Thursday, June 28, 2007


Hi folks,
If you follow these blogs, you’ve probably figured out I’m an animal person. Since you’ve heard about The Crystal and Boji Stones isn’t due out until September, I thought I’d introduce you to the animals in the family. Since the dog is out numbered six to one by the cats, I’m going to start with her.
Maggie is a ten year old Springer Spaniel. I’m a cat person, I admit it. Therefore, my relationship with Maggie over the years has been rocky. I like dogs as long as they are well-behaved, which unfortunately Maggie is not. I put the blame squarely on my husband who was always ‘too busy’ to take her to obedience classes and whose idea of correcting her behavior was a mild ‘Maggie be a good girl.’ I dealt with her chewing up a red ink pen and ruining the carpet, chewing holes in the bathroom walls in our brand new house, tearing up her bed and chewing through the seat belts in our SUV. But when she messed with my chocolate she’d gone too far. On holidays I make derby pie (chocolate chip pie). Since not everyone likes pecans on their pie, I make two. One with, one without. It just so happens I’m the only one in the family that does like pecans on my pie, so I basically make a pie for me and a pie for everyone else. The day I’d made them, I’d left them on the counter while we went to the movies. When we came home MY pie was missing. Miss Maggie had managed to reach up on the counter and get down MY pie and eat the whole thing. Now we all know chocolate is bad for dogs, but to add insult to injury she never even got sick. She was really in the dog house over that little stunt.
But on Maggie’s plus side of the ledger: she has a generous heart. And she loves cats. Since I fostered cats for several years, that’s been a good thing! She and Jo-Bu, the Himalayan and Faux Paw, the tuxedo, will get together and slobber all over each other.
Over the years, I’ve become more tolerant and Maggie has left my chocolate alone. My own little liver-spotted Achilles heel has become quite dear to my heart. Maybe because she considers herself just one of the cats.

My turn again?

Hmm seems like just yesterday, I was here telling you that Dragon in the System is now available. If you haven't checked it out, please do! My wonderful editor has approved the sequel, so you can look for Djinni and the Geek which will be an Ellora's Cave release, coming toward the end of 2007.

I thought I'd invite a friend to join me today. This is Circe, one of the great horned owls at the Nature Center where I used to work and now am still a volunteer and on the list as a back-up wildlife program presenter. And yes, he really is as cranky as he looks.

I think it's important to keep at least one to out in the real world. Nature is aprecious, fragile thing, and working with these animals, which are all unreleasable rehabbed crittters is a great reminder of that for me. It's also just plain fun. But definitely messy. And stinky. And when blood is spilled it's always mine, never theirs. :)

Today we did a Harry Potter event for a day camp, so Circe got to perform the role of letter-carrier. I find it particularly cool when my two worlds collide. Real animals and magical fiction. What could be better on a sunny summer day?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Alive and Well

I'm alive and well and living on the beautiful west coast of Canada. It's my day to Blog with the Goddesses. I should be out in the sunshine weeding and fertilizing plants in the garden but the Blog is calling me. Little is new and exciting in my writing life. Creating new stories and keeping them going is a lonely task. I am bobbing and weaving around a new story I've launched and am not sure where it's going yet. I know it will be a contemporary gothic with a cast of interesting characters.

The setting is Cornwall and features a very large house. It has a Widow's Walk and my heroine glimpses a shadowy figure up there looking out over the sea. Is it the ghost of a woman whose husband was lost at sea? Or ... I haven't decided yet. This is the fun part of writing. A story is born and like a baby is not fully formed. I'll nurse the plot along and see where it wants to go.

I am looking forward to having my first book in print. Lee Mackenzie, a writer friend, had a gathering to promote her first book with Harlequin American. It's called A Man for Maggie and is a delight. So there's my plug for Lee.

When A Very Difficult Man, my historical romance, is in print and available in Canada I will definitely gather family and friends to celebrate. This will be my first fiction book in print and I will announce it to the world as best I can! I don't like cocktail parties where everyone has to stand around and chat but hosting a dinner party would be a horrendous expense. Is there another way to bring the nearby world to me to promote my book? Suggestions are welcome

Anita Birt

Monday, June 25, 2007

Good Stuff Comes in Twos

I’m excited about two things today. The paperback edition of Everglades Wildfire was just released (yes, you can get your copy by visiting the Ellora’s Cave site, look on the right side) and the upcoming RWA National conference is only about two weeks away. (!)

The prospect of seeing my book on the shelf at the bookstore is darn exciting. Although I think my kids are a bit nervous, worried that I’ll run around the bookstore, dragging random people over to the shelf, pointing and shouting ‘there’s my book! I wrote that’. Now why would they think that? I’d never do that to random people, only to them.

Every year the RWA conference is exciting, intense, and a *bit* tiring. This year I’m looking forward to meeting other EC authors at the Ellora’s Cave luncheon, signing the newly released paperbacks of Everglades Wildfire (please stop by and say ‘hi’), and attending as many workshops as I can squeeze in.

