to dial 911 and the other to fondle the heroine, I go...give me a break, buster. Come on.

Call me old fashioned, but I think sex begins in the brain. Sure physical attraction is important, but the best relationships are cerebral – a hero and heroine need to have that rapport established. They can find each other attractive and sexually stimulating, but when they meet on page 2 and on page 3 they’re internal monologue has already turned to imagining a hot and heady encounter, I’m lost.

Is it just me, or is there a trend toward the instant sexual relationship that may be fine in erotica or even erotic romance, but are just a little too fast for the regular romance genre?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Swimming Upstream

That's what it feels like this week. I'm swimming upstream trying to get my WIP finished. Rogue Theta was going very well, until I hit I guess what you'd call the third act. Secondary characters are giving me problems - and fear that:

1. The plot is becoming too convoluted
2. I'm losing character voice - they're becoming generic
3. I'm trying to force a love scene in that doesn't belong

I've been eeking out a sentence here and there, mostly wasting a lot of time and procrastinating in any way I can. Today I cleaned out my office supply drawer [I didn't know how many erasers and pens I actually had!] just to kill time. I can't stand this. This is the 'pulling teeth' part of writing that I hate. This is when it feels like a job - but no matter how tedious it becomes, I can't stop. I have to keep at it because ultimately I love it. This is what I've always wanted to do, even when it's hard, even when it's frustrating and I feel completely useless at it.

I will get the story finished, but in the mean time my house will probably end up totally organized since the only time I really feel like doing massive cleaning is when I'm stuck on a scene.

Help. Help. Help.

I'm off to try to scrape together another sentence or two before I get distracted by dust or decide to alphabetize the silverware. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Medical Mystery Solved

In case anyone remembers, a few weeks ago I was complaining of some strange symptoms – painful joints in my hands, swollen ankles, chills and fever. The blood tests I had turned up nothing and I was given an anti-inflammatory and sent on my way with a sincere, “We hope you feel better soon,” from the doctor.

Well, it turns out I had Fifth Disease. I would never have known except that my son developed that mysterious case of what we thought was hives, and the very next day my daughter broke out in a very distinctive, lacy red rash. Turns out a kid in her class had Fifth Disease and after a little research I found out that, though it usually occurs in children between the ages of 5 and 15, adults can get it also and the symptoms in adults are pretty much exactly what I had.

On top of that, my mother also developed flu-like symptoms, a rash and a generally ill feeling. She went to her doctor and mentioned Fifth and he confirmed it.

So, mystery solved, once again, by a lay person. At least I know what it is. Can’t wait to go back to my doctor and tell them what it was. Maybe next time they’ll be able to diagnose it – not that it can be cured. Like most viruses it just has to go away on its own and you feel crappy until you feel better.

At least I've stopped feeling crappy. Now if only the NJ heat wave would break and we could all stand to go outside. Yesterday my daughter was complaining because the water in the pool was too warm! The kid has a rough life. What can I say. Sheesh.

Off to try to get some work done.

Monday, July 17, 2006

What do you see?

This weekend we took the kids to The Lost River Caverns and The Crystal Cave in eastern Pennsylvania. These places are educational and they feed my need to spelunk.

I've always had a fasciantion for caves, just the idea that there are all these underground passages where things have lain hidden for centuries, never seen by human eyes. I guess it's the sci-fi geek in me that relishes the idea of new frontiers, even if you travel down rather than up to get there.

I took a bunch of pictures while trying to simulataneously listen to the guides, stare in wonder at the amazing formations and avoid clocking myself on low hanging rocks. When I got home I loaded them into my computer and I found these three shots which are think are quite amazing.

This one is just an outcropping of rock, but to me it looks like the head of some alien beast with a tiny eye and a gaping mouth.

This one, through a trick of artificial lighting, looks to me like blood dripping off the ceiling. Myabe my imagination is a little macabre, but I think it's a cool effect.

This last one defies explanation. I know I didn't take a picture of a plain black wall, but I see what looks like a huge bird, wings spread, talons spread, stuck in the rock. Am I crazy? What do you see?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Sci-Fi Friday is Back!

Where will I be tonight? Cheyenne Mountain Complex of course – with a front row seat for the 10th Season Premiere of Stargate SG-1 on the Sci-Fi Channel.

I’ve been Gater [loyal fan of Stargate] since I stumbled upon a scene from the pilot episode quite by accident. I enjoyed the movie, but the series far surpasses it. I’ll be front row for the third season premiere of Stargate Atlantis, too.

What makes these shows so great? Well, the mythology is spectacular, the special effects are kick ass, and the casts are wonderful but I have to admit, it’s the hunky men I can’t do without.

Here’s Joe Flanigan, Major John Sheppard. He’s the inspiration for my vampire investigator Maxwell Hart.

