Friday, November 27, 2009

I have a new....

BLOG! It's located here:
This one will become extinct at some point.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Lessons Learned Again...and again...

"When people show you who they are, believe them...the first time." — Dr. Maya Angelou

This is one of my all time favorite quotes and I definitely try to live by it. So why am I bringing this up?

A local woman was murdered when she reunited with her estranged husband. He'd been arrested for numerous domestic incidents and had a record of crimes that were escalating in violence with each new incident. Her family begged her to avoid him, law enforcement warned her off, she'd taken out a restraining order...she then ignored it and invited him back into the house. Dead at twenty-nine, she left two children behind. The perp was shot and killed by the police - thumbs up for the boys in blue.

Did you know?
 - Every nine seconds a woman in battered in the U.S.
 - One out of four have been assaulted by an intimate partner.
 - One in five High School Students have been assaulted by a boyfriend.
 - 37% of emergency room visits by women are DV related.
 - 1.3 million woman are battered each year in the US.
 - 50% of all homeless women and children are fleeing abusive husbands / spouses / relationships.
 - The greatest risk of transmitting this behavior to the next generation is for a child to see a parent being beaten.
 - 50% of state prison detainees for DV killed their victim.
 - In 70-80% of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.

If you or someone you know is in danger, call the National Domestic Violence hotline at any time of the day or night.

1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.3224 (TTY)

This is a disease with a cure.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tempt Not The Cat...or the Contest!

This is the third book in the Shadow Dweller series though it has changed quite a bite since it's first incarnation. How much do I love this novel? Just let me count the ways.

Top 12 Reasons You Should Run, Not Walk, To Buy This Book

12. Lots of new stuff in this version of the book
11. High body count - nothing says romance like a pile o' corpses
10. It's written me by and I'm FABulous! :)
9. Verra Sexy Hero
8. It's on sale @ a discount!
7. The heroine is a romance writer
6. Verra Sexy Shapeshifting Hero
5. Set in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
4. Uber sensual love scenes, food scenes and water incidents

3. Verra Sexy Shapeshifting CAT Hero
2. The blatant and often hilarious misuse of catnip
1. Did I mention the uber sexy, hot, gorgeous yummy shapeshifting CAT hero?

Want to win a paperback copy of the first two books of the series? Send a blank email to lists @ and you will be entered into a random drawing. There will be FIVE winners so what are you waiting for?

Legal Stuff:
One entry per household.
Void where prohibited.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Over the course of your lifetime you'll meet many people who have a story to tell. If you're lucky, a handful of those stories have the potential to change the course of your life.

Meet my friend Babs - one of those amazing spirits who tranformed hundreds of lives simply because she was breathing. We worked together for several years and during that time we laughed, we cried and had long talks about every topic under the sun. Even though she had MS, she never let her daily struggle diminish her cheerful nature and everyone she met adored her.

I received an email today letting me know that this darling creature passed away on October 2.

You will be sorely missed and I'm a better person for just having known you.

This one is for you, Babs:

Some of the many reasons why I adored Babs.
12. With her illness she had issues with her speech (she constantly struggled to find the right words) and when she used the wrong ones she'd laugh, laugh, laugh.
11. Was addicted to anything sweet and was always willing to share.
10. Her infectious laugh.
9. Hysterically funny without being mean or snarky.
8. Loved to talk about anything to anyone.
7. Always saw the good in people.
6. Loved the color purple and wore it often.
5. Sang jazz standards (off-key of course) all day while we worked.
4. Adored anything related to Hollywood be it movies, gossip or Mel Gibson.
3. Major Foodie.
2. Was generous with her time no matter what the situation was.
1. Always reminded me that if you're not having fun then you're doing it wrong.

And something from one of her favorite authors:


I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television - and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love yous".. more "I'm sorrys"... but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute...look at it and really see it... live it...and never give it back.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Weigh Loss & The Biggest Loser

I'm watching the first show of season 8 of The Biggest Loser. I have a love/hate relationship with this show. I love Bob Harper - he's really hot and he makes for good scenary. I hate watching these people broken down again and again though. They might lose weight, but how many of them actually keep it off?

What is the deal with the trainers looking like raging psychopaths this season? I realize this is a 'reality' show and its all about the ratings - but their behavior enforced it this time around. In order to lose weight, everyone needs encouragement but this, IMO, isn't encouraging. It's nothing short of abusive - to yell and scream in someone's face like that is just messed up. If I had to go through that to lose weight, I'd grab another Twinkie and turn to HBO.

Also - anyone who has studied the science of weight loss knows that to lose more than 1% of your body weight per week is too much. I understand why the first week these contestants lose big numbers, a lot of it is water weight as salt is pretty much being removed from their diet. If you drop the salt & salty foods I can guarantee that you'll drop some pounds as well.

While it might look good to see people watching big chunks of blubber each week, what is the real cost to their bodies? Hormone levels go nuts, stress hormones increase and the tissues become inflamed. Inflamation , for those of you who don't know, is almost the same as an injury - it causes your body to go into overdrive to repair the inflamed tissues. The metabolism starts doing gymnastics and your body goes into fight mode which means it hangs onto every calorie, every pound that comes your way. Its a vicious cycle which takes me back to - how many of them gain their weight back?

Daniel, a contestant from Season 7 - lost a good amount of weight and he's returned for this season. At the finale, he won 312 pounds and at the beginning of the season he weighed...312 pounds. Now this man states that he's been working out for four hours a day and lost...nothing?

