Friday, August 31, 2007


I've been a good girl lately (koff) and I've been working (aka slogging) through my edits for Winter's Daughter - the release date is December 7, 2007 - a day that will live in infamy for more than one reason now!

Okay, where was I?

Oh yes, so I was sitting at home deep into the edits when my phone rang. A friend has been having troubles with her computer and honestly I was tired of dealing with it over the phone so I told her I'd come out and take care of it. So I grabbed my disks and my dog and together we headed north.

It was only when I was more than 2/3 of the way there that I realized...yes...I'd grabbed the wrong disks. (How does that happen??) So I decided to go on up as heck, the least she could do was feed me since I Tried to help her at least. :)

Did I mention she was getting ready to move?

So to make a long story short, I ended up spending hours in the depths of her basement packing canning jars she probably hadn't touched since ninteen eighty. Amid the myriad of spider webs (I didn't have my glasses on so I couldn't see the spiders at least) and inches of dust, she wouldn't let me out until I was coated in dirt along with a fine layer of cat hair.


Then when I did finally manage to climb out a basement window (shoulda seen me trying to shove my dog's fat ass out the window, it was ugly) I then was hit by a 747 right in the head. Now Deb said it was a horse fly, but I'm pretty sure it was a plane of some sort. A fly couldn't possibly weigh THAT much!

See what happens why you try to help someone out?? I ended up stuck in a pit with god only knows how many six legged creatures and cats that I'm allergic to.

Opps, the phone is ringing and no, I'm not answering it. So if you're the calling me, don't be disappointed, I'll be rinsing the spiderwebs out of my hair. :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

xPost: Come Over To Ellora's Cave Today!

Hey everybody!

I'm hosting a List Mom day at the Ellora's Cave readers group on Yahoo today. Since it's release day (SQUEEE! Egyptian Voyage hit the cyber shelves!) we're doing a half day release day hype type event. Lots of excerpts and prizes, so COME GET SOME ;D

Starts at 1:00 pm EST and ends at 6:00 pm EST

Get to the readers group here: Ellora's Cave Reader Chat

Also, LAST DAY for the ARCANE AUGUST contest! Better get your entry in so you can have a chance to take home your share of TEN books! For details, visit The Scoop page on my website HERE: The Scoop

Sunday, August 26, 2007

No gain...

Now, for anyone who really knows me, my purpose in life is to become one with the couch. I'm all about sprawling in a chair, or on the bed - until I literally need to be dusted. I'm also at my computer for ten to twelve hours a day - yet another position that doesn't allow much physical activity.
So one day this spring, I decided it was past time to do something to get my butt moving so I bought a membership to the local recreation center. It's very swanky with a rubberized walking track (great for my bum knee) two large swimming pools, basketball court and a state of the art fitness room.
The reason I purchased said membership is because I do own an exercise bicycle, but I can't find it under all of the laundry.
Hey, it has to go SOMEWHERE and dumping on the floor is SO last year!
I love the pool. I must have been a mermaid in a previous life as I can barely be pried out of the water so I use the membership for the pool. I'd taken some water aerobics classes and now that I know the moves, I just do them on my own at my own speed and when time permits.
Of course, time rarely permits.
It's been at least two weeks since I hit the pool, bad, bad JC, so I woke up early, forced my fat ass out of bed and into the bathing suit.
First off, I really don't think any woman should have to deal with that much lycra first thing in the morning. It really is a horrifying experience when you're half asleep and you're trying to force your flab into a bathing suit AND get it arranged so that you look vaguely don't want your arm flab to suddenly pop out where your breast should be.
I mean, come on - lives are at stake people!
Secondly - I don't know about anyone else but I usually feel a little bloated in the morning. I'm dehydrated from sleeping and then the body hangs onto every drop of water it can so when you are squeezing your butt into the dreaded bathing suit, it is magnified by knowing you're hanging onto an extra few pounds.
Let's face it - bathing suits are just ugly business.
So I'm in my old-lady black and white bathing suit and I grab the gym bag and headed out the door. It's about a quarter after seven which is the middle of the night for me, so I'm sleepy but looking forward to the pool - I'd pep talked myself you see - so I was ready to get my heart pumping and maybe shave a pound off my butt.
When I arrived at the rec center, the parking lot is empty...not a good sign. So I pop out of the car and run to the door - they're CLOSED for remodeling.
Don't they understand I GOT OUT OF BED EARLY TO BE HERE?
Yes I was cranky but I went home and broke out the Hostess Twinkies - I felt much better after that. :)

Friday, August 24, 2007

All those unfinished books

No, I'm not talking about the ones I started to read but couldn't get into, though there are plenty of those, too.

