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!

Now Available: Love's DoMINion!

I am pleased to announce the re-release of my BDSM romance, Love's DoMINion. Who needs Farmville, when DoMINion is much more exciting?

Video may have killed the radio star, but video games have done the complete opposite for Connie Raymond’s sex life! When Connie gets a hold of DoMINion, a real-life simulation game, she learns how quickly art, rather computers, imitate life … not to mention other things. Sex with animated characters, a video-enhanced BSDM dungeon … Pac-Man never had it so good.

Buy LD directly from DLP Books or check it out at All Romance. Included is my free short, Sugar on Top, and don't forget you can also buy it in print at Amazon.com. I thank Stella Price for designing the cover, and hopefully once I get my WIP load finished I can get to work on the intended sequel, Heart's DoMINion.

While you're enjoying this, I hope to have my next F/F story, South of Sundance, out in the next few weeks. I can't say enough how chuffed I am to see the sales of these stories, especially Share, doing well. It's inspired me to try a third in the Share line, but I'm running out of title ideas. I don't want to use Share and Share Alike, because I have Dare and Dare Alike coming out later this year, too. Will have to consult a title generator for that one.

In the meantime, Dead Barchetta is plodding along slowly. I just learned I have an extra week of paid vacation at the day job, so I am looking into a good 3-4 retreat where I can hole up in a cabin with no wifi and finish the damn thing. If you know a place, please let me know. I'll dedicate the book to you, even.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Just. Stunned.

So you want to know my reaction on hearing of Rue McClanahan's passing? I'll let Blanche speak for all of us.

Yes, it's a bit cheeky, but then (as Sophia might clip) so was Blanche. It is truly a sad day - I watched The Golden Girls in my twenties, then my thirties, and now close to 40 I find the humor and relevancy is still intact. Pardon the pun, the show has aged well among a roster of other 80s comedies that clearly look dated with the clothes and hair. I think part of this show's legacy and longevity lies in the way we can relate to Dorothy, Sophia, Blanche and Rose at any age. Women over the age of 50 aren't the only ones who experience frustration in the dating scene, or headaches when trying to relate with children and siblings. These ladies showed us how, when you have friend to support you in good times and bad, there's no problem you can't solve.

I've always maintained that if you took the best qualities of each of these characters, you'd have the ideal person. Between Dorothy's smarts, Sophia's wit, Rose's generosity and Blanche's joie de vivre, one could barely find fault with any of them together. Of course, they were all pretty amazing on their own, and in Blanche one can find hope that just because you advanced in years, it doesn't mean life as you enjoyed it in your youth has to end.