Monday, February 28, 2011

Is There an Untried Shape Left to Shift?

Dragon shifter books seem to be coming back, although wolf shifters still seem to be popular.

Which makes me wonder if there's a beast left that someone hasn't written about as a shifter?

I've seen all sorts of feline shifters, including ocelots, tigers, and leopards.  And I've read of odd shapes like snakes and ducks.

But I can't help but scratch my head and try to figure out the next creature of choice.

Hmm...hamster shifters, anyone?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Old Movies Like Old Friends - "Innocent Blood"

There are movies that come on cable that I'll always watch because I love the emotional payoff they give me, even if I already own them on DVD.  This list is as varied as my mood, which is why you'll find "Somewhere In Time" along with "Innocent Blood".

This movie got my attention because it's directed by John Landis, who was fresh in fame from "An American Werewolf in London".

Basically, Marie (Anne Parillaud) is a vampire who enjoys sex as much as blood.  Her personal credo is "don't play with the food".  However she makes the mistake of accepting the invitation of a crime boss named Sallie (Robert Loggia), who finds out the hard way what Marie is.  Before she can kill him, she has to escape being killed herself by his henchmen.

Joe (Anthony LaPaglia) has been working undercover, trying to infiltrate the mob.  When he goes after Marie, and finds out what she is, sparks fly. They become lovers.  So when Sallie wakes up as a vampire, Marie tells Joe she has to kill the crime boss before he bites and infects others.

If you love vampires and love stories, this movie is for you.  It's a typical Landis film, which means it contains graphic horror, but black comedy is prevalent throughout.

Hey, how about "some Italian" tonight!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Questions to Other Writers Out There

Regarding editors, how to you feel about the following?

* Do you feel it's important or necessary that an editor read through your entire manuscript first before editing?

* Should an editor touch dialog to correct grammar?

* Does an editor have the right to tell you to change the name of a character because she doesn't like it?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Romantic Times Convention in New Orleans?

Because of time restraints and cost, I cannot attend 99.9% of the romance writer conventions.  But next year the RT Con will be held in New Orleans.  That's drive-able for me (even with the rising cost of gas.)  Plus I can get a less costly hotel room if I book early enough.  All that prevents me from attending is the fact that I cannot take more than 3 days from work without a doctor's excuse, or else be docked full pay.  But I also found out that there's the chance that I might be able to get special permission from administration.

In short, it's very possible I can attend the con in 2012!

Whoohooo!
(Please keep your fingers crossed.)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Philosophy on Growing Old

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, or my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.

So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore.

I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).

(Thanks, Therese!)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Recommended Site - RomanceWiki

As an author, I'm always looking for places to advertise.  A way to get another foothold on Google so that readers can find me.

RomanceWiki is a great place, and it doesn't cost anything other than a little time and effort.  You can update as frequently (or infrequently) as you like. 

Why not check it out?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Summer Vacation Plans

Every other year or so I go on a private vacation - by myself.  Yep, just me, myself, and I.  I've been to Maine twice, to Vermont, and most recently to Massachusetts.  Other than the ability to go to sleep when I'm ready, get up when I'm ready, eat when I'm hungry, and shop when and where I want to, these few days on my own recharge my batteries.  And many times I'm able to use what I encounter and incorporate that information in my books (and that makes the vacations a tax write-off!)

I'd love to go to New Mexico this year.  Rather than take a plane and rent a car, I'd planned on driving my own vehicle, take in Carlsbad and Santa Fe, and generally take up a week for the whole trip.

Unfortunately, with the way gas prices are rising, I'm wondering if I should drop my plans.  Looking further, if I don't go this summer, will it cost more to go a later year?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Guest Author Louann Carroll Will Be on Other Worlds of Romance Tonight!

Tonight on "Other Worlds of Romance" on Blog Talk Radio, my guest author will be Louann Carroll.  She will be reading from her sci-fi romance GEMINI RISING.

Don't miss it!  Show begins at 11 pm et/10 pm ct
***
Over 5,000 years ago, Sumerian cuneiform tablets warned future civilizations of the planet Nibiru.

Kate Kelly, wife of famous archaeologist Jason Kelly, follows her husband to Sedona, Arizonawith her son Ryan to assist in the uncovering of an ancient Anasazi village. During her passage across the states, a large comet appears overhead, clouding the skies with red dust. Some say the comet is icy residue left over from the big bang. Others say it heralds the end of times.

Join Kate Kelly as she faces the destruction of her beloved Earth and uncovers a deep and abiding passion to the one man who will save them all.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's a First for Me and WCPT

I'm delighted to announce that Whiskey Creek Press Torrid has just contracted what amounts to a first for both me and the publisher.  They are now accepting stories in the 5K range for their "Sexy Shorts".  These shorts will not be released using the same cover for each story, but instead will have their own unique covers.

I sent in my very first erotic horror story entitled THE TUB, and they were so intrigued, they took it! And it will be the very first of its genre to be published by them!

Please note that this story contains extreme graphic horror and erotica, and thus will be published under my horror pseudonym of Gail Smith.

Release date will be May 15th.  Stay tuned!  There's more to come!
*****
Amanda Storey was sent by her company to a tiny rural town to convince the community that having a chain mega-supermarket built there would be a boon to their economy and job market.

She never showed up for the town hall meeting, even though the company insists she was scheduled to be there. The motor inn where she had reservations claimed she never checked in, and police have not found any trace of her body or her car.

This is what really happened.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Free Read is Now Live!

Check out my free read, now LIVE over at the Truly Madly Deeply Romance Authors blog!

It's called "Fly Me to the Moon", and it's a sweet urban fantasy romantic short.

Blurb:  Where does a superhero go to find love?

After fruitless years of searching, Laurel finally went to an internet dating site to look for Mr. Right. What she found was her own personal superhero.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Redneck College Entrance Exam

Redneck College Entrance Exam


All right. How did you do?
Now check your answers against
the correct ones.


Hey, don't feel so bad.
I didn't pass either.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My February Foodzie is Here!


Whooohoo!  My February Foodzie has arrived, and I've already dived into it.  It contains:

* sweet & spicy walnuts
* Cabernet brownies
* Parisian mendiants
* Fleur de Sel & berr and pretzel caramels
* Charlie's truffled popcorn
* almond chocolate trail bar

(BTW, the mendiants were the first to go.  Mmmm...deeelish!)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tonight on Blog Talk Radio, the Truly Madly Deeply Romance Authors Will Be in the House!

Tonight on "Other Worlds of Romance" on Blog Talk Radio, the Truly Madly Deeply Romance Authors will be discussing their free releases and contests for a ton of great prizes!

Show time is 11 pm et, 10 pm ct

Don't miss it!
***
Note:  The contests and the first free read are now LIVE!  The TMDRA blog is here so you can find out more!

Happy Valentine's Day!



Saturday, February 12, 2011

It's a Book Signing! Come By and Say, "Hi!"

BIG BOOKSIGNING EVENT AT BOOMERANG BOOKS ON SAT 2/12/11 from 12:00 to 4:00.

FIVE great local authors will be in the store to sign their books and meet their fans.

Please help us welcome SKHYE MONCRIEF, ANNA KATHRYN LANIER, ANNE-MARIE NOVARK, LINDA MOONEY, and ELIZABETH PINA to the newly re-modelled Boomerang Books at 907 W. Main St. in League City.

There will be refreshments, fun and surprises!!

Check us on Facebook for more details.
Boomerang Books
907 W Main St
League City, TX 77473
281-316-1404
www.myspace.com/boomerangbooks

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Women, According to Engineers


A friend of mine sent me a series of pictures depicting women by men of various professions.  I'm going to drop these one at a time.  Click on the jpeg for a larger version.  Enjoy!

(Thanks, Mark!)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

111

This year we will experience 4 unusual dates:   1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, 11/11/11

NOW go figure this out.  Take the last 2 digits of the year you were born plus the age you will be this year and it will equal... 111.

How cool is that?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Final Standings - Thank You!

The Preditors and Editors Polls are closed, and the final tallys are in.  Amazingly, my erotic sci-fi romance novel A DIFFERENT YESTERDAY came in at #11!

http://critters.org/predpoll/final_tally_novelerot.ht

And for authors, I came in at #15!

http://critters.org/predpoll/final_tally_author.ht

Thank you to everyone who voted!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Come Meet My Guest Author Stephanie Draven Tonight on Blog Talk Radio!

Don't miss tonight's show Other Worlds of Romance on Blog Talk Radio when Harlequin author Stephanie Draven will read an excerpt from her book SIREN SONG!

Show begins at 11 pm et/10 pm ct
****
When Chloe Karras sings, she knows that no one can resist her sensual allure—except for the sexy naval officer seemingly immune to her voice. But Captain Alex Shore is just the man she wants to take home after her performance—until he tells her what she thought were imagined powers are real…and dangerous.

Alexandros knows firsthand how seductive sirens are, as well as their potential to destroy. Yet the former sea soldier feels a powerful attraction to the beautiful rock singer that goes beyond her spell. Can he banish Chloe from the town he’s vowed to protect—or will he be drawn into the siren’s bed?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Contests are Now Live at the TMDRA Blog!

As a member of the Truly Madly Deeply Romance Authors blog, the contests to win 24 (yes, I said 24) free ebooks is now open!

Click this link to get your chance at the grand prize, and so much more!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Come Visit Me Over at Coffee Time Romance!

Today's my day to blog over at Coffee Time Romance Forum!  I'll be chatting with readers, and I'll be giving away a PDF of one of my books, reader's choice!

You can access the forum here.  Just scroll down until you reach Feb. 5th, my day.

See you there!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Importance of Exercise

Walking can add minutes to your life.  This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $7000 per month.

My grandpa started walking five miles a day when he was 60.  Now he's 97 years old and we don't know where he is.

I like long walks, especially when they are taken
by people who annoy me.


The only reason I would take up walking is so that I could hear heavy breathing again. 

I have to walk early in the morning before my brain figures out what I'm doing. 

I joined a health club last year, spent about 400 bucks.  Haven't lost a pound.  Apparently you have to go there.

Every time I hear the dirty word "exercise", I wash my mouth out with chocolate.

The advantage of exercising every day is so when you die, they'll say, "Well, she looks good doesn't she?"

If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country. 

I know I got a lot of exercise the last few years...just getting over the hill. 

Every time I start thinking too much about how I look, I just find a Happy Hour,and by the time I leave, I look just fine.

We all get heavier as we get older because there's a lot more information in our heads.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Scam and Identity Theft Alert


Bless my bank.

I got a phone call from my bank yesterday morning.  Someone had tried to use one of my debit bank cards to purchase items over the internet Monday evening to the amount of over $700.  The bank declined it because the purchaser didn't have that magical 3-digit number on the back of the card (I'm the only person in possession of the card.)

Tuesday morning same person tried again with a different company in New York.  Two Apple iTouches to the amount of over $500.  This company did NOT require the 3-digit pin, but because the SHIP TO address was different from my home address, the order was put on hold to verify with the bank.  Thus, the bank called me.

The shipping address was to a location in Newfoundland in Canada.  These people not only had my name, home billing address, and credit card number, they also had my personal cell phone number!  How they got my information, I have no idea since that particular bank card is not used frequently.

Needless to say, I was shocked and fearful.  Thankfully the company cancelled the order, and my bank is re-issuing me a new card.  I have since contacted the authorities.

People, take NOTHING for granted!  Double check every credit card and especially your bank statement every month!  You never know.

As my grandmother always said, "It's better to be safe than sorry."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Hotel Bill

A married couple are traveling by car from Victoria to Prince George . Being seniors, after almost eleven hours on the road, they were too tired to continue, and decided to take a room. But they only planned to sleep for four hours and then get back on the road. When they checked out four hours later, the desk clerk handed them a bill for $350.00

The man explodes and demands to know why the charge is so high. He told the clerk although it's a nice hotel, the rooms certainly aren't worth $350.00 for four hours.

The the clerk tells him that $350.00 is the 'standard rate'.

He insisted on speaking to the Manager.

The Manager appears, listens to him, and then explains that the hotel has an Olympic-sized pool and a huge conference centre that were available for us to use.

"But we didn't use them," the husband said.

''Well, they are here, and you could have," explained the Manager.  The Manager went on to explain that the couple could also have taken in one of the shows for which the hotel is famous. "We have the best entertainers from New York , Hollywood , and Las Vegas perform here," the Manager says.

"But we didn't go to any of those shows," the husband said.

"Well, we have them, and you could have," the Manager replied.

No matter what amenity the Manager mentioned, the husband replied, "But we didn't use it!"
The Manager is unmoved, and eventually the husband gave up and agreed to pay. As he didn't have the check book, he asked his wife to write the check. She did and gave it to the Manager.

The Manager is surprised when he looks at the check. "But ma'am, this is only made out for $50.00."

"That's correct. I charged you $300.00 for sleeping with me," she replied.

"But I didn't!" exclaims the Manager.

"Well, too bad. I was here, and you could have."

The moral of this story is Don't mess with senior citizens. They didn't get there by being stupid!

(Thanks, Mark!)