Friday, November 30, 2007


Hi, everyone

Yes, TGIO -- Thank God It's Over! I refer of course to NaNoWriMo. As usual, I did not reach 50,000 words. In fact, I probably didn't make 10,000 words. That's the bad news. The good news is that: (1) I wrote more than I have every other year I have signed up for NaNo; and (2) it got me back into my WIP. It also helped me identify a LOT of problems with the story that I have to go back and correct. But that's a good thing, too. At least now I know (or, hope) I can get the story to work. I am excited about fixing the plot problems and getting to the end.

So, I won't hang my head too low when I go to the TGIO party tomorrow. Anybody else out there do NaNo? How did you do?

There is another significance to this day. To all my fellow Scots and descendents of Scots -- Happy St. Andrew's Day. As you know, St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. There are a couple of stories about how he acquired that honor -- his relics being brought from Constantinople and given to the Pictish king, Oengus mac Fergusa, or that Oengus or Oengus II seeing an "X" in the clouds that predicted he'd win in battle. Whichever story is true, we know that the "X", the saltire, is the cross on the flag of Scotland. St. Andrew was crucified, but he felt he was unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross Jesus was, so he requested the X-shaped cross.

Well, that's all I have for today. My website is still not up -- my web designer and his wife recently had a baby, so he is VERY sleep deprived -- but hopefully soon. I know -- I've been saying that since the summer.

Till next month, Happy Holidays -- whichever one(s) you celebrate.
Kate Poole

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Welcome Sheila Roberts on her Virtual Book Tour

Welcome Sheila Roberts on her Virtual Book Tour

I'd like to welcome Sheila Roberts, author of On Strike for Christmas.
Thanks for dropping by. We learned a little about your book and about you yesterday. Today, you have agreed to answer some questions for us. Well, here we go.

1) If you could start over with your writing career, what if anything would you change? I would have started writing contemporary stories right from the get go. I got my beginnings writing Regency Romances - not surprising since I love them, but they have a limited readership. Plus although I tried hard, I really was terrible at research and it seemed I was always getting some historical detail wrong. Very embarrassing. I really think I would have done better writing about my own time period right from the get go. But, writing is a learning process, and I don't know any writers who ever got it all right at the beginning.

2) What was the best piece of advice you received regarding the life of a writer? Never give up.

3) If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Actually, that list is rather long. But, to name a few: Stephen King, Dr. Phil and his wife, Steve Martin, Dustin Hoffman, and Cliff Richard, the British singing star

4) If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be? Jane Austen's Elizabeth Darcy, Heathcliff from "Wuthering Heights" and Dickens's Mr. Fezziwigg

5) In the next century, what do you hope people will remember you for? That would be remarkable to be remembered in the next century. Down the road, I'd like to be remembered as a writer who inspired people to be their best.

6) How do you balance your personal and writing time? I write during the day, just like a job, but unless I'm under deadline, I don't write more than a couple hours at a stretch. Then I go do something else. Fitting in time to be with friends and get other work done is important.

7) How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story? What usually comes to me first is a story idea - something following the words, "What if?"

8) What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write? I've been published under different names in Romance, but I've also written for gift books and written non-fiction. I love to write about things that are important to women. And I like to write humor. Everyone needs to laugh.

9) Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why? Some of my favorite characters have never seen the light of day. They all made guest appearances in manuscripts that never sold. Right now my favorite character is in a book that will be coming out next summer. She's a ditz and I love her.

10) If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie? Hmmm. Maybe some of the angry housewife chicks.

11) What would you want readers to take away from your books? A smile.

12) Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book? Finish the book. Many writers spend more time talking about writing than they do actually writing. Being able to type "the end" on something you've created is hugely satisfying.

13) Where can readers buy a copy of your book? At their nearby Barnes and Noble or Borders. And, of course, there's always Amazon. It's a fun book and I hope readers will give it a try.

14) What other projects are you working on right now? I just turned in Bikini Season, my second book for St. Martin's Press. It's about diets, true love, cheating, and friendship. I should have an excerpt posted on my website ( in the new year.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Introduce Sheila Roberts Author of On Strike for Christmas

Tomorrow Sheila Roberts is dropping by on a leg of her virtual book tour to talk about her book

On Strike for Christmas

So today I would like to introduce her to you.

Sheila Roberts lives in the Pacific Northwest. She's happily married and has three children. She's been writing since 1989, but she did lots of things before settling in to her writing career, including owning a singing telegram company and playing in a band. When she's not speaking to women's groups or at conferences or playing with her friends, she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women's hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.

Romantic Times Magazine Reviewed On Strike for Christmas and said:


RT Rating: 4½ Stars


Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Published: November 2007

Type: Mainstream Fiction

Roberts' witty and effervescently funny holiday novel will warm hearts. Realistic characters populate the pages of this captivating story, which is a great escape from holiday hustle and bustle.
Summary: In the town of Holly, some of the members of the Stitch 'n Bitch knitting club have decided to teach their husbands a lesson. Led by Joy, one of the club's older members, the women have collectively decided to go on strike, forcing their husbands to provide all of the holiday preparations.As the men get together to complain, the women remain steadfast in their strike efforts. But Carol, a knitting club member whose husband and son are both deceased, thinks the women should be thankful for their husbands and hectic lives. And when Jerri, another knitting club member, suffers from the ill effects of chemotherapy, the women unite to support their friend. (St. Martin's griffin, Nov., 352 pp., $13.95)Sheri Melnick

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Why write Romance? Why read Romance?