In addition to my plans I always set goals. Sometimes the goals are fun, places I want to visit like historical sights (last year it was Margaret Mitchell apartment), but most of the goals are business related. Checking out new hot genres, talking to booksellers and librarians... My goals this year: meet new people (please say ‘hi’ if you see me wandering around), see something I don’t expect (I’ve been to TX a bunch of times and feel like I’ve seen everything but of course that can’t be true) and come home with a fresh batch of ideas (enough to last me the 365 days until the next conference).

Watch for my next post, I’ll let you know how I did.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Today's the day and I'm so very excited!

My first Cerridwen Press book Dragon in the System was released today!

Computer science professor Eric Gordon has been asked to find the hacker responsible for a virus that is embezzling from University accounts. When his investigations indicate that some sort of large reptile may be living in the steam tunnels under campus, he turns to biology professor Lori Tremain for help. Lori’s life is crazy with her tenure review looming, but she’s too curious and attracted to turn down Eric’s request. Together, Lori and Eric start to uncover things that their scientific minds can barely imagine. Can they find the thief and still find time to fall in love? Is everything on, and under, campus what it appears? Or could there truly be a dragon in the system?

Lori was working late in her lab—again. So what if it was Friday night and everybody else on campus, whether student, faculty or staff, had a date? She had better things to do with her time, right? Right. Like getting this research paper finished and published before her tenure review next December.

She automatically brushed back the strand of hair that had escaped its barrette—again—and fallen into her eyes. As a result of not watching what she was doing, as usual, her elbow bumped hard into the wooden two-by-four forming the corner of a large wire cage. Lori swore out loud, jumping up and down until the irritating tingle receded from her funny bone. A hiss from inside the cage let her know that the occupant hadn’t appreciated the jolt either.

“Sorry, Q,” Lori told the iguana that served as her lab mascot and, too often lately, Friday night date. She bit a big chunk off a half-eaten apple, then slid it between the wires to the five-foot long, bright green lizard. Nodding as regally as a cat, the iguana accepted the peace offering, graciously allowing Lori to scratch the top of his head while he ate.

The loud knock echoed through the empty hallway, startling Lori, who narrowly missed whacking herself on the cage all over again. Oh, crap, she’d almost forgotten she had a visitor coming.

“Dr. Tremain?” called a hesitant male voice. It was a nice voice, though, deep and faintly husky. She spun around to face the open doorway.

“I’m Lori Tremain.” She smiled at the tall, slim man framed in the opening. “Hi. You must be Dr. Gordon.”

“Eric,” he offered, holding out his hand, which he’d apparently forgotten held a pair of wire-rimmed glasses. Lori grinned to herself. Shy and absentminded, in a cute sort of way. Yep, this was definitely the guy from the computer science department.

“Come on in,” she told him, ignoring the hand. He seemed to notice his glasses then, because he rubbed them off with the tail of his Hawaiian-print shirt, then stuck them back on his face. Somehow, instead of detracting from appearance, the spectacles made him seem even more attractive, calling attention to the friendliness and intelligence that gleamed in his green eyes.
Hmm, Lori thought appraisingly. Not so geeky after all. Maybe she needed to revise her stereotypes. She assessed his appearance again, this time with distinctly feminine approval. He was tall, well over six feet and slim, but his snow-dampened shirt clung to a form that was lean and muscular, not the scrawny body she’d expected from a computer geek. His straight hair was a light golden-brown, liberally streaked with blond and it was just beginning to recede a little from his forehead, adding a faintly cerebral quality. He’d probably forgotten to get a haircut recently, she figured, considering the damp strands that hung past the rims of his oval wire glasses, with the ends curling just slightly on his collar in back. His big, slightly lopsided grin was engaging and hopeful.

They stood awkwardly for a moment in the front section of Lori’s lab, which was divided from the rest by open metal shelving. This front portion served as her office, housing an ancient, cluttered desk, several metal file cabinets and a small round table of chipped wood-grain Formica surrounded by three mismatched vinyl chairs.

“Have a seat.” Lori pointed to the blue chair, it was the tallest and best suited to her guest’s lanky frame, then sat across from him in the chrome and orange one, which was patched here and there with silver duct tape. Dr. Gordon obediently folded himself into the seat she’d indicated. His hands were never quite still, she noticed. He tapped his fingers, adjusted his glasses and periodically slicked his hair away from his face. Lori couldn’t help but feel sorry for his obvious discomfort even while she wondered just what a computer science professor wanted from her on a Friday night.

“Want a soda?” she asked, trying to break the ice. Without waiting for a reply, she leaned over and retrieved two bottles from the small refrigerator next to her desk, which had been her birthday present to herself last month.

