Monday, October 31, 2011


Happy Halloween!

Remember to enjoy this holiday. Don't be scared. If you're in danger, close your eyes and wish really hard. Then the super ninjas of death and their pet doodle* will arrive to defend you from peril. Truly. Try it and see.

* Doodle=poodle/golden retriever + demon mix

Friday, October 28, 2011

Funny for Friday

I love the Far Side by Gary Larson. I wanted to cry when they stopped making the yearly calendars. This is one of my favorites. Enjoy, and happy Friday!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

How Many Is Too Many...Stories?

How many is too many? And no, I'm not talking about sexual partners. Disappointing, I know, but I find this an interesting topic. It applies to pretty much everything. Too many days volunteering with PTA. Too many projects taken on for family and friends. Too many directives at work that somehow landed on your desk. Do you do them all at once or focus based on priority due date, one at a time? The writing world is just as hectic, at least for me.

How many stories at once is too much? For some authors, writing two or even three stories at a time is par for the course. Some work on one during the day, another at night. Or they swap them every other day. I've gone to author websites and seen progress bars on the many works an author is working on, to show percentages complete.

Me? I have a hard enough time working on one story. I need to immerse myself in the characters and plot, and if the story is lighthearted, I tend to want everything I'm writing to be that easygoing. But lately, I've been experimenting. I have my schedule roughly fitted for 2012 already, so I know what I'm going to be working on and when. But there's another story I wanted to try, one that's different from anything I've done. I have three chapters of it written, in first person point of view, and for a young adult audience. Yeah, WAY different. And I like it. It's freeing me expand my writing, to search for better descriptions while at the same time keeping in mind the right tone and violence for a younger audience. Will I ever publish it? I don't know, but I do know it's something I would have loved to read as a girl. I've sporadically worked on it at night, because during the day I have other work to do.

Yet what do I do when I get stuck on my "day job"? Sometimes I muddle through a problematic part of the story, other times I might go to something completely different. And that's actually a great reason to have something waiting in the wings. So that when I'm at a standstill, I'm not wasting my brain. I can create in a different way for a different set of characters and unravel the knot keeping me from my problem story.

So for me, I'd have to say two is the magic number. Two stories to have available for work at any given time. And that's my Thursday tidbit. :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's A Deadman Day

Yeah, it's a Deadman's Reach kind of day. This is some stellar coffee (from Raven's Brew, if you're interested.) Organic, full bodied, and just yummy on a 34° day. It's AWESOME outside. Clear and bright and cold. Just the way I like it.

When I realized I'd hadn't posted since last week, I thought I'd share an update. I'm currently working on A Matter of Pride, a Cougar Falls story centered on Dean Chastell, a prankster and cat shifter first introduced in Rachel's Totem, the first of my Cougar Falls books with Samhain.

The story is really fun, and I'm having a blast writing it. That is, I'm having fun writing when I can find the time! Between carting kids to the dentist, volunteering to help with Running Club and math with 6-year olds, my calendar is getting full. Not to mention finishing up the business of buying a house. (What a huge pain.) But the house and the kids are worth it. Now, however, I have an empty house and blissful quiet. No more errands for the rest of the day. Time to get writing!!!

Here's a teaser of my current project, which I don't normally share, but I'm loving this story...

Cougar Falls, Montana

A door upstairs slammed. Swearing, snarls, and spitting hisses pierced the early morning quiet of what promised to be a beautiful summer day. Life in the Pride was never dull, but today looked to be especially interesting.

Whistling, Dean Chastell grabbed a cup of coffee and reveled in the love and gladness just being in the pride afforded.

“Son of a b*tch! I’m going to kick your *ss, Chastell!” Miles Bermin, fellow shapeshifter and current Catamount Ranch guest, had been using the shower upstairs because the water heater in his cabin wasn’t working.

At least, not since Dean had tampered with it.

“Miles?” From upstairs, Burke’s deep voice sounded rusty. “What the hell? It’s not even seven yet.” Great, now Burke would be in a bad mood. Dean’s oldest brother and pride leader wasn’t exactly pleased with him lately. Not after yesterday’s mess with the gray wolves.

The mangy bastards.

Dean decided it might be prudent to leave before he was discovered--and fast--and bumped into one such gray wolf on his way out the back door.

