Sunday, October 29, 2006


So the other night, little Miss Faery decided at about 2 am that she'd had enough sleep and she wanted to get up and play. So I ended up on the couch with her until about 5:30.

There's not much on TV in the middle of the night, but I did find something--a fascinating show about food and germs. I don't remember what it was called, but man! I was stunned.

Not by the amount of bacteria etc. you may find in your food--believe me, I'm so paranoid about that I used to wash out my Thanksgiving turkeys with a very, very weak bleach solution before cooking (followed by gallons of clean water). I'm so paranoid, apparently, that when I told hubs about the show, he said, "I know you don't do that--you treat raw chicken in the kitchen like toxic waste, and every time someone comes in the room you shout, 'Don't touch that! It hasn't been washed!'"

Which is true. I do obsess about it. I practically wear a Haz-Mat suit. It's true that I make careful note of what I've touched with raw chicken hands, and even wash the sink taps as I wash my hands. It's true that it's not unusual for me to do so five or six times before I put the chicken in the oven, because I can't touch the refrigerator handle or the cupboard handles until my hands are clean. There's a reason I keep a super-intense moisturizer by the kitchen sink.

But the people on this show...first we have the raw chicken woman. She didn't even rinse her hands after touching the chicken, but went straight to the ham to slice it. She touched her kids and handed them cookies. She touched loaves of bread. She touched her husband's suit. She touched plates and dish towels and cabinets and pens and...*shudder*. It was horrifying. Especially when they used a blue light to show all the places she'd touched glowing with salmonella.

Far worse, though, was the woman who didn't wash her hands after using the bathroom, then started setting out cookies for her friends.

But the ultimate, and by this I mean the ultimate in "Are you insane?", was the guy who ordered take-out, ate half of it, then fell asleep on the couch--and in the moning finished the take-out. Which had been sitting on his coffee table all night. Who does that? Who among us, having reached the age where we have our own homes, really thinks it's okay to eat food that's been sitting out all night? Did that even look appetizing, or taste good? The curry sauce had a grimy skin on it! Who eats that?

Who is dumb enough to take home the wedding buffet food that's been sitting out for ten hours? I'm not talking about tortilla chips or anything, which would be stale but edible if you were really hungry. I'm talking about pork pies, or chicken breasts.

What's the yuckiest food thing you ever heard?

(BTW--Blogger's refusal to allow me to post yesterday means I missedmy chance to dance around and celebrate the Cards' World Series win. But YAY! I grew up in St. Louis, I remember their '82 win soooo well, and it was very exciting to see them finally win again!)

(BTW again--tomorrow evening I will list the answers to any unsolved quotes in the movie quote game below, so get your guesses in!)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Because Everybody Else is Doing It

Okay, it's this quiz thingie going around, where you pick your sixteen favorite movies, and choose a quote from each one, and now you guys have to guess the movie from the quote and I'll write your name next to it when you guess it. When I see that you've guessed it, anyway, and if Blogger cooperates, which it hasn't been. (And still isn't--I'm having to make three or four publish attempts every edit.)

Most of these I've tried to pick slightly-more-obscure lines from minor characters. But a few, like the first, would have been virtually unguessable had I done so, so I've gone with the one you'll know.

1. "To crush your enemies, to see them fall before you, and to hear the lamentations of the women." Conan the Barbarian--Jenn

2. "I could be home right now, drinking this monster eggnog my brother makes with lighter fluid!" Better Off Dead--Cherie

3. "I wrote my phone number on it, in case you feel like dockin' at my moonbase some night!" Free Enterprise

4. "And I'm Gary Cooper. But not the Gary Cooper that's dead!" The Sure Thing

5. "Is being an idiot like being high all the time?" The Machmaker--Cherie

6. "They took the little ones..." Lord of the Rings (this is from Fellowship but I love all three films equally)--Robyn

7. "I'm gonna need two dragons." Starsky & Hutch

8. "She's not keen on him! She's only keen on me!" About A Boy--Isabella

9. "You don't whack guys! Look in your heaaart!" Miller's Crossing--Evil Editor

10. "I'm talkin about working for a living! I'm talkin' about sharkin'!" Jaws--Robyn

11. "We neither of us perform well for strangers." Pride & Prejudice--the good Colin Firth version, not that Keira Knightley travesty

12. "I apologize. I always thought you were a cold, calculating sort of officer. But you're really...quite emotional, aren't you?" The Dirty Dozen. It was even #12 to give you a hint!

