Friday, December 21, 2007

Winter Solstice - Let the Light Shine Through

Solstice! Yup today is the beginning of the days of days. That’s what I call it. When the darkness of the night weakens to the full light of the sun. I’m a light person. I admit to being totally affected by the dark, dreary days of winter. I need the sun to make me happy, just ask my family!

Here’s a little tidbit of fact: Since the time when the 25th was established as the solstice in Europe the difference between the Julian calendar year (365.2500 days) and the tropical year (365.2422 days) moved the day associated with the actual astronomical solstice forward approximately three days every four centuries until 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII changed the calendar bringing the northern winter solstice to around December 21st. In the Gregorian calendar the solstice still moves around a bit, but only about one day in 3000 years.

Okay, enough of that. What I want is to hear from you readers. I know there’s books out there centered around the theme of solstice, isn’t that the hot time of the year when the pull for sex is felt by all (yeah, that’s it). Anyway, I’m looking for a list of books that have this theme. I’m also feeling generous. You need to have a list of five books that either you know of or have read. Leave your list in the comment section. At the end of the day I will randomly pick a winner (exclusdes you SdoS gals) to win an e-book of your choice, a copy of either one of my Ellora’s Cave publications: Sweet and Spicy Spells (co-authored with the great Christine d’Abo), Love Me Wild, or Love Me Tender, or an e-copy of my sensual mainstream book, Rapture published with Cerridwen Press. So get your list in!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Creating Fictional Beasts

I love creating fictional beasts. Littered around my house are books on Celtic myths, Gods and Goddess, Irish Folklore, and lots more. And I use them. I use them when I’m stuck working on a story that just begs for a fictional beast, one that can sprout wings, breathe fire or trot on all four legs. But as a writer I take liberties. I like to weave a bit of that and a bit of this into my own new one-of-kind beast. For me that’s when they really come alive, develop special attributes and get named.
Take for instance my Ellora's Cave novellas, Love Me Wild and Love Me Tender (and yes I’m working on the third). In those stories I built a new futuristic world and with the construction of that world I really wanted to add something shocking. Hence the development of my Mage Pegcentaurs. I called them Mage because only a Mage Pegcentaur can shift into any creature and I added wings giving the centaur (horse-like creature) the ability to fly. I needed this character to morph into any other beast in my Love Me Tender story because I didn’t want my main character finding him immediately. Let the chase begin, that was my theory behind it.
I’m working on a new novella that will feature Elementals. These are creatures that can become anything, air, fire, and any other living creature. But with all creatures something needs to bind them in place, or work as a poison. I truly feel that no creature should be omniscient, really where’s the fun in that.
I want to hear from you. What creatures have you created? What names do you give them? Do they have any special features? Share, share, share…you never know when it could be used by a writer in a story.
Speaking of sharing – here’s an excerpt from my Cerridwen Press book Rapture that features yet again one of my made up creatures, I named Tartahounds.
Twice in two days an undersea rupture from the bowels of the Earth had spewed forth a dozen of Hades’ legionnaires and their demonic Tartahounds. Close to four centuries ago, Hades had tried to overtake the undersea kingdom, believing it was his right to overthrow Oceanus’ children. It had taken a massive counterattack with all the Titan leaders from the seven seas working together to finally defeat Hades. However the toll had been enormous.
Thousands of Titans and Sirens had lost their souls to Hades. Nothing could be done for them. Every once in a while Hades liked to test their power, and he would send his legionnaires out to try to break through. Hades’ legionnaires had only tried to overtake the North Seas, where his family lived—that was strange. His father had contacted the other leaders and nothing unusual was happening elsewhere.
Like my mardom needs another problem to deal with. Besides trying to find a cure for the illness affecting his people they were also forced to deal with Hades’ tricks, which were always underhanded.

Seth knew it was a puzzle that warranted more attention. He was sure that was why his father wanted to speak with him at half-tide. Today, he made the decision that extra Titan warriors were needed to patrol all the surrounding shields. They were all on high alert.
This morning it had taken him and two other Titan warriors a good hour to destroy the dozen legionnaires and their Tartahounds who had broken through one of the far perimeter shields. The legionnaires were deadly with their vapor assaults, but the Tartahounds were even more lethal. With a body the shape of an electric eel and its three canine heads, Tartahounds were blind and relied on their ability to scent their prey. One bite and their poisonous venom could render a Titan warrior unconscious.
Mikhail, a friend of Seth’s, had come very close to being contaminated by one of the Tartahounds. The fact the beast had attacked Mikhail on his own, without a legionnaire holding him to a vapor leash, unnerved Seth. Never in his years of dealing with Hades’ legionnaires had he seen a Tartahound unleashed. An off-leash Tartahound could just as easily attack its master. The only thing that controlled them was the vapor leash. Quick thinking on Seth’s part had decapitated the beast, and saved Mikhail from a slow, torturous death.
Rapture can be bought directly from Cerridwen Press at

Love Me Wild can be bought directly from Ellora's Cave at

Love Me Tender can be bought directly from Ellora's Cave at

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jokes - Why They Are Worth It For Me!

Jokes. I wish I could say I’m sick of them but I’m not. Even when there are four voices competing in my van so the loudest can tell me another one, and another one and another…ahh, you get the picture. So my six year-old son asks me this morning if I can look up even more jokes, this time Holiday jokes, so he can be the “hot” kid on the playground and spout them off. Sure, why not. I’ve got nothing better to do. No need to work on my latest book and novella that are harping at me to finish, no need to do laundry (we can survive, I think) and no need to get my house in shape for a meeting being held at said house tonight. Nay, what the heck. Jokes, jokes and more jokes.

Now, as I was researching Holiday jokes I also found a nice Dr. Seuss (sort of) Passover joke, which is now my ultimate fave. The Q&A’s will make my six year-old giggle for miles in the van, while my almost 12 year-old will absorb the reindeer in the bar joke (secretly tell his friends later on) and it will be my nine year-old son who will learn in a heartbeat the Dr. Seuss rhyme, all to the tune of our three year-old saying “my turn, my turn.” Ahh, the joys of my daily morning routine.

