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Buy: Sloane Wolf by Margay; Nora's Soul by Margay; Pandora's Box by Gracen; Hell's Phoenix by Gracen

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tantalizing Tuesday

Author DC Juris Steps into the Moonlight!

Hi everyone! ::waves:: DC Juris here. Hugs and kisses all around for my little group of readers who are visiting right now! For those who don't know me, I'm an out and proud bisexual transgender man (which is far less interesting than it sounds), living in Upstate NY with my husband, four dogs, and three cats. Yep, you read that right – FOUR dogs – our newest addition, Mindy, a Parsons Jack Russell Terrier, joined our family this past weekend! :-)

Today I'm blogging about my newest release from Noble Romance—an m/m werecat/werewolf romance called "Omarati."

D.C. Juris

Here's the blurb:

Everything changed for werewolf Calliph after the Shifter War. Now nothing more than a slave and plaything to human Prince Obyn, Calliph finds himself on the Golden Magus, sailing across the sea with his owner. But fate has something more in mind for Calliph in the form of First Mate Mateo—who just happens to be Calliph's Omarati—his soul mate…and a werecat. Heartbroken, Calliph knows he can't stay with Mateo—he is forced to follow Obyn wherever he leads. Years later, when an attack at sea lands Mateo in the hands of vicious pirates, the cat discovers that, though time has changed some things, his bond with Calliph is eternal.

Sounds pretty straightforward and simple, right? Not by a long shot!

What the blurb can't tell you is that "Omarati" took on many, many forms before it got submitted to Noble. Originally, Calliph was a minor player in a three-part story, centering around people who lived in caves. He was meant to be the love interest of a very, very differently written Obyn, and they would live happily ever after. But that didn't feel quite right.

So Calliph morphed into one of two main characters, and I followed his story along several different re-writes, until I had what I thought was the final product. But Calliph had other ideas. He went from a supporting character to the star of the show, and pulled Mateo up out of oblivion with him. The one constant was that they were both always In the end, I had what I felt was a pretty darn good story, and I'd learned so much about my two guys. I can't imagine the book any other way!

Of course, now I have a lot of unused stuff. Ah, the plot bunny – how he does mock me.

Buy Link:

But wait! Don't click that link just yet! Leave a comment below, and you'll be entered to win a free pdf copy! I'll pick a winner at midnight! Good luck!

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Mystic Monday

The Power of Imagery and the Novel

It's long been said that the romance novel is just mindless "fodder" and not worth much.

Who says this and why do, "they," say it?

Well, after some careful pondering, I've begun to realize who, "they," were, at least initially - men. Yes, that's right, men.

For most of our previous generations, the woman has always taken a backseat to the males of society. It wasn't until WWII that things really started to change. During that war, all the men were across the sea, so there wasn't anyone to work the factories, well, no one except the wives. The manufacturers realized they had a way to continue to make product for the men to use overseas, and began hiring women. The problem was, when the men returned after the war, the women didn't want to stop working.

The women working the factories found a freedom they didn't know existed, and they liked it. Of course, many women were happy to go back to being homemakers whether it was because they really wanted to or because they felt it was their duty as good wives we may never really know, but there were still many that wanted to keep that freedom and began to fight for things to change. It's a fight that still goes on in some places, especially with the economy getting tighter.

Why is this fight still raging?

This is evident in how long it takes for a society to truly change. Not all, but some of the older generations are still threatened by a woman worker because, in the eyes of the society he grew up with/in, he would be less of a man.

It isn't just an ego thing here, even if it seems like it, it's about a sense of self worth. Many societies by nature raise the males to be the bread winner, the hunter, the gatherer and women to be the homemakers and bed warmers. So when their position in the hierarchy of society becomes threatened, they feel threatened. It then becomes more about self-worth than ego. We're always about making our kids feel good about themselves, but we forget the men in our lives have feelings too.


Because there are still those notions that the men in society must not show their emotions.

Yes, things are changing, but not for every society. So, before we get mad and upset about the literary world not taking romance writing seriously, we need instead to be working to change their literary minds about the quality of our work. I don't think they ever said that the stories weren't well-written, just not noteworthy.

Sure, some of the romance novels I've read did seem like mindless fodder, and some of the stuff that gets made even today falls into that category as well, however, not all romance writing does. Think about it. Let's look at some of the great romances and see what they have that some of today's romance novels don't.

Let's look at The Thorn Birds and Gone With the Wind for starters. It wasn't just that they were period/historical romance novels that made them great, but the fact that they really tried to bring those times to life, beyond just telling a story. The happy ending wasn't always in the picture either.

Think about it.

In The Thorn Birds (TTB), while Meggie and Ralph consummate their love from time to time, they aren't really together in the traditional sense, nor are they the "happy family." The ending is more sad than happy, even if it might be emotionally satisfying.

In Gone With the Wind (GWTW), the romance is volatile, the heroine is self-centered and the hero walks away from her to what has to be one of the greatest lines of all time, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!" Not a happy ending by any means, but it's enjoyable because you're so glad that Rhett decides to take that step because he's just too damn good for spoiled, self-centered Scarlet.

So why can these stories still stand the test of time and seem to gain quality with age?

These books with great romances in them do more than that. They talk about society and different aspects of it. GWTW uses Georgia as it's setting and the Civil War as it's time frame. It isn't just these two things that make it great, but the literary references to something much bigger. You can read on Wikipedia that the title came from a poem, and that the title itself could be a reference to the way of life in Georgia having "gone with the wind."

TTB also has some great references. For example, the title refers to a mythical bird that hunts it's entire life for the perfect thorn and then impales itself on it and sings a beautiful song as it dies. One could argue that Meggie and Ralph are thorn birds. Instead of going on with her life and finding a man who could love her for who she is, live with her on Drogheda, she finds Ralph and basically sticks to him. Sure, she tried with Luke, but gives up after that marriage falls short of her expectations. Same with Ralph, while he loves Meggie, he doesn't believe that he can live with her and still love god - he loved god more (as he put it), yet he still went to Meggie's bed later in his life while he was still a priest.

This isn't just reserved for books either. Look at some of the greatest sci-fi movies - Star Wars and Johnny Mnemonic. The clones in Star Wars represent Hitler's notion of the perfect society, and the fight it took for people to survive. If you look closely, arguments could be made comparing the resistance lead by Princess Leia to the French Resistance during WWII. Similarly, it might be argued that Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, having such a strong impact on the outcome of the story, represent US and British troops. The blowing up of the Death Star can be compared to the atomic bombs used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

On a different note, Johnny Mnemonic deals with the eventual impact the technological age has on a future society, and how the insurance companies eventually control what happens. This happens because they knew about the effects of certain "enhancements" or "upgrades" that could be obtained using implants and chemicals and had the cure, but did nothing about it, letting thousands become addicted and eventually die from using.

What do all these stories have in common? Substance. Yes, the books are longer, but there's a lot to digest there. Just like Steinbeck, London and others we've read for English classes, these stories have a lot of substance and imagery used to tell their stories.

That's what makes a romance novel more than literary fodder - having enough substance that, when picked apart, still has enough meat on it's literary bones to analyze. That's what literary critics are always looking for, something to analyze. The great, prize-winning romance novels offer a lot of substance for the reader to think about.

If you want to write a romance story that will be accepted and revered beyond the romance world, then put more substance to your stories. I know the trend is to write shorter stories for ePubs, but go that extra distance to cover more than just racial tensions, but all kinds of societal issues. Things that get people talking!

