Thursday, March 26, 2009

So happy I remembered it's the 26th...

Getting old is the pits. Normally I feel lucky to remember my own name. If it weren't for the sticky note I have on my computer screen, I wouldn't be able to log in. I have two dozen sticky notes all over the house reminding me that today was Afton's chat on LRC, and my turn at bat for the Goddesses blog. I stared right at all of them and forgot is the 26th!

Here I sit, with two contracted novels waiting for me to get the proper software installed so I can figure out what my poor editors want me to do (I am using a wild card word program that doesn't recognize the editing instructions in the margins) and three WIP's needing minor editing and formating revision before my publishers will accept them, and a column that has to be written every day. Oh, WOW. I remember now. My name is Fran Lee!

Romance is an amazing reaches beyond the economy, beyond language barriers, even beyond the rainbow (all the way out there in Kansas). I found out some time back that the average Romance addict buys an average of 100 Romance books in a year. That's just two books a week. Romance novels and novellas comprise 25% of all the book sales in the USA, even in this terrible economy. People adore Romance. They need Romance. They eat, sleep, and breathe Romance.

Sort of makes you feel good to know you're contributing so much to the world by being a Romance author, eh? So, kudos to all of my wonderful new friends who spend their days, nights, weekends, (and odd times of the wee hours when they wake up with a story in their heads and can't go back to sleep) writing wonderful, delicious, hot, sensuous, sweet, delightful, (and all those other adjectives) Romances!

I believe in Romance. I know that, without Romance, this world would be a sad, unhappy place to live. I read at least five Romance's a week (in between writing, editing, composing, and forgetting my own name) and I love every single one of the marvelous books I buy. Don't be shocked, but I have books written by each and every one of you! I am working my way through them day by day. It gives me a great deal of respect for the work you all do.

So, by the time my next turn at bat comes up in April, I will have read about 20 more books (if not more!) and I promise that I will be reviewing loads of them on my book review blog and my column. Drop by my Romance blog, as well! I'll be looking for you.

By the way... I'll have an excerpt for you next time around. :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Girls Kick Ass – it says so on a T-Shirt.

I’m always on a look out for “input” – something that will inspire the next line or the next scene, or the next story. Netflix is my weapon of choice – and after gorging myself on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, I've recently discovered Dark Angel.

DA is set in a future where an EM pulse destroyed all the computer networks and plunged the US into chaos. The main character – Max – is a super enhanced highly trained assassin who had escaped her “creators” when she was nine. I’ve only watched the pilot, but it looks like the show will twine together Max’s past, her urge to find the others who escaped with her as well as her being a superhero, helping others cope in a world ruled by money and laws existing only for the poor.

I really loved the one liners – like the title above. I also think it’s a really great contrast to have superhero Max show so much emotion, and be both girly and kick ass. The best part? Definitely food for the muse.

We’ll see how the rest of the show pans out – but so far it’s an enthusiastic thumbs up from both me and the muse.

I'm Fiona Jayde, new to the Goddesses. To learn more about me, visit

Friday, March 20, 2009

The last frakking episode!

Tonight, for two hours, my husband will sit in silence. My dog will not be allowed to bark. My cats will keep their meows to themselves. My phone will be unplugged, my doorbell will not ring, and if a meteor crashes to earth, that will be all right as long as my cable keeps working, because tonight ends one of the darkest, the most engaging, the most terrifying, the most soul searching, gut wrenching, heartbreaking, most human Sci Fi series of all time, Battlestar Gallactica. Since the demise of the wonderfully creative series Firefly, it is the only thing I watch on television. Despite it's bleak premise - how can the remnants of the human race remain human, keep some semblence of order and retain some small drop of human kindness, when there is no future, when all hope of survival has vanished - losing my weekly session with Admiral Adama and his son Lee, Kara Thrace (Starbuck), Anders, Colonel Tigh, Ellen Tigh, the Sharons - oh how I adore the Sharons - and Carl Agathon, Hera, Caprica Six, President Lara Roslin, slimeball Gaius Baltar, the Chief, the Doc, and even Hotdog, will feel like a swift kick in the gut. For four seasons I've lived through their passions, their fears, their heartaches, their illnesses, the deaths of their true companions. I've watched the wall of memories, the wall of photos, grow until I've come to feel as if those lost were members of my own family, my own friends.