I'm talking about all the unfinished stories sitting on my hard drive or backed up on CDs. Those ideas that seemed so compelling when they first occurred to me, but somehow never got completed.

I probably have two dozen stories I started writing but have never finished. A couple I know I'll go back to and finish. Others will remain forever half-baked ideas that never made it to the oven.

I've finished enough stories to know I can do it so it's not that I worry about never completing another one. I just wonder what happened to so many ideas I once thought would make great novels or novellas. Where did they go off the rails? Or did they?

A few got derailed by circumstances. A couple of times I had to stop writing one story to do edits on another or finish something for a deadline. Occasionally when my train of thought for a story gets derailed by circumstances, I find it hard to get it back on the right track.

Sometimes I’ve realized that I didn’t have as good a story idea as I thought and sometimes I discovered the characters weren’t right for the plot or the plot wasn’t going anywhere particularly interesting. A few crashed when I hit the wall and found I had no idea where the plot was going and couldn’t figure out how to bring it around. Others just seemed to come to a screeching halt for no apparent reason.

It’s that last group that I sometimes worry about.

Katherine Kingston

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I'll admit this hasn't been a banner blog week for me because I couldn't think of anything new today to say. So I borrowed from another blog I did yesterday. :) That's okay. I had a heck of a time thinking of a topic yesterday, so when I did think of a topic, I decided it was a good day for a Wednesday twenty. Not a Thursday thirteen or a Friday ten. Okay, so there isn’t a Friday ten…that I know of. Do you know how difficult it was to come up with twenty favorite things? Not because I couldn’t think of twenty things, but because I couldn’t narrow it down to twenty without some serious hair pulling. So here’s the raggety list The first item is a no brainer I didn’t have a bit of trouble putting as my top pick.

1. Spending time with my husband.

2. Have several hours to write completely without interruption of any kind human or mechanical.

3. Reading a fantastic book without interruption for several hours.

4. Eating at my favorite Italian restaurant in Arizona.

5. Eating at my favorite Southwest cuisine restaurant in Arizona.

6. Eating popcorn.

7. Eating pizza.

8. Enjoying a glass of Columbia Crest Merlot and having that glass last for hours.

9. Watching a spectacular action flick on the big screen.

10. Visiting with my little nieces, nephews, and grandbabies.

11. Feeling younger than I did when I was twenty-five on my fourty-fifth birthday.

12. Hearing a string of favorite tunes from the seventies and eighties.

13. Thinking about my three years in England and all the lovely castles I visited throughout the UK.

14. Having a luxury weekend at a resort with my hubby.

15. Discovering a super new author to read that really absorbs me in his or her story so I don’t want to put down their book.

16. Hearing a favorite author has a new book for me to read.

17. Getting royalty checks from my publishers.

18. Realizing I actually get paid to write!

19. Having a peak experience of peace.

20. Last, but not least, being the luckiest woman in the world. In my humble opinion.

So name what some of your very favorite things in the world and share them with me!

Denise A. Agnew

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Squeeee! It's Out!

The second book in the Vampire Council of Ethics is released today! Talk about psyched! The first book, Carinian's Seeker, V.C.O.E. Book 1 has received rave reviews. I hope you enjoy this follow up just as much. It's Alaan's story...'nuff said ;D

Yummy excerpt below '*wink*'

..• ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.•´ .•´¨¨))
((¸¸.•´ ..•´ -:¦:-
-:¦:- ((¸¸.•´*
SERATI'S FLAME, Aug. 21, 2007
EGYPTIAN VOYAGE, Aug. 29, 2007

Excerpt - PG13

“Damned woman,” Alaan grumbled to himself. “Of all people, why does Tameth Serati-Cole have to be my Second? Nothing but trouble, hanging out with that Clan Hatsept pipsqueak, pale-faced, stringy-haired pimp. Who cares if she outranks almost every Seeker in the Western territories? She’s still a royal pain in the ass…”

And strong, reliable, beautiful. Hair so thick and long he wouldn’t mind wrapping himself in it. Not to mention a killer body that called to him whenever she walked by, and an ass so perfect… Wait a minute. What the hell was he thinking? The more he thought about the woman, the stronger the longing was that crept up the back of his mind and surrounded his heart with the need for a mate. But he couldn’t walk that path again. He couldn’t feel this way about Tameth, or anyone else. It wasn’t worth the heartache. His position as both a Seeker and son to the Serati Matriarch made life too dangerous for any woman foolish enough to love him.