Dracula by Bram Stoker, The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins and many others do this. Classes supplied by RWA can improve your overall writing skills, but to really make your writing great, you need to learn from the best and the only way to do that is to read those works and see what themes you pick out.

Another, more recent example would be Paper Fish by Tina DeRosa. I read this for an English class, but it was still a good read.

I understand that not everyone wants to read this kind of book all the time. It just frustrates me when I "hear" some romance authors (published and unpublished) complain about rejection letters stating that their writing wasn't literary enough. While it can be frustrating to hear, literary greats are considered great for a reason. Your story (romance or not) will be mindless fodder if it doesn't have enough substance for a literary mind to chew on.

There are two ways to prevent this from happening and find more success when writing a story:
1. Make sure the company you sub to actually prints the kind of story you write
2. Fill your story with enough substance that, should they not regularly print that type of story, they'll sit up and take notice.
3. Read writers of all different types of fiction from many different eras, especially the classics. They're classics for a very good reason.
4. Remember, writing a story shouldn't always be about just the setting or the romance of the hero and heroine, but the entire society as a whole and its impact on your characters, even if you only focus on a few characters.
5. Consider your goal for your story and submit it to publishers according to the goal you wish the story to accomplish.
6. Do your research! Sometimes, publishing houses (electronic and print) have specific guidelines to follow when submitting and the stories they wish to see. Some companies have too many of one type of story and not enough of another. For example, if they're looking for sci-fi and time travel, don't submit to that publisher if your story isn't one of those types.
7. Take the time to hook up with other writers. Working with other writers through a blog like this one can really help get your name out there and get your writing noticed.
8. If your story gets rejected, don't be afraid to ask why. However, when you do ask, be sure to state that you want to know why it was rejected so that you can do better next time and hopefully not make the same mistakes.

I'm sure there are other reasons I've missed. If I have, feel free to share what you've learned with other writers!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Starlight Saturday

Spirit Awareness

Since this topic hasn't gotten it's due the past two months, I thought I'd start November off with it. It's National Writing Month. Many of us compete in contests such as NaNoWriMo to help encourage the muses, while others write so often that competing isn't necessary and there are some of us who don't compete for various reasons.

Yes, we compete, but what happens when the competitions are over and, due to the subjective (or how many friends to you have to vote for you) nature of these online contests, many non-winners are left with feelings of frustration, self-doubt and a nagging sense of "what can I do better?"

You must eliminate these self-doubting and frustrated feelings or they will eat you alive and be a constant obstacle in your life.

To help you get yourself through those difficult times, here are some
poems and
words of wisdom.

Hang these mantras where you'll see them everyday!
Mantra 1 - If it's to be, it's up to me!
Mantra 2 - Don't Quit!
Mantra 3 - When life throws the book at you, write about it!
Mantra 4 - Inspiration is everywhere, all you have to do is stop and look around!

Not convinced yet? Well, here are some words of wisdom that have impacted writers and talented artists of all kinds for many years:
“Don’t ask me about being a writer. If when you wake up in the morning, you can think of nothing but writing, then you’re a writer.” - Rainer Maria Rilke (translated in one form or another, also heard in Sister Act 2)

These words are so true! So what if you're frustrated! So you've had a bad review or two!

Sounds cold, but we've all been there before, and it doesn't mean you should quit writing. If you really want to write, you will do what it takes to make your writing better - take classes, attend conferences, and read books on how to write.

However, it isn't just about learning how to write, it's appreciating that creative writing requires an understanding of poetry and prose to make the perfect piece.

Okay, perfection isn't always possible, but I can guarantee that if you learn how to use imagery the way poets do - not copying or mimicking them, but truly understand how to use your own imagery in your writing - you'll create a much more powerful romance, suspense, mystery or whatever.

Be sure to check back on Monday as I will begin talking about some of the most influential poets of our time, and I'm not talking about Shakespeare!

Until then, here's a wonderful poem to keep with you and give to a loved one needing this reminder. In fact, you can probably find this on a journal or bookmark in almost any bookstore:

Don't Quit - by Jill Wolf

Don't quit when the tide is lowest,
For it's just about to turn;
Don't quit over doubts and questions,
For there's something you may learn.

Don't quit when the night is darkest,
For it's just a while 'til dawn;
Don't quit when you've run the farthest,
For the race is almost won.
Don't quit when the hill is steepest,
For your goal is almost nigh;
Don't quit for you're not a failure
Until you fail try.

Simple yet elegant, powerful and inspiring. This is what I'm talking about. Poets take a few words and make them powerful!

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Crows Pictures, Images and Photos


What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word "Crow"? For me, aside from the black birds that scavenge, it was the mystical belief that they are omens of death.

In my newly contracted book, Pandora's Box, I needed a mystical creature that could deliver a riddle from a higher power about the future. So, I started researching and quickly became fascinated by the Crow. Similar to the Raven it appears in mythology as a soothsayer, as a creator and cleanser and as omens of death. Okay, so I wasn’t completely wrong, but neither did I know near all of it.

Among the North America tribes the Crow was considered as the guardian of the sacred law that could see not only the past, but the present and the future. Ah, so a soothsayer that could easily be used in my story to deliver a riddle about future events.

In Celtic lore, the battle goddess Morrigan would shapeshift into either a crow or a raven and they were both seen as allies and companions.

Scottish folklore said the crow had 27 different sounds and each one of them correlated to an occasion, foretelling anything from coming guests to good fortune to an imminent death. Truly I found this fascinating and wanted to learn more about the 27 different cries. By the way, the number 27 was derived from the magical 3 x 9 derivative.

To the Greek, the crow was considered an unlucky warning. In fact, while crows were sacred to the Greek goddess Athene, she refused to allow them to perch atop the roof of Acropolis in Athens because they were omens of death. Even though they were considered omens of death, it did not prevent the Greek god Apollo from shapeshifting into a crow when he fled Typhon.

Medieval bestiaries saw the crow as birds of parental devotion and it was said that the crow led the migration of storks. Medieval Christians thought the crow was a sign of the devil because of its scavenging conduct, but it was also an icon of fidelity because it was thought that crows did not seek a new mate when its mate died. Magical properties were given to the crow as well, which included the skill to foretell the future, dismantle the past and to educate humans about how to mix humor, playfulness and love.

Interesting lore—or so I thought—was the Australian aboriginal legend. I found it in The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures, written by John & Caitlin Matthews © 2008:

“In Australian aboriginal legend, Crow, along with Tortoise and Frog, dissented in the corroboree (gathering) that suggested that Kangaroo and Emu, and Dingo and Goanna should mate. The animals fell to fighting but when they grew hungry, pelicans dived for fish to feed them and a fire was started to cook them. Crow warned them that to cook fish away from where they had been caught was illegal and the animals began to argue. Frog threw his voice to make it sound as if Crow was insulting Kangaroo, so confusing the other animals that they fell out even more and decided for ever after to have their own languages.”

All of this was a far cry from the 1994 movie, The Crow. In it, the lead character comes back as an undead entity bent on avenging his and his fiancée’s murder. Entertaining, yeah, and maybe he was loosely considered an omen of death, but he was really the cause of the death of those that murdered him and his fiancée. It was revenge and nothing more.

So, what do you think? Do you believe in the magical elements of Crows? For me, I don’t know, but I do know I had fun using the crow as a magical creature that showed up, shapeshifted into a beautiful woman with birdlike qualities and clothing made of feathers. Minor excerpt posted below staring the Crow in Pandora's Box.

