Friday, August 31, 2012

Adult or Not?

My blog is not one of the content restricted blogs. But I've been thinking about switching over. Basically it just has you click a button to enter after getting a content warning. I hadn't done this before, because I didn't want to offend anyone or limit my audience, but that's just stupid. I write erotic romance, and I'm limiting my own content.

Anyone have any comments on this? Do you think it's a good or bad decision? I don't mind going to other sites that have this warning. And it doesn't mean that I can only post racy material, just that some of what you read on this blog may be of a more adult nature. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday Words

Thought I'd start something new. On Wednesdays, I'm going to post some of what I've written that's not yet published. Who knows if it will make it into the books or not? 

This is a passage from Right Wolf, Right Time (that WILL be in the book). The story releases in November from Samhain.

Across the street behind the window in the coffee shop, Monty fought not to tear the curtains framing the large window and jump through glass to rescue Sophie. How the hell could she let that bastard maul her on a public sidewalk?
“Dean apparently struck out.” Grady shook his head and watched as Rafe and Sophie strolled toward the movie theater. “Let’s hope Ty and Burke have better luck.”

“Yeah, let’s hope,” Monty growled, aching to sink his teeth into Sheridan’s throat.
Grady slapped him on the back. “Don’t worry, buddy. We have your back. But the rest is up to you. You want to claim her? You better move fast. From what I heard, she’s tired of waiting on your *ss.”

And that’s what truly burned him. Monty had been thoughtful, caring, gentle—all for a she-wolf who didn’t seem to appreciate his kindness. Hell, he could have muscled in and had her after their first meeting. He’d sensed their instant connection. But had he? No. He’d been worried about her state of mind, nervous about adding to her fear of wolves and men in particular. And for all his effort, the woman had the nerve to go out with Rafe f*cking Sheridan.

He growled again.

“Dude, ease up.” Grady looked over his shoulder and waved at the patrons frowning at them. “Come on. Have the Chastells ever not annoyed the gray wolves?”

Monty drew a few deep breaths to calm down. He tempered his impatience. Hell, if the cats couldn’t shake the leech off Sophie, he’d simply break the man in two. Then he’d deal with the little she-wolf.

“Come on. Time for the next part of Ty’s master plan. Fox thinks he knows best…” Grady continued muttering under his breath.

They left the coffee shop and trailed Sophie until a large pain in Monty’s *ss broke from the shadows and blocked their way. Behind him stood four more gray wolves. They certainly had presence. The wolves stood a head taller than most Ac-taw to begin with. Most of his kind were brawny and thick. Dense muscle, sharp teeth and deadly claws, when shifted, kept Cougar Falls safe when the wolves weren’t ripping up the town and its inhabitants in turf wars.

Now they stood between him and Sophie.

The mean grin Axel gave him brought out his wolf, eager for payback. “Fancy meeting you on the street, Monty. Out for a stroll with your boyfriend?”

The other wolves snickered.

Grady laughed as well. “Good one. Didn’t know you dogs had a sense of humor.”

They bristled. Wolves hated to be confused with domesticated canines. Monty didn’t like it either, but he could appreciate the general insult. It certainly scored with Axel.

“Look, Chastell. This is between us and GrayClaw. Move it along before I have to hurt you.” He looked more than up for it.

Grady backed away, his hands in the air. “You won’t get any trouble from me.” He shrugged. “I can’t speak for the others, though. For some odd reason, they seem to like the dumb wolf.”

“Hey.” Monty glared, then grinned as the scent of felines accompanied the shift of the wind. He glanced over his shoulder and spotted Stacey, Dean and two of Stacey’s sisters, Melissa and Amy. Normally one cat could take on a pair of wolves with ease. Male lions were bad enough. But the females didn’t take kindly to anyone messing with what they considered theirs. At all.

“Oh hell. Hiding behind a bunch of women?” Axel sneered at him.

Monty nodded. “You bet your *ss. You might have taken me in a fight, but I dare you to tackle any of them.”

Axel cursed him and took a step forward. Then Amy and Melissa were suddenly in front of Monty, nudging him behind them.