The first reindeer seen in a bar
One evening, in a busy lounge in the deep south, a reindeer walked in the door, bellied up to the bar and ordered a martini. Without batting an eye, the bartender mixed and poured the drink, set it in front of the reindeer, and accepted the twenty-dollar bill from the reindeer's hoof. As he handed the reindeer some coins in change, he said, "You know, I think you're the first reindeer I've ever seen in here." The reindeer looked hard at the hoofful of change and said, "Hmmmpf. Let me tell you something, buddy. At these prices, I'm the last reindeer you'll see in here."\

Question and Answer Christmas Jokes
Q: What do elves learn in school?A: The Elf-abet!
Q: What's the most popular wine at Christmas?A: "I don't like sprouts" !
Q: If athletes get athletes foot, what do astronauts get? A: Missletoe!
Q: What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? A: Frostbite.
Q: Why was Santa's little helper depressed? A: Because he had low elf esteem.
Q: Why does Santa have 3 gardens? A: So he can ho-ho-ho.
Q: Where do polar bears vote?A: The North Poll.
Q: What do you get when you cross an archer with a gift-wrapper? A: Ribbon hood.
Q: Why do birds fly south for the winter ?A: Because it's to far to walk.
Q: What kind of bird can write?A: A PENguin.
Q: What do you call a cat on the beach at Christmas time? A: Sandy Claus!
Q: How do sheep in Mexico say Merry Christmas? A: Fleece Navidad!
Q: What nationality is Santa Claus?A: North Polish.
Q: Why does Santa's sled get such good mileage?A: Because it has long-distance runners on each side.Q: What do you call a bunch of grandmasters of chess bragging about their games in a hotel lobby? A: Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer!
Q: What do you get if you deep fry Santa Claus?A: Crisp Cringle.

Passover Dr. Suess Style
Sam! Will you never see? They are not KOSHER, So let me be! I will not eat green eggs and ham. I will not eat them Sam-I-am. But I'll eat green eggs with a biscuit. Or I will try them with some brisket. I'll eat green eggs in a box. If you serve them with some lox. And those green eggs are worth a try Scrambled up inside some matzoh brie! And in a boat upon the river, I'll eat green eggs with chopped liver! So if you're a Jewish Dr. Seuss fan, But troubled by green eggs and ham. Let your friends in on the scoop: Green eggs taste best with chicken soup!

Special thanks to and

Friday, November 9, 2007

Strange Things That Make Me Write Better

As a writer I have a few weird habits that I use to help me write better or actually simply to make me write. About three years ago I stopped wearing a watch. Why? I didn’t like that constant reminder that time was ticking away, or I had to be somewhere, pick up someone and all that jazz.

What have I learned about not wearing a watch you might ask? A lot. I actually have more human to human contact on a daily basis now all because there are times that I really do need to know what time it is and I usually ask that simple question. “Excuse me, do you have the time?” Now I often thought I’d love to use that line on a gorgeous hunk of a guy, hoping he’d say, “For you baby I’ve got all the time in the world,” but alas that hasn’t happened so far. It’s only been three years, give me another few and we shall see if that fantasy comes true.

What I have discovered is that people love to talk and they want to be heard and listened to. I have learned so much about human behavior and the angst of what’s going on in a complete stranger’s life (sometimes it does get thrown into the story I’m working on) but I’ve also discovered people crave to talk to other people. Asking that simple time question has made me more patient. I do take the time to listen when the people I’ve asked start to talk and I usually walk away with a smile. Why? Because simply by discarding my watch I learn something new every day about someone I don’t know and that thrills me.

I also don’t own a cell phone. Now, I admit that sometimes I do use hubby’s but I hate it and most cases I never remember to even turn the blasted thing on. I’m a bit of a computer nut (not in a good sense) and I find when I’m off trying to write I’m aware that that blasted cell phone is on and I keep getting distracted by it. My fingers ache to type in a friend’s number and invite them to join me when I really should be writing. And I’m one of those people who hate listening in to other people’s cell phone conversations they’re having while waiting in line, because while I try not to listen…I admit I do. And later I’m rehashing a partial conversation in my mind with someone I don’t even know. So when I’m really pressed for a writing deadline, no cell phone for me.

I’d love to hear what tricks of the trade other writers use when they sit down to write, and I’d love to hear what “odd” things you’ve either adopted or dropped in your life. Personally, I think if we all got rid of our watches life would be a lot sweeter and much more relaxed.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What Makes Halloween Sexy? How About Sweet & Spicy Spells

Today is the day! I'm thrilled to showcase that my co-authored EC book with Christine d'Abo, Sweet and Spicy Spells is out today - who couldn't ask for a better candy than that. Check it out at EC and wouldn't you love to squeeze those buns - lol.

Seriously, what could be sexier than Halloween? Lots you’re thinking, but I love Halloween for the obvious reasons – I get to act like a b(w)itch all day and eat candy. Now I could blab all day about the joys of Halloween, that is after I usually have at least two drinks of wine while finishing up the face paint on all my kids, lugging cart loads of candy to my front door, mucking out the dozen pumpkins, but why bother – you get the picture. In all seriousness Halloween makes me feel sexy. I love the whole idea that I can wear a sexy vamped-witch costume to the grocery store and not get arrested – who wouldn’t love that?

Here’s some other Halloween trivia I found on the Internet that I think is neat, courtesy of

But before I leave, let me know what’s your favorite part of Halloween? How many of you wait up until midnight (that would be last night) to howl at the moon, how many of you eat your children’s candy (that would be me) and how many of you run around the neighborhood smashing all those happy, smiling pumpkins when no one’s looking – come on I know you’re out there!
The first Halloween celebration in America took place in Anoka, Minnesota in 1921.
More than 93% of children, under the age of 12, will go out trick-or-treating
About 50% of adults dress up for Halloween, while 67% take part in the activities, such as parties, decorating the house and trick-or-treating with their children
86% of Americans decorate their house for Halloween
Halloween candy sales average about $2 billion annually in the United States. It is the largest candy-purchasing holiday, bigger than Christmas, Easter and Valentine's Day!
The first Halloween card was made in the early 1920's. These days, over 28 million Halloween cards are sent each year. U.S. consumers spend about $50 million on Halloween greetings
Over $1.5 billion is spent on costumes each year and more than $2.5 billion on other Halloween paraphernalia
About 99% of pumpkins that are marketed domestically are turned into jack-o-lanterns
90% of parents admit to sneaking goodies from their kids' Halloween trick-or-treat bags
Over 10% of pet owners dress their pets in Halloween costumes
The biggest pumpkin in the world tipped the scales at a whopping 1,446 pounds. This gigantic gourd was weighed in October 2004 at a pumpkin festival in Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada.
More than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That equates to nearly 9 billion pieces - enough to circle the moon nearly 4 times if laid end-to-end.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pitching Your Life Away

A couple of days ago I got back from the New Jersey “Put Your Heart into a Book” conference and I have two things to say. First a huge thank you to the New Jersey Romance Writers for organizing such a great, well-run conference and for bringing in such wonderfully inspired writers like Karen Robards and Sherrilyn Kenyon – they truly do inspire you to keep on writing. Second I pitched and scored. Well, I should reference that by saying I’ve at least past first base. I have a number of publishers interested in reading the partial for my new dark, paranormal I’ve called The Ungodlies: The Damned Fairy.

Now I’m fairly new at pitching and I confess that I didn’t have my pitch written or nailed down. So immediately I went to a workshop called “How to pitch” where I almost died on the spot. One line or three – that’s it. That’s all the time before an editor will tune out. I went back upstairs to my room, stared at a blank wall for a good ten minutes and then bang it came to me, so I wrote it down on my index cards before I forgot it. I also made sure to bring my index cards with me because it’s very nerve wracking to pitch to an editor.

