Monday, January 31, 2011

What I Hope to Be Reading

While I continue to whittle away on my new Kobo reader, I'm thinking about the future and what I would like to read. Having recently joined a book club has helped the revive the reading bug, and as I prepare to write Dead Sector A I realize I should return to certain worlds and get a feel for the atmosphere I plan to illustrate. That's why you'll see my wishlist below is somewhat themed:


I have wanted to read Moon: The Life and Death of a Rock Legend since it first came out. It's true the love-hate relationship between Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey is legendary, but I've always believed Keith Moon was the most fascinating member of The Who. Neil Peart has cited the band as one of his favorites (Rush does an incredible cover of "The Seeker", BTW) and no doubt Moon influenced him as much as Buddy Rich did. I know there have been plans to make a film bio, so I definitely want to read this book first. Only problem: not on Kindle. I ended up caving in and buying the print, so it sits on my TBR pile.


I couldn't tell you how many books about John Lennon I have read. YA geared bios, fiction, and even Albert Goldman's abomination. John Lennon: Shoulda Been There is first part of a rather ambitious undertaking, a fictional account of Lennon's life. Unlike other published Beatles fiction, these books by Jude Kessler are apparently true to life events, with much of the dialog conjecture. There are two books out so far, and a third on the way. Like Moon, these are also not on Kindle, but I've contacted the author to see if she plans it.


I had a chance to see Carrie Fisher's one-woman show, I goofed around, and I missed it. So kicking myself for fucking that up. I don't get HBO, either, so I'll have to wait for the DVD, and there better be one. Now, I've read Wishful Drinking, and it was okay - I had hoped to read more in that brief memoir. That's why I'm looking forward to Shockaholic, which as I understand it, will mainly cover the Star Wars years. This will be on Kindle, but for $11.99 - ouch!

Of course, there are others, and I'll hopefully have reviews of books very soon. If only I could multi-task to the extent where I'm doing the reading, knitting, writing and eating at the same time - now there's a blog for another day!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - Help Me Think of a Title

This Sunday I thought I'd share a trunk story. This is supposed to be an M/M erotic contemporary. Complete pantser, this one, though I do have an idea of where it's going. Perhaps you will, too, when you read this:

~*~

Parker Stigwood uncrossed his legs, but quickly rethought that move when his right foot bounced maniacally in plain view of a roaming cameraman. The world didn't need to see his nerves get the best of him, tonight of all nights. For nearly three hours he'd remained glued to his front row seat, watching an endless parade of empty platitudes, old tuxedos, and new breasts. In exactly two minutes film legend Walt Stephenson - six-time nominee and last year's winner - would stroll onstage to announce Parker's category.

Parker desperately wanted to slip away, and let a hovering teenager in a rented suit warm his seat while he dashed into a men's room to vomit. Before he could think of rising, a low vibration hummed at his hip. Christ.

~*~

No title as of yet. Was toying with Golden, since little gold men are involved. We'll see. This seemed like an appropriate snip to share since we're hip deep in film awards season. I don't get to movies like I used to, but I have seen two top films, The Social Network and True Grit, and three animated ones - Tangled, Toy Story 3, and Despicable Me. Even so, given how the awards have been going I have a feeling I can correctly predict many of the Oscars this year.

My picks: The Social Network for Best Film, Director, and Adapted Screenplay; Colin Firth for Actor, Annette Bening for Actress (she's due); Christopher Bale for Supporting Actor; Hailee Steinfeld for Support Actress.

We'll see if it's worth betting money, heh.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Cost of Tweeting - Effective Author Promo?

For the sake of promotional research, and searching for more alternatives for my advertising dollar, I have experimented with a few "pay per tweet" companies that recruit power Twitter users to post ads. Some are paid per tweet, others are paid per click - somebody clicks on the link, you get a nickel or a dime or whatever. Both seem like decent models, but as I learned quickly the other day the CPC deal can add up quickly, so you want to keep an eye on your budget. Definitely don't set up a campaign and walk away, else you could be in the hole something deep.

So far I have used the following sites to advertise my novel, Dead Barchetta. Depending on the service, I'll either craft the tweet wording or the tweeter can do it. For this experiment, I chose to have the link lead to a third-party vendor selling my book, rather than my book's main site. I figure this would lead to a quicker point of sale as opposed to forcing somebody to click more than once. Unfortunately, I have yet to see a good ROI on paid tweeting, so I'm not sure how much I'll do in the future. If anything, I have learned quite a bit from this experience and am happy to share it.

The first place I tried was Magpie. Magpie claims to be one of the first paid tweet companies, citing some big names as advertisers. I set up a small budget and worded the tweet myself and sent it off to qualified users. Magpie's minimum buy-in is twenty dollars, so I went with that. Here's the breakdown:

$20 invested at $2 budgeted per day.
$19.97 spent to reach 20044 total Twitter users
16 clicks for a CTR of .08%

Of the Twitter users I surveyed taking this opportunity, I recognized one as an actual book reviewer/Twitter user. I've not determined any sales success here.

Second place I tried was the big dog, Sponsored Tweets. They are run by IZEA, which also does Pay Per Post. They offer two methods for advertising - CPC and pay per tweet. Let me tell you right now, if you plan to use CPC have some money in the bank. The minimum buy in here is $50, which is what I used, but boy I burned through that in a day! There are thousands of registered users here - alleged a number of celebrities that I couldn't afford - and they pounced on this one. My fault partially for setting the cost per click too high: I set it for ten cents when I should have gone lower. When I realized I was close to draining my money and creating problems I closed the opportunity after about nine hours. The $50 spend got me close to 450 click-throughs over 27 Twitter users, however. I haven't checked to see if it translates to sales.

