Sunday, December 26, 2010

Free Audio Erotic Romance from Leigh and Nobilis

Erotica author Nobilis is known for his regular erotica podcast, where the discerning podcast listener will find original works and audio presentations of stories by other writers. Recently, Nobilis had offered to include stories by Coming Together authors on his podcast, and I happily volunteered my Dareville short, Daring Hearts, which appears in Coming Together As One. Imagine my pleasure to learn today it is available for your 18+ ears only!

Daring Hearts is actually a Valentine's Day story, and a menage a quatre featuring my two main Dareville couples - the Garristons and Briscoes. Nevertheless, it's the perfect story for a night like this, with snow up to 18 inches (the only inches I don't like) and no relief in sight. So why brave the lousy weather. Get your earbuds in and download this baby to your iPod or computer right now - it's free! If you have the notion, though, you're welcome to consider a donation to the ONE campaign or any of the other charities that benefit from sales of Coming Together books. Daring Hearts is the second of my stories to make audio - Truth or Dare is still available from Audio Minx, and I hope to have more aural goodness soon.

Speaking of, I recently downloaded the Audible app for my iTouch in hopes of downloading some audio books. With the car adapter I got for Christmas, I'll have more opportunities for listening, so if you have recommendations I'm all ears!!!! :P

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dead Barchetta is now available!

Dead Barchetta
If you attended RushCon 2112 several years ago, you might have seen me auction off some signed books with the promise to write the winning bidder into my next book. Well, the day I thought would never arrive finally has. In commemoration of 12/21 (or 21/12), I give you the result of six years of hard drinking and hair pulling.

Dead Barchetta is finally available for sale in eBook format and print. Buy links are available here:

Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords links should be live soon, and the print for goes up next week. Signed copies will be ready to ship mid-January.

This is probably the biggest departure from my usual style yet. If you're familiar with my stuff, you know I write the naughty and the inspirational. This book is somewhere in between - probably a mild R rating. Because RushCon was partly responsible for making this happen, I would like to donate a portion of sales to their charity. Of course, I have to sell books first. Please let your mystery loving friends know there is another book available for their reading pleasure. Or, try a new genre for yourself, you might like it. Learn more about the book via my video trailer:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fun With Nigerians

Swear to Ged, this actually happened.

If it appears I am on Facebook all the time, it is because I am. I work in social media, Facebook is social media, therefore Facebook is my job. While I appreciate the occasional chat pop-up from friends and family, unwanted contact by Nigerian scammers is not fun.

I'll admit, as an author I won't always look at who is friending me. I also use Facebook to promote my work, and the more friends the better...I hope. This morning I ended up in chat with a gentleman I apparently friended a while back. His name is Amusa Hassan, so he wants us to believe.

Amusa claims to be a lawyer, but who the hell knows. He is probably sitting in some corral of cubicles in Nigeria with a group of other scammers looking for fish. Today he found me.

Here is our conversation from this morning. His words are in italics.

how are you?


how are you doiung?


where are you lol? (For some reason he finds this amusing)

at work

i am a lawyer and you?


nice job (really?)
i love to know you better
which country are you now?

Canada (It feels like Canada here now, anyway)

there is snow there now (No! Really?)
are you there?

yes, I am working

i have important matter to discuss with you lol (Important and amusing. This is the sound of a man who thinks he's about to reel in a juicy one.)
can i send it your mail?


how do you want us to discuss it lol (Maybe he's ticklish?)

I don't have any money

i dont ask you for money lol
why do you say that? (Because I know where this is going.)

you're not the first to come in chat with an important matter to discuss

i want to introduce a good oppotunity
is a good benefit for both of us (Yes, it's not uncommon for lawyers to randomly select people in Facebook chat with "good opportunities." All of my lawyers friends do this all the time.)

I am not interested in MLM, thanks

i have a client here (Actually his friend Clive in the other cubicle, in serious discussion with a lonely Minnesota housewife.)

I'm sorry I am very busy, please get to the point

my client MRS MONICA JOHNSON, she lost her family in UK terriorist attack 2007 and medical doctor discoverred that she has cancer and she will die soon, that is why she want to donate her fund to homelesss and church. if you can help her to use the money to the work of God (I've often wondered why the Nigerian mails capitalize the name of the "victim" like this, as though branding it in our minds. Oh, and those beastly British! How did I not hear of this terrorist attack? Bush and Blair covered this up, I'm convinced of it.)

Why does she need me? (To stop the British horde? Fine, give me Hugh Jackman, I'll show that gorgeous bastard what's what.)

she need reliable people in canada and i am her lawyer, i promised to search nice person for her

ok, what does she need from me?

she just want to help her to use the fund to the work of God and help homeless people, after you receive thre money in Canada (What, she doesn't want to seek vengeance? Here I had my Uma Thurman jumpsuit packed and ready for the plane ride.)

so is she going to send me something in the mail?


ok and you need my address in Canada?

and she want to discuss with you and some evidence
yes and your email address (Ah, yes, by now he's high-fiving his buddies, congratulating himself on hooking a live one.)

Okay my email address is
It would be better for her to send the mail to my husband


His name is Tim Horton, the address is (ADDRESS DELETED), Toronto, ON M5J 1R7, Canada (Mmm, donuts.)

i will call her now  to mail you (You do that.)

that is his work address
I have to get back to work, will look for her mail.

your mobile, i need to hear your voice to know who i am chat with

I don't own a mobile phone (I own two, and you're getting neither number, buster.)

other number?

let me give you my work number

my is +233 70877419 (Give him a call. Tell him Hugh Jackman has a message for him.)

bye now


After which I deleted Amusing from my friends list and blocked him. My apologies to the Tim Horton's in Canada that probably received a very confusing phone call this morning.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What a Dream Looks Like in Your Hands

My proof of Dead Barchetta arrived in the mail today. Finally, after six years off and on of working on this novel, and wondering if I would ever finish it, I can look next to me on the couch and see that it is finished, and it is ready. Seriously, if you are a writer and have had that baby project you wondered would ever see the light of day, you know what I'm talking about. I pledged to write this book six years ago and, after several false starts and do-overs, it's done. I'm emotionally exhausted and thrilled at the same time, and I realize now my work has only begun.

Dead Barchetta launches on 12/21, known as International Rush Day to fans. So far I received a nice mention on the top Rush blog, Rush is a Band, though I intend to find some interest among mystery blogs as well. If you love mysteries and thrillers, or know somebody who does, send them my way.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Keeping Warm With Hot Reads

You know what I say, if you haven't read it yet, it's new to you. If you're on the prowl for a hot holiday-themed read to keep in the season, I can definitely help you. First off, I will suggest picking up my winter short A Winter's Dare, part of the Dareville series. This is an interracial erotic story (WW/BM) with paranormal themes - the first Dareville story to feature both elements.

Holed up in Dare House Museum, Kate Robeson is content to live with the ghosts of the past. Finding a man can wait, much to her mother's consternation. Yet, when Kate discovers the ghosts haunting the oldest house in Dareville have their own plans for Kate, she quickly reconsiders her solitary position, and yearns for the missionary one!

When Devon Williams happens upon Dare House for a research project, Kate is instantly struck. The secrets he reveals of his connection to Polly Dare and her servant Athena are shocking, yet with a little push from some otherworldly friends, Kate comes to see that all work and no play makes for a dull winter, indeed.

I wrote this story with the intent to expand more on Kate and Devon as a couple. If you've kept up with the series, you've seen Kate in other stories, mainly as a supporting player. If not, this is a good place to start, since the short stands alone from the main four Dareville novels. To get a better picture of Kate's family, you can check out The Dares That Bind for her sister's story, Handle With Dare for her mother the cougar (rawr) and Dare and Dare Alike for her hot twin cousins.

No time to read? Send something hot to your iPod or MP3 player. Truth or Dare in audio is available through Audio Minx! This is an unabridged version and you really have to hear it to enjoy it. If you're into aural romance, definitely give it a good, hard listen!