Here’s my pitch for The Ungodlies: The Damned Fairy: Vile creatures called the Decies once set free will suck the life-force out of every being on Earth and in Tir Nan Og. But not if Einion, the damned fairy, gets his way. It’s a shame too because all he really wanted to do was die for good. Exiled, cursed and damned to Earth by his Tuatha Dé Danann Queen, Einion knows the real meaning of bitch. Women like the Decies can’t be reasoned with. Try telling that to a half-Tuatha, half-Druid woman when she’s on her knees begging for it. The Ungodlies is a dark, paranormal at 93,000 words.

Since I also had time I decided to pitch my new book I’m working on. Hell Bent: The Angel of Fire: Fallen angels are being recruited to join Lucifer’s Apostles army. Will Nathaniel, the Angel of Fire, become unlucky thirteen? After all The Almighty just ripped his wings off to teach him a lesson in humanity. Still though can Nathaniel keep his virginity in tact when the tempting hands of passion cause his wings to grow back? Either way he’s damned. Hell Bent is a dark, paranormal about 60,000 words.

Since I’ve come home I’ve been reviewing my work like mad, and re-reading everything out loud – amazing all the things you catch when you hear yourself speak. I’m very excited about the opportunity to share my work with publishers and my fingers are crossed that one will like my voice. Again, a huge thank you to the NJ romance writers.

Monday, September 24, 2007

World Building and Why It’s Important for all Genres(plus a writing exercise for the keen)

Phase I: Everyone builds worlds
It doesn’t matter if you write contemporary, historical, chick-lit, suspense, mystery, or paranormal, world building is key to your book. It sets the date, time, place, and scene usually within the first few chapters. Why? Because you want to draw the reader into the world you are creating.

Example: A Love So Fierce, by Joanna McGauran, published by Dell Books (historical)
Opening chapter 1: Picardy, October 1349
Adam Dunbarton, second son of the Baron Bruce Dunbarton of Castle on Tyne in Northumbria, had journeyed down to London to cross the English Channel to claim his betrothed bride, and now, some days past the middle of October, he had landed in the English-held port of Calais.
At another time, the city of Calais, with its pretty girls and the gaiety of its entertainments, was well worth a day’s visit, even for a man on such a mission. But for the second summer and fall, the terrible plague known as the Black Death had raged through its crowded waterfront and cobbled streets…..

Well what did we learn as a reader? The place (Picardy) the date (October 1349) and we know it’s historical by the description of the port, Black Death, cobbled streets. We also know his mission – to get his betrothed bride. You also get the feeling that by the use of the words “English-held port of Calais” that a war either just took place or is still taking place.

Example: Rapture by Renee Field, published by Cerridwen Press, release date September 27, 2007.
Chapter 1 – mid-way
Not once had Seth touched the offered whiskey after his first taste of it a decade ago. Not that the old man minded. Said he didn’t like to drink alone and it was simply bad manners not to offer up a drink to a friend. Seth left it at that.
Later when Jack would waddle bow-legged down to the shore and haul his old bones into his beloved dory, Seth would pour the drink down the sink and wash out the cup. If he still followed the old ways, he’d have offered the drink to one of the gods. Not anymore.
The fact that old Jack was the only one Seth allowed on his property to somewhat befriend him gave the old man something to do. Not that Seth thought he could actually get rid of the old geezer, unless he resorted to his old tricks. No, Seth knew Jack’s days were lonely and for the past ten years that was something he came to understand all too well. That, more than anything, was why he had allowed the old man his customary monthly visit.
Today, knowing Jack had rowed across the bay to make sure he was okay gave him pause. A gust of wind told Seth that wasn’t wise.
Forcing his body to move three more steps, he watched as Jack got up to test the wind.
“She’s gonna be a big one. You remember the last big one we had around here. Felt as if old Poseidon was stirring up the water with one of those fork thingys…”
Seth choked on that image. Fork thingy isn’t what I’d call it. He tried hard not to give in to a chuckle.
“We lost some fifteen boats that year. Wait a sec…wasn’t that about the same time you came here?” The not-so-innocent look wasn’t missed by Seth.
As always, he said nothing. He remembered that night well. His fury had matched the seas, acting like a blanket, comforting him with the knowledge that it too was mad with the decision that had been forced upon him.
Rolling his shoulders to get a knot out, he strained again under the weight of the rope, thinking he should have built a smaller vessel. Two more feet and she should be safe.
Seth knew he was in for a long night. It wasn’t the coming hurricane that would keep him awake. It was the pull of the sea he’d have to fight with every ounce of his willpower. It was times like this he cursed himself.
“You’d think after a decade with us, Seth, you’d learn to communicate a bit more,” said old Jack, standing on shaky legs. “Anyway, just came to see ya. Oh yeah, there’s some rich dude docked at the government wharf asking about you. You know he’s the spittin’ image of you, almost,” said Jack, spitting out a wad of the tobacco he’d stuffed in his mouth.
Seth knew what the almost referred to. A scar like his wasn’t easy to hide, not that he cared or even tried.

What did we learn? Immediately the reader senses this is a paranormal romance. The reference Seth makes to the gods and Poseidon help to alert the reader to their significant. Also, the reader learns that Seth has been banished to the land for a decade and that he’s scared. These are questions that will help to entice the reader to continue reading. The reader also knows for the language that it’s a contemporary novel.

Two very different examples, but each set the time, date and place right off the bat. They came out swinging. They wanted to grip the reader and immediately make them realize what type of world they would be reading.

Strange writing exercise that makes you go “what the*@*@” but works:
I want you to use your horoscope sign. If you’re a Gemini use that and if you’re a Sagittarius use that. Now, it’s up to you to determine how to use your sign. You can ascribe your sign to be a place/person/moon etc. You have ten minutes to write your opening scene, at least two paragraphs and I would like you to add at least one character’s name (you get to make that up) and place them in that scene. From this you will set the tone, so keep that in mind.

Phase II: Paying Attention to Detail
Okay, you’ve established your world – you’ve set the time, place and now what you’re asking yourself, well, what makes it stand out. It’s the small things. It’s the paying attention to detail that will make your world, again whether it’s contemporary, historical, chick-lit, suspense, mystery or paranormal – small things matter when you build your world.

Example: Animal Farm by George Orwell, published by Penguin Books
Moses, who was Mr. Jones especial pet, was a spy and a tale-bearer, but he was also a clever talker. He claimed to know of the existence of a mysterious country called Sugarcandy Mountain, to which all animals went when they died. It was situated somewhere up in the sky, a little distance beyond the clouds, Moses said. In Sugarcandy Mountain it was Sunday seven days a week, clover was in season all the year round, and lump sugar and linseed cake grew on the hedges.