What I found most interesting about Sponsored Tweets is that it gave me access to information on a number of popular Twitter users, including some celebrities. Some of these people actually make a few thousand bucks per tweet! Can you believe how influential social media is, and how much people are willing to pay for these endorsements?

Now, these are just two out of ten companies I've researched, so I haven't quite given up on paid tweets yet. I have learned a few things, though. One: pay attention to spends; two, manage a better campaign and keep CPC bids low; three, find a service that lets you hand-pick users. You can set keywords for your campaigns, but I imagine many people who power use paid tweets to build their bank account will take any opportunity that comes along. I would prefer a Twitter user with 100 followers who read eBooks get my money than the guy with 10K spam accounts following him. He tweets, it's just noise to people tweeting him.

With any type of paid advertising, you have to reach your target audience. I know my target, and will keep shooting.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Geddy Lee Friday - Plenty of Bass, but No Guitar

People might wonder why one is willing to collect bootlegs of every single concert performed by their favorite band. If the set list never changes, what's the point, right? As I've come to understand it, there are times that while the songs remain the same, the show is 100% different. Case in point, Rush's 2010 gig in Boston. Just as the band was about to launch into "La Villa Strangiato" this happened:



Now, if you've seen Rush perform this particular song, you'll know on occasion Alex will launch into a humorous rant somewhere in the middle. With the guitar failure, the impromptu rant happened a bit early. By the three-minute mark, however, he got the sound back and they finished up.

This is a favorite Rush rarity to watch, because it shows their professionalism in a not so ideal situation. Have to wonder how many other musicians would have lodged that axe like a scimitar at their techs' heads, calling them everything but white.

Anyway, if you'd like read up on another guy named Lerxst who suffers more interesting adventures, pick up your copy of Dead Barchetta for the Kindle, Nook, or in print. Reviews coming in are quite positive so far, knock wood. Right now I'm working on the cover for Dead Sector A, the second book. It serves as inspiration to have something done, so I can write faster.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Eat This, Not That...No, This!

Every few days we go to Borders. My little one loves bookstores. She goes straight for the children's section to see what's new and usually reads one or two books by the time we're ready to leave. The other night, though, she wanted to sit with the grown-ups, and there was a display of Eat This, Not That books. She found the kids' edition and took it to the table in the cafe, and proceeded to study each page.

If you have seen these books, you know they are mainly illustrated charts of good food and bad food, categorized into groups like fast food, fast casual, and groceries. You look up the McDonald's page, and the book reveals the least of all McEvils. Little One had a good time pointing out to me what she should eat the next time we go to Panera Bread.

Today at Farm Fresh, we shopped for peanut butter. Spying a jar of Peter Pan on sale, I reached for it when she said, "No, Mommy. That's on the bad list."

"Really?" I suck at reading nutritional labels. Strike that. I'm scared to. These movies like Food Inc. and whatever Morgan Spurlock's doing, I don't know if I want to know. I'm so far gone with the Krispy Kremes and White Castles, I don't know if the acai juice is helping.

Anyway, Little One pointed to the Jif and said that was on the good list, so we got that. The rest of the trip was the same, with her letting me know what snacks to get.

It is good, I suppose, that she begins to understand good eating this soon. We do our best but often fall short. She's asked for her own copy of the book, and I might just get it. In the meantime, I ordered Cook This, Not That in hopes that I'll actually use it and bring some good eating home.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What I'm Knitting - Ribbed for My Pleasure

With Little One's scarf done, it's time for my own. I'm still a bit timid to try something truly funky, so for this one I'm going with a simple ribbing pattern. Knit two rows, purl one, over and over. Here it is so far:


Now imagine that about four feet longer, that's the goal. While I'm doing this, I may pick up another pair of needles when Michael's puts out another coupon - should be one coming along in the next twenty minutes. I just got an eBook reader as a late Christmas gift, and will be needing a slip cover for it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What I'm Reading

Hubby had planned this Christmas to get me an eBook reader, but wasn't sure which one to buy me. Sure enough, the sales had passed, so I told him to wait on it and we'll shop around a bit. I already have several reader apps on my iTouch, and while I like the convenience the screen is a bit small. Recently Borders had a coupon for a nice discount on the Kobo Reader, so the other week I finally got my gift.

Compared to the original Kindle which I also own, the Kobo is equal in screen quality. It is a bit cumbersome in the search for books department - there is no keyboard, so you have to maneuver the movement button to spell out titles to search for. I think what I might do with this particular reader is buy the books on my laptop and transfer them over - that is very easy to do with this gadget. Only when I am away from my laptop and desperate for a book, will I resort to hunting and pecking.

Anyway, as you can see I have uploaded Up On the Housetop by Suzanne Rock (Loose ID). This title was one of the 12 Days of Christmas giveaways at All Romance. There are other freebies packed in as well, so I'll be reporting on them as they are read. Love how the covers transfer to the Kobo, but one thing I do want to warn you about is uploading PDFs to this thing. They seem to show as is, so if you get one with large margins the print may be too small. I tested Dead Barchetta on it and am trying to figure out how to make the text better. You are better off, I think, uploading EPUBs to this one.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Guest Blog: Nona Wesley

Welcome, Nona Wesley, to Me Want Food! If you would like to guest blog, please email kspatwriter (at) yahoo (dot) com for details.

Thanks for stopping to chat! Please tell us a bit about your latest release, or what's coming up.