He wanted the fight, but he wanted Sophie more. So he left the cats to battle the wolves and entered an alleyway to circle behind the buildings. With the theater taken care of, he’d lie in wait back at Sophie’s. He had to hand it to Grady—the cat had left little to chance. Now if Ty could sabotage Rafe and Sophie’s romance under the big screen, Monty wouldn’t have to break the cat into tiny pieces.

Either way, Monty wasn’t going home tonight without Sophie.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cyber Marketing--Bullying Be Thy Name

I have a very low tolerance for things forced upon me. In retrospect, that's probably why I'm not that great at marketing. I don't want to cram my writing down someone else's throat. So I'm particularly peeved when others do it to me. 

Facebook and Twitter are marketing tools. I admit, I also goof off using them. But I'm growing increasingly annoyed at the many "likes" and groups I'm added to with no idea who or what I'm attached to.

Even more recently, I received a friend request I accepted. The woman seemed to be of age, and I'm all for networking. Then her spouse messaged me not once but three times to like his wife's inspirational book, with an added link in case I really wanted to read it. Hey, that's great to be supportive. But prodding me with not one but three emails to like her page/book is really not helping her cause. I didn't "unlike" her page because she might not be aware of her husband's idiocy, but really. Does this method work? Bully readers into reading you?

Maybe I'm that odd stubborn duck that doesn't respond to pushiness, but I think it's plain obnoxious. Like those %$$#@@!! mortgage jerks constantly (and I mean, several times a day) calling my house to get me to convert my loan. I went from letting my machine collect messages to now answering that I am not a glass company (I still get calls for a business that used to have my same number) and I won't talk to anyone about mortgages. Then I happily add a hello, what can I do for you in my most pleasant voice. 

I can't be the only one who deals with this kind of nonsense, but I wonder what others do to prevent this from repeatedly happening. Or maybe it's one of those situations where you just shut up and deal.  Either way, it's extremely annoying before coffee, any way you look at it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Another Monday

Usually I'd be whining about another Monday, but this one looks pretty good. I'm feeling cheery, hence the shot of the pretty, bright, happy flower to the left. (That's my mood today.)  The weather is sunny but cool. The kids have playdates so I'm getting actual work done during daylight hours. And school is one short week away. I'm feeling giddy. I'm a sucker for schedules. I do better when I have fixed free time. I hate watching the clock, but there is a comfort to knowing when I can work without interruption and when I can't. 

Last night I avoided all television, and after tucking my kids to bed, typed way into the wee hours. Needless to say I was dragging this morning.

This week is strictly for editing. So I'm back to the grindstone, but as of Sept 5, I won't have to work too late anymore. And that's something I'm cheering about on this fine Monday afternoon.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What Makes Sexy Sizzle: Giveaway

I'm at Romance Junkies today talking about what I like to write and read. Stop by and comment for a chance to win a copy of The Lost Locket, the first in my PowerUp! series.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Chirping Isn't Just for the Birds--OR--Why I Hate My Fire Alarms

Ever had one of those nights where your fire alarm chirps because the battery is low, but you can't figure out which alarm is doing that ^&%$##@! chirping? My intention last night to go to bed early was sabotaged by my house, which I still think is possessed by some type of noisy spirit. My icemaker clinks at all hours, the furnace grates on and off at will, and the squirrels and woodpeckers seem to have contests about who can drop the most crap on my rooftop.

But the fire alarms were by far more annoying than anything I've dealt with. Just when I thought I'd figured out which alarm made the noise, it would be silent. So thinking the nonsense finished, I tried to get to sleep. Only to hear that chirping twenty minutes later. grrr  I ended up changing out two alarms, both of which had green lights, which supposedly signals a healthy battery. Whatever. Needless to say, I hit the sack at 2am. So much for getting some decent sleep so I'd write early this morning. sigh. I still rose early (for me) at 0830. My mother is going to take the kiddos out today, so I can get some real work done. That's if the fire alarms will cease and desist.  Wish me luck.

