Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Muse

This post is probably going to piss some people off. That's not a warning, just a fact. I'm going to say some things in this post that a lot of writers will argue with.

I'll start with a bold statement: There is no such thing as "the muse"!

There, I said it. Am I going to go to hell? Writer's hell? Probably, but not because I don't believe in some superstitious, antiquated concept that a writer can only write when the fickle muse is present, that those brilliant ideas are only possible when she/he is around, buzzing in your ear, whispering delicious secrets. It's ludicrous. Why would you give credit or place blame on something/someone that doesn't exist?

No, more like when we can't write it's because we're lazy, pure and simple,and we all suffer from it now and again.

Now, I do believe in writer's block, meaning lack of motivation, which I equate with the same notion as laziness. Well, they're in the same family anyway. You know that feeling you get where it's pure torture to write anything? I've experienced it and it sucks but I didn't place the blame on some fictional muse. I blamed myself and rightly so, I was the cause of my lack of motivation, or at least my hectic life was anyway. To blame the muse seems to me like another cop-out that writers use to shift the focus away from themselves, to say, no sorry I couldn't write today, the muse wasn't speaking to me. Lame. Just tell it like it is, no sorry, I didn't write today cause I didn't feel like it. End of story.

Maybe you haven't met anyone who speaks that way but I have, especially now that I've become involved in a few different on-line writing forums and communities. There are more of them out there than you think. I call them The Muse People (insert eye rolling here).

Do I think that sometimes it's easier to write than other times? Sure! Sometimes the words and ideas flow and aren't stunted by stress or depression or life and that's great, but am I willing to give anyone other than myself the credit for that? Heck no! My ability and drive to write rests solely within myself, that includes the bad times as well as the good. Outside forces can influence that for sure but that's not to say I'm going to blame anyone else for them. Especially not the muse!

Some would argue that this is a figure of speech, that waiting for the muse to strike is a metaphor, that I shouldn't be so dense, to which I reply, (with my middle finger cocked and ready) get your head out of your ass, you pompous jerk...I know it's a metaphor, what bothers me is how many writers use it as a legitimate excuse for not producing anything. Be honest; it's not some dead Greek goddess, it's you, it's all about you.

Thanks for letting me rant.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Why I love my ereader!

Yes, I'm back from the revision cave! I've made it through with a brand new, totally revised manuscript that is currently with my agent. Fingers crossed that she likes it.

Anyway, I thought I would do a short post on my amazing pre-Christmas gift that my husband bought for me and I had to have before the 25th: my Kobo.

I convinced my husband that I needed to open it immediately and start downloading books because I wanted to make sure it worked ;) In the two weeks I've had it I've discovered my love for ereaders! So I thought I would give you my top five reasons why I think you all need an ereader.

1. I can buy books anytime, practically anywhere! That's right, I don't have to wait for the bookstore to open in the morning; as soon as I finish one book I can download the next! Pretty darn convenient! (And possibly deadly expensive, but that's another issue altogether - don't give a book junkie accessibility to books at all hours of the day!)

2. The books at Kobo and other sites are cheaper than in the book store. It's just a few dollars but sometimes there are sales and you can really get great deals.

3. I've found back listed books that I haven't been able to get in the stores! I can fill in the gaps in some of the series that I'm reading! As well, I've found free books put out by some of my fav authors who give back stories to some of their characters - pretty cool!

4. It's super light and easy to carry around in my purse and no one knows what I'm reading! Some of the novels I read, especially the romances, have some pretty graphic covers but with my ereader, no one has to know what I'm currently reading so I can bring whatever I want out with me.

5. People are very interested in it...usually I'm not the most social of people when out in public but I've had a few really interesting conversations with strangers about the merits of ebooks and ereading which is great since I am currently published in the e-world.

Sure there are some downsides to an ereader like not being able to loan books to my friends or having a solid copy of a book in my hands - oh and that book smell - I really do love that book smell. But for the sheer convenience factor I give my Kobo a double thumbs up!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Romeo and Juliet and Zombies

I'm guest blogging over at Midnight Seductions

My thoughts on supernatural literature and what I like to call supernatural discrimination.

Come and check it out!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Buffy vs. Edward

So I was having this conversation today about the role of the slayer in vampire mythology (don’t ask – many of my daily conversations end up supernaturally related) and the conversation took a turn when I started to speculate on what would happen if Buffy came out of nowhere and slayed our sparkly, romantic Edward. It was very entertaining as a visualization, let me tell you!

Anyway, during this conversation we were discussing the role of the hero and whether or not it pays to put the effort into being one. It takes a lot of work to become the hero, not only is there physical training but you must also learn the information (folklore usually) you need to defeat the villain, as well, it usually involves some kind of emotional gutting – losing one’s family or friends, physical pain and injury, etc. We were also talking about whether or not the hero is truly good – is it black and white any more or are we okay with a villain who can sometimes be good and a hero who can sometimes be evil? I mean, the hero has to have an element of evil in them to be able to murder/destroy another creature even if that creature is inherently evil.

So back to my fantasy. If, for all intents and purposes, Buffy is considered the hero as the slayer, you know, using her powers to kill those nasty, evil vampires – then what would happen if she slayed someone in the vampire race whom we consider a hero also? What if she killed him purely because she sensed a vampire and, as it is her duty to slay them, does so without asking any questions or getting any background information first? What about Blade for that matter? He wouldn’t give a crap about Edward's motives or lifestyle – vampire = dead in his world. So does the slayer then turn into the villain?

Personally I would say no – but I’m partial to the fantasy of beheading Edward - what do you all think? If Buffy or Blade beheaded a beloved vampire character because they were acting on their own slayer instinct, would you demonize them for it?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Back into the Revision Cave!

Well folks I'm going back into the dark and damp revision cave again, hopefully to return not too far in the future with a new spectacular version of my ms.

I've got my agent's notes, my red inked ms and some fresh new ideas so I'm hoping this next rewrite will stick.

Wish me luck.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Curse of the Potty Mouth

Something came up in my latest revision that had me reflecting on my own life a little. It turns out that my heroine had a bit of a potty mouth and my agent felt that it was making her look a little trashy. She also suggested that by swearing so much I was losing the effect of the words. Taking her suggestions into consideration I cut back on the swearing by a lot and realized that just a sprinkle was all I needed to get the point across. My heroine is still kick ass and hard core but maybe not so crass.

During the revision, and the subsequent cutting back of swear words, I couldn’t help but make connections to my life. You see, I have a terrible potty mouth. I can’t say why or where it comes from (my mum would kill me if she knew just how bad I really am) but get me around my friends and I’m dropping the f-bomb all over the place.

Which is why I think it came through in my writing so much.

I’m a big believer that we give words power and that if you make a big deal about a particular word it becomes more powerful than it probably should be. I also believe that swear words in and of themselves are kind of funny…their role I mean. I suppose most people have connected them with subverting authority or gaining power and I know that many people believe that they are a sign of one’s lack of intelligence.

People consider me to be pretty intelligent. I’m highly educated and in a profession that, for the most part, is respected but I can't stop myself when that office door is closed. Does it make me seem trashy? I don't really know...I also don't really care...maybe because I have so many restrictions in my life - you know, don't swear around the kid, don't swear around the boss, that I just lose control when I get some freedom.

What about you all...potty or pretty mouth?

Thursday, October 7, 2010


As I mentioned in my previous post on my revision process, I’m a fast worker. Really fast. Probably too fast.

Once I have a task in front of me I have to start it and then I have to keep working on it until it’s done. It can be very exhausting because I devote all of my spare time to it. My weekend mornings for an hour, my evenings for two to three hours, whatever I can spare, I give it until the job is done.

When it comes to other things my efficient work habits are an asset, when it comes to writing, not so much.

Because I work so fast I get really caught up in my story. I get so close to it that I stop seeing it as anything but a whole picture. Luckily my agent understands my little problem and points out areas of concern as I’m working.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I discovered a way to trick myself into slowing down a little, at least where editing is concerned. When I’m reading through a chapter I trust my gut to tell me when something isn’t sounding right or if I’ve taken the easy way out and glossed over details in my rush to get to the end. With my last round of editing I actually stopped myself from moving on from a chapter until I was fully satisfied with the way it sounded. Sometimes that meant rereading it several times before I got it just right which was very time consuming but also kept me busy. By the time I was finished with the last round I was really confident that I’d nailed all of the problems. Going through I addressed all of my agent’s comments and concerns and tried to think like her, raise questions like she does and use a critical eye while reading. Overall, I feel that I was extremely successful with this method and plan to use it again on the next project.

My biggest problem now is the down time. I need to get started on something new so that I can use up those newly available hours with something productive.

What are your work habits like? Are you a procrastinator? A workaholic?