I must hang my head in shame here, because it's been a while since I've done something new. I do apologize, I've come down with the worst case of writer's block ever. On top of that, I lost a partial to a sequel I've been writing, so it's back to the drawing board there! Right now, though, I hope to finish a short I/R piece called The King and Vi, about a case of mistaken identity that leads to something very hot!

Do you consider yourself a plotter or a pantser? Or maybe both?

I'll say six of one... I do have an idea going into a story about where it will go, but I don't actually sit down and plot out everything. I probably should, it may help with the blockage.

Do you prefer to write one specific genre, or are you a bit all over the map? What is your favorite genre to write and why?

I am pretty much interracial erotic romance all the way. It's what I know and what I read, and I love it. In the future I may try to creep into sub-genres, like science fiction, but I'm happy where I am.

Do you own an e-reader, or maybe two? How do you like it?

Well, I do have the Kindle reader on my laptop, and I enjoy reading that way. I am saving up for a Nook color, unless somebody wants to buy me one. :)

What do you have planned writing wise for the rest of the year?

I really want to finish a novel. I have one mapped out, just need to sit my butt down and do it. It is a shapeshifter story, so I hope they don't go out of style before I finish!

Desert Island quiz: you can only bring one album, one DVD set for your favorite TV show, and one movie. What are they?
Ugh, I hate these, but I preferred this question to some others. :) Okay, for the album I'd take along a greatest hits compilation by Aretha Franklin, because her music always gets me dancing, slow or fast. The movie would have to be something exciting to keep my interest, like Top Gun (cute pilots). For the TV show, I don't watch much, but I've always wanted to catch The Sopranos so maybe that one.

What was the last book that you read? What did you think?

I picked up Bridget Midway's Love My Way during an All Romance special and finished it recently. Very hot stuff! I've always wanted to try my hand at writing BDSM, and Bridget seems to know what's what there. Imaginative story and great characters.

Who are your favorite authors in your primary genre? 

I mentioned Bridget, but there's also Marilyn Lee and of course Sandra Kitt, who started it all for me.

Nona Wesley
http://www.nonawesleyromance.com

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Five Things Every Author's Blog Should Have

As part of my New Year's resolution to blog more, I figured one thing I ought to do - given my current day job as a social media manager - is to assist new writers interested in using their blogs as a promotional tool. Even though I assist clients in maintaining strong following via Facebook and Twitter, I always stress to people that you can update profiles daily, even several times, but blog content is king. Search engines are more apt to cache blogs, especially blogs that are updated frequently. Fresh content drives search, and if you want to attract readers looking for your genre, you best write about it while you're writing it.

Blogs should also be used by authors for conversation - invite readers into your world by sharing who you are and what you like. One thing I have noticed about Twitter is that it gives users a sense of companionship with the people who use it. For years we may have watched Demi Moore in the movies, for example, yet through her very popular Twitter account we become more familiar with the person. Authors, I believe, have a wonderful opportunity in capturing that sense of community with book lovers. I have met many celebrities over the years, and have found authors more accessible than most - even if you consider yourself introverted, your blog is your mouthpiece. Use it.

That said, let your blog design stand as an extension of your personality. Nice graphics and structure draw the eye, but use the template to promote yourself as well. Here are five things you definitely need on your blog:

1) Clear identification of who you are. The graphics are nice, but if your name gets lost in all the sparkling vampires and such no reader is going to know who you are. Have your name prominent and readable amid all the curlicue font work.

2) Clear links on sidebar to books. The blog is one of your main marketplaces, so have what you're selling above the scroll-fold. Use widgets for Amazon.com if your books are listed there - the Associates program makes it easy to set up. Otherwise, link book covers to your favorite vendor.

3) Facebook Like Button on every post. The Facebook Like Button differs from sharing on your Facebook wall. Nonetheless, it's important to have this button where people can click it. One simple click puts your link on Facebook, and increases the chance for results in search on the social network.

4) Chicklets for sharing content. With each post you should have buttons to share the content on Twitter, Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon, and Tumblr. Those are the big five in my opinion, and while you might think people already have sharing functionality on their browser bars, don't assume that is the case with everybody. Make it easy and obvious for your readers to share you book info.

5) Contact information. The blog makes you accessible to readers, a contact form more so. Encourage the direct contact with fans who want to know when to expect your next book.

There's your blog promo lesson for the day. I'll try to make Saturdays a weekly tutorial for beginning promo tips for authors. Enjoy!

Kathryn Lively is an author of mystery novels, and has edited erotic romance.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Geddy Lee Friday - Brought to You By the Letter Q


I like the jacket. Very Richard Roundtree.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

True Grit

On nights when the hubby is teaching late, I usually grab one of my favorite cookbooks. The Grit Cookbook is the official tome of the Athens, GA eatery where Hubby and I ate literally every night when we lived there. If you ever thought vegetarian food consisted mainly of salad bar and rice cakes, you need to head down there for a true education.

My favorite dish there was something called The Golden Bowl - a simple combination of fried tofu and brown rice. The recipe's in the book and find I've made that one more than anything else. Although, as often as I've made it, I have yet to get the tofu cubes to the consistency that the Grit cooks get it. I'm not entirely convinced, therefore, that the whole recipe is revealed. Or maybe I just don't have the right stuff for browning tofu.

I can only hope, though, that I've committed the recipe well enough to memory. Since we moved, I've search high and low for the cookbook and can't find it. I'm close to admitting defeat and buying a new one, because there are other great recipes I want to have on hand. The Grit makes this incredible cornbread and awesome homemade desserts as well. One thing to remember about the place, too, is that it doesn't necessarily equate vegetarian with diet. We certainly didn't lose much weight eating there.

