Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

2011 is upon us. Still no flying cars, trips to the moon, or the complete eradication of poverty. On the plus side, also no World War III, nuclear destruction, or all out annihilation. Have to look on the bright side, eh?

This coming year I'm devoting to my 1922 Prohibition series, finishing up my Dark Regency story (and plotting the 2nd in that series) and possibly finally getting back to that Egyptian Contemporary Paranormal.

Anything beyond that is a bonus, though I also want to plot out a semi-traditional Regency (meaning no paranormal, no erotica, but plenty of sensuality and twisty red-herrings).

You? Plans, plots, ideas, goals? Hopes for the upcoming year? Happy, Healthy, Safe 2011 to all!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thursday Progress

Last week I wrote how I "finished" my Prohibition story and was spending the next several weeks editing it.

I'm doing just that. Yup. Even with the cold (hey, it didn't snow this year! HAHAHAHA shall I show you my snow drifts?) and general craziness of the holidays. Editing.

No more gutting, no more re-writing, just editing. It's a lovely concept. Hoping to get through it before too long, but I don't want to rush; on submission is ever perfect, but I would like this one close. I'm really hoping the editor I'm sending it to accepts! :)

12 Days of Christmas with my Four Calling Birds story
Merry SeXmas with 2 stories: Memorable and Red Bow

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday Review: Kinght and Day

I do not like Cameron Diaz. I really don't. (My opinion but) she can't act and her face is often frozen in one expression no matter the emotion. Despite his personal life I probably couldn't care any less about than I already do, I think Tom Cruise is a fabulous actor.

Knight and Day was a funny and enjoyable movie. The middle seriousness needed to be cut, it wasn't a serious movie. It was all in jest, all tongue-in-cheek and it should have stayed that way.
I was a little annoyed with the parts when either he or she were knocked out and it was a weird drug-induced montage about what happened in the interim, but alas. I guess they didn't want to...slow the story down? No idea, it was weird. However, other than that saggy middle problem, I think the humor was dead on, it played to, off of, and made fun of a great many spy movies.
Probably why I enjoyed it so much. So no, despite my utter dislike of Cameron Diaz, and the fact that the middle needed re-editing, I do recommend this. Just remember to take it as it is and for what it is. Completely irreverent.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

One-liner charity event

Long, long ago (not that long actually) a local writer's group had a fundraising contest for the holidays: The best first sentence. I didn't win, I don't remember who did or what their line was, but I sorta recall mine.

It involved a naked man beneath the heroine's Christmas tree where she found him Christmas morning upon waking and went like: There was a very hot, very naked man lying beneath her Christmas tree.

There was more to the story, a real plot actually, though don't ask me what their names were. The heroine's best friend and the hero's best friend smuggled the very drunk hero into the heroine's home as a Christmas surprise.

This is the last week of 2010, and there is always a need to help others. (Heartwarming story here as to why I'm doing this and why I love this country.) Just because you're tight this year doesn't mean there aren't families who can't afford the very basics for their children. I'm a big believer in education, it's the only way to elevate our society and prevent street gangs from recruiting.

I usually donate to esoteric charities, but this year, for every person who leaves a one-liner, I'll donate to The Children's Aid Society.
It can be from a story you never finished, the best opener you never used, whatever. But it has to be yours, it has to be posted here, and it has to be by 5 pm on 12/31/10.

DISCLAIMER: I reserve the right to ignore cheesy openings like this one (see picture to the right →). They have to be legitimate story openers. If you have a cheesy opening (see picture to the right →) please include the next line for clearer explanation.

For more information about why I picked The Children's Aid Society, click here.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Dark Desires of the Druids: Temptations and Treachery I admit, this was an additional story. I'd always wanted to tell Isadore's story, but the overall arc of my Druids was a trilogy. Then I realized just how perfect Isadore and James were together. How could I resist? Especially when prim & proper Isadore wanted more--more action, more adventure, more romance? I caved, and James Blackthorne did, too. *G*

Only available in ebook form: here and here (for only $2.49) and anywhere else you can buy ebooks.

Pppssst...have you entered my Title Contest?

James hovered over Isadore’s chair, feeling protective toward her, and the need to distance Dinshaw from her. When they’d come up with this plan, he hadn’t counted on Dinshaw being taken with Isadore. Or Isadore’s reaction to him.

The council was gone, as was his carriage. Takoda lurked outside, and Irisi was back at Morgana’s house pretending they were all there.

“I think everyone believed our little scene,” Dinshaw said. He grinned at Isadore and James wanted to rip him to pieces.

“You’ve very convincing, Allen,” James said, deadpan. “I almost believed you.”

Dinshaw merely grinned and said to Isadore, “I’ll be at the North American with my business associates. Will the two of you lie in wait?”

“Maybe not lie in wait,” Isadore laughed. James saw red. “But we’ll be here should anyone try to enter your home.”

“Is there anything else we need to do?” he asked, pathetically excited over the entire endeavor.
“No.” James stated. “Wouldn’t want you to be late.”

“No, no,” Dinshaw said, standing, “of course not.” He kissed Isadore’s hand, smiled down at her. James grabbed his arm and hustled him out of the room.

“We’ll be here,” he repeated. “Make sure you protect yourself, don’t go off alone. And don’t come back too soon.”

Dinshaw nodded, gathering hat, cane, gloves. “Oh, I’ll be several hours at least.”


James hung back from the door, making sure no one saw him. The entire point of their plan was to make Dinshaw’s house the most appealing tonight.

“I’ll be back late, Alfred!” he called to his butler. James rolled his eyes. The door closed behind Dinshaw with a decisive click.

“There was no need to push him out the door,” Isadore said from beside him.

“Yes there was.”


“I didn’t like the way he looked at you,” he growled, pulling her to him.

