Monday, November 29, 2010

Ebook Monday -- What's On Your Wish List?

I have a lot of my backlist books reverted to me and I knew I couldn’t allow them to just sit there and collect dust. No way could they lie around and do nothing when they could be out there being useful and hopefully attracting a new audience.

Plus, it’s fun to see them have a new life.

It’s a process where if I not longer have a digital copy of the manuscript I have to scan the actual book. Then I read it to make sure there are no glitches. And I have a new cover designed.

When I queried fans I learned that they didn’t want to read an updated book, but what was published at that time. And that’s what I’ve done.

So far, I have an urban fantasy novella up for all ebook readers and this week will be releasing one of my former Loveswepts, O’Hara Vs Wilder. I loved writing this book, which was a finalist for Romantic Times Best Loveswept Award for 1994 and the Romantic Times WISH award for June 1994.

With Christmas coming up and many people putting an ebook reader on their wish list or already have one, I thought I’d write about ebooks and invite friends to talk about their own backlist books they’re putting up.

There’s such a wide variety of ebook readers out there now. I’ve included pictures of the Nook, Kindle, iPad, and Sony Reader. It’s just a question of which reader appeals to you.

I got my Nook several months ago and I’m well and truly hooked. I also have the Nook and Kindle apps on my laptop and netbook. ‘She shall have books wherever she goes’.

There was a time when ebooks were considered the stepchild of publishing. That’s changed a great deal and the books out there show just how well done they are.

Plus look at the ease of having a reader. You can tuck them in your bag and you’ve got it wherever you go. Plus with WiFi you can shop wherever you are too. I’ve discovered a lot of awesome authors that I might not have noticed before.

So what about you? Do you own an ebook reader or is there one topping your holiday wish list?

Come by every Monday and Thursday to meet more authors who have also put their backlist books up as ebooks and hopefully, you’ll add them to your wish list of reading material.

After all, we can never have too many books, can we?

And I'd like to add that O'Hara Vs Wilder is now up for Nook readers and apps.


And at Smashwords for all other ebook readers.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hex Appeal In Spain

I recently received the Spanish cover for Hex Appeal. It will be available in Spain in a few weeks, so if you happen to be traveling, you can find it there soon.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday with Jazz, Fluff and Puff

Why did we have to come with you?" Puff whined from his spot in Jazz’s Marc Jacobs pink leather tote, as she wove her way through the hordes of people that pushed around Jazz.

“Because you might come in handy.” Jazz had the grim determination you only saw one day a year. The day after Thanksgiving when serious shoppers came out to do their holiday shopping. She was there armed with credit cards, ready to do what it took to get all her shopping out of the way.

Fluff’s ears curved over the top of the bag, then his eyes peeped over, widening at the mob around them. “I’m going back to the car.”

Jazz tightened her hold on the bag. “No, you’re not.” She pushed her way into Nordstrom on the quest for the perfect gifts. It wasn’t long before she found a leather jacket for Nick, an even cuter leather jacket for herself, sweaters for Stasi and Blair, a wrap for Thea and she was still going strong.

“I want a pretzel,” Puff demanded.

“Later.” Jazz’s gaze narrowed as she spied a plum silk top across the store. She made her way there, but someone else saw the top too and there was only the one. “Create a diversion. Trip her,” she muttered, unceremoniously dumping them out of her bag.

“Pretzel,” Puff reminded her.

“Yeah, yeah.” But her mind was on the prize. The slippers growled their way among the shoppers, who tended to stay out of their way, yet not one screamed or fainted as their magick protected them.

Jazz remained behind them, watching the woman destined to lose the top, because IT WAS HERS. She started to throw out a freeze spell, but she made a promise not to use magick when shopping. Sigh! She quickened her steps and practically slid across the floor reaching out for the top the same time as the other woman.

“I believe this is mine,” the woman said frostily, practically jerking Jazz off her feet as she pulled on the hanger.

“I was here first.” Jazz was happy to see that Fluff and Puff were on either side of her new enemy. She wanted this top, damn it!

Just then the woman yelped and released the hanger.

Puff slid back, looking proud of himself. “Now I get my pretzel.”

“After I finish my shopping.” Jazz glared at the woman who looked ready to pitch into her. “Not getting this top isn’t the end of the world,” she told her before she walked off.

“Pretzel!” Puff raised his voice.

“You promised!” Fluff added his two cents.

“Give it a rest. I said I’ll get you guys pretzels after I finish here. Oooh, pretty!” She squeaked to a stop by a large rack of silk dresses.

Fluff and Puff didn’t say another word, but sulked big time as Jazz finished her shopping in the store and added more large shopping bags to her arms.

As she exited the store, alarms went off big time.

“What the –“ Jazz looked around to see who’d set off the security alarm when a hulkish type man wearing a khaki uniform came up to her.

“If you’ll come with me, ma’am,” he said quietly, taking her arm in a hold that said to come with him or else.

“What’s the problem?” She so wanted to zap him good, but she knew it wouldn’t be a good idea.

“We believe you have items you haven’t paid for.” He steered her toward the offices.

