Friday, December 27, 2013

Until There Was You... Means There's No More Me

Kristen Higgins has cured me of a many year addiction to chick lit. In fact, it's safe to say that after reading Until There Was You by Ms. Higgins, I will not read another chick lit novel again.

I always enjoyed chick lit. (And for those of you who believe Ms. Higgins is straight romance, I don't. She fits the chick lit category in my mind although more romantically inclined.) But I enjoyed the modern women, the humor, the life lessons and the happy endings.

Not any more.

I haven't been enjoying the chick lit novels I was reading and slowly have been weaning off them but I saw that Carolyn and I had a bunch of Higgins titles on the Kindle and I needed something to read so I read this. And um... ewwww.

1. The heroine's name is Cordelia but everyone calls her Posey. Why? Both names suck.
2. The heroine and her brother are adopted. For 3/4 of the book, I thought she was Chinese. She wasn't. He was Vietnamese. Their parents were German.
3. The brother was gay. The way he interacted with his partner (not to mention everyone else), he might as well have been invisible.
4. The hero had phobias.
5. The hero Liam (really, why that name?) fell in love with Posey because... um, I don't know why. There was no connection between them really.
6. In high school the mean girls called Posey Anne Frank because she was super skinny. Um, most girls envy super skinny, they don't mock it.
7. Nobody was really interesting in any way. They were all caricatures. In fact, Posey had an architectural salvage firm, Liam build custom motorcycles and the brother was a surgeon who got a boner whenever he could amputate something... and not a single one of them was believable.

I'm done. There's such a bad taste in my mouth from this book that I think the chances of my ever reading another book of the same vein is slim to none.

Jill Mansell wrote characters who were nasty, bitchy and bitter and gave them undeserved happy endings which started turning me away from the genre. Now Higgins has killed the genre as dead as it can get.

And one more time: ewwwwww. Seriously, bad reading.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happiest of Holidays

Carolyn and I want to wish everyone the happiest of holidays and the warmest of the season.

We're grateful to all the friends we've made on this blog and we're delighted to be facing a new year with you all.

What? You were expecting a jolly fat man?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare

What's a duke to do, when the girl who's perfectly wrong becomes the woman he can't live without?

Griffin York, the Duke of Halford, has no desire to wed this season--or any season--but his diabolical mother abducts him to "Spinster Cove" and insists he select a bride from the ladies in residence. Griff decides to teach her a lesson that will end the marriage debate forever. He chooses the serving girl.

Overworked and struggling, Pauline Simms doesn't dream about dukes. All she wants is to hang up her barmaid apron and open a bookshop. That dream becomes a possibility when an arrogant, sinfully attractive duke offers her a small fortune for a week's employment. Her duties are simple: submit to his mother's "duchess training"... and fail miserably.

But in London, Pauline isn't a miserable failure. She's a brave, quick-witted, beguiling failure--a woman who ignites Griff's desire and soothes the darkness in his soul. Keeping Pauline by his side won't be easy. Even if Society could accept a serving girl duchess--can a roguish duke convince a serving girl to trust him with her heart?
~ ~ ~ ~

This book is a true example of a romance as a fantasy. It has a split personality.

I started it because Lori liked it so much even though I've never been able to get 'into' Tessa Dare. Her first series (Goddess of the Hunt et al), I didn't care for the heroines and although I bought her books because I intended to try again (and Lori liked her), I've never read another (so many books, so little time). And then I read this one.

Okay, first the positives.

She's a wonderful writer.

Lots of humor.

The protagonists were very likeable and I absolutely loved the hero, Griffin.

The sexual tension is great and the sex ... wow. I mean - WOW!

The negatives.

Implausible plot and I do mean implausible. Not sure I would have read it if I'd seen the blurb. (Yes, I bought a book without reading the blurb.) I was going to go into detail, but hell, just read the blurb.

I wish I could say the positives outweighed the negatives, but they didn't, not for me. Of course it does have 4.5 stars on Amazon, so what do I know?

I'd be reading, enjoying the characters, and then some anomaly would hit me over the head. Three women going unescorted to a ball. An unmarried female 'guest' going to Vauxhall with a Duke who has the reputation of a rake - without a chaperone. Or even going to Vauxhall period. If I remember my Heyer, it wasn't the 'done' thing for aristocratic ladies. I don't know what that says about the Dowager Duchess who was going with them but begged off due to an 'illness'. Wink, wink. (she wants grandbabies.) I remember the Dowager Countess in The Quiet Gentleman and ... I shouldn't compare Tessa Dare or anybody to Heyer, but couldn't I at least hope for a smidgeon of authenticity?

The whole book is an anachronism. I loved the characters but I would have loved them more in a contemporary setting. Why write an historical if you don't at least try to be true to the era? Of course, then this book and a lot of others wouldn't have been written.

I would have to give this book a C if I were grading. The historical errors were egregious and came one after the other. If you don't know a damn thing about history and care even less, then I can recommend this book. Otherwise, be prepared to wince a lot and if you're reading in paperback, it may even be a wallbanger.   :-)

This is a true example of a mystorical, as designated by DA. (did I spell that right?)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I'm Depressed

I'm depressed. Down in the dumps. Boo-hooing all over the place.

I've been reading too much lately. And the more I read, the more I realize I'm just not a very good writer. Or not as good as they are. They are. You know.... them. The ones who write the books that I'm gobbling down and loving and then making me question if I should even keep writing.


Kristen Ashley. Tessa Dare. Kristen Higgins. The good writers.

My God, I just read Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare and it was wonderful. Witty, sexy, fun. And I reread Sweet Dreams by KA and even though it was full of her hiccups, it was really kick-ass. Hell, I just read Reaper's Property and even though I really didn't like it that much, it was still well written and probably better than anything I can do.

So I got depressed. And I stopped writing. And then tonight I started again.

Because I'm not as good as those women and that's okay. I might never be. I probably will never be. But I can still tell a story and sometimes strangers read my books and they like them. (I have three Amazon reviews for Yesterday's Headline, all strangers and all good. And I know three isn't a lot but hell, that's a real ego boost right there).

So I'll keep writing and I'll keep trying to get better. I'll let Tessa Dare and KA and Ms. Higgins influence me by doing what they do so well.

I'll probably get depressed again too. And that's okay.

I'll just write through it.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


As Lori mentioned we've been glomming KA.

Unfortunately, I'm beginning to feel just a tad insecure.

Most of her heroines are in their late thirties, early forties, which pleased me because I do like an older heroine - and hero, for that matter. But then it dawned on me that these people were like horny teenagers, in bed and out of it too.

The male gets hard at the slightest thing; the way she says his name, her slightest touch, thoughts of her nekkid or non-nekkid. Now, I'm not a male, so this may be perfectly logical and an honest representation of male-type action but it does seem a little overboard and

And theses over forty heroes can go all night, no problem. Not only that, but they can get back in the saddle minutes after they dismounted from the last ride.

Plus, they all have six packs, even those with teenagers.

The ladies, they are a fountain of sexual fluids. No KY for them. They should be wearing panty liners, because they flood if he says her name a certain way, at his slightest touch and at thoughts of him nekkid or non-nekkid. Also these women have the most sensitive nipples in the known universe.

They also have multiple orgasms, 3-4 per episode, which is just plain cruel to the reader (me). And they're always ready to go again, never too tired or sensitive to go through another 45 minute session.