Monday, August 20, 2012

New Cover: Right Wolf, Right Time

Here's the new cover for my upcoming Cougar Falls book, Right Wolf, Right Time. The book releases in November from Samhain. I can't wait!! So happy Monday, and happy birthday to my bud, Maria.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fortune's Favor--CONTEST

I'm at Delilah Devlin's today with a contest. If you'd like to enter to win a copy of Fortune's Favor, makes sure to comment at Delilah's

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fourteen Friday Vices

Before you think to complain, this man is decently covered, wearing more than most men do at the beach. It's actually very difficult to type this post while staring at this picture. And thus my segue into vice. I should just name this post: 

Things That Distract Me from Writing.

1. Half naked men. See left.
2. Luther, on BBC (Netflix has it. An amazing police procedural.)
3. Cool anime. I admit it. I am a woman with the soul of a 17 year old boy. Scary.
4. Facebook. Why, I don't know. But I lost an hour last night looking at cute kittens, bunnies, and stupid people.
5. Books in my TBR pile begging me to read them and put them out of their misery. Recently to this, I finished Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt and The Fallen: Demon by Kristina Douglas. (Both are being added to my keeper shelves.)
6. Cheese and crackers--the new black
7. Writing other stories, the ones not due or under a deadline. Why my brain wants to add more stress to my otherwise fully occupied days, I'll never know. I now have a YA story, a m/m, and one more project ongoing. &^%^&$#@!! muse.
8. Netflix
9. Google and Wikipedia. One thing catches my eye, then I'm googling, reading about it on Wikipedia, then clicking on any links listed until hours have passed.
10. Nazi Occult specials. Because an evil man followed by hundreds of thousands was so twisted and fanatical and into the occult. Bizarre on so many levels.
11. Specials about the universe, because black holes and  the theory of alternate universes are fascinating. 
12.  Law and Order Criminal Intent--for Goren and Eames, and to hear that BUM BUM.
13. The TV show Grimm. It's in Portland, it's about gruesome fairytales come to life, and it's just cool.
14. Keebler Fudge Sticks. Addiction in a bag. 

May you enjoy your own Friday without too many vices. Or at least, don't get caught.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Today, Silver Tongue  releases from Loose Id!

A cursed statue, a closet submissive, and a Dom who doesn’t succumb to manipulation—psychic or otherwise—form a dangerous triangle where death waits just one wrong choice away.
 Warning: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: anal play/intercourse, Domination/submission.

If you like your heroes dominating, your heroines strong yet conflicted, and your bad guys really bad, check out Silver Tongue

Monday, August 13, 2012

New Website for Loose Id

I don't think this needs much explanation.

On another note, Loose Id has revamped their website and it looks fabulous. I was a bit concerned, I'll admit, because a lot of their content seemed to be in the ether for a while. Their server crashed, and everything with it just vanished. I have twenty-one books of my own there, so imagine mine and all the other hundreds of authors with content to update. But in the web world. every second down is a huge problem.

So good to know, Loose Id is up and running with a site that's easy to read and navigate. Searching is a snap, and my new release, Silver Tongue, will be out tomorrow!  So happy Monday, and check out the site. Oh, and now through Aug 19th you can get Loose Id titles 25% off, FYI.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Win a Book!

Today I'm over at Kate Hill's, helping her to celebrate 10 years with Ellora's Cave. I've only had 2 years, myself, and I think it's incredible that Kate has been writing for them that long, and that EC is still going strong!  I've done an interview, and I'm giving away an electronic copy of Namesake to one random commenter at her blog. Take a look!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Really? You Don't Read Reviews and Money Doesn't Matter??

I had to forcibly stop myself from joining in on a group giving advice to a newer writer. Most said what I was thinking but a few were way off. I decided to spill here because hey, it's my blog, and I can go crazy if I want to.

I have to laugh when I read other more experienced authors telling the new kids on the block not to worry about reviews. What author out there doesn't read reviews? Come on. It's human nature to want to know what others think of your work. The key is not letting reviews bother you. Good or bad, it's one person's opinion, and we've all got different ones. I've written over sixty books and I still like to know what the general feel is about a book. The bad reviews I ignore. The good ones I try to post to Amazon, to generate buzz. If I like the book I wrote, that's all that really matters to me. Sorry, but it's true.

