Saturday, July 31, 2010

Chocolate Recipe

This is a great and easy recipe, perfect for summer when you need a chocolate fix. Enjoy!

Arctic Mousse

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted margarine
1 7oz. jar marshmallow creme

2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbs. milk
1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Combine crumbs, sugar & margarine, press into bottom of 8" square pan. Combine marshmallow creme, chocolate and vanilla, mix until well blended. Gradually add milk, blending until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into pan, freeze. Sprinkle with additional crumbs or garnish with chocolate curls.

Friday, July 30, 2010

My Muse

Is 6’2”, slightly shaggy hair the color of fresh roasted coffee suntipped with gold, puppy dog brown eyes, surfer tan, and a body Jillian Michaels would approve. He makes sure my coffee cup is filled, that I have anything I need, that my favorite DVDs are within reach, and my iPod is always fully charged. He’s within reach if I need a little … inspiration, and always ready to run to See’s if I require my favorite chocolates.

And sadly, he only exists in my imagination. Sigh!

My muse has been talking away a lot while I’ve been buried deep with new work. And if I hit a snag he would even direct me to my witchy Barbies, my dragon and Fae figurines, and the best, Ganesha, the Hindu god of good fortune and Patron of the Arts, especially writing. All little things that would give me that much needed spark.

Writing a book is a lot of ‘what ifs’ and a muse is terrific at whispering that all important what in my ear or suggestions. Why can’t that new cat hanging around the house be a fun familiar? And he will be because he’s totally perfect for the job. Why can’t Barney show up in a book? Why is my brain conjuring up an idea that might be bare bones now, but will soon flesh out nicely? As if I don’t have enough going on in my brain as it is!

Still, if the muse of my dreams would show up, I’d get a lot more work done.

I did tell you I wrote fiction, didn’t I?

So would you want a sexy muse hanging around when you’re writing?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My New Cover!

This will be out April, 2011. What do you think?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oh Those Catalogs!

I’ve been called the ‘Catalog Queen’. One mail carrier gave me that name as he moaned and groaned about all the catalogs I received were killing his back.

I apologized while I oohed and ahhed over all the pictured goodies in front of me. I wouldn’t purchase a majority of the items, many times couldn’t imagine how some catalogs found their way to me. Obviously, selling my name was a big thing. :}

Clothing, make up, jewelry, bath and body, all the girl stuff is total fun to look through. Others that show gift ideas are also fun and a great way for me to find some neat prezzies.

Then there’s the gadget, yard, and household catalogs.Why am I enraptured over pretty cookware and dinnerware when cooking is fairly low on the fun meter for me? Why do I need a special cooker that cooks your hotdogs and warms the buns at the same time? Do I really need a tabletop cotton candy machine? Unless you think it would go well with my funnel cake set? That was a gift and I love my agent for providing me with the means to make Jazz’s favorite treat.

And really, how many solar lights can I put outside? Whirligigs or wind chimes? Same with yard figurines. Although I do have my share for collectibles, because I flat out love them.

Or do you love even looking through retro items as other catalogs offer?

And while I do my shopping on line, the catalogs are fun to browse through where I can mutter “ooh, cute”.

What about you? Are you a Catalog Queen too? Do you have a special catalog that you sigh with happiness when it shows up?


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What Is It About Villains?

They’re the characters we love to hate.

How many villains remain in your mind while the heroes and heroines don’t?

I’ve read that more than one actor and actress prefers playing a villain because they’re so much more fun and many times they can play them over the top.

I’ve always enjoyed seeing what another writer puts into their villains and I love writing them myself.

Just as in acting I like to create over the top villains. One of my favorite villains is Tyge Foulshadow in 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover. He was wealthy, totally disgusting to look at and smell and there was just a lot wrong with him. My editor hated him so much in 50 Ways that she said she didn’t want to see him again. Too bad, I had plans for Master Foulshadow that would have been a lot of fun. Still, maybe I’ll find a way.

But there’s also the handsome and beautiful villains. Ones you wouldn’t expect to find evil residing within. They can be as much fun to write because who would expect a thing of beauty to be so nasty inside?

Then you have the humorous ones. Captain Hook scared to death of the crocodile with the clock in his tummy. Austin Powers’ Dr. Evil and Fat Bastard. All the mind boggling villains who tried to take down Batman, and lost.