Thursday, September 30, 2010


I’m a big fan of vampire stuff: vampire movies, vampire tv shows, vampire books. Whatever it is, if it’s done well, I’ll get sucked in (pun intended). There’s one thing that’s been getting to me lately though, a minor detail that centers around vampires and the young adult market: The AGE Gap!

I know I’m not the first to notice this and frankly it’s not something that would turn me off of watching shows like Vampire Diaries but every once in a while I get a moment of ewwwww, icky, he’s like a hundred and thirty years older than her. In the real world that’s considered so taboo, sometimes illegal and definitely bordering on inappropriate (or even statutory rape in some cases!) What could a worldly hundred and fifty year old possibly find appealing about a teenager? (Other than the obvious, you sickos ;)

Why is it that this kind of relationship is so appealing to teenagers these days? The Twilight Saga is another example where old vampire falls for young teenager and no one really blinks at that…which I find kind of weird since we crucify anyone who even hints that that’s okay in the real world. Maybe that’s the answer, like all paranormal media, it’s not happening in the real world. It’s fantasy, therefore it’s safe. But is it? What’s the message here? What does this trend say about our current generation of teens? Of adults writing for teens?

I don’t have the answers, I’m actually hoping someone out there might be able to enlighten me. What I do know is while I’m watching those shows or reading those books I get just as caught up in them as the teens do. I gobble them up and wait impatiently for the next installment. It’s only once in a while that I get a jolt of reality and think, gosh that’s kind of gross.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Return of the Revision Queen!


I’ve wrapped up my final round of editing and completed revisions on my second (or is it my third?) round of rewrites for this ms. I’m pretty happy with the way things have turned out and yes, it is a very different manuscript now then it started off as two years ago! I’ve made a lot of changes, all for the better, under the direction of my wonderfully insightful agent.

I thought I would devote this week’s post to my revision process since I’ve found myself searching the web a few times over the past little while looking to commiserate with other writers and their experiences with this process. I wanted to add mine to the story pool.

When I started working on the first round of revisions for my agent, it was a huge undertaking. She suggested in a phone conversation that I change it from third to first person, actually her words were, “How would you feel about changing it from third to first?” To which I replied, “I feel like I’m going to have a heart attack!”

But I did it and she was right, of course. It took me about five weeks to make all the changes...I’m a fast worker...too fast sometimes (but that’s a topic for another post). Thank God for my agent and her keen eyes!

After I sent her the new version I sat back and waited, hoping for the best but knowing deep down that it wasn’t quite my best...So I wasn’t at all surprised when we sat down for our next meeting and my agent had my manuscript in front of her with lots and lots of ink marks all over it.

On the most recent round of revisions we cut almost 15K, which was not as painful as you would imagine. After getting rid of the crap, I started to rebuild. Of course, I fell right back into my usual work frenzy and completed the bulk of the rewrite in about a week and a half and then I let it sit for a few days. But the itch to edit was burning me and my impatience took over, so I started, did a very quick (3 day) edit and thought I would leave it for a week or so before looking at it again.

Which I did, kind of. I made it for about four days before opening the file again and starting round 2 edits.

This time though I slowed things down and took a whole week to work through the ms. I decided that I wouldn’t leave a chapter until I was completely satisfied with what I’d produced. I believe that was the best tactic I’ve used so far, I caught a lot of errors and trusted my gut when something was snagging my attention in the wrong way. When I hit save for the last time I was satisfied with what I’d produced. I truly feel that I’ve created a much stronger story and my characters are fully fleshed out. I’m very happy with it overall.

So I sent it off to my agent with fingers crossed that she’ll love it and we can get out on submission. Time will tell but this time hoping for the best comes with the confidence that I did my best work.

What about you all? Anyone out there working on revisions? Any tales you want to share with us?

Friday, September 3, 2010

And the Winner Is...

I'm deep, deep into revisions for my agent now so this post is going to be brief. As promised I've drawn a winner of an e-copy of Assassin for the month of August.

And the winner is...Danielle LaPaglia! Congratulations Danielle!

I need you to email me at so that I can get some information from you and send you your copy. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, August 27, 2010

People I meet.

So far this year I’ve met a lot of interesting writing folk. The reason for this is mainly because I’ve been spending more time getting involved in writing groups and forums. I’ve shared stories with these people, celebrated triumphs and consoled failures.

Writers are an interesting bunch. We each have our own hang-ups and insecurities, strengths and weaknesses. We are all on different paths and never fail to compare ourselves to each other. It’s a different world when you enter a writer’s space. The lingo is strange: queries, ms, POV, submissions, the dreaded R…but we all seem to share the same vision and I can honestly say that I’ve met some of the most friendly people who have talked me off of the writing ledge, helped me by critiquing my work and being brutally honest, have pointed out when I’m being a fool…and all around supported me through all of my struggles and triumphs this year.

So I wanted to pay tribute to those people this week…you know…the ones who raise you up in this crazy writing world…the ones who give you unending support and encouragement…whether it be family, agents, writing groups, friends or as I like to call them, e-friends (since my writing group and my forum buddies are all on-line).

Here’s a round of applause to those who give us poor souls, a.k.a. aspiring authors, that much needed confidence boost once in a while.

I'm headed into another major round of revisions for my agent so my posts are going to be on the shorter side for the next few weeks. I want to remind you though that my final Assassin contest closes August 31 at midnight, so get your comments in! Remember, the more comments you post over the weeks, the more chances you have to win an e-copy of Assassin.

Friday, August 20, 2010

What are you willing to sacrifice for your dreams?

I recently had a very enlightening conversation with one of my friends who informed me that I was spending too much time pursuing my dream of being a writer and sacrificing more enjoyable things in life…like spending time with her. It was an interesting conversation that left me not only confused and slightly angry but also intrigued…was I sacrificing too much? Had I abandoned my friends in favor of my dream?

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s all a matter of perspective. My perspective is that I don’t sacrifice too much time to my writing. I make plans with friends and spend time with family; I always put aside my writing for my daughter if she needs me. Yes, I set aside certain times of the day for writing but most of it is after she is asleep and my husband is working. I would never say to her, no we can’t go to the park because mommy has to write. I make time to get the words down and I thought I was doing a good job balancing things.

The conversation with my friend opened my eyes to a few things. One, not everyone is supportive of my pursuit…not if they perceive that it costs them something. Two, I may be more of a hermit then I thought I was. Three, that doesn’t bother me.

I’m content with the way my life is going right now and will not abandon my dream simply because I’m not spending all of my nights and weekends socializing. I have a list of objectives when it comes to my time: family, work, writing, friends, which I balance accordingly.

What about you? Do you have to make sacrifices to get things done? Do you have a dream that requires you give up other things? Do people you know give you a hard time about it?

Friday, August 13, 2010

5 Things I've Learned this year.

Well, it's been a full year since I got on the agent train; a full year of gaining an agent, losing an agent and then gaining another agent. It's a bit crazy, I know, but along with all of the stress came some insight that I thought I would share. I'm going to set this up as a chain and tag three other writer's who in turn can tag three more...let's pool all of our collective learning experiences and share what we've gained this year.

1. Patience is going to be hard to master: I learned a few things about myself during this year of waiting, primarily that I go a little crazy and can't handle it for too long! I reach a breaking point at a ridiculously short interval and decide that the worst case scenario must be happening to me so I panic. That's when I start making stupid phone calls or sending dumb sounding emails. Luckily, I've learned that the first phone call I should make is to my friend Karen, at which point I also read her my dumb sounding email. She talks me through it and calms me down and then I'm good for another week at least ;)

2. Always trust your gut: I had two very strong gut reactions this year both dealing with my first agent. I won't go into specifics but needless to say my instincts had been right and I although I ignored my gut reaction the first time, I didn't the second, took a giant leap of faith, and ended up in a much better place.

3. Asking for help leads to many great things: There are a lot of very great people out there in the writing world, many of whom will do wonderful things for you if you ask them to. I'm not saying you should exploit your contacts but sometimes asking is the first step in getting what you want or need. I've gotten a lot of great advice and support, as well as unexpected bonuses and favors over the past year that have truly made my year memorable in a good way.

4. Showing up is the key to success: I'm not a social butterfly but once in a while I take a chance and go somewhere that I wouldn't normally go and more times then not, it pays off. For example, I went to an author event which eventually led to me getting my new agent.

5. Writer's Block is not what I thought it was: Okay, so I've always been a strong advocate that writer's block does not exist. Up until a few weeks ago, I didn't have any difficulties getting words down. I'd set my quota for the week and get to work, no problem. But then I did a major rewrite for my agent and worked day and night on it and kind of got burned out and for two straight weeks couldn't bear the thought of writing a word. It was torture and sent me into more than one panic attack about my future as a writer. It only lasted for two weeks and in that time I realized that although I didn't have a problem with the ideas, I did, for the first time in my life, have a problem with motivation. So writer's block has taken on a new meaning for me. To me it means lack of motivation. For those two weeks I was feeling really down and dejected (physically ill as well) and it was getting to me more than I would have guessed it could. And I don't rightly know how I snapped out of it, but I did, and I'm back to normal now which feels great. So I guess writer's block does exist, just not the way I thought it did and now I know that I need to pace myself a little better so that I don't burn out and trigger it in the future.