“Where are you off to so early?” Monty GrayClaw, the only wolf in the pride, yawned and stretched as he entered the house. “I thought today was your day off.”

Dean shrugged. “Just thought I’d get in a few--”

Burke’s laughter echoed through the house.“Holy sh*t. Is your hair blue?”

Monty blinked. “Your brother’s up early. This can’t be good. And who’s he talking to?”

“Yeah, it’s blue,” Miles roared. “I have business matters to attend to today, not to mention a date later this evening. And f*cking blue hair?”

Monty’s grin stretched across his lips. “Nice.”

Like Dean, Miles didn’t particularly care for the snotty cats from Miami. They tolerated the females well enough—mostly—but Miles was a huge pain the *ss at the best of times. It didn’t help that the women in town thought he walked on water and could do no wrong.

Dean did his best to look innocent, and failed miserably when Monty started laughing. Loudly.

Footsteps pounded overhead. Miles’s scent drew closer, robust with the heat of rage. Considering the guy had a few inches on Dean, as well as a surprisingly muscular frame under the stupid designer suits he often wore, Dean inched past Monty toward the door.

“I’d hurry if I were you.” Monty nodded for him to go.

Deciding avoidance made sense--because who wanted to fight so early on a gorgeous Friday morning?--Dean slipped outside and into his truck. He turned the key and shifted into reverse when the passenger door opened.

Christ, wasn’t one of them enough to deal with today? He stared in dismay at the most beautiful--and annoying--woman he’d ever had the misfortune to know. “Not now, Stacey. I’m late for work.”

“You have off today.” Miles’s sister just stood there looking finer than fine.

“Come on. I have things to do. Shut the door and move away.”

He inched the truck back. Any second now and Miles would be out the door…

“I need a ride into town.” She glanced behind her at the backdoor and frowned.

Fuming because he had two choices—give in to the princess’s demands or suffer Miles’s wrath, he leaned toward her. “What did you say?”

When she leaned closer to respond, he grabbed her by the collar and yanked her inside. She yelped as she tried to right herself, while he gassed the truck and lurched back just as Miles Bermin tore through the front door of the house dripping wet and wearing nothing more than a towel and blue hair.

Happy Wednesday, and hope you enjoyed an excerpt from A Matter of Pride.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Just spotted this today, a great review for Storming His Heart, the second in my (romantic suspense/psychic) Westlake Enterprises series from Samhain.


by Marie Harte

Genre: Erotic Romance, Fantasy, Romantic Suspense, E-book

RT Rating

Everything about this novella is extreme — extreme action, extreme paranormal elements and extreme heat! Storm and Rafe are explosive together. Even when they don’t like each other, they can’t keep their hands off of each other. Adding a great twist is the characters' psychic powers that keep the plot moving quickly. The reader won’t want to say goodbye to this world and fortunately with so many delicious secondary characters, there are sure to be more stories in the Westlake series.

To read more, click here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Those Darn Distractions

Every try to do something when your mind is in a million other places? Take yesterday. After a morning full of distractions because my mother is home from vacation--and yeah, it's terrific to reconnect--I had the evening to work. For an hour while my kids were otherwise occupied elsewhere, I had an entire hour to write, or brainstorm, or something. Instead I sat in B&N, drank coffee, ate a cookie, and read a book. The notebook I'd brought with me for notes had a few illegible scribbles. Nothing more,and nothing usable.

Later in the evening, I sat downstairs and talked with dinner guests and family after a wonderful meal. Fun. Not productive, but fun. Around ten, I went upstairs with a huge cup of coffee...and did some work for a friend of mine, stuff I'd said I'd do but hadn't quite finished. So great, commitment honored. Finally. And still, no work done.

Sure, the story is percolating in my head. My characters are giving each other (and me) a hard time about plot, wanting to go every which way, but I know they'll settle down, eventually. For me, a lot of writing is getting it right in the mind before it ever goes into words.

And then it's today, and I'm writing a blog post instead of working on my story. Yet as I type, my characters are whispering that they're ready to roll. As in, right now. Gotta go. :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Love Thor, er, the Green Bay Packers

I love the Green Bay Packers!

Go Beast!

Monday, October 17, 2011

That's MY VOICE You're Messing With!

This post is geared more toward writers than readers, but I think it's an interesting enough topic for readers as well. (Heck, I'm a reader too.)

