Sunday, August 31, 2008

Night Owling

Okay. So I'm staring at the clock on my computer as the minutes tick away. It's after midnight on a Sunday night/Monday morning and I feel wide awake. That nocturnal call to create hits as I try to take care of a million other items I've let go. With my son's fifth birthday, a death in my husband's family, and the long weekend drawing close, I've been busy lately.

I've also taken the liberty of reminding my critique partner about her deadlines while ignoring my own. Well, not really ignoring, just not sticking to as tightly as I should have. I'm talking about the deadlines I set for myself, of course. I have a rough plan of what I intend to work on once certain books are completed. Unfortunately, this plan continues to shift as my muse guides me.

I recently finished the first in a new series, Circe's Recruits. Book one, Roane, already has first round edits (thanks, Ann.) I'm about 2/3 done book two but I keep getting distracted. I'd hoped to have my book finished last week, the rough draft, that is. Instead, I've been on a Christine Feehan kick waiting on a friend of mine to send me her latest book. Then I digressed by reading a few of the MANY books I received at RWA. Talk about a reading addiction run amuck...

So now I'm catching up on my inbox and clearing out my to-do's. I'm nearly done, soon as I tidy up this post. I still don't know why it is, but I work best during the day (when kids are in school) or late at night, when everyone's in bed. Tomorrow I'll be a walking zombie, but right now my creative streak is hot.

Gotta motor while the muse in in play. Chow for now, and happy Labor Day!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

3rd Quarter Contest Winner

Congratulations to Cathie M. Tonight I asked my husband to select the winner. He picked the number 47. Cathie was the 47th entrant in the contest! Thanks to everyone who participated, and check back to my website for my next contest.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Recommended Reads

Coming home from RWA, I had a ton of books with me. I've been doing my best to stay away from them, but I'm not one of those people that has a TBR (To Be Read) stack. I'm much too greedy for that. If I've got 'em, I read 'em.

Well, I finished a due manuscript and have been working like crazy to finish another one. So to treat myself for such devotion (yeah, I rationalize like a pro), I allowed myself to read some of my new books.

I absolutely fell in love with Deborah Cook's Kiss of Fury, so much that I've ordered Kiss of Fire, the first book of her Dragon Fire/Pyr series. My Wicked Enemy by Carolyn Jewel has an eye-catching cover and a captivating story. Only drawback here is you have to wait a while for the next book in this series. I loved The Bargain by Julia Templeton, a trade-sized erotic historical that had the right amount of angst, hated enemy and loving lovers.

So if you need something to read, you might want to check out one of these. They were all spectacular.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blogging at AQP

Check out the Amber Heat Blog, where I'm featured today. I'm discussing my writing process.

Monday, August 25, 2008

More Pictures

The Three Amigos
Me, Cat & Teri

I've been asked if I'm going to post more San Francisco pictures. So sure. That's easy. I'll post more happy snapshots and get back to work. Lots to do, and with the kids now in school, I can actually get a few things done during the day! Well, at least until one o'clock I can. Then I have to go pick up the 3-yr old.

A nice shot of my buddy Cat. She's feeling lucky in China Town

My roommates and great friends, Cat and Teri loving San Fran

Yes, I said great friends. That's Teri's way of saying hi, or the "Teri Salute"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pics to Take you Away

Being back home has made me long to once again go away, faaaarrr away from dirty dishes, shoes all over the floor and the freakin' heat! Some more pics from San Francisco to take you, and me, away...

Crepes, anyone? Chocolate with banana. YUM!
Pier 39, San Francisco
The Cable Car

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Excerpt!!

Check out the new excerpt for Circe's Recruits: Roane, the first book of a new series coming to Loose Id.

Here's a short blurb:
In the three years since Project Dawn disbanded, Roane Weston and his men continue to fight the good fight. Now civilians, his squad--Circe’s Recruits--works for a private organization bent on cleaning up the mess left in the wake of Project Dawn’s rebirth. Run by Elliot Pearl, a ruthless millionaire, Pearson Labs continues to create Cirks, people who have been genetically changed. When needed, these Cirks take on an altered form, one neither man nor animal, but something in between. But unlike Roane and his squad, the Cirks coming out of Pearson Labs aren’t sane... Except for Caitlyn Chase, a female Roane can't get out of his mind. As Caitlyn matures into the female Cirk she was meant to be, she sets in motion a chain of events that will forever alter her future and those of Circe’s Recruits. In the process, she’ll fall in lust, in love , and in danger as she finally finds out who she really is. Only with Roane and her newfound friends can she hope to keep Pearson Labs at bay while they crush an agenda that may spell the end of them all.
Click here to read an excerpt

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Good News

I finished my good copy of Circe's Recruits: Roane. Just polishing it (again) before I send it off to my editor. Man, there's nothing better than the feeling I get when finishing a book. I'm going to start work on the second Circe's Recruits since the story is fresh on my mind. Then it's a toss-up between a futuristic menage and my third Ethereal Foes book. Right now I'm just relaxing before taking my youngest to Mother's Day Out.

Freedom during the day. What a concept.

:) Marie

Friday, August 15, 2008

New Contest

The Third Quarter Contest

To enter to win a kick-*ss box of books and goodies, simply email me the answer to the following:

What are you looking for lately in a romance book?

  • Tired of certain genres, explicit sex or not enough heat? Shoot the answer to

  • Put 3rd Quarter Contest in the subject line.

  • Contest ends August 28th. Good luck!

  • Note, the box of goodies is for U.S. residents only. Out of country winners will receive a $30 online gift certificate to Books A Million

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Some Pics from San Francisco

I finally got a battery charger and downloaded pictures I'd taken while at RWA in San Fran.