I write romance, but Science Fiction and Fantasy were my first love. I was nourished on the likes of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, Frank Herbert, Urusula le Guin, Mary Stewart, Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jules Verne, Ralph Ellison, Larry Niven, Rudyard Kipling, H.P. Lovecraft, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Orson Scott Card, Robert A. Heinlein, H.G. Wells, and I moved onward and upward to Tad Williams, Anne McCaffrey, Margaret Atwood, P.D. James, George R.R. Martin (what's up with sci fi writers and initials?), Peter S. Beagle and his sweet book, The Last Unicorn, and last but not least, Walter M. Miller and perhaps my all time favorite, A Canticle for Liebowitz. Any one of these authors would turn over in their grave, or flip around in their desk chair, to hear me compare Science Fiction and Fantasy to romance...but I'm about to.

Romance and Science Fiction and Fantasy have this in common - these genres transcend time and place. A good romance novel or an engaging work of science fiction takes me out of my humdrum little life and away from my day to day worries, even if it's only for fifteen minutes. I am transported to another world and suddenly, it doesn't matter that I have a stress fracture on my right heel, or that the vet says my dog needs knee surgery, or my husband is overworked but grateful to have a job, that bills must be paid, and that my children have issues I should address. For one moment in time, I am out of time and I forget I am mortal. As Yabu, a character in James Clavell's masterpiece, Shogun, says, "The pen is a long arm from the grave."

So say we all......

I write as Julia Barrett. My first romance/suspense, Anytime Darlin', can be found at Cerridwen Press and All Romance Ebooks. My second romance/suspense, My Everything, will be released next week, March 26th, with Cerridwen Press, and my third book, Cara, a work of general fiction/romance, is scheduled for release on July 17, 2009.

Come visit anytime at my blog:

Monday, March 16, 2009

The funny thing about families is...

You never know just how they'll react to new projects. Will they think you're crazy? Out of your mind? Ready to be committted? Or very supportive of their crazy parent and having a big chuckle over it. When I first started writing erotic romances, I thought I had to hide my computer when the kids came over (all grown and out of the house, thank the goddesses and fates).

"What's that, Mom?" they'd ask as I hastily downsized or closed out a document.

"Oh, nothing." (Shrugging and trying to conceal a blush.) "Just something new I decided to take a flyer on."

I chose to write under a pen name, wanting to keep my anonymity safe where the family was concerned, only that didn't work out too well! LOL! The minute they got a whiff of what I was doing, they were all over the place, shouting, "My mom writes erotic romance! My mom earns 'porn pennies'." So much for the big secret. At the custom home builder where our oldest daughter works, apparently the hot pink pens are a choice commodity even with her proper English bosses. Still, it's really nice to have their support and encouragment, and they help me bring a real joy of writing to my work.

Not that they've actually read any of my stuff, you understand. They are all adult children, and certainly know what sex is about. But come on. This is Mom, after all. Still, they aren't above giving out suggestions.

Among other things, I am a huge Chicago Cubs baseball fan (the sport's perennial losers-but with style and class), and our son, who is as much a sports nut as I am thought I should incorporate that into one of my stories. What I ended ujp with may not have been exactly what he had in mind, but Letting Go, about an Older Woman/Younger Man, let me bring it all together-the Cubsm, the excitedment of the game, the thrill of new exploration, and a leap of faith that allows my heroine to fonally just.....let go.