If we ever get back to Athens, I hope to have one more meal there. It will probably be The Golden Bowl, but I don't mind. I'll just have to remember to keep a few cubes of Grit Tofu for careful analysis.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Knitting Onward and Longward

After about two feet, I bound off the pink scarf. It's a good size for little one, not so much me:


She started wearing it the second I cut the yarn, so I suppose now it's my turn for something warm. It's my hope by the time I'm done I won't need a scarf because the sun will have come out. All the same, the stitching will warm up my fingers in this cold, cold house.

Rather than do a simple stockingette stitch, I'm going to experiment with something more complicated. Maybe a mistake rib pattern to give the scarf some texture. Once hubby is back at work and we have a bit more money to blow, I hope to find a good class where I can learn more advanced stuff. I know that will require buying more needles, maybe a crochet needle as well. Come to think of it, maybe I should next knit the bag that's going to hold all of this.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ready to Rock? Anyone?

So, what have I learned after reading Steve Almond's Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life?

(You might consider these spoilers. If so, read with your eyes shut.)

1) Apparently there was a time when Styx wasn't cool before Kilroy Was Here.

2) Toto's "Africa" may well threaten "We Built This City" as the Worst. Song. Ever.

3) In the 80s, everything came with cocaine, even tote bags.

4) When I, too, contemplate the timeline of modern music technology, I realize I feel old as the author does. One day my daughter is going to find one of the cassettes we have inexplicably hanged onto - though we no longer have anything with which to play it - and ask, "What is this?"

5) I pretty much agree with the author's list of Rock's Biggest A$$holes. Glad to see Rush didn't make the cut, but they didn't have a chance.

6) Weird Al apparently had groupies back in the day.

You do get the flavor of High Fidelity in this book - it reads as part memoir and part music theory, exploring the things people do in the name of rock and roll and how the music affects us and the way we live. Not a bad pick for a music club. I look forward to the discussion.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - Dare's Destiny

I have been checking out these Six Sentence Sunday blog posts for a while, and decided I'd like to give it a try. As I understand it, you post six sentences from a WIP or forthcoming work to share.

Right now my next big project is Dare's Destiny, the fifth Dareville novel:

The room fell silent as the three enjoyed the Merlot. Though DesiLynn wanted to study her guests’ reactions - she’d made it a hobby over the years, and when Dan lived they often speculated what flavors drinkers detected on the finish - she closed her eyes. The bold explosion of dark fruit with a hint of tobacco sent her senses reeling. In her mind’s eye she watched the progress of Dare’s Destiny flicker like grainy film footage. From the first shovelful of dirt on the ancestral Dare family land tossed aside for planting to that moment of truth when they cracked open the first barrel for tasting, the memories served to amplify the warmth of the Merlot flowing through her. As a descendent of the original Dare line, DesiLynn inherited this portion land, which her husband had tested for growing potential.

My goal is to get this one completed in the next few months. You can check out all the available Dareville stories at DaringRomance.com.

Guest Blog: Lisabet Sarai and When Sex Was Fun

http:Welcome guest blogger Lisabet Sarai! If you wish to guest blog on Me Want Food, just drop me a line at kspatwriter (at) yahoo (dot) com.

When Sex Was Fun
By Lisabet Sarai

Last night my husband and I watched Radley Metzger's 1972 film “Score”. We'd seen it before, in the nineties, when we first discovered a collection of Metzger's work on VHS (remember VHS?) at our local independent video store (remember independent video stores?). The film was as lively and erotic as I had remembered, though some of the more dated references evoked a laugh or two.

You may not be familiar with Metzger. He began making sexually-oriented films in the late sixties and is responsible for ground-breaking efforts such as “I, a Woman” and “Therese and Isabelle”, one of the first films to concern itself with lesbian love. Later in his career, under the name of Henry Paris, he directed hard-core features including the classic “The Opening of Misty Beethoven”. The movies that initially made his name, however, skirt the edge between art and porn. They include nudity and simulated intercourse, but the attention to characterization and dialogue, not to mention the elegant cinematography and breathtaking locales (many of Metzger's films were shot in Europe), move these films into a category all their own.

I don't know how many of you have watched modern “adult” movies. Based on my experience, most contemporary porn is pretty boring. The characters are primarily presented as bodies, who are largely interchangeable. They have no connection with one another beyond the physical tab-A into slot-B. There's little or no conversation, no buildup of tension, no sense of transgression. One has no sense of any of the participants as individuals. Furthermore the sexual interactions tend to be annoyingly stereotyped and predictable. There is zero suspense.

Metzger's work, in contrast, and “Score” in particular, focuses on the development of sexual attraction and the lure of the forbidden. Some of his films are more serious than others, but all are concerned with the experience of desire as much as with its fulfillment.

“Score” is one of his more light-hearted offerings. Jack and Elvira are a sophisticated, swinging couple who compete in their seductions. They set their sights on Eddie and Betsy, a pair of apparently innocent newlyweds. However, this is swinging with a twist. Elvira lays her snares to attract and corrupt angelic-looking Betsy, while Jack is determined to fulfill Eddie's barely-suppressed homoerotic fantasies.

Neither Betsy nor Eddie falls immediately into bed with their pursuers. Elvira and Jack are gradual and subtle in their seductions. The characters are naked by the middle of the film, but it takes many sensual touches and intense, smoldering stares before the victims actually fall. Metzger vividly communicates the embarrassment and fear that mixes with Betsy's and Eddie's burgeoning lust. When they finally succumb to their hosts, the viewer feels a release of tension that goes far beyond the physical.