Pretend the date is November 24th, last Saturday, when I was scheduled to blog and FORGOT!
I see an empty space on our Goddess blog to-day so here I am with head still slightly bowed from shame but recovering.
Why write Romance? Why read Romance? My quick answer - to keep us from falling into the techie trap. To keep us involved with others. To keep us warm hearted human souls. Because I came late to the technical upheaval sweeping our world I wonder what's next?
David Levy, author of Love + Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships, thinks he has the answer. There was an extensive question and answer interview with him in The Globe and Mail, November 15. "A robot that contains all knowledge of sexual technique will clearly be a very proficient lover." I can't picture it. I don't want to. I blogged about robots on my own blog. Since then I've been wondering if David Levy has a better sense of the future than someone like me or you.
When I'm out for my daily walk around the neighbourhood I pass young men and women, and some older men, with dazed looks on their faces as they listen to music on their Ipods, etc. Their eyes are unfocussed. It's almost as if they are walking in a bubble. Out of touch with the birds twittering over their heads, fallen leaves scuffing under their shoes, me walking towards them.
Cell phones. Text messaging. No one is ever out of touch - or are they?
Writing romance is about honest to God human relationships where paying attention to verbal, emotional and physical signals builds trust with another. We make mistakes, we repair the damage, we laugh at ourselves - especially the laughting. Developing a sense of humour is a key building block in becoming a social animal. Share a funny story with a robot?
Did I ever tell you about the drunk man who staggered close to a river where a pastor was baptizing members of his flock in the river. "Come, my good man, and be saved." He grabbed the drunk and shoved him under the water. Gasping for air the drunk surfaced. "Have you found Jesus?" The pastor asked. The man shook his head. Down he went under the water a second and then a third time. "Have you found Jesus?" The pastor asked again to which the drunk replied. "Are you sure this is where you lost him?" (I hope no one is offended. My parish priest cracked this joke during Mass last Sunday!)
Writing romance is non-tech. A pencil and paper will do. Think of Jane Austen writing with a quill pen by candle light. We're lucky to have computers but some authors prefer the pen and paper route to get the story down before transferring it to a computer.
Why read Romance? It's so cool. Nothing between the author and the reader but words on a page. It's an invitation to sit back and live the story with the characters. You'll tell your friends to buy the book or borrow it. There's something warm and fuzzy about a good read and wanting to share.
And since it's so close to Christmas, bear with me while I read aloud - only you can't hear. So I'll write down the first paragraph.
"Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change or anything he chose to put his hand to." A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Friday, November 23, 2007

One Good Man: Thanksgiving

Here's a never-before-posted Thanksgiving excerpt from One Good Man by Lacey Thorn and Cindy Spencer Pape, available NOW at In this excerpt, Grant is still struggling to deal with witnessing the death of his younger brother in Iraq. Casey is fleeing a murderer, and has been led to Grant's remote cabin by a hitchiker who then vanished.

When she returned a few minutes later, she was dressed in jeans and a tight little sweater that made Grant’s mouth water and his jeans uncomfortably tight. Her long damp hair hung in thick glossy strands down her back.

“Something smells wonderful.”

“Turkey.” It came out as little more than a grunt, so he tried again. “I put some potatoes in to bake too.”

“Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, huh?” She gave him a lopsided grin. “Anything I can do to help? I’ll warn you I’m not much use in the kitchen.”

Oh Grant could think of plenty of things to do with her in the kitchen but none of them involved getting dinner on the table. He pointed at the big cardboard box from his mother.

“There are probably more goodies in that, if you want to check.” Yesterday he’d been too depressed about the whole holiday to even open the care package.

“You want me to open your mail?”

Grant shrugged and handed her a small paring knife. “It’s from my mom, so it’s not like there are going to be any dirty pictures or anything. But she usually sends cookies and we could use dessert.”

“Ooookay.” She took the knife and slit the tape on the box. While Grant pulled the potatoes out of the oven and put them on a plate, he watched her remove a layer of newspaper, then the rest of the contents, cans first.

“Cranberry sauce. A can of turkey gravy. Green beans. A bottle of white wine. A loaf of some kind of bread.” She pulled out a small foil-wrapped package.

“Oh yum, that will be her homemade banana bread. Seriously good stuff. Anything else?”

“A can of mixed nuts, a big tub of cookies and something else. Looks like a framed picture.”

Grant watched as she dug into the bottom of the box. She pulled the flat rectangular object out and handed it to Grant. He could tell it had bothered her. She was trying not to look at it. He noticed when he took it that her fingers were shaking almost as much as his were.

“Mom, what did you do this time?” He recognized the frame, though, didn’t need to see the photo to know every line and shadow. It was a blown-up snapshot of his first Thanksgiving after his ranger training. He was home, in his dress greens, with his arm around his nine-year old brother, who wore Grant’s beret and a mile-wide grin.

“You have a non-electric can opener?” Casey turned away, the can of beans in her hand. “I can manage to heat up a can of veggies, I think.” He heard the quaver in her voice and wanted to believe that the emotion was real, that she wasn’t here out of some ulterior motive.