And this is Ben Browder, formerly Jon Crighton of Farscape, now Colonel Cameron Mitchell. He’s actually the inspiration for Daniel Garrison from Wolfsbane.

I may not choose the usual suspects to flesh out my main male characters, but I think I do pretty well.

I’m off to distant galaxies surrounded by hunky, heavily armed men. What science fiction romance writer could ask for more?

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Here's another one - though it wasn't mine. My daughter came up with this one.

I ordered a bunch of books from that new book club the other day and one of them was Ultra-Metabolism by Mark Hyman, MD. I saw him on PBS and thought what he had to say about food made a lot of sense so I bought his book. Hey, for $0.40 you can't go wrong, right?

Anyway, DD is passing through the den this afternoon and looks up at me and says, 'Ultra-Meatballism? What's that?' Well, of course it goes with The Wisdom of Yogurt and the Zen Clam. Do you get a feeling we think about food a lot in this house?

In other news...

I'm a little worried about having too much convuluted plot in Rogue Theta. I introduced the secondary character who I'd like to have carry the second story in the series - but I'm not sure how I want to craft her. I don't want a victim-like heroine, but I don't want someone who's quite as kick-ass as Lilliana. I'm also concerned about her being sympathetic if she's too physically perfect and too overtly sexual - though that is the point of her very existance. SIGH. This second guessing is going to make me nuts. I so want EC to like this longer story, but I don't want to work myself into a big tangle and end up getting rejected because my story stops making sense around page 102. Maybe a short break to do another round of edits for Hunter's Mate, then back to the drawing board.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It's the little things...

...that make me feel like a writer.

Today I prepared and sent out another proposal for The Matchmakers in response to a request for partial from another agent. I really want to find Nick and Callie a good home. I love their story and I want someone else to love it too.

I also added another 4000 words to Rogue Theta. I'm now at 29,000 words! Woohoo! I also believe I can craft a sequel to this story, so I may move right on to the second story after I complete this one. With any luck at all I might be able to finagle a two- or even a three-book deal on it. [I can only hope! Nothing like thinking big.] I know, I have to get the first one done first.

Off to do some more work and then curl up on the couch with my new Vegetarian Slow Cooker Cook Book. DS insists he's a vegetarian, so I plan to teach him how to eat like one. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

RT Reviews Immortal Lovers

Immortal Lovers got a three star review from Romantic Times Magazine! The reviewer, Sarah Wethern, called it "distinctly biteable" [which I think is good?] and had this to say about Fresh Blood:

Surprising twists and an interesting take on vampire lore makes "Fresh Blood" by Colgan the redeeming story in this anthology.

Hopefully that will entice some readers to pick it up. Especially those who enjoy vampire stories.

I have to admit, I don't pay much attention to the three, four and four and a half star reviews [not too many fives in there!]. Honestly, and this may sound odd, but I read the two and one star reviews first. Why? Not because I want to know which books to stay away from, but because I'm more interested in what doesn't work. What makes a book a pass for a reader?

Granted these books have all been published, so an editor and maybe even an agent liked them enough to stand behind them. Then a reviewer comes along and dishes the real dirt on the story. While I know, a review is merely an opinion and what one person pans another will love, I find it informative to see what gets low grades. I know what makes a book a winner: endearing characters, smooth writing, a believable plot [even if it's sci-fi or paranormal], flowing action, steamy sex or heart rending emotional conflict. Easy to list these things, harder to actually make them happen. Call me crazy but I want to know where writers go wrong and I find I learn a lot from reading the Pass On This One and Problematic reviews. They tell me that readers don't want plots that are convoluted and overly complicated. They can't stand whiney heroines and lackluster heroes. They want deep emotional conflict and focus on the main characters.

The complaints I see the most are about plot. Something that's too hard to follow and filled with uneccessary pit stops generally gets a low grade from RT. I keep that in mind when trying to stretch a short story into a full novel. What don't I like about most books I pan? The extraneous scenes, the fluff, the things going on that don't have anything to do with the main story line. Sure I see how an author can garner a multi-book deal by adding in interesting secondary characters whose stories beg to be told, but sometimes there's just too much going on. This seems to be the number one problem for the RT reviewers.

Now, I'm not going to start writing my strories with the idea that they have to please the people at Romantic Times. But I do keep in mind the things I read there and try to avoid the pitfalls I see time and again. Would I buy a book that recieved a two or one-star review from RT? Probably not, but I don't run out and buy the four stars either, unless they truly intrigue me. In fact I never buy a book based on a review though I'm sure a lot of readers do or there wouldn't be a market for the magazine.

Do you buy or avoid books based on reviews? If not, what are your criteria for choosing what you read?