There are all sorts of terms writers use in conjunction with their craft. Voice is one word that gets confused all over the place. What the heck is voice? According to Wikipedia: "Writer's voice is the literary term used to describe the individual writing style of an author. Voice was generally considered to be a combination of a writer's use of syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, etc., within a given body of text (or across several works)."

In other words, if someone is reading a book to me while my eyes are closed, I'll know it's an Author X book by the tone, the sentence structure, and the general way dialogue and character development pan out. For example, Shelly Laurenston is an autobuy for me because I absolutely LOVE her voice. She writes funny characters, witty dialogue, and fast-paced, action-filled plots. Oh, and her characters are crazy, which I adore. You could read me a passage from one of her books and I'd know she wrote it. That's VOICE.

But what happens when an author writes something and it gets edited to death? A great fear many of us (authors) have is that we'll lose our voice. Sometimes I write sentences that aren't sentences. I make up words in dialogue, and I leave off pronouns. Intentionally. It's my voice, a certain style that makes my book different from someone else's. Editing is a wonderful tool to clean up grammar and spelling mistakes, but at some point, the editor has to realize that the author has to state things her/his way. It's easy to change "a" to "the" for the hell of it, but a good editor knows when to leave it and when to change it.

I've had more than my share of good luck when it comes to great editors. And yeah, I've had one or two that made me bite my lip wondering why I bothered to write the book since it no longer sounded like mine. But from one author to another, I have to say, if your editor is editing out your voice, speak up. As a writer, you do have rights. That's not to say you shouldn't take criticism, because an editor has a job to do after all. But at what point do you sacrifice your work to be published? And yes, I know, a lot of times authors have no choice. You signed the contract, the editor and the powers that be aren't budging, and you're stuck. So when you finish your next book, take it someplace else. Somewhere the editor "gets you" and lets your voice shine through. There's nothing worse than an editor/author relationship that isn't working. Voice is important. And writing is a business. So be a professional, ask for help, and take it when it's offered. If not, walk far, far away.

And to Ann, Grace, Alissa, Mary, and Claire, you'll note I keep submitting. Thanks for letting me keep my voice. :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Late to the Party: Airbender Lives On!

I was goofing around on the computer and somehow latched onto this nugget of gold: Nickelodeon plans to release The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra in 2012. If you aren't familiar with the amazing cartoon that sparked the movie (which was totally underwhelming), Avatar: The Last Airbender was an incredible meld of eastern philosophy, natural elements and the people who command them. A great war is fought, and a group of kids with amazing power work together to stop it. But that's way too simple for this show. I won't go into more detail, because it was pretty deep and just wonderfully animated and written. Talk about creative! To dismiss it as a kid's cartoon sells the series short. I enjoyed the hell out of it.

Anyway, here's the trailer for Legend of Korra. And the city in which the story takes place has a supposedly steampunk feel. So even better! Check it out...

Friday, October 14, 2011

At Samhain Today...

I'm at Samhain today blogging. And why didn't I mention this before? One, because I just found out I was blogging yesterday. Two, because there's a three hour time difference so I thought I had more time to share. And three, because I'm perpetually LATE. Argh. Anyway, a little tidbit about me having no patience and a brand new excerpt for Closing the Deal. Not to be confused with the excerpt on my website or group. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I've been sitting on the cover for a while now, waiting to know when I could share it. But then I happened to see the book available at B&N and Amazon available for pre-order! Right Now! Shocker, yet a pleasant surprise. The book is finished, just waiting for its publication date, December 27th. A merry Christmas to me. :)

Quick backstory: Enjoying the Show is a short contemporary story that came out from Samhain in Dec 2007. The book was short, fun, and really caught on with readers. The hero of the story has twin brothers, and I've had many, many requests for the brothers' stories. So Derrick finally gets his chance at happiness in Closing the Deal.

Here's the cover and a short blurb. If you'd like to read an excerpt, click the link below. Enjoy!

Derrick Warren has had it bad for Sydney Fields from the first moment he laid eyes on her, back when his brother was courting her best friend. After three months of intense phone dating, he finally gets the delectable Sydney to himself. Except a chance encounter with an old flame during their first dinner date ends up with Sydney dumping his wine in his lap. Then he can't get the stubborn woman to take his calls. With the help of his interfering family and his soon-to-be sister-in-law, Derrick tricks Sydney into the dinner date they should have had.