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend! My baby turns 9 tomorrow! Wow! I cannot believe how fast they grow up!!!

Unedited Excerpt:

The crow shifted into that of a woman, with almond shaped eyes and long hair, both as black as a crow's feather, and a body to die for dressed in a black cat-like-pantsuit. Well, no, that wasn't quite accurate. The pantsuit wasn't made of cloth, but rather a seamlessly flowing feather-like garb. A black feather floated and came to rest across Madison's bare foot.

"You've been found worthy of the crows," the crow said, her voice as melodious as a bird's warble. "Keep the feather secure and if you ever need assistance, grip it in your hand and consider our help a one time deal."

"Lucky me." She pushed out of her chair and heard Nix rise beside her. She palmed the dagger Nix had given her. In the paranormal world, she was learning things could turn on a dime, so she trusted no one. Not even a shape-shifting crow. And she grew weary of feeling defenseless as each new supernatural entity arrived on her doorstep. Grew restless sitting and waiting on them to come after her.

Crow shuddered like she'd seen a bird do a million times, her feathery black hair buzzing with the movement. "I came with a message only."

"You're an omen of death," Nix snarled, glaring.

Startled, Madison looked at him, every muscle in his body alert, his pistol gripped tight in his hand.

"Sometimes, yes," Crow agreed looking him up and down. "You're cuter in person, Phoenix Birmingham."

"You…" he made a face of disbelief, "You know my name?"

Crow clucked her tongue at him and then swiveled her head to look at Madison. She blinked, slow, like a bird assessing its prey. "The boy has risen from the puppeteer's hell. Evil has been dismantled from his past, but his future isn't set in stone. The choice is his. A blood-father born of the pit will test the mettle of his son again, but the boy owns his future."

Chills scattered across Madison's body. "What does that mean?" She looked at Nix, feeling more than a little paranoid, "What does that mean?" Did it mean Amos could make his own future or would he own the future the demon planned for him? How could she plan if she didn't understand the message?

It frustrated her that Crow did not answer. Nix could only offer an 'I don't know' shake of his head.

Crow looked from Madison to Nix, indicating the next message concerned both of them. "Nix, if you continue to squander and push aside that which you desire the most, you'll fall to a torturous death of your own making. A pact with a devil in a hell you cannot fathom. Leaving those who love you to mourn. After months of agony, you'll break to his satisfaction, become the monster he desires. In your honor, allies will come to your aid and a new Phoenix, battle hardened by flame, pain and shame, will rise from the ashes."

That strange, bird-like piercing stare settled on Madison and she resisted the urge to fidget under the crow's penetrating gaze. "Madison, you'll be plagued by doubt and uncertainty. A mother from the grave complicates everything, leading to a life chiseled with years of wandering war. Lifelong friends will be made and they'll come when you call. Only when he," she nodded toward Nix, "falls will you find your wings and build a fearsome empire. You're strong enough to crush a King, but it'll take courage to do the impossible. Forged in fire, you'll come out the other side, supernaturally strong and greeted by a lover that'll die for you. Trust in the goodness you've instilled in your son and a formidable ally will be forged, one to defeat a second King."

"What does that mean?" Nothing Crow said made sense.

"A death omen," Nix said, disgust darkening his voice.

Crow smiled. "No, a life omen," she said.

~Photo snagged from photobucket. I do not own the photo and do not claim any rights to it. No copyright infringement was intended.~

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Twilight Thursday

The Moonlighters Welcome Kathy Lyons

Please welcome Kathy Lyons into the Moonlight. Kathy is the author of Taking Care of Business, which was recently released.

Now, it's time to create a little mayhem and get to the good stuff and reveal all of Kathy Lyons's deepest darkest secrets in the moonlight. LOL So, grab your favorite wicked drink, sink your teeth into something decadent, sit back, relax and enjoy getting to know author Kathy Lyons.

MLM: The holidays are fast approaching and things always seem to get busier during this time of year. Do you have a relaxing technique that helps you de-stress? If so, please share, because this is advice we all need!

KATHY: I work out. A lot. Mostly, I play racquetball. There’s nothing like whacking a little ball to help with the stress. Especially when whacking it good and hard ends up making me win a match!

And one more thing. Actually two more. I have two cats who luuuuuvvvvv me. One sits on my lap and purrs loud enough to be heard a room away. The other plays at my feet. Unless, of course, I am late feeding her. Then she puts her claws in my feet.

MLM: What, if any, Thanksgiving traditions (decorating, gathering with friends and family for a meal, etc.) do you have?

KATHY: I eat. I like to eat. I enjoy eating…a LOT! Someone else cooks. (I watch the kids while better people work in the kitchen!)

MLM: What was your most memorable Thanksgiving and why?

KATHY: My first Thanksgiving with my boyfriend’s family. We were dating seriously. I eventually married him. But I was 19 years old and went to Thanksgiving with him where I met his family. All 26 of them. I panicked and spent the first 45 minutes hiding in the bathroom.

MLM: What is a must have food at your Thanksgiving dinner table?

KATHY: Chocolate cheesecake. Forget what the pilgrims ate. I want cheesecake!

MLM: Tell us 3 things you are thankful for this year, please.

KATHY: My family and friends are the obvious choice. Love them! Oh, and my cats! But I’m especially thankful for the sale to comics. Dragonborn will be going to graphic novel late next year! Woo hoo! And I love, love, love working with Kate Seaver and Berkley Books.

MLM: Just for fun, if you could be among any of the original members of that first Thanksgiving, who would it be, the Pilgrims or the Wampanoag (Native Americans)? Why?

KATHY: Wampanoag. I’ve become very spiritual in my old age. And I feel more closely aligned with the religions of the native Americans than the Catholic church.

MLM: NaNo is popular among authors each November. Maybe it's so popular because it helps self-motivate so many of us during the encroaching holidays. Did you commit to NaNo this year? If yes, do you have any advice how to make NaNo a success? If no, what was your driving motivation to stay strong and avoid the month I've deemed "crazy NaNo"?

KATHY: I don’t do NaNo because I’m doing it all the time. I have a page count that I write to every day. Approximately 10 pages a day. This is my full time job. I do it every day and often on weekends. But I’m a fast writer who has spent a long, long time learning about story structure. NaNo writers are great for blurping the story out on the page. But if you haven’t written the underlying structure correctly, you’re going to blurp junk or get very stuck. Learn story structure. Then writing because…well, not a breeze, but certainly a ton better.

MLM: Swashbuckling pirates like Johnny Depp are sexy—Argh!—but e-pirates are not! How do you handle e-pirates in your writing world? Do you have any advice or wish to share any experience with other writers? Anything you wish to say to e-pirates in general?

KATHY: E-pirates suck. That’s all I can say. I make less than a first class stamp on some of my books. After 30 published works, I’m still struggling to pay the bills. So stop stealing! How do I deal with it? I sent the info to my publisher and I prevent my kids (and hopefully their friends) from being pirates.

MLM: Now, let’s get to know a little more about your writing, Kathy...What genre do you write and what’s the draw for you?

KATHY: Jade Lee writes historical regency SEXY. Kathy Lyons write contemporary, funny SEXY. Do you sense a theme? I’m of course working out my own sexual fantasies on the page. And, it turns out, I’m pretty good at it! LOL

MLM: If you could describe your writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? What do you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story?

