Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Another trip update and a very cool book...

Okay...so you are *not* going to believe this. Dh and I wake up ultra early for some quiet time...ahem...whatever you like to call it, only to hear desperate cries from the girls' bedroom. He goes rushing in and there is standing water in the bathroom. The tub has stopped draining and is leaking (must have been all night) and water is everywhere. (What is it with water and us on this trip???) Dh gets the tub draining...my sister comes over from her suite with all their dirty towels to help sop up the mess and maintenance comes to unstop the toilet, which has decided to fill too! The worst part of this? We didn't get our *quiet* time. Dang it! ROFLOL Oh...and we've got one more day in the land of Tinkerbelle before we get to go to San Diego and of my favorite places on earth...Sea World. I love Shamu!

I promised you a good book...so here you are:

CRIMSON ROGUE by Liz Maverick
(Dorchester, April 2006)

From the four strata of Crimson City come rogues: vampire, werewolf, human, demon. These rebels, rakes and unsung heroes have turned their backs on the extravagant vampire skyway, the gritty werewolf underground, the iron-fisted human stronghold and the fiery power of the demon underworld. Walking a thin line between heaven and hell, they make their own rules and follow their own destinies. Ironically, they will be the ones to determine if the City flourishes or fails.

Cydney Brighton knows them well, for she too is now rogue. Having escaped hell, she’s discovered that the City is not what it once was—and neither is she. Only one man understands her, understands what it means to be someone or something beyond control. He’s ready to come out of the darkness; and part-man, part-machine, he’s willing to sacrifice almost anything to make himself whole.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Disney Trip Update...

If you've read my husband's trip reports on my website, you know that our family tends to have adventures more than regular old vacations.  So, you won't be surprised to hear that the first hotel we stayed at had a pipe burst in the middle of the night and there was no water for showers the next morning.  That wasn't the funniest part of that little fiasco...I mean okay, so a car with two adults and three teens who have not showered more closely resembles an athletic bus than a family vehicle in inside ambiance, but what was really funny was I could not sleep that night.  So, I was awake at 2:30 in the morning when "maintenance" went knocking on the door of a room across the hall and demanded to be let in.  (Yes, the pipe burst on *our* floor.)  Having the rather keen imagination of a writer, I immediately started creating scenarios in my head and none of them were good.  I would have called the front desk to determine if the maintenance guy was legit, but I'd already decided the perpetrator was the smarmy night deskman and could only hope and pray all my fears were baseless.  I did get up and check the hall for any signs of disturbance.  There were none of course...the pipe did burst and nothing untoward was happening to any of the guests, but sometimes I wonder if my imagination isn't a little *too well* developed.
We made it to Anaheim without incident, checked into a lovely hotel with lots of hot water (in the same chain) and decided to spend our first day at Universal Studios.  On the way, the traffic was abysmal...even for LA.  Apparently, we were there just in time for a huge protest that slowed traffic on the major freeways.  It's probably par for the course for LA...it's definitely "life as usual" on one of our vacations.  Universal Studios is fab and we had a terrific time, not coming home until very late.  The Terminator 2 show was superb, but I missed out on the Van Helsing exhibit.  Sigh... The next day we went to Disneyland.  There are a lot of people in the world and most of them are in Disneyland this week.  I cannot wait to move on to Sea World, but don't tell Tinkerbell. :)
That's all for now...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Going to see Tinkerbell...

Yep, we're headed to Disneyland and other points south.  We're driving the full length of two states with three teens.  My sister's family is going too, which means three more kids and two more adults and lots more fun.  I'll be working in the car, but once we hit Tinkerbelle's world, my job will be that of mom making sure her kids are safe.  I know, most parents and kids probably look at Disneyland as a chance at adventure and fantasy.  My sister and I think about predators and kid protection. LOL
I'm laughing because both my daughters are taller than me and my son is WAY taller than me and as strong as an ox.  Really.  No kidding.  He gets the mega muscles from his dad.  But I see myself as their protectors and vacations *always* bring that side out even more fiercely.  They've gotten used to my idiosyncrasies, which is a good thing, because my little foibles are not going away.  I'm looking more forward to Seaworld than Disney, but that's my personal preference.  I'm also way excited about seeing the San Diego Zoo again and going to Universal Studios.
I'm going to try to keep my blog updated...wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

When the writing surprise you...