I know how everyone loves to chant the weight loss mantra of calories and exercise but somtimes that equation doesn't equal success. Sometimes its about WHAT you are eating, not how much you are eating. I'm sure there are many who would argue with me on this but I've fought with my weight all my life and this has been my experience.

Show 1 - Julio should've been sent home because he's a whiner.

Men of SWAT

I gots news....

I just recieved a contract for the next Men of SWAT title, Kissing Cowboy. No release date yet so stay tuned. :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

He was a Giant...


Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Cover

Coming October 31, 2009

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Is my blog neglected or WHAT? :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Greatest Standup Comedians of All Time

I love comedy. If you can tell me a good story or make me laugh, I'll sit at your feet and beg for more. I have the utmost respect for anyone who can get on a stage and intentionally be funny because it just ain't easy.

12. Lenny Bruce - I admit, he was before my time, but he is the father of shock comedy and without him we never would've had such greats as Richard Pryor or Sam Kinison. Prior to this comedy consisted of knock-knock jokes and Bruce took an unflinching look at the ugly side of life - racism, hatred.

11. Bill Cosby - If you haven't seen his movie entitled, Himself, you're missing out.

10. Richard Pryor - This man set the world on its ear with his third album, That Nig***s Crazy and his popularity continued to grow with each successive album release. He was one of the writers on Blazing Saddles, Car Wash and numerous television shows.

9. Carol Burnett - One of my earliest memories was watching the Carol Burnett show in the early seventies. She was ahead of her time in that she knew her worth and retained creative control of her show in an era when it was unheard of.

8. Roseanne Barr - Love her or hate her - this woman kicks ass. She knew her value to the entertainment world and she retained control of her show and called all the shots.

7. Chris Farley - His timing was spot on - its too bad that he couldn't see himself as we saw him.

6. Joan Rivers - She was one of the first female comics, I believe Moms Mabley and Phyllis Diller are the only ones before her, and she is utterly hilarious. The first comic to openly talk about sex and issues that are important to women, she paved the way for those who came after.

5. Phyllis Diller - The first female comic to really make a name for herself. I remember seeing her on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and she constantly had him blushing.

4. Bob Hope - I grew up on his movies, watched his specials and was constantly amazed by him. He was the comedian who could stand in front of presidents and heads of state and make fun of them without recourse. He gave thousands of hours of his life to entertain the troops all over the world and this country owes him a debt of gratitude for his service.

3 . George Carlin - What can I say about him? He was a genuis and I was lucky to see him do a trial run of what would become his last HBO Special - It's bad for ya.

2. Red Skelton - Most of you are going...who? He was one of the funniest men and he was known as America's Clown. He appeared on several shows with Lucille Ball and he was a master of physical comedy. Go to his website and listen to his Guzzler's Gin piece and experience America as it was in the 50's.

1. Sam Kinison - I suppose some feel that Carlin or Pryor belong here but I just adored Kinison. He was sharp, funny, intelligent and utterly, completely fearless. I saw him perform once and it was an experience like no other. People make a big deal about Dane Cook filling stadiums and Kinison was doing it when Cook was still playing with G.I. Joe. He was a legend.

Others that I adore, Ellen Degeneres, Lewis Black, Katt Williams, D.L. Hugley, Woody Allen (in his early days), Andy Kaufmann, Bill Hicks, Johnathon Winters, Dom DeLuise, Red Foxx, Dennis O'Leary, Stephen Wright, Don Rickles, Bob Newhart - I could go on for days.

Who are some of your favorites?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

More Amazon Hijinks

A friend set me this link and I'm not happy. What is it with Amazon that they just can't come out and say what they mean? They always wait until an issue turns into a PR nightmare and they are exposed as the 800lb bully in the playground.

Yeah, I think I'll be shaking loose of my Kindle and switching to a new team.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Email, Email and even MORE email

Do you ever feel like Microsoft Outlook owns your soul? Do you hear that little 'ding' of arriving mail then close your eyes while animal-like whimpering souls escape from your mouth?

Yeah, me too.

I spent all of yesterday answering email. No writing, no promotion, no nothing - just email. About ten hours worth. It was truly staggering. Of course, one of the reasons why I had a ton o' email was because I have a nasty tendency to put things off when I'm writing. I don't want to take the time to answer it because work must be done. Then I get cranky when I have to take an entire day to do all the email I'd neglected.

When I was in high school my home ec teacher - what the heck was her name? - said to avoid spending your Saturday cleaning you should take ten minutes a day to straighten up. I think I need to use that strategy to keep my email in line.

Then again, I probably won't. :)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Check out...

my thoughts on Romancelandia.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


You know its going to be a rough day when you have a fat lip before 8am.

Stopped at my neighbors on the way to the grocery store. I went to pet the dog and Butch (said dog) jumped up and hit me full force in the mouth. Busted my lip open, blood everywhere. Mark (owner of said dog) had to haul me in his house and doctor me.

My lip is So Big...

(this is where you say, "how big is it?")

I have to watch walking through doorways so it doesn't get caught in the door.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I'm watching the final show of The Biggest Loser and eating a Twinkie. Is that wrong?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Reinventing Jane Porter

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


In my never-ending quest for a neat house, I threw myself into cleaning the garage yesterday. My method of cleaning is this - I put everything where I want it then I end up with this weird pile o' crap that I'm never quite sure what to do with. My solution has been to throw it in a box and toss it in the garage for the moment.

Now, years later, my garage is a mess. Surprise - bet you didn't see that coming.

Amvets is coming next Tuesday so I'm in a mad scramble to empty the garage and make a huge donation to charity. Literally, I have an entire kitchen stored out there somewhere and I'm sure someone can use it.