“Sure.” He accepted the Diet Dr. Pepper with a strong, lean hand that Lori couldn’t help noticing. Yum. What was it, she wondered briefly, about big masculine hands that always got her going?
He opened the screw-top lid of the soda and took a long pull, while Lori shuffled an overflowing stack of papers out from between them. When he rested the half-empty bottle on the table, she decided it was time to get down to business.

“So how can I help you, Dr. Gordon—Eric?”

He looked away, fixing those brilliant green eyes on Q. Their colors weren’t that far apart, Lori noted before she could stop herself. Her guest continued to avoid eye contact, but at least he finally spoke. “You’re a herpetologist, right? You study reptiles.”

“That’s right.”

“What kind of lizard is that?” he asked, pointing.

“That’s Q,” she answered, confused by his apparently idle question. “He’s a green, or common, iguana.”

“Q, as in Star Trek?” Eric asked, his eyes shifting back to Lori. She liked the way they crinkled at the corners. “Or the James Bond movies?”

She grinned back. Okay, so he definitely was a nerd, even if he was kind of cute. “Neither, although some of my friends like to argue the point.” For scientists, after all, science fiction was practically a part of the standard curriculum. “Actually, Q was a lab reject back when I was in grad school. He was too mean to handle, so they were going to euthanize him. I couldn’t stand the thought of them putting him down, so I asked if I could take him home and my boss agreed. At first, he used to bite me all the time, so I kept threatening to turn him into a barbecue. When we eventually made friends, the name got shortened to Q.”

“So you’re into lizards?” he asked, almost eagerly.

She nodded. “Lizards, snakes, turtles, frogs. They’re all part of herpetology, but most of my research focuses on lizards. My current study is on the use of chemoreception by leopard geckoes.” She waited for the glazed look as he asked her what the heck was chemoreception, but he seemed to ignore that part of her speech and his eyes actually brightened.

“More lizards?” he asked, looking around, probably for more large cages.
Lori nodded. “They’re little guys, not like Q.” She used her fingers to indicate a span of about six inches. “Want to see them?” She didn’t know why she offered, but hey, it was Friday night and she had a sort-of-cute guy in her office, who seemed marginally interested, in her work, at least, if not in herself.

She led him around Q to the main part of the lab. Several rows of small glass aquaria topped with heat lamps filled the rough wooden shelving lining one cinder-block wall. Each of the tanks held two or three brown-and-yellow spotted lizards.

“Cool,” Eric remarked absently, studying one of the tanks for a while. “But, if you don’t mind my asking, how much can you tell me about big lizards?”

“How big?” she asked. They moved around back to the table, where he downed another quarter of his soda.

“Really big.” He pointed to Q. “Say, five or six times as long as that guy.”

To read the rest, head over to today!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Excuses, excuses!

I can't remember the last time I wrote anything on my Work in Progress. My critique group meets tonight and all I have to hand out is excuses -- busy getting ready for vacation, busy getting my promo stuff made for the RWA conference, busy going to physical therapy for my shoulder, and the shoulder itself-- I had rotator cuff surgery, but I have been able to type since the second week after surgery, and it has been a month. I don't think I can use that last excuse much longer.

I need to learn some discipline. If I want to keep selling books -- and believe me, I DO! -- I have to get into a writing routine. That is what all the speakers will tell you -- even if you only write for 1/2 hour a day, it will get you further along in your book. I have to keep telling myself, "BICHOK, Kate, BICHOK." For those of you who are readers and don't know what that means, it stands for "Butt in chair, hands on keyboard." And that is really all it takes.

I think it was "La Nora" who said, "I can't fix a blank page." That is so true. But I think I have this mindset that what I put down has to range from very good to very, very good or it's not worth my time. It sounds like I'm a perfectionist, and I am, but only in my work and my writing. I have to get over that -- well, not the work part, if I want to keep my job -- and just sit down and WRITE!

I'm not taking my laptop on vacation, but I will take a notepad. I am one of those people who think better on paper, anyway (yeah, I know, that's another excuse). I will try to at least make notes so that I can really crank out the pages when I get back.

I have to -- I am running out of excuses!

Hope to meet many of my fellow bloggers at the RWA conference.
Kate Poole

Twinkle, twinkle, little star…

Since childhood I’ve had a fascination with the night sky. A trip to the planetarium in 4th grade solidified my interest in star watching – but not to the degree that I chose to make a career out of it, nor did I want to be an astronaut when I grew up. As a kid, I loved lying on a blanket in the grass at night staring up at the sky. It is the mystery of ‘what if?’ that held my curiosity. Of course, that explains why I enjoy reading and writing science fiction (with a romantic twist!). I learned a few planetary and stellar names in grade school and to this day I can find them. The majority, although once learned for school, now elude me. Doesn’t matter, I still enjoy looking at them and wondering: what’s really up there?