Or me...as the case may be.  Sometimes, I'm writing along, sure the characters are going to do one thing and they flip the scene and do something entirely different.  Usually, this is a cause for rejoicing for me because it means that the book is getting more and more real by every word committed to the screen.
But sometimes the characters do stuff that I know is going to get me grief...from family members, from friends...from my editors.  And I have to argue with them and myself about going forward.  I'm writing a scene like that now.  I worry it's going to spark an argument with my editor, but it's the way the scene has to go.  I worry that if my family reads it, it's going to really bother some of them...but I'm still writing it as the characters are demanding I do.
You gotta ask yourself why and my only answer is that as crazy as it may make me appear to you all, my characters are so real to me I can't betray them.  Even for my own comfort level.  The thing is too...I think most of my readers, I hope all of them, are going to get this scene and they are going to like it ... a lot.  I hope. :)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Another Really Cool Contest

Your Virtual Book Bag (one of the group blogs I participate in) is having its first multi-author, multi-blog, multi-prize contest! There are eleven awesome books being given away. You can have multiple entries by visiting various Your Virtual Book Bag authors' blogs. For all the details visit the Contest Page, then come back here and enter your answers to win an autographed ARC of The Sea King by Jolie Mathis.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Guest blog...Vivi Anna

Sexy Beasts - Why We Love Them So!
I love reading and writing about shape-shifters.  I guess its the animal in me clawing to get out.  And who can resist an Alpha male in charge of his pack/pride or what have you.  Makes me want to tear at my clothes and bay at the moon!  :-)
In my story NIGHT OF THE JAGUAR - in the Sexy Beast anthology - my alpha male is Xalvador.  He's the leader of the Knights of the Jaguar.  A small group of warriors created by the gods to the protect the kings in an ancient Mayan culture.  After many years of slaving to the cruel heartless royalty, the four warriors rebel against their masters and send them to the underworld.  But now they must roam the Amazon jungle as jaguars. 
Thousands of years later, Mara Galas comes to the mysterious jungle and awakens that ancient evil, and arouses Xalvador.  He follows her to America to protect her from a deadly adversary that threatens to bring back the cruel ancient kings.
Xalvador is the ultimate alpha.  And I absolutely adore him!! LOL
Tell me why you love those alpha shapeshifters on Lucy's blog and I'll toss your name in for a draw.  The prize...signed cover flaps of Sexy Beast and my single title coming out in April Hell Kat, along with some very sexy Hell Kat bookmarks.
I'll pick a winner on Friday!!!  Good luck!

Monday, March 13, 2006

A teaser from our upcoming guest blogger...

Vivi Anna will be here in 2 days to guest blog!  Here's a teaser to give you a little taste of her Sexy Beast:
A form crawled into a ray of light.  It no longer a beast with midnight fur and yellow glowing eyes, but a man.  Stretching out his rangy limbs, he stood.  His long black hair was sweat-soaked and he pushed it back from a sharp angular face.  Eyes that still glowed amber searched the jungle with a keen awareness.
Taking a step forward, his lean muscular body rippled with the effort.  Sweat dripped down the golden skin of his defined chest past his naval and into the dark coarse hair between his powerful legs.  Two jagged black markings, like lightening bolts, lined his hips on either side, diagonally swooping down to a point just above his groin.
He was as sleek and powerful as the black jaguar, a warrior protecting his land.
Okay...I seriously want to read this book, how about you?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Yummy Cowboys...

And a totally delicious cover to boot (no pun intended)!  Check this out...
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys
by Lorraine Heath, Georgina Gentry and Teresa Bodwell
March, 2006
ISBN: 0-7582-1301-8
Saddle up for this anthology of Western Romances by Lorraine Heath, Georgina Gentry and Teresa Bodwell. Those deep-brimmed Stetsons. Those faded jeans. Cowboys are everything a fantasy man should be—tall, tough and oh so handsome. In this sexy new collection of original stories, meet three men of the American West who know more than a thing or two about roping a girl’s heart . . .
“Three delightful, tender, sexy, emotional romances will sweep you away to the Wild West and into the hearts of three fabulous heroes. Sit yourself down and enjoy every moment with any one of them.” 4 Stars — Kathe Robin, Romantic Times Bookclub
Don't forget...3 more days until our guest blogger, Vivi Anna joins us!  Be ready to chat with her and make her feel really welcome, 'kay people?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Uber cool news...