“James,” she chuckled, “he’s a consummate flirt, nothing more.”

“I don’t care,” he whispered against her mouth. “I’ve become very possessive of you.” He pulled back and looked at her. “I hope that isn’t a problem?”

He wasn’t sure he cared if it was. Isadore was his. In their short time together, he’d grown closer to her than anyone in his life. He wanted her more, he needed her more. The only thing stopping him from beating Dinshaw to a bloody pulp was the knowledge they needed him, and his house, for their plan to work.

“No,” she whispered. “But it might be when I return to England.”

“If I let you go.”

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day!

Boxing Day has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions. The European tradition has been dated to the Middle Ages.
Some historians say the holiday developed because servants were required to work on Christmas Day, but took the following day off. As servants prepared to leave to visit their families, their employers would present them with gift boxes.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas!

Just a quick note to say Merry Christmas to all. I hope this holiday season brings peace, happiness, joy, and togetherness to you and yours.

What's your favorite Christmas song? So very difficult: My top 3 are: I'll be Home for Christmas sung by Frank Sinatra, The Christmas Song, as lo by Frank, It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams, and OK, my all time favorite is honestly Merry's Snoopy Christmas by The Royal Guardsmen. And pretty much anything by Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Bing Crosby...oh White Christmas. Can't forget that one. I love the classics.

Favorite Christmas movie? White Christmas hands down.

Favorite Christmas Cartoon? Charlie Brown's Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman (I love Jimmy Durante as the narrator). I enjoy the others, too but those are my tops.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday Progress

On the side of my blog, I have the progress of three stories. The Egyptian Contemporary is currently on hold though I'd love to revisit that and soon. My Dark Regency is next on the list of things to complete and I'll get to that within the next several weeks, probably the second or third week in January. It's thoroughly plotted and outlined, all I lack is time.

(Isn't that a song?)

And I'm happy to say I'm finished with my Vintage 1922 Prohibition Story! Now when I say finished, I mean I'm done ripping it apart and gutting the original story. It was gory.

By finished, I mean I'm done rewriting it and will now spend the next 2 weeks polishing it one final time for submission. Ah, the things you wish you'd done before Christmas week.

No matter, I'm very pleased with this story, I know I can add a few more things here and there, and will do so no matter the season.

What are you doing this week? Shopping? Wrapping? Baking? Cleaning house? Crashing on the couch and hoping it'll all be over soon?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Every Man Dies Alone: Wednesday Review

This is not the sort of story you want to read during the holiday season. It's damned depressing and makes you want to stop reading. But it's also exactly what the holidays, indeed what living, is all about. When you think of holidays you think helping those in need, caring, sharing, (and singing Christmas carols/watching Christmas cartoons but that isn't the point here).

Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada in about a couple in Nazi Germany who try to inspire resistance in Berlin. I debated long and hard over what to write in this review. There's a lot going on, it's deeply emotional, scary, inspiring, and one of the best books I've read in ages. I went to Amazon and B&N to see what other people wrote about this in hopes i could better articulate my thoughts. Publisher's Weekly put it best, and that's probably why they're paid the big bucks:

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. This disturbing novel, written in 24 days by a German writer who died in 1947, is inspired by the true story of Otto and Elise Hampel, who scattered postcards advocating civil disobedience throughout war-time Nazi-controlled Berlin. Their fictional counterparts, Otto and Anna Quangel, distribute cards during the war bearing antifascist exhortations and daydream that their work is being passed from person to person, stirring rebellion, but, in fact, almost every card is immediately turned over to authorities. Fallada aptly depicts the paralyzing fear that dominated Hitler's Germany, when decisions that previously would have seemed insignificant—whether to utter a complaint or mourn one's deceased child publicly—can lead to torture and death at the hands of the Gestapo. From the Quangels to a postal worker who quits the Nazi party when she learns that her son committed atrocities and a prison chaplain who smuggles messages to inmates, resistance is measured in subtle but dangerous individual stands. This isn't a novel about bold cells of defiant guerrillas but about a world in which heroism is defined as personal refusal to be corrupted.

I can't put it any better than this except to say some lessons should never be forgotten.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


This is Christmas week. Yes, suddenly it's upon us, or it's crashed down like a freight train depending on how you look at it. The Christmas music is on, some of those songs never get old (but for th love of God, people, please stop playing that Paul McCartney one! I can't take it any more!!)

For those of you who celebrate, how're you handling the season? Or are you one of those who only has to bring a dish or two and that's it?

And have you entered my Title Contest?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Exerpt: Dark Desires of the Druids: Desert and Destiny

Dark Desires of the Druids: Desert and Destiny, can you tell I love alliteration? You have no idea how hard it was to come up with these, and I'm rather proud of all my titles. So, Gareth. The tough alpha male who doesn't know how to show his feelings, his affection. One fiance left him, and now there's this woman in his life. Good thing Arabelle doesn't take any of his shit!

Available in bookstores here and here, and online here (for only $2.49!)and here.

Pppssst...have you entered my Title Contest?

Gareth sat on his cot and listened to the evening sounds. The diggers and bearers talked in loud groups off to one side, but he didn’t interfere. Arabelle assured them they were safe enough here with the guards the diggers would set out, but that wasn’t what concerned him.

His body’s reaction to the mere thought of her was instant. He wanted her, he always did. Gareth began to believe he’d never get enough of her. It scared him, but at the same time –


Arabelle’s whispered voice cut through the night, startling him out of his thoughts of her. She poked her head into the tent, and he stood, gesturing her in. Still fully clothed in her khaki dig clothes, she stood awkwardly there, staring at him for several long moments.

“I wanted to thank you for last night,” she said. “I should have before, but I didn’t want,” she moved her hands in a helpless motion and shrugged. “I didn’t think you’d want the others to hear me.”