Pushing away the dull, empty ache centered in his chest along with the raging hard-on that accompanied images of Tameth these days, Alaan painted on his customary scowl and walked the last flight of stairs up to her apartments.

He stopped cold in the middle of the wide, long hallway. What the hell was that? It sounded like…moaning. Sensing no danger, he started moving towards Tameth’s door with slow, measured steps, his boots silent as he padded across the plush carpet. All was quiet except for a murmur so faint Alaan was sure he would have missed it if not for his exceptional hearing. Something about the sound made his heart rate kick up. The sheaths covering his fangs tingled and itched, and the typically smooth skin over his brows furrowed into a deep frown. The barely audible sound caused a fierce physical reaction as his keen eyesight raked the area from one end of the long stretch to the other. There it was again, a feminine gasp and sigh that sounded like…

“Oh, yes, God, that feels so good. Mmm, a little lower.”


“Whatever you want, baby, however you want it,” whispered a seductive male voice. A very familiar, too-smooth male voice.

Before he’d even made a decision on what to do next, Alaan sprinted the final distance to Tameth’s door, moving silently towards the source of the noises.

Her cries of pleasure wrapped around his cock and squeezed, while at the same time the very thought of her with another male had his gut twisting in knots. A scorching surge of anger whipped through him so blazing hot, the ends of his hair singed a coal black.

So she was moaning, eh? Well, the person who made her create that sound had better be prepared to have the living shit kicked out of him.

With one huge shoulder braced against the door, Alaan readied himself to force it open, then decided to change his tactic. To hell with the subtle approach. He stepped back, lifted a heavily-booted size thirteen and kicked with all his strength. The door flew several feet into the room followed by a pissed off six-foot-five, two-hundred-and-fifty-pound Seeker.

Fangs bared in fury, Alaan burst into Tameth’s living room ready to do some serious damage. His fingers automatically closed over the handle of the customized laser-sighted titanium pistol in the holster at the small of his back. Then his whole body went completely still.

Please, God, let the earth open up and swallow me now.

A fully clothed Kenoe sat on the couch, knees spread, with an equally clothed Tameth sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of him receiving a shoulder massage. The two couldn’t have looked more like best girlfriends if they’d tried.

And both of them had the smirk from hell plastered across their smug faces.

"Uh, please tell me you’re going to pay for that, Alaan,” Tameth said easily, nodding towards the ruined door flat on the carpet. Without waiting for a response, she leaned her head to the side and Kenoe pressed his pale fingers into an obviously sore spot on her shoulder.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I just got the cover for my new release, Egyptian Voyage, coming August 29th. And it's frickin' GORGEOUS!


..• ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.•´ .•´¨¨))
((¸¸.•´ ..•´ -:¦:-
-:¦:- ((¸¸.•´*
SERATI'S FLAME, V.C.O.E. Book 2, Samhain Publishing, August 21, 2007
EGYPTIAN VOYAGE, A Torrid Tarot Novel, Ellora’s Cave ~ August 29, 2007
FERAL FASCINATION Anthology, Ellora’s Cave ~ In Print Summer 2007
FELINE SHADOWS, Ellora’s Cave ~ Winter 2008

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

The other morning, my critique partner tossed off 4500 words on her new manuscript, and gave it to me to look at over lunch. Yes, you read that correctly. 4500 words. In one morning. I'm lucky if I can manage 3000 words working sunup to sundown.

When I asked her how she'd managed to write so much so quickly, she pointed to her sheet of notes -- scribbled bits of plot and character development that were cryptic in the extreme. But she claimed she'd been thinking about the story since the previous night, and had it pretty much written in her head, so she just had to type it out. Unfortunately for my hopes of ever having a 4500 word morning, I don't write like that.

