8/22/2015

Rain, Silver Stars, Book Tours #writestuff #malexmale #thankyou

Hey there friends and readers! 

Thanks for stopping by the blog this afternoon! *sips coffee* It's Saturday, so naturally, I'm getting a late start to the day. Slept in. It was rainy and thunderous… really nice read-a-book-in-bed weather, you know? But all good things must come to an end, and so I am awake and working…sort of.

I wanted to be sure to post today because I have a special message for you. Thank you. Thank you so much for your ongoing support. Keeping House, the second edition, has earned a Silver Star at All Romance eBooks, as has Dead Man's Hand, the latest in my Pulp Friction 2015 Series, Jack of Spades. Those silver stars may not seem like much, but they're a huge deal for an author. So thank you. You're all the best.
(I have a bone to pick with you!)

What did the mummy say when he was angry at the skeleton? 
That's right. I'm still working on the initial scenes of my new Story Orgy project. I do have a title now, however: Mum's the Word. It's intended to be light rom-com, but who knows where the twists and turns of fate will take this story? Right now, my characters are heading to a job interview, in their cheap Brooks Brothers suits, that is. Today's goal is to do about 2K on this story- and to start posting here on Monday. *fingers crossed*

If there's going to be writing, then there's got to be music. Chasing away the rain this afternoon with some classic rock music from Foreigner and Steely DanThat right there is quintessential good music.

Fab cover art by Laura Harner
I've just booked a book tour for Keeping House with Will at Pride Promotions. Had some paperwork to complete for them, so I feel like I've already accomplished something today. LOL. You ever have those, I'm-breathing-give-me-a-cookie days? Sometimes the littlest things give you a sense of accomplishment. Managing to attach six different items to an email? That makes me King of the Computer for the day. I hope you'll all join me on September 7. There's a gift card giveaway and all sorts of fun to go with it.



I'm considering signing up for this… SPOOKAPALOOZA. One thing holding me back is that I know I'm going to be absolutely agonizing over how to spell that made up word. But then again, I participated in this a few years ago and it was fun. It's been a long time since I did this sort of event. Partly because basically, I'm just a shy book geek and I never know what to say in a group. Socially awkward, even on the nets, that's me. So maybe. I have a few days to decide.

Then there's this.


Christy is a great person, a Pulp Friction beta reader and a very articulate advocate for causes she believes in. If you're an author, a reader or a reviewer, take a look at her post on negative reviews and trolls. I wish I could think of a solution, but other than wishing Goodreads and Amazon would enforce the same policies our elementary school teachers did, you know… Do unto others, and be nice or be quiet… Well, what else is there?


*refills coffee mug* Thanks for hanging out with me guys. I've got to get Izzy and Owen over to that job interview with the creepy professor, and who knows what's going to happen after that? Y'all have a great day.



8/21/2015

Widgets, Ziggy, The Walking Dead & Coffee #caffeinateme #writestuff


Good morning friends and readers!

*raises coffee in salute* *sips* *blinks sleepily* There you are. Had a difficult time sleeping last night, which of course, translates to a difficult time waking up this morning. But I am moving… sort of. Drinking coffee is part of a writer's work, right? 

It's another gorgeous, sunny day here, but looks like it might be a bit warmer than yesterday. That's okay, as long as it's not in the nineties I can deal. Got to watch the sunrise, which always makes me feel like I'm getting off to the right start.

The right start. LOL. Sorry, that just reminded me of my childhood. When I was a kid, my mom insisted we eat breakfast every day, but with nine children, well… She wasn't able to stand at the stove and take orders. So most days we got our choice of Cornflakes or Cheerios. And let me tell you, *mumble* years ago, Cheerios came in one flavor- oat. No fruit, chocolate, peanut butter or even honey nut. So our "right start to the day" was choking down a tasteless bowl of soggy circles. *shudder* Anyway…

Why didn't the mummy have any friends?
(Because he was wrapped up in himself!)


