Friday, July 27, 2007

Carnal Awakening ~ Uncovered ~ Behind the Story

My book Carnal Awakening released today from Ellora's Cave . Yippeee!!!

I have a feature on my personal blog where I explore my books. The feature is called uncovered. This month I explored Carnal Awakening. This is the post I did on behind the story of Carnal Awakening.

So let’s get uncovered….

In this uncovered we will be talking about how the story Carnal Awakening came to be.This story came to me out of nowhere. I was actually working on another story when Shay - my heroine - came to me and demanded her story be told. She also let me know her story could not be told as one story but would be a series of stories. Imagine if you will a woman who knows what she wants but is unsure how to ask for it. I’ll be exploring Shay in another Uncovered later this month.

Once Shay came to me I let my mind wander. I knew that this story would have to have a lot of twists and turns. I worked out the plot and my mind raced then it came to me. There would be a special gift that leads to the awakening of these characters. A gift that is rare and beautiful. A gift that is used with grand romantic gestures. It says so much and yet not enough. But imagine if it had the ability to have a more active role in getting a couple together. A gift that would travel through realms to get where it needed to be to bring them together. Once they were together it is up to the couple where things lead.

As I built the gift and the world Shay and Mikhail inhabit I pushed the boundaries. Their world is one of passion, intrigue, and most of all an adventurous nature. Each has their own things they must face. Shay has to overcome her reservation, while Mikhail must realize duty and desire are both possible.

Carnal Awakening leads you on a path of not only a sensual awakening but also into the discovery of what is inside. There are a few other surprises thrown in and more to follow in the next books.

Come along for the exploration of Shay and Mikhail as they are awakened.

I leave you with this question. What is a moment of awakening you experienced?


Thursday, July 26, 2007

In Memory of Chuck

“Once you leave this holy place and return to the human’s earth, not only can we no longer protect you, you may never find her. And even if you do what are the odds she will know you?”
“I will know her,” the big cat said quietly. “That is all that matters.”

Greetings Goddesses and Friends,
I’m going to write a bit today about Shardai.
This book won’t be out until January, and it’s not a Cerridwen Press release. But the writing of it was a personal journey. My twelve year old white cat developed cancer and died last year. To those of you who are pet lovers and have lost a dear friend you’ll empathize. To those of you who aren’t you’ll probably shake your heads as you read this. After my cat died I wanted him back, desperately. Out of that desire sprang Shardai.
Shardai is the story of a cat that passes on to a better world, but can’t stay because he knows his caregiver still grieves. It’s his journey back to find her.
Shardai will be released in January through WingsEpress, Inc.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A good book!

I'm sure that most of you who read this are as big a reader as I am. I love books. It is what brought me to writing. I could probably write more if I didn't read so much, but I refuse to walk away from a great book. In the last week I have read both Forbidden Pleasures and Hidden Agendas by Lora Leigh, Simon Says by Lori Foster, Satisfaction Guaranteed by Lucy Monroe, and Yes! I have started the final book in the Harry Potter series.
I find myself with mixed emotions as I read it. Eager to rush through and get done. Yet at the same time wanting to slow down and savor every word as it is the last book. I find that I am that way with most series that I read. I love series and eagerly anticipate the next book. But when the last one comes out I am reluctant to let go. They are characters that I have come to know and love and I don't want to say goodbye. My collection...books! LOL And yes, I do re-read them.
I have two series out with Ellora's Cave, Bare Love and Island Guardians. I like to read them so I tend to write them. So far the reception from readers has been warm and loving though I have had a few who were disappointed about one or two things. It is always tough to get that letter from someone who didn't like your work but I treasure them. They took the time to read it anyway and sometimes they actually include constructive criticism in there which is a gift! So thanks to all of you who write to us letting us know what you think.
Now that I have rambled on for a bit too long I guess that I will close with this: A wise woman always told me that life is only as boring as you allow it to be. The greatest journey you may ever take could be as close to you as opening the cover of a book. Adventure, travel and history at the tips of your fingers...It will take you anywhere you want to go. That wise woman just celebrated her 80th birthday and still enjoys a good book! So Grandma, I love you. Thanks for the greatest gift anyone ever gave first book!