A few days ago, Tina blogged about the difference between being a plotter or pantser. But most pantsers -- at least among the published authors I've talked to, and it's worth noting that these are the ones that finish books and deliver them on schedules -- don't write blind. They have some sort of an idea for the book. They may not have a plot, per se, with turning points and escalations and denouments, but they have a theme, or a motif, or a character arc, or a situation they want to explore. In other words, they have a plan, loose though it may be.

I'm not a plotter. The conflicting needs and desires of my characters produce their actions, and those actions result in a plot. But it's like quantum physics ... all plots are possible, until the moment when the waveform collapses and a single plot is chosen. So my writing is a series of collapsing waveforms, looking at the range of plots, picking one, writing a few hundred or thousand words until the range of possible plots is once again overwhelming and a new one needs to be selected, then the whole process repeats until the book is finished.

To keep from wandering forever lost in my imagination, I rely on my plan, which helps me to choose the appropriate options from among the glittering host of possibilities. So, for example, in my current release from Cerridwen Press, SHADOW PRINCE, my plan included the basic setup for the story, the backstory (developed in NOT QUITE CAMELOT), and the dichotomies I wanted to explore, such as trust/suspicion. And because of genre conventions, I knew that the characters would ultimately be sucessful in their quest, and the resolution would be a happy one, although I didn't quite know what that resolution would be. When faced with a choice for where to take the story next, I went back to the plan, and that kept the whole thing flowing in a cohesive fashion, building toward the final showdown at the end.

I'm finishing a new novel, now, and really need to write quickly. With my critique partner's example, I thought I'd try making some notes for what has to happen in the various chapters remaining. They ended up being notes like "wanders around town, meets people, learns things". Wow, exciting chapter, huh? I'm sure it will be, by the time I write it. But until that moment when a single possibility is chosen, there's really no way of knowing what will happen. That's what keeps it interesting.

Monday, August 13, 2007

My To Be Read pile overfloweth

With especially good books, too. It's in danger of falling over.

Due to the fact, I checked out a book (The Harlequin by LKH), it has to be back in two weeks, and I'm reading Dirty by Megan Hart for a bookclub, I'm reading two books right now. And Harry Potter is waiting in the wings. Don't usually read two at once. But maybe I should. So the TBR pile doesn't become a health hazard.

How many books are in your TBR pile right now? What's next on the list?

Mechele aka Lany of Melany Logen

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Plotter or Pantser, that is the Question...

If you sit and listen to any group of writers talk, eventually, you'll hear the familiar question of, "Are you a plotter or a pantser?"

No, this isn't some secret handshake or a writing outfit, it's something which was created to bring torment and evil down upon every writer's head!!! (Okay, got a little carried away there, sorry...) But seriously, plotter, is just what it sounds like - a writer who plots out their book, some meticulously, some loosely. And a pantser is someone who has a vague idea what their book is about, and who the characters are, and just sits down and writes and sees what happens as it goes.

Now, I have tried both of these methods, and thought I'd share my pain and suffering so you would be better able to compare and contrast.

I started out trying to be a plotter. After all, I mistakenly figured all writers were. I mean, how could they write all those intricate twists and turns and then bring back in something that happened on page 4 without careful planning, right? So, when I got an idea for my very first book, I scribbled down scene and plot ideas on a piece of paper and had the entire book planned out before I even tried to write one chapter.

So, what happened? I hated it and considered throwing myself on my sharp pencil and putting and end to my suffering. It just wasn't any fun for me to plan out everything first, because by the time I started writing, I was sick of the story!

But, I wanted to be a writer, so once I finished the plotting, I sat down and wrote the first three chapters. Granted, they were three of the most horrible chapters known to man, but hey, they were my first three chapters of a book that I was GOING to publish, so I was doing a happy dance.

Fast forward to my first meeting with my critique group. They all read my chapters and besides telling me things like numbers are spelled out, okay is spelled out and not written as "ok," the hero and the heroine should probably meet in the first three chapters, no head hopping and etc, they weren't warm and fuzzy with my plot either. Too contrived, too predictable, too cliche. And I have to admit looking back, they were totally and completely right.

I rewrote those chapters and struggled through several dozen more rewrites to finish that book. I did sell that book, it came out as Into a Dangerous Mind, which was an RT Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Small Press Contemporary Paranormal for 2006. It's currently with my agent so we can resell it. But the moral of that story is, the book did turn out okay.