Check it out today at our favorite site,


For Kari Loftin life was all about control, in every aspect of it. But she realized that at forty two she had managed to shut out every form of pleasure b y keeping a tight rein on herself. With her beloved Cubs on a winning streak, she tossed away her control for one night and ventured into the world of Petey’s Sports Bar. Little did she expect to meet a hot young stud like Riley Tucker, who showed her a side of herself she’d never dared to explore. One night together and Riley wanted more. Much more. Could Kari get past the age difference—something that didn’t seem to bother Riley at all?

He settled his hands, big and warm, on her shoulders, the heat from them burning through her t-shirt. While she watched with wide eyes he bent his head and licked her lips. Just a very, very light sweep of the tip of his tongue but she felt it all the way through her breasts to her womb. Heat crept over her skin and the beat of her heart tripped over itself.
“Mmm, good.” He licked his own lips, then slid his hands up to cup her face. “I knew you’d taste delicious.”
His mouth came down on hers again, his lips like rough velvet. She was sure he’d be the kind to attack voraciously but instead he seduced her mouth. He nibbled at each lip, his teeth teasing around the shape of her mouth, his tongue touching each tiny bite. He rubbed his lips against hers, then drew in her bottom lip and sucked on it gently.
Her bones felt like wax and more liquid soaked her panties. She felt as if she was suspended in space, attached only to his wonderful mouth.
When his tongue pressed against the seam of her closed mouth she opened with a sigh and thought how good he tasted. It swept inside, pleasantly shocking her as it stirred the nerves on every inner surface. Not an inch was left untouched—the roof of her mouth, the insides of her teeth and her cheeks, the pebbled surface of her own tongue. Tentatively she stretched it out to touch his and in seconds they were tangled together.
He kissed even better than he looked. She couldn’t breathe. Every bit of air was trapped in her throat. She lifted her hands and wrapped her fingers around his wrists, not to pull him away but to hold him in place. Her brain felt fuzzy, her body weightless and she wanted this kiss to go on forever.
Then a switch snapped on in her head and she tore her mouth away from his. Inbred insecurity reared its head and skittered along her spine.
“Wait,” she gasped. “Wait, wait, wait.”
He lifted his head and took a step back. “For what? What’s wrong, Kari”
“I have to tell you something. Please.”
He frowned at her. “Like what? You’re married?” He lifted her left hand, the ring finger glaringly bare. “No ring, unless you’re one of those liberated women who doesn’t think they’re necessary.”
“No, no.” She yanked her hand back. “It’s not that.”
“So what else could it be? You’re really a man who loves cross-dressing? Hell, I think it would be very hard to fake luscious breasts like those.” He skimmed the palm of one hand over her. “Yup. Real and made for touching.”
She took a step backward, wet her lips and let out a breath. “I’m forty-two.”
Riley stared at her, confused. “And?”
Why is he being so stupid? And why did I come upstairs with a man eleven years younger than me?
“I’m forty-two years old,” she practically shouted. Get it out now and get it over with.
“And that’s a problem how? I’m sorry. I don’t get it.”
She clenched her fists in frustration. Why wouldn’t he understand. “How old are you, Riley? Thirty? Thirty-one?”
He shocked her by bursting out laughing. “Jesus, Kari. For a minute you had me scared there. I thought there was a real problem.”

Monday, March 9, 2009

Contest winner, and this and that

First of all, announcing the winner of the contest for a download of Line of Sight.

Drum roll, please........

Julie Robinson!!!! Yay!!!

Julie, your download is on its was.

Beginning in April, we will have lots of new Goddesses popping in every day to tell you about their books and what's happening in their lives. Be sure to take a look and leave them comments.