Lacey Thorn...slip in and unlace at

Monday, July 23, 2007

My turn again

Good morning, everyone

It is my turn to blog again. I have to make this short and hopefully sweet, since I am at work, and people are already coming at me with projects that need to be done.

I feel good this morning because finally this weekend I started writing on my WIP again, for the first time in a long time. I only managed about 4 pages (single spaced) but that little bit got me excited about the story again. Here's the "elevator pitch" for you: a gladiator and a Vestal Virgin fall in love. Of course, there's a lot more to it than that, but that is it in a nutshell.

Are you interested, intrigued, making a note to buy it IF it gets published?? I sure hope so.

Kate Poole

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Recuperating from the RWA National Conference

Woo-hoo! I finally made it into this site. Sorry I am so late, but the darn thing wouldn't let me sign in earlier today.

I think I have finally begun to recuperate from the RWA conference. It was the third one I've been to, and I should have remembered how tiring they can be. It seems as if you're always on the go -- to seminars, to luncheons, to get-togethers with chapters and now, for me, publishers. I always enjoy them and come home fired up to write!

Only . . . not this time. It seems as if promoting the book that has been published takes up so much of my energy and brain power, that I have not been able to get back to my WIP. And I have a critique group meeting next Wednesday. So, I had better get to it. As usual, though, I am at a connecting scene that will link some major scenes, and that is where I get stuck. I will just have to clear my emails, put on some Celtic music, and push through it, so I can get to the exciting part that comes next. I can always go back and spiff it up later.

Unlike Rita, who blogged yesterday, I am NOT a summer person. I am perfectly content to sit in a nice, cool air-conditioned room and let the rest of the world sweat. This weekend I will work on my next book (working title -- The Beast of Caledonia) and also write up the content for my website, so the designer can plug it in and maybe finally, finally, I will have my very own website!

See you next time when, hopefully, I will be able to give you my website address and you can visit me there. Till then, keep writing and reading (and sweating, if you like that sort of thing).

Kate Poole

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Has my muse dried up?

I'm rather embarassed to admit this, but it's true. I've not had one creative idea to type on my laptop in more than a month now. I can blame it on a lot of different things, but ultimately summer weather is the true culprit. This time of year literally draws me outside to have fun in the sun. I love summer! Still, I can't help but feel guilty for this extended time away from writing - hence my blogging about it.

As I watch my fellow authors turn out book after book, my jealousy flares up - for about a minute. Then I take myself to the pool, swim a few laps, dive off the board once or twice just to prove I still can, then crawl out onto a hot lounge chair, a fluffy towel, soak up some rays and instantly I feel pretty darn good about myself and forget about being jealous of other's hard-earned writing succes. Last weekend my dh bought me a new bicycle, my first new bike in over 18 years! I've wanted a "cruiser" bike to take my dogs for a run in the mornings when the air is still cool. This morning I ran my dogs 8 miles (4 miles down & 4 miles back) on a quiet dirt road with only the local farmer's cows for witnesses. A golden ball of sun had just risen over dark green fields covered in light mist. Birds chirped in the trees overhead, my own private serenade to celebrate being alive.

So, why the guilty conscience? I'm not sure. Not many people live the wonderful life I do. Maybe it's my competitive nature. I *know* I'm blessed with so many things and I really *am* grateful. I have many talents, one of them being storytelling. I enjoy the process of creating characters and a plot that draws readers into my world. I love seeing my book on my publisher's website - what a THRILL! I love getting reviews, fan letters, and doing chats. When people ask me what I do, I really love telling them "I'm a writer". It's all good! But writing just to keep abreast with other authors is not what I want to do. I want to write for me, because the story inside me wants to be told, not squeezed out of me like an old tube of toothpaste.