“Yeah. Second drawer.” His own voice came out as a croak. He put the photo back in the box and turned to the cupboard to dig out a saucepan and another for the gravy. Trust his mom to remember that Grant had never mastered the art of making gravy.

He finished up the meal while Casey set the table, awkward silence stretching between them. The cracking fire and the oil lamps cast a glow that was almost too intimate and romantic for the talk they needed to have. When Grant finally took his place Casey raised her wineglass to him.

“Well, here’s to Thanksgiving. At least we’re inside with food and a fireplace.”

Grant nodded and clinked his glass to hers. He still wasn’t sure today was anything to be thankful for but at least it was a whole lot more interesting than he’d had any right to expect.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

For all our friends in the US, have a joyful and safe Thanksgiving. For those of you elsewhere in the world. have a lovely weekend knowing we're giving thanks for having you touch our lives, however lightly.

Thanksgiving MySpace Comments

One Good Man!

One Good Man, by Lacey Thorn and Cindy Spencer Pape, is available today! Check out this Thanksgiving treat at

One of the most enduring of all urban legends is the story of the phantom hitchhiker. Young or old, male or female, in need of help or just needing a ride, the legends vary. A helpful driver offers a ride and the passenger gives directions. When they arrive at the destination however, the driver discovers the passenger has vanished, sometimes leaving behind a piece of clothing or some other memento to mark his or her passing. A stormy night, a deserted country road, a blown tire, and a woman on the run from a killer. Is the handsome young Marine here to save her? Or is he just a figment of her imagination?

Casey is caught between a murderer, a ghost and the wounded soldier who could either save her life or break her heart. Grant can deal with Thanksgiving snowstorms and determined killers but not his brother’s ghost, and not a woman who makes him start thinking about the future. Can Grant let go of the past to embrace the explosive passion he finds with Casey? He’s willing to risk his life for hers, but what about his heart?

“Miss, can you tell me how badly you’re hurt?”

“Not bad.” She started to shake her head but winced and gave a little moan instead. “Was going pretty slow by the time we hit the tree.”

“We? Was there someone else in the car?” He shined the flashlight around the back seat, found no signs of another occupant.

“Umm-hmm.” She straightened slowly as if testing each movement. The dome light and his flashlight provided enough illumination to tell she was fairly young, with a cascade of long brown curls, a heart shaped face and big green eyes. “I picked him up a few miles back after he helped me change a tire. Said the bus dropped him off at the highway and he was trying to get home for Thanksgiving.”

“Well, once we get you inside, I’ll come back out and look.” He wasn’t sure if she was delusional or if her hitchhiker had fled before the cops could be called, but either way he didn’t figure he’d find any tracks. With no working phone lines he couldn’t call an ambulance or the cops anyway, but if there had been a rider, he was gone now.

“Do you think you can stand?” God he hoped so. He didn’t think his body was up to carrying her all the way up the hill.

“Let’s get you up to the cabin then.”

“Okay.” She leaned into the Jeep and pulled out a big leather shoulder bag. She staggered a little as she straightened but caught herself on the door. “One ankle’s a little sore, but it will hold.”

“Good.” He leaned past her and swung the door shut. “Cause the phone’s out, so it would be kind of tough to call an ambulance.”

“I’ll make it. And I’d sell my left arm for a cup of coffee.”

“That I can manage.” He’d dug out the old metal percolator before the power went out. He took her arm again, helped her climb over the tree, and started guiding her slowly up the hill. “The cabin’s a good ways up the road. Let me know if you need to stop and catch your breath for a second.”

“I’m good. I’m going to have a nice collection of bruises, a puffy ankle and a knot on my forehead, but nothing major.”

“If you say so.” The head injury would be the one to watch. She kept up pretty well, so he wasn’t too concerned. Of course with his leg and the ice that wasn’t necessarily saying much. The rain had started up again by the time they made it up the hill, making the trip even tougher. When they reached the cabin she stopped on the porch and kicked the snow off her sneakers before following him inside.

“Power’s out,” he told her as he unzipped his coat and stuffed his gloves in the pockets. “But there’s plenty of firewood and the stove’s propane, so we should be all right.”

She looked around and gave him a smile that went straight to his gut—and lower. Jesus—in the firelight she was even prettier than he’d realized—all long hair, long legs and the most kissable damned mouth he’d ever seen.

“Nice place.”

“I like it.” He shrugged and turned away to hang his coat on a peg beside the door. He held out a hand for her coat carefully avoiding any contact with her skin when he took it, then hung it beside his own.

She followed him over to the fire, held out her bare hands to warm in front of the flames.

“Thanks for the rescue.” He dragged a couple chairs over to the fireside, and with a sigh she sank down into one. As soon as he sat down beside her, she stuck out her hand. “I’m Casey, Casey Shields.”

He shook her hand then leaned his elbows on his thighs to hide his body’s instant reaction to even that most casual touch. He hadn’t had a waking erection in months. Why the hell had the equipment picked today to go back into working order? He managed to nod an acknowledgement and return her introduction. “Pleased to meet you, Casey Shields. My name’s Grant Kincaid.”

Her forest-green eyes widened and sparkled, “Oh you are Grant. Good! Now where is Lee? I assumed he’d come up to the cabin to get help.”

Every hair on Grant’s body stood on end and his guts clenched in a knot. “What the bloody hell are you talking about?”

