Saturday, February 28, 2009

Life imitates art!

For a wonderful real life love story, drop by Star-Crossed Romance today to read about the engagement of my fellow writer/blogger Skylar Massey!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bonus for the week!

In addition to having a new release this week, I also just received the cover art for my next Ellora's Cave release and it ROCKS!

Coming in March - GOING DEEP by Bernadette Gardner


Forbidden desires plague Dr. Celia Weston, head of the Underwater Maintenance Engineering project on Gavrel Space Station. Celia’s fascination for the bio-engineered aquatic humanoids who care for the habitat’s ocean grows each day. Sleek, strong and graceful, the UMEs have begun to develop patterns of behavior and beliefs that their creators had not planned for. When her attraction to a UME male named Del leads Celia to finally indulge in her long-suppressed sexual fantasies, she endangers her job and the future of the UMEs aboard Gavrel.

In order to save their species and secure the rights they deserve, Del is urged by the leader of his people to use Dr. Weston as a pawn in a political coup. Celia risks everything for the ecstasy of Del’s electrifying touch, but can she convince two races to accept their relationship and work together to save the doomed ocean?

*Going Deep takes place in the same universe as my previous EC releases Rogue Heart and Rogue Theta, but is a standalone story.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Release Today!

I'm a little late in posting today - had to work both jobs and take DD to the orthodontist. Now I'm sitting down and trying to generate some code to update my blog and my website with details of my BRAND NEW RELEASE!

Available today from Samhain Publishing - is my sexy adventure novella:


While photographing wildlife and landscapes in the stark Nevada desert, Chase Calder is caught in a sudden electrical storm. He awakens a prisoner in a high-security Air Force base under the care of seductive microbiologist, Martina Sanchez.

Calder’s accidental exposure to the Acheron beam—designed to decontaminate areas of overgrown plant life—is supposed to have no side effects, but Martina soon discovers Chase Calder is much more than he seems. His touch not only melts her cool professional resolve, it also melts steel walls. Finally having found the proof she needs to expose Acheron for the danger it presents, she risks all to break the sexy photographer out of the base. Together they flee to safety and find something more dangerous than a super weapon when their passion ignites.


A short excerpt from Strange New World

Long, feminine fingers caressed the tense muscles of his neck, and Chase’s heartbeat ramped up in response. The sweet, musky scent of a light perfume teased his sleepy senses, and warm breath laced with mint tickled his ear.

His mind rebelled, too weary to think of anything except dark oblivion, but his libido began to stir.

His cock thrummed to attention when those soft hands grazed his thigh. Sleep could wait. If his woman wanted him…his woman?

“Brett?” The moment her name passed his lips, he remembered. Their divorce had been…acrimonious and mostly his fault, but he still missed her now and then. More so now, with a hard-on straining against his Jockeys.

“Who’s Brett?”

The voice brought him instantly and completely awake. He stared up into mocha brown eyes rimmed with thick, black lashes. Soulful. Sexy.

Before Chase could focus, she brought a pair of thick-rimmed eyeglasses down to rest on her nose, as if she were erecting a shield between his curious gaze and hers.


Her lips, painted a tempting shade of coral, pursed in consternation. “You called me Brett.”

“Sorry. I was dreaming.” Bit by bit, Chase’s senses returned. The warm, fuzzy feeling of arousal lingered, but cold fingers of reality crept into his brain as he took inventory of his surroundings.

Long, fluorescent lights stretched across the stark, white ceiling above him. Square tiles in a familiar shade of institutional green lined the three visible walls. A metal door, set with wired glass, held a heavy locking bar—the kind they put on walk-in freezers. The place smelled like a hospital, but something distinctly sinister flavored the chilly air. Where the hell was he, and how had he gotten here?

“Who are you? What happened to me?” Chase craned his neck to get a better look at the woman. Waves of chestnut hair fell to her lab-coated shoulders. Trim lines of a delicate sapphire blouse peaked out beneath the starched white lapels. A laminated ID badge came into focus, and she answered as he read her name.

“I’m Dr. Sanchez. Martina Sanchez. You’re safe, Mr. Calder, and apparently uninjured. As for what happened to you, I’m hoping you can tell me.”

I’m naked. Chase ruminated on that for a moment. Except for his underwear and a thin paper sheet that covered him from knees to nipples, he wore nothing.