KATHY: Well, if you look above, it would be the word “sexy”. But that’s marketing. In truth, my people—er, I’m supposed to say characters, but they’re people to me—face tough choices and end up in the right place. It takes a while, but they get there. So the one word for me is “good”. Seriously, just a good, deep, emotional read (with lots of hot sex!)

MLM: Imagine for a moment you're granted ONE wish with regard to your writing. It can be anything you want—besides becoming a national bestseller, because what author doesn't want that, right?—your imagination is your only limit here! What would you wish for?

KATHY: This summer, I wrote a YA with my 18 year old godson. We’re about to put it into submission. Hopefully everyone else will love it as much as I do. It’s a fabulous story!

MLM: What do you dislike the most about being an author? What do you like the most about being an author?

KATHY: I make my own schedule. (That’s the answer to both questions). It’s awesome that I pick my time and workload. It’s terrible that I pick my schedule and workload. I’m either too lazy and think of myself as a slacker or I’m writing 24/7. I’ve done both and it’s hard.

MLM: Who decides what you write about, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one basting the turkey?

KATHY: We work together. And we both let someone else baste!

MLM: Have you ever based a character on a real-life person? If so, why? Was it simply to immortalize them or was there more to it than that? If you can, tell us who this person was without revealing their identity! We’re all curious here!

KATHY: Everyone I write is based on some aspect of someone I know or myself. Often myself, just different flavors. I guess I’m schizophrenic that way!

MLM: If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your characters in real life, who would it be and why? Which of your characters would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?

KATHY: The heroine Scheherizade in Wicked Surrender is such a fully realized woman, that I desperately want to sit down and hang out with her. I’d love to talk to her about her life with a stage troupe and the joys of being pursued by two hot guys. I’d love to hang out chatting with her. As for the guy I never want to meet, I had a villain in Desperate Tigress who was cold, calculating and beyond evil just because he had no empathy. It wasn’t that he was at core evil. He had his goals, his beliefs, and everyone else was no more important to him than the chair he sat on.

MLM: Thanks so much for joining us, Kathy! It's been a treat getting to know you better!

Jade Lee and Kathy Lyons hotspots on the web:

Office Fantasies! By Jade Lee/Kathy Lyons

One night, my fiancé had a huge project due at work that required a ton of data entry. Because I loved him, I agreed to help. We finally got it done at 2 a.m. when, flushed with elation, we realized that we were alone in a huge office building. And given that he worked in an electronics firm, my mind quickly danced through a zillion gadget and gizmo fantasies.

I will never tell what exactly happened that night, but suffice it to say that I had much more imagination than stamina. I will also confess that we did not resort to raiding the lab. Turns out there’s a lot you can do in an office that has nothing to do with high end electronics!

So there you have it. My deep, dark secret: I have office fantasies. Thankfully, I was able to put some of them to paper in Taking Care of Business. It helps that I modeled my hero after my own special geek of a husband, a man with more integrity than sense, more heart than he-man.

I’ve confessed, now it’s your turn. Do you have a secret office fantasy? Just give us a hint and one lucky commenter will get a copy of my new blaze under the name Kathy Lyons. Taking Care of Business.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wistful Wednesday

NaNo and Other News:
Or, What I'm Up To This November!

Well, in my never-ending quest to challenge myself by producing more writing and get my writing in front of industry insiders, I have taken on two challenges this month. The first is NaNoWriMo. For those of you who don't know what this is, it's a month-long event in which a bunch of crazy people (i.e., writers) commit themselves to the task of writing 50, 000 words in the month of November, hence the name - National Novel Writing Month. 

That might not seem like much at first - after all, 50,000 words roughly translates to about 200 pages, which is relatively short by today's standards, unless you are writing category romances. Sure, you might think, I can hammer out a couple thousand words a day; that will bring me right to, if not beyond, the projected 50,000 word count, no problem. This is great, in theory. The problem arises when you actually sit down to write and face the blank page. So the best thing to do is make sure you have a good basis for the book before you even start and don't stop to correct/criticize/edit until you finish.

Why do I do this every year, then, you might ask. To challenge myself, of course. To kick myself into gear. To get something down on paper. To reaffirm my commitment to my writing/my goals for my writing. And there is nothing quite like the pep talk emails you receive along the way from established writers to encourage you to get it done. So I do it. Some years, I'm more successful than others, but I still do it.

In other news, I have entered a writing contest over at The Season blog that I am really excited about because it promises the potential of getting my writing in front of some impressive industry insiders. That, for me, is always a good thing. Even if there's not a major payday in the contest (this one does offer a $100 gift card), when there's the opportunity to have editors from Berkley and well known agents critique your work, this is a better pay-off, in my opinion. That brings you one step closer to achieving your dream and that is what's most important. 

The premise of this contest was to write the beginning of a novel (up to 1600 words) based on the prompts provided. There were four categories to choose from: Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal and Romantic Suspense. Now anyone who keeps up with me and my writing thus far would probably assume that I chose the Paranormal category. And they would be wrong. For some reason, I went out of my comfort zone and entered the Romantic Suspense category (remember what I said about challenging myself?). If nothing else comes of it, at least I can say that it was an interesting experience and each new thing we try helps us become better writers in the long run.

If you want to stop by and read my entry (and I'd be grateful for some feedback and a vote, too), it is called Private Girls. It can be found here:

Thank you so much for joining me here today. Now, I'm off to NaNo!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Halloween Pictures, Images and Photos


I've talked about my guest blogger's special "trick or treat" for you all week long and it's finally here! There are giveaways for comments and the prizes are:

Kelly Abell will be giving away an e-copy of Haunted Destiny
Marissa Farrar will be giving away an e-copy of Alone.
Rie McGaha will be giving away a Closure writing tablet.
A $10 Barnes and Noble Gift Card is up for grabs.
A pink/flower book cover (this is intended to protect paperback books).

(Unfortunately, due to the cost of postage, if you're outside the United States, please be aware that when you enter the contest you are only entering to win one of the e-books.)

Here's what the guest bloggers wrote for you:

The harvest moon shimmered bright behind thick billowing clouds. Shadows hung within shadows along the roadway. The hair on Beth's arms stood up, her feet snapping quickly against pavement, berating herself for not checking the gas gauge. A twig snapped.

Beth spun around fear grabbing her heart in a vise. She could sense him rather than see him. She reached out with her mind to find what might be out among the shadows. His thoughts were far from violent but they are intense. He was hunting, but not for food.

His desire was a potent scent and it pulled her in. What was wrong with her? She should be terrified in her situation, in the dead of night, but here she was enthralled by a stranger. When he stepped out of the shadows, highlighted by the glow of the moon, she knew her fate was sealed.

Blood coated the front of his jacket, smeared his sleeves. But this was not the first thing she noticed. Instead it was the strange yellow pupils that watched her so intently, and, as he opened his mouth to speak, she saw a set of teeth that should not belong in the head of any man – even one as striking as this.

"You shouldn't be here." Her teeth chattered together like mariachis as he took a step forward with muddy bare feet showing at the hem of his torn jeans. Her heart pounded wildly against her ribs threatening to explode from her chest. "I…my car…gas." His brow raised as humor pulled at the corner of his lips.

Beth stepped away, her back hitting the cold wall. No escape. He moved closer, his potent scent sending her sex drive into overload. She bit her bottom lip and lifted her chin to meet his gaze. His bloodstained tongue swept across his fangs. A low growl rumbled from his chest.