So that's it for me, the three people I'm going to tag to continue with the learning experiences are: Selestial, Danica Avet and Michelle Muto. What did you ladies learn this year?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Significance of names

Have you ever been in a situation where you’re standing with some friends at a social event and you see a person coming toward you who you vaguely recognize but you can’t quite remember his/her name? Or it’s someone you definitely recognize and you should totally know their name but can’t remember it?

If you’ve ever been in that situation then you know the sheer panic that grips you. Your throat clogs with that lump of “oh shit” and your face flushes and your stomach turns upside down with each step that person takes in your direction because you know that you’re going to have to introduce them to your friends. And I’m not talking about a situation where you can simply say, “Oh, I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten your name…” No, you should know this person’s name, no way around it.

I am terrible with names. Truly horrible. You tell me your name and it instantly leaves my brain. I don’t know if it’s because I’m simply not paying attention or what, but each and every time I warn myself, now Angie, listen to this person’s name and without fail, I lose it a second later. And then if you ask me to remember it days or months from that first introduction…well, that’s just a disaster. It’s even worse if I see the person out of context…like a person from work at the mall.

It’s not so bad when I meet up with a person one on one cause I can fake it…I don’t need to say their name in a conversation but when you’re with a group of people and you have to introduce them…well, sometimes I even forget the names of people who I work with for goodness sakes…it must be a nervous tick of mine or something.

And to make matters worse, I have a very distinguishing characteristic that sets me apart from many members of society. It’s a physical feature that is not altogether common…I’m not going to specify because I use a pen name for a reason but suffice it to say when I’m meeting someone for the first time in public I tell them to look for the person with the…blank, blank blank.

Because of this physical feature people recognize me a lot more than I recognize them. It’s unfair really that I, the most socially awkward individual around, has to be cursed with a feature that others remember…so much so that I get people…like complete strangers…coming up to me and talking, waving, or simply tracking me with their eyes, as if I’m supposed to know them…and let me tell you, that does not help my name forgetting issues. As soon as someone waves at me I’m struck with instant panic…oh shit, do I know this person? Should I know their name? Will it be rude if I don’t introduce them? What if I just walk by?

It’s horrible really and something that happens to me a lot. So I put it to you all, how do you remember people’s names? Or are you like me and can’t keep a hold of them to save your life?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

And the Winner is...

As promised, I’ve drawn a winner for the comments posted throughout the month of July for an e-copy of Assassin.

The winner is....Jessica Peter! Congratulations!

Jessica, I need you to send me an email at so that I can get some details from you.

For the rest of you, a new contest starts today for another e-copy of Assassin. It’ll run for the entire month of August...remember the more times you comment over the course of the month, the more times you are entered to win Assassin!

That’s it for me this week folks...I’m taking a break...a much needed break after getting my agent revisions done and submitted. Now, I wait and as we all know, waiting is a very painful process...but there’s always new stories to Assassin’s sequel...boy, do I have some plans for Garrett and Violet...maybe I won’t be taking a break ; )

Friday, July 23, 2010

Urban Fantasy vs. Paranormal Romance? What’s the deal?

So this has been something I’ve been researching and debating for some time now. What is the difference between these two genres? It can’t just be that one has to end with HEA while the other has a carte blanche to do whatever…like kill the hero kind of whatever.

Now before this leads to any side debates about true urban fantasy, I want to specify that I’m talking about Urban Fantasy as it exists today, not as it existed back in the day when it was classic fantasy with an urban twist.

I know that Urban Fantasy is grittier, darker, a lot of the time in first person. I know that it’s female focused with lots of Buffy like heroines running around.

What I’m having trouble with is the sex. How much sex is too much in an Urban Fantasy?

Coming from erotic writing, I have a particular inclination to have sex, graphic sex, in my manuscripts. Now, in a paranormal romance (at least the stuff I’m reading) that’s acceptable, expected, if not demanded by myself and a portion of the reading public. But what about Urban Fantasy?

I gather that many UF novels have some element of romance or sex in them, that it’s a subplot. But how much is too much? I've read many debates on public forums about this topic…some say it’s better when there’s none while others want more. I’m inclined to agree with the latter.

It’s something I’m struggling with now. I want to write something that I would want to read and I like to read both paranormal romance and Urban Fantasy with graphic, mind-blowing sex scenes in them. As do all of my friends. Now I know that some would argue with this viewpoint. I just finished reading a series of comments on a forum where a ton of people were complaining about graphic, embarrassing sex scenes in novels but I have to say I get a little bored, and disappointed if there isn’t at least one. (And if there is only one, I feel cheated…like we were building up for nothing)

Maybe I’m reading UF for the wrong reasons.

Just for clarity…what do you all want? UF with graphic sex or not? Behind closed door kind of description or none at all?

On another note – I unexpectedly got my first review of Assassin the other day! 4 out of 5 stars! Check it out here at The Book Pushers – Thanks Julie for your constructive feedback and wonderful compliments!

And remember – there’s still a contest going on for this month – comment each week and you’re entered that many times for an e-copy of Assassin! I’ll be drawing a winner on August 1st.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Do you find that your writing comes in handy for other things?

I’ve always felt like writing is not transferable…tradable…if you know what I mean. I have friends who have jobs and skills that they can use as a commodity…trade with others, such as an electrician doing side jobs or a tattoo artist cutting some deals in exchange for something else…like say, electrical work ;)

But as a writer, I’ve never felt like I had something I could trade. I mean, I have had friends come to me to help them write an important letter or edit documents…I even had one friend as me to help write his performance appraisal…and I gladly help when asked…but I’ve never believed that my skill as a writer is something that people need.

This may seem like a strange post but it’s something that I’ve been thinking about lately. What has writing done for me and why did I develop that particular skill out of so many possibilities? Maybe I should have pursued a career that would have played to those strengths more and then I would feel like it was a more useful skill. I don’t know what the answer is but I do know that many of my friends can do more useful things with their talents…things that people need.

I can write a book, novella, short story. I can bring entertainment to readers who pick my work up. I can draft a letter or a speech with little effort…something that I know many of my friends can’t or don’t want to do.

What does my writing do for me? Well, a lot…What does it do for others? That I don’t know.

What do you all think? Does your writing serve a purpose? Can you use it as a commodity? Do your friends value your skill?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

What supernatural creature are you?

So I was talking to some friends the other day and for some strange reason the conversation turned to superpowers and supernatural creatures. Now, this isn't strange for me because, as you all know, I do exclusively write about the paranormal, but my friends thought that it was fascinating to come up with their top three wish list of supernatural abilities.

Anyway, the conversation was very enlightening to say the least. So I thought I would share what I came up with as my top choice for supernatural creature with my top three supernatural ability wants based on what I've created in my own creatures over the years.

My top choice was to be a witch. I mean, I've been accused of being a witch (well, okay, I’ve been accused of being something that sounds like witch…but close enough) on many occasions. I've also been asked, quite seriously, at work, if I practice wicca. So, I figure it's the best choice for me.

1. Enchanting: I'd love to be able to enchant people into doing things my way. How much easier would life be if I didn't have to argue with the people I work with when I know something is going to work my way? I'd love to be able to take their will away...maybe not all the time, I do hate brainless twits but every once in a while it sure would save some time and hassle if I could zap a person into doing things without arguing.

2. Healing: I think it would be very handy to be able to heal myself and others. No more bandages or broken bones...headaches or pulled muscles...just a little hands on and more injury.

3. Scrying: Otherwise known as the ability to eavesdrop from a distance. How great would it be to listen in on a conversation without having to be in the room? Or to see forward or backward in time in order to settle an argument? I'd say it would be pretty cool. I can't count the number of times I've thought, "wow, I wish I were a fly on that wall." Being able to Scry would get you into that room undetected. Although, maybe sometimes you don't want to hear what others are talking about...but since I'm a gossip whore I say bring it on...I love to hear it all, even if someone does think I'm a crazy witch!

Anyway, those are my top picks. What about you? What supernatural creature would you be and what would be your top three powers?

Friday, July 2, 2010

What is your kryptonite?

As some of you already know, I’m in the process of some pretty extensive revisions for my agent. Changing 3rd person point of view to 1st, rearranging scene sequence, developing characters in a slightly different way, etc. Once we settled on an outline that worked for both of us I began my alterations. I work fast so things were going along at a good pace until…

Well, until I discovered that I had a copy of one of Rhyannon Byrd’s Blood Runner series that I hadn’t yet read. How could I have forgotten it? I can’t really say…I just did and it lay forgotten on my desk for a long time until recently when I stumbled on it again.