His heart rate increased again when he realized his wrists and ankles were secured to the chrome rails of the bed on which he lay. Instinct forced him to test the bonds. The bed frame rattled, and the sexy doctor stepped back.

A face that made Frankenstein’s monster look friendly appeared in the cross-hatched square of glass set into the metal door. The doctor waved one delicate hand at the apparition, and it disappeared.

“What the hell was that? Why am I tied down?”

“Relax, Mr. Calder. Nothing can hurt you here. The man outside is Sergeant Baker, my bodyguard.”

“Bodyguard? Sweetheart, you’ve got nothing to be afraid of. I’m not going to hurt anybody.” As long as they don’t hurt me first.

Dr. Sanchez placed a cool hand on Chase’s shoulder. A teasing whiff of her perfume momentarily drew his thoughts away from his predicament.

“That’s what we’re trying to determine. Now, if you would answer some questions for me, we can keep Sergeant Baker in the other room where he belongs.”

“I’ll tell you anything you want to know.” He wanted to add that he had nothing to hide, but that would only make it seem like he did. Whatever was happening here was serious shit.

“Good. Now, what were you doing on restricted land?”

To read another excerpt visit Samhain Publishing!

*Warning: This title contains explicit sex, molten metal and a clingy, wet nightgown.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Anyone looking for British Bachelors?

Apparently I am. According to my bank records anyway.

Yesterday I went into my online bank account to check my balance. I have a small checking account that I use just for fun stuff and DD had given me some money because she wanted to purchase something on line and I told her I would use my account. I noticed a slight discrepancy in the balance from what I had in my records so I looked at the transaction history and discovered two charges from – fortunately along with two credits from – however, the credits were for slightly less than the charges.

I called the bank immediately and of course now they have to close my account number, give me a new card and start a dispute of the charges – which ultimately amount to $1.22 thanks to those credits, but still, that’s $1.22 I don’t owe

The bank rep I spoke to told me in order to find out why the credits are for less than the charges I have to call I asked her if there was a phone number associated with the transactions and she said yes...but it was out of GREAT BRITAIN.

Yeah. I’m not calling England. As much as I like the mother country, I don’t need to be put on hold during an overseas call so some customer service rep can tell me ‘We have no record of your account.’ Since of course they don’t, since I’m not registered with them.

The bank is sending me a form to file a dispute of the charges so I can get my $1.22 back, which should take something like 6 to 8 weeks. Yay! Until I get a new card, the balance I have in the account is, of course, frozen. Sigh.

My feeling is, of Great Britain at least owes me $1.22 worth of a cute British Bachelor. I’m off to look for one.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It feels like a bummer even when it's not

You know that old saying, Be Careful What You Wish For?

I usually abide by it – being careful to examine the pros and cons of anything I might want. I more often than not decide getting something isn’t as much fun as wanting it.
Except when it comes to romance.

Let’s face it, the reason I write romance is because I’m a frustrated shipper. There have been so many love stories I’ve rooted for, then been bitterly disappointed at the way they played out...Mulder and Scully, Sam Carter and Jack O’Neill, Chloe Sullivan and Clark Kent...the list goes on.

Yesterday I was perusing the new TV Guide and I found out that I will be getting something I wished for. And now I’m not sure I’m happy about knowing.

The Guide let spill [and I do have to question why?] that Seeley Booth and Temperance Brennan from BONES will finally be ‘hooking up’ in this year’s season finale. When I read this I said...Oh yay!...oh. Yay?

First of all, what’s the point of dragging out a shippy relationship if you’re just going to spill the beans to TV Guide before it gets fun? Half the enjoyment of being a hopeless shipper is tuning in each week with your fingers crossed that your favorite couple will take another baby step closer to third base.

Don’t get me wrong, for once, it will be nice to get to see a couple actually become a couple rather than having to write fan fic about it. But seriously – now that I know, the hoping, wishing and wanting isn’t as much fun anymore. They might as well just air the finale now and get it over with.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Small BSG Rant

As if we weren't on the edge of our seats wondering who the 'FINAL' Cylon was - now that we know, they tell us, oh, wait...there's still ONE MORE DAMN CYLON!!

So, who do you think the No. 7 Daniel model will be??

If I had my way -- it would turn out to be Daniel Jackson.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The perfect gift!