“Lee. Your brother.” She tilted her head to the side in a damn good imitation of confusion. “Oh that’s right—he said it was a surprise—you didn’t know he was coming. But you have to go out and look for him. He could be hurt!”

“Lady, I don’t know what kind of scam you think you’re running, but unless you want to walk back to town it ends right now.”

She blinked up at him with those big green eyes—those big green lying eyes. “What’s wrong with you? Your brother could be lost out there somewhere, or hurt. Don’t you even care?”

Rage burned in his belly. He wouldn’t have been nearly this pissed if she’d shoved a gun in Grant’s face. There wasn’t much left that he gave a damn about, but Lee’s name, Lee’s memory—those were still sacred. Maybe the only things left that were. “You’ve got about two seconds to tell me what the hell is going on before I open that door and throw you out into the ice.”

“I have no idea.” She threw up her hands. “All I did was offer a ride to a nice young Marine who helped me out when I got a flat tire. And in return I got a smashed up Jeep, a sore ankle and a bitch of a headache.”

He started to speak but she shook her head and kept on going. “I don’t know what the hell your problem is, and frankly I don’t much care. All I really wanted to do was to get to my own cabin and get some sleep since I’ve been driving all night. You on the other hand, might want to go find your baby brother—who seems for some reason to idolize you even though you are obviously a freaking lunatic.”

Grant stood and leaned over her, pinning her into her chair by leaning one hand on each armrest.

“Listen, lady. I don’t know what your game is, but mention my brother one more time and I will toss you out into the freezing rain. But just in case you hit your head harder than I thought and you’ve got amnesia, I’m going to say this nice and clear. My little brother Lee is dead. I watched him get blown to pieces right in front of my face, so there’s no mistaking it. Lee Sherman Kincaid died January fourteenth at five thirty six pm in a fucking tent in Iraq.”

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Guest Blogger Dyan Garris

WELCOME Dyan Garris to the blog on her Virtual Book Tour.
She has graciously agreed to an interview.

Hello Charlene. Here are the answers to your questions for the interview:
1) If you could start over with your writing career, what if anything would you change?In high school and college when others cringed regarding creative writing assignments, I embraced them completely. I viewed writing as an interesting and effective way to create and communicate. If I could change anything, I would have perhaps written historical romance or mystery novels. I always appreciate a good story.
2) What was the best piece of advice you received regarding the life of a writer?The best piece of advice I received regarding anything was from my mother and it was that I have the ability to create anything that I want if I hold myself responsible and accountable for creating it.
3) If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be?I would like to meet everyone and anyone that I could because I believe that we learn something valuable from everyone. I am fascinated by what is on the inside of people and interested in what makes them unique. I am interested in the perceptions and ideas of others. There is so much to learn! I think Mother Theresa would have been a very interesting person to have been able to visit with. She had so much wisdom and compassion.
4) If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be?I would like to meet Captain Kirk or Doctor Who. Imagine the interesting stories of life they would be able to tell!
5) In the next century, what do you hope people will remember you for?I hope that people would remember the loving vibration that hopefully shines through my words, music and books. Someone told me once that the thing people remember most about you is the way you made them feel.
6) How do you balance your personal and writing time?To me, so much is about rhythm and timing and balance. I like to adhere to a schedule, yet remain flexible enough to go with whatever comes along. So, I usually have a good idea of how I want my day to show up. Organization and setting priorities are key for me. But then I like to factor in the mood of the day and the unexpected elements that may crop up. If I need personal time during the day, I make time for it. If I feel I must write during the middle of the night, I do it. I find life easier if one simply goes with the flow and respects and honors their unique rhythms.
7) How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?Whatever I write is based upon real life experiences. I weave real life into stories for teaching purposes. For example, I wrote a short story called, "Fish Tale of Woe - Lost at Sea." The plot is based upon people I have met and experiences that I've had or observed in real life. There is always a teaching element involved. The story always has a deeper meaning designed to teach the reader something valuable and about life. It is meant to be a catalyst to deeper examination of the reader's own life. In my cookbook I wrote twelve food related stories or messages. One of those is, "Johnny and Susie - Ode to Popcorn." This was based upon a story that my grandmother used to tell us, which really was rather a non-story in actuality. So wanting to honor her I simply embellished a bit. I based the character of Susie on a person that I knew in childhood. The plot is based on an event that really happened. It is a story about how two people can have an almost identical experience - in this case the experience was about learning how to make popcorn - and how circumstances and reactions and perceptions can have a quite different, life altering and lasting effect. I wove that all together and in the end, in addition to challenging me to look at the deeper meaning of things, it also made me laugh and that is always good! I also write a daily message on my website, which is meant to inspire and help the reader delve into the more mysterious and esoteric areas of life. It challenges one to examine their thinking and perceptions.
8) What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?I write fiction which is really non-fiction. It is based upon truths. I like to write short stories. I like to write messages that inspire the reader to grow and learn and think.
9) Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?I don't really have characters per se because I'm writing mostly messages that are non-fiction. I like the mother in the Johnny and Susie story because when faced with a choice she inspired her child to grow and learn from experience, thus leading to an awesome adult. It could have gone either way, based on certain choices made in certain moments.
10) If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?Anyone who can make me laugh and make me cry, as well. Anyone who can naturally express the gamut of emotions that is the full range of being alive.
11) What would you want readers to take away from your books?I would like my readers to take with them the feeling of satisfaction that comes with learning something new and applying it in a positive way that makes a difference in their lives.
12) Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?My advice is to focus, get and stay organized, have a plan, and keep a good solid vision of what you want to accomplish and what you want to impart.
13) Where can readers buy a copy of your book? or
14) What other projects are you working on right now?I just finished my eleventh New Age music CD in my relaxation series for vibrational attunement of mind, body, and spirit. It's called "Release." I just finished "The Book of Daily Channeled Messages," which is a compilation of 180 inspirational messages from the last year. I am almost done with a line of greeting cards that are different, deep, and inspiring. I'm in the beginning stages of creating a meditation journal. I'm toying with the idea of doing another CD. It's always nice to have music to cook by!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Interview with Janet Davies