I just had to read it. It was a compulsion. I couldn’t just look at it teasing me on my desk and not crack it open. It was far too tempting.

So instead of dumping my work altogether I made some deals with myself. Write for an hour, read for an hour. Revise a chapter, read a chapter. It worked pretty well for the first fifty pages or so of Byrd’s book, but then, like all of her books, I was hooked and I gorged myself on it over two nights, shifting my work to the morning instead.

It sounds bad, I know. I don’t usually get side-tracked so easily but there are certain things that act as kryptonite for me…you know, that weirdo green rock that weakens Superman? Well apparently a good romance is my weakness, especially in the face of extensive revisions.

At least it was only two days…and it’s not like I didn’t write altogether. I did get five chapters done in 48 hours.

Anyway, I’m curious, what’s your weakness? What will derail your strongest attempts to stay focused?

Don't forget, I've got another contest going on this month for an e-copy of Assassin. All you have to do is comment and you're entered to win!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

And the Winner is...

Up here in Canada we're celebrating Canada Day! I thought it would be fitting as part of that celebration to give away another copy of Assassin to one lucky winner!

Thanks to everyone who posted here or on my interview at Seriously Interviewed. I've drawn a name from those who commented and the winner is...Selestial! Congratulations!

I'll be running another contest for the remainder of the month of July. All you have to do is post a comment on my blog. Each time you post (one per week) your name will be entered to win an e-copy of the more weeks you comment, the more times your name will go into the draw!

Check back in every Friday for new blog posts!

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Contest!

I'm starting up a new contest that will take us to the end of the month. I've got an interview up at Seriously Interviewed

All you have to do is read the interview and post a comment either there or here to be entered to win.

Of course the prize is an e-copy of Assassin - my newest release!

So, go check out the interview, post a comment, and then check back in here on July 1st for the winner!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day Winner!

As promised, I've drawn a name from the comments and Pam S has won! Congratulations Pam!

To the rest of you, thanks for the comments. Check back in next Friday for another contest!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Release Day!

It’s release day!

And you know what that means…someone has won a free copy of Assassin!

Thank you to everyone who read and commented on my excerpts of Assassin, I’ve drawn a name from the pile and the winner is…



Now for the rest of you…in celebration of my new release, I’m giving away another copy of Assassin, all you have to do is comment on today’s post and you’re entered to win! I’ll draw a winner on Sunday.

Don’t forget to leave an email address or to check back in Sunday to find out who won!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Contest and Excerpt #2

Okay folks, here's the last teaser before release day! It's the first chapter of Assassin. For those of you who missed last week's excerpt - here it is

***Once again, be warned, this excerpt contains mature content so please proceed with that in mind***

Chapter One

“Can you fight?”

The husky voice sliced through a curtain of pain, bringing me back to the agony of reality. I sucked in a deep breath and slid my eyes open. “Yeah, I think so.”


The worn leather of my sword hilt touched my palm, comforting in a way that only a warrior would understand. I gripped it firmly and pushed myself to stand.

Strong hands moved under my arms and hoisted me upright. “There’s about ten of them waiting on the other side of the door. We’re going to have to exit fighting if we have any hope of escaping alive.”

I nodded, turned my head, and squinted into the limited light, searching with my enhanced vision for those tantalizing lips, those breathtaking golden eyes. He was still close behind me, pressing his hard body into me, his hand still resting under one arm. My brain tugged on a memory, but it was too locked away, too hidden in the grey of my muddled brain.

“You were foolish to come here.” His lips brushed my ear, his warm breath tickling my neck.

I shivered at the contact, desire pulsing through me. His name slithered into my head. “I came for you, Garrett.”

He spun me around, his grip tight as his hand slid down my waist to my hip. I could see his eyes, sparkling gold in the darkness of the warehouse. Such an unusual color. My mind tugged again at those locked memories, and I grew more frustrated at the clumsiness of my thoughts. What is it that I can’t remember?

“Why would you help me? You don’t even know who I am. What I am.”

I shuddered as my stomach roiled, my mind still hazy, my instincts screaming. Oh, but I do know you. I just don’t know how or why.

“You’re an Assassin. You should be trying to kill me, just like the others.” His words were icy, his eyes flaring with anger.

I gripped my sword tighter and pushed myself away, steeling my body against the fresh, burning pain radiating from my arm. The others had tried to kill me. I was a traitor, no longer worthy to live. It was only their momentary shock that saved my life. The arrow had pierced my shoulder instead of my chest. I had yanked the bastard out before collapsing into unconsciousness. How embarrassing to have passed out from such a trivial wound. I was stronger than that.

I was lucky, too. Assassins rarely missed a target.

Already my body was healing. The vampire DNA entwined with my own saw to that.

They would have no mercy on me. Even those I had called friend would now strike me down if I gave them the chance. Friendship has no place in the world of the Assassins. Trained by the human government to kill.

Vampire hunters.

I was the first generation, like the others outside the door, powerful but not invincible. I glanced in his direction again, soaking in the sheer beauty of his face. I didn’t really understand why I couldn’t bring myself to kill him. For the first time, I had failed in my mission to rid the world of the blood-sucking Strix vampires, and it could cost me my life.

For some bizarre reason, I was okay with that.

Garrett snarled, his fangs descending as the sound of heavy, booted feet moved along the perimeter of the building. My heart thumped at the sight of those fangs, those lips, that tongue. I sucked in a shuddering breath and focused on the outside noises. They would set the building on fire. That would be the first stage of attack now that they knew they had injured me. It’s what I would have done: use the smoke to disorient and confuse, remove the clean air, create panic. Smoke us out. They wanted Garrett alive, for now anyway.

“Is there another exit?” I adjusted my vision again and scanned the darkness. I could see no other door, no windows. They had picked the location on purpose—one way in, one way out.

“No. We’ll have to fight.”

I nodded. “Weapons?” I shifted my sword from my injured hand to the other, choosing to favor my wound until it was completely healed. It didn’t really matter, anyway. I could fight just as well with either hand.

“Daggers. A gun.” Garrett moved close to me again, his eyes staring down at me as if reading my soul. “Why are you helping me?”

I clenched my jaw and stared back up at him, my conflicting desire and instinct clouding my mind. “I don’t know.”

“They’ll kill us both.” He was frowning, his eyes shadowed with pain, guilt, compassion. “You’re risking your life for me. Why?”

I cocked my head to the side, choosing to ignore a question I couldn’t answer. I was meant to save him, to protect him at whatever cost. I just couldn’t remember why.

“Who are you?” He narrowed his eyes, his hand moving up as if to lift the tight mask that shielded my face from him.

I flinched away. “You could have killed me,” I countered. “Why didn’t you leave me here while I was unconscious?”

My heart pounded, anticipating his answer, wanting him to want me as much as I did him.

He swept his eyes over my body with a bold look, dropping his hand back to his side. “Why would I kill you when you risked your life to warn me of the attack? Obviously, you have something to gain by keeping me alive. I want to know what that is.”

Cunning, businesslike, keeping his secrets to himself. That’s fine. I could feel his cock hot and pulsing through his jeans as he moved close. I knew he was as aroused as I was at the proximity. I knew he was feeling what I was feeling.

I searched the darkness again, my ears straining to hear the quietest of movements. They were approaching the door. I could smell kerosene. I lifted my injured arm and rested my hand on his chest. Strong muscles under soft cotton. My passion thudded again, and I grew wet for him. His nostrils flared, and his pupils dilated.

Ah, so I can’t hide that from him, either.

The curl of a smile tugged on my lips as I turned to gaze up to the high rafters above, my mind reeling with a plan. They wouldn’t expect that.

“Can you give me a boost?”

“The roof is at least fifty feet.”

“Can you do it or not?” I was growing impatient. Our only hope was to surprise the other Assassins. They would not consider the roof. They were too linear in their tactics, and now without a proper leader. No, they would never think of that.

He growled as he placed his firm hands on my waist and squatted. “Of course I can do it. But you’re sure as hell going to give me an explanation once we’re out of this mess.”

I tightened my grip on my sword, my skin tingling as his touch seemed to burn through my clothes. What I wouldn’t give to have those hands roving my skin, touching my body, bathing in my wetness. “Once we’re out of this mess, I’ll do whatever you desire.”

He arched an eyebrow, a slow smirk tugging on his lips. “You better grab hold of one of the rafters up there ’cuz I’m not going to catch you if you fall.”

I smiled back. “Don’t worry about me. I’m an Assassin. I don’t miss my target.”

With a thunderous roar, Garrett used his legs to propel me up, flinging me into the air as if I weighed nothing. The rafters sped toward me, and for a moment I doubted my cocky assurance that I wouldn’t miss. I thought I might be going too fast to actually catch hold of anything. I flew past the beams by a few feet then started my descent. With an expertly maneuvered twist, I landed on a rafter without the need to wrap my arm around a beam. My balance and precision were equal to a cat’s. I always landed on my feet.