For the first time, Gareth had a strange notion. Did she think he was ashamed of her? Ashamed of what they did? Unreasonably angry over that thought, he shook his head. How to make her understand he wasn’t?

“We’ve all been in that position at one point or another with Corwin’s accusations.” That wasn’t what he wanted to say, it wasn’t how he wanted to explain himself.

“Yes,” she nodded, holding herself back. He could see the tension in her shoulders. “Well I just wanted to thank you.”

She started to back away, out of the tent, and he was desperate to stop her. Gareth stepped forward, closing his fingers about her arm. “You look cold,” he said stupidly, wishing for something better.

No wonder Raven left him. That thought niggled at the back of his mind, something she’d said the other day during their argument.

“Here,” he continued, offering her the cot. “I’ll start a fire.” She started to protest, but he grinned at her. “A magickal fire. It’s all the rage; I’m surprised you hadn’t heard about them.”

Arabelle laughed, and he saw her relax. Fishing for something to talk about, without making her angry, Gareth settled for what little they had in common.

“I’m sorry you had to be there,” he said. “You should’ve let me kill Corwin when I had the chance in that warehouse.” He smiled to take any sting out of his words. But she didn’t seem to take offense.

“Possibly,” she shrugged, “but he still has enough followers to make things difficult for us. Still, perhaps you’re right. Perhaps it would’ve been better to rid ourselves of him then. I’ve taken precautions,” she added, “and I understand you and Lords Preston and Granville have as well?”

“Some,” he agreed, no longer holding onto the anger he had whenever Preston’s name was mentioned. “But we have limited resources here.”

She rose and moved in a small circle around the magickal heat. Staring at the orb, she said, “I wonder what we’re going to find tomorrow. I’ve speculated on this.”

She looked up at him in concentration, excited concentration as if this were a new find. And he supposed it was, and as she was an Egyptologist, this would be exciting for her on many levels.

“I’ve wondered, so many times on what’s in the repository, what the ancients stored for us. If you knew your civilization was going to halt, to stop, to end what would you store? What would you keep for others to find?”

“I don’t know,” he shrugged. “I’m not sure I can answer that tonight. I hope,” he smiled, taking her hand and drawing her next to him again, “the ancients took more time in compiling whatever they hid.”

“I wonder. Sometimes, you don’t know – you don’t believe – that things will change.” She shook her head and he heard the frustration in her voice at not being able to express herself. But she all but bounced next to him in excitement. It was contagious.

“That you won’t wake up to a new world. Would they prepare? Did they have the time? Or was it too late?” She turned to look at him and in the dim artificial light he saw her enthusiasm. “It was such a long time ago, I wonder if we’ll ever know.”

Cupping her face, he smiled at her. “You’re so beautiful when you’re enthralled like this. When you’re passionate.”

Arabelle smiled back. Then, surprising him she leaned forward and kissed him. Her body was warm against his as she shifted, controlling the situation.

“Make love to me,” she said against his mouth.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tis the Season

To be shopping. Or in my case, online shopping. There's nothing like doing it from the comfort of your own home and having it delivered to you. I don't mind the wrapping it's the crowds. You understand. :)

How are the holidays shaping up for everyone else? Or are you ignoring them this year?

Books are great gifts! Merry SEXmas! (Also available on audio.) Or even The 12 Hot Days of Christmas; those stories are also sold separately but it's $4.99 for 12 or $1.99 each. Four Calling Birds is part of an aborted series about 4 friends trying to navigate life, love, and the holidays.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday Progress: 1920s story

Yes. I'm still running the Title Contest, but here are some more details about the story.

1. Emma Hunt is a PI working undercover to discover who's behind a kidnapping for ransom scheme.
2. Jared Callon is working for the US Government. Yes, he's interested in solving these high profile kidnappings, but he has a secret he's investigating, too.
3. From the first they're attracted to each other, but who is Emma, really, and what's Jared's true goal?
4. February, 1922 in Washington, DC
5. Bootleggers
6. Prohibition
7. Vaudeville

I'm more than halfway finished with the editing/rewriting of this story and couldn't be happier with it. I can't believe I wrote some of this stuff, and clearly I changed plots about 1/4 way through and never went back to fix anything.

To be fair, I also immediately set this aside once it was (nominally) finished to work on other stories, and never looked at it again until I pitched it to a senior editor at the NJRW Conference.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday's Reviews

I haven't had a lot of time recently to read, but this book interested me on many levels. Many moons ago, I saw the movie The Man Who Never Was. At the time, I didn't realize it was based on a true story, or if I did, certainly didn't care. It was a great movie, I adore Clifton Webb, and there you have it. End of story. Until the new book on the behind the scenes of it all, and just last week I read a BBC story on the case.

Operation Mincemeat is the true story of Ewen Montagu's book, based on the plot he helped to create, along with Charles Cholmondeley and...wait for it...Ian Fleming. Yes, that Ian Fleming, who really was a higher up during WWII.

The author could have livened up the prose a bit, it's a large book and extremely dry in many parts, and honestly if I wasn't so interested in the story itself I may not have finished it. But the history behind fooling every Nazi from those who found Glyndwr Michael's body in supposedly neutral Spain all the way up to Hitler is an interesting one.

I recommend the movie, the BBC companion, and the book for hardcore WWII buffs. I'm sure there's a simpler version of this fascinating operation someplace.

Makes me think about plots...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Candy Cane Cake

For Christmas this year, I wanted to something more than just a cake. I've been making a lot of different cakes, not really flavors (we're a chocolate family after all) but shapes. In looking online, I found a site with some nifty cakes I'll never make because I refuse to spend an entire day on 1 cake!