BUT - I found out the hard way that as I wrote, I would find better ideas and I would end up deviating from the plot, and then I would spend countless hours going back and refiguring out the plot. GRRRRR!!!!

For my second book, I decided that plotting was not for me, so screw plotting. I was now a self-proclaimed pantser. So, I sat down to write what would become Stone Maiden. I wrote and wrote and my plot meandered and curled and twisted and I ended up rewriting and banging my head against the wall to get out of dead ends I'd written myself into. But, on a bright note, I liked this better than plotting! The book did well, and finaled in the Golden Quill contest and was nominated for eCataRomance Reviewer's choice award. Yet, I knew I hadn't quite found a solution which worked for me. On one bright note - I found out that you can still make those twisty plots happen and tie in things you did on page 4 because your subconscious is really great about remembering those things and bringing them to the surface when you need them!

By the time I sat down to write Fire Maiden, I was leery of trying either of the methods above. So, I tried my best to combine the two. I brainstormed with my critique group and scribbled down important things I knew I wanted in the book and didn't want to forget. Then I did some character sketches - birth to present, which really helped me get to know my characters and to write in their voice. Only THEN did I sit down and write. This allowed me enough structure to not totally flounder, since I knew a general direction I wanted to go in, but also allowed me the freedom to use new ideas as they came to me. Woo Hoo! I had found my style.

Is it perfect? Hell, no. I still bang my head against the wall on plenty of occasions, but it's a good fit for me and taking the best parts of both worlds has helped me finish all my other books to date.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not touting that this is right for you. I've tried to show you a little of my painful journey above so you can see that everyone is different. I have a good friend who plots every minute detail - to a point which would drive me insane. But it works for her and she gets books done - that's what counts. I have another good friend who is a writing machine, and she doesn't plot at all. She comes up with an idea and some general character ideas and she sits down to write and the story spins out under her fingertips.

None of us are doing it wrong, we are doing it right - for us. Don't let anyone tell you that X is the gospel of how to write, I don't care what it is. Everyone is different, their brains work differently, their work styles and comfort levels are different and we all can't be neatly compartmentalized into the same box. This same logic goes for "writing rules" which I hate. For every writing rule which states, you can NOT do X or you'll never sell, I've seen people break it successfully. Just make sure you know the rule well so you are breaking it on purpose and not accidentally!

Well, there's my wisdom for the day. I'm off to work on my WIP. If you want something steamy to read to perk up your weekend, head on out to my newest release - Ceremony of Seduction, written as Cassie Ryan. You can find it in any of the brick and mortar stores and in most places they are face out with my steamy cover :) Just be forewarned, it's a VERY hot book. So, if you like that - go grab a copy and I'll go finish up the sequel. :)


Friday, August 10, 2007



Where does it come from?

That’s probably one of the most frequently asked questions that an author hears. Where do you get your ideas? Where do your characters come from?

If you asked a hundred different authors you’d probably get a similar answer—EVERYWHERE.

Ideas abound in the everyday and in the mundane. We listen to snippets of conversation while we’re standing in a line-up at the grocery store. We notice the interesting looking gentleman at the coffee shop. We check out what other women are wearing and file it away for future use. In short, authors are always on the lookout for inspiration.

The media is a great place to spark ideas—magazines, books, movies and television. An article in a magazine might make an author stop and go “hmmm”, while a headline on a tabloid newspaper could start a story spinning. Movies are inspirational if only for the pure physicality of them. Check out the movie “300” and you’ll have visions of hard-bodied warriors running around in your head. For an author, that could lead to a story idea, maybe even taking them to another planet or an alternate universe. With so many news programs and reality television shows available these days there is inspiration everywhere.

Sure, most people notice these things, but the author holds them up, squints, and looks a them slightly differently, maybe takes them apart and twists them around to create something totally new.

Life is filled with possibilities and little gems of story ideas just waiting to be hatched. On the very rare occasion a flash of inspiration will pop in your mind, seemingly out of nowhere. I always figure that’s a gift from the Muses and I take it and run with it.