A moment later, Garrett gracefully landed behind me. His strong arm encircled my waist, and his lips brushed my ear, sending tingles of desire through me once again. “Now what?”

I could smell the smoke wafting from the base of the building below. We wouldn’t have long. The structure was one big funeral pyre, completely constructed of wood. I thrust my sword into the ceiling, slicing away a section of the roof with ease. The night sky beckoned, twinkling stars, half moon. It would have been romantic if we weren’t running for our lives.

Garrett reached past me and yanked down two more boards. “Up and out.”

I reached up and hoisted myself through the opening, my shoulder wound biting, sending shooting pain straight to my gut. I fought through it and breathed in a deep lungful of air, thankful for the fresh crispness of the night.

I moved to the side, keeping low so that my body could not be seen from below. “You can’t fly can you?”

A mocking snort came with a heavy hand on the back of my neck. “No, but I can get us out of here.” He pointed in front of me, his arm extending along my head. In the distance stood another building, its roof almost thirty or so feet below ours.

Disbelief washed over me. The other building was at least a hundred feet away. I’d seen vampires do some pretty spectacular things, but not that spectacular. “What? You want to jump? That’s way too far.” I was strong, I was agile, but I would break if I fell that kind of distance.

The sound of shouting echoed from below, and I craned my head over the side to see three of my Assassin counterparts looking right back up at me, fingers pointed.

Shit, they’re on to us already. More shouting came from within the building. Braving the fire to get to us? Now that was serious. Betrayal was a big deal to an Assassin. They weren’t going to let me go without a fight.

“Not scared are you?” Garrett gripped the back of my jacket collar and pulled my body against his, a strong arm encircling my waist as he pulled me up to stand.

“I’m not scared.” I scoffed, “I just don’t think you can do it.”

Garrett laughed. “Hold on tight.” And without further warning, without even a running leap, we were up and out, flying over the gap with one strong bound.

The look on my sister Assassins’ faces was priceless, mouths agape, eyes wide. That was until they realized their prey was about to escape. They promptly raised their various weapons and began firing.

I flinched, certain that I was about to die. There was no way to protect myself, nowhere to hide. Garret’s arm closed tighter around me as he twisted so that his back was now protecting me from the bite of arrows and the deadly blow of bullets. I squeezed my eyes tightly shut, comfort and fear mixing and mingling, marinating me into a world of confusion. What has this man done to me?

Seconds later we came to a crashing halt, the momentum of our leap causing us both to roll and then skid along the gravel of the roof. When we came to a stop, Garrett was on top of me, his pelvis cradled between my legs, his arousal apparent and pulsing.

My heart frantically thudding, I scowled up at him. “Do me a favor?”

He cocked an eyebrow.

“Never do that again, ’kay?”

“What?” He smiled as he pressed his erection into my thigh. “Save your life? I believe the appropriate response is thank you.”

Hope you enjoyed it! Leave a comment and you're entered to win a free e-copy of Assassin. (If you posted last week too, you'll be entered to win twice!)I'll be drawing the winner on June 18 - release day!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I have a release date!

Assassin is coming out on June 18, at Cobblestone Press.So I thought between now and then I would post a couple of excerpts.

Warning…this novella starts off hot and steamy right away so it’s for mature…and I mean…MATURE audiences only!

You’ve been warned.


My dreams are filled with blood and death and pain. The brutality of my waking existence invades my sleeping thoughts, never granting me peace. It’s a strange comfort in a way to know that when my eyes slide shut, I will see and feel what my victims do: the strangled cries cut off by my sword, the pulsing blood draining from a body. It is my mind’s vengeance for the horror I inflict.

So when I feel the warm breath on my neck, I flinch, and panic seizes my gut as I wait for whatever new hell my sleeping thoughts have conjured. My body tenses, primed and ready to fight. I reach for my weapon, but it is no longer there.
And then he is behind me, his strong, hard body pressed against the length of me. I take in his smell, deeply inhaling his musk, and my muscles relax. I know that smell, I know that body.

His breath is on my neck again, soft lips brush my shoulder, a sharp scrape slides along my jugular, all so familiar.

“Mine.” He growls, sending shivers down my body to the growing, pulsing need in my core. I am wet for him, my skin aches for his touch. My body coils, ready, waiting, pulsing.

His hand slips around my waist as his lips continue to press tender kisses along my neck. I can do nothing but lean my weight into him. My legs have grown useless, no longer willing to support my body. His other hand moves up my arm, his fingers trailing along my collarbone until he slides his hand past the low neckline of my shirt, gliding over my skin until he is cupping my breast, his strong hand molding to it in a way that suggests possession.

A moan escapes my lips, and I roll my head to the side, giving his lips better access to the tender flesh of my neck. So vulnerable and yet I don’t care. He is not a threat to me, that I know for certain.

His hand on my waist moves lower, snaking down to pop the button of my jeans, effortlessly slipping beneath to tease the lace of my panties with his strong, expert touch. My stomach clenches with excited anticipation as his fingers probe through the nest of silky hair until they find their target.

It’s his turn to groan. His kisses grow more fierce as he feels how wet I am for him. He pushes his cock against my ass, and I can feel it pulsing and hard, growing more rigid with his excitement.

As he pumps me with his fingers, his palm cupping and rubbing my clit, his other hand keeps busy tugging and teasing my nipple until I am ready to scream, until I am ready to explode. And then I feel it again, a sharp scrape along my jugular.

“Assassin.” He growls as he sinks his fangs into my neck, and all that I dream disappears into a hazy cloud of exquisite pain.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Edits, Working and The End.

I’ve had a busy few weeks but all things seem to have come to an end just now. I’ve completed the third and final round of Assassin, which means I should have a release date soon. I’ve also been extremely busy with my day job, the weeks have been slipping by so quickly with all of the work I have to do. And finally, I typed those wonderful last two words on my new paranormal romance which is still untitled. The End. I’m done! I’ve got long hours of editing and rewrites ahead of me but the shell of the story is complete and it feels wonderful.

This new novel kind of fell out of my head. I didn’t really have time to set aside to write, I could have (should have) been working on take home day job work stuff but instead I pushed it aside to write. In between family, friends, daily chores, work and editing Assassin, I managed to write 10K a week (sometimes more). I hit some road blocks, some plot issues, but usually, after a good night’s sleep, I had them worked out. The scenes seemed to write themselves. Now, I’m not saying that it doesn’t need work,it’s still very raw, but the story is there. The hardest part is over. Now the editing begins.

I’m not a huge fan of editing. I can put it off for a lot longer than I can deny my craving to write. I don’t mind the work, but I sometimes get so fixated on a scene that I rework and rework it to the point of near-insanity. I get frenzied and have to pull myself away for days at a time so that I don’t end up destroying things completely with too much editing.

So , before I get started again, I’m going to take a bit of a breather. There are scenes that I’m itching to get my hands on again and there are problems that I want to work out, but for now, I’m going to revel in manuscript number five being completed. Hopefully, one step closer to a mega-book deal somewhere!

The End.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Embarrassing Moments…

A while back I promised that I would share a story with you about an embarrassing moment that happened to me on, what was supposed to be, one of the best days of my life. Enough time has passed where I can look back on that day and laugh…actually, I was laughing pretty much the day after…mocking myself that is.

So, as I’ve mentioned before, I had the opportunity to meet, chat and have coffee with one of my favorite authors. What an amazing day it was supposed to be! I had been looking forward to it for months and when the day finally arrived was so excited I could hardly stand it.

My day progressed as it usually does, work, work, work until finally the time came that I would get my chance to hang out with this author. So there we were, chatting about all things writing. I was getting some great advice, listening to funny stories and experiences, asking questions and generally being made to feel that I wasn’t a major knob when suddenly it hit me…and when I say suddenly, I mean, bam…sudden…I felt like I was going to vomit.

A wave of nausea washed over me and I felt my face drain of color (yes, I literally felt it happen.) So, I was sitting there, listening to this great author dish all kinds of valuable advice and all I could think was… “Oh, boy, please don’t let me puke all over her, please don’t let me puke all over myself.”

Finally after about five minutes of trying to fight it, I finally admitted to the author that I wasn’t feeling well. The lovely person that this author is, gave an immediate reaction of concern and understanding. I always carry an anti-nausea medication with me so I popped one and prayed that it would kick in soon. I did not want to leave my once in a lifetime chat for a little vomit…no way.

So, I sipped some water and waited. We chatted some more, the waves of nausea kept coming…but on top of that the medication was making me tired, so I started to yawn…a lot…while this wonderful author was trying to have a conversation with me! Totally freaking embarrassing.

Finally after another thirty minutes of vomit scare, I decided to pack it in. We said our goodbyes (I beelined for my car) and I drove home…all the while thinking I was going to die from either embarrassment, or whatever the hell was making me so sick.