Keep a watch out, too, for a special sale on my books. I haven't decided how it will work, but you'll be the first to know!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Moving Away from the Mom Purse

I am happy to announce the days of lugging around the Mom Purse are coming to a close. For the last several years I had been designated as the person who carried everything: the diapers, the wipes, the box of crayon, and the plastic container of Cheerios with the faulty lid that never closed correctly. I look forward to the near future when I can cast away the cereal crumb-lined bag for a nicer, designer handbag that doesn't look like Chuck E. Cheese threw a party in it.

Question for me now is, what type of purse should I get? I've looked at hobo purses and clutches, but I worry what is out there is too small for what I need. Lately I feel the need to tote around more gadgetry than money, and if I do get that eBook reader I asked for I'll definitely need to keep with something large.

I used to have a nice cross body purse that came down to my hip. No inner pockets, it was just a huge pouch that bulged with my wallet and makeup and a small notebook. I liked the security of that bag - with the strap across my chest, I felt more confident it wouldn't get snatched, not that I had anything worth stealing in the old days. Now, with the iTouch and eBook reader and credit cards...girl can't be too careful.

So a purse is foremost on my holiday wish list, but Santa will have to sit this one out. Only I know for sure which is the perfect bag. Now to find it.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Showin' You the Money

Normally, I would be happy to. You see, though, here's the thing: the money is spent. The second it gets into my account it's dispersed to several places. There's the 529 I have set up for Little One, then a bit is transferred to the checking account to satisfy the regular cycle of bills. If I have promo to buy, or a con registration to pay, there's more gone. I'm trying to build my IRA, too, so I try to put some away there when I can. I'm also seeding a vacation fund to take Little One on her dream trip to Japan, but hubby's eying that money to pay taxes, so who knows when we'll go.

Oh, and I haven't eaten yet.

With the end of the year approaching, I've seen a number of blog posts about self-publishing and the challenges/benefits tied to it. Of course I have regularly followed JA Konrath's journey, and recently Selena Kitt posted some impressive numbers. Of course, if you've followed this cute little number you know I have a venture of my own in DLP Books, which was built primarily as a house for my back-listed mystery books, but has since grown to accommodate some new works and shorts by some very close friends who have entrusted me to help sell their works. They, in turn, have allowed me the status to get our titles into a few shops, so I am grateful for that. As for how I've been doing as a self-publishing magnate, I'll be honest: I'm not making Konrath/Kitt bucks, but I wouldn't consider the venture a failure.

For me, I did rather well. From October, 2009 through October, 2010, I sold five thousand self-pubbed units. This number does not include the works by Nona or JT, nor does it include free books. This also does not include my works with Phaze, Samhain and Loose-ID, or my DLP titles sold from B&N PubIt, as I really didn't get that started until November. I'm counting here books from ARe/OmniLit, Kindle, Bookstrand, Smashwords, and My Bookstore and More before they closed to third-party pubs.

I won't divulge money made - not because I'm embarrassed to say, but because right now I'm more concerned with how many books are sold and hopefully read. I have been published professionally since 2001 (and in erotic romance since 2004), and I am always interested in building a readership to stay with me through the next decade and beyond. I found in this last year of operating DLP that I have learned more about myself and those interested in what I have to offer. Some things to note:
  • M/M is usually my biggest selling genre, but this last year I sold an incredible amount of F/F fiction. Share outsold many of my gay romances in this time period.
  • Truly, I am a believer that cover art can make the difference in sales. You can have Pulitzer material on the pages, but the cover is what attracts readers to click through to learn more. Just looking at some of my individual title sales has suggested to me that perhaps if I had done A to Cover B, maybe that work would reap more sales.
  • Why did I only sell so many as opposed to other self-pubbers? Different factors come in play. Not all of my titles are erotica, and that's clearly a 400-pound gorilla in the eBook world. Some people have been doing this longer, some people managed to get in on a few vendors before they capped (Fictionwise, for example, isn't taking on new vendors, and I imagine I might have made a dent there.), and some people have more time to promo.

I'm nowhere near the end here - in fact, this is but the first mile in a long journey, and in 2011 I'll be doing different things to see which direction I should turn next. I will self-pub more, but I will continue submitting works to publishers. This year two houses sent personal invitations to send work, and I'm flattered by that. Now I have to get something written.

Come along for the ride. I'll bring food.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Professional Studio Space and Production...Am I Ready?

I have been giving serious thought, of late, to starting another podcast. If you recall, the last one I did focused mainly on excerpts from works by authors I knew, mainly those with whom I had a publisher in common. I also excerpted my own works and talked about where I planned to sign books, and so forth. Recently, the audio adaptation of my first romance was released, featuring a beautiful female voiceover talent and voice acting for the narrative. I was very pleased with the production, but I've since learned they are full at the moment. If I expect to take any more stories to audio, I should either try for a larger studio or do it myself.

Now, since I have handled my own book production, audio should come naturally, right? Hard to say: I'm not exactly a voice talent or a whiz at audio production, but I do know if I need a voice actor for my next book there is a very good media production company nearby. Studio Center specializes in a variety of services:

  • video production
  • music production
  • voice actors
  • television production
  • commercial production
  • voice over talent
  • script translation
  • search talent
  • radio commercial production
  • Los Angeles video production
  • New York City voice actors
  • New York music production studios
  • New York video production
The Studio Center total production experience is very professionally done; I actually know people who have hired their services in the past. As I do own the worldwide audio rights to most of my works, I may look into contacting them about voice over acting talent to read for an Audible release one day. It would be nice to have a male voiceover for some of the M/M works, but I'm not sure I need tv commercial production just yet. Maybe when the audio books start selling - I do own the film rights to me stuff, too.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Earlier I Plan, the Sooner I Can Break Them

Somewhere I have written down all the New Years Resolutions I planned to hold for 2010. Two of them, I know, I satisfied: one was to finish Dead Barchetta, and we'll soon see the results of that labor. The other was to lose weight, which I did...only to gain most of it back over the summer and beyond. Sigh. It seems quiet serendipitous, therefore, to see that Weight Watchers has rolled out a new plan just in time for 2011. Now we have to figure in protein and carb grams - I swear that calculator keeps getting more complicated, and now the points values on my favorite foods are higher! Perhaps that is the goal of WW, to get me to eat less spaghetti. I'd rather stay plump than give up my pasta. I'm Sicilian, that would be like denying me oxygen.

I do have resolutions for 2011, and not all of them are writing related. It is my goal in the next year, though, to complete another full-length Dareville novel. I am a few chapters into Dare's Destiny, which is good or bad depending on your point of view. Destiny is actually the sixth full book in the series - I really need to work on Dare Devils first so some of the story in Destiny makes sense. Scenes from Devils run concurrently to the events in Dare to Dream, so it only makes sense that I should shelve Destiny  and backtrack. Then again, four chapters under my belt of a story is a good start, and I'd like to keep that momentum going. Decisions, decisions.

What else is on tap for the next year, I hope?

1) Cut down on side projects. Some women buy shoes, I purchase web domains. I have quite the arsenal in my GoDaddy account, and the idea was to set up satellite sites and hopefully rake in a bit of affiliate money. I am getting some, but I definitely can't live on it, and I don't have the time to properly nurture these sites. So, as the URLs expire, I will reluctantly let them lapse. I don't like doing that. I had for some time and let it go - a big regret. The problem with letting a domain go is that somebody is right behind you to snatch it up. If you ever want it back, good luck.

What I might do with some of these instead is either direct them toward Amazon stores or combine my projects into one thing I can better manage. I have done a video series of chocolate reviews, and I've considered getting back into podcasting - so I may look for a way to combine the chocolate and the romance writing, effectively jettisoning an albatross or two.

2) Read more. I simply haven't been reading at the volume I enjoyed when I was younger. These days I struggled to finish a book, and I should read more. Also, I need to use my e-readers more. I packed my Kindle App this month, so that's a good start. It is my goal in 2011 to only buy eBooks.

3) Get the weight back down. I've done it before, I'll do it again.