What are the small details that Moses, the spy talks about? Sugarcandy Mountain – which is paradise/heaven to the animals is what makes this believable. Orwell takes two sentences to aptly describe this make-believe place. Why? Because the reader needs to visualize it and believe it. If the reader can’t believe the lure of Sugarcandy Mountain, they will either stop reading or get frustrated.

Example: The Dream-Hunter by Sherrilyn Kenyon, published by St. Martin’s Paperback.
There were two items. One appeared to be a komboloi – a string of worry beads similar in style to a small rosary that some Greeks used when stressed, only she’d never seen anything like this before. The age and design of it appeared to predate any form of komboloi she’d ever heard of. It had fifteen iridescent green beads made of some unknown stone that had been carved with tiny intricate family scenes of people wearing clothes unlike any she’d seen before in her research. The carvings were interspersed with five gold beads that were engraved with three lightning bolts piercing a sun.
(later on…)
Her heart pounding, she turned the largest coin over to look at the back. There was the same foreign symbol that marked the komboloi. A sun pierced by three lightning bolts. And with it were the unknown words on top of the Greek: May Apollymi protect us.

What did we learn? We learned that the komboloi is different enough to make us wonder is there more to this artifact. We learned that the symbolism on the komboloi is also used on the large coin our character finds, which starts her heart to accelerate. Why? There is never such thing as a coincidence in a book, it’s there for a purpose – the reader has to keep reading (hence the mystery is set) to figure out the why of things.

When building worlds things have to work. If our above author had used the word komboloi to describe a modern watch, we wouldn’t get it. If Orwell used the phrase Sugarcandy Mountain to mean the slaughter house, the tone would be something else entirely. These are the small points to consider when building your world.

Phase III: Making up words in your world.
Now, if you’re writing contemporary or historical this might be difficult but not impossible. Think back to our first example when the author referenced the Black Death. Your character could decide to call it something that is both made-up but personal. Even paranormal authors who make up words need to explain them. You might understand your word but your reader won’t unless you place it in context.

Example: In Rapture I made up a number of words so the reader knew it was paranormal. I created canine-sea creatures called Tartahounds.

Twice in two days an undersea rupture from the bowels of the Earth had spewed forth a dozen of Hades’ legionnaires and their demonic Tartahounds. Close to four centuries ago, Hades had tried to overtake the undersea kingdom, believing it was his right to overthrow Oceanus’ children. It had taken a massive counterattack with all the Titan leaders from the seven seas working together to finally defeat Hades. However the toll had been enormous.
The legionnaires were deadly with their vapor assaults, but the Tartahounds were even more lethal. With a body the shape of an electric eel and its three canine heads, Tartahounds were blind and relied on their ability to scent their prey. One bite and their poisonous venom could render a Titan warrior unconscious.

And throughout I used the word mardom to refer to his people—the Titans and Sirens of the North Seas.

Example: Throughout Christine Feehan’s Dark anthology she uses the word Carpathian.
In Dark Gold, her character very early on recounts the following. “Without his mate, a Carpathian male lost all wants, needs, emotions after two hundred years. He lived in an abyss, void, and from that moment on he was at risk of turning vampire. The longer he survived, as the centuries passed, the Carpathian distanced himself more and more from his community and all it stood for. Only two things could save him from his empty, desperate fate. He could choose to meet the dawn and end his life, or a miracle might happen and he would find his lifemate.”
We learn immediately that Carpathians are another species. We also learn they have a problem—they need to find a lifemate to feel emotions, or they chance turning into a vampire. Thus the premise of all her Dark books.

Writing exercise II:
Grab hold of the nearest item/object. I want you to make up a name for that item and going back to your first writing exercise now create a scene using your item. Don’t forget you will need to explain what it is, the relevance to the story/character it portrays. You have 10 minutes. Then I want you to keep that piece of paper.

Writing exercise III: Adding scent/texture to your scene. The first scent I want you to add to a new scene is sulphur – and keep in mind, depending on the world you’ve created sulphur could be a pretty smell with aphrodisiac, medicinal, hallucinogenic properties or stink to the heavens. Then give that scent texture.

Example:The metallic sulphur smell radiated out toward the town, distilling orange pebbled rain the size of golf balls. Everyone ran for cover.

Everyone world builds to create a novel. And writers need to pay attention to the small details to make the world believable. Using made up words can add a new dimension to your world but always clarify what the word means and the context to the story. Giving texture to your world gives it layers and can conjure up immediate happy memories or dark painful ones depending on what the writer wants to achieve.

I always map out my worlds because I either write paranormal or fantasy, but even if you have a modern setting you need to do research. For me, I keep a list of index cards with made up words, their meaning and relevance to the story or characters I’ve created. That’s my little trick to keep things organized and straight in my head.

Check out: “Fantasy World building Questions” prepared by Patricia C. Wrede, copyright 1996 ( She provides a comprehensive list of questions one should consider when making up worlds. The World Builder Project page ( will link you with more research material. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

For the Love of September

September! I know many of you (including me) are doing a happy dance that school has once again started. I have mixed emotions. On the one hand I’m thrilled to have some quiet time to get my writing done without having to pull those dreadful all-nighters, but on the other hand I hate the fact that with the onslaught of September fall is around the corner and here in the Maritimes we go quickly from fall to winter and that I really don’t like. But let me tell you what I truly love about September.

I find September to be the most romantic time of the year. Why? Maybe it has to do with those crisp, cool days. Think of lovers walking hand-in-hand, snuggling up close to get warm in the evenings, lighting the fireplace and all those special moments cuddled under a blanket while watching all those great new TV shows that air in September. And, yes I am officially counting down for my show – Heroes!!! Can’t wait!

So what else about September makes it romantic? I think it’s the light. When I wake up in the morning the sunlight is fresh and crisp and filters off the ground with this very powerful feeling that the Earth is moving with the season. Okay, enough of me trying to be poetic.

So what else makes September special? For me I like to get out those cookbooks that collect dust on my bookshelf and flip through them with a vow to try some new recipes for the fall. I especially love that with September comes October and who couldn’t love Halloween.

Oh, and who couldn’t love my new sensual mainstream romance book debuts this September 27. Rapture, a Titan myth comes true debuts with Cerridwen Press very, very soon.

