Monday, June 25, 2007

Round Four!

I made it to round four of the Samhain Best First Line Contest! This is so Idol!

"The dog shoplifts."

Sandra Morton eyeballed the German Shepherd sitting on the sidewalk outside her house -- a glossy black-and-tan, big-boned beauty and, according to Seeing Eye liaison Tom Crane, a terminal kleptomaniac.

Tom shifted his weight from foot to foot precisely twenty times and pleaded, "Don't say you can't cure him."

Over the past several months, her Powwower's empathy had already alerted Sandra that in the revitalizing neighborhoods of Philadelphia and beyond, anxiety disorders were the new black.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Past Lives




You Were a Coyote



Brutally honest, you encourage people to show their true selves.

You laugh at life - none of it can be taken too seriously.

Ironically, I did always strongly empathize with Wile E.--always wanted him to nail that obnoxious roadrunner. Now I know why. *gg*

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Rendezvous

So today I had lunch with the fabulous Cris Anson. We've been meeting once a month in different local towns to eat, see the sights and talk author matters. Can't tell you how wonderful this face time has been.

Today she took a special interest in my proposed shapeshifter series, of which my Samhain Best First Line entry is a part. I'd give you a synopsis, but it's still in the Top Secret folder of my writer files. Hehe. I will tell you that it's a departure from erotic romance comedy, leaning more into Urban Fantasy with romantic elements. I'm extremely excited about it!

Anyway, she politely listened to my plot arc, promptly found the holes and brainstormed until we'd achieved a tight premise. Then she swore to ride my ass until I got the thing written.

It truly is the best gift an author can give another author--a piece of her mind! Thanks Cris!

Have you lunched with your author friends lately? What did you learn?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

P-P-P-Pressure!

I made it to round three of the Samhain Best First Line contest!

Like I need this pressure? Gah. I'm normally not a competitive person -- especially when it comes to the subjectiveness of writing. Been in the biz waaaay too long for that nonsense. But in this case I wanna go the distance! Wah! I wanna! My pride's at stake here.

Why oh why do I do this to myself.

Here's my first, second and third entry.

“The dog shoplifts.”

Sandra Morton eyeballed the German Shepherd sitting on the sidewalk outside her house — a glossy black-and-tan, big-boned beauty and, according to Seeing Eye liaison Tom Crane, a terminal kleptomaniac.

Tom shifted his weight from foot to foot precisely twenty times and pleaded, “Don’t say you can’t cure him.”


In other news, I've cleaned house a little here and added some new content! Please take note of my cool new widget! I get alot of international visitors and thought it'd be fun to start keeping a geographical record.

Dummy me had no idea MySpace profile was set to private. I'm normally not a technofool. Honest! So, now it's accessible for interested parties.

Lastly, I'm doing some booksignings in August with a few other EC authors. Take a look at the Special Events section in the sidebar and mark your calendar!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Royal Celebration!


Most excellent friend and mentor Kate Walker is celebrating the release of her fiftieth book. There's a party going on! Hustle on over to her blog to see what I've written about her. If you answer my question in the comments you'll have a chance to win your choice of books from my backlist.

If you know Kate, you already realize she's one of the most generous supporters of aspiring writers out there.

Congratulations to the Queen Bee!

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Bastard

The Bastard is a romance staple.

Anne Stuart has a corner on the sociopathic bastard who never really falls in love with the heroine, but just decides not to kill her.

Most other authors rely on what I like to call the poor-widdle-baby-bastard. The wounded alpha who's really a good guy inside, but has been hurt so badly he lashes out. I'm not making fun. In fact, I've used this type of bastard myself. In Layover.

But in general most of my heros are gammas. Anthros, in A Lick and A Promise, flirts with being a True Bastard for reasons you'll see if you read the book, and he's the closest I've come to the Anne Stuart model of Sociopathic Bastardly heroes.

I kinda liked it. It was cool to write someone who can be, shall we say unscrupulous to get his woman. A man who doesn't fight fair when it comes to passion and isn't afraid to resort to a bit of aggression. It was fun and interesting to live in his head. It made me want to forage deeper into the shadows of Bastardom.

What about you? Alpha, beta, gamma, sociopath? Which Bastard do you like best in your romances?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Lick and A Promise--Excerpt One

Over the next few weeks, until Big Release Day August 10th, I'll be providing teasers and sneak peeks of A Lick and A Promise. Check back often for some fun, sizzlin' reads!

First, the blurb:

And the Earthlings thought their sexual activity carried health risks…

Inappropriate lust for a sexy, recovering addict makes Dove Hansen wonder about her choices in men. Maybe she'll stick with her anonymous dream lover after all. He might not exist but at least he's sober and their ethereal couplings leave her panting. Still, she's gonna lose it if she doesn't get some with a human.

Mark Arianos isn't a junkie. He's a fugitive alien strung out on Earth air. In his world, sex is a capital crime and his uncontrollable passion for Dove could turn lethal. So their out-of-body trysts keep insanity at bay while he fulfills a critical mission.

But the longer Mark dallies with Dove, the deeper their attachment grows. Soon he must choose between betraying her or risking his civilization, and his life, to give her more than a lick and a promise.


Excerpt from chapter one...

“You’re home early.”

Arnie freed his signature sly grin. “The Prod Person got anxious and wanted to check in before the movie. Cell phone signal’s scrambled. Everything all right?”

How’d she know? Again. As usual, Ava looked stunning, the watery light from the moon making her white hair gleam. The night sky always softened her, the velvety atmosphere wrapping her in dewy blanket that made Dove think of mermaids in a fish tank.

She waved a hand. “Oh, fine. The usual. But someone’s behind the hedges teasing the dog. Also, I think a transformer went. I heard a snapping noise and saw a weird blue halo.”

“A blue halo?” Ava stiffened. She scanned the hedges, green eyes swiveling randomly until they seemed to focus on one spot.

Arnie glanced at her. “No transformers around here,” he muttered. “Who’s teasing the dog?”

“Some kid, probably. Male. Sounded kinda drunk.”

They all looked at Laika, sitting in the middle of the grass, her back to them, head cocked and ears alert.

“She didn’t bark,” Dove added. “Seemed very excited, in fact. I was just heading inside to phone the police when you came home.”

“Don’t call the police,” Ava snipped uncharacteristically. “I don’t think he means any harm.” She and Arnie stared at each other. Dove watched their faces.

Of the many unsettling qualities they possessed, this one often gave Dove chills. They seemed to communicate on some wordless level. As if through telepathy. Or maybe through microscopic changes of expression too small for an unfamiliar eye to detect. In the end, it didn’t matter how they did it. It was the fact that they could that got to her.

Jealousy stabbed her heart. She’d kill to have that kind of deep soul connection with a man. So far, at thirty, it had eluded her.

She’d had plenty of relationships, some good, some bad, most of them bordering on indifferent--Peter Pump-and-eat-her being a prime example. The aunties scolded her all the time about her failure to mate. Said her standards were impossibly high and threatened her with spinsterhood, like them.

Perhaps they were right. Dove didn’t know. What she did know, however, was that she had no intention of settling. There were certain unshakable qualities she wanted in a husband—high intelligence, high sex drive and high income, to name a few. If no one ever turned up possessing them, so be it. She’d be a spinster. Too bad that idea depressed the hell out of her.

“I’ll go investigate,” Arnie said. “I suggest you stay here.”

“But the electricity—“

“Probably some atmospheric phenomena,” Ava said. “Geomagnetic storm, Aurora Borealis, maybe.”

Not that Dove knew of. She would’ve given Michael a redundant lesson on it. “You couldn’t get a cell phone signal?”

Ava shook her head. “Satellite radio in the car is messed up too.”

Well, perhaps Ava was right and it was an aurora. They were visible once in a while from Seattle. Dove lifted her face to scan the skies. The bright moon and marine clouds would interfere with a viewing and she didn’t spot any telltale waves. No sense waking Michael up for nothing.

“Are you from the network?” a slurred voice cried out.

The two women stiffened and squinted into the shadows.

“Nah, I’m a geek from Boeing,” Arnie said, a smile in his tone. For the last four years he’d been subcontracted to design a new, commercial super-jet, and was currently overseeing construction up in Everett.

“You smell like a Markarian.”

Ava gasped and her hand shot to her throat. Dove suffered another adrenaline gush. “What do you think he means?”

“Hush,” Ava hissed.

Oh Boy. Possessed with the patience of a saint, Ava never snapped. Tonight it’d happened twice. She definitely knew more, or suspected more than she let on. Dove launched a fingernail between her teeth.

“I suggest your sniffer isn’t working too well at the moment,” Arnie chuckled. “Come on. I’ll help you up.”

The hedges danced and rustled and two shapes, one small, yet powerful and the other large and imposing, staggered into the light.

Dove froze at the sight of the magnificent stranger. Wide, muscled shoulders and a broad expanse of sculpted chest topped a slightly leaner waist. Her rapt gaze traveled over straight, agile hips and dragged endlessly south over a hard-boiled length of leg before returning to a head curtained in seal-sleek, straight black strands.

Even with his head bowed and his shoulder-length hair partially hiding them, she could make out exquisitely crafted features wrapped in swarthy, satiny flesh.

Her mouth watered and she swallowed hard. A snapshot of him naked, over her, spreading her and pumping into her barged, unwarranted and unasked, into her mind. He seemed somehow…familiar, though she’d never seen anyone like him. Or, at least, she amended, familiar to her suddenly pounding heart.

The fantasy dissipated quickly, though, as he leaned over and dry-heaved onto the grass.