With us today is Australian bud, author Janet Davies, aka Amarinda Jones. Welcome Janet,tell us about your current project. I love this cover by the way.But then again what's there not to love?

Romance, sex and smart arse humour – the typical Amarinda Jones book where the heroine and the hero rub against each other and sparks fly.

What will I as a reader like best about your hero?

He will kick down the gates of hell to save his woman. He’s strong and accepts that the heroine is a match for him in so many ways. My hero is smart and he admires and respects the woman he loves. The man is caring and he loves that the heroine is independent - however he is not beyond telling her to get a grip when she needs it.

How will women identify with your heroine?

She’s average, flawed, maybe slightly overweight, possibly a pain in the butt. She can take care of herself but she’s not adverse to the love of her life going all he-man on her. She’s intelligent, she’s funny and she’s cranky. She is in essence everything every woman is. I believe women want to read about normal everyday women with cellulite and PMS who fall in love.

Is your muse currently sitting on your shoulder or is she illusive?

Actually a muse sitting on my shoulder would explain any current weigh gain. Damn muse. You know, I just write. I don’t know if I have the typical writer’s muse. I rely on myself, my instinct and my experiences in life. I believe in write what you know and believe in as anything else is false.

Who is your favorite author?

There are so many. I love the subtle sensuality of Georgette Heyer, I laugh at Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels and I enjoy Robert Goddard books as I love a good mind game.

What books of yours are currently for sale and where can a reader buy them?

If you are looking for hot, romantica my alter ego Amarinda Jones writes for Ellora’s Cave and Total-E-Bound. For sweet, crazy romance take a look at Cerridwen Press nd look up Janet Davies. Or just wander over to and have a have a look. And by all means stop off at to see what the latest book it.

Thanks mate for the interview. The check’s in the mail.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Love Machine

There they are, the covers for my two books from Cerridewen Press. Okay, that's all for them during this blog. I want to pass along disturbing news to all romance authors. Attractive women and handsome men will soon be things of the past. Instead we'll have to deal with Robots. So writes David Levy, author of Love+Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships.
A full page article in The Globe and Mail (one of Canada's two major newspapers) deals with the subject. Since vibrators for women and sex dolls for men sell well, is the next step down this slippery slope, animated robots with whom to share one's sex life? So many questions are posed to the author in the article, I will pick one or two to illustrate his point. R2-D2 as stud muffin! "Does the issue of consent come into it at all? Are sex robots anything more than just possessions?" Here's Mr. Levy's answer. "Consent hasn't really come into it. Would it be rape if your robot said no? If a robot has consciousness, then I believe that how we treat it is important ..." Sorry, goddesses, I can't go on. Mr. Levy thinks that by 2050 we'll be having sex with Robots instead of humans.
Thank goodness I'll be long gone by then and can continue writing about interesting men and women until my toes turn up, my computer is junked and I bid this world good-bye. My instinct about this whole robot thing is a way for the author to make lots of money selling his book. And good for him, say. The kind of publicity he netted in one Canadian newspaper is worth its weight in sales.
There's a follow-up letter in the paper this morning. I quote: "Artificial intelligence expert David Levy predicts that by 2050, we'll be enjoying intimate relations with lifelike robots. By 2050, I'm afraid the best I will be able to do is bring an oil can. The robot will have to do the rest." Signed Lubomyr Luciuk, Kingston, Ontario.
This blog is wierd because I couldn't resist the topic of having sex with robots. Romance novels will disappear if Levy's predicition comes true. Say it isn't so. Romance makes us human. How can ... No. I've said quite enough.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Guest Blogger Dennis Griffin, Author of Cullotta

This review appeared on The Literary World site on July 17 2007.

July 17:
Jim Agnew On Crime

Cullotta--The Life Of A Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster and Government Witness (Huntington Press Publishing)
This is the best book written on the Chicago crime syndicate and I've read them all. Virgil Petersen summed up the Chicago crime syndicate in the title of his 1950's book..."Barbarians In Our Midst".It's the best book because its all first person, gloves off and very rough.Frank Cullotta was a very active...bomber, killer, master burglar, fence, and criminal confidant to the mob lords of Chicago and Las Vegas. He describes these roles and capers as they happened with lots of play-by-play details.Cullotta also describes real prison life and the Witness Protection Program...up close and personal.I read Cullotta in one afternoon and so will any true-crime fan. Its just a real-good read about very dangerous professional criminals.


Thank you for dropping by on your Virtual Book Tour. Our readers are interested not only in your book but in you as an author as well. Thanks for taking your time to answer some questions.