But I did find this little gem and it's what we're having with Christmas dinner. Well, maybe afterwards. :) And minus the fondant, because I'm sure I can make soemthing else and really don't like fondant. It's such a crutch on cake making and has a nasty taste.Pppssst...have you entered my Title Contest?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Excerpt: Dark Desires of the Druids: Sex and Subterfuge

Dark Desires of the Druids: Sex & Subterfuge now out in papaerback from Red Silk Editions in bookstores here and here and online here and here.

Ahh, Lucien, how I adore thee. Hunky sexy magicker who's strong enough to love a woman more powerful than he is. Plus there's that sexy dining room table scene. *le sigh*

Pppssst...have you entered my Title Contest?

Morgana waited until she couldn’t see David from her front windows before returning to her bedroom. Lucien was there, naked, by the window. The heavy curtain was pulled only slightly back, and she wondered if anyone could tell he stared into the morning from directly across the street.

What did he do before coming into her life? No simple English earl, that was for certain.

“What did he want?” Lucien asked as the curtain fell back into place. He turned and looked at her, his eyes unreadable.

“Me,” she said. Then shrugged and untied her dressing gown.

“Too bad,” he growled and before she blinked, he was before her. She was held tight against him, the hard length of his body. “You’re mine.”

Morgana barely had time to nod before his lips were on hers. Lucien gently pushed her onto their bed, one hand already finding its way underneath the damask dressing gown she wore.

“Your skin is smooth as silk,” he said. “I’ll never tire of feeling you under me.”

“Lucien,” Morgana breathed, unbelievably aroused at his words, his possessiveness. Shocked at her own need, her own desire to be his.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Guest blogging, statistics and thoughts

First, tomorrow I'm over at Fang-tastic blogging about historical paranormals and why I find them fascinating to both read and write.


They're fascinating things. Here on Blogger, it's easy (now) to check your blog stats. For instance, I know my guest post from Keira of Love Romance Passion post from last year is still hugely popular, as is my review on Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife. (May-December 2010: 119 for Keira, and 236! for Mr. Darcy.)

I also seem to be popular in Russia and Hungary. (Spam anyone?) Even though the only thing I know in Russian is goodbye and that's in the Roman alphabet not Cyrillic. Hungarian? Nada.

The thing I notice is that people come. They read. They do not comment. I wonder why that is. Curious. My post on reviews and why you do them, where you post them, and if you comment on others gets hits, but no comments. Hmmm...

Even my guests get hits, especially after the fact, and yet very few comments. Example: Friday Guest: Wendi Zwaduk with 120 page views but only a measly 6 comments. 120 vs. math seems skewed.

I'm running a Title Contest, and have 2 comments, great suggestions but from only 2 people? Interesting.

And that's my tangent thought for the day.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pictures to Smile at

These are from another forward. I don't know if they're staged, but they're adorable and made me smile. I hope they make you smile as well.

How can you not smile at the "I'm mad as hell and not going to take it anymore" look?

Just beautiful

Poor dog looks confused, but it's a great picture.

Took me a moment to get this one, but I kinda like it!
There, have I made you smile today?

Oh, and don't forget my Title Contest!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So you Want to be a Writer?

This was pretty funny, I really like the banter, it's oh so true! And if the video doesn't work, try this link.

Don't forget my Title Contest!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A date that will live in infamy

The USS Arizona, Pearl Harbor, USS Enterprise, Ford Island. Read all about it.

From wikipedia:

The Presidential Address to Congress of December 8, 1941 was delivered at 12:30 p.m. that day to a Joint Session of Congress by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, one day after the Empire of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hawai’i. The name derives from the first line of the speech: Roosevelt describing the previous day as "a date which will live in infamy".

Within an hour of the speech, Congress passed a formal declaration of war against Japan and officially brought the U.S. into World War II. The address is regarded as one of the most famous American political speeches of the 20th century.

Roosevelt purposefully framed the speech around the perceived low moral character of the Japanese government. He drew a sharp contrast between the "righteous might" of the American people and the aggressive and deceitful nature of the Japanese regime.

Full speech either below (haven't managed to successfully embed a video yet) or here.

Don't forget my Title Contest!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday's Excerpt Murder and Magick

Dark Desires of the Druids: Murder & Magick. This is my first published book, now out for 2 years (seriously, time does fly!) I'm very proud of it and absolutely adore the cover! It's now available for the Kindle for 99¢, but also on Ravenous, All Romance eBooks, B&N, and anywhere else you can think of to buy ebooks.

Oh, and don't forget my Title Contest!

With another growl, he pulled her across him, boots forgotten, to attack her mouth. “Minx.”

She merely offered a smug smile and drew him closer.

Silken under his mouth, her skin heated from his touches. The cottage lay in darkness. Though he’d have preferred to see his lover in the full light of the sun, he knew her body well enough to bring her to pleasure every time.

She was right of course; things could no longer go on as they had been. Mac didn’t care as he entered her, and that bone-deep satisfaction settled over him, sheathed in her wet warmth.

God, this was heaven. Nothing in this world or, he was certain, the next could compare to being inside Raven. He couldn’t give this up, wasn’t sure how to give her up.

Savoring each thrust, the way she moved against him, Mac let the moment play out, let it stretch into the heated air around them, each of holding the other’s gaze.

And then it snapped. Raven cried his name and rode her orgasm out beneath him, hips grinding against his, a picture of wild and wanton beauty.

His to hold, his to delight in. As his own climax overtook him, Mac’s last coherent thought echoed through him.

Raven was his.

Need won over duty.

Friday, December 3, 2010

GUEST: Sandy Lender

Please welcome Sandy Lender, my guest today. She's celebrating her Blog Tour and has graciously agreed to stop here. I have the normal 4 questions for her, but as always please feel free to ask her anything!