Well, how about 10,000 man-made satellites? And they are quite easy to find! If you go outside about 45-90 minutes after sundown, on a clear night, you can easily see one or two every fifteen minutes. Satellites look like stars because their hulls reflect the light from the sun. But they move in straight, steady lines. They can be mistaken for high-flying aircraft unless you look carefully and then you’ll see – they don’t have the blinking lights of aircraft. Quite fascinating, really!

Last night, under a perfectly clear, Illinois night sky, I happened to see a remarkable thing: the Space Shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station! They were visible over the Pacific coast sky on Monday (as a single bright object), as two separate objects over the midwest on Tuesday, and will be visible in the southern states tonight. They appeared at 9:40pm as two very bright stars traveling in a straight line one behind the other. Atlantis separated from the ISS on Tuesday morning, and races about 30 seconds ahead of the ISS in preparation for maneuvers back to Earth, landing in Florida on Thursday. Even though the space station is much bigger, it appears less bright than Atlantis. It took about 5 minutes for both to traverse the sky from west to east. I couldn’t take my eyes off them.

It is amazing to think that there are people up there, living and working in both the ISS and the space shuttle. Were they looking down at our planet at the same moment I looked up? I hope so. And I wish them safe journey back to Earth.

~Rita Sable

Monday, June 18, 2007

Writer's Block - Now What?

Writer’s block.

Those words can strike fear into the heart of any writer. Yet, all of us will face it – sooner or later – and must find our own method(s) of dealing with it.

Where does writer’s block come from? What causes it?

Writer’s block has a couple of primary causes. Fear. Exhaustion. Fear. Stress. Did I mention fear?

The fear that we will never produce anything of worth can be paralyzing. It can cause our creativity to evaporate faster than a Popsicle in hell. When we start entertaining that fear, we lose sight of our ideas. We begin to second-guess ourselves at every turn and start back peddling. Our creative juices dry up. In short, we have nothing but a bare Popsicle stick.

The fear of success or failure can be equally paralyzing.

Many writers will begin a story with great enthusiasm, only to have it sputter to a standstill. Some fear success because, ultimately, they worry that they’re not good enough, and if they are published everyone will know they are frauds. Others fear success because they fear having their work read by friends and family. That sort of fear is often related to the worry that their writing will reveal things about them they’d rather keep hidden.

The fear of failure is a little more straightforward. No one likes failing. No one likes the sensation of feeling like a loser, idiot, moron or of being substandard.

For many, failure can be humiliating, especially to those whose families have high expectations of them. Often, these people think it’s easier to quit before they really invest too much into their work. After all, if they don’t produce anything they don’t have to run that risk.

Exhaustion, both physical and emotional, can bring your work to a screeching halt. Our bodies can handle being pushed to the limit – but not constantly.

If you’ve pushed yourself to the point of utter exhaustion, your body will eventually push back. You might start picking up every virus known to man. You might feel as though you’re teetering on the brink of a mental breakdown. At this point, it’s likely that you’ll barely remember your own name, let alone the plot of your novel. If you refuse to be sensible and rest, your body will force you to do it. By becoming ill, it forces you to rest. In the process of fighting emotional exhaustion, it will shut down your creativity, so your brain can get much-needed rest, too.

Stress has the same type of effect as exhaustion. Often, the two are inextricably linked. In today’s world, our lives are busier than ever. We find ourselves caring for loved ones who are ill, worrying about finances, getting our kids to their various activities on time or trying to deal with any other number of stressful situations.

In short, our lives are so full it’s a wonder we can carve out time to write, and, when we do, writer’s block results. It either manifests by causing us to go completely brain dead the moment we see the blinking cursor, or it prevents us from slowing our thoughts enough to focus on our story. We worry that there is something important that we’ve forgotten to do or fret about the list of things we have to accomplish the next day. This constant swirl of thoughts paralyzes the brain.

So now we know what causes it, how do we make it go away? What are good strategies to use against it? Here are some ideas in no particular order.

