Monday, April 19, 2010

Website is finished!

My website is finished now and back up and running:

I also have a new blog: . Please bookmark this page as I won't be updating the blogger blog anymore.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Website is being remodeled

My website is currently being redesigned. There will be outages over the next two weeks. If you need to reach me, please contact me here or via Twitter:

So in April, there will be a new, shiny website. Courtesy of Jaxadora Designs.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What Makes You Put Down a Book in the Store?

I saw a tweet by Angela James this morning that made me think of the idea for today's blog. What makes readers put down a book--particularly when they are in the book store and considering making a purchase?

Is it the bad cover with the man titty or the half naked people on front? Is it a terrible title? Did they read the first page and decide it was dreck? Was it a poorly written back cover blurb? Or, as simple as the genre not being a fit? Maybe the title made you think contemporary but the book is historical.

So, when you're browsing for books or maybe digging through your To Be Read (TBR) pile, what makes you throw down one book and move on to the next one?

(For me, a bad cover will make me drop a book like hot cakes and a good cover will make me buy a book without reading the blurb)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Learning from Other Artists

On Monday, I went with Rachel Jameson to see two documentary screenings hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The first was a film about the writer-historian David McCullough. This one really inspired me.

One of the most important things David said during the documentary was that art is something that can only be learned by doing. You can only get so much from books and watching. The real knowledge comes from doing it: writing it, sculpting it, painting it, acting it, performing it. That is the only way to truly master a creative art form.

I loved the way David McCullough delved deeply into historical figures he wrote about by going where they went and doing things they did and learning what they learned. Though it sounds so simple, not all writers do this. In some cases, the residence of said historical figure is either far away or no longer exists, but in other cases, we just study as much as we can from books and go from there. But, there is something to be said for breathing the air in the same place as a character and seeing what they see (or saw).

The film made me think differently of myself as a creative artist/writer and about the kind of writer I want to be.

The second documentary featured Phillip Glass. It was about two and a half times as long as the first one and delved into Phil Glass' family life, composition, friends, and a bit of history surrounding his career. On the whole, this one wasn't as engaging as the David McCullough documentary, but there was something that I did learn while watching.

Early on in the film, Phil Glass says that sometimes he doesn't know what he's doing. He doesn't always have a plan for what the whole thing will be, he just writes it until it all comes together and sometimes, when the conductor and the musicians play it, he will make adjustments because the notes he writes down are not always the sound he heard in his head when the song first came to him. He talked about having to listen and that there are times when the music is faint in his mind and he has to concentrate to hear the music.

I think this is the experience of most creatives. You hear or see something and you attempt to write it down or paint it but what you heard or saw in your mind is fuller, deeper in context than what you can convey with your translation of it. I find that as I write I don't always know what the story will be. There are times when I stop and start, when I have to re-group and figure it all out. And, there are times when I start writing, not fully knowing the direction, and yet it all comes together so brilliantly that I can amaze yourself (those are the moments artists all treasure).

So, I leave you with the thought that we must all learn our art by doing, by practicing, by writing, composing, painting, crafting. And, that sometimes, you don't know when you begin where you are going or where it will end up, but that doesn't make the effort less valid.

Write on!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

VP Nomination

I have some good news to share this week. I found out that I have been nominated for the position of Vice President of ESPAN (the RWA chapter specifically devoted to epublishing). This was a nice surprise as I had not declared for a position. Not too long ago, I did volunteer to be part of a committee.

ESPAN elections will be at the beginning of November.

This past year, I have served on the Board of Los Angeles Romance Authors in the PR position. It has been a hectic year, but I've been very blessed to have made wonderful friends. Just this weekend, LARA had its annual Book Fair, featuring fourteen of our published authors. While I won't be staying on as Director of PR, I will stay an active part of the LARA membership.

I am very excited to see what 2010 will bring and hope I will be given the opportunity to serve on the Board of ESPAN. Wish me luck!

And, if you are an RWA member interested in learning about digital publishing, please consider joining ESPAN at: or follow us on Twitter:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Excerpt Monday The Wicked on the Run (Ch 1)

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Once a month, a bunch of authors get together and post excerpts from published books, contracted work or works in progress, and link to each other. You don’t have to be published to participate–just an writer with an excerpt you’d like to share. For more info on how to participate, head over to the Excerpt Monday site! or click on the banner above.

Here is an early draft from my paranormal work-in-progress, The Wicked on the Run.

“What’s your problem, Keeley?” Honora toyed with her fingernails. She painted them red and then stared at each finger until it turned gold again. She was bored.

Keeley turned to look at Styx. The punk pixie was intently playing a video game. Bodies were flying and buildings blew up as her fingers flew over the controller. Keeley shook her head. At least Styx wasn’t bored. When Styx got bored, real things blew up.

“No problem, Hon.”

Her friend shook her golden curls. “Somethin’s up with you, babe. You’re never this moody. Well, not most of the time. Did somebody young die today?”

Yeah. Of course Honora wouldn’t ask her if somebody died today. It was always who died today.

“Not exactly.”

“So what’s up?” Honora put her hand over Keeley’s. It was a warm, sunlit caress, heating her icy fingers.

“Nothing. I just need a friggin’ vacation.”