We must all remember these are truly fantasies, just as much a fairytale as Snow White and Cinderella. I suppose there are people out there who are like this, but a whole damn town? Tell me now so I'll never move there.  ;-)

And I do promise I'll be commenting on other authors and books. Bet Lori will too. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Glom

Sadly, or perhaps not quite sadly, Carolyn and I have both been lost in the glom. It's an exciting place to be but ultimately scary as you lose sight of the real world and are navigating through the world of an author's creation.

Carolyn can talk about her glom since she's been in a few but mine has mostly been KA (yeah, her again). I discovered the Unfinished Heroes series which were her answer to 50 Shades, I guess, because two of the books, Raid and Knight were very bondage/discipline. Knight was icky because he liked to be called Daddy when having sex.

That man needed a shrink more than he needed a woman. **shivers**

Raid was an interesting hero since his woman got the shit beat out of her and was in the hospital and he took off after the guys who did it and never saw her in the hospital once.

Wait... what's that I hear? A team of shrinks being called in for these guys.

The third book was Creed but I read that before and its very meh.

Now I'm reading one of her books with a virgin girl pool hustler which is different. We'll see how that goes.

But I also reread Motorcycle Man and this time it was **shivers deliciously**  Then I read the story of Lanie and Hop and loved that one too.

After these I have some Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins to read as well.

More serious glomming coming on.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sommersgate House by Kristen Ashley

BlurbDouglas Ashton is the cold and unfeeling owner of the gothic Victorian Mansion, Sommersgate House. Julia Fairfax is his stubborn American sister-in-law. After tragedy strikes, Douglas and Julia are forced to live together at Sommersgate and raise his newly orphaned nieces and nephew.

Douglas has no desire to raise his dead sister’s children nor does he want the distraction of the tempting Julia living under his roof. Julia is struggling with grief and trying to make a go in a new country without much help from impossibly handsome but even more impossibly remote Douglas. Not to mention, she has to deal with the active hostility of Douglas’s frosty, Attila-the-Hun-in-a-skirt mother, Monique.

Douglas decides the best way to give the children what they need, get his mother to behave and give himself what he wants is to marry Julia. When he tells her (yes, tells her) she will be his wife, Julia thinks Douglas is (probably) insane. And anyway, she’s decided if she ever has another husband (since the last one wasn’t so great), he was going to be short, balding, have a paunch and worship the ground she walks on (none of these characteristics define Douglas in the slightest).

One more thing, Sommersgate House is haunted by the ghosts of the man who built the house and the woman who was the love of his life. They both died mysteriously at Sommersgate months after it was finished. When they did, a curse settled on the house making it seem strangely alive. And the only way for the beautiful but frightening house to rid itself of this curse is for its owner to find true love.
This book was definitely a surprise. It was not the Kristen Ashley we've come to know and love and it was definitely not crackalichous. It's not a bad book; in fact it was better written than some of the Colorado and Rock Chick books I've read.
Most of her writing tics are gone: no repeating names ad nauseum, no 'then's' beginning three or four sentences in a row, and the result is a surprisingly well written book. The plot takes place in England and even the spelling is English, for example - colour, favourite.
There's a Gothic tone over it all and small mysteries and nice people. The plot is very simple: two people falling in love and overcoming some trivial problems during the process.
I liked the ghost angle, although they seemed to be very alert ghosts. It was a fun read albeit a little draggy in places.
The author bio with this book states Kristen Ashley lives in England, in the West Country, so that would be before she came back home and wrote the Rock Chicks?  Were her tics deliberate?
Don't know what I'm saying, it's 3:20 a.m. here and I think I'm finally ready for bed. Be so glad to hear from Ashley fans who have read these very different books..;

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Holiday Schmoliday

I'm going to be a cranky old fart and pfft! on the holidays.

Okay, truth be told, I'm a complete and total dewdrop when it comes to the holidays. I totally love everything about them. I decorate, I bake, I wrap everything in festive holiday wrap and give myself warm snugglies like a crazy bitch.

I am a Christmas Ho-Ho-Ho.

About the only thing I don't like about the holidays is my family. Ha! We're not especially close and we kind of force ourselves to do a pretend lovey-dovey ding-dong thing that I could live without.

Otherwise, get me some eggnog, Elf, and keep the fire crackling!

I always feel like writing holiday stories that I rarely complete. I buy Christmas romances that I never read. I do however, watch all the Lifetime Christmas movies and masturbate with some mistletoe in a holiday buzz.

Carolyn, I will point out, is a grinch. Wish her a Merry Christmas and she'll start snarling that when she was a girl they had to eat reindeer to get through the Canadian winters and Rudolph would made a damned fine red-nosed roast.

So around this time of year we'll just tiptoe around our Southern Canadian cutie and hope no carolers come to her door. Hopefully they learned from the last time when she turned the hose on them and pelted them with mutant gingerbread men.

Ho ho ho indeed.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Kristen Ashley and Epic Romance

I'm on a big old Kristen Ashley glom. It isn't pretty. Hell, it's like watching someone going into a food frenzy, just stuffing themselves until they can't move out of the chair and they look dazed and beyond sated.

So why am I doing this?

I realized about a week ago that KA writes romance that's epic. Huge. It's fated love when two people see each other and it's immediate. But their happiness is jeopardized by their own inner demons, by outer demons (often carrying guns and/or knives) and HUGE misunderstanding.

Oh there are things that drive me crazy, like the heroines are all gorgeous but don't realize that they are. And every single hero talks the same way: "You got two different kinds of sweet and I like them both."

No human male talks the way KA's heroes talk. And if they did, we'd laugh hysterically.

But the romance is HUGE. These are men and women who are willing to uproot their entire lives for one another. They take bullets for the person they love. They're virtuous and honorable and nothing about them is small (except their conversational skills).

These are books romance writers should read. Because when you open up to the complete EPICness of what KA is doing, it becomes a lesson in writing.

Romance should be big. It should be huge. Falling in love should shake up the very foundation of the earth. Nobody should be unchanged by it.

Romance should be big stories with big emotions and sweeping declarations of love. It should disarm the hero, stun the heroine and leave worlds in its wake.

It should leave the readers breathless and drained and turned on.

KA got it. And I'm diving in headfirst and losing myself in the amazing world of love.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Last Hour of Gann by R. Lee Smith

This just goes to prove that we're better at writing than reviewing, We totally suck at reviewing but both of us loved this book so we decided to give it a try. And I'm posting this without Lori's knowledge (don't tell her) because we both agreed it's not up to snuff. Still, it gives me a chance to recommend this book because it's damn good!

We don't give a shit about feminism or complaints of rape pertaining to this story. We refuse to apply modern mores to a story written in the future, just as we don't apply them to historicals.

                           Beware - may be spoilers!!

Lori:  I haven't read anything like this ever before. My science-fiction tastes have been more along the Asimov/Heinlein line so an epic romance like Gann would never have been in my radar except that everyone was raving about it (everyone being Jill Myles and Jane from Dear Author).

Carolyn downloaded it into our Kindles and we got to reading.

Summary: Amber's prostitute mother dies, she drags her sister Nicci to sign up to go colonize another planet, the ship is destroyed, crashes on the wrong planet, only a handful of humans live, they meet a religious lizardman and a lot of shit (especially bad shit) happens.

Amber was my idea of an amazing character. I'll admit that one of the reasons I loved her so damned much was because I related to her. Amber is an unattractive, fat woman who is bold, opinionated, not people savvy and immediately the focus of the blame when things go wrong.

However, Amber is also the reason that any of the humans are alive.

Among the humans are sister Nicci, Scott, a handful of fleet men and women who like the sisters, were going to colonize and breed.