Anyway, I don’t know what exactly was wrong with me. It might have been all of the excitement. I do, after all, carry my stress around in my stomach it seems.

The truly horrible part was that a few weeks later, I had the chance to speak with this particular author again…and you want to know what one of the first things this person asked me? How are you feeling?

Great, now I’m vomit girl. Yeah, lovely first impression!

I can laugh about it now…and the author was truly wonderful about it. People at my work thought it was hilarious. But what I wouldn’t have given to be able to talk for longer…to ask more questions, to have the undivided attention of a New York Times bestselling author. Who knows when the next time will be that I get to have a one-on-one with an author that I truly admire and respect.

So what about you all? Have you had an embarrassing moment that you’ll never forget?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

This and That

This has been a busy week for me which unfortunately has stalled my progress on my newest ms. But that's okay, I'll be back in the zone soon, I'm that pumped about this new novel.

I completed the first round of edits on Assassin. Not as painful as I thought it was going to be...perhaps I'm improving...or Donna's help really saved me a lot of work now!

I also have a face to face meeting with my agent on Sunday, which I'm excited about. Excited and nervous. I don't want to make an a** of myself, so hopefully I say only super intellent things and make her fall in love with me and my work ethic!

I've been toying with the idea of posting some excerpts from my urban fantasy. What do you all think? Are excerpts or chapter posts an effective way to interest readers?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fan Fiction: WTF?

I recently had a conversation with a New York Times bestselling author (it was the highlight of my year so far) who told me many wonderful things and offered me quite a lot of great advice. One of the things that we discussed was the existence of fan fiction, which she herself has been a victim of? Honored with?

See, I don’t get the fan fiction thing. I didn’t realize it even existed until a few months ago and when I was having this conversation with this author (did I mention it was the best day ever?) it really struck me as bizarre. Why would someone want to write stories based on someone else’s characters? And then why would they turn around and put it on line for everyone to read? I truly do not understand and would love it if someone could enlighten me.

I would feel immensely weird if I took someone else’s ideas and used them in any way. I like to come up with my own characters in my own plots. I think that writing fan fiction is a total waste of time (for me anyway, as it is my goal to get published...well, further published). I mean, I guess I can see how there’s an argument for practicing or something but still, wouldn’t it be better to just make it up on your own?

I’m not sure how other authors feel. The one I was talking to didn’t seem too put out by it. I mean, other than the fact that we laughed about the absurdity and all, but this person wasn’t angry or offended. I have read blogs written by other authors who threaten lawsuits and whatnot. I can’t really say how I would feel about it if it happened to me or my characters.

I do feel icky though at the thought of doing it myself. It would never have occurred to me as an option to write based on someone else’s ideas.

On the other hand, I can see how tempting it could be take someone else's characters and do whatever you want with them...tee, hee.

So, what do you all think? What’s the point of fan fiction? Is it purely for entertainment? Some kind of strange homage to the author? Or is it so strange that authors have a right to get offended and take legal action? I’m just not sure what the right answer is. Although I do think it is awfully bizarre,I’m trying to keep an open mind.

Friday, April 30, 2010

How paranoid are you?

So I’ve been working on a new paranormal romance and I'm close to hitting the 50K mark which is great, but as my word count increases so does my paranoia. I find myself doing extra things to make sure that I don’t lose any work. This is mainly because I have lost work in the past…wrote 3K only to have my computer shut down for no apparent reason and lost everything! I cursed, a lot.

In order to prevent that from happening again I make sure to do a “save as” frequently (because just hitting that disk symbol at the top of Word apparently does not actually save your stuff all of the time. I also save my work on multiple jump drives and email it to myself every once in a while.

I never leave the house without a jump drive with all of my work on it (you know, just in case the house burns down or something). I sound crazy, don’t I? I know I do, but I just don’t completely trust my computer.

So what do you all do to protect yourselves from losing work? Are you just as psycho as I am or have I taken it to a super-crazy level?

Friday, April 23, 2010

And Finally...the news you've all been waiting for...

Okay everyone, I finally feel like I can give you the news you’ve all been waiting for…sorry to have strung you along for so long…

My balls have dropped and in the end I secured new representation! That’s it! That’s the big news! Yippy!

A while back I posted that I was taking a giant leap of faith which was ending my contract with my current agent.(Although I didn't tell you all that at the time.) Unfortunately, we just didn’t share the same vision for my future work and I knew that in the end, whether I waited or didn’t, we just wouldn’t agree on what I needed or wanted to be writing. So, after discussing it with a lot of people and getting some wonderful advice from an author whom I respect a lot, I did it…I ended the relationship.

It was hard…it was very hard. I really liked my agent; she was the first person to truly believe in my work and paid me a lot of fabulous compliments, but in the end I could see that it just wasn’t going to work out. So I started searching for new representation and boy, let me tell you, it was very stressful.

So, 29 days later, I got another offer and another wonderful agent telling me that I could write…we really clicked actually, had a fabulously long conversation and I accepted her offer. So I’m now represented by Sarah Heller of the Helen Heller Agency and I couldn't be happier.

So I'm working on my new paranormal romance with a light heart, writing what I want to be writing and feeling pretty good actually.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Wait is Killing Me!!!!

Okay guys...I have some news. It's good news, but I don't feel right about announcing it yet, not until I get an email from a certain I'm stuck waiting.

In my agonizing waiting time I find myself checking my email obsessively...willing that email to come so that I can make my announcement.

Have you been in this position...waiting on an email? Refreshing your screen obsessively in hopes that in that next moment the email you are waiting for will come.

I've tried to distract myself. I have another two WIP on the go...but I can't write all the in between, I check, and's maddening!

How do you get through the wait time? What do you do to distract yourself and keep your sanity?

Friday, April 9, 2010

My balls are suspended!

Assassin Angela Addams

Okay, so I realize that I might be playing with the balls (pun intended) metaphor a little too much but I can't help it...I do write erotic romance after all ;)

So, as you can see, I've received the cover art for my new novella, Assassin and I have to say that I'm pretty damn excited! I think it looks amazing! The artist, Sable Grey, did an incredible job capturing the characters. Very cool!

On another of those balls that I mentioned last week, well, there's been some hasn't dropped yet but it is suspended mid-air, posed directly above my head...what will happen? I'm still not sure...but we'll see, hopefully tomorrow!

Wish me luck...

Friday, April 2, 2010

One of my balls...

Okay, so a couple of posts ago I mentioned that I had a few balls in the air and I was stressed about waiting for the outcome...well, one of those balls has dropped and, luckily, it didn't bonk me on the head.

I've been offered another contract from Cobblestone Press for a novella called Assassin. Assassin is about a government trained vampire huntress named Stella who discovers that she doesn't want to kill her next target. In fact, she is quite enthralled by him and is very interested in learning more about him...all of him. After saving his life she discovers that he holds the key to her missing memories about who she really was before becoming an Assassin. There's lots of violence, action and, of course, sex...because it is another erotic romance!

I'm really excited to have another opportunity to work with Cobblestone. They really are a great e-publisher. Of course, I doubt I would have had the offer if it hadn't been for beta reader superwoman...Donna...thank you for your merciless proverbial red pen.

So, that's one ball down...a couple more to go and I know I'll be in for a wait with the other two so I'd better get back to work and distract myself.

Speaking of which...I've started another paranormal romance and I'm quite excited about it. It's flowing well; I'm already pushing past chapter three. The characters are clicking, the plot is flowing and the romance is well underway.

Despite all the stress...good and bad...I feel like I'm in a great place right now.

Friday, March 26, 2010

What Sold You?

I was at the book store today in an attempt to quench my thirst for paranormal romance when I realized (quite suddenly actually) that I have a method for reviewing and then selecting books. What was weird was that I had not been aware of my method before today…I just did it…Every. Single. Time.

So here’s my method (for books that are faced, at least): The cover draws me in; it’s usually something dark, sexy, and gothic looking. Once I pick it up, I quickly read the back cover blurb, and if that has me interested, I then read the first paragraph. If the writing seems competent and interesting I buy it. That’s it…simple.

Big bookstores are a little daunting. I go to the romance section and look at the hundreds, thousands of books, most of which are not faced and wonder which will be a good selection and which will be a dud. Over the past year or so I’ve discovered quite a few new authors by recommendation, but things have been slow over the past little while and my friends can’t seem to keep up with my appetite for romance so I’ve been left to discover new authors on my own. When I’m looking at the endless line of book spines, it’s often just by fluke that I pull one out, do my thing and discover something I think I’ll enjoy. In those cases it’s the author’s name that draws me in. If it’s catchy, or flows well, I’ll take a look. Kresley Cole is a good example of an author whose name is catchy. I liked it when I saw it, pulled her book out and discovered a whole new world of paranormal that I fell in love with. Now I can’t get enough of her stuff.