Metzger's characters live in a permissive world where any sort of sexual activity might occur, including same-sex interactions. “Score” is cheerfully kinky in its acceptance of homosexuality, orgies, voyeurism, even a touch of S&M. It aims to arouse but not particularly to shock. Watching the film brought me back to the days when sex was fun, when it was relatively safe to surrender to desire.

Modern porn has much to learn from Metzger's work. Even if you find porn offensive, you might well appreciate Metzger's films. He has a healthy respect for his characters and their sexuality. In his world, sex is made to be enjoyed―and the chase is as exciting as the consummation.

BIO: A dozen years ago LISABET SARAI experienced a serendipitous fusion of her love of writing and her fascination with sex. Since then she has published two single author short story collections and six erotic novels, including the BDSM classic Raw Silk. Dozens of her shorter works have been released as ebooks and in print anthologies. She has also edited several acclaimed anthologies and is currently responsible for the altruistic erotica series COMING TOGETHER PRESENTS.

Lisabet holds more degrees than anyone needs from prestigious universities who would no doubt be embarrassed by her chosen genre. She loves to travel and currently lives in Southeast Asia with her highly tolerant husband and two well-traveled felines. For more information on Lisabet and her writing visit Lisabet Sarai's Fantasy Factory (http://www.lisabetsarai.com) or her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com).

Lisabet's most recent release is Almost Home, a M/M/F holiday romance featuring a mistletoe kiss, a warm fireplace, a hot tub, and lots of snow!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop This week I am trying something new and joining a Book Blogger Hop. Though I use my blog to discuss my own writings, I have archived here a fair amount of reviews from times past, plus it is my intent to review more in the weeks to come. Keep an eye out Monday for my review of Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life.

This week's question on the Blog Hop is "What genre do you do (I assume review) and what draws you to it?" That is not an easy answer, because I enjoy reading a variety of books. Mysteries in particular are a favorite - I have a back log of inspirational reviews which I transferred here, plus I used to review for a defunct site called Blether Book Reviews. The site is still archived and you can find nearly 200 reviews I did there; I suppose I should move them here or at least grab the pages. I believe I put many of them on Amazon.com anyway. Still, I should have copies.

Anyway, I have loved mysteries as long as I can remember - I enjoy figuring out puzzles, so I suppose when I am reading a story and I'm compelled to learn where it's going, the author has done his/her job. I enjoy romance when the characters are done well and emotion is genuine, and I enjoy non fiction like history (esp. England and the monarchy) and biographies.

I'm looking forward to seeing what everybody else on the hop likes to read.

How to Order My Books on Your Mobile Phone

Lot of people I know use their smart phones to read books. I don't have such a device, but I do own the iTouch, which is good for reading eBooks as well. I use it, too. I have about 5-6 different reader apps on it, and switch back and forth depending on my mood. If you own the iTouch, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry or Android and your phone allows you to download reader applications, then here's some good news: you can read any of my eBooks anytime, anywhere! Whether it's any of my Phaze Books titles or my catalog at DLP Books, you could enjoy yourself in minutes.

Need help figuring it all out? Here's a little primer that will have you adding some great titles to your library.

eBook Applications

Most eBook readers available for the top smart phones are proprietary to major booksellers. Others work similarly and are tied to their own eCommerce systems. Depending on your device, you should just be able to go to the Applications function and add them easily. The top ones you should have include:


Kindle (http://www.amazon.com)

Barnes and Noble (http://www.bn.com)

Kobo (http://www.kobobooks.com)

Stanza (http://www.lexcycle.com/)

Now, with the first three apps, it is fairly easy to get my books. Simply find the search/buy books function in each app, do a search for Leigh Ellwood or Kathryn Lively or L.K. Ellwood, and you're golden. On Kobo, however, you won't find as many books as you will in other spots, but I plan to amend that as I have recently signed with them to sell DLP titles.

With the Stanza Reader, you can purchase titles by me that are available through Smashwords, All Romance, or Books on Board. Choose the Get Books icon at the bottom of your screen, then select your vendor.

With AllRomance.com, you can search by author and choose your title. You'll be taken to AllRomance.com to buy, and when you have completed the purchase make sure you download the ePub format to read in the Stanza.

With Smashwords, you can search by author as well. There are a few listings for Leigh Ellwood, pick the one with the most titles. When you choose a title, you'll be taken to Smashwords.com to purchase. After purchase, select the ePub option that allows you to launch the Stanza reader and the book should open for you.

With Books on Board, you'll only find a few of my titles. Working to amend that as well. Here you register your account and make the purchase - there won't be a launch to another site.

On the Google Books reader, the only title available is Taste This, so I'll need to see about getting on iBookstore.

If you purchase books directly from Phaze or DLP Books, I find it is easiest to have the Kindle App reader. You take the PRC file and load it into the Kindle folder on your laptop, then sync up. That should get the book up there. All Romance also has good instructions on loading books into your Kindle, and the tips should also apply to reader apps.

As I find new reader apps I'll make that information available as well.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Geddy Lee Friday - Spill the Wine

You know the party game, where you go once around the table and list who you would most want to invite to a dinner party - alive or dead. You'll get answers like Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking, John Lennon and Joan of Arc, etc. Ultimately somebody will answer Jesus, as though you win the most points for saying that first. I would likely invite Him along, too, and hope He likes lasagna.

For anybody who has ever answered Ged, Alex, and Neil, here's a look at how your evening may turn out:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

OMG! WTF? BBQ!