Has my muse dried up? I don't truly think so, even though there are some days when I wonder if I'll ever write a story good enough to be published again. I prefer to think my muse (she has no name) has taken herself off on vacation for the summer, too. I don't mind her absence - for now - because I've got a horse waiting to gallop with me across the alfalfa field this afternoon. All too soon, the pool will close. As the days become shorter, darker and colder, rain and snow will be here, forcing me indoors. My laptop and no doubt - my muse - will be waiting there beside a steaming cup of coffee.

I'm going out now to enjoy the rest of this glorious, warm, sun-filled day. Hope you all get the chance to do the same. :-)

~Rita Sable

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More on Silence

A couple days ago, Goddess Taige wrote about the need for peace and quiet--particularly when we've just reached a tense point in the book we're reading (or writing).

I'm willing to bet that none of us can remember the last time we had perfect silence. I'm not sure there's any such thing any longer--if there ever was. Even when the kids are out of the house, the TV and radio are off, and we're alone with ourselves, there's always something: cars going by outside, a siren, a dog barking, the hum of some appliance or other. In the office, it's our colleagues talking in the hallway, the fluorescent lights, the computers and printers and fax machines.

Some people seem to fear silence--they always have the TV or radio turned on even if they're not paying attention to it, or they have to talk even when there's no one there to listen to them. But I find myself craving it more and more. I think it's a backlash against the world as it has become, so full of noise and rush and movement.

I have to find a way to make my own silences, to not contribute to the noise and rush and movement that sometimes seem to be tearing our societies apart. Larger peace, symbolic silence, can only come when individuals cultivate it within themselves.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Something new for me

I'm always being told as a writer it's good to stretch yourself, not get too comfortable in a specific niche. Breathe new life into youjr writing. So I recently took a leap of faith and jumped onto a new ship. Oh, it's still romantic suspense - couldn't live without it - but in a new direction. This fall my very first pyschic thriller, ALWAYS ON MY MIND, will be released by The Lotus Circle, sister imprint to Ellora's Cave and Cerridwen Press. Faith wilding and Mark Halloran discovered in their early teens that they could communicate with each other telepathically. Throughout the long years of their friendship, while Faith built a successful career as an author of political thrillers and Mark led Special Ops missions for the military, this ability always allowed them to remain linked. A weekend that turned out to be more than just a hello how are you opened up a whole new dimenion in their relationship and exposed their real feelings for each other. But Mark believes it's not fair to tie Faith down while he'e still leading dangerous missions, and asks ehr to put their relationship on hold until he's completed his current military service. Then the unthninkable happens - Mark's mission is betrayed, almost his entire team is killed and Mark is captured and tortured for information by a terrorist cell. Deep in the nungles of Peru, a writeoff by the government which doesn't want to make political waves, Mark's only hope is Faith. when she begins receiving messages from him she's terrified at what's happening to him and scrambling to find a way to help. The Lotus Circle, a worldwide group of people who resurrected an ancient order of people with psychic abilities, guides her though this. As she searches for answers and help, she uncoveers a situation that will shake the very foundation of the government. But will she get the answers and the help she needs in time to save Mark?

Watch for this book to be released this fall. Visit me at for the release date and list of places to purchase it.
Hope you enjoy the psychic ride as much as I did.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Desired Silence

This always seems to happen to me and wondered if it happens to other.

When you’re right in the middle of a really intense scene in a book. I mean it is heart pounding, sweaty and you’re at the edge of your seat. Then wham the phone rings or someone talks to you yanking you right out of it. Oyy. That happened to me today. Not once but a couple of times. The first time I was finishing the new Nora Roberts High Noon and just as I reached the pivotal part the phone rang. It frightened me so bad I threw the book up in the air and spilled my drink. My phone rarely rings so was annoyed. I picked it up and tried to answer pleasantly but I can’t tell you if I succeeded or not. I’m sure you guessed it already who was on the other end of the phone. A TELEMARKETER. Since I know they are only doing there job I was okay I tried to be polite and told them not interested and they kept going on and on. I hung up and went and got my book.