Another funny piece of advice I read: don't worry about making money, just write. Well, in theory that's nice. If you have a day job or some other means of supporting yourself, and you write just for the hell of it, that's terrific advice. Realistically, money has to be at some point in mind when writing to make a living. Now, I don't sit down and see dollar signs when my characters are doing their thing, but the knowledge that I have a deadline is there, because if I don't turn in my book on time, my publisher might not publish my work, and I need that paycheck for bills, etc. It all runs together. I'm also not writing an erotic, Amish, futuristic vampire western. Why? Because it won't sell to my audience--not a money-maker. I might write it for fun for myself, but only when I have time, and that's a precious commodity I have very little of lately.

New authors tend to get very excited about piracy. About reviews. About everything. I know. I was a new author, and now I'm not. I also don't claim to know everything about the writing industry. It amuses me to see so many experts who don't seem to know all that much. Those who claim prices on books don't matter, because readers are loyal to publishers and will buy anything they put out, are talking smack. That's crap. Plain and simple. I'm a book addict, and I know many like me. We care about price, people. I refuse to pay seven dollars or more for an ebook. (Okay, I bought a new Jayne Ann Krentz for 12.99 once, so sue me.) It's an electronic book. I don't think I should have to pay that much for the publisher's office, coffee mess, and personnel fees. I understand costs related to cover art, editing, formatting and distribution. But my personal cap is six bucks, and that's pushing it for a 100K plus word  novel. There are some readers who will buy whatever an author puts out, because they like the author. But I think pricing influences sales, and you can't convince me otherwise.

Bottom line to new authors: You will get bad reviews. You will be pirated, but the people stealing your work weren't going to pay for it anyway. So you're not losing money, and karma is a bitch. Expensive books don't sell as well as cheaper books unless you already have a huge following. JK Rowling has no problem selling, true. How many writers make millions every year? Very, very few.

Authors helping authors is a wonderful thing. But writers who act like God's gift on the subject of writing are just silly.  No one knows everything, and the entire profession is based on subjectivity. Authors should question their publishers, their editors, or critique partners about things that don't make sense to them. Too many times I've seen writers bury their heads in the sand for fear of payback. Well, I'm just going to say it. There is no blacklisting in ebooks. Granted, if you act like an asshat on the loops, readers, writers and professionals will remember your name as that idiot who rants a lot, but asking about late pay, website problems, distribution errors, and the like are legitimate concerns.

I think all of the above applies to writers and nonwriters. Sometimes you have to stand up for yourself despite the consequences. Some bosses are idiots, and sometimes coworkers act with the maturity second graders. But if you keep your head above water and do what you know is right, everything works out. That karma thing again. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Wine-y Thursday

It's been a long day. I was up until 4 am typing. Then more work today. The muse struck at last. I finished a project and am gearing up to finish the project #2 within the next two weeks. 

So right now I'm basking in a sense of accomplishment. Wine and cheese, reading earlier books from the series I'm working on to revisit old characters, and enjoying myself. Technically, I'm still working while reading on my Kindle and enjoying the fruits (fermented though they be) of my labor.

Yeah. Writing is the best career. It's stressful, depressing, frustrating, time-consuming, and on days like today, totally freeing. 

Bottom's up.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


New cover for Silver Tongue, which releases next week, August 14th, from Loose Id. The story is a BDSM novel with a paranormal twist. Here's the blurb...

Kitty Nelson works for the PowerUp! gym as the day manager. But the empath does a lot more than run the gym. She keeps the team in shape, tempering emotions in a high strung group of psychics. It's not easy, but Kitty keeps the peace, until one day she meets her match in a man who won't cave to her looks, her smiles, or her psychic skills. Who knew meddling with a couple in love would lead to man straight out of her fantasies...and nightmares? Because with Dane, she knows he won't accept less than total control.