The perfect Valentine's Day gift has now been invented. It covers all the bases a woman looks for in gifting, so all you guys out there listen up and take notes.

Two simple words.


Have a good one!

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Devil broke the clock

I figured this might be an appropriate post for Friday the 13th – a day steeped in superstition.

Yesterday I had to take DD to the doctor. She’s had a really bad cold that morphed into a disturbing cough, so yesterday we spent the afternoon in the pediatrician’s office. In the office they have a very cool playscape where the kids who are not sick are allowed to play. {I’m so glad my kids have outgrown this – I was tired of bringing them home from the doctor with rug burns on their bellies from sliding backwards down the slide which is covered oddly enough by carpet}. Anyway, there were two little boys playing in the playscape where a large wooden clock dominates the back wall of the lower section. The hands on the clock don’t work [never have]. They just flop around lazily because I imagine none of the doctor’s office staff can climb into the small space with a screw driver or a wrench or what have you to tighten the bolt that holds them on the clock.

One boy was trying without success to position the clock hands and when he realized nothing he was going to do would work, he announced: “The Devil broke the clock.”

I chuckled to myself because there are a lot of things a four year-old could have said that would not have been as cute and I thought it was funny that we often blame the Devil when we do things wrong [The Devil made me do it] but you hear it less invoked when something else goes wrong. Like maybe the Devil broke the economy?? There’s a thought.

Anyway after my laugh I started to wonder if this was just the ramblings of a little kid’s mind or if this poor child was being brought up to believe that anything that goes wrong must be the work of the Devil or similar evil forces. Society over the centuries has been obsessed with assigning bad deeds to evil spirits. It explained all types of bad mojo like comets, plagues, shipwrecks, physical and mental illnesses. It was easier than finding out the true cause of a hardship or tragedy. Blame it on evil spirits. Of course many have suffered over the years for those beliefs. After all, if you are possessed by evil spirits, it’s long been considered all right to torture, kill or imprison you. So I had to wonder what kind of disservice is a parent doing to a child by teaching them that the Devil, or evil spirits of any kind is responsible for bad things that happen. Doesn’t that prevent the child then from developing a curiosity as to what is the real cause behind a problem and possibly discovering how to fix it?

Blaming the Devil when things go wrong is, in my opinion, counterproductive since it provides no recourse to prevent them from going wrong in the future.

Do you tend to believe in an evil force in the universe that causes bad things to happen or do you instead believe that things happen in a random manner that is sometimes good and sometimes bad but never actually planned by any intelligent force, whether good or evil?

I know that’s a heavy question for a Friday. Call it mental calisthenics. If it gives you a headache to think about it – blame the Devil.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I can't get enough

Get yer mind outta the gutter! I’m talking about dish washing liquid.

Now you’re thinking – oh no. She’s really lost it this time.

You may be right. But in losing my mind I have learned something and for that I must extend an apology to my old friend, Robin.

Years ago on an occasion I was visiting my friend at her home, she was showing me around and we ended up in her finished basement where, like many people, she had a set of shelves for keeping non-perishable supplies – you know, canned goods, paper goods – the stuff you buy when it’s cheap so you don’t have to buy it when it’s expensive. I recall to this day seeing that she had several DOZEN bottles of dish washing liquid on one of her shelves.

So I had asked her, “WTF with all the detergent? Do you like doing dishes that much?”
She laughed and explained that she couldn’t help herself. “When it’s on sale, I have to buy it.”

It was one of those images that stayed with me, and for a long time I wondered why. Then, this weekend as I was trudging downstairs to add my TWELFTH bottle of dish washing liquid to my stash, I realized why it all still seemed so fresh in my head. I’m doing it too.

Of course, how can you resist? This week, Shop Rite had Sun Light on sale for $0.99. PLUS I had a coupon for $0.25 off which they doubled – so it came out to $0.49. You can’t go wrong! Anything that only costs $0.49 these days is worth buying, even if you already have 11 of them.

Yes, I know. I could have put that $0.49 in a high-yield interest bearing account and at today’s rates I’d have...let’s see...$1.50 in 200 years. But if you calculate the average rate of dish liquid usage in my house, in only three short years I could be enjoying that bottle of Cucumber Melon scented Sun Light. Assuming I follow proper stock rotation procedures of course.