So I started reading again and was back into the book when … you guessed it the phone rang again. This time I at least kept my book in hand and answered the phone all the while I was thinking was I the phone company or what. And I’m sure you know what I am about to say. It was another TELEMARKETER. I didn’t even try to listen I hung up. By this time I was so annoyed I put the book down and booted up my computer.

I started working on my current book and was going well when you guessed it the phone rang again. By this time I sighed and picked up the phone. At least this time it was someone I wanted to speak with. A friend who I hadn't spoken to in a while. Before I knew it hours had passed. After we got off the phone and I started to get back into my scene but then I thought about it, stopped and took the phone off the hook. Achieved. Silence. {grin} I got lots of writing done and finished Nora's book High Noon.

What do you do when you need some me time?


Saturday, July 14, 2007


Good morning friends and goddesses.
I've decided Exercise should be shortened to Xrcs so we can put it in the four letter word category. Its like cleaning the litter box, a necessary evil.
My idea of exercise is walking, so much easier than lifting weights or trying to get my creaking muscles to move in something that resembles a jog or a run instead of a shuffle. I work during the day and write at night so I try to get out and walk at lunch. Which is fine and dandy till hot weather hits and I go back to work smelling like the great out of doors. So I'm trying a new method. It's probably not what trainers would recommend but it fits in my schedule. I write until my brain--along with other parts 0f my anatomy--goes numb then get up and exercise for five or ten minutes. Then I sit down and write until that brilliant thought eludes me, jump up and exercise, then sit down and write again.
This serves a two fold purpose: it gets me off my rump and it wakes my slumbering brain cells. It's probably not as good as working out for a set block of time but at least I can say I'm doing something.What methods do you use to stay in shape?
My quiz for the day, from The Crystal: What is Christopher Saint's alias? If you know the answer please send it to me at and I'll send you a deck of Ellora's Cave/Cerridwen Press playing cards.
Enjoy your Saturday.

Friday, July 13, 2007

RWA Problems

I'm shocked and saddened by the recent Romance Writers of America board decisions. The way their new publisher standards are written, it seemed that Ellora's Cave would be viewed as a "subsidy publisher" because the company does not pay authors an advance. EC also sells most of their publications from its own website, although there are also sales through other venues.

Today it seems like they are backpedaling and saying that EC does not fall into the "subsidy publisher" definition. But with something this important, shouldn't this issue have been researched and investigated before the language was written? Whatever the board's intent, the written information certainly seemed like it was lumping EVERY electronic publisher into a "subsidy publisher" status. I have been working as a legal editor for years, interpreting statutes and cases, and I certainly read it that way.

I cannot even imagine how it must have felt to be Raelene yesterday, attending the RWA convention and hearing this.

I think most of us have a perception that electronic publishing "gets no respect" from many in RWA. So I'll just say this. In ten years, we'll all be laughing at that old-fashioned attitude. E-publishing is the wave of the future. It's starting a little more slowly than some of us hoped ( I know that some big authors like Stephen King have tried it and been disappointed). But I truly believe that in ten years, most of us will be using ebook readers for at least half our reading.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bare Seduction releases on 7-18!

The third installment of my Bare Love series is finally ready. It is slated to be released next week on Wednesday, July 18. I'm very excited about it as it holds a very special place in my heart. Like the character of Cass, my mother is also battling cancer. And Doug and Damon made me fall in love with them during the course of sharing their story. I really feel that it is one of the best things that I have written so far. I hope that all of you feel the same. Now I'd like to share a little look at the blurb and an excerpt with you. If you like it please visit Ellora's Cave on Wednesday at for the opportunity to buy it. As always I thank you for sharing a few moments of your day with me.

Lacey Thorn

Bare Seduction
Lacey Thorn

Bare Love 3
After her mother’s funeral Cass returns to Legacy for Moira’s wedding to Detective Gil Daniels. First on her list of things to do is Moira’s bachelorette party. Cass is having a great time and is talked into demonstrating walking on her hands, a feat she can only do if she discards her dress which she willingly does. That’s when the fun begins. Walking down the large hallway on her hands in nothing but her red lacy underwear and high heels Cass smacks into two very big, very sexy men and turns her whole life upside down.
Doug and Damon are enthralled by Cass. They want her, in their bed, in their lives, in their future. She is the perfect balance of strong and submissive and both men will do anything to convince her that she belongs with them.
But someone doesn’t agree. Someone wants Cass gone and is willing to do anything to see that she stays away from Doug and Damon, commit any act to scare her into walking away. Even murder.