One of the most famous villainesses is The Wicked Witch of the West with her black dress, broom, and green skin. With her ominous castle and monkey minions, it was natural she’d inspire fear. But who knew it only took a bucket of water to bring her down.

No wonder we love them. We boo and hiss, laugh, and sometimes shiver with fear. How many worry about the boogeyman that might be hiding in their closet or under their bed?

Tell me how many villains can you name that are unforgettable?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My Visit To A Local Reader's Group

Several months ago I was asked by the readers’ group at our town’s senior citizen to come in and discuss one of my books. I went in to the senior center on Wednesday and had a blast.

They read Wicked by Any Other Name, but they also wanted to talk to me about writing, how I got started, the paranormal genre, and all the creatures involved. I think Fluff and Puff were busy digging into the snacks.

It was a wonderful time. This group had a lot of fun questions including asking me if I was a witch. And they got my “no, but I used to play one on TV”.

Any writer will tell you it can be a bit scary to do this since you’re never sure if you’ll encounter someone who absolutely hates your book and doesn’t mind saying so.

Luckily, that wasn’t the case. Plus, one of the wonderful ladies not only brought in a variety of snacks, but they were themed to the book along with being tagged with the page number you’d find that food on. How wonderful is that?

They want me back and I’m happy to do it.

It’s always fun to get out and meet new people and I did, including one very courtly gentleman named Lionel who I’d say has a lot of magick in him.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Behind the Book -- Wicked By Any Other Name

With Hex Appeal finished it was time to move on to one of the other witches with Wicked By Any Other Name. Stasi had always been strong in my mind with her enjoyment in crafting love spells and running her lingerie/romance book boutique. How fitting to find the appropriate romance book along with that lace cami or silk thong?

And since, in my mind, she was sweet-natured without being sugary, I knew I wanted her thrown into a situation that would require her to totally witch up. What easier way for that to happen than for her to be the target of a witch hunt? For her to remember the Olde Salem Witch Trials that she was almost a part of. I’d visited Salem once and the town and its history always remained in my head with the idea for a book and this was perfect for it.

The best part of the town of Moonstone Lake was that a small town can easily build panic. I worked upon that with Stasi being sued in Wizard’s Court and her attraction for the plantiff’s sexy wizard attorney, Trevor Barnes. Attraction that spreads to bubbles when she hiccups. We all have nervous habits, but what if they’re the type that can fill a room if you grow too uneasy?

Like Jazz with Fluff and Puff, Stasi has Horace, the troll cursed into a gargoyle who prefers to hang out in the boutique’s dressing rooms, and Bogie, her magickal Chihuahua/Yorkie who floats instead of walks and disappears when things turn tense.

It was a case of people willing to think the worst of someone they’d known for years, knew how many times she’d helped them, been there during the hard times, but always easy to still go down that negative path.

I could start showing Moonstone Lake, what the mountain town means to Stasi and Blair, their history there, and introduce some fun characters including hints for Blair and the guy who’d end up in her life.

It was very different from what I’d written before and that’s always a good thing. I always hope my readers agree.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Little Known Things

We all have something, maybe more about us that not many know or our friends are holding in their memory banks in case of blackmail. I know I do.

So only fair I give up first.

Three little known things about me.

When I was in junior high and high school I had a major crush on actor James Drury, the star of the show The Virginian. I was a big western fan and watched all the shows back then. Robert Fuller ran a major second. I was lucky enough to meet Drury twice and luckily, managed not to drool on him or act too much like an idiotic teenager.

When I was in high school my best friend and I hung out at Knotts Berry on Friday nights. Back then, admission was free and a lot of the guys working there were cute. We got train sick riding the train one entire evening, but we were riding for free and the train robbers were cute and I dated one of them. Along with later dating someone at one of the other attractions.

Author Lynne Michaels and I climbed Diamond Head and when we reached the steps, which were steep and seemed like a million, we named shoe brands and designers for each step. It didn’t make the climb easier, but it helped us make it to the top.

So that’s three things little known about me. What about you? Care to give up even one little known thing?


Friday, July 9, 2010

Behind The Book -- Hex Appeal

It’s only natural I’d next talk about Hex Appeal.

More than halfway through 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover, I knew I’d have to write a second book about Jazz and Nick, even if I’d originally planned on writing Stasi’s book next.