1) If you could start over with your writing career, what if anything would you change?
1 – For one thing, I’d have started much earlier in life rather than waiting until after retirement. I would also have done a lot more research about the writing business — including publishing options and marketing — while working on my first manuscript.

2) What was the best piece of advice you received regarding the life of a writer?
2 – Try to do something writing-related every day. That can include the actual writing, conducting interviews, doing research, and marketing.

3) If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
3 – I’m a World War II buff and would have enjoyed discussing those times with President Franklin Roosevelt.

4) If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be?
4 – I’d like to meet Superman.

5) In the next century, what do you hope people will remember you for?
5 – I’d like to be recognized as a good researcher who produced accurate books regarding the Tony Spilotro era in Las Vegas.

6) How do you balance your personal and writing time?
6 – Although I’m retired, I treat my writing as a job that requires a minimum of three hours per day.

7) How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
7 – For my fictions the plot comes first. For non-fiction I take an interest in either a character or an event.

8) What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
8 – I write mystery/thriller fiction and true crime non-fiction. I imagine my prior career in investigations and law enforcement was the primary influence for those choices.

9) Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
9 – My favorite character that I’ve created is Steve Garneau, a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department homicide detective.

10) If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
10 – I’m partial to the movies Casino and Goodfellas. I think Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro did outstanding jobs in those films and I’d like them in my movie.

11) What would you want readers to take away from your books?
11 – For my non-fictions I want the reader to come away knowing they learned the true story of the people and events in the book.

12) Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
12 – I’d tell beginners to do their homework before they start. Learn what’s involved to be a successful writer. Know what publishing options are available and study marketing and promotion methods. The more knowledge a writer has, the better the decisions he or she will make.

13) Where can readers buy a copy of your book?
13 – My books are available through the online sites such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. They can be purchased at or ordered through the brick and mortal outlets as well.
I also have purchase links on my site,

14) What other projects are you working on right now?
14 – I’m currently finishing the third book in my Las Vegas trilogy featuring Detective Garneau. I’m also looking at three true crime stories and will soon make my decision on which one to write.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Earth Moves by Lacey Thorn (Picture is R rated)

Lacey Thorn builds a fascinating world filled with sexy warriors and beautiful women. The world is ruled by Warrior Law. The warriors have conquered an island of women. Because the warriors took the women as their mates instead of asking, the warriors are cursed to suffer war. Guardians among the women will appear.
In Earth Moves, Erika is an Earth Guardian. She is claimed by twins Arik and Galen Savari. The threesomes that Lacey describes are hot and heavy. It had me turning up the air conditioning – in winter! The dynamic between the Arik, Galen and Erika is intriguing and kept me reading to watch the love between the three of them build.
Be prepared, though, Earth Moves is not just hot sex. It is filled with drama and is a damn good read. The ending is satisfying and makes you want to read the second in the series.
Be sure to stop by Ellora’s Cave ( ) and pick up a copy of Earth Moves by Lacey Thorn.
Then, read the second in the series Fanning Her Flames. Another hot read.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Guest Blogger Maureen Fisher, Author of The Jaguar Legacy

Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Maureen Fisher's Virtual Book Tour
Welcome Maureen Fisher, Author of The Jaguar Legacy on this step of her Virtual Book Tour.

Thank you, Maureen for stopping by. In the last few days we have learned a little about you, and enjoyed learning about The Jaguar Legacy on and on .Today you are here for an interview.So Let's get started.

1. If you could start over with your writing career, what if anything would you change?

I gave this question considerable thought before answering, and came to the happy conclusion that I wouldn’t change anything. Nada. Not one painful, gut-wrenching moment of despair; not one beginner’s mistake (and I made every one of them in the book and then some, but oh, how I learned and grew!), and not one glorious, miraculous moment of triumph. I must admit, though, that looking back at the bright and sunny June morning in 2002 when I made the fateful decision to hang up my hat as a management consultant to write romance, I had no concept of what lay ahead.

2. What was the best piece of advice you received regarding the life of a writer?

I think the best advice was, “Never edit your first draft while you are writing it. Get the thing written, THEN you’ll have something to edit.” I’m still trying to master this one, and finally broke down and told my critique partners that they won’t be seeing any more of my next manuscript until I have reviewed and edited it and am ready to unveil it for critique. Another great piece of advice was, “Eat chocolate.”

3. If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533 - 1603). She was one of the most powerful women in history, and her story has always fascinated me. A decisive ruler during a time known as The Golden Age, Elizabeth negotiated the slippery slope of male-dominated politics with ease, dealing ruthlessly with any opposition. Despite the fact that she might lop off my head, I would love to ask her about the personal stuff -- for example: Did you love your daddy, Henry VIII, in spite of the fact that he executed your mom, Anne Boleyn? Do you have any issues around being locked in the Tower of London by your sister? Why did you never marry? Is it because of physical deformities in the, ahem, most private areas of your body as some claim, fear of childbirth, or merely a desire to avoid male dominance? Do you feel any guilt over killing off Mary Queen of Scots, your cousin and main rival to the throne? Were you really a virgin when you died or did you indulge in at least one mad, passionate affair?

4. If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be?

It’s a toss-up. Janet Evanovitch’s Stephanie Plum because I think she’s a hoot and Diana Gabaldon’s Jamie Fraser because he’s the most sympathetic hero I have ever encountered -- I guess I prefer Beta males with Alpha moments. And he’s hot. And he’s not afraid to show his emotions. And he knows how to pleasure a woman, oh yeah.