4) Camp more. I love camping. I'd do it every weekend if I could, and my daughter is coining to love it as well. It's a great bonding getaway and I intend to do more of it.

5) Revive an old NaNo project. I have two NaNo winners taking up space on my TBF shelf. Some people criticize NaNo writers for shipping off their novels to agents on December 1, but the ones I've done I've kept hidden for good reason. With Dead Barchetta done, it's inspired me to return to madcap mystery, and the one I have almost done is a perfect project for 2011.

6) See Rush in concert. Yep, another tour, and I have a connection with a front row seat at one of the Spring shows. This time five months from now, I could be close enough to tug the cuffs of Alex Lifeson's jeans with my teeth.

So let's meet back at this post next December and see how I did.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hot Buttered Rum

There used to be an awesome New Orleans style restaurant in town - comfort food that just made you want to find a couch afterward and melt. Buttermilk fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, homemade pimento cheese... I just gained five pounds typing this. One thing I enjoyed during the winter months was Sunday brunch and the blueberry muffins and hot buttered rum.

It's difficult to find a good toddy around here. You ask, and the local bartenders just shake their heads. Apparently, bars must make it with a mix that they never seem to keep in stock. All the times I've check the web for recipes, the first word is "Serves 12." That's okay - I don't think it would freeze well. Though hot buttered rumcicles sounds intriguing.

The other day, though, I received an email newsletter from a wine social network with a single-serving recipe. Snooth's newsletter suggested trying this.

Melt a pat of unsalted butter and a teaspoon of brown sugar in a warm mug. Add 2 ounces of dark rum, then fill mug with boiling water. Top with cinnamon.

I gave this shot tonight, and for a first try it turned out okay. It tasted better the more I drank - maybe a result of the rum. The only thing here is that I had to use white instead of dark, because I had run out of Appleton. Otherwise it was Captain Morgan's and I don't know how spiced rum would work with this.

So if you like hot buttered rum but don't want to make it for the whole complex, try this short recipe and stay warm.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Phaze Books Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sale!

Phaze Books wishes all of our US readers and friends a Happy Thanksgiving holiday. To show our appreciation for six years and counting, we're giving all readers of hot romance and erotica 25% off all titles, eBook and print, now through 'Cyber' Monday. This is your chance to stock up on new releases and back lists from favorite authors.

Use the code BLACK when you check out at today. The same code also works for 25% off at other Mundania Press imprints, Awe-Struck and Hard Shell Word Factory. This sale includes discounts on my entire Phaze catalog, plus my Mundania release Pithed, writing as Kathryn Lively.

So if you haven't yet picked up any of the Dareville novels or my M/M shorts, this is the time to do it. If you haven't read them yet, they're new to you! Thanks and have a great weekend.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Publishing With Smashwords

You may know I have a number of titles on Smashwords, through Phaze Books and DLP Books. If you are interested in self-publishing in eBook, Smashwords provides a good platform for those who are seeking distribution through major channels. They have made it easy for author by offering detailed guidelines, which are below.

You can find my Phaze books and my DLP titles at these links on Smashwords.

Phaze Books Accepting Submissions of GLBT Romance for 2011

We at Phaze Books, home of exceptional erotic romance, hope our friends in the US have enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday. We are looking forward to many more holidays to come, and offering our readers the best in erotic short and novel-length fiction. Presently we are accepting more GLBT romance for our summer and fall release calendar in 2011. While we are known for top M/M romance by bestselling authors like GA Hauser, Jade Falconer, and Jack Greene, we especially would like to see more F/F romance, as we are seeing a growing interest in this genre.

Now in our sixth year of providing quality erotic romance and women's erotica to discerning readers, Phaze Books is working to build our presence at Mid-Atlantic Pride events. In the past, our authors have attended Roanoke Pride, the Gay and Lesbian Book Festival in New York City, and Saints and Sinners in New Orleans. Our books have been shelved in GLBT bookstores around the US, and our editors have sat on GLBT panels at Authors After Dark.

We invite authors of gay and lesbian erotic romance and erotica to submit works of 15K words and higher for inclusion in our growing catalog. We want characters who provoke the reader and each other, romance and conflict that turn pages, and explicit sex that forces readers to wear oven mitts while holding their e-readers!

We definitely welcome sub-genres, too! In 2011 we will release our first steampunk M/M anthology, and we are definitely interested in more of this genre. We'd also love to see more historical, BDSM, same-sex menage, futuristic and shape-shifters...even interracial! Take your HEA couple on a wild ride and show us your best work.

The standard no-nos apply (no incest, pedophilia, positive rape, bodily waste fetishes) and interested authors are invited to visit our guidelines at for formatting details.

When you're ready, submit your cover letter, completed novel, and synopsis/marketing history to Thank you!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Giveaway! Win a $25 Gift Certificate to All Romance!

Black Friday is almost here, but you can get a head start on the deals by entering my AllRomance gift certificate giveaway! One random winner will receive $25 worth of the hottest romance and fiction from All Romance, the best place to refuel your e-reader!

I'm taking entrants through December 17th. Good luck!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Phaze Books Accepting Interracial Erotic Romance for Mid-Late 2011 Release

Reposted with permission.

Now in our sixth year of providing quality erotic romance and women's erotica to discerning readers, Phaze Books looks foward to the future. Especially known for our best-selling interracial romance titles by favorite authors like Bridget Midway, Marie Rochelle, and Zena Wynn, it is our hope to continue offering the smartest, sexiest I/R novels and stories for eBook lovers.

We invite authors to submit works of 15K words and higher for inclusion in our growing catalog of I/R titles. We want characters who provoke the reader and each other, romance and conflict that turn pages, and explicit sex that forces readers to wear oven mitts while holding their e-readers!

We definitely welcome sub-genres within I/R, too! We'd love to see more historical, BDSM, menage, futuristic and shape-shifters...even steampunk! Take your HEA couple on a wild ride and show us your best work.

Though our most popular titles feature the BW/WM pairing, Phaze Books also welcomes books featuring other multicultural combinations: Asian, Hispanic, Native American, etc. The standard no-nos apply (no incest, pedophilia, positive rape, bodily waste fetishes) and interested authors are invited to visit our guidelines at for formatting details.

When you're ready, submit your cover letter, completed novel, and synopsis/marketing history to Thank you!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Law and Order SVU

Law and Order SVU
The Author of this post is Darius Boone

Law and Order Special Victims Unit is a spin off of the original Law and Order. The show centers around a group of special victim detectives and explores the merits of a sexualy based offense case. It starts off showing someone finding the dead body or depicting the crime that the show centers around. The show then follows the detectives as they search for evidence and talk with potential witnesses. It also highlights personal aspects of the dtectives feathured on the show adn how they help the detectives have better insight into the crime they are investigating. The show's two main characters are detective Olivia Benson and Detective Elliot Stabler. They are partners and the show's writers often play up the sexual tension between these two. Law and Order Special Victims Unit take some of their crimes directly from the newspapers. They sensationalize real life crimes to draw audiences in. The show follows the crime depicted all the way through prosecution and is one of the few crime shows to depict both the solving of the crime and the punishment. This is a show that is never missed at my house. I am a huge fan of the original Law adn Order and I thnk I even like this version better. I watch it ever week in syndication on my satallite tv from

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

An Award? Moi?

I suppose it's safe for me to announce, since I did receive an official e-mail. I have received another EPIC Award nomination! This year it is for Poetry, the second time I have been nominated in this category, and the first time a DLP Books title has made the cut. Of course, this was the first year DLP was eligible, so it seems we're off to a good start.

My short poetry collection, Nuclear Soul, is on the short list. It is a collection of verse I'd written over many years, and I'm quite surprised it made the cut. I'm curious to know my competition, and imagine it's quite formidable. Yet, a nomination is nice - I have yet to win an EPIC Award, and seeing as how I'm unable to make the ceremony due to work, I'll bet this is the year.