Bare Seduction by Lacey Thorn
Excerpt 1 – Unedited, Adult

They sat in silence for a moment before Katie asked, “So can you walk on your hands?”
Cass laughed. “Piece of cake.”
Katie shook her head. “I never could do that. I could do all the flips and tumbles you wanted but I could not stay on my head.”
Cass bounced up. “It’s all about hand placement and body control. Wait, I’ll show you.” She stood up and looked down at the short red dress she was wearing. “Well, not in this.” She pulled the dress over her head and threw it on the futon behind her. She was gorgeous in a silk and lace red bra and panty set with red high heels. She moved to the roomy hall that led from the front door to the living room.
Cass bent over and braced her hands on the floor. When she found her balance she eased her body over and up until she was in a handstand position. Slowly she made her way down the hall toward the front door with Moira, Katie and Catherine crowded into the living room doorway behind her watching with avid eyes. Cass heard Moira mutter “Shit!” before she realized the front door had opened and closed. The next thing she knew two hands wrapped around each of her legs and when she looked up her now braced body she saw two men standing over her.
They were each holding one of her legs against their far shoulders forcing her legs into a wide ‘v’ shape. Cass caught her breath as she felt a hard sexual pull deep in her belly when she looked up at them and from the way they were looking down at her, the way their fingers were caressing her calves, they were feeling something similar. She wanted them both could see them all entwined on a big bed naked as the day they were born, flesh to flesh to flesh. It was the most erotic fantasy she had ever had and she might have just acted on it if Catherine Daniels hadn’t stepped into the hall just then and shattered the sexual spell.
“Doug, Damon, perhaps you should let go now so Cass can get dressed before anyone else comes in and joins us.”
The two men helped her flip back over and gain her feet their hands running over her thighs and ass as they “helped”. Cass tried to step away but the dark haired one who looked a little like Gil and must be the middle brother Doug she had heard about held her arm and kept her beside him.
“The others are right behind us,” Doug told the beautiful woman that he refused to let go of. “I’ll show you to another room you can use to catch your breath and redress while Damon grabs your clothes.”
Moira threw Cass’ dress at the blond that must be Damon and he caught it in one hand while Doug pulled her down the hallway, past the living room where the women all stood and watched until he opened another door. He pulled her inside with him and Damon stepped through after them and shut the door. Cass was immediately caught between the two men’s bodies so tightly that she could feel their large erections against her. She tilted her head back on Damon’s shoulder allowing Doug better access to her throat which he was nipping and sucking at. Damon leaned down and took her mouth with a kiss so carnal she felt singed by it. Cass had often fantasized about two men at once and she would definitely like to be the filling in this sandwich. But there were people in the other room and no matter how drunk she was she didn’t sleep with men she didn’t know.
Finding strength she didn’t know she had she pushed away and walked further into the room away from where they both stood watching her.
“I’m sorry. I can’t do this.”
“But you want to,” Damon stated. It was not a question as they all knew the answer to that.
Cass looked up and was snagged by the two sets of blue eyes that met hers. “Yes, I want to but I won’t.”
“Then what’s stopping you?” Doug demanded.
“I don’t know you.” Cass whispered.
“Then when everyone leaves we’ll remedy that,” Damon stated before picking up her dress from where he had dropped it on the floor and tossing it to her. “Go ahead and get dressed for now.”
“We’ll wait for you out in the living room,” Doug told her reaching behind him and tugging the door open. “Don’t take too long.”
With that the two men left her alone and Cass took a breath to clear her head clamping her dress tight against her chest while she struggled to breathe much less think. What in the world had she got herself into? And more importantly how did she get herself out of it?