“Oh believe me, I paid for everything and have the receipts and depleted charge card to show for it.” If she wasn’t on probation with the Witches Council, she would have used a spell to get out of there without any fuss, but she knew the man was wrong and there was nothing she loved more than showing a man he was wrong. “So what exactly didn’t I pay for?”

Once in the office, she set her shopping bags down and looked the part of a disgruntled shopper. After all, she had more sales to plunder! More gifts to buy! And there was that gorgeous dress she saw in the paper that she knew would be perfect on her.

The security officer reached into one bag and pulled out two fluffy items.

Jazz stared at Fluff and Puff and laughed. “Are you kidding me? They’re mine. I brought them with me for when my feet get tired.” She gestured with her stiletto boots.

“Sure, lady. We all don’t believe in taking the price tags off our own items.” He dropped them on the desk, where, damn them, they didn’t move an inch and acted as if they were literal footwear, and picked up a phone. “And we have zero tolerance against shoplifters here.”

Jazz picked them up, gasped at the fifty-dollar price tag and glared at them hard enough to cause steam to come out of her ears. “You little shits,” she gritted. “You reveal yourselves now.” Nothing.

The guard shook his head and picked up the phone.

Ten minutes later, Jazz was escorted out of the office by a police officer. When she glanced over her shoulder at the slippers still lying on the desk, she saw Puff slowly close one eye in a wink and mouth the word pretzel.

So a word of warning.

If you’re at the mall and fangy see bunny slippers in the stores, have a a nice big soft pretzel ready. They prefer the cinnamon sugar ones.


Monday, November 22, 2010

A Hexy Thanksgiving

“I don’t know if three turkeys will be enough,” Blair said, surveying the kitchen counters covered with roasting pans, mixing bowls, and various pots and pans on the stove. “Trust me, Jake eats a lot. There are all you can eat buffets that won’t let us come back.”

“And you demolishing the desert table doesn’t have something to do with that? The turkeys are twenty-six pounds apiece. We’ll be fine.” Stasi covered the sweet potatoes with marshmallows and popped them into the hot oven so they could brown. She paused long enough to sneak a treat to Bogie who barked his thanks and floated toward his soft and comfy bed.

“You did use cream and real butter in the mashed potatoes, didn’t you?” Irma wandered in with Phinneas, her spectral beau, in tow. “It’s what gives them the proper taste.” She heaved a deep sigh. “I miss eating.” She glared at Jazz. “You could let me change my wardrobe, but not allow me to eat? Get working on that spell, missy.”

“Yeah, like that’ll happen,” Jazz muttered.

“It’s a good thing we all have metabolisms that burn up all the extra calories and cholesterol.” Blair set the rolls on a cookie sheet.

“I brought the pies,” Maggie walked into the kitchen. She laughed her friends’ expressions of horror. “From my favorite bakery,” she assured them. It was a known fact the blonde witch’s culinary skills were on the same level as Jazz’s … none. “Four pumpkin, two mince, and one pecan. And …” She opened a pink bakery box to reveal five extra large custard filled ├ęclairs topped with decadent chocolate frosting. For later, she mouthed.

“Ah, I see a lovely corner for moi.” Maggie’s diamond encrusted black widow spider tattoo skittered off the witch’s shoulder and headed up the wall. She pulled a tiny netbook out of a hidden pocket and began her web surfing.

“Where’re the guys?” Maggie asked, perching on the counter.

“Where else? It’s Thanksgiving Day so that means football,” Stasi said. “If we’re lucky we’ll be able to drag them away from the TV long enough to eat.”

“All you have to do is try it,” Jazz coaxed, leading Nick into the kitchen. “It’s not that bad.”

“How would you know? Have you tasted it?” The tall vampire followed her with a wary look on his face. “Plus, did you have to drag me away now? I’ve got money riding on this game.”

“Jazz, you’re not!” Blair and Stasi protested, aware what their witchy friend had in mind.

“It’s a great way for Nick to feel like he’s a part of the dinner,” Jazz argued.

“A glass of wine is just fine with me.” He started to edge his way out of the estrogen-filled room, but his witch’s firm hold on his wrist wouldn’t allow it, thanks to magick increasing her strength. No way she was letting him escape now. She used her other hand to pull a container out of the refrigerator.

“I’ve read fiction books where they come up with special blends. So why not this?” She dumped the contents in the blender and fired it up. She poured a little bit of the thick mixture into a glass and offered it to Nick who reared back as if she held a ball of fire.

“That smells terrible! What’s in it?”

Jazz looked into the glass but seemed to hold her breath. “Pureed turkey and cow’s blood.”

“That was what you put in our refrigerator?” Stasi cried. “Jazz!”

Blair and Maggie gagged at the idea.

“It’s not like I put bits of an entire dinner in there.” She held the glass toward Nick who kept backing away with his hands up. “Although I did think of some potatoes and green bean casserole.”

“Wine only,” he stated.

“Nikolai Gregorivich I made this for you and you will drink it!” She glared at him.

That was when Nick disappeared in the wink of an eye.

“I cooked for you!” Jazz shouted into thin air. She picked up the blender and headed for the sink.