You have to weigh your options. So the point is, I’m sorry, Robin. All these years I’ve harbored the secret belief that you were a little bit nuts. Now I know the truth.

Off to wash some dishes.
dishes Pictures, Images and Photos

Sunday, February 08, 2009

This week on: Bargain Hunters!

Originally I wasn't going to blog today - I've been working on an 'every other day/ odd day' schedule that's been working pretty well, but I just had to post about today's big bargain...well one of them.

My friend K and I went to the Dollar Store - can't go wrong there, and lo and behold she came across a bin of trellis yarn.
It's a very thin ribbon-like yarn that makes nice shawls and scarves. Normally it sells for [I kid you not!] $6.99 a skein. At a dollar a skein, you can't go wrong, so I bought six!

I had bought one skein a while back just to try it out in the blue ice color and made a really cute scarf using my Knifty Knitter. The scarf goes with my blue sweater - this time I bought the dark jewel colors [shown in the picture] and a lighter rainbow color and some super thin black and silver color. Here's a picture of the scarf I made:

It comes out very stretchy and mesh-like. It's a bit scratchy so it's not anything you wear for warmth, but it sparkles so it's a nice accessory.

I'm going to try for some thinner, longer ones that maybe DD can use as belts with her jeans.

And no, I didn't do any of that WIP work I was going to do today. But in my defense I DID think about writing on the way home from food shopping. Know what that got me? Thoughts about another WIP to work on. I'm going to go clear my head with some knifty knitting.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

It's a conspiracy

Sometimes I have to ask myself why I bother trying to get the laundry done? Clearly some higher power doesn't ever want the day to come that I can say, "Gee, all the clothes, towels, sheets, etc, are finally all clean!"

This weekend was supposed to be one of those 'catch up on everything' weekends. Everybody is out but me - and I actually like it that way. DD had a sleepover which spilled into a birthday party today. DS and DH are at the NY Comic Con and I'm home with BIG plans to do the laundry and sit down with all my WIPs spread out around me and decide which one deserves to be finished first.

So I started by taking down the kitchen curtains to wash because the cats have made a mockery of them. Did that load, straightened up the house, went through all the superfluous paperwork on my desk, paid a few bills. Then I tossed in another load of laundry and folded towels, checked my e-mail etc. Now comes time for the third load and as I'm walking down the basement stairs I see wet cat footprints.


So I have to wonder, who has been doing what and why. I follow the wet footprints to a puddle on the basement floor. A big puddle. Great. Something is leaking and it has to do with the washing machine. Which means I can't do any more laundry until I find out what's wrong or buy a small canoe for getting around in the basement.

Hugh SIGH.

I suppose I should look at this as the universe telling me to forget the laundry and sit down and work on my stories...but really it just seems more like the universe is laughing its butt off at my expense - and by expense I mean whatever I will have to pay the plumber to fix the frakkin' leak.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Another clunker in the romance department

So why can't movies seem to get it right these days?

I know - I shouldn't really complain about any movie that was nominated for a Razzie award (nor should I have watched one) but when something is billed as a romantic comedy, it should at least warrant a look see.

Not so for My Best Friend's Girl with Kate Hudson and Dane Cook. I'm not going to mention the crude humor or vulgarity as negative points because these are in fact listed on the DVD cover as enticements for people to plunk down their hard earned cash. I'm going to just concentrate on the structure of the 'romance.'

The story revolves around Cook's character, Tank, who makes a nice side living terrorizing women into running back to the boyfriends they've dumped. He shows them how good they had it by being the date from hell. When his best friend/cousin Dustin asks for his help in getting the girl he loves, Alexis, [Kate] to realize he's marriage worthy material, Tank is reluctant, but he finally agrees to pull out all the stops.

What follows is the predictable part - Tank meets Alexis, woos her and discovers she's hard to scare away. She likes his vulgar music, doesn't balk at spending the evening at a strip club, and meets him insult for insult. She also ends up in bed with him. Naturally Tank falls in love with her.

Here's my beef - in the beginning, Dustin tells Tank that Alexis is his 'angel.' He adores her. Okay, fine, maybe he does - but later Tank comes to agree with Dustin. He sees Alexis as an angel, a girl so special he's willing to change his whole way of life to be with her. Sounds nice - BUT - I had to ask, what, why and how? Alexis is never shown as being anything special. Aside from being blond and perky she shows no 'angelic' qualities. Her relationship with Tank revolves around her texting him for 'booty calls' then kicking him out so she can get her beauty sleep before work in the morning. He seems to find her endearing because she's so much like him.