13. "It's Christmas. It's the time of miracles." Die Hard

14. "I've known loan sharks more forgiving than you." The Ref--Cherie

15. "Well, that's the big trick, isn't it?" Star Wars. You should all be ashamed of yourselves for not getting this one.

16. "Are you sure? Because it looks like he's...leaning." While You Were Sleeping--Robyn

So there you go. Guess away.

We're going to Cardiff tomorrow, so hopefully I will have a couple of pictures to post on the blog. If we remember the camera. And if we don't get up in the morning and decide we don't feel like it after all.

WIP currently at 58k. October has been the most wasted of wasted months as far as work has gone. Between the laptop/juice thing, and the hubby's job interviews, and my friends expecting me to, like, actually talk to them and stuff...ugh. :-)

And I so have my fingers crossed that my hometown team wins the World Series...but I'm not talking about it because I don't want to jinx anything...please don't let them choke *again*.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


The video for Wierd Al's "White and Nerdy".

Okay, guys? This is freaking funny. It's his best since "Amish Paradise", which was his best since "Eat It". In fact, I think it may actually be his best EVER.

My husband is a big Wierd Al fan. I'm not so much, but the above is genius. Pure genius, especially if you relate to any of it. Which I do. And I'll bet most of you guys do too. Just a guess. :-)

Also, that's Seth Green slapping his cute little ass in front of the action figures, and Donny Osmond dancing like a loon. I really like Donny Osmond. I'm not what you'd call a fan of Donny Osmond--I think my list of favorite bands tells you he's not my thing, musically--but the guy is always willing to make a fool of himself, laugh at himself and his image, which is rare, and always seems like a genuinely nice person too. So I like the Donster. Plus, of course, he's part of my childhood. Didn't we all watch Donny and Marie? And weren't most of us so young we totally missed the "brother and sister" thing and thought they were married?

Apparently the video's at number one on the VH1 request show thing. I wouldn't know, because we don't get cool VH1 over here. We missed "I Love the 80s Strikes Back" last year and haven't seen any of those specials since--they don't air them here. I miss them so!

I believe final edits for TBD are complete...I sexed up the sex scenes, I think pretty strongly. They're still not super-explicit, because it isn't erotic romance so the language must be tempered, which is really a shame because the loss of high-impact words takes a bite, it really does. I used "erection" a couple of times but that's as far as it went. However, I think they pack a pretty heavy emotional punch.

Can't wait to hear your opinions!

Oh, also...

Ihave thee (count 'em, three) releases to promote in December and January. I'm doing a contest in both months, but I'm not sure what to give as prizes, so any suggestions are welcome. Help a lady out, eh?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Oh My

So I Googled myself today, like you do, and on the first page...

this popped up.

I don't actually see a reference to myself on the page...but I was too chicken to click on the links.

It made me wonder, though. I write a lot of sex, and yet I'm not eager to look at online porn. Or, to be honest, any porn. The closest I come are those horrible movies they show late nights on the Sci-Fi Channel..."Femalien" and the like.

I think part of the problem is porn itself. Porn is not romantic. I've seen Debbie Does Dallas, I've seen Deep Throat--before I knew Linda Lovelace's story, and I will never watch it again. I've seen a few other porno movies whose titles I can't recall, even one that tried--and succeeded--to be amusing.

But I haven't seen any porno movies, true porn, that's romantic. None. I suppose it's possible that I simply haven't watched the right ones, but I make no apology for the fact that I refuse to start actively shopping for porn on a regular basis unil I find romantic porn.

It's always been my contention, though, that if someone made a truly romantic porno film--based, let's just say, on one of my books, maybe?--women would be much more likely to wach it. Imagine. Your husband (or boyfriend, or whatever) wants to watch porn wth you. You say no. He then pulls out a romantic film, a love story, but with graphic sex scenes instead of soft-focus fade-outs. Perhaps it's a medieval romance or one set in ancient Rome. Would you watch? I would!

Because heres how this relates to writing, and especially writing erotic romance. I think the reader needs to be emotionally invested in the characters, even a little, in order to enjoy the sex scenes fully. Otherwise, it's just clinical description. This is one reason why erotic romance presents such a different set of challenges to writing "regular" romance. One isn't easier or harder than the other, they're just different.

How do you think most authors do at providing both sexual heat and emotional intensity?