From the beginning Amber is the one who guides the people away from the burning craft and saves the survivors lives when the craft explodes. Her push to get them near water ultimately saves their lives.

And her desire to keep them alive by hunting brings her into contact with Meoraq, the lizardman.
The world building in this book is spectacular and the introduction to M (as we'll call him) gives us an understanding that the society he lives in is rigid with rules. M is a sword of (Shuel), a fighter who kills to determine guilt and is allowed sex with any woman he chooses. It's a complicated society where women are subservient, certain people are running the show (like M) and a fall from grace means exile or worse.

M's encounter with the humans is a sign from God and his relationship with Amber becomes the center of the story as both a love story and more. Their slow understanding of each other, their acceptance of how two different species think and live becomes a HUGE story.


That they are attracted to each other is almost a miracle.

Amber is an atheist. M's whole civilization is controlled by religion. And yet, although they argue and fight they have a tolerance for each other that leads to a deeper relationship.

M is fascinated by (to him) Amber's ugliness, her flat face and lack of language. He tolerates her derision of his religious beliefs and touches her whenever he can.

He has never treated another female like this. Females are nonentities to him, fit only to slack his sexual needs. Amber is as unlike the lizard females as it is possible to be, mentally as well as physically.

I admired M as he tried to keep his worldview within the religious concepts he'd been taught, and yet was open minded enough allow a bit of wiggle room. At first. Then his strength of will carries him through as the wiggle room becomes a vast deception.

These two, Amber and M, complimented each other so well.

I can't say the same for the rest of the crew.


Unquestionably, the other characters (human-wise) are the least complex or interesting aspects of the story.

Amber's sister Nicci (who Amber forced along on the ship) is a horrible human being. She uses Amber constantly, turns her back when Amber needs her and has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
Nicci was so vile that later in the book when she's raped, I didn't care. I wouldn't say she deserved it, nobody deserves rape, but I didn't give a damn about her.

The refugees were sheep and surprisingly weak characters. It was truly, to me, the greatest drawback. Amber's arch-nemesis Scott is the leader of the pack but he's such a nut case it becomes difficult to understand why anyone would follow him.

Amber is presented as so much smarter but so abrasive and unattractive that nobody would listen to her, no matter how right she was.

When the lizardman joins them (or herds the sheep, as it were), Amber's need to be responsible and care for the other humans makes her the only one willing to learn from M and ultimately friend him and more.

I didn't feel the sexual tension between Amber and M was as deeply sexual as it was a crossing of boundaries for both of them. The ways M would touch Amber, would teach her and open his life to her were breath taking. I always believed in him as Amber's hero because he was nothing short of perfectly heroic with her.

I kept waiting for M to grab Amber and run away from the other humans because they were so damned vile.


If he'd done that he wouldn't have been so heroic. It was his growing respect for Amber that held him back, I think. He couldn't understand why she cared for her horrible sister or the rest of the sheep, but I think he respected her feelings.

The only times he forced her was when she was in danger, ie when full winter set in and he refused to let her continue their journey.

I hated Nicci with a passion, even more than Scott. I felt contempt for all the humans especially those who should not have been sheep - Marie and the 'official' crew. It did serve to isolate Amber though and when she refused to give her rug to Nicci, I almost jumped up and down!

So, Amber started out as a fat, mouthy gal and ended up as a skinny mouthy gal. Starvation will do that for you. I haven't heard any readers complaining that the author turned her into a size 2 or whatever. Have you?


They were still calling her fat, I think, after she was skinny.

Now I have always, admittedly, felt the heroine made or unmade a novel for me. Amber was a definite winner for me and yes, mostly because I related to her so completely.

M was a fascinating character and I loved him. But my question to you Ms. Carolyn is: is your new book boyfriend a lizardman or not?


M was perfect for Amber, not me.

I'm a voyeur and like to spy on character's lives. I don't imagine I'm the heroine nor do I lust after the hero, although I do love me some solid muscle and redeeming character traits.

So I was pleased they could pleasure each other but one thing bugged me - when the inevitable happened it was Nicci that had the explanation.



So no, don't have a lizard BF but am very happy they got together and very, very happy to have the woman be the kinky (to him) aggressor. Ha!

And as an addendum, the humans called M a lizard, but I believe he and his people were warm blooded mammals who just happened to have similarities to terrestrial lizards.

Something that confused me: Gann was the name of the planet and, if I'm reading things right, also their name for Hell.

Is that how you saw it?


Sorry babe but you forgot... Gann was the name of evil basically and (super duper spoiler alert) the end when they found the recording, remember Gann was the nickname one of the men had and he used it as a joke.

Which leads to something else extraordinary in the world building.

M is a deeply religious character as are many in the story and on the world. Ultimately the truth of the religion and the rules that M and his family (and other families) live by were created falsely to hide the monsters that these men became when filled with rage or lust.

It was a smart piece of writing as explanation and macguffin but it disappointed me in a big way.

M was like a born again Christian but his God seemed to answer his prayers almost constantly. And his ability to control his own feelings because of his religious teachings was admirable.

I think I was disappointed because ultimately choosing to turn the religion and the center of M's life into something else seemed too big to sum up in only a chapter or two.

Or maybe that was just me.


I know this book was super long but there were still threads left untied.


How was Amber (the only one of her kind) accepted into the indigenous society? How did her pregnancy go? What did she have? What did the baby look like? And what adventures did they have in trying to restructure their world?

Despite the length of the novel and that I was engrossed from the very beginning, it felt unfinished. I would absolutely love a sequel.


Thursday, November 14, 2013


I've really missed this blog. It's lonely blogging by yourself. I'll try to be more mouthy this time 'round, promise.  ;-)

I love this song. Il Divo recorded it especially for the victims of the Japan quake and tsunami. Translated from the Japanese. Hope you enjoy.

And what better way to open shop again than to share some eye candy? Let me check my collection ...

I think Lori intends some housecleaning; I have to go hide my dust bunnies.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

We Lied

We're coming back...

Both Carolyn and I have had some life changes. I have a new job where I'm quite happy and Carolyn has no job and she's quite happy. (She retired and just in the nick of time.)

We're still reading and writing and bestest of besties and we missed doing this together so we're coming home.

The only thing is... I just don't feel like an old fart. Maybe a middle aged fart with bad knees, questionable hips, grey hair, a saggy middle (not to mention top and bottom)...

Okay, I'm an old fart.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

It's Been Amazing

Carolyn and I have had a wonderful time blogging together and we've loved all the people who have come to spend time with us. But we've decided to move on and close down the blog.

There's no reason beyond our lives changing and less time available to devote to the blog.

Thank you all for being our online friends. We plan on being around and having more great times with y'all.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Crazy People, I'm Crazy For You

Jennifer Crusie is the shits. I mean, really, completely, she's the shits.

I discovered Welcome to Temptation first and fell crazy in love with that story. But when I read Crazy For You, I felt like I found one of the most perfect novels ever written. It's my most re-read novel, averaging 4 - 5 reads a year. And now Jennifer Crusie has Crazy People out, a collection of short stories about the characters in Crazy for You... and it's fucking amazing.

In short form: the novel was developed as she was in the MFA Iowa Program (you know, that program which happens to be the finest in the country). And she'd already sold a couple of books to Harlequin and discovered the writing program focused mostly on short stories. So these are the stories she wrote. And they went on to become Crazy...

I haven't finished them all but so far each one has been a gem. Shiny and pretty and satisfying something deep deep inside. I adored the one about Quinn's mother, Meggy and how she handled her step-father's jokes. It's one of the best stories I've ever read.