This is also my fourth nomination as an author, second as a solo author. So far I've been nominated for Best Inspirational, Best Non-Fiction (co-author), Best Poetry twice, and twice as an editor for Best Erotic Anthology. I think that's all of them - I've gone home empty each time, but I'm not quite the Susan Lucci of EPIC. Or maybe I am - I hope 2011 is different.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New from DLP Books! Gin and Juice by JT Whitehall

Now available in time for Halloween: JT Whitehall spins an outrageously sexy short about cheating Death...and showing him a good time!

I had a wonderful time editing JT's story, and hope you enjoy it as well. Ever since DLP put out JT's first story, A Shot of Jack, I've asked him when we could expect a follow-up story. Due to JT's busy work schedule, he doesn't get as much free time as he'd like, so I'm glad to help him out when I can. Soon I'll be editing Sex on the Beach, then his story for the upcoming Silver Wings anthology, and another story as yet untitled (trying to think of a good drink name for it). After that, we're talking about collaborating on a second anthology call.

Gin and Juice - DLP Books
Buy now from All Romance for 99 Cents!

How would you live the last day of your life, if you knew the date? When Julian "Juice" MacArthur is granted a short reprieve to fulfill one last dream, he dives headfirst into living his final hours. In the company of a gorgeous hunk named Todd, Julian learns exactly what he's missed all his life. Yet, is it really too late for this sinner to repent and reverse his fate?

Gin and Juice will be made available through other vendors and DLP Books this week.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Contest Giveaway Extended!

Please read the original post, pasted here. October turned out to be a busier month than anticipated, so I'm extending my two giveaways through October 31. When I'm back from trick or treating, I'll pick the winners, I swear. Thanks so much!!!!

This September, I had the honor of attending Authors After Dark as a featured author and panelist, and I had a great time. I enjoyed meeting people with whom I'd previously communicated online, and it's always a pleasure hooking up with Bridget Midway, Yvette Hines, and Denise Jeffries. We were the Golden Girls of Erotica and hosted an 80s cheesecake bash. Not sure what's on tap for next year, but I'm in.

For October, I'm planning two different giveaways, so read the whole post!

This year, I brought home from AAD a bulging goody bag of books, promo, and all sorts of neat stuff, and I'm giving it away to one lucky reader. Here are the titles you'll get:

Wild Blue Under - Judi Fennell
Queene of Light - Jennifer Armintrout
Dark Days & Wicked Nights - sampler of excerpts from Allyson James, Devyn Quinn, Meljean Book and others
The Tease Dark Tarot: Death - Dorlana Vann
Tigers and Devils - Sean Kennedy (M/M)
The Beast Within  - Erin McCarthy, Bianca D'Arc, and Jennifer Lyon
plus two freebies by me: a print version of Dareville After Dark and a proof of She Loves Me, my F/F collection.

To enter for the above giveaway, simply click on and fill out the form. US winner gets the bag, International winner gets free downloads from DLP Books.

Deadline to enter is October 31st, midnight EST.

My second giveaway will tie in with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. My mom is doing the walk for the third year in a row, and as I can't take the time off to do it I will use my Facebook Page as a month-long tribute to the great women we have lost to this disease. Every day will feature a different woman and hopefully create awareness that self-detection and early detection is the key.

For this giveaway, I'll send one US winner a gift from the Republic of Tea (a Sip for the Cure selection) and a print book from my backlist, reader's choice. One International winner gets a $15 gift certificate to Phaze Books. To enter this giveaway, you only have to like my Facebook page! Deadline to enter the second giveaway is October 31, midnight EST.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Working Healthier, Sort Of

Part of the beauty of working in social media is you have the opportunity to learn more about certain topics, and perhaps discover new things you did not realize. Recently the day job firm took on a major client that deals with healthcare, so much of my day writing has focused on multiple sclerosis and different facets of MS treatment. Despite October being breast cancer awareness month, it doesn't mean all the other ailments get that month off. The more I learn about healthcare, I realize we should be aware of everything, all the time.

Part of my job also entails working on a fitness blog, so I've been repurposing older articles on weight loss to update the information, and adding new insights on flushes and the MS diet, for two. Of course, I don't intend to recycle everything, though I have a another client that promotes green parenting and would encourage that sort of behavior.

The research have given me inspiration to get back on my diet, which I intend to do next week. For now, I will keep a better eye on my behavior, eating and otherwise, and always remain aware.

A Ring and a Date...With Mystery

I am pleased to announce the release date for Dead Barchetta, my first mystery under my other non de plume in six years! Barchetta will bow in eBook format through DLP Books on December 21 (or 21/12 /10 as they say in Europe), with print release to come shortly thereafter. I can't tell you how excited I am to see this work finally available - Barchetta, while probably not a magnum opus, was nonetheless a work in progress over the last five or so years. After writing Pithed, I had every intention of writing another mystery, and while attending RushCon 2112 in Toronto several years ago I had the idea of donating my skills to their annual auction. The winning bidder would become a character in the book. I was so excited at the time I actually started the book that weekend. Some people might tell you about a lady they saw in the Orbit Room, writing on bar napkins.

Well, the Lennon maxim held true. Life got in the way, along with other things. Other projects, work, editing, publishing, traveling...and on top of that, what I'd written in Toronto sucked. I lost the motivation to write more as I encountered corner after corner where I could find no right turn. I couldn't get into the main character - originally written as a woman - and when I signed up for NaNo two years in a row with the intent on making this the project, I fizzled. Meanwhile, somebody had bid a pretty penny on this project, and while he understood writer's block, I didn't want to let him down or go back on my promise to the charity RushCon sponsors.

This year, I swore, no more delays. I wrote in the wee hours when everybody slept. I texted dialogue from my phone to my email. I composed entire chapters on my iTouch. If I had a spare minute to write - at Starbuck's, at the movies, even waiting for Rush to take the stage at Jones Beach, I took the opportunity. In the process of writing this book, the hero changed genders (I'm more comfortable writing male characters, don't ask me why) and the story left Toronto and moved to New York. I added a secondary story and a love interest, then set up for book two. In two months, I leave the final word to you.

Friends have asked if this is the end of Leigh Ellwood. Not by a long shot. I have plenty of Leigh WIPs to keep me busy, and rest assured you'll see those come to light soon as well. For now, though, I'm having a Captain Morgan's and Coke (Mexican Coke at that, they're selling it at Fresh Market!) in celebration for the book I thought I'd never finish.

After that, I plot out the sequel. Yes, I love pain. Bring it.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Live from Collingswood

While I was having a good time at the Collingswood Book Festival this year, I decided to make an intro video to use for promotion. Check it out!

Friday, October 1, 2010

31 Days, 31 Amazing People

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and no doubt you're going to see pink ribbons and updates on events in your area, from charity parties to the 3-day awareness walks. All this month, I am devoting my Facebook page to the memory and honor of 31 people who have faced cancer bravely. Some sadly have passed on but others have survived and give a face to hope that someday we can defeat breast cancer for good.

You are cordially invited to join my improved Facebook page, where each week in October I'll select one free winner of a download from my backlist from the "like" list! To be eligible, simply "like" the page - you'll get updates on new releases, book signings, and blog posts.

For more Facebook goodness, don't forget to like Phaze Books,  DLP Books, and Odd Chocolates, too!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Two Contest Giveaways - Win Free Books!

This September, I had the honor of attending Authors After Dark as a featured author and panelist, and I had a great time. I enjoyed meeting people with whom I'd previously communicated online, and it's always a pleasure hooking up with Bridget Midway, Yvette Hines, and Denise Jeffries. We were the Golden Girls of Erotica and hosted an 80s cheesecake bash. Not sure what's on tap for next year, but I'm in.

For October, I'm planning two different giveaways, so read the whole post!