The Golden Gate Bridge


The Hills of San Francisco

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Art of Chaos

A place for everything and everything in its place.

Yeah, right.

I can only wish my closets looked like the picture here. I've spent the past several days tidying up. Between one kid moving out to college, swapping rooms between children, new carpets and unpacking from RWA, I've been in a constant state of disorganization.

Normally a little mess won't bother me. I often sacrifice the house for writing. But when it gets too cluttered, I can't write. It's as if the mess around me turns into a mess in my brain. Like me and the kitchen. I cannot and will not cook if it's dirty. And I hate dirty dishes in the sink. Okay, I admit I have issues. But it's hard for me to process clean food around unclean countertops...just like my writing.

How can I get fresh words to my monitor when my fingers constantly itch to dig into the stacks of crap around my desk? Without my notebook by my side, how can I be sure I'm not renaming a character or giving him/her the wrong flaws and attributes? Even worse, when do I end my chapters? (I'm a chapter writer. I set a certain number of pages as a goal and write to that end state. Works for me.)

To keep this rant short, I admit to cleaning all morning long. I also ran errands. I now feel complete and able to write. Yea!! Tonight I plan on at least a chapter if not more. I'm closing in on The End and if feels grand.


Monday, August 11, 2008

School's In

This is what I envisioned my spooky school, Blood Manor, would look like when I wrote Miracle at Blood Manor, a free read on my website. Apparently, this is also the way my son views his elementary school, as evidenced by his tears this morning on his way to Kindergarten.


This is his second year at the elementary since he attended Pre-K at the same school last year. Rode the bus. Full day. Yet we're almost starting all over. I wish he didn't get so upset when confronted with new things. He was clinging to me like velcro when I left. I felt bad, but I also want him to get over his fears. A few days of this and he--we--should be okay. I hope...

Now I have my 3 year old to deal with. We're cleaning the house and organizing. Hopefully, I can get some writing done this evening that won't keep me up past 1 AM. I was up at six this morning, which for me is WAAAYYYY early. I need coffee, stat.

More tomorrow...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

To Free Read, or Not To Free Read

That is the question. Free reads. Good or bad? As a reader, I don't think a free read is EVER a bad idea. Heck, I love to read. And reading for free makes my family, and my pocketbook, a lot happier. That said, as an author, why the heck would I post one?

I mention this because a good friend of mine has a Yahoo group full of nothing but free reads. She's been published with a publisher whose level of professionalism is in DEEP question, so feeling at odds, she's posted (quite legally) her stories with them on her group. Check it out at Samantha Storm.

I argue with her daily because I think she should find new publishers for her work. But she's still peeved about her old publisher (can't blame her) and wants to offer her work for free. Not to mention she has a thing about making money--another subject that would take too long to discuss here. So I argue with her over how many free reads she posts.

As an author, I think posting a few reads is a good idea. It gives readers a small gift for visiting your website, and it lets them sample a bit of what your writing style is like. I have two free reads on my website. Miracle at Blood Manor (which is WAY PG) and Obeying Mr. Right (which is not, very R) are on my Teaser page. I'll write more as I get more time. Lately, though, time is a precious commodity. I have two books I need to finish writing. A ton of books I mailed home to myself courtesy of RWA Nationals, and more ideas if I want to publish my ebooks before 2010.

I tease Samantha about her free reads, but I do like sampling authors. If you do join her group, tell her I sent you. And that she owes me.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Life After RWA

It's Thursday. The carpet guys are supposed to be here to install some much needed carpeting upstairs. The house is a mess. School starts next week. I've lost the charger for my camera battery and can't see the pics I took of San Francisco. I just released a new book on Tuesday and completely forgot to blog about in on Samhain's blog. ACK!

I'm finally getting back on east coast time. I plan to post about the RWA trip next week, and would like to have some pictures to go with the stories. Let's just say that rooming with my friends Cat and Teri was an experience I hope to have again. I've never laughed so hard in my life.

I learned a lot at Nationals, took home a TON of books and made some new friends. I truly hope what I've learned pays off.

Now I have a manuscript to finish, kids to ready for school next week, and a house to declutter. Oh, and my oldest goes to college on Sunday because he's in the marching band. But he's not yet home because he's touring the country with the Carolina Crown Drum Corps.

A lot of moving parts, but I'm grabbing my cup of coffee. I should be fine in another hour or so.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008


As a demon of the Ethereal, it’s Duncan Sinclair’s job to sway humans onto a path toward hell. Duncan is very good at his job—until a prank gone wrong lands him in the upper realm doing penance. Now he’s being bombarded with love, kindness, and affectionate sex…and it’s killing him. The only way out is to agree to sway souls for Heaven, with an angel as his partner, by all that’s unholy!

Sapphira may be an angel of the upper realm, but she chafes in a bland existence where everything is so pure. It’s hard to hide her secret yearning for sin. Even harder with Duncan, who’s everything the dark core of her soul craves: handsome, sexy and refreshingly naughty.

Confronted with an angel who drinks, swears, and takes him to bliss with her sinfully delightful body, Duncan finds himself at risk of losing his heart to the enemy.

Loving this angel could land him right where he doesn’t want to be—heaven. What’s a demon to do when he’s falling?

Now available from Samhain

Monday, August 4, 2008

Contest Winner!

Sorry to post this so late. I just returned from San Francisco today after a full night of flying and jet lag recovery...

Congrats to Ashley A. for winning the Duncan's Descent Contest. She's won a copy of Duncan's Descent, due out tomorrow from Samhain.

Thanks to all who participated!