So today there I was, staring at this impossibly long aisle of choices, new possibilities staring back at me and I realized how vitally important it is for authors to have their books faced. If people can see the cover (and the cover is an eye catching one) then they’ll pick up your book. If they pick up your book, then they may not put it back down. It certainly works that way for me. Otherwise, it’s luck…will your name catch my interest? Will the color of your book spine draw me in?

So what about you all? What makes you pick up a book and read it? Do you purely go on recommendations or do you select based on some other criteria? Do you shop online or must you visit the bricks and mortar establishments? How do you discover new authors? What makes you want to buy? How important is an author’s name? What about the cover…important to you or not?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Just too much going on right now!

I have a bunch of balls in the air right now and not a lot to report at the moment...I'm hoping that very soon I will have some announcements to make...right now though I'm too anxious to come up with a clever or interesting post. How sad it that?

I hate how stress, even if it's the good kind of stress...the excited kind of stress causes the same physical discomforts as regular, old, crappy, bad kind of stress. I feel my stress in my stomach the most, which leads to a general feeling like I'm going to vomit...vomit with excitement, vomit with worry...whatever, it just makes me feel bad...even if the stress is a result of many possible good things, it still makes me feel sick. I'll tell you all a very funny story soon that involves my dealing with stress and one of the best/worst experiences of my life!

In any case, I have a lot happening but not happening right I'm stressed and I'm waiting.

How do you all deal with your stress? Can you brush it off? Forget about it? Or does it eat at you until you feel it?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Novel to Film

I haven't had much time to watch movies lately...been working hard at a few things. The t.v. is staying off for now, but I was thinking about the many films I watch that are based on books that I love. So I thought it would be fun to rank my five favourite novel to film adaptations.

#5 - Harry Potter numbers one through...what movie are we on now? - Okay, so I'm a sucker for Harry and his pals. Ever since the first movie released to theaters, I’ve been hooked. I love the story, love the characters and the actors who play them. I think that a school of witches is super cool!

#4 - The Talented Mr. Ripley - I loved this novel, loved cheering for Tom, even if his is a psychopath. As for the movie, I thought that the cast did the characters justice and brought to life the eerie feel of the novel perfectly.

#3 - Blood and Chocolate- Okay, so I know that this version is not really that closely related to the novel on which it is based, but I do enjoy watching it now and again. The book, I have to admit, is better but as a stand-alone the movie is good too. And come on…it’s about werewolves, people, werewolves!

#2 - Pride and Prejudice (both the A&E version with yummy Colin Firth and the newer version with Keira Knightley) Both movie adaptations are favourites of mine for different reasons. Colin Firth, of course, is the main reason for trudging through the six hour A&E version. As well, I found this version really captures the humour of Austen's novel. The newer version, although I vowed to hate it when it came out, is one that I can watch again and again (and not just because it is considerably shorter than the other). It really plays up the love story between Mr.Darcy and Elizabeth well and the cinematography is quite good.

#1 – Interview with a Vampire- Now I know that the movie is different from the novel but even still, it is one of my favourites of all time. From the actors (which I know delightfully surprised many people at the time the movie was released) to the costumes and setting, the movie brings to life a lot of the things I love about Anne Rice’s vampire world.

Although nothing can truly replace reading the book and sometimes the novel is much, much better than the movie, when I need a quick fix of a few beloved characters I turn to these films to satisfy myself.

What about you all? Do you have a top five list for favourite novels to films?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Carpe Diem

Seize the Day! That’s my motto for this week.

For the past six months I have been regretting a decision. It was a decision that I felt a lot of pressure to make and I made it without being fully informed..always a bad idea, especially when it’s a big decision.

In any case, after talking with someone in the know, someone whose opinion I respect, someone who said to me, “Well, if it were me, I would do it.” I decided to seize the day and try to change my fate…will it work out? Only time will tell…but I can say for sure that at least I tried and I feel better about things now instead of worrying and wondering about what could have been.

So now I wait and see. (And vow to sell my soul if that will help.)

What about you all, have you ever seized the day? Gone for it, even if it was something so crazy or so far out of your reach that it would take a miracle to happen?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Literary Dinner Party

I was having a discussion with some co-workers about my favorite authors when someone asked me a rather strange and intriguing question: if I could invite five authors to a dinner party, who would I invite? And then someone else added that they couldn’t be alive…I had to bring them back from the dead in order to attend.

Well, I only had to think for a moment before answering:

1) Wilkie Collins: because I am an uber-fan and I would love to get his take on crafting a killer mystery - terrible pun, I know. (As well, I’d hand him Drood by Dan Simmons and see what he thought of the characterization – since it is told from Collins’ point of view and takes some liberties with regards to fact vs. fiction.)

2) Edgar Allan Poe: because he was so darn creepy…I’d love to get a taste of his social etiquette.

3) Nathaniel Hawthorne: because I enjoy reading all of his novels and short stories; I would love to hear him speak on the duplicity of human nature and wonder what his take on our modern world would be.

4) Mary Shelley: because I’d like to know what impact her writing had on her role as a woman in her society.

And finally,

5) Oscar Wilde: mainly because he was funny and bizarre and I believe he would add some interesting chatter to the table.

So that’s my list of perfect dead authors to sit and chat with…how about you? Do you have a group of dead authors you’d like to have a dinner party with?


Friday, February 19, 2010

What Keeps You Going?

The other day, Nathan Bransford posted on his blog about what keeps writers writing. It got me thinking…a lot.

What keeps me writing?

I can’t stop the ideas from invading my thoughts if I don’t write them down. I can’t focus on the next thing when there is a scene or a character or whatever, speaking to me. I get this nagging, annoying feeling (like a finger poking me in the arm over and over again) if I don’t sit down to write. This is especially true when I set quotas or a deadline for myself.

For example, this past weekend, the long weekend, I had a mission for myself. I just got some edits back from a fellow writer (thanks Donna), on a short story I was working on. Well, it turns out, as I suspected, the ending really sucked…in fact, there wasn’t much of an ending, too many loose ends. In any case, the story needed a lot of work. So I decided that I needed to focus all of my attention, all of my free time on the weekend, on fixing the story. I fretted over a new ending for the days leading up to the weekend and finally came up with something that I thought would pass as good. Then, I wrote…and wrote and wrote…all weekend.

By the time Monday night rolled around, I was done and happy with what was there. I mean, it still needs a couple more rounds of editing but I think I have something for my publisher to look at now…something worth submitting. What was amazing to me was that I didn’t get annoyed at the process. I didn’t get stressed out about having to rewrite many parts of the story. I knew that I was making it better; I could see that as I worked. The whole process helped me to remember just why I love to write. When I write I get lost in a world that I have created. I get swept up with my characters. It inspires me to keep creating.

So what keeps me writing? It’s that excitement at exploring new ideas, solving problems and believing in myself. I’ve gotten this far haven’t I? Why give up now?

What about all of you? Is there something that keeps you doing the thing you love to do?

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Power of Suggestion

Have you ever been motivated to eat something because of a particularly well written story/novel?

A few days ago, I was reading this short story and there was a very vividly described chocolate cream pie. (It made sense in the context of the story.) Anyway, the description was so true to life, so mouth wateringly accurate that I instantly had a hankering for a big slice of creamy pie!

Now, this was the first time a story had elicited such a strong reaction from me. I fall prey to movies and commercials where food is concerned all the time. (I am particularly susceptible to chocolate; peanut butter cups are the major victims to my instant cravings.) But I’ve never had that reaction to the written word.

In any case, I did buy the pie, and I almost ate the whole thing (my husband snuck a piece). It was good. As good as the author described.

So you tell me, have you ever read something that was so well written that it made you want one? Whether it be to eat, to have, or to be?

Friday, February 5, 2010


I mentioned in my Seven Things You Didn't Know About Me post that I am superstitious...and even though I know it's foolish, and I have some restrictions (like I'm only superstitious about three things...pennies, umbrellas and ladders) I still can't get rid of that nagging feeling of impending doom when I fail to comply with my superstition.

I also must confess that I have another superstition that I do so often I can't believe I forgot to mention it...I'm a know, knocking on wood? Avoiding some bad luck comment from coming true because I tap on some hard wood...foolish, right? Whatever...I do it all the time.

I guess it might be because I have something going on at the moment that would require a bit of luck. Right now my superstition obsession is way up. I just don't want to risk incurring bad luck...just in case such a thing not only exists, but can be manipulated!

I've been more inclined to donate money and do nice things for people lately too...not to say that I'm normally a nasty person...but sometimes I get so caught up in my world of work and whatnot that I forget to share and help when I can. My conscience is unusually strong though and if I think about it at the time and realize I'm being selfish or rude, I try to fix the problem right away. I believe in Karma...seen it backfire too many times not to...what goes around does inevitably come around. Which is why I am trying to be super good.