So what makes September special for you? I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what you “really” think about September.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sneak Peek at Love Me Tender

“I told you that I like them feisty,” snarled Tyrana. She eyed the four men lying on the plush red velvet pillo­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ws that encompassed the pleasure room. “Do they look feisty to you?”
“I told you before, Tyrana, none of them are feisty. We can’t even make them pretend to behave that way. What do you want me to do?” asked Sarah, with an exaggerated sigh of frustration.
Sarah was her most trusted friend. She engaged in all of Tyrana’s wicked sexual romps, but none of it was fun anymore. None of it held any meaning to her. She had rutted with close to a hundred Maida men, only once though. That was her cardinal rule that she held firm to. Not that it mattered anymore.
Her life felt empty, without purpose, and she was weary to death of it all.
Learning that her sister, Rowena, was fertile had left her feeling hollow. It was as if her very own little sister had kicked her in the gut. The white-hot envy that had sprung to the surface scared Tyrana. Why her? It was a thought she couldn’t discard.
Why is it my sister, the favorite one, the self-described workaholic, is the one who ends up fertile? That question circled in Tyrana’s mind like a repeating loop, making her feel slightly ill.
A loud groan from one of the men caused Tyrana to turn her attention back to the four men. All of the men were either stroking their shafts to entice her gaze or rubbing their stones. She rolled her eyes. Bored at the very sight, she turned and sauntered out of the room.
“You’re not going to fuck them?” asked Sarah, clearly amazed Tyrana had, for once, passed up the chance to fornicate.
In truth, so was she. Why bother. Why, by the Saints, should I when it no longer pleasures me. Maybe I’m coming down with that Castima flu. Tyrana tried hard to ascribe her strange feelings to something. Anything was better than realizing the lure of sex had lost its appeal to her.
Her sister would have laughed at that one. Sex no longer brought her the temporary relief she longed for. Striding down the long corridor, she vowed to stop her little self-pity act.
What exactly is the purpose of my life? It was a question she asked herself for the umpteenth time that day. It was a day like any other. The sun shone brightly. The sky was as blue and crystal clear as the still waters that surrounded All Saints Lake, but Tyrana felt unsettled. She yearned to lash out at something…anything, but she couldn’t.
“Just where do you think you’re going?” asked her mother, stepping out into the corridor.
Her mother wore the long, purple traditional Council robe, reminding Tyrana that her mother was Her Majesty, ruler of the Supreme High Fertility Council. It was a slap in the face that she’d never be offered a seat because, yet again, she didn’t measure up.
Brushing past her mother, she mouthed the word, “Out.”
“No, you are not. This is for you,” said her mother, handing her an envelope that had her name embossed in a bold fancy gold script.
When Tyrana made no move to take it, her mother tried another tactic.
“It’s from your sister. Be courteous, take it, read it and write to her,” she demanded, attempting to forcibly open Tyrana’s hand.
“I’m not interested,” she replied, letting the yellow-stained envelope fall like a rose petal to the floor. She resisted the urge to stomp on it. That would be too childish. She walked away as her mother swept down, picked up the envelope and gathered her flowing robe around her in a huff, but not before jabbing her with her usual parting words.
“Why can’t you be good for once, like your sister?” she snapped, opening the Council Chamber door to disappear inside.
There it was again. That good word. Tyrana had long ago taken that word out of her vocabulary. It had never fit her. It was never what the Blessed Mother Saint had in mind for her.
So the word good had been ditched and replaced with wicked, bad and naughty. Those were the words people used to describe her. Those were the words of comfort that kept her warm, cocooned like a fluffy blanket in the dark of the night. After all, on Maida, if you didn’t get the curse and become fertile, you weren’t “good” enough.
The funny thing was, she had always assumed that it would be Rowena, her science loving sister who would end up infertile—not her. But that was the crux of the problem facing all Maida women. The fertility curse chose women randomly.
The choice of motherhood wasn’t theirs. It had been taken away from them a long time ago by the men who had almost destroyed their world. It had been their radioactive weapons that had released the poisonous ions into the atmosphere, into the water, into the soil and, worse, into their genetic DNA —the material that made them what they were. Those were the words her sister spoke in passion. All Tyrana had cared about at one time in her life was pleasing her mother, having a child of her own and taking a seat on the Supreme High Fertility Council.
She huffed loudly. Not anymore. That dream had dissipated over five years ago when she finally mustered the courage to take the fertility test. There had always been a part of her that had held out hope over the accumulation of years that eventually she’d be hit with the curse. Turning twenty-eight years of age had been her awakening. Even though many Maida women went through the curse late in life, Tyrana knew on that blessed day that marked her birth that it wasn’t going to happen to her. To finally put an end to that kernel of hope, she’d undertaken the test. The red stain of the liquid inside the test tube had told her what her heart dreaded. She was infertile.
From that moment on, her life had changed. Her dreams had ended. She’d learned to live day to day, not expecting much. The devastation and keen knowledge that she was barren, that her womb would never nourish a baby, was a deep ache within her, which she kept to herself.
She wished she could have confided in her sister, but she hadn’t. Instead, she let the years wash by them, moving them emotionally further away from each other. At one time, she and Rowena had shared every secret together. But all that changed when Tyrana learned she was the infertile one. And then her sister became wrapped up in her own passion to find a cure for the fertility curse. Tyrana laughed. She had never viewed fertility as the dreadful curse. What was worse was being infertile, barren and unable to procreate to further the Maida race.
Knowing that her sister was about to be married and had probably already conceived a child carved a deep wide gulf through Tyrana’s heart. That baby should have been mine. Rowena never wanted a baby. Tyrana couldn’t cope with seeing Rowena at the moment. It was just too much to bear. That was why Tyrana ignored her sister’s letters.
Tyrana shook her head, clearing the useless emotional thoughts that threatened her control. With no destination in mind, she strode out the palace doors and walked across the well-manicured, vibrant green lawn. Looking back at the palace that was her childhood home, she was hit with a realization—she hated everything about it.
It was a sterile environment that had become her own prison—filled with no expectations of what she could do with her life, except live irresponsibly. It was a trap she felt she’d never escape from. Her heart thundered with that realization. Her sister would think she, Tyrana, known as the infertile one, had more freedom than her. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. There is no freedom when choice is taken from you.
Deep in thought, she continued to walk briskly away from the palace. A shout from behind stilled her.
“Get back! Get back! Look out!” shouted a Maida guard just as a man ran at lightning speed past her, almost toppling her to the ground.
Tyrana twirled around to maintain her balance. She saw out of the corner of her eye that the man had turned almost in slow motion to watch her. Then the guard grasped her arm.
“Get back, he’s not safe,” said the guard.
But Tyrana didn’t care what the guard had to say. She was interested in the man who had the nerve to grin mischievously at her and the audacity to boldly wink at her. What is he thinking?
What am I thinking? She studied his physique quickly, her eyes drawn to his mid-waist in the half a minute it took for him to run straight into the Dark Forest. He was at least two heads taller than her. He was broad of shoulder, with straight rust-colored hair that fell to his mid-back, a back that rippled with muscles gleaming from the high noon sun. And his ass. By the Saints, it had her salivating on the spot. Her pussy juices started to flow just with the image of his long shaft she had eyed with longing as he raced past her naked as the day he was born. Thoughts of his coppery, molten-looking skin left her feeling a hunger she couldn’t describe.
“He’s the man who’s been dropping off your sister’s letters. Your mother told us to capture him for more information as to her whereabouts. So far, we’ve had no luck. And there is no way I’m going into the Dark Forest,” said the Maida guardswoman, finally releasing her hold on Tyrana’s arm.
“He’s too fast for us, but what a chase,” she cackled. “Nothing like running in the hot noon sun with that ass in front of you.”
Again the guard chortled, trying to get Tyrana to share in the joke about the man’s ass gleaming in the sun. However, Tyrana was in no mood to play nice, especially if that meant sharing anything at all that had to do with the man who had sparked an intense heat in her throbbing core.
Then what the guardswoman said penetrated Tyrana’s brain. This man, this oh-so yummy want to fuck me ‘til I die man, has been in contact with my sister. By the Saints, Tyrana wanted him and meant to have him.
Brushing off the guardswoman, Tyrana strode forward for once taking her own future into her hands. While the warnings from the guardswoman were loud, Tyrana ignored them.
After all, she had heard them all before. Anyone who entered the Dark Forest never came out. Well, that myth was no longer true. Her sister had ventured into the forest and fallen in love with a man she was about to marry.
Then it will be babies and all that stuff. Tyrana hated that jealous ache that pitted itself deep within her when she thought of the life her sister got to live. It was a life she would never know. It was a part of being a woman she’d never discover.
It’s a burden anyway, she told herself, wishing that the yearning to have a baby of her own flesh would leave her. That desire was like a scab that painfully itched and blistered under her skin.
But here, Tyrana thought, was the perfect distraction—that man! A daring plan formed in her mind. She would track that man who knew where her sister was for her own purposes. She wanted him.
A fever the likes of which she had never experienced before caused her body to flush with desire simply thinking about that fine specimen of a man who had gamely winked at her. She wanted…no, needed to have that cock of his lodged deep within her wet pussy. Maybe if I fuck long and hard enough, I’ll forget about everything else.
That’s it! This man will be my cure. Just the thought of that feisty all-too-male coppery body at her beck and call, on his knees in front of her, caused her to grin in sweet anticipation. Tyrana vowed to all the Saints that she would get what she wanted this time, no matter what.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Love Me Tender - 2 days and counting