I know I'm a total fan girl and since the novel is my favorite, my adoration of these stories makes sense. But I'm not loving this just as a reader. I love these stories as a writer also. Because these stories are a brilliant reminder of why we write. Those wonderful moments in a person's life, the characters, the inside jokes we share.

I'm moved as a reader because I get so much more of my favorite book, favorite author in this collection of stories. And I love it because I needed the reminder of why I love writing.
If you love Crusie, you'll adore Crazy People. I promise you will.

You'll thank me later.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Bitch Heroine

Well I just finished another Kristen Ashley book, Creed, and this one had an interesting heroine. Sylvie is hired muscle and works on the shady side of the law. She also openly likes sex, is willing to tell a man that he's just an available cock to her and nothing else and like most Ashley heroines never gets her way. Although unlike them, she admits she just gives in because she doesn't have the patience to fight.

But it got me thinking about bitchy heroines. If I was in a novel, I'd be considered a bitch. I'm opinionated, loud and curse like a sailor. I've also been known to lead sweet Southern women into lives of ridicule and sexual innuendo.

Modern women are hard to write. If they're independent, vocal, comfortable in their own skin and making it in this world then how can a man come in and make it all better? But if she crumbles in her life-coping then how is she a real modern woman?

My favorite heroine of all time is Quinn in Jennifer Crusie's Crazy for You. Quinn can stand up for herself and she does. She leaves a man she feels stagnant with, goes after a man who turns her on, and makes choices that make her happy. Quinn rocks and she does it with humor, guts and never turning the corner into whining or bitchiness.

I'm working on a book right now and the heroine is a business owner, a smart woman and just a little bit close to bitchy. I don't want readers to dislike her so I think there might be a bit of rewriting in my future.

It's funny though. Women today have to work full time, keep the house clean, raise kids, do all the errands and make decisions, while facing a world that still classes them as second class citizens. And we do it. We do it daily and still laugh and love and curse like sailors.

I don't think I'd want to be a romance heroine but I'd be interested to see a woman who is trying to keep it all together who mkes love and romance work in her life, just as another part of it.

(This post is somewhat convoluted since my daughter is doing magic tricks, the cat is scratching my chair and my stomach hurts. I promise to get it together at another time.)

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Silent Fart Finally Speaks

Hi -

Tall Fart Red speaking here. I wanted to explain why I don't post too much, that is if I don't run out of words. Ha ha.

Words have become a precious commodity for me because sometimes they're hard to come by. For example:

I want to say the villain has a constipated look about him, but I can't think of the word constipate. I know what I'm looking for means he can't shit (you should pardon my French) but I can't dredge up the concise, socially acceptable word I want to use. After all, it wouldn't sound right if I said he had a shitless look about him. Would it?

So, I circle the definition warily. Is the word I'm looking for constitution? No, that's not right, although every last politician who is supposed to be defending the constitution looks severely whatever the word is and definitely should take a dump. No, it's not constitution.

Continuity? No, that's not it, although if there were any continuity in life I'd remember the damn word I need.

Compression! We're getting closer because this is what should be done to his belly to relieve his shitless condition. Oh, and it's not condition either.

So - how did I finally arrive at the word?

I called the Short Fart Lori, of course.

"What's a word for when you can't shit?" I asked after the usual amenities had been observed.

Lori is an expert in these things. "Constipation," she immediately said and I could only admire her lack of word freeze. That's my expression for this condition; it's sort of like brain freeze when you eat ice cream and is self explanatory, I should think.

I also lost the use of my fingers, in that they can't find the right keys anymore. I could blame the keyboard - and have - but I suspect it's the arthritis and the crooked fingers.  Strike the F key and hit the G instead., lol.

Whatever the reason, it sure does make writing an adventure and between the word freeze and the fingers, I'm usually in a very bad mood. Far be it for me to inflict my bad mood on any innocent blog readers who might have popped in and for some reason want to keep it a secret ;-)  I would never want to contaminate them because we need to be strong and vibrant and alive these days when everything around us is changing.

So, there you have it. It's taken twice as long as it should have to type this post, so I'm going to stop now. I'm saving 'The Empty Brain Syndrome' for another post.

Maybe in about 3 months.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

You Can Thank Lea For This

I assume this is not a pacifier made for babies.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Flying Woman

This is a print called Flying Woman by Brian Andreas. It sits right inside my front door, the first thing you see when you enter or leave my home. It's always meant something to me but only recently has she been crawling into my psyche and I've been understanding her better.

The Flying Woman for me is the dreamer. I've always been a dreamer and in my flights of fancy where my stories live, do I rise above all the shit that life throws and I fly.

I fly in creating love stories.

I fly in writing of strong women.

I fly in my faith and belief that HEA's are possible and awaiting us all.

I fly when I read and I read to fly.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Crazy Job Interviews

I'm looking for a new job. Oh God, I'm desperately seeking new employment before my eyes roll to the back of my head, I start speaking in tongues and doing nasty things to a crucifix the likes of which you only read about in an Ellora's Cave story.

Howevs, recently the interviewing thing has gone completely batshit. I mean, I've had some strange interviews but never to the degree and complete cray-cray that I've experienced lately.

On Friday I went to a clinic to interview for a reception position. The manager turned out to be about 25 years old, looked like he belonged on Big Bang Theory (geek warning ahead) and made me regret not going with the dress that shows my boobs to a good advantage. On the other hand, with the difference in our ages, he might have thought I was trying to nurse him.

Anyway, we sat and said a few pleasantries and then the interview started. "So do you have any questions for me?" he asked. And that was the only question he asked. Multiple times.

Just to be clear: he didn't ask about my experience, he didn't ask why I'm looking for another job, he didn't ask me anything except "Do you have any questions for me?"

Apparently I'd gotten the wrong message and I was there to interview him.

Now today I got a phone call from an eye clinic on a resume I sent. I was asked to call the manager's cell phone. I called and it was the most bizarre conversation I ever had.

She asked if I should be calling her during work hours. I said I was at lunch. She said I had her call on the office phone and that felt wrong to her. I said "wtf?".

She asked me where else had I applied. I told her that I felt that was an inappropriate question. She asked why I was looking for another job and I said I wanted to work more hours. She then made it sound as though the job she had was less hours. I pointedly asked her if it was full time and she said it was. I said "wtf?"

She asked if I'd work Saturdays (not mentioned in the advertisement that there were weekend hours). I said some Saturdays but not all because I have a child.  She asked how old my child was. I said "wtf?"

She asked how much money I wanted to make. I said I wanted the highest they were willing to pay (because I try never to name amounts). She said my answer was the opposite of her question. I said "wtf?"

Anyway, I'm an old, old fart and I've had many phone interviews and face to face interviews but these two were the fucking strangest I've ever had in my life. Seriously they were wtf?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Digital vs Paperback

I've seen a lot of people asking how readers prefer to read: digital vs paperback and I've always said digital. Since I got my Kindle I don't like the feel of a book, I dislike having to use 2 hands and I no longer like the weight of a book.

My Kindle is lightweight, it holds my library (plus a fuck lot more) and I can easily prop it up on different surfaces with no prob.

I also have a Kindle Fire that has a case which stands it up vertically or horizontally for reading or watching movies. Absolutely freaking brilliant. Adore it.

I've discovered the only real drawback is the TBR pile. Sharing a library with Carolyn means there are a few thousand books to choose from. And Carolyn is voracious. Obviously I'm not downloading all the books she's getting nor does she download all the books I add but there's still a lot of books between us.