Try a change of venue. If you normally write in your office on a laptop computer, bring a notebook and pen into the living room, or outside under a tree and try writing longhand.
Talk it out. Discuss your story with other writer friends – or even friends who don’t write. Sometimes, just the simple act of conversation will spark an idea that gets you moving again.
Take a self-imposed writing break. Sometimes, a week of just watching music videos and talk show TV can be enough to jumpstart
your brain.
Try freewriting. About anything. Seriously. Anything at all.
Vampires, musicals, the president, your mother, dust bunnies.
Anything that gets your imagination going.
Write from someone else’s perspective (someone in your story whose
POV you don’t/haven’t used.) Look at the issues facing your characters from his or her perspective.
Write a scene in your protagonist’s POV that won’t be used in the
story. It could be an incident that took place in the protagonist’s childhood, a trip to the DMV or a phone call from a solicitor. How does your character handle this? What does he or she think about it? This exploration could easily break the block and spark new ideas. The scene might even take on a life of it’s own and send your story into a new and exciting direction.
Take a walk. Do the dishes. Take a shower. Often, activities requiring no conscious thought tempt your muse to come out and play.
Write without judgment. Yes, it might suck. However, there also
might be moments of brilliance that you’d miss by obsessing about the current state of suckiness. Push through it until you get to the end. I believe it was Nora Roberts who said “You can fix a bad page of writing, but you can’t fix a blank one.”
Write five random words. Now take those words and work them into a
scene. Note: you don’t have to use words that involve your current work in progress, though you can if you like.
Work on a scene somewhere else in the story. You might be able to
figure out what you need to do to get from the scene where you’re stuck to the scene you just wrote.
Listen to music, or turn off the music.
Stop dinking around on the internet.
Stretch or exercise. Get the blood flowing. Often this is enough to get the thoughts flowing, too.
Be flexible. Don’t be afraid to throw out sections of text that aren’t working. You can always drop them into an “Idea” document or folder.
Quit beating yourself up. Creativity can’t be bludgeoned out of a person (literally or figuratively.) Lowering your self-esteem will only make the problem worse.
Relax. Meditate. Get a massage. Thinking clearly is next to impossible while stressed.
Write about your writer’s block. Vent your spleen on paper. You might be surprised by what you have to say.
Multitask. Work on more than one project at a time. Often, bouncing back and forth between two novels keeps the creativity high and the ideas coming.

Not all of these ideas will work for everyone. Experiment. Try different things. The most important thing is not to give up.

It’s okay to take a break, but if you’ve got stories inside you, they need to get out. Sometimes, an extended break from writing is needed, especially when dealing with an exceptionally difficult situation, death of loved one, divorce, etc. That’s okay, too.

Like the moon, our creativity waxes and wanes. All writers need to find their own cycle and work with it. Trust your instincts and write your truth.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fantasy – What is it really?

I am revisting something I thought of a while back. Fantasies. I had posted this to my own personal blog before and my feeling still are the same. So let's explore fantasy once again.

I looked up the meaning of fantasy and there were so many meanings and variations to this it was eye opening. I’m going to start with my least favorite then go on to my most favorite.

My least Favorite:

An unrealistic or improbable supposition.

Now where do I even begin on this one? This is such a cold, analytical way tolook at fantasy. From time we are born we are taught to believe in many things that would from this meaning be considered “unrealistic” or “improbable”. The tooth fairy, Santa clause, Easter bunny, and sandman are but a few of the things we grew up with. It is a part of life that we believe at least until such things as this meaning makes us realize different. As a writer this meaning is totally out of my scope. I create living fantasy for readers and enjoy the hell out of doing it {grin}.

Now my most favorite is more like my way of thinking.
My most favorites:

Fantasy ~ Imagery that is more or less coherent, as in dreams and daydreams, yet unrestricted by reality.


An imagined event or sequence of mental images, such as a daydream, usually fulfilling a wish or psychological need.

All Hail the Fantasy brigade.

Ahhh. Now this is more like it. I create novels that are unrestrained by reality. Heck I build worlds that defy definition and enjoy each and every improbable part of it. I love fulfilling a wish. Wishes of a great story with lots of sex, fantasy and escape. Yes escape from the norm. I enjoy the forays of
an alpha male hero type, kick butt heroine whether they be human, vampire, shapeshifter, witch or anything else. Becoming free of the restrictions of the imagination is what I strive to achieve. Take a risk. Become a daredevil. Love, fight and live with all those characters of fantasy. Isn’t this really what it
is all about.

I tap into the fantasy I enjoy and bring it into reality at least for the time
you read my stories and then after when it is remembered by you. Here is my
definition of fantasy.

Taige definition of fantasy:

Escaping the constrains of reality and making a reality of your own. A reality where your deepest desires, needs, wants and all things your imagination can think of is real as long as you believe.

Novels are always an adventure and isn’t that why you read. To be drawn into a fantasy. At least for a time before real life issue take over. Fantasy is all about imagination and using it to escape. I enjoy bring a little escape to you.

So tell me what does fantasy mean to you….


Friday, June 15, 2007

What's Next?

I've come to a point in my current work-in-progress where I have no idea what happens next. I need to somehow connect two major events--one just written, the other happening in a couple days of story-time--without completely boring the heck out of my readers by getting bogged down in details. These are some of the questions writers have to ask themselves all the time: What's important here? What's going to propel the story forward? What needs to happen, and what can't happen yet? What's most natural for my characters to do at this moment?

One writer, whose name I forget, gave the following solution to writer's block: "Send in a man with a gun." While I can't do that literally, I can still follow the underlying advice: make something unexpected happen--something to make the characters (and readers) jump. I don't think it will be quite as drastic as a man with a gun, however.