So in my frenzy I came across a box of stuff from past boyfriends and other people that I consider(ed) important in my life. I went through the box and spent my time shaking my head and trying to remember if I'd had a head injury when I dumped all that stuff in there. Why did I keep all of it?

My immediate answer is that it hurt too much to look at it so I threw it into a box to deal with when I wasn't so pissed off. The funny thing was I dumped him for screwing around on me which begs the question a second time - why did I keep this stuff again?

I sifted through the box and either tossed it or put it in the charity box. I did fish out a beautiful set of gold pens he'd given me - hey, I'm not stupid! Quality pens cost mucho dollars, but that was it. My garage would be much cleaner if I'd done that with everything else instead of letting it pile up.

Do you keep the remnants of past relationships hanging around in your house??

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Belly Button Lint...

I have been so frustrated lately. I have contracts to fulfill - books to write - and everything I've tried to put on paper is absolute crap. Yeah - in general writers believe everything is crap until we hit the end of the book. Once we write The End we're pretty sure we've written the Next Great American Novel.

Until then - the writing process just sucks. :)

I have some really fun projects on deck:
Rites of Spring, the sequel to Winter's Daughter
Tactical _____, the next SWAT story
Santo's story from the Jane Porter series...
A cool Urban Fantasy with no title...
But I'm having a hell of a time writing them. I've started Rites - the Prologue is is done and I've written three chapters...but let me clarify - I've written the first chapter three times...and thrown them all out.

I keep telling myself that it just needs more time to percolate. I've found that some books just flow from my brain - the Jane Porter books - and others need to be wrenched from my soul (Winter's Daughter). I guess this one will need to extracted with force.

Now where did I put the aspirin... :)

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

WLW: I'm a slacker...

Whee! I've been in a rough spot lately. I had to have a root canal last week and it was ugly now. I've had a root canal before and it was no big deal - but this one was the gift that kept on giving. With the first one I didn't have hardly any pain after 24 hours - I can't say the same for this one. I had to eat soft food (ICE CREAM, BABY!) for about 3 days and now the pain is finally slacking off.

I gained a few pounds but I do consider this extenuating circumstances. It was ice cream...or DIE. LOL.

But I'm back on my 'program' and I hope to shed my little gain by Monday and be back at my 45lb loss.

How did you do this week?

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Thursday, April 16, 2009


If you were watching CNN this morning then you heard about the new 'rule' United Airlines is instituting.,CST-NWS-united16.article

Yes, you read that correctly. United Airlines (the bad guys) have instituted a policy in which overweight passengers may be forced to purchase two airline tickets in order to fly with them.
Wow, what next? Smelly people will have to charter their own planes? Skinny people will have to sit two per seat? Better yet, the skinny people plane can have double the seats added...
Their rationale is they received 700 complaints...out of 63 million flyers who used United Airlines. Now that is really messed up. They are going to piss off roughly 40% of their passengers (and that's a kind statistic if you go by the obesity rate in America) so that less than one one-hundreth of a percent of their passengers won't be annoyed? And I thought Amazon was a corporate bully for pulling their sales rankings - United Airlines makes them look like altar boys.
One thing I've learned in spades is some people will never, ever be happy. You can never do enough, say enough or give them enough to make them pleasant to be around. In short, bitterness is more than a fashion-statement - its a lifestyle. I would hazard a guess that these odious types comprise the majority of the 700 whiners.
Other mere mortals, like you and I, have a little-acknowledge facet of our personalities called...compassion. (Shhh, don't let that get around or everyone will want it) When we see someone in an uncomfortable situation we feel for them and we try to lend a smile when we can. We are the 63 million...
This is why United Airlines is the unlucky recipient of the J.C. Wilder...You SUCK award...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Amazon in the Naughty Chair...

Remember the show Hee Haw? There was a skit that started out with the intro song:

Despair and agony on me...whoa!
Depression excessive misery...whoa!
If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all...whoat!

That is Amazon's new theme song because if pissing off your customer base was an Olympic sport - Amazon would win the gold by a Big Margin.

So what are they doing now? In a nutshell, when you do a search on Amazon the back end uses the sales ranking to determine which titles are returned in the search results. So in order to find an author's books, they need to have a sales ranking on their book pages.

Amazon (aka, the Evil Empire) has decided to start sectioning off 'adult' content for the protection of our delicate sensibilities. When a publisher sets up a book, they select terms that would apply to the book such as, erotic, erotic romance, sex, love, mystery, violence - you get the picture - this is called Metadata. At Amazon, customers can also select tags for each book so if your book is tagged as erotic - well you end up on the naughty list. Consequently, if the book you are looking for is tagged as erotic, then it won't show up on the search results.

So what have they removed? Erotic romances for one. Go search for Dominique Adair and should have at least 10 books...only one comes up. Heaven forbid if you're looking for GLBT titles because you'll be out of luck. JL Langley's My Fair Captain will only come up if you search for the complete title and there are thousands of others who've had their sales ranking stripped including Maya Banks, Jaci Burton.

But you can still search for sex toys...

According to Publisher's Lunch, Amazon has reported that this is an 'error' on their end and it will be fixed shortly. Uh...right.

Want to sound off? Amazon Customer Service: or via phone: 1-800-201-7575 and there is a petition:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ye Olde Closets....

Remember my closet cleaning odyssey? ( Well I finally have my closets all nice and clean and everything is organized to within an inch of its life.