This year, I brought home from AAD a bulging goody bag of books, promo, and all sorts of neat stuff, and I'm giving it away to one lucky reader. Here are the titles you'll get:

Wild Blue Under - Judi Fennell
Queene of Light - Jennifer Armintrout
Dark Days & Wicked Nights - sampler of excerpts from Allyson James, Devyn Quinn, Meljean Book and others
The Tease Dark Tarot: Death - Dorlana Vann
Tigers and Devils - Sean Kennedy (M/M)
The Beast Within  - Erin McCarthy, Bianca D'Arc, and Jennifer Lyon
plus two freebies by me: a print version of Dareville After Dark and a proof of She Loves Me, my F/F collection.

To enter for the above giveaway, simply click on and fill out the form. US winner gets the bag, International winner gets free downloads from DLP Books.

Deadline to enter is October 15 th, midnight EST.

My second giveaway will tie in with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. My mom is doing the walk for the third year in a row, and as I can't take the time off to do it I will use my Facebook Page as a month-long tribute to the great women we have lost to this disease. Every day will feature a different woman and hopefully create awareness that self-detection and early detection is the key.

For this giveaway, I'll send one US winner a gift from the Republic of Tea (a Sip for the Cure selection) and a print book from my backlist, reader's choice. One International winner gets a $15 gift certificate to Phaze Books. To enter this giveaway, you only have to like my Facebook page! Deadline to enter the second giveaway is October 30, midnight EST.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Everybody Get in Line

I received a nice letter today from a reader, complimenting my Dareville series and requesting more. Let me first say, thanks! Nothing brightens an author's day than a nice note of appreciation. If you've read something recently that you have enjoyed, let the author know. It works wonders.

Secondly, I do plan more Dareville in the future once I have my non-Leigh mystery wrapped up, and I am seeing light at the end of that tunnel. Dare's Destiny is in the works and I hope to generate interest in that one soon.

In the meantime, I am happy to honor a request for a more detailed explanation of the order of the stories. If you've followed my brief yet exciting career in erotic romance, you'll know that while I've written several novels and shorts in the series, I have not exactly written them in chronological order. I suppose it's because once I get a story in my head, I decide it's suited for a particular time frame in the Dareville universe, and I just get it on paper before it fades. Rest assured, I do keep track of everything on spreadsheets, so I do my best not to create any discrepancies in the works. One thing to note, too, is that I write to keep the actual stories consecutive. Truth or Dare, the first book, came out in 2004 and is set in the late spring, and while Dare Me came out a year later it isn't set a year later, it's set right after the events in Truth. So if you're wondering why Ellie and Claire aren't using Groupon yet, that's why?

Confused? I hope not, because I'm about to list now for those who wish to read Dareville in order (so far, anyway), how to do it. I'll also differentiate here which are novels and which are shorts - all books are available on Kindle and through under my name. You will read in order:

Truth or Dare - Novel and Audiobook - This is the big one, probably the best one to read first for a good introduction. Many of the key players in the four novels are here.

The Dares That Bind - Novella - This story occurs in the same time frame as ToD, and offers a bit more insight into the Robeson family.

Dare Me - Novel - It's because of this book there is a series at all. Cal commanded a story and got one, and that just opened the floodgates.

Daring Young Man - Novel - I call this one my "sweet" erotic, given the nature of the story. This is the first May/December story in the series.

Double Dare - Short - I wrote this short inspired by the final scene of DYM where Lauren is looking at honeymoon pictures sent to her. I figured, why not write the honeymoon? This is so far the only story where Dareville isn't a setting.

Dare to Dream - Novel - I'm particularly proud of this one, since it was finished at a time I wasn't sure I could write an entire novel again. The ending is set up for another story in progress.

Daringly Delicious - Short - I get many compliments on this story, and requests for a follow-up. BBW is a popular genre at Phaze, where this is published, and I do plan a sequel.

A Winter’s Dare - Short - This is (so far) the only full interracial story in the series (BM/WW) and the first to feature paranormal elements.

Don’t Dare the Reaper - Short - This is a tricky one to place, since it is technically set outside of the storyline. It is a paranormal, written especially for the Phaze Raven HeatSheet line, but I wouldn't really consider it canon. Nonetheless, I'm tempted to write a follow-up to it, merely because I'm fascinated by taking this angle further.

Dare and Dare Alike - Novella - This is the most recent Dareville work as of this writing, but as you can see it's not the most recent time-wise.

Where Angels Dare to Tread - Short - This is so far the only full F/F work in the Dareville universe. I'm still on the fence as to whether I'll write more of it.

By the Chimney with Dare - Short - This is the first full M/M work and the second Christmas themed story. It's also meant to build up a bit for Dare's Destiny.

Handle With Dare - Short - Set approximately one year after DYM, this is also the first "cougar" story.

So there you have it, this is the chronology as of today. Mind you, I'll certainly mess up some heads with stories to come. I tend to approach Dareville like Quantum Leap, hitting different points at time at random.

Hmm, maybe Sam should leap into Dareville...that would be interesting.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Crash

Not sure what it is about going to a convention that just completely saps the strength out of you. I came back Sunday from Authors After Dark - had a great time, heartily recommend going to this event next year - but here it is Wednesday and I'm wiped out. I'm planning a giveaway for the swag I brought home, and wanted to make a video of it. You'd think it would be easy, all I have to do is press a damn button on my Flip, but I can't get off this couch!

Somebody come over here and film it for me? I'll tell you what to say on it.

No worries. I'll have details posted soon on how you can win it.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Authors: Your Books May Be Stolen

UPDATE: The company, not realizing the book wasn't public domain, has removed the app. They have apologized and I have accepted, so we are good. Through this experience, I will look into a way to produce authorized app versions of my books.

To this end, I've removed my previous post as it no longer applies; however, I encourage authors to continue vanity checks on Google Alerts for titles of your books. Piracy is still a problem.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Chipped, Dipped, Flipped

Made this video a while back. Only recently did FlipShare cooperate and allow me to get it up on YouTube:

With the three-day weekend coming up, I'm going to try to do another one, but my inbox is so stuffed as it is. Edits, editing, writing, keeping track of book uploads, finding new vendors to sell product, my day job...and Little One starts first grade next week. Life is moving faster than I can keep up with it. Somehow, that little bite of chocolate I had in the video above isn't enough.

This is supposed to be a holiday for me, Monday. Yet, I'll spend it as I do any other day off - catching up on something else. I wish I had the stamina to work 24 hours for one week and get caught up. Do they make Red Bull IV bags? I could use five.

Friday, August 27, 2010

What I Crave...

When I visit family up north, I always make one stop...

Where I live, it's a slider dead-zone. No Krystals, no White Castles. I don't know if the state legislature passed a bill that forbids either to set up shop, or if there is some kind of Krystals/White Castle treaty that stipulates they've agreed not to annex our land, but it drives me nuts. I may crave all year long, but the one weekend I get to satisfy it...hoo boy. It's like me on cake.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Baby, if You've Wondered...Wondered Whatever Became of Me

Today is the first of several 39th birthdays I plan to celebrate...basically until I die. In a few weeks I'll go around to all the social networks and message boards I frequent and change the birth year in my profiles, so we can do this all over again. Don't judge me. I plan to fight this to my grave.

Because my birthday is close to the day of my parents' anniversary (and no, it wasn't a shotgun wedding - I came two years later), we're having a big combo party at one of my sibs. Look at the title of the post for a hint. They live in a state where gambling is legal, but I doubt we'll get over to any of the big hotels. I could appease Mom with some online gambling, but I have a feeling we'll do more sightseeing around town and cake eating.

I didn't ask for anything specific this year. I received a few gift cards, which is nice since we eat out a lot and they come in handy. I've had my eye on a podcasting kit, but I recently got a headset for Skype and want to see if that will work in recording before I spend any more money. Maybe, though, I could call an expert on online blackjack who could help double my money so I can get the kit and an upgrade on software. What I really need, though, is time to finish some of my works in progress. I am about twenty thousand words away from THE END on one book, and that would be the greatest gift of all.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Coming Attractions

My husband and I were recently discussing how disappointed we were in the summer concert season. Usually we'll hit three or four concerts depending on the health of our bank account, and while we could have afforded a few shows this year, we just didn't want to go anywhere. Of course, we made the trip for Rush in New York, and friends offered us Mohegan Sun Arena tickets for other opportunities, but it seems the bands I would like to see aren't coming near us.