I'll let you know if I come up with something.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Happy endings and conflict

Have you ever read a series by a favorite author, invezsted yourself emotionally in the relationship between the hero and heroine and then Boom! either they break up or the author kills of one of them. I hate that. I want to load up my ltitle 9mm and polish them off. I want to rail and scream and kick my feet and say, "You cheated me." In an article in the recent RT Book Reviews, several authors discussed why they do this and all focused on one thing - conflict. Well, I say there are lots of ways to introduce conflict into a story without upsetting your reader. If that's the only way you can put some conflict into the plot, you must not be a very inventive writer. I have recently crossed three authors off my list for this reasdon and a fourth is teetering dangerously. I want me her and heroine to be together! Wah!
That's one of the reasons I write romance - a happy ending is demanded. My hero and heroine may fight and argue and really go at it, but you always know they'll end up together. It's the other conflicts that make the story work. Especially in a mystery or romantic suspense. Put them in danger, put their friends and family in danger. Create perilous situations. But don't rip my heart out by breaking them up.
So what do you all say? How do you feel about this? I'd love to hear from everyone else on this subject. Leave a comment, okay?

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Goddesses, I wrote a long Blog but instead of turning up on our Goddess Blog it's gone to the Cerridwen Press Blog. I haven't a clue how that happened. So I won't have to do it over, please go to the Cerridwen Press Blog.

This is too ridiculous. I was in the Goddess Blog and now I'm somewhere. My head is buzzing.


Saturday, June 9, 2007

Our own little worlds

Hi, everyone

Is it any wonder we read and/or write romance novels? With all the terrible things that are happening in the world today, even if our lives are going well, it is always nice to escape to another world -- a world where you know everything is going to turn out all right in the end. No matter what happens to our hero and heroine along the way, we can be assured there will be a "Happily Ever After."

I once told a co-worker of mine that I wrote romance novels. She said, "Oh, I don't read those." When I asked her why, she said, "They are so unrealistic, the ending is always so happy and everyone is happy, yadda, yadda, yadda." And I thought to myself, yeah, that's just the point!

Ten years ago today, my husband of 24 years told me he was "madly in love" with another woman. Yeah, he couldn't even come up with a more original way to say it! That sure put the kibosh on my HEA! I was writing before that (and he was NOT the model for the heroes in my books), but since then, the worlds I create are the only way I have to reassure myself that there is such a thing as a HEA.

We have so little control over what happens in our lives -- wars, illness, death, emotional blows. As writers, WE are in control. My novels are not sweetness and light, however -- I make my heroes and heroines suffer, but in the end, everything works out all right and they achieve that HEA that we all want -- for them and for ourselves. If we don't have our own HEA, we can have theirs, and that is so satisfying if only until we start to read or write our next romance!

By the next time it is my turn to post, I should finally have my own website --YEAH!! I will give you the address then. In the meantime, you can find me here and at the Ellora's Cave website, and at the websites of some of my fellow authors who have been kind enough to link me.

So, until then, here's wishing everyone their own Happily Ever After. Stay healthy, stay safe, stay happy! And keep reading romance.

Kate Poole

Friday, June 8, 2007

Inside Seducing A God

Seducing a God, my first book with Ellora's Cave releases today. Can you feel my excitement. LOL. On the side is the delicious cover. So today in honor of my release I am going to talk about how the story Seducing a God came to be.

I’ll be honest I hadn’t ever thought of doing a theme story before and never imagined to try for one at EC. After making a tough decision concerning with the path my writing career was taking I was surfing the various publishers for something spicy to read. While at EC I decided to check out the submissions. As I sat there reading the call for submissions and came across the Naughty Nuptials theme my mind started to race and heart started to pound. I went to bed and my mind still raced and I could not sleep. The story was unfolding so fast in my head and I know I had to write it down. So I got up and fleshed out the story for what ended up to be Seducing a God.

My hero Markus M’ar Riage, The God of Matrimony came to me first. He epitomizes everything that love, relationships and marriage is all about. He is strong, gentle, and all out sexy. I knew he needed a woman who although seemingly shy she would knock his socks off.

My heroine, Paula Stroker made her presence know from the beginning. Although she is slightly unsure around me she knows when she sees Markus she wants him. Also she has a unique profession. {You’ll have to read the book to find out}. Paula is a smart; take charge yet vulnerable and sensual woman.

These two characters compliment each other. Yet they face an obstacle Paula has an aversion to marriage and Markus being the God of Matrimony cannot help but believe in all it entails. They led you on a wild ride of sensual pleasure and discovery. Also there are a few other surprises thrown in.

So take a seductive journey with Paula and Markus and let yourself be seduced.