And I don't know what they are.

Sounds silly, no? But it's a huge problem when you read a review of a book that sounds amazing. You buy it. But you're reading the latest Crusie and loving it. Then you finish Crusie and there's that Kleypas you're dying to dive into. And then one day you see a title sitting on your Kindle and you have no freaking idea what it is.

Without immediate access to the cover or black blurb (covers are on the Fire but the Kindle basic where I have most of my books, no covers) you don't know what book it is. I never had this problem with paperbacks. I have hundreds of books in my Kindle and probably don't know/remember what half of them are.

So I put as many as possible in collections and have even started a collection called SERIOUS TBR for those books I'll forget because the author is unknown and the title won't stand out for me, but I really want to get around to reading.

What about the rest of you e-readering people. What's your secret to keeping your library?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday Random Thoughts

This morning I was thinking about something I saw that said George Takai is the most followed/influencial celebrity on Facebook. And I remember back during the original Star Trek days when I was madly in love with Walter Koenig (Chekov) and wrote him a fan letter and got a picture back of him, Takai and Nichelle Nichols standing on the transporter.

I didn't care for Sulu back then. Now I wish I still had the photo.


My daughter is in the throes of her first real crush. She doesn't completely understand what she's experiencing and can't accept that it's a crush. So she claims to hate the boy while she subtly stalks him and rearranges her schedule so she can see him.

Since he's three grades ahead of her, he hasn't really noticed her nor will he. But I'm watching her with a lot of love and a little sadness. I think I liked it better when she fell in love with cartoon characters.


I can't decide what to read. We have so many books and so many look good for such different reasons that I'm hit with indecision.


This is the cover of my next book and I'm feeling ambivalent about it. I love the cover but I don't think it says erotic romance. Feedback please????

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Power of the Story, Part 2

My father, Arnold Green, is a child rapist.

The true story: I was 20 years old and visiting my Mom. I had ceased contact with my father shortly after he'd left her and wrote me a letter telling me not to blame her for basically everything although in the letter he pretty much blamed her for all his choices. (As Carolyn would say: pah!)

So I was in Hawaii spending time with my mother and she told me that she was still in contact with Arnold and he was living with a woman named Wendy who had a seven year old daughter. I pointed out to my mother that my father being near a female child meant rape would take place. My mother informs me that in a conversation with Arnold, he told her that the 7 year old liked to instigate sexual contact with him.

(My father told my mother, years previous, that he was having an affair with my 13 year old friend. He was raping and sodomizing her on a constant basis because her single mom was at work and my friend was home alone. Years later that same woman told me that he made her childhood a living horror.)

Anyway, I called CPS (Child Protection Services) and told them my father's history and that he was living with a child. They stepped in (bless them) but Wendy, the mother, sent them away saying that I made up the story and her daughter was perfectly safe.

I understand my father parted with a lot of money when their relationship ended.

So I wrote a story about it. Oh I changed some things but I wrote about a mother pretty much letting her daughter get fucked by a rich guy and then using it. I was ina creative writing class at the time and turned the story in for group critique. Oh my God, they hated it.

Amazing how people will tell you to your face that no mother alive would do such a thing. They ripped and shredded it. Not the writing but the plot.

Apparently real life is much more disgusting than fiction.

The reason I'm writing this is because I realized recently that I've never really told my stories.  I'm certainly not a shrinking violet but outside of some poetry back when I first started getting published, I've been surprisingly quiet on the subject.

So here are some of my stories. They don't cause me pain any longer and I don't want hugs or pity. But the more our stories go out in the universe, the more we bring others closer to us.

(And yes, there will probably be more. I'm just that way.)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Power of the Story

My father is a child rapist.

My father is a sociopath.

The thing about growing up with a sociopath in your home, is that you don't completely understand wrong and right because those concepts don't exist for them. What does is exist is a completely narcissistic world view that everybody else in the world is stupid and only the sociopath is right and should get what he wants.

I was lucky (I know it's strange to call this luck) but when I was very, very young I discovered that my father was twisted. A neighbor who knew my parents from years previous, someone who had lived in the apartment building where my father was arrested for molesting a child (and yes, back in the 1950s, he got away with it) moved into our current neighborhood and spread the word.

I was the one who told my parents that something was being said (I might have been about 6 or 7 at the time) and they told me to handle it. I wasn't the most astute at that age but I recognized shame and I thank God for that. Because in that one moment I realized that my father was wrong and he realized it.

I didn't really know what he was wrong about but it became very clear. I'd been raised by him to be a victim but the reaction from the shame and the "don't tell your mother" spelled it out quickly and succinctly. What my father was doing was very very wrong and I wasn't to blame.

Knowing from an early age that I wasn't to blame for what was done to me and for my parent's choices was a great boon to my sanity and my self-awareness. I remember clearly one day my brother and I talking to another brother and sister who very seriously told us that they were responsible to get along well with each other or else their parents would split up. God, I must have only been in second or third grade and I remember so clearly hearing that solemn little boy tell us that and knowing it was a lie. I knew the truth but I couldn't verbalize it to that child. I hope one day he learned the truth too.

It wasn't until 7th grade when I was put in a creative writing class that it all started to come out. I didn't write stories about abused children (ha! that would have rocked) but I wrote stories and poetry about girls who were alienated and hurt. And one day I overheard my father tell my mother that the scariest thing in his life was his daughter being a writer.

I learned at age 13 that words have power. I learned at age 13 that I have power.

I don't want to write a book about about being abused. The Stone Crow was the closest I came and that was enough. Sara's experiences with her father were mine and I don't need to write more. But I have one more story and one more statement.

The story: I was in community college and fell in love with a beautiful boy who fell in love with me also. He had a girlfriend however and he didn't cheat on her. Nor did I. I was friends with her and it was actually lovely to love them both.

The girl had a sad story about being sexually abused when growing up by the father of a friend. Obviously I related to her story and we shared experiences about it and appreciated that we could discuss the hurt and healing with another.

Through a variety of experiences I won't go into, the girl and I discovered that the man who hurt her was my father. It ended our friendship and I never saw the beautiful boy again either and for the longest time it felt like a stone lodged in my heart. I felt guilt that my father caused her pain. I felt guilt that my friendship was poisonous because of my father. I felt guilt.

One day I realized that I carried the guilt because my father never would. My father hurt that sweet woman. He hurt me. He hurt my sister, He hurt my cousin. He hurt my sister's best friend in Hawaii. He hurt the daughter of the woman he dated when he left my mother. He hurt my 7th grade friend. (He hurt her worse than anyone.) (At least that I know of.)

He never felt guilt because he was a sociopath. He left my mother and cut off contact with my siblings (I left him a long time earlier.) He never felt guilt about ceasing being their father. He married a friend of my mother's and moved to another place and has lived in nice houses and I'm sure, has hurt many others in his life.

This is a story and it's the truth. Nobody except a few people who visit this blog will ever know. But it's part of the story of my life and I want to tell it.

My father's name is Arnold Green. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina. He's still alive and married to Bernice Green. They belong to a country club, they give money to charity and my father is a child rapist and a sociopath.

(I'm going to tell another story about him this week so be ready to avoid that post if this subject bothers you.)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Just Call Me Queenie

I must be the queen of the freebies and .99 novels. God knows I have enough of them and every day I get more. Smart Bitches lets me know of sales daily, so does Dear Author. I joined BookBub and receive more lists of freebies and low priced books.