Two days until Love Me Tender debuts with Ellora’s Cave ( and I can’t wait. Of course I did write it but Tyrana (that’s the heroine) was just screaming to tell her story after I wrote about her younger sibling Rowena in Love Me Wild. So, I finally decided to let her come out and play. I was able to contact her very briefly and here’s a bit of our interview.

Tyrana: Thanks so much Renee it’s such a joy to tell my tale. Especially after you decided to tell Rowena’s story first. Really, what were you thinking? Mine is much more interesting.
The women on your planet should consider themselves lucky. They don’t suffer from the fertility curse that afflicts us Maida women, all thanks to the men who thoughtlessly tried to destroy our planet, Alvaron with their weapons of mass destruction. Then again, I thought I heard that terminology being used in your media when I was researching your planet. Must be a coincidence.
First off let me say that had Rowena not taken off (oops, been kidnapped) I probably would have continued on with my dreary life, but when she became fertile things changed for me.

Renee: How did things change for you Tyrana, and how does the fertility curse work for Madia women?
Tyrana: Let me explain that fertility can be a curse and a blessing. If you become fertile you have days before you go insane unless you have sex and it’s the semen from the fertile men that’s the cure. However there’s a deadly catch to this quick fix for women. Once they have sex with a fertile Maida man the man is then passed the dreaded disease and yup, you guessed it, he dies. So far there’s no cure for the dreaded fertility curse. But the flip side of this is that if you don’t become fertile your status as a Maida woman changes. In my case when I realized I wasn’t going to be fertile it meant that I could never belong to the Supreme High Fertility Council which oversees Maida’s way of life. And then well let’s just say I had sex simply for the sex.

Renee: So, how did things change for you?
Tyrana: Honestly, I never thought things would change for me but then one day a man I had never seen before ran past me and it was like there was this instant change. I knew if I was going to change the path of my life this was it. I entered the forbidden Dark Forest and followed him. But he wasn’t easy to track and I’m sure if someone told me what I’d encounter, well I would have thought them crazy.

Renee: Can you tell us a little bit of what you encountered?
Tyrana: I think the best thing is for people to read the story, Renee. They say truth is stranger than fiction and in my case they are correct. Ohh, I’m going to have to go, Rusty’s got that look in his eyes again and I wouldn’t want to disappoint him.

Renee: Thank you so much Tyrana for providing us with a small glimpse into your life.

Tyrana: Not a problem. I certainly hope you have more Madia tales to tell in the future, Renee.

Renee: One never knows, Tyrana. Take care.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

It’s Hard Writing Erotica

It’s hard writing erotica romance. Okay, everyone has permission to laugh out loud with that little tidbit. But in all seriousness, writing erotica means using sharp words (some would call crude or dirty words) that are essential to the story. The joy of reading erotica is that it should get you all hot and bothered in a good way. When I started writing erotica I found this great book by Susie Bright called, How to Write a Dirty Story.

Bright’s book made me laugh and take pride in the honesty behind those “dirty” words we all like to say, hear and even read.“You might be able to fake an orgasm, but you will never be able to fake your way through writing a sex scene. Every reader will know you’re a fraud. The biggest hurdle as an erotic writer is to write believably,” writes Bright, adding, “Erotica is harder than usual in this regard, because sex is such a touchy subject, and we have to overcome so much cynicism and consumer-oriented titillation.” Bingo! she’s dead on.

I honestly believe that to be a successful erotic writer, you personally need to thoroughly enjoy sex and the mechanics of how it works for both men and women. As a writer, you need to know when it’s suitable to use the word penis, cock, shaft, vagina, cunt or pussy. Do I get all hot and bothered with the word penis? Probably not, but sometimes even in an erotic story, that might not be the authors intent in the beginning.While vagina and penis conjure up a more medical description of that particular anatomy, write cock and cunt and you’ve probably snagged the reader's attention. More important than those hard “c” words, you need to have all the fundamental elements to a good story.

If you don’t have developed characters, plot, and tension between the hero and heroine, and use timing in your story to develop those luscious sex scenes, it simply won’t work, or it won’t read honestly. And sometimes that means making your sex scene rough, sweet or juicy. The key factor in erotica writing is the intensity of sex, the use of those “naughty” words to further one's imagination and how sex relates to the plot.

Writing a sex scene just for the sex won’t snag your reader. And that’s where we encounter the “hard” part of erotica writing.As an author you always need to ask yourself, “How does this sex scene relate to the story? Is it essential? Does it enable the reader to learn another aspect of a character? Does it leave the reader with an emotional-impact?" And if you can’t read your erotica writing out loud, then don’t write it. Or better yet, teach yourself the power of those naughty words. That was one lesson I took to heart from reading Bright’s book.