5. In the next century, what do you hope people will remember you for?

I hope people will remember me for my humor, intelligence, strength, integrity, and insight into human nature. I hope they will say, “Maureen Fisher touched many lives. I wish I could be just like her.”

6. How do you balance your personal and writing time?

I have no idea how other authors manage to tend to young children, work outside the home, prepare gourmet dinners, and still crank out wonderful books between feedings and diaper changes. I salute these authors. I take my hat off to them. I’m jealous of their dedication. And consider myself blessed that I do not have a ‘day job’, other than my writing, to worry about.My two sons are adults and long gone from the family nest, allowing me to focus most of my creative energy on writing. My husband respects my writing and is very good about giving me my space. He now understands (after many gentle and not-so-gentle hints) that any interruption breaks my train of thought, jolts me out of the story.I try not to schedule any activities other than writing before noon, but this self-imposed schedule conflicts with my new bike riding regime. And coffee with friends. And doctors’ appointments. And household chores. Truth be told, if I am in the throes of writer’s block, which is most of the time during the first draft, morning writing conflicts with almost everything.

7. How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?

I generally start with a high level concept. The characters come next (using a character template), followed by the plot, though these tend to be iterative as the plot drives my characters’ back story and vice versa. For example, when beginning The Jaguar Legacy, I knew I wanted to write a story about a hunky archaeologist and smart-mouthed heroine, a lost city, and past life flashbacks triggered by the dig’s energy. Initially, I planned to set the story in Egypt, but changed the location to Mexico because my husband and I had recently visited Monte Alban, a Zapotec city built on top of ancient Olmec ruins. I settled on the Olmecs because they were an advanced race and so ancient that only a smattering of conflicting information exists. Archaeologists agree, however, that the Olmecs worshipped the jaguar and that the priests believed they could shape-shift into the jaguar. Hence, The Jaguar Legacy was conceived.My second book started the same way -- with a high level concept. A newspaper article describing the Fur Ball, a hoity-toity charity extravaganza to raise money for the animal shelter, inspired Fur Ball Fever. Also, I wanted the book to take place in an upscale condominium complex on the Jersey Shore, a setting guaranteed to provide an unlimited supply of quirky characters doing outrageous things.

8. What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?

The Jaguar Legacy is a paranormal romantic suspense, though I would call it more of a mystical romantic adventure, akin to Raiders of the Lost Ark with hot sex. An avid fan of romance ever since I laid hands on my first Barbara Cartland novel, I am a firm believer in reincarnation and past lives. Furthermore, archaeology has always fascinated me to the extent that, as a child, I wanted to be an archaeologist.People tell me my voice lends itself to humor (though others claim this is debatable). Fur Ball Fever, a romantic suspense with comic elements, is the first-born in The Condo Capers mystery series. Hopefully many siblings will follow.I also have a couple of great ideas for more paranormal romantic suspense novels and would love to write a women’s mainstream fiction. Some day, I might even write a how-to book on writing after I figure out how to do it properly.

9. Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?

I haven’t written many characters, but I must admit that the heroine of The Jaguar Legacy, Charley Underhill, is my favorite. While loving the flaws and foibles that make her human, I admire her complexity, spunk, and wit. Never boring, Charley is full of contradictions and more than a few hang-ups. And no wonder. An independent woman at heart, she has lived under the thumb of her manipulative and alcoholic mother her entire life. While honest and ethical, she sees no alternative but to tell a lie that nearly destroys her in order to save her mother’s life. Her passion for life bubbles over, while her tendency towards bossiness, rash actions, inquisitiveness, and mulish obstinacy trip her up at every turn. When feeling nervous, which happens a lot around Alistair Kincaid, she falls back on smart-assed comments, witticisms, and a quirky sense of humor to mask her discomfort. She will do anything in the world for her friends and is intensely loyal. Courageous and resolute, if she believes in a cause, nothing will stop her from doing what she feels is right. In the end, Charley finds within herself the strength of character to overcome emotional trauma, supernatural evil forces, and mind-numbing fear to save the man she loves.

10. If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?

The Jaguar Legacy would require a hunky dark-haired hero (Clive Owen playing a Scot) and a blonde woman with curly hair as the heroine (Scarlett Johansson).I also like Josh Holloway and Dennis Quaid as male actors; Jennifer Anniston and Sandra Bullock as female actors.

11. What would you want readers to take away from your books?

Emotional healing is possible when denial is stripped away, and anything is possible, if only you have the courage to take a chance.

12. Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?

· Don’t give up because of rejections or stinging critiques. Keep on writing.· Mistakes are inevitable. Every writer makes them. Learn from your mistakes and keep on writing.· Send that manuscript out. I was amazed at the number of authors who won’t submit their manuscript to an agent, editor, or contest because they fear criticism.· Pitch your book at every opportunity. Practice first on a fellow writer.· Eat chocolate and keep on writing.