I think it's an obsession. I tend to shop when I'm stressed and sad to say, I'm sorta stressed these days. These days - HA! These days for the last two to three years, lol.

I may have posted about this before; I've been through recipe collecting - in fact I'm still in the throes of that particular obsession, only now it's the fast and easy ones and the crock pot ones.

I used to collect crochet and knitting patterns. Didn't make many of them but by God, I had the patterns if I wanted to!

Then I got into doll crochet. Dozens of dolls I made, with nowhere to put them. I finally gave most of them to my sister after my mania passed and I don't know what happened to them after she died. Have pics of a few only:



Let's see, now. Recipes, books, patterns - is that all? I think so. All these are relatively inexpensive. I mean, I don't lust after diamonds or rubies or fancy clothes or fancy anything like that. But that doesn't soothe my conscience, especially when I look at my bank account and see those lines and lines of 'Amazon'. The amounts may only be .99 or $2.99, but it looks spendthrift and it probably is, because it's not the amount but the mindset, right?

I'm working on not feeling guilty. I'm way older than I ever thought I'd be and at this stage of the life game I should be able to afford a bit of useless expense (something that's not a bill, or necessary to keep you alive).

But perhaps it's not so useless. After all, it gives me pleasure and Lori a selection of books to choose from. 

I've forgotten what the point of this post was, if there ever was one...

Oh yeah - I'm not giving up my bad habits. I already gave up smoking and gained 25 pounds. I'm not chancing anything else!  ;-)

We Get Mail!

We get mail. Usually it's bills and the occasional flyer for vent cleaning but every now and again someone takes the time to write and say something about our writing, our blog or the grafitti we leve on bathroom walls.

Dear Old Fart Lori,

I really enjoyed your recent novel, The Devil Only Wears Pink, but was wondering why did you choose to put The Prince of Lies in crinoline and not a nice taffetta?

Signed, Curious

Dear Curious,

what a brilliant question.

The reason behind my decision was simple: I don't know how to spell tafeta tafetta taffetta.



Dear Old Fart Lori,

I heard a rumor that George Clooney was your imaginary husband but you wee seen at a WWE event, trying to lick wrestler's abs. What's up with that, huh?

Signed, Also Curious

Dear Curious,

what a brilliant question.

Have you seen George Clooney without a shirt? Have you seen John Cena without a shirt? Let's just say that even George would lick Cena's abs.



Dear Old Fart Lori,

Does Carolyn really exist?

Signed, Curiouser and Curiouser

Dear Curiouser,



So that's just a sampling of some of our mail. Thanks for visiting: don't be afraid to leave a comment on someone else's blog.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day

I met my true love, my destiny, on March 10, 2002 in Fuzhou China.

We'd left Seattle and flown to California (my mother and I) and waiting at LAX we met up with 7 other families who made up our group. Three of us were single women, 4 couples. We flew together to China where our group leader, Lin, met us all at the airport.

We got on another plane and flew out to Fuzhou. The babies were coming from 3 different orphanages all in the same province. When we got to the hotel, Lynn told us to go to our rooms, get unpacked and then adoptive parents only to meet in her room.

Mom and I unpacked and set up all the baby stuff then I went to Lin's room. I was a little peeved to see that the adoptive parent's only warning was respected only by me. It was a full ass room.

Lin started telling us what to expect when the babies come. She was warning us that there might be some diarrhea or constipation as the babies got used to new food. She told us about bonding issues and sleeping issues and skin problems. She gave is a lot of information and then we heard a baby cry.

There's nothing like 8 sets of adoptive families hearing a baby cry.

Jillian's baby girl was the first to arrive. She was the only baby coming from whichever orphanage she came from and we all were buzzed and crazy with adrenaline. I ran to my hotel room and told my Mom to come. We slipped back into Lin's room together and it was a controlled chaos.

Jill was sitting on a chair, holding her little girl and her mother was taking a million pictures. Only a few moments after we got back into Lin's room, a group of people arrived. There was a middle aged man holding a baby, a young man following him and three women who each had a baby also.

I knew her the minute she entered the room.

I was on my feet and at the man's side in a second, my arms out. He barely had a chance to ask for me before I was taking my little girl from his arms. My mom got a picture of the two of us, that second of meeting. (I'm going to try to get it up on this post.)

There was no big deal, nothing momentous shook the earth. I took her back to the room and changed her, checking out the perfection of all of her. We went back and took passport photos for her. Then we started living our lives together.

She's 11 now and Mom is gone. Our family is spread out and we're mostly us. Mollie and Lori: the Green Team. Sometimes I look at her and I wonder who the heck is this person I live with? How is she so much her and so little me? Then sometimes I look at her in shock because I hear my voice coming from her mouth, my sense of humor and weird objectivity in the things she says.

I know she's going to have a hard time sometimes because she's killer funny and very much herself. She has no girly in her girl and she loves hard. She still has issues from being in an orphanage the first nine months of her life: she hates to sleep alone, she needs a lot of physical reassurance and connection is important to her.

My life has changed. I knew when I always made sure she had the last bowl of ice cream, the last candy bar in the bag, the best pillow on the bed. She's the most important person in my life and my heart would probably cease beating if she wasn't in my life.

That's who my love is.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My New Favorite Song

Random Wednesday Rant

Be warned, last night when I went to the grocery store to raid the Ben & Jerry's aisle, it wasn't because I was in a good mood. Got it?!?

So to begin: shame shame shame on Harlequin for Be Mine. It's a book with 3 novellas and cruising hard on Jennifer Crusie's name. Now Ms. Crusie had said that the story they're using, Sizzle, was an early one and she is not proud of it. There's a reason for that. Because it's shit.

It's hard for me not to love the Crusie-meister but really, that story is shit on ice. The hero is one of the most obnoxious heroes ever and the heroine didn't really fall in love with him, she was possessed by Donna Reed and after a nice exorcism she'll be fine.

I actually have never before read a romance where I knew there'd be no HEA. And even though Sizzle ends with a pretend HEA, that couple would never make it to the altar. And if they did, divorce court within a year.

Honestly, I needed the B&J Phish Food after that one.


Anya Bast announced on Facebook that she has breast cancer and is scheduled for a mastectomy next week.

Give me the B&J Peanut Butter Cup please.


My boss stood in front of me yesterday, pissed beyond belief about an action I took to see that they stop dicking around with my paycheck (I created a form to be signed by me and them for any exceptions to my pay-- horrible, right?) and she told me how horrible I am at my job.

I'm not horrible at my job, by the way.

But she gave a list of complaints about my lack of professionalism, my sense of humor and all the things that make me, well, me. Things that the patients are always telling me they love about me.

What killed me was that she was standing telling me I wasn't professional enough at the front desk while my co-worker was sitting next to me on Facebook while she was talking and she didn't even care.

B&J's Boston Cream Pie on that one.


I owe more taxes.


Just empty the ice cream aisle into my cart now.

I'm also getting pissed as hell with the continuing anti-Obama crap I hear everywhere. And to the people who think that further gun control wouldn't stop more senseless tragedies: you gotta be kidding me.

How can people fight over the right to own an automatic weapon and yet claim abortion is murder?

And to the man who stood in front of my desk and told me that the military is now being asked if they'd be willing to fire on American civilians, what the fuck are you smoking dude?

This world is batshit. I'm going to hide under my bed for awhile.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Meet Jessi Gage and Her Well-Hung Highlander

We're excited to introduce a wonderful new author who dared to go where we love wonderful, new authors to go and that's under the kilt.