Monday, July 10, 2006

A character study - Jack Sparrow

I'm blogging today at Amber Heat about the unconventional hero. And who could more unconventional than Pirates of the Caribbean's Captain Jack Sparrow?

Check it out and tell me what you think.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

What's in your trash bin?

I was cleaning out my e-mail junk filter today, a thankless task, but like taking out the garbage and flossing behind the bathroom faucet, it’s a necessary one.

Most of the junk e-mail I get is naturally from the true smut peddlers of the Internet – promising all sorts of lurid and horribly misspelled perversities. I wonder how many people actually open up these e-mails looking for their jollies. Ewww.

Then there’s the slightly more insidious ones telling me I’ve won the lottery in Budapest, or claiming that my PayPal or eBay account has been compromised. Sadly, I think more people fall for this crap. The first time you see it, it looks official and if you actually have a PayPal or eBay account you start to wonder a little bit.

The rest of them are just fishing lures for idiots. Who would ever think someone is going to open up some of these e-mails? Come on. Here’s a sampling of the subject lines I dumped today:

Marsha Brewer sends: Your cash, office building
What about my cash? Does she think I want to buy an office building with my cash?

Hatty Wilson offers: chateaux folk music
I guess since it’s such a popular thing right now, she assumes everyone would want some?

George Cochran wants to talk about: Clump
I’m afraid to ask what this might mean, but let’s be honest, a clump of what? If it comes in a clump, I really don’t want it.

FeroXx WareZ is offering: revealed selling Inca
That makes a lot of sense. Is the Inca selling something or is revealed selling an Inca? Who knows.

Carol Prater wants me to: forward this to Mark
I’ve got news, Mark doesn’t want it either, whatever it is.

Aurelio Covington offers: your future, night lamp
I’m happy with my present, night lamp, thank you.

I know these aren’t real people, but whoever sends them wants us to think they’re pals of ours who have important things to share with us, like selling Incas and night lamps.

Give me a break. Do these things really garner ‘business’ or are they just gateways to computer viruses so that remote controlled hackers can get their rocks off knowing someone’s computer files have been corrupted by their worms?

Either way, I wish there was a way to really combat them, but I guess like chain letters and campaign fliers, we’re stuck with them forever.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Have you got the Fever?

Looking for excerpts? I’ll be posting a bushel of them over at the Amber Heat Readers Group today for the Gimme Fever Friday chat. [This is a loop chat, not a live chat, so you can participate at your leisure.]

Stop by for a chance to win a free download of one of my Amber Quill titles:

Conjured In Flames [A Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read!]
Renna’s Sacrifice [My 2005 Amber Heat Wave Winner]
Ken’Ja [A 1st and 2nd Quarter Best Seller at Amber Quill]
Wolfbane: Aspect of the Wolf [Road to Romance calls it a Smashing Hit]
More Than a Fantasy [Five Stars from Fallen Angel Reviews!]

See you there!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Wisdom of Yogurt

At least that’s what I thought the title of the book was. I just got one of those book club mailers, the mini-catalogs where they offer you a ton of books for some ridiculously low price that you can’t pass up and usually – I can’t pass it up. While paging through and trying to decide if I could find 5 books I wanted for an incredible $0.40 each [and yes, I can!] I saw what I thought was a book titled, The Wisdom of Yogurt. I was hooked already. I figured that would go great with my Zen Clam [Post from December 26, 2005].

I’ve always wondered about Yogurt, you see. The cultures in yogurt are alive [best not to dwell on that thought] and therefore certainly have the potential to be self-aware. [definitely best not to dwell on that!] But consider for a moment if yogurt does have the ability to impart wisdom, or at least possesses some type of wisdom that we, as mere humans, can unlock or tap into in some way. Wouldn’t that be worth reading about?

Too bad my brain doesn’t process what my eyes see as well as it should. The actual title of the book is The Wisdom of YOGA. Which of course makes more sense, I suppose. I must admit, I’m a little disappointed. I was about to open up a container of Yoplait from the fridge and ask it the meaning of life. Oh well. I guess I’ll stick to the Comfort of Mac and Cheese and the Passion of Chocolate.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Gimme Fever Friday

Is it hot and steamy where you live? If not, drop by the Amber Heat Readers group this Friday, July 7th, for a chat with some of Amber Quill’s hottest authors.

There will be contests, prizes, and sizzling excerpts so don’t be late! You might even get to take home a hunk of your very own.

In other news – I’m braggin’ today:

I’ve got book ends! Ken’ja and Wolfsbane are #1 and #10 respectively on Amber Quill’s best seller list at Fictionwise.

Ken’ja is also #7 on the overall Erotica list. And it’s #9 on the June bestseller list at Amber Heat.

Now that I’m done braggin’ I’d better actually get some work done or I won’t be taking spots on best seller lists for long.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth!