I'm totally excited because Michelle Buonfiglio from WNBC.com's Romance: B(u)y the Book chose READY, WILLING & AND ABLE as her "Old Flames" of the week! You can read the article here.

I'm super jazzed about this because I really love Michelle's page on the NBC.com site. She treats romance with enthusiasm and respect and you know that's going to impress me. So, not only do I think it's way neat that she chose my trilogy, but she said some very nice things about the books and my writing. It made me feel great and I wanted to share that with you all. :)

And another bit of cool news? We're going to have a guest blogger on Wednesday! Vivi Anna has agreed to join us and chat a little about her Sexy Beast. She's also giving away a prize pack (which I'll let her tell you more about on Wednesday)...4 days and counting!


Susy Sunshine has a dark side...

And it comes out at bitchiness.  I was at a chat recently and someone thanked me for having a link on my blog to another blog I find totally irksome.  I was stunned...even asked her if she was sure I had such a link.  She said, "Yes."  I checked.  She was wrong.  Thank goodness.  You see, I've got this unwritten policy (now written I guess) against linking to websites that are predominately negative.
I am a proud, card carrying member of the Pollyanna society.  I believe in happy beginnings.  I believe love is more powerful than pain and I find hyper critical, super cynical, ultra snarky people a total drag.  Not entertaining.  Not funny.  Not cutting edge.  Boring.  Who wants to live life inside the skin of someone who makes it their job to see the bad in others and the books they purport to love?
Not me.  Remember, I'm the one who plays the "Glad Game" and thinks it's addictive.  I'm just really glad there are lots of people in my life who are courageous enough to be positive and strong enough not to bow to the current trend toward perpetually nasty sarcasm.  I'm glad that so many people I meet everyday are genuinely nice and appreciate that trait in others.  I'm glad I have places to connect with readers and writers who wear the same lovely tinted glasses I do.
I don't think bitchiness is funny.  I don't think snark at the expense of others is entertainment (though snark a la MaryJanice Davidson in her Betsy books is fantastically funny) and I'm allowed to feel that way.  No one can tell me that I have to like women who sound like they are in perpetual PMS.  Just like I'm not going to tell those women (whom I personally think are obviously low on some necessary vitamins) that they have to like me...or my books...or my attitudes.   Thankfully, we live in a free country and I get to inhabit the sunny corner of it I want to.
I'm a firm believer that there is a big chunk of me in my work.  Which means I also believe the same of reviewers and bloggers and people who post on reader loops and boards.  I look for their hearts in what they write...just as I'm sure you'll find mine in what I do.  There are a lot of people in cyber-land I have no interest in meeting in person, but even more that I *do* want to.  No matter how much snark gets flung like the smelly stuff it is, there are a lot more people that are genuine, nice...who care about others and whom I would be honored to call friend.
That's me, Pollyanna...seeing the good side...for me, this is a happy place to be.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Cheesy endings...

A long time ago, my oldest sister (who is also a romance fan) read the third book I'd ever written (not one that will probably ever be published) and said she loved it except one thing.  The hero had really messed up with the heroine and while he'd promised never to make the same mistake again, my sister wanted to see him faced with a similar circumstance and this time make the right choice so she could believe in their HEA.  I'll never forget her words, or what I gleaned from them.  When a hero or heroine fails a test, for full redemption and a believable HEA, s/he needs to face the test again in some way and succeed.  Not every author gives this, but it's something I try to do in my stories.
It is also something that can really bother me when it doesn't happen in a story I'm reading.  Not always.  But sometimes.  I remember a book where the hero called the heroine a slut throughout the book and only came to his senses as she was near death.  He never proved he could face a similar set of circumstances and believe in her and I literally threw the book against the wall.
But what about the ending that isn't a full-on HEA?  The one in which the hero and heroine are in love and even maybe going to get married at the end, but circumstances prevent them from being together full-time?
Or the book that ends with the h/h starting a new life together as strangers (the soul-mate in different lives thing)?
Or the ending where the truly jerky hero never actually apologizes, but expects the heroine to understand his explanation sans apology?
None of these types of endings have ever worked for me in the myriad forms I've read them in.  And lately I've read some books by authors I'd been really eager to read and found their endings so disappointing that I doubt I'll give these authors another chance.  I want a solid HEA, but maybe I'm not representative of most readers.
What works for you?  What doesn't?  And please...no book titles, no names (of any kind) and don't be so specific that we can't help knowing what the book is.  Believe it or not, the examples I give above have been in way more than one book I've read and therefore I'm not really worried about anyone knowing exactly which books I'm talking about.  Please respect my desire to keep my blog author friendly at all times. :)
But please share... :)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A fun new blog...

A friend of mine (who posts on here pretty frequently) has started her own blog and I'm thinking she's far more adept at coming up with way interesting topics than I am.  To have a look, go to:
If you haven't visited Romance by the Blog yet, I highly recommend it.  Michelle shares Stacy's ability to post on fun and cool topics you can't help but wanting to respond to.  And she's got J.R. Ward (who looks just like my favorite editor for Mills & Boon Australia...weird, huh?) guest blogging on there right now.
Oh, and speaking of guest blogging...my editor at Kensington, Kate Duffy, is guest blogging at Squawk Radio.  Pop over and say hello if you have a minute.  Tell her I sent you...kudos come nicely wherever we can get them. LOL

Saturday, March 04, 2006

It's official...I have another favorite author.

Okay...so, if there is an author who manages to so catch my imagination and emotions that not only do I glom her books, but I devour them, what does that mean?  It means, she's dangerous for one thing and very talented for another! LOL  I'm talking about Lora Leigh and her Breed series.  It's absolutely fantastic.  She writes a totally compelling and emotional story, with a tight plot and gorgeous sensuality.
She also writes a lot more than the Breed series and I've read a couple of her others too.  She's a very consistent writer and it was super hard to decide to stick *mostly* with her Breeds, but as you all know, my schedule cannot afford the kind of glomming I could and would do if I didn't set some sort of limit on myself.  So that's my limit.  As much as I can stick within it, anyway.  :)
She often uses the language of erotica, but unless that *really* bothers you, I STRONGLY recommend you buy her books.  Her next Breed book, Megan's Mark, is out in May and I'm really looking forward to it.
If you've read her, please chime in here...and because I can't stand not having some sort of question for you all to answer, tell me...what is your favorite kind of paranormal hero?  I adore werewolves for their super strength and heightened senses, not to mention their animal sensuality, how about you?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Steamy historical romance...

I had the pleasure of meeting another author online this past year and found her to be totally sweet.  She also writes my favorite kind of romance.  STEAMY.  Her first Brava is out and it's a single author anthology.  If you've read it, let me know what you think...if you haven't, do!

Oh, those naughty rakes. With their wicked winks, sensual smiles, and bad boy habits, you just can’t take them out in polite society. But who wants to go out when you can stay in…?


Sebastian Blake, Earl of Merrick, long ago fled the responsibilities of his title to become the infamous pirate, Captain Phoenix. But the booty he’s just captured on a merchant ship is a fierce tempered minx who claims to be a bride…his bride, married to him by proxy on behest of their fathers. He could shame his hated family and return his beautiful wife untouched, but no treasure has ever proved more tempting to Sebastian, and making their marriage a true one—in every sense—is his one urgent desire …


Lucien Remington’s reputation as a debauched libertine who plays by no one’s rules—in business or the bedroom—is well deserved. He gets what he wants, social repudiation be damned. But society can keep from him the one thing he truly desires, the untouchable Lady Julienne La Coeur. Until she sneaks into his club dressed as a man and searching for her irresponsible brother. Suddenly she’s in Lucien’s grasp, his to take, and his mind is filled with the most wickedly sinful thoughts. A gentleman would walk away from the temptation she presents. But then, Lucien has never claimed to be a gentleman…


Hugh La Coeur never wanted to be the Earl of Montrose. Wine, women, and a hefty wager are preferable to responsibility of any kind. It’s certainly preferable to spending the night in an eerie, neglected mansion owned by a legendary madwoman. The duchess’s companion, the fiercely independent Charlotte, is another matter altogether. Hugh would be happy to spend as many nights in her bed as possible. He knows she’s hiding terrible secrets, but for once in his life, Hugh has the desire to take on someone else’s burden as his own, no matter what the danger…

They’re mad, bad, and deadly between the sheets…