Sometimes the Muse can forsake an author, leaving them with pen poised and nothing to say. At that point, an author needs to stop thinking and trust that inspiration will come. Take a walk, do the dishes, read a book, eat chocolate. In other words, let go and allow the ideas to flow to you.

Yes, there is inspiration everywhere and authors somehow manage to find the golden little gems in the everyday and from them conjure something completely unique.

It’s a fun job to get paid to make up stuff. And I know that every author out there feels the same way.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Thirteen Reasons for the Attraction between Tall Men and Short Petite Women

Thirteen Reasons for the Attraction between Tall Men and Short Petite Women
unscientifically compiled by Ann Bruce

Since high school, every guy I dated is six feet and over. The tallest is six-four. I'm five-foot-nothing. It was an interesting eleven months with six-four.

Anyway, I noticed that a lot of short (actually, we prefer the term “petite”) women date tall men. Now, is this because the average height of North American men increased? Or is it more psychological?

Well, after a few glasses of wine, my significant other, who's six-two (he's says I left out a half inch, but I think he made it up) and will henceforth be referred to as “the SO,” and I got on this topic and came up with the following thirteen reasons why we're together.

  1. 1. Kitchen counters are not made for tall people. The SO says that it hurts his back to bend over the counter to prepare food. That's where I come in handy. Or so he claims.

  2. With the SO around, I no longer require a step stool because he can reach everything in the top cabinets and the top of my bookshelves with a Swiffer. He's also useful in that regard in grocery stores.

  3. When *ahem* I have overindulged, he can easily carry me home. Or at least to his car. Or piggyback me, as has happened on one occasion.

  4. I've always wanted to be four inches taller (without the aid of high heels) and he's always wanted to be three inches shorter. We figure any future offspring from our combined DNA will be the ideal height.

  5. When we fly together, even the seats in economy class are quite roomy for me (my feet don't touch the floor when I'm sitting unless I point my toes). The SO is not so fortunate. Luckily for him, I allow him to stow his carryon underneath the seat in front of me so he can stretch out those long legs underneath the seat in front of him.

  6. He travels light; I don't understand the concept. Good thing he’s okay with lugging my suitcases around as well as his.

  7. I remember going to shopping malls and grocery stores with my parents when I was younger. I inevitably got separated from them. My parents are short people and, thus, are hard to find in a crowd. I don't have the same problem with the SO.

  8. I occasionally get hit on by other guys when we socialize. I discourage wannabe-Lotharios by pointing out the SO, who looks suitably intimidating without having to try too hard. When I get hit on by women, however, the SO's not as helpful. When will he ever understand that I've been there, done that, and I’m never drinking that much again?

  9. When I get cold and there's not a jacket or blanket handy, I use him as my portable heater. He holds me and, not only does his body heat keep me warm, his tall frame blocks any wind coming my way.

  10. With him, I don’t have to push my way through a crowd. He can cut a path through a crowd better than I ever will. It's like the parting of the Red Sea.

  11. We are an endless source of amusement for our friends. One saw us standing together one day and commented that I didn't need to bend down very far if the SO and I ever get bored and need a...distraction. The SO was amused; me, not so much.

  12. There are couples who share clothes and think it’s cute when it’s actually kind of creepy because they end up looking like siblings. The SO and I will never enter that murky territory because he can’t even get one of my T-shirts over his head and I swim in his.

  13. And, well, there's oh-so-obvious benefit of tall men dating petite women, but there's no need for me to spell it out.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. An Island Life

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

MBA=Married But Available

I quite enjoyed a number of the interesting suggestions for MBA (the Internet was really put to use for this contest), but I was looking for "Married But Available."

And the winner is...Brandy D from El Paso, TX!

Brandy, please email your snail mail addy to ann @

Thanks to everyone for entering!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Shadow of a Doubt is in trade paperback!

I just got word today that Shadow of a Doubt, my romantic suspense, is now available in trade paperback from Cerridwen Press!
Blurb for Shadow of a Doubt:
When Liz Ramsey, a detective with the Hartersburg, NC Police Department is called out in the middle of the night to investigate the murder of a prostitute, she expects the investigation to be unpleasant and possibly difficult. She doesn't expect to meet the most magnetic man she's ever encountered. Nor does she expect the strange twists the investigation will take, leading into some of the darker byways of the human psyche. And nothing could prepare her for the heartbreaking decision she'll eventually have to make to solve the case.
Four Stars from Romantic Times
"This psychological thriller had me ripping through pages at the speed of light. Every time I'd think I had things figured out, I'd be thrown a curve. A must read, but be sure to read it with the lights on." ---Kathy Boswell, Romantic Times
Order it here.