Hope you liked that! If so please visit me at for more books.

This is an exciting time for me

I actually have four new books coming oujt in the next six weeks. FRom Elllpora's Cave as Desiree Holt, Night Heat and Where Danger Hides will be out mid-August and I'm very excited about them. They are erotic romantic suspense - my favrotie kind of book - with alpha heroes and strong heroinesd. So watch for the release dates. From The Wild Rose Press you will find Redemption, also a romantic suspense writen as Judith Rochelle, about a woman desperately reaching for a future and a man bound to his past. And just to make things more interesting, my hero, Ethan Caine, is based on a real person!He was fun to write and I kept him very true to form. And at long last, the wait for the print edition of Love With a Proper Rancher will be out in the next few weeks. Also fromk The Wild Rose Press. It's a quirky little contemporary romance, witha litle something for everyone. And shortly after thatm the first sequel, Cutter's Law, will be out in ebook. And whileyou're over at The Wild Rose Press chexck out Desiree Holt's eroticf short story, Made in Mexico, part of the new Destination:Pleasuire seriies.

And finally, finnaly - a brand new venture for me. The Lotus Circle, sisterimpritn to Ellora's Cave, will relese my very first sychici romantic suspense, Always on My Mind. It's about two telepaths, a captured Special Ops soldied, the only person who can receive his messages, and an exciting rescue operation. Watch for it this fall.

And don
t forget to visit me at and to catch up on my latest news.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Promote or ...

Unless I beat up strangers walking down the street and make them promise to buy my book (soon to be "books" in September)I'm not sure where to pitch promo stuff. I'm thinking of joining Facebook. My step-granddaughter is urging me to. She wants me as a friend. It may lead to some sales. We shall see. I have downloaded promo information from EC and CP authors. Thanks. You are generous and I will start using your wisdom.

In the meantime I have started a new book and haven't a clue where it's going. It's a wierd feeling to write without a glimmer of a plot. I'm 10,000 words into the story. Already there's been a murder and the body has disappeared. As I go over what I've written the previous day, I add to the scene. I mean, how did the body disappear? It sure didn't walk away; not with an ivory handled knife sticking out of its chest.

Writers are strange creatures. We go about our daily business, grocery shopping, preparing meals, visiting friends,watrching the world go by and inside our heads are
stories. Some sweet. Some not so sweet. Writers who pen fantasy, shape shifting stories, vampire tales and futuristic yarns projected into the future must have to keep their stories compartmentalized inside their heads lest they tangle with reality. I think you are all terrific. I tend to write less dangerous stories.

It's very hot on the west coast of Canada to-day. 30 deg. C, that's about 90 deg.F. I'm not a lover of heat and find it difficult to write a certain number of words each day as the temperature climbs. I cut myself some slack and do what I can.

I have four books contracted with Cerridwen Press. Three coming out this year and one next year. I think I will rest on my laurels until the heat abates. Unfortunately, there are no laurels in our garden for me to rest on. Bye for now.

Anita Birt

Monday, July 9, 2007

Today I'm celebrating receiving a new contract from Ellora's Cave for Hard Fall, a fun novella about a construction worker who because he lost a bet with his brother has to wear a black cowboy hat and floral Western shirt to his favorite sports bar. In walks a gorgeous woman looking for some out-of-character, careless fun... Who better than an out of town cowboy for one wild night?

Hard Fall was is the companion story to Ash's Demolishing Mr. Perfect, also coming out with Ellora's Cave. Hers comes out in August; I don't have a release date yet--but will let you know as soon as I do!

If you are in Dallas for RWA's national conference please stop by and say hi during Wednesday night's signing !! Or another other time you see me buzzing around.

Also, if you'd like to win prizes, join me and other authors for our treasure hunt. Hit the link below for more information. by and say hi during Wednesday night's signing !!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Real-life Romance

ROMANCE. There are so many definitions, so many opinions. Having just celebrated my twenty-second anniversary, (yep, I’ve now been married fully half of my life. Weird but cool!) I decided to come to some conclusions of my own.