I told you yesterday, I've been struggling with my new story? The struggle goes on. But I did have an idea inspired by of all things, the advertising on my Facebook page. I was updating the other day and in the sidebar was an ad for Brooks Brothers suits at 40% off. I had to laugh. First, yes, I was shopping for suits. My SO has to attend a wedding out of state in October and it's been a while since he's bought a new suit. I won't say he's grown… but uh … that suit seems to have gotten smaller since it was stuck in the very back of the closet. Maybe some tailor from Narnia sneaks over occasionally and practices his skills by taking in clothes. Anyway… I had to wonder, do people who wear Brooks Brothers Suits really need to bargain shop? I'll be working that into the story, along with the mummy jokes and trivia. Fun times. We'll see how it goes today, huh? Also, on that front, I MAY have written sex in the first chapter. You don't mind that, do you?

This morning, I'm jamming with the king of rock … uh not Elvis, David Bowie. David Bowie is a god among musicians, but what I love about him is his ability to create characters. (Ziggy Stardust )

Back to the Walking Dead. Zombie Apocalypse day six, season three: I'm still addicted. And still bewildered.

1.      Winter passed quickly, and they all survived. The men grew fab facial hair, but Carol's hair stayed really short. Okay. But I saw that prison behind them at the end of Season 2. They didn't find it until months later? And four of their group were native to that area- but none of them thought, oh yeah there's a big prison near here?
2.      Michonne is one badass character. That's not bewildering me. I just wanted to put it out there. I'm betting she's a red shirt though. (Star Trek rules: All new characters die. Especially ones you like.)
3.      Herschel wants to plant the prison yard with tomatoes, cucumbers and soybeans. Excellent idea. Then I wondered, as they left the farm with the barn in flames, he was shooting zombies through the head one after another, bang, bang, bang like Clint Eastwood on steroids. When did he grab seeds for the garden?
4.      EVERYONE CAN SHOOT. Have you ever tried to shoot a target? I can't believe however good a teacher Shane was, he was able to teach every single person to shoot a moving target dead in the head.
5.      Is Rick still calling out to Morgan every morning on that ancient walkie talkie?

At least they've finally learned to conserve ammunition. Hopefully the prison kitchen yields giant cans of spam and tuna fish. I know I just added a few to my grocery list. For the coming winter of course, not the zombie apocalypse. Well, whichever comes first.

In other news, I stumbled across a great looking recipe this morning on Pinterest to enhance my
"beans and rice" repertoire. We eat a lot of beans and rice… inexpensive and tasty foods are ideal. This one is red beans, white rice, cooked with coconut milk, ginger, red curry paste, and then spritzed with lime juice and scattered with cilantro leaves. Sounds delicious and I added coconut milk to my grocery list just so we can try it. And in the same trip to Pinterest, I discovered that my garden dreams are not over for the season! I've decided to do some fall planting based on this article.

Pinterest is my friend today J And I'm doubly excited about it, because I've discovered that you can make widgets… got to love that word… for your boards! *blushes* I've been playing with it. The widgets inspire me to clean up my boards and share them a little more. Have you tried them?


Then there's this, which wasn't on Pinterest, but I found it yesterday on Amy Lane's Facebook page.



This is an excellent article defining some reasons why people find romance stories attractive. It's amazing that the top selling genre is still regarded with such disdain by some people. I write romance, and I read romance, not because I like sex… because I've seen sex scenes in many a gritty detective story or angst ridden drama… but because I like the assurance that there is someone out there to help you shoulder the burdens of existence.

*refills coffee mug* Okay, thanks for hanging out with me guys. I'm off to drag Izzy and Owen into danger, and maybe to Brooks Brothers to buy a cheap suit. If you think of any cool mummy jokes or have anything else you'd like to share (recipes, songs, etc.), I'd love to hear them here or on my Facebook page. Have a great day!

8/20/2015

Waking Up #writestuff #caffeinateme

Good morning friends and readers!