She shouldn't feel this way, she knew. She should scream. Or run. Fight back. But she didn't. Couldn't. His mouth was only a breath away and her tongue snaked out, moistening her lips. Then his lips met hers. Warm and wet. Her heart pounded in her ears as she felt her body melting, glad for the wall behind her and his body before her.

Beth didn’t think about the blood, ignored the metallic scent and concentrated on his hard, muscled chest. Any moment now she’d be his next victim. Pulse pounding, a tingling sensation began in her nose and she pulled away seconds before the sneeze overtook her. Desperate to recapture the embrace, she turned her head only to see the familiar faces of the guests at the Halloween party. Her heart prickled with disappointment that the intense longing had been fantasy, yet… Her gaze met that of a yellow-eyed wolfman across the room. As he approached her with determined steps, a wash of heat coursed through her, tingling in all the right places. Time to make a little Halloween magic of her own. Who said fantasies had to stay in daydreams?

I hope you enjoyed their combined story! Each paragraph was written by a different guest blogger. Now, just for fun, it's your job to tell me who you "think" wrote each paragraph. On November 1st, I'll draw winners and announce which authors wrote which paragraphs so you can see how close you were to getting it right! Winners will be drawn at random and NOT because of correctness of guessing which authors wrote which paragraphs.

The contributing bloggers are as follows:

Gracen Miller (me, of course)
Stacey Espino
Kelly Abell
Marissa Farrar
Sandra Sookoo
H.C. Brown
Rie McGaha
Cherie De Sues

halloween Pictures, Images and Photos

Friday, October 29, 2010


trick or treat Pictures, Images and Photos

Trick or treat,
Smell my feet
Give me something good to eat!

Frankie Trick or Treating Pictures, Images and Photos

I've mentioned on Halloween—this Sunday!—my guest bloggers have worked on a "treat" for you!!! But maybe it's a little bit of a trick too! ;-) You'll have to return on Sunday to find out. Oh, and did I mention we're giving away prizes? Yes, that's right...prizes!! So far, this is the list of what we'll be giving away:

Kelly Abell will be giving away an e-copy of Haunted Destiny
Marissa Farrar will be giving away an e-copy of Alone
Rie McGaha will be giving away a Closure writing tablet
A $10 Barnes and Noble Gift Card is up for grabs
A pink/flower book cover (this is intended to protect paperback books)

~(If you missed Kelly, Marissa or Rie's blog, click on their names and it'll take you to their guest post so you can learn more about their e-books!)~

So, mark your calendars to come back here for a different kind of "trick or treat" on Sunday. If you RSVP to this post today ONLY, I'll give you an extra entry for Sunday! The RSVP MUST be posted by midnight CST! But be sure to come back on Sunday for MORE entries!

Good luck to all those that enter! And Happy Halloween!!


halloween Pictures, Images and Photoshalloween Pictures, Images and Photoshalloween Pictures, Images and Photos

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Twilight Thursday

Please welcome multi-published author, Sandra Sookoo! To read prior interviews with Sandra here in the moonlight, visit HERE and HERE.

GRACEN: Do you have a movie that you must watch every Halloween? What's your favorite scary movie? Do you have a favorite scary character or character type?

SANDRA: I do but I’m not real big into the scary stuff. I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to horror LOL I always watch Practical Magic, Sleepy Hollow, Hocus Pocus and The Corpse Bride

GRACEN: Do you dress up for Halloween? If so, what will you be dressed up as this year? What was your all-time most favorite costume that you ever wore? Why?

SANDRA: I haven’t dressed up for Halloween in years…unless you’re asking about sexy costumes for the hubby, but we won’t go there… My favorite costume? Probably a bag lady because I wore these really dorky striped knee socks LOL

GRACEN: Are you superstitious? Do you find yourself knocking on wood or throwing salt over your shoulder? If not one of these two, what is your superstition?

SANDRA: Not a bit. Although I think it’s beyond cool if I get all green lights on my way to somewhere.

GRACEN: Do you believe in ghosts? If so, have you ever had a ghostly encounter and tell us about it?

SANDRA: I do think there are ghosts among us. There have been times when I’ve been woken from a sound sleep by whispered voices and then there was that whole pantry fiasco a couple of weeks ago. Long story…

GRACEN: Tell us 3 funny or strange things that happened to you, or someone you know, on past Halloweens?

SANDRA: Once when I was in my teens, some friends dragged me to a “haunted” wood. When a scary character jumped out at me, I reacted by shoving him. He fell into a creek. That’s about it. I’m more the type to stay home and hand out the candy, since I’m a big scardey cat.

GRACEN: If you could be any paranormal creature, what would it be and why?

SANDRA: Oooh, tough question! I like the idea of werewolves, but getting furry once a month just doesn’t appeal. I have enough trouble keeping the legs shaved regularly LOL A vampire? Not so much. Living forever? Enough already! LOL Maybe a ghost, as long as I didn’t have to go through centuries needing to right a wrong…Oh, wait, that’s the kind of stories I like to write. Hmm. This question needs more thought!

GRACEN: Swashbuckling pirates like Johnny Depp are sexy, but e-pirates are not. How do you handle e-pirates in your writing world? Do you have any advice or wish to share any experience with other writers? Anything you wish to say to e-pirates in general?

SANDRA! Well, I’d say to e-pirates, shame on you! You’re stealing, no bones about it. What would your grandmother say?

When my work is pirated, I sent the take down notices, but in all honesty, this doesn’t help. It goes right back up. And here’s the truth, you can’t stop them until Congress passes laws. It happens and you pretty much just need to consider it free promotion. You can’t make yourself crazy about worrying over it.

GRACEN: Now, let’s get to your writing, Sandra…Why the paranormal genre? What was the draw for you?

SANDRA: Well, the glory of writing in the paranormal world is the very other-worldly aspect of it! There’s a certain mystery, a collection of secrets that go along with being not quite normal. It brings an added conflict to the storyline.

GRACEN: If you could describe your paranormal writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? Please be creative and look beyond words like vampire, werewolf, etc., and delve into the core of your writing to tell us what word or phrase you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story.

SANDRA: Acceptance often goes beyond human understanding.

GRACEN: Do you prefer playing tricks on people or bestowing treats? Does that show through in your writing? If so, how?

SANDRA: LOL Well there’s a fine line, I’d say. Because I’m a huge baker, that oftentimes bleeds into my stories. On the other hand, I’m a very funny person so that transfers as well.

GRACEN: Who decides what creatures you write about, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one stirring the cauldron?

SANDRA: I usually decide on the creature then I turn it over to the Muse. Depending on her mood, the story will be sweet or loaded with heat. I’ve decided I’m fine with that because it brings something for everyone.

GRACEN: What was the creature/paranormal character that you had the most fun creating and why? Who—to you—was the sexiest character you wrote and why?

SANDRA: Hmm, the most fun? Hands down Gregg the tax auditor demon in Demons & Stilettos. Oh but then there’s Hannah from The Art of Fang Shui. She was all kinds of fun and kind of a pain! Sexiest character? That’s a hard one, too. Xavier the werewolf from Vegetarian at Midnight or Ethan from Angel’s Master. He’s not a paranormal but he is a pirate…

GRACEN: If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your characters in real life, who would it be and why? Which of your characters would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?

SANDRA: Oh wow, let’s see. I’d love to meet Edwin from Fang Shui. He’s very interesting. Or maybe the Bernhart brothers from my Holiday Magic series. Now there’s a couple of interesting men… Which one would I never want to meet? Hmm… Gregg from Demons and Stilettos. I don’t think I could survive him…

GRACEN: Thanks for joining us today, Sandra! It's always a pleasure to have you with us!

