Friday, March 19, 2010

Currently reading...

"Hotter After Midnight" by Cynthia Eden.

Dr. Emily Drake's psychotherapy patients tend to be a little unusual. Instead of midlife crises and mother fixations, Emily treats vampires with blood phobias and sex-demons looking for meaningful relationships. But healing these powerful beings requires an important rule: Never trust a shifter. Especially not one like Detective Colin Gyth, whose gold-flecked eyes and predatory air make Emily realize how much she longs to lose control...Colin can't believe the doctor he has to work with on the Night Butcher murder case is the one person who could expose his true identity as a wolf shifter. Smart and sexy, Emily brings out the alpha male in Colin, unleashing a wild desire that takes them both over the edge...But in the shadows, the Night Butcher waits, eager to spill Emily's blood and taste her terror. And he'll use any means to destroy her, including the one person she has grown to trust...

So far, so good. A lot of cute riffs on her clients - a vampire who's afraid of blood, a succubus who wants to be seen as more than a sex object. I'm looking forward to finishing it tonight.

What's on your reading table right now?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gotta love Chicago weather...

I'm looking forward to the migraine this weekend will bring. :-P

So, how's by you?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Magical Mondays: Boob Wishes Strike Again!

(Yes, it's Sunday right now, but I might not have time tomorrow.)

For those of you who aren't familiar with "boob wishes", it's when you write down three things you'd like to have happen in a month, and keep it in your bra... or pants pocket, or wherever. :)

About a month ago, I was just daydreaming of a few things I'd like to have happen and wrote just two of them down. One: I'd like to be able to work part-time, and two: I'd like for my novella to be a best seller at Cobblestone Press, even though I didn't really expect either of those things to happen. I just put that in my purse and forgot about it.

Well, about a week ago, I was having a rough day at work and wishing the timing was right for me to ask my boss about taking off one day a week. It's a really busy time for us right now, and I figured the timing was bad to ask. But about an hour later, she asked me to come to her office and said she had good news for me. See, one of the things I HATE about my job, is that somehow I got stuck doing the class registrations and other admin work after the woman who used to do it had to quit. It was never part of my job description, and daily made me want to jab sharpened pencils into my ears.

My boss said she'd spoken to her boss about the possibility of hiring someone to take over that aspect of things, since it really wasn't something I should be doing and would take a lot off my plate. It was the perfect opening to bring up the part-time goal. She was very open to it, though she did say it probably wouldn't happen until after June. Hey, as long as there's a light at the end of the tunnel, I can wait a couple more months. :)

And as for the second wish, as you can see from this post, I was just as surprised as anybody. :)

Now I wish I'd written down a third thing, lol. Maybe next month... :)

Any good news in your life lately that you'd like to share?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Shiver me timbers...

For those of you who enjoy a little tingle of fear, let me present Charles Gramlich's "Chimes".

For those of you who may not be familiar with Charles, he's a psychology professor and writer who lives in Louisiana with his equally talented wife--photographer and artist Lana Gramlich. Both of their blogs are worth following. Charles posts thought provoking blogs about writing and has quite a following; Lana's photographs are incredibly beautiful. Apart from that, they're just so darn cute. ;) (And now probably hate me, lol) But seriously, they're so supportive of one another that it always makes me smile to read their comments.

However, this post is about Charles's short thriller, Chimes. I thought this was going to be a horror story, and it was - but more in a Hitchcock horror kind of way. That is, more buildup of mental and emotional tension rather than a string of gory monster scenes.

I've read Charles's work before and one thing that I always take away from them is how deftly he creates a mood using scenery, sounds, and "average Joe" characters to build tension.

In Chimes, the protagonist, a woman, is alone in the house except for her sleeping baby, when she realizes there's an intruder. In one scene, she has to search for a flashlight in the dark and must reach into a closet, not really knowing where the intruder might be hiding.

"She wanted to run. Instead, she forced herself to open the closet and reach in for the Maglite, her skin crawling as the sleeves of raincoats and old sweaters brushed against her hands like the shed husks of monstrous insects."

That made MY skin crawl. And every time I thought I had this all figured out, he'd surprise me with a new twist. All in all, very creepy and enjoyable.

Charles has also written a number of other horror and fantasy fiction novels and short stories, as well as non-fiction work on writing. You can also listen to one of his short horror works, Thief of Eyes, in Sidney Williams podcasts, Fear on Demand. The line from that which hooked me was right from the start:

"She had lips that Satan dreamed of in his long fall to hell."

Loved that. :)

So, have you read anything lately, other than the daily news, which made your skin crawl?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hey, who knew?!

I just went to Cobblestone Press's new site, Cobblestone After Dark, and look what I found on the front page! I had no idea! Big, big hugs and thanks to everyone who purchased. :)

Now I can call myself a "Best Selling Author", LOL.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Fun & Games

Just thought I should post some sort of update here, but since the last of my brain cells have gone on strike, I figured I'd point you in the direction of something fun.

Over at Avery DeBow's blog, she's doing a "bad-lib, mad-lib" where every Friday she asks posters for nouns, verbs, names, etc. and then uses them in her work in progress. It's been very entertaining, and Avery's talent shines in the creative ways she's put the words to use.
(For instance, one suggestion for an occupation was "Dr. Ruth's Personal Dominatrix" and she managed to weave that into her story.)

Go on - play along! :)

Friday, March 05, 2010

Welcome Jude Liebermann!

Today's guest is fellow Cobblestone Press author, Jude Leiberman. She's graciously agreed to answer some questions about her new book, Drew's Awakening, available today at Cobblestone.

I understand you have a new release out called Drew's Awakening. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

Sure, and I'm really excited about this book. It is the follow up to my A Modern Myth trilogy, which I self published. Drew is a very special man, with a very special destiny. He is my all time favorite character and hero.

Is this a departure from the stories you normally write, or is this genre a favorite?

Yes, I had never written paranormal before this trilogy, but it was so much fun to write. I fell in love with the characters, and they became very real to me. I couldn't imagine writing four novels about the same characters, but I can see so many continuing adventures for them now. Romance will always be my favorite genre, and I always vary the sub genre. I guess you can say that paranormal is my favorite one.

If you could choose actors to play your characters in this story, who would you pick and why?

Though the cover depicts Drew looking a lot like Orlando Bloom, I don't know if he would be fitting for the character. I actually can't think of anyone in Hollywood good enough. He would probably need to be played by an unknown that was found through an extensive casting call. I have always thought that Jessica Alba would play Nada, Drew's mother, and Orlando could actually play Grady, Drew's father. Sara, the heroine, would be the tough one. I don't know the actress' name, but she played the blind woman in the Fantastic 4. She has the look of Sara, though she is probably older than 21.

Please describe a little of your favorite scene in this book.

The first one that came to mind is when Sara and Drew almost have sex for the first time in his hotel room, but one of his newly acquired gifts intrudes (without going into too much detail). I enjoyed writing his surprised reaction to it, and how he handled Sara being in the room with him. I chuckled a few times as I wrote that scene.

I know this isn't your first story with Cobblestone Press. How long had you been writing before you got your first "call"? And can you tell us a little about what it was like when you received that first publisher acceptance of one of your stories? How did you celebrate?

I've been writing most of my life but first self published in 1997, after getting tired of the rejections from the NY publishers. It's been a tough but rewarding journey. I had always written sensual romances before submitting to Cobblestone, and the editor asked if I would be willing to spice it up. My first novella with them was published last August. I was very excited to be accepted. I think my husband bought some champagne, and we toasted my first contact.

What can we expect next from you?
I recently finished my first short story erotic fantasy, which I have submitted to Cobblestone for their Wicked line. Wish me luck on it getting accepted.

Is there anything else you'd like to say to your readers, something you'd like them to know?

I have a forum where I've posted a lot of free stories and novellas for my active members. So if they'd like to read a bit of my stuff before paying for it, they should join. They can find it at

Thanks for being here, Jude!


About Drew's Awakening:

Drew’s Awakening is a sequel to the self-published A Modern Myth trilogy. Drew Duncan was born at the end of that trilogy. He is now almost 21 and coming into his own. He is more special than he realizes, as powers he was born into begin to emerge. As he deals with these new abilities, he finds his soul mate, Sara. She was hidden when she was a little girl to save her from Kyros, an enemy from his family’s past. She doesn’t remember Drew but immediately feels a connection with him when they are reunited. Even though his family has told him to avoid looking for her, Drew cannot stay away. As they rediscover each other in mental and physical ways, Kyros finds them and abducts Sara. With his mother’s help, Drew follows and finds them. Kyros knows he must kill Drew before he can rein destruction upon the Earth. He uses Sara as bait to try to trap his nemesis. Drew must remember his destiny and awaken the slumbering power within him to destroy this ancient evil, so he and Sara can live happily ever after.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

It's a Family Affair

I had mentioned my brother and his wife in my last post, but didn't mention how creative they both are. They decided to paint my brother's prosthesis over the weekend, and this is what they came up with. You can see the full details here.

They are pretty funny. One year for Halloween, he attached a toy beaver to his wooden leg and went as a lumberjack under attack.

Any interesting relative stories you'd like to share? ;)

Monday, March 01, 2010

Announcements and Abashments :)

Since I so much enjoyed having Amber and Devin over to visit, I've also invited a fellow Cobblestone Press author, Jude Liebermann, to come by this Friday to talk about her book, Drew's Awakening, that will be coming out on the same day.

Meanwhile... for those of you who write the "naughty" books, I'm just wondering if any of you experience embarrassment when your friends and family (or coworkers) find out what you're up to in your spare time. My dad found my blog (gasp!) and made mention of my writing in an email to brother, whose wife then asked me what her FIL was talking about, and I didn't answer. Later, my brother asked again, but I told him he couldn't handle the truth. ;)

His wife is a very sweet, lovely woman who would most likely be horrified if she saw my stuff. And really, there is a certain "ick" factor in family knowing about this. My daughter, who does know, has said she could just never read anything I wrote because it would be way too much information. I wholeheartedly agree.

It makes me wonder.... I sometimes won't buy candy because I'm embarrassed for anyone to see the "chubby chick" with chocolate. After that happened a few times, I came to the conclusion that if I'm embarrassed to be buying it, then I really don't need to be doing it in the first place.

I'm wondering if that applies here, as well. Which is NOT to say that I think writing erotic romance is bad, I just sometimes wonder if it's for me if I'm that uncomfortable with people knowing about it. If I can't look my brother in the eye and say, "Hells yeah, I wrote that and I'm damned proud of it!", then I have to take a good look at what the issue is.

I'm proud of my friends who write erotic romance and promote their books, so why am I uncomfortable with people knowing about mine? Am I more prudish than I realized? Or is just a family/coworker thing? TMI for certain people only?

It makes me feel like I'm living a double life because on the one hand, I DO want to tell everyone about it, and say it with pride. On the other hand, maybe some people just really don't need to know...