*raises coffee in salute* *sips* Ahh. Waking up slowly here and getting the day started. Outside my window, the dew drops sparkle on the grass. Yesterday, it was cool and rainy and I even turned the air conditioning off and opened the windows. Looks like today is bringing bad news for my electric bill! Sunny and bright, temps will probably soar back up into the nineties by noon. *shrugs* Oh well.
I've been struggling to get into a new story for The Story Orgy. We're celebrating fall and Halloween with a thematic approach, a Creature Feature as it were. I say struggling because the first few chapters of a new story are always a bit of a struggle… it's awkward writing about people you don't know. After I get through that hump, get into their heads and find out who they really are, things seem to flow much better.
So I'm battling the writer's block with great seventies rock love songs ( Feel Like Making Love) from some of my favorite bands… and seeking mummy trivia and jokes in the name of research.
Where do mummies go for a swim?
            Answer: The Dead Sea.
And watching The Walking Dead.
That's right. Five years later, I finally get with the program. I'm up to the last four episodes of season two… we've just discovered that everyone is infected and you don't have to be bitten or scratched to turn after death. Rick's killed Shane… who was getting on my nerves anyway, Dale is dead, Andrea is lost, and so am I.
I'm resisting the urge to buy all 23 volumes of the graphic novels to find out what happens because I know I'm going to run out of episodes before long. So… some things that have been bugging me since I started watching:
1.      Why do all the cars that run seem to have been made in the seventies? I mean… there's some sweet rides in that highway of lost souls… if you had your choice, wouldn't one of them be better? And more fuel efficient?
2.      That department store in Atlanta? In the middle of the business district? Surrounded by office buildings and crawling with zombies? Is it really the only one they could think of? Aren't there probably just as many useful things out in the nearest convenience store?
3.      That one bag of guns and ammo sure as hell seems to be a bottomless pit of supplies. They've divided it, passed out weapons and ammunition multiple times and yet still there's plenty to go around?
Yeah… but I can't stop watching. It's an odd kind of addiction, LOL. And it makes me wonder… what would you do? Pretty sure I've thought of more survival plans in the last week than in my entire life.

Oh… and this morning? As if we didn't have enough to worry about? I saw this Huffington Post article. Yes. That's right. We have to think now… before the glorious summer weather has faded and fall set in, about how this coming winter is going to be F*ing cold and snowy. Time to start preparing for winter. Stock up on supplies, drag the sweaters and long johns out of the back of the closet… I wasn't ready. I did not want to think about snow yet. I'll have to start buying bags of birdseed every time I go into town. Winter's always hard on our feathered friends when the ground is covered in snow and ice. 
Global warming? Meet Impending Ice Age. Play nicely together you guys.
*refills coffee mug* Okay- thanks for hanging out with me guys. I'm off to drag Izzy and Owen into danger. If you think of any cool mummy jokes, I'd love to hear them here or on my Facebook page. Have a great day!  


8/16/2015

New Release! Dead Man's Hand Now Available #pulpfriction #mmromance #serial #malexmale

Announcing the Release of Dead Man's Hand (Jack of Spades #4) 
The latest book in the Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Universe is now available at

Have you been following the tale of ghostly river boat gambler Barton Montoire and Professor Sabine Brusilov?

In this episode, Barton Montoire, the ghost of a nineteenth century riverboat gambler, is devastated and angry. His lover, physics professor Sabine, has exorcised him. Again. This time, there's no denying the professor's actions were intentional. Worse, Bart can't seem to convince their friends to aid him in his quest get Sabine to listen to his side of things.  

With his lover Bart safe from shadowy threats of eternal damnation in the "other realm," ghost hunter Sabine Brusilov is free to pursue his own risky investigation into the mysterious circlet and its connection to the shadow figure that's been tormenting the unlikely couple. With the help of his friends, he determines to take control of the situation and bring Bart home.