My next complaint is about Tank himself. Sure the redeemed hero is a great theme. Take a bad boy and humble him by throwing him together with the woman who turns him into a different man. That works. Except when it doesn't. You can make a hero too unlikable. Trust me, it's been done many times. Tank has made a career out of treating women badly for the sake of the men who want them back. He's not used to being a hero - and in this movie, he never gets a chance to be. His big 'redemption' comes when he takes Alexis on a proper date, then leaves her chastely at her door at the end of the evening, showing he can be a gentleman even when his date doesn't want him to be.

Poor Dustin is left in the dust by his 'angel' and his 'best friend' and he doesn't even get to pick up the pieces when Tank decides Alexis is too good for him and therefore he must work twice as hard to push her away. Tank descends to his lowest depths when he ruins Alexis's sister's wedding and that debacle accomplishes his goal. Now we've seen the 'hero' at his worst. Digging himself out of this hole is a monumental task that, trust me again, he's not up to.

How does the whole thing resolve itself? In typical movie fashion - SPOILER ALERT - the plot is wrapped up in the last few minutes. Tank tries talking to Alexis. That doesn't work. So he gives up. In the Epilogue scene which takes place 3 months later, Alexis locates Tank in a resturant, seemingly on a date with another woman [way to get over the love of his life] and she makes a ruckus which ends with them falling into each other's arms. Roll credits.

There you go. Would this fly in a book? I can't say it hasn't been done, but seriously - a true romance hero needs something serious to redeem him after he's hurt the heroine. He needs a grand gesture, a major sacrifice. He can't just be sitting around waiting for her to decide he's not so bad. A romance heroine needs a special spark that makes her worth all this sacrifice. Having pretty hair and nice legs isn't enough to make readers [or an audience] like her enough to care if the hero falls in love.

I know there are plenty of romance novels that get turned into movies - but mightn't it be a good idea if anything billed as a 'romantic comedy' was required to have a romance writer on staff? At least then we could hope for some true romance and real redemption.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Questions for my cats

1. Why do you follow me around the house, then when I try to pet you, lie down just out of arm’s reach?

2. Why do you sleep in doorways?

3. Why, when you have access to a twin, a double and a queen size bed, do you prefer to take naps on the kitchen counter?

4. Why do you like to chew on plastic bags?

5. Why do you like to lie on the printer?

6. Why will you only drink from the dog’s water bowl?

7. Why do you ignore the scratching post?

8. What have you done with the three dozen toy mice we bought you?

9. What's so great about sleeping in the sink?

This was the answer I expected.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

When there's no story...

...what's the point?

To fill up some of the boring hours between dinner and the airing of tonight's post-Superbowl episode of The Office, I watched The Duchess starring Ralph Fiennes and Kiera Knightly. The movie runs 109 minutes and feels like about 3 hours. Perhaps I missed some important part, but in my estimation it also seemed to have no point.

Don't get me wrong, the costumes are fabulous, the locations dazzling. 18th Century England is a period of pageantry and fascinating social structure - but beyond the hsitorical value of the film, I found nothing.

The story follows the dismal marriage of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. A well-known figure in politics and fashion of her time, she seemed to be a foreforunner of the modern celebutante...loved by the public for her clothes, her charm and her defiance of certain social conventions. Interesting enough...but what left me feeling bereft was the evolution of the character. She's cited on the cover of the DVD as being 'fiesty, cool and scandalous' and in the 'special features' that come with the film, principals discuss how courageous and triumphant she was as a character.

And I said, huh? Throughout the story, the Duchess seems to be little more than a victim of the stringent rules of the ton. Basically sold into marriage to the joyless, emotionally stunted Duke, she spends the film alternately trying to please him and doing her own thing, which of course leads alternately to wrenching heartache and private disgrace. She never enjoys a defining moment in her life when she puts her 'power' or her life experiences to good use. She never truly prevails.

It's movies like this that make me appreicate romance novels - because in a romance novel, it's inherent that the heroine's struggles amount to something in the end. To follow a story where the main character merely subsists is truly disappointing.