13. Where can readers buy a copy of your book?

The Jaguar Legacy is available at Borders and Barnes & Noble, though you may have to order it online. It is also available at or

14. What other projects are you working on right now?

My next book is a comic romantic suspense, Fur Ball Fever, the first salvo in the Condo Capers Mystery Series.Whirlwind action alternates between the seamiest side of Atlantic City and an upscale Jersey Shore condominium complex called Saltwater Village, proud sponsor of a hoity-toity pet charity extravaganza called The Fur Ball.Sporting a dwindling bank account, an overwhelming debt load, and her family’s censure for a lifetime of impetuous mistakes, renegade Grace Donnelly faces catastrophe. Her family poodle, last year’s Fur Ball winner, disappears, the apparent victim of a dastardly dog-napping. How can she launch her new career as private investigator if word of her incompetence spreads? Unless she nails the perp, Grace faces not only the loss of her furry companion, but also the humiliation of failure and bankruptcy when yet another career bites the dust.Grace’s suspicions focus on several candidates: a neighbor’s trophy wife, a slick televangelist, and her former flame, Nick Jackson, finest PI east of the Rockies. Her persistent investigation nearly blows his cover in his quest to nail the phony preacher whose corruption killed his twin. Unable to save his brother’s life during Desert Storm, Nick finds himself re-living his worst fears when confronted with Grace’s rash actions. To salvage his case, his sanity, and Grace’s skin, Nick sees no choice but to join forces with the sassy crusader who rubs him the wrong way -- and so many of the right ways.Locked in an uneasy alliance, their joint investigation leads the reluctant couple into unexpected romance against a wacky backdrop of animal politics, drag queens, a dominatrix or two, the swinging scene, and a fascinating underworld of fetishism and bondage. The two cases converge in a zany roller-coaster ride of murder and mayhem, culminating in a Fur Ball extravaganza the locals will never forget.

Thanks so much for dropping by Maureen. And good luck with The Jaguar Legacy and your latest book Fur Ball Fever.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Excerpt from Boji Stones

The big oak tree by the house threw eerie shadows across the lawn as a screech owl hooted nearby, and even though Maureen had heard them all her life she shivered. A big full moon lit up the sky and helped dilute the menace of the night.

He picked up the gun. “Somebody’s got to make a move and it sure as shit isn’t going to be our uninvited guest up there, with Wolf waiting by his door.“ He gestured toward the big SUV and trailer. “Nobody but a fool or someone with a death wish would step out of that cab.

“Well, I’ll be damned.” The truck door opened and the stranger stepped out of the cab.

Wolf crouched his lips curled back showing deadly white fangs that gleamed in the moonlight.

The stranger held out his hand, palm up, for Wolf to sniff.

Without thinking, Maureen reached for the door handle. She couldn’t just sit and watch a man get savaged.

Hank shoved his arm out in front of her. “Wait.”

She could feel rigid cords stand out in his arm muscles and hear the strain in his voice. Her own vertebra felt glued together disc by disc. Tension built like the incoming tide beneath the soothing pull of the amulet.

She gasped in surprise as Wolf sat down.

With long determined strides the stranger walked toward the pickup Wolf trailing at his heels.

The bright moonlight illuminated his features, a strong chiseled face, a thin hawk-nose and dark hair drawn back in a pony tail. He wore faded jeans and a white Tee shirt.

Hank whistled softly. “What do you make of that?”

Glancing over, she noticed Hank’s hand still rested on the gun. “I don’t know what to make of it. But I guess we’ll be finding out.”

Her heart thumped as the stranger’s approach. Friend or foe?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Two great reviews came in this week that I want to share. The first is the Romantic Times Magazine Four Star review Curses, which has me jumping up and down with excitement.

"The familiar plot of a lone wolf who finds his mate gets a fresh spin in this deeply emotional story. This time the mate is a witch with her own unhappy past. The characters are appealing, and passionate sex leads to a satisfying romance. Well-developed histories make the couple real and one readers ill care about."

You can get your copy today at:


The second is a review for Between a Rock and a Hard-On from Romance Reviews Today Erotica. They gave it their highest rating, La Petite Mort and said, “This delicious little gem more than earns RRTE’s rating of La Petite Mort. If your temperature doesn’t rise as you read this scorcher, you might want to head to an emergency room, ‘cause honey, something is wrong with you.”


Now here's something for you to think about. We writers tend to be an insecure bunch, so it's always nice to hear that someone enjoyed our books. Keeping that in mind, if you read a book and enjoy it, don't forget to drop the author a quick email and let her/him know. It really does make out day!

A Time for reflection

This isn't my blogging day but one of the goddesses was having trouble accessing the blog. I blogged on as you can see. Time out for a little reflecting on what I'm doing as a writer, what I hope to achieve and what will I do if I quit writing. We'll take one step at a time. What am I doing as a writer can be translated into, "why am I here in this place at this time, writing?
Q. Have you something important to say to the world?
A. Not a lot.
Q. I notice you are smiling. What's so funny?
A. Me, trying to make a tiny footprint in the writing world with so many giants out there.
Q. So giants scare you?
A. No, and I'm sick of answering dumb questions. Go away.

What the hell, goddesses, if I start delving into my psyche about this and that, God only knows what I'll discover lurking under the rocks. Best to go on about my business of writing. So I'm not going to be the second coming of Nora Roberts, or Jo Beverley, or Jane Austen. It's just me writing stories I hope someone will enjoy reading.

I have friends on Facebook! I found one after we met over dragon fruit. Enough said about that. On my personal blog tomorrow I'll write about cooking - sort of. Drop by if you have time. If not, think about zucchini and egg plant.