It's silly really...I do know that it has no basis in fact and that I can't really control my fate, but I suppose in this world of publishing, where very little is in my control, (other than the writing part) it is my way of manipulating things in the only way I can. I guess it is kind of selfish of me to be super-sensitive to others only because I don't want to jinx myself...but it is what it least I'm trying to do good by it!

What about you all, do you have moments of hyper-superstition or karma related activities? Is there something that you really want that would drive you to attempt to manipulate fate? Does your conscience speak louder at certain times?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Breaking Free

So, I ventured into the world of first person POV recently and I have to say, it was a little bit scary. I haven’t written in first person since I was a teen…and that was some time ago! I can’t say why exactly I stopped writing this way, maybe as a teen it was all about me so the writing reflected that…I don’t know what happened, but somewhere down the line I just stopped and switched over to third person, got comfortable with it and there I stayed. For. A. Long. Time.

When the inspiration hit I initially started the story in third person but something seemed off. I couldn’t get into my protagonist's head in the way that I wanted to. I had only written about five pages when I realized that I needed to switch it over. So I did. And then the chaos began.

It was hard. It was uncomfortable. It took longer than I had expected. My major issues revolved around consistency…making sure everything stayed in the same tense. Thank goodness for my writing group…it’s being beta read right now. (Thank you for that, you poor dears.)

All in all though I did enjoy breaking out of my comfort zone. I don’t know how successful I was with it…time will tell on that front, but either way, it was fun. I totally recommend breaking free and trying something different; it’s worth the risk.

How about you all, have you every dared to break out of your comfort zone to try something new? How did it feel? Would you do it again?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Seven Things You Didn't Know About Me

So, I got tagged by fellow writer, Michelle Muto, to write seven things that you didn’t know about me…in return, or paying it forward, I would like to tag a couple of fellow writers: Danica Avet and Diane Girard to write their own list of seven.

I’m sure you’re all excited so I won’t keep you waiting…here are the seven things that you didn’t know about me…

1) I was born on the cusp of Leo and Cancer which makes me a confident, loyal, stubbornly vain, moody, oversensitive, domineering, caring type of person…how’s that for confusing! I love being born on a cusp because it means that I can always read two horoscopes and pick the one that I think sounds better for me! Do I believe in all of that horoscope mumbo, jumbo…well, yes, I do…which leads me to my next thing...

2) I am superstitious! Yes, that’s right, I believe, I believe, I believe…but only sometimes. After doing a degree in Psychology, I managed to convince myself out of believing in many of my superstitious ideas…with the exception of a few stubborn clingers…I cannot walk past a penny without picking it up, I do not walk under ladders, and I have a strong aversion to umbrellas being opened inside. I know, I know, it makes no sense, why these three? I can’t answer that…it is what it is.

3) Not only do I have a degree in Psychology but I also have one in English…as well as a third one, which I can’t tell you about because then you’ll know what I do for a living ; ) But I can tell you that I spent seven years in school achieving all of my fancy education and it was only with my last degree that I actually got a job! Apparently no one will hire a newly graduated English major…Psychology major; I wish someone had told me that!

4) I find listening to music very inspirational…just not when I’m writing. I get really pumped up when I hear a great song. It makes me think of all of the possibilities out there for me as a writer if I just keep working at it. I love listening to music except when I’m writing. I can have the t.v. on, or work in a busy coffee shop, but the second I hear music I lose all ability to focus on the writing and instead get lost in the rhythm and beat.

5) One of my favorite authors is Wilkie Collins, a Victorian novelist who was good friends with Charles Dickens. I have spent years tracking down all of his works and I believe I have read them all. His more famous fiction, The Women in White and The Moonstone are usually the titles people think of when I mention this author but he has many, many more great novels to read.

6) My favorite ice-cream is Mint Chocolate Chip…my mom buys me a Mint Chocolate Chip ice-cream cake for my birthday every year…can’t get enough of the stuff!

7) And finally, I love touring old houses. My husband and I went on a vacation to tour the old mansions in Newport and it was awesome. I love immersing myself in that old world and imaging what it would have been like to live as a woman in such confining and formal times. If you ever get the chance you should go and take those tours, it is fascinating to see such amazing works of art!

The End…there you go, seven things you didn’t know about me before now.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Romance is for sappy women...

Okay, so I was reading an article about the myths surrounding romance and found myself saying (out loud, embarrassingly enough) HELL YEAH! People do have a lot of misconceptions about modern romance…and I’ve had to enlighten many of my friends about what is out there and how good it is.

I find that with the romance that I am reading, whether paranormal or historical, there are a few very key things that are a must in order for me to want to pick up another book by the same author. These same things are elements that I include (or at least try to include) in all of my paranormal romance and to some extent, my urban fantasy…so YES, I hold myself to the same standards as the authors I read.

So, here we go:

Number One, The Sex: Okay, so I listed this as number one because, well, its romance for goodness sakes…the sex is important. For my tastes I like the intimate moments to be on the more graphic side…and frequent…I can wait for it to happen but I prefer for something to happen within the first hundred pages or so.

Number Two, The Strong Heroine: I like to see the female lead in some kind of position of strength. Even if there are moments throughout the novel where she is in need of help…or if she starts off being insecure and unsure of her power. I like it when she comes through a particularly difficult situation on her own…without the need of being saved by the hero…I like the kick-ass, strong, independent type…always.

Number Three, The Strong Alpha Male: Now, with that said about my women, I also like to see a strong male lead. No sniveling, wimpy boys for me…no, the hero must be muscular, strong, defiant and very much the bad boy. As much as you want to smack him for being stubborn or insensitive, it’s part of what makes him more appealing…and tempting…especially to the strong heroine who might need to be dominated every once in a while. But, he’s not that dense that he totally misses his opportunity to get the girl…no, unless it’s urban fantasy…and then that type of ending is expected, I want to see my hero figure out what he needs to do in order to fix things that he, or someone else, messed up.

Number Four, The Fast Moving Plot/High Tension and Danger: Of course…duh…there has to be a lot of violence, high stakes…blood, death, gore…it’s romance but it’s not for sissies. I like there to be a good melding of thriller, horror and romance…if there isn’t something to lose, some threat that the hero or heroine could die, then I’m usually not interested.

Number Five, (This one is particularly important for Paranormal Romance) Believable world building…not too much but not too little: This is important…particularly if the novel I am reading is a part of a series. I want to be able to understand what is going on with enough information about the world to get me going but I don’t want so much world building that I know too much! I don’t want it to be so in my face that I lose track of the romance in an attempt to keep the politics straight. As well…I’ve been into the world of paranormal for practically my whole life. I live for Halloween; my kitchen is decorated with jack-o-lanterns. All. Year. Round. So you can’t fool me…if you don’t love it too, I can tell.

Some great examples of authors who I love…and who incorporate these things into their novels in some way or other (whether we’re talking romance, paranormal or historical, or urban fantasy) that have me coming back for more are: Kresley Cole, Rhiannon Byrd, D.B. Reynolds, Kelley Armstrong, Kim Harrison Sharon Ashwood and Veronica Wolff. There are more out there but these women do it particularly well.

So you tell me…what misconceptions have you heard about romance? What are your standards that keep you coming back for more?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hot Market!

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, internet reading, trolling through sites that discuss current fiction trends and whatnot…just out of curiosity…and I’ve been finding the same kind of message being repeated over and over…apparently the romance market is HOT right now…hotter than it has been in a while. In particular, paranormal and historical romance is leading the way in high sales.

Now, the common belief that is presented by various publishing professionals is that the reason this type of romance is doing so well is because, due to the current economic crisis, we are all seeking a safe way to escape into a fantasy world.

I find this idea very intriguing. I am both a reader and writer of paranormal romance; I also enjoy a Scottish rogue from the sixteenth century or so every once in a while…but I never considered this a means of escaping the depression of the current economic times!

Personally, I think that there has always been a desire for paranormal romance; it’s just taken the rest of the world a while to figure out what a market there is for it. When I was a teenager I was reading historical romance, The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon was the first one I ever read…and then I was hooked. But there really wasn’t anything around that entered into the romantic paranormal world….except for Anne Rice…and although I love her books, they aren’t exactly satisfying in the romance department.

It doesn’t surprise me that paranormal is going strong. I have been entrenched in the supernatural genre in one way or another from the time that I was a child, preferring children’s books about little witches over Winnie the Pooh…I love writing in a genre that allows me to escape into a world of my own making. So escaping is on the agenda, just not from the current economic woes!

So what do you all think? What draws you to paranormal or historical romance? It is a way of escaping reality? Or do you love it for other reasons?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year...and The Winner is...

Wishing you all a Happy New Year.

My lovely daughter as once again pulled a name out of a hat for this month's winner of a copy of The Temptress. The winner is...D.B. Reynolds!