And for those who didn't win Line of sight, please keep watching all my sites because I am always running contests. And here's a little taste of today's giveaway

The sound of the doorbell startled her. On tiptoe she peered through the peephole. She was stunned to see Jesse on her porch, dripping wet and shifting from one foot to the other.
She yanked the door open. “What’s wrong? It’s pouring rain. Why aren’t you inside?”
“Can I come in, please?”
“Oh, sure. Come on.” Yes, bring your fantastic body into my house.
“Sorry to bother you. I left my key on the counter this morning.” He raked his wet hair back from his forehead. “Stupid, stupid, stupid.”
Jesse always carried his car keys separately.
“In case I’m ever attacked,” he explained, “I don’t want anyone having a key to my house. I can keep an extra one of yours too, if you want.”
Another link to him she should have avoided.
“I’ll get it,” she told him now, “but come into the kitchen. You look like a drowned rat and you must be freezing. At least get that wet shirt off and let me make you some coffee.”
“I’ll drip all over your place,” he protested.
“Tile floors are easy to mop.” She took his hand. “Come on. I’d feel terrible if you got pneumonia and I could have prevented it.”
In the kitchen, she flipped the switch on the coffeemaker while he took off his shirt. Then she handed him a large towel from the stack in the laundry room.
“You look exhausted. Bad night?” Her heart pinched at the weary sight of him.
Jesse scrubbed a hand over his face. “Every night’s bad with the gangs. We’ve got a couple of new ones out there ramping up their so-called initiation requirements. That makes it pretty tense on the streets.”
He was a member of the sheriff’s gang task force, a thankless and dangerous job. On the night streets, he was a shadowy figure in jeans and t-shirt looking to stop trouble before it started. Even in a county as small as Palmetto, gangs were a big problem, many of them migrating south from Tampa.
She’d taken to waiting up for him, reassuring herself that once again he was home safely. If only she could find a way to protect him. Well, there was one if she transformed. But she had no idea how he’d feel about a giant redwolf following him around the county.
She ran a critical eye over him, noting his soaked jeans and pulled out another towel. “You’d better take off the rest of those clothes and let me put everything in the dryer. Coffee should be ready in a minute.”
“I’m all right, Alexa. Honest. I just need to get some sleep.”
How about in my bed?

Find it at Ellora's Cave

I'm running another contest! Yay!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

How to make a reader?

I've been obsessed lately with wondering why some children turn into such avid readers, and some never learn to truly like what is one of my life's greatest joys. It's not intelligence, as I was blessed with two bright kids, one who turned in a reader who reads much deeper subjects than I can tackle, and another who never even wanted to listen to stories. Do it's not a simple matter of reading to them, I did with both. Or tried!

I polled some good friends, but found little consensus. One, a child development teacher, found what worked for her four children was limiting TV and reading to them extensively. But I did both with both my kids. She's raised four bright successful adults who are readers. Another, mother of five, states it's exposure to booksand following up any clues if they seem to like a certain book or author. Very good points, and with today's libraries fairly easy if a child gets a fix on a certain author like Nancy Drew. Which my granddaughter did last year, so my friend's advice is not out of date. A third friend, has one reader and one non-reader like me, both bright and simply with different inclinations. She's thinks it's like so many other traits, a parent gets what he's dealt.

I've mentioned in my biography how my father's early death forced my mother back to teaching, and how I wasn't allowed out of the house until she came home. With no TV and lots of library books I became a compulsive reader. Will read cereal boxes if nothing else is handy! Incidentally, some them their blurbs are pretty funny, although they may not always know it.

Certainly if you don't do anything as a parent, let the TV time be unlimited, don't provide them with books, don't read to them, you cut down the chances. Yet I think some children simply can't be stopped from becoming readers. They'll find books on their own no matter what.

So I'm still puzzled...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Contest to celebrate the coming of Spring

This will be just a short post today, something to get the Spring juices flowing. We're coming out of the blahs of winter and spring is just around the corner, so I thought I'd do something to spice up everyone's week. How about a free book? On the Ellora's Cave web site you'll find my free read, Hot Moon Rising. Go to the web site, download the book (it's a short read) and email me to tell me what color Liane is when she's a wolf. You've got until Sunday to email me at, with free read in the subject line. Next Monday I'll pick a name and the winner will receive a download of the book before this, Line of Sight.
And be sure to visit my web site,
Okay. Ready, set, go.