So I leave you with this question. What is the most seductive thing you have done or had done to you?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Be True to Yourself

Good morning, friends. I'd like to share something with you that a critique partner passed around the critique circle. (The goddesses have all ready seen this.)
Once upon a time there was a bunch of tiny frogs.... who arranged a running competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower. A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants. .. The race began... Honestly,no one in crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower. You heard statements such as: "Oh, WAY too difficult!" "They will NEVER make it to the top." or: "Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!" The tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one... Except for those, who in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher...The crowd continued to yell, "It is too difficult! No one will make it!" More tiny frogs got tired and gave up... But ONE continued higher and higher and higher... This one wouldn't give up! At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top! THEN all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it.A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal? It turned out... That the winner was DEAF!!!! The wisdom of this story is: Never listen to other people's tendencies to be negative or pessimistic. .. because they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you -- the ones you have in your heart! Always think of the power words have. Because everything you hear and read will affect your actions! Therefore: ALWAYS be...POSITIVE!
So be true to yourself and follow your dreams whether you aspire to writing, painting, singing or climbing the corporate ladder.
Have an excellent Wednesday.
Sandra, The Crystal

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

How self-disciplined are YOU?

This is a topic I'm concerned with of late. My struggle with self-discipline starts new each and every day. I'm by nature a "slacker"... I enjoy letting things form and complete themselves in an organic state. I am a champion procrastinator. There's always tomorrow, right? ARGH! So not true, and I know it. But I can't seem to help myself resolve the desire to putz around until it's too late.

So, I thought I'd start by analyzing what self-discipline really is. Self-discipline is the ability to get yourself to take action regardless of your emotional state.

Hmmm... What is my emotional state? I'm happy, relaxed, and basically good-natured. Most of the time. But I'm also jealous, snippy, and impatient. Am I bi-polar? Not that I've been diagnosed. I'm a woman! By nature of my sex I'm allowed to be either mood that suits me, right?

What's mood have to do with self-discipline? A LOT. Imagine what you could accomplish if you could simply get yourself to follow through on your best intentions no matter what? Picture yourself saying to your body, “You’re overweight. Lose 20 pounds.” Without self-discipline that intention won’t become manifest. If I were more self-disciplined I'd by-pass the cookie isle in the supermarket and buy more vegetables! But cookies are not only tasty, they're fun. Sugar makes me feel good when I'm experiencing one of those above-mentioned bad moods. LOL! (Okay - so I'm using sweets as a crutch. By admitting it I'm half way there...)

With sufficient self-discipline, no matter what goals you set for yourself, it’s a done deal. The pinnacle of self-discipline is when you reach the point that when you make a conscious decision, it’s virtually guaranteed you’ll follow through on it.

I haven't reached that pinnacle - YET. I'm "learning" to forego on the cookies and buy more grapes. I'm "learning" to turn OFF the damned TV and read more, write more. You have to be disciplined to learn, so I figure my self-discipline is a developing thing. I'm growing with it. I know myself well enough that making all the changes in one fell swoop means that I'd fail at all of them.

A successful writer must have self-discipline, and vice-versa, having it means you'll be a success. Seems to make so much sense and should be easy, right? NOT. I'm not sure I suffer from ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), but I do lose focus when I need to hash out details for a story I'm working on. That's where self-discipline is a must. I have to stop switching from one story to a new one, or an old unfinished one, just to avoid the hard work of research or details that I already know will make my story stronger and more believable.

Having a set schedule each day is important to maintain self-discipline. Once you get into the "groove" it becomes second nature, and therefore doesn't require so much internal "push" to achieve. I want to be a successful writer. I want to lose 20 pounds. I need self-discipline to do both, and more. Within the domain of problems that self-discipline can solve, it is simply unmatched. Moreover, it becomes a powerful teammate when combined with other tools like passion, goal-setting, and planning.

So, how self-discplined are you? I hope you find ways to incorporate it into your daily schedule and make all your dreams come true!

Monday, June 4, 2007

JUNE 5, 2007 What would you do if you could?

The neat thing about being an author, a writer, is that you can answer that question every day. We write about things we could do, should do, want to do, shouldn't do and dream about doing.

How many of us would really travel to the moon or beyond if we could - with out paying the millions of dollars or the having the consequences of coming back to Earth and going through rehab?
How many of us would go seek the kind of man we read about? Does such a man really exist? I know some women have men in their lives who are loving, strong, with just the right amount of sensitivity yet is an Alpha man. Isn't that what we want? Someone to sweep us off our feet, take control yet respect our opinions and feelings, understand us, talk to us, and protect us from the boogey man?
Be rich? Be desired? Conquer the enemy - whether it is a monster or a banker?

I once read that one of the reasons people who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from war or abuse continue to suffer is that our memories have substance. When you remember a memory, your mind doesn't know whether it was then or now. You don't remember so much as relive. So the converse is true too. If a memory is good and filled with emotion, then that memory becomes an experience. People have used that technique for years to affirm what they want in the future. A new car, a job, money in the bank, etc. Maybe that is why Romance is so popular - there is always a Happy Ever After, a happy ending.

As an author, a writer, we are able to create memories not only for ourselves but for our readers. For a short period of time we are able to do what we want, be who we want, be with who we want and we can take our readers with us.