One of the biggest challenges my husband and I have faced since moving to Virginia Beach is finding a decent barbecue joint. Yeah, you may be thinking now - Wait, what? Virginia is the south? What's up with that? True, but as a culinary commonwealth Virginia is known for other delights like peanut soup, ham, crab cakes, and wine... all of which are plentiful and delicious here. Barbecue - the smoky pork and succulent brisket - I have realized is better enjoyed a bit deeper south than where we are, though it hasn't stopped us from finding a place to call our own.

The other day my day job boss bought us all lunch at a place called Mojo Bones in the Ocean View area. I had the pork sandwich with slaw, which I enjoyed. Usually when I try a BBQ place for the first time the pork is the litmus test - if I like that I'll move on to other platters. Yet, as good as the sandwich was, I thought its size in correspondence to the price was a bit uneven. My boss had the brisket sandwich, and said he had to pull away about a third of it to cull the fat.

Granted, this was lunch, so I can't speak for the all around quality of the restaurant. A co-worker speaks well of Mojo Bones, so I am willing to give it another try with my husband and see what their ribs are like.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Knitting: The Scarf in Progress

Sorry to say I haven't made much progress in the kitting department. This past week a series of illnesses - first my daughter's, then my own respiratory infection - sidetracked me. What lucid time I did have available was spent on other projects. Right now I'd say the scarf is close to two feet long. It is my intent to use the entire skein of yarn on this one. As it's for a small one, I don't expect to use much more than that.


I have two skeins of an off-white for my next project - still undecided about that one, but I suspect it will be another scarf since I haven't had time to search for a knitting class in town. I did find instructions for a double stockingette stitch that I would like to try, however, and I will probably make my scarf a bit narrower. I really would like to get started on that one soon because the pink is starting to wear on me a bit.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Coming Soon from DLP Books!

I have debated on whether or not I should keep this under my hat, but as I am in the book business - particular in the business of selling and promoting books, it is never good to keep such a thing a secret. You know, of course, I operate DLP Books, a fine establishment of fiction for readers of all tastes. You want sweet, I have that. Hotter? Most definitely. Explosive? It's coming, literally and figuratively. Right now, though, I am about to begin a project that truly excites me and makes me glad I'm in this business.

Through Phaze Books I met a very talented writer named Robin Slick. She has this very funny, at times heartbreaking series of books there about a woman who changed streams in mid-life, who shed all conventions of being an unhappy mom and desk jockey to pursue her dreams rather than live them vicariously through others. If you haven't read Three Days in New York City, Another Bite of the Apple, and Bitten to the Core, I suggest you pick them up now and read for yourself how talented she is.


Interesting stories about these books - one day I'll set up a one-woman show so Robin can tell it. She'd pack houses.

Anyway, Robin has another book called Daddy Left Me Alone With God, which is similarly themed, almost a roman a clef. A young girl has an affair with one of the greatest musicians alive, then has the opportunity many years later to rekindle that magic. Does it happen? I hope you want to find out, because DLP Books has agreed to publish the work.

So look for Robin's novel very soon, very likely February. Robin may have a big promotional opportunity connected with the book, so we will definitely make it available in print and eBook - you'll be able to download straight to your Kindle, Nook, whatever you got. I'm going to try to get Robin to guest blog here in near future as well about this and her latest WIP which really has me interested.

I've never been more excited than now for publishing. 2011 will literally rock.

Rock and Roll Will Save My Life? Does it Know CPR?

So my final verdict on the zombie book, sad to say, isn't wholly good. There were moments I found the story amusing and hair-raising, but on the whole I guess I just didn't get into it. One patch where the action diverts into a third-party tale told by a supporting character threw me off track a bit, and overall I just didn't find the main character likable. Perhaps, though, in a zombie book that is the point, but even with some of the most irascible characters in books (I think of Skink from some of Carl Hiaasen's novels) there is something to be admired. Maybe I wasn't in the right frame of mind reading this - I may try the first in the series later on for a better base in the series.

For now, though, I've recently signed up for the Rock Book Club after seeing Robin Slick mention it on Facebook. Her book Daddy Left Me Alone with God is up for the possible February read, and I have read and enjoyed that one. Right now, though, we are reading Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life by Steve Almond. The description seems to put it on par with High Fidelity, only this is memoir rather than fiction, so it will be interesting to see if there is a contrast.

In the meantime, you can follow the conversation via Twitter through the hashtag #RockBookClub. I'll pop in from time to time, but I don't think I'll make any of the meetups, the next of which is in Boston. Now, if they ever vote to read Dead Barchetta (heh), I'll be happy to make the trip.

I do hope Robin's book get picked, if not for February then sometime this year. It is a very good story, a roman a clef crossed with fantasy - as much of the story involves a group of young graduates from a "rock school" not unlike the one her own children attended. Robin tells some interesting stories, too - I'd probably make the trip to that real life meetup.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Guest Blog: Marie Rochelle!

Welcome to my first guest blogger, best selling author Marie Rochelle. Today, Marie is sharing a hot excerpt from her next book, Alpha Male Inc. : Under Your Protection.


If you would like to guest blog on Me Want Food, email kspatwriter (at) yahoo (dot) com.

The Golden Rule in being a Bodyguard 101:
Never get involve with a client no matter
how unbelievably sexy she might be.


Personal bodyguard Jax Irizarry retired from the business ten years ago and opened up his own company called Alpha Male Incorporated. He was content with no longer being thrown into the danger zone and got enough pleasure from working behind a desk. So, why did this best friend Frank Chantel want to hire him to protect his goddaughter/singer, Sahara ‘Coco’ Chantel?