In doing edits for The Black Dragon, I was stunned to see how frankly lame the original sex scene I'd written was. Well, "lame" is rather harsh. It wasn't lame, it just wasn't very explicit by any stretch. Compared to what I do now, the physical detail was lacking. There was lots of emotional stuff, lots of thoughts and feelings, but very little turn-you-on detail. I added some, but I'm thinking in the second round of edits I'm going to add more. I want those sex scenes to leap off the page, espeically since there are only three of them. In some of my erotic works I've done the "short" scene--where they fall together and lose themselves, or whatever, and that's all that's said, simply because the scene follows another, graphic scene, or because a long scene would break the story's momentum. In TBD, though, where there are only three sex scenes in the whole book, I want to show off. :-) Plus, because that first scene occurs about halfway through the book, the reader is (I hope) quite emotionally invested. They deserve their big payoff.

What do you think? Do you think the longer you have to wait, the better it is, no matter what?

Friday, October 20, 2006

A Conversation at Madonna's Place

Scene: Madonna and Guy Ritchie are having breakfast and watching E! Entertainment Television on the Skye Satellite. Madonna is leaning forward, her brow furrowed. Guy is blowing bubbles. The children are, of course, nowhere to be seen.

MADONNA (turning off TV): Guy, we need to get one of those babies.

GUY: They're out with the nanny, I think.

MADONNA: No, not one of the children we already have, you idiot. They're too old to be any use anymore. I need a new baby. An adopted one.

GUY: Adopted?

MADONNA: Yes. Look how well it's working for that Jolie person. She's got two of them.

GUY: Wow...two adopted babies. Can I name them? Can they sleep in my bed with me?

MADONNA: Don't be stupid, you talentless fop. They'll sleep in the East Wing with those other kids we have.

GUY: Okay, who do we call?

MADONNA: Anyone who'll take our check.

GUY: I might know somebody, you know. I'm street.

MADONNA: If you're street, I'm a talented writer. Your stepfather was a lord. I keep trying to tell you that. Besides, I don't want some cheap-ass English baby. Anyone can have one of those.

GUY: Chinese?

MADONNA: What is the matter with you? Asian babies are so three years ago. I want to buy a black one.

GUY: But why not just get an English one, I mean, kids in England need homes and families, too.

MADONNA: This is why nobody lets you direct movies anymore, dipshit. I don't care about the kid. Somebody else is going to do that part. I just want to adopt one, so people will know what a great person I am and how much I care. I can't let Angelina Jolie eclipse me, for fuck's sake. My albums aren't doing well, I need all the exposure I can get. As long as there's lots of Vaseline on the lens, anyway.

GUY: We could get one of those English babies with special needs, like an autistic one or something, who really needs the help we could give. That would impress people.

MADONNA: That's not photogenic. God, no wonder your career's in the toilet. I need an attractive black baby, must look good and be healthy and normal, pronto. Make the calls. (She gets up.) I'm going to go screw the gardener, then I'm going shopping, and there better be a black baby waiting for me when I get back.

GUY: Okay. You're such a sweet person, such a good Mommie.

MADONNA (smiles): That's right. They can all call me...Mommie Dearest.

End scene

Monday, October 16, 2006


There are new excerpts of The Black Dragon up at my site. So go check those out. (Don't forget to click on "Read More"!)

But still respond to the offical post below. This is just a note.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I Hurt My Back

I hurt myself!

I was picking up the Faery to put her in her high chair, and somehow I twisted my back or something but it hurts. I don't think the time I've been spendng at the computer in the cheap typists' chair we bought a couple of months ago has been helping it either.

But I'm pleased to say my WIP is currently at just over 53k words! I'm over halfway done, yay! And quite pleased with the progress so far. The other day I printed it out. Since I ended up taking just over a week off from it, through no fault of my own, I'd lost the flow of it a little and had started to feel like I was just writing a list of events. Does anyone else ever get that?

Anyway. I typed it out so I could read through it, make some notes, and get a sense of it as a whole, was it cohesive, etc. And guess what? I really think it's pretty good!

Of course, my CP has bee telling me this all along.

And oh, gee, speaking of her...her first EC novel was released a couple of days ago. You should all rush over to the EC site and buy Enchanted by Anna J Evans. Do it now. I'll still be here when you're done.