Dane Hanson did his time for the Marine Corps. He also got shot and found himself medically retired, leaving him aching for the excitement of a job he loved. He found solace in art, and it's that ability to create that has Kitty needing his help. He's back in the thick of things on an undercover assignment, but everything's different. Kitty is psychic, her skills don't work on him, and he thinks she's the hottest thing he's ever seen.  Even better, the woman has submissive tendencies he's dying to explore. But when the mission turns deadly, Dane realizes he doesn't just want to play with Kitty, he wants to own the feisty redhead for a lot longer than this mission. That's if she'll let herself surrender, the bad guys don't shoot them, and the weird statue they're sent to retrieve doesn't curse them to death.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Ef in Free

There's nothing quite so electrifying as getting something for free. It's like you're winning, getting over on our capitalist society by jeering at the idiots paying for something when you have yours free. Now I'm not talking about stealing, I'm talking about taking advantage of all the free stuff out there. And for a bibliophile like myself, I'm steering this conversation toward free books.

A few of my publishers have recently started offering books for free, and it's encouraging sales. Take a series that's been around for a while, offer the first book for free and hope to hook readers. Everyone wins. Readers get a taste of something new without paying a dime. Some like the book enough to buy the next in the series, and the author and publisher reap the rewards together.

I really don't see a downside to free...unless you're a new author giving away the farm. Free is a means of promotion. The something for nothing adage only works if there's another book to keep the reader happy.

I love writing. I love it so much, I'll write regardless of pay or publication. However, that said, I make a living by writing. My kids and I have a roof over our heads and food on the table because I sell what I write. To give away my time and energy is a liability if it interferes with my ability to provide for my family. I'm a fan of free, but it comes at a price. My price, and only I can determine if I can pay that or not.

I know several self-published authors who have put up books for free, and they have nothing else published. I don't understand this concept, especially because the authors want to quit their day jobs and make a living from writing. It's not good business sense. "But we want to grow our readership, expand our market." Smart, sure. But what market is there in one book?

Granted, if it's a Harry Potter, there's a lot of market. But even Harry had seven books to his name. I'm not trying to be a know-it-all, but honestly, it doesn't make sense to strive for financial independence (through writing) by giving away work for free. 

Sigh. I'd meant this to be a positive post about the ef in free. Instead, I went way off track. But I'm just baffled at how many independent authors get giddy about being having a bestselling free book with nothing else in their library.I understand wanting to share a good story, but if your end goal is to write as a paying profession, one free book with nothing else to offer does not make sense.

Okay, rant done. I digress. On the plus side for free books, I wanted to share some good news I already took advantage of. Currently for free at Ellora's Cave this week are Skye's Trail by Jory Strong (great book, I just read it) and Let Them Eat Cake by Ravyn Wilde (haven't read this yet but downloaded it). At Samhain, there's Crux by Moira Rogers (bought it when it first came out, great book) and Just the Way I Like It by Erin Nicholas (which I need to download.)

All of these books are beginnings to series, and it's worth it to read the first to see if the rest pique your interest. So swing by EC and Samhain if you want some great reads for free. My good word on this Monday morning. And now, back to my regularly prescribed caffeine.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I'm at Romance Junkies today. I'm giving away a copy of A Matter of Pride to one lucky commenter. Check it out!

Friday, August 3, 2012

My Library

I've lived in my house since December of 2011, and in that time I've had very little of what I left behind. The books accumulated in the Before picture are a few of my reference books, lower right, and books I'd accumulated since moving to Central Oregon. (Note: This is my office, where all the magic happens.) In the After picture, I've filled the shelves with a few of the books from my personal library, which finally arrived from Georgia. Oh, and I have two and a half bookcases upstairs as well housing my extensive romance collection. I'm in heaven once more.



Wednesday, August 1, 2012


So. Right now my house smells like bacon. It's permeated the downstairs, and I confess I like the smell better than the scented candles waiting to be lit in my cabinets. 

Wallowing in this bacony goodness, I am working on a MS due in September. I've turned in my first round of edits for Right Wolf, Right Time, and am back writing once more, having gone through a terrible bout of nonwriting madness.

While my children are playing with friends, I'll be playing with my characters--so to speak. Tuesday's update, for what it's worth. 

Raven's Brew 20th Anniversary Coffee week. The stuff is so smmoooottth. Love it.