I hope you enjoy the adventure in Prophecy of Vithan coming in August by I enjoyed being my heroine as I was writing. I hope you have as much fun as I did.


A while back I wrote a post about the suspense leading up to my book's release and my hope for affirmation of my efforts from those who read it.

At the risk of sounding too much like a promotion, I have to share my pleasure with you all at the review I discovered today that calls "Speechless" a "stunner," and compliments my character development.

It's amazing what a few encouraging words will do to brighten up a rainy, stressful Monday. Affirm someone today. I promise it will make a difference, both for you and whoever you affirm.

I'll refrain from posting the review here, but if you want to read it, e-mail me or leave a comment and I'll send you the link.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Earth Moves Now Available!

The day has finally arrived and Earth Moves is now available at I am so excited about the release of my first fantasy novel. To celebrate I am going to share another excerpt with you.

Imprint: Ellora's Cave
Earth Moves by Lacey Thorn
Release date: 6/1/07
Genre: Futuristic / Menage
Rating: E
ISBN: 9781419909948
Price: $5.20

Earth Moves
Lacey Thorn

Their world has been overtaken by a disease that killed women and female children and made their island home unlivable, forcing the warriors to look for a new home. Coming to the small Isle of Altair, inhabited mainly by women, that seems untouched by the disease, the warriors take over. They abolish Goddess Law and install Warrior Law, claiming both the isle and the women as theirs. The isle priestess places a curse on the isle that it will be plagued with constant battles from others who seek to take it as well.

Hope comes in the form of the Island Guardians who will possess the powers of earth, fire, water and air and a Mystic who will bring them all together to lift the curse and renew the goddess’s protection.

This is the story of Erika, Guardian of Earth, and her warrior mates, Arik and Galen Savari. Join Erika as she learns what it means to be the warriors’ mate as well as an Island Guardian.

Reader Advisory Note: Contains references to gang rape.

Earth Moves by Lacey Thorn
(Excerpt is unedited) ADULT

Erika untied the green veils from behind her back and slipped them over her head. She dropped her skirt to rest on top of her sandals and headed naked toward the pond. She walked out until the water lapped at her hips and then dove under. She loved the feel of the water on her bare skin. She swam for a few minutes and then relaxed and floated atop the pond’s surface. The water lapped at her skin like the tongues of greedy lovers. She loved it here. The pond was surrounded on three sides by trees and where she had entered there was a clearing filled with flowers and grass. She took a deep breath and flipped over to swim toward the shore. She couldn’t stay long today. She was watched more and more closely as the day of her birthday drew nearer. She was sure that Galen had something to do with it.
She walked from the water and pulled her braided hair over her shoulder squeezing the water from it. The braid designated that she was as yet unclaimable. On the day that marked her twenty-first summer her hair would be left unbound with only the sides pulled back from her face with a yellow sash. The sash would remain until she was claimed at which time her hair would never be bound again. She pushed it back behind her shoulders and stretched her arms high above her head. She heard a deep groan and jerked around looking into the trees beside the lake. Arik stepped out from the edge of the trees and began walking toward her across the clearing. Erika gasped at the lust in his eyes. She couldn’t help but notice the thick bulge in his pants that seemed to be growing ever bigger. She backed away from him aiming for the spot where she had left her clothing and hit a solid wall of muscle. She knew exactly who was behind her without looking. It was Galen.
Before she had a chance to struggle Galen had her turned and pressed firmly against his bare chest. The feel of his chest hair against her nipples made her gasp in surprise. Her nipples, already hard, become tighter with each rub against his flesh. It felt so good that she lay against him perfectly docile for a moment. Galen took advantage of that moment and bending to her touched his mouth to hers and thrust his tongue between her open lips. He licked into her mouth learning its contours and tasting her unique flavor of mint and woman. He felt the tentative stroke of Erika’s tongue against his and groaned and pulled her more firmly against him.
Erika couldn’t believe the feelings rushing through her body. Her breasts felt swollen and tender against Galen’s chest. She couldn’t believe that he had his tongue in her mouth. He had fisted one hand in her hair and turned her head to deepen the kiss. She moaned. She could feel him hard against her belly just shy of where her own body was aching and couldn’t seem to stop from rubbing against him wantonly doing all she could to alleviate that ache.
She felt hands on her hips and felt the firm pressure of another hard body against her back. She knew it was Arik. She felt his cock against the small of her back so hard and thick. She felt his hands reach around between her and Galen to cup her breasts. He palmed and lifted them before feathering his fingers up and over her engorged nipples. Arik took both nipples between his fingers and began pinching and tugging them. Erika pulled away from Galen’s kiss and cried out at the sensations this action caused to course through her body.

I hope that wets your appetite for this book. Remember that it is available for purchase today at As always my thanks goes out to all of you who take the time to share my joy. May you all find your dreams as I have.

Lacey Thorn, slip in and unlace at