The Don Fagen / Boz Scaggs tour, for one, I think I have to drive to Charlotte. Larger acts that would require Candlestick Park tickets or Mellon Arena Tickets and plane tickets, and it's rare that I'll travel to see a band. Rush, no question. Only other acts I drove more than three hours to see were Pink Floyd and Paul McCartney. We'll add Sade to that list, too, if ever a tour is announced. We've been hearing rumors for months - usually if you have the album come out, it's a given the artist will support it. We'll see.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Random Thoughts Late at Night

This has been one of those days where you wish you had a do-over button. It's prompted me to make some important decisions in my life, too. Well, not necessarily life-changing, but I'm sure there's a ripple effect involved that might either take a weight off my shoulders or else come back to bite me in the butt. We'll soon see; I supposed I should wear comfy pants.

I've mentioned here before I do freelance writing and social media in my spare time (heh). I've decided to take a sabbatical from it. Yes, it means losing a steady income stream, but it's interfering with my personal writing. I have two books near completion and I can't touch them for the threat of writer's burnout. I want a major release by year's end, and that means being selfish for a bit. I imagine there will be work when I get back, there always is.

I wonder about the fate of Barnes and Noble's PubIt program with their current financial woes. This was to be their Kindle killer, and I loved the demo at BEA. Now, will it happen at all? Is it designed as a last ditch effort, or will some other company inherit it and decide they don't know what the hell to do with it?

I wonder, too, about my own future as a writer. What is the next story? Should I continue writing erotica, GLBT, this or that? Am I happy with doing things one way or should I try something new? Is news of a certain NY pub going e-only a sign of shrinking options for me, or am I ahead of the game now?

Was it wise to make that investment? Will I see a return? Am I doing the right thing? Should I get off this computer and go outside? Should I do this event? When will I be in a position to write for myself full-time? Why don't the Adwords work like I want?

Maybe I should just pitch everything into the sea and sail away, not return my calls. Would I have any?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Learning a New Game

This weekend means yet another trip up the Eastern Shore, through Maryland and Delaware, only this time we're giving the big Delaware Memorial Bridge a miss and veering on into Pennsylvania. I rather like the drive; it can be peaceful if I manage to get through the heavy traffic spots at off-peak hours. The Northern part of the shore is casino country, too, with houses in Delmarva.

But, as I understand it, they are trying to limit the number of casinos in Delaware. I don't know if it will be put to a vote or not. There is a nice looking place off US-13; it's almost inconspicuous for the lack of neon and flashing lights. Not a bit like you'd expect it to look - certainly not like Vegas. I couldn't tell you if they use Internet Slots or not over there, but they seem to be grabbing a lot of A-list performers to draw crowds.

I've contemplated a trip up to Atlantic City this fall - not necessarily to gamble but to see it at least once. Usually there are good concert draws, like Rush, but I didn't see AC on the tour list this year. So if you're looking for your classic rock and Blackjack Download fix you could wait and see or else set up your iPod to play while you're working on the Poker Flash at home.

In the meantime, I gotta pack.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Eatin' Like a Pig, Eatin' a Pig

For now, the plan is to return to Weight Watchers after the first day of school, which is blessedly three weeks away. This doesn't mean I'm going to swallow Hershey, PA in the meantime, but I'll still do my chocolate vlog, and I'll continue it afterward. My most recent contribution is the Truffle Pig review. Isn't it cute?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Eat, Pray, Drink, Read, Write, Rush

Welcome to another potpourri post, where I try to squeeze a ton of interesting (well, interesting to me) information about the glamorous (ha) life of a writer who is obviously way too busy to blog. It's been a fun and hectic past few weeks - with a vacation I adored when I didn't have to sit in a car on the NJ Turnpike, and with news on a number of exciting projects forthcoming.

First, vacation. This year we spent the majority of it in Virginia wine country, getting, sampling the best of Virginia wines. Usually when we hit the center of the state we tend to visit the wineries south of 250, Veritas, Pollak, Cardinal Point among our favorites. This time we stayed further north in Orange at the Inn at Poplar Hill (highly recommended) and tried the nearby vineyards there. Horton, Barboursville, Burnley, Keswick, and Prince Michel. Each offered at least one wine we enjoyed, and we behaved ourselves this time. I learned not to drink the entire tasting, allowing only enough for detecting the flavor and age of the wine, and we stuck to a minimum of one bottle per visit. Seriously, you should see the kitchen. We've come away from wine festivals lugging crates, only to sober up days later and ask ourselves what the hell did we just do?

Before that, though, it was Rush at Jones Beach, and Oh. My. Ged. Fifth row from Geddy's side. Not quite close enough to touch, but there was a moment when our eyes locked (that's my story) and there was magic. Finally got to hear "The Camera Eye" live and now I'm hap hap happy. Stood in triple-digit heat with the faint wisp of the ocean breeze to soothe us. Can only imagine what it must have been like for the boys in their long pants and three-hour performance.

Too bad, though, I didn't commission my Rash shirt to wear for the show. I asked Implexity Designs if they could recreate the parody design that Geddy wore that night, and they did a good job. Until the injunction is served (I kid, parody is protected in the US, I think) you can get this one at Zazzle - it's the best of the three I've seen there in search.

Speaking of Rush-like things, you are welcome to have a sneak peek at, which will serve as the official home of the Lerxst Johnson books. Right now, it's just one book pending release, but I will shoot for two more. I'm thinking three is good for this series, and I already have the second book planned out. I don't intend for the series to last forever, as I feel with certain mysteries you tend to run out of gas if you go too far. I petered out of Sue Grafton around N, and left Janet Evanovich at eight or nine, I forget. I'd rather not do that myself.

I did, though, commission this nice little picture of "Lerxst," and will probably have more done. I wanted to present a picture of my main sleuth, who resembles his namesake but isn't, just as I hope this comic image does. I don't know that Dead Barchetta is the type of book suited for a comic adaptation, but I do own the rights if anybody is interested.

What else? Oh, another cover is ready, this one for the upcoming Boone. I had purchased one several years ago when I thought I'd have it out with Phaze Books. Unfortunately, it turns out the book is not at the erotic level that suitable for the house. It's more a medium sensual romance, and I hope readers will accept it. It is certainly a departure from previous works. I seem to be on a cycle now where it's F/F, M/M, Hetero...and over again. So I suppose you know what to expect from me after that.

Anyway, I had that cover a while ago. You may have seen it on older versions of my site. I even had it on promo signs. Well, I lost the large files for it, and looking at it recently I find it's not quite what I want anymore. It's a gorgeous cover, yes, but the story changed. So I purchased this one made by Razzle Dazzle Designs:

I like the fantasy vibe it gives off - I've had difficulty trying to assign Boone to just one genre. It's a story, plain and simple, a lovely one, I think. The cover looks great.

And...Truth or Dare  in audio should launch this week, too. Links for that as I receive them.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

New Release: Dare and Dare Alike

I am pleased to announce the last installment of Dareville is now available! After a long run of writing F/F erotic works, I offer for your reading pleasure the first M/M Dareville novella, Dare and Dare Alike. While there have been free M/M shorts in this universe, this is the longest manlove to date, at least until I get Daring Red finished.

Buy Dare and Dare Alike at All Romance and Smashwords!

Kindle and elsewhere are coming soon, and DLP Books is getting a new cart that will let you download right after purchase. It's time, since we've grown so much.

In this story we meet some new Dareville residents, namely the Robeson twins, Darien and Derek. They are cousins of Kate (A Winter's Dare) and Spring (The Dares That Bind) and nephews by marriage of Marlene (Handle With Dare), and they have an interesting tale to tell. Now, please note, since this is a twin story (which I didn't place with my first house because they already have a well-written and popular twin story there), it is not twincest! I realize that particular sub-genre has a following, but in all honesty I can't bring myself to write it. DaDA is more erotic than romantic, yes, but beyond the adult entertainment subplot there are no other taboos. As long as I breathe and have control of my senses, you won't see any underage, incest, or icky happenings in Dareville. I don't know that I'm popular enough to warrant fan fiction just yet, but if that happens I hope I don't see that kind of stuff.