So meet Jessi Gage, the new gal in town with a great sense of humor, an awesome hero and someone we old farts are excited to chat with.

Wishing for a Highlander, out with Lyrical Press, is about a single and pregnant museum worker who gets sent back in time 500 years by an artifact in her Scottish Immigrants exhibit and finds herself face to face with a real-life romance hero. Here’s the blurb:

While examining Andrew Carnegie’s lucky rosewood box, single-and-pregnant museum worker Melanie makes a tongue in cheek wish on the artifact--for a Highland warrior to help her forget about her cheating ex. Suddenly transported to the middle of a clan skirmish in sixteenth-century Scotland, she realizes she should have been a tad more specific.
Darcy, laird in waiting, should be the most eligible bachelor in Ackergill, but a cruel prank played on him in his teenage years has led him to believe he is too large under his kilt to ever join with a woman. He has committed himself to a life of bachelorhood, running his deceased father's windmills and keeping up the family manor house...alone.
Darcy's uncle, Laird Steafan welcomes the strangely dressed woman into his clan, immediately marrying her to Darcy in hopes of an heir. But when Steafan learns of her magic box and brands her a witch, Darcy must do what any good husband would--protect his wife, even if it means forsaking his clan.
WARNING: A pregnant museum worker, a sixteenth-century Scot, and a meddlesome wishing box.

Buy Links:

Amazon Barnes & Noble

Carolyn and I have talked about doing a time travel book but we can't agree on when in time to travel to (I want dinosaur shifters but she refuses). What made the idea of time travel attractive to you?
Thank you, Lori and Carolyn, for having me on Old Farts. I’m so excited to be here! Let me hitch up my pants, fluff my iron-gray curls and jump right in.
One of my favorite authors is Karen Marie Moning. Her Fever series is impeccable and powerful, but it was her Highland romances that drew me in first. She started out with time travel, sending her modern-day heroines back in time to charm the kilts off of unsuspecting lairds and warriors. Reading KMM gave me so many exciting ideas, I just had to write them down. One thing led to another and BAM! I had a time-travel romance.

How does a modern woman cope with the 16th century? (Carolyn, I believe was born back then and has adapted well). What about your heroine?
LOL! Glad to know Carolyn has adapted. No easy task with all these new fangled conveniences like refrigerators and water heaters and interwebs.
Melanie is such a champ when she finds herself 500 years in the past. It helps that she’s a museum worker with a passion for history, especially Scottish history. It also helps that she’s got a 6’7” hero to protect her and her unborn baby while they run for their lives all over the beautiful Highlands. Besides, she’s so intent on seducing him, she hardly notices the lack of modern conveniences.

I love me an alpha male and Darcy sounds like a perfect alpha. Was he inspired by anyone or anything specific?
Darcy is definitely alpha in some respects, like whenever he has a Highland broadsword in his hand. But a prank played on him in his formative years left him insecure about his manhood to the point where he refuses to attempt intimacy with a woman. This gives him a vulnerable beta quality that made him so endearing to write, and I hope endearing to readers. Inspiration? I’ve never read anyone quite like Darcy. I think he just came from a place inside me that craved a hero with incredible strength mixed with tender vulnerabilities.
Um, so Darcy has a rather monumental baseball bat of love. Who inspired that? (Tell all, we love us some smutty talk.)
LOL! I love the metaphor! Well, every hero in romance seems to have inches to spare. Heroines everywhere go wide eyed with mingled lust and trepidation and wonder how it’s going to fit. Heroes everywhere throw their shoulders back and preen and always know just what to do with their “baseball bats of love.” I wanted to turn that concept on its head and write a hero who had a complex about the size of his bat and truly had no idea what to do with it. I wanted my heroine to be the one in the know and have to draw my hero out of his shell. And let me tell you, it was fun to put the seductive power completely in Melanie’s hands. Talk about knowing what to do with it! That gurl was not afraid of Darcy’s big bat *winks*.
And because I'm always interested in other writer's journies: When did you write your first book? What was your road to publication?
I have a typical 200+ rejections story, but I prefer to think of it as a single-shining-moment story. Wishing for a Highlander is my first publication, but it’s my fifth full-length novel. I found an audience for it when a blog by the name of Word Wranglers hosted Lyrical Press editor Piper Denna in a three-line pitch contest. At first, Piper thought my plot sounded a lot like Outlander (heroine time-travels and is forced to marry a rough and tough Highland warrior). But she gave me a shot and requested my synopsis. That turned into a request for the full manuscript, and the rest is history! I’ve loved every step of working with Lyrical and am so proud to be publishing with a small press.
Do you do anything special to prepare to write? )(I can't write unless I've cleaned the house and Carolyn can't write unless she's wearing her bunny slippers.)
LOL! If clean house was a requirement, I’d get nothing written. Ever. I’ve got two little ones that I stay home with, so there’s really no such thing as preparing to write. I always have the laptop on, and I give it 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there in between bouts of chaos. Nap times and after bedtimes are the BEST for writing! As far as rituals, I have to have Tweetdeck up and I have to check it constantly. Whenever I’m stuck in writing, I get my tweet on and then I get back to writing and the words seem to flow better. Whatever works, right?
Any other titles for sale?
My contemporary romance Road Rage will be out with Lyrical in June! In the mean time, I’m working hard on a sequel to Wishing for a Highlander. It’ll be called The Wolf and the Highlander, and it will tell the story of Wishing’s villainess, Anya.
For more information about Wishing for a Highlander, I’d love folks to stop by my website. Here are the buy links for anyone inclined to check out Darcy’s “monumental baseball bat of love”. LOL!
Thanks again for hosting me today on Old Farts! I had a blast!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My Experience Is Not Your Experience

Carolyn and I share a lot of books and we've discovered that certain books we both adore and many of our DNF's are the other's pleasure.

In other words, we have different tastes.

Because we're different people.

And even if we shared the exact same lives and experiences, we'd still be different people with a different perspective on things. Which is good.

Experience and how we process it, taints everything we do and how we live it.

I cannot read child abuse because I lived it and it left such a deep scar that my experience doesn't allow any open doors regarding it. If a child is hurt in a book, usually I'll stop readng. I almost couldn't read Lisa Kleypas' Christmas in Friday Harbor because it begins with a young girl losing her mother and her pain takes her voice away. That hurt me deeply and almost ended the book for me.

Right now I'm reading a book that I'm enjoying a lot and the heroine reacted to a situation in a way that I thought was ridiculous. But a part of me recognized that I wouldn't react that way to something but it didn't mean that someone else wouldn't.

I also realize that when someone experiences something I also did but has a different reaction to it, it doesn't negate mine nor does mine negate hers.

Anyway, this is all in response to some of the tiresome criticism I've read recently where books are dismissed because the author wrote an experence or life event that didn't match the reviewers. I mean, seriously?

A TSTL heroine is just that. But a woman who loses a child might wallow in sorrow for the rest of her life. Or she might get up the next day and just get on with it. She might become an advocate against guns or disease or whatever took her child away. She might have another child immediately.

People are different. Isn't that one of the reasons we read? To experience life through someone else's eyes?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Witty Wonderland

Over on SMart Bitches is a wonderful review of Be Mine, a Harlequin book with 3 novellas, by Jennifer Crusie, Victoria Dahl and Shannon Stacey. The review is really positive and mentions the wit and wordplay that is ever present in the best of Crusie and Dahl (I don't know Stacey at all).

But it got me thinking about what I lovelovelove about books and my favorite thing is wit. I adore witty dialogue and banter. Love it in books, love it in life.