Bright writes that the goal of an erotica writer is, “To discover the sexual and aural power of speaking erotic prose, to test literature you’re unsure of. If it doesn’t work out loud, it’s not going to be successful for silent readers, either." To become as fluent speaking erotic language as you are writing it—one enhances the other. And after you finish, she writes, you’ll never believe again… “That erotica is meant to be private, that speaking verse and prose is a dull exercise, that reading aloud is only for actors, and that words can’t be sex.”

Monday, August 6, 2007

I Got A Writing Grant!

The OMG thing happened to me the other day. I got a writing grant! I got a writing grant! I got a writing grant! I’m still chanting that happy reality over and over in my head. This fall from the sky money couldn’t have come up a better time – ahh, well it could have, but I’ll live. I’m thrilled and so excited and I can’t stop smiling, which is a good thing because if I’m happy so is my family.

For the past year I’ve been working on my new dark paranormal romance book I’ve called The Ungodlies:The Damned Fairy. It’s been a year writing a hard-ass guy with a chip on his shoulder who just wants to end his life, but can’t because the Queen of the Tuatha Dé Danann’s (that’s the fairy queen for those of you not into the Celtic language) cursed him to Earth to live as a human. However every time he dies he gets painfully resurrected. And after a thousand years living on Earth he really just wants to die for good. Okay, that’s the premise of my book and I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve finally completed my final round of second edits – so Christine and Dave heads up (those are my critique partners) it’s coming your way. I’m feeling really excited about this new series I’m working on, so much so that I booked myself to attend the New Jersey’s romance conference in October where I plan to pitch my new series to three big US publishers. So, once again the money will certainly help.

Within days my second erotic novella Love Me Tender debuts with Ellora’s Cave ( This is the sequel to Love Me Wild and features Rowena’s sister Tyrana, that’s the one with the bad-girl attitude which makes for a sizzling hot read. I love my new cover, the most risqué by far for me – cause the guy has buns of steel – me snickering with glee on that one. And, just this morning I received my first edits for the co-authored book I wrote with Christine d’Abo called Sweet and Spicy Spells, which will be an Ellora’s Cave Halloween 2007 release. So things are moving along.

Ohh, I almost forgot that the group I joined called 6 Degrees of Sexy has it’s own official website ( which will link you to our latest blogs. This has been a wonderful opportunity for me to join five other, very talented romance writers. We put on our thinking caps and we’ve decided to take a huge jump into the unknown. We’re going to each write a novella length story and tie it into one theme so we can launch our first 6SDoS anthology. Our goal is to have the stories finished by Dec 2007 so we’ll be sure to keep you posted on what they are and just how hot they get.

That’s it for now, folks. Please drop me a line. I love to hear from anyone.

Renee Field

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Quiet But Steady

I know I haven’t been blogging for quite a while, but what can I say, except I have been writing a ton and juggling my hectic family life. So what’s new with me? I’m happy to say a lot. While I confess to not reading The Secret, (why read it when I live it) I know this is going to be my year!! I’m half-way through my second edits in my new hot, dark paranormal I’m calling The Ungodlies: The Damned Fairy.

It’s got fairies (they prefer to be called the Tuatha Dé Danann), a hunky damned Tuatha who simply wants to end his miserable human-like existence, a spunky woman who hails from Pleasant Bay, Cape Breton (gotta add those Canadian connections) who happens to be anything but normal, an evil fairy Queen, deadly vile creatures I’ve named the Decies who suck the life-force out of everything living and lots of other stuff. Ohh, did I mention hot, steamy and oftentimes brutal sex, with no asking if you please. I’m loving it and I’m off to New York to pitch to, cause I know some publisher is just dying for it!lol

My sequel to my fantasy, futuristic erotic novella, Love Me Tender, debuts in weeks and I can’t wait to see my cover art (the Ellora’s Cave graphic artists are gods/ddess) and my first sensual, paranormal romance, Rapture debuts within two months with Cerridwen Press. I’m also working on a quickie that’s titillating hot and I’m working on another book I’m calling The Damned Angel. Think I’ve got a “damned” theme going on for the next while. But, what can I say except I love my bad boys.

Ohh, and did I mention I’m working on my first screen play ever – again I admit it’s got an end of the world theme going on and sad to say it’s not romance. It’s full of caustic humor, lots of religious things happening and it’s thoroughly enjoyable to write for a change.
And the other really fun thing, cause us writers tend to write in solitude (or cafés with our heads down) is that I’ve joined a romance writers blog group with five other hot, romance writers – check us out:

And my romance writer friend Christine d’Abo’s debut novel, The Bond that Ties Us, with Ellora’s Cave came out on Friday. I’ve had her cover magnet on my fridge for months – it’s been quite the topic of conversation for the ladies who come into my kitchen, which is where my main door is. The cover is very provocative and I can’t wait to read it...plan to order my copy later tonight from EC.

What else in my life? Paddling, paddling and more paddling with swimming. Yup that’s my life. We belong to a paddling club all summer and my eldest paddles three times a day so I’m basically at the beach from 9:30am-4pm and then back to pick him up when he’s completed his last paddle at 5:30pm. What can I say, except that I’m a firm believer that keeping kids busy keeps them out of trouble and since my first three were boys (yup our last wee one turned out to be a girlie-girl) I’m becoming a beach bum (in more ways in one). So hence me starting my diet yet again and vow to get my ass on the treadmill three times a wk – so that’s what’s new in my life.

Drop me a line...I’m always wondering if anyone reads my rants!

Renee Field
Love Me Tender, debuts Aug. 15 with Ellora's Cave (
Love Me Wild, availalbe now with EC
Rapture, debuts September 27 with Cerridwen Press (

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Trying To Write With Summer/Heat & Four Kids At Home - ugh!

For all those other writers attempting like me to write, hat's off to you! Truthfully, I'm feeling itchy, not enough time in the day or places without my kids - lol. Now, I love summer, relish it in fact. I dream of hot, sweaty days and come March here in Canada with our wet, cold snowy days I'm just about achy for those days of summer. However, once summer gets here I start counting down until September. Maybe it's just me. I seem to be more organized when my kids are in school and can actually buckle down to write my ass off. For the past few weeks I've been attempting to write on my dining room table and well, it's mom this, or mom that and it's very hard writing hot scenes with your kids calling after you every five seconds. Okay, I'm breathing deep and my rant is over. On another happy note, I'm half-way through my second draft of my new series, The Ungodlies: The Damned Fairy and I'm loving my screen play I'm working on, which is not romance related at all and my second novella, Love Me Tender is less than three weeks away from debuting On that note, what is everyone else doing?

Renee Field

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Applauding Writers!

I won! Okay, now I need to back that statement up. My debut erotica novella, Love Me Wild won the 2007 Night Owl Romance Award for Best Shapeshifter story (

Now this might not seem like a lot upon first glance but second place went to one of my favorite authors, Christine Feehan, so I’m taking this award and running with it. After all if I can’t applaud myself who will. And that’s the state of being a writer.