What made you decide to write What Choices We Made: Short Stories from the History of Onweald, Volume II (Or volume I for that matter!)?

Sandy Lender:
“What Choices We Made,” Volumes I and II happened for the same reason—I had oodles of information that couldn’t be included in the novels my publisher was releasing in the “Choices” series. We’re talking back story and legends and extra character portraits and side-stories and flashbacks and deleted scenes and recipes that other authors might include in an appendix and poems that characters wrote for each other and just oodles of stuff that any editor with half a brain will tell you, “this bogs down the reader.” This answer is going to get long-winded, so I’ll try to be brief!

When I pitched my first novel “Choices Meant for Gods” to Bob Gelinas of ArcheBooks Publishing, the thing was right around 260,000 words. Despite that, he asked for the whole MS and offered me a contract within a couple of weeks. As you can imagine, the MS needed some “trimming” to get it to a size that could be marketed at a reasonable price. I mean, a book is a product that someone has to buy. Can you imagine how expensive a 260,000-word hardcover would be to produce? Try selling one of those from a then-unheard-of author!

So “Choices Meant for Gods” had some back-story that had to come out not just for readability, but for space/size limitations. I realized I could morph some of that back-story into individual short stories. There’s a chalice that my main character, Amanda Chariss, finds in the second novel, “Choices Meant for Kings,” that could have its own novella. Who in their right mind is going to sit down and read a novella about a goblet? Boring! But…fans of mine still bring up the short story of Gella and Odan (titled “Dewberries and Bonds”) in the first “What Choices We Made” chapbook, not realizing it lays the foundation for the chalice’s imprisonment with a dragon in an ice cave. Fans rave about the short story of Dunny & Quill rescuing a dragon with a chalice in an ice cave. The chalice is barely mentioned in these stories, yet it’s incredibly important to the world of Onweald. There’s no way I would have had room to flesh out its story in the “Choices” novels the way I can in these chapbooks.

Then I had some sultry little scenes between Amanda Chariss and Nigel Taiman that I deleted from the novels because they were a little too mushy or they slowed the pace too much. What better place to slide a deleted scene into the public eye than a chapbook? It’s not something a non-fan would pick up on, but it only takes up a couple of pages in the chapbook, thus can be skipped easily, or can get a newbie pretty darn interested in those two lovebirds!

What else are you working on? I hear book 3 possibly?

Sandy Lender: Book III of the trilogy is in editing right now. It’s currently titled “Choices Meant for All” and it’s going to get me lynched if I don’t produce it soon. The fan requests have taken an edgier tone as of late…

I’m also working on Book II of the Dragons in Space series that Night Wolf Publications handles. “Problems on Eldora Prime” is a YA novel that is doing very well there. I’m pleased with its reception.

Then I have a few others that have been distracting me. If I can put a dragon in it, it’s going to distract me. Those creatures tend to be demanding once they figure out you’re willing to write their stories…

What’s your dream story? The one that becomes a New York Times runaway bestseller, the one you hope to one day write? Or have you?

Sandy Lender: I’d love to incorporate a dragon in steampunk, but is the world ready for that?
I actually have a novel I delved 60,000+ words into during National Novel Writing Month about a breed of small dragons that poachers try to smuggle off another moon for the pet trade. I base the action off the early atrocities in the parrot pet trade. It was emotional to write because I share my home with four companion parrots whose ancestors endured that horror. Our world is in danger of losing a variety of parrot species through habitat destruction, disease (in the case of the kokopo parrot) and continued poaching. If I can raise awareness of their pending extinction in the wild through sci-fi/fantasy fiction that entertains and charms the reader, I’ll have something twice as valuable as a New York Times runaway bestseller. So my dream story, inspired by my Sun Conure Petri, is “in process” right now.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Sandy Lender: That last answer firmly affixes the label “Crazy Bird Lady” to me, so, if it would be okay, could we also affix the label “Crazy Dragon Lady” beneath it? I’m in love with all things dragon. They’re quite cool, you know. The novella “The Influential Love Story of Ella and Rohne” that I included in “What Choices We Made, Volume II” has two dragons—one good and helpful, one not-so-good. I think readers will enjoy the first one’s appearance. I apologize for the second dragon and what happens…it’s just the way it had to be.

Thank you so much for sharing your time (and space) at your blog today! Awesome questions…
From Sandy Lender
“Some days, you just want the dragon to win.”

Thursday, December 2, 2010

1920s story redux

Tri-dux? Is that a word? Re-redux? Either way, I'm slowly widdling it down. Revamping, rewording, basically rewriting large sections to get this story ready for submission. Man, makes me wish I'd done this when I finished it! Would've saved me lots of time now...

Alas I didn't. So I am now. But all this is really why the term 'FIRST DRAFT' was coined. I'm on draft 3, and am so very much happier with this, I can't begin to describe it.

The good news is that I'm through Acts 1 and 2 (of 5) and moving on through Act 3. I think I actually will have this finished by Christmas!

And don't forget my Title Contest!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


It's December? I don't want to hear it. I refuse to believe it. I'm not ready.

Not for Christmas, nearly done with that shopping. But for the end of the year! Where did 2010 go? What happened to it? Why does time go by so darn quickly.

What did YOU accomplish in 2010? And what do you plan to accomplish for 2011?

And don't forget Friday guest Sandy Lender will be here!

OR my Title Contest!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Guest Blogging

Today, I'm over at Caroline Clemmens blog, A Writer's Life. Come stop by and comment! There may be prizes involved. Maybe. ;)

Monday, November 29, 2010


What makes you write a review? Do you write one for every single title you read? Do you post those reviews you do write at all possible places?

Probably not. Which might be a generalization but I certainly don't. I read so many more books than I write reviews for, and honesty post my reviews mostly here. I used to on Amazon, before I boycotted them permanently, but even now that I use Barnes & Noble, I find I don't post reviews on there for the books I read.