One of the reasons Carolyn is my best friend is because of our word play (okay, she's also generous, funny, loving and shares her boob obsessed hubby).... but whether on the phone or instant messaging, we like to play with conversation and try to outwit each other.

Which also leads me to one of the coolest things I've experienced lately which was my co-worker met a boy and they were flirting via text the next day. It was light and funny and laced with romance and I was a very happy observer. It was a great pleasure.

So that's what I love. I try to live it as much as I can and write it to the best of my ability. But when Jennifer Crusie lets go (or Loretta Chase or any good chick litty type) my happiness goes into overdrive and I'm in reader's bliss.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Why Self Publishing Makes Sense

All my life I wanted to be a published author. I wanted that even when I didn't write books. I wanted that when I started learning to write books. I want that now.

Years ago I sold my first novel to Lyrical Press and it was a brilliant experience. I sold other books to them and to other small presses. I never made money, not really. A stray $30 check here or $10 check there. One press paid me $50 and now I earn $0.98 royalty checks from them on an almost monthly basis.

So tax time is here and I'm getting my 1099s from publishers and all and it's a killer. Last year I made $43.00 with Lyrical. And I had 2 releases with them.

I made $65.00 with Barnes and Noble. From self pubbing.

I still have to get my Amazon stuff together but that's probably going to be about $300.00. I know it isn't a lot, not in comparison to a lot of other writers but compare that to Lyrical.

I'm not a great writer and I'm not a popular writer but my books get decent reviews and are enjoyed by readers. My publisher provides decent editing and covers but what else? They send the books to review sites which are small and generate no sales.

I put my own books up on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords (which includes Apple), Kobo and All Romance. My full length novels I can POD publish on CreateSpace. I have programs that make formatting easy peasy, I have my lovely Lea who makes rocking covers and I can put my own books on review sites to be ignored.

And I make a shiz load more money.

This year I intend to release a few books that are all part of a series (that started with Yesterday's Headline). I'll play with prices and promotion. My goal is to bring the sales numbers up and get a little recognition.

Nobody else can do this for me, I now realize. So I'll do it for myself. And now let someone else collect 60% of my earnings as I do it.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

More KA (Kristen Ashley) Ruminations

I'm on a chick-lit, give me fast and furious and lots of laughs, reading glom. Somehow KA got in there too and it's been an interesting couple of reads.

The chick lit is exactly what my mood has been crying out for. Although heavy on romance, there is the personal journey that the heroine goes through.

But the KA books, man oh man, those are crazy different.

I read Sweet Dreams the other day and was astonished how it was almost the exact same book as Motorcycle Man. But in MM I wanted to slap the H/h a million times to Sunday and take a horse whip to them too just for good measure, I didn't want to do it with this couple as much.

The heroine was older, 42, and divorced. She was innocent in some ways but she wasn't stupid. In MM the heroine was a dumbass. And in MM the hero was an asshole who I felt man-handled the heroine. In Dreams he was occasionally an asshole but he didn't man-handle the heroine at all and despite the over macho-ness of him, he seemed a much more decent type.

Then I started reading Rock Chick. Okay... I will never ever ever throw my Kindle across a room but if a book ever made me want to, it was this one. This heroine isn't only TSTL, she's too stupid to be allowed to breathe. And a man who finds her attractive needs a brain MRI, STAT!

I think she was supposed to be fun and reckless but truly, she's the kind of woman who would step in front of a moving train on a dare. Oh hell, if she was real I'd dare her because she'd be dumb enough to do it and deserve her casket.

So I was expressing my views to Carolyn and we were talking about the appeal of the books. Obviously there's enjoyment cause when they work, I can't put them down. When they don't, they're pushing my buttons.

But KA writes men who are rough and tough and scary hard. But when they fall in love with a woman then she becomes everything. That's a great appeal, the idea that somewhere there's a man who would die for a woman. But in a real man these guys would be horrible to live with.

Anyway, I'm starting to ramble. I am going to read more KA. I'm just gong to try to be very careful in what books they are.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bless His Heart and Other Parts

I preordered this book strickly because of the cover. Don't know what the story's about. Don't care what the story's about.

I am in lust.

So, this is my fantasy life. A good looking - great looking - man who's ... gonna do what? Well, I know what I want him to do, but to accomplish that I think I'll have to offer him a better deal than I have in RL. So.....

...this is what I look like. If you're gonna fantasize, fantasize big, is what I always say.

We'll get married:

Hmm ... flash or class??

And go to live on a Greek Island (heh, heh, heh).

And almost live happily ever after (sort of boring in a romance, maybe it should be an erotica?). Ah, but then .... HE appears!!

And he lusts after me mightily and is always getting me into situations that can be grossly misunderstood. After all, I never wanted him to kiss me!

Will my true love keep his trust in me? Or will he leave me forever and allow 'that man' to have his way.  Will I live in lust instead of love for the rest of my life?

Decisions ... decisions ...

Lea's Chick-Lit Life

Being BFF’s with Cami is hard word. Not in a bad way of course and I wouldn’t change her (much) but the seriously, the woman is so damned hard to keep up with!

Oh, I’m sorry. You’re probably wondering who Cami is. It’s my nickname for Lori. She changes more often than a model at a Milan fashion show so I think of her as a chameleon, adapting and trying to blend in with life around her. It’s for this reason I’ve given her the nickname chameleon or Cami for short. Of course she doesn’t like it so I only use it behind her back or whip it out during an argument, of which we have plenty.

Like the barney we had recently over my new haircut. I went from waist length hair to a pixie cut...


(don’t you think I could be a movie star too?)


... on the advice of my other BFF (we’ll get to him). Lori told me flat out she didn’t like it and that it made me look like a 12 year old boy. I snapped back that she was jealous because she couldn’t pull the look off, with her big trouty (yes, I mean trouty and not pouty) lips. Thankfully she saw the funny side and laughed.

It wasn’t until we had dinner a couple of nights later and her ex ordered the salmon and Lori gave me a dirty look that I realized perhaps it wasn’t so funny. Still, what’s a bff for if not to rubbish, ridicule and put down occasionally when the rest of the time it’s nothing but a love fest?

And I do love her, nutty as she is. Having said that though, I still don’t want to live next door so I moved 22 minutes away to good ol’ Berkeley.


Also, the hills in San Fran play havoc with my calves. At least that’s what I told Lori when she asked why I was moving.

My job as an assistant to the assistant of the assistant editor at the local paper is dull and boring and if not for the handsome new reporter...


...I’d probably give it away and go back to being Cami’s assistant icer.

The state of my love life is hazardous at best. My BFF (the other one)...


... and former BF ran off and married some Australian girl with long hair, after having told me he liked girls with short hair. I cut mine for him but I guess he didn’t want to get back together as much as me and I must have misread the signals.

Lori tried to be sympathetic but she’s never liked him. Claims his penchant for all things Pirate and his need to surround himself with short people and always going on adventures made him a bad choice for me. Oh well. It doesn’t matter; I’ve moved my sights to the handsome new reporter.

There is a guy in my apartment building, a lawyer, who seems to have the hots for me but to be honest, he’s a lawyer. I’m not that desperate for a date! Shame though, ‘cause he’s kinda cute.


Next time he pops in with his dazzling smile and pretends he wants to borrow something, I might just let him!

Maybe I should call Cam... Lori. She’s never shy about offering her advice and although I tend to ignore it mostly or tune her out, she does have the odd sparkle of insight that’s just what I need. I just hope I don’t have to go to her house. Those hills really are murder on the calves!