Let me tell you about my new mailing list group

I have a brand new group where I'll be posting release dates of my books, signings, contests and some excerpts to tease and tantalize you. Just click on the link below to join:
I hope you'll sign up

and make a note: My latest Desiree Holt romantic suspense, WHERE DANGER HIDES, will be released Wednesday August 15.


Today is my birthday. ) Confetti! Champagne! Well, okay, I plan on having a little champagne. I haven’t had any champagne since New Year’s Eve. I have my favorite, Martini and Rossi Asti Spumanti (okay, it’s sparkling wine…not champagne).

In the meantime, my latest Special Investigations Agency (SIA) story, INSTINCT, is out today as well.

Who or what is the SIA? Is it a secret society? A new government agency? If you said government agency, you’d be right. The SIA stands for Special Investigations Agency and it’s the fictional organization created when Rosemary Laurey, Tracy Cooper Posey and I wrote the WINTER WARRIORS anthology for Ellora’s Cave. All three stories featured heroines who are agents.

In the fictional world, the SIA formed twenty years ago to stamp out threats to the world at large, especially those of a supernatural bent. The SIA is an international organization. Although my stories often originate at the SIA main headquarters for the U.S., which is situated at a top secret facility in Colorado, I wanted my stories to include plenty of adventure in other places.

In my story MANEATER featured in the WINTER WARRIORS anthology, the heroine and the hero, both agents for SIA, don’t have supernatural powers themselves. Yet they use their brains and brawn to bring down the genetically mutated creature stalking a high mountain lab. This story had its tongue-in-cheek moments. When I wrote it I wanted the reader to get a laugh along with the adventure.

After the success of the anthology, and major idea brainstorming, I decided to carry the SIA one step farther and shaped full length novels featuring more characters from this premier agency. PRIMORDIAL combines my love for archaeology with a desire to write a story set in a jungle. It is hard to define this book other than to say it is romantic suspense/thriller/and paranormal all wrapped into one. I created Puerto Azul, a fictional Central American country as my setting, then featured an archaeologist heroine and a drop-dead gorgeous agent ready to take on a sinister enemy in order to retrieve a stolen artifact.

In OVER THE LINE, a shorter romantic suspense novel, I gave the classic boss-and-subordinate in-love-story a twist and added a stalker to the mix.

Then came SINS AND SECRETS, which features a hero who isn’t what he appears to be. This story is a complex romantic suspense with one (maybe two) bad guys, and a hero and heroine with psychic abilities. In JUNGLE FEVER, I returned to Puerto Azul, this time with a quickie story that is laced not only with heat, but with a heart-wrenching, romantic story. In HIDEAWAY, I mixed an author heroine who has a severe case of writer’s block with her long time friend and SIA agent. But he’s been injured on a mission and doesn’t remember her.

This June came CLANDESTINE. This story features a character that shows up in quite a few of my SIA novels. She’s finally getting her own romance! Can’t get enough of Scottish men? Not only do I have a Scottish hero in OVER THE LINE, but I also have a Scottish hero in INSTINCT. Here’s a little blurb to get you intrigued.

She can’t release the past…
But the past is about to take hold of her…
SIA scientist Mina Carling shies from contact with Scottish SIA soldier Lucas Sloan. After all, the gorgeous, tough-talking soldier has a reputation for a voracious almost…animal sexual appetite. He’s arrogant, and she doesn’t like him.
He wants nothing to do with a permanent relationship…
Yet one relationship keeps finding him…
Lucas tracks evil entities in the dark places of the world and never seeks more than physical satisfaction with women. Yet something within Mina calls to his deepest male instincts to protect, even though he doesn’t really like her.
Sometimes there are human urges that are just so…animal.
When Mina and Lucas are thrown together at a conference, all the basic instincts they’ve tried to ignore find a way to escape. All the feelings they thought were dislike melt together, in one hot, unbelievably passionate discovery.
For excerpts and more information, stop by my website at To get your copy of INSTINCT or any of my other Ellora's Cave books stop by Ellora's Cave For my title MALE CALL stop by Samhain Publishing at Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A convergence of realities

I had planned to write about my first book, Brownies, Bodies, and Breaking the Code, which is out in print now. I was all prepared to do a light-hearted little essay about writing the book, etc., but I got my first copy of the book on the day the bridge came down here in the Cities.