“Wait a minute.” Horace grabbed it out of her hands and downed the contents. A loud belch followed. ‘Eh, I’ve had better.”

Which goes to show a gargoyle will eat anything if it’s Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Holiday Season

I always felt the holiday season would ease its way in once Labor Day was here. Summer was over, fall would show up, and we’d start looking to decorate rooms and houses.

Halloween is over. We’ve recovered from eating the leftover candy and pulled out fall inspired tablecloths and perhaps put out a scarecrow by the front door or a cute fall inspired door decoration.

Have you planned your Thanksgiving menu? Do you do all the cooking or share with family members? Go out?

Growing up I remember family and friends coming to where we had multiple tables and a full house.

When I was in high school my dad was away on business and due to a snowstorm couldn’t get back for Thanksgiving. My mom and I decided we’d go up to Knotts Berry Farm for dinner. They didn’t have a turkey dinner then, but that was fine. We had a chicken dinner, walked through the shops, and enjoyed ourselves. Years later, when numbers started to dwindle we decided to make that a tradition. We all would meet there for a turkey dinner and then enjoy the shops.

When we moved out of the area we still went out for Thanksgiving and now we’re back to having a meal at home, but with smaller numbers we have a more relaxing time with picking up the meal at the grocery store. I have to say it’s nice to let someone else do the cooking. I bake the pies and we fix up extras, but it’s not like we’re getting up at dawn to cut up veggies for the dressing, etc. It doesn’t mean I don’t make the food my own though.

What about you? Do you have fun memories for Thanksgiving dinners? What do you do to make the holiday special?


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Totally cute dog video!

Barney and I need to have a long talk!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Evolution of a Writer

My first book was published thirty years ago this December. A year after my agent called me with the news that a brand spanking new publisher called Silhouette Books wanted to buy my first two books.

The best part was I wouldn’t be a one book writer and it was time to see if I could write more books.

Obviously, I could, and what a journey it’s been

Just like the transition from childhood to adult, it’s all an evolution of a writer and a person.

Back in the late 1970s I wrote books with a single point-of-view, alpha heroes who were usually quite a bit older than the tender-hearted virgin heroines and we won’t even go into the bitchy ‘other woman’ that tended to crop up. And love scenes were behind closed doors. Yawn!

And romance writers always wore pink, smiled constantly, ate bonbons, and chirped instead of talked. So not me at all.

Even back then I knew I wanted to write ‘more’ and I pushed the envelope any way I could. So many of us felt the same. It meant coming up more with more innovative storylines, and strong characters that stood out.

It meant writing hero oriented plots, role reversal stories such as my male housekeeper book, Caution Man at Work and Guardian Angel that featured a female bodyguard, and other books that offered a reader more.

Yes, it meant a lot more work, but it was worth it, because it allowed me to grow as a writer and even as a person. It always hasn’t been easy and times I wondered whether I should continue writing, but every writer will tell you it’s not something you can easily quit. Your imagination won’t allow it.

We never remain stagnant. I mean, how boring is that? And no way I want to be the same person I was 30 years ago. I want to move forward, change my hairstyle a few million times, the way I dress and how I think.

I know I couldn’t write what I wrote in the beginning because I’ve progressed so far. And I’d like to think it’s all for the better. That my evolution knew what to do with me.

Even now, I wonder what my next evolution will bring me.

What about you? Do you feel you’ve evolved over the years? That even if there’s been bumps in the road, you’ve kept going?


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Brady's Hellion Now up For Nook Readers

And more to come.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Muse

It used to be that my muse changed according to the book I wrote. It would cover what book genre I read, movies I’d watch, even to how I’d feel inside.

Once I started writing the witches, Fluff and Puff, my fangy bunny slippers tended to whisper in my ear more and more. They claimed they were relaying what the witches had to say, but I think sometimes they were more into making sure they showed up on a regular basis. Shy and humble are not words in their vocabulary.

My muse likes to work in visuals. 3D movies inside my brain seem to be the norm lately. Sometimes Fluff and Puff are the guides, sometimes a future witch shows up to say “let’s discuss my story, shall we?”

But I need to work on the present book, not a future one! That muse is there, an arrogant Persian cat named Cleo, short for Cleopatra … yes, THAT Cleopatra. At least, that’s her story. And she doesn’t whisper in my ear, she speaks loud and clear, wanting to make sure I hear every word.

Perhaps that’s why cats are showing up at the house. They sense Cleo’s lure.

A muse is helpful. They tell us things we might not think of. We have someone to blame if it doesn’t go right. ‘I just did what my muse said to do.’

I like the idea of having a muse. Someone perched on my shoulder and giving me that much needed nudge when I need it.

Still, why can’t my muse be gorgeous and male? Am I asking too much to want that?

And what will turn up as my next muse? Will I finally get lucky and end up with a sexy male whispering all sorts of sexy suggestions in my imagination or will Fluff and Puff bound back demanding their share of chocolate and licorice root?

Tell me about your muse? You don’t have to be a writer to have one.

‘My muse told me I needed this top because it makes me look very sexy and ten pounds thinner.’

What does your muse do for you?