First, there’s romance as a genre of fiction. Yum. People meet (usually two, sometimes more) they fall in love, they live happily ever after. Some people consider the HEA optional. I do not. Is it realistic? Of course not. Life is messy. In real life, the HEA involves dentist visits and annoying in-laws and nasty bosses. But when reading a book, I don’t need to think about ingrown toenails, teenage angst, or crabby tax assessors.

Real-life romance DOES involve those things. Yep. In my opinion, the most truly romantic relationships of all are the ones where you can deal with all the day-to-day garbage and still end up snuggling under the covers at night saying, “life is good.” Even if it’s punctuated with, “hand me the Tylenol,” and “don’t forget we have to meet with the school guidance counselor tomorrow.”

So here are a few benchmarks of real romance, in one person’s humble opinion:
  • The fact that even in his sleep, his arms still automatically wrap around if I snuggle up against him.
  • Even if he's sound asleep, he still responds to the words "I love you" with "Love you too."
  • The fact that he still wants to jump my bones even though my weight has practically doubled since our dating days.
  • Ditto when he sees a tiny bikini on TV and says, “you need an outfit like that”. And he genuinely means it.
  • Driving the kids to a friend’s for the night so we can make out in the living room.
  • The way we can communicate with just a word—one line from a movie or song or joke we saw or heard fifteen years ago. It gives us a secret language the children and others don’t understand.
  • It’s him staying up late and going to work exhausted because I can’t sleep.
  • It’s him saying “what size do you need?” and not raising an eyebrow when I ask him to pick up a box of tampons when he stops at the store. He already KNOWS the brand.
  • It’s him being the one crying his eyes out in the hospital the day my mother died, when my brother, father and I couldn’t get past our stiff-upper-lip upbringing.
  • Or how about the man selling romance novels out of his academic office on campus, since my small-press books weren’t available in stores?
  • Or saying. “You’ve been in a rotten mood. Go write for a while.” The man just knows me that well!

Has everything been perfect for the last two decades? Of course not! We’re two intelligent, sarcastic, temperamental human beings. We fight, we whine, we know exactly which buttons to push to piss the other off big-time. As we get older, life hurts a lot more than it used to, and sex in the shower no longer sounds like such a viable idea. And don’t even get me started on money. God knows we’ve made very idiotic financial decision we could and then some. But would I trade even one of those twenty-two years for all the financial security in the world? NO FRICKING WAY!

And that, I believe is romance. The real deal. And that makes Cindy a very lucky girl.

Friday, July 6, 2007


It's 10.56 am PCT. I've got two dates when I'm supposed to Blog. One is to-day and the other July 11th. However, I have a Post-It note sitting on my desk clearly marked, July 8. Forgive me Goddesses if I have screwed up the schedule. I'll creep into the site on July 8th and see what's going on.

Back to Words. I was thinking about the words AWE and WONDER. I have been awe struck many times. By a painting, a sculpture, a double rainbow hanging over the Rocky Mountains, by a book. We visited Greece many years ago. I remember walking into the museum in Athens and staring transfixed at the magnificent bronze sculpture of Poseiden, god of the sea. There he was in all his glory. Little wonder the ancient Greeks worshipped their gods. But the story of how Poseiden emerged from the deep is worth telling. Years ago Greek fishermen snagged their nets on something lying on the bottom of the sea. When they dragged their catch to the surface, they must have been awe struck! They had dredged up Poseidon, god of the sea. I don't know why he was discarded but I suspect religious zealots had a hand in it. A beautiful god was suspect.

I had the same feeling of awe when I saw DAVID, Michelangelo's unblievably beautiful marble sculpture of David in the museum in Florence, Italy. That human hands had created David from a block of marble boggled my mind. I tried to imagine how Michelangelo started - from scratch so to speak.

In my puny little way, I start a book from scratch and work my way through it piece by piece until a whole story comes together. Mine is a minor talent.