Depending on the success of this work, we may see the Robeson twins in future books, but for my next Dareville trick I'd like to get Dare's Destiny and  Daring Red moving. Of course, as I mentioned in an earlier post, inspiration has pushed me to try another "non-canon" paranormal work, and I've thought too about a follow up to Where Angels Dare to Tread with an appearance by Brady's adult daughter. For the immediate future, however, my goals are to finish Boone (now over 30K) and Dead Barchetta.

Okay, enough rambling. Here's the blurb for DaDA. Hope you enjoy it.

Identical twins Darien and Derek Robeson may look alike, but the similarities end there. Where Derek is hard-working and responsible, Dar is reckless and carefree. When Dar's chosen profession in adult entertainment causes yet another mistaken identity hiccup in Derek's love life, one brother gives the other an ultimatum - quit the sex business or else.

Dar enjoys the freedom and money earned from a career in the sex trade, but respects his brother enough not to hurt him intentionally. However, when a hunky film star makes Dar an offer he can't refuse, Dar's left to wonder if blood is thicker than gold. What he doesn't realize, too, is that a local video company has made Derek a similar, more profitable offer, and Derek's interested!

Perhaps the Robeson twins are more alike than they thought?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Turning Japanese? I Really Think So!

A while back I bought some Japanese Kit Kats from eBay. I recommend it if you're feeling adventurous. Come check out the new Phaze cave, too!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

When Plot Bunnies Attacks

I had a dreeeeeeeeeeam... a dream about yoooooou, Louise...

My mother's favorite movie at one point was Gypsy.

Honestly, I did have a dream the other night, and parts did stick with me. If you've followed my writing path, you'll know it's been a while since I put out a Dareville story. I am close to finishing Dare and Dare Alike and hope to have it ready for consumption by month's end. In the meantime, this dream I had, which is fading fast, gave me an idea for another off-track Dareville, and I'm not sure if I should even write it.

Let me explain. In October I put out through Phaze Books a short, Don't Dare the Reaper. This was a non-canon menage, and by non-canon I mean that I didn't intend for it to have a place in the chronology of stories and novels. Reaper is a paranormal, whereas the true series is contemporary with no spooks or spirits or sparkling vampires. I wrote it for fun essentially, and because I just had to use that title. :) Besides, it was for a Halloween themed line, and I liked the story as I wrote it.

Suffice to say, it's not the best selling of the Dareville stories, despite it being a MMF. Disappointing, yes, because as an author you tend to want your next story to outsell the last. These days I do take comfort that my Dareville backlist continues to sell decently, so I will continue to write stories. Sometimes I wonder: did the paranormal angle deter Dareville readers? Did I breach a zone that should have remained put?

Anyway, the idea that came in my dream involved another paranormal plot - and it's just too irresistible to ignore. My question is, though, do I pursue the paranormal angle, then continue with Dareville as it normally is (i.e., does this fanciful idea become another character's "dream") or do I stick with the contemporary straight line. I haven't seen many series that switch things up like this - it's either all paranormal or all contemporary, or whatever. I have to admit, too, that looking back on the old Happy Days series where Mork suddenly appeared seemed off to me. If I write another paranormal Dareville, am I pulling a Mork? You remember Mork, right? He was annoying as all hell.

I guess I'll just bounce around the idea for now, along with the other ten million I'm plotting. I do promise this: no rainbow suspenders.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

When Business Grows, So Does the Paper Trail

If there is anything I have learned since launching my writing side-business, it's that as you work hard to sell people your services, there must a hundred people like you trying to sell your their goods. Not long after I set up the DLP Books website for my mysteries did I start receiving postcards and sales flyers from printers. That is why I ended up looking into commercial mailboxes sooner than anticipated, to reroute that mail away from the avalanche of bills I already receive.

If you are an author, especially one who uses a pen name to distinguish the genres you write, I strongly suggest renting mailboxes outside of your true residence. Even if you use your real name, having that separate destination for letters is a good idea for your safety and sanity. I'm not saying that as an author you are at risk or anything, it's just that it is nice to separate that world from your personal life. Depending on how you use your royalties, or if you're the type who is constantly ordering promo (and hubby isn't happy about it), you get that stuff out of the way. Residential mailboxes are okay for receiving everyday correspondence, but if you intend to write full-time you are essentially creating your own business, and this way is very professional.

Bear in mind, however, if you rent a PO Box from the USPS, there are provisions to adhere to. You may need documentation to support receiving mail to a pen name. Boxes from mail stores are less rigid, however. Just don't go too crazy ordering stuff to fill it.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Public Service Announcement from Authors After Dark

We're getting closer to the big weekend! As a featured author, I've been asked to help the word, so here is the official buzz:

Authors After Dark Is coming sooner then you think! Are you a blogger? or an author aspiring to publish? A reader with a voracious love of books? Well, AAD is the con for you! Designed by authors FOR readers, AAD is the only con that doesn't break your bank! It's the cheapest con around that FEEDS YOU 5 MEALS for no additional fee! And did we mention there's FREE ALCOHOL all weekend? That's right!

Attendees this year will be treated to over 2,400 free books, over 125 door prizes, several parties, mini events, workshops, tons of swag (and the good kind, too!) photo opps, and tons of surprises!

Writers? Small press authors? How would YOU like to get in front of a NY editor without the hassle of a big con's appointment schedule? This year are are lucky to have several editors from Ballantine, Kensington, and Harlequin, as well as some of the small presses like MLR Press, Torquere, Tease Publishing, Phaze, Total E Bound and more. a full list will be up on the AAD site soon and appointments will be taken starting August 15th! The catch? You MUST be registered by August 1st to participate, and each editor is ONLY taking 10 appointments! Be remembered! Get your MS into shape!

Bloggers? We have some fantastic goodies for you. Special goodie bags FILLED with books (ARC's, signed copies and Ltd Edition US books!) as well as the ability to engage your favorite authors for interviews and Q and A!

Check out everything on our website ( and we hope to see you with us this year. You are in for a fantastic weekend!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Changing my whole outlook, and inlook

I have decided I will never be a fashion plate, so I'm not going to worry about whether or not I can afford that Donna Karan suit or outrageous four-figure Betsey Johnson. Fashion isn't designed for my body style, and these days I'll take comfort over aesthetics. I will likely never have the job that requires me to wear business casual, and you know what? I'm all for that. I'm a writer/web gal all the way, and if funny t-shirts with bizarre sayings are the uniform, sign me up. In fact, I've contemplated cleaning out my closet altogether and just wearing t-shirts and jeans from here on out. Bury me in them, don't spend money on a fancy dress.

My husband, however, used to be into men's fashion, but that was back when he lived in a major metropolitan area and his work called for better style. When you're teacher, it's a bit challenging to maintain a high end wardrobe - no holes equals high fashion around here. Little one will only wear purple, and that makes shopping much easier on me.

I suppose the only thing I have to worry about is costuming for these upcoming conferences. I like to think, though, I can get away with the same outfit every year because who's going to remember, right? I will try something different for Authors After Dark, though, and I do have a shirt for the 80s party. You're gonna love it!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Listen, if You Dare

I have a ring and a date for my first audio book! Truth or Dare the audio book will release on August 10 through, and you can listen to a work safe sample here.

I have to admit it was rather strange to hear somebody else read my book aloud, especially since it's erotica. I see now, though, more publishers are getting in on the act. Ellora's Cave has a growing audio division, and many authors I know are signing with AudioMinx and other houses to produce books for the iPod. I'm pleased to be a part of this new age in publishing, and hope this won't be the last Dareville story one can listen to.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Some Like it Spicy

I do, on occasion. I like ginger, I like pepper, and I looooove chocolate. All three together? Eh...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Saving Gold for That There College Education

One of my major professors in college, as he neared retirement, invested heavily in precious metals. I remember being nineteen or so and feeling amused to hear him talk excitedly about his growing gold IRA and the strength of his vigilance where tracking the profits were concerned. It seems almost maniacal, to look back on it, how he carried on about making money for his later years.