We often write in our own fantasy world, head down to shield out the rest of the universe, or we’re pounding away on our laptops huddled away in a corner at a café. Or we’re still wearing our pj’s determined to make our deadline as we type away at home, while ignoring the phone, the delivery person and the mess of our house.

If someone told me when I was going to undertake this career that the only person to congratulate me would be myself, I probably would have laughed at them. But it’s true. So true that after one year of writing, with only one good writing friend (and Karen Bagnell you know that’s you girl!) I decided I had to join a writer’s group or I’d go crazy. I joined not so much to gain recognition but to be with like-minded people who understood what I meant when I said, “I was a writer”.

What I discovered was my own local RWA chapter—the only one in Atlantic Canada. It’s a diverse group of people and the really weird thing is from day one I felt welcomed. I’m also now really proud of all of them. I never feel like I can’t tell someone in the group what I’m working on for fear they “might steal my idea,” because I’ve learned there are enough ideas out there for everyone. The talent in this group blows my mind. Recently the president in our group, Kelly Boyce, emailed everyone on the loop informing them her book, Desire and Brimstone won in the Windy City’s RWA contest for best historical and the double whammy was that her hero, Devlin made the cut for a new category “Hero-guaranteed to Blow You Away!” I wanted to take her out and celebrate with her. I just know this time next year she’ll be doing another happy dance to celebrate either the release of her book or a major publishing contract. Way to go, Kelly! Then there’s Judith who just signed on with Medallion Press for her book which I can’t wait to buy and I could go on about the others but I will save them each for a special occasion. But you get my meaning. They are all talented.

So back to my win! I won! I won! I won! I’m holding on to that for as long as my bubble allows and when it starts to deflate I’m going to write some more and then pat myself on the back.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sunshine Through the Rain

Yesterday it poured buckets of rain and I felt like it was tears falling from heaven. I tried not to watch the TV but at times was glued to every sound bite and picture that showed what had happened at Virginia Tech, over and over again. For me, it brought memories of Ecole Polytechnic in Montreal, where all day I tried desperately to reach a close friend only to finally get a hold of her the next day, with that feeling of relief pouring into me. Thousands of questions, none with answers streamed through my consciousness. Why? Why? Why? And will it ever end?

So, what did I do? I went to Starbucks in the morning for the normality of it and poured myself into my edits. Last week I did my happy dance. I finished my new dark paranormal romance and I’m now working on a first thorough read-through. Then I will print it off, place it aside for a good two weeks, which will give me time to work on my third erotic novella (can’t wait to do that) and then get out my red pen and do first edits – something I’m not looking forward to at all. My goal, to have ready for a publisher by May…any publisher out there wanting a sneak peek, drop me an email at

Late in the afternoon I got an email from Night Owl Romance informing me that my first erotic novella, Love Me Wild, was nominated for their new Night Owl Romance Award (me shouting with glee and joy). After I checked out the site and of course emailed as many people as I could, I settled down to absorb this tidbit. The breath quite literally left my lungs. My work in the category for best shape shifter was listed with amazing romance authors leaving me with that shaky feeling for the rest of the day. So, here is a blatant plug – check this site out and cast a vote my way -

I can’t tell you how much fun I had writing my first erotic novella, which really enabled me to push the boundaries. Ellora’s Cave also signed on for the second novella, Love Me Tender, and yes, I had lots of fun with building my sexy fantasy world and hunk of a man, with that extra special ability (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). I’m working on the third and final in the series, in between my two-week break from my main work this year. And then I plan to finish my second Titan book in the series, which has an Alpha male, a sea dragon, a feisty female librarian who is not one bit bookish, a deadly undersea plague and much more.

So, even with the pouring rain that quite literally had my hair frizzy like you wouldn’t believe I grabbed onto that slice of sunshine Night Owl Romance sent my way and smiled, smiled and smiled some more. The TV channel has been switched to the entertainment shows because I’m going to hold onto my fantasy for as long as I can for the rest of the day.

Drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you. Tell me what boundaries you’ve pushed in your writing career (I promise, I can keep a secret). Email me at or check out my website at

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Everything You Write Matters!

I write every day. And it’s hard. It’s hard to make time to write or write to the timeframe you’re given. No matter, they are one and the same. And sometimes what I write can be prolific, inspiring, emotional, or a simple grocery list. Yes, you read that last line and I know you just thought, schmuck, that’s not writing. But, you’re wrong, and I’d bet you’ve never seen my grocery lists.

Sometimes next to that list of eggs, milk and bread flows a thought-provoking poem, or a rant that has to do with shopping, commercialism, material objects – ah, well, you get the picture. Some of those lists I’ve kept—tucked them neatly into my poetry journal to be re-read at another poignant juncture in my life.

Why do I write every day? Well, if I don’t I get cranky. I have many muses rambling around in my head and there are times I honestly feel if I don’t let those voices out, I will go crazy.
I also write every day because when I was in university studying my first literally passion, poetry, a dear professor called Irving Layton gave me permission to do just that. And while I have many delightful stories I could tell about the joys and angst of having every word you write examined by one of Canada’s top-notch poets, those I will share for another time. However, Layton was the first adult in my life who really encouraged me to let those muses free and I’m not sure I’d be the same/sane person I am today without his blessing.

So, I do write every day. I travel with a bulky black purse another writer friend gave me who knew I needed a bag large enough for all my favorite pens (yes I do confess to having a bit of a fetish where pens are concerned) and at least one notebook or journal. I view life as opportunities and lo and behold I should miss any simply because I didn’t have paper or pen at my disposal.

Some of my best poems, short stories and even my latest dark paranormal I am working on began as scribbled notes or outlines either at Starbucks or waiting in the van for the light to turn green.

I also thoroughly enjoy writing rants. Those I tend to write so fast I am quite certain no one could decipher my unique shorthand codes and scribblings. You’re probably asking yourself how is that productive? Well, let me tell you, writing rants has to be the best thing I have discovered in the last five years. Productive? One hundred per cent. First off, no one is judging me but myself and I long ago learned to listen to my inner-ear, smile and tune out the rest. No one is reading my rant and checking all my grammatical mistakes or reading it for content to see if it does make sense. Probably not! But ranting gets all that emotional junk out of the way so that I can really write. Ranting lets me vent my frustration, and then crumple it up and throw it away. I’ve discovered it’s the throwing away part that is key to this liberation. If I kept that rant, I know I’d take it out and try to make sense of it, but that would defeat the purpose. Ranting for me is telling a best friend all your dirty little secrets knowing that person would never betray you.

My best friend is a blank piece of paper. To me there is almost nothing as sacred as the crisp clean feel of a blank page or opening that first page to a new journal. So I write every day. Be it small, medium or large, I write simply because I’ve given myself permission to do so.

Write & Rant away! let me know what you thought of my blog. Check out my website at