Long-fingered hands braced his knees while wave after wave of fruitless nausea overcame him. Disgust rose in her throat and she glanced away, unwilling to throw up herself at the sight.

Obviously, he’d already gotten rid of the night’s liquid drugs and was now in the throes of aftershocks. Unbelievable for a grown man. And such a shame. She would’ve loved to fuck him.

In morbid fascination, her eyes hopped back to his pathetic form. How could he possibly lower himself to a drunken binge and a nap in the shrubbery? And yet, through his repellant display, he had an athletic, commanding air. Almost regal, like a warrior or a soldier.

He wore a loosely draped tunic of heavy, velvety fabric. Smudges of dirt and God-knew-what-else were smeared across the front and seemed to cover some sort of emblems or pattern. Nestled in the deep vee of the tunic’s neckline, a thick silver chain, weighted by a large medallion, glittered amongst thatches of chest hair.

His gorgeous legs were encased in a leather-like substance—badly wrinkled and straining at the seams. What was that around his waist? A tool belt? Perhaps he’d come from a wild costume party.

“Anthros!” Ava yelped.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Round Two!

I made it to round two of the Samhain Best First Line Contest! This week we have to provide the second line.

Here are my first and second entries:

“The dog shoplifts.”

Sandra Morton eyeballed the German Shepherd sitting on the sidewalk outside her house — a glossy, black-and-tan, big-boned beauty and, according to Seeing Eye liaison Tom Crane, a terminal kleptomaniac.

Bravo Sopranos!


*There be spoilers*

Was anyone else as satisfyingly unsatisfied with the ending as I was?

I absolutely loved it. The way Tony manipulated everyone--from the FBI guy down to his own kids. The way Carmela lapsed into her own sick dreamworld.

A more toxic anti-hero has never been drawn.

I even think Junior had a moment of clarity there at the end.

As usual, the musical choice was perfect. Through all the confusing, lackluster shows, we could always count on the music to fill in the gaps, and this particular choice at the end was exceptional. The only better choice was The Eurythmics' "I Saved the World Today" after Tony killed that guy with his bare hands in season... three (?)

I was ready for the show to end, was growing bored. Ironically, the last episode reminded me why I've loved it all these years.

It's been a great run. More than a few bumps, but overall, risky, interesting and brilliant.

Bravo!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Thirteen Great Quotes


1) We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are ~ Anais Nin

2) If you're going through hell, keep going ~ Sir Winston Churchill

3) A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked ~ Bernard Meltzer

4) If you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow ~ John Wayne

5) Tell a man there are 300 Billion stars in the universe and he'll believe you. Tell him a bench has wet paint on it and he'll have to touch to be sure ~ Jarger

6) Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put ~ Winston Churchill

7) Flying is hours and hours of boredom sprinkled with a few seconds of sheer terror ~ Gregory ''Pappy'' Boyington

8) I am not young enough to know everything ~ Oscar Wilde

9) A pilot lives in a world of perfection, or not at all ~ Richard S. Drury, 'My Secret War'

10) People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But, they will never forget how you made them feel ~ uncredited

11) I can live for two months on a good compliment ~ Mark Twain

12) Pros are people who do jobs well even when they don't feel like it ~ Emerson

13) You have to do what you love to do, not get stuck in that comfort zone of a regular job. Life is not a dress rehearsal. This is it. ~ Lucinda Basset


1. Gabrielle

2. Heather

3.
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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pick Up Line

Samhain Publishing's Best First Line contest is a fascinating window into the world of editors and agents.

At this moment, there are 204 entries and I can count the ones that grab me by the throat on two hands. Maybe only one hand, but I'm being open-minded. Then again, I'm a total First Line Slut.

For years they've been the way I choose books. If the title and cover attract me, I'll skip the back cover copy and open to the first line. If I like it, I'll read the first paragraph. If that interests me enough to keep going, then and only then will I read the blurb and if it still looks good, I'll buy the book.

But that first line is make or break for me. I suspect alot of editors and agents feel the same way. This contest proves that it's amazing what you can tell from one, isolated line when there's no opportunity to read more. Give them a look and see if you're a closet First Line Slut...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Blogosphere

There are alot of interesting things going on around the 'sphere right now, so I thought I'd point some of them out rather than babble myself. Besides, I got nothin' to say.

Mystery Man is talking about Disney's upcoming offering and the shitstorm of protest it's getting.

Samhain Publishing is sponsoring a Best First Line contest. I entered *gg*. Can't resist those first lines. I'm entry number 37 in case anyone wants to check it out.

The Romance Studio Blue still has my interview up.

The FabDame family updated my website with the blurb for A Lick and A Promise. They also made some other neato tweaks.

And finally, if you haven't visited Plain Jane yet, you haven't lived. She's one of the funniest bloggers on the web.

Catch youse later!

Friday, June 01, 2007

An Interview!

I'm a featured author over at The Romance Studio Blue. Go check me out!