Sahara Chantel reluctantly agreed to a bodyguard to please her uncle. She was more focused on getting her singing career off the ground, not an overzealous fan. Anyway, it wasn’t like she was going to be attracted to her bodyguard because weren’t most of them older men with gray hair?

Sahara's preconceived notions of bodyguards were shot to hell when she walked inside her den and spotted the tall, blond and sexy Jax Irizarry waiting for her.

~*~

His hands grabbed the hem of Sahara’s short denim skirt and then he pulled it up until it rested at the top of her toned thighs. Stepping between her smooth legs, Jax brushed his cock against her damp underwear. The scent of her body was pushing him again to take a nibble out of the soft skin right where her neck and shoulder connected.

“Do you know how badly I want you? It’s killing me not to take this further.”

Dropping his head, Jax breathed in Sahara’s hot scent before he moved completely away from her and the temptation she was becoming for his weakening body. He wasn’t acting like himself and he didn’t know if he would ever be the same after kissing her.

Fuck! He was losing control. He was too old and he meant truly too old not to be able to get a better grip on his need to carry Sahara off and make love to her for the rest of the day. Jax took another step back and stared at the sizzling picture that Sahara made.

She was leaning against the all with her skirt up high around her waist showing of her sexy yellow underneath. He was dying to know if she was wearing a matching bra. Shit! It was almost too much for him to handle with the state he was in.

“I’m sorry about this,” he apologized watching as Sahara’s desire filled eyes raked over his body. “Are you okay? I didn’t mean to man handle you like I did a few minutes ago.”

Alpha Male Inc. is coming soon from Phaze Books!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What I'm Eating - Whoopie!

Where I live, the city is frosting deep in the cupcake craze that people tell me is about played out in New York. Typical, once the sticks gets into the trend the big city has moved on (what is the new black in NYC now, designer mac and cheese?) but from the looks of things people are not bothered here. We have a cupcake truck now and a few new bakeries, but rather than talk about that now I'm reporting on a Christmas gift I'm still working on, bite by bite.

In celebration of the release of my latest mystery, a friend sent me half a dozen gourmet whoopie pies from Baking Whoopie.  Whoopie pies are sandwich treats - two cake "slices" held together by a thick cream filling. The traditional whoopie is white creme with chocolate cake, but like cupcakes they have enjoyed variations as created by imaginative pastry chefs. One can hit the Internet and order red velvet cake whoopies with cream cheese filling, chocolate whoopies with peanut butter creme, vanilla whoopies with chocolate creme (a reverse whoopie), and so forth. My gift consists of a variety of flavors, featuring most of the above and a chocolate with mocha sandwich.

So far I have tried the traditional and vanilla/vanilla whoopie and found them both delicious, and not sickeningly sweet. The actual pies are fairly small, about the circumference of my palm, and more than an inch thick. One bite is a mouthful that requires a lot attention, but the cake is not dry - in fact, they seem to taste better the colder they are. I wouldn't mind trying my own hand at making whoopies (wouldn't any romance author?), but the problem is I'm the only one in the house who will eat them. When a recipe yields twelve pies, guess who's eating them? 2011 is the year of losing the weight I gained back in 2010, so I have to be conservative when it comes to baking.

Eating, too. I've vowed to ration the pies to one half per evening. They're in a cool place, so hopefully they will keep.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What I'm Knitting - Thinking Pink

I once read an article that declared writers should not have any outside interests. If one lives to write, or writes for a living, there should be nothing else outside of sleeping and going to the bathroom. I find if I don't take the occasional break to see what the sun looks like I go mad, and history has recorded enough crazy writers. So, for 2011 I have decided to pursue at least one vice to keep me balanced. I don't drink much, or do drugs (that I'll admit), and as I consider chocolate more a way of life than a vice, I turned to knitting.

Why knitting? Well, why not? Knitting is something I've always wanted to do, but never truly mastered. A number of writers I know knit - I've seen more than a few with their yarns and needles passing time at events. Plus, it seems to me the type of activity that yields something worth keeping. As of yet I have not taken any formal instruction - I've checked Youtube for some tutorials and managed to teach myself to knit and purl. Armed with a pair of pink needles and matching yarn, I set to work just before Christmas. I figured a simple scarf would be a good first project, and so far I have about a foot and a half length done. Once it appears long enough for the little one, I'll bind off and start something new.

Eventually I'd like to do an afghan - relatives have been kind to knit some for me when I was pregnant, and I'd like to pay it forward one day. I like that knitting, too, gives me time to think. I'm sure I'll incorporate it into a story soon.

Monday, January 3, 2011

What I'm Reading

Recently Amazon Kindle instituted a lending program for the eBooks they distribute - not every eBook is available to loan out to friends, as I understand publishers have the option of disabling this function. As far as I know, all of my titles available through Amazon are in the program, so if you have purchased you can loan them out, or have people lend them to you.

I know some people are bothered by this, fearing the loss of sales, but I am looking at it differently. If somebody is loaned one of my titles and buys another one as a result, that can only benefit me. Plus, somebody has to buy the eBook before it can be loaned, so there is a sale. Ultimately, I want people to read the books, and if this helps, I'll let it ride for the time being. If you do loan out or borrow anything, though, I hope you do review it regardless of what you think.