I'm from Minneapolis and I've driven over that bridge hundreds of times. I don't even think of it as 'a bridge over the Mississippi', since we've got a bunch of those. It's just a piece of the Interstate and it happens to have lots of water under it. I used to drive over more bridges when I lived in Pittsburgh. Every day there were two bridges I crossed, oftentimes sitting on the bridge in traffic and staring at the water underneath us.

Anyway ...

This kind of event always makes people stop and think. It truly is a random accident that reaches out and makes us say, "What would have happened if ..."

That's what made me write my History Patrol series. I started thinking about 'do-overs'. What would you do if you died suddenly, and had a lot of unresolved issues. And, worse yet, what would you do if you'd caused the death of someone you loved and had to live with that?

That led me to think, what about reincarnation? What if you could return and somehow make amends. But to make amends you'd need to return to the right time period. So time travel would be needed. So ..

I created the History Patrol, an organization that pairs people and sends them back through time, traveling together to different historical events until they find themselves in that place where the one person was betrayed. One person in the pair is always a shapeshifter, unable to be in human form until forgiveness is obtained -- but they can communicate telepathically, sometimes with unforseen results.

I've had such a great time writing these stories. The first one releases in September with Cerridwen and I hope that they'll buy the other ones I've written. Isn't it fun when you can work on a series that really makes you stretch as a writer? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy crafting my mysteries and find those challenging to write, but they're nothing like my time travel books. I get to do research on different time periods, I get to craft a past for my characters as well as a present, and I have to figure out if redemption and forgiveness will be given.

I'm so lucky to be doing something that I really enjoy. Yeah, I work at a "real job", too, but it doesn't interfer with the other writing I do (other than suck up some of my time).

I think tragedies like the bridge collapse need to be used as a wakeup call for everyone, not about safety (although I think that's a useful byproduct of this, believe me). But it's a chance to look at your own life and think ... "what if?"

Oh, and for info about the Brownie book ... check out my web site ( I've got all the links there and some excerpts. It is a light, fun book. Perfect for summertime reading since it takes place in the dead of winter.

But that's another blog post ....

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Newsletters, Contests and Chats! Oh my!

First, the chat...

The Dynamic Trio are hosting the TRS Wild Wednesday event on August 1st. The theme is "Lions, Shifters and Were" and all of us will be there
promoting our paranormal releases. Come get some, baby! Play with Lauren Dane, Shelley Munro, and TJ Michaels.

When: August 1, 2007
Time: 9:00 pm EST

Now the contests...
Arcane August is here! To celebrate the release of SERATI'S FLAME~Vampire Council of Ethics Book 2, and EGYPTIAN VOYAGE I'm holding a HA-YUGE contest. So, wanna get your share (yes, means you could win more than one) of TEN awesome novels? Visit TJ On A Tangent for details. (Note: This is the only time this newsletter will be available to non-subscribers). Contest begins August 1 and runs until the release of EGYPTIAN VOYAGE on August 29th. Good luck and happy hunting!

And finally, the newsletter...

The August edition of TJ On A Tangent is now available. To subscribe, visit News, Funnies and a damned good butterscotch martini await!

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CARINIAN'S SEEKER, V.C.O.E. Book 1, Available Print & Digital
SERATI'S FLAME, V.C.O.E. Book 2, Samhain Publishing ~ August 2007
EGYPTIAN VOYAGE, Ellora's Cave ~ August 2007
FERAL FASCINATION, Ellora's Cave ~ In Print Summer 2007

Awakening Desires Newsletter!

Just a reminder that the August issue of Awakening Desires--Newsletter of Romance Author N.J. Walters is now out!

If you haven't already signed up to receive it, you can just go to

You can read this issue and past issues right from the yahoo group.

This month I've got all the latest news, an excerpt, the "Behind the Book" feature, as well as an interview with author Annmarie McKenna. As always, my hubby's popular column, "Confessions of a Romance Author's Husband" is there!

Be sure and drop by and check out my newsletter!