Yeah, a vacation from her life. From Death. Dying. Remorse. More death. Why couldn’t she have been a nymph or a brownie or something? This banshee gig bit a like big shark with its teeth in her ass.

“Do banshees get vacations?” Styx asked, barely looking up from the 45 inch flat screen TV.

“I sure as hell have never heard of it.” Keeley’s job was to guard over a particular unit of the O’Neill clan. But, most of the time, guarding consisted of preventing death, warning about death, or helping the dead cross over. Only once in a while did she get to have any fun with it. Like last week, when she snapped a guy’s wrist who had gotten his knife a little too close to Katie Kilpatrick O’Neill’s heart.

Keeley generally didn’t kill, but she could maim. A smile crossed her face. But, even her revenge against stupid, strung-out theives and domestic violence abusers wasn’t fun anymore.

“Talk to Council.” This from Honora, the Golden One.

“No,” Keeley replied.

Unlike her best friend, Keeley didn’t have shimmery skin made of honey dipped in gold, didn’t have matching gold eyes that could turn a serial killer into a cherub, and she couldn’t even enthrall a gnome. Council listened to her about as much as Republicans listened to Democrats. Or, about as much as soldiers listened to ants.

“If you don’t ask, you don’t get, sugar,” Honora said.

She grimaced. “If I ask, I’d get a longer sentence.”

Styx yelled. “Alright! Wicked!!” She jumped up with her arms in the air. Then, as if she’d been talking to them all along, she said, “I thought yours was a life sentence.”

“Yeah, one thousand years and counting…”

She was going insane. Day by day.

“Geez, Keel.” Styx stood over the bed. At five feet and three inches, this was the only possible way she could tower over her. “You need to get laid.”


“When was the last time you got a little some some?” Honora looked up from painting her toe nails. She looked closely at Keeley. “Wait. Don’t answer that.”

Styx looked over at Honora. “No.” She looked back at Keeley. “Seriously. You can’t have only been with Aramar.” Before Keeley could even try to lie, Styx continued. “Oh, my god. The last lay you had was Mr. Unseelie-Stick-Up-His-Ass?”

Keeley didn’t reply.


Styx, you have the foulest mouth I’ve heard outside of Hades,” Honora reproached. “Can you even try to speak like a lady?”

“Can you like…try like…to not talk like you’re a valley girl?”

Honora threw a pillow at her. It turned gold and heavy in her hand. Styx held up her palm and flames shot from it.

“Stop!” Keeley called out. “Can you two cool it? I’d like to keep my house in one piece. The last time you two got going, I had to spend $5,000 on new furniture!”

“Well, little miss pants on fire has a point.” Honora stood up. “You’ve got to get a little release honey. All that death and disaster has got to take a toll.”

Great. Just great. The last thing she needed was for them to start fishing for blind dates. The last time Styx had tried to fix her up, she’d walked into the bar to find a tatted, snake-haired gorgon. No thanks.

“I just need a little excitement. You know, a challenge. Lately, the most danger my O’Neills get into is drunken bar fights. Other than that one stupid kid with the knife, I haven’t had any action in months.”

Thunder sounded.

They looked around. Lightening flashed in the center of the room. Two missives flew out of the brilliant white light. They were sealed with gold ribbon and red wax.

As if this night couldn’t get any friggin’ better. A summons.

Looks like she'd have to confront Council tonight, after all.

“Well, you two kiddies have fun!” Styx turned away. And plopped down on the floor in her little black mini skirt.

Honora smiled. “Well, Keeley. You said you wanted a challenge.”

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Vintage Style Leather Corsets

Only 54 days to go until Halloween! So, this weekend, I browsed online for costume ideas. Some of my friends wanted to be gory nurses, but I'm not sure that one suits me. The other option might be high class call girls. Me, I'm leaning toward the dark side this year. Blame it on Eden Bradley.

Last year, when she and some friends went out for Halloween in the craziness that is West Hollywood, some of them dressed as dominatrices. She said to me later, "You know, you'd look really good as a dominatrix." So, the little naughty seed was planted in my head.

I started looking at corsets. Leather. Vinyl. Satin. Always Black. Buying a black leather corset seems to be an experience. They are not cheap, but then again, these things look like they will last forever. I had trouble finding the right price and style for me. And, for the life of me, I couldn't find an easy sizing guide for corsets the first day I looked.

Then, I thought of dressing up as a saloon girl and looked up all kinds of costumes. I ended up being directed to Amazon for one of them and remembered that Amazon does sell lingerie and other apparel. I looked up corsets and found an array of leather, Victorian style corsets. Jackpot! They even had sizing instructions.

I will probably opt for one of the plain ones rather than the fetish beauties as I'd like to be able to use the corset for other costumes later, but here are some of the gems I found. Let me know if you have a favorite.

These are my top two right now:

This leather corset has buckles and would definitely work for the hard core dominatrix costume:

I love the studs on this one:

One tip I did learn from the main corset supplier on Amazon. To figure out your corset size, measure the smallest part of your waist and then add ten inches. This is your size.

A lingerie website I went to mistakenly compared corset size to bra size, so I was looking at 38's thinking that it was supposed to match the bra size, not the waist size! Thank God I waited.

Feel free to cast your vote for the best corset.