Right now, I've loaded up my own Kindle App with books to keep me busy for a bit, plus I have five other reading apps on my iTouch for when I'm in the mood to browse elsewhere. I cleaned up big during the All Romance 12 days of free reads, and those are hooked up to my Stanza reader for later. Right now, I'm working my way through a comedic zombie novel called Battle of the Network Zombies. I'll admit it's a bit difficult to follow, but that is because it is a follow-up to another book - apparently I needed to have read one or two book before this one. The title intrigued me, however, and as zombie is the new black I decided to give this one a try. I'm about a third of the way in, so I'll refrain from a final thought until I delve deeper. As it's my goal to read more in 2011 than I did last year, I intend to tick off my reading list on the blog. I'm willing to accept recommendations, so don't be shy in plugging your stuff.

After I finish this, I'm going to try Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Yes, I'm a bit behind on the trends, but I have had this one on the Kindle for a while and it's high time I got around to it. With the weather so cold outside, I have no reason to delay reading.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Guest Bloggers Welcome

Do you have a new book release you want to promote? Are you in need of an extra stop on a blog tour? I have opened Sundays at Me Want Food to any author interested in a guest spot. All genres - erotic or non, romance, mystery, YA, science fiction, etc. - are welcome. You may plug a new book, boost a backlist title, share an excerpt, or blog an event. Explicit excerpts are okay, too.

If you are pressed for blog ideas, you may instead complete a blog interview from the template below. Just pick 7-10 questions and answer them as elaborately as you wish, include links to websites, points of sale, and social profiles, then send everything to kspatwriter (at) yahoo (dot) com under the subject SUNDAY BLOGGER. If you want a specific Sunday, please ask in advance, otherwise I'll queue you for the next available Sunday. Thanks!

Interview Template (Please answer first question, then choose 6-9 more.)

1) Thanks for stopping to chat! Please tell us a bit about your latest release, or what's coming up.

2) How did you become inspired to write this work?

3) Did you have to do a lot of research to complete this work?

4) What is a day in your writing life like? Do you have a set schedule?

5) Do you consider yourself a plotter or a pantser? Or maybe both?

6) Do you prefer to write one specific genre, or are you a bit all over the map? What is your favorite genre to write and why?

7) Of your backlist/WIPs, which would you say was the easiest to write? The most challenging? Why?

8) Are you published primarily in print or eBook, or both equally? Which format do you prefer and why?

9) Do you own an e-reader, or maybe two? How do you like it?

10) What do you have planned writing wise for the rest of the year?

11) Do you have any social media profiles/pages where readers can follow you?

12) Do you have a blog/Yahoo group for readers to stay updated on your works?

13) Desert Island quiz: you can only bring one album, one DVD set for your favorite TV show, and one movie. What are they?

14) What was the last book that you read? What did you think?

15) Who are your favorite authors in your primary genre?

16) Do you have a favorite charity? How does it appeal to you?

17) What is the farthest you've traveled for a concert and who did you see?

18) Will we see you at any cons/signings soon?

19) Most f***able movie star of the 1930s-50s? Why?

20) Who do you like in the next World Series?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Compleat Leigh Ellwood

My most current release is ACTS OF DARING (HOME TO DAREVILLE, #5).


BOX SETS/COLLECTIONS (SINGLE AUTHOR)

M-Squared (M/M): ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH ~ AUDIO

Men & Mayhem (M/M): ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH

She Loves Me (F/F): ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH ~ AUDIO

~

CLASS IN SESSION 

A Different Class (M/M):  ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH ~ DECADENT 

A Class Act (M/M): ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASHDECADENT

Touch of Class (M/F): ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBOITUNES

~

COMING TOGETHER

Girl on Girl (ed.): AReAMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES SMASH (F/F)

On Wheels (ed.): ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH

As One: ARe  ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNESSMASH (MFMF)

For the Holidays: ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH (M/M)

Keeping Warm: ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH (M/F)

Outside the Box: ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH (M/M)

Pro Bono: ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH (M/M)

Strange Shifters: ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH (M/M)

Through the Storm: ARe  ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH (M/F)

~

HOME TO DAREVILLE

Daring Him (nee Truth or Dare), #1 (M/F)ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH

Daring Her (nee Dare Me), #2 (M/F)ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH

Daring To Love (nee Daring Young Man), #3 (M/F): ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH

A Daring Plan (nee Dare to Dream), #4 (M/F)ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH

Acts of Daring (nee Dare to Act), #5 (M/M): ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH

The Sweetest Dare (F/F): ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES 

Daring Destiny (F/F):  ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH

~

LOVE IS BLISS

Love Is Bliss, #1-2 (M/F)ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH (AUDIO Pt. 1)

Holiday Bliss, #3 (M/F)ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH

~

SEASONAL SPANKINGS

Sci Spanks 2014 (M/F)ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH

Spank or Treat 2014 (M/M)ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH

Love Spanks 2015 (F/F)ARe ~ AMZ ~BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH

Sci Spanks 2015 (M/F)ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH

~

STANDALONES/ANTHOLOGIES

Styx & Stone (M/M Fantasy): ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH ~TORQUERE

Mythologically Torqued (M/M Fantasy, multi-author): ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH ~ TORQUERE

Undercover Passions (F/F paranormal): ARe ~ AMZ ~BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH

Snowed In (MMM, multi-author): ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ TORQUERE ~ ITUNES

~

THE MEN OF SYLVESTER STREET (All M/M)

On the Sly, #0.5: ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH

Sly Foxes, #1: ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH

~

THE VECTRAN CHRONICLES (All MM)

One Sweet Ride, #1: ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH

Bittersweet, #2: ARe ~ AMZ ~ BN ~ KOBO ~ ITUNES ~ SMASH