Blurb and excerpt for Changing Tides (a Strange Hollow tale):

Born of water. Neadra is an Undine, yet the thought of being in any body of water besides her bathtub terrifies her. In Strange Hollow, she lives on the side a the mountain, content and out of harm’s way, even as she yearns to be understood for her fears and loved in spite of them.

Drawn to water. Caelan, a water dragon from the wilds of Ireland, has been shunned by his clan for his inability to shift and terrorize. Lonely for too long, he meets Neadra one moonlit night and becomes enchanted by her kindness and her unique beauty, but how could anyone love him if he has no heroic ability whatsoever?

Threatened by water. When late spring rains, coupled with warm temperatures, melt much of the snow pack on Mt. Mitchell, a flood sweeps through the outskirts of Strange Hollow, putting Neadra’s life in danger. Caelan fights his way to get to her, pulling out the hero he never thought he could be while she, in turn, works through her fears to find him. Only through acceptance of the world around them and of each other will they find the life they’ve always wanted.


Neadra sighed and dipped her feet a bit deeper into the chilly water. She perched at the very edge of Shady Lake, alone with only the moon and the lake for company. The romance of the area wasn’t lost on her.

A thick wood line shrouded the far side of the lake, serving as a barrier between the business end of Strange Hollow and the small network of farms and homes of the flatlands. She’d heard that any resident wishing to buy property in the outlying areas must be prepared to defend said real estate against interlopers who didn’t hold true with the laws of the town. Every homeowner outside the downtown area received two acres of land along with their house with specific instructions not to sub-let the acreage.

It seemed the founder of Strange Hollow didn’t want the beauty of the town marred by endless subdivisions, fast food joints and strip malls. Working alongside nature. As it should be.

Slowly wriggling her toes, she stared at the dark stretch of water. So much potential. So much fear. She pulled her long skirt up her legs and slid forward until the water lapped over her calves.

I can’t do this.

Ignoring the task at hand, Neadra let her mind ponder her state of singleness. Since she’d been a very little girl it had been drilled into her that water sprites only mated within their species. What happened to a woman who, by necessity, had to live away from her community and family? Because of her fear, she’d been forced to make her home in a tool shed near the sea, much to the derision of her family.

It also meant she appeared damaged and broken in the eyes of potential mate material. Not to mention, she lacked the gills inherent to her species, making living on land essential. She was decidedly too odd to fit into the aquatic community.

She blew out a shaky breath. Time marched on while her biological clock ticked down the years, bringing panic with it. In two months, she’d pass her thirty-first birthday, not young anymore and nearing the danger zone on the reproductive scale.

My life is so messed up.

Watching the moon’s reflection on the lake surface, two glowing blue objects caught her attention. Neadra narrowed her eyes, straining forward. It was too early in the season for amphibian life and the orbs were too large to belong to a snake or fish. In the space of a heartbeat, they vanished. Relief swept through her body. She didn’t want to encounter some of the more fierce wildlife rumored to live around the mountain.

As suddenly as they disappeared, the blue objects came back into view, almost staring at her with weird, electric light. She shivered and pulled her feet beneath her, out of the water. Were they eyes? How was it possible? If an Undine didn’t want to be seen, no one except another water sprite could see them--unless she failed at the camouflage aspect of her culture as well. She’d never had an opportunity to test the theory.

The eyes came closer, confirming the fact the objects belonged to something. Her pulse steadily increased until it drummed out a frantic rhythm. Too fascinated to move, she watched as it closed the distance, only ten feet from the shore and her.

Threads of nameless anticipation slid over her skin, invoking goose bumps, but she felt no fear. Five feet of dark water separated her from whatever lurked beneath the surface. Her throat went dry as she wondered what kind of being it was.

With the smooth movements of someone accustomed to spending time in and around water, the placid scene shimmered. The top of a male head appeared, bobbed for an instant, his gaze never breaking eye contact with her, and he swam forward. The closer he got, the more of his body was revealed until he stood, dripping, on the shore near her.

For a few seconds, Neadra forgot how to breathe as she stared at the naked form of the most beautiful man she’d ever seen. She gasped and realized beautiful was not nearly an appropriate way to describe this particular male. He was at least six feet tall, and she had to tip her head back in order to properly take him all in. Black, coarse hair sprinkled his winter-pale skin, and as he lifted his hands to slick his thick, black hair from his face, the muscles in his broad chest rippled.

Unable to breathe without sounding like a dog in heat, Neadra licked her lips as her gaze moved from his clean-shaven, square jaw, over wide shoulders, thick from daily gym visits or hard labor, and down along his torso, following the sensual black ribbon of hair past washboard abs to his partially rampant arousal.

“Wow.” She’d barely forced the word out when her sex contracted with a strong aching need and she had to squeeze her thighs together to stave off the sensations. Quickly snapping her gaze to his face, she sought to distract herself from his body--except his brilliant eyes caused havoc with her insides. She felt an insane desire to trace the strong lines of his face, run her fingers over his jaw, and feel his lips against hers. “Wow.”

The man smiled. The ordinary action lit his face into a softer version, twinkling his eyes and causing gentle creases to appear at the sides of his mouth and across his forehead, as if he indulged in grinning often. “It’s not often I get such a reaction from the ladies, especially not one as pretty as you. I’m Caelan Burke.”

Neadra melted a tiny bit further at the slight Irish accent in his baritone voice. “Hi.” At a disadvantage from her position on the ground, not to mention the tempting distraction of his naughty bits at eye level, she struggled to her feet. The small pebbles that made up the shore cut into the soles, but she barely noticed as she held out her hand. “My name is Neadra.”

When she moved forward to shake the hand he offered, her toes tangled into the hem of her long skirt and she stumbled, taking a few unsteady steps backward and teetering into the lake with a resounding splash.

Publisher’s website:
Strange Hollow site:
Book trailer:
Author’s website: From here you’ll find links to me on Twitter, Facebook and my blogs.

DON'T FORGET...Return on Halloween for a special treat the guest bloggers have worked on for YOU!! There will be prizes given away, so be sure to join us here in the moonlight on Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wistful Wednesday

Interview with Chuck Sambuchino,
Author of How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack

I have a special treat for you today. Recently, I was fortunate to read the new book (see below for my thoughts) by and interview author Chuck Sambuchino. If that name sounds familiar to you, it should. Chuck is works for Writer's Digest and edits GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS ( So without further ado, here's my interview with Chuck:

1.When did you first realize there was such a problem with gnomes? What was your first clue?

I was attacked by a vicious gnome as a youngster, though I can’t share the details with you, as it still too frightening to relive. I will tell you that once I was let out of the hospital, with a small scar as my reminder of gnome violence, I was a changed person. Finally, I have written a definitive guide for people to protect themselves. 

2. This book, though slim, is very well researched. How long did it take you to do the research and compile it into a book?

The book took several months to write, but I’ve been essentially researching it my entire life. Having the ability to smash a vicious garden gnome to smithereens with a sledgehammer or baseball bat takes years of practice, so indeed I have practiced — and many gnomes have been on the receiving end of my practicing. 