My editor was surprised because she hadn’t expected that. Plus, she also felt Jazz needed new accessories and Fluff and Puff shouldn’t be in the book. You can imagine how they felt about that! I knew that wasn’t about to happen. Thanks to a brainstorming session with my agent, awesome Laurie McLean, we came up with crocodile stilettos named Croc and Delilah, their name courtesy of Laurie. Croc and Delilah were different in that they raided Jazz’s perfume and make-up and they adored Krebs, Jazz’s mortal housemate.

And poor Fluff and Puff! They were stuck in bunny slipper prison due to the accusation they ate a Wereweasel at the Midway. While everyone knows Wereweasels taste nasty. But if Jazz didn’t find out what happened to Willie the Wereweasel, Fluff and Puff would end up destroyed. No way Jazz would allow that.

I could see Jazz and Nick having some pretty strange nightmares. Horrible dreams that show them a life without the other, death, and destruction, and to make matters worse for Jazz, not only is Krebs dating a vampire, but Nick’s ex from centuries ago is in town and no love fest on Jazz’s part.

I wanted something to do with nightmares and Fluff and Puff in the kind of trouble that’s not easy to get out of. I also wanted a scene where Jazz would end up spending time outside her comfort zone.

And then there’s Irma offering up her own issues along with Jazz’s creature boss, Dweezil.

At one point I wondered if I wasn’t throwing too much into the book, but it all seemed to work well together, so I kept writing away. And along the way I had my own share of surprises. I had no clue how the issue with Willie the Wereweasel would be resolved until I wrote the scene.

I had a lot of fun writing this book, because I could return to my favorite characters, add some new ones, and show Stasi and Blair more than the brief scene in the first book.

That seems to happen with me a lot, so maybe it’s true that my characters tell me what to do.

I just hope they keep on doing that.


Monday, July 5, 2010

My Covers

I'll be slowly but surely adding all my covers to this.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy July 4th!

The only fireworks allowed in our county is the ones at special shows, and if that's the case where you live, let me give you some fun ones!

Start them up and have fun!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Behind The Book -- 50 Ways To Hex Your Lover

Naturally, I had to talk about my babies, even if I’ve guest blogged about the series so much I’m sure there are many who’s moaning “again?”

I’ve always loved writing paranormal and wrote several for Harlequin and Silhouette Books, so now it was time to write something ‘more’.

Jazz popped into my head in 2006 with “you really need to write my story. I’m a 700-year young witch who, along with the rest of my class, was expelled from the Witches Academy in 1313. But we were also told if we behaved for 100 years we could return to the academy. As you can see, that didn’t happen.”

She talked about Nick, her curse elimination business, and her magickal friends. Especially Stasi, the second witch to come to mind, with her special boutique.

Jazz was fully formed in my imagination. I could see her as clearly as if she was standing in front of me. And every time I saw her I saw her wearing a pair of fangy bunny slippers. And sometimes smoke coming out of a microwave oven. Just as I saw her driving a classic T-Bird convertible and riding shotgun would be a ghostly matron who died in the 1950s.

Fluff and Puff named themselves. They thought they looked innocent, but we all know that isn’t the case. Mischief is in their DNA and they’ve evolved right along with the series.

From there, characters, scenes, and even bits of dialogue would have me constantly typing or just writing something down.

I had a series in mind and it was time to start writing the first book.

Talk about fun! I had these characters chattering away inside my head (wouldn’t a psychiatrist have a blast with that) and the story just kept on going.

Over the years some books have been easy to write, others have been difficult, and some have been outright fun. This was definitely in the latter.

I started out with magick, mischievous bunny slippers, a sexy vampire, and a snarky witch.
Many of my friends say they hear my voice when they read Jazz. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. :} I know some readers haven't liked Jazz or her attitude. So maybe that means they wouldn't like me as a person either. Not that I make microwave ovens blow up or anything. And Jazz does say things I wish I'd say.

Each time I finish a book I wonder if I can top the previous one. After all, what can be better than Jazz, Nick, and Fluff and Puff?
I've learned maybe I shouldn't worry so much about topping the previous book, but to make the next one just as much fun and exciting for the reader.

I do my best, but no matter how many books I write, I won't forget Jazz and the slippers. After all, they were the beginning of my magickal journey.