To catch up - the master bedroom is now my library and my bedroom is the smallest room of them all. It's a little tedious - you walk in the door and you can just throw yourself on the bed - but I don't spend enough time in the bedroom to warrant staying in the big room. Since I spend so much time working, I converted over the master bedroom for the library. Tada! I have space to put in comfy chairs and bring some of my beloved books in from the garage. WOOT!

This is my first collection that went to Amvets - everything goes to help the Veterans - and I'm working on my second collection and it promises to be twice as much stuff. My house feels slimmer already - LOL!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

WLW: Progress is measured...

in inches, literally. :) I gained...I'm losing again - almost back to my 45 pound loss. It just amazes me how quickly I can get derailed. My knee has been acting up because my schedule is crazy and I haven't been going to the pool. Big No No for me. So I've been sitting with my leg up and the ice packs and the bandages...and breathing puts pounds on me.
So I've been watching what I eat and forcing myself to move around no matter how much it hurts. I've reclaimed 3 of my lost pounds and 1.6 more gets me back to my 45.
Ugh, haven't I been here before?

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Price of eBooks

There's been a lot of talk lately about the cost of ebooks versus their print prices. To most of us, it only makes sense that the ebook should cost less, quite a bit less than the print counterpart.


1) Lack of printing costs
2) Lack of warehousing fees
3) Lack of distribution fees (mailing, shipping etc)

This is quite a big chunk of change when you look at the price of an individual title. Ingram (the biggest book distributor in the US) demands 55% of the cover price up front. Currently they aren't in the digital market but they're working on it and I'm sure they'll suck up 55% of that too...though for what I'm not entirely sure.

Anywho - there are some costs associated with ebooks that don't come into play with the print versions.

1) DRM - gotta pay for that technology...which hackers can break faster than the legit guys can dream it up
2) Delivery - there has to be a delivery back-end needed to deliver the ebooks to the buyer

The print version's costs versus the ebook's doesn't add up. Here is the reality of ebooks - once the file is edited and sent off to the printer you are only one step away from an ebook. All that is left is to format it to the specs required by .pdf, .epub, .prc designers and toss in the DRM and voila - you have an ebook ready to be sold.

Yes, that is a bit of a simplification but the basic information is there. In order to create the four 'standard' takes less than 20 minutes apiece and you end up with a product that could conceivably be available for sale until the end of time.

So let's look at a Kindle title, No Rest For The Wicked by Kresley Cole. On Amazon the paperback price is...7.99. Guess what the Kindle price is...7.99. What are they thinking? Where is the enticement to buy the ebook?

There isn't one.

I already have the a Prime account that I pay 79.00 a year for so I have free shipping on whatever I buy (yes, I place that many orders!) it would make no sense for me to buy the ebook. Why?

1) no discount for the fact that the overhead is less than half for the ebook as it is the print
2) I have nothing to show for it. eBooks can't be resold but if I buy the print one, I can get a few dollars out of it at the used bookstore.
3) I already paid 359.00 (no shipping though! ) for the Kindle so there's no way I would pay full price for the paperback - a discount should be automatic if you want me to buy your hardware...which you're making money off of anyway. Make a decision, make money off the device or the book but not both - unkewl.
4) I can buy the same 7.99 for roughly 6.00 at my local Target, WalMart etc.

The Cole title came out in 2006 while J.R. Ward's Lover Eternal (also 7.99) came out in 2006 and the Kindle price is...6.39. Not great in my opinion but more managable.

And the best one of all...Jim Butcher's Small Favor is a 9.99 paperback...and the Kindle version was 11.99 (it has been repriced to 7.99). No one will ever be able to make a rational explanation to me as to why this should be okay.

My response? Buy ebooks from the smaller presses - the prices are better and if you buy from a good-quality, reputable press - the books are excellent too.

Friday, March 27, 2009

10 Greatest Rock & Roll Frontmen Ever

13 - Steven Perry - Journey is underrated in my opinion. Because they were pop-rock most of the R&R mainstream snubbed them for being 'girly'. They can say what they want but Perry's amazing vocal range is undeniable.

12 - Bret Michaels - not a fan of Poison and after watching one of his 'reality' shows where he proves he's a sexiest child (Hey Bret - women are more than their bust size) - you can't deny his vocal range. That gruff, sexy voice is pretty damned hot.

11 - Ronnie James Dio - Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Dio - When it comes to the classic heavy metal voice - this man is it. Don't believe me? Go find a copy of his 1983 (Dio) Holy Diver and listen to Rainbow in the Dark - nuff said.

10 - Ozzy Osbourne - Black Sabbath wasn't the same without him.

9 - Axl Rose - Okay, he is a self-centered egotistical butt-wipe, but his voice was memorable. But JC, he's not dead... No he isn't but he might as well be. Chinese Democracy? Puhleeze...

8 - Tom Petty - I'm a huge fan of Petty even though he sounds like three miles of bad road. He's also a brilliant songwriter.

7 - Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) - excellent voice and amazing stage presence.

6 - James Hetfield - Metallica, what more can I say?

5 - Elvis Presley - I'm not an Elvis fan but you can't deny his vocal talents. Overlook the rock and roll he did and take a listen to the gospel songs. Utterly fabulous.

4 - Steven Tyler - That man is STILL hot and his vocal range is impressive. Any man who can hit those notes and not have to cut off his balls to achieve it - he's aces in my book.

3 - Robert Plant - Led Zeppelin need I say more? Stairway to Heaven wouldn't be the same without his voice.

2 - Rob Zombie - The voice is meh...but his stage presence is worth the cost of a ticket.

1 - Chad Kroeger (Nickleback) - Probably one of the best voices out there today.

Who else should be on (or off) the list?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What the hell?

Just a few things that threaten to spin my head off my shoulders...

A woman in Ohio receives food stamps and she owns a 300k home (fully paid off), has 80k in her savings account and drives a Mercedes...but because she has no income, she is 'eligible'. Hmm...selfish much?

I use a wireless keyboard and mouse, both bought at the same time in the same package from one company. Why in the hell do they use two different types of batteries?

Laura Ingraham - This woman makes other women look bad. Megan McCain (John McCain's daughter) is a blogger and she commented upon Ann "I dress like a hooker" Coulter's politics saying that she was radical and dangerous. This Laura woman (who is she again?) called Megan an overweight valley girl...

Huh? Is that all you've got? My father always told me that if I couldn't express myself eloquently then I just needed to keep my mouth shut. Too bad Ingraham's father didn't tell her the same.

Who is she again?

The age-old conundrum - why do hotdogs come in packs of ten while buns come in packs of eight? I'll never understand that one...


I must have one. Thanks to Dave Navarro for the heads up!

Since when does Blogger not allow YouTube videos? Another reason to leave blogger behind...

Monday, March 16, 2009

The latest news...

Boy it's been a while since I've posted. Went to Portland Oregon for Celebrate Romance - what a fabulous city. Tons of bookstores, coffee shops and these fabulous little indie stories all over the place. Portland is a city with unlike where I live.

Oh, and the conference was good too. :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Men of SWAT

It's past time for a Men of SWAT update. I've picked up the series again and I'm working on a sexy short that has no name as of yet. This will be Ro's story (Miranda's sister) and it will be a rockin' good time. I anticipate it will be out in late summer or early fall so stay tuned for the details!

PS - I'm so glad to be working on this series again - I do so love those boys in blue. :)

Latest Shadow Dweller News

I've been receiving a flood of emails asking about my Shadow Dweller series so I thought I'd answer here.

Currently, only the first two of the six titles are now available. One With The Hunger and Retribution. I received the rights back to the other four titles in October. Once I find them a home, I will be continuing the series. Not only is Renault's book (yumEE) still in the wings, there's also the Shadow Hunter series still crowding my head.

By mid-April I whould have a solid plan in place so stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WLW - Think positive

Good morning!

It's Weight Loss Wednesday and I'm pleased to report I've hit a milestone. Drum Roll Please...

I've lost a total of 45 pounds. BOOYah. :)

Let me tell you that every single pound has been a struggle. If I have to fight this hard to lose a pound at my current weight, I don't even want to think about what it will be like 145lbs from now. :(

Lately I seem to be on a seesaw from hell. Last week I hit the 45th pound and was working on number 46 then WHAM - gained three pounds. There is no reason that I can discern. I didn't do the candy bar polka or dive face first into a cake. So I'm still working on getting those three pounds back off and outta here. The best part is people are now noticing I'm losing - myself included. I have some shirts that were tight around the belly - my zone of HELL - and now they are loosening up. My old sweat pants are about to hit the charity bag because...well...they fall down. :)

So how are you doing?

Many people have emailed me to ask what I'm doing to lose the weight. First is what I call, Intentional Exercise. I go to the pool three days a week for one hour each day. This week I've added one more day of intentional exercise and my plan is to finish my bedroom this week. (I've been redecorating - don't ask).

Food - my calorie intake varies from 1400 to 1800 depending upon what I'm doing that day. Most doctors will tell you to pick a calorie level and stay there but it doesn't work well with me. It almost feels like my body gets used to that calorie level and wham - I stop losing. So I try to mix it up a bit and that usually helps. I might spend a week at 1400 then increase to 1600 for a few days then back to 1400 - might not work for you but it does for me. Then again I have quite a bit to lose so I have that luxury.

Breakfast - For me I need to keep it as simple as possible. A protein shake and fruit. I use a powdered shake with skim milk and on pool days I use Slim Fast. My fruit is a banana when I have them in the house - they keep me full. I usually have breakfast around 7:30 am - gotta hit the pool early. No fruit? I eat yogurt. I'll be honest, I don't like the light stuff so I stick with the 6oz yoplait line.

Snacks are a little tricky and this is when I'm most likely to go astray. My snacks vary from granola bars to yogurt, fruit, cheese and crackers - my only guideline is to keep it around 150 calories or so. I usually try to avoid sweet things as they will trigger you to eat more.

Lunch - High protein! My favorite lunches are Big, Big salad with lean meat, strawberries, feta cheese, pasta on occasion, chicken, steak, fish - something like that. I will have a small amount of bread or crackers but this is the end of my bread for the day. This is also my biggest meal of the day.

Snack time is around 3 - did you know your metabolism dips around this time every day? This is what drives you to the snack machine. My afternoon snack is usually protein or fruit.

Dinner - small meal. Usually meat and two veggies. No carbs.

Snack - same as above. I will allow myself to have a little something sweet here. Check out the Weight Watchers desserts or low fat ice cream, pudding etc.

Emergency snacks - My emergency snacks are low fat cheese, granola bars or those 100 calorie packs. I'm still ingesting more sugar than I'd like but that seems to be the hardest thing for me to break. I can leave the chips alone but sugar? It's my kryptonite.

I'm off to the pool - wish me luck!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Light at the end of the tunnel...

I'm pushing through the final edits on the third Jane Porter novella, Reinventing Jane Porter. I'm about two weeks behind where I'd wanted to be but what can you do when life intrudes? It's the last day of January and it feels like the past 31 days were squished into four hours and I slept through half of it. :)

I just keep telling myself that no matter what happens the manuscript is due Sunday at midnight so at 12:01, I can fall down and sleep for two days straight. Or, at the least, I will spend a few days zoning out in front of the television watching the thirty hours of shows I've DVRed because I was trying to get caught up on writing...

Its a vicious cycle.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A question of...morality?

I belong to a writer's group and every year they have a big contest to judge the work of their peers (koff) and drama is never far behind. Every year there is teeth gnashing, hair pulling - you name it - and I can only roll my eyes so much before it becomes too much effort to do even that much and I'm reaching that point now.

So on the email loop for said group the conversation has turned to...the contest. One of the authors mentioned some judges were sending back books (meaning they won't read them for judging) that were Erotic Romance not because it wasn't to their liking - it was a question of MORALITY.

Rut-row (ScoobieDoo imitation)

I cannot tell you how sick and tired, tired and sick, weak and weary I am of the mentality that writing sex is immoral. I've got news for the woman who wrote this - if it weren't for sex she wouldn't be here. (I know, its like telling a child that the Easter Bunny doesn't exist but sometimes life is just tough and you've got to take like a big girl)

I don't think those who write sweet or inspirational romances aren't having good sex. I also don't believe all 'moral' people wait until marriage to have sex. Why would someone pass judgement like that on erotic romance? Saying you don't like it or don't read it is one thing, saying it is a question of morality is completely different. It carries the implication that the author of the comment is morally superior to those of us who enjoy writing and reading ER.

It just makes you shake your head doesn't it? I feel sorry for her - she must lead a very small life and only feels better when she's looking down on someone else.

One of the most important lessons my father taught me was that no man is superior to another, period.

Free eBooks!

Come and get 'em.....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Read Romance

There is a great romance website ( and they are starting up their own chat list and guess what...they will talk about BOOKS. What a concept, a romance list actually talks about books. No drive by author promos, no random promotional companies spamming you with ads...

The grand opening is Friday and I will be one of the featured authors! So stop on by because I'll be posting exclusive excerpts from Educating Jane Porter and Rites of Spring, the second installment in the Coven series.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Love Romances & More Award

I just received the fabulous news that Winter's Daughter took second place in the Love Romances & More Best Book 2008 awards for Best Mystery / Suspense. I am utterly thrilled to have been nominated let alone taking second. (It was a tie with Josh Lanyon & Sarah Black's Partner's In Crime)

I cannot convey to you what this book means to me. Writers are always encouraged to write the book of our heart and Winter's Daughter is just that book. Of all of my characters Syn is the one I feel the most deeply.

I'm hard at work on the sequel, Rites of Spring, and this is Syn's younger sister Chloe's story.

For more information on Winter's Daughter -

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Upcoming Workshop

PR Isn’t a 4-Letter Word

Self-promotion. Say the word aloud in a room full of authors and watch a fingernails-on-the-blackboard shudder run through the crowd. Promotion can be a scary drain on time and finances. But there are also many entertaining and often free opportunities to get one’s name in front of readers.

Marcia James and over 20 PR-savvy guest lecturers—Melissa Alvarez, Dianne Castell, Kate Douglas, Carol Ann Erhardt, Karen Harper, Susan Gee Heino, Donna Hill, Linda Keller, Laurie Kingery, Karen McCullough, Donna MacMeans, Janice Maynard, Beth Morrow, Jenna Petersen, Patricia Sargeant, Barbara Satow, Jenn Stark, Jennifer Stevenson, Kay Stockham, DeNita Tuttle and J.C. Wilder—will present affordable author self-promotion strategies from author branding and press kits to blog/chatroom opportunities and niche markets.

The speaker fees will be donated to Best Friends Animal Society (, which has the largest no-kill animal shelter in the U.S. For workshop registration information, go to the Yosemite Romance Writers’ site: - you have to scroll down to find it. :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Misplaced Treasures

Yesterday I was in my closet - you just never know where I'll turn up - and I found a case of book from my keeper shelf. Well, in this case I guess I'd call it a Keeper Closet because I have so many Keepers that it would take an entire room to display them all.

So who was in my Keeper box? Old Sharon Sala including the first McCall titles, three Debbie Macomber titles and...Elizabeth Elliott. I knew EE from the CompuServe LitForum back in the mid nineties. She wrote three books, Warlord, Betrothed and Scoundrel, then vanished. If I remember correctly, there was an illness in her family or something of that nature. If you can find these three books - BUY THEM. They are beautifully written medieval historicals that combine romance with some of the grit from those times. I love medieval titles and just seeing these little gems again made me smile.

It also caused me to remember why I started writing in the first place. I love everything about romance novels. The adventure of finding love, the meshing of two lives, the trials and the victories and most of all, overcoming whatever obstacles face them.

Happy sigh.

As I poured through my misplaced treasures - you should've seen me just running my hands over my beloved books and grinning like a fool - and I started thinking about how much romance novels have changed over the past 15 years. When I started writing in the ninties, erotic romance was the exception not the rule. The only authors writing ER was Susan Johnson, Thea Devine and Bertrice Small. I've always written ER starting with my first book, One With The Hunger. In reading it now, you'd probably think it was tame but back then...girllll....I got so much crap for that knife scene. Reviewers said I was glorifying violence against women, that I wrote kink....blah blah blah.

In ER now if the couple doesn't use some sort of toy then people don't think its hot enough. Spanking or menage rules the day along with GLBT (specifically m/m) and straight sex (no kink) seems to have faded into the background. What's going on here? I love ER or I wouldn't write it. But when I started looking through my Keepers (and I have hundreds) not a single one was an ER title. Somewhere I have my stack of early Susan Johnson's - it was her books that convinced me it was okay to not only write the naughty stuff but to enjoy it too.

But romance isn't about SEX. Can you believe it - I said that and the sky didn't fall. Who knew? :) Sarcasm is the next hot accessory in fashion...

Sex is certainly a component, but it isn't the end all be all of a romance novel. More and more I'm seeing books that are high in sex and low in plot or the 'sex as plot' books. When did the character arc turn into a guideline rather than the rule? I like sexy books, but none of my keepers are the hot stuff. Why? Because good sex doesn't equate to a solid, lasting relationship. Would you love your spouse any less if they couldn't have sex?

Looking at my career, in general, my writing has become hotter and hotter. I never write anything that I don't love, period. But in working on my latest project, I caught myself looking for ways to inject more heat in to the manuscript. The plotline does lend itself to being very sexy but love scenes should work to move the plot forward - not for titilation. Love scenes should explore character and work to cement the bond between the characters not to increase the sex count. The interesting thing is I couldn't figure out why the book was giving me fits. I was fighting writing it, it felt so forced and just plain wrong. Yes, writers do get sucked into trying to write to the market. I've seen it happen many times and it sa great way to kill a career. If you don't write what you love, you will burn out pretty fast.

My solution? I emailed my editor to ask for more time and she agreed because she's a goddess. :) I then went back to the manuscript and tore it in half - three weeks worth of work now gone. But its okay, is what the book needed. The last thing I want is to write something that not only cheats the readers but also the characters. I love, love, love romance novels and in finding that box I now remember WHAT it is I loved and why I started writing.

So what books are in my Keeper box?
Sharon Sala - Chance McCall, Queen
Dinah McCall - Jackson Rule, Dreamcatcher, Tallchief
Katherine Kinglsey - No Sweeter Heaven
Elizabeth Elliott - Soundrel, Warlord, Betrothed
Robyn Carr - The House on Olive Street

Thursday, January 15, 2009

WLW: Updates

Yes, I know it isn't Wednesday...but I didn't manage to post yesterday so git over it. :)

It was a good week - I lost two more pounds. Even more exciting is that is, right now, as I type I'm wearing a pair of jeans that I haven't been able to fit into in more than a year. Now THAT is what I call progress.

So far I've lost a grand total of 38 pounds but honestly, I don't see it. I know I feel much better, have less pain in my knees, have more energy, but I don't see it when I look in the mirror. A friend said my face was thinner and my response was 'That's nice but a smaller face will only make my belly look even BIGGER." LOL!

That's why I'm excited about wearing the jeans. I could wear them this time last year, but breathing was optional and if I was bending over - it was impossible. Now I'm not going to say they are totally comfy now - but I can breathe this time around so I'll take that as a victory.

So who caught Oprah on Monday? One of her guests was Erik Chopin from The Biggest Loser 3. In total, he lost 214 pounds and now, three years later, he's gained 107 pounds back. IMO, Erik is the reality of weight loss.

Statistics say that 95% of people who diet and lose weight will gain it back. In most cases, they will gain what they've lost and thensome. That's certainly been the case with me. I've lost at least 600 pounds in my lift and I'm still 200 pounds overweight. Did I weigh 1000 pounds? Nope but sometimes it feels like it.

It started in high school. I was around 230 and I was 5 foot 11 inches. (I say that because I'm SHRINKING DAMMIT!) I lost 70 pounds by not eating and taking diet pills. Three years later I was in the mid two hundreds...went to Weight Watchers and back then the scales only went to 250 and they made me feel like crap because they had to jump through hoops to weigh me. I'm still not a WW fan but if it works for you - go for it. :) Lost weight...gained more back... In my early thirties I went to Jenny Craig...lost 90 pounds...gained more back...I think you get the picture. I think I'm like most people when it comes to weight loss. We're of the idea that once we get 'it' and we lose the weight then we're done - the problem is cured. Oh how wrong we are.

After watching Oprah and Erik's conversation I have finally (well hopefully its the LAST time) decided that weight is something to be managed like a serious illness. People can live with AIDS or Lupus or CFS because they work their lifestyle to take their illness into account. They actively work to be healthy, to stay healthy, to get enough rest, take vitamins etc.

Weight loss is something to be managed, not overcome. I will never be free of needing to watch what I eat and chances are neither will you. Sucks doesn't it? But here is the deal - embrace it now because if you wait until after you've lost weight then gained it back plus another 15 - you'll be kicking yourself hard like I did. And that really sucks.

So how was your week?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Does anyone else think the Burger King guy is creepy?

Yeah, me too.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Closet Update

So I'm still working on the Great Purge of 2009. Three weeks ago I began sifting through the flotsam and jetsum of my life to rid myself of the clutter. I'm looking for the key pieces that have sentimental value (such as my father's tobacco pipes) or items that make my heart lift (my selection of gypsy-chic skirts) and I'm bringing them out into the light of day. All too often we end up burying what we love under the daily clutter and I'm done with that nonsense.

So today I tackled the closet in my new bedroom. This is not a big room but the closet is a decent size and it was packed from stem to stern. I cleaned this closet out about a year ago but you'd never have known that by looking at it. Slowly but surely it was filled up again by clutter that I didn't have room for.

So what little nuggets of fun did I find?

A bag of clothing in a size that I won't fit into in at least a year. I vaguely remember someone giving me clothing but I couldn't even tell you who it was. Those will fit a friend perfectly so I've created a pile for her.

Two pairs of houseslippers I bought last year then buried...

More candles than any one person should own. Those are being shipped out to a special shelf in the garage.