But one night isn't enough. And soon, despite finally getting Sydney in his bed, he finds himself falling hard for the woman who refuses to need a man in her life. It'll take some tricky maneuvering to sell himself to the savvy businesswoman. But when push comes to shove, Derrick will do whatever he has to to close the deal and make Sydney his own.

To read an excerpt, click here.

Friday, October 7, 2011

It's All About Perspective

I saw this picture on Facebook and cracked up laughing. All you Christians out there, don't be offended. (And for the record, I'm Catholic, and I think this is hilarious.) Please, take a moment and read this. Not saying it's true, just that from another perspective, it might seem to be. Oh wow, this is still funny...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Good News for Cat Lovers!

A big Grover-hurray! I just found out Samhain has accepted my newest Cougar Falls story--Cats Are Wild. I have no idea on a release date yet, but I'm really happy to know the story has a home. Grady was first introduced in Rachel's Totem, in which he played a role helping his brother nab a mate. Gabby was introduced in Foxy Lady, as the heroine's sister. A lot of characters reappear in this story, but it, like the others, is completely stand alone.

Here's a blurb about Cats Are Wild:

Grady Chastell, Shifter extraordinaire, wants a cat to mate. Not just any cat, but the delectable Gabby Easton, new to the pride. She's sexy, kind, and can shift into two animal spirits. There's just one problem. Gabby won't take him seriously. He's at his wit's end trying to get her to go out with him when more problems arrive in the form of a rival cat and his sisters. Insert troublesome family, pranks gone wrong, and one whopper of a lie, and Grady finally has Gabby where he wants her, a heartbeat from being his forever. Until the truth comes out, hidden enemies surface, and Gabby, the love of his life, goes missing. It will take cunning, the help of the pride, and a good bit of trickery to convince his woman to forgive and forget. And more, to love him--the cat born to be hers.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Whispered Words Hits Amazon, ARe

Whispered Words is now available at Amazon and ARe! Here's a short blurb...enjoy!

Chloe King has worked for the government ever since she left college. First as a cop, then as an agent, Chloe has been putting away the bad guys for more than ten years. A clairaudient who’s always been able to escape trouble at the last minute, she’s now part of a group of people who understand what it means to be different. No longer working for the government, she’s now with a private organization. She should be working less dangerous cases, trying to retrieve paranormal objects gone missing. Yet her luck has taken a turn for the worse. She’s just getting over being nearly murdered by a serial killer when a stalker nearly brings her down. The voices she’s heard more than half her life have disappeared, and she’s afraid her life is coming to an end. If she can’t hear those voices again, she’ll die. She can feel it. But she never counted on the voices being real. Or belonging to two strong, sexy men resolved to keep her.

For an excerpt, click here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


This is completely non-writing related, but I had to share. A year ago, on October 31st--Halloween 2010--my 6 year old, then 5 years old, lost his treasured Brownie. Brownie has been with him since he was a baby. This is Brownie...a stuffed Velvet Teddy Build-a-Bear, the first version when they were cuddly and really cute. He'd been washed a lot but still had that little boy smell of saliva and love all bundled into brown fur. And then he went missing.

My son cried for days, weeks, months. We searched everywhere. Even drove through the neighborhood, school, church, stores, any place we could think of that this bear might have been.
Only to find nothing.

It's a year later; the kids and I have moved. We live across the country now. Low and behold, the kids' dad sent a package for my little guy. And what should be in there? BROWNIE!

I can't wait until my son gets home from school to watch him open the box (I had to open it first and re-taped it.) I still want to know where the stuffed animal was, but I'm content that Brownie has found his way home. A friggin' Festivus Miracle, for all you Seinfeld watchers out there. I feel like a kid at Christmas.

Now I can only hope good news comes in threes...

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Funny, Strange Form of Flattery

Well, this surely made my Monday. I was googling my name to see if I'd hit any new reviews for my books, in particular my latest Loose Id release, Whispered Words. And low and behold, I saw my name linked to Evolved Novelties Symphony G Harmony Bath Friendly Multi-Tempo Whisper-Quiet Vibrator. Apparently folks who bought that product also bough my novella, Enjoying the Show. A nice advertisement to indicate my book isn't too bland, eh? I had to laugh out loud.

Happy Monday.