Before I leave, I have just read a book that left me in awe as I put it down. I was in wonder at the skill of the story teller. The book is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

I leave on a sombre note. Six fine young Canadian soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan two days ago. I grieve for their wives, mothers, lovers, siblings and friends. I pray they and the sixty other Canadians who have lost their lives in that bleak, unhappy land, have not died in vain. My heart aches.

Anita Birt

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Independence Day

I'm not a hugely patriotic person, and I could go off on the current state of the nation, and whether or not we're currently fulfilling the ideals of the Founding Parents, but then I'd be certain to offend someone, and that would be baaaaaad, because with my luck, it would be the person just about to buy my book, and I'd lose a reader. Plus, the Goddesses almost certainly have international readers. So I won't go there.

Instead, I'm going to write about freedom. In a couple stories I've got floating around in my head, at least one of the main characters is searching for freedom. One is a runaway slave escaping to a neighboring country (where slavery is outlawed). Another was a prisoner for years. Both of them want the same thing we all desire: to live their own lives, determine their own destinies.

But can anyone really do that? Are any of us really and truly free? Most of us have to work for a living, and if we're independently wealthy (not me), then we're dependent on that wealth. We're tied up by obligations to society, family, friends, fate. What about animals? Aren't they free? Consider fish. Exactly. Pretty much stuck with the H2O.

But many of the things that keep us from being truly free we can shed: addictions, keeping up with the Joneses, the drive for weath, unhealthy relationships.

Those other obligations I mentioned before--family, friends, even work--these are good things. The kite string that keeps us from being swept away by more harmful prisons.

On this Independence Day, celebrate with your family and friends. Enjoy the day off from work. And write your own Declaration of Independence from the harmful things keeping you from freedom. And find some fireworks tonight.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Blog Monster

Today is my day to blog. Oh, and by the way, my novel Prophecy of Vithan is coming out August 2. For some reason, blogging is intimidating to me. Which is odd since I am a writer and deal with words. With words I create fantastical worlds filled with dragon people, centaurs, almost vampires, mermaids, shape-shifters, and always women who are strong and able and who would laugh at me if they knew I was trembling at the idea of typing a few words on a computer screen.
I can hear Morgan now. "Charlene, after all you have put me through, you are afraid of a blog? Where is it? Give my my broadsword, I'll make short work of it. What? That's it? A few digital dots?" Morgan sweeps her hand over the computer and knocks the dots onto the floor where they scurry around in confused circles. Deliberately, Morgan raises her booted foot and stomps and grinds them into the ground. She raises her face and looks at me. Her lavender eyes flash angrily, then she grins. "There, the Blog Monster is gone. Now get back to the computer and type."
For some reason, creating worlds and scenes is easier than writing something about the real world. But then, in my worlds, you can solve problems with a broadsword. Not in the real world. So I guess that is why it is harder to blog than to write.
Oh, did I mention that Prophecy of Vithan is coming out August 2? I am so excited.
Now, before Morgan stops grinning at me I better get back to the easy part - writing about other worlds and women like Morgan who are strong, resilient and able. Women who are able to defeat the villain, destroy the monster, deliver the hero, and never break a nail.
Morgan says she sometimes breaks a nail but has a good sense to have a manicure after she gets done bringing the villain to justice, getting rid of the monster, and of course the only hero for her is Len.
Did I tell you Prophecy of Vithan is coming out August 2? Oh, I did. Okay, then bye for now.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Home Stretch

One of the things I find happening to me as I work on a book is that the closer I get to the end of the story, the slower I write.

Is it because I have to be deliberate in how all the pieces come together and are resolved? Is it because that initial rush of creative adrenalin has run out? Or is it just story fatigue? Maybe a combination of all of these and more.

Today is a Goddess Free-for-All on the blog, so I'd love to see what the other Goddesses think, how the speed or intensity of their writing changes (or doesn't) as they work on a book, and how they keep their momentum up.

And readers, please weigh in with your own thoughts. How to you manage whatever big projects you take on, whether you're a writer as well, or are renovating your house, or working on the Big New Initiative at work.

Ready. Set. Comment!