Aside from that there isn't much to report. The Princess was ill and it's getting cold. Our heater isn't working, either. We have radiators, and I guess it all works from the water heater. But our water heater fo som reason isn't as full as it should be. It wasn't a big deal when it was just the radiators, because although the temperature is dropping it's generally warm enough inside (plus we have a gas fire in the living room, which I hate. I mean, I love fires. I just don't like fake fires. So many homes here have them, and I don't get it. Although far worse are the old houses, with big huge fireplaces, and in the middle of them is a little metal box for a real fire. WHY? There's like a dozen square feet of empty space and this little one-by-one tray to build your fire on, and it's connected to the chmney so you couldn't build a bigger fire if you wanted to. I don't get it at all. I understand not necessarily wanting to fill the enitre fireplace with wood and having a bonfire in your living room [although I love fire so part of me thinks that would be really cool] but if you're going to build a separate thing for the logs, why not make it at least a little bigger? Say, three-by-three, big enough for more than one log at a time? It's one of the many things about homes in Englad that I just don't understand, right up there with why there are no electric outlets in bathrooms or why there aren't screens on the windows. Or air conditioning. But I digress.)

Anyway, today our water heater started refusing to heat water either. We switched on the backup one upstairs in the airing cupboard, so there seems to be hot water again, but I'm afraid to take a shower because I think the water will go all cold on me while I still have conditioner in my hair. And especially with a sore back, that would not be good.

So now you know. I'm filthy, my back hurts, and it's cold. What a fantastic post I've done today!

You know what's a lot more interesting than reading about my sad, hot-water-free existence, though?

Anna J Evans' book 'Enchanted'!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

New Black Dragon Trailer!

Final version...I really miss the music, but this music is, I think, excellent's actually from the soundtrack to a Star Trek fanfic movie called "Dark Armada", by a company called Edgen Animation. They had quite a few songs up on a free sharing site, listed as royalty free, and all of the songs were awesome.

This new verison is about 8 seconds shorter, too. I think shorter is better, though, personally. I just hope it tells enough about the book.

And speaking of books, I got word last night that my story "The Ice House from my book Torrid Teasers Volume One was one of the ten stories picked to be in the "Best of Torrid Teasers" anthology that Whiskey Creek Press-Torrid will be releasing in January!

So I now have two books releasing in January from WCP-Torrid! And to make it even more exciting, my beloved and talented pals Anna J Evans, Sherrill Quinn, and Kate Lang will be in the antho too!

I promise I will get back on track with the posts shortly, I know they've been alittle...dull?...lately. But I have more ranting to do, more heroes to sigh over, more books to talk about, a world of fun just waiting for you!

Monday, October 09, 2006


Let's see what you guys think...

I will very likely change the music, but that song is so evocative of the book to me (it's what I listened to when writing, because it "is" Gruffydd) I wanted to at least share it this way first.

Be it terrible?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Tagged-and an extra validation of my coolness

Annie Dean tagged me to do th book quiz that's going around, and as I am always one to follow up on tags, and as we were just discussing books it is.

#1 - One book that changed your life: Hmmm. This is really hard to answer, because I think every book I've ever read--or at least the vast majority of them--have changed me, even in some tiny way. They broaden our experience and viewpoint. But I think I have to say--and Annie will hate this--the book that changed my life was Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. (I had the British version from the beginning, as my hubs's stepsister gave it to me on our honeymoon). Not so much because of the book itself, but because of what it has represented to me ever since--someone who just wanted to write a book, who worked really hard, and who is now arguably the most popular and famous writer on the planet. Whenever I'm feeling down I think of that, and I'm inspired to keep working.

#2 - One book that you've read more than once: Um...all of them? I can't think of more than a handful of my books that I've only read once, but I'll go ahead and list an important one--I've read Gone With the Wind too many times to count.

#3 - One book you'd want on a desert island: I'm going to agree with Annie and go with the SAS Survival Guide: How to Survive Anywhere, on Land or at Sea by John Wiseman. It would be torture not to have anything to read, but I'd rather not die just so I can have The Caine Mutiny.

#4 - One book that made you laugh: Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady by Florence King. She's another of my absolute favorites.

#5 - One book that made you cry: The Reckoning by Sharon Kay Penman. I was depressed for weeks afterward. It's an excellent book-the third in a trilogy that starts with Here Be Dragons--but man...history is the saddest thing there is.

#6 - One book that you wish you had written: Oh, man. Almost all of them? I don't really know. I just want to write my own books and have people wishing they'd written them.

#7 - One book that you wish had never been written: Mein Kampf

#8 - One book you're currently reading: Potter again, I'm re-reading the series and am about to finish GOF. But I'm about to start The Devil Wears Prada, because it was on sale for half-price at Ottakar's. I'm also reading a book of love poetry because I have a romantic love interest in my WIP who has informed me he likes to seduce women by quoting love poetry. My heroine has indicated she finds that pretty hot, and as I only know a few snippets of love poetry, I'm researching.

#9 - One book you've been meaning to read: Hmmm again. I have a few history books I'm waiting on until I'm done writing this particular book. I've always wanted to read Jane Eyre. I've also always wanted to read The Once and Future King, and I have the first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy to start as well.