3. Have you ever had to face the gnomes yourself? If so, please feel free to share your story with our readers.

I already mentioned my childhood encounters, but let me say that it has been many a moon since I faced a gnome in combat. Word got out quickly that I was skilled with a snow shovel. Once word spread, gnomes realized it was easier to attack the old lady down the street rather than me. I am always on guard. People think that I still fight gnomes in close quarters, but those days have passed. Now I just educate people and spread the word. 

4. What do you want your readers to take away from this book?

That garden gnomes are not cute travel companions, despite what their gigantic PR campaign has tried to make you believe. They are dangerous lawn warriors who are responsible for almost 1,000 deaths over the years.  It’s madness, I tell you, madness. This book is designed to help people assess if they’re in danger, help people gnome-proof their residence, and help people combat a gnome in close quarters should an attack occur. 

5. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Just that the book makes a great Christmas gift for any friends or relatives who garden. You can find it in any major bookstore nationwide or on Amazon. Protect yourself at all costs!

Thank you for joining us today, Chuck, and sharing your wisdom with us. I will never look at the Travelocity gnome the same way again!


Chuck Sambuchino is an editor and a writer. He works for Writer's Digest Books and edits GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS ( as well as CHILDREN'S WRITER'S & ILLUSTRATOR'S MARKET. His humor book, HOW TO SURVIVE A GARDEN GNOME ATTACK (, was released in Sept. 2010 and has been featured by Reader's Digest and AOL News. Besides that, he is a produced playwright, magazine freelancer, husband, cover band guitarist, chocolate chip cookie fiend, and owner of a flabby-yet-lovable dog named Graham.

What I thought: I really enjoyed this book. Though short by today's standards, it is packed with content from the first page to the last - a quick, delightful read. Mr. Sambuchino writes with an ease and authority that makes you forget that you are reading a humor book. Soon, you will be having visions of gnome attacks and will be thinking about putting his tips to work for you. This is a great little book and I am so happy that I had the chance to read it. For that, I want to thank Chuck for providing the review copy for me.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tantalizing Tuesday

Please welcome H.C. Brown into the moonlight. H.C. is the author of numerous books. Check out her blogspot to learn more. Now, grab a cup of your favorite brew, sit back, relax and enjoy getting to know H.C.!

GRACEN: Do you have a movie that you must watch every Halloween? What's your favorite scary movie? Do you have a favorite scary character or character type?

H.C.: Halloween of course and you can’t go past Jason.

GRACEN: Do you dress up for Halloween? If so, what will you be dressed up as this year? What was your all-time most favorite costume that you ever wore? Why?

H.C.: We don’t celebrate Halloween in Australia, well not the same as you do. For me it’s All Hallows.

GRACEN: Are you superstitious? Do you find yourself knocking on wood or throwing salt over your shoulder? If not one of these two, what is your superstition?

H.C.: All of the above and more. I won’t mix red and white flowers in the same bunch as they are bad luck. Love black cats though.

GRACEN: Do you believe in ghosts? If so, have you ever had a ghostly encounter and tell us about it?

H.C.: Yes, I believe in ghosts. As most people, the first time I thought I was imagining things. The house I lived in at the time was old. I would see a man in a check shirt with blond hair waiting at the foot of the stairs. I never mentioned it to anyone, then my daughter asked me if I had ever seen a man standing at the bottom of the stairs. Later, I discovered both my boys had seen him too. He wasn’t scary. I felt sorry for him to be honest. To answer your next question, no he didn’t communicate with any of us. I doubt he knew we existed.

GRACEN: Tell us 3 funny or strange things that happened to you, or someone you know, on past Halloweens?

H.C.: I have only one strange thing. We light candles on All Hallows to ward off evil spirits. One Halloween with all the doors and windows closed, all the candles went out at the same instant.

GRACEN: If you could be any paranormal creature, what would it be and why?

H.C.: A faerie. Well mainly because in my books they have all the fun. =)
Then I could put a spell on all the e-pirates—if it ever happens watch, out trust me bits of you will fall off.

GRACEN: Swashbuckling pirates like Johnny Depp are sexy, but e-pirates are not. How do you handle e-pirates in your writing world? Do you have any advice or wish to share any experience with other writers? Anything you wish to say to e-pirates in general?

H.C.: It makes me want to quit writing.
To those who steal from me I would like to say.
E Authors offer their readers great stories at a very small price. We work VERY hard to write stories and then you steal from us. Do you think we make hundreds of dollars?— Well we don’t. You say you love our books well PAY for them and support us. I put out a book for 99c and you were too mean to pay for that, you had to steal it as well. This problem will be resolved and I hope the governments of your countries put you all in prison.

AND To those lovely people who buy my books I say, know that I write only for you and I wish you all good health and happiness. =)

GRACEN: Now, let’s get to your writing, H.C….Why the paranormal genre? What was the draw for you?

H.C.: Paranormal and fantasy gives me the freedom to go where I want in my writing. I want to build fantastic worlds and take my readers with me. I like to make my hero different from real life— a man we can all dream about.

GRACEN: If you could describe your paranormal writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? Please be creative and look beyond words like vampire, werewolf, etc., and delve into the core of your writing to tell us what word or phrase you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story.

H.C.: Always leave the reader wanting more.

GRACEN: Do you prefer playing tricks on people or bestowing treats? Does that show through in your writing? If so, how?

H.C.: I’m a giver. I get great pleasure out of giving, if it’s my time or my expertise or by giving a gift. I hope I give my readers a warm glow.

GRACEN: Who decides what creatures you write about, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one stirring the cauldron?

H.C.: The Muse and dreams. I dream a lot of my characters and then the Muse give them substance. They are all, VERY real to me.

GRACEN: What was the creature/paranormal character that you had the most fun creating and why? Who—to you—was the sexiest character you wrote and why?

H.C.: Nox, the king of the Fae from the Pride Brothers and The Chronicles of Fae series is a very sexy faerie. I saw a delicious man across a crowded room that oozed so much sex appeal that one look gave me Nox. Of course, Nox is entirely fiction but as most authors there is always a trigger and that stranger was all I needed.

GRACEN: If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your characters in real life, who would it be and why? Which of your characters would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?

H.C.: I would love to meet Dare from Purr-fect Seduction. He was my first shape shifter and lived in my head for about three years. I’d like to say, ‘thanks’.
I’d hate to run into a Ram, any of them. They take females for sex slaves—say no more.

H.C- Bite Here, Too is due for release on 26 October. It is a Halloween themed anthology with Stormy Glenn.

Enslaved by H.C. Brown
At midnight on All Hallows Eve, the Gates between the realms are wide open. Good and evil in equal measure seek to slake their desire. Be careful for what you wish for Humans, once the Gates shut, there is no going back.

Blood Sacrifice by Stormy Glenn
Being a demon isn't always fun. Being a demon summoned to a satanic ritual is downright miserable. Isaac Braden spends most of his time being a rich recluse but every so often he's introduced to someone new when he's summoned… a blood sacrifice. And tonight Jory Daniels has been chosen to be that sacrifice.

In a satanic ritual summoning gone bad, Isaac finds himself eternally bound to Jory. He has to have the man's blood in order to survive. But when Jory wants something in return, can Isaac submit enough to allow it or will his demon nature take over and cause him to lose the best thing that ever happened to him?

H.C. – Thanks for having me today.

GRACEN: Wow, both of those sound like fantastic, exciting reads! Just in case any of you readers missed it, here's the LINK once more to buy this fascinating book. Thanks for joining us, H.C. It's always a pleasure to have you with us. Best of success with all your releases!

