Monday, November 24, 2008

Hello Winter

Mother Nature got confused. She hit us (good old Nova Scotia, Canada) with 30cm of snow on Saturday and it’s not even winter. While I’ve been grumping about it my kids have journeyed to the Arctic, built an igloo, traveled to Santa’s workshop to see if he needs any help with his toys and saved a polar bear from drowning on the ever depleting Arctic ice. Yes, that’s exactly what they did and a lot more. The three younger ones journeyed outside by 8am on Sat morning to wade through the snow. They are so excited; I will admit it’s infectious. The almost teenager, who didn’t want the winter boots I made him get on Friday night about six hours before the storm was about to hit, wore them with glee and his snow pants on Sat so he could go sledding in the park. He even said a thank you – will wonders never cease. So, while I’m not overly pleased that the cold (and it’s -6 here) has hit and the white stuff looks like it’s going to stay for a bit longer than anticipated we will endure.

What I did learn is that I too need to journey to the Arctic, save a polar bear or better yet figure out a way to let my dragon escape her ice cavern. Yeah, imagination is the best toy any child can have or develop. Since I’m just a big kid at heart I’ve never lost mine and it’s nice to see at least one of my four children let their creative mind take over so he too can have fun. We could have been inside all day, but they spent most of it sledding, and building snow forts...and that’s exactly what winter’s all about. Now, I just have to embrace my Kodiak boots, fur coat and became a dragon so I can regulate my own body temperature—no laughing, one never knows. Can you tell I’m working on a dragon story? Yeah, hot and cold, fire and ice and it’s diamond sharp. Hope to finish the first draft by the end of January...I’ll keep you all posted.

In the meantime, if you're looking to add heat to your day check out my latest erotic novella, Elemental Love from Ellora's Cave at

Friday, March 14, 2008

Rapture - 2008 EPPIE Winner for Best Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

I won! I won! I’m still trembling with joy over my first book’s major win. Rapture, which was my baby for three years, just won for Best EPPIE Fantasy/Paranormal Romance. According to the EPIC website - The EPPIE Awards have been given annually since the first EPIC conference to recognize outstanding achievement in e-publishing. The categories are judged by members of EPIC, all published authors. After the first round of judging, the works of the finalists are sent to another panel of judges, and winners in all eighteen categories are selected. I want to say a huge thank you to the organizers of this award contest, to the many authors out there who donated their time to read and judge all the books in each category and to my fans who continue to tell me they love Rapture.

So what has winning the award meant to me? It’s helped to reaffirm that I’m on the right track. I thoroughly enjoy writing paranormal and I love soul-defining romance. I love creating new worlds, hard-edged characters that we want to love even though we know they are beyond human. And it’s spurred me on complete book two in my Titan series, which will feature Darius (Seth’s twin brother) and he’s not a happy Titan. This book is more than half-way written (and was so last year) but I started another series, The Ungodlies – in between, so had to put it on hold. I can’t have too many characters talking in my head or I would go insane. Yes, my characters do talk to me and usually by the time I’m ready to open my laptop their voice is dying to be released on the computer.

Winning an EPPIE I’m also hoping will provide me with some leverage in my search for a new agent. I fired mine over a year ago and having since recovered from that ordeal I am once again putting myself on the block. This time though I’m going to do my homework.

Thank you once again to the EPIC organizers and readers who love Rapture. I know I loved writing and re-writing it and my fingers are crossed that when the sequel comes out it will be even better.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Adolescence. Really they should give parents a drug so we can cope through this stage. My eldest, a 12 year-old, know-it-all boy is on this lovely rollercoaster of a ride and I’m left barely hanging on. We go from having a great time together, sitting on the sofa to him becoming demanding, like mom cut me up an apple. Okay, you’re 12 cut up your own apple or wash it and eat it. Voila a fight develops. I become the worst mom ever.

I’m the only mom he tells me that makes their children do chores. What? All the rest of those moms are nuts, I tell him. You are more than half-way to becoming a man and I’m teaching you life skills. So, yes part of that is learning how to do your own laundry, how to put soap in the washing machine, turn on the dryer and fold your clothes and better yet placed them in those things called drawers. Ughhh!

Someone help me. When I tell him all the things I had to do at his age he says that was the old days. Old days? Honey, I ain’t that old, but dealing with him is certainly aging me. I don’t want my son to go through life with everything handed on a platter for him, I want him to work. I want him to appreciate the things I do for him. How many moms stay home, sacrifice their careers so I can take him to and pick him up from school, come home to home baked cookies or brownies and a hot meal on the table. Yeah, buddy list those off! So we do drive a rusty 12 year-old van. We don’t have an X-box or the latest gadgets of toys and we are scraping by month after month. But we do it. For him, and his other three siblings. And, yes I tell him when they reach his age they too will start doing chores. The ten year old is totally responsible for his pets and thank god does that and has started putting his own clothes away after I fold them, so progress is being made. But the 12 year-old thinks I’m his servant. I’ve had enough. I told him starting tonight he’ll be making his own lunches. You would have thought the world had ended with how he carried on and I part of me was immediately reminded that he may be 12 but he’s still young, still my baby boy at heart, but then I thought “tough love” he’ll be better in the end with this one chore because he’ll learn more about self-reliance.

Plus, I needed at least two more cups of tea to truly deal with him and soooo wasn’t in the mood for theatrics.

Anyone else out there coping with those lovely adolescent years. Feel free to rant. I know it always makes me feel better. And, just because you might rant I’m going to randomly pick a winner today and the lucky person will receive a free electronic copy of Love Me Tender, my second erotic novella published by Ellora’s Cave. So drop me a line and make my day!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Throw all those excuses out the window - set a goal

Goals. Okay now that I wrote that don’t go running and screaming from the screen. I am the first to admit that setting a goal does two things for me. One, it makes me slightly panicky and secondly it gives me a clear idea of what I’m striving for. Now, for those that don’t know me (many of you) I am a serious writer. What???? Yup, you heard me. I write every day. Now, I write most of my stuff on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday’s because that’s when my three-year old is in daycare. Did I mention I have four children – three of whom are in school? So, I’ve learned to organize and juggle but only two years ago did I learn that I had to set goals for ME!!!

I’m going to capitalize ME because as a MOM I always put my wants, needs and goals on the back burner. Why? Don’t know. But two years ago I realized that wasn’t fair to ME and my family. I am happier when I write. I am also happier when I make my goals.

So as a writer you might wonder how many pages do I write? Well, it can vary but on average I set a goal of 10,000 words a week. If you break that down it’s only 2,000 words, five days a week. For me I have to usually double that number because I only get three full days to write. And for me my full day ends at 2pm when I have to pick up my other children from school. The other trick that works for me is that I try not to watch a lot of TV. Now, lately that hasn’t been a problem because of the writers strike but if I watch TV all night I usually hate myself in the morning for being unproductive. So I try to write at least 1,000 words at night or edit what I wrote during the day.

My other goal for ME this year was to become more physically active. Now that I confess I’m having a harder time with. I’d rather be writing then running, which is the only exercise I like to do, but I decided this week that I’m going to sign up for an exercise course I haven’t tried before in the evening once a week to accomplish this goal. I did join LA Weightless and that has been great for me. Nothing like being accountable for what you eat and I’ve lost 12lbs all ready....very happy about that. I’m not going to worry that it’s taking me a long time to lose the 12lbs because I set a yearly goal of losing 20lbs and I will make it.

I do post my writing goals on my local romance chapter goals loop and I do write my goals down in my computer and print off all the books I plan to write this year. For me having a visual (book title and concept) works for me.

Now, what works for you? Are you able to set goals for YOU this year? Share the tricks of what you’ve found helpful and what hasn’t worked for you. We can all use an inspirational story.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Is it the cover or the words that draw you in?

We’ve all grabbed lots of books because the cover drew us in only to be disappointed with the opening paragraph. Usually I’ll give a new book one entire chapter before I decide my time is better spent reading something else. Sometimes though I only give a new book one page, especially if I’m in a buying mood.

You might ask yourself how, in one page, can you grab the reader? I will be the first to admit that’s hard, but as a reader isn’t that our goal? Recently I strolled through my local Chapters bookstore and picked up six new books. Of those six books, two were new authors for me. Candidly, I will admit that the covers of all six books drew me in but after reading the opening paragraph I only walked away with two. Now, this is also subjective. What I like to read is different from the next person. Still though, I walked away thinking…a writer really only has 30 seconds to grab a new reader.

Here’s what I read:
Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost, published by Avon. (

I stiffened at the red and blue lights flashing behind me, because there was no way I could explain what was in the back of my truck. I pulled over, holding my breath as the sheriff came to my window.

“Hi. Something wrong?” My tone was all innocence while I prayed there was nothing unusual about my eyes. Control yourself. You know what happens when you get upset.

“Yeah, you’ve got a busted taillight. License and registration, please.”

Crap. That must have happened when I was loading up the truck bed. Speed had been of the essence then, not daintiness.

These nine sentences hooked me. Last night I started to read it and today I’d like nothing more than to shut out the rest of the world, curl up with this amazing book and finish it. My gut instinct that this would be a good read so far holds true. I’m half-way through and so it keeps getting better.

The other book I walked away with is Atlantis Awakening by Alyssa Day, published by Berkley Sensation. (

Now, I will admit that I’ve read another book by Day and I think it was in this series. What annoyed me as a buyer was that she didn’t list her other books in the front of this one so I’m left wondering, did I already read this and have forgotten it? Ahh, who cares? I bought it because again, the opener grabbed me.

Here’s what I read:
Atlantis Awakening: The Warriors of Poseidon by Alyssa Day.

“These are my kind of odds,” Ven said, drawing his sword with his right hand and one of the seven daggers strapped to various parts of his body with his left. “Not even gonna brother with my Glock and its nifty new silver bullets for this mangy crew.”

The vamp leading the gang—flock? herd? What the hells did you call a group of vamps this big?—of vamps that had cornered them in the alley hissed, making sure to show a mouthful of fangs. “Prepare to die, human. You are vathhhtly outnumbered,” it threatened, with that peculiar lisp so characteristic of the recently undead. They hadn’t quite yet gotten the hang of talking with a mouthful of tooth.

Again, this worked for me. It made me smile because I sense she’s given her main character humor while making him immediately warrior ready for battle.

I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a comment and find the opening paragraph or first few sentences that had you hooked in your favorite book. What made you buy? Was it the cover or the words inside?