Two decades later, I wonder why I didn't start something sooner. I have a few gold coins in my possession, and I'm sure my parents have some gold bullion they haven't touched yet, but other than the money I get in royalties I use little else to invest. I know little about the bullion market anyway, and as I will likely work until they pry the laptop from my hands I wonder if it's worth looking into.

The little one's 529 is crawling upward steadily, and I managed to invest a bit in my dormant IRA last month. Freelance work is coming in steadily to handle that, though with July and a vacation looming I'm sure to be set back. I'm thinking, do I have time to buy bullion buy bullion that isn't soup related (heh) when I have to think about getting to a concert next month, then off to wine country for a week's vacation. True I could buy gold bullion and save it for later, maybe take a longer vacation off the earnings, but will that money go toward something stable, like a house payment or college?

I wish I could foresee better how markets and such will work. It would make it so much easier to invest. In the meantime, I'm hanging on to the coins I do have. Not sure how much they'll be worth, but gold will always remain precious and in demand.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

She Loves Me is a Kindle Bestseller!

I just had to share this. It's not every day I'm included in a list with Violet Blue and Zane.

I don't know how long the book will hold position, but at this writing my first collection of lesbian erotica, She Loves Me: a Collection of Lesbian Erotica, is number 3 in the Kindle Erotica Anthologies bestseller list! This is a collection of my F/F stories, which include Share, Share Some Some, Last Call, and others. All of the stories are available individually on Kindle, or you can get this collection - the combined stories - at a cheaper price if you don't have any of them yet.

Watch this space, too, for news of my next GLBT release, very likely an M/M Dareville novella. Thanks!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Moving Pictures

I still have a month to wait to see Rush. It's going to be the longest month of my life, at least during this year...and this hasn't exactly been my best in the real world. Between hubby's collarbone break and a spontaneous move from a house into a townhome, I'm ready for a long break of napping. On the upside, we did get a nice flatscreen TV to make up for the one damaged in a storm a few months back. However, with no cable at the moment I'll be missing the premier of the Rush documentary on VH1.

I must therefore console myself by watching the Walk of Fame ceremony footage over and over. Sigh.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Live from Balticon, Sort Of

The recent purchase of a Flip camera has me wanted to record the world, kind of like Winona Ryder in that movie I hated. The test drive at Balticon last month, I thought, went rather well. For my reading time, I chose to preview DEAD BARCHETTA, my eternal work in progress:

The book is actually coming along well. I just need five days to myself - no Twitter, no kids, no job - to really reach that finish line. I do have a vacation coming up after the Rush show in Jones Beach. Maybe I could borrow Neil's bus while he hits the road on his bike.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Writing Incentives, or Dude, Where's My Car?

Once upon a time, I ghost-blogged for a limousine company up north. Back before every company in the world had a cultural journal to tie in current events with their services, I was blogging about the city's attractions and telling people how they could rent a limo or even a luxury car like a Mercedes-Benz GL-class from this guy at unbelievable rates. I learned later, after our contract expired, customers would compliment him on his writing skills. I suppose that's the price you pay for ghosting, but he did offer me a free ride next time I came to town. I wonder if he remembers that.

More recently, I blog for a number of local businesses near me. The main company I sub-contract with does a great job in landing clients, and my task is to keep them happy. It works about 80% of the time - I've written about everything from nose jobs to oil changes for the Hyundai Elantra to aluminum siding (that's a popular topic, believe it or not). The owner of the web company through which I work owns a Lexus, and thanks to some business savvy with a client he may trade up at a good price. Me, I'm just happy to get paid regularly in a time when not everybody has that luxury.

Sometimes, though, I find writing for business does have incentives beyond the perks I get from clients. I like that I can build myself as a brand through ghost-blogging and article marketing - the more I write, the more link-building is accomplished and more likely clients will refer me to others. If I could barter my skills for tangible goods I'd take advantage of it as best I can. I could use free dance or piano lessons for my little one in exchange for SEO work, or maybe the occasional free dinner for helping a restaurant fill their seats. I don't need to blog for a Porsche or even a Toyota Tacoma, but a gallon of gas for what I am driving now wouldn't hurt.

Monday, June 7, 2010

New release: South of Sundance!

Are you planning to attend the F/F writing panel at Authors After Dark this year? If so, you'll get to hear me talk about my experiences in writing and marketing lesbian erotica and romance. It's not a genre I specifically set out to write, but I find as I sell more I'm apt to write more. Now, I won't write F/F exclusively - I have so many stories to finish and new releases are coming soon. For now, you can go to All Romance and pick up my latest, South of Sundance! Buy it now!

Days before her sexy documentary debuts at a popular lesbian film festival, director Bebe Yasbeck is confronted by an old flame and conflicting feelings about the direction of her career and her assistant, Debra. Will her experience at South of Sundance provide her with the happy Hollywood ending she desires?

Recently a friend of mine attended the Tribeca Film Festival to see the new Rush documentary - actually brushed past Geddy Lee on the way out the door, and sat next to Eddie Trunk from VH1. Hearing the story got me thinking about how a director might react on attending such a festival, wondering about the reception of her film. Also, I'd been planning a print collection of my other F/F stories (She Loves Me, coming soon but now in eBook) and needed one more to fill up the length. So I ended up writing this. Hope you enjoy it. Thinking about it now, I may sequel this one, too. I already have an idea for the third Share story.

In the meantime, still working on Dead Barchetta and Boone, then Until it Sleeps, then Dare and Dare Alike. Going to be a busy summer.

Friday, June 4, 2010

BEA Book Giveaway, One Week to Enter!

Usually every year I hold a big-ass RT bag giveaway, where I collect entries to win the bag of everything I snatched during the con. This usually includes ARCs, promos, and all sorts of goodies. Since I couldn't make it to RT this year, and since I amassed quite a library of review copies from BEA, I've decided to make this my big drawing this year. If you love to read and want to impress friends by obtaining books that won't be out for months yet, this is your chance.

Here's how it works: Just leave a comment on THIS POST ONLY with your first name and indication if you are in the continental US or elsewhere. Be sure to enter your e-mail in the comment prompt so I can contact you. Due to postage restrictions, the books will go to one domestic winner, and one international entrant will receive a $10 gift certificate to Phaze Books! On June 11 at 11PM, I will draw the winners.

As you can see in the picture above, I also snagged a few eBook ARCS: A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James, Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, and The Brazen Bride Stephanie Laurens. For prints, you stand to win the following. It's a mix of romance, literary, YA and non-fiction.

The Smart Family's Passport from Quirk Books
A special excerpt booklet of The Confession by John Grisham (only 2000 made for the event)
Kiss Me Deadly, 13 Tales of Paranormal Love (Running Press)
Sex and Subterfuge by Isabel Roman (Ravenous Romance)
Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales (Simon and Schuster)
West of Here by Jonathan Evison (Algonquin)
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (Philomel Books)
Emma and the Vampires by Wayne Josephson (Sourcebooks)
Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles (Flux)
Cleopatra: a Life by Stacy Schiff (Little, Brown)

In addition, you'll get these already released books:

Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles (Flux)
I Love This Bar by Carolyn Brown (Sourcebooks)
The Shimmer by David Morrell (Vanguard Press)
Plea of Insanity by Julliane Hoffman (Vanguard Press)

One comment on this post, before June 11, 11PM EST. That's all you need to do. And now, a word from the Me Want Food Legal Dept.

No purchase necessary to enter. Two (2) prizes will be awarded: the books to one entrant living in the continental United States, a gift certificate to one entrant living outside this area. Please be aware on receiving these books that the majority of them are advanced review copies and as such are not for resale and/or distribution on torrent sites. Good luck!