The biggest collection of broomstick skirts known to God and man. I love those crinkle skirts because they pack well in a suitcase and they're super simple to throw on and go. Little did I know that I'd somehow amassed at least 15 of them. Since you store them all wadded up I found them tucked into crevases of the clutter the way a real rat would pack their den!

Jackets I'd thought I'd gotten rid of a few years ago.

A zip drive in the box. Do people still use these?

A suede duster I'd forgotten I even owned.


The scary part is I still have another closet to go!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Writing Update

Well, I'm supposed to be writing - I've allowed myself to become diverted by a lively thread over at Dear Author ( and all I can say is that some people have their own special brand of crazy.

I'm putting the finishing touches on Reinventing Jane Porter coming in May from Samhain Publishing...

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

WLW - It's a new year!

Good morning my fellow BBW's and BBB's (big beautiful boys!).

It's a new year and the counter is set to zero. If you're like me and you had a rough-weight year in 2008 then its time to put that behind you. Do you know the difference between those who succeed and those who get bigger?


Today, anything you did before now doesn't count. Did you lose 10 pounds only to gain 15? I did - gained 18 actually - but that's behind me. What I did in 08 doesn't count - what counts is what I do today...and tomorrow...and the next day.

I did gain 18 lbs in 08 and I own it. Yes there were health issues involved but that doesn't explain why I chose to eat ice cream rather than something healthier. Those were my decisions and while they weren't very smart, I'm not going to make excuses for it. The best news...the very very best news is that I actually LOST 5.8 pounds between thanks giving and new years.


How about you - are you ready to shed some weight for once and for all?

Monday, January 05, 2009


I'm the featured blogger over at TRS Blue - Go check out my adventure - its worth the trip. :)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Teenage Anthems

Music has always been very important to me and if you've read my bio, you already know that I travelled with an alternative rock band in the 90's. I can't imagine my life without music and almost every hour of the day I will be listening to something.

Welcome To My Nightmare - Alice Cooper - A true legend of rock and roll - my mother was appalled when I bought this album. Of course scaring my parents was part of the appeal of AC. :)

Back In Black - AC/DC - Classic rock & roll. First release with Brian Jones as the singer - it was an instant classic.

Cum On Feel The Noise - Quiet Riot - It was a mix of hair/pop/heavy metal. The song is a cover of the original by Slade and I used to just crank this sucker up - drove Mom crazy. The lead singer Kevin DuBrow died in 2008 of a cocaine overdose and it was sad. He was a consumate showman.

Video Killed The Radio Star - The Buggles - First song played on MTV - just a fun, bouncy song.

Breaking The Law - Judas Priest - The Godfathers of Rock and Roll - I heard this song and that was it - I was hooked. I saw them in concert twice and they were most excellent.

Love Hurts - Nazareth - I can't say much about the band as I don't remember anything else they did. When I began going to concerts in the late 70's and early 80's it seemed that Nazareth opened for every heavy metal show there was.

More Than A Feeling - Boston - It came out several years before I really got into music but the vocal range of this singer just stunned me. Brad Delp passed away in 2007. One of my favorite mix CDs contains a selection of songs with Boston - just fun bouncy music.

Kashmir - Led Zepplin - Another song that came out before my rock and roll heyday but the moment I heard it I was hooked. Physical Graffitti is, in my opinion, one of the greatest rock and roll albums of all time.

Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppellin - LZ was a pivotal band for me. What a sexy song!

Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd - The Wall is one of the greatest rock albums of all time. I spent many hours of my life zoning out to The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon. Roger Waters is one of the greatest song writers of all time.

Dirty Deeds - AC/DC - I cried when Bon Scott died. I was a huge fan and had seen them twice live before I was 16. This song is what turned me on to heavy metal and I've never looked back.

Photograph - Def Leppard - Fun music, I still grin when I hear any of their hits - Pour Some Sugar On Me, Foolin', Armageddon It, Let's Get Rocked - good old fashioned rock and roll.

I Love Rock and Roll - Joan Jett - Who knew women could rock? Watching her was an eye-opening event for me.

Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen - In sixth grade we had a music class that started out exploring all types of music. We were asked to bring in our favorite records (45's actually) and most kids brought in the Carpenters and Captain and Tenille - I showed up with this song. Says a lot about me doesn't it? Freddie Mercury died in 1991 and the music world has yet to recover.

By-Tor and the Snow Dog - Rush - From their first album Fly by Night - this song made numerous appearances on various albums. This was the first band I ran into that was as much about the music as it was the lyrics. Full of mythical themes - I loved the stuff.

Run To The Hills - Iron Maiden - Easily the precursor to speed metal, this song is one of the most difficult to master due to the blistering speed of the guitars. Many guitar players said learning this song gave them cramps in their fingers. :)

Running With The Devil - Van Halen - Eddie Van Halen is a guitar legend and his riffs are among some of my favorites. I saw VH in concert 3 or 4 times and to this day I will say they had one of the best stage shows of the 80's.

Paranoid - Black Sabbath - Ozzy and Sabbath - the first heavy metal band (its either them or Judas Priest) of its kind - they started a revolution.

Rock You Like A Hurricane - Scorpions - When I bought my first car stereo (1984) I had the tape of this album (Love At First Sting) and I had it queued up to this song as my 'first' song on my new stereo. I got in my car and just blasted it. I'm surprised my car didn't fall apart from the vibrations. :)

Last Child - Aerosmith - If you're looking for pure vintage American Metal - this song and this band is it. Raw, shocking evocative - I've been an Aerosmith fan ever since.

Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne - It's Ozzy, what can I say?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Check out my post at - I wrote about Today.