#10 - Tag Five People: Uhhh...SW, Robyn, Anna J., Cyn, and Isabella. Meme this. author bio is up on the Ellora's Cave website!
Check it out. I'm all legitimate and cool and stuff now! Wheee!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Books, books, and books

Books #1: Remember how I said I didn't really lose anything in the Computer/Juice incident? Yeah. Somehow I managed to forget my erotic vampire romance, the one I finished back in March. The first three = last chapter are out on sub. The rest...disappeared into the peach juice. WELL, sort of. I have a hard copy. I can retype it if I have to. Please let those data recovery people be able to recover some data!!

Books #2: I have, in the last week, done ZERO on my WIP. Well, no. I've done about 1500 words but it's basically all crap and I know it will be edited out. And now I'm freaking out that by the time I've finished the thing urban fantasy will be glutted and nobody will care. It's been an insecure few days, to be honest, what with stress about the laptop and hubby probably going back to work soon thus leaving me all alone and...well, I guess that's it. I'm having an ebb in my biorhthym, dude. (And I'm aware I probably misspelled rhythm. Oh, wait, that's right, isn't it. Anyway, it's one of those words I can never spell. Another one lately seems to be occasion. Because hubs used to work by a florist's, and on their sign they said, "Great for all ocassions". Which used to drive me nuts every time I drove past it, until I drove past it so many times I could no longer figure out if it was really wrong or not. Now I always have to double-check it in my head.

What's your mental-block spelling word?

Books #3: Aimless internet wanderings led me to this site: Loganberry Books. They do a "Stump the Bookseller" thing and there's an enormous archive of solved and unsolved questions. Basically, you give them a plot or characters from a book you remember (children's/YA books) and they try to name the book. Other people can guess the book, too. I seriously spent like an hour there and can't wait to have enough time to go back and look some more.

Which reminds me as well. One of my favorite books as a youngster, The Diamond in the Window, has been reprinted. YAY! Last time I checked, which I guess was around '99, there were no copies to be had. I had no idea this was part of a series, I just remember not only loving the book, but loving to color in the illustrations, because everybody had red hair. Or maybe I just colored them al with red hair. I had a thing about redheads as a child. And coloring the illustrations in my books. Usually with markers that then bled through to the other side of the page. Anyway. You should order this book. It's exciting, it's spooky...I can't wait to reread it.

Now you recommend one to me. Today is YA--and please, if you can, recommend one from your childhood, not a modern one--but we'll do lots of different genres, at least I hope you guys want to.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Kids are Great!

So my MIL is in town, she arrived Saturday morning. I was in the kitchen when she got off the bus, making beakfast for the Faery who was in her highcair. Hubs was, apparently, on the laptop in the living room.

Hubs runs out with his umbrella to greet MIL (it was raining). I brought Faery's breakfast to her, and was greeted (of course) with "No! NONONO!" So I made a fce and took the plate back in the kitchen to eat myself, because I like buttered scones.

Hubby and MIL come in the house, and straight into the kitchen. We drink coffee. We chat. Faery wanders in and out. Princess wanders in and out.

Hubs and MIL are going to take the kids into town so I can work, because I haven't gotten much done in the last week or so and I'm just about to hit the pre-climax buildup scenes in what I think is the best, tightest work I've ever done. So I go upstairs to get clothes for the kiddies and the following words float up after me:

HUBS: What? Why is this...wet?...Oh my god...oh no...

MIL: What's wrong?

HUBS: I think Faery poured her...oh no, it won't turn on...her juice all over the laptop...

She sure did!

She poured half a cup of juice--sticky, sugary juice--into our nine-month old laptop. Fried it. It's gone. They couldn't restore the hard drive.


We have the superspiffy protection/maintenence plan, so tomorrow it's going to the superspiffy repair place, where if they can't fix it they will replace it. Meanwhile we've bought a desktop.

Thanks to every holy being, last week I sent my best friend in FL everything I had one my one major WIP, and Friday morning my beloved CP agreed to look at all 40k words of my BIG project (the aforementioned best-ever-writing). So I'd sent that off. So both my major things were backed up.

But what I lost...story ideas synopses deleted scenes 3-5k beginnings of new projects. New edits and additons to some things I backed up ages ago and never re-backed.

All of our digital camera photos of the girls in England--or most of them, anyway, some we'd emailed to people.

All my icons and cookies.

All of our iTunes songs.

Half of my ebooks.

It was not a good weekend.