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday, or just the day in general if you're somewhere where this is just a regular day.

We're not big party goers here, so after a family swim this morning and a light lunch, we've spent the day just bumming around. I added 3000 words to Rogue Theta bringing my total up to 20,000. I'm getting there.

Off to make dinner and then curl up with a good book.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Catch a falling Star...

I’m posting over at Star Crossed today about what inspires me to write science fiction. Drop by and say hello, Nano-Nano, Live Long and Prosper, or whatever serves as a greeting on your world.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Character Excerpt - Jordan Dane

For my second character excerpt I chose Jordan Dane, the hero from Flight of the Valkyrie, my latest science fiction release from New Concepts Publishing.

Jordan started out as a military man, a fighter pilot in a war that was winding down. He gave up fighting, but remained in service to the Galactic Protectorate as a courier in the justice system, where his job became transporting criminals held in stasis to the prison ships where they would await trial for their crimes.

Jordan likes things quite, orderly and efficient. He never expects trouble, but he’s always ready for it. The last thing he could ever imagine is developing feelings for one of the criminals he transports, but from the moment he sees Sienna McCade he begins to wonder about the raven-haired beauty who looks so innocent.

Unlike most of my male leads, Jordan isn’t exactly an Alpha male. He’s more of a Beta with Alpha tendencies. This scene shows him crossing the gap between Alpha and Beta.


Ready for work, Sienna headed for the door where she nearly collided with Jordan. His borrowed shirt hung from one hand, and he held a spear as tall as himself in the other. Greenish mud streaked the bare skin of his chest and upper arms. He looked at her with mild embarrassment.

“What’s this?” she asked, fighting to suppress the laughter that replaced her earlier frustration. Despite the earthy smell of the mud and his wide-eyed stare, he made a virile picture. She would never have imagined him as the fearless warrior type, but he certainly looked the part at the moment.

“I’ve been invited to join the hunting party,” he said, and she detected a faint hint of pride in his voice. She bit her lower lip and gave him a lingering once over.

“Where’s your loincloth?” she asked innocently and found it a monumental effort not to grin at him.

“I’m not the loincloth type,” he responded with great seriousness as he moved past her to drop his shirt on the pallet. “They’re letting me stick to trousers.”

“Ah,” Sienna sighed. She turned and followed his movements with her eyes. She let her gaze travel across the burnished skin of his back and down to the purplish bruise that extended around his wound. “Are you sure it’s a good idea?” she asked. “Aren’t you still in pain?”

He turned back toward her. “Not really.”

She placed her hands on her hips and remained firmly planted between Jordan and the door. “That’s not a definitive no.”

“I’m fine,” he insisted, then added quietly, “Thanks to you.”

Sienna caught his somber glance. Obviously it bothered him that a criminal had saved his life.
“I’ve been in worse shape than this and flown combat,” he said with a shrug. “Besides, we’re hunting sloth. How difficult could that be?”

“You saw the size of the pit they catch them in,” she said. “And that’s for the small ones, remember? What if you come across a big one?”

“I’ll hang back and let the experienced hunters do the heroic stuff.”

“Heroic? Shoving spears in an animal that’s trapped in a pit is heroic in what way, exactly?”

Jordan groaned. “You’re one of them, too.”

“One of what?”

“An animal activist.”

“As a matter of fact, I am.” Sienna thought of the gonars and her fight with the government of Kyrasau to protect them from over hunting and blood sports. It troubled her for a moment that she couldn’t recall if she had won that battle or not.

“These people live off the land,” Jordan said. “They have to hunt to survive.”

“I understand that. I just don’t think there’s anything heroic about it. Nor is there anything heroic about exerting yourself before you’re fully healed. We don’t have enough derma-gel to cover any more major wounds.”

“I appreciate your concern, but I heard this all from Tia already,” he admitted as he tested the balance of his borrowed spear.

“You did?”

“Yes. She lectured me, so you don’t have to.”

Sienna regarded him skeptically. “And you’re going anyway?”


She rolled her eyes and flung herself out of his path. “Have a good time,” she said. “If any of your internal organs should fall out, don’t come to me.” She resisted the urge to shake her finger at him. “I put you back together once by pure luck, I don’t think I can do it again.”

“You’re overreacting,” he called as he stalked past her, spear in hand. “I’ll be fine.”

* * *

To find out more about Flight of the Valkyrie visit:

Saturday, July 01, 2006

We Have A Winner!

The Winner of my Soul Jar Celebration Contest is:

Tara Woods

The correct answer to the question: What book is Bree Sennett reading in the excerpt from The Soul Jar is: Conjured in Flames. [A shameless plug, I know.]

Congratulations, Tara! Please e-mail me where you would like your download sent.

Thank you to everyone who participated! Stay tuned for more contests to come.