A reminder to all readers, check back on Sunday, October 31st, to view the surprise all of our guest bloggers have worked on so hard for YOU!!! It's our Halloween gift to YOU!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Starlight Saturday



Where does the road to Hell begin?

What happens when your son turns homicidal overnight, killing the family cat before gutting the family dog? Do you cower in fear or fight for your life? Madison Wescott fights against the odds. Distrustful of a God she doesn't believe in, she finds herself face-to-face with a demonic world she didn't know existed and discovers her own soul is darkened with demonic connections.

With good intentions?

Madison had it all…or thought she did. A husband she adored and a son that brought joy to her life. Then one morning her husband kissed her goodbye, headed off to work and disappeared. Life turned upside down, Madison grows desperate and despondent to help her bloodthirsty son after numerous attempts have failed. Only one man dares to challenge the supernatural forces manipulating them.

Or by demonic design?

Phoenix Birmingham breaches her life in a whirlwind of sarcasm and sexual appeal. A hero for the masses—and for her jaded heart—but few will ever know the sacrifices he has made or the sacrifices to come. Discovering her entire life has been influenced by multifaceted paranormal beings, Madison is determined to defeat the apocalyptic blueprint fate has decreed. Even with Phoenix's aid, can destiny be denied? Or will demonic design prevail and they pay the crucial price with their souls?

In a small, sleepy Alabama town the battle for mankind's liberty has begun...

Friday, October 22, 2010


shadow demon Pictures, Images and Photos

Paranormal Bad Boys…

Do you love them? Hate them? Or have a love/hate relationship for them? I'm not talking about the "good" bad boys that are the heroes in romance books or movies. I'm talking about the real bad boys of those books or movies. I'm referring to the antagonist that brings the hero and heroine so much angst. The ones you love to hate, but are so sensual, sexy and irresistible, you find yourself cheering for them when you know they're evil! Some memorable evil bad boys for me are:

David in The Lost Boys, who was played by Keifer Sutherland, was a particularly bad boy vampire. I loved him! I wasn't into the "bad boy" hero, Michael, because he was really a "good boy" wanting to be a "bad boy". He lacked conviction and any heartfelt desire to want to be a bad boy. And he was only rebelling because he was upset his mother had relocated them from their friends. I've loved Keifer Sutherland ever since this part. David was sexy, evil, manipulative and, but oh, so easy on the eyes. And I was heartbroken when he was killed…*whimpers* Further complicating my devastation was that his death was unnecessary because he wasn't the master vampire!

david Pictures, Images and Photos

Other "bad boys" I loved are Gary Oldman as Count Dracula in the 1992 version of Dracula. Step aside Jonathan Harker and hello, Dracula! Yum! I wanted Count Dracula to win in this movie too!

Gary Oldman Pictures, Images and Photos

Another that must receive a mention is Lestat in Queen of the Damned. I read Anne Rice's vampire series and fell in love with Lestat. Lestat was moody, angsty, misunderstood, selfish and immature and I loved all of these flaws. Stuart Townsend did an admirable job—in my opinion anyway—of the character Anne Rice painted on the page.

Lestat Pictures, Images and Photos

I can't forget Damon from The Vampire Diaries either. I wouldn't even be watching that show without Damon. He's fun and quirky, brings a level of spice and entertainment to the show. He likes being a vampire and isn't angsty and whining about being one. Seriously, why do the chicks adore a whiny vampire? Who would want to listen to that for an eternity? Ugh! I love a vampire that embraces his/her inner darkness and enjoys being what they've become. So, quit whining already!!!!!!

Damon - Vampire Diaries Pictures, Images and Photos

My final love would be Nikolas, my heroine's ex-husband in Pandora's Box. Pandora's Box is the first book in my The Road to Hell Series that was just contracted with Decadent Publishing. Nikolas is a really evil bad boy and he makes no apologies for his demonic character. In fact, he has reasons for his attitude and he feels they're valid reasons. Nikolas makes demons look like puppy dog kisses and long walks on the beach. And I am so in love with him I don't want to get rid of him. Any girl would be crazy to love Nikolas once he shows his true colors, but he could charm the pants off anyone when he's not showing his inner demon.

So, that leaves me wondering why do I love Nikolas so much and why do I love bad boys in general? Is it because they bring an element of fun to the book or big screen? They keep things spicy? Maybe I love the bad boys because they make our heroes and heroines show their own "inner demon" in order to overcome whatever the bad boy is throwing at them. With Nikolas I can let boundaries drop when I'm writing and he can do anything and get away with it because he's the bad boy. That doesn't mean he gets the girl in the end…or maybe he will. That book is yet to be written…

So, who are some of the "bad boys" you loved, or loved to hate?

A special thanks to Rie McGaha for giving me the idea for this blog today!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Twilight Thursday

Please welcome author, Cherie De Sues, into the moonlight. Cherie has prepared a special treat for us about Halloween. Hope you enjoy!


Pagan Pumpkins for Samhain…Halloween.

Samhain, pronounced (sow-in) is the ancient time on October 31st when the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest. The new pagan wheel calendar has started and the Goddess' time has passed, the Greenman God has awakened for the winter months.

Not all ghosts are friendly or from your own family. Pagans carve gourds, squash and other late harvest fruits to appease the dead who search for Summerlands (Pagan heaven). The angry faces carved into the skin of a pumpkin or other gourds is to send away the evil spirits, the demons and negative energy from their door.

The candle on the inside of a pagan-carved pumpkin can be various colors that represent luck, passion or purity. Using a white candle is always safe and displaying your carved pumpkin on your doorstep will keep your home safe and free of spectral hauntings. If you do pick up a ghost or two on this night, here's a spell for ridding yourself of the pests. Use a pungent incense and black candles to ward them off.

The presence that stands upon the stairs
The unseen hands that move the chairs.
The lights that play across the wall,
The stains that stay, the plates that fall,
The mist, the chill, the wandering scents
This gentle spell must speed them hence.
At midnight, set a table neat,
With cup and plate, and wine and meat,
Invite the ghost to sit and feast,
As any host should urge a guest.
Presently, clear the meal away,
Then open the door and softly say-
"Quick or dead, thou art fed,
Cease to grieve and take thy leave"
Bid him depart but should he remain
Be calm, take heart and feast him again.

If you want to live with the spirits in your home, honor them with frankincense incense, candles and say this chant three times in a mirror with candles reflecting on your face.
Spirits of my home, you shall live,
In every chamber my light I give,
To every corner my breath I send,
This home I share you may attend.

If you enjoy paranormal suspense and ghosts, witches and gypsy's, read the first chapter of my new release. "The Seduction of Simone". Come visit Irish Gypsy's Parlor for pagan articles and first chapters of all my novels and novellas.

Blessings on Samhain,
Blessed Be,
Cherie De Sues
My Websites Irish Gypsy's Parlor Main Author Website
Read first chapter and buy "The Seduction of Simone" at Noble Romance Publishing


Seduction of Simone Blurb:

Simone Devereaux has inherited an estate on the Northern California coast after her Aunt Celeste meets with a sudden, mysterious death. The hot neighbor, Trent Grayson, insists Celeste was murdered, and wants to be more than the man-next-door. When clients arrive to pose for their nude portraits over the weekend, Simone realizes she's inherited more than an estate. Two randy poltergeists enter her dreams for a lusty menage, and a budding serial killer threatens her sanity.

Now her Wiccan mother and gypsy father are coming for a visit, just in time to watch Simone lose her heart . . . and possibly her life.

Read the first chapter here: