Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day!

Happy Leap Day!

Traditionally (in olden days past), this was the day when women could ask the man of their dreams to marry them. Today, that wouldn't present a problem, but it's nice to know such a reason exists.

Monday, February 27, 2012

P.G. Forte is my Guest Author Tonight on "Other Worlds of Romance" on Blog Talk Radio

Don't miss tonight's edition of "Other Worlds of Romance" on Blog Talk Radio! P.G. Forte is joining me, and she'll be reading from her homo-erotic vampire romance Old Sins, Long Shadows (Book 2 of the "Children of the Night" series), from Samhain Publishing.

Show time is 11 pm et/ 10 pm ct/ 8 pm pt


1856, New York City. Moments after Conrad Quintano drives his life-mate away, heartache and guilt descend around his heart like a pall. Convinced that Damian’s hatred is as permanent as the scars Conrad has inflicted on him, Conrad steels himself for an eternity of emotional torture.

Present day, San Francisco. For the sake of vampire twins Marc and Julie Fischer, Conrad and Damian present a united parental front. In reality, their truce is a sham. Conrad, weakened by his recent ordeal, struggles against the urge to bring his mate back to his bed. And Damian misinterprets Conrad’s explosive temper as proof their relationship is irreparably broken.

When an old enemy’s quest to create a dangerous new breed of vampire threatens the twins’ lives—and the precarious state of vampire peace—it’s imperative the estranged lovers put the past behind them. Or the shadows of the past will tear apart everything they hold dear.

Product Warnings
This book may not be suitable for readers with an aversion to emotionally damaged vampire heroes. Caution is advised if you have experienced prior sensitivity to any of the following: costume parties, fencing lessons, interspecies, inter-generational or intra-gender dating, occasional mild violence, and/or recreational blood-drinking.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Week of Inspiration - Day 6, The Music

This is the last post on my Week of Inspiration with a subject closest to my heart.
The Music
Some people love to listen to specific groups or solo singers when they write. I have heard some songs that immediately "fit" whatever story I'm working on, and I create a "soundtrack album" to keep that mood going. But when I'm writing I prefer to listen to soundtracks. The warm, flowing melodies are perfectly suited for those intimate romantic moments, and the soaring, full-throated orchestral passages epitomize the climactic "hero saves the day" chapter.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Week of Inspiration - Day 5, The Dust Collector

Another tip and trick to help inspire the writing muse:
The Dust Collector
I'll bet money there's a story you either started and didn't finish (or did finish but never submitted) that's sitting on a disk or hard drive somewhere. Get it out and read it. Why did you abandon it? And when you've answered that question, ask yourself, "How can I fix the problem/s to make the story better?" If you have to trash whole sections of it, do, but don't abandon the story entirely. Remember, you thought your idea was good enough to start it and maybe finish it. Maybe all it really needs is a good hard edit and a can of polish.

(On the reverse side, let's say you start a story and then run into a brick wall. That's okay, too. Some stews need to simmer longer than others. Same goes for stories. Trust yourself to come up with an idea that'll bring that story back to the front where you can finish it!)

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Week of Inspiration - Day 4, The Locale

More tips and tricks to help inspire the writing muse:
The Locale
There's an old phrase that goes "Location. Location. Location." The same goes for writing. Try coming up with a story based on where you live. Don't think your home town has any interesting highlights? Try again. Ask around. Go to the Chamber of Commerce online and see what parts of your town/city they emphasize. Or maybe it's an annual event they encourage people to come help celebrate. Check out what industries are nearby that your hero or heroine could work for. Look to see what's close to you, and set your story there.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Week of Inspiration - Day 3, The Challenge

Continuing on with my week's worth of ideas to inspire a writer:
The Challenge
What's selling right now? What's "hot"? Now ask yourself, can I write that? If the answer is no, don't worry about it. Writing is like any other profession. You are best at what you enjoy most, so don't force yourself to write something you wouldn't feel comfortable writing. But if there's a certain niche you wouldn't mind exploring, DON'T try to write a story "just like it".  Instead, try to come up with a different scenario. Challenge yourself to create a different kind of hero or heroine, a different kind of villain, a different kind of conflict.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Week of Inspiration - Day 2, The Getaway

To continue on with my tips and tricks to writing, and where I get my ideas and inspiration:
The Getaway
It doesn't have to be expensive. It could be some place you like to visit, or a place you've never been before. It can be a local tourist site, a museum, the zoo, or even the park. But get out of the house and go! Clear your mind and let your thoughts flow where they want. The laundry and dishes will always be there. Take just an hour of "away time" for yourself to let the ambiance of the place seep into your brain and give you a fresh perspective. And hopefully an idea or two.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Week of Inspiration - Day 1, The Photo

I often have people, including authors, ask me where I get my inspiration to write. Where do my ideas come from? This week I'm going to share a few of my tricks which help me.
The Photo
I find a picture that inspires me. It can be a single shot of a couple, or two separate pics of a man and a woman. The photo can be one that makes me feel soft and romantic inside, or makes me think this might be the climactic part of the book. From there I begin to build a story around them. Who are these people? Why are they there? What is their conflict? I print out the picture and pin it above my computer to keep me focused. I write their names on the photo, including eye color and any other descriptive nuances (tattoos? scars?). In time, their story begins to emerge.

Monday, February 20, 2012

J. E. Hopkins is my Guest Author Tonight on "Other Worlds of Romance" on Blog Talk Radio

J. E. Hopkins is my Guest Author Tonight on "Other Worlds of Romance" on Blog Talk Radio. Come listen to her read an excerpt from her vampiric paranormal romance, WE SHALL RISE, from Romantic Lore Publishing.

Show time is 11 pm et/ 10 pm ct/ 8 pm pt

War surrounds him, yet for vampire Kaden Gaspard, there is no greater battle than the one his mind has waged against his heart. He knows he should stay away from her. Reysa. The half-breed vampire warrior who had risked her life to prove his innocence for the seven murders for which he was accused, but had not committed. This stubbornly loyal woman who dedicated her life to her family of misfits - immortals shunned and abandoned by their clans for their impurity of blood and genetic mutations. This courageous and valiant African warrior who Kaden fears could never love the monster that he is destined to be.

As Kaden and Reysa struggle to accept the undeniable bond between them, they must come together to stop the emerging terror that threatens to destroy all immortals. The lesser immortals – witches, sages, shifters, demons, hybrids, charmers and foreseers – have declared war against the pureblood vampires and lycans who have used their purity of blood and greater strength to enslave the weaker races. No immortal is safe. This is a fight for freedom and a fight against genocide. There can be no true victor as death looms for them all.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Bucket List

Bucket List

Play along! You might be surprised at the responses.
Whether you've done this before or not, be a good sport. Do it again (and take a brain break from your job for a minute)!
Copy and paste this in an email.  Place an x by all the things you've done, remove the x from the ones you have not, and send it to some of your friends.

This is my life (thus far):

(x) Shot a gun
(x) Gone on a blind date
(x) Skipped school
( ) Watched someone die.
(x) Visited Canada
(x) Visited Hawaii
() Visited Cuba
() Visited Europe
() Visited South America
() Visited Africa
(x) Visited Las Vegas
() Visited Central America
() Visited Asia
(x) Visited Florida
(x) Visited Mexico
(x) Seen the Grand Canyon (from a plane)
(x) Flown on a plane
() Served on a jury
(x) Been lost – on numerous occasions, usually while on vacation, and enjoyed most of them.
(x) Traveled to the opposite side of the country
(x) Visited Washington, DC
(x) Swam in the Ocean
(x) Cried yourself to sleep
(x) Played cops and robbers
(x) Played cowboys and Indians
(x) Recently colored with crayons - Hey, I teach Kindergarten!
(x) Sang karaoke
(x) Sang a solo or duet in church
() Paid for a meal with coins only
() Made prank phone calls
(x) Laughed until some beverage came out of your nose
(x) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
(x) Had children
(x) Had a pet
(x) Been skinny-dipping outdoors
(x) Been fishing
(x) Been boating
() Been downhill skiing
(x) Been water skiing
(x) Been camping in a trailer/RV
(x) Been camping in a tent
(x) Driven a motorcycle/been a passenger
() Been bungee-jumping (ripcord jumping) – you have to be joking!!
() Skydived – ditto above!!
() Rode in a hot-air balloon – same answer as above
(x) Gone to a drive-in movie
(x) Done something that could have killed you
(x) Done something that you will regret for the rest of your life
() Rode an elephant
(x) Rode a horse
(x) Eaten just cookies, pie, or cake for dinner – and enjoyed every moment!
(x) Been on TV
() Stolen any traffic signs
(x) Been in a car accident
(x)Donated blood
( ) Gotten a speeding ticket in the past 12 months
(x) Gotten a piercing - ears only
() Gotten a Tattoo – have thought seriously about it
() Shaved your head
() Met a president 
(x) Driven a four door vehicle 
(x)Ever owned your dream car - yes! Finally!
(x) Been Married - and closing in on 30 years
() Been divorced
(x) Fell in love
(x)Fell out of love

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ultra-Realistic Food Paintings

Check out this website for the oil paintings of Holland's Tjalf Sparnaay. You would swear they're photographs of the real thing. And they'll make you very hungry.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Onboard the World's Most Luxurious Private Jets

Over the course of a thirty-year career, aviation photographer Nick Gleis has had rare access to the magical inner-sanctum of some 800 outrageously decadent private jets.  Check out this page for more photos of some unbelievably luxurious accommodations.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ciara Knight is my Guest Author Tonight on "Other Worlds of Romance" on Blog Talk Radio

Join us tonight on "Other Worlds of Romance" on Blog Talk Radio. Ciara Knight will be joining me, and she'll be reading an excerpt from her fantasy romance The Curse of Gremdon from Crescent Moon Press.

Show time is 11 pm et/ 10 pm ct/ 8 pm et

Don't miss it!

In a world where marriage is forbidden, sex is only granted to male warriors, and the outer realm is full of murderous creatures, Arianna fights to protect the life of her only living relative, her brother.

Tardon, an elite warrior, is granted anything he desires by the Elders, but finds little joy in the voluptuous women presented to him. Born for the bloodlust found only in battle, complicated emotions emerge when he discovers his equal in the alluring warrior, Arianna.

Charged by the Elders with saving the castle from attack, Tardon and Arianna risk the curse when they traverse the vast outer realm to retrieve serum from the Tree of Life. If successful, the Elders have promised Tardon the right to marry and Arianna the cure for her brother's death fever. Will their love carry them through or will the discovery of a great deception be their ultimate demise?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Inventions From "The Consumer Golden Age"

An under-the-dash record player, the precurser to the 8-track/cassette tape/CD player.  Check out this website for more inventions/predictions from the 50s that became reality today.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

North Korean Children Playing Guitar

Yes, they're real children. Makes you wonder how they were able to pull it off, and why can't American children do the same?

Friday, February 10, 2012

This is Sand

From LOST AT E MINOR: "It’s such a simple site, but I guarantee you can get stuck in a trance here for hours. You choose the colors and then watch pixelated sand fall down your computer monitor. When you’re finished creating, submit your artwork to the sand gallery and browse the creation of other digital sand artists. It’s one of the best forms of procrastination."

Thursday, February 9, 2012

90s Dance Music Acapella

Toe-tapping. Catchy. Awesome. And no fresh fruit were harmed during the taping.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

Customer: Excuse me, do you have any signed copies of Shakespeare plays?
Me: Er... do you mean signed by the people who performed the play?
Customer: No, I mean signed by William Shakespeare.
Me: .....*headdesk*


Customer: Hi, I'd like to return this book, please.
Me: Do you have the receipt?
Customer: Here.
Me: Erm, you bought this book at Waterstone's.
Customer: Yes.
Me:.... we're not Waterstone's.
Customer: But, you're a bookshop.
Me: Yes, but we're not Waterstone's.
Customer: You're all part of the same chain.
Me: No, sorry, we're an independent bookshop.
Customer: ....
Me: Put it this way, you wouldn't buy clothes in H&M and take them back to Zara, would you?
Customer: Well, no, because they're different shops.
Me: Exactly.
Customer:... I'd like to speak to your manager.


Person: Hi, I'm looking for a Mr. Patrick.
Me: No one of that name works here, sorry.
Person: But does he live here?
Me:... no one lives here; we're a bookshop.
Person: Are you sure?


on the phone
Me: Hello Ripping Yarns.
Customer: Do you have any mohair wool?
Me: Sorry, we're not a yarns shop, we're a bookshop.
Customer: You're called Ripping Yarns.
Me: Yes, that's 'yarns' as in stories.
Customer: Well it's a stupid name.
Me: It's a Monty Python reference.
Customer: So you don't sell wool?
Me: No.
Customer: Hmf. Ridiculous.
Me: ...but we do sell dead parrots.
Customer: What?
Me: Parrots. Dead. Extinct. Expired. Would you like one?
Customer: Erm, no.
Me: Ok, well if you change your mind, do call back.


Customer: Hi, if I buy a book, read it, and bring it back, could I exchange it for another book?
Me: No... because then we wouldn't make any money.
Customer: Oh.


Me: Ok, so with postage that brings your total to £13.05. One second and I'll get the card machine."
Customer: No. No, absolutely not. I demand that you charge me £12.99. I will not pay for anything that starts with thirteen. You're trying to give me bad luck. Now, change it or I will go to a bookshop who doesn't want me to fall down a hole and die. Ok?


Customer: Hello, I'd like a copy of 'The Water Babies,' with nice illustrations. But I don't want to pay a lot of money for it, so could you show me what editions you do have so I can look at them, and then I can go and find one online?


Customer: Do you sell ipod chargers?


Man: Hi, I've just self-published my art book. My friends tell me that I'm the new Van Gogh. How many copies of my book would you like to order?


Woman: Hi, my daughter is going to come by on her way home from school to buy a book. But she seems to buy books with sex in them and she's only twelve, so can I ask you to keep an eye out for her and make sure she doesn't buy anything inappropriate for her age? I can give you a list of authors she's allowed to buy.
Me: With all due respect, would it not be easier for you to come in with your daughter?
Woman: Certainly not. She's a grown girl, she can do it herself.


Customer: Do you have any books on the dark arts?
Me: ...No.
Customer: Do you have any idea where I could find some?
Me: Why don't you try Knockturn Alley?
Customer: Where's that?
Me: Oh, the centre of London.
Customer: Thanks, I'll keep my eyes peeled for it.


Customer: I read a book in the eighties. I don't remember the author, or the title. But it was green, and it made me laugh. Do you know which one I mean?

Customer: Do you have 'Windows 7 for Dummies'?
Me: Sorry, we're an antiquarian bookshop; nearly everything in here pre-dates computers.
Customer: Oh. Do you have user guide for antiquarian computers? You know from, like, the olden days, when they had swords and stuff?
Me: ...?


Customer: Do you have, like, a Christmas book about that, like, really famous baby?


Customer: Do you think you could post this book to America for me, in time for Christmas?
Me: Yes. I'm sure we could. I'll just get the scales and I can work out postage costs for you.
Customer: You expect me to pay for the postage as well? I'm already paying for the book!
Me: ...


the real Mr Scrooge...
Customer: I'd like a Christmas book, about Christmas, that doesn't have anything to do with snow, or robins, or snowmen, or Jesus, or holly.
Me: ... right.
Customer: And no bloody carols, either!


Customer: Do you have any cards?
Me: We have some old postcards in a box by the door. Some of them have already been written on, though.
Customer: Oh, do you have one that says 'To Juliette, with love from Christine'? It would save me writing it out again, you see.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Storm Trooper Cake

If you're a Star Wars fan like me, you'll be amazed by the talent behind the creation of this life-size StormTroopers cake. Go to the link here to see how it all came about.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Xavier Axelson is my Guest Author Tonight on "Other Worlds of Romance" on Blog Talk Radio

Tonight on "Other Worlds of Romance" on Blog Talk Radio, Xavier Axelson will join me. He will be reading from his homo-erotic paranormal romance, LILY, from Silver Publishing.

Show time is 11 pm et/ 10 pm ct/ 8 pm et

Don't miss it!

When Pryor's daughter Lily is taken by a wolf, Pryor is convinced she has turned into the creature he sees lurking in his woods.  He swears she promises to return to him. But is it his despair and desperation making him see things or is there something more lurking in the shadows of the forest?  When he meets Ned, a silversmith who helps him with a plan to bring his daughter back into his life, he begins to live again. But can his newfound love help ease the horror that may be waiting? What if the ultimate horror isn’t when Lily was taken but it’s when Lily returns and he realizes his nightmare has only just begun.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Last Pictures

Go to this website to see a series of amazing, frightening, and sometimes hilarious "last picture" shots.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Geektastic Plushies

Go over to Geeks are Sexy and check out their "Geektastically Sweet Plushies". You'll also find Dr. Who, as well as Star Wars and Batman and Harry Potter. (There's also some from Lord of the Rings. Find them through the search engine.) And while you're there, "like" GAS on Facebook!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Invisible Man

According to this website:  "Chinese artist Liu Bolin is back with more of his wonderful camouflage art. Body covered with paint almost completely blends in with the surroundings. The goal is to represent the diminishing humanity in today’s society."  Go to the website to see more incredible artwork.