EXCERPT:
The smell of old books…of centuries-old paper, aromatic ink, and ancient leather hung heavy in the air of the archive. The door closed behind him, locking him in with the most arcane media library inexistence. Shelves lined the climate controlled room. Archive quality acid free boxes lined the bottom row, sealed tubes protected maps, charts, and scrolls more ancient than freedom were stored in large bins. The rest…books…fat, thin, tall, small…were crammed into every shelf in a sort of general organization. Sabine pulled on a pair of latex gloves from a box on a table near the door.
“Where to start today?” Sabine had been working his way through the shelf labeled Daemonolgy for the past week. Before that he’d read through the section on Spiritulus. He strolled the shelves, looking for inspiration. “Thaumaturgy? Alchemy? Mirandus?”
Mirandus? Translating the Latin quickly, he came up with something. “Wonderful? Marvelous?” On impulse, he selected two volumes from the shelf, one a pedestrian-looking thing with a cloth cover less than an inch thick, and the other a heavy tome with an odd, leather cover that smelled of must and something… “Good a place to start as any.”
Placing the two books on the small table, he drew out a chair and seated himself. The slender volume proved to be a book on fairies. Useless. He pushed it aside and opened the thicker book with the thin leathery covering. Surprisingly, it was handwritten. The first page was inscribed in a fairly childish hand with the words, Cassius, his booke.
The following pages were written in Latin, with small drawings and numerous lists. “A book of lists?” Pulling a notebook and pencil from his pocket, Sabine selected a list at random and began the laborious process of translating. He referred occasionally to his iPhone for words that he didn’t recall.
“Unbelievable.” He stared at the results. “It looks like…”
He pushed the paper away and picked up his phone. “Laurent?”
“Sabine! It’s good to hear from you.”
“Uh…are you wearing your pants?”
The husky chuckle down the line might once have stirred his senses. But it seemed Laurent was learning the fine art of directing his sexual energies at specific targets. Either that or the distance added some protection. “I am fully clothed, but willing to rectify that situation, if it suits you.”
“No…er… What do you think of this?” He drew in a calming breath. When had his heart begun to hammer like that? “A pinch of dried birch bark, powdered fine. The milk of the spiky yellow flower, root of garlic, crushed. In a stone bowl, grind to a paste with acid of grape. Apply to affliction and cover.”
“You have a wart problem?”
“It’s a spell?” Had he really stumbled upon a spell book?
“More like an herbal cure, but… Where are you?”
Blinking, Sabine flipped a few pages deeper into the book. The lists grew longer, the accompanied script more voluminous. “Moonshadows, why?”
“I just popped into your place… Can’t say as I like what you’ve done with the place. I take it poker is elsewhere this week?”
“No. I’m hoping that poker will be right there. So this is an herbal remedy? How would I tell a spell book if I saw one?” Like Laurent would know. Was it really a spell that he needed?
“As opposed to someone’s great-grandma’s recipe book? Well, they might have an odor of sulfur. Haha. Just kidding. But generally a spell book is personal to the witch or mage it belongs to. Depends on what they practiced…how they learned… Why? What have you found? If it’s at Moonshadows, it’s probably just junk. Now, if you’ve a hankering to see a real spell book… Come on down to my place on the bayou and I can show you a page or two rumored to be written in Marie Laveau’s own hand.”
“Marie Laveau, the voodoo queen? Is this the punchline to another joke?”
“No. Really. You’ve heard the story of Handsome Jack?”
“That’s just a song and a lot more recent than the 1800s.”
“Well, some songs have their basis in urban legend, and some legends have their basis in fact.”
“Are you saying—”
“I’m not saying that an incubus seduced a voodoo queen in exchange for a fortune in Confederate gold… Because we don’t kiss and tell, but…I do have a few pages of a genuine spell book if you want to take a look at one for comparison. If you can’t come out to the bayou, I’ll bring them to poker.”
The line went dead, and Sabine sat lost in thought for a minute. His friend had a more colorful past than he’d expected. The spell book would definitely be interesting to see.
He returned his attention to the book in front of him, strangely unwilling to give up on it just yet. Turning to a clean page in his notebook, he re-opened the Latin dictionary on his phone and went back to work. Flipping forward more, he stopped again on a page with a strange illustration of a leaf and a platter. Shivering, he touched the drawing of the platter with one fingertip. It was familiar. Using the photo search option on his phone, he was able to identify the leaf as belonging to the yew tree. Interesting. The tree of the dead. This might be worth the time. He turned from the illustration to the text. The language had changed, as had the handwriting. The letters were more mature, but the words unrecognizable. He typed the first word into Google translator then hit detect language.
Nothing. Damn.
Sighing, he continued paging through the book, pausing as he noted a section once more in Latin. The facing page listed several items, but it was the illustration that caught his attention. An oblong platter, a tripod, a circlet, and again the yew leaves. The pieces were so familiar. A chill crept over him, skin crawling as his heart hammered in excitement.
The title at the top of the facing page reinforced his hopes. Summonitori spirituum. Summoner of spirits. This might be what he was looking for. If he could recall the spirits of the dead from the afterlife…he could bring Bart home. “When the time is right.” For now, he needed to learn what this creature of darkness wanted, and…it was beginning to look like what it wanted was passage into the human world. Summoner. He made a note to scan the book for other uses of the word.
Picking up his pencil, Sabine began translating again.

Pick up your copy today and get haunted… seduced… captivated by the romance that is Altered States.

Be Yourself

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~e.e. cummings, 1955