Can't tell you why that is, but there you have it. So...what makes YOU write a review?

And don't forget Friday guest Sandy Lender will be here!

Oh, and don't forget my Title Contest!

Friday, November 26, 2010


Who's awake at that ungodly hour and standing in that freezing line waiting for the perfect gift. Rather, the perfect sale?


Raises hand.
Have you SEEN these Black Friday sales? Wow, they're amazing. So I got up waaayyy early, trudged off to the story, and will let you all know my amazing buys when I return.
If I return alive.

And don't forget my Title Contest!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, America!

And for those of you outside the US, I'm sure you have something to be thankful for as well. It's a day for remembering and appreciating all those you love and care about. So Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. :)

Not what we say about our blessing, but how we use them is the true measure of our thanksgiving. ~W.T. Purkiser

And don't forget my Title Contest!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Got zombie?

Homepage of the Dead...yup, you read right! It's a website dedicated to zombies, zombies, and more zombies. They're giving away a copy of Hungry for Your Love, so if you have ANY interest in zombies, stop on by!
From their about us page:
This site is dedicated to the horror films comprising the George A. Romero "Dead" series of films, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead and Diary of the Dead.

And don't forget my Title Contest!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I had problems (ongoing) with my hero and realized in all the past stories I've written, either he hero or heroine give me trouble. Never both in the same story, and never just the guy or the girl.

For instance, in my dark Regency story, I had Grayson, the hero, nailed almost instantly. My heroine, Juliette, on the other hand, gave me problems like a teenage daughter on her first date.

In this 1920s story, I had to go back and examine both hero and heroine's motivations number of words, and in doing so realized I needed to change the beginning...almost completely. But let's not go into that. My problem isn't my heroine, Emma, but my hero, Jared.

Anyway else have this problem? Not knowing who their character is no matter how many times you beg him/her to talk to you? Or how many times you bang your head against the wall/keyboard?


And don't forget my Title Contest!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Excerpt Monday: Whispers

This is from Whisperes, my short story in the anthology Power Plays. (Pst: it's on sale now, only $2.49!)

Olivia Adair is a junior senator having an affair with the Department of Justice liason, Ryan Granger. Neither want to give up their careers, but aren't willing to give up each other, either. Leaving her senate office late one night, Ryan overhears an aide talking about the death of a senior senator. He investigates, but when Olivia is hurt in a car accident, he wonders if the aide is now after her. Will he give up his position to save her life or is already it too late?

““In this building? Everyone’s too busy trying to one up each other in committee meetings or on the senate floor to notice.” Looking at his cell he said, “It’s 10:28, are we too late for that great Chinese place by your house?”

“Wu’s? No, they never close.” Olivia slipped on her jacket and grabbed a folder from a side table. “I just have to drop this off at Senator Boyd’s office.”

“Wouldn’t it be locked?” He peered quizzically at her.

“Yes. I’m dropping this through the mail slot. Some statistics I want him to see, buttering him up for a vote next week.”

“Butter,” he mused as they left her office and started down the long corridor. “We haven’t tried butter yet.”

Playfully elbowing her lover, she laughed. “Too greasy. I still think the whipped cream and warm chocolate are the best.”

“MMmm chocolate, that was a delicious evening.” Ryan glanced around but they were alone in the corridor. “One we need to repeat soon.”

“Behave,” she scolded without much heat.

“I wonder how many senators have had tête-à-tête’s here?” Ryan wiggled his eyebrows at her. He looked so preposterous she wanted to kiss him.

“I think the question is, how many haven’t?” she chuckled softly. “I was thirty when I became a senator and I thought I’d seen everything. I was wrong.”

“Orgies on the copy machine?” he smirked.

“Not quite but also not far off,” she winked. “Once I . . .” Olivia stopped talking and motioned for Ryan to hush. She pointed at a light through a slightly ajar office door. Bringing her finger to her lips, she rushed by it to slip the folder through Senator Boyd’s mail slot.

The two remained quiet as they retraced their steps. Hearing whispers, Olivia glanced at Ryan who’d stopped to listen.

“It would be the perfect solution.” The voice drifted through the door.

Olivia peeked in to see Senator Phillips’ aide talking on his cell. She tugged on Ryan’s arm but he continued to listen. Nosy isn’t he, she thought.

“Who would question if an old man died in his sleep?”

Her eyes widened and she stifled a gasp. Ryan sharply glanced at her but her hand already covered her mouth. He moved another step closer, straining to hear the conversation. She followed him.

“Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, but stranger things have happened before a major vote.”

Waving a hand dismissively, Olivia gripped Ryan’s hand and urged him to walk away. She’d heard this kind of thing before.

“Murder plots in the senate office building?” Ryan questioned as they reentered Olivia’s office. He closed the door behind them.

And don't forget my Title Contest!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Romance Studio contest

I don't know why I did it, I mean I'm not planning on being online much this weekend, but I signed up to be a part of The Romance Studio's Thanksgiving Party.

It starts November 20 and runs through November 23, and I'll be giving away a print copy of Dark Desires of the Druids: Desert & Destiny, so stop on by!

Psst: I hear one of the grand prizes is a nook...

And don't forget my Title Contest!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon

This was a cute movie. I almost didn't watch it because I wasn't certain it was the kind of movie I'd enjoy. I love animated movies, don't get me wrong, and the viking history looked great, but it's the very anachronismtic humor in this that originally turned me off. But then everyone at work raved about it. I trust several of them for movie and book recommendations, so took their advice. I'm glad I did!

How to Train Your Dragon is also a book seires (which I haven't read but might) by Cressida Cowell. Thereby proving that more than the Harry Potter series can be made into a good movie. (Yes. I'm looking at you, Percy Jackson! Though I liked the movie, it was so different from the book that they weren't even related.)

So what did I like about it?

It was everything a kid's movie should be: cute, funny, exciting, and yes, even touching. True, some of the characters are a bit cliche and the humor is not entirely original, but somehow the story pulls you in. I found myself rooting for the cliche characters and cracking up at the corny jokes. By the end I was so invested, I almost shed a tear. Almost.

Side note: Kids with trouble fitting in should definitely watch this movie!

And don't forget my Title Contest!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Title contest!

Title Contest!!

I've talked off and on about my New York City, Prohibition Era romance. It's not an erotic romance, but it is a very sensual romance I hope to make into a series. Think Nick and Nora from The Thin Man. But with no smoking...and illegal drinking.

There's sleuthing, speakeasies, kidnapping, wild music and wilder women. Remember, it's the 20s--the sexual revolution before the 60s generation was a glimmer in their parents eyes.

My problem? I have no title. None. The document is saved as Chapter One. Seriously! So from now until the New Year (1/1/11) I'm running a contest for the person with the best title. The winner gets a recurring minor character named after him or her in this (hopefully) series. Leave a comment here or email me your suggestions. Can be more than one, I accept everything through January 1, 2011!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

More pictures to smile at

Have you smiled today?

I love this one! He's so cute in a very sad way. Breaks my heart.

This one is just funny. :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Excerpt

Kiss of Scandal. I love this story, the Russian history, the deception of the plot, the way fact and fiction are woven together. I studied Russian history in college, until I realized that in order to go further I'd need to learn Russian. A completely different alphabet? Never mind. My degree is now in American History...

But that didn't stop my love of Russian history, or this book. Here's a brief excerpt, I hope you enjoy it!

“I expect venom to spew forth momentarily,” the deep voice rumbled from behind her.

She could feel his hot breath tickling her shoulder, skin tingling with awareness. His lips brushed the base of her neck, there and gone in a heartbeat. Scandalous in so public a setting. Heart racing, she forced herself to turn slowly, arching an eyebrow as Count Nikolai Andreiovitch Orlov joined her and Anatoli in front of the Jordan Staircase.

Her need to rush up to the state rooms vanished.

Drinking in his appearance, Katria kicked the hem of her heavy skirt as she faced him. Her focus left his eyes to slide down his tall, muscular frame. As tall as Anatoli, Nikolai towered over her. It was the look, however, the one she now knew he reserved for her, that inspired sinful thoughts whenever they met. She smiled.

“Count Orlov.” She extended her hand, but instead of delicately kissing the back of it, Nikolai raised his dark eyes to meet hers and kissed her gloved palm. Katria tilted her head and offered a cordial nod for the benefit of any who may be watching.

“Countess.” Nikolai offered his arm and they started up the stairs. He closed his other hand over hers, keeping her close by his side. Katria couldn’t say she minded. “The vipers are restless, slithering about the rooms in search of prey.”

The way he’d said “prey,” the hungry look he slanted in her direction, made her shiver. Her fingers tightened on his arm, and Katria was certain he noticed. Then again, everything about Nikolai elicited a reaction, from the strength of his arm to the power in his smooth, deep voice. Now, as they climbed the stairs, his fingers brushed over her wrist, teasing the bare inch of skin between glove and dress.

“I’ve missed you,” Nikolai said. The words were so low, for a moment she wasn’t certain she’d heard them. Then he chuckled, and the sultry sound went straight through her.

Katria shook her head, temporarily clearing her thoughts. What had they been talking about?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Movie Review: Get Him to the Greek

Funny, sarcastic, with little digs in there about today's world. The whole American Idol dig was superb and almost slipped by me. No worries, I caught it and laughed hysterically. Loved the fact Chief O'Brein (Trek fame) was in there. And how much do I adore Russel Brand's hair? OK, his humor, too.

As a superficial movie, it was great. I think there were several parts where they started to get slightly more emotional and shied away from what would have moved the storyline further. Still, I admit to not watching it for that. I watched it for Russel Brand. :) And I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

National Veterans Day Ceremony:

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as "the Great War." Commemorated as Armistice Day beginning the following year, November 11th became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars.

The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery . The ceremony commences precisely at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries. The ceremony is intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces.

This year, to support our troops, I'm going to donate to the USO.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy 235th Birthday US Marines

The United States Marine Corps was originally the Continental Marines of the American Revolutionary War, formed by then-Captain Samuel Nicholas at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, by a resolution of the Second Continental Congress on November 10, 1775. Captain Nicholas's order was to raise 2 battalions of Marines.

That date is regarded and celebrated as the date of the Corps' birthday. At the end of the American Revolution, both the Continental Navy and Continental Marines were disbanded in April 1783. The institution itself would not be resurrected until 1798. In that year, in preparation for the Quasi-War with France, Congress created the United States Marine Corps.

The first Marine Birthday Party wasn't celebrated until 1921 with the Marine Corps Order No. 47 by the 13th Commandant, Gen. John A. Lejeune.

"In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our Corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term "Marine" has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Slowly editing

In reading the Prohibition era story over several obvious problems jumped out. Man, am I ever glad there's time to correct these? When did I decide it's a good idea to start with back story? When was it every okay to use an information dump?


Phew! And 3000 words gone. Just like that. 9000 left to cut! But that's all right, now that the opening chapters flow better, it's easy enough to see where the rest of the story is going and let it go. Things are cut, there are extraneous details that no long fit and that can happily go. That'll cut thigs down significantly.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fall vs Summer

Brr, the weather has changed! I miss summer's warmth, and while fall is pretty and all, this weather is not.

Five things I love about summer in no particular order:

□ Beach. I love and adore the ocean and would live there if I could. One day!
□ Traveling to places where I don’t need to bundle up to see anything.
□ Museums, they always seem to have the best stuff on display during the summer.
□ Sitting outside and enjoying my yard. This summer’s atrocious heat wave aside, it’s great to sit out there in the morning/evening and just relax
□ Longer days. Ben Franklin’s idea of daylight savings is all well and good when it works in your favor, but I don’t think he had no idea how hard it is to get up for work when it’s still pitch-black outside!

OK, and a #6…the warmth. Yeah, yeah this year’s atrocious heat wave aside, who likes being cold, all bundled up against the frigid winter, head down , not looking left or right or up, but down so your nose doesn’t fall off, with 7 feet of snow and blistering cold winds? NO ONE!!

What about you, what season do you like best and why?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Review: Hungry for your Love

Just found a new review for my Zombified story in Hungry for your Love from Bitten by Books. Overall, they gave it 3.5 Tombstones, but specifically of Zombified:

The collection does have several excellent pieces that stand out from the rest. In Zombified by Isabel Roman, an FBI agent and a doctor with a family connection inherit an unusual old mansion in the wilds of Martinique.

Yes, there are others that stand out, but I'll let you read the review yourself.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cleaning house

I am one of those few people who stops following. Actually, I shouldn't say 'few'-for all I know, there may be more out there but from everything one hears (form the mysterious they) not a lot of people take the time to stop.

So this week I did that. Pared down some of the things in my writing world to make it a wee bit more managable. I stopped following 12 blogs that I either never read or which haven't been updated in months. One was nearly a year. I still follow 42 blogs, but I know those aren't updated every day so I consider that list semi-managable.
And maybe I'll actually comment on more of them now, too!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Late Halloween gift

Halloween came and went this year and I totally missed it. I watched It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown both nights it was on. And yet did I buy Halloween candy? (Nope, neither for me nor for the kiddies who came round, causing me to hide in my house and pretend the dog didn't bark at every child who knocked.)

In honor of my complete disregard of this holiday, which I normally enjoy very much! I'm giving away a free PDF of any one of my stories to the person with the best 2010 Halloween story. It can be real, made up, a combination of the two, but it must be fairly short and MUST be posted by midnight EST today, Wednesday November 3, 2010.

The winner will receive his or her choice of any of the Druids stories, the EPPIE finalist Northern Roses & Southern Belles, the werewolf anthology with my story, Shadow State, the Russian historical, Kiss of Scandal, or any other story (short or anthology) you see on my site.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

FINALIST for the 2011 EPIC Anthology Award

AHHHHHHHHH!!!! OK now that I have that out of my system...:)

Northern Roses and Southern Belles is a finalist in the 2011 EPPIE Awards for Romantic Anthologies! We've received several great reviews, including a 4 star review from Romantic Times. It's very exciting, and the annual conference is in Williamsburg, VA. I may have to go!
From the official EPIC email sent to The Wild Rose Press:

EPIC, the Electronically Published Internet Coalition™ ( is delighted to announce that your entry, Northern Roses and Southern Belles, is a finalist in the Anthology Romance Category of the 2011 EPIC eBook Awards Competition™.

I have attached a copy of the finalist logo. We encourage you to post this to groups and websites, insert it in newsletters and promotional material as your badge of honor, sharing that you are part of a select group of great eBook publications.

The winner of EPIC’s 2011 Anthology Romance Category will be announced at our annual conference, held in historical Williamsburg, Virginia, March 10-13, 2011. Come join us: mix with your peers, attend wonderful workshops, eat fabulous food, learn more about EPIC…and discover the winners of our growing eBook competition.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Excerpt Monday

This is an excerpt from my environmentalist story. I'm all about recycling, clearing up the trash, generating less trash, and basically saving ourselves from ourselves. The Pacific Vortex? Disgusting and we need to desperately do something about that. Cleaning up Hawai'i's dirtiest beach, Kahuku? I had no idea Hawai'i even had a dirty beach. Hawai'i Five-O never showed that.

Hot Waters from the Green Love Anthology:

“I don’t know how long I’ll be gone, but I expect it will be years.” Turning to face him, she swallowed hard. This was more difficult than she’d thought. Never seeing him again panicked her. “You aren’t the kind of man to wait years for a woman.” As the words left her mouth, her heart constricted. “My contract was up weeks ago. We were just too busy in bed to notice.”

“I noticed,” Aidan snapped. “I didn’t care.”

She said a silent “Oh,” and gathered her clothes.

“It’s that easy?”

Turning sharply at his question, tears welled in her eyes. “Don’t. I’ve made my choice.”

“To leave what we have? To throw away everything we’ve created together? This is not something you’re going to find again.” His hands were still balled into fists at his side, and he held himself stiffly as he spoke. Aidan had formidable control, she knew first hand.

“I know.” Her hand shook as she picked up her clipboard. Only years of training kept her voice even. “I know. But when people say they want to make a difference in the world, they’re usually blowing smoke out their asses. This is real. I know how to do this. My work . . . will make a difference.”

“There are others,” he snarled, closing the steps between them. His hands lay hard on her arms, and he shook her once. “You can teach them, train them. It’s not your job to save the whole damn world.” Aidan’s warm hand cupped her neck so she couldn’t avoid his harsh gaze. “We can’t lose this.”

On sale now for $2.49

Overall 4 Cups of Coffee from Coffee Time Romance:

Ms. Roman has written an emotionally and stimulatingly charged story full of love and sensuality. This was not only beautifully composed but the type of tale I love to read, where you can connect with the characters. This story was easy to read from beginning to end and the conclusion of it will not leave you hanging, which made me a very happy reader.

Goddess Fish Blog Tour Partner

Goddess Fish